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November 2012

November 30, 2012

My Color of the Season: Gold

This season, I'm loving gold. I think it adds a special glimmery feel to the season. My style is to add in a bit here and there - an accent. Because too much is.... too much!

Here are some of my favorites right now:

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Earrings: American Eagle

Headphones: Target

Travel Phone & Card Case: Target

Flats: Forever 21

Scarf: Target

Here's to a shimmery, glimmery season!

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Between posts on my website, I document my life on Instagram. You can follow along with me there.

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November 28, 2012

It's What You Make Of It

My passion for cooking began when I was a little girl, living in our modest, yet homey cabin in the woods. Our cabin was built by my dad, completely by hand, and was a testament to his love of all things handmade and salvaged. Our home was filled with items found in old landfills or secondhand shops and treasures passed down within our family. I didn’t own toys, rather, my collections were the things that my grandmothers had used and cherished over the years. Their cookbooks, banded bowls, measuring cups, depression glass, and hand beaters. And what I loved most of all was to spend my days reading through their cookbooks spattered with the ingredients from their kitchens of long ago, deciding what I’d like to bake that day. And because I never got to meet either of them, it was my opportunity to be close to them in my own special way.

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My Grandpa, Grandma, and Dad

Our cabin in the woods was high in the mountains and had an old wood cookstove, but no refrigerator, electricity or running water. Teaching myself to cook at a high elevation with the fluctuating heat in the stove was a challenge, but not unlike the rest of my life, where improvising and making do was just the way it was.

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Our first kitchen, in our family gypsy wagon home.

When I was in sixth grade, our local newspaper, the Siskiyou Daily News, advertised a baking contest and I was overjoyed at the prospect of participating. I chose a complicated whipped cream and chocolate cake that required refrigeration. We made a special trip to town to buy huge ice blocks for the ice chest and the special ingredients for the cake. I spent all night working on the cake, which was so delicate and fluffy. I discovered a way to keep the whipped cream from separating and had all of the elements ready to assemble the next morning. When I awoke, my heart skipped a beat, thinking about the impending contest and I excitedly went to work, piecing everything together. And when I was finished, my fluffy little cake was a masterpiece I was so proud of. Time was of the essence. My cake had to get to town quickly, so the judges could see and taste if before it warmed up. So I wobbled my way to the front seat of our car and placed my masterpiece on my lap. And as we drove down our three mile long dirt road into town, I held onto that little cake with all my might. But as we rounded the bend in the road, our car hit a huge pothole which sent my cake straight onto the floor, where it landed, along with all of my hopes for the contest.

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After I got over the initial disappointment of the cake crash, we were able so salvage much of the cake and enjoyed it as a breakfast treat at home that day. And my dad proclaimed it to be a real winner.

And it was delicious.

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You can read more about my childhood here.

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Between posts on my website, I document my life on Instagram. You can follow along with me there.

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November 26, 2012

Scone Cozy

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This quick and easy project is such a sweet and functional way to keep your scones nice and warm. It also has great gift potential. Make a batch of your favorite scones , place them in the cozy, set on a plate, and deliver to a friend or send to school as a teacher's gift.

Here's how to make your cozy:

  1. Cut two 11-inch diameter circles from a terry cloth or other thick-cloth kitchen towel.
  2. Finish the raw edge of each circle with bias binding and, if desired, embelish with rickrack.
  3. With chalk, divide one circle into six equal wedges, just as if cutting a pie. Place the marked circle on top of the second circle and sew them together along the lines.

And you're done!

You can find this and more fun projects in my book: The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen.

Image by John Granen

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Between posts on my website, I document my life on Instagram. You can follow along with me there.

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November 21, 2012

The Best Turkey Soup Ever

This soup is so tasty that I buy turkey during the year just to make it. And after Thanksgiving, it's the perfect way to use up some of your leftovers.

Creamy Turkey & Wild Rice Soup

5 tablespoons butter (1 tablespoon for sauteing, 4 tablespoons for cream sauce)

1/3 cup diced celery (1/4" dice)

1/2 cup diced carrots (1/4" dice)

1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

4 cups chicken broth (1 32-ounce carton)

1 cup water

3/4 cup wild rice

2 cups diced cooked turkey (about 1 pound)

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 1/4 cups half-and-half

2 tablespoons white wine (optional)

3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Make the soup: Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the celery, carrots, and onions, sauteing until softened - about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, water, wild rice, and turkey. Bring to a boil; then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Make the cream sauce: Meanwhile, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Mix the flour and poultry seasoning together in a small bowl and then add to the butter; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the half-and-half and cook until slightly thickened - about 1 minute. Stir the sauce into the soup. Stir in the white wine, bacon, salt, and pepper. Serve.

Cover

You can find this recipe and many more in my cookbook, The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen.

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Between posts on my website, I document my life on Instagram. You can follow along with me there.

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November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Favorites

I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving and having a full house. There's such a warmth in gathering together, isn't there?

Here are a few of my favorites for Thanksgiving:

Farm Chicks Style Turkey

Sweet Potato Bake

Thanksgiving Salad

Serena's No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

The Whipped Cream Secret

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Between posts on my website, I document my life on Instagram. You can follow along with me there.

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November 15, 2012

The President's Stables

When we visited New York this summer, we paid a visit to the home of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was of course quite lovely, but what I enjoyed most was the stables, which we were allowed to freely roam through on our own. I thought you might enjoy the tour, via the snaps I took with my phone.

Stables:

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I was quite surprised that his ribbon collection and old family photos sit right there on the wall within hands reach.

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The structure and building materials were so classic. I could have sat there and dreamed all day.

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This is what I love about old buildings. The beauty in the details and attention to every last surface and fixture. I know I sound old-fashioned, but *sigh*, they just don't build them like they used to...

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Between posts on my website, I document my life on Instagram. You can follow along with me there.

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November 12, 2012

Holiday Inspiration

It began snowing in Spokane last week and my Christmas spirit began to soar. I love the first snowfall of the season. Please don't melt. Please don't melt.

Today is a special day for me because I get to announce my sweet friend Heather Bullard's Souvenir Magazine has been released today. The HOLIDAY ISSUE.

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I love so much about this magazine - that it's produced by women, a true labor of love, and most importantly... it's beautiful and inspiring. It makes me want to create, decorate, and cherish the season even more. That's what happens when I'm inspired.

And, it serves as the platform for the debut food story of my dear and talented friend, Sylvia Fountaine. Her recipes are always a treat and I love how what she puts out thoughtfully walks the reader through the steps. I know you're going to love her feature! BEEE-U-T-FULLL! :)

I also got to join in this time with a story about a day in my life. I hope you enjoy it. (Special thanks to Samantha Cabrera for shooting my story. I adore you.)

Grab some cocoa and come join us. You can purchase and download your issue here!

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IMG_5123P.S. I've been away for quite some time. My family has needed me. But now I'm back, feeling joy, and ready to catch up with you. Thank you for being so lovely while I've been away.

xo

 

November 01, 2012

Suffering

Today I'm reaching out to those of you who are suffering, whether it's sadness, sickness, or recovering from the storm.

It can be such a lonely place.

But please know that you are not alone. Today I wish for you serenity, courage, and peace of mind and heart. Today I send you love.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

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