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maple vinaigrette

February 21, 2017

maple vinaigrette with wheatberry salad pleasure in simple things blog

I normally don’t add salad dressing to my salads.  I figure, why add extra calories and chemicals (from commercial salad dressings) when it isn’t needed?  I like the taste of most salads on their own.  If I really think my salad needs a little something, I would probably squirt a little fresh lemon or orange juice onto the greens.

With that said, I did recently make and add this easy maple vinaigrette to a salad after seeing the recipe in a piece about maple syrup in Real Simple magazine!  I love maple syrup and I happened to have all the ingredients on hand when I saw the recipe in the magazine.

maple vinaigrette ingredients pleasure in simple things blog

I think it is worth sharing…easy, tasty, and healthful!  Thank you Real Simple (recipe credited to Julia Levy)!

Maple Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Shake until well combined.  Toss with salad greens.

maple vinaigrette recipe pleasure in simple things blog

I have decided using a homemade salad dressing on my daily salad once in a while is a nice change!

a salad with maple vinaigrette pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things…like a homemade salad dressing!  Jackie xo

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pippi longstocking house

February 17, 2017

Amelia Island shells pleasure in simple things blog

You heard my recent trip to Amelia Island left little leisure time.  But, I did get to see 3 items of particular interest while I was there.  The first was the oldest lighthouse in Florida.  Granted, I saw it from a distance, but I DID see it!  I wish I had the opportunity to visit it, but tours were not offered on a daily basis and, even if I had the free time, the tour wasn’t available on the day I spotted the lighthouse from afar.

The 2nd item of interest was the oldest bar in Florida.  I can’t say I went inside, but I did see it!  I heard the Bloody Mary’s were quite a spectacle – adorned with a skewer that included a shrimp and a hush puppy!

Amelia Island oldest bar in Fl

Lastly, and the most interesting to me, the third item of interest was the Pippi Longstocking house.   In 1988, the original Pippi story by children’s author Astrid Lindgren, was made into a movie, “The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking” which was filmed entirely on Amelia Island, Florida.

Pippi Longstocking house pleasure in simple things blog

Most of the movie was filmed on Centre Street, in the quaint historic downtown Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island’s only city.  The ice cream shop in the movie was actually the oldest saloon in Florida that I mentioned above!

Pippi bookThe setting of much of the book and the movie was in Pippi’s dilapidated fictional house, the ‘Villa Villekulla.’  Though in the movie the house looked unkempt, disheveled, and badly in need of a fresh coat of white paint, the present state of the movie house looked a little different.  You can see that the weathered white clapboards so prominently featured in the film are currently an olive green siding!

Even if you hadn’t been a Pippi fan, the 146 year old house was something to see – known for having a wider variety of gingerbread motifs, such as sunbursts, fish scales, clovers, brackets, globes, scallops, circles, diamonds, and Maltese crosses than any other in Fernandina Beach, according to a historic museum tour guide.

If you have an interest in the Amelia Island or in the book Pippi Longstocking, you may want to watch the 1988 film “The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking” described as a fantasy musical with a cast that included Eileen Brennan, Dick Van Patten and John Schuck.

Thanks for stopping by Friday field trip to Villa Villekulla!

Have a wonderful weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things…like reading a favorite children’s story!   Jackie xo

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soup for a cold day

February 14, 2017

Onion Soup at Whole Foods

I know today is Valentine’s Day, but I don’t have any cute or romantic photos or projects…my valentine to you is a recipe for lentil soup!

On a recent cold and wet evening, I attended a soup class at my local Whole Foods.  Of course, the best part of the class was trying the soups we learned to make!  We made three soups that evening – my favorite was the red lentil soup with lemon.  It is a super simple recipe shared with us by “Mrs. Wilson.”

Mrs Wilsons Soup class at Whole Foods

Since the class was held at Whole Foods, there is no styling for today’s post, just a few photos I snapped during class to include with the recipe.  Enjoy!

Making Soup at Whole Foods

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

Yield:  4 servings

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne, more to taste
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • Juice of ½ lemon, more to taste
  1. In a 6-quart sauce pot, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil until hot.  Add garlic and onions, saute until golden.
  2. Stir in cumin, salt, black pepper and cayenne, saute for 2 minutes.
  3. Add broth, 2 cups water, lentils and carrot. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Soup should be chunky for creamier consistency, puree half soup in blender, then add it back to pot.
  5. Stir in lemon juice just before serving. Garnish with cilantro and a drizzle of olive oil.

Soup Class at Whole Foods

Remember to take pleasure in simple things…like a good hot cup of soup on a cold day!

Happy Valentine’s Day, Jackie xo

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a stop at amelia island

February 10, 2017

Amelia Island sunrise pleasure in simple things blog

This is a great Friday field trip!  Why?  Well, we are experiencing a blizzard here in Connecticut.  And, with 12 inches of snow on the ground, I am transporting you on today’s field trip to a little resort town called Amelia Island in Florida.  I thought these beach photos might inspire some daydreaming about warmer places on a day like today!

sand Amelia Island pleasure in simple things blog

It was unfortunate that this first visit to Amelia Island was for a work trip since so little time was spent admiring the beautiful surroundings.

pretty sand Amelia Island pleasure in simple things blog

Seventeen hour work days don’t leave much time for leisure, but I did take a few moments each morning to stop and admire the sunrise.

pleasure in simple things amelia island sunrise 1

And, as you can see by the photos, they were glorious.

