Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Blogger's Writing Process Tour

I created for myself a September Writing Challenge.  I have decided I want to write a little better on each blog post.   As soon as I had decided this I then saw Judith's post at Botanic Bleu about the The Blogger's Writing Process Tour.   So, I happily joined the tour to write this post and tell you how I write for the blog and to share with other bloggers and maybe learn something from them.

I must confess that writing has always been my last concern.  I know that may sound strange but, I really try to convey an atmosphere or paint a picture with my photography.  I don't very often try to use words.  I have, but rarely, put any more words than absolutely necessary to get the description of the pictures across.

What am I working on?
I am working on better writing, maybe some inspirational quotes.  I would love to be funny but, I may find something funny that isn't relevant to you, the reader.  Comic timing is a true gift so, I may dabble with it but, it feels a bit risky.  
I could see myself putting more of my personality into my writing,  That is the real essence of a well written piece isn't it?  It has a flavor and style that is all the writer's own.  A true window into their viewpoint.  I hope to create a comfortable spot for writing around my niche of tea, comfort, home, and food.


How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I have really honed in on a specific niche this year with the blog.  I did it gradually and I didn't want to make a big announcement about it  but, the blog has become centered all around tea, coffee, and tasty food.  I haven't completely given up on cottage style decor but, it isn't practical right now in our lives for me to continue to do a lot of decorating when it doesn't fit our lifestyle.  When there are less children in the house I will add it back but, for right now I really am enjoying this tea, coffee, and tasty food niche.  I have been trying, with my photography, to put you at the table taking tea with me.  Tea/coffee is a lifestyle habit.  A very comforting , quite, sacred habit for many people and cultures.  I really enjoy the experience and I try to translate that with my photography.  Simply put, "Come have tea with me."  There are several blogs that do this and I try to join them for linky parties.  I have really been studying the younger bloggers at Tumblr and trying to have more modern tea/coffee.  There is a difference, I can see it.  So, I am trying to create beautiful Tumblr style posts.  
* Note: I had a request to describe what Tumblr is.  So I will put that right here.
Tumblr is just another blogging format.  You are familiar with Typepad, Blogger, and Wordpress, well Tumblr is just a place to blog.  For me it seems to be where the younger bloggers are very active.  By young I mean it is very active with 16-21 year olds.  I love that because you can see what they are into.  What they want to see in a blog.  It also is mainly a Pinterest of blogging.  What does that mean?  You can post any picture or words you want to.   It is mainly just photography and you can re-post any other blog post that you like.  It is called re-blogging.  So, I like the fall pictures everyone is posting right now and I post my own blog photos but, I re-post way more of the other pictures from other blogs I follow.     


Here is a screen shot of my Tumblr page.  It is full of pictures of Autumn and I have a shot of my Rustic Apple Cider Pie on here too.  You can look at all the pretty pictures and you can click on my Rustic Apple Cider and it will take you to my Blogger blog and you can retrieve that recipe.  So that is a quick explanation of what Tumblr is.  Anyone can join it and follow any blogs on there they want to.   


Why do I write what I do?

I started blogging at the end of 2009 on a dare by my husband.  He said, "You won't do it."  And I said, " I'll do it."  He said, " No you won't.  You'll just put that on your list of things to do."  So, I had to prove him wrong and blog.  As I mentioned, it started as a decorating blog. It was Christmas and I knew I wouldn't run out of things to blog about in the first month, that way I wouldn't quit.  Then I kept blogging because I loved it.  I have always been an avid cookbook reader and recipe collector.  I love to try new seasonal recipes and have coffee and tea so that just really works perfect right now.  


How does my writing process work?

This is where I would like to improve.  I always put the pictures in the post first and then go back using as little words as possible to describe the post.  I let the pictures do most of the talking.  I would like write a little more now; not a novel but, a little more.  I seem to organize my thoughts better when I write it out on notebook paper and then type it in draft but, the quickest way is to write it in draft right in Blogger and then edit.  I apologize for my editing.  I sometimes post and then; within the first day, I can go back and find three grammatical errors and I correct and re-post and correct and re-post.  The blog post keeps posting in your Blogger reader and over at Bloglovin.  I hope I haven't annoyed any of you doing that.  I can't leave a mistake in though once I find it.  So my writing process is a fast and furious process and I hope it can get more organized and have a little more of my personality in it too.
Some of examples of my writing that I liked:
Me trying to be funny:  The Lawn in VOGUE
Me trying to be Jane Austen:  A Taste For Fall

Now... let's pass the baton to two more writers who can share in this writing challenge:

I have nominated:

 Michelle Mortensen of Simply Santa Barbara.  Michelle is a new blogger and I think it is fantastic to introduce her and share this Writing Process Tour with her.  



