December 18, 2011

Fireside Chats

May your December days be filled with
Warmth and Happiness.

I believe we have had some of our best and most memorable times sitting in front of a warm fire at The Maine House. Our first Christmas in Maine was two years ago. We traveled over 16 states and a period of three days from Texas, to arrive in bitter cold December temperatures one week before Christmas. The previous owner had so kindly left us a beautiful "welcome to Maine" Christmas card, a gorgeous Poinsettia, and a box of chocolates as we began the transition into our new home. Boxes were in every room so we were able to create little pathways throughout the house. The Poinsettia served as our Christmas tree. This was our only decoration. Rob made the move with us and left to go home to Texas after the New Year. We bought some Champagne, sat by our new fireplace and reflected on past Christmases. Darling and I wondered if we had made the right decision? Did we really just move clear across the country from our children and grandchildren? Are we actually going to live in the far eastern part of the country in snow and ice, where they have basements, furnaces, wood stoves and snow blowers? Well, yes we were. What do southerners know about any of these things? We have learned about them now. We have explored Maine each and everyday. We have learned to adjust to this new lifestyle and have learned to love our little New England Village and the state of Maine. We have come a long way emotionally from our first fireside chat that Christmas two years ago. And now we find ourselves in the transition of moving back to Texas...discussing how much we are going to miss The Maine House in yet another, Fireside Chat. This time with Mae Mobley by our side, wondering what Texas is all about?

Mae Mobley warming herself by the fire

Feeling a little Playful

An Inquisitive Look

Beautiful Appetizer and Bellini's for your own Fireside Chats

Brown Sugar Glazed Brie
apple wedges
1 14-ounce round of Brie
1 tablespoon brandy
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts or pecans
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
pear wedges
lemon juice
Assorted crackers

In a small bowl stir together the sugar, nuts, and brandy. Cover and chill for at least 24 hours or up to one week. At serving time, place the Brie on an ovenproof platter or pie plate. Bake at 500 degrees F for 4 or 5 minutes or until the Brie is slightly softened. Spread the sugar mixture in an even layer on top of the warm Brie and bake for 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until the sugar melts. Brush the fruit wedges with lemon juice and arrange them around one side of the Brie. Place crackers around the other side.

 Estelle's Mixed Berry Bellini's
1/4 cup sugar
1 (12-ounce) package frozen mixed berries, thawed
1 (750 ml) bottle sparkling wine (Estelle's used Asti Spamanti) 

In the container of an electric blender, combine berries and sugar; process until smooth. Strain mixture, if desired. Pour fruit mixture into a serving pitcher; slowly add wine, stirring gently to combine.

Quiet Kitty Thoughts....thinking the warmth feels good on Little Kittie Toesies!

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