47,335,389

November 27, 2014

47,335,389 minutes adds up to ninety years. And, ninety years adds up to one special life. First a daughter and sister…then a wife and mother…and on to grandmother and great-grandmother. Ninety years of loving life, loving children, loving animals…all the while raising a family and working as an RN, early on in the nursery and later in your career in surgery. Add Breast Cancer Survivor to the list and well…what else is there to say? We are all very thankful for you, particularly on this Thanksgiving, which is your 90th birthday. I think 47,335,389 minutes deserves at least 48,000 stitches…each one a different combination of color…coming together in this modern knit to warm you as you plan for your next milestone…100! With more love than you can imagine coming to you today, Happy Birthday Mom, Grandma, Great-Grandma. It’s time for some “bubbly”.

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photos:gp

Pumpkin Spice Overkill

November 24, 2014

Too much of a good thing when gaining popularity and then randomly applied everywhere…well, that’s just too much already. “Pumpkin spice” is the perfect current example. Starting in September it flavors everything from a latte’ to caramels to anything that doesn’t move and back again. Nothing  has missed being hit. By the time Thanksgiving arrives, just a hint of the aroma could trigger a bit of nausea. Let’s keep the warm Autumn spice thing going and yet reel it in simplequietmodern  style, editing the spices down to one….say Ginger. Fresh, dried or candied…Ginger can add its distinctive spicy warmth and sweetness to cocktails, desserts or savory dishes alike without being cliché.

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Whole hands of fresh ginger root might add additional interest to your bountiful tablescape this Thanksgiving. I think I’ll pick up some extra myself to compliment my arrangements of Bosc pears, mixed shelled nuts and oak leaves.

During the weekend a bit of ginger will elevate the pears poached for another dessert from everyday to holiday.

Ginger syrup made from fresh or crystallized ginger can be added to a glass of Prosecco, Cava or Champagne for a gingery pre-dinner cocktail or added to a glass of soda for a delicious home-made ginger ale.

Home made fresh cranberry sauce could not be easier. Adding a little grated fresh or minced crystallized ginger  to the mix brings a fresh unexpected note.

Crystallized ginger presented alongside dessert allows even those who are too stuffed to indulge a little something  sweet that also acts as a perfect digestivo. A couple of pieces with coffee is just enough sweet for me after a Thanksgiving feast. You might even try dipping candied ginger into dark chocolate if you’re in the mood to gild the lily.

 

photos:gp

 

Pilgrim Modern

November 21, 2014

What a perfect setting for Thanksgiving dinner, followed by an evening around a roaring fire. The large gathering space and minimal yet ample kitchen bridged by a simplequietmodern favorite, the planked table. You can almost smell the aromas, hear the logs crackle. It’s inspiration like this that reminds me…there is always something to be thankful for.

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photos: http://remash.tumblr.com/

 

 

 

 

To cut…or not to cut.

November 18, 2014

Could this be the year for a living Christmas tree? I know it always sounds like a good idea and your “green” intentions are always good, but somehow in the crush of it all, those good intentions take a back seat to the easiest, last-minute option. Well, take a some time to think about it now and I’ll get ya on the right path…avoiding that 11th hour visit to the tree lot or a pre-lit artificial produced in China. Many local garden centers in your area are offering potted spruce, pines and firs specifically sized for use indoors. After you’ve made your selection you need to ascertain the final planting location and pre-dig the hole before the ground freezes. My nursery suggested no more than 14 days use indoors, with gentle watering every other day, keeping the tree in a temperate location and using only cooler mini lights or LED s for illumination. Planting your tree on New Years day might even start another new tradition. While that row of perfect firs is gorgeous, my choice…Eastern White Pine. That was simple.

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You might pay a visit here for additional information.

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/2017.html

 

A gift a day…

November 14, 2014

might just take the edge off the burden of shopping this holiday for those larger, more impressive items. When you see what an impact the gifting of a small item has, you’ll be able to put some newfound perspective on the task. More thoughtful, more meaningful, less stressful, more genuine. It could be as simple a gift as a bit of your time…a piece of chocolate…a cup of coffee. Try it for the next month and watch the rewards, after the initial grateful smile, come back to you multiplied.

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To Whet, Not to Sate

November 10, 2014

Appetizers. A savory little something to the whet the appetite…a prelude of what’s to come. On Thanksgiving there is always plenty, so the idea of keeping these little bites simple makes sense. With a cocktail or a glass of sparkling wine there could be no better paring than Frico…a baked Parmesan crisp. If these were any easier in fact, they’d make themselves. And, only one ingredient…parmesan cheese. Pre-heat your oven to 375 and drop tablespoons of shaved Parmesan cheese onto a parchment lined baking tray. Spread the mounds to a uniform thickness approx 3″ in diameter. Bake the trays one at a time for about 8-10 minutes, watching closely, until golden. Remove trays from the oven and cool slightly before moving the Frico to a rack to cool completely. These can be made a few days ahead and stored in an airtight container getting one task out-of-the-way earlier in that busy week. Why not check the fridge, turn on the oven and knock out a batch now?  Think of it as a little taste test for the holidays ahead.

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Night Shift

November 7, 2014

Still adjusting  to “falling back” with the Autumn shift to Daylight Savings Time? It’s hard to believe how dark it is once you arrive home after a full day. And yet, there is still a lot of evening left, and plenty to do before hitting the hay. You’re halfway there if you can tackle some reading, work  up some holiday to-do lists or do a little online shopping while propped comfortably in bed. Add the perfect over the shoulder bedside lighting and you are good to go. My pick ?…either of these beautiful mid-century pieces by master of  lighting design, Serge Mouille.

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Top photo: http://www.sergemouilleusa.com/Serge-Mouille-One-Arm-Double-Swivel-Sconce.php

Bottom photo: http://cabbagerose.tumblr.com/page/9

 

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