happy {romance} weekend.

mr. frederickson and i are headed south today, 30 miles south to be exact, to stowe, vt for a quick little getaway. this weekend - full of long hikes and wine tasting and afternoon naps - will be just what the doctor ordered. the weekend celebrates the very brief interlude between two crazy seasons and i could not be more excited. it doesn't hurt that on our weekend agenda is a visit to the trapp family lodge and after seeing the sound of music 45 annniversary special today i have visions of an edelweiss sing-a-long in my head. (side note: mr. f loves a good show tune)

so...just a little sneak peak of what i hope our weekend looks like...with a little virtual fantasy shopping spree added just for fun (-:

1. trapp family lodge 2. cozy throw by terrain (my new fave site) 3. my fingers are crossed that i will need these ray bans 4. boots from madewell 5. patagonia fleece vest 6. tis the season to get out my ugg slippers 7. you know i have a soft spot for a good scarf like this one from toast 8. the original sound of music 9. kate spade's new fragrance - twirl 10. vintage issue of vermont life (i may or may not have a series of these framed in my living room just waiting to be hung up!) 11. wrap sweater (heaven) ae outfitters 12. duffle bag

so, i hope you all have fantasy in mind for the weekend and i hope it comes true! make it a great one...and promise me you will celebrate with some pumpkins, even if it's only with the image below. be still my fall loving heart.

{image via 2007 life is good pumpkin festival}


comfort food thursday - thanks, switzerland

i wasn't there to taste it, but rumor has it my super talented mom (aka switzerland) made legendary chili last weekend. like so good, people are still talking about it. so, while i have yet to try it out for myself, i trust the glowing reviews from the masses and therefore gladly share her recipe.

there is another rumor floating around that the patriots play this weekend, so i think it might be a slow cooker sunday for us this week. because what goes better with football than legendary chili? i also think the pumpkin bowls in the tablescape below are pretty gosh darn fabulous, don't you?

slow cooker chicken and sausage chili
  • 3 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup beer or red wine
  • ¼ ts hot sauce
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • ½ ts chili powder
  • ½ ts paprika
  • ¼ ts oregano
  • ¼ ts garlic powder
  • 1/8 ts cayenne
Combine and cook on high for one hour.
  • 1 T olive oil
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 1 lb chicken thighs, diced
  • ¾ lb Italian sweet sausage
Saute until brown and add to above mixture. Add:
  • 2 6oz cans tomato paste
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans

Cook 2 hours. Simmer 2 hours. Serves 8. Can easily be made on the stove as well.


tie one on.

good morning, friends. please meet my new made in vermont obsession - beau ties. it's our version of vineyard vines (and in my opinion...so much cooler!) all sorts of fun patterns that are perfect for any occasion. i don't think mr. f is the bow tie type, but maybe after seeing how cute they are he might be singing a different tune. but, just in case you or the men in your lives are in the same boat, they do make your standard necktie as well.

but after seeing these, how can you not be a fan!? so, what do you say, kids? should 2011 be the year of the bow tie?! i think so.


wine wednesday - neshobe river.

there are few things i love more than a good bottle of wine, and certainly one of those things is a well branded bottle of wine. especially when it comes form vermont.

i was wondering around city market last night (not even meaning to venture to the wine section) when i saw these clever little bottles out of the corner of my eye. i love the font, i love the names, i love the colors, and i certainly think that since i judge wines based on the cuteness factor of their bottles (shh...) i will certainly love sipping each and everyone one of these.*
well done, neshobe river winery, well done.

*if you think these are pretty to look at, check out their purple haze red and white dog chardonnay.


a candy corn upgrade.

oh, hello, monday. you snuck up on my once again. i really hate when you do that! but this week is going to be full of sunny warm days here in vermont (woo hoo!) and lots of anticipation for the weekend to come (eek!) and not to mention, it's the last week of october, so there is lots to be done before november hits (yikes!)

but, before we get to all that, i have to share with you a few of my foodie favorites from last week that i just didn't get a chance to post before the weekend got a hold of me. i promise, less food, more vermont fun this week. but, let's indulge just one more time in some seasonal sugary inspiration (yum!) who needs to treak or treat when you have these lovely confections? (ok, i still do - i love me some candy corn)
...i love me some pop tarts too - and how amazingly gooey do these pumpkin pop tarts look!?

individual pumpkin pies in mason jars?! yes, please.

