Friday, December 31, 2010


yet another scrumptious, easy, gorgeous
dish from the fabulous tracy porter.
it would be perfection on new year's day.

:: clafoutis ::
{say clah-foo-TEE}

{raspberry-peach clafoutis}

i have made this french custard-y dessert
in every season.
it works beautifully 
whether you use fresh or frozen fruit.
i've made it with
and even sans fruit.

most often,
i make it at night to eat for breakfast.
it is perfect with a cup of tea or mug of coffee.

you can get her recipe here.
and be sure watch the video below:

☼happy new year!☼

today is 04/02/14
and i'm finally adding the recipe to this post:
butter for pan
3 c fruit {cherries, raspberries, peaches, plums}
1 T flour + 1 T sugar for fruit
1/2 c sugar
4 eggs
1 c half & half
1/2 c all purpose flour

2 T brandy {optional}
2 T melted unsalted butter
1 t nutmeg
1 t vanilla
1/4 t salt
powdered sugar to dust
preheat oven to 350°, butter a 9 in cast iron pan.
mix fruit in 1 T flour and 1 T sugar, then lay in pan.

combine sugar, eggs, half & half, flour,
brandy, melted butter, nutmeg, vanilla, and salt.
whisk. pour over fruit.

bake until golden & puffed up (center should be set), about 1 hour. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

banana bread

i made this today.
it has been a family favorite
for as long as i can remember.

banana bread {makes 2 loaves}

4 cups flour {i use half whole wheat pastry flour}
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter {at room temp}
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups mashed ripe banana {four big ones}
2/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup chopped pecans

preheat oven to 350°
butter 2 standard loaf pans.

sift flour, baking soda, salt.

cream butter, add sugar, then add eggs and banana.

combine milk & lemon juice.

to the butter mixture, fold in one third of flour mixture, then half of milk mixture.  repeat.  it should go: dry-wet-dry-wet-dry.

fold in pecans.

pour into prepared pans and bake for 1.25 - 1.5 hours, or until a knife comes out clean.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

kids workshop at home depot - this saturday!

although it will be new year's day,
THIS SATURDAY {january 1st}
is the first saturday of january!
that means it's the
free kids workshop
at the
home depot
the times are different due to the holiday
11:00 am - 2:00 pm

click here for more information
and to see this month's project
{a battery organizer ~ looks like a mini bookshelf}

here are the pictures from last month
when ned made...

~a picture frame~

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

handmade holiday :: special beaded necklaces

these are the necklaces
the kids made for their moms
in our handmade holiday workshop

i love the neutral, icy palette.

we used agate, amethyst, and rose quartz
mixed with pretty glass bugle beads.

Monday, December 27, 2010

:: holiday gift exchange ::

for the second year in a row,
i was blessed to be part of
a very special holiday gift exchange.

twenty-three women, from coast to coast,
participated in this creative scavenger hunt.

with a spending limit of $20.00,
we were thrifty and imaginative.
we searched our attics and local thrift stores.
we made things by hand.

this year's six categories were:
france / china / handmade /
favorite things / food or drink / london wall

these are the treasures i received
from my dear friend, nicki:
{the french toile fabric wrapping is "france"}

{♥ thank you, nicki! ♥}

you can go here to see the treasures
dawn received from emily.

we have had so much fun,
first, shopping & gathering,
then, seeing photos of everyone's gifts.

it is a near-perfect expression
of inspired holiday giving.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

apples to apples

have you played this game?
it's so much fun.

two winning plays from tonight:

{emily made this blank card "people who live forever"}

at the end of the game,
we each read the green cards we have won
as a sort of personality summary.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

☼ merry christmas ☼

{cinnamon roll recipe here}

Friday, December 24, 2010

handmade holiday :: fabric wrapping

:: something to consider ::

wrapping your presents in fabric is
beautiful & eco-friendly.

this is my favorite method:
using a long, narrow strip of fabric,
set the present in the center.
gather the long ends and tie.
no tape needed & it has a self-bow.

grandma & pa are here!
{ned taught pa how to play wii mario brothers.}

santa claus comes tonight!
merry christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

getting ready

making a gingerbread house

making soup

grandma & pa come tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

handmade holiday :: catnip mouse

quick & easy catnip mouse
{we made these in our handmade holiday workshop}

felt :: thread :: stuffing :: catnip :: yarn

fold felt in half & sew a semi-circle shape
leaving one end open for stuffing.

stuff 1/2 with fluff,
add a little catnip,
then stuff other 1/2 with fluff.

tuck yarn tail into opening and sew closed.
our cat LOVES his,
but this one is for fritz.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

winner winner turkey dinner

yes, it is as though we live
in a norman rockwell painting...

this lucky boy
won this turkey for christmas dinner
in a contest at our local US BANK branch.
{here is ned with a very nice bank lady earlier today.}

his "christmas wish" page was his entry.

the bank called last night
to tell us that ned had won.
even the vegetarians in the house
were overjoyed by this little christmas miracle.

someday, he will tell his children
about the year he won a turkey for christmas.
it will verify for them
that their daddy grew up in the "olden days."

