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Welcome to our cottage. Feel free to introduce yourself! We love new friends so stop back often!

Playing For You From Our Scented Cottage

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In the midst of our lives, we must find the magic that makes our souls soar.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Scenting The Cottage Today?



Pumpkin Spice Granola! This is so easy and so tasty that if you like granola you must try it. I prepared mine with only oats but feel free to add nuts, sunflower seeds, raisins etc.

(Try to ignore the issue with my photo spacing. Blogger is messing with my head and won't allow me to put them where I want them!)









Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup oil (can use either canola, olive, safflower or coconut)
1/2 cup honey, agave nectar or maple syrup (I used agave)
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
8 cups of old fashioned rolled oats







Place oats in a bowl. Set aside.



















In a medium saucepan gently melt butter over medium heat. Stir in oil and your sweetener of choice. Add spices, salt and vanilla. Stir and pour over oats. Gently stir to combine.



















Spread on a cookie sheet (I covered mine with parchment for nonstick) and bake in 325 oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Stir it every 15-20 minutes or so to evenly brown.







Stir again when done baking, cool, and store in an airtight container.

Are You...


Vacuuming today? To add a nice scent to your cottage, add a cottonball soaked with a few drops of aromatherapy oil, such as geranium or lavender, into your vacuum cleaner bag. You will add a beautiful scent as you go through your rooms.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Beryl Stone...


The name Beryl is from the ancient Greek, beryllos, meaning "precious blue green color". Pure beryl is colorless, but it also occurs in a variety of colors including green, yellow, greenish yellow, blue to blue green, red, colorless and pink when tinted by impurities. The pink variety is known as Morganite, red is very rare and known as Bixbite, Goshenite is the colorless form. Golden beryl is a yellow green and called Heliodor. You may think you haven't seen one, but actually aquamarines and emeralds are variety of beryl. Beryls are some of the most valuable of all the colored gemstones. The dark blue stones that are available today are light colored beryls treated with radiation, much in the same manner as blue topaz.

Legend has it that Beryl was used to ward off demons and evil spirits. Ancient literature notes that Pliny used powdered beryl to cure eye injuries. It is said to protect travelers from danger and to treat disorders of the heart and spine.

Other legends about Beryl indicate it was used to promote cheerfulness and marital love, to retard laziness, and maintain youthfulness. Golden beryl is said to make one sympathetic and increase sincerity.

Beryl assists it's possessor in learning how to filter out distractions and unnecessary stimulation. It's a good stone for relieving stress and calming the mind. This stone works with the particular color in relation to each Chakra center and is known to stimulate communication (blue), acceptance and healing (green), reawaken the love of married people (pink), support spiritual growth (gold and white) and give us strength and power (yellow).

Beryl has been used for centuries to help stomach, intestines, ulcers, nausea and eating disorders. It works with the mental body for exhaustion, depression and stimulates the mind, nervous system, spine and bones. It's said to be beneficial for elimination organs such as the kidneys, liver, and intestines. It also helps strengthen the circulatory and pulmonary systems, making them more resistant to toxins and pollutants. Also helpful to the eyes, throat and easing a stressed mental state and has often been used as a sedative.

Beryl stones are used in the Center area for harmony, balance and spiritual growth, in the North area for personal journey and in the Southwest area for relationships of any kind.

Buttermilk Soak For Vintage Linens


Old vintage linens are lovely, but they can yellow in spots as well as hold stains. Here’s a recipe to help brighten things up. You can soak items for a few days if they are heavily yellowed and the cleaning solutions aren’t giving you the results you want. Just replace with fresh hot water and another dose of the recipe every day or two.

First check a spot to make sure the recipe won’t damage the fabric or colors before soaking the entire item.

1 Quart Buttermilk
1 Gallon Water
1 TBS Fresh Lemon Juice
Soak linens in the buttermilk recipe for up to 24 hours, rinse twice, then launder as usual.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

What's Scenting The Cottage Today?

Fruited Scones! This recipe has been a favorite at our cottage for years. You can use any dried fruit you like, I use raisins, craisins and a few dried cherries. They freeze well so you can have them on hand for breakfast or tea, just 23 seconds in our microwave has them perfectly warmed. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter cut in small pieces
1 teaspoon grated orange or lemon peel (I put in a tsp of both)
1 cup buttermilk (Don't have any? See my archives and make your own!)
1/2 cup each of raisins and craisins (or any dried fruit you'd like)
1/4 cup dried cherries (optional)

In a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt until thoroughly blended.
Using a fork (or your fingers as I do) cut the butter in until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
Stir in the dried fruit and coat the fruit well with the flour mixture.
Stir in the buttermilk and mix well.
Pat into a circle on a floured surface to about an inch or so thick and cut into pie shaped scones, or do as I do and cut them into rounds using a round cutter or a glass.

