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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
Good day. I have decided to go back a rewrite some of my old recipes (I wrote this recipe 8 yrs ago). I made Martini Steak for my hubby and he still loves it. I even made it for his friends at elk camp and it was a big hit. This recipe is especially good for tougher cuts of steaks. Since I tend to buy meat in bulk, I will make up several of these and store them in the freezer. That morning, I just pull out a baggie and let the steaks defrost. Then all ready to go and grill! Martini Steak serves 2 2 steaks *marinade ¼ cup liquid from green olive jar ¼ cup gin ⅛ cup Vermouth 1 tsp ground pepper 2 crush garlic heads *garnish Wedge of blue cheese (or Gorgonzola) Sliced green olives Add the first five ingredient, the marinade, in a zip-lock freezer baggie. Mix well and add steak. Marinate steaks in fridge for 4-8 hours or in freezer. Drain off marinade and grill steaks as you like. Serve steaks with sliced olives and crumble cheese on top. Enjoy! Related articles Roasted Veggie Salad w/ Kalamata Olive Vinaigrette Grapefruit Cucumber Stuffed Avocado Salad... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Good day, do you remember my autumn reading corner? Well there use to be a big hutch there and I moved the it to the middle of my living room. It does cut the room in half a bit, but my living room is veryyyy long, with three distinct areas. So the hutch gives each space a cozy feeling. Luckily those huge windows really add light to the room. For the back of the hutch, I just hung a large picture. Simple and I think it is a great look for this time of year! Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Good day, I wanted to thank everyone for the wonderful support I have been getting for Wishes Are Like ... I shared this on Wren Bay's facebook page (which I think everyone can read, even if you do not do FB. I post coupons and extra info there) I tought I would share with all of you, the intro and first 2 chapter. Just to give you a taste of Wishes. Also in my shop, there is a pre-view with these chapters too. I broken down the chapters into 3, to make reading easier. Enjoy xox Wishes Are Like ... Intro Wishes Are Like ... Chapter 1 Wishes Are Like ... Chapter 2 Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2015 at Storybook Woods
I am re-posting this because the old link got deleted. I have to say this is still a favorite of mine! I have several family members and friends who cannot eat gluten and are doing low-carb, so I like to have a few recipes tucked away for them. Honestly, even though my family is not gluten sensitive, I make these cookies for us because they are so insanely good. Enjoy! Snowball Cookies, Grain-Free and Vegan Makes a baker’s dozen 1 ¼ cup almond flour ¼ cup coconut flour ½ tsp arrow root powder (doing low-carb like me, I use psyllium husk powder instead) ½ tsp salt ½ tsp vanilla extract ½ cup sugar, I use coconut sugar ½ cup melted virgin coconut oil 1-2 TBL mild tasting olive oil Powdered sugar Pre-heat oven 325◦F Melt coconut oil and set aside. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone pad. In a mixer bowl add all ingredients except the oils and powdered sugar. Mix together, then with the paddle on slow setting, slowly add the coconut oil. Next slowly add olive oil. You should be able to gently squeeze dough into a ball. If not, slow add a bit more... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Wishes are like … lace. Fragile bits of thread, twisted and knotted and woven into a thing of wonder. A worker’s heart and dreams go into this small bit of lace. She painstakingly works each spool, over, around and through until a pattern appears. Our life is the same. Fine threads of dreams and wishes we carefully weave and twist until … the pattern of our life appears. Good day! After 5 years I am please to announce my second cooking novel Wishes Are Like ... the sequel to Wren Bay is published. Writing Wishes was like a long labor, but I found out I actually love to write. With Wren, I just sat down to write a two page story about a doll and out came a novel. Wishes is so much more. I wanted to write a much more compelling story, as well as reflecting what a cooking/crafting blog represents. I feel I have done that with Wishes Are Like .. In the first novel/cookbook Wren was adjusting to a new life, as a married person, in a new place, Bay Farm.. Now four years later Wren is dealing with what she wants her future to hold, and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Happy October 1st. Fall is in full swing and I am loving it. When I set up my autumn reading corner but the wall felt a little bare. So I scoured around my house and came up with this wonder print from an antique book I owned. By the way the book