Ritz at Amelia Island pleasure in simple things

The Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island provided many beautiful views.

sunrise in amelia island pleasure in simple things blog
I hope today’s field trip has you thinking of some warmer weather or a favorite beach. :)

sand chairs Amelia Island pleasure in simple things blog

shells at Amelia Island pleasure in simple things

“Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink in the wild air…”  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Amelia Island at sunrise pleasure in simple things blog

Thank you for stopping by.

sunrise photo pleasure in simple things blog

Have a wonderful weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things…like a beautiful sunrise, Jackie xo

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valentine coffee sleeve diy

February 7, 2017

easy DIY Coffee Sleeves pleasure in simple things blog

Today, I am sharing a really easy Valentine DIY that is sure to make someone smile!   For no cost at all, it is easy to upgrade those sleeves you get on your cup of morning Joe!

Why not make one to slip on your loved one’s coffee before delivering it on Valentine’s Day!  Or, add a special message or photo to your child’s hot cocoa!

DIY Coffee Sleeves on pleasure in simple things blog
The supplies needed are easy:  decorative paper, a knife or scissors, a used coffee sleeve (you don’t throw these out, do you?), spray adhesive, and a glue gun.  Just cover a used coffee sleeve with a decorative paper!

steps in making a recycled coffee sleeve pleasure in simple things blog

If you want to get fancy, you can use fabric.  Here I used some scrap felt.  I cut a heart shape in the felt; adding a piece of decorative paper behind the opening before adhering the felt piece to the coffee sleeve.

DIY Coffee Sleeves pleasure in simple things blog
For this one I used a birch bark looking paper.  I drew on the heart and initials with a marker and rubbed it off some so the writing wouldn’t be as sharp.

DIY valentine Coffee Sleeves pleasure in simple things blog

Here I used a paper with some script writing…you may want to use some sheet music of a special song or an old book page with a special poem.

DIY Coffee Sleeves reuse pleasure in simple things blog

Think of the possibilities!  The paper I used in the second photo was actually a recycled Terrain bag!  (Click here for more Terrain bag uses!)

I hope I have inspired you to create a coffee sleeve for a special Valentine!

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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my ‘punny’ valentine diy

February 3, 2017

candy pun diy pleasure in simple things blog

The valentine season is not complete for me without at least one ‘punny’ candy gift!

I am sharing one from this year on today’s Friday field trip!

Here is my package candy topper for some gummy eggs!  The candy came from Ikea’s candy bins…they have some cute, pun-worthy selections!

Egg Candy valentine pleasure in simple things blog

I created my topper, sizing the image 1200 x 1800 pixels.  Then, I printed it four times on a sheet of 8 ½” x 11” card stock.  Next, I attached the topper to a plastic bag of candy.  For fun, I packaged some up in a mini frying pan…so cute, right?

candy egg pun diy pleasure in simple things blog

I hope I have inspired you to create a ‘punny’ candy topper or tag of your own!

candy valentine diy pleasure in simple things blog

If you’d like my egg topper image, just shoot me an email and I will email it to you.  This candy also works well with ‘don’t yolk with me’ or anything about being ‘egg-static!’

candy pun valentine diy pleasure in simple things blog

For more detailed assembly instructions for toppers or some additional ideas for puns, you may like:

  • To use with candy chalk, click here (printable included).
  • To use with candy lips, click here (printable included).
  • To use with candy olives, click here.
  • To use with candy sharks, click here (printable included).

Have a wonderful weekend!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things…like a good pun!  xo Jackie

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february book giveaway!

January 31, 2017

giveaway for feb 2017pleasure in simple things blog

This month’s book giveaway selection is Sweeter off the Vine:  Fruit Desserts for Every Season by Yossy Arefi. 

I love cookbooks that organize recipes by the season!  And, this cozy collection fills that order by providing heirloom-quality recipes for sweet treats that truly cherish fruit; season by season.  Yossy Arefi’s recipes showcase what’s fresh and vibrant any time of year by enhancing the sweetness of fruits with bold flavors inspired by her heritage.

pleasure in simple things blog feb giveaway

Accompanied by gorgeous photography – a requirement for all cookbooks in my library – Sweeter off the Vine is a must-have for bakers of all abilities.

Enter to win this month’s selection by leaving a comment on this post, or on Instagram or Facebook.  A winner will be chosen at random at the end of the month.  Good luck!

recipe book giveaway pleasure in simple things blog

Congrats to Barb, the winner of last month’s giveaway selection The Blender Girl Smoothies by Tess Masters (click here for more on the book).  I know you will enjoy trying all the delicious and healthful smoothie recipes in this collection Barb!

