Monday, November 21, 2022

Things that followed me home....

 Things That Followed Me Home...

Quite a few items have made their way to Our New Vista in the last month.  I have been upgrading some of my cookware and am thrilled with the Blue Diamond pans I found. 

This was my first Blue Diamond purchase at Kohl's.  My frying pans that came with my Analon set several years ago were those no longer as non-stick as I liked.  I decided to try this medium size frying pan because it was on sale and I had a

I brought it home and made scrambled eggs and NOTHING STUCK.  You really don't even need any butter or other substance...I used a little Smart Balance, but it was not necessary.  You are advised to NOT use any cooking spray. This pan is completely toxin gree, and has no PFOA, lead  of cadmium.  It is dishwasher, oven , broiler, and metal utensil safe. The pan cleaned up so easily that I never put it in the dishwasher...and I used a wooden spoon or silicone spatula. So, I was on a quest to find some others.  I did not want to buy the entire set as my saucepans are still fine.

My next purchase was this - 
5 qt. covered skillet with helper handle.  I had a similar pan that I used for stir fry and other recipes, but it was also getting old.  I found this one at a great price at Walmart...and after using it several times I can say I love it.  Nothing sticks - really!
So...then I was making pancakes and my old griddle ( that cam with my Analon set ) was not really great.  The pancakes kept sticking.  I checked Walmart and Kohl's for a griddle but they did not have them.  
I found this square griddle on Amazon and it is also fabulous.  Pancakes don't stick, it makes the best toasted cheese sandwiches.  I am so glad I found these pans.  You can find them at stores like Walmart, Kohl's, etc. - and also on Amazon.  Interestingly on the Blue Diamond website most of these items are SOLD OUT.    I am very happy with my purchases...and am thinking of now upgrading my muffin and loaf pans!
Next up...a new item for my kitchen sink - 
Full Circle Bubble Up Ceramic Soap Dispenser & Bamboo Dish Brush
Found on Amazon

This sits perfectly on the counter near my sink.  There is a spring loaded removable insert.  You just put some dishwashing liquid and a little water in the container and then pump it a few times to make some suds.  I love it for quick clean ups without getting my hands and nails immersed in water.  

Electric Candle Lighter Plasma Arc Lighters with USB Rechargeable Battery Windproof & Flameless Retractable Head ... also found on Amazon.

I don't use matches any longer and was tired of buying those disposable lighter wands.  This works great for candles and it is rechargeable!

Last week I got together for Friendsgiving with my college friends.  We met for lunch and shopping - and we usually exchanged gifts.  Chatting early in the month, we decided to NOT give each other gifts.  We are so blessed in our lives and we have everything we need.  A decision was made to give to a charity of our choice - and then we shared the charity we chose.  And...even though we said we don't need anything, we did manage to do a little shopping at the Tanger Outlets in Hershey, PA.

I found some great jewelry - first at Talbots.

I picked up a simply tee shirt and was waiting to check out when I spied these cute earrings.  I did not need them...but they were so sparkly and looked so good for the holidays that they ended up in my bag!  In my defense, they were on sale and I had a 20% off coupon!

Also found some deals at the Loft Outlet

Wandering around the store I spied these necklaces on the 50% off rack.  I loved the navy/teal one and knew I had a pair of teal slacks and a navy sweater that would work great with that one.  I loved the delicate look of the other...

These were the price tags....but when I got to the check out I was told they had been marked down even more...and the price for each was 

$4.12 !!!

We had a party to attend over the weekend and I wore the teal pants, navy sweater, and that necklace - and got tons of compliments!

