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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
Dark thoughts only control us, if we let them! 1.bouquet 2.cactus 3.girl 4.quote Continue reading
Posted 12 hours ago 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 4 days ago 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 7 days ago 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
Happy belated Tasha Tudor day! Yesterday was our Saturday and a bit busy, so we had an impromptu tea of biscuits and fruit. (One of the many great reasons to keep un-baked biscuits in the freezer, ready to go). Hubby was busy with 6 cords of wood, so he popped in all dusty and dirty but I told him Tasha would not mind. She liked a hard working man ;-) As always Tasha seems to be a part of our day to day! Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Another great mind visual, build on the new!! 1.cake 2.bowl 3.skirt Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2014 at Storybook Woods
In my attempt to eat low carb (trying to keep my blood glucose down) I am eating basically a paleo diet. Not that I chose a paleo diet, it just mostly suits my needs. I do eat a lot of raw and vegetarian (although vegetarian can be carby, all those beans and rice) but I can only go a few days without meat. Since we buy a whole animal, cows and pigs, we get a lot of ground meat. Which is fine. I like it, it is versatile. Burgers, meat patties and meatballs are served often in my house. I am always looking for a way to change it up a bit and these Moroccan burgers are a big hit. It seems like a lot of spice for only a pound of beef but that is the point. You want these really flavorful, so go heavy handed with the spices. Also play with what you like and what you have on-hand. Honestly, I do not even measure when I make this. I tried to give amounts reflective of how I measure in my mind. A good smoked paprika is a must. I use lots of turmeric and garlic because it... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2014 at Storybook Woods
I confess even though I am 52, have had years of therapy and have moved on in a lot of ways from my childhood, negative thoughts and comments said to me as a child still plague me. It is fun, I find they creep up on me when I least expect it. Like I am having a great day, then ... boom, the smallest thing has me thinking, "you are so dumb" "you do not even try, if you would only apply yourself" "you are not going to amount to much". I get in a spiral of negative thoughts and I (or ask my hubby) have to talk myself out of them. I love the idea that my brain has rent and only good renters will reside there!! 1.girl 2.roses 3.umbrella Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Happy (102, if you were still with us!!) Birthday Julia! You were one of the most influential people in my life when it came to cooking. I will always remember Saturday afternoons, cooking with you and my mother. Happy memories!! Julia image Facts about Julia A children's book I am wanting to read!! Related articles My Life in France by julia Child Hurry, a Fab 24 Hour Give-away!! Amarcord Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2014 at Storybook Woods
This is definitely a year of questions. Last year was too. I think it is a hard place to be, I like answers better than questions. Having said that I am trying to embrace now, embrace the question, not the answer! 1.crystal palace 2.lights 3.girl Related articles Chalk Wall Blooming, carbs Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2014 at Storybook Woods
We are still working on the kitchen and probably will be for another couple of years (we work slow and David has very little free time). The floor still needs to be pulled up, there is hard word under that gross linoleum. I would like to put in a farm sink and there is work to be done in the pantry but still all is looking good. I am happy. I think now when you come into the kitchen you get a real feel for what I am trying to convey. A victorian French kitchen!! Nerina (my gas range) is a free standing stove, so there is blank space on both sides. I have a little storage table David build me on the other side of the range but David is going to make me a narrow rack to hold platters on this side. Since you walk in and see this bare stove, I wanted something to help dress up the space. This is my french corner for the summer. I change it out with whims. I do not have much display space in my kitchen, so I am enjoying this little table!! Related articles Chalk Wall Storybook Year 2013... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Almost 6 months into this lifestyle change, there are certain things I still struggle with (like not wanting to exercise). I can feel overwhelmed, like I have no power, no self-control. It is like I keep bumping against the same wall over and over but I have to remind myself I do have the power. I just have to pick myself up, click my heels and use that power!! 1.door 2.strawberries 3.Dorthy Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Well if you do not like chocolate, than this post will probably do nothing for you. But since I cannot imagine anyone not liking chocolate, I will continue on :-) Granted you may not be a chocoholic like me. Red wine and chocolate have their own food group in my life. Since wine raises my blood sugar, I have had to imbibe lightly (which is probably a good thing) but dark chocolate has been my life raft on this journey. As I posted before, the first 6 weeks of my diet I did not eat sugar but I ate dark, very dark 80-90% chocolate. I would have a square, which I would take tinyyyyy nibbles off when I thought I was going to break down like a small child (which I felt like a lot, especially those first 2 weeks coming off carbs and sugar). Luckily I already liked really dark chocolate. Which has very little sugar and is good for me, so as long as I do not eat the whole bar in one day. My appreciation of chocolate is beyond a candy bars. Really started in my teens when my mother and I went on a day-long chocolate... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Good day fellow Tasha fans. In light of the fact that Tasha Tudor's family has their own blog, I have decided to hand Tasha Tudor day over to them, so to speak. I will continue to honor Tasha every year in my own life and with my family but not on my blog. The reason I am posting about this is to ask you if you have my button on your blog would you mind removing it and linki Rookery Ramblings instead for Tasha Tudor day. Really the family should be.directing this. I love that every year we all take a moment, stop and think about Tasha. Think about how she has inspired us to live life more simply but fuller. Tasha affects my day to day life in a real way and I am very thankful for this. Also a reminder Tasha Tudor day is one month from now, August 28. I think my girls and I will have tea out in the garden. Maybe read Becky's Birthday xox Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2014 at Storybook Woods
