Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Some Patchwork a Pillowcase and a Pack

I love patchwork. It has always been a sign to me of someones hard work and patience. A sign that someone took the time to make something intricate; sometimes basic, sometimes elaborate, always lovely. When my son was 5, I started a sack for him; a hand sewn patchwork rainbow that I knew he would love. But as sometimes happens, life became crazy and I lost track of this sweet little crafting project. I found it when he was 6 and swore it would be finished but again it got lost (this time to moving and packing) before I could be done with its creation. Now, though, there is much peace in my world and I have found this sweet little project, a gift of the heart intended for so long ago (ok 2 years but in kid time that's forever!). And so to finish this project today is my task. And it is one I truly look forward to doing.
 The shell of the these rainbow colors!
 The flap of the bag.
 The pillowcase that will soon be the lining of the bag.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Now Reading...

There are times when my appetite for new knowledge, or old knowledge revisited, is insatiable. I fill up my basket and my cloth bags with book after book after book until I have reached the limit of my library card. Some of these reads are just passing glances, books that appeared more than what they truly offered. Some of them , though, I find fascinating. Books that really get my attention, shift my view, or teach me something new and useful are books I believe I should share with you. Since in California I am unable to have an Amazon Associates Account which would allow me to share these books with you in an easy to access format, I will do my best to make this a helpful medium for finding good things to read!

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate diCamillo
Labor Pain by Nicky Wesson
The Well-Adjusted Child by Rachel Gathercole
Parenting From the Inside Out by Daniel J Siegel M.D. and Mary Hartzell M. Ed
Handmade Home by Amanda Soule
Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning by Judith MacKenzie McCuin
Teach  Yourself Visually Knitting by Sharon Turner
Beyond Time Out by Beth A. Grosshans PhD
Half Magic by Edward Eager
Magic or Not? by Edward Eager
Start Spinning by Maggie Casey
The Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger
Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway

This is just a small list of what I am currently reading. I hope you find these books as interesting to read as I have. If you find that there is a book in one of the pictures which I did not mention leave me a comment and I will do my best to return a comment with that information in it. Happy Reading and a Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 28, 2011

On and Off the Hook...

On my hooks a chunky winter sweater sat being worked here and there when mama had the time. For a month this sweet little sweater waited patiently as I worked a row here and a row there. But this cute little sweater has finally reached its' finish line and I am very proud of it. It is crocheted using a front post, back post trade off every three crochets. The yarn used is Cascade 128 Superwash and the colors are 1918, 821, and 872. I used antiqued wooden toggle buttons to give this sweater a more classic look and created a cowlesque collar for that cozy yummy feeling. My sweet 7 year old was kind enough to roll our of bed and model it for me and in a few days this little sweater made full of love will be off to its new home. 

So much more crafting to do it's hard to decide where to start. I may just do eeny meeny miney mo and go with the one that wins! Happy crafting and I hope your holiday was delightful!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

And the Winner Is...

Congratulations to Alanna who was selected through Random Number Generation as the winner of a copy of "The Organic Family Cookbook" by Anni Daulter. Please email me your mailing information and your book will be sent to you right away! To everyone else, thank you so much for participating. I hope you all had a great time. I will be doing more cook alongs so stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ten little thanks...

...for hands that craft and a mind that creates beautiful things to share
...for family who will be here to visit, sharing love and yummy meals for 3 days
...for healthy loving children who reflect the good that I do in the world
...for the dry cool weather that is perfect for a bundled up hike
...for the kindness of friends when you need them the most
...for a man who loves me especially on my bad days
...for hugs and kisses and giggles in spades
...for baskets full of treasures collected from the wonderful wide world
...for good books that feed my imagination 
...for every breath that I am blessed with

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


 Bodhi's first fingerpainting using condensed milk and food coloring
 Trying to secretly get the raisin-ized grapes off the vine

 Beautiful even as the rain falls
 The worlds smallest lumberjack
 Playing tag

 Almost looks like the stick is a flute and he is about to play

Monday, November 21, 2011

Book Review and Interview

Anni Daulter's newest cook book, "The Organic Family Cookbook", is definitely a breath of fresh air to the cooking community as well as to the world of family cooking. With page after page of delicious, savory, palette satisfying recipes, there is guaranteed to be something for everyone in the family; be they a vegetarian or a picky eater. Anni has found a way to bring to the table meals that bring the family together -from growing veggies with her toddlers to baking bread with her bigger boys- and encourages a family food culture that savors the joy of home cooking from the garden to the plate.
Ruth: What prompted you to write "the Organic Family cookbook"? 
Anni: I wrote this book because I wanted to reach more people with my message about eating healthier and living more simply. Its such an amazing opportunity to get to write books and so I take on the job very seriously. I want my books to be fun, informative, easy and beautiful. My hope with The Organic Family Cookbook was to invite people into my life and support them in making greener + more organic choices for their own families. 

Ruth: Of all of the recipes, which is your personal favorite and why?   
Anni: Oh my, that is not a fair question! I love so many of them...The garden tacos are fantastic and that was a fun little discovery...The banana nut frech toast (that is one of my favorite things to eat), and maybe theroasted chicken with dark chocolate dipping sauce and roasted veggies.

Ruth: What do you envision for you and your business for the future?  
Anni: I am doing many things...Next year I have 3 new books coming out:Naturally Fun Parties for KidsSacred Pregnancy ; 2-in-1 Baby Purees + Family Meals. I have a new site launching called Sacred Pregnancy that will accompany my SP book and I will be involved in promoting those two things. There are many ideas and plans in the pot so to speak, but I can say that I do have plans to open up my own restaurant and look forward to sharing my cooking and other ideas with the larger public very soon.
Remember to post a comment today to be in the drawing for the cookbook! Thank you all for participating!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cook Along Day 3

Welcome to day three and the final recipe in the cook along. I hope that you have been enjoying yourself. I know this last recipe will leave you with a smile on your face! Happy Cooking!

Roasted Cinnamon Apple and Sweet Potato Galette
This dessert is so easy, yet it looks like a super-fancy treat. They say you eat with your eyes
first, and this recipe is a beauty, and the great taste follows. This galette has a light and flaky
crust, a sweet topping, and a little crunch from the almonds. I like to serve it after a light
meal, as the sweet potatoes and apples are really filling. It is best to use a mandoline slicer
to slice the sweet potato and apples. If you don’t have one, slice them as thinly as possible.
1 sweet potato, thinly sliced
1–2 Gala apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon coconut oil
4 tablespoons honey
1 sheet puff pastry, chilled, not frozen
½ cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, for dusting
whipped cream, for serving
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment
In a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, place sweet potato and
apple slices, and drizzle with coconut oil and 1 tablespoon
honey. Roast for approximately 15–18 minutes.
While sweet potato and apple slices are roasting, roll
out puff pastry, ¼ inch thick, on a floured surface, into
about a 12 x 20-inch rectangle. Create an edge on all
sides by rolling up some pastry. Poke a fork in the center
of the dough a couple of times. Move the dough to
the parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Remove roasted sweet potato and apple slices from
oven. Arrange slices all over dough, creating any pattern
you like with them, and add sliced almonds on top.
Keep the dough in one big piece. Drizzle with the rest
of the honey and bake on the prepared cookie sheet for
15–18 minutes, until pastry has puffed up and is light
and golden brown in color.
Sprinkle with a little cinnamon, let cool slightly, then cut
into squares and serve with whipped cream.
Serves 8–10

Don't forget to leave a comment in the comment box so that you will be entered in the drawing!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cook Along Day 2

Welcome to day two of the cook along! I know those doughnuts were fantastic so now on to the main course recipe. Enjoy and happy cooking!

Mini Chicken Satay Bites with Spicy Peanut Dressing
on a Bed of Red Quinoa
This recipe is great for kids, because the chicken bites are a mini version of satay that can
be easily eaten. Add the super grain high-protein red quinoa, and you have a stellar dish.
Thai food has a wonderful way of marrying sweet and spicy flavors, and this is a classic that
everyone loves.
Chicken Satay:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts                                   1 garlic clove, whole and peeled
bamboo skewers                                                                1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons coconut oil                                                    1 pinch black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder    
1 teaspoon coriander                                                           Spicy Peanut Dressing:
2 teaspoons turmeric powder                                                1/2 cup unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter
4 shallots, chopped                                                              1 tablespoon coconut milk
2 garlic cloves, diced                                                            2 teaspoons sesame oil
juice of 1 lime                                                                      1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
1 teaspoon oyster sauce                                                      4 teaspoons rice vinegar
                                                                                          2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
Quinoa:                                                                               1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 cup red quinoa                                                                  1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 cup vegetable broth                                                           1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup water                                                                         juice of 1 lime
To make the satay, cut chicken meat into small cubes, and thread them onto the skewers.
In a food processor, combine coconut oil, chili powder, coriander, turmeric, shallots, garlic, lime
juice, and oyster sauce. Pulse until it makes a pastelike mixture. Pour mixture into a container
large enough to hold all the skewers. Add the skewers and let them marinate in the refrigerator
for 2–4 hours.
Preheat grill while preparing the quinoa and the peanut dressing.
To make the quinoa, put quinoa, vegetable broth, water, garlic clove, butter, and pepper in a
pot. Cover and bring to a boil. After it comes to a rolling boil, turn down the heat to low, and
cook quinoa for about 10 minutes, until liquid has evaporated. Take out the garlic clove and set
quinoa aside until chicken is ready.
To make the dressing, in a food processor, mix all ingredients together and pulse until blended
to a smooth consistency. Set aside until chicken is ready.
Grill skewers for about 3–4 minutes on each side. To serve, spoon a bed of red quinoa on each
plate, add some chicken pieces on top, and put a bowl of the dipping sauce on the side.
Serves 4