king arthur flour does it again...creepy & tasty is a tricky combo, and they have simply mastered it.

how tasty do these chocolate pumpkin cupcakes look? (obviously, i love the placemat and wicker balls too)

reasons to have a halloween party include this dessert buffet from the talented ladies at twig & thistle.

so - any clever halloween ideas up your sleeves?!?!

ok, now back to your regulary scheduled monday morning! boo!


snow day excitement.

i know there are a few of you out there who are thrilled that there is already snow on the mountains out there, thanks to last weekend's nor-easter. i, unfortunately, am not one of them. snow is great, but i prefer mine in december and january! although this video, filmed atop stowe's gondola, got me just a little bit excited about the first snow day of the season. i mean, seriously, how happy do they look?


comfort food thursday {beef stew with pumpkin ale}

well folks, looks like i have food on the brain this week. and today is no exception. but can you blame me? just look at how tasty this beef stew looks! and it just so happens that i have a beverage fridge full of wolavers* pumpkin ale...lucky lucky me.

beef stew with wolaver's pumpkin ale - via feel good eats**

  • 4 strips of bacon, thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds chuck or stewing beef, trimmed and cut into chunks (i think venison or bison would work too!)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • flour for dredging
  • 5 carrots, peeled and chopped (1-inch pieces)
  • 2lb red or fingerling potatoes
  • 1 bottle wolaver's pumpkin ale (or other ale or stout)
  • sea salt & fresh ground pepper

what you do: set a large frying pan over medium high heat and add the bacon slices. Cook until the bacon begins to get crispy. While the bacon cooks, pat the beef dry with a paper towel and season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer the bacon, onions and garlic to the crock-pot, keeping the drippings in the pan. Dredge the beef in the flour, then shake off the excess and add the beef to the pan. Turn the beef so it is nicely browned on all sides and then transfer it to the crock-pot.

Arrange the carrots and potatoes along the exterior side of the crock-pot. Pour in the bottle of ale until it covers about 3/4 of the beef. Set on low for 6-8 hours.

Remove the potatoes to a bowl before serving and roughly mash. Transfer the mashed potatoes back to the crock-pot and stir. Taste and adjust any seasonings. Serve with toasted bread and thick slices of cheddar cheese. serves 4-6

*wolaver's is otter creek's organic sibling. their IPA reigns supreme at my house, but you can't go wrong with any of their products.

**feel good eats is a great vermont blog by a fabulous local chef & food writer. site has been dormant for awhile, but the archives are worth exploring!


adventures in baking: apple pie

i was missing in action yesterday for a very very good reason. what might that have been? i was baking an apple pie. (seriously, i was)

and, no, to answer your next question, i was not playing hookie. it was actually a work outing - apple picking included. seriously, not to be boastful, but how cool is that?

well, i suppose it would have been even cooler had i not been so dreadful a pie baker. let me let you in on a little secret....it's tricky, really tricky, especially the part with the rolling pin.

so, i dare you, cyberfriends - give it a try and let me know how it goes. sadly, i was sworn to secrecy by my talented coworkers and can not share with you the secret recipe we used, so i bring you this classic option from our friends at shelburne orchards. trust me, they know apples. also, trust me that even the ugliest apple pie tastes pretty darn good, just ask mr. frederickson.
shelburne orchard's not-so-secret apple pie recipe

what you need:
Crust for one pie, 2 crusts
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter (yes, I use butter!)
  • 1/3 cup ice cold water
  • pinch of salt

In a food processor - Add the flour, butter (cut into 1/2 inch chucks), water and salt. Mix until the mixture starts to thump around, less than a minute. If you don't have a food processor then put the flour on a cutting surface and make a pond in the middle of it for the water. Add the cut up butter and salt. With a large knife, chop the butter into the flour, using the knife to keep the water from running off. Chop until mixed, knead into ball, cover and cool.


  • 8 good size apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch pieces.
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice to taste
  • 1 tablespoon instant tapioca

Simmer apples in large skillet with brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and instant tapioca. Simmer until apples have softened. Let cool.

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Take the ball of crust dough and cut in half. There should be enough in each half for a bottom crust and a top crust. Role the first one out using plenty of extra flower on the rolling pin, and on the dough. When the size is right, (10’ circle for a 9’ pie.) brush off extra flower and set in the pie plate. Add the apple mix, slightly wet the top edge of the bottom crust, pop on the top crust , pinch and trim. Then with thumb and first finger of right hand and thumb of left hand, work your way around the crust pushing the edge between your fingers making a ruffled edge. Slice 2 holes in the top of the crust for air to escape. ( every body has there own design for this.) OK, now into the oven. 35 to 40 minutes. I check for doneness by poking a fork through one of the holes in the top into an apple piece inside to see if it is soft but not sauce.