Monday, December 20, 2010

:: christmas wish ::

this is ned's

what is yours?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

regrouping {and complaining}

despite my efforts to simplify the holidays, yesterday pushed me into deep exhaustion.  i raced around to be part of a very hip open studio sale & party, then emily arrived at 10:30 pm.  i was too drained and too depleted to post here.

for six weeks, i have not had time on the weekends to catch up on sleep.  i've been really busy and stressed, with no time to do the things i need to feel good & grounded.  {my friend amber calls this "cycle of neglect."}  it is my own personal recipe for getting sick - and yes, i've got a cold & cough to show for all my hard work.  i have received several "are you okay?" calls from friends who have not heard from me.  no, i'm not really okay.  my life is hugely out of balance.

today i woke to a headache and a messy kitchen.  {ugh}
i washed dishes, cleaned counters, made a batch of scones & a big pot of tea.

do i start making christmas cards?  {have not even started}
on the drive home from the airport last night, i decided that i might not send them this year.  honestly, the kids fought me when i took their picture for the card.  when you look at the photo, will you see my 3 darling kids?  or will you see the agony i went through to take it?  add to that, i deleted my entire address book so i will have to input each address  or write them by hand.  {gasp}

today i will take some advil, drink 20 cups of strong black tea, and regroup.

any and all advice {and encouragement to do less} would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, December 17, 2010

show & tell {and felt star ornaments}

for show & tell today,
ned brought his slide-out, wind-up, musical,
spin-around-christmas-scene matchbox

it is his second favorite christmas thing.
{his snow globe from santa is his #1 favorite.}

and he gave handmade felt star ornaments
to all of his teachers

Thursday, December 16, 2010

have you seen what my friend jessica is up to?

this is my new necklace that was
(freshly finished yesterday)
i {L♥Ve} it!
my 3 favorite names
with 3 kinds of metal
and 2 different chains,
and it has a beautiful hammered texture.
she & i are on the lookout
for a taupe pearl to add to it,
because more is more.

also, check out the new ruched jersey scarf
she has created in my favorite color
they sold out fast and are now backordered
{you can get in line behind me!}

she is always coming up with new designs,
and it was so much fun to work with her
to create my special necklace.

click here to see all of her designs.
email her with any questions or special requests:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

all aboard the polar express

ned got to wear his pajamas and slippers to school
because today was
:: polar express day ::
his principal was the train conductor.
he collected their tickets & read the story.
they had hot cocoa with marshmallows,
and bunny came home wearing a bell.

p.s. have i mentioned just how much i love ned's school?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

handmade holiday :: plaid desk set for dad

start with plaid flannel shirts.

{expect a few raised eyebrows at the copy store.}

cut to fit a large empty can
& hot glue in place.
{we also glued circles of felt to the bottoms & insides of our cans}

trace can with dressmakers chalk 
onto four thicknesses of flannel.
sew along line & cut to trim.
{it's a coaster!}

extra credit:
use a fancy button-making machine
to make a matching button magnet
to hold a note on the can.

:: plaid pen cup ::

:: plaid coaster ::

:: plaid magnet ::

 a plaid dad is a glad dad.

Monday, December 13, 2010

the olympia candy kitchen in goshen, indiana

my dad grew up in goshen.
he hung out at the olympia.
he took me there as a little girl.
he and i took emily there as a baby.

there is an old-fashioned soda fountain
and a super-tall pressed-tin ceiling.
it is like stepping back in time.

you can order a vanilla phosphate {my favorite}
and a toasted peanut butter sandwich.
{or a toasted nut olive sandwich... not sure about that one.}

take a look at their menu here.

whenever we would visit
grandma grace & grandpa weldon,
we would stop by the olympia for a box of
hand-dipped chocolate maple creams.
{the chocolate is swirled into an M on the top.}

you can still order them here.

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