NOVEMBER

NOVEMBER

November 21, 2020

IT'S THE CHRISTMAS SEASON

Yes, loves....it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....



Finding gorgeous inspiration from my favorite holiday magazine.....

The home d├ęcor is changing  and I am loving each
little nook and cranny....come on in and take a peek.......
 

I know many of us will be very happy to say goodbye to 2020.....
what a stinker of a year to say the least....
I have my new 2021 calender ready to go......

We do not often go to Starbuck's but this particular
morning, we treated ourselves to a holiday white mocha......


Are you enjoying sitting down in the afternoon
with a hot cider and cozy throw as you take time
to browse through the Christmas catalogs....gosh I love doing that!


What are your favorite scents of the holiday season?
I love candles of pine. evergreen, balsam and cranberry!

I will always remember going home for Christmas
and the smells would be incredible of a roaring fire,
a pork roast in the oven and Daddy's stereo
playing an Andy Williams Christmas album......

Ok.....I wanted to share my favorite find of the week....
this darling nesting bowl set from Rae Dunn.....


These mixing bowls are just too sweet ......


I have always wanted a white mixing bowl set and this one
is just waiting to be used for cakes and cookies.....


The coffee bar is complete.....almost.....


Now,,,,,here we go....I just added our little Maine Moose to the vignette...
how adorable is he?


The hot cocoa bar is ready with Peppermint hot chocolate!


With the addition of these adorable holiday napkins......


The mantel is decorated in soft greens and white....


The stockings this year are my all time favorites...
from the Magnolia line!


FOOD FARE.....


Have y'all tried these yet?
Oh honey baby....please pick up a pack...delightful!!!


AND....while decorating, it's also good to throw in a little baking....
today, I tried a new recipe for Apple Blondies...yep...it's a winner!!!!

I hope your decorating is off to a great start....
it's a bit like a key to happiness and contentment!

November 16, 2020

THANKSGIVING PLANS

 


All roads lead us home...especially during the holiday season!
Oh how I wish this were true.....but this year of 2020,
we find ourselves changing up our Thanksgiving gathering.
We will be celebrating Thanksgiving day on Saturday
with our youngest, who will be home from Austin.
For this, I am thankful.

There will not be the formal dining table setting which
we have enjoyed the past number of years....
we will miss the laugher and conversation of all the family...
and instead, set a festive table in the kitchen for a gathering of three!

There will be hot apple cider to sip on throughout the day......

There will be his favorite green bean casserole.....


And there will be my homemade Pumpkin Pie....
which is the Libby's recipe....another tradition!
The menu will be much smaller....
Thanksgiving Day will certainly be different
with just the darling and me....
but you know what?
That's okay....perhaps we will put up the Christmas tree....
this is the very first year, I started decorating for Christmas
before Thanksgiving....


we need HAPPY and reasons to smile.....yes...
we need a little Christmas....right this very moment!
What will your Thanksgiving look like this year?







November 11, 2020

AN HEIRLOOM CENTERPIECE THAT MAKES A STATEMENT


Hello loves.....
I'm so glad you came back to visit Estelle's today...
May this post provide you an idea of decorating
for your Thanksgiving day....
I think we all like to treasure our memories
and remember those loved ones we have lost....especially at the holidays...
This is why I always use family heirlooms in most every vignette
I create....
in this setting, my Grandmother Estelle's linen napkins
and Grandmother Grace's crystal sugar bowl.....


TRADITION.......A lovely word that brings up childhood.
Memories and feelings of security......something
steady and dependable in an ever changing world.
You can make that for people and it doesn't have to be big.
It's the over and over again that gives a tradition
a place of honor in your family lore.
It's the little things in life......take good, good care.

November 9, 2020

AUTUMN HARVEST DINNER PARTY


When autumn arrives and the nights turn a bit cooler,
 everyone 
seems to relax and feel like all is right with the world….

food is such a good way to connect to nature and the seasons…..
now is the perfect time to set the table for a cozy fall dinner party….



