I’ve got some good things for you Girlfriends!!! MUSICA
Oh, how I’m loving October! 🍂 Weather has totally changed on the island, summer is a thing of the distant past. We’ve had two Nor’easters recently, wild wind and rain out of nowhere . . . ferry boat was stopped, we’ve been cut off, out here alone, leaves flying by the windows. My favorite. Light the candles, make a fire, cook, and cozy-in to the quiet. With Jack. And Joe.💞
Look at me! After three months of an out-of-order broken wrist, I’m painting again!
I wasn’t sure I’d still know how! I’ve started working on the 2021 calendars (yes, 2021 😜, try not to think about it). As you can see Jack has been lending support. I’m still going to Occupational Therapy once a week, working to get all that luv-lee flexibility back. But I’m sooo much better. Lifting little weights! See that writing up there? Now look at this:
This is a shopping list I wrote with my left hand a couple of months ago! I told my brain, “MAKE A ‘G'”, but my brain said, “Is that a right turn or a left?” This took HUGE concentration! I kind of liked it!
Still eating healthy, and still loving it. Doesn’t that look delicious? Well, it was! Best words I ever told myself about losing weight? “I don’t care how long it takes, I’m doing it.” Very powerful. As they say in the Biz, “It’s a Lifestyle Change.”
Here’s a wonderful little healthy snack. If you are a homey cottage-cheese lover like I am (and many aren’t for good reason ➡️), there is nothing nastier than the milky wet cottage cheese you find in so many grocery stores. So I have something new for you to try. Look for Friendly Farms Cottage Cheese. It’s heavenly. Sturdy and creamy. Not drowning in milky wetness!! Available in tons of places. Perfect to put on crackers, or, like above, on buttered, toasted Ezekiel Bread, sprinkled with seeds, nuts, salt and pepper! Sprouts taste good on it too. It’s a treat!😋
Yes, it’s that time of year for Carrot Cake! Lots of Birthday’s around here lately . . . and Saturday is Rachel’s Birthday! 😘😘😘 Sending love to you Ray ~ I really wish you could help yourself (all of you!) to a piece of this! I won’t be a bit surprised if they figure out how to do that someday! Wish they’d hurry! You can wish Rachel a Happy Birthday here in the comment section, OR, write her on Twitter, HERE!❤️
You’ll recognize the recipe for the three-layer carrot cake I took to Jaime’s house for a birthday party . . . I forgot how good it is! Everyone loved it!
If you’ve never tried to make a carrot cake, you really should! It comes together so easily, and it’s filled with fruit and nuts! Right, Jack? Right!
Here I am at the party, sitting on the floor in front of the fire, among my oldest and dearest, toasting Joe through the crowd as he takes a nicely blurry photo of me!
In this one, I have the camera, so you can see what my view was from my floor position. People putting their rings around the candles, so everyone gets to make a wish.
My cake came in last and I was too busy cutting it to take pictures! I’ve made it lots of times, but usually, I just put frosting between layers and on top. This time I made extra frosting and did the sides. Decorated with chopped (green) pistachio nuts, a marigold from the garden, and strips of carrot peel I rounded at top with a knife, and made pointed at bottom. Isn’t it cute? I thought it looked like a happy circus cake! There were zero leftovers, no crumb went unattacked! You could do this!!!😘
The fans would love it! This recipe also makes amazing cupcakes. You can tint the cream-cheese frosting if you like.
All home-sweet-home this time of year. Hovering between 50º and 60º most days now. See our wisteria, so insidious, sneaking its way around everything, will crawl under a window and into the house if we aren’t careful! But very gracefully!
I love being a homebody. Garden is changing so fast . . . but we still have a few herbs, some nasturtiums, kale, lettuce, and a couple of tomatoes growing. A few rose buds and marigolds. No freeze yet, so we’re milking the garden for all it’s worth.
The wind blew our yard full of leaves . . .
And, btw, that Carrot cake recipe (and cupcakes) is in the book on the table! (Heart of the Home 30th Anniversary Edition.) If you make it, cool the cake before you put the frosting on!
Look at this! Fun with food! Joe cut into this radish and look what he found! Good enough to sell on eBay! (No, we won’t😅) Had to take a picture of it! Love the tail! Crazy radish bug!
And yes, Casper is back in his high spot, in the guest room on the second floor . . . looking out . . .
Over the neighborhood . . . he’s become a tradition, lighting up this window every October for years.
