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October 2009

So Remember The Book That Changed My Life

55 bread

So remember the book that changed my life, Artisan Bread In 5 Minutes A Day, well it is soo true. Even a year an half or so later, I am still baking a loaf just about every day. The one down side, it is white bread. Before the 5 minute bread I was making only whole wheat bread, but I was not getting it done half the time. So I decided white bread everyday was better then no bread. But now Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francios have a new book. Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes A Day. I have been breathlessly waiting since they announced the book. I could not wait to get it into my hot little hands and I was not disappointed. It is easy to understand, well explained and full of yummy and inspiring recipes (as all cookbook should be, but sadly some are not).

It is still the same easy, quick technique just using whole grains. There are soo many I want to try but I will start with the flax rosemary baguette's or maybe the chocolate espresso whole wheat bread. Well I will figure it out. There is even a gluten free section. I encourage you to look into 5 minute bread, if you have not. Just think of the easy, yummy, healthy bread you can make and how much more money you will save. Then you can buy more chocolate !!!!  If you have the 5 minutes book, I am sure the healthy 5 minute book will inspire you even more. Thank you Jeff and Zoe xoxoxo

A Storybook Corner

Storybook Corner 5

(Click on pictures to see detail better)

This summer I fixed up our little entryway, but I also redid the the small area when you step from the entryway into the kitchen. This is the space that holds our coats, umbrellas, slippers, etc. I liked the pale yellow I had painted the pantry (on the other side of the kitchen) and decided just to paint over the wallpaper the same color.

SB corner 0

I call this my storybook corner, well looking at it, you can see why. I have my wonderful Cozy Whimsy prints and also my black apple print. I painted a round frame intense blue and put in a red silhouette.

Storybook Corner 7

I have my little paper cottages out. I am planning on getting a few trees and a silver glittered banner that says storybook to hang above the cottages.

Storybook Corner 4

The hooks are new. I have black iron in the pantry and love it. So I found a site with a lot of different black iron hooks. I decided it would be fun to have them all different. I did not realize the hook with the white knobs was so small. So in time I will replace that one. But I love how they are all different, yet have the same feel.


Storrybook corner

My sweet gnome tassel is from Selia, I LOVE him, thank you.

I have my doll from Angie, a gnome plate and other storybook bits. I hope when you walk in and see my storybook corner, you feel you are in for a special visit. 

Storybook Corner 055

The wall needed one more picture. So I took a pretty carved fame, lined it with red polka-dot fabric and added a vintage cottage I had with some museum wax. I am just over the moon with my storybook corner and hope you find something in it to inspire you xoxox

 SB corner 5SB corner 6


Now You Can Find My Recipes Easier


Well the good thing about being sick and spending all day on the couch is I finally was able to make a list of all my recipe. Mind you there are 150 of them, akkkk. I only put my recipes up, not ones I have linked. But I got sick (as I am sure you have too) of scrolling though a bunch of post trying to find a recipe. I have grouped them and will add new recipes to the list as I post them. There is a link on the left side for the recipe list. If you find any of the links are wrong, please let me know and I will fix it. I tried to check them all, but in my sick, loopy self, I am sure I missed some. It was fun for me to see all the recipes listed. My miscellaneous section is fairly big, but that is one of my cooking tricks. Take something simple like chicken breast and then spice it up with something like holiday berry salt. I hope you find it easier to find my recipes now and are inspired to cook.

I also wanted to thank Kristine at Herbal Roots Zine, I won one of her fantastic herb zine. I already have two, I bought them for Chloe but I have to say I enjoy them a lot and am learning some new things. Thank you so much Kristine.

Thank you for all the well wishes and prayers. I am starting to feel better but am still laying low and do only the basics. A shout out to my peeps (Auberne` and Chloe) they have been soo helpful and kind, thank you sweeties. The picture above is looking out my library window, down my drive way. As you can see it is a gray, foggy, fall morning. Just the kind I love xoxoxo


Menue Of The Week

October tea 2

Well I am battling a cold and ear infection, so I am living on the couch in the library, hiding from my family hoping they do not get sick from me. Strangely enough, I am hungry and am sad I can not cook. So if I was well this is what I would be cooking today. I will be back, when I am better.

