Thanksgiving Thankful

Each year on Thanksgiving my family take turns naming something they are thankful for this year.  Most of the time the answers are pretty generic.  My spouse, my kids, or my health.  Those are all great things to be thankful for but this year I’m digging deeper.  I’ve been determined to find unique things I’m thankful for each day.

So, every day while drinking my morning cup of tea I take a look at the day before and try to find something new to be thankful for.  This could be someone new that I’ve met, an owl I heard hooting the night before or just an old song I heard on the radio.  Whatever it is I was there, living in the now and noticing everything around me in a new and almost childlike way.  Wow!

So, what am I thankful for this year.  I’m thankful that I’ve learned to live in the now and, no matter how much I am in a rush, I notice the small things.  The things that make me smile, give me that warm fuzzy feeling, or…..help me to notice that someone around me needs a quick hand.  A hot cup of coffee or simply picking up something they have dropped.  And, in return I’ve received help several times when I’ve dropped something or just needed a hug and magically a friend or relative suddenly appears.  I’m thankful for daily blessings. How about you?

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Banana CInnamon Bread

cinnamon quick bread

Banana bread with a cinnamon twist. This one was a big hit with my family.

3 ripe bananas
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups flour

Cinnamon swirl insert
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbs cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350. Spray or grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.

Blend the bananas, butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until well blended. You will probably have some small banana chunks and that’s ok. Add the baking soda and salt and flour.

Put half of the mixture into the loaf pan. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle over the mixture in the loaf pan reserving a tablespoon or so for the top. Put the remaining mixture over the cinnamon sugar in the loaf pan and sprinkle the left over sugar cinnamon on top.

Bake for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in to the middle comes out clean. Let cool an remove from pan.

Cheese Stick Witches Broom Party Snack

cheesebrooms

These are sooo cute and easy to do. Great for an adult or child’s Halloween Party.

String Cheese – as many packages as you need – each stick will make two brooms
Pretzel Sticks
Chives or Dill – must be fresh

Cut the cheese sticks in half. Now carefully cut one end of the cheese in half leaving the top half of the stick uncut. Continue cutting strips leaving the top half uncut until it resembles a broom end. Wrap a piece of dill or chives around the cheese just above the cuts and place a pretzel in the top uncut half.

Pasta with Sweet Potatoes

ImageIt’s fall.  I love sweet potatoes and they are such a healthy alternative.  Combined with kale or spinach sweet potatoes create a magical meal. 

 

  • One large sweet potato cooked to done but not mushy – Either microwaved or baked
  • Three tablespoons olive oil
  • One cup of fresh kale or spinach, rinsed and chopped
  • One half cup feta cheese
  • Pasta – use whole grain linguine, spaghetti even fettuccine
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano  grated 
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped finely
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Prep all the veggies and set aside.  Heat the water to boiling and drop in the pasta.  Heat olive oil in the skillet while the water is heating and put the kale in the skillet.  If you are using spinach it will go in later but if you are using kale do this first because kale takes longer to cook.  Add the garlic, onion and cook until the onion is opaque.  Add the sweet potatoes.  Cook for a few minutes until the sweet potatoes are getting a little brown.  The pasta should be done by now so go ahead and drain the pasta and place it in the skillet.  Stir, add the feta and stir again.  Cook over low heat for a few minutes allowing the feta to melt and combine with the kale and pasta.  Top with the parm cheese and serve warm. 

Why Buy Handmade?

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Buying handmade items not only supports your local economy it supports tradition.   Crafting has been around since the beginning of time when local folks were blacksmiths, carpenters and dressmakers.  And don’t forget the farmers, they are also artisans.  Crafting each crop by planting, waiting patiently and harvesting at just the right time.

However we now have large machines and big box stores that make everything we could ever want or need.  So why buy handmade?  Well, handmade items are unique.  Each one is crafted buy an artisan and, each one is different.  Every time you buy something handmade you buy a small piece of the love that the artist puts in to producing that item.  You also buy durability and a one of a kind item that will last a long time. Most of the time the pricing is very comparable to the big box pricing and sometimes even a bit lower. Who doesn’t love getting a unique quality handmade gift for Christmas or any special occasion?

Check out your independent local shop and the online shops too.  It is amazing what you can find.

Fall Is Coming…Are You Ready

Once again this year Country Loving Market has a monthly drawing.  This month, because it’s September, or just because we are giving away a $25.00 gift certificate to be used on ANYTHING you wish in the shop.  Just hop over to countrylovingmarket.com and send us a note thru the contact us navbar on the left side of your screen.  

No purchase is necessary just answer one question….What is Your Favorite Fall Activity? Make sure you let us know how to contact you if you are a winner.  You will not receive any emails and we do not sell your name to anyone for any amount of money.  

Zucchini Bites

These little bites are incredible. I used onions but you could substitute grated carrots if you don’t care for onions. Easy and quick. These would be great for football gatherings too.

1 large zucchini grated
1 large egg
1/3 cup diced onion – this is where you could substitute the carrot
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
dash of salt
pepper to taste
red pepper flakes or a dash of cayenne pepper
cooking spray – I used olive oil

Heat the oven to 400. Spray mini muffin tin with the olive oil spray.

Finely grate the zucchini and drain. I placed the zucchini between paper towels and squeezed until the most of the liquid was out. Add all the other ingredients and mix thoroughly. You can add any other spices you would like. Chives and carrots have been a tasty alternative i’ve tried. Spoon in to the sprayed muffin tin and bake for about fifteen minutes or until done. They should be browned on top and mildly firm. If they aren’t cooked enough they will stick to the muffin pan. That’s it. Now don’t eat them all on the way to the table.

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