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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
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 yesterday at Storybook Woods
1.plate 2.chair 3.dress Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago 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
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