a bit of this, a bit of that

Fall !!

My computer crashed on Saturday....I felt like I was on a deserted island and did not know what to do with myself, all I thought about was...what is going on in the blog world...I felt obsessed!! It was crazy...I even went to the library to check out my email....well, I got it back today and I am off to see what the heck has been going on with all of my favorite peeps!!


Although Fall does not officially
begin until my birthday....I feel it in the air
and one of the indications is the reappearance of
the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte!!

How can you resist it...the spiced fragrance
that warms your body,
the chocolate covered whip cream
and warm feeling you get
when it trickles down to your tummy........oh my!!!

Thought I'd share a couple of recipes for you
to entertain your guests this
long weekend.

Can't you just picture yourself out on the porch or deck,
watching the leaves blow with
your fingers wrapped your mug,
warmed by this seasonal beverage

Mulled Cider


Serves 8

  • 2 quarts apple cider (8 cups)
  • 4 strips lemon zest
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole star anise (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves

  1. In a large saucepan, bring cider, lemon zest, and spices to a boil; cover, and remove from heat. Let steep at least 20 minutes (or up to 4 hours). Ladle carefully into mugs, leaving most of the solids behind.

Grilled Chicken Stuffed with Basil and Tomato


Serves 4

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 ounces each)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  1. Butterfly chicken breasts: Put halves on a cutting board, smooth sides down, with the pointed ends facing you. Starting on one long side, cut breasts almost in half horizontally (stop about 1/2 inch before reaching the opposite side). Open cut breasts like a book. Sprinkle each piece all over with 1/8 teaspoon salt; season with pepper. Transfer to a plate, and coat both sides with garlic and oil. Let stand 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a grill or grill pan until medium-hot. Place 3 basil leaves on the bottom half of each opened chicken breast; top each with 2 slices tomato. Fold over other half of chicken breast, and secure with two toothpicks or short skewers.
  3. Grill chicken breasts, turning once, until golden brown on both sides and no longer pink in the center, about 15 minutes. Place on a clean serving platter; garnish with basil. If desired, remove toothpicks or skewers before serving.


What would this season be with out a fantastic

Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients - Makes two 10-inch pies
  • 1 sugar pumpkin (about 4 pounds), halved, or 3 cups solid-pack canned pumpkin (not pumpkin-pie filling)
  • 1 1/2 recipes Pate Brisee, divide dough into 3 disks
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 7 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 cups evaporated milk
  • Whipped cream, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. If using fresh pumpkin, roast it, cut sides down, on a rimmed baking sheet until soft, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool completely. (Roasted pumpkin can be refrigerated, in an airtight container, overnight.) Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
  2. Reserve 1 disk of dough for making leaf decorations. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out remaining disks into 14-inch rounds. Fit rounds into two 10-inch pie plates; trim edges, leaving 1/2-inch overhangs. Fold edges under, and press to seal. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.
  3. Roll out reserved disk to a 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer to a baking sheet, and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Using a small (about 1 inch) leaf-shape cookie cutter or a paring knife, cut leaves from dough. Freeze until cold, about 15 minutes.
  4. Brush edges of pie shells with a damp pastry brush; arrange leaves around edges, pressing to adhere. Whisk 1 egg and cream in a small bowl. Brush leaves with egg wash. Cut 2 large circles of parchment; fit into pie shells, extending above edges. Fill with pie weights or dried beans.
  5. Bake pie shells 15 minutes. Remove weights and parchment; bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool completely on wire racks.
  6. If using fresh pumpkin, discard seeds. Scoop out flesh, using a large spoon, into a food processor. Process until smooth, about 1 minute. Measure out 3 cups, and transfer pumpkin to a large bowl (reserve any remaining for another use; if using canned pumpkin, add that to the bowl instead). Add brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, nutmeg, remaining 6 eggs, and evaporated milk; whisk until combined.
  7. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Place pie shells on rimmed baking sheets. Divide pumpkin mixture evenly between shells. Bake until all but centers are set, 35 to 40 minutes. Let pies cool completely on wire racks. Cut into wedges, and serve with whipped cream.
Helpful Hint

To prepare the pies in stages, make the dough and either freeze or refrigerate, then roll out, fit into pie plates, and chill again. The shells can be covered tightly and refrigerated for a day or two or frozen for longer (thaw in refrigerator before proceeding).



