Where you can purchase Wishes Are Like ... , Wren Bay or Baking Book
New Posts Below
P O Box 288
Wren Bay reviews
Where you can purchase Wishes Are Like ... , Wren Bay or Baking Book
New Posts Below
P O Box 288
Wren Bay reviews
Happy New Year! I hope it was a great ending. I know it was for me. Last year was a hard one, personally. I was stretched and challenged a LOT! In the end, it is all is good. A lot of change but change is good, right? ;-) This is the first time I am really feeling that empty nest stuff. I did not think it would get to me so much, but I am finding my ways, slowly. A new chapter of my life.
I did want to share one last project from my Copper Christmas. As you know every Thanksgiving and Christmas, I make a small gift for each of my guests. Since I drink large amounts of Clear Mind Brew Dr Kombucha I decided to save the bottles. So all year I have been collecting bottles and corks from the sherry I cook with. Just add some copper paint and a simple word. Joy! We all need joy. I am happy with how these turned out and hopefully everyone can use an extra bottle for storage.
The other thing I did was use copper pennies. After I choose copper for my theme, I looked around at what I had that was copper. Pennies! And I have lots of them. I simply cleaned them in a vinegar/salt mixture. I could have done a ton of stuff with them, but I simply lined a tray. I usually use rock salt (such a cheap and pretty item), but the pennies worked great!
A few more glimpes of my home. I am interested in seeing what 2017 will hold. I am not sure what will be coming, but I feel good about it all. I hope this is a year filled with joy for you xox
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from my family to yours
I love this photos because I hardly see my girls anymore (they work so much). I love that we can still be silly and giggle. I will be back after the New Year and share a bit more of my Copper theme. I hope this is a blessed week for you xox
Well the one coppery thing I did do was a wreath. This was fun and pretty easy to do. Hubby welded the elbows on each corner. I cleaned up the copper with a mixture of 1 cup plain white vinegar and 1 TBL salt. Worked well.
My bow is ribbon I have had for a good 30 years. The beautiful buckle in the center is from one of my favorites stores in Poulsbo, Red Plantation. It is perfect addition. This wreath is simple and open, but I like that. Air in decorating in needed, if that makes sense?
Good day, here is our Christmas menu. Christmas Eve potato bar was such a big hit last year, I am doing it again! I am sorry I do not have links to recipes to link. Either they are mine (and I need to write one) or I am not cooking it. Like the ice cream will be brought by my sister from Molly Moon in Seattle. I am hoping my Bacon, Chocolate Pecan pie is a hit. I will let you know. What are you making that your excited by?
Plus these copper champagne glass, I got last year, were the whole reason I did a Copper Christmas!
We made champagne cocktails. You take a sugar cube and add a few drops of bitters onto your cube. Place sugar in your glass and fill with champagne. I used Scrappy's Bitters in both chocolate and lavender flavor. They were a big hit at my Christmas party.
I also had some raw sugar, that looked so pretty with the copper. Copper tinsel and copper wire lights filled in the small details. This bar turned so elegant.
I gave a shout out on FB/Instagram I was cutting up a batch of sugar-free Frangelico Hazelnut Fudge and several people requested a recipe so here you go ;-)
Frangelico Hazelnut Fudge, sugar free, gain/paleo friendly
3 cups chopped dark chocolate, I use 70% chocolate
¾ cup coconut cream/milk or raw milk or regular whole milk
pinch of sea salt
4 TBL grass-fed butter or coconut oil
¼ cup Frangelico
½ cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped. I like big pieces in my fudge
Put chocolate, milk, salt and butter in a small sauce pan and heat over low temp until all is melted. You do NOT want to boil, just melt. When chocolate is melted, pull pan off heat. Stir in Frangelico and hazelnuts. Pour fudge in a loaf pan. I like to use a silicone pan for this, because later I can easily pull the pan away from the fudge. Refrigerate your pan overnight. Then unmold the fudge and cut into small squares. Store fudge in fridge between parchment paper in a airtight container until ready to serve. This is a soft fudge, but firm enough to hold and enjoy.
Next I am sharing from my Copper Christmas, my wall of mirrors. I had teased on FB/Instagram I was running around my house collecting all my mirrors.
I was really flummoxed how to fill this wall space. I change it out each season. Spring/floras, fall/homey works of art. I needed something I have a lot of and mirrors I do. I was luck this house came with 3 antique mirrors and the large center one belonged to my Grandmother Claire (who I was named after but never met).
The mirrors have a reflexive feel and go with my theme. It also reflexes the lights from the tree and when the tree is gone, reflections of the water.
I added a few glitter do-da's and wha-la! Wall of mirrors!
