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January 2007
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March 2007

February 2007

Pirates and flowers




It have been lazy around here. We have barely been able to hold off getting sick. So we are all laying  low. I made another hot-pad. This one is a large one for big pans. Thank you Debbie for this idea xoxox

Auburne's is still in a pirate/medieval/heraldry mood. She made this pirate pencil case. Chloe has not been crafting. With the sun coming out, she has been running around the yard looking for birds.I hope to get some bulk baking done. I will postabout that soon.



Oscar Fun




Well I just had to share a picture of me and my lovely weekend. I flew over Sunday morning to my small estate in England, having yummy munchies in tow. Dear hubby kept me supplied in rose cosmopolitans while I had fun drooling over the fashions.


My all time favorite was Jennifer Lopez. She was beautiful, a bit different and ethereal. All my favorites. 

Penelope Cruz was a veryyyyy close second. The color of that dress. Yummyyyy !!


Also I thought Reese looked absolutely stunning and happy. I love Reese and was so happy, to see her happy.

It was a fun night. If you want to create an alter M&M ego go here !!!!!

Menu Of The Week




Here is my man's meal. It was David's birthday a week ago and he always has the same request. A steak and control of the remote. I even let him play around with my lap-top (aren't I nice). This is meal I make a lot for him on his birthday or Fathers day. David has the same addiction for blue cheese as I do so I always try to work that in. I call this a martini steak because I made a marinade similar to a martini and added the green olives and blue cheese to make it heavenly.

David also loves potatoe gratin and I have several versions I make. But this is a family favorite. You make a garlic infused cream and toss your potato slices in the cream and bake. 

Spinach is also a requested from dear hubby. A little salt (from the bacon) and little sweet (from the apple and balsamic) . Yummy.

The mousse is a dark chocolate/espresso version of my 60 second white chocolate lemon mousse. I tell you I make a zillion different versions of this. It is sooooooo easy, sooooo fast. It is a total no-brainier but feels like you have slaved for days. I love it when that happens.


Martini Steak

1/4 cup liquid from green olive jar

1/4 cup gin

1 TBL. Vermouth

1 tsp. ground pepper

2 tsp. crush garlic

Wedge of blue cheese

Sliced green olives

Mix first five ingredient in a baggie and add steak. Marinate steaks in fridge for 2-8 hours.

Grill steak, add sliced olives and crumble blue cheese on top of steak and serve.


Potato Gratin


Spinach Salad with apple slices and Bacon Balsamic Vinaigrette

9 slices thick-cut bacon

1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced

1/3 cup olive oil

4 TBL. balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Fry bacon. Remove bacon from skillet and set aside to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the skillet. Heat remaining drippings over medium-high heat and add the sliced onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in remaining ingredients and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Set aside at room temperature until ready to use.


Quick Espresso Mousse

1 cup dark chocolate, chopped in small pieces or chips

1 egg

pinch salt

1 tsp. coffee liquor

1 TSP. instant espresso powder

1 cup heavy cream

In blender add chocolate, egg, liquor and salt. Bring heavy cream to just before boiling and pull off stove.

Quickly pour cream over chocolate and blend in blender for 1 minute. Pour into small cups or wine glass and refrigerate for a couple of hours.


Violet shortbreads




Well with all the questions on how to use the violet sugar, I thought I would create a recipe using the sugar. These are shortbread cookies that are rolled out and cut. Similar to a sugar cookie but a bit firmer which will make them easier to dip in the violet scented chocolate. I sprinkled the cookies with the sugar and then after they are baked dip half the cookie in the chocolate. I think these would be adorable cut with a heart shaped cookie cutter. If you make these I would love to hear if you liked or hated them. Enjoy 

Violet Shortbreads
2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup powder sugar
violet sugar for top of cookie
Chocolate dipping sauce
1/2 cup dark chocolate chopped or chips
Pre-heat 350
In mixer cream butter and sugar till fluffy. About 2 minutes. Add salt and flour. Mix till dough comes together. But do not over-mix. Chill dough 2 hours in fridge till firm. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Place cookies on greased cookie-sheet. Sprinkle top of each cookie with violet sugar.  Place cookie-sheet in fridge for 15 minutes to firm dough up again. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes till edges just start to turn golden.
When cookies cool dip half of cookies in chocolate sauce and set on rack till chocolate firmed
Chocolate Sauce
in a double boiler slowly melt chocolate and sugar
Painting by Painted Ladies


Creative Love 2




Dee Ann                                            Mary

? this card had no signature or       Kelli

return address    


Susan                                           Angie

Leigh Ann                                     Lisa 

Thank you, you ladies are the best xoxoxx

PS. To answer a few questions about the violet sugar.

1. It is violet sugar, not sugared violets. They are two very different things. With violet sugar you use the sugar. Eventually the violets dry up and you throw them away. With sugared (or candied) violets, they are done with a totally different process and you can eat the candied violets.

2. How to use them. We are BIG tea drinkers and love to use the sugar in tea. Especially a delicate tea. Also it is good sprinkled on fresh fruit, on sugar cookies or on scones. Lastly in making a chocolate sauce the violet sugar add a flowery touch. 

I am creating a cookie recipe for the sugar. I will post it tomarrow evening.

