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Showing posts from December, 2009

Summer Foraging Recipe: Elderberry-Blueberry Jam with Chia Seeds

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In the woodland valleys of Central California, Elderflower trees have been in bloom all spring with their prolific, lacy white blossoms.  I've enjoyed making Elderflower syrup, candied elderflowers and sweet Elderflower Tempura.  A few days ago, I noticed that some of the trees are starting to bear fruit -- diminutive, tart little berries, deep purplish-blue growing in heavy clusters.  

Inspired by a love of biscuits and jam, foraging, and adapted from a recipe from Simply Beyond Herbs, I whipped up a simple and delicious jam made from the foraged Elderberries, fresh blueberries and using chia seeds for a perfect jammy consistency.

Enjoy and Happy Foraging!
PrintWith ImageWithout Image Elderberry-Blueberry Chