Sunday, February 23, 2014

A family affair

A few of the siblings were able to gather on Saturday to celebrate my brother Steve's birthday. I love when we get together, we all give a little nod to my Mom on most of the food we have. Mark made a chipped beef dip, Lynn made "Bachle chili" and AuGres fudge(!). I made bread. Jill made an awesome banana cake, which I'm pretty sure is the flavor cake my Mom always made for him. It's nice to know that no matter what, she'll always be there with us when we get together.

Lynn gave Clara one of my Mom's necklaces. We talked a lot about Grammie.

Clara and Sam spent a ton of time decorating for Uncle Steve's party. The place was decked out with homemade hearts.

I also made "Kansas City Cornbread" (one of Mom's favorites) and cinnamon honey butter.

Jill made a delicious banana cake with just the right amount of frosting, nuts, was awesome.

Oh, and I was inspired by the tequila tasting at a friends the other night, I decided to give this to the birthday boy. An aged tequila which everyone says is really good, very smooth. He was kind to share.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Guess what this is!

This, my friends, is a viewer and 3D slides of my Mom and Dad's wedding. No kidding. It's the coolest thing ever.

It matches my V-day decor? Red, aqua, vintage, and personal. Perfect!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Quiet on the homefront

Not many stories to tell lately. I guess it's because life is just happening. That's good, right? These pictures reflect the casual, creative, carefree place I am letting myself be in right now. It feels right.

I've been pulling crafting bits out here and there creating things. I love the color combinations for Valentine's day.

This was my Mom's's this gorgeous robins egg blue with a simple silver rim. I have yet to use it. Shameful right? I know!! I'm working on remedying that soon. I'm thinking a spring brunch is in order, or maybe sooner!? I fell in love with these napkins.

I cannot get enough of the cardinals this winter. So many. So stark against the winter back drop. I almost always stop and watch for a few stolen seconds out the window.

Oh this dog. She is really something else. She went to daycare twice this week and is *finally* pooped out and resting. The weather is taking a toll on both of us and our exercise habits. 

Bella. She stalks me. I stalk her. It's our thing. 

I couldn't get enough of this bread.  It was the loaf that kept on giving. We ate it for Superbowl, then I shared leftovers with two friends, then I ate a piece toasted for breakfast (twice). We had toast again this morning and then shared the end of the loaf with the critters. Make this bread. You won't be sorry.

While playing with scraps of paper, I had a bit of a melt down. I really missed my Mom. I miss being able to talk to her, to craft with her, to tell her what I've been up to and to hear about things she's done/made/clipped/heard. Grief comes in waves. This was a little wave and I think they are getting smaller, longer in between. I'm not exactly sure that they will ever go away.

Friday, January 31, 2014


My idea of a good Friday was spending time in the kitchen in my apron with my camera close by.

I made a batch of dark chocolate, caramel and pretzel blondies. (Thanks CD for pinning this recipe!) 

I haven't cut into them yet, that will be tomorrow. Hopefully they'll make it until Sunday to be paired with some ice cream and maybe salted caramel sauce.

I'm trying to cook/bake this entire weekend (including Game Day) without buying any new ingredients. The cupboards are FULL and I need to use what I have. So it's time to get creative. These brownies fit my criteria, because I was able to use up partial bags full of caramel, pretzels and chocolate chips. Win. Win. Win.

The batter tasted amazing. I can only imagine how good the dark chocolate, caramel and salty pretzels all tucked in will taste! That's sea salt you see on the top, for just a little more ooomph.

I'll let you know how they are tomorrow. I think I'll sneak a taste with coffee in the morning.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I'm still here.

Hello. I'm still here. Just having a little bit of a difficult time getting motivated lately. I'm NOT going to complain about the weather - it is what it is. But I do have to say that January has been the loooooongest month and I am so ready for it to be over and to move on to February.

I've been half-heartedly thinking about the next move for "Just a Little Something" activities. I haven't come up with anything I'm super excited about and it's been difficult for me to get back in the kitchen for some reason. I know that this adventure needs to proceed at it's own pace, so I'm just waiting for inspiration to hit. It's probably just around the corner.

In the meantime...I've been enjoying my Weck jars and using them throughout the house. When I talked to my friend Wakako from Baum-Kuchen, she told me how she has repurposed her little jars (from the bacon jam) to freeze homemade baby food for her little sunshine Coco.

I've fallen in love with this rack from my Mom. I have it in the kitchen and rearrange it to suit my mood. I keep extra jars here to grab as/when needed.

Here are five things you can use your weck jars for:

1. Keep your breakfast granola fresh. I can imagine having a stash of this Coconut Vanilla Granola (recipe here) at work in a drawer to go with yogurt or just to nibble when the cravings hit. I ate almost half the pan when I made this - it's that good!

2. Store your sweets, or even better, put a tag on it and give a friend a little jar of happiness just because.  Again, why not stash this in a drawer or on a nightstand just for you? I'm not the only one who eats chocolate in bed, am I?

3. You know I adore these little green guys that need hardly any attention. I move them about the house. The jars are the perfect little vessels. 

4. Keep things you use frequently out and visible. I use (a lot!) of tasting spoons and spreaders. These little teak spreaders were my Mom's, so I like to keep them out where I can see them. They remind me of cheese balls and family/friend get togethers. Why stash them away if I'll only forget about them?  

5. Use them to dry/keep herbs. I took snippings of rosemary that was still growing at my Mom's before we closed on her house. It's been drying in the jars, on the rack, until I get around to making something special.

Birdie compliments of my good friend Cheryl.

Let me know how you've repurposed your lovely jars. Oh, and if you are in the market for more bacon jam, let me know that too. I'm trying to figure out if that needs to be a staple in the line up or just a seasonal thing.