ryan broke the deviled eggs then made them better deviled eggs

Deviled Eggs

So Val made some bland deviled eggs which I tried to fix. I then made them inedible. So I decided to improve upon deviled eggs.
  • eggs (we used 6 for this batch – makes 12 deviled eggs)
  • 2 tablespoons of capers (rinsed and dried)
  • 2 slices of bacon (cooked to a crisp, we were lazy and made microwavable bacon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried “special thyme” blend (our “special thyme” blend is a mix of mother of thyme, orange thyme, and lemon thyme)
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon green peppercorn dijon mustard
  • olive oil (1 teaspoon or more, 1/2 a teaspoon or so is for the egg mixture)
  • 1/2+ teaspoon hungarian sweet paprika
  • smoked paprika (enough to sprinkle on top of eggs)
  • salt
  • tarragon leaves

Heat up a small pan to medium heat, add olive oil to it, heat up olive oil. Add the capers, they will sizzle and pop. Cook them for about 30 seconds to a minute. (If you didn’t use microwave bacon you could probably use the bacon grease to cook them in). Set the capers aside to cool.

Prepare the eggs as you normally would, boil them (I boil mine for 10 minutes), cut them in half, dump out the yolks. In a bowl mix the yolks, thyme blend, and mustard. Mash them with a fork, as you mash them drizzle in some olive oil until they get to a consistency you like (you can also use something like canola oil). Add salt to taste (keeping in mind bacon and capers will add some saltiness). Scoop the mixture into the egg whites. Top with capers, bacon, a sprinkle of smoked paprika, and a leaf or two of tarragon.

It must have worked, because when she tried one she declared, “You just Top Chef’d that s*#t!”

Deviled Eggs

by Ryan | 11.27.14 | Recipes | No Comments »

giving thanks, part I

Thanksgiving Flowers

I have so much to be thankful for! I picked up these lovely flowers (alstroemeria, tulips, and rosehips) and enjoyed putting them together in this birch bark container on our dining room table, in preparation for Thanksgiving tomorrow. And I had enough leftover for this sweet little arrangement of rosehips below too. We are so lucky to be able to spend our Thanksgiving this year with family and friends in our home. I am counting my blessings and giving thanks for loved ones near and far.

Rosehips

by Valerie | 11.26.14 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

Spatchcock?

Thanksgiving 2012

Above is a photo of our Thanksgiving table from two years ago; one of the things I love about owning our own home is that I can now easily access, use, and enjoy my mother’s china for special occasions like Thanksgiving. I love setting a pretty table – with candles, flowers, and special linens, silverware, and china! I am looking forward to this while we have my mother-in-law visiting for Thanksgiving this year too. What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving recipes? Below is our Thanksgiving menu:

Turkey (breast and dark meat, prepared with a dry rub and grilled)
Buttery Basil and Black Pepper Mashed Potatoes (a.k.a. “Mama Talbott’s Mashed Potatoes”)
Gravy
Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Shallots
Cornbread Stuffing with Onion and Celery
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Deviled Eggs
Pumpkin Pie with Bourbon Whipped Cream
Rolls

And in preparing for Thanksgiving, now just three days away, here are some fun things you might enjoy browsing:

by Valerie | 11.24.14 | Holidaze | No Comments »

cozy day in

cozy evening in

We picked up Mom from the airport last Friday and have really been enjoying her visit; we are so glad she will be staying with us for the Thanksgiving holiday this year! We visited a few of our favorite restaurants and did a little shopping over the weekend together, but (besides a trip to the grocery store for some Thanksgiving supplies) we stayed in by the fireplace on Saturday as it was very icy outside. I don’t know about you, but I for one can certainly appreciate a relaxing, cozy day in on a cold day. We made chili and watched movies and it was so nice to just spend some down time together. Watching Ryan chasing Melody…chasing a squirrel…on ice was entertaining too. And ice skating down the sidewalk with no skates on was an experience. #winterainteasy

On Sunday, before heading to brunch, we took advantage of the above freezing temperatures for the day and cleaned out our gutters. Ryan climbed up on the roof with a bucket attached to a rope and lowered it down when it was full so I could dump it in the compost bin – our system worked well. Now we’re bracing ourselves for another cold front to hit – I’m looking forward to more cozy days in!

Cleaning the gutters

by Valerie | 11.24.14 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

#winterainteasy

our view here this morning...

