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Fireplace Tips

It’s cold out there and our fireplaces become key to winter comfort.  We  open the flue, turn on the gas and light a match.  That’s all there’s to it, right?  Maybe not.  Read on for useful info on how to get the most burn for your buck:

http://www.eartheasy.com/blog/2010/01/wood-heating-tips/

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Time to Design

It’s 01 10 10 – pretty cool in many ways on this frigid January day.

Are you resolving to keep your resolutions?  Good for you!  Why not begin by considering your immediate surroundings, your personal environment aesthetic.

eggs on heart tray

You are surrounded by what you’ve built in your life.  Your collections, purchases, heirlooms, and furnishings.  How does it feel when you walk into each room?  Would you like it to be different or improved?  Change can be exciting and scary at the same time.  Think about your personal environment today and the aesthetic therein.  Is it all you want it to be?

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Cool Quote

I read this morning the quote I’ve seen before but had forgotten:

Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.

What a cool way to start the day.  I wish you many breathtaking moments today.

If you want to give yourself many such moments, visit a national park.  Here are some photos I took at Yellowstone National Park:

hot springs at Yellowstone

from the top of Avalanche Peak

view from the top of Avalanche Peak

 

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Comfort Food

Such a beautiful day to create a beautiful Sunday dinner.  Fall comfort food is on the menu, with breaded pork chops, baked buttercup squash (I far prefer it over the more common butternut), and freshly baked whole wheat bread.  What are you making in the kitchen today?

breaded pork chops

breaded pork chops

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 4 pork chops

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and milk. In a separate small bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and parsley.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large, oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, and cook until lightly browned. Remove garlic, reserving for other uses.
  4. Dip each pork chop into the egg mixture, then into the bread crumb mixture, coating evenly. Place coated pork chops in the skillet, and brown abut 5 minutes on each side.
  5. Place the skillet and pork chops in the preheated oven, and cook 25 minutes, or to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F

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Pumpkin Fever

pumpkins

pumpkins

Driving up to a pumpkin stand in the fall is a ritual for many of us who live in the midwest.  Last weekend it was our turn to discover Wiesner’s in Winneconne, Wisconsin.  We bought pumpkins, squash, and Indian corn.   If you have forgotten how good fresh squash can be, I recommend trying buttercup (NOT butternut).  Cut one in half, place in oven at 350, bake 1 hour, slather with butter, and salt and pepper to taste.  Heavenly!

Winneconne WI farm

Winneconne WI farm

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Pet Parade

dog ready for costume parade

dog ready for costume parade

Don’t miss the Costumed Pet Parade at Park Ridge Autumnfest!  Oct. 10th at 9:30 a.m., Park Ridge Library.  Your dog is ready; are you?

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we’re baaacccckkkk

Was is blogger’s block? Self-imposed hiatus? Well-deserved vacation? Combo platter? Whatever, it’s been 4 weeks since the last post and I have broken my silence.
Inspired and empowered by Julie in the movie Julie and Julia seen last night, I want to write again. Stay tuned for highlights of the decorating life. Thanks for tuning in.

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