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September 2010

August 2010

Tasha Tudor Day 2010

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Happy Tasha Tudor Day!!!

I am quite excited, this is a very special year. Tasha's family is celebrating with us and is having a giveaway at thier blog, Rookery Rambling. I  get lots of e-mails asking if Tasha's family knows about TT day. I know it is important to all of you (and me) that they know how much we admire and love Tasha. So, now, I can say YES!!

Also Cathy at The Christmas Corgi has an interview with Marjorie Tudor.

Please leave a comment with my co-hostess Suzanne or me about your Tasha Tudor day and why you love her.

TT pinnnnn

We had our TT day, last Sunday because my girls are off in the city today. I wanted to do a Tasha inspired craft but the girls wanted to sketch (where do they get these independent ideas from???  :-) So they made sketches from their favorite Tasha books and I made a Tasha inspired pin.

Tasha Tudor Pin

I simply cut an 6"x1 3/4" piece of wool fabric (but you can cut it any size you like), folded the fabric in half and sewed the two ends together.

I flattened the circle of fabric with the sewed edge in the center at the back of the pin. I also pulled some threads off the edges of the fabric.

Using heavy coat thread, I started gathering the center of the fabric. I would gather a bit, knot it off and keep repeating, until I was happy with the gathering. I tried to gather the front piece more than the back.

I attached a key at the bottom of the bow, using a loose loop of thread. Added an old button and a smaller bow to the center with fabric glue (or you can sew it on).  I sewed a pin-back on the back of the pin and WaaLaa, a Tasha Tudor inspired pin. I think these would be pretty pinned on a package, as a little extra gift.

A TT Auberne`

C TT Chloe

We also had a delish tea. I made Tasha's Toffee bars but I made them with whole wheat pastry flour, rapadurah (unrefined sugar that has a strong molasses flavor), bittersweet chocolate and toasted hazelnuts. They were to die for.

Whenever the girls and I chat about Tasha, we seem to have the same conversation. What we admire about her the most is the way she followed her heart. It was hard work and took a lot of focus. But she lived she version of happiness, something we all need to strive for xoxo
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Summer Lime Treat and Winners

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    There are certain foods that just seem to be made for each other, like strawberries and lavender or limes and blueberries. I love these combos. A couple of weeks ago was Beatrix Potter's birthday and we had an impromptu tea outside. I was scrambling for a treat to serve and came up with this simple dish. All it is, is good crusty bread, lime curd and some perfect blueberries. I have to say it is wonderful!

    I have mentioned before I like to make curd in the microwave, I find it is foolproof and straining it catches any lumps you happen to have. One thing I always do and never see in recipes, is I add the zest at the end. It keep the oils in the zest strong.

Now for the four winners of the stevia give-away

Angie   Theresa   Linda    Nadine

Email me with your address and thank you all who entered. I will see you one Saturday, Tasha Tudor day. I have a cute, easy pin to share xoxox


Quick Lime Curd

3 limes, zested (set zest aside) and juiced

3 whole eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter cut into cubes.

In a microwave-safe bowl whisk together eggs and sugar. Add juice and butter. Set bowl in microwave, a run on high for one minutes. Pull out bowl and whisk. Keep doing this till curd is think. I find it takes me 5-6 minutes. Push curd through a sieve into a bowl to catch any lumps. Then stir in zest. Let cool a little while and then refrigerate.

Stevia Give-away

Teaand berries

Good day readers NuNaturals has offered to have a stevia give-away. I will award four readers one box of NuNaturals White Stevia Powder, 50 ct. packets, plus one bottle of Vanilla Stevia Liquid, 2 oz (I love this stuff). The contest must be limited to U.S. residents, only to avoid costly shipping & International custom regulations. I will pick the four winners and announce them Wensday, August 25th.

Plus NuNaturals is giving all of you a discount promotional of 15% discount off of any future web order placed through them. When you go to the check out page, enter this code: BLG930 and you will receive 15% off your total order. Also you can receive free shipping to the continental 48 US state on all orders totaling $35.00 or more. This discount is good till September 30, 2010.

If you blog about the give-away or tell a friend (have them mention you sent them over) I will enter your name twice in the give-away. I have to say, I get asked to have give-aways and say no a lot, because I do not like the product. I really do like and use (everyday in my coffee) NuNaturals stevia. Good luck xoxoxox

Outdoor Summer Kitchen

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I do not know if you remember my washing station last summer. I loved it and have wanted to set up an outdoor kitchen (for those rare sunny WA days ;-) This is still not perfect but getting better. For my birthday David bought me this galvanized tub on a stand. Isn't it fun!!! I dragged out an old table and used a vintage sheet for an table cloth. You can not see it in the picture but there is a table for 4 with a red gingham, plastic tablecloth. So we can cook, clean and eat out here. I use my small grill or crock pot out here. As you can see we clean and prepair produce for the freezer out here too. In the NW, warm, sunny days are rare. You have to enjoy them while you can. Do any of you have an outdoor kitchen ???  xoxoxo

PS. Thank you for the feedback about the Wren Bay cover, it was so helpful xoxo

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Outdoor kittttt



Wren Bay, So Which Cover Do You Like?