Also thank you for all the kind comments on my new header. I am thrilled you love it as much as me xoxoxo

Lamb Chops and Ragu` with Malloreddus

Carrots with Honey and Balsamic

Roasted Apples with Almond and Muscovado Crumble and Marzipan Ice Cream

By the way Cannelle Et Vanille is one of my favorite food blogs, check out list of recipes. But I will warn you, you will want to make everything !!!

Cosette Shawl

 Cossette shawl

Part of my plan for keeping warm this winter is wool. I made a shawl last year (I need to show you that one) out of wool and I could not believe what a difference it made in keeping me warm. Nothing else holds warm like wool. Because I am cooking all the time, I wanted something to help keep me warm but not get in the way. So I thought  a shawl would be perfect. Chloe loved it so I gave it to her and knitted a new one.

Cossette 4

I can not tell you how much I love this shawl. I wish I had a pattern to share with you, but I made up the whole thing. I am not even sure I could recreate it again.  But I learned a lot from it and was thrilled I was able to take what I pictured in my head and actually stitch it out.

Cossette 3

I use Malabrigo worsted hand dye wool. I am sooooo in love with their yarn. It is thick, lush, super soft and a good price when you look at the yardage. I encourage knitters who have down the knit and purl stitch, to be brave and just start playing with stitches, increasing, decreasing. This is why I love knitting wash clothes, because they are small and you can try a new stitch and if you mess up it will not matter. But you will learn something and that will make you a better knitter. You know only you know what it was suppose to look like. Nobody else will notice your mistakes. So be brave and go for it !!!

By the way I am already working on another shawl, I will share when I am done ;-) Also a tip, I found hair clips work well as a closer for the shawl !!!!

Cossette 5

PS, I named the shawl Cosette, because that is what David wanted to name Chloe. But I was afraid having an Auberne` and a Cosette, would just be a bit too much. So I will have to settle with a scarf instead.

Cossette 1 shawl

Storybook Woods Gift Ideas

Pillow copy 

My friend Nadine, was asking for inexpensive Christmas gift ideas for her children. I was looking around my blog to remember what I have done (thank goodness I have this blog to remind me :-O

I decided it would make a good post, I need to be thinking Christmas gifts too.. If you have any ideas for Nadine, I am sure she would love to hear them xoxox

For Chloe's birthday last year. DiXymiss's  girls made her a coloring book of all the things she loves.They just printed up coloring pages on-line on subjects she loved and bind it together. If one of your children are into birds, here is beautiful vintage bird coloring pages.

Sewing kits filled with fabric, bits of ribbon, buttons, glue, embroidery floss. Go through clothes you do not want anymore, can you use the fabric, pull off trim, buttons, elastic, zippers, pockets, etc.You can find pretty embroidery patterns here.

 Make giant pick-up sticks (these are something my girls still love, I highly recommend them)

Pillow cases made with fabric of something they love.

Little Stuffed Birds

Buttercup bag

Is there a tee-shirt they love but can not wear anymore. Make a pillow out of it, like Auberne` made me above.

Here is some gifts I made the girls one year.

Gifts I have made in the past, play-dough, hope-chest items like wash cloths and embroidered dishtowel, beauty products like sugar scrub, hot chocolate kits, homemade book to draw in. Also check out One Pretty Thing, I love her search, it gives you picture of each thing xoxoxo

Apple Strudel Pie

Keep bakeblack

My father loves apple strudel and I really wanted to make it for him. But I believe part of being a good hostess is not taking on too much, so you are not crazy, grumpy woman. With all the cooking I was doing, I could not deal with strudel dough (I would have used filo but still more then I wanted to deal with) on top of everything else. So I was brainstorming how I could make something that had all the element of an apple strudel but user friendly. I decided a pie because I could do the crust a week early and put it in the freezer. I also did the topping in the morning. So all I had to do is make the filling add the topping and bake it off with a frozen crust.

Strudel usually has an apple filling with current soaked in rum and lemon peel, as apposed to a cinnamon/brown sugar filling of a traditional apple pie. Also between the dough layers they sprinkle buttered bread crumbs. So I just made a bread crumb topping and filling like you would find in strudel. I have to say it was very good and my father was in heaven. I hope you like it. I would love feedback (good and bad).

