Blythe Cove Manor Blog – Lost Inside A Story

Have you ever been so lost inside a story that you felt like you were there? Being storytellers ourselves, we know writing and reading can transport you to a different place, somewhere deep inside the imagination.

But have you ever put the book down and wondered what it would be like to actually be there? Have you ever pushed your imagination to it’s limits and tried to step inside the world of which you’ve read, interact with the characters, be a part of the cast, a part of the story itself?

Well, if you haven’t, now is the time! What is the one story that you would most want to live inside? What is the world in which you would interact and the characters you with whom you would be involved?

My pick is Gone With The Wind. Personally, I would have loved to pal around with Scarlett in her younger years, watched as the war changed her, made myself a curtain dress, and maybe had a fling or two with Rhett Butler.

Let loose your imagination and leave us a comment!

Happy Friday,

Storytellers

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Blythe Cove Manor Blog: Autumnal Equinox Then and Now

Imagine yourself in a time long ago – a time with no clocks, no watches, no smart phones or internet. Imagine yourself in the past, where the only way to know the passage of time was to watch the sun and moon and the stars above.

What a strange and scary feeling it would be for us, for those of us who live and die by the ticking hands of our man-made clocks, but for our ancestors it was normal. They didn’t need to calculate the seconds or minutes that tick away each hour. Time must have been more grandiose, more magnificent, or I may just be waxing poetic.

Either way our ancient ancestors did have a way to mark and record the passage of time, and there must have been no greater or significant moment in the calendar than the autumnal equinox.

So brings us to the topic of our blog this week; the autumnal equinox is the beginning of fall. It has been celebrated for centuries by many cultures and has played a significant role belief systems. Fall is the time of harvest. It signifies the changing of seasons and marks the time to gather and prepare food for the colder months.

I love long summer days so the balancing of night and day doesn’t bring me any joy. The autumnal equinox is the only day when both daytime and nighttime have the same length. Some say this brings a balance. I say it just brings early bedtimes.

Although we no longer have to harvest our food and prepare it for the winter, we can take this time to have an “inner harvest.” Take the time to reflect on what you have learned over the summer, what you have accomplished, and what you plan on doing this winter. Take the time to go through your closets, donate the clothes you never wore over the summer and begin to replace your summer gear with your winter wardrobe.

Take the time to remember what our ancestors did during this time of year. They acknowledged the changing of the seasons, prepared for the future, and were grateful for what they had. And maybe take one more lesson from those who lived so long ago. When you can, take your watch off, put your phone down and turn off your electronics. Go outside and breath in the crisp autumn air and maybe you too can forget about those seconds and minutes ticking by so quickly.

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A Blythe Cove Manor Blog: DIY “Real Pumpkin” Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

Fall is upon us. The trees are shedding leaves, grocery stores are filled to the brim with Halloween candy, football has started…Now, go outside and breathe in deeply. You can practically smell it in the air.

Pumpkin spice.

It’s about that time again to be inundated with pumpkin spice laden everything: cookies, creamers, milkshakes, eggnog, even beer and alcohol! But there is one classic (besides the pie) that everyone knows kicked off the pumpkin spice obsession.

The pumpkin spice latte.

Admittedly, the pumpkin spice latte is a favorite of ours. So we decided to hunt down the best possible DIY latte recipe we could. And boy did we find it! Just remember us when you’re flipping that scarf over your shoulder and sipping the creamy, pumpkin spicy, homemade deliciousness and saying to your friends, “Starbucks who?”

DIY “Real Pumpkin” Pumpkin Spice Latte

serves 2

Ingredients

2 tablespoons canned pumpkin

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more to garnish

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups whole milk

1 to 2 shots espresso, about 1/4 cup

1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped until firm peaks form

Equipment

Mixer, whisk, or hand blender, to whip cream

Saucepan

Wooden spoon

Whisk

Blender

Espresso maker or coffee maker

Instructions

  1. Heat the pumpkin and spices: In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the pumpkin with the pumpkin pie spice and a generous helping of black pepper for 2 minutes or until it’s hot and smells cooked. Stir constantly.
  2. Stir in the sugar: Add the sugar and stir until the mixture looks like a bubbly thick syrup.
  3. Warm the milk: Whisk in the milk and vanilla extract. Warm gently over medium heat, watching carefully to make sure it doesn’t boil over.
  4. Blend the milk: Carefully process the milk mixture with a hand blender or in a traditional blender (hold the lid down tightly with a thick wad of towels!) until frothy and blended.
  5. Mix the drinks: Make the espresso or coffee and divide between two mugs and add the frothed milk. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, or nutmeg if desired.

Substitutions

  • Vanilla: Yes, this recipe calls for two tablespoons (not teaspoons) of vanilla. This sounds like a lot, but it does more than anything else to mimic the intense, even artificial, taste of the syrups used in coffee shops. But feel free to start with less and bump it up as needed.
  • Milk Fat: This recipe is most satisfying when made with whole milk, but 2% and skim can be substituted.
  • Canned Pumpkin Substitution: You can substitute 1 teaspoon Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup for the canned pumpkin if you have it on hand.
  • Sugar Substitute: You can use a sugar substitute in place of the sugar if desired. Add to taste.
  • Espresso Substitute: If you don’t have espresso on hand, you can use strong brewed coffee instead. Increase amount to 1/3 to 1/2 cup.

