Sunday, November 30, 2008

snapshot of fall 12

We spent a lot of time in the park this weekend. The weather perfect for long walks and the kids love finding trails that are off the beaten path.

I am gearing up for the craziness of the next few weeks.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

snapshot of fall 11

Still enjoying the slow pace of our weekend.

Friday, November 28, 2008

snapshot of fall 10

We are having a nice relaxing family weekend. A much needed change of pace.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I have spent most of the day cooking for Thanksgiving. The amount of food that is being made is crazy. One might think that it was for many more than nine people, but everyone has certain things that they want and before you know it...

In addition to a regular herb stuffing, I am trying a new one I found, Smoky bacon and biscuit dressing. I made the biscuits this morning and they are fantastic. They are really easy to make, almost as easy as the boxed stuff. I am thinking that the kids would like them warmed with butter and honey as a breakfast treat.

Cream Biscuits
Williams Sonoma

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. sugar
2 1/2 cups heavy cream

Preheat an oven to 425°F.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the cream and stir until no lumps remain.

For each biscuit, drop 1/4 cup batter onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing the biscuits about 1 inch apart. Bake until the tops of the biscuits are pale golden and the bottoms are golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes.

Makes 12 biscuits.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

cook books

Every few years I join The Good Cook. I was recently sent their catalog in the main and decided to rejoin. My books just came today and I am very excited. As soon as I get some free time I will read through all of them. I am so happy to have some new things to make the kids for dinner.

Monday, November 24, 2008


After a very long break, I have finally started to knit again. I stopped knitting last winter after knitting like crazy. I owe my two oldest earflap hats, so I pulled out my stuff. I love the hat pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. It is knit in the round and they knit up pretty fast. I should have both of them done by the weekend.

Friday, November 21, 2008

birthday treats

My oldest is going to be nine on Sunday (the youngest will be four in a few weeks). It is crazy how fast the time has gone by. He wanted to bring in a treat to share with his class today. I told him he could pick whatever he wanted to bring in and I would make it. His choice were toffee blondies. They are popular in this house, I have been making them for years. I hope that they were a hit today.

I doubled the recipe and baked them in a 9 x 13 pan. I had to adjust the cookie time.

Food Everyday
October 2003

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup toffee bits

Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, with a bit of an overhang on two sides. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and salt. With mixer on low speed, add flour, and beat until combined. Stir in toffee bits by hand.

Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake cake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven; cool completely in pan.

Grasping foil, lift cake from pan. Peel off foil. Using a serrated knife, cut into 16 squares. Store blondies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

blog sale

I thought it would be fun to have a sale in my etsy shop today.

Spend $40 or more in my shop today and get free shipping and a special gift.

Type blog sale in the message to buyer to receive this offer.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

snapshot of fall 09

I took lots and lots of pictures on our trip to the park. Crazy amounts of pictures for the card and a few others. I liked this one of the covered bridge.

Monday, November 17, 2008

snapshot of fall 08

We took the kids to the park yesterday. It was a bit chilly, but not awful. I was able to get our picture for the holiday card done. Last night I spent some time working on it. The sample is done, so now I just need to make them.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I was looking through some of my cookbooks last night and spotted a recipe for apple blackberry pie. I think it would be a hit with the kids, so I will make it for dessert tonight. I just made the crust and will make the pie later this afternoon.

We are planning to take the Christmas picture today, never a fun activity, so I think the promise of warm pie with ice cream might help!

The recipe calls for both butter and shortening, but I alway use all butter.

Pie Dough
Cooks Illustrated, November 2007

Makes enough for one 9-inch double-crust pie

2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into small bits
1/4 cup cold vodka
1/4 cup cold water

1. Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

new cards

Lots of new stuff to add to my etsy shop.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I have tons and tons of work to do.

I just sent a piece I was working on for a friends sister to the printers. I have to get invitations made for a house party a friend is hosting. I sent out an evite to the house party that I am having at my house. My friend is going to sell her book at the party as well so she will help with some of the cooking for the day. I also have to get working on a bunch of custom orders that I have. I have started to work on the first Christmas card of the season (not mine). I am planning to take the picture for our card this weekend. I have an idea for the card in my head, but they never turn out how I first invision them. And, I still have to make tons and tons of cards to have for all the events that I have.