Okay, my theme this year is a Copper Christmas!! BUT, I confess that I do not own a lot of copper things and cannot afford to just go buy a bunch a stuff (plus that is no fun). So I had to DIY and stretch my thinking a bit. I own a lot of silver, gold, mercury glass and hoped this would make the copper shine. So in a way you could call this more of a metallic Christmas, but in the end I think it came out very pretty. I am quite happy.
Today I am sharing my china cabinet. We took the back off and use this cabinet as a divider between the living and dinning space. This is a large, longggg room with 3 distinct spaces. The divide really helps with creating cozy space, like one would want in the winter, without closing off the room.
I needed to put something in the cabinet and can be admired from all sides. My white village and lots of pale, glittered trees worked well.
I purchased 2 white buildings and copper glittered the roof of one and painted the trim with copper metallic paint on the other. I also made little copper wire wreaths for each house.
I also made some more glue gun icicles but added copper glitter to them. They are so easy to make. I have to say at night, this cabinet just glows. I am thrilled with the results!
Here is some glimpses of my kitchen and pantry. I used gray, red and white in my kitchen. As it picked up the colors of the tote holding greens on my kitchen door.
I always do these kinds of garlands. Just layers of ribbons I have on-hand, in the colors I am using. So simple. Our vintage Santa collection from Davids family.
For my pantry I decided to go with a French feel. I used my glittered Eiffel towers, pops of color and black/white to ground it all!
Happy December friends! I have been busy working on my Christmas theme this year, but I am not quite ready to share yet. So I welcome you into my house and kitchen.
My little shoe room is a simple collection of shells, drift woods and other goodies I find when I hang out on the beach (or dropped in my yard by a bird. These brown bottles I have been saving for a Christmas project (share soon). Instead of a wreath I took this tote (that looks like wool but is recycled plastic bottles) and filled it with greens and holly from my property. Add some large pompoms from a past Christmas theme, and wha-la, simple!
I will be back with my pantry!!
Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours xox
This is a post from FB I thought I would share with all of you!
Things I love. What I really love about this time of year? Is just that, this time of year, Autumn. Between now and Christmas is what I love the most. The nip in the air, the deep gold light, smoky smells from the wood stove, the pots of hot tea and snuggling. It does not get much better than that!
Paper Table Cloth, love the look and simplicity of this for the holidays!
David Lebovitz French take of the Cheese Ball!!
DIY Lip Plumper, so easy and just a swipe in the center of my bottom lip works well!
Cauliflower Popcorn, I am addicted to this stuff. It feel satisfy and fill that salty, snack need. The trick is to keep the pieces really small, do not over crowed the baking pan and roast the heck out of them! Be generous with your spices!
Bye Bye Red, let me start by saying I am not paid to say how much I LOVE this product. I am not paid to say that about anything I talk about on my blog. So having said that, I have to tell you how much I love Bye, Bye Red. Hitting 50 my skin is really starting to change and my old makeup routine was not working for me. I had heard so much about IT Cosmetics, especially for those who are over the age of 40. I decided to get a free make-over (I know Ulta and Sephora will let you try make-up for free) and was just shock how much I love their foundation, but what I mostly loved was this product. I do not have much rosacea, just some red on my nose, cheeks, some broken capillaries. Basically what you would expect with someone my age. I do not want to look like I am wearing make up. I want to look like I have healthy, dewy skin. And boy did this product do that. A small dot, blended with a small brush and my skin instantly evened out. Plus it last all day, it lasts through my 1 1/2 hour work-out (I get really red cheeks when I work out), and you use such a tiny amount. I am loving it, and it is rare for me to say make-up with worth the high price but in this case I think it is. If your interested, go in and try some. See for yourself.
I am always trying low-carb version of dishes and I will be honest, my family doesn't always like them. Which is fine, as long as they are tasty to me, I am happy. But this replacement I made for potato salad was a big hit for my family. I have been making it all summer long. Really it is the same version of potato salad I always make, with capers and lots of lemon zest. I just replaced the potatoes with raw, riced cauliflower but the dish did not have the same creaminess like regular potato salad. I could have used cooked cauliflower, but we like it raw better. So instead I upped the hard boiled eggs. Between tiny pieces of cauliflower and lots of hard boiled eggs, this dish still has that creaminess that one loves in potato salad!
PS. this is very typical of a low-carb dinner for me. My family all had Moroccan Burgers. I had my burgers without buns with fresh avocado and a small piece for French cheese. And of course no potato-potato salad ;-) works for me.
