Sunday, November 30, 2014


Sunday night, the last of the leftovers and moving on tomorrow with the Winter holiday decorations.  All but a few of the Thanksgiving decorations have been boxed up for another year.  Sundays are all about comfort food, so pancakes with maple glazed bacon and Martinelli's apple cider for breakfast. So after reading the Sunday paper and watching The CBS Sunday Morning Show with Charles Osgood time to whip up some comfort snacks.

Mix up the rest of the left over mashed potatoes with some ham,cheddar cheese and chives then spoon into a muffin pan (spray with Pam first.)  Then bake at 375 degrees until they puff up and brown a bit.

Perfect for a snack or serve with turkey gravy and a salad for an easy lunch.
While the potato puffs are cooking, I put my Thanksgiving turkey pasta to use and made a pasta salad.
Pasta, black olives, cherry tomatoes and artichoke hearts.  I used Newman's Own creamy balsamic dressing for a tangy taste.  Chill for at least 1 hour.  Some salad and the last of the cold turkey on a dinner roll with mayo; nice light dinner.
All done with the leftovers.  It was a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, but before the night ends, one last toast with Martinelli's sparkling apple cider.


Saturday, November 29, 2014


Another day with Thanksgiving leftovers.  That is one of the reasons I leave my Thanksgiving decorations up until Monday; I don't want to eat leftovers while looking a Winter decorations.  Plus, I don't like rushing the holidays. 

Last night, watching some Thanksgiving theme t.v. in front of the fire, my favorite leftover meal.  Simple sandwich, cold turkey, mayo on Mallozzi's homemade dinner rolls (nothing else on it.)

It doesn't get much better than this, with Snapdragon apple slices and Cabot Vermont Cheddar Cheese on the side.
Saturday calls for a quick easy lunch.  Pulling out Winter decorations and airing out some indoor decorations.  Turkey quesadilla and stuffing, of course.  I bought this pan several years ago, it was "an as seen on t.v." product to make pancakes.  I never used it for pancakes but it is great for quesadillas.
Coat both sides with Pam, lay down the tortilla and top with Sargento shredded cheese, cubed turkey and some diced tomatoes.
Cover with second tortilla and grill.  I like to press down lightly while grilling to make sure the cheese melts into the turkey and tomato.  When browned on one side, flip.  And that is what I love about this pan, easy to flip.
While the stuffing is still warming up, I let the quesadilla cool a bit and then I cut it with a pizza wheel.  And, for me, instead of salsa on the side, a little hot sauce for dipping.
For desert, apple pie.
Only one more day with leftovers, and then no more turkey of a while.  I always have my fill by Sunday night.

Friday, November 28, 2014


Another wonderful Thanksgiving Day, despite the snow.  Oh, we didn't get anywhere close to the amounts our friends in western New York received, (we counted inches not feet) but even the slightest amount before Thanksgiving is too much.  It was a heavy wet snow and it was pretty warm, so it didn't accumulate much.  At this point there is only 3 or 4 inches on the ground.  But my turkey is not to happy.

With the temperatures warming back up into the mid 40s and the clear skies and bright sun, the snow shouldn't last long.
As I mentioned before, I do not hit the stores the weekend after Thanksgiving.  I prefer to continue the holiday through Monday.  Today, put away the inside decorations and do some post celebration clean up.  Dusting, vacuuming and kitchen clean up.  But with the fridge full of left overs calling, time for some comfort food.
Very simple mini turkey pot pies.
Simple ingredients, Pillsbury Grands Biscuits, Birds Eye Mixed Vegetables, left over turkey and gravy and Sargento Shredded Cheese.
Coat a muffin pan with Pam and flatten out the Grands into each cup.
In a bowl mix vegetables, turkey and gravy.
Then fill the Grands with the mixture and bake at the required temperature.  The biscuits package suggest 17 minutes, but I leave them a little longer to accommodate the filling.  Before baking sprinkle a little shredded cheese on top for a nice gooey topping.
Of course no Thanksgiving leftover meal would be complete with out stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy.
Carb overload!!!  I heated the mashed potatoes in the oven with some added butter and covered with foil.  I also heat the stuffing in the oven but uncovered to allow it to brown up and get crispy.
With a few Thanksgiving theme movies on the DVR and leftovers; the pine greens, bows and lights will have to wait until Monday for their debut.  But with Monday being December 1st it is perfect timing.  My front porch furniture is already tucked away, outdoor Thanksgiving day decorations get packed up Sunday. I will have a nice clean slate for lighted pine garland swagged on the rails with bows, lighted decorated entry trees, lighted wreaths and silk poinsettias.  For now my Don Featherstone lighted turkey stays lit for the weekend.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


We are almost there, Thanksgiving Day, and I thought I would mention a few of the offerings on t.v. with Thanksgiving spirit.

