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A Glorious Fall

 

A Picture Essay

Part 1

 

After last year’s sorry fall colors this year’s colors were a glorious surprise. I thought after the horrific freezing cold we had last winter that Jack Frost had huffed and puffed all the color in the leaves to the Arctic Circle never to be seen again. Au contraire!

I have never been more happy to be wrong. to be wrong.

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Not all trees had vivid, bright, bold colored leaves. This year I saw more muted colors. Many trees looked like Monet impressionists paintings. Many reds were softer than usual this year, having an exquisite pale pink look to them.

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And of course there were the usual sights of various flora that no matter how beautiful reminded me that winter is coming all too soon.

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And last but not least there was the usual fall scenes that remind me over and over that all too soon the ground will be covered in white while visions of colorful spring and summer garden flowers dance in my head.

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The End Part 1

Be sure to come back next Thursday, October 23 to see Part 2.

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Featured Recipe         Individual  Sausage Pizza Toasts

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These pizzas are very versatile. First you can eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, after school, or even a midnight snack.

Second, the recipe easily lends itself to multiple changes to suit your tastes. You can switch out what kind of sausage or cheese you use. You can use crispy bacon slices instead of sausage. Prosciutto would be heavenly! Try using jalapeño slices in place of the onions. Use sesame oil in place of the olive oil for an entirely different flavor.

You can use any thick bread. I used English Toasting Bread today. But Italian bread would be good or a French Baguette. You could use bagels or English Muffins too.

Don’t top the pizzas with an egg if you are so inclined.

I love options, don’t you?

This recipe is also perfect for single cooks and busy moms and dads because it is super easy to make.

And of course you can double this recipe.

Here is what you will need for 3 people:

4 ounces Sweet Italian sausage

3 eggs

3 slices thick bread

6 green onions

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

6 tablespoons shredded Swiss cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

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This is what you do:

Preheat oven to 450F.

Sauté the sausage breaking it up into small pieces until no pink is visible breaking the sausage into small pieces as you cook.

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NOTE: I cooked all 8 ounces of this package so that I can make spaghetti sauce later in the week.

Wash and thinly slice the green onions and place in a bowl.

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Add the olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper in a bowl and gently mix.

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In another bowl reserve about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil – green onion mixture to top the finished pizza.

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Lightly toast the bread and then place the bread on a flat surface.

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Spoon  the olive oil – green onion mix over the toasted bread slices.

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Divide the cooked sausage between the 3 slices of bread.

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Sprinkle the cheese on top.

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Place the pizzas on a baking sheet and bake the pizzas until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes.

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While the pizzas are in the oven cook the eggs in to desired doneness. If desired add salt and pepper.

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When the cheese has melted remove the pizzas from the oven.

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Place an egg atop each slice of bread. Drizzle a bit of the reserved green onion/olive oil mixture over the top of the egg.

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Serve hot. Wait for the cheers and applause.

Bon appétit!!!
Cost

4 ounces Sweet Italian sausage      $1.75

3 eggs                                          $0.66

3 slices thick bread                        $1.08

6 green onions                              $0.42

4 tablespoons olive oil                    $1.80

6 Tbspns shred Swiss cheese       $0.88

Salt and pepper to taste

Total cost = $6.59
Cost per pizza = $2.20

Quote of the Day

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came,
The Ashes, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The sunshine spread a carpet,
And every thing was grand;
Miss Weather led the dancing;
Professor Wind, the band….
The sight was like a rainbow
New-fallen from the sky….

George Cooper, “October’s Party”

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Don’t Be Afraid To Fail


 

thCALN5YF2You’ve failed
many times,
although you may not
remember.

 

You fell down
the first time
you tried to walk.

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You almost drowned
the first time
you tried to
swim, didn’t you?

thCAY4YVMZ

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Did you hit the
ball the first time
you swung a bat?
Heavy hitters,
the ones who hit the
most home runs,
also strike
out a lot.

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R.H. Macy
failed several
times before his
store in New York
caught on.

Rejected01

 

 

English novelist
John Creasy got
753 rejection slips
before he published
564 books.