Special Crust Treatment
Soften 3 table spoons of butter. mix with 1 egg white. This mixture if the butter is soft enough can be brushed right on the crust while the crust is hot, Brush it right on the ruffles and all over the top after 15 to 20 minutes of cooking. Sprinkle sugar over this and slap that baby right back into the oven. When the pie is done the crust will be slightly golden brown and the filling will bubble and ooz a little. Let cool...and wait...and hope...

{image via bake or break: confessions of an amateur baker}


only in vermont...

...do you have trees this colorful and mountains this white. just a reminder that - ready or not -winter is just around the corner.

so what do you think - are YOU ready?

{image of mt. ellen via @sugarbush_vt}


have a dreamy weekend!

i need pretty things in my life today. the wind is howling outside and the rain is pounding at the windows. thus, all i want to do is curl up in my sweats with a steamy cup of hot chocolate and look at pretty things. lucky for us, it was an exceptionally beautiful and romantic week in cyberland so there is lots to help keep my dreamy eyes open...even this pumpkin looks so simple and stunning, don't you think?

this doilie wreath took my breath away - and then to learn that this beauty was a do-it-yourself project, simply heavenly. how much more romantic would life be with something like this hanging in your bedroom?

i've been researching cooking classes lately (and thanks to my twitter friends have found some great ones!) and in that search i discovered this recipe for pumpkin whoopie pies from the brilliant folks at king arthur flour. i will be signing up for that class immediately.

lox papers (aka my most recent blog crush) makes the prettiest to do lists i have ever seen! never has a rainy day or a hay bail looked so good!

the daily emails from etsy always make my day - but today the talented shoppers over there must have known i needed some extra love, as it featured three of my favorite things - bunting, birch bark and mason jars. thanks ladies...off to etsy shopping land i go! i have a feeling my virtual shopping cart will be full in no time!

and you know i have a thing for wedding photos, and this one captured on church street (my current home turf) is just breathtaking. so, is all else fails, this image of the happy couple enjoying their moment while the rest of the world rushes by will fulfill my dreamy needs on this gloomy afternoon...

so, on that note, i am off! i hope you all have a dreamy and relaxing weekend! xoxo


a pumpkin road trip.

i have a soft spot for jack-o-lanterns that dates back to the fall of 2006 when i surrounded myself with 30,128 of them (see life is good pumpkin festival) since then, my love has only intensified, so you can imagine the panic attack i had when i realized that there was a giant pumpkin event happening in vermont that i did not know about! luckily, i discovered it just in the nick of time as the vermont state pumpkin carving day happens THIS saturday in manchester, vt.

so, who is in? any one up for a last minute road trip? fyi, a quick stop at the outlets included.


comfort food thursday - it's baaack.

it's here. comfort food/crock pot season that is, and i for one could not be happier. this is not only the time of year that my neck disappears, but also the time when i start eating soup for atleast 2 meals a day...so in honor of that season, and in an effort to mix up my dining routine, i am going to set a goal of trying a new recipe every week and sharing it with you on the reenergized version of comfort food thursday.*

so in my first attempt - i bring you from our friends at eating well - squash, chickpea & red lentil stew. it's in the crock pot as we speak, so check back (or follow me on twitter) and i will let you know how it goes!
squash, chickpea & red lentil stew

what you need:

  • 3/4 cup dried chickpeas
  • 2 1/2 pounds kabocha squash, or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

what you do: soak chickpeas in enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches for 6 hours or overnight. (alternatively, use the quick-soak method: place beans in a large pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches. bring to a boil over high heat. remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.) drain when ready to use.

combine the soaked chickpeas, squash, carrots, onion, lentils, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, salt, saffron and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker. put on the lid and cook on low until the chickpeas are tender and the lentils have begun to break down, 5 to 6 1/2 hours. stir in lime juice. serve sprinkled with peanuts and cilantro.

*please keep in mind this is a long season here in vermont, so i am certainly going to need your help and suggestions on dishes to try. comment or email me with ideas - i beg you!


