Sunday, November 7, 2021



Here I am again!  Getting tired of seeing me?  I want to say that I so appreciate your comments, especially in my last post, and your condolences on the passing of my brother.  It is such an empty space in my heart.  The realization hits me at the random hour, and I just tear up.  His sweet, wonderful wife has it much harder, as well as his daughters and grandchildren.  I'm feeling a little helpless that they are down near Louisville and not closer.  It's just a terrible, sudden loss.  Again, thank you.❤️

Abigail's baby shower was last Saturday.  It was at the same event room at Deja Brew as was her wedding shower.  The room is gorgeous on it's own, and the owner of the restaurant/pub is so dear.  Dottie was in the family restaurant business most of her life and she bought this space and turned it into a vibrant restaurant with excellent food and an exceptionally great staff.  I say this because I very much so support local businesses, and businesses owned by women, who have been successful in bringing their dreams, goals, and plans into fruition.  Applause!

My daughter, Emily, my daughter in law, Deirdre, and myself all equally pulled this off together.  My humble part was making the table decor.  I love flower arranging and although I'm nowhere near the creativity and expertise of a professional, I love doing it (we also saved a lot of money).  So I used the same vases from the last shower and this is what I came up with; coral, cream, and white roses, with a lot of green fillers and baby's breath.  It was a rainy, gloomy day so the colors and tea light candles made everything warm and sparkly.  Emily created the gorgeous balloon arrangement and chose the little interactive games we played like: The Price Is Right, where we had to estimate the price of diapers, bibs, formula, etc.  Can you believe I tied for winner with Abby's sister in law who has three young kiddos?  My Black Belt in shopping always comes in handy!  Deidre contributed the favors of natural soaps with a cute tag that said, "Shower Abby With Love".

And then the baby daddy showed up to raise a toast, mingle with us ladies, and open gifts with Abigail.  Aren't they the cutest?  

In other happy news, I mentioned in my last post that my daughter, Emily, and hubby Mike, bought a house just three blocks from us.  And here it is on moving day Friday. Madelyn and Lucy are loving every bit of it.  It was a bittersweet time leaving their first home which they bought when first married, and to which they brought their babies home.  And this particular block was home to Nana and Papa, where I first brought Emily to when she was a newborn, and many, many years as she and my other children grew.  But this new house!  It's large and updated and Emily is so ready to give it even more of her designer touches.  I'll get her permission to post pics once they've settled in. 🏡 

My son Jeff, and his wife, Deirdre, recently sold their second home on Lake Michigan for another which is right on the shoreline. This is the road view. 

And as you can see, the Big Lake is right there in their backyard and it has a pool as well.  What a wonderful place to escape to year round! Deirdre's parent live just jog away, and they are about one hour from Chicago and thirty minutes from our cottage. Wow, I am feeling so blessed to have my kids all around us.  We couldn't ask for more.

 I want to share this insanely simple recipe for Pumpkin Spice muffins (if you aren't sick of pumpkin spice everything!).  I used a store bought box of pumpkin shortbread and did nothing out of the ordinary with it, just a whipped egg white and half teaspoon of vanilla.  But  I made a cream cheese frosting that I played with for many cupcakes I've made. So here is just that topping of the muffins I made and want to share.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 t flour
2 T sugar
1 t milk
1/2 c slivered almonds, toasted
Cinnamon, optional

Combine all of the ingredients but for the almonds in a small bowl.  Once the muffins are out of the oven and almost cooled (not hot or the topping will thin), add a dollop of the mixture over the top.  If the cream cheese becomes runny, pop it in the  fridge to firm it up.  You can also pipe this on but I'm not talented in that department!  Top with a small spoonful of almonds and a little dusting of cinnamon.  


Cranberry Cheese Log

This is again a simple but outstanding recipe for a festive party at this time of year.  Not much time to make but with all the great flavors.  I was inspired by this blogger, and this is her photo credit. The original recipe made for a lot of additions I couldn't do without!

8 oz. goat cheese (chevre)

1 t ground cinnamon

1 c chopped walnuts, finely crushed

1 t honey

1 t kosher salt

1 c Dried cranberries

Cream together the goat cheese and cinnamon.  Chill for 15 minutes in the fridge.  Stir together the honey with the walnut pieces and salt.  Spread out on a sheet of parchment paper. On another sheet of parchment paper, spread out the dried cranberries.

Remove the cheese from the fridge and shape it into a log and roll this log in the walnut pieces, and then the cranberries.  As the original recipe says, press the cranberry into spaces that didn't pick up. The parchment paper will help make this easier to roll as it mimics sushi and egg roll methods. 

After chilling for a minimum of fifteen minutes, serve on a pretty platter with a variety of crackers.  Don't you just love the way it looks sliced?  This can also be refrigerated for a day before serving in plastic wrap..  Enjoy 😊  

And that's a wrap!  I am already preparing for Thanksgiving.  Like most of you, last year we had no company, no family.  The husband and I made the most of it with a smaller turkey and side dishes.  This year we have all been vaccinated, in fact The Husband and I had the booster vaccine a few weeks ago.  And we always wear masks in public places.

I am of course, a worried planner who stresses over every detail, but I found a step by step guide from three weeks before turkey day and on.  Normally I wouldn't  follow something like this but my idol, Ina Garten claims a guide like this is her Go To every year.  I found this Thanksgiving countdown guide on a great food blog, The Spruce Eats.  I think you'd like to follow this sight, it's one of the best food blogs I subscribe to.

Happy November friends! ❤️

Jane x



It's me said...

What a lovely post…nice to have your daughter and familly so close to you….I look forward my new life…I wish I was there in a new home with Leaf….than life started new for me….I pray and pray for a lovely home..that I will find it on time…like your yammie recipes love happy Sunday from me Ria 🍀🍀🍀

Anonymous said...

What a special time in your life! I am so happy for you all. I cannot even imagine what it must be like to have all that family around, since I have never experienced it. I am glad you still blog, so I can vicariously enjoy your experiences.


Lynne said...

Wonderful newsy post Jane . . .
Exciting to have your daughter near, first baby and all!
Brings back memories of my daughters first, (I was invited to be present.)

Also exciting for family living close by, new houses too . . .

Thank you for the recipes and the side bar piece
on getting ready for Thanksgiving day.
Schedule in front of me made me realize, “get with the program!”

The sudden death, passing of your brother is very sad.
For his family and for sure, you too.
Be tender with yourself in this time of grief, sorrow, loss and missing him.

I always enjoy you, your family, the pictures and plans.
Message from “ momma Lynne” . . . pace yourself
these next weeks, take care of that back!

Helen said...

Love your tales of family “goings-on” ~~~ the warmth, respect for tradition, love filter thru every line. Have a spectacular week, Ms. Jane♥️

Vee said...

Always wonderful to have the children doing so well. You are blessed to have them close. You sure found some wonderful Thanksgiving recipes. Happy planning!

Jeanie said...

What a joyful post! Your daughter is lovely and I'm so glad the shower was such a beautiful success. The recipes sound fabulous and best of all, you have so much of your family close at hand. I love it.

I have no idea what we are doing for Thanksgiving this year. I just want to get through the next week or so!

Mary said...

Hi dear Jane - Glad all is going better and you certainly seem to have your ducks in a row regarding the upcoming holidays - quite the opposite of me!
The shower looked awesome - you always do a great job and I know your girls must appreciate your efforts.
Stay well - be happy.
Mary x

Lorrie said...

Hello Jane,
What a fun post - baby showers are full of hope for the future, which is always good. Love the decorations - you always do a fine job. Having family close by is such a blessing. Hugs to you, Lorrie

Red Rose Alley said...

The cranberry cheese log and pumpkin spice cupcakes looks scrumptious, Jane. That is wonderful that your daughter bought a house near you. I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of your brother. I, too, lost my brother many years ago, and think about him often. He was the oldest and I was the youngest, but he was a character and really miss him. It sounds like you are enjoying this season very much, and the holidays are upon us! The baby shower looks so lovely with so many great ideas. Love the balloons! : )


Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

The shower looks lovely! It is surely a blessing to have all of your children and grand kids close by. Your son's house is spectacular! What a dream to wake up to that view! We are also having Thanksgiving with extended family this year -very Thankful for that!

Kit said...

What a Great post!The shower looked wonderful, and your Daughter is beautiful.I am glad you got your boosters,We did too. We also wear masks whenever we are out in public.Have a wonderful thanksgiving!Take care. Kit

Theresa said...

Beautiful shower and MOM to be! What a wonderful new home and the lake house view is perfect! Enjoy your day and thanks for the recipes. HUGS! (I miss my siblings, losing 3 in 5 months is really hard on this 'ole gal's heart) I understand your grief:(

Melanie said...

Hi Jane, welcome back to blogging! Abby looks so wonderful that you're going to have another grandbaby! Your family just keeps on expanding; what a blessing.

I am so sorry to hear of your brother's passing. My heart goes out to you.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Red Rose Alley said...

Jane, Yes, Mia is my granddaughter who is 3, and Francesca is my other granddaughter, who just turned 4. It's such a joy being a Grandma, and I used to see the little ones all the time, but I just moved from So Cal to northern Cal, and will have to see them when I can. I've always wanted to live the later part of my years in the mountains. It's a very different experience, but I love it, and it snows! My mother-in-law lived in the mountains, and when I used to visit her, I always loved it and dreamed of living that life as well.

Thank you for stopping by, and have a terrific week ahead. You have such a lovely family.


Aleksi Taisiya said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
babs said...

So good to have you back Jane. Thanks for sharing your delicious recipes too!

Rita C at Panoply said...

Just catching a breath and catching up, Jane. Love all the family details. We have our boosters too, but there are some very nasty viruses going around, and Mr. P is currently carrying one. I'm supposed to watch my little Birdie, Jacqueline, tomorrow so he may get relegated to the bedroom, or else I'll take Birdie upstairs! I am trying to finish unpacking while dragging more out of storage to start decorating for Christmas! Happy Thanksgiving to your family. A that in memory of your brother!❣

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

Hi Jane, catching up here. You must be preparing for the new baby's arrival soon - such an exciting but nerve-wracking time. Abigail looks like she is ready - those last few weeks can be so exhausting. So nice of you to help with the baby shower and do all the gorgeous flowers. A bright spot in a sad time for you with losing your brother. I hope that you had a wonderful thanksgiving and are recovering...The recipes look delicious. We went to my son's home and the whole family was there - 5 little ones under age 6 running around in beautiful chaos. I only had to bake the pies and make the gravy, but came home with a cold that one of those little darlings passed on to me and the hubs. Got my booster, so glad about that. So nice that your kids are living close by. I'm sure it gives you all a wonderful feeling of security to know you are all close by if you need one another. A first Christmas in a new home is special and a new baby in the family is a wonderful gift. xx K

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

There could never be too many posts from you. It sounds like December will be a wonderful one for you and your family. Enjoy every moment that you can spend with them. I was very sorry to hear of the passing of your brother, you have my sincere condolences.