I also nominate Sarah Coller from Hope In Every Season.  Sarah made me aware of the Jane Austen reading challenge last month so, I thought of her right away when it came to this Writing Process Tour.  

They each will have a wonderful perspective on blogging and I am sure I can learn something from them.  Thank you ladies for joining the Blogger's Writing Process Tour.
Sherry 
I will link this to:

What's It Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants 
Sundays at Home at Thoughts from Alice
Make It Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House
Amaze Me Monday at Dwellings of Your Heart and Home
Share Your Creativity Party at It's Overflowing

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Home Sweet Home #187


Hello and welcome to Home Sweet Home!  This week I was sharing Fall Excitement and The Blogger's Writing Process Tour.



I also shared my own recipe for Easy Tomato Chili (or Fresh Tomato Chili).

There are so many great ideas, great decorating, and delicious recipes at the Home Sweet Home Party each week.  I have never pinned so many ideas from the Home Sweet Home Party as I did last week!  You all had a lot of great post!! Here are a few that caught my eye.

Hayley at Leaving the Ivory Tower built a Natural Materials Playground for her children based on Waldorf Education in which the belief is children should be surrounded by natural materials.  My boys would have loved this!

Debi at Cameo Cottage Designs made a Pottery Barn Decorative Mummy Knock Off Pillow that was very cute! 

Jamie at Anderson and Grant Kicked Off the Beginning of Fall with a beautiful mantel.

Gentle Joy Homemaker posted a Chocolate Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe that looked delicious ad it cooks up in a generous 9x13-inch pan! 


I had on several occasions wanted to feature some of your entries but, you don't create a link back to the Home Sweet Home party.  So, please include that link so I can feature you too!
I am really lucky to have all of your amazing posts because, it is you who make the Home Sweet Home party so special!  You are all so talented and share such wonderful posts!  It is really hard to feature a few and, remember to be featured you must have a link back to the Home Sweet Home party.   Thank you to everyone who joins me at Home Sweet Home!  It is wonderful to have you here!

Sherry

Follow me on Twitter 

Follow me on Facebook

Follow me on Pinterest

Follow me where I really enjoy the visual aspect of blogging on  Tumblr

Guidelines for Home Sweet Home Party: 
Attention: To link up you must have a permalink back to this party in your post or you won't be featured.
Link up anything in your home or garden.   I love seeing home tours and neat shops too!
My button is on my sidebar for the party, if you want to use it.   If you are new here I hope you will become a follower. Please don't link up more than two posts.  No Etsy link ups or direct advertising, please.  Please visit some of the other blogs and get some great inspiration.  Thanks.:)
Now let's see your beautiful home, delicious recipes, crafts, or whatever makes your home special!

 *If you are pinning a post submitted here, please pin from the original source.



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Easy Tomato Chili (or Fresh Tomato Chili)

Easy Tomato Chili
I planted an heirloom variety of tomato this year, it was the Brandywine tomato.  They are know for their pink flesh and great tomato taste.  I read somewhere that they like a cooler summer than other varieties and this must be so, because we had a cool summer and these tomato plants produced heavily.   


Easy Tomato Chili
I have always wanted to make chili with fresh tomatoes and I never do because I just don't have that many tomatoes, but this year I did.   I will give you the recipe adapted with canned tomatoes too. 

Easy Tomato Chili
I put some of the tomatoes in the blender and pureed to get the tomato sauce necessary for the chili.

Easy Tomato Chili
There is nothing like a piping hot bowl of chili on a chilly day to warm you up! 

Ingredients:

4 cups tomatoes, peeled and diced (or 2-15 ounce cans of diced tomatoes)
4 cups tomatoes, peeled, diced, and pureed in a blender  (or 2 15-ounce cans of tomato sauce)
1 cup water
2 15-ounce cans of light red kidney beans, drained of juice
1 heaping tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons sugar
1 lb. hambuger, browned and drained of grease
1/4 cup sweet onion, diced

Place the hamburger in a medium skillet and brown.  Add the onion to the hamburger and sautee with the browning hamburger.
While the hamburger is browning, place in a large (6 quart) stock pot the tomatoes, pureed tomatoes (or tomato sauce).  Add the kidney beans, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and sugar.  Place on medium heat and bring to a simmer.  
When the hamburger and onions are cooked drain and add to the tomatoes and beans.  
Keep cooking on a simmer for 20-30 minutes more and serve hot.
Yield: 8-12 servings 

This is my own recipe.  It wasn't adapted from any recipe.  My son told me the other day he thought that I made the best pie and chili he had ever tasted.  Sometimes the kids surprise me with a nice compliment.  I know why our chili is the best when there are so many recipes out there.  The secret is that when we serve the chili we place a heaping tablespoon of brown sugar on top of it and stir in.  We also serve it with saltines and sometimes grated sharp cheddar cheese.  
I am sure the reason he likes this chili the most is because it is almost dessert with the brown sugar.  The heat from the chili powder and the sweet from the sugar is a winning combo.  We started adding the sugar a long time ago, I think my husband did it first and it was so good it stuck! 
Enjoy!
Sherry
I will link this to:

Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm
Strut Your Stuff Saturday at Six Sisters Stuff 
Homemaking Linkup at Hope In Every Season 
The Best Blog Recipes link party 
Anything Goes Party at Bacon Time with the Hungry Hypo
Sweet and Savoury Sunday at Baking in Pyjamas
Tickle My Taste Buds Tuesdays at Lori's Culinary Creations
Fridays Unfolded at Nancherrow
Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life
The Party Bunch Weekend Linky at The Idea Room

Weekend Retreat Linky Party at AKA Design and Life

Monday, September 15, 2014

Chunky Apple Walnut Cake with a Caramel Glaze

I am rounding out my apple recipes today with this Chunky Apple Walnut Cake with a Caramel Glaze.  I used a vintage tube cake pan and it was smaller than the recipe called for so, I had enough of the batter to make a small loaf pan full also.  The vintage tube pan measured 8 1/2 inches across ( The recipe called for a 10-inch tube pan) and the loaf pan was 7 3/8 x 3 5/8 x 2 1/4.  I am telling you this because the cake came out wonderful in the loaf pan also.  

We are celebrating the arrival of fall here this week so, by all means, light some fall candles and make your self a pot of tea or coffee to enjoy the transition into this season! Make your tea a ritual of calm, something you truly enjoy.

I always have to get some seasonal candles at this time of the year.  I found these at Bath & Bodyworks.  They didn't compensate me for this post in anyway, but I have to tell you they smell really good!  The Caramel Pumpkin Swirl was my favorite!!  It smelled as good as the caramel glaze I made for this cake.  The whole kitchen was smelling like a candy kitchen!

All of my transferware have the same colors but, none of it matches.  The cup has no name on it and I am not sure of the pattern.  It is marked 'Made in England.'  The saucer is Olde English Countryside by Johnson Brothers, the slice of cake is on His Majesty by Johnson Brothers, and the cake itself is on Asiatic Pheasant by Royal Stafford.

This cake is a perfect fall recipe.  It is moist, full of bites of apples, and bits of walnuts.  Just the right amount of richness, sweetness, and chewiness to pair with a steaming cup of coffee or tea when there is a chill in the air.  

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups oil (I used canola)
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups shelled walnuts, coarsely chopped
3 cups peeled, coarsely chopped Gala apples
3 tablespoons apple rum

Caramel Glaze:
1/4 cup butter. cut into pieces
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
In a large bowl, beat oil and sugar until thick and opaque.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  In another medium to large bowl mix flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt.  Add to oil and egg mixture until well blended.
Add walnuts, apple chunks, and rum all at once and stir until pieces are evenly distributed.  
Pour batter into a 10-round tube pan.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  
Let the cake rest for 10 minutes, then unmold and let cake cool completely.  

Glaze:
In a saucepan over medium heat melt butter, brown sugar, cream and salt. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat.  Boil hard for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and let set for 10 minutes.   
Beat in confectioners sugar until smooth.
Immediately pour glaze over the cake. 

Recipe Source:  adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook. 

Sherry
I will link this to:
  
Tea Time Tuesday at Rose Chintz Cottage 
A Return to Loveliness  at A Delightsome Life 
Tea Cup Tuesday at Martha's Favorites
Tea Cup Tuesday at Artful Affirmations
Tuesday Cuppa Tea at Antiques and Teacups 
Friends Sharing Tea at Bernideen's Tea Time Blog 
Rooted in Thyme Simple and Sweet Fridays
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Tweak It Tuesday at Cozy Little House
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Say G'Day at Natasha in Oz
Cottage Style Party at Lavender Garden Cottage 
Share Your Cup Thursday at Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olsen
Your Going to Love it Tuesday At Kathe with an E
Project Inspire at Cupcakes and Crinoline
The Scoop at Confessions of a Plate Addict
Weekends are Fun Party at Oh My Heartsie Girl
Time Travel Tuesdays at Brambleberry Cottage
Wake Up Wednesday at Sew Crafty Angel
Apple Link Up at I-Lost in Austen   