Last of all is this  - Bose Soundwave IV
Our new car does not have a CD player...we love music and have lots and lots of CDs, so we needed something to be able to listen to them.  We were putting them in the DVD player and running them through the television, but it was not the best.   This was a Today's Special Value on one of the home shopping channels and it was an amazing price.  So, we ordered it and set it up - super easy - and we LOVE IT.  The sound is amazing, it takes up such little space, and we can now listen to all of our music.
How about you ?  What has "followed you home" this month?  Are you upgrading any of your pots and pans?  What kind do you like?  Please leave a comment below - I love hearing from you!  And to one and all - Happy Thanksgiving!  I feel so incredibly blessed and thankful for all the blessings in my life!  Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday!

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Cozy November


Cozy November

November has been a very warm month here in our part of Pennsylvania.  I enjoy bringing out all the Thanksgiving themed decorations and closing down our screen porch for the winter. The warmer weather made me think we could still use the porch, but today the weather changed and we are going to be getting November weather.  I am ready...for fires in the fireplace, hot chocolate, soup and stews for supper, and all things cozy!

I love the memories that the decorations for each season bring back.  The turkey was made by my dear Aunt Mamie ( of the Halloween ghost fame - she really enjoyed ceramics in her 90's!)

The cornucopia belonged to John's mother.  When it came into my possession it was painted a funny purple shade. It came with two matching candle sticks that were chipped and cracked, so they were discarded.  I used some dark brown paint to cover the purple and we have been enjoying it each November every year.
Simple things add a cozy touch...the Be Thankful pillow, a nice thrown, and I filled the candle vase with Fall colored filler balls from Dollar Tree.

The wine rack holds a pumpkin plate and a Pilgrim that was a gift from a teacher friend many years ago.

Some leaves, a little turkey, and of course the Eagles mug fill in the kitchen corner.

A very simple centerpiece....more of the filler from Dollar Tree, the mirror bas ( also from Dollar Tree ), and another little turkey.

I have to learn how to take a better photo of the "china closet" as we call it.  I just added some touches of Fall leaf plates and cups, and a turkey tureen that I found in a thrift shop.
Here is our table for a dinner with friends this past weekend.  I used the placemats I purchased at our community thrift sale, napkins from Kohls, napkin rings from Dollar Tree, our "wedding china" on top of leaf motif chargers from Ross, our "good silverware", and crystal wine and water goblets that were a gift.
Our church had a Saturday Night Mass that featured the music of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.  Every so often our wonderful contemporary music director gets a band together and our clergy works together to make a service that matches the music to the liturgy.   We have enjoyed services with music from the Beatles, John Denver, Leonard Cohen, Queen, Les Mis, Phantom, and more.  This worked around the theme of LOVE....and the band really did a great job.  "Love is coming to us all...."
My dear friend, old friend ( we met when we ended up in the same homeroom in 1971! - then went on to be college roommates and life long friends) came to attend the Mass.  
We came back to our home for dinner and I made an Autumn Apple Pie.
I did not make my own crust...used the Aldi pre-made pie crusts and they were great.

Used Aldi brand baking spray on the pie plate.

Put the dough in the pie plate...

Peeled 6 pretty big McIntosh apples...

Cored the apples and sliced them as thin as I could.

Mixed the apples with 2 Tablespoons of flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, some nutmeg, a dash of lemon juice..

Mixed all that together and put in the pie plate - I should have brushed the bottom with egg white to prevent soggy was not too bad, but I have to remember that.

Dotted the top of the apples with some Smart Balance margarine,
Then, because I don't think you can have TOO much cinnamon, I added some more on top!

Used my little oak leaf cutter to make some vents.

Brushed everything with some half and half and then sprinkled some natural sugar on top.

Baked the pie at 375 degrees for about 40- 45 minutes...

And it turned out great!!!   We enjoyed it with some vanilla ice cream and lots of good conversation.
Do you decorate for Thanksgiving ?  Are you fan of apple pie?
Please let me know in the comments below.  I love hearing from you all - and hope you have a great week.  Here comes November weather...stay warm and cozy!

Trip !

  TRIP !!! And not the trip we were looking forward to...out for a walk and waiting for the crosswalk to say WALK.  A tractor trailer turned...