Simple Scones

So if your anything like me, on a winter's night, there is nothing better than enjoying something sweet with a cup of your favorite tea or coffee.  Today I made scones.  My sons love them and we enjoy them with some of our favorite Strawberrry or Raspberry Jam and a Hot comforting drink.
I am always on an endless search for the best scone recipes.  (So if you happen to have one please send it to me.)  This is an Alton Brown recipe that I added some sugar and vanilla.  I like my scones sweet (not too sweet but enough to compliment your choice of drink.)
Thought you might want my recipe
2 cups of flour
2 teasp of baking powder
3/4 teasp of salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar (I used 1/2)
4 tbs of butter
2 tbs shortening
3/4 heavy cream
1 egg
1/2 teasp of good vanilla extract
I place the ingredients in my food processor and pulse until I have the perfect dough.  Don't over pulse.  
lightly dust with flour and form into a disc.  Then I used a biscuit cutter to shape.  You can also cut them into triangles with a pastry cutter.
Convection 350/ reg 375
Bake for 15 minutes and the sprinkle with confectioners sugar and  Enjoy!


Comfort & Joy & Curtains

I wanted to take a photo of my two newest curtains that I absolutely love.  They have brought me much comfort and warmth especially this week when we had the snow and the temperatures dropped in the teens.  Below are my family room curtains.  My house is an older home and although we have been restoring it and renovating for years, it can be drafty in the winter so I wanted insulated curtains that would keep us warm but at the same time look pretty.  These are from Pottery Barn.

I paired them with my older lace curtains that I cherish.  I have had these on in the family room forever and in the spring and summer they are the only curtains on my windows.  
These curtains are from Curtainworks.  I fell in love with them when I saw them on one of my favorite blogs a country farmhouse.  She had them in the baby's room and they looked lovely.  I had been looking for something like them for quite sometime.  She posted where they were from and I went on the website.  (I don't know how to do the link where you can just click and go there, so sorry but its' curtainworks.  If anyone knows how to do that please let me know.)

Feeling cold always makes me want to eat something comforting for supper.  I had gotten this wonderful book from Williams Sonoma.
It's truly wonderful.  Today I decided to make my very first chicken pot pie.  
Yummy.  Not only did I make it in less than 45 minutes but I ate it the minute it came out of the oven and burned my tongue.  So I highly recommend that you wait until it cools.  But I just couldn't.  

 I was so proud of the way it came out.  Lovely and delicious.  The perfect dinner for a cold evening.
I even made the crust from page 248.  In under five minutes.  But I have a cuisinart don't know how long it would have taken if I didn't.  I've never made pie crust without it.  
The only thing I didn't use was Tarragon.  I bought it and then took it out because the smell of licorice or anise is too strong for me.  Don't like it and didn't want to infuse the flavor of it in my stock.  
But other than that it was perfect!


Winter's Snow Fall

Although the trees didn't sport their wintery white, it was a nice surprise to wake up to the white blanket around my home.  I wish it had continued but I hear there is more on the way so I probably will get my wish afterall.

I love how the path looks from my neighbors farm to mine.  
Our barn from my neighbors side view.
I have come to love the Winter.  I had been longing for some snow and today I had it.  There is something about being home when it snows, making coffee or tea, I made scones today and it was the perfect touch.  For some reason I write more when it snows.  My mind is constantly creating as the world seems to be frozen for just a few moments, I can loose myself on paper.  It is a nesting, resting and settling down time, to think and listen and do absolutely nothing but enjoy the frozen moments.

New Vanity

So for a few years now my bathroom vanity had been looking out of place.  Our little bathroom in our bedroom had gone through quite a bit of remodeling over the past 17 years.  Two times it had been changed, little by little, and inch by inch to get it where we wanted it.  I believe it's finally evolved to where it should be.  I love it.  The vanity is from Pottery Barn.  Take a look.


My Baby is 16 Today!

Hard to believe these photos were so long ago.  Sixteen years ago to be exact.  I am in awe of time and how it flies and leaves us wondering where it all went.  
My oldest is 21 and the baby above is 16 today.  I miss my babies.  I'm so proud of my Matthew.