was falling apart, I wold never tear up an antique book. The printed needed a frame. A girlfriend had found me this holder for a chafing dish and thought it would be a great prop for photos. I thought it would make a great frame (and I can still use it for photos). David just put two screws, one in each corner, in the wall and I can hang the frame on the wall. It was free, easy to do and a great up-cyling project. I love it. So next time you see one of the holders for a chafing dish with no insert, here is a DIY idea! Related articles Bloom, Being Slayed Bloom, Browned Butter Trick Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Well I am done writing, Wishes Are Like ... is getting a finally tweaking. Hopefully it will be ready in 2 weeks. So I have been puttering and set up a fall reading corner. I moved my china cabinet to the middle of the room (I will share soon) and set up this corner. I love it. I have lived in this house over 13 years. Moving furniture around makes it feel like a whole new space. This is Tasha Tudor Corner. Lovelies from my Tasha friends! I wanted a new pillow for my free chair but did not want to spend any money. So I flipped the pillow to the back side, added a doily and some ribbon. Just pinned it to the back with a big safety pin. A easy, cheap redo! Related articles Bloom, Being Slayed Bloom, Browned Butter Trick 9 Years Give-Away Raspberry Coconut-Bacon Salad Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Good day, well I am pleased to share I am just about done with my new novel/cookbook. The title is Wishes Are Like ... a squeal to Wren Bay. I will share more soon but I have finished all the recipes and wanted to share (because I am too excited). There are 42 recipes. Some well know from the blog but 35 new one. I have to say I did not create one recipe my family is not begging for me to make again but the Marmalade Gingerbread (which uses a whole cup of marmalade) was a favorite. Also the Meringues Filled w/ Whipped White Chocolate Cream, was a favorite too. Here is an alphabetical list, to tempt you xox Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2015 at Storybook Woods
I have been requested to write a "Things I Love" post. I will be honest, my life has been very small these last 6 months. I have been working on Wren 24/7, which I have to say, it should be published by the end of the month. So, this is more of a "things I would love to do" list, full of autumn themed ideas. I hope it inspires you! For my family, I want to make this version of pizza Pizza Pull-apart Stack Bread Since pizza is on my NOT healthy to eat list, I will make this for me! Pizza Salad with Pepperoni Chips and Roasted Tomato Dressing I want to make a cozy reading corner in my living room. Wish I had this tartan chair for it! Tartan Corner Would these make sweet Christmas gifts? Fox Pin I HAVE to make this for myself DIY Wool Blanket Coat I think this would be perfect for apple night/day Apple Book Bunting What is on your love to do autumn list? Related articles Bloom, Being Slayed Bloom, Browned Butter Trick 9 Years Give-Away Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2015 at Storybook Woods
So I have been doing this super low-carb thing a good 18 months and over all it is not too hard. I have lazy days where I do not want to deal with it, but still it is not hard. I have found ways to make, or curb, or substitute the foods I love. At first, any food I could not eat, I missed simple because I could not eat it but over time I made it work or just did not want it more. Having said that, there is one food that is my nemesis, bread! Oh, and bread that had been deep friend, a double whammy. I have tried making grain free versions and they are good (actually love them) but they're not the same. Unquestionably not the same! I have found out over time, when it comes to bread, I have NO self-control. Luckily my food snobbery helps me a bit. It has to be good, fresh, just made bread. Wonder bread is no temptation to me, thank goodness. Normally I would say, "just have a bit, a treat, like once a week". This is what I do with other foods I love but are not healthy... