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March 2011

Chocolate Covered Toasted Oats in Oatmeal Stout Ice Cream

Lrocer 3o3 

Last month was hubby's birthday and since he is such an amazing home-brewer I always try to make something using beer. I am on an ice cream craze, making a new batch everyother day,so I knew it had to be some kind of ice cream. I pick out the beer I wanted to use, an oatmeal stout, which is pretty sweet and rich, it is almost like the port wine of beer. I looked at the qualities of the beer to help me bling up the ice cream and decided I had to add toasted oats and a bit of chocolate could not hurt either ;-)  I have to say it is an amazing combo and the toasted oats really came out. I was afraid they would be over powered by the bittersweet chocolate but they were not. It add to the flavor of the stout without covering it up!

By the way aren't my Leprechaun (Auberne` going to the library to help with the Saint Parickday Day party) and my rocker girl Chloe the cutest. I could eat them with a spoon xoxo 

But back to the subject, ice cream, homemade ice cream. I never know when I write posts how effective I am at getting my message across, so that is why I  am writing about making ice cream AGAIN because I do not want any of you to miss out on this. Most ice cream recipes are WORK but thanks to Angie, (She came up with this) all you need is:

3 cups of cold liquid: milk, cream, coconut milk, sour cream (I would not use more than one cup of sour cream), heavy cream, soy milk, etc. Use a mixture of several kinds, whatever you have on hand.

1/2-3/4 cup sweetener: sugar, maple syrup, stevia, honey, xylitol, etc.

a pinch of salt

and at lest 2 TBL. of liquor, anything will work (Vodka is great if you do not want to taste it). This is to keep the ice cream from getting too hard. You can leave it out but you might have rock hard ice cream.

Now dump EVERYTHING in a bowl, whisk and dump in your ice cream machine and run about 30 minutes. That is it!!!!!!! This is the basic recipe, you can add pureed fruit (I have been taken frozen strawberries and letting them thaw just until I can puree them) coffee, mint, marshmallow fluff, there is NO limit. My ice cream machine has more than paid for itself!! So pull out those machines and get whisking xoxoxo

Lrocker 1o1 

Chocolate Covered Toasted Oats in Oatmeal Stout Ice Cream

Toasted oatmeal chocolate crumble

An hour before making ice cream, layer a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper (foil will work too, just spray some pam on it). Toast 1/2 cup of rolled oats (any oats will do but I like the thick rolled oats). Heat a wide dry frying pan over medium heat, add oats and stir until oats smell toasted and are lightly browned. Set aside.

Melt 3/4 cup chocolate (I use bittersweet) with 2 TBL of either coconut oil or cream (I do this in the microwave, 1 minute but you can do it in a pan on the stove. Do not boil just heat and stir until melted). When melted add oats and stir until they covered in chocolate. Spread chocolate out on parchment paper and set pan in fridge or freeze to harden up chocolate.

Stout Ice Cream

1 1/2 cup cold heavy cream

1 1/2 cup cold half and half (But you can use any liquids you would like)

3/4 cup sweetener (I used 1/2 cup xylotal and 4 drops liquid stevia)

1/3 cup cold oatmeal stout (any deep, rich, slightly sweet beer will work)

pinch of salt

Whisk all together and pour in ice cream machine and run 1/2 hour.

After 1/2 hour, keep machine running and pull out chocolate. Break hard chocolate into little pieces. Then stop the machine and transfer ice cream to a container and stir in chocolate/oat bits. Freeze until ready to eat. Serve with a small glass of leftover stout!!

Painting Birds on Muslin

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The girls and have been play with how to express ourselves, our thoughts and feelings, our writting through different art mediums.

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I have purchased several books and are thrilled with them. The first one is Nature Inspired, mixed-media techniques by Tracie Lyn Huskamp. I was drawn to this book because she combines using nature (which is all around us and is free!!) with creative techniques such as painting, photography, distressing and journal. But the one idea we were really drawn to is painting on fabric. I pulled out some leftover vintage dishtowel fabric, it is slightly heavy and I like that.

Using Tracie's technique we sketched an outline of a bird. Then filled in with paint, layer by layer, slowly adding more and more detail. It was soooo easy and fun to paint on the fabric.

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Chloe's page for her journal is a tribute and prayer for Japan. She has been learning the Japanese language, her page says Love and Hope

My page is a love letter to my hubby. Using the envelope Karla sent me, I put in a heart with our names on it, in the envelope. I stitched on a real branch from my woods.

I know one of the subjects I have blogged about that has gained a lot of interest is journaling. A Holy Experience has a wonderful post on the subject. I think Nature Inspired, will help you find new ways to journal. I see a lot of potential for lots of ideas. I think next will will try making one of Tracie's necklaces from a painted fabric bird. Thank you Tracie xoxox

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A Corner of my Home


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Grouping, grouping, grouping, cannot say enough about it. Unsure what to do? Need to refresh a corner of your home? Group!!

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I have a large French wire collection that I keep in my upstairs bathroom. I grabbed the smaller pieces and arranged them in my living room. Grouping makes such more of an impact!!

