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August 2014

July 2014

Important Tasha Tudor Day News


    Good day fellow Tasha fans. In light of the fact that Tasha Tudor's family has their own blog, I have decided to hand Tasha Tudor day over to them, so to speak. I will continue to honor Tasha every year in my own life and with my family but not on my blog. The reason I am posting about this is to ask you if you have my button on your blog would you mind removing it and linki Rookery Ramblings instead for Tasha Tudor day. Really the family should be.directing this. I love that every year we all take a moment, stop and think about Tasha. Think about how she has inspired us to live life more simply but fuller. Tasha affects my day to day life in a real way and I am very thankful for this.

Also a reminder Tasha Tudor day is one month from now, August 28. I think my girls and I will have tea out in the garden. Maybe read Becky's Birthday xox

Encouraging Thoughts


This message is very close to my heart. I am a crier, emotional and have a lot of empathy of those suffering, outsiders like me but this was frowned upon by some in my childhood. I was told a lot to suck it up and not show my emotions. I was told it made me weak but I realized in time that my emotions were my strength. It takes strength to be vulnerable and those criticizing me, actually were afraid themselves to show their vulnerability. It is a risk to be vulnerable but it is worth it, even if we are rejected. Because being emotional is what makes us human and that makes us a better person.

1.mirror   2.lace  3.girl

Pineapple Salted Caramel Ice Box Cake


    One of the joys of living on the water in the northwest, is how tepid the summers are. It rarely goes over 75. Most people do not have air conditioning or ceiling fans. And for those few hot days, well like when it snows ... we fall apart ;-)  This last weekend we were in for record breaking heat, so I turned to my facebook friends for no-cook ideas. They always give me the best advice. One friend mentioned an ice box cake. I will be honest and say I have not had many of these, even as a child.


    So after much research this is my spin on ice box cake. Pineapple and caramel have always been a favorite combination of mine. I love the sweet acidity of fresh pineapple against the richness of caramel. Now this would be even better with homemade cookies but since the whole point was not to heat up my kitchen I bought cookies and salted caramel sauce (Trader Joes). The amounts do not have to be exact, just have plenty of everything. I have to say I LOVED this combo. A real fav and perfect on a really hot summers day!!


Pineapple Salted Caramel Ice Box Cake

Makes a 9” round cake, but you can use any pan. Even just make a mountain of it on a cookie sheet. the messier the better.


½ fresh pineapple, skin removed and cored

salted caramel sauce, a generous cup or so

whipped cream, lightly sweetened (how to whip cream)

36 small vanilla cookies, any cookie, shortbread or graham cracker will work


Assemble all your fillings

Take the pineapple and chop in food processor until you have a chunky sauce.

Warm up caramel sauce, if using pre-made. Remove lid and microwave jar for 30 seconds to soften up sauce.

Make whipped cream. 3 cups of heavy cream whipped w/ 1 TBL. of sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla extract.


Then assemble cake

Line your pan w/ parchment paper (plastic wrap will do but not as good as parchment).

Arrange ⅟ᴣ of your cookies on the bottom of the pan. Spread one cup of whipped cream over the cookies. Do not worry if it gets all messy, it will taste just fine. Next spread half of the purreed pineapple. Then drizzle some caramel sauce over the pineapple. Repeat layering again starting with the cookies. Then top with the last ⅟ᴣ of the cookies, then whipped cream. Lastly drizzle more caramel sauce. Cover top with plastic wrap, so it is not touching the cake and store in freezer. Takes a good 6-9 hours or overnight to freeze. Enjoy!!!


Chocolate Lavender Butter Brownies, grain-free


    The summer issue of Gatherings is out (and I made the cover, woohoo ;-). Sadly this is our finally issue. I am sorry to see Gatherings end but I think we are ending on our best work yet and that is a beautiful way to end. I learned so much being a food editor. Working with Annetta Bosakova (all the photos are her work) and Heather Spriggs Thompson has been such a learning experience and I grew quite close to both of them. Heather has always trusted my "food vision" for the magazine and I cannot tell you how much that means to me. Annetta is always able to take what is in my minds eye and make it come to life. That is not an easy task but then she is very gifted.