The photo above was taken looking out our guest room window this morning… And, on that note, I’ve come up with a plan to help us make it through another Michigan winter, more for my own amusement than anything; I’ll post things that happen (or silly things that Ryan says/does – this happens more often than not!) in relation to the winter and the cold weather with “#winterainteasy” so that I can keep track of them throughout the season. Things like this…

  • I just witnessed Ryan unlock his cell phone by entering the passcode with his nose.
  • Ryan just mowed the lawn (in his shorts) in the snow…

In other, non #winterainteasy news, we saw some pretty spectacular skies last week, picked up some lovely holiday greens from the farmer’s market (I love my boxwood wreath!), and were able to tackle a good house cleaning in preparation for Mom to arrive this Friday.

Sunset 11/10/14

Holiday greens

Holiday greens

by Valerie | 11.17.14 | Around our home, For Funsies | 1 Comment »

weekend haps

Leaves as big as yo face!

“Leaves as big as yo face!”, some lovely flowers from Pot & Box (see photo below), daylight savings time, Target is partnering with Faribault Woolen Mill, and it really did snow here on Halloween…

I’m already planning for the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays; doing my best to get a head start on Christmas gift shopping and thinking about what we might do to entertain family visiting over Thanksgiving. I have quite a few Halloween and Christmas movies, but not so many Thanksgiving holiday movies as they seem harder to come by. Any suggestions on some good Thanksgiving films?

P&B

by Valerie | 11.03.14 | For Funsies, Holidaze | 2 Comments »

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!!! Just a few fun things, for your holiday enjoyment:

Happy Halloween

by Valerie | 10.31.14 | For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

All About That (Upright) Bass

Fall afternoon walk in my neighborhood

We’re still enjoying a glorious fall here; neighborhood walks are truly a thing of beauty! And now for some fun, random internet things that made me smile…

And the sunrise this morning…

Sunrise

by Valerie | 10.27.14 | For Funsies | No Comments »

So nice to be up North…

Up North - October 2014

We spent a fantastic, long weekend up in northwest Michigan in the Traverse City area. I honestly don’t think I can come up with the appropriate words to really describe how breathtakingly beautiful it was up there (especially with the fall color on display)! As you may already be aware, fall is my favorite season – so this weekend I was in my happy place…seeing the fall views all around me (so much color!), wearing sweaters and scarves, enjoying a warm fire (don’t forget the s’mores -we had those too), stopping at an apple orchard (more on that below), etc. I was like a kid in a candy store and it was great! Why can’t I stop using exclamation points…yep, fall does this to me, I can’t contain my excitement!!!

We spent some time hiking around where we stayed (Lake Ann, MI) and also enjoyed a hike in Sleeping Bear Dunes, we drove around and stopped in Leland, visited the L. Mawby and Big Little tasting rooms, made it out to the Grand Traverse Lighthouse, and did a bit of shopping and dinner in Traverse City too. The lakeshore colors are stunning and it was beautiful watching the waves crash along the shoreline.

We are lucky, here in Michigan, as there seems to be no shortage of apple orchards to visit and enjoy this time of year. I had the pleasure of visiting an orchard that was like none other I’ve been to before; one of the highlights for us was stumbling upon Kilcherman’s Christmas Cove Farm where they grow and sell antique apple varieties. I was fascinated at how many varieties of apples they had available – most of which I’d never heard of or seen before. We picked up 3 small containers to take home of Sheepnose, Spitzenburg (supposedly Thomas Jefferson’s favorite), and Ashmead’s Kernel apples; we ate Almata (these are pink on the inside) and Macoun apples on the spot, before we got back to the car. They also ship gift boxes and the woman who rang us up was the owner’s granddaughter – so charming and such an interesting stop along our way.

You can view more photos from our trip here.

Kilcherman's Christmas Cove Farm

Up North - October 2014

Up North - October 2014

Up North - October 2014

Up North - October 2014

Up North - October 2014

by Valerie | 10.20.14 | For Funsies, Travel | 1 Comment »

weekend haps

Untitled

After a busy work week, we found some time for some much needed r&r over the weekend – I watched one of my favorite Halloween movies, enjoyed our fireplace, and did a bit of decorating around the house. Ryan did some yard work too, mowing and raking leaves, cleaning up some of our garden beds for the season (he pulled quite a lot of herbs which we’re hoping to dry and use throughout the winter). And Melody enjoyed a nap near the sunshine coming in the window on Sunday afternoon; she’s a professional at that!

Jack-o-lantern

Sun napping

by Valerie | 10.13.14 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

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