Bit of rambling today.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

a movie day

The kids had a half day today. I was planning on taking them to the zoo, but the weather is not right for the zoo. It is cold and raining here. To make it a special day (remember how fun half days were?) I told them that after lunch I would make them a big bowl of popcorn and they could pick out a movie to watch. The popcorn is done and I just put Curious George on for them. It is not easy for four kids to agree on one movie!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

snapshot of fall 07

A boy enjoying his day off from school.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

snapshot of fall 06

A spot of color left in the garden.

Monday, November 10, 2008

another house party

I just returned from another house party. It went well. People have been picking up note card set to give as teacher gifts. I am also thinking that I might get a custom holiday card order or two.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

house party

I just got back from the house party my friend hosted. Not many people came, but those who did bought a ton. I also got two christmas card orders. The next house party is tomorrow and then I have a bit of a break before my next event, but need to get a ton of stuff made for the next few events.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

little houses

Little Houses has been marked as a favorite for awhile now. I love the jackets that they make. I have a thing for jackets. This red one is on sale, I might have to make a purchase.

photo by little houses

Friday, November 7, 2008

house party

I think that I am all set for the two upcoming house parties. I have 200 packs to bring with me. I hope that they are well received.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

nothing like...

...a dinner party to kick your butt into high gear and finish all the little project that need to be done around the house. I have spent the week trying to get everything done for Saturday. I painted all of the trim on the first floor, I hung the new curtains in the living room, and I finally (this was years in progress) recovered all the the dinning room chairs in the toile fabric.

I have also been working like crazy to get everything ready for the two house parties that I have coming up. I have tons and tons of new cards. I hope to also list a lot on etsy soon.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I have been buying lots of pomegranates for the kids. They love to eat them for snack at school, and they are pretty good for them too.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I saw a recipe the other day for cottage cheese pancakes on Smitten Kitchen and thought I would try them out for the kids. I make them pancakes once or twice a week and I am always looking for new kinds to make. A few years back I made them ricotta pancakes, they hated them, so I prepared myself for the worste with the cottage chesse pancakes.

Since they are off from school today I thought this would be a good morning to make them, which I did and they were a huge hit. They are now one of my oldest sons top three pancake recipes. I served them with some of our homemade strawberry jam on top.

Usually when I make pancakes I omit all of the sugar. These call for a decent amount which I used this time, but I will use less the next time.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes
from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk
1 cup full-fat or low-fat cottage cheese
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large egg whites

Lightly butter, oil, or spray your griddle–nonstick works best with these, if you have them–if needed, and preheat it over medium heat. If you are using an electric griddle, preheat it to 350 degrees F. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F if you do not plan to serve the pancakes hot off the griddle.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon or nutmeg and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, cottage cheese, butter, egg yolks and vanilla.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently whisk them together, mixing just until combined. Stir in the walnuts and/or currants, if using them.

Beat the two egg whites until they are stiff but not dry and fold them into the batter.

The batter will be thick and bubbly - similar to cake batter. Spoon 1/3 cup batter onto the griddle for each pancake, nudging the batter into rounds. These are thick and might take a little longer to cook than most other pancakes. Cook until the top of each pancake is starting to dry around the edges - you will get a few bubbles here and there - then turn and cook until the underside is lightly browned. These will keep in a 200 degrees F oven while you finish making the rest, but they are best served immediately, when they are at their lightest and puffiest.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I have my first holiday open house this Sunday followed by the second on Monday evening. I picked up more holiday paper, I was afraid that I did not have enough holiday cards. I am going to try and get lots more packs made by Sunday.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

scrap packs

I just sold some of the scrap packs that I had in my etsy shop. I just added a new one. I am surprised by how well they have sold. I wish everything would sell as well!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

dinner party

After a long day of soccer and parties for the kids I am going to spend the rest of the night reading my cookbooks. I am having a dinner party next weekend and I need to plan the menu. I will let you know what I decide to make and any suggestions would be great.