  The summer issue has a recipe for making Herb Infused Butter (which is very different from herb butter. I keep jars of it in my fridge for cooking). There is also two recipes using the butter: Grilled Chicken with Bay Butter/Honey Glaze and Lavender Butter Chocolate Brownies. I am always looking for new way to use fresh herbs!

    These brownies can be made gluten free, whole wheat or regular but I wanted to post a grain-free version here on the blog, for anyone struggling with high blood sugar like me. This brownie is a twist of my daughter’s all-time favorite dessert, all chocolate brownies. There is no coco powder in this recipe; it is all chopped chocolate, butter and not a lot of flour,. They are rich, dense and a small bite goes a long way. The twist is I first infused the butter with lavender before making the brownies. It is a simple way to give them a little something! I bet they will become a family favorite for you too!


Chocolate Lavender Butter Brownies  

Makes 8x8 pan


1 cup bittersweet, 60-80 percent dark chocolate, chips or chopped

½ cup lavender infused butter, see notes below

1 ½ cup sugar

3 eggs

½ tsp. salt

1 cup almond flour

2 TBL coconut flour


If you do not have lavender butter on-hand, make butter first.

Pre-heat oven 350°F and grease an 8x8 baking pan.

In a sauce pan set on the lowest setting of your stove gently melt chocolate and butter until the chocolate is melts. Then whisk in sugar. Next whisk in eggs, one at a time. Stir in salt, almond and coconut flours. The batter is thick but pourable. Fill greased pan and bake 15-20 minutes. Just until the side puff up a bit and the center is not runny. I like my brownies very soft, so I bake 15 minutes. Let cool in pan.


Lavender Infused Butter

Makes ½ cup


1 stick (1/2 cup) butter. I use unsalted, grass-fed butter

5-7 fresh lavender heads (you can use the steams too. I use a bit of both)


Set butter and lavender in a small sauce pan, gentlying melting butter on the lowest setting of your stove. If butter starts to sizzle or brown, pull it off the heat. You are just trying to melt the butter without breaking the butter fat, so you do not want the butter to boil or fry. When butter is melted, pull pan off heat and let the butter and lavender sit for half an hour. If butter has hardened, re-melt, strain out the herbs and pour butter into a container. Butter will keep 2 weeks refrigerated.



Please use organic unsprayed lavender.

Mint or anise hyssop would be good herbs to use in this recipe. You can use dried lavender too, about a TBL but fresh is so much better.

Feel free to try these brownies without herb infused butter. This is just a pain old good brownie recipe and our family favorite for years.

A regular or gluten-free version of this recipe and the grilled chicken and herb infused butter is in the Summer 2014 Gatherings Magazine

Up-Cycled Shelf


   First off, happy 4th. I feel so blessed to live where I have such freedeom!! 

   Now onto my project. I was at a friend shop and spied this beautiful shelf. I loved all the curves and cutouts. I had it in mind for my kitchen but when I got it home, it did not work in the space like I was hoping. Loving the shelf, I walked around my home trying to find just the right spot for it.


    Then it hit me, this would be a perfect room divider. My living room, is veryyy long with 3 distinct spaces, divided by arches. At one end is my "photography studio", the middle is a sitting area and the other end is the dinning room. It is all open to each other.



    I have been looking for a way to make the dinning area feel more separate, all the while still feeling like a part of the space. The only problem is my shelf was meant to hang on the wall. Hubby came to the rescue. The back of the shelf hangs lower than the front. So he put in little feet in the front and now it stands on all it own.


    The shelf/room divider is just what I was hoping for. It helps separate the space without being too heavy. Still lets in lots of light and I can change out the decor with the seasons. I just put out for summer my collection of old bottle given to me by a deep sea diver. Plus if I ever change my mind, I can still hang this on the wall. It will be a keeper I will always treasure (Thank you Molly xox). It is amazing what two little wood legs and some chalk paint can do!!