Gluten and Dairy Free

With a member of my family being gluten and dairy sensitive,
I am always on the look out for new recipes that the rest of
my family will also enjoy. sue

apple-brown sugar coffee cake

preheat oven 375

1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
plus 2tsp.
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (dairy-free)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large apples-cored, peeled and cut into
1/2-in. pieces

In a large bowl, whisk 1 cup flour, baking powder and salt.
In a small bowl, stir together 2 tsp. of flour, 1/2 brown sugar,
chocolate chips, walnuts and cinnamon.
In another small bowl, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar and the
remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar. Whisk in the oil and vanilla.
Stir into the flour mixture until just combined.
Pour half the batter into a lightly greased 9-in. round baking pan.
Top with half the apples and half the crumb mixture; repeat with the
remaining batter, apples and crumb mixture.
Bake for 30-35 minutes.


more tree love

I live in the midst of trees, hovering over my house, shading it and cutting the wind. I’ve many images in my mind of trees I have enjoyed. The sour cherry tree in my childhood backyard in Brooklyn (yes a tree does grow in Brooklyn,) a huge maple in front of my house in New Hampshire, the wonderful tangle of mulberry in my friend Lili’s front yard in Appleton. My favorite from my Montville home was a very large old yellow birch that grew in the stone wall in the backyard. I climbed it, enjoyed it’s shade and admired the changing leaves through the seasons, and this winter it’s a large part of the firewood keeping me warm. I’m also getting a chance to appreciate the various colors and patterns splitting it has revealed.
These are some trees I have met in my rambles through woods and along old roads.
Enjoy – Debbi

Tree Love


On my morning walk (which turned out to be more like a skate!) I was struck by how many interesting trees were cropping up everywhere. As kids my sisters and I always had our favorite trees in the woods. There was the grandmother tree up by the ledges, the dolphin tree that we would ride on pretending to be mermaids and the stash stump in our hideout that kept our picnic lunch cool on hot summer days. Wherever I’ve travelled I always seem to find one tree or another to bond with. In Ghana it was the shade tree by the taxi station (I cried when they cut it down), in Sri Lanka it was a Macaranga tree with heart shaped leaves bigger then my head with a red dot marking where the stem merged with the leaf base, in Costa Rica it’s a great shade tree on Conchal Beach perfect for hanging various items of clothing and for drying your towel 🙂 !
If you have a favorite tree send it in to share….thanks for listening and enjoy a tree today!





The calender says it’s officially spring….

March 20th was the Spring Equinox. Even given that we live in Maine, this year it’s late in showing up. I needed to think about something other than snow and cold and ice and found great inspiration in a ‘coffee table’ book on flowers at my cousin’s house. Interspersed with wonderful photos were quotes about flowers.
One that especially caught my eye was this: “The earth laughs in flowers.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

These flowers are two of the first arrivals at my house that always lighten my mood.

Planting Peas

DSCN1752As I look out at the garden covered with snow, I try and remember the last time my peas were not in the ground by the end of March. I am aware that there are still a few days left in the month. Maybe it will rain instead of snow. One can only hope! Sue

Montville Grows Great Kids

IMG_20140324_093904_421A lullaby
Written by Annabelle for her elephants, Bella & Ella 🙂 ( click on picture and it will enlarge for easier reading)
A wonderful verse, written by Annabelle Lewis and sent on to the blog by her mom, inspired me to think about how Montville residents grow some mighty fine kids. Having kids of my own that are almost grown up ( we could have a whole post on exactly what the meaning of being ” grown up” is) and being somewhat mid-way through life, I have witnessed examples of Montville’s youth from their early stages and beyond. To list all the places, the occupations and the roads traveled by those who have been (or are) reared in Montville, would take volumes of writing. So, here are just a few examples.
Montville kids……Trek across South America, become interior designers in New York City, join the Peace Corps to teach sustainable agriculture in Ghana, are Olympic gold metalists, teach nutrition to inner city communities, develop a recipe for all natural and wholesome macaroni and cheese and market it nation wide , teach english in China, grow to be accomplished musicians, artists, and photographers, become dental hygienist, farm and grow gardens here in Montville (and elsewhere), hike the Appalachian trail, make their own clothes, have landscaping businesses, paint houses, become carpenters, work in the health field, become environmental scientists or engineers, become political activists, fight for justice, make soap, work in graphic design, fix cars, lead Audubon expeditions in Central Park, become dancers, live here in Montville to have families and raise more amazing kids………to name a few. Really something, don’t you think? Thanks to Annabelle for sharing her work and who is well on her way to becoming a very fine writer!
Be Well, Denise