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Here is a note I posted on FB about my health and weight lost. Thought I would share it with you!! "Well I weighed myself :-O As I have said in the past, when I started this almost a year and 1/2 ago, I do not weigh myself. I do not want to be defined by a number, nor do I want to focus on losing weight. Yes, I need and want to loss weight but even more so, I want to be healthy and I think by focusing on a number is counterproductive for me. Having said that, I know I weighed around 240 lb, give or take. So I finally weighed myself at my dad's and I am proud to say I weigh 203lb. I have lost about 40lb, give or take ;-) Which is wonderful, and not really important, all at the same time. I want to share for a couple of reason, first to encourage others. I do not know about you but it really inspires me when I see others meet their goals. Second I wanted to say, low carb and HIGH fat is working for me. Not that you are me. You need to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Well I am just behind on everything. One month slide by before I knew it and Storybook Woods had an anniversary in April. I have been blogging for 9 years! Wow! I marvel at what blogging has become. I do not think any of us pictured this but what a blessing it has been. I have been busy locked away in my library writing. I am just finishing the ending of Wren 2 (I am still working on the title). During the week, the girls do the cooking. Chloe got her drivers license! Yeah! It is wonderful to just say " can you go pick up such and such?" This is freeing me up to write. Also I have made a pinterest pin-board for Storybook Woods recipes. I will be adding more. I am planning on rewriting some of my old recipes when I am done with Wren. In honor of nine years of blogging, I am having a give-away. The current issue of Bella Grace, which features Annetta Bosakova. Annetta's work is always stunning and just makes me happy. You will also get a chocolate bar. So tell me whose work you love and why you love it. Also... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Believe it or not, I have a second Wren novel 3/4 written. A much bigger story 80,000 words so far, minus recipes. I have tried to finish it but cannot get to it. So the only way I am going to get this book finished is the way I wrote the first Wren. That means locking myself in my library and immersing myself until this novel is done. I am going to only be posting here once a month and instagram once a week. Hopefully it will only take 2-3 months to finish the bulk of it. So if you need me and I do not get back to you, be patient with me. I will soon xox 1.dress 2.honey 3.cottage 4.window 5.grass 6.tarts Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Since my diet is at lest 60% vegetables, I am also looking for interesting ways to bling them up. Then I came across coconut bacon! Wow what an interesting concept. Basically you take unsweetened large flaked coconut (I buy 5# bags through my co-op), mix it with oil and spices, then cook it in the oven. You end up with a crunchy, savory treat that taste similar to bacon. It really does! I like this idea for several reason, it is inexpensive, it is healthy, it is a way to enjoy bacon flavors when I do not have pastured pork and it taste so dang good. I find myself just munch on it but I created a salad. The coconut bacon is also wonderful on morning eggs with avocado! I encourage you to give it a try and here is a link to several version of the bacon! coconut bacon 1 coconut bacon 2 coconut bacon 3 Raspberry Coconut-Bacon Salad Spinach cucumber radish avocado vinaigrette* fresh raspberries coconut bacon I am not putting amounts because you can make a tiny salad or huge. I toss the spinach, cucumber, radish and avocado with the vinaigrette. Then garnish the top with raspberries... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2015 at Storybook Woods
It is okay if you just got by today. Some days that is just enough xox 1.roses 2.window 3.table 4.girl Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2015 at Storybook Woods
I have to say this is truly my favorite treat/candy. A top and bottom layer of dark chocolate sandwiched in between with a thick orange/vanilla scented almond dough. I came across this recipe for Cookie Dough Bark (Aimee blog is one of my favorites) and thought it could easily be made grain-free. It could actually be made gluten free as I think most any flour would work. I added the orange flavor but it could be left out. As long as you do not eat the whole pan, which is easy to do ;-) this candy is quite carb friendly and healthy. A fat bomb! I keep small squares in the freeze as a yummy treat! PS. Don't you love this carved wood frame I picked up in Oregon? I am not sure what I am going to do with it yet but it is a $4.00 bargain! Orange Chocolate Cookie Dough Bark, grain-free Makes about 27, 1' squares * 1 ½ cup fine almond flour ¼ cup coconut sugar (that is less than ½ tsp per square) a generous pinch of sea salt 4 drops of Flori Di Sicilla or orange extract or juice 5 TBL butter, cut into... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2015 at Storybook Woods
A calm life! It is something I have had to work hard for (my youth was not calm). I like calm, it is a happy place! 1.curtain 2.dress 3.sunset 5.beach Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2015 at Storybook Woods
