Autumn in New England

Hello Angels!

It’s been written- without light, color does not exist. Whomever wrote that never experienced autumn in New England. Even on a dark, cloudy day, you couldn’t paint prettier hues. The exquisiteness of autumn is as close to heavenly visions you’ll find on earth, don’t you think?  I’m looking out my window at the display of golds, burnt umber and bright reds and my eyes are dazed. It’s that crisp, clean air coming down from Canada that makes autumn so vivid. It can be hypnotizing!

Vermont

I always felt that summer was my favorite season, and as lovely as it is, summer is predictable. You know it’s going to get hot, that’s what summer does. Now fall, you never know what you’re gonna get. And Indian summer is the perfect example of that. You don’t expect it every year, but when it comes, it’s like OMGOSH, it’s soo nice out! Let’s do something! And the warmth feels soo good on your face, doesn’t it?

Photo credit Pinterest

My husband Mark and I travel up the east coast every October, and Vermont is the prettiest this time of year. Apple picking and antiquing is the plan with lots of pit stops in between—family-owned farms, fruit stands and century old general stores on charming country roads. Grocery list- tree-picked apples, cider donuts, and homemade apple pie. And the donuts are served warm! Need I say more?

So, I made an apple tart from the apples we picked over the weekend. I used the puff pastry sheets you get at the market and filled it with a mixture of Granny Smith and Cortland (wasn’t crazy over the Cortland) sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, flour and lemon juice. Most recipes call for a heaping amount of sugar but I only used a few tablespoons but lots of cinnamon. I love the taste of just the apples without too much sweetness. So, here it is and it was yummy! PS. I much prefer more of a tart apple like Granny Smith. The Cortland’s were a bit blasé. McIntosh are a softer apple, but tasty for baking.

Recipe

First, I made the puff pastry version and since it’s much smaller than a pie, I cut the recipe in half. If you prefer to make the full pie, use the recipe as directed. 

  • Pie Filling- (for a puff pastry, cut recipe in half)
  • 2 pounds (4 to 6) McIntosh apples, peeled, cored, and slice 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 1/2 pounds (3 to 4) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten

Toss the apples with the sugar, flour, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and spices. Set aside at room temperature.

Roll out puff pastry and add filling mounding them in the middle. Brush egg white on all sides, (this acts as the glue) and loosely roll the dough over on all sides to cover apples. Now, mine was over-stuffed, so I got creative- using scissors, trim off a bit of the sides to make a crisscross pattern.

Seal the edge by pressing the top and bottom crusts together with your fingertips, then tuck the edges underneath. Crimp the edges, and cut 4 or so vent holes in the top crust. ( since I had a wide opening no venting was necessary.  Brush the crust with the egg white and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake as directed on the puff pastry package.

Source Recipe- https://www.americastestkitchen.com/

Now, put on the tea pot and snuggle up somewhere cozy and enjoy. But, before I close, I want to share with you a couple of photos I found on pinterest.

My kind of fall colors! Pink Lady apples!

Somewhere beautiful!

Rest awhile on this divine photo…the warm golden tones brings a feeling of peace to the soul.

Sweet blessing my friends!

Jo-Anne

Making Happy Monday’s

Hello Monday lovely’s!

Monday’s are weird, aren’t they? I mean, I don’t think anyone really likes them— the beginning of the work week, the ‘I’m so tired’ conversation everywhere. Even the dog is yawning. And if it’s raining, (and you know it is) then forget it, no one’s getting to work on time. But, I have a solution and it’s quite simple really. Stay in bed! 🙂 YES!

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But Seriously, although as much as we want to pull the pieces right out of Monday’s, we must start somewhere. Here’s my happy Monday to-do-list.

First, I have two questions for you— (pay attention because it’s so easy not too, nowadays especially, right?) So, how important are your surroundings, and are you truly seeing what’s in front of you? It’s easy to forget, especially on a Monday. But if you’ve been in a space for a long period, you can over-look your blessings. Let me explain.

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For me, my home is not only my visual art board but it alludes a feeling of goodness. And the ‘Good Life’ is not about riches, but rather living lavishly modest, in-the-moment and in a caring way. To care about your surroundings and to take pride in wherever you may call home-that is the ‘Good-Life’.

I know what you’re thinking, those clichés are so yesterday. It’s way too simple and everybody says that. They say it because it’s true!

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So, what does this have to do with a hopelessly mundane Monday? It’s a day to count your blessings. Ya but shouldn’t we be doing that every day? Of course, but it’s the days that we feel a little sluggish, and blasé that we need that extra push, that extra feel good blessing.

How do you feel when the house is freshly cleaned and organized? It’s a great feeling, right? Or when you smell the sweet aroma of a homemade apple pie you just made from the apples you handpicked over the fall weekend? Or, yes there’s more, fresh laundry coming from the dryer, still warm and smelling like sweet lavender. And don’t forget the flowers you picked up from the market. Any vase will do, even a chipped teacup. We’re not fussy, if it holds a small drink, it’ll work.

On Monday’s, I bake and clean and fuss over the house like I was having company. It’s a feel good kinda thing!

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Look at this! An apple tart I made from the recipe below. So yummy!

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And this, there are no words!  Recipe by @CountryLivingmag  http://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g973/best-apple-pie-recipe/

And I’ll even take special pictures of me and my Jess, just because it’s fun!

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So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, make everyday special. Yes, even a Monday! So, tell me, how do you perk up a Monday? Do you clean and bake too?

Jo-Anne

Hello Friends

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Hello friends! I have moved from Blogger over here to word press and seriously, I’m loving it! Now navigation is another story, so please bear with me while I redecorate. It’s only me here at the controls and I have much to learn about blog designing!  I gotta say, I do love a clean palette- a white page with only the necessities. It’s like our homes, when they are clean, it feels like fresh air doesn’t it? 

So what to expect? For starters, I will post, or at least really, not even kidding, really, try this time to post weekly! If you can’t be consistent about something why even do it right? So this new blog is like a fresh start, a new beginning and a place to share positive thoughts of inspiration, pretty photos, decorating ideas, homemade dishes, beauty and health tips. I will also share my journey as a photographer/columnist and stylist for decorating magazines.   

In part, that’s really why anyone has a blog right? To express themselves, inspire others and post great imagery. At least the sites that I look at, and there are so many! I will guest host some of my favorites with questions and answers too. It’s going to be fun!

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So you’re probably wondering what the photo of me above is all about? Well,  I’m finally working on my 3rd book called, “My Journey To Romance”. I must have changed the cover, name, and content at least 10 times!!! But I’m stuck on a theme and it’s finally flowing together…I am hoping to get it ready for you by early Spring. More on that when it gets close.

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What else is going on—What about a Yorkie Calendar 2018! Right?

Most of you that know me also know my baby Jess. He’s a little Dickens that Jess is! My mom use to call him Jessy James and for good reason-he’s a fresh baby!  He’s 13 now and whenever I’m doing a photo shoot, well, my Jess is always by my side, up my leg, at my feet or in every shot so I decided, heck, lets bring the dickens in on the fun and make him his own photo album.  Then it dawned on me! What about a Yorkie calendar? YES! I mean, who can resist that little fury face!? By his expression, I don’t think he’s feeling the whole pink and rose thing. (shhhhh) Don’t tell my husband! 🙂

You know the saying!

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Jess playing with my props.. He loves flowers..

I hope you enjoyed my first post angels. I love your comments so be sure and say hi!

Have a perfect weekend sweet friends!

Jo-Anne Coletti

  • “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”