Love For The Past

So remember when I posted about the e-bay painting?  William Post landscape?  If not go back a few.
Anywho, the auction closes tomorrow.  My husband had placed a bid and so far no one has gone over it so therefore it might be mine tomorrow.
One little problem,
I love going to little antique shops.  I decided to stop at one yesterday just to take a look.  You won't believe what I found.
Okay so this is the painting that we placed on bid on ebay for.
I wanted it for over my bed.  It's so serene to me and beautiful.  I love the way the tree texture looks and the lake and the frame.  Everything about it I love especially the rectangular shape which is more unique than a regular square painting.  Okay, got that?
Now here goes the problem.
I found this one at the antique shop.  Is it me or are they very similar?  The above one "ebay one" is by William Post an artist from Connecticut in the early 1900's.  It is signed and in really good condition.
This one is not signed, frame had 2 tiny chips as you can see (which I can fix with wood filler and gold paint, done it before) The scene is a little different but very similar.  The painting is older in condition and darker so not as clear as the above.  
Well the ebay one received 2 more bids.  I was worried that I might not win the painting.  The woman at the antique store said the owner of this one would give it to me for 100.  The ebay one was up to 120 and there were two more bids placed.  I bought this one.  Thought to myself, "hey its almost like it and less money and I can fix the frame.  
Well my husband told me that he had placed a hold on the painting on ebay with a maximum bid.  So far the bids are a few dollars below our holding bid. 
So what I"m trying to say is, if no one goes over our holding bid then I'm gonna have 2 paintings that are almost the same.  AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!  I definitely would love the ebay one it looks clearer and in better condition.  I just hate the fact that I spent 100 when I might get the other one.  
I'll let you know what happens tomorrow.  


Simple Pleasures

One of my favorite comfort foods, aside from mashed potatoes and blueberry pancakes, is butternut squash.  Pairing butternut squash with a little warm butter and some sage is absolutely heaven.  I have made ravioli from scratch with butternut squash but must admit pasta is so hard to work and too much trouble for me.  I found a simple brand of already made butternut squash raviolis that I absolutely love.  I boil them for 4 minutes then cook some butter on a small pan and just when it's about to turn brown I take it off the burner, toss some fresh sage leaves and pour it over the ravioli.  Then top with parm cheese and a pinch of garlic salt and I'm in heaven.
Although I love working on a good recipe for my family every now and then I love a short cut, a quick but healthy and great tasting meal.  The brand of the raviolis is "Safeway select" which is a generic brand.  I find it funny that I have searched for the best through different well known brands, ordered them from italian markets home made and even made them myself with two recipes, one from Martha and one from Ina Garten and my little supermarket provided me with my favorite one.  Hope you try it.
Also had to post this photo of my youngest.  My oldest took it when they went this weekend to the winter classic in Philadelphia to see the hockey game between the Rangers and the Flyers.
Love this photo.  He will be 16 next week.  Simple Pleasures, looking at photos of my sons.



There is something about taking Christmas decorations down that makes me feel like I'm starting over somehow.  
The worst day of the year in my opinion is December 26th.  I never really enjoyed the week until New Years because I've always dreaded it.  Christmas and December being my most favorite time is difficult for me knowing that I have to wait an entire year for Thanksgiving and Christmas to return.  
So when New Years is over I begin to dismantle and put a way.  In the process of stripping away the tinsil and glitter I have come to the understanding that, like my home, I too will go through a transformation.  A new year and a new beginning.  I make an invisible list only seen by me of the mistakes and negative moments in 2011 and vow to learn from them for 2012.  
This year I have decided to not only simplify the decor a bit in my home, but also simplify my life a bit as well.  I want it to be as stress free as possible.  Only good stress welcome.  Like cooking for friends, or baking new cookie recipes for my sons, and things like that.  I have decided to simplify in every sense of the word.  
So I'm writing things down so I can be reminded throughout the year of the things I plan to change.
I plan to. . . 
 take things a little less seriously
rush a little less
count more than ten before loosing my patience
shop less, try to buy more of what I need than want and have no need for
try new recipes
want to make my own jam (so I can master it for next christmas - want to give my jam as christmas presents 
spend more time practicing my piano (I quit my lessons getting harder with my mother leaving her alone and wanted to save some money) I don't want to forget what I've learned
pray more (even though I feel like I"m always praying now)
and try to find the peace in everyday's situations

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