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December 2011

November 2011

Raw Sesame Truffle, gluten/sugar/dairy/egg free

Sesame truffle 2 

Oh my gosh these are so good, so decadent, a little goes a long way!! Which is good, you will not eat a lot! During Chloe’s elimination diet, I was determined we would eat well. The list of what she could eat was so limited, it was real challenge but I have to say we ended up with some really good recipes and these are one of them. With Christmas coming, I want some gluten/sugar/dairy/egg free treats to have on-hand and these will do the trick.

There are several raw sesame truffle recipes out there but mine is a little different because I added a pinch of cinnamon, ginger and some vanilla beans. I found without these the truffles were a bit flat. Now you do not want to taste the spices too much, you want the sesame and cashews to sing. The spice should be more of a back note but add a pinch, taste and adjust to your liking. Also these have a fair amount of salt but I think it is important to the taste. I think these would keep in the fridge for a good two weeks, if well wrapped but enjoy at room temp!!

Sesame truffles 1


Raw Sesame Truffles

These are a revision of Elana’s Pantry truffles


½ cup cashews

¼ cup tahini (if you have raw, that would be great)

1/3 cup mild honey

1 vanilla bean, scrapped and use the soft beans inside (you can use vanilla extract but it will  not be quite as yummy)

1 pinch of cinnamon

1 pinch of ground, dried ginger

1 tsp. salt

Sesame seeds


1. In a food processor, process cashews until you get a course, sandy texture.

2. Add the remaining ingredients, except the sesame seeds. Process until all comes together. Taste and adjust to suite your liking. I like it a bit salty, sweet. You really do not want to taste the cinnamon and ginger. It is just a back (subtle) note, to up the flavor. Process again for a few seconds.

3. Refrigerate mixture, 2 hours.

4. Roll mixture into little balls and roll the balls in sesame seeds and enjoy!!

Will keep two weeks in fridge, if well wrapped.

A Corner of my Home

Sil cabnet 3

I thought I would share a corner of my home this fall before I jump into Christmas decorating. I admit I have been keeping things simpler but I loved my back and white this fall. I think my china cabinet turned pretty charming.

Paper scallop candle 2

 and it went well with my candles,

Thanks feather 1

My paper feathers,

Cold tea gingerrr

and my gingerbread corner. Now off to decorate for Christmas. We have a fun theme this year. I will share soon xoxo


A Pumpkin Pie Reminder


Lily bake

     Wren sits at her worn, wooden table making a Thanksgiving list. She has learned that her lists are usually too ambitious but she is determined to be organized this year. “Let’s see.” She hums to herself. “Well turkey of course. Seth and Devlin will go hunting this Saturday for a wild turkey. I am so glad Seth will be smoking it. He does such an amazing job with his prized hams. Oh, I need to remind Thayer to get some fresh oranges for me when he is in Boston for the brine. I harvested plenty of shallots. With the fresh orange juice, I think it will make a wonderful brine for the turkey.”

     She stands and pulls the singing kettle off the stove. Then pours the hot water in a cup filled with fresh apple peels, a dash of grated nutmeg and a sliver of candied ginger. Her new favorite tea! With all the apple dishes she has been making, it is a nice way to use the peel. Covering the cup with a small plate, she continues on with her list as the peels steeps.

     “Devlin wants me to make stuffing with apple-sausages and chestnuts. I think I will make some rosemary bread for the stuffing. Mash potatoes and gravy is a must! The boys will be so sad if we do not make any. I am making Mimi’s cranberries in port wine tomorrow. It will keep for a week. I think steamed green beans with olive oil and lemon zest will brighten up the meal a bit and a salad of bitter greens to clean the palette is in order. Mary is making an apple/cheddar soup and buttermilk pie for dessert.”

     Straining out the peel and spices, Wren adds a dash of honey and takes her cup to the front sitting room. She sits down at Grace’s table with the floral mother of pearl inlay and looks out the window. This has been her favorite spot lately. She looks out over the fruit orchards, which is bare now, but she can see the lake and the rolling hills beyond filled with deep reds and flaming gold. Autumn is putting on a quite a show this year. Wren can see the cows out in the field and the steam coming from their nostrils. They will get culled apples for Thanksgiving. Last year Lily put a bow on each apple, which the cows ate. Seth was not happy!

     She continues to write. “Lily and I are going to make apples stuffed with dried cranberries, walnuts and butter. Add some maple syrup and cream drizzled on top, yum! So what can I do today? I baked and pureed the long pie pumpkins yesterday. I think I will make a double batch of pumpkin pie filling and freeze it in the ice house. That and the pie crust. Then on Thanksgiving all I have to do is pull out the crust and filling, defrost and bake away. Plus I will have extra for another night. Or maybe I will take a pie to Miss. Larkin? She always has a wonderful book for me to check out of the library.”

     After making a reminder to cut herbs from Grace’s garden early Thanksgiving morning, Wren feels like she has a plan and that helps her to relax. After a delicious dinner of ham, apple, potato pie with a cheddar crust, Devlin watches Wren glue slips of paper’s around feathers. She writes the name of a person on the paper.

     “What are you doing my dear?” Devlin is always amazed at how Wren uses what she has.

     “They are for the Thanksgiving table. I thought each person could write what they are thankful for this year on the back of the paper. Then they would have a keepsake.”

     She looks him with those wide, gray eyes, waiting for him to laugh at her. Instead he leans over, kissing her neck and whispers. “I know what I am thankful for this year!”

Dear readers, this is a great time to make pie filling and crust for the holidays. One to-do, checked off your list xox

Image from Wildflower photos


It Just Makes Me Happy

Marie claire idees 1

I confess I am addicted to Pinterest. Not only is it fun but I find really valuble. It is an easy way to file, catagorize and share ideas. Plus I find it is the newest and hottest ideas are on Pinterest, since other blogers are pinning, as they post. So I am starting a new serises, once a week I will post an image, idea, recipe or something I found on Pinterest that just makes me happy. I hope it makes you happy to. This week is wonderful images Doe-C-Doe shares from the French Marie Claire Idees mag. Just charming!!

A Thanksgiving Feather

Thanks feather 0

I always like to have some small keepsake for my guests at holiday dinners. A sweet reminder of the day. Well I am sick, stuck on the couch. I do not feel to bad as long as I do not get up or try to talk (Akk, it is hard not to talk.). So what do I do, I craft! I was inspired by these paper feathers. I used paper from an old book, that with some glue and wire, easy peasy. I changed the shape of the feather a bit. I will write the year on the back of the feathers and I am thinking each person can write one thing they are grateful for on the back of their name.

Thanks feather 1

As I made these feathers, I have been thinking what am I thankful for? Something besides the big stuff we are all thankful for. Something small, something I overlook all the time and it came to me, my bed. Gosh I spend almost half my life in it. I tell you, every evening when I climb in under my rose covered sheets and sink down in my cozy nest, pulling my down comforter over me, I AM thankful. I always sigh a happy sigh. Add the cold weather and my heated mattress pad, oh yeah baby, my bed is what I am giving thanks for this year. So what is a small, simple thing in your life you are thankful for??

Thanks feather 2 

Linking this post to Free Pretty Things For You

Chocolate Cherry Fruitcake

Choccherry cake

    Well it is time for a fruitcake reminder!!! There is only a few items I make year after year and my cherry chocolate fruitcake is one on them. It is a favorite and if you do not like fruitcake, you will love this one. This fruitcake has both sweet and sour cherries, dried figs (because they have a bit of a cherry flavor themselves), a hint of orange to perk things up and hunks of bittersweet chocolate to gild the lily. I find the reason most people do not like fruitcake is because of the candied citron. This recipe does not have citron but it does have candied orange peel. If you do not like candied peels you can leave them out and use the zest of two oranges instead. Feel free to play with the combo of fruits, just end up with the same total amount, 2 cups. The same goes with the nuts.

Choccherry cak

    I like to use bittersweet chocolate and sour cherries to make up for all those sweet candied cherries. Even though they are very sweet, they are Christmas'y to me. Of course the better the chocolate you use, the better your fruitcake will be. I use port wine because it mirrors the taste of dried cherries, figs, raisins, etc. and helps add a depth of flavor. You can use good old rum or brandy too. I have gotten a lot of feedback since I first posted this recipe 5 years ago and I have gotten nothing but rave reviews. So I encourage you to give it a try xox

Choccherry cake 202

Chocolate Cherry Fruitcake

Makes 2 loafs or 4 mini loafs


¼ cup golden raisin

½ cup sour dried cherries, cut in half

½ cup candied cherries, cut in half

¼ cup dried figs, cut in small cubes

½ cup candied orange peel or the zest of two oranges

1 generous cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped or chips

½ cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and chopped

½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped

½ cup (one stick) softened butter

2 eggs

¾ cup sugar

1 TBL. vanilla extract

¼ cup port (or milk)

¾ cup milk

1 ½ cups all pourpus flour

¼ cup coco powder

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

bottle of port


Pre-heat oven 350˚F

1. In a large bowl mix all fruit, nuts and chopped chocolate.

2. In a mixer bowl cream butter and sugar together.

3. Then mix in eggs and vanilla, scrap down sides.

4. Sift in separate bowl flour, coco, baking powder, and salt.

5. Mix milk and port together.

6. Add in half flour mixture to the butter. Then add milk, then the rest of four. Now add fruit and nut mixture to the batter.

7. Spoon into greased 2 -8 inch round pans or 2 loaf pans or 6 mini loaf pans (that is what I use). Bake until center when poked comes clean, 60 minutes or so. Let cool 10 minutes then un-mold.

When cakes are completely cooled, wrap each fruitcake in piece of cheese cloth and set in container to keep. Brush top and sides with port. Next day turn over and brush bottom with port. Next day turn over and keep repeating for a week. Once a week brush with port, unless you feel the cake it feeling too wet then stop.

Keep covered in a tight container until you are ready to enjoy. The cakes will keep about three months.