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We Have a Winner

December 26th, 2012

This afternoon I chose a winner for the Lilla Rose Flexi-Clip. Congrats to Lisa from The Cutting Edge of Ordinary who said:
I want to thank Beth for doing this giveaway! I also wanted to mention that there’s a sale today at Lilla Rose today, free shipping and 10% off. Head on over to Beth’s page if you’re interested in taking advantage.
lilla rose sale

A Smashing Success

December 26th, 2012

After mentioning in my post about the big dinner we had planned, many of you asked for photos. Of course I took photos all throughout the day. The beauty of a meal like this one, is that it doesn’t take a lot of work, it’s a lot of waiting around. I was lucky enough to score a beautiful 10.5lb standing rib roast from a local farm last week.
Making Christmas Dinner 1
Christmas Dinner Again 1
This isn’t my first time cooking a standing rib roast, we’ve enjoyed them New Year’s a few times in the past. This year I decided to give Alton Brown’s dry aging a try. Basically you wrap the roast in a towel and put it in the fridge for a few days to dry a little. I’ll give it two thumbs up, so did everyone else. The dry aging is supposed to help the meat cook more evenly, providing a medium rare roast throughout instead of one that is cooked on the ends and rare in the middle.
Christmas Dinner Again 2
The beauty of a standing rib toast, is that it bakes in the oven for a few hours while you prepare the rest of the meal. The Christmas dinner menu from The Williams-Sonoma Entertaining was my guide for the meal because all of the sides are made on the stovetop. There were mashed potatoes with celery root, caramelized carrots, oyster stew, sautéed mushrooms, marsala au jus, fresh horseradish sauce and a very impressive Yorkshire Pudding!
Making Christmas Dinner 5
Christmas Dinner Again 3
Dinner’s like this are great because they’re a good excuse to get out the nice glasses and silverware. It reminds me of the joy of setting up tea for the dolls as a kid.
Making Christmas Dinner 8
Making Christmas Dinner 6
The meal was perfectly rounded out by a maple bourbon pecan pie, which was AMAZING. I used my Grandma Graham’s Pie Crust Recipe. The bourbon in this recipe really helps cut the sweetness of the pie. I’ve always found pecan pies to be way too sweet, but this one was just right!
Making Christmas Dinner 2
Making Christmas Dinner 3
bourbon pecan pie
Mr Chiot’s even roasted decaf coffee beans and fired up the coffee maker to make cappuccinos for us to enjoy with the pie. Along with the maple bourbon whipped cream and the pie, it was the perfect ending for a wonderful meal.
Making Christmas Dinner 7
Christmas Dinner 4
We were happy that my parents and our neighbor (who brought some wine) came up to enjoy it with us. Oh yeah, the recommendation that you need one pound of standing rib roast for every person is a bit overkill, looks like we’ll be eating on this for the next week (not that I’m complaining).

What did you enjoy for Christmas dinner?

Merry Christmas

December 25th, 2012

No doubt we’re already busy working on our traditional Christmas dinner, complete with standing rib roast, Yorkshire pudding, oyster stew and a few other delicious things. We hope you have a wonderful day filled with good food, family and friends and lots of love.
Merry Christmas from Chiots Run copy

Cultivate Simple 11: Highly Sensitive Susy

December 24th, 2012

An honest and unrehearsed discussion about trying to live a more simple life. This is episode 11 and today we are talking about being an HSP (highly sensitive person) and an introvert. Even if you are not an introvert, you know one. You might even be married to one. It is good to understand what it means to be an introvert.

10 Myths about Introverts – Except from The Introvert Advantage
Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.

Caring for Your Introvert

The Highly Sensitive Person quiz

Quote of the Day: Duane Elgin

December 23rd, 2012

“Our life experience is based more on our individual level of awareness than on any particular external experience. Our enjoyment of life is profoundly enhanced by the knowledge that we don’t need much in order to be happy. By consciously adopting a simple lifestyle, we give ourselves the opportunity the be satisfied and happy, whether or not we strike it rich or not.”

Mother Earth News, in article about Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin

Yesterday, as I baked and cleaned in preparation for Christmas and I thought about what I really love. Cooking is one of those things. I was planning on having a really nice dinner for just Mr Chiots and I, but then we decided to invite our neighbor who’s a widower. Since his daughter lives in London and the rest of his family lived in the Midwest, we figured he might enjoy some company on Christmas. Then my parents decided to come for a few days and now it looks like we’ll have a full house on Christmas day. It’s a good thing since I got a 10lb standing rib roast at the farmer’s market.
roasted root vegetables
There’s nothing I love more than spending the day in the kitchen making a wonderful meal, then sitting down with friends and family to enjoy it. Cooking is really one of the simple pleasures in my life and one of my favorite things about the holiday season! Whether I’m cooking an expensive rib roast or simply making soup from a few bones, I’m happy in my kitchen!

What are some of the simple pleasures you enjoy during the holidays?

Seeds and Sundries
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Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.