Instagram users, please read on for this month’s challenge!  In keeping with our ‘fruity’ theme, let’s share photos of fruit this month!  Whether it be a bright display in the grocery store or a creation from your kitchen; show us your fruit using hashtag #pleasuregram!

Feb2017 Insta challenge pleasure in simple things blog

Thank you for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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valentines at terrain

January 27, 2017

succulents at Terrain Valentine pleasure in simple things blog

Today’s Friday field trip is to a familiar location if you frequent my blog.  I made a quick trip to Terrain this week between some work meetings, and I wanted to share some Valentine’s Day inspiration!  I always feel sorry for those of you that aren’t close enough to a Terrain to frequent it, but by sharing I hope I can inspire you just the same!

There are some signs of transitioning into spring with some new displays in the store…

Spring at Terrain Valentine pleasure in simple things blog

But looking around at inspiration for Valentine’s Day, there is plenty!  From the heart shaped planters…

heart planters Terrain pleasure in simple things blog

…to creative sweets!

Terrain Valentine heart candy pleasure in simple things blog

Chocolate valentine hearts at Terrain in Westport, Connecticut.

 

Terrain Valentine marshmallows pleasure in simple things blog

Some adorable heart shaped marshmallows at Terrain in Westport, Connecticut.

 

If you would rather buy a plant already potted, there are some cuties!

Terrain violets pleasure in simple things blog

Terrain Valentine succulents pleasure in simple things blog

I was inspired to create some plantings of my own when I saw these pretty drinking glasses in the sale section!  I bought a couple of these beauties as well as some ferns to create my own plantings!  Won’t these be adorable as planters?

Terrain sale glasses pleasure in simple things blog

I found one other item I want to use for a DIY.  Can you guess what I will use these for?  Hint…it is not for Valentine’s Day!

Fern notes Terrain pleasure in simple things blog

Thank you for joining me today for Friday field trip!  I hope I have given you a little Valentine’s Day inspiration – botanical style!

Ferns at Terrain pleasure in simple things blogHave a wonderful weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

 

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trendy turmeric

January 24, 2017

turmeric tea pleasure in simple things blog

Turmeric milk (also referred to as turmeric tea or golden milk) seems to be ‘a thing’ right now.  It is a hot drink patterned after something called haldi doodh in India.  Used as an immunity booster – along the lines of how chicken soup is used here in the states – Indian mothers used warm milk and turmeric as a cure-all for what ailed their young ones.

turmeric spice pleasure in simple things blog

Drinks reminiscent of haldi doodh are making a big appearance of late – so much so, I am surprised a turmeric latte has not shown up on the current Starbucks menu!  Maybe it has!  Though many combinations of ingredients have shown up and claimed themselves golden milk, I am assured by Indian friends that the inspiration drink contained only 2 ingredients – milk and turmeric.    So, like others before me, I am modifying the two basic ingredients to best fit my taste!

I am not sure everyone will enjoy the taste of turmeric.  Mixed with the ingredients here, it reminds me of something along the lines of a Chai tea.  Give it a try and see what you think!  Here is my version of warm turmeric or ‘golden’ milk:

turmeric tea recipe pleasure in simple things blog

Garnish with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg or a cinnamon stick.

Since the original intent of haldi doodh was to create a drink with health benefits, I tried to make my version as health conscious as possible.  For this reason, I used organic turmeric and ginger, raw honey, and unsweetened almond milk.

I find this drink is a nice alternative to coffee, tea, or hot cocoa, and since I normally drink a few glasses of almond milk during the day anyway, I am not adding to my daily calorie count by turning one of those glasses into a warm  ‘golden milk.’  And, the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric can’t hurt!

turmeric tea and snack pleasure in simple things blog

I hope I have inspired you to try turmeric in your milk – possibly to create your own version!  Enjoy!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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trying a golden latte

January 20, 2017

Heirloom Market pleasure in simple things blog

For Friday field trip today, I am taking you for a quick cup of latte and some toast.

This is served up in the Comstock Ferre & Co. building in the historic town of Old Wethersfield, Connecticut.  The Heirloom Market – an organic food company and café – is housed in the same building as the nation’s oldest seed company, founded in 1811.  Still selling Baker Creek Heirloom seeds, the company has stuck to its roots (pun intended).

pear toast pleasure in simple things blog

menu heirloom market pleasure in simple things blog

My visit was on a gloomy day and my intent was to try the golden latte at the market.  I have been doing some research on warm turmeric drinks and heard about the golden latte made with turmeric, so I ordered one and added a yummy pear toast!

visiting heirloom market pleasure in simple things blog

If you enjoy history, you will definitely want to check out this spot as well as the immediate area.  The Old Wethersfield Historic District is the largest historic district in the State of Connecticut and contains over 150 structures built prior to 1850.

Golden Milk at the heirloom market in Wethersfield

Thanks for stopping by!   I hope I have inspired you to stop in historic Wethersfield or to combine some ingredients to create your own delicious toast.  Join me Tuesday when I will talk about trendy turmeric drinks and share a recipe!

cider pleasure in simple things blog

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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