 

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Babe Ruth struck out
1,330 times,
but he also hit
714 home runs.

Don’t worry about
failure.

Worry about
the chances you miss
when you don’t
even try.

Don’t be Afraid to Fail, was written by Harry J. Gray, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, United Technologies and was published in the Wall Street Journal in 1981.

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Featured Recipe        Cooked Beef Sauté with Onions and Potatoes

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This is the ultimate ‘Meat & Potatoes’ dish.
This is gourmet ‘Meat & Potatoes.’

The inspiration for today’s recipe comes from Henry Lewis Creel’s Cooking For One Is Fun. Unfortunately this little gem of a cookbook is no longer in print.

The mix and layer of flavors in this simple recipe is just incredibly delicious!

The original recipe is for one. But not to worry. It is easily adaptable to as many people as you like.

This recipe is quick and easy too.

Best of all it is relatively inexpensive as you can use leftover beef from a roast or just buy some deli roast beef.

Just for the record, I have also made a few minor changes from the original recipe.

This is what you will need for 2 people:

1 medium potato peeled

Salt and pepper

1-2 tablespoons butter

2 small onions coarsely chopped

½ pound cooked beef*

1 small garlic clove minced

¼ teaspoon red wine vinegar

Chopped parsley.

*From leftover roast, or I often just purchase 1-2 medium slices per person from a deli.

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Here is what you do:

Place the peeled potato in cold water to cover. Add the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes, then drain. (Some times when you boil a potato it sticks to the bottom of the pan. I find that if I turn the potato over about half way through the cooking, it does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Problem solved.)

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While the potato is simmering roughly chop the onions.

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When the potato is done let it cool slightly and then cut into ¼ inch slices.

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Melt the butter in a pan and add the onion. Sauté until browned and caramelized.

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Add the potatoes and cook about 5 minutes more until warmed through, turning once during the cooking.

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Add the beef slices and cook until warm through no more than 5-6 minutes. You may want to cook longer. I like my beef rare.

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Sprinkle with the minced garlic, the vinegar, and if you wish you can add more salt and pepper.

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Plate and sprinkle with the parsley.

Serve with a salad and/or a veggie. I like to serve with fresh slized tomatoes.

Bon appétit!!!
Cost

1 medium potato peeled                   $0.66

1-2 tablespoons butter                     $0.30

2 onions coarsely chopped                $0.70

½ pound cooked beef*                    $3.99

1 small garlic clove minced               $0.10

¼ teaspoon red wine vinegar           $0.09

Chopped parsley.                             $0.05

Salt & Pepper

Total Cost = $5.89
Cost per person (2) = $2.95

Quote of the Day

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might has well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.

K. Rowling

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Too Much Information

 

I have a double treat for you today – a great post from my all-time favorite senior citizen, Maxine, and one fantastically wonderfully delicious recipe using two kinds of pork – bacon and bratwurst.

Maxine is complaining about all the emails she gets with health information in them. She is on overload.

From the Desk of Maxine
Dear Friends:

1 maxine 7As we progress through what’s left of 2014, I want to thank each and every one of you for your educational e-mails over the past year. Because of them I am now totally screwed up and I have little chance of recovery.

I can no longer open a bathroom door without using a paper towel, nor let the waitress put lemon slices in my ice water without worrying about the bacteria on the lemon peel.

I can’t sit down on a hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.

I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pastime while driving alone is picking one’s nose.

Eating a little snack sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of Trans fats I have consumed over the years.

I can’t touch any woman’s handbag for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public toilet.

I must send my special thanks for the email about rat poo in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.

And, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I can’t have a drink in a bar because I fear I’ll wake up in a bathtub full of ice with my kidneys gone.

I can’t eat at KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes, feet or feathers.

I can’t use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

Thanks to you I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

1 maxine 2

Because of your concern, I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer buy fuel without taking someone along to watch the car, so a serial killer doesn’t crawl in my back seat when I’m filling up.

I no longer use Cling Wrap in the microwave because it causes seven different types of cancer.