Cheering a stormy day, a harbinger of Halloween . . . he’s got a perfect view.
I wob him. When we go into downsize mode someday and sell this house, I hope the people who buy it will want Casper too! Because I know he will want to stay.🎃
There is something in October . . .🍂🍁🍂
Out on our walk, the bittersweet is wild!
Such a magical vine . . . invasive, they say, but what a way to go! We’ll be decorating around our front door with it!
The woods are prettier every day . . . we’ve had lots of sunny, crisp, and breezy days . . .
And the rainy days just make it better!
We just make a fire! Last night, girlfriends came over after Mahjong, we sat on the sofa and talked in the quiet, listened to the fire popping, clock ticking, wind blowing outside . . . 🍂🍁🍂
What’s up at the Studio? We’re getting new things all the time, I can’t quite keep up. Doing our best to make our web store one-stop shopping where you’ll find lots of little special things filled with ❤️ ~ with the holidays coming up so fast, it’s that time again!
Just in ~ our brand new Winter Dream Charm ~ like any starry night, you can make a wish for dreams come true.
And these too, precious house cut-outs ~ one of which is now sitting on my stove shelf. I tried it all over the house, on a window sill with my rusty birds, on the mantle with a candle behind it, there’s no bad place! It’s going to be gorgeous with my white Christmas trees!
SO, something else . . . There’s a new article featuring guess who? Me! in Edible Vineyard (the 2019 Harvest Issue), a wonderful island food magazine produced through the Martha’s Vineyard Times. It’s available everywhere here on the island . . . and I have to say, every article in it is interesting! Really well-written. Kind of like the New Yorker of food! I don’t know if the paper is selling them, but I’m sure you could ask.
On October 26, I’ll be speaking and signing books at the newly renovated and beautifully restored Carnegie Library on North Water Street in Edgartown, MA, from 2-3 pm, sponsored by the Vineyard Trust and Edgartown Books. It’s free! And they have a gift shop! 😜 I’ll bring signed copies of Edible Vineyard to give out! Come join us! And guess what? Kellee and Sheri will be there (Joe too!). They’re coming to stay with us for a few days next week, to get a little taste of New England fall!🍁 💃
The Edible article was beautifully written by Alisun Armstrong, photos by Lexi Pline. Quotes from the Fairy Tale Girl and Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams. Recipes from the 30th Anniversary version of Heart of the Home and my Autumn Book.❤️
No reason for this photo, just loved the colors!
This too! I told you it was a huge Birthday Month . . . I also had a Birthday Party for Martha . . . this was the table setting. Very simple, purple flowers (Johnson Brothers WindsorWare plates) and plaid napkins on old bedspread, with hydrangeas from the garden.
Colorful! Girl Party! This whole lunch was scarily done without a recipe. When we were in Hudson, I tasted some fantastic things, spicy sweet-potato fingers with minted lemon sauce and a Coconut Cilantro Chutney (with hot peppers and garlic and ginger). I wrote down what I could, so I could try making it at home. I was nervous, realizing too late that this might not be the smartest way to do a birthday lunch, but it turned out GOOD. I served it with deviled eggs, minced red onion, and smoked salmon, and toasted walnut bread ~ with homemade Basil Ice Cream and Lemon Polenta Cake for dessert. My wrist allowed me to do everything except Joe chopped the onion and got that pretty green ice cream out of the freezer container! Pretty darn good!
And then there’s this! Because I couldn’t find them on the Island, I had to make them. Since they’re not here, I imagine you may not be able to find them either, so I thought this recipe could come in handy, for Apple Cider Donuts! They’re easy! They bake in the oven like a cake! You have to have them!🍁
So Here’s what I did . . . first off, on the stove, out of sight, is a pan filled with Apple Cider (the plain, non-alcoholic kind) boiling down to a syrup (don’t worry, I’ll put the recipe at the end of the post). Then I buttered the donut pans with melted butter and set them aside. Don’t have donut pans? Stay tuned . . .
I lightened the flour by stirring it with a whisk so I wouldn’t have to sift it. Then I measured it out lightly and put it in a medium bowl . . .
and whisked it together with baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
In another large bowl, I whisked together egg, milk, vanilla, brown sugar, and granulated sugar.
whisking . . .
. . . adding in the reduced cider . . . whisking until it was blended.
