Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Pie!

I've told you the story of the neighbor girls baking apple pie with me on Halloween. When they come by later in their costumes, they call out "Trick or Pie" and I give them a slice. Well, today's the day and I wanted to share our recipe in case you want to start a pie baking tradition in your life...
Trick or Pie
1 frozen 9" deep dish pie crust
3 T. melted butter
3 T. flour
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. apricot jam
1/2 T. dried orange peel
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. nutmeg (it is the most fun if you use a nutmeg grater & whole nutmeg)
1/2 c. yellow raisins
2 lbs. granny smith apples, peeled, cored & sliced (it is the
most fun if you use an apple, peeler, corer slicer tool
Delicious Crunchy Topping
1 c. flour, 1/2 c. unsalted butter, 1/2 c. white sugar
Place pie shell into a glass/ceramic pie plate and then place the pie plate onto a cookie sheet (to catch any drippings and make removal from the hot oven easier). Combine pie ingredients (butter through apples) and mix well. Pour into pie shell. To make the delicious topping, combine flour, butter and sugar in a food processor (or with a pastry blender) and mix until it resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle evenly over the apples and bake at 375* for about an hour or until golden brown.
You will love this apple, or rather, trick or pie!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happiest Tourist

I am sure that I was the happiest non-smoker to ever visit a cigar factory. Back when my ANA cigar box purse business was just taking off, I visited the La Gloria Cubana factory in Miami to see where some of my favorite boxes originated. I love that someone has enjoyed the box, the brand, the product, long before it is ever appreciated as one of my handbags. I will never forget when a customer picked a purse from my display and whispered that her grandfather had smoked that brand. She thought she could still detect a faint scent of cigar and bought it on the spot. I love my job.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Art School

May I present the historic Old Art Building in Leland, Michigan.  It is a beautiful old building with a river running along the north side of the property.  For fifty years, Michigan State University taught art classes here.  One summer when I was a university student, I took a course here for college credit.

Three mornings a week I would arrive with a sack lunch and my "artist's" tackle box to paint in watercolor with a group of local artists.  I was the only actual college student and I saw first hand what praise and critique could do to art.

I had never been in a painting class before this and the conversations sounded so different to me. "Oh, Darlene, your clouds!" or "I wanted the water to really say something."  It was obvious that they were long-time students that really supported each other and that I was just a kid passing through.

Today the building is home to the Leelanau Community Cultural Center and 17 years after that summer class, my ANA's DELIGHT totes debuted here during a Northern Michigan art sale and exhibition - cool, eh?

My advice is to have as many experiences as you never know when you will come full circle.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Dreaming of Dollhouses

Some things are just cuter when they are small. A bathmat & slippers, for instance. Or a stack of clean sheets. I made these tiny treasures for my niece's dollhouse. I love adding touches that make the place look lived in. You might want to check out this free online source for "printables" - miniature representations of household items that you can print and use to decorate your dollhouse (newspapers, Christmas cards, food boxes). Have fun with is to be enjoyed.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Since this is a big weekend for Halloween parties, I thought I would share an appropriate recipe: Pumpkin Bread Pudding from Cooking Light. A nice, cozy dessert that is perfect for a chilly October evening. Light a fire in the fireplace, put this dessert in the oven to bake and read a good book. Happy Halloween from me to you...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Yarn Management

I wanted to show you a simple project to keep your knitting clean & portable. A light-weight yarn caddy made from an Oatmeal container. Choose a beautiful piece of wallpaper, measure, cut and glue it to the side of the container. Glue a circle of wallpaper to the lid and then attach a pretty trim to soften where the plastic edge meets the paper. Poke a hole in the center of the lid and then use a grommet setter to secure the hole with a grommet. Voila! A beautiful way to keep your yarn tangle-free and clean while you are out & about. This container comes in handy when you are knitting on-the-go, perfect for a doctor's waiting room or to take along on a weekend trip. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Halloween Traditions

Can you spot when a tradition is born? On Halloween three years ago, I looked outside around 4 o'clock in the afternoon and saw the 3 neighbor girls (you know them as the Roseglen Garden club) anxiously waiting for "Halloween" to start. It was too early to put on their costumes, too early to eat dinner, yet "not time" to actually start trick or treating. So I yelled out the front door, "Have you ever made an apple pie?" They leapt up, ran to tell their Mothers and within minutes, two 8-year-olds and a 6-year-old presented themselves on my doorstep. Together we made a delicious apple pie and when they returned in their costumes later that night, I served them a piece. A tradition was born and now every Halloween afternoon, the girls come over to bake an apple pie with me. How do I know that they love it? How do I know that this tradition will last a long time? Because once we head into October, they start calling out..."Mrs. Reeves...Trick or Pie!"

