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my blog
Interests: travel, knitting, calligraphy, classical music, wine, homemaking, history, parties, tea, homeschooling, brewing, nature walks, charlotte mason, chocolate., england, old children’s books, susan branch, making bread, entomology, cooking, drawing, sewing, baking, france, decorating, crafting, cozy mysteries, cottages, old building
Recent Activity
Our Thanksgiving menu this year. We love the technique of spatchcock chicken, so we are trying it with turkey. We will see how it goes. Are you trying anything new for Thanksgiving? Spatchcock Turkey Baguette, Smoked Oyster, Pancetta stuffing New York Style Pumpkin Cheesecake Sour Cream Apple Pie ps. I forgot to put Spiced Port Cranberry Sauce and I may add this Roasted Oersimmon and Ginger Custard to my menu too!! Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Storybook Woods
Ones health is very important. Having goals and keeping them is crucial but there are days when ones need to just let go and splurge a bit. Have that slice of cake (or pizza). Really, truly, enjoy it. And if you truly for your health cannot have a slice of cake, then redefine what cake is to you. The point is take a day off now and then, just enjoy. Even if it is not good for your health because it will be good for your soul and that is still a good thing l! 1.Jane Austen Cake 2.cupcakes 3.girl Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Storybook Woods
Every Thanksgiving I make a small gift for each of my guess, as a reminder of that year. This years gift is wood spoons. I have painted them red and stamped them with the saying "stir up thankfulness". In the past I have made acorn cross, bronzed pine cones, paper feather, book apple and cups. I think I will add a tag so each person can write what they are thankful for this year. You will need wooden or bamboo spoons with a flat handle. Acrylic paint, painter tape, alphabet stamps and a stamp pad. You could paint over the stamped side of the spoon with some kind of sealer, I did not. Start by taping off the spoon, so you can paint the back and sides of the spoon. I found I only needed one coat of paint and then just a touch up in spots. Also I filled the hole with a little ball of painters tape. Tip, if you get paint on areas of the spoon you do not want, I found it easy to sand off with fine grit sandpaper. Finally stamp out your saying. I suggest you practice a few times on paper first but... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Judgment, both giving and receiving, is not good for our soul. It impedes our growth and blessings. 1.berries 2.thread 3.girl Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2014 at Storybook Woods
LOL, well can you tell I am loving my roasted winter squash? I have been putting it in everything, even soup. Even though I am not suppose to be eating bread, we do have pizza night once (or twice) a month. I have tried some alternative pizza crust but really did not like them. So how I handle pizza crust is first to not have it a lot, duh ;-) Second to make myself a small pizza, like the size of a dessert plate. Lastly, I eat all the topping and about half of the crust. My family is thrilled to finish off my homemade crust for me. This seems to be the best solution for me. Luckly I can have small bits of bread and it does not send me into a bread craze. Actually I think small bits now and then keeps me from feeling deprived. There are foods that if I get a taste of (like TJ mango gummys) I cannot stop. I crave them so bad, so I just do not eat them but bread is different for me. This low carb thing, is such a day to day walk. When we do pizza night, it... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Love this and a really brilliant idea. Clarice
Toggle Commented Nov 5, 2014 on Tabletop Fix - A Tutorial at Shabby Cottage Studio
I love this quote because I think it speaks to the kind of beauty that is not obvious. You know how you look at something and then keep thinking about it? it slowly reveals itself to you. The longer you look at it the more beautiful it becomes, until you think how did I not see that in the first place? That is because true beauty lies within our hearts and it takes time to see that kind of beauty! 1.pitcher 2.ribbon 3.girl Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2014 at Storybook Woods