David needed to run to Portland, so we decided to make it a little last minute date. It was the best discition we ever made. We stayed over-night at Edgefield and what an amazing place! They have a brewery, winery and distillery (I even found a whiskey I liked) all on-site. So my home-brew hubby was very happy. With several pubs and restaurants, live music, a pool and theater, one never even needs to leave the place. It was a sunny day!! We stayed it the Stevie Wonder room (the rooms are inexpensive but you have to use a bathroom down the hall. It was not that bad). Stevie Wonder had performed at Edgefield in 2007 and then were quotes from him on the wall. I have seem him perform in person as a girl, so I was thrilled to stay in this room. Honestly I thought I took way more pictures than I did. But we are going to make this a yearly treat, so I will have more pictures down the road. Here is a peak at what we saw! Related articles Drunken Beans Soda Bread, grain-free Baking Pantry Up-Date Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2015 at Storybook Woods
No truer words were said! 1.door 3.fabric Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2015 at Storybook Woods
I do this every year. I make a loaf of soda bread for Saint Paddy’s day, love it and scold myself for not making it more often. I mean their is easy to make, keeps well unbaked in the freezer and is delish. I am determined to keep mini loaves in the freezer. I tried a grain-free version and even my family loved it, so I thought I would share with you. It is a bit different then the other GF recipes floating around. I know there is a long list of tips but please read through them. Fist off, I feel like if a cook can explain their recipe to you, if they understand it, then one can trust the recipe more. Second, if you are new to grain free baking some of the tips might help you! Soda Bread, grain-free Makes 4 individual soda breads or 12 small biscuits Dry ingredients 2 cups almond flour ¼ cup coconut flour 1 tsp. xanthan gum 2 tsp. sweetener, I use coconut sugar 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. baking powder ½ tsp. baking soda **** 4 TBL. cold butter, cut into small cubes Wet ingredients ⅟₈ cup dried currents Zest of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2015 at Storybook Woods
I love this because often when I lose, I feel like I failed! 1.girl and arbor 2.boxes Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Beside cooking, my other passion in life since I was a little girl is fashion/beauty. Really this was a first love. When I was a little girl I would sketch outfits, designed my wedding dress and bought my first wedding mag at 10. I would sit for hours as a teen playing with make up. I have worked as a make up artist, gave classes on homemade facial and how use make a bunch of outfits out of only a few pieces. But then babies came along and instead of focusing on me, I had fun dressing these adorable girls. It is funny how life circles around. My girls are women now and dress themselves :-P When you are young it is all about you, then you have babies and it is all about them. Then it comes back to you. Well really a combination of them and you, as it should be. The best of both worlds! Also turning 50 my beauty needs have changed. What worked before, does not now. Plus have you been to pinterest or youtube? There are so many fun tutorials, new products, a better way to do things. So I have been playing. Something... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Why do we always look to others for happiness? When in truth nobody is more invested in their happiness, than themselves! 1.girl 2.handle 3.key Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2015 at Storybook Woods
I mentioned on FB I was making drunken beans for dinner and someone asked what that was. I realized I had not written a recipe for it, which is stupid because I make these a lot! This recipe is another case of me trying to create a bean dish my hubby would like. He HATES beans. I figured if I worked some pork fat in there, that would help ;-) The twist, so to speak, is to boil the beer down to a thick/bacony sauce. It is an easy step and takes those beans to another level. David loves these and I find the more her eats them, the more he is open to eating beans. Since beans are so healthy, full of fiber and cheap, I am thrilled! Drunken Beans Makes 4 cups 4 cups (or two 15 oz cans) cooked pinto beans 3 slices of raw bacon, cut into small pieces 1 tsp. oil, I like raw coconut ½ large onion, chopped in small pieces 1 cup beer, I use whatever my homebrew hubby has on-hand but rich ale is good. 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tsp. ground pepper 1 TBL. salt Heat a soup pot on... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2015 at Storybook Woods
1.gardener 2.snowdrops 3.rhubarb 4.ferns Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2015 at Storybook Woods