No Potato-Potato Salad
makes one large bowl
4 cups of raw cauliflower, riced (finely chopped)
3 green onions, white and green part, thinly sliced (chives work well too)
1/4 cup (or more) capers
6 hard boiled eggs, cubed
zest of two lemons, organic and cleaned
Mix all ingredients and dressing together. Toss, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 TBL juice from capers
salt and pepper to taste'
Whisk all in a bowl, taste and adjust to your liking.
My sister and I always have a tea for my mother on Mother's day. I wanted to make her something extra special and this ice cream cake was a big hit. Because my mother's is diabetic, and does not do dairy (except for butter), I made the cake grain free. The base of the cake is my lavender infused brownies, where you infuse the butter with herbs and then use that butter to make a chocolatey brownies (no cocoa powder here, all bittersweet chocolate :-) . Topped with strawberry ice cream and then lavender ganache. This cake was a BIG hit!! A little time consuming, but so worth the work!
Lavender Strawberry Ice Cream Cake, grain-free, low-carb
Base, 1 Lavender Infused Butter Brownie Cake baked in a spring-form pan * see notes
1 pint (or so) strawberry ice cream, I made vegan ice cream but feel free to use what ice cream you love.
Dark Chocolate Lavender ganache
Assemble cake; let brownie base cool for 30 minutes after baking. Cover brownie with ice cream (if ice cream is frozen hard let it sit on your counter, or pop in microwave a minute, to soften a bit). Set cake in freezer and make ganache. Pour ganache over the ice cream. Cover pan with heavy foil and set cake in freezer. Freeze until ice cream is solid. Serve and enjoy!
Vegan Strawberries Ice Cream
1 1/2 cup cold coconut cream
1 cup cold coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar, I used coconut sugar
1 1/2 cups ripe strawberries
pinch of sea salt
Blend all ingredients with a blender stick or in a blender until smooth. Run in ice cream maker for 30 minutes and store in freezer until ready to assemble cake. I make the ice cream when I pull out the cake, so the ice cream is ready when the brownie is cool and the ice cream is still soft enough to spread over the brownie.
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
1/2 cup cream
1 TBL lavender buds ** see note
Heat the cream, chocolate and lavender over low heat until chocolate is melted. Do NOT let the mixture boil. Set chocolate aside for 15 minutes, then strain out lavender buds through a sieve. Discard lavender.
* Bake your brownie in a spring form pan. It makes it easier to serve the cake. Normally I under cook my brownies but for this recipe make sure the brownies are fully cooked
** You can also use food grade lavender oil, I use Young Living, instead of lavender buds. 3-5 drops depending on your taste.
"Wren sets another bushel of tomatoes under the table and sets to making a salad. On the outdoor worktable Wren has arranged small crocks filled with herbs; chives, basil and hyssop. Next to the crocks is a large shallow pan filled with lettuce leaves floating in cold water. From the pantry she procures some fresh ripe cream brie Luc has sent and carefully crushes a handful of herbs with a clove of garlic in a mortar. Taking the heady paste, she whisks it with some olive oil and strawberry infused balsamic vinegar. Last summer Wren had macerated large vats of balsamic with strawberries from the garden. After a day, she strained them out and set the vinegar in a dark corner of the pantry. This is her favorite vinegar. The strawberries bring out the fruity intensity of the balsamic.
Carefully drying the Red Speckled lettuce, Wren arranges it on an opalescent platter. Adding fresh figs and slices of brie to the dressed leaves completes the salad. She admires it for a moment the intense purple against the cool white platter.
Devlin comes striding out of the dining room with a tray of iced tea. He hands her a glass, kissing her cheek. “Another work of art!”" from Wishes Are Like ... the sequel to Wren Bay
After picking 20 pounds of strawberries, I have been making vinegar for the winter!!
Strawberry Infused Balsamic Vinegar
makes one bottle, plus one small jar
1 bottle of balsamic vinegar
frozen strawberries, see notes about amounts*
In a jar or bottle bigger than your bottle of vinegar, pour our vinegar inn it. Add enough strawberries, still frozen, to come halfway up the vinegar. Cover jar and set aside, out of the sun. Let the vinegar sit no more than 2 days. When it smells like strawberries, strain out the berries. Pour you vinegar back in the bottle. You will have extra, which can go in a smaller bottle. A gift for friend, maybe? Store in vinegar a cool, dark cupboard. It will keep for one year. The berries are good in salads. They will keep in refrigerator 2-3 days.
You can make a small batch or a large batch. Just eyeball it, and use about half the amount of vinegar for the strawberries. For example, one cup of vinegar, you would use ½ cup for frozen strawberries but it does not need to be exact.
It is important to use frozen fruit, because they give out more juice.