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Hiking Dr. John Champlain Glacier Park

Map for Hiking Dr. John Champlain Glacier Park When December brings a weekend afternoon with temperatures in the 50s it is a great day to get out for a little exercise.  Hiking in the late fall and early winter can offer views of the terrain that may be obstructed when foliage is in full bloom. The Dr. John Champlin Glacier Park in Westerly, Rhode Island, offers a glimpse into terrain sculpted by the advance of Glaciers into southern New England.  A hike along the well-marked trails will give you an opportunity to see the ridges and valleys left by the receding glacier as well as breathtaking views of Block Island Sound, Block Island, and Long Island. If you have a smartphone, it is a good idea to take a picture of the trail map you'll find at the entrance points to the trails.  The two entrances I am aware of are either off Shore Road or Tom Harvey Road.  Parking is available in both locations.  You'll want the map because at various points in your hike you'll find

Celebrate National Chocolate Brownie Day

Did you know that tomorrow is National Chocolate Brownie Day?  Yes, it must be true because it says so right here .  It seems that just about every day of the the year it is national this or that day.  There's always a food to celebrate!  You won't get any quibbling from me about National Brownie Day.  Brownies are one of my favorite desserts.  They are easy to make and quickly satisfy that craving we all get every once in a while for fudgy, chocolate deliciousness.  So, in honor of National Chocolate Brownie Day tomorrow, let's make some brownies today.  The Intense Chocolate Brownie For a lovely, chocolaty, dense brownie that will make you want more try the Intense Chocolate Brownie.  It is a recipe from Joanne Chang of the Flour Bakery + Cafe in Boston, Massachusetts that includes unsweetened chocolate and bittersweet chocolate among its ingredients. Click the link for the printable Intense Chocolate Brownie recipe .  A Shiny, Crunchy Crust If you prefe

Cocktail Time-An Old Fashioned

Donna's Old Fashioned When the weather turns colder my preferences in cocktails change.  Right now I'm favoring a delightful mix of lemon, orange, bitters and Maker's Mark bourbon, that is my version of a cocktail from the age of great cocktails.  The Old Fashioned is purported to have its beginnings in the 1880s.  It was first offered as a bourbon cocktail at a gentleman's club in Louisville, Kentucky and was a favorite cocktail of presidents Harry S. Truman and Franklin D. Roosevelt. The original version of this drink muddles sugar with bitters, bourbon and a twist of citrus.  My version is made with the muddled rind and juices of lemon and orange, sugar, and a generous dose of bitters.  The cocktail is then strained into a short, round glass with 2 ounces of bourbon and topped with seltzer.  We're not done until the cocktail is adorned with two or three maraschino cherries.  Cheers! Donna's Old Fashioned Donna's Old Fashioned Ingredients 1/

End of November Garden Chores

If you are like me, the month of November is not one where you are spending a lot of time thinking about the outdoors,but don't give up completely.  Our yards and gardens still require some attention in the Northeast, and if we spend a little time keeping up now, we will be rewarded next spring and summer.  With that in mind, I have carved out some time this month for garden activities before the snow starts to fall. Holly Clippings to Use for Christmas Decorations Last week I took a look at my holly bushes and decided a little trimming was in order.  To be perfectly honest, the trimming was far past due.  My holly bushes were looking a little straggly (is straggly a word?), so out came my trusty clippers.  I decided the time was right to collect the clippings and hold them in a bucket for some holiday decorations.  Have you thought about doing the same? I also added to my vegetable garden real estate this month.  Yes, I was so pleased with the bounty of my three 4x4

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Are you racking your brain to decide what side dishes you want to serve this Thanksgiving?  Are you tired of your tried and true side dishes and want to introduce something new to the Thanksgiving menu?  First I want to caution you against changing it up too much.  I say this because I learned from experience.  Families come to depend on a specific menu for certain holidays.   In my case I eliminated my broccoli casserole from our Christmas Eve dinner and there was much unhappiness around our dinner table.  My suggestion to you is to never eliminate, but feel free to add.  That way your dinner guests can choose to stay with their favorites or try something new.  I'm offering three suggestions for changing it up a bit this Thanksgiving. Three Side Dishes for Thanksgiving My first, and most favorite Thanksgiving side dish, is roasted Brussels Sprouts.  Brussels sprouts, you ask?  Yes, friends, don't go turning your nose up at the suggestion of Brussels sprouts.  I'm telli

Appetizers for Thanksgiving

Are you looking for some appetizers to keep your guests at bay while the turkey finishes roasting in the oven on Thanksgiving Day?  Have you been asked to bring an appetizer to your family's Thanksgiving feast?  These appetizers are tasty and satisfying, without stealing the spotlight from the main event.  What's even better, you can make them in advance, so you can enjoy Thanksgiving without appetizer stress. Hot Crab Dip  Hot Crab Dip Ingredients 1 pound of crab meat 1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded 4 oz. cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced 3 green onions, minced tops included 3 garlic gloves, minced 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard salt and pepper to taste   Directions Preheat oven to 325°F.   Mix all of the ingredients together in a casserole dish, stirring to combine completely.   Bake for 40 minutes or until brow

Making Pie Dough-America's Test Kitchen Vodka Dough

How many of you watch America's Test Kitchen shows on your local PBS station?  Show of hands, please.  Well, those of you who don't have your hands raised really should check your local TV listings and catch one of the shows soon.  The programs are full of ideas and tips, like this suggestion that you can make a better pie dough using vodka as one of the ingredients.  I know, sounds crazy doesn't it? Vodka Pie Dough Pie dough is not my thing.  No, not at all.  Yes, I've been known to purchase the prepared pie dough from my local grocery store.  No, I'm not ashamed to admit it, and neither should you be.  My mom, keeps telling me that making pie dough is easy.  Yes, easy as pie.  Well, I'm finally willing to tackle the art of making pie dough.  I actually started about a year ago.  I selected different dough recipes, made some pies and compared the crust results.  I had no clear winner with my first attempt at the experiment, so I'm ready to start again.