Inspired By Life’s Moments

 

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not. I hope you have the strength to start over.”~F. Scott Fitzerald

Hi! 🧤

How was your week?

 

I’m heading home after a day of errands and a little shopping.

 

 

I scored BIG today…🤗

 

 

Ross had their coats on sale. I was able to snag this adorable one for $12.99! I wanted to share this with you just incase you have a Ross by you and  need a coat. 😘

 

 

I’ll be honest I really didn’t need a coat. And living in a small cottage with limited closet space I do watch what I purchase. However this coat was just so darn cute and the price screamed for a return home with me. 😘

 

 

So there you have it yet another reason to love the new year particularly January. fabulous sales!😉

 

 

Aside from exploring sales this week I’ve also returned the cottage back to its everyday life. Christmas is all tucked away and I’ve cleaned out the loft and took a huge bag to a donation center.

 

 

This brings me to yet another reason why I enjoy January. As much as I love bringing  out Christmas decor…I also love putting it away and starting fresh. When I do I get a new perspective on how things look. I now see things through a different lens. It’s like the best exercise for opening my eyes to all the beautiful possibilities around me channeling new inspiration into my life and home. Clearing out the old…

making way for the new.💕

and…

Just in case you are new to my blog Welcome!   recently I committed to trying out one new recipe a week. I decided to do this for several reasons. One reason is that I came into cooking rather late in life, and discovered I quite enjoy it!

 

 

The other reason is that recently Joe retired and he discovered that he actually enjoys cooking and now we both enjoy it as a fun hobby we are able to share and do together.💕

Recipe of the week:

EASY CHICKEN POTPIES

(adapted from Martha Stewart)

 

 

 

Ingredients

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 small yellow onion, minced

1 stalk celery, thinly sliced

2 carrots, diced medium

 

 

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups diced cooked chicken ( I used tofu chic fillet)

2 cups chicken broth ( I used vegetable broth)

Salt and pepper

1 sheet thawed puff pastry

1 beaten egg

 

 

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high. Add onion, celery, and carrots, and cook until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring. 1 minute. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in green beans and chicken and season with salt and pepper.

 

 

2. Divide filling among four 8-ounce ramekins.

 

 

Roll out 1 sheet puff pastry and cut 4 rounds to fit ramekins.

 

 

Cut a small X in center of each to vent., then place on top of filling.

 

 

Brush with beaten egg. Bake at 375 degrees until filling is bubbling and crust is golden, 30-40 minutes. Enjoy!

 

Marcia
Posted in Coastal Living | Tagged , | 2 Comments

An Apron, A Hutch, and A Tea Set

 

“Home is the nicest word there is” ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

☃️Hello! Hello! Hello!⛄️

 

 

This is my new apron recently given to me by a friend who lives in SoCal

and…

 

 

below is a beautiful vintage tea set

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

which was also recently given to me by another friend. (who lives on the Oregon coast)

and…

below….

 

 is a vintage china hutch with the new tea set that was (yep recently) 😉 given to me by yet another friend. who btw also lives here on the Oregon coast.

 

 

 

 

Ironically these three friends do not know each other. yet 

 

 

I bet you are thinking how lucky I am. I agree

(or just fabulous serendipity!)💕

Without a doubt January has brought with it a sweet reminder of the importance to practice gratitude daily in my life.

 

 

This past week I discovered a fabulous chili recipe that I want to share. I’ve got to be honest…Joe prepared it!😁 (I guess I am lucky!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had been so busy admiring my new apron, tea set, and china hutch putting Christmas away that my sweet husband offered to prepare the recipe for me. I of course let him. This explains why there aren’t many cooking photos since he usually takes all those photos too. what a guy

 

 

MY BEST CHILI

(adapted from Bakerita.com)

 

 

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef ( I used veggie crumbles)

1 pound bulk Italian sausage  ( used tofurky Italian sausage)

1/2 pound bacon ( I did not use bacon)

2 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained

1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained

1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained

2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes with juice

1 (6 oz) can tomato paste

1 large yellow onion chopped

1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped

2 cups beef stock ( I used vegetable broth)

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce ( forgot)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

 

 

Instructions:

Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease. In a different pan, cook the bacon until crispy. Crumble and add to stock pot. Cook the chopped onion and pepper in the bacon drippings for about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add to the stock pot drained beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and beef stock. Season with chili powder Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, basil, salt, pepper, and paprika. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day. Serve with cheese, onions, sour cream, or whatever chili topping you prefer.