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fall Excitement and The Blogger's Writing Process Tour



I am getting excited for fall.  It is just next week on the calender but this weekend here, it feels like fall.  The trees are sure to follow with some fabulous colors.  I wanted to share with you a blog I have been actively posting to over at Tumblr.  It is also called The Charm of Home.  I just mainly post pictures that inspire me.  It is a very seasonal blog and also has some fabulous food photography.  I have always loved the Tumblr format.   It is blogging freedom at it's best, mostly all visual and posting in a single click.  Blogging there is very enjoyable.  It really is a most ardent guilty pleasure.  I have discovered people with blogs on Tumblr that are so enamored with fall that this is all they post year round.  I started following some of these blogs back in August and now, as you can see, I have no lack of gorgeous images to re-post all day long.  




 My 9 year-old and I were playing around with the snipping tool and screen shots and came up with three ways to do these screen captures this weekend.   He will be better on a computer than me in just a few years. 




These are all screen shots from last week on the Tumblr blog.  Fall is a glorious season, I want to savor every image!


Now on to other business...The Blogger's Writing Process Tour is a creative share that is happening around the blogosphere.  I have been nominated by Judith of Botanic Bleu.   I volunteered and wrote to Judith to include me.  The timing is really great for this because I had made a decision to work on my writing anyway.  So I was glad to do it.  

If you want to participate in the Blogger's Writing Process Tour please leave a comment or email me and let me know.   I will post my writing process next week and you can be mentioned on my post and continue it on with your own post in a few weeks.  I need to nominate at least two other bloggers.

Thank you to all of my readers.  I appreciate you greatly and some of you have spoken and mentioned that the feed you get through email has been failing to deliver.   If you are having trouble with the Feedburner email, I am researching other feeds and  delivery systems for email and hope to come up with something to offer you another choice soon.


Sherry 
I will link this to:

What's It Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants 
Sundays at Home at Thoughts from Alice
Make It Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House
Amaze Me Monday at Dwellings of Your Heart and Home
Share Your Creativity Party at It's Overflowing
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Tweak It Tuesday at Cozy Little House
Your Gonna Love It Tuesday at Kathe with an E
The Fabulous Fall Linky Party at The Journey Back 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Home Sweet Home #186

Hello and welcome to Home Sweet Home!  This week I shared our latest chocolate fix in search of a perfect chocolate bread recipe in Chocolate is always a good thing...

My sons give me lots of good input on what to make in Rustic Apple Cider Pie

There are so many great ideas, great decorating, and delicious recipes at the Home Sweet Home Party each week.  Here are a few that caught my eye from last week.

Judith at Botanic Bleu shared 8 Ways to Infuse French Elements Into a Kitchen.  I have always wanted beams in my kitchen!

Mary at Home Is Where the Boat Is had my mouth watering with this recipe for Easy Caramel Apple Bars.

Natasha in Oz shared some inspiration pics of spaces underneath stairs that I loved in Stairway Solutions~ Ways to Design & Style a Staircase.

Laurel at The North End Loft shared her summer decorating in Summer Barn Dance Chalkboard Art

I had on several occasions wanted to feature some of your entries but, you don't create a link back to the Home Sweet Home party.  So, please include that link so I can feature you too!
I am really lucky to have all of your amazing posts because, it is you who make the Home Sweet Home party so special!  You are all so talented and share such wonderful posts!  It is really hard to feature a few and, remember to be featured you must have a link back to the Home Sweet Home party.   Thank you to everyone who joins me at Home Sweet Home!  It is wonderful to have you here!

Sherry

Follow me on Twitter 

Follow me on Facebook

Follow me on Pinterest

Follow me where I really enjoy the visual aspect of blogging on  Tumblr

Guidelines for Home Sweet Home Party: 
Attention: To link up you must have a permalink back to this party in your post or you won't be featured.
Link up anything in your home or garden.   I love seeing home tours and neat shops too!
My button is on my sidebar for the party, if you want to use it.   If you are new here I hope you will become a follower. Please don't link up more than two posts.  No Etsy link ups or direct advertising, please.  Please visit some of the other blogs and get some great inspiration.  Thanks.:)
Now let's see your beautiful homes, delicious recipes, crafts, or whatever makes your home special!

 *If you are pinning a post submitted here, please pin from the original source.


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