Tag: food and drink

gifts from long ago, far away and real close

gifts from long ago, far away and real close

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my mother sent me this beautiful apron yesterday that belonged to her great aunt.

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isn't it beautiful?

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she also sent our favorite cutout cookies...yummmmmmmmmmm
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she made these scrumptious coconut cookies with chocolate buttercream frosting. that is real "butter"cream this is a new recipe. we are really enjoying it!
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we had plenty of sugar in the house then my mother-in-law stopped by with a box of chocolate for us. what to do? have a piece, plenty of dark chocolate in here for me. don't you love their chocolatier?

hope that you are enjoying the holiday as much as i am.

sun bread

sun bread

well we finally made the sun bread from the sunbread book by elisa kleven. this was our first venture in homemade bread. we had some challenges but it was fun and it tasted pretty good.

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before it went in the oven

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beautiful when it came out

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the picture speaks for how delicious it was. it reminded me of butter rolls that my family always had for the holidays. yummy all warm with more butter and some jam.

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books to inspire creativity

we spend so much time at the library and on-line looking for new books. as i have mentioned before we love to read. lately we have been looking at books to help us find new things to create and some of our favorite books from the past. here are a few.

joseph had a little overcoat by simms tabak

our dear friends gave this book to helen for her 2nd or 3rd birthday. it has beautiful, colorful illustrations that make you want to find all the colored pencils and print intensive magazines and collage all day. the story also reminds to continue to of my favorite lessons to share.

the quiltmaker's gift by jeff brumbeau and gail de marcken

also a christmas gift when she was very small. this book has beautiful illustrations a great story of a woman who makes the most beautiful quilts for those in need and how a king in his desire for the one possession that he cannot acquire learns where true happiness comes from.

the paper princess by elisa kleven

we found this book at the library it was our first introduction to elisa kleven. we have given this book for countless gifts. we love the illustrations and collage. the story is very sweet to. a girl creates a doll out of paper and it flies away and the paper princess tries through her adventures to return to the girl who created her.

the apple doll also by elisa kleven

story about a little girl who makes a doll out of an apple to come with her on her first day of school. the kids at school make fun of her, but in the end they all learn how to make the doll. very sweet story. directions to make the doll included.

the wheat doll by alison l. randall ; illustrated by bill farnsworth

we found this book at the library. sweet story about a pioneer girl that loses her best friend, a doll made from wheat in a storm. the mud near where she lost the doll begins to sprout wheat, she cares for the wheat and makes another doll. we read this over the summer and plan to use some of the cedar chip stash that we have from the addition to make a doll. we have also been wanting to make some sachets for valentine's day (given that the moth's think my sweaters are the tastiest in the house) the cedar just smells so yummy and looks so pretty most of it was from the plainer so it is shaved post to follow soon.

plaidypus lost by janet stevens and susan stevens crummel

this is one of those books that we read endlessly when helen was very small and i did not mind. the cadence still continues in my head whenever i hear platypus. this story was one of the reasons that i really wanted to take the create a character class from marisa haedike creator of creative thursday last year at the squam art workshop. we have wanted to create a sweet "plaidpus" from a few of the many plaid shirts that belonged to my father-in-law who helen sadly never had the chance to meet, but shares a birthday with.

mirabelle by astrid lindgren and pija lindenbaum

i feel so redundant but here is another great book about doll, this one grows from a seed (scary that the seed came to the little girl from a stranger when her parents were not home, i have always altered this while reading the book).

quick crochet huge hooks by sally harding - i have been taking this book out of the library every few months for over a year; i really want to make the rag rug out of fulled (the word used for repurposed wool sweaters that have been "felted" per my class at squam last year with the amazing betz white). i have been putting off the rug because i wanted to make it round and i was having trouble finding a book with good instructions on how to crochet in the round...i think that i finally found a few...details in another post. i decided to try to just crochet a rectangle or square rug for the first try.

