Christmas on the Front Porch

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Welcome to our home for the holidays!  The front porch is dressed in a natural winter wonderland theme this year.  It is a serene and simple décor greeting visitors with the fresh scent of evergreens, the inviting warmth of candlelight and several vignettes of winter activities to delight the eye. Traditional greens and reds are accented with whites, metallics and natural elements. Please join me on a tour.

A sentimental flag reminding me of my three sons and their dad going sledding hangs to the side, flanked by a tabletop fresh tree sitting on a red wooden crate with its stand draped in a red quilt.

A sentimental flag reminding me of my three sons and their dad going sledding hangs to the side, flanked by a tabletop fresh tree sitting on a red wooden crate with its stand draped in a red quilt with a wooden red star, handmade by a friend, at the top.

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High End Holiday Looks with Supermarket Flowers

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Transforming supermarket flowers from ordinary to wow, is easy. It gives your budget a huge bang for its buck.  You don’t have to have a green thumb or a talent for flower arranging.  Just a good imagination to look around your house for interesting containers will do.  Everything I used in these examples I had on hand.  The  small silver ornaments were bought at the Dollar Store. None of these projects took more than a few minutes.

1-  Rosemary Tree

These fragrant trees are readily available and make a terrific hostess gift.  I like one in the kitchen where I snip fresh rosemary for cooking throughout the holiday season.  Plop the plastic pot in a nice planter, tie a festive ribbon around the rim with a small ornament, and you’ve got a gorgeous and festive planter.  I chose a birch bark planter with a plaid ribbon in keeping with the tree concept.

 Using a garden marker for your gift tag is a nice touch fitting of the gift!

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Parmesan Crusted Roasted Cauliflower Steak

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There’s a new steak in town!  And boy, is it good.  I don’t think I’ve ever gotten excited about cauliflower before but this recipe really did it for me.  It caught my attention when it was featured in Giant Supermarkets’ fall cooking magazine.  The original recipe was for grillling the steaks but I roasted mine because of weather limitations.  The cauliflower is sliced thick and across its whole width to create hearty “steaks”. Continue reading

Cranberry Orange Scones with Orange Glaze and Pistachios

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Chock full of fresh cranberries  these scones have some healthy ingredients sneaked in …Instead of cream, yogurt! For additional fiber, oatmeal!  Yet they sill retain their scone-like texture. The crunchy pistachios on top makes them festive and irresistible.  ‘Tis the season!  They can be frozen and are perfect to make now to serve at breakfast during the busy holiday season.image Continue reading

Cranberry Walnut Chicken or Turkey Salad

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Chicken salad is a great lunch option year round.  This version was inspired by leftover turkey from this past Thanksgiving.  It can be made with either chicken or turkey.  Adding cranberries and walnuts switches up the flavors for the season.  The dressing is all yogurt, no mayo, so a good skinny option as we indulge during the multiple celebrations of the holiday season.  Enjoy! Continue reading

Winter Container: Festive by Nature

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Nature inspires my holiday décor.  I love the fresh scent of evergreens at my door throughout the winter months.  This year I created a winter planter as a still life with a lantern, birch logs, pheasant feathers, 15 different varieties of evergreens, crimson winterberries, some ornaments and a pair of skates~winter motifs that can take us through the holidays and beyond.  The evergreens were inexpensive and found in the yard and  from cuttings at the local nursery, free for the asking.  Having lost our red twig dogwood I painted branches I had in red acrylic paint for height and color.  For stability, large arrangemnts such as this should be anchored in dirt or sand.  This also allows for easier angulation of the plant material to suit your arrangement.

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