Thanksgiving Granola and 6 Great Gift Wrap Ideas

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Granola is easy to make and fun to personalize.  Although I have a favorite recipe I played around  to create a Thanksgiving version, minus the turkey, of course!  This blend is chock full of cranberries, pecans, pumpkin seeds, good-for-you chia seeds and is flavored with pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup. YUM!  image Continue reading

Botanical Pumpkins: DIY Tutorial

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Botanical pumpkins are hands down my favorite craft of the season!  When I walked by a class on this craft recently at my local Terrain store, the hip Anthropologie’s gardening sister, it was love at first sight.  I knew right then I would try my hand at making these botanical pumpkins.  They were super easy to create and the hands-on time pretty quick.  The idea is to adhere natural plant material on a pumpkin.  Although the white pumpkins show off the botanicals best, you could use orange ones too.  It is best if you select  thinner plant materials such as ferns and flat leaves, which will be easier to glue down. The variations of botanical pumpkins are as endless as your imagination.  Have fun!My three masterpieces! Continue reading

Autumn Floral Arrangement: a late season gift from the garden

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No matter what the season, I like to walk through the garden looking for something to cut and arrange indoors. At first glance in late fall, it may seem like there is little available to arrange.    With a little imagination and an open mind, I spot some interesting foliage of potted silver Rex begonias that I really should be bringing indoors before the first frost. It would be interesting in an arrangement. I am planning on using a birch bark vase and the silver patterning  in the leaves will complement the silver of the bark while the burgundy veining and undercolor will bring a fall element to the arrangement.   image Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ still growing in wild abandon with its purple orbs would look great with the begonia foliage, so I cut a big bunch.image Continue reading

Mediterranean Breakfast Bread Pudding

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Get ready for some beauty sleep!  Everyone needs the perfect overnight egg dish that lets you sleep in on a morning when you are entertaining and makes it look as if you have been up for hours slaving away in the kitchen. This one-dirty-dish, overnight bread pudding, is that dream recipe. The filling can be cooked ahead as much as 3 days and the bread pudding assembled the night before.  The ingredients can be tweaked to what you have on hand if the proportions are maintained. Come morning, the whole thing goes into the oven and  45 minutes later, while you enjoy a cup of coffee with your morning paper, you have a cheesy aromatic meal that will wake up every last sleepy head.

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Roasted Kuri Squash Salad with Maple Lime Yogurt Drizzle

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image Red kuri squash, known by many names such as potimarron in French, red hubbard squash, onion squash or Japanese squash, is simply delicious.  It is a good source of fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium, riboflavin and beta carotene.  It has a delicate flavor and is dense so it holds up well during roasting and its texture is less fibrous than other squashes and pumpkin.  It was love at first sight when I discovered it recently at the market and it has become my new favorite! Continue reading

Great Bowls of Fire! Smoky White Bean Pumpkin Chili with Molasses Cornbread

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imageCrisp but sunny fall days continue to extend outdoor fall enjoyment and chili weather has set in!    On a recent Sunday with our maple tree ablaze in its autumn coat I made a big pot of chili and served it, buffet style, right from the pot, outside.  There is just something about crowd pleasing, one dish meals that say fall.  This soulful white chili offers an interesting combination of both cubed pumpkin (or squash) and puréed pumpkin.  It is chock full of tasty bits of smokey ground chicken sausage and nice chunks of pumpkin. Continue reading

5 MINUTE FALL ARRANGEMENT in a GARDEN URN

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Bringing garden accents indoor is one of my signature decorating themes.  In fall I love using natural elements and the abundant squashes and pumpkins readily available for decorating inspiration.  I am all about not having to store a lot of “stuff”.   Continue reading