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cider Mill Moments

Ahhh...a Sunday afternoon at the Cider Mill. What's the best part? Everyone is relaxed. People do not mind waiting in line for doughnuts, you know? Their biggest decision is if they should get a carmel apple, too (definitely, yes). Families feed the ducks by the river. Couples take pictures by the water-powered wheel. Everyone needs a quiet find a cider mill near you, check out this cider mill directory and have a doughnut for me.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Collecting Collections

I like to think of a collection as a "group of objects gathered for exhibition." Yes, I love collecting (I have 200+ cookie cutters), but the collections of loved objects around my house have much more to say about me. A John Derian plate, a photograph from a flower stall on the Place de la Madeleine, a twig-handled teapot & a paper butterfly all come together to make quite a scene in my front hall. Let the objects you love become a collection.

Friday, October 19, 2007

October Roses

Can these be real? A handful of "Diana, Princess of Wales" roses blooming happily into October - be still my heart. The world may be turning upside-down with ghosts & goblins, but I am happy to preserve soft tabletop vignettes for as long as I can. I suppose once winter comes, I could make coffee filter roses from the Martha Stewart show last year - they were gorgeous!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Years, Months, Days, Hours, Moments

I took this photograph (now one of my most requested Delight totes) in the Musee d'Orsay in Paris on a Sunday afternoon in April 2004. Originally a train station, the Musee d'Orsay's historic clock, once important to travelers for time, now offers visitors a moment - a place where time stands still as they soak up a view of the city. Make your Years, Months, Days & Hours add up to a lifetime of wonderful Moments.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Delicious Roasted Apples

I love making roasted apples for dinner. Wash, Slice & Sprinkle with sage/onion/maple powder and Roast in a 8x8 glass dish - it smells heavenly. Or Wash, Core and Stuff with raisins, brown sugar & a splash of rum and Bake for 20 min at 350* until they burst -yum! I plan to make this Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Apples & Onions tonight from Martha Stewart's Every Day Food magazine. Side note: My Mom has a blue & white quilt just like this. It is so country living!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Tea by Teaism

Try to imagine how I felt...I was vacationing in Washington, D.C. (I love cities) walking to a shop I'd heard about called Teaism (I love tea) with plans to check it out and then head to a much touted Indie Craft Show (I love crafts/design) in a nearby park. 

Needless to say, I was happy.

Then I walked into Teaism and saw that it is actually much more than a store. It is a modern Japanese-inspired tea house with a store next door. So at 10:30 am, I decided it was time for lunch and ordered this darling Chicken Bento Box for one and a tall, cool Ginger Limeade.  I loved it all! 

Oh happy day.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Football & The Movies

Once when I was staying at the Vintners Inn in Sonoma County, California, I confessed to the concierge that I was ready to go home. We had been traveling through California for about 10 days and although it was was also "Fall" at home in Michigan. I told her about tailgating before football games in snug coats & plaid scarves. That the leaves on campus change to yellows and oranges and reds. That there was nothing better than going to a MSU football game on a day with bright blue skies and a chill in the air. She looked at me and said "It's just like the movies." Yes, life is good here in Michigan and although it was an unseasonable 88 degrees yesterday, there I was, starring in my own movie yet again. Thank you, Spartans.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Books & Butterflies

More than 120,00 people attended The Library of Congress & Laura Bush 2007 National Book Festival with me on Saturday, Sept 29th on the National Mall. It was a gorgeous day and the crowd was buzzing with author sightings and the sheer joy of reading. Afterwards, we strolled through the United States Botanic Gardens walkway (lush with beautiful plants that attract butterflies) on our way to lunch at Rosa Mexicano. It was truely a wonderful day. Did I manage to shop too? Of course...a quick trip to Home Rule on 14th Street was a fun way to start...I'll let you know how the towel tablets work out. :-)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Washington, D.C.

I had a wonderful time in Washington, D.C. this last weekend. The National Portrait Gallery is amazing and offers a little known place to relax and reflect - a cafe out on the portico. Then, after a lovely day of walking and talking, we had an amazing Asian-Fusion dinner at Oya (Chilled Yellow Tomato Soup, Grilled Beef Sirloin & Banana Bread Pudding - oh my...). I want to recommend the website for making dinner reservations from out-of-state. I have used it for Chicago, Las Vegas, DC & Baltimore and it has been fantastic every time. Great tables, VIP service and cell phone confirmations. Boy, I love technology!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Best Post Ever

I am thrilled to announce that my company, Subscribe To Delight, has been chosen as a winner in the Country Living magazine Women Entrepreneur“Pitch Your Product” contest. See the feature and my company profile online at the Country Living webpage here. The upcoming article will be in the November issue of Country Living magazine.