Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Wow! I haven't had anytime to sit and write. So much going on, so much to do.

*WARNING* Lots of words, no pictures, but also some fun links!

I commissioned a wonderful local artist and blog friend to paint something for Wren and Violet. They turned out perfect!

My über crafty friend has an über crafty mom and she has started a blog that is all about winter celebrations called Gingerbread and Snowflakes. You will find eye candy, recipes, and some crafty how to's.

Another friend of mine has started a business called Lost Arts Kitchen and is teaching cooking and baking classes that incorporate slow food traditions back into our fast paced world. I took her Dairy Magic class and learned how simple it is to make your own yogurt and soft cheeses. It is much cheaper and tastier than store bought.

We went to Great Wolf Lodge for a little family vacation. The water park was great fun. There are lots of unnecessary ways to spend your money there. If you go, bring as much food as you think will fit in one of those little hotel fridges as they charge an enormous amount for mediocre food.

And on the holiday front, tomorrow is Thanks Giving! Ahhhh! I should actually be making pie dough, roll dough, cranberry sauce, puréeing squash for pumpkin pie, portioning and puréeing up some persimmon and then figuring out what to do with it. (A post all about the persimmons in question will be coming soon. Oh yeah, and that post about how to make a fish cake...)

OK, I'm not going to mention all the things that I'm working on or need to be working on for Christmas, that will come when I'm out of the weeds with all the cooking and baking I need to do!

(Scroll down the restaurant/diner lingo list to "in the weeds" for that last link.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Quick And Tasty

You've just got to love a dish that is both quick and tasty!

I can't think of a name for this dish that conveys how yummy it is, so I will just get on with the recipe.

8 oz pasta, cooked according to package instructions
1 bunch of cooking greens like chard, collard, mustard, kale. Use one, or a mix.
1 c chicken stock or broth
1 T oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
Shredded Fontina cheese, or Trader Joe's Quattro Formaggio
Bacon for garnishing

I use rotelle pasta and I chop the greens pretty small with the thought in mind that small pieces will get stuck between the ridges of the pasta and then be consumed by my unsuspecting children. That being said, any shape pasta will do.

In a large pot, heat oil on med. Briefly cook garlic until soft, being careful not to brown. Add broth and greens. There will seem to be quite a bit of greens, but they cook down. Stir until the greens are wilted and then put a lid on so you don't loose all the liquid, cook for about 15 min. Mean while, cook your pasta, grate your cheese, get your bacon ready. I baked mine in the oven and then crumbled it to order.

Add your salt and pepper, mix the pasta and greens together. Serve with cheese and bacon. Yum.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Raking Up The Leaves

Or at least trying to. While I was out getting groceries, Denny snapped these pictures.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'll Bake That!

A piano needed to be tuned at Wren's school. A generous man offered to tune it and would do it for a chocolate cake. Seriously? I'll bake that!

I used my favorite cake book, The Cake Bible. Perfect All American Chocolate Butter Cake and Dark Chocolate Ganache, oh yeah.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Violet's Fishy Swimming Party

Violet turned three! She wanted a fishy swimming party. I made a fish cake (how to coming soon), and a birthday crown from The Creative Family.

And these wool felt fish for party favors. We ate cake, opened presents and then all met at the neighborhood pool for a swim. Much fun was had. Hurray for 3!

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's All Black & White

Fleece, that is. I made Mr. Skelly following a pattern from the book Plush-O-Rama.

There are two because one is for Wren and one went to my brother who is stationed in Iraq. My brother is there for the second time and is having a hard time right now. The kids told me that Mr. Skelly protects you from the bad guys, so hopefully he can help their uncle.

I have been wanting to make a panda pillow for Violet ever since I picked up a pillow form from a thrift shop many months ago. Working with fleece was so fun! Kind of like felt, just fluffier. For the panda, I drew a sketch, measured the pillow on the white and cut out the other pieces straight out of the fabric, no pattern. I think the whole thing took me 25 min.

I couldn't stop there and made this simple ghost. I ran out of stuffing though and Mr. Ghosty is still flat.

I think it would be fun to make the kids some jackets with fleece. Not this year though, both of them have plenty of coats and jackets already. Maybe for next year.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I Voted!

Hope all you folks out there that can vote are doing it!

Over at the do stuff! blog, Lee is giving away a pdf file with patterns for a knitted hat, a stencil, an applique, a thank you card design, and mac and cheese recipes for voting. Woo Hoo!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Happy Halloween

Carmel Apples from 101, insanely delicious!

Violet and her friend Anna in their fairy costumes sewn from Wee Wonderfuls pattern.

Violet's pumpkin, ready to be carved.

One of Wren's pumpkins getting carved.

left to right: Wren's, Violet's, Wren's, and in back is mine. Denny just got to help carve the kid's pumpkins and didn't get to his own.

Missing: picture of Wren in his costume!