Then, because it’s too difficult to get the dough neatly into the tiny donut pans with a spoon, I poured the batter into a plastic bag …
. . . then squeezed the messy thing down to get most of the batter in the bottom of the bag,
then I twisted it up at the top, and cut off a tiny bit of corner, so the batter would come out in a controllable manner.
. . . and Voila . . . into the oven they go!
While they baked, I melted some butter and mixed together sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon for coating the donuts when they were done.
And here they are, hot from the oven. I slipped a tiny spatula around them and they came out like buttah.
I dipped them, tops and bottoms in melted butter, and laid them into bowl with the sugar and spice . . .
Spooned over sugar, pressed it in, until they were well coated. Pushing Joe, get away. no touching. Oh, poor baby, okay, eat one. Gimmie a bite.💋
I wrapped the rest of them in an old linen bridge-table tablecloth, put them in a basket and walked over to lowely’s for Mahjong . . . we start with tea, and yesterday, with donuts still warm from the oven!
The recipe made six large donuts and ten small ones. So, who wants to make donuts? Leave a comment, we’ll have a drawing, and the winner will receive the exact tins I baked these donuts in! Two tins, used once only, they’re festive, they have red bottoms, together they make six large donuts and a dozen little ones . . . there are more in our web store, just in cases. And I’m including a package of holiday recipe cards!
I’ll toss in a signed copy of Edible Magazine too…
So that’s it . . . sunshine through blowing leaves, through kitchen windows, sliding across the stove, weaves through sugar-donut fragrance, skips along the floor, over the table, dancing fairy-like over a bowl of apples, and shimmers onto our walls.
Our world sometimes feels upside-down, we can feel overwhelmed by daily happenings, making ends meet, meeting the needs of our beloveds, drains energy, there’s no rest for the weary or the worried! Dreaming of a better tomorrow? Let it show in everything you do. Let the things you value in life shine through, home, family, friends, the little things that make life sweet. Do stop and smell the flowers, run and catch a leaf in mid air. Watch an old movie with your petty pet. You’ll feel better, I promise. Kisses and blessings on you and yours. Take a deep breath . . . ahhhhh.
Don’t forget to leave your comment for the drawing! HERE is a little chart that shows you how to sign up to get this BLOG delivered to your email address.❤️
A P P L E C I D E R D O N U T S
Makes six large donuts and ten small ones.
Set out 1/2 c. whole milk and one egg to come to room temp. Slowly melt 1 1/2 c. (12 TB. or 1 1/2 sticks) butter (you’ll ned some to grease the pans, some for donut batter, and some for the topping). Put 1 1/2 c. non-alcoholic apple cider in small saucepan. Bring to boil, then simmer until liquid reduces to one-half cup. 👀 Watch it. Takes about 15 min. Set aside to cool. Use a pastry brush, butter the donut cups.
Preheat oven to 350º
- 2 c. all purpose flour, whisked to lighten, then measured
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. cloves
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 egg, room temp.
- 1/2 c. whole milk, room temp
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 TB. melted butter
- 1/2 c. reduced apple cider
- 1/2 c. dark brown sugar
- 1/3 c. granulated sugar
T O P P I N G
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- 3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*
- 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- the rest of the butter, put in shallow wide dish.
Preheat oven to 350º. In a med bowl, whisk together first 7 ingredients. Set aside. In large bowl, whisk the egg, then whisk in the rest of the ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet and whisk until smooth. Fill a large plastic bag with batter. This is messy. Once filled, hold it at top and squeeze batter down, twist the top so batter is pushed into bottom. With scissors cut a tiny corner off the bottom of the bag (not too much, you can always cut it bigger). Squeeze the batter into the donut cavities, filling about 2/3 full. Bake 10-12 min until they spring back when you poke them (I baked the small donuts slightly less time). Let cool 5 min in pans, Use a small spatula to loosen each one and turn them out onto tea-towel-covered cooling rack. While they are baking, make TOPPING: in a small bowl, mix together first 3 topping ingredients. Put the rest of the melted butter in a shallow dish. When donuts are cool enough to handle, dip tops and bottoms in melted butter, put them in the sugar mixture and spoon over generously, patting them so the mixture will hold on. Eat! Lovely in a cloth covered basket to bring to tea! Excellent with a cup of coffee!
*You can make your own PUMPKIN PIE SPICE for the topping, just add 1/2 tsp.nutmeg, 1/4 tsp.ground ginger, and 1/4 tsp. ground cloves to the cinnamon.