WrenBay Cover A

Wren bay cover B

Yeah, I am just about to order an actual copy of Wren Bay and if all goes well, I will have books to sell in a couple of weeks. But I need your opinion on the cover. I know the differences are small, but hey, it is all in the details. So tell me which do you like better A or B? I hope you like the photo, I am in-love with it.

Thank you xoxox

Flower Bag

Flower bag 5

Oh look at the AMAZING crochet flower bag,(The link to the pattern is on my mother's post) my mother made me for my birthday. She made this bag for herself and I fell in-love with it. It is perfect for carrying around large knitting projects I am working on. If you crochet, I do not think it was hard. You start at the bottom, crocheting in a circle. The bag has a lovely lacey edges and flowers where each of the handles attach to it. Thank you mom, I really do love it. You are the best xoxoxoxo

PS, Thank you Chloe for letting me dress you up and making you pose. (You have to admit, with your suede knee-high boots, it is a killer outfit ;-) You are the best model xoxo

Flower bag 6

Flower bag 22222

My Adventure With Lavender and Stevia

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I am always looking for ways to make what I cook, healthier. But I will NOT compromise on taste, it is just not worth it. My mother and several friends use stevia. I have tried it and found it left a bitter taste and my mouth feeling numb, uck!!! I sort of pretty much had written off stevia. But Angie (Of course, my go-to foodie friend) told me about a new stevia by NuNatrual. I tried in my tea and loved it. The same day I found out I had won a give-away on VeganFamilyStyle (Thank you Debra) from NuNatural. Well I guess it was meant to be. I expected to just get a small sample, but was surprise when I got a large box.

I was lucky to receive a bottle of vanilla stevia, a box of packets of powder stevia and baking blend. I have been playing with the products. What I love and use the most is the liquid stevia and the vanilla stevia, which taste just like vanilla but sweet. The baking blend worked well but I personally would not use it a lot. It would not be cost effective. But if my baking and sweetener choices were limited, baking blend would be a good choice.

If you have been wanting to try stevia or are like me and hated other stevia's, I encourage you to try NuNaturals. Thank you again NuNaturals again for my generous give-away box. One of my favorite things I have made is a lavender panna cotta. Panna Cotta's are easy to make and any way I can use lavender makes me happy.

By the way if you are looking into raw/vegan cooking Debra's site is great. She has a wonderful testimony and has written her own e-book and DVD. I do raw cooking for lunches and always find inspiration on Debra's site xoxox

Lav pannaaaaa

Lavender Panna Cotta w/ Stevia

Serves 4

1 cup half and half

4 fresh lavender blossoms, or 1 generous TBL, dried lavender, make sure you do not use lavender that has been sprayed with any chemicals

1 cup heavy cream

pink of salt

1 1/2 tsp. powder gelatin

2 TBL cold water

1/2 tsp. liquid stevia, taste and see if you need more or 1/3 cup honey

Infusing half/half

If you are using fresh lavender, gently rinse blossoms under cold water and pat lavender dry with a towel. Do not worry about getting the flower completely dry. Roughly cut or I just used scissors, blossoms into big pieces. It is fine if you use some of the stem, you are going to trwo all this away. Add half/half  and lavender to a small saucepan. Bring milk to a simmer. Keep an eye in it, milk can go from simmering to boiling over the pan very quickly. Do not let boil, as soon as you see bubble forming, pull pan off stove and let sit 20 minutes.

Making Panna Cotta

Grease with cooking spray 4 small ramekins.

In a small bowl sprinkle gelatin over water and let sit to soften for 5 minutes. Strain lavender out of milk and discard flowers. Add cream and a pinch of salt to milk and reheat, until hot but not boiling. Add stevia (If using honey, add it when you heat cream above). Whisk gelatin into cream for a lest a minute to make sure you evenly distributed the gelatin. Pour into ramekins and set in fridge at lest 4 hours.

To un mold run a knife around edge and invert panna cotta onto a plate. I served it with strawberry sauce and fresh blueberries.

Strawberry sauce

1 cup water

1 cup sugar or stevia to taste, start with 1 tsp.

1 cup berries (I  used frozen berries from berries I picked last summer)

Pul everything in a sauce pan and simmer 10 minutes until berries are collapsed and the sauce is a deep red. Cool, strain out berries and enjoy.