 For this dinner, we set a simpler table….
a pretty water goblet, a white plate, a bronze charger,
and a floral linen napkin. 

The menu is hearty and rustic,,,,
what we all seem to crave
on a chilly autumn evening.

I hope these recipes will provide you
with inspiration for hosting your
own fall gathering....
each one is a delicious and hearty
addition to your harvest table
 

Brie, Fig and Cranberry Pastry Rounds



BRIE AND PASTRY ROUNDS

THE MAIN COURSE
we are serving Apple Cider glazed Pork Chops
with a side of Apples and Onions



AUTUMN APPLE ONION PORK CHOPS


THE SIDE

MAPLE BACON BRUSSELS SPROUTS
1 pound of Brussels Sprouts
3 strips of Applewood Smoked Bacon
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 T. apple cider vinegar
1/2 T. Dijon Mustard
2 T. Pure Maple Syrup
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut bacon into 1/2 inch cubes and cook in a large skillet until crispy.
Remove bacon from skillet and set aside.
Cut the ends off of each Brussels Sprouts and cut them
in half lengthwise, removing outer leaves.
Transfer them to the skillet and season
with salt and pepper.
Cook over medium heat until fork tender...about 10 minutes.
I add a touch of olive oil and a splash of water.
Sprinkle in the cranberries and add the cooked bacon.
Whish the maple syrup, Dijon Mustard and Apple Cider Vinegar together
and pour of the sprouts....continue to cook 3-4 more minutes.
Serve immediately.

DESSERT

Pumpkin Cake Roll
with Cream Cheese Filling

“I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze.
The sweet chill of pumpkin,
and crisp sunburnt leaves.” – 
Ann Drake

A special thank you to my dinner party guests,
my husband and my cat, Mae Mobley!

November 5, 2020

EASY APPLE TART WITH CINNAMON WHIPPED CREAM

It's time to think about the holidays
and perhaps get our list going
of what delicious delights will be
on our Thanksgiving and Christmas dining table.
I think this particular one is going
to be on our dessert table this year!

EASY APPLE TART WITH CINNAMON WHIPPED CREAM
1 package store-bought puff pastry
2 gala apples
1 Tbsp. sugar
Sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice
 1 egg beaten
1 Tbsp. Fig Jam, melted (or Apple jelly or Apricot Jelly)

 For Cinnamon Whipped Cream:
2 Cups heavy cream
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
 ½ tsp vanilla
¾ tsp of cinnamon

Once the tart has finished, baking
allow to cool a bit then brush with melted fig jam.

BAKING INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 400F. Keeping the skin on, slice apples into wedges and then slice the wedges very thinly, about 1/8 of an inch thick with an apple slicer.

 Place apple slices in a medium-sized bowl. Toss with sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Roll out 1 sheet of store-bought puff pastry.

 Transfer to an insulated cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Score a ½ inch border around the pastry to create a “crust” being careful not to cut all the way through. Prick dough with a fork (just the inside not the “crust”).

 Place apples on pastry in a layered pattern, one on top of the other creating a row. Do the same for the next row, but go the opposite way. Alternate the design until the pastry is filled with apple rows. Place pastry in freezer for 10 mins to firm up before baking. Brush pastry edges with beaten egg wash before baking.

No need to thaw afterwards, just pop in the oven slightly frozen and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly and then brush apples with melted jam or jelly to create a nice shine. You can also brush the crust as well.

Transfer tart to a cutting board. Slice into squares and serve with the cinnamon whipped cream.


This tart is a beautiful alternative to an apple pie
and just makes a beautiful presentation!

I would definitely recommend staying with Gala Apples
in this recipe as they are so flavorful and a softer apple
which bakes beautifully in a tart.

This recipe was featured by
Entertaining with Beth Friendsgiving

November 1, 2020

NOVEMBER.....THE QUIET MONTH OF AUTUMN


Hello Kindred Spirits.......
I hope you are feeling balanced and feeling joyful
as we say good bye to October and usher in the month of November.
Truthfully, these past few months have been difficult....
nothing feels normal......the world seems so out of sync.....
so now it is ever so important to make our homes FEEL normal
and feel safe and offer comfort.
I always consider the month of November as the
"quiet month" as the whimsy of September and October
have left us....we slow down a bit....home decor becomes
more muted, the weather is turning slowing toward Winter
and we plan ahead for the holidays.....


 There are small ways I find to bring us peace of mind....
warm candlelight in the gloaming hours.....I love the
ambience it provides...


I try to find balance in rituals....
like the art of afternoon tea...
Today it was a seasonal Harney and Sons Plum Cider...
I love serving mulled wine at Thanksgiving..
it warms the hands and the heart...


A very enjoyable DIY is drying fruits for little arrangements...
In this little tart tin, I added a primitive apple scented candle
surrounded by dried lemons, limes and apples....
added a few cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and Allspice.
To dry fruit...slice your chosen fruit, place on a baking sheet
lined with parchment paper and bake for 3 hours at 200 degrees F. 


My decor becomes much more subtle....very
tone on tone colors of cream and amber....most
of the pumpkins, scarecrows and whimsical decorations
have now been packed away and I like the feel of less...
it clears my mind to savor the month up until Thanksgiving
and dedicate my thoughts toward Christmas.....


I have begun to just change the florals and leave most decor
pieces in place....less work and more enjoyment.


I almost forgot I had these beautiful glass
Currier and Ives luminary candles....
I have always loved this type of art ...my Grandmother Estelle loved this too!


Oh, and comfort food for the darling....
A homemade chicken soup is just a necessity during
cold and flu season...and now Covid....keep your immune
system going strong....


And...I made THE best quiche ever!!!


Spinach, mushrooms, red pepper, scallions,,,,and cheese....
3 cups of of cheese!!!
This was probably the best casual weeknight dinner we have
had in awhile....and it was perfect served with cinnamon apples!


Something very important to remember
is the role our pets play in our well being....
they provide unconditional love to us
and so love, love, love on your fur baby....
always by our side and keeping us calm and comforted.






October 26, 2020

FALL COZY AROUND THE FIREPIT

We all could benefit from spending time outdoors
when the days are beautiful and the sun is shining....
it's good for the mind and the soul!
In Texas we can have a rainy day with
a cold north wind blowing,
then the very next day, bask in  sunshine
and enjoy watching the leaves fall silently to the ground......

Staying safe at home and simple social distancing
can also be made a little more fun with a few
outdoor staples...here's a look at how we
dressed up a sitting area at our home! 

Finding inspiration can be found in so many
seasonal magazines..........

We splurged on a new firepit which we wanted
on this end of the pool area.....
who doesn't love the look and feel of a crackling
fire on a fall evening?
But.....it's lacking a bit of pizazz.......


Fall is one of the coziest seasons of all , so
let's take the party outdoors during our Autumn months
and make sure we have plenty of comfortable seating.
Throw pillows and soft plaid throws are beautiful
to add in order to make your seating space more inviting.
They also add a layer of comfort when there's a chill in the air.

I love tucking small pumpkins and Fall succulents in various
spaces to add color and texture....and a bit of nature's elements of beauty.....


Our signature cocktail for this particular afternoon
is hot apple cider...and a lunch of
grilled beer brats with Maple cookies for a little treat.....

What a delightful afternoon in this little outdoor space...
a good place to sit and be one with nature....watch the squirrels scamper
about gathering acorns

 and even receiving a visit from Bartholomew


Do you ever notice how good food tastes outdoors?


It's Autumn bliss by crafting a home you'll love.....

And...you know this Fall staple when sitting around a warm
evening fire.....SMORE'S!!!
Such creature comforts these are....make your life beautiful
AND establish family traditions..with these challenging times,
take care of yourself and everyone in it.