Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It was a busy weekend in town. Leftover Halloween revelers still dressing up on Friday night and some into Saturday. I didn't realize why crowds were congregating here when we passed by but apparently the lighting of the trees for the season took place Friday night.

Now it's a twinkle lighted fairyland on all the main downtown streets. Welcome Holidays.

Had my favorite coffee drink Saturday and on Sunday tried a new coffee shop and had a creme brulee capuccino. They sprinkle the foam with sugar and torch it. It was as delicious as the name describes.

It was another mild beautiful weekend with everyone enjoying it while it lasts - which this year is quite long into the season. No one is complaining. This is our new underground bar - Social.

We did a bit of shopping - a new red plaid flannel shirt for the season! and stopped at one of our smaller breweries downtown. It was packed full, but we managed some great samples. Fall is always a fun time to try out the seasonal heavier, spicy beers. Equinox brewery - appropriate name for enjoying the changing of the seasons. 

Speaking of fall and beer, I came across this recipe from the Anthropologie blog. It just looks like so much fun I'm going to have to try this. Pumpkin beer, Snap (a gingersnap flavored alcohol) and vanilla ice cream. I have to make a trip to town for some ingredients I think.

I also said hello to the new neighbors? Don't know if they're just passing through or here to stay. The alpacas are anxious to meet them. I guess I'd better go out and fix that electric fence before I let the alpacas out so they can all meet but stay on their home turfs.

I made my favorite fall dinner. I love this. Pork chops marinated in orange juice and soy sauce and thyme and served with sauteed cabbage and rice. 

It's just such a great blend of flavors and perfect for a lighter autumn meal. And it's not a multi- hour affair to prepare. 

The recipe is from this Martha book which I've had forever. So many good recipes in this one.

I'm not usually a big fan of silicone anything, but I LOVE these measuring cups. Just sayin.

In my [country] dreams I would be cooking in a kitchen with a set up like this. Oh and I would look like this - because I've always wanted to look good with dark hair and straight bangs. And I would have a perfect pantry like this and cook those pork chops on a wood burning stove like this. But I digress.

Country life right now has lots of critters in it. There are so many birds around our house right now. Mostly robins - all over the patio, the gutters over the garage, all the trees. They're also enjoying the remaining warm fall days - and mercilessly teasing the cats.

I opened the front door to this the other day. Really! Why couldn't there be a little bunny sitting on the front porch. I HATE SNAKES. Not as much as spiders but still. 
Then this morning I heard the cat playing in the front hall and I thought, "how sweet - someone's channeling their inner kitten" When I went to sneak a peak so I wouldn't disturb them, I found my daughter's cat batting around a dead mouse. Well isn't that special.

Love the country and it's grounding beauty and rhythm of life, but I'm feeling a city post coming on. 

Pork Chops with Soy-Orange Sauce
Makes 4 servings
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 sprigs of fresh thyme
8 lean (1/2-inch-thick) loin pork chops
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon safflower oil
Combine the orange juice with the soy sauce, sugar, garlic, pepper, and thyme sprigs. Set aside.
With a very sharp knife, score the pork chops 1/8 inch deep in a crisscross pattern on each side. Place in a glass or stainless steel dish in a single layer. Pour the marinade over chops and let sit at least 30 minutes. Drain and reserve the marinade.
Heat the butter and oil in a large, heavy skillet until hot. Pat the chops dry and sauté them over high heat for 3 minutes on each side, browning them well.
Reduce heat to low and pour reserved marinade over chops. Cook until done, about 8 to 10 minutes longer. Remove chops to a heated platter.
Reduce the marinade in the skillet to 1/3 cup. Pour over the cooked chops and serve immediately. (over the green cabbage and rice)

Green Cabbage with Rice
serves 4
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups white rice
3 cups boiling chicken stock 
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh flat Italian parsley
1/2 pound green cabbage, coursely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1. In a heavy, 2 quart covered casserole, heat the vegetable oil until hot.
Add rice and saute until it becomes opaque, 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Heat stock or water to boiling and pour over the rice. Add bay leaves and parsley and season to taste. Reduce heat, cover, and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, approximately 20 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm 
3. In a large, heavy skillet, saute the cabbage in olive oil until tender and bright green, about 4 minutes. Season to taste.
4. Stir the cabbage into the rice and serve hot.


  1. Your photos are so great! And anyone reading this blog would be reasonably jealous of your life. Just sayin.

    1. Well thank you! If I took pictures of the carpets in their current condition it would be a whole different story.