Love you guys....missed you!!

Have a Sensational day!!

Hugs xOxO, Nerina :)

Recipes courtesy of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia


  1. We are going to Starbuck's today for a mug of Pumpkin Heaven, my friend! Glad to have you back!:) Lori

  2. Yippee...so glad you have your computer back! I'm so looking forward to Fall and I love the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte too!

    Those are some yummy recipes, can't wait to give them a try, the stuffed chicken looks divine!


  3. I hear ya with the computer problems, been having the same over here. My dad was nice enough to give me his extra for a loaner...I'd be lost without one! I've already had 3 pumpkin lattes since Sat.!!

    :) T

  4. I had computer problems too - the pits!!

    Feel so full now having *tasted* all that scrumptious food!!


  5. wow, you are ready for fall, all look yummi! have a wonderful day

  6. Sorry about the computer, sweetie!

    Thank God for Libraries!

  7. Okay Nerina, I am very hungry now! I LOVE tomato and basil together with chicken... Yum!... Bisous... Julie Marie

  8. oh- my- God, I had the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte today, yummmmmmmmmm! too funny we are on the same wavelength!And thank GOD you're back online again!!!!!!!!! whoo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!
    thank you for your sweet comments btw, I appreciate you! xoxox deb

  9. Happy EARLY Birthday....and YUM YUM YUM YUM! :):):):):):):):):):):):):)

  10. Fall feels like the furthest thing from here. It's been in the 90's for a week now and even though it does cool down nicely at night, the coolness never makes it into the house. Right now the temp in the bathroom is 29 celsius, which is stinkin' hot!

  11. Oh my goodness that Pumpkin spiced Latte sounds really good, but the closest I ll get to it will be an iced coffeee at McDonalds or maybe my local coffee shop will make me one. We love our chicken too and the basil and tomato are a great twist so I might add it to the shopping list yuuuummmmyyy!

  12. Welcome Back Nerina!
    I would feel like I've lost a limb if I would loose my computer...I know your anguish girl ;)
    It's almost 1:30 in the morning and I can't sleep. I thought that was my only problem until you posted these yummy goodies...now I'm hungry too! Thank goodness I don't have some of these ingredients in the house at this moment, I'd be whipping it up in the kitchen!
    Have a wonderful weekend girlie, it's almost here!!!!
    everything vintage

  13. Oh I so know what you mean. When I didn't have it, you feel like you are missing out on everything. We get very attached to our blogworld and our blogpals.

    Oh all that food and drink looks nice girl, yum.
    love to you too xoxo

  14. That's another thing I love about Fall...Starbucks comes out with their Fall line up of Lattes! (Pumpkin Spice, Gingerbread, Chocolate Peppermint...) lol

  15. Yummy! That Starbucks Pumpkin Latte looks good, I'll have to try it. Sorry to hear about your computer crashing, you'd think since we can send a rocket to space, someone, somewhere could invent a machine that wouldn't do this!

  16. Pumpkin spice is back , I know what I am getting today

  17. I swear, I am so lucky to have BFF's like you- thank you for always making my day- you're the best! You Canada girls have it going on! That's for sure! hugs, deb

  18. Thanks for stopping by my 'soap box' today. Going to stick my head back in the sand for Pink Saturday! Looking forward to fall, cooler weather and comfort food. Love your Sunday quote of the week and welcome back from computer shut down. I know its a bummer ;-) Bloggers have to have their fix!

  19. Hello,

    Thanks so much for visiting me! Pickering is so close to Toronto. Lovely blog you have.

    ~ Gabriela ~

  20. Welcome back N. I've always wanted to bake an american pie, you know after the song ;), this looks scrumptious - now to track down pumpkins in London. I wonder what the texture is like? gooey or firm?


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