Don't forget to leave a comment in the comment box so that you will be entered in the drawing!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cook Along Day 1

Welcome to day 1 of the cook along. Have fun and enjoy today's yummy recipe!

Surprising Baked Buttermilk Donuts
Most folks hear donuts and they immediately think they are bad for you. Truthfully, most donuts
are not healthy, but this recipe is tasty, easy, and healthier than most. The kids like to sprinkle
the donut holes with cinnamon-sugar for an additional treat.
Cook’s Note: When baking donuts, it’s easier when you use a donut pan; however, you can use
a donut cutter.
½ cup warm buttermilk (not hot because it would kill the yeast)
½ cup warm whole milk (not hot)
1 package active yeast
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon hemp seed powder (use your coffee grinder)
1 teaspoon baking powder (recipe page 158)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup pure cane sugar
1½ teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup honey
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 425°F and coat donut pan with an organic cooking spray.
In a bowl, combine warm buttermilk and milk with yeast. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine flours, hemp seed powder, baking powder, salt, sugar, nutmeg, and
cinnamon. Add this mixture to the milk mixture and stir together.
In a separate bowl, combine eggs, butter, vanilla, and honey. Add to the flour-yeast mixture and
whisk together well.
Spoon batter into donut pan, filling each ring ²/³ full. Donuts will rise during baking. Bake in the
middle of the oven for about 8–10 minutes, until golden on bottom. You can also bake the donut
holes on a separate sheet pan at the same time, until golden brown.
Top the donuts with a light dusting of confectioners’ sugar and serve warm. If you make the donut
holes as well, coat baked holes with melted butter and dust with cinnamon-sugar (1 part cinnamon
to 1 part sugar).
Makes 10–12 donuts

Don't forget to leave a comment in the comment box so that you will be entered in the drawing!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Getting Sew Excited

To make, to make, oh what to make for this craft happy time of year! I have gifts galore on my to do list but they are secrets. A few ideas can be shared however...wanna know what i'm doing? I'm preparing to begin a crafters workshop for clothing that I have designed for you all to enjoy as much as I enjoy them. I'm preparing to open an etsy for my sellables; and let's just say I have developed a new found love for bustles and pin stripes! I am finishing up the first commissioned sweater I have done in years. It is exciting to be making things for people beyond my loved ones. It presents a set of challenges that keep me making and motivated. And I am of course making gifts for the holiday! Yay!
How are you crafting your holiday?

Here is a tiny peek into my works in progress...

Happy Creating!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Let's Go Play

 Such a beautiful profile
 Debating the quality of this dirt for tasting
 Bending to eat dirt every 2 feet as we walked...tried but couldn't stop him

 A closer look at his dirt mustache after many nibbles on our walk
So proud of his movable sandcastle 
After being home for nearly a week without outside contact, yesterday I had the sudden and overwhelming urge to do anything but chores and be anywhere but home. And so with dishes in the sink, dirty laundry laying about, and children at the ready we took the day to relax, play, and enjoy the company of each other and friends. These days feed my soul. They offer me a moment to just smile and absorb all of the crazy things I set forth to do in my life. Today was a good day!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Postcard Views

 His deconstructionist phase

 Slowly filling up the fire scoop at a time
 Proof that mom needs to relax...such a serious face!
 I love Fall!
 Once volcanoes now spider homes
 Practicing being a "Broom Ninja"
 Who needs toys!?
 I want to climb this gorgeous old guy!

Monkey see monkey do!

When the days are long and the house is dirty and I feel as though, "this is not my beautiful life!", I simply step outside and take in the wonderful view that sits before me. I listen to the sounds of my children having a blast and see the smiles on their faces. I take a deep breathe welcome myself to be present for these oh so fleeting moments and remember how truly blessed and wonderful my life really is!