This message is very close to my heart. I am a crier, emotional and have a lot of empathy of those suffering, outsiders like me but this was frowned upon by some in my childhood. I was told a lot to suck it up and not show my emotions. I was told it made me weak but I realized in time that my emotions were my strength. It takes strength to be vulnerable and those criticizing me, actually were afraid themselves to show their vulnerability. It is a risk to be vulnerable but it is worth it, even if we are rejected. Because being emotional is what makes us human and that makes us a better person. 1.mirror 2.lace 3.girl Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2014 at Storybook Woods
One of the joys of living on the water in the northwest, is how tepid the summers are. It rarely goes over 75. Most people do not have air conditioning or ceiling fans. And for those few hot days, well like when it snows ... we fall apart ;-) This last weekend we were in for record breaking heat, so I turned to my facebook friends for no-cook ideas. They always give me the best advice. One friend mentioned an ice box cake. I will be honest and say I have not had many of these, even as a child. So after much research this is my spin on ice box cake. Pineapple and caramel have always been a favorite combination of mine. I love the sweet acidity of fresh pineapple against the richness of caramel. Now this would be even better with homemade cookies but since the whole point was not to heat up my kitchen I bought cookies and salted caramel sauce (Trader Joes). The amounts do not have to be exact, just have plenty of everything. I have to say I LOVED this combo. A real fav and perfect on a really hot summers day!! Pineapple Salted... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Do you make sure you have time in your day to wander? Physical, mental and creative wandering is so important. It is where we find ourselves!! 1.girl 3.meadow Related articles Encouraging Thoughts Bloom Journal Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2014 at Storybook Woods
The summer issue of Gatherings is out (and I made the cover, woohoo ;-). Sadly this is our finally issue. I am sorry to see Gatherings end but I think we are ending on our best work yet and that is a beautiful way to end. I learned so much being a food editor. Working with Annetta Bosakova (all the photos are her work) and Heather Spriggs Thompson has been such a learning experience and I grew quite close to both of them. Heather has always trusted my "food vision" for the magazine and I cannot tell you how much that means to me. Annetta is always able to take what is in my minds eye and make it come to life. That is not an easy task but then she is very gifted. The summer issue has a recipe for making Herb Infused Butter (which is very different from herb butter. I keep jars of it in my fridge for cooking). There is also two recipes using the butter: Grilled Chicken with Bay Butter/Honey Glaze and Lavender Butter Chocolate Brownies. I am always looking for new way to use fresh herbs! These brownies can be made gluten free, whole... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2014 at Storybook Woods
"I mean really, if we would look at each day as if it's the first time we've seen it, how would it appear?" quote by Melissa. Thank you for the post, it touched me!! 1.water 2.balloons 3.girl 4.quote from book Home Behind the Sun Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2014 at Storybook Woods
First off, happy 4th. I feel so blessed to live where I have such freedeom!! Now onto my project. I was at a friend shop and spied this beautiful shelf. I loved all the curves and cutouts. I had it in mind for my kitchen but when I got it home, it did not work in the space like I was hoping. Loving the shelf, I walked around my home trying to find just the right spot for it. Then it hit me, this would be a perfect room divider. My living room, is veryyy long with 3 distinct spaces, divided by arches. At one end is my "photography studio", the middle is a sitting area and the other end is the dinning room. It is all open to each other. I have been looking for a way to make the dinning area feel more separate, all the while still feeling like a part of the space. The only problem is my shelf was meant to hang on the wall. Hubby came to the rescue. The back of the shelf hangs lower than the front. So he put in little feet in the front and now it stands on all... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2014 at Storybook Woods
You are much stronger than you thought and there is always a light at the end of a tunnel xox 1. girl 2.papers 3.tomatoes Related articles Bloom Journal Encouraging Thoughts Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Once a week I head to the island, so Chloe can hang out with her best friend. They have been doing this for a good 14 years. We mom's knit, chat and cook all day. Both of us are foodies and have similar diet restrictions. I have to say, over these years we have ate very well. This is a salad I made the other week for our get together. I have to say it was quite tasty and easy to make!! Grapefruit Cucumber Stuffed Avocado Salad one avocado, halved, pitted and skin removed 2 grapefruits, cut into wedges. I save the juice from the leftover grapefruit in a little bowl 1/3 of cucumber, cubed 6 or so kalamata olives, sliced a drizzle of good olive oil garlic clove, minced salt and pepper to taste Mix all ingredients except the avocado together. Add a bit of the leftover juice from the grapefruit and adjust taste to suite your palate. Fill avocado with salad and enjoy. This salad is easy to bling up. Any fruit, cheese, snow peas, a little chopped salami are all good. The possibilities are endless. Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2014 at Storybook Woods