This salad was born out of me trying to like cauliflower. It is such a healthy and cheap veggie. I really wanted to embrace it. I LOVE roasted veggies, so I started there. I roasted both cauliflower and delicata squash (which I love because you do not have to peel it). I really like how the sweetness from the squash rounds out the salad. Then I made a yummy vinaigrette with kalamata olives. My thinking was their strong flavor would basically cover up the cauliflower flavor I was trying to get use to. I served the veggies on a bed of fresh spinach. This is now my favorite fall salad. A dinner all on it's own or a great side dish to a grilled steak. I have to say after enjoying this salad I now love roasted cauliflower and eat it plain as a side dish or snack. Next is to get used to mashed cauliflower with cheese ;-) Roasted Veggie Salad w/ Kalamata Olive Vinaigrette Serves 2 or 4 small dishes 2 cups cauliflower, broken into very small pieces 2 cups delicata squash, cut into cleaned ½“cubes (I do not peel it becuase the peel is edible) 3 TBL... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2014 at Storybook Woods
1.plate 2.chair 3.dress Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2014 at Storybook Woods
I have not written much lately about my pre-diabetes. I am doing good. It has been 7 months or so. No symptoms, I am working out and doing pretty good on my diet. Which to reiterate is a low carb diet, lots of veggies and some protein. I am not eating quite as low carb as I was. I am adding small amount of beans, sweet potatoes, quinoa , etc. You cannot not eat super low carb long term. If I eat a really bad, carby meal I try to eat real low carb the next day to balance myself out. I find now if I eat too much of something like bread I get a terrible stomach ache, so I satisfy myself with a small slice now and then. It if funny the some of the carbs I thought I would miss I do not like pasta and other surprises me like I really crave corn tortillas. It is a constant balancing act. Plus I have my family (if it was only me to feed, it would so much easier ;-) This dessert came out of trying to make something for my family but also for me. They have... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2014 at Storybook Woods
I am so glad I learned this in my childhood!! 1.vignette 2.autumn hays 3.girl Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2014 at Storybook Woods
I am having fun with instagram. Here are some fall corners of my home. Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Beautiful quote and so wise! 1.girl by me 3.wreath Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2014 at Storybook Woods
This is a recipe from lasts fall issue of Gatherings, Rustic Romance (the digatal version is free by the way). It is a simple soup recipe I wanted to share! Carrots are an ubiquitous vegetable and one that I always keep on hand. This soup is straight forward. Carrots are cooked in broth and pureed with a touch of cream. What gives the soup its depth of flavor is the hazelnuts and the parmesan rind. I got the idea from light summer minestrone I make, full of vegetables and herbs. I try to keep the leftover rinds from my wedges of parmesan cheese and throw them in soups. After the soup is cooked, I toss the rind away. It is like getting one last squeeze of flavor from the cheese. Simply garnish your soup with some toasted hazelnuts and hazelnut oil. You have a clean but richly flavored soup! PS all photos are taken by Annetta Bosakova Carrot Soup Garnished with Hazelnuts 6 small servings 2 shallots, peeled and minced 2 TBL olive oil 5 cups carrots, trimmed, peeled and sliced into ¼ “slices 4 cups of chicken broth or water Heal of parmesan cheese (the thick end of a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2014 at Storybook Woods
I confess I give up easy but this is something I want to change about myself. 1.little girl 2.leaves 3.acorns Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2014 at Storybook Woods
I wrote this post 3 years ago but I have to say these words mean more to me now than when I wrote them. David and I are working on getting rid of all debt. We are cash only now. Which is great but leaves very little after bills. We have been frugal over the years but still found ourselves falling back on credit for extras. We did not have best communication in this area. We never fight about money (we do not fight about much) but to be on the same page now is much better. Sticking ones head in the sand is not a good idea. Having written this though I have to say it is hard being on such a tight budget. It is hard to be in our 50’s and not be able to travel, our bills seem bigger and we just feel more insecure. I have had to say no to several wonderful invitations and opportunities. Not that I am complaining!! We are blessed beyond!! It is just that I needed a reminder of the beauty in frugality and thought maybe you do too. So I am reposting, Frugality Is Not A Killjoy xox “By... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Well this says it all!! 1.veggies 2.water Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2014 at Storybook Woods
