BEST EVER CRANBERRY SAUCE

I  L- O- V- E  cranberry sauce.
But it must have the whole cranberries in it… none of the jellied stuff for me.
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Warning! If you have followed me for a while then you have seen most of this post, and recipe, before. So bear with me.
 I found this recipe on Epicurious.com several years ago. This cranberry sauce is crunchy, tart, freezes well, and is always a huge hit at the table. It’s easy to make….once you find some cherry or black cherry cider. I did try the cranberry juice cocktail once but found it was too sweet and just didn’t have enough taste. The cherry cider, or juice, is perfect. Dried cherries are available in most specialty stores; they cost more than dried cranberries, but go for it as they make a huge difference.
First, to find the cranberries.
Fresh Market has them floating in a “bog”! What a great idea. So, I scooped up about a pound and took them home.
If you can’t find cranberries from a “bog”, then your ingredients will look like this:
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To make it simple and easy for you I’ve copied the recipe here:

Believe me, this is as good as it gets! Let me know if you try and how you like it!

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FRIDAY FLOWERS: ALL DRIED UP

Not too many fresh flowers out and about these days! We had our first hard frost about four days ago, and what a scene it was in the morning. The Cannas… went from strong, vibrant green leaves and stems to these withered, limp, brown bunches of nothing. The Verbena, showing color one day, were struggling to remain upright the next. And the Zinnias: well, what can I say except that there WILL be lots of new ones next year!

But I have had fun cutting from my garden and in the neighborhood: so many interesting flower heads  and pods and seeds and twigs to choose from. I bring them into my kitchen, lay them out on a huge piece of construction paper and just play with layouts. Sometimes the individual pieces are the best. And sometimes a grouping works the best…it just depends.

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The Photojojo lens with the iPhone is perfect for this!

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Detail from the River Birch tree.

 

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Just a little bit of color left in the verbena bonariensis, one of the backbones of my garden.

 

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Can you just see the tiny web wrapped in the leaf here?

 

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These are actually zinnias! I found lots of them scattered beneath the now-gone-for-the-year flowers.

 

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Afternoon shadows..

 

For a totally opposite look, here is our Japanese Maple in all its colorful glory.
Wow, what a color, right? And with the white fence and tall grasses behind, it makes quite a statement.

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I’ll be back on Monday with a Thanksgiving/holiday recipe!

Enjoy your weekend…

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QUICK AND EASY NAPKIN RINGS

Want to make some quick and easy, and very pretty, napkin rings?
I didn’t have much time, and didn’t want to go out shopping for any supplies, but needed wanted some fun napkin rings for a small dinner party we were hosting.

Don’t know where I got the idea..but I took a paper towel roll and cut it into about 2″ sections.  What to put over it? I tried several papers, layers of yarn and string, and then discovered this great burlap “ribbon” in my supplies basket.

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My original idea was to do a real “fall” look, thus the leaf.

 

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Then I found this new ribbon from World Market which I have wanted to use…

 

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A few of my supplies.

 

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An inside look.

 

Here’s a short video tutorial, glue gun and all!
Please remember: this video, or any video, will NOT appear on your iPad as they do not support Flash Player.
If it does not appear here, just refresh your screen and you should see it!


They won’t last forever (they ARE cardboard, after all) but they do the trick for an evening!

The supplies you will need are:

~paper towel cardboard center tube
~glue gun
~2″ (or whatever width you choose for your cardboard base) ribbon or twine
~small piece of greenery
~decorative ribbon for embellishment

You could also try overlapping different ribbons or twine. Or try printing out each person’s name in various fonts and sizes, but the paper to then wrap around the cardboard tube. Lots of possibilities, and, as you know by now, I am not a big DIY’er but somehow this quick and easy project appealed to me. It worked beautifully!

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FRIDAY FLOWERS

I couldn’t quite believe my eyes:
Iris in November!

Yes, I actually had iris blooming in two different spots and no, these are not the bloom-twice-a-year variety.

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Not very tall (in spring they are about twice as tall) and the mulch and grasses look a bit worn!

 

 

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Gorgeous , no?

 

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Love, love my fall blooming snapdragons.

 

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The last of the lavender.

 

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One big beautiful red leaf!

I’ll be back on Monday with a DIY tutorial. Yep, I actually got one together…it’s been a while!

Enjoy your weekend.

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LET’S TALK EYE LINERS

I use eye liner every day. In fact, I barely make it to the kitchen…or gym…or my morning walk without liner and some make up!
Yes, I consider eye liner one of life’s essentials.

I really cannot remember when this “habit” started: maybe in my 20’s? But then again, I’ve always loved cosmetics. I don’t actually apply a lot, but for as long as I can remember I’ve loved not only the packaging but the message.
My Mother used Elizabeth Arden. I can still remember the smell of the powder and lipstick and the thrill at watching her dress up and maybe, just maybe, putting some on me.

Recently I did my own, small (non-scientific) study of various eye liner pencils. My “style” of choice has been the retractable pencil. I’ve never been able to master the free flowing liquid liner, and pencils I find very frustrating with the endless “sharpening” with those tiny sharpeners that always seem to eat up the pencil in huge chunks.

About two months ago I went to Ulta to look at a selection of eye liners. I wanted all price ranges. Some brands were new to me, and others I’ve known, and used, for years. This was by no means exhaustive: I sort of bought and tried what jumped at me from the shelves.

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The choices from my small study of eye liner pencils!

 

In no particular order, except that it just happened that my #1 choice is #1 in the above image:

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Let’s begin with my very first choice: Chanel. I know, it’s more expensive/much more expensive than some of the others: $32.00. But you know what? It’s the best there is.Smooth as butter. Will never let you down. Period.

 

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These are from Bourjois in France. I buy them whenever I go over and each pencil lasts almost a year. I think they are about 8€ each.

 

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This is from bareMinerals cosmetics line: I am a huge fan of ALL their products, and this liner does not disappoint. You do have to apply pressure to get it on, but it certainly doesn’t pull and will last all day. Nice color choices: my newest is “Brandy” and I’m liking it.

 

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As I expected… this was my very last choice. You get what you pay for. It pulled, it was hard to apply, and no, I will not buy it again. At $4.99, not worth it.

 

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The Laura Geller brand was new to me. And this came out very high in my “study”.. I used it for several weeks and had no problems: goes on smoothly, nice smudge end on the pencil, retracts well. A little more expensive at $20.00 but worth it.

 

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This is actually for lips…yes indeed, black liner for lips. But the woman at Ulta highly recommended it for eyes. My recommendation? No, not a good bet. It was hard to apply and thick and heavy.

There are so many choices out there. I’m sure that by now you too have narrowed down what works best for you , a few brands that are your favorites, and what looks good on you. My choices are suggestions… if and when you are in the market again for eye liner!

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