 

 

 

 

Marcia
Posted in Our Cottage | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Happy New Year 2018

 

‘There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that’s your own self’’~Aldous Huxley

 

Hello!

With 2018 just around the corner…

 

 

Images of 2017 have been floating through my thoughts.

(so many wonderful moments from the past year have already slipped from my conscious memory; it’s comforting to call them back for a brief moment)

 

 

 

 

I’ve come to understand that there aren’t beginnings

 

 

that everything is somehow interconnected.

 

 

(and I’ve never liked endings) 

 

 

With that being said I do enjoy seeking meaning in the unknown

 

 

and the feeling of exhilaration by my own ever-deepening journey…

 

 

of self discovery.

 

 

This might explain why I look forward  to each coming new year.

 

 

I reflect on what has already come to pass…

 

 

with the hope to acquire new wisdom

 

 

inspiration

 

 

and grace in the year to come.

 

 

Thank you for traveling along with me sweet friend.

what were your favorite moments of the year?

 

 

I wish you a happy, healthy 2018 filled with many moments of joy, grace and love.

I love the month of December. no doubt my fave The end of December is always quite eventful. Both Joe and I celebrate birthdays. This year Joe is turning 70. 🎂🎉🎊I think all birthdays should be celebrated especially those that end with a zero. 😘 We planned a little out of town trip and so I baked up a wonderful soup to carry us through when we return. I chose this recipe because I read that black~eyed peas bring good luck! and who doesn’t want some of that in the coming new year.😉

 

 

Smoked Sausage and Black-Eyed Peas

(Recipe from In the Kitchen with Kath  who adapted it from Emeril Lagasse’s recipe)

Serves 4-6

 

 

12-16 ounces smoked sausage ( I used tofurky italian sausage) it’s actually a great substitute if you don’t eat sausage.

1 cup chopped yellow onion

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

4 whole cloves garlic

5 sprigs of fresh thyme

4 bay leaves

3 teaspoons finely chopped Italian parsley

8 cups chicken stock ( I used vegetable)

1 pound dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon minced garlic

Minced green onion, to garnish (optional)

 

 

Directions:

Slice the sausage and cook it in a large pot over medium heat to render some of the fat. (I did not need to do this with mine) Add the onions, salt, cayenne, whole garlic cloves, bay leave, thyme, and parsley to the pan.

 

 

Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the onion begins to soften. Add the chicken stock, black-eyed peas, and minced garlic. Bring to a boil, and simmer, covered for about 1 1/2 hours, until the peas are tender. Serve garnished with green onions, if desired.

🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

And last but not least a peek of my beautiful coast this last week. ( gentle reminders of how I would like to embrace the new year)

 

Marcia
Posted in Coastal Living | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Merriest Christmas 2017

 

 

“Happy, Happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days, that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, that can transport the sailor and the traveler, thousands of miles away, back to his own fireside and his quiet home.” ~Charles Dickens

 

 

 

 

Well…ready or not

 

 

Christmas is here! almost

 

 

(baking done, cards sent, gifts wrapped)

Santa’s on his way…

 

 

so…

before Christmas present becomes the Christmas past

 

 

 let me share a special treat….

the dazzling annual Shore Acres Holiday Lights

 

 

It’s been a while since I brought you here. Christmas at Shore Acres 2015

 

 

This annual festive event display debuts on Thanksgiving Day

 

 

lighting up it’s beautiful 7 acre botanical garden (and lily pond) with over 325,000 lights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I call it the Disneyland of the Pacific Northwest.

The brightest and most beautiful place on earth.😉

 

 

Wishing you all the blessings, love, and light as we celebrate this holy season.

🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄

 

 

PECAN PIE BARS

Ingredients:

For the shortbread crust:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1/2 cup packed soft brown sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the pecan topping:

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cups coarsely chopped pecans

INSTRUCTIONS

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

 

Line a 13×9 inch baking dish with a large sheet foil, leaving a two inch overhang on all sides. Spray foil with a non-stick cooking spray. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a medium bowl and an electric hand mixer) beat the butter on medium-high speed until lightened in both texture and color; 3-5 minutes rundown the mixer to lowest speed, then gradually adding flour and mix until dough comes together in crumbles.

