You might have noticed in the winter I tend to hibernate hard. There hasn’t been a lot of action on this blog… but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy.
I’ve been going in between our cozy little home and my studio.
There has been lots of crafting,
reworking old ideas,
working on new ideas,
working on things just for fun,
there has also been lots of reading, knitting, and lots of family time. The days are getting brighter, longer, and I feel like I’m waking up from a lovely cozy dream.
I’ve been dreaming about making these mini banana splits since I first laid eyes on them a couple weeks ago. The girls and I made them together yesterday (more them as you can see). Ours didn’t look as amazing as the ones in the recipe, but man, they tasted sooooooo good! Our dinner table hasn’t ever been so quiet as when we were eating these. 🙂
Sosi made the rice crispy snowmen for a dinner we had with some friends on Saturday. She had seen a picture of some popcorn marshmallow snowmen in an old American Girl magazine we had lying around and has been fixated with making them ever since… like mother like daughter!
This past week has been filled with quite a bit of chaos. New puppy craziness, less time to work or sleep, children with fevers, a broken dishwasher. When life gets like this and I feel the chaos starting in on me I always find calm in the kitchen.
My sweet friend Lesley often leaves cookies on my doorknob. Around here we refer to her cookies as “Lesley cookies”. They are big and delicious, full of butter and chocolate chips… totally unapologetic cookies. Last week there were a new type of Lesley cookies on our doorknob, even better than the original. So good I had to make some myself… and I want to share the recipe with you.
Lesley’s Other Cookies
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 white sugar
Cream until fluffy
beat in 1 egg
and 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup of oats
1/2 cup coconut (unsweetened, medium dessicated)
1/2 cup flour
Stir up. Add handfull of raisins or chocolate chips. Drop into cookie pans, bake at 375 degrees. 10-15 minutes until brown around egdes.
… and in the tradition of Lesley you must go hang some on someone’s doorknob. Enjoy!
Soup and slippers, two essentials for this time of year. This morning they matched.
Soup: beet soup, my recipe. (which is to simply find all the beets in the bootom of your fridge and put them in a pot. Add red cabbage and red onion because they’re purple too.)
Slippers: Camper slippers, best . birthday. gift. ever. (thanks Paul)
I think Thanksgiving has to be one of my favourite holidays, mostly because it is centered around food… in particular pumpkin pie. Sosi shares my deep love of pumpkin pie. I always make her a mini pie, because I know she has a hard time waiting until dinner to have some.
I finished Ila’s dress. It turned out so great, so cute and cozy. I used this pattern here and made a few modifications. I will definitely be knitting more dresses!
Sosi and Paul have been crazy about biking the Confederation Trail (or the Trail, as we call it) this summer. He usually takes her after supper to give me some time to myself.
She is unstoppable, and usually returns bragging of fox sightings, of how beautiful golden time (golden hour) is and of biking all the way to the airport!
The other night we headed out just the two of us for the first time. I couldn’t believe how peaceful and beautiful it was… and how close it is to where we live! I haven’t biked much since we moved here, and I’m realizing how much I miss it. I used to boot all over Vancouver with Sosi on the back of my bike. It’s quite something now to look over beside me and see her little smiling face.
We didn’t see any foxes, but we did spot some bushes full of gigantic rosehips and stopped to pick them. Our mother daughter adventured continued on the next day when we decided to make jam from them. We used the recipe for Rose hip Jam from “Apples for Jam“. I didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out pretty good.
I love when Sosi and I have alone time like this together. Such wonderful and unexpected things always come out of it.
The past couple of weeks at our CSA pick up I have been helping myself to the grab box full of zucchini. I keep asking Jen to tell me if I ‘m being too greedy, but she seems genuinely happy with my zucchini enthusiasm. Here are a couple favourite recipes we’ve tried this last week.
Chocolate zucchini cake.*A cup and a half of oil seemed a lot to me, I put in less and it was still really rich and moist.* This cake is insanely delicious… and yes, this is how I get most of my photographs. There is almost always a child standing on the table.