PS, do you like my Keep Calm and Bake On sign. I love these and was playing around with a saying that was me. I think this is it xoxoxo

PSS, I wrote a post on Heartfelt Thoughts, about Conviction Verses Shame. I would love to hear what you have to say on the subject !!!

Apple Strudel Pie

1 uncooked pie crust, cold or frozen


1/4 cup dried currants (or golden raisins) soaked for 1/2 hour in 1/4 cup of heated rum

6 apples, cored and sliced

3 TBL melted butter

3 TBL flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. salt

rum form the currants

grated lemon peel from one lemon


1 1/2 cup bread crumbs, I use panko

1/2 cup melted butter

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped *

Heat up rum in sauce pan, do not boil. Pour over currants in a bowl and cover with a plate. Toast walnuts if you have not.

Pre-heat oven 350

For filling toss all ingredients together and fill pie crust. For topping melt butter and mix with the rest of ingredients. Sprinkle over the top of pie. Bake 40-50 minutes, till crust is golden brown.


*Toasting walnuts, set walnuts in a baking dish. Put into a re-heated 350 oven. Bake 4-6 minutes, till golden brown. Watch them, they can go from untoasted to burnt really quick. I can tell they are ready because I can smell they are getting that nice toasty smell.






A Golden Picnic

 Fall picnic 22

I know it is a bit late but happy October. Here in WA it has been just beautiful. Very cold mornings, but warm and sunny afternoons. The colors in the trees are starting to turn, the smell of wood smoke in the air and a golden cast in the sun light. We decided to have a fall picnic before we could not picnic anymore. We went to our favorite beach in Seabeck.

Fall picnic 7

A simple tea of carrot flowers, apples, sharp Irish cheddar, bread and my favorite, dates stuffed with cherve` and toasted hazelnuts.

Fall picnic 8

Of course a thermos of hot tea, complete with sugar and milk.

Fall picnic 4

Fall picnic 6

We had a beautiful view of the water and our favorite old house. Nobody was there. It was sooo quite and peaceful. We were ready to move in !!!

Fall picnic 5

The beach was full of pearly oyster shells. We found some with holes to make necklaces. I would say it was a perfect golden tea. If you have not had time, I encourage you to find a pretty place and have a fall tea xoxoxox

Fall picnic 9




"Apple Day" Season Is Here


For our family October is always about Apple Day. This tradition started when the girls were little. We do not have a specific day we do it, because I try to find a perfect day. There is no rules and a lots of my friends have their own way to celebrate. You can read more about Apple Day here. If you would like an Apple Day button for your blog, feel free. I think these little traditions are the fabric of our life and holds families together. If you have apple day, I would love to hear what you did. I think we will do some apple printing xoxox


Brown Sugar Pie, Sort Of

Fall stream2 

Hello everyone, well I am still here, but having guest for 10 days is just way tooo long. I am sort of in a coma and my house is falling down around me. I will say Leavenworth was so beautiful (which I have no pictures of, because my battery died and I forgot to pack the extra one)

I did want to share a very yummy pie I made, perfect for fall. Brown sugar pie, well sort of. I cook with rapadura instead of brown sugar but I felt it was too intense to use alone in this recipe. So I used half rapadura and half sugar (evaporated cane) and some molasses. I thought it gave it a bit more intensity then just brown sugar but not too overpowering. It was very rich and I loved it with just some raw apple slices on the side. Even if you do not cook with rapadura, I encourage you to try using half brown sugar and half sugar with some molasses. I think you will enjoy and find the flavor more complex. I will be back when I can get off the couch and find my living room again  :-o xoxo

Brown Sugar Pie, Sort Of

1 pie crust, unbaked

1/2 cup rapadura or brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar or evaporated cane

2 TBL. molasses

1 egg

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 TBL dark rum

2 TBL milk

2 TBL. flour, whole wheat pastry

2 TBL melted butter, cooled

Pre-heat oven 350 degrees.

Whisk all ingredients together (but not the pie crust !!!) in a bowl, pour into pie crust and bake 35-45 minutes. Till crust is lightly browned and filling set. Allow to cool and enjoy !!!