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Showing posts from September, 2011

Hollywood Comes Callin'

It's not often that Hollywood comes to visit my neck of the woods.  The Hollywood crowd is here now, in top notch form.  Oh, yes, friends.  The "A" list has arrived.  Have you heard of Meryl Streep?  How about Tommy Lee Jones?  I told you...the "A" list is here. Meryl and Tommy, yes we are on a first name basis, have arrived and began filming Great Hope Springs  this week.  They are filming in Stonington Burrough, an historic whaling village in Connecticut, that is being made over to represent a small town in Maine.  Go figure. I went to see what was going on their first day of filming.  Our little town of Stonington looks much the same as usual except that the production crew has added a movie theater, where none exists... The Fictional Clipper Theater ...and have changed the name of Noah's, a popular eatery, to The Nor' easter Diner. The Nor' easter Diner, Actually Noah's Excitement filled the air Wednesday afternoon.  The film c

It's National Coffee Day

September 29, 2011 is National Coffee Day.   Are you a coffee lover?   If yes, join the millions who consume 400 billion cups of coffee each year in celebrating this beverage today.   Making Coffee at Home I bet you are wondering where coffee came from.   One legend involves a sixth-century Ethiopian goatherd who discovered his goats frolicking from one coffee shrub to another.   He noticed they were eating the coffee berries and attributed their energy to the berries.   As a result, he began experimenting with the seeds.   Popularity of his brewed concoction grew and a century later coffee emerged as an Arabian beverage. My Favorite Coffee There are several species of small evergreen bush that produce coffee berries.   It is those berries that contain the coffee seeds, what we know as beans.   Once ripe, coffee berries are picked, processed, and dried.   The desired flavor is achieved by roasting the beans. Each of us has a favorite way to prepare our daily coffee, just ask

Cranberry Orange Scones

Scones.  Do you love them?  I'm a scones fan.  I think they are a perfect pastry to have with a piping hot cup of coffee or tea.  I like their flaky consistency and their not too sweet flavor.  Somehow when I'm eating a scone I feel like I'm only being a little bit bad. Cranberry Orange Scone For this recipe I went into test kitchen mode.  I had seen Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, make these scones on her television program on the Food Network.  What caught my eye was her technique.  When I make scones I usually cut in the butter by hand with a pastry cutter, or I use my food processor.  Both techniques work well, by the way.  Ina used her stand mixture during the entire scone making process.  I wanted to try it that way and see how it would work. The  Cranberry Orange Scone recipe from the Food Network makes sixteen scones, so I cut the recipe in half.  You may want to make the whole recipe if you decide to try this, because you can freeze the dough and bake o

Antiquing in Putnam, CT

Listed in 1,000 Places to See Before You Die as part of Connecticut's Quiet Corner, the town of Putman is a former mill and manufacturing town that is now known for its antiques.  Located forty-five miles east of Hartford, the drive to Putnam is marked by country roads and pastoral scenes. Putnam is in Northeast Connecticut Putnam has seventeen antique shops claiming 50,000 square feet of merchandise.  Wow!  Doesn't that sound like an antiquing gold mine?  With Putnam so close by, a visit seemed like a perfect way to spend a mid-September day with friends.  Perhaps we would find a treasure, or at a minimum, be able to mark another location off our bucket list of places to see before we die. Our day started out in the pouring rain, hopeful the weather would evolve to the intermittent showers promised by our local meteorologists.  By the time we arrived in Putnam, the rain had stopped.  Umbrellas were no longer needed.  Free parking was easily found off Main Street and

The Beach in September

What's it like at the beach in September?  Some would say September is the best time to visit the beach in southern New England.  Our days start out cool, with temperatures in the 50s and 60s, but warm to the 70s.  That makes for delightful days at the beach. Where once there were crowds, there are gulls, just hanging out.  Sea Gulls Perhaps they are bemoaning the loss of their favorite snack food, chips.  At the height of the summer, the sea gulls are experts at spying a bag of Doritos 50 feet away.  Now they are on the lookout for easy fish pickings.... Scavenger These are the remnants marking the success of our shoreline fishermen who can frequently be seen driving their trucks along the shore this time of year. A Fisherman's Gear The piping plovers, an endangered species of shoreline birds, are still here.   I did see a flock of them practicing their flying maneuvers over the water, perhaps in preparation for their migration south.  Unfortunately I wasn

Chicken Salad with Walnuts and Dried Cranberries

As a rule I stick to the same old boring lunches day in and day out.  That's one of the ways I monitor my calorie intake.  If I stick to the same few choices I allow myself for lunch, I know that I am appropriately managing my daily calories.  Sometimes, I don't want the same old, same old though.  I call these days my wild and crazy days.  OK, not really wild and crazy, but I do occasionally step out of my rut.  Don't we all? Chicken Salad Sandwich The other day I was hankering for something out of the ordinary for my lunch.  A look in my refrigerator gave me the ingredients for this chicken salad with walnuts and cranberries.  Yes, that is what I wanted for lunch.  I had two chicken breasts as a result of cooking a chicken to make a stock for soup.  Chicken salad was a perfect use for them, don't you think? Chicken Salad with Walnuts and Dried Cranberries Chicken Salad Ingredients 2 boneless chicken breasts, poached and diced 1 stalk celery, chopped

Apple Snack Cake

This recipe has been updated Printable Apple Cake Recipe Enjoy!

Five Signs Fall Is In the Air

Brrr...I woke up to 49 degrees.  My fuzzy blanket was pulled up around my head for the first time in months and months.  The shock of it all.  From 82 degrees to 49 degrees in 12 short hours.  I knew it was coming, of course.  It always does.  Fall, I mean.  This weekend is actually the last full weekend of summer.  We will officially move into the fall season next week, but today if feels like fall has arrived.  There have been other signs besides the falling temperatures. 1.  My garden looks pathetic.  Yes, pathetic.  That is all. 2.  It is dark by 7:30 pm.  It depresses me. 3.  I bought candles at Bed, Bath & Beyond.  I always buy candles in the fall.  It's a thing.  With scents like acorn and fig, sweet cinnamon pumpkin and creamy pumpkin, who can resist?  I dare you to try. 4.  I went shopping to scout out the fall styles.  It's a habit.  I blame it on back to school shopping all those many years ago, but I still get the urge every September to go shopping.