Cream of zucchini soup. I made up this recipe up. I sautéed garlic, 2 potatoes (cubed) and 3 big zucchinis(chopped up) in olive oil, added some stock and let boil for a bit. Then I blended it up with a hand blender and added a bit of milk and some parmesan. The kids and my husband both loved it… that doesn’t happen too often.
Happy zucchini eating!
I blew my budget at the Farmer’s market this week buying chanterelle mushrooms. Whenever I see chanterelles I think of my sister-in-law’s father. Every summer he would go into the woods to his top secret location (man, I wish I had found out where) to pick chantrelles to sell to restuarants.
Papa, as we called him, made us feel so welcome when we moved here. Sosi instantly feel in love with him and was quickly adopted in with his real grandchildren. He cooked dinner every Sunday and carted it all over to Nancy’s (2 blocks over) for us all to eat, bringing the whole family together.
He passed away 2 summers ago, and is sorely missed. Last summer I stopped in my tracks when I saw chanterelles at our local market, I knew I had to buy them… and our little tradition was born. I think Papa would approve.
These beautiful little mushrooms are insanely delicious. All I do is sauté them in some olive oil and garlic, add some heavy cream and parmesan then toss with pasta.
While we happily eat our weight in greens and veggies, summer is all about beer and BBQed hamburgers for me (closely tied with ice cream and homemade pizza on the BBQ).
Summer Food is the theme over at Small Fancy this week. Hope you all have a lovely weekend.
Having 3 generations together,
a trip to one of my favourite places on the island for an afternoon tea.. just me and my mom,
barns right on main street,
moments like these.
I was asked a few weeks ago to contribute some inspirational table setting pictures to the Cafe Mom site. This one was taken the day before the deadline with a babe in my arms and much surrounding craziness. I need to get back to photographing meals, I love these photos.
I love dinnertime. Sitting down to eat is my favourite time of day, but getting to that point can be stressful. I’m tired and hungry, the girls are tired and hungry. It seems to be the time of day they seem to need my attention the most. I feel torn between being there for them and trying to make them something heathy and tasty for dinner. That usually makes me grumpy.
To try and make this time of day more fun I decided to try an experiment. I wanted to take photos of dinnertime for a week. I was surprised by how something so small changed things. It made everyone feel like dinnertime was that much more special. It forced me to slow down and not be so frazzled. It made it more fun.
I managed to photograph Sunday through Friday, then Paul made dinner on Saturday and I got so excited that I forgot about the whole thing (it was that good). All flowers were picked and arranged by Sosi.
Sunday: Homemade pizza
Monday: Roast chicken, spinach, mashed potatoes with chives, tiny pastas with butter.
Tuesday: Annie’s Mac and Cheese, salad, BBQed sausages.
Wednesday: BBQed hamburgers, corn on the cob, salad
Thursday: Spaghetti with tomato sauce, kale.
Friday: Canton Café… chinese food. (Paul was away… us girls decided to go out)
Life is getting back to normal. Not only did I get to do some cooking (see the gobbled up bowl of spinach soup?? it’s rare that everyone loves something I make! ) this weekend, but I also got to do some sewing.
This is the first of 4 placemats I am planning on making. It is made from a thrifted linen table cloth and various scraps stitched on. I worked roughly from the pattern in Patchwork Style by Suzuko Koseki. I love it!
I also made a batch of our favourite butterscotch pudding for our family Easter dinner (which I actually didn’t make it too… more on that in another post). I found this recipe in the February issue of Gourmet magazine at my local library (sadly this magazine is now out of print). If you like pudding, you have to try this recipe. It is a great simple desert and only takes about 15 minutes to make.
Here’s the recipe:
Active time: 15 minutes from start to finish
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 heavy cream
2 Tbsp butter, cut into bits
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
*Whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 tsp salt in a heavy saucepan, then whisk in milk and cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently, then boil, whisking 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vailla. Pour into bowl, then cover with butter wax paper and chill until cold, at least 1 1/2 hours.
See? so easy!