And thanks for letting me know I can’t boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face, disfiguring me for life.

I no longer go to the cinema because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS when I sit down.

I no longer go to shopping centers because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

And I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a huge phone bill with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore and Uzbekistan.

Thanks to you I can’t use anyone’s toilet but mine because a big black snake could be lurking under the seat and cause me instant death when it bites my butt.

And thanks to your great advice I can’t ever pick up a dime coin dropped in the car park because it was probably placed there by a sex molester waiting to grab me as I bend over.

And last but not least, I now keep my toothbrush in the living room, because I was told by e-mail that water splashes over 6 ft. out of the toilet.

1 maxine 6

 

Now you all have yourself a very good day……..because I am going to bed before I get sick or die!

Maxine

 

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Featured Recipe       
Bacon Wrapped Bratwurst Bites with Horseradish Mustard Dipping Sauce

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These bites are heavenly. Just heavenly.

They are perfect for tailgating. They are a perfect horderves. They are perfect for any party.

They are just plain perfect!

This is what you will need for 18 Bites:
For the Bites:

Beer *

6 pork bratwursts

8 slices Bacon

2/3 cup dark brown sugar

* Can substitute chicken broth or water.

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For the Dipping Sauce

½ cup sour cream

3 tablespoons prepared horseradish

4 teaspoons Dijon mustard

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Other

You will also need a large baking sheet, non-stick foil, and paper towels.

Here is what you do:

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place non-stick foil on a large baking sheet.

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Place the brats in a heavy skillet or pan in a single layer.

Pour in the beer until the liquid covers the bottom half of the brats with the liquid. I cannot give you exact amount, I used about two-thirds of the can I have.

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Turn the heat to medium high.

Heat to a simmer – just some bubbles coming to the surface, NOT a boil, or the casings will crack and you take a chance that the brats will get tough.

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Then turn the heat down to medium and cook about 10 – 12 minutes. Maybe 15 minutes. Even though the brats will not be cooked throughout, you do not want to see any pink on the outside of the brats. Do not over cook at this point.   The brats will cook further in the oven. If you cook them done here they will dry out in the oven and will no longer be tasty and juicy.

IMHO there is nothing worse than dry, tough brats. Juicy and tasty are a MUST with brats!!!

Turn the brats over once about half way through the cooking.

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Remove the brats and let the brats cool a minute or until you can touch them with your hands. Discard the beer.

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In the meantime cut the bacon strips in half and put the brown sugar in a bowl.

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Cut each Brat into 3 pieces.

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Time to set up an assembly line.

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Wrap one piece of bacon around the Brat Bite.

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Then roll it in the brown sugar. Gently pat the sugar into the bacon so the sugar does not fall off.

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Place the bites on the baking sheet with the loose two ends of bacon firmly on the pan so the bacon does not curl.

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Bake on the middle rack of the oven 20 minutes total.

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At the 10 minute mark turn each bite over on the other side so that both sides of the bacon get crisp. I also turn the baking sheet around when I put them back in the in the oven.

Out of the oven after 10 minutes.

Out of the oven after 10 minutes.

Turn each bite over so the other side of the bacon can get crisp too.

Turn each bite over so the other side of the bacon can get crisp too. Put back into the oven for 10 minutes more.

Make the dip while the bites are cooking. Put all of the dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix together well. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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When the bites are done remove from the oven and place on paper towels very briefly to drain off some of the fat.

Done!

Done!

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Place the bites on a platter surrounding the dipping sauce.

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Try eating just one!

Betcha’ can’t do it.

Bon appétit!!!
Cost

For the Bites:

Beer                                   $1.52

6 pork bratwursts                $5.29

8 slices Bacon                     $2.57

2/3 cup brown sugar           $0.85

For the Dipping Sauce

½ cup sour cream              $0.80

3 Tbsp horseradish             $0.68

4 tspns Dijon mustard         $0.10

Total cost = $11.81
Cost per bite = $0.66

Quote of the Day

I have to take so many vitamin supplements now that I’m too full to eat any actual food.

Maxine

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