Place 1 1/2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat (or lightly greased). Brush top of scones with a little buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 425 degrees for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned.


Homemade Lemon Curd

In the late 19th and early 20th century, homemade lemon curd was traditionally served with bread or scones at afternoon tea as an alternative to jam, and as a filling for cakes, pastries and tarts. It's an English specialty and it's easy to see why. Lemon curd is a thick, soft, and creamy, spreadable cream that has a wonderful tart, yet sweet, flavor.

I've posted my recipe before, but in the case you haven't seen it, I will do a repost since I'm going to be making it again and I like to share. :-) Give it a try! It's surprisingly easy!

Be sure to wash your lemons as you will be using the rind in your recipe:

Makes 2 cups
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces

In a double boiler over medium-high heat ( I do not use a double boiler so if you don't have one either, just be cautious), whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, and egg yolks. Add sugar and continue whisking for 8 to 10 minutes until lemon curd thickens slightly. Remove from heat, and gradually whisk in butter until melted. Cool mixture slightly; pour into container, and chill.

Orange...

Are you feeling surrounded by negative attitude? If so, burn an orange candle. Orange cleanses negative attitudes, situations and places. You can also use orange to attract happiness, power, warmth, emotional healing, courage and ambition. Don't have orange? Use white...it can be used in place of any candle color in your spiritual healings.

The Mythical Selkie...



Today I'm doing a repost on my favorite fairy/ mythological creature of Ireland. The Selkie.

The shapeshifting Selkies, who are also known as Silkies, or Roane as the Irish call them (Gaelic for seal), occupy the seas surrounding the Orkney and the Shetland isles. The exact nature of their undersea world is uncertain, though some believe it to be encased in giant air bubbles. Their true forms are those of faeries or humans, though they take the form of large seals when traveling the through the oceans. In particular: great seals and grey seals are said to take human forms. Older tales tell that selkies are only able to take on human forms on certain nights of the year, such as Midsummer's Eve or All Hallows.

Occasionally the selkies encounter humankind, sometimes becoming their mates. A human male may take a selkie female as his wife if he finds her seal skin on the beach and hides it from her. In the end she always recovers the skin and returns to the sea, though she may return occasionally to watch over her human family from the safety of the waves.

A human woman may bear the child of a selkie male if she weeps seven tears or seven drops of blood in the nighttime sea. Such relationships are rarely lasting. Seven years hence, the selkie would return for his child, offering the mother a fee for nursing her own babe.

There is even a movie with focus on my favorite being. It is called "The Secret of Roan Inish." In the movie a fisherman steals a selkie's pelt while she is sunbathing. She is then forced to return to his house, as she cannot escape back into the sea, and becomes his wife and bears him children. The skin of the seal gives her power over men, but without it she is a mortal woman, trapped on land, slave to the whims of her husband. The life there slowly suffocates her and she spends much time splashing in the shallows of the ocean. Years later, one of the children sees the pelt and asks what it is. The wife immediately knows, drops what she is doing and retrieves the pelt from its hiding place, having long ago despaired of ever finding it. She does not hesitate; she rushes to the ocean to return to her former life as a seal.

Do you have a favorite fairy?

Is Your Lucky Number...



2? The number two reflects kindness, balance, tact, equalization, and duality. The number two also reflects a quiet power of judgment, and the need for planning. It beckons us to choose. Two urges us out of our indecision, calls us to unite with like minds and asks us to exert our natural flow of judgment to do what is best for our souls.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Quatre-Quarts French Tea Cake


This is a simple, traditional French recipe. The French call the pound cake "quatre-quarts" which translates to four-quarters, meaning 1/4 of the recipe is flour, 1/4 sugar, 1/4butter, and 1/4 eggs. Some of you may ask, if it's quatre quarts then why is it not 1/4 of each ingredient? (I asked this myself being the inquisitive one) and to this I say..I don't know! I do know this is a wonderful afternoon tea cake recipe and even if you find yourself impaired when it comes to baking, give this little cake a try and enjoy a lovely little tea break in your day.

INGREDIENTS:
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups sweet butter, softened
2 1/3 cups cake flour, sifted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds (optional)
Sliced pineapple (optional)
Large round cake pan, bundt pan, or loaf pan (buttered and floured)

PREPARATION:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Separate the egg whites from the yolks into two bowls.

Lightly beat the yolks. Add sugar and butter, beating continuously until the mixture is smooth. Add lemon juice and flour, continue mixing until well blended.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and firm. Gently, fold stiffed egg whites into batter. Pour batter half way into a buttered and floured cake pan.

Note: If chopped almonds are desired, sprinkle over the top of the cake before baking. Sliced pineapple may also be added to the bottom of the pan coated with butter and brown sugar, then add the batter and bake.

Bake one hour or until toothpick swipes clean.

Stop by again soon!