Every historian knows the tale of the Pilgrim's journey to the New World - but where does legend start and reality begin? In this expansive, three-hour look at the arduous voyage to a new land, the award-winning filmmakers of A&E attempt to deliver the final word on the historical trek that would forever change the face of history. Scholastic research combines with historical re-enactments to truly draw the viewer in as the popular myths promoted in elementary school classrooms are methodically disproved and the true tale comes to life more vividly than ever thought possible. The passengers aboard the Scrooby, the Leiden, and the Plymouth gradually dwindle in numbers as they sail across unfamiliar waters and land on strange shores, only to find that life in their new surroundings is equally as unforgiving. After dining alongside Squanto and Samoset at the historic first Thanksgiving, viewers are afforded the opportunity to explore just how that historical meal marked
the beginning of a remarkable, and sometimes tragic, new era. (courtesy of The History Channel)

Plymouth Adventure earned a footnote in film history as the last directorial effort by the prolific Clarence Brown. Otherwise, this colorful re-creation of the Pilgrims' journey to America is a workmanlike job, never inspired but always interesting. Spencer Tracy stars as bull-stubborn Captain Christopher Jones, who intends to guide the Mayflower to its destination come Hell, high water or any other obstacle. Since Jones is spiritually "wed" to his job, the film's romantic angle is handled by Van Johnson as John Alden and Dawn Addams as Patricia Mullen. Gene Tierney is second-billed as Dorothy Bradford, the ill-fated bride of future Plymouth Colony governor William Bradford. Though the film makes several departures from the facts there's even a villain!, Plymouth Adventure tells its tale professionally and with satisfactory entertainment value. The film earned MGM artisan A. Arnold Gillespie an Academy Award for best special effects.
Native American history got the Disney treatment in this biography aimed at younger audiences. Adam Beach stars as Squanto, an Eastern Massachusetts native of the 17th century, who befriends the English settlers who are starting to colonize the region. Naively trusting his new friends, Squanto and his best friend Epenow (Eric Schweig) offer to help some sailors load a vessel that's departing for England. The two Indians are shanghaied and taken across the ocean to serve as sideshow attractions for the greedy owner (Michael Gambon) of the shipping line. Squanto quickly escapes and finds refuge in a nearby cloister, where he is protected by the kindly monks, in particular Brother Daniel (Mandy Patinkin), who teaches Squanto to speak English. Squanto learns of a ship carrying more settlers to the New World, so he stows away and returns to his homeland, where he finds that his village has been wiped out by disease brought by the colonists. Nevertheless, Squanto brokers a peace deal between his hostile brothers and the settlers, and they celebrate the first Thanksgiving together. Beach went on to star in the Native American drama Smoke Signals (1998)
In 1620, the Assembly of the Pilgrims decides to emigrate to the young America because of the persecution they suffer by the English crown. The film tells the adventurous journey of the Pilgrims to an unknown land and future.  This made for t.v. movie hasn't not been aired this year and is only on VHS.
Some of my other favorite holiday viewing included the Thanksgiving Unwrappeds, The Secret Life of Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Unstuffed on both the FoodNetwork and The Cooking Channel.
And on The History Channel, The Real Story of Thanksgiving and The History of Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


I have started to stock up on books for next year.  I don't read much over the Winter months.  It is not because of the Winter holiday season, it is more of a preferred habit of reading outside.
I guess it hark ens back to my younger days.  I was always an avid reader, but there was so much to read for school; and with all the other activities I was involved with (both in and out of school) I did most of my pleasure reading over Summer break.
Now as an adult I start reading as soon as my back patio, backyard and front porch furniture comes out of hibernation.  Everything gets stowed after Thanksgiving and I put it out in March or by latest April.  Then I am ready to read.  The other plus, I have time to stock up.
I do have one Christmas theme book, but I will still wait to read it, it will be the first out of the box, so to speak.
DIVA WRAPS IT UP is all ready to go as soon as I can get out in the sunshine.  I could sit out on the back sun porch, but I do rack up a lot of winter time chores to keep me busy.  And, what a better way to start out my "reading season" than with a book from one of my favorite series.  I can't wait to see what Sophie and the Old Towne gang has in store for me.  This is such a fast paced, witty and well written series.  I just love it.

So here are some of the titles I am waiting on.