a few cooking books too.

sweet pea loves her historic american girl dolls...i try not to do things that are typically so commercially driven, but i have found these dolls have much to offer in peaking greater interest in handmade and history. we now have molly from 1944 and kirsten from 1854, she is also fond of felicity from 1774. we have been getting many books from the library and the bookstore on these three characters. the most fun i think are the cookbooks, they offer recipes and history of how these girls would have cooked, what they would have cooked and how the family would share in the meal together.

last week we made a recipe from felicity's cookbook: a peek at dining in the past with meals you can cook today (american girls pastimes) we made almond tarts. it was fun to make, we both think that the recipe would be better with almond paste instead of the chopped almonds. also overload on the butter and i am typically with julia child when it comes to butter.

for christmas helen received molly's cooking studio. i think that we are going to try the applesauce cupcakes, the victory garden soup and the nut and raisin bread which seems similar to a recipe that my mother made at christmas time when i was a kid. she backed them in coffee cans then wrapped them in colored cellophane. i just always remembered how tasty they were and how pretty they looked.

she also received salad people by mollie katzen for her birthday and we did not have a kitchen at the time and now we do so we need to start some recipes from there. we have tried the recipe for chewy energy circles a few years ago when she took a food science course. they are quite yummy.

sun bread another book by elisa kleven i think that santa brought this book a year ago, but we did not have an oven, there were many gray days last winter when i thought a little sunshine bread would brighten up our day...we will be trying this on the next gray day. recipe for bread included.

one last book for today is everything on a waffle by polly horvath.

this is about a girl named primrose whose parents are lost at sea and everyone thinks that they have perished but primrose is certain they are trying to return to her. she befriends a women who owns the local restaurant called the girl in the swing (is that the greatest name for a restaurant) and she serves all of her meals on a waffle. very fun story with recipes interspersed in the story.

soulemama had a great post a few days ago about books her family loves to read in the winter, i am going to be spending some time looking them up tonight and i am sure having some that i cannot find at my library transferred over.

successful raspberry essence stand for breast cancer

successful raspberry essence stand for breast cancer

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sweet pea came up with a recipe for "raspberry essence" a few weeks ago and we decided to use it for our making strides for breast cancer "lemonade stand" this year at the park avenue festival. it was a really big hit. we used local homegrown raspberries and juiced and strained them with some filtered water and a touch of sugar. delicious, fresh and refreshing. so different too.

MS stand 2009

we also brought the bracelets to sell. we only sold a few of those but no worries we are having our making strides kickoff breakfast for the local walk on thursday morning when all the team leaders get together to be inspired to raised lots for research to FIND THE CURE. the event is mc'd by one of our very dynamic local newscasters and a personal friend of helen's (she is so proud of this), ginny ryan. we are so inspired every year.

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my sunshine spoke at this event 2 years ago to over 500 people when she was 5. originally she did not want to speak, she was going to let me do the talking, not really my dream but anything for the cause. once we were up there, she was drunk with the power to hold the attention of so many and to bring them all to adoring response. it was a challenge to remove her from the microphone.

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last year she did not speak but ginny let everyone know that she was selling her bracelets and asked her to stand on her chair so that everyone could see that for the past 3 years helen had raised over $2500. per year and they could do it too. i was so proud. helen was so thrilled just to be able to stand on the chair and to have everyone give her an unbelievable round of applause was almost more than she could stand!

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i am hoping to get the bracelets out on etsy soon. i will include a link as soon as they are posted.

blueberry mint smoothie

blueberry mint smoothie

7-7-2009 blueberry smoothie

trying to get a healthy start on the day.

blueberry smoothie.

about 1 cup of frozen blueberries
a few tablespoons of plain nonfat organic yogurt
a handfull of mint
juice from a wedge of lime
a few ice cubes
acai mixed berry juice enough to generously cover mixture in the blender

blend until smooth.
enjoy with a few nuts or hard boiled eggs.