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Friday, November 25, 2016

giving thanks and a giveaway

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!  
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving day.  
We had a very relaxing, simple day filled with lots of puppy love (and football;)
We are very grateful to have so much to be thankful for.  I think it is important to be thankful every day, so Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
I usually make the whole traditional Thanksgiving meal even for just the two of us, but this year decided to opt out.  I can not figure out how one single meal takes three days to prepare, but as you all know, it does.  Instead, we had pizza and margaritas!  It was fun and whimsical and perfect for the cold, rainy weather we had and sitting in front of the fireplace in the barn room.

Before we head on into Christmas, and winter, I wanted to share this artwork of Ella that the very talented, and oh-so-kind, Patricia Van Essche of PVE Design painted of Ella from a photo I posted on the blog several years ago.  She, then kindly sent me this print of the painting.  I framed it in an antique gilt frame.
Patricia captured the essence of Ella in this piece and I love it so much.  
Contact Patricia if you would like a painting of your own dog.  I know several people personally who have had her paint their pets and they are so happy with the final work.  
Patricia also paints houses!  To read all about the painting she did of the farmhouse and the notecards she sent please click HERE
Patricia's artwork makes a wonderful gift and since we are coming into that season I wanted to share her work with you in case you were in need of a special gift.

The original photograph of Ella from the blog.

Patricia captured Ella so beautifully.

Patricia is also a Director for the fabulous India Hicks , and has offered to
 give away one of India's candles to my readers!  I am personally crushing on the description of The Grove, but do tell me which candle you would chose?!
Head over to India's website and have a look around.  There are wonderful accessories, jewelry and bags that would make for a great gift!
Giveaway will close Wednesday, November 30th at 8pm EST.  I will contact the winner via email, so please be sure to leave your contact information in your entry comment!  

The simple green fragrance from the Casuarina tree that I pass by as I walk my dogs at dawn down our jungle path. The island only just beginning to stir, my own house still asleep. A time of silence, before the madness begins.

Black Hibiscus
Tea and oranges: England in the tropics, captured by the suggestion of sea air, oranges and Earl Grey tea.

The Grove
This fragrance is reminiscent of our island palm grove, stretching lazily from our terrace down towards the end of the garden. We planted this avenue the year our first child was born. A seductive concoction of mandarin, orange blossom, gardenia petals and salty air
Our candle burns for a good long time, believe me I have tested this, at every Get Together I light our candle to bring a little bit of home.

On a final note, I want to thank you for your interest in our farmhouse, my decorating, our lives, and our sweet rescue girls.  Your presence here is a great gift in my life and I am ever so thankful for you.
Post Script:  don't forget to check out the adorable adoptable dog of the week (and watch the video) on the top of my sidebar!!!   

Post script:
After deducting the 4 extra comments that left a total of 96 entries.
My Little Bungalow is the winner.
Congratulations Claudia!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Pumpkin Cranberry Pecan Muffins

These Pumpkin Cranberry Pecan Muffin are the ultimate taste of fall- sweet with a burst of tart from the cranberries.  They are a-mazing!  I have made this recipe every fall for over a decade now, tweaking the original recipe, that I found in a cooking magazine, here and there.  I can not tell you how many times I have had people say they are the best muffins they have ever had!  Seriously, they are that good.  They would be perfect for Thanksgiving breakfast!  And since Thanksgiving is right around the corner I wanted to share it with you.  I shared this recipe on the blog several years ago, but wanted to remind you how wonderful they are, and share with my new readers who might have missed it.
So, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy!

Pumpkin Cranberry Pecan Muffins/Bread
(this recipe makes 4 dozen muffins or two 9 x5 loaves)

dry ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/8 teaspoon ground cloves (3/8 t. is = to a slightly rounded 1/4 t.)
2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

wet ingredients:
2-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 can 100% pumpkin (15oz.)  I use Organic
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice and
zest of one orange

3 cups cranberries (if using frozen cranberries, add frozen directly to mixture, no need to thaw)
2 cups chopped Pecans,or nut of your chosing (I use a large chop, as opposed to fine)

Preheat oven to 350.
 Line muffin pans with cupcake liners. OR butter two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans
Blend dry ingredients. Set aside.
Creme sugar and butter, then add oil.
Add eggs (one at a time), orange juice, and pumpkin.
Add dry ingredients to wet, blending until just moist.
Fold in cranberries and pecans.
I fill a large ice cream scoop HERE to level, then place in the cupcake liners to make filling easy.
25 or 30 minutes for muffins, OR 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes for loaves (or when cake tester comes out clean.)



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