VTuesday Shoesday

i didn't have a spare moment yesterday to think about shoes (it was just one of those days) that is until i got home and had the boden usa catalog waiting for me in my mailbox. never in my life had a 5' x 7' mailing brought me such joy. the pages were filled with cozy sweaters, colorful tunics, leopard print accessories, and these perfect party heels...just what i needed on a hectic tuesday.

so, thank you boden, for understanding how important catalog shopping is here in vermont and for delivering this lovely winter version of a festive party shoe (although to be honest, we all know that in these parts you have to wear your ll bean boots till you get to the party...) oh, i can not wait for party season!


back road beauty (& chalkboards)

my friend at whole lotta love shared with us this image from her recent weekend drive through vermont. don't you love when you stumble upon inspiration and human goodness when you least expect it?

(although, i might argue that, in my opinion, beauty often exists without us adding a darn thing. just check out the other photos from her drive for proof)


a make up post & some weekend wishes

{cider mill, essex, vt via yankee magazine}

i didn't get to post much this week (ugh, life how i hate when you get in the way of blogging) so i have lots to share with you on this fantastically foliage-y friday (it's pretty perfectly peak up here in vermont) and from the bottom of my little heart i hope these tidbits from around the web bring you as much joy as they did me.
this time of year i have the urge to get back in the kitchen and start baking up a storm, unfortunately for my waistline, this hobby stays with me until long after the snow melts. but i think i will start with this unfussy apple cake from 101 cookbooks.

i need. yes, need. this scarf/neckwarmer thing. reason being, october is known by some as the month my neck disappears, only to be seen again in the spring....ok, fine...summer. so this piece of knit wear has my name all over it.

if you hadn't yet figured it out, i have a soft spot in my soul for wedding photos - especially ones that look this ethereal and were taken in vermont by the talented folks at landwherle photography. to see more of their magical day in stowe, check out this lovely blog.
this weekend is the ibex tent sale in quechee, vermont. go, please, for me. brave the crowds. it's amazing. trust me.

also noteworthy, the long awaited new restaurant church & main - located at, yup, you guessed it, the corner of church st and main st - opens on monday. mr. frederickson, i see a date night in our future. cider donut breadpudding - are you kidding me?!

there is just so much good stuff happening on the web and in real life this time of year...i almost can't stand it!


an apple overdose.

just like life, this fall is going by waaaayyy too quickly. i had a complete panic attack tonight after learning that apple picking season is coming to an end. how did that happen!??! where did the time go? and why, oh why have i not taken advantage of the best time of year here in vermont?! aka meltdown.

however, i relaxed a bit when i learned, thanks to the folks at farm plate, that its not just me and that this year's crops have ripened about 10 days ahead of schedule due to an unseasonably warm april...although due to a may frost, the overall crop yield is down about 17%. (gotta love vermont!)

in an attempt to be somewhat proactive against future meltdowns, i am going to "go big" in the world of apples and dash out to as many pick your own orchards as possible in the coming days and stock up for the long winter.

so, since these next few days will be reminiscent of "mrs. k's bulk pick" circa august 2008, i will need your help on what to do with all these darn apples. what do you think? what's your favorite recipe? pies? chutneys? tarts? sauce? i need you all. help me prepare for the impending overdose.....pleeeaase!


floating pumpkins.

it would be the understatment of the year to say that vermont "got some rain" last week. the truth is the rain started on monday and didn't end until friday evening (just in time for the weekend - well done) so we welcomed the first weekend of fall a little bit waterlogged. there were road closures, raging rivers, and a pumpkin patch or two sent underwater. so, while my heart breaks a little bit for the farmers who lost their crops and the jack-o-lanterns that could have been - it made for quite the scene on the connecticut river over the weekend. nothing like floating pumpkins to welcome october...
so in honor of all the fallen pumpkins, let's do our part to enjoy their month and all the wonder that it brings to this little part of the world. starting perhaps by hitting up the pumpkin regatta coming up in burlington this saturday! floating pumpkins are all the rage this year.


october is...

october believes in indian summer.
she loves the mystery of things.
october loves a full moon.
she sings in autumn sun.
october has a walk-in closet of costumes.
she understands cycles.
october believes in layers and interpretations.
she dances in rhythms.
october loves landscape paintings.
she is the heart of all inspiration.
october collects falling leaves (maples, especially)
she can keep a secret.
october is an artist. it works with its hands.
she feeds the birds.
{image via, who is october courtesy of a 2006 KOCO NY calendar}

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