Another of my favorite series.  First I love the setting, one of my favorite vacations is to Savannah, I love everything about this city.  And it is portrayed so well.  The characters are wild and fun,  And Regan can definitely get herself in trouble.  I find myself laughing out loud and it is hard to put down.
This is a "new-to-me" series, but I am really looking forward to it.  It takes place in another favorite vacation city San Fransisco.
Another Murder She Wrote, I was very reluctant to try this series.  I love the television series and was afraid it would not hold up to my expectations.  But it exceeded it.  When I read the words, I can hear the actor's voices.  The books really do capture the spirit of the show.  I don't follow the whole series, I usually choose the ones set in Maine, but I have picked a few set outside of Cabot Cove.
Another "new-to-me" series I started this Fall.  I prefer to read series in order, but since there was a Halloween theme, I chose to start this series out of order.  But since I loved it, I quickly picked up the first two in the series to get caught up. 
Another great series, set in one of my favorite states, Maine.  Luckily Beth and Robert Feeman who make up B. B. Haywood live in Maine, so they get it right.  And, like many of the series I read, they take advantage of the holidays.
And, last but not least is the next in the Paws and Claws series.  After only one book, this is on my list of favorites. 
So that is what I have accumulated for now.  I still have to pick up the newest Tea Shop and Cackleberry Club mysteries by Laura Childs.  Also on my list the next Booktown mystery by Lorna Barrett and any other new series I stumble upon.  I am also hoping for new Celebration Bay mystery by Shelley Freydont.
But if I get the itch to read, I picked this up last year.  It contains Christmas theme mysteries by some of the greatest mystery writers.
And since I love a good ghost story just as much as a good mystery;  and since ghost stories are a long ago Christmas tradition, I picked up this book at a used book store several years ago. 

Friday, November 21, 2014


With Thanksgiving less than a week away many orchards, farm stands and country stores in our area are in their last days for the season.  Some do stay open until Christmas and a few stay open year round. 
Although it is still chilly and a bit windy it is a bright sunny day and a perfect day to get out and do a little shopping and have lunch. 
We did wake up to a little snow this morning and we still had a few flurries during breakfast, but by time we headed out the clouds had parted and the sun was bright. 

First stop Bowman Orchards in Rexford.  During the season they have pick-your-own, a country store, bakery and donut shack; but this late in the season the only building still open is the country store.  But, they still sell baked goods, and they have the best apple pie. 
The apple trees are bear but still beautiful.  And Bowan is one of the few orchards in the area the have two of the new apples trees created by Cornell University.
Snapdragon and Rubyfrost are two varieties at Bowman and we picked up a 1/2 peck of the Snapdragons.

For the first time they are making gourmet syrups I chose the Apple Butter Syrup, I guess it will be pancakes for breakfast tomorrow.
Next off to Fo'Castle Farm Country Store in Burnt Hills.
Apple cider donuts and raspberry almond thumbprint cookies.
It was time for lunch, we stopped at Carney's Tavern in Ballston Lake.  The building that houses Carney's Tavern has been a gathering place for locals for over 100 years.  Lunch was home made veggie beef soup and burgers with hand cut fries and a delicious fried pickle on top.
Last stop before heading home, Lakeside Farms Country Store.
I picked up a couple of new "warty" pumpkins.  I like to use pumpkins in my Winter decorations too.  My larger pumpkins are still hard and healthy but I wanted a couple of new ones.  So homeward bound with the fruits of our labor.
The snow is all gone.  The sun will be setting soon and it is good to be home.
I guess someone couldn't wait for me to refill the feeders.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Even tho it is a little chilly here, the sun is bright and shiny and we are not Buffalo.  We are a bit over 4 hours away from Buffalo and the Tug Hill Plateau Region of New York.  For those who keep hearing about the Tug Hill Plateau but not sure what or where it is...  It is made up of Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida and Oswego Counties and (depending on where in the region you are) it is 2 to 5 hours away from the Capital District.  We travel this area a lot (in much better weather, of course) for the Thousand Islands, St. Lawrence Sea Way, Rochester, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Syracuse and Utica.  Much of the year Western New York is stunning, but winter...not so much.  For a description of what the Tug Hill is here is a blurb from Wikipedia...

Tug Hill is an upland region in upstate New York in the USA, famous for heavy winter snow. The Tug Hill region is west of the Adirondack Mountains and is separated from them by the Black River Valley. Although the region has traditionally been known as the Tug Hill plateau since it is flat on top, it is actually not a plateau. Technically, Tug Hill could more accurately be called a cuesta since it is actually composed of sedimentary rocks that tip up on one side, rising from about 350 feet on the west to over 2,000 feet in the east.
It is definitely a must see part of our state.

Back to the Thanksgiving count down.

This contains planning the celebrations and the table, regional traditions (New England, Southern and Californian) and ideas for meals the week end after (again for those like me who don't shop, but stay home and continue the holiday through the week end.)  It includes recipes for everything from soup to nuts.  It also has craft and decorating ideas.
This book contains the history of Thanksgiving, a real fun and thoughtful Thanksgiving ceremony and inspirational Thanksgiving Day material.
I keep these books out for the month of November, they are so festive.
A look at some of my little pumpkins around the house.  All of these pumpkins were found in packages of gourds and it is a quick, easy way to make sure every room has a touch of the holiday.  I found some at JoAnn's, The Christmas Tree Shops, Pier 1 Imports and The Oriental Trading Company (some are bowl fillers.)  I like to put them in "peek-a-boo" (for lack of a better word) places.
On top of books.
In baskets and trays.
On shelves, ledges and counters.
Framed copy of the Constitution with another glitter turkey keeping watch.