So I posted last week about my Roasted Pear Sauce , which I have to say is brilliant (and I am not bragging, I took some to my mom and she LOVED it)! It is amazing all on it's own. With potato pancakes, homemade yogurt or shortbread cookies but I wanted ot create a recipe using the pear sauce. I mentioned on FB (as I often post what I am cooking for dinner) I had made this amazing cake using the pear sauce. Everyone wanted the recipe, so here we are. It is grain-free (because that is what I can only eat but you can use the pear sauce with any apple sauce cake recipe) and easy but please read all my notes below the recipe. Not that I am trying to make the recipe harder but I think if you understand a recipe, what you are trying to create, you will have a better produce in the end. Plus if someone cannot explain to me what and how their recipe is all about, I am weary of their recipe. Enjoy!! Roasted Pear Sauce Cake, grain and dairy free Makes 8’ round cake Please read all my notes before making... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Dark thoughts only control us, if we let them! 1.bouquet 2.cactus 3.girl 4.quote Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2014 at Storybook Woods
I have decided to go back and rewrite some of my old recipes (Hopefully in these past 8 years I have learned to write recipes better.). Roasted pear sauce is a recipe I make every year so it is a perfect choice since this is my favorite and simplest way to make pear sauce (or apple for that matter). Please check out the notes below before making. There is also a recipe for Caramel Pear Sauce using the leftover juice. It is wonderful on pancakes, ice cream or fresh fruit!! PS I have a rockin grain-free cake highlighting this sauce that I will be posting next week. Make sure to come check it out! Roasted Pear Sauce enough pears to fill a large baking pan w/ a lid (I used about a dozen) I like anjou 2 cinnamon sticks 2 vanilla beans, cut in half 4 whole anise 2 large slices of candied ginger or fresh ginger, cut into wide strips ½ cup sugar (I use coconut sugar), see notes 1 cup water Pre-heat oven 250°F Do not peel or core the pears. I cut pears into 1/4, leaving seeds, skin and all. I only remove the stem. Fill pan... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2014 at Storybook Woods
I love this quote and think is so essentially true. Too many worry and wonder if they are doing it right, if it is suppose to be like that, if everything is perfect. You are not trying to represent art, you should be trying to get lost in art! flower 2.girl 3.illustration Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2014 at Storybook Woods
We have been busy harvesting our Italian prune plums. I LOVE these plums but really did not pay attention to them until moved to the island 23 years ago. The old tulip farm we lived on had a huge tree. Oh my goodness they were wonderful and perfect for cooking. I was on the island the other week and picked up some beautiful, artisan made heritage pork sausages. So I thought it would be fitting to create a recipe for these sausages using some of our prune plums. Now I used unripe plums because I liked the idea of a bit of tartness against the sweetness from the pork, cabbage and cream but you can use ripe plums too, just read my notes about them at the end of the recipe. This is a very quick recipe about 15-20 minutes cooking. And to save yourself more time, cut up your onions/mushrooms/cabbage in the morning. I used a LOT of cabbage and only 3 sausage to make the meat go father (they were not cheap but oh so worth the money!) but you can use less cabbage or more meat. It does not matter the cooking time is the same. This... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Patience! I hear it is a virtue and one I need ;-) 1.yellow sweater 2.butterflies 3.flower print Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Chloe got braces and this means she cannot eat my artisan bread, the crust to too much for her. So ... (I shutter to share this) I indulged her for a while and bought, (gross and cheap) squishy white bread. But indulgences (and hot summer weather) is over. For years I have been making Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day bread. I keep a big bucket of dough in the fridge and make a loaf of boule every other day. It is sooo easy, even a four year old can make it. But I have never made Buttermilk Sandwich Bread (in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a day book, page 207) with this method and I have to say is was a big success. Also it is just as easy. I am not not going to post the recipe here because the author has not but check your library and see if they have the book. If you really cannot get your hands on the book, look around others have blogged it. So here are some notes and reasons why you should make your own sandwich bread!! First off bread is expensive, especially is you are looking for organic!!... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2014 at Storybook Woods
1.apron 2.embroidery 3.doggie Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2014 at Storybook Woods