 

 

Press the dough into the prepared baking dish, then using the back of a measuring cup, smooth out into an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. While the crust bakes, make the pecan fillling.

🎄

To make the pecan filling:

In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, melt together the butter, brown sugar, honey, heavy cream and salt. Bring mixture to a simmer then allow to simmer for exactly 1 minute. Don’t over cook or the filling will be hardened and become candy-like instead of soft and stretchy. Stir in the pecans.

🎄

To finish:

Take the shortbread crust out of the oven, then pour the pecan mixture over the hot shortbread and spread into an even layer.

 

 

Return the baking dish to the oven and bake again until the top is bubbling; about 20 minutes. If the top bubbles before hitting the 20 minute mark, take it out of the oven anyway. If you bake it beyond bubbling, the filling will not be as soft and chewy; so make sure not to over bake. The filling will still look liquidy, but will set up upon cooling. Allow to cool completely in the pan. If you’re in a rush, you could speed up the cooling process by placing the pan in the fridge or freezer. Then, using the foil overhang lift the bars out of the pan and place on a cutting board. Slide the foil from underneath the bars and discard, then cut into 16 bars; 4 rows. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

 

 

Marcia
Posted in Coastal Living | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

A Cottage Christmas Cocoa Bar🧚‍♀️

 

 

🧚‍♀️“Christmas is too sparkly…said no one ever”🧚‍♀️

🎄 Hello sweet friends🎄

 

I hope you’re doing well.🧚‍♀️

 

 

 

 

Recently as I was driving through the countryside I pondered as to why I LOVE the 🎅🏻“Ho!Ho!Ho!” part of the holiday season.🤶🏻

(any chance one of these might be Rudolph?)🧚‍♀️

 

 

You know that childlike joy that longs to be expressed.🧚‍♀️

 

 

🧚‍♀️twinkling lights…reindeer flying through the sky with Santa’s gifts…

and yummy cookies🍪

 

 

Ok….I must admit🧚‍♀️🧚‍♀️🧚‍♀️

 

 

🧚‍♀️I do believe…🧚‍♂️

I have social butterfly tendencies 😉 Spirit of Christmas

 

 

One month a year just doesn’t seem long enough…🧚‍♂️

 

 

🧚‍♀️to sprinkle a little joy & light in the world.🧚‍♂️

 

 

fairy dust everywhere 🧚‍♂️

 

 

 

 

🧚‍♀️This past week Joe and I finished putting up the Christmas lights🧚‍♂️

 

 

🧚‍♀️attended a Christmas Play,

and…🧚‍♂️🧚‍♂️🧚‍♂️

 

 

I finally finished my Cocoa Bar🧚‍♀️

 

 

🧚‍♀️ Have you ever made one?

 

 

They are easy to create.🧚‍♂️

🎄(make sure to click on the vlog below to see how I made mine!)🎄

(I also included the one I created when I lived in California.🤗)

 

 

🧚‍♀️ What fun things have you been up to?🧚‍♀️

 

 

Christmas White Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel Rods

1 (10 oz. ) bag pretzel rods

1 (24 oz) package white chocolate bark coating or 1 (1 lb.) bag white candy melts (you’ll only use about 10 or 12 oz)

1-2 T. shortening

Assorted sprinkles🧚‍♂️🧚‍♀️🧚‍♂️🧚‍♀️

Directions:

In a tall skinny container melt bark coating or candy melts and shortening together in the microwave per package directions (typically in 30 second intervals, stirring in between)

 

 

Dip a pretzel rod in the candy coating, letting excess coating drip off back into the container. 🧚‍♂️Sprinkle immediately with desired sprinkles.🧚‍♂️

 

 

Place on waxed paper and let stand for white chocolate coating to set up. Store in a sealed container at room temperature. You can save any leftover white chocolate coating into a plastic storage container and save it for another use later. I didn’t have any. 🧚‍♀️

 

 

All you will need to do is heat it back up in the microwave, omitting the shortening (since it’s already in there).

 

 

🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄

If you would like more inspiration 🧚‍♂️

🧚‍♀️🧚‍♂️🧚‍♀️Here is the first Cocoa Bar I created when I lived in SoCal.

 

Marcia
Posted in Our Cottage | Tagged , , | 8 Comments