3. You just mix violets with sugar and should be ready to use after 2 weeks. But will keep for a year or more.


Violet Sugar




It is that time of year when we find the violets peeking up through the ivy. In the spring of the fist year living in this house I noticed little purple flowers popping up. This property is surrounded by lots of ivy and that make it hard to see were the gardens were. I try to keep the ivy back so these little plants will not get lost. I love to think about who planted these and what the garden was like when they planted them. I see there are starting to spread.

We always pick the blossoms and mix them with sugar. The sugar adsorbs the fragrance of the flower. I have learned over the years to store the sugar in zip-lock baggies. Now I know that is not very pretty but the problems with jars is when the sugar hardens you can not break it up. But by keeping it in baggies you can easily break up the sugar. I will just transfer the sugar to a pretty bowl when I want to use it. When I give it as a gift, I do put the sugar in a lovely jar. But tell the recipient I recommend they transfer the sugar to baggie. Ahh spring is in the air !!!


Felt Flower




I bought this wonderful antique pillowcase for my mother's birthday. It is just charming but I wanted to add a little something-something. I just cut a felt flower and leaves. Glued ribbon, yo-yo, button. It was so easy and just gave the gift a bit more. I attached it with a small safety pin, so she could move the flower around.




Creative Love




  Sarah                                         Jody

Teresa                                        Carolyn


  Denise                                    Gill

  Pam                                       Isobel


Debbie                                         Sharolyn

Kali                                              Jen


Jill                                               Debbie

Darla                                           Julie


Mrs. Staggs                                    Morgan



Karla's Korner




Blog-land is becoming so much fun. So many creative artist, authors, ect. are starting blogs. It is wonderful to get to know these ladies better.  Karla Dornacher has a new blog Karla's Korner. I love Karla's heart and her beautiful books. Whenever I am looking for uplifting words I always turn to her books !!!!



Winter Corners 5




For Valentines day I made a ribbon cake. I was so inspired by  Deco Diva Debbie  and   Amy at Inspireco. Mine is not quite as lovely as theirs. But I was determined to use what I had around the house and not spend money. The wedding topper is my parents. This was a lot of fun. Sort of like playing with ribbon blocks. Thank you Debbie and Amy for the inspiration.







Did you know the Susan Albert (the author of the Beatrix Potter mysteries) has a blog Lifescapes. I am so excited and it is a wonderful blog. Just like her writting. You have to check it out !!! I also found out about a new book that Susan wrote from Alice (thank you Alice) China Bayles' Book Of Days. It looks wonderful.

Another book I have to get  :-)


Image from Lifescape

Podcast Love




I may be the only one who did not know this (then this will be a wasted post) but just in case I have to share. I learned about Podcasts from Mary. First I thought to listen to i-tunes, podcast, podvideos you need an i-pod. But I learned you can download it on your computer and listen to it there. It is free to download i-tunes and easy. There are so many amazing free podcasts. Knitting shows, cooking shows, books read. I worked on my embroidery and listened to The Country Of Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett . One of my favorite podcasts is An old fashioned girl.This is thier blog and there is a link to the podcast. It is like spending the afternoon with a couple of my girlfriend's. Talking all those girly things I love to talk about. Shoes, pride and prejudice, yummy cleaning products. I am really loving Cara and Andrea.


Floral Love




We had a wonderful weekend in the snow. Actually to be honest my girls and hubby played in the snow and Mary and I antique shopped, talked blogging and pride and prejudice. It was lovely. I have to share what I bought. First is this amazing photo of hydrangea from Mary. Yes not only is Mary husband an amazing photographer so is Mary. Isn't this picture just dreamy. I love the color and was drawn to it immediately. She has done several photos of tulips, coneflowers and sunflowers. YOU need to share it on your blog Mary !!!!!! xoxoxox

I also fell in love with this little English cottage. I can just picture myself sitting in this garden having tea. I always love picture were I can picture myself there. This is my passion lately, anything with little thatched English cottages. So I am always on the look out and love this picture.

Although I have to say the highlight of the vacation was the salami. Now I have been for over 3 years wanting to try Salumi salami. This is Mario Batali's father. His store is in Seattle and I have never made it over. Well Anjou Bakery had sandwiches with Salumi Salami. I tried not to jump up and down but I did call Angie from the bakery to tell her what I was eating. I also thanked them and hopefully did not look like a salami stalker. I have to say the salami was wonderful. It did not have a strong taste. No pepper-corns, strong garlic. It was a pale pink and tasted of very fresh pork. It was sooo yummy. Now I have to learn how to make my own. Also I had the most amazing caramel/pecan bar. I can still taste it.



Thank You Ladies




Thank you ladies for all the constructive feedback it is very helpful. Just so you do not think I am not listening, I can not add anything to the top of my blog. I have lower-level typepad and can not customize my header. I may upgrade but I am having a hard time justifying the money. I am thrilled to hear my recipes may inspire someone to step out and try something new. Even if you hated it I am overjoyed you tried it. Life is adventure and we should always be trying new things xoxox

PS: this chalkboard is in my kitchen and I always put a quote up for the girls. The chalkboard came from the old school house down the road. It is this type of history that makes me love my home. I thought off all you ladies as I posted this quote

" A homemade friend wears longer, then one you buy at the store"