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I wanted to give a shout out to Karla. I won her using the good stuff giveaway. Thank you Karla, the girls and I will have fun with these goodies xoxo

Karla giveaway 

A Beautiful Wren Bay Review

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I just had to share this beautiful Wren Bay review by Gracious Hospitality . I have to say, always be open to making new friends. When I had LaTeaDah to my house for tea, l we had never meet. Now look at the wonderful friendship we have! Thank you LaTeaDah and I wish I could have all of you over for tea xoxo

Latea tea 

    Several summers past I turned onto a road that was so hidden in the trees that I missed it the first time I passed.  The road was lined with tall evergreens and consisted of a dirt and gravel lane that wound through the woods.  It led to a quaint old house that was once the home to an Admiral.  As the car stopped, the back door opened and out popped Clarice and her two lovely daughters.  Warm hugs and friendly words were shared as everyone started talking at once.  It was our first meeting, but you'd have thought we had been friends forever.  The Wren-like warmth of this trio made me feel right at home.  I was directed through a old-fashioned kitchen to the living room.  A cozy coverlet-lined sofa provided a comfortable place to sit, but I couldn't sit for long because there were so many interesting things to see.  Clarice's china closets were lined with unusual vintage pieces and bits of artwork.  Mayra, a black, floppy-eared rabbit hopped across the floor.  It's crate was open nearby with a bowl of bunny food beside it.  Throughout the house, interesting vignettes created pretty places for the eyes to settle.  A wooden doll house that was completely furnished and artfully decorated by Chloe for an upcoming holiday was set at a focal point.  It fit into the decor in the most charming way.  Auberne's passion for Tolkien and characters in that genre could be seen in her artwork and the books she surrounded herself with.  In the center of the living room, a large, antique table was set.  An assortment of wooden chairs surrounded the table that was draped with a colorful vintage cloth.  Mismatched vintage china and real silverware was set at each place-setting.  Dainty ladies hankies served as place mats.  The effect was so unique and charming; you would have to be there to completely experience its appeal.  Even with all the lovelies throughout the room, one's eyes were always set on coming back to rest on the beautiful table.  While Clarice was putting the finishing touches on making the food for tea, her sweet daughters gave an enticing tour of their cottage home.  The girls, Auberne' and Chloe, shared of the projects they had been stitching, crafting, and enjoying.  A beautifully appointed library was lined with rows upon rows of old books.  A comfy sofa with a plaid covered table beside it encouraged the reading of a good book and some time out.  Here, Mr. Fox-Hughes was cheerfully ensconced, watching some television in this cozy man-den, keeping out of the way so that the ladies could enjoy a special afternoon.  Upon completion of the tour, we sat down for tea.  The menu was unique and the food delightful!  Summer Hill tea spoke of rosemary and lavender as it was poured into china teacups from a crown-adorned Roseanna teapot.  Individual pots of thick chocolate mousse, walnut-lavender scones, homemade espresso truffles, and lavender honey gave the palate an experience not soon forgotten.  Chattering voices shared topics near and dear to our hearts, covering everything from crafting, home education, home remedies, recipes, and more.  The time flew by swiftly.  Those moments shared cemented a friendship that is cherished still and meaningful beyond measure.  Kindred spirits are always connected, even when distance complicates togetherness.

 Latea tea 2

    It is with this scene in mind that I opened the colorful cover of the novel, Wren Bay.  It is the very personal and cherished work of Clarice Fox-Hughes.  As I read its pages, I came to realize more and more that the protagonist, Wren, truly was the substance of Clarice.  Clarice's creative spirit was reflected so well in the story of Wren as she worked to create a warm and loving home for her beloved Devlin and herself.  Wren's privileged upbringing and appreciation for fine things reflected the childhood of Clarice, a child raised with foreign travel and affluence.  One couldn't help but feel that Clarice really knew her subject as her writing voice speaks of European elegance and Boston society.  It was obvious that Clarice had researched her subject well as she wrote of herbal remedies, fine-crafted stitchery projects, delicious dishes made from gourmet recipes, and more.  Clarice described Wren's experiences of learning to milk a cow with equal assurance and expertise, although after meeting Clarice I really doubt she has ever milked a cow herself.  The characters in Wren Bay are well-developed and become intertwined not only in the life of Wren, but to the reader as well.  Aunt Sophie could be any one's favorite spinster aunt, and Mimi obviously cooks with the talent of Julia Child.  Mary becomes a reassuring figure to Wren, taking on a mother-like quality for her, as the reading audience is aware that Wren was orphaned a child.  Heart-strings are pulled by the child, Lily, whom Wren takes under her wing, teaching her about life by the same whole-child techniques that Clarice used to home educate her own daughters.  Holistic and creative, using nature and objects from daily life, these methods were illustrated by the experiences of Wren and Lily as the child learned effortlessly by natural teaching techniques.  Wren's practical ease in creating a nurturing environment is reflected in Clarice's home.  As I completed the last page of Wren Bay, reading the final sentence which consists of the words "Wren's blessing tonight. . ." I could not help but say three words of my own.  Wren is Clarice.

 Latea tea 3

    Wren Bay, the story of making a home, exudes charm, creativity, and warmth.  It is skillfully mixed with grace and elegance, with a true mix of practicality, economy, and the careful use of natural resources.  Later, as I pondered this delightful book, I remembered the day that I sat at Clarice's table and she shared with me that she agonized over any aspect of her life that required writing.  Her life-long experiences with dyslexia has caused her moments of concern and learning challenges.  I recalled how she shared that writing a blog post was agonizing at times as she struggled to choose just the right words and to place them correctly in a paragraph with spelling that was true.  These obstacles, the technical aspects of writing a book, were overcome by Clarice as she allowed her vivid imagination and creativity to shine forth.  She has written a novel that is fully developed, with settings the reader can picture, and with characters the reader comes to know as friends.  Wren Bay is a delightful book and a joy to read!  Great job, Clarice!  Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart!  

I anticipate volume two of the delightful life of Wren Bay.  

LaTeaDah @2011

Baked Brown Rice (even my daughter will eat!)

Tt tea 202 

Well in my attempt to keep my family eating healthier and healthier I put a kibosh on white rice, which did not make one of my daughters happy. I have been playing and playing with how to make brown rice that is not a ton of work for me but is pleasing to my picky eater. I finally came up with this baked rice recipe. I like it because it is a throw it all in a pan, set in the oven and an hour later we have rice!! The child in question (we will not name names but you know who you are ;-) likes it. Does she love it? NO! Does she wish we ate white rice instead? YES! But this seems like a win/win situation. Between you and me, I think the more she eats it, the more she will get use to it, until it is all she knows. One big trick I found is cooking it in broth. Yes, water is cheaper but for now I am will to do broth if that helps her like brown rice more. I am slowly using less and less broth, but shh, do not tell her!!!

The other thing is it is important to use a large, wide pan because you want the rice spread out. The rice will not cook as well if it is deep in a small pan. Does that make sense? You can change things up with different spices or add some saute veggies at the end but this is the basic recipe. I hope it helps your family embrace brown rice.

Tt v tea 2 

I wanted to share a picture of the amazing Tasha Tudor Valentines tea the girls and I were invited to. A small group of Tasha Tudor lovers from WA, MT and MA were lucky enough to be invited into Linda's charming home for the most perfect tea. Sadly none of my pictures turned out (I hate it when that happens). Linda put out an delicious spread of goodies, as you can see. What I loved about Linda home (besides all the amazing antiques) is she has taken a small extra bedroom and turned it into a tea room. Isn't that a perfect thing to do with an extra bedroom. I could have just moved in. Thank you Linda, you are the most gracious hostess xoxo


Baked Brown Rice

Pre-heat oven 400°F (If your oven runs hot you might want to turn your temp down to 375°F)

In a large pan with a heavy lid (or cover tight w/ foil) mix the follow ingredients. 

1 1/2 cups of brown rice

2 1/2 cups of broth

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. granulated garlic

1/8 cup of dried currents (you could also golden raisins or cherries)

pepper to taste


Mix and spread out rice. Then set bits of butter dotting the top of the rice, about 2 TBL. worth. Cover with a tight cover and bake one hour. Pull out, let sit 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.


Square Wreath

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Two very dear friends of mine, Mrs. Staggs and Karla are having a Using The Good Stuff party, so I had to join in!! I have to say this book wreath is the most favorite thing I have ever made. I adore it!! I just cut cardboard into the shape I wanted, added torn pages from a very old children's book. Embellished it with pale pink roses off an old hat, a birds nest and some ribbon. Simple and stunning. Thank you ladies for the push, I love you both xoxox

PS I should say I was orginaly inspired by House Revival's wreath!!

Good stuff


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Make Your Own Loveseat Protector

Couch cover 10 

Well only I am crazy enough to buy a white (well cream) couch! Actually a white couch with a slipcover is brilliant, because you can bleach the slipcover. BUT my couch does not have a slipcover. So I always keep a pretty twin quilt draped over it. Of course though the minute you sit on it, it slides all over the place, ugg.

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I was looking through a catalogue and saw these furniture covers for your for pets. What I love about them is they covered the high traffic areas but you can still see the lines of the couch. However they are expensive and havebad reviews. So I came up with my own and it is sooo easy.

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Here is what I did.

1. I took a twin quilt and ran it length wise down the couch. This way you have a long piece hanging down the back, this keeps the cover from moving to much.

2. I measured across the seat, adding an inch on each side and cut up the quilt. So you will have one long piece for the couch and one long skinny piece leftover.

3. For the arms I measured how wide the arm is and the length from the seat, over the arm with some extra hanging over (to help keep the piece in place better).

4. I cut those two pieces from the leftover piece.

5. I figured out where the long piece and the arm pieces would attach and sew it together. You should probably finish off the raw edges with seam binding but I am lazy and did not ;-p If it starts to really fray I will add the binding then. I do not see why this would not work with a bigger couch/quilt. I will say it does not slip as much as just the quilt. I am thrilled a plan on making several to go with different seasons and feels!!!

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