Recipe Notes

  • Make a big batch of pumpkin spice mix-in: If you like, you can make a big batch of the pumpkin spice base, and refrigerate. To make 8 full servings, cook 1/2 cup pureed or canned pumpkin with 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir in 1/2 cup vanilla extract. Refrigerate for up to 1 week and use as desired. To serve, blend 1/3 cup pumpkin spice mix-in with milk until frothy, and add 1 or 2 shots of espresso. Top with whipped cream and serve.
  • Recipe found on thekitchn.com by Faith Durand
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Blythe Cove Manor Blog: Our Fall Favorites!

Summer is coming to a close for the year.

Swimsuits and suntan lotion will be stored until a possible winter vacation. Bed & Breakfasts will be closing down parts of the house for the year. Tourists are going home, school has started, and some people out there are feeling a bit depressed.

We have something to cheer you up! There are lots of things to look forward to from now until Thanksgiving. Here is a list of our favorite fall things:

Foliage changing colors.

Pumpkin spice everything!

Bonfires.

Harvest festivals.

Vincent Price movies.

Cozy sweaters

Cuddling with a good book by the fire.

Open windows.

Lower A/C bill!

Scarves.

Falling leaves.

Hayrides.

Halloween.

Pumpkin carving.

Trick or treating.

Candy Corn?

Apple Cinnamon Candles.

Fall fashions.

Is there something we’ve missed? We want to hear what you love most about Fall.

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NO-LABOR RECIPE FOR YOUR LABOR DAY WEEKEND!

It’s time to (unofficially) end the summer with one last hurrah. Labor Day weekend is a time to honor those who have contributed to the strength, well-being, and prosperity of America.

This may be our last time to grill out. Friends and relatives will be closing up their pools and storing their boats for the season. Retailers will be offering up their biggest sales and promotions of the summer, marking one of the largest shopping weekends of the year.

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend and take advantage of this no-labor, healthy recipe that will help spice up any party you may be throwing or attending. Let the celebration of America’s labor force begin!

No-Labor 3-Bean Salad

INGREDIENTS

15-ounce can canellini beans, drained and rinsed

15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

celery stalks, finely chopped

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  • In a large bowl, combine the cannellini beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, celery, onion, parsley, and rosemary. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss. Serve at room temperature.

Bam! You’re done. Have a happy and healthy Labor Day weekend!

Recipe from RealSimple.com

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VINEYARD ADVENTURES: A BLYTHE COVE MANOR BLOG – Desert Island 3 Movies

DESERT ISLAND – 3 Movies

This week’s blog may seem a bit familiar!

We want to know what kind of movies you love. Everyone has a favorite movie that they love to tell people to watch, but what about that one guilty pleasure that you could not go the rest of your life without?  This can be one of the most difficult questions to answer, but we would like to take it one step further and play a little game called Desert Island.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and you only had THREE movies with you, which would those be? Check back often to see other responses and maybe the Storytellers might jump in and share our own selections.

Have fun!

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VINEYARD ADVENTURES: A Blythe Cove Manor Blog – Which Back-To-School Era Are You In?

Which Back To School Era Are You In?

We all go through stages in life, and sometimes it’s fun to look at life’s stages through a new lens. This week we will be looking at our stage in life relative to the back-to-school season.

The way I see it, there are four stages…let’s call them “eras” of back-to-school.

ERA 1: The Student

The back-to-school commercials appeal to you because you are actually going back to school. You want new clothes, you need new supplies, and you have a burning desire to fit in. Your summer is coming to an end, which is sad. The nerves are kicking in for a new school season, which is exciting. Basically, back-to-school is all about going back to school!

ERA 2: Post-Education 

You are out of school, working hard at a job, no kids, just climbing the corporate ladder. Back-to-school commercials seem comical in a way and downright obnoxious. You think back to the days when back-to-school used to mean something so important to you, and now that you’ve grown up a bit it all just seems ridiculous. Maybe you can go shopping and pick up a deal or two anyway. Why not? Back-to-school season simply reminds you of your youth. You either love it, or hate it.

ERA 3: The Parent

The commercials appeal to you because that means your kids are going back to school. Either that, or your little ones are going away for the first time, and it’s the beginning of a new era. You are all about savings. They don’t need the most expensive shoes or clothes, and why do they still need colored pencils? Seriously. Summer’s end only means that the weather changes, because you haven’t had a summer break in ages. You will be sad to see the babies grow up, or you will be elated to have the teenagers out of your house. Basically, back-to-school is all about your kids leaving the house!

ERA 4: Post-Parenting

The kids are all grown and they are having kids of their own. Back-to-school season has come full circle. Now you are there to pick up all the goodies that you never would have bought as a parent. Maybe you can look back at back-to-school season with fond memories. Or maybe the whole rigamarole has you flummoxed. Either way back-to-school for you means nothing more than a memory.

And let’s not forget teachers. But that’s a whole different blog.

Which back-to-school era you are in? Do you look back at this season with fond memories? Let us know in the comments below.

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