I want to thank each of you for your kind words on my 7 year bloggiversary. I strive to inspire you, as well as myself, to make the most of what we already have. Making a home takes lots of creativity, energy and love. I hope I can keep Storybook Woods, relevant and interesting. Which brings me to a question. When I first blogged, I posted every day but it became too much. I finally came to a point where I blog every 5 days. But I find myself making little comments on FB usually cooking tips and links. I have thought of sharing them here. But my question to you, is do you like getting less posts or more? I mean there are soo many blogs out there if I posted more offen cooking tips and links, would it just be overwhelming to you or the more posts the merrier? Please be honest and let me know how you feel on this subjects. I am a bit torn if I should share or just keep posts (mostly) my own projects and recipes?
Kitchen Printables, so charming.
Peg Dolls, I need to make some of these.
Fiori di Sicila, Have you ever baked with Fiori di Sicilia (or “Flowers of Sicily”)? It is a floral vanilla-citrus extract used in Panettone. But I love it in my french toast, chocolate mousse, sprinkled on fresh fruit. Here is a homemade version. Check it out.
Growing Rose Cuttings in Potatoes, I have not tried this but am going to try.
My new favorite cooking blog, Thyme, image at top!!!
The Movie Departures
"When his orchestra disbands, Daigo Kobayashi (Masahiro Motoki) decides to start over and moves back to his small hometown. Desperate for work, he secretly takes a job as a “Nokanshi,” a funeral professional who prepares the deceased for burial and entrance into the next life. But while working with the families of the departed, Daigo embarks on a spiritual journey of his own as he finally experiences the joy and wonder of living."
Thanks to Angie I found out about this heartbakingly beautiful movie. I was a bit squimish when I found out it was about a man who prepares the deceased for burial but I am so glad I watched. It was not gross, it was hearfelf and funny. My entire family loved it. Thank you Angie for recomending it.
It is on netflix instant watch and youtube
This is one of the recipes from my spring article in Gathering Mag!!
I love rhubarb! It has this unique tang I look forward to every spring but I will confess my family is not big rhubarb fans. But I am slowly winning them over and these little cakes are just one of the ways. The secret is the cream cheese center; it seems to help cut the tartness from the rhubarb for my family. I like it because … well who does not like cream cheese filled mini-cakes? Roasting the rhubarb is easy and concentrates the flavors a bit. Even though these cakes are grain free (and could be dairy free see tips) everyone will love them. Even those who are not rhubarb fans!
Rosey Rhubarb Up-side Down Cakes w/ Cream Cheese Center, grain free
Makes 12 mini cakes
Roasted Rhubarb Sauce
4 ounces of cream cheese cut into 12 cubes
⅟ᴣ cup melted coconut oil, cooled
⅛ tsp. vanilla paste or 1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups almond flour
¼ cup coconut flour
⅟ᴣ cup coconut sugar
½ tsp salt
Pre-heat oven 350 degrees
Grease muffin pan, unless using a silicone pan (which is what I prefer). Divide sauce amount the 12 cups and spread on bottom. Add one cube of cream cheese to each cup. Make cake batter by mixing together almond and coconut flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add oil, eggs and vanilla. Batter should be scoopable but not pourable. Divide batter between the 12 cups. Bake 30-40 minutes until when a tooth pick is inserted in cake comes clean and the cake feels firm to the touch. Let cool 10 minutes and then remove cakes with rhubarb side up and cool on rack. If using a silicone pan, let cakes cool in pan. If sauce sticks to the bottom on the pan, just scoop it up and spread it back on the cakes.
Slow-Roasted Rhubarb Sauce
3 cups of sliced rhubarb
⅟ᴣ cup of sugar
Juice of half a orange
Pre-heat oven 300 degrees. Toss Rhubarb in sugar and juice and spread out in a wide baking dish. Bake 45 minutes. Scrape rhubarb and juice into a dish and allow to cool. Puree sauce or leave chunky depending on your liking. The sauce can be kept in a fridge for a week.
A trick I learned from a friend on measuring the coconut oil. Scoop out more than you need, melt it, measure what you need and pour the extra oil back into container. It will not hurt the coconut oil.
To make these muffins dairy free use dairy free milk and cream cheese. Trader Joes has a really good DF cream cheese.
If you want your rosey cakes orangeier, add zest and juice from the other half of the orange to the cake batter. Also if you really like strawberry with your rhubarb, you can replace some of the rhubarb with strawberries for the sauce.
Happy Bloggiversary to me!! I have been blogging 7 years now and you know what, I still love it! And I still have things to say. You would think by now I would run out of things ;-P but I continue to learn and grow, therefor have something to share. Whenever I have a bloggiversary, I always wonder what the upcoming year will hold. I also look back at the last year and am always amazed at all that has happened. This year I got to meet several other bloggers and make some dear friends too. I got to go to Kansas city and found I love the area. I am now a food editor and am excited to see what will be happening with Gathering Magazine this coming fall. It is very exciting and a bit scary. I am being stretched but that is good. Sadly Wren is sooo on the back burner but she is still with me every day and I will not forget her. Also because my old stove is falling apart, I have a new professional 6 burner gas stove being shipped to me, thanks to all of you! My Wren money paid for her. She is not here yet but I need to name her (or maybe it is a he??).
Really what stands out from this past year is the love. I have made so many new friends, even friends I have met in real life. I feel so honored and blessed. I look forward to seeing what this year will hold. As a thank you for your constant support and friendship, I am having a give-away. One person will win the latest issue of Folk magazine and a chocolate bar. All I ask is you tell me your favorite chocolate, white, milk and dark? You know it is dark, like 80% for me baby xox
"Really I think a clean kitchen creates an urge in me to want to dirty it up!"
As much as I love (obsess over) cooking, this girl enjoys a break as much as anyone. I cook a lot, I get burned out and need motivation. I was thinking during my bath time what motives me to cook when I am burned out. Here is my list. I would love to hear what motivates you?
1. Well I just mentioned my bath. I take an late afternoon bath every day. I started this when Auberne` was a baby and I am glad I did. I find taking a respite before I have to cook dinner is a big help. It does not have to be a bath, it could be a quick nap or a cup of tea in a quite corner of your home. Just some time to stop and refresh before starting up again.
2. Watching cooking shows while I cook. I think all that talk about food and cooking makes me want to cook!
3. A clean kitchen. Not super clean, just spaces cleared, counters cleaned. A good, open workable space. I suppose this is obvious to everyone else but it took me a while to realize this. I hate cleaning but found if I made myself straighten up the kitchen before I went to bed (and while I was cooking), I was much more motivated to cook the next day. Really I think a clean kitchen creates an urge in me to want to dirty it up ;-)
4. A glass of wine! Now do not laugh at me and NO, I do not drink wine every time I cook. I only drink wine on the weekends but I think it inspires me because wine always makes me think of food. Wine is a living thing with depths of smell, layers of tastes and a mouth feel. Plus when you add food to the mix it changes wine (and the food). I love to see how the two interact. There is also the fact that wine makes me happy. So on the weekends you will see me cooking with a glass of wine in my hand!
5. A full pantry! I never make menus, I find I spend more money when I do. All I need is some meat in my freezer, some veggies on-hand, some things to bling it out with and a full pantry. I relay on my pantry to save me money. With just a bit of meat I can fill in with a lot of cheap grains and veggies.
6. Lastly other cooks inspire me. Reading book, pinning recipes, you guys and cooking with others. Just hanging with friends and talking food, cooking with them inspires me. I think because it reminds me food is more then just mearly filling our tummies. It is meant to feed our souls, to bring people together, a way to show love! And cooking with or for others reminds me what a gift it is when I can give someone a wholesome, delish, I-am-going-to-die-with happiness meal!
I love white clothes but hate the yellowing that happens over time. I tried several natural tricks using what I already had on-hand and this is what I came up with. I am very happy with the results!
Naturally Removing Yellowing from Whites
In a large pot add 1/4 cup salt, 1/2 cup baking soda and enough cold water to generously cover your garment. Bring water to a boil, remove pot from heat and add garment. Make sure to completely submerged all the fabric. Let the garment sit in the water until the water is cool. Then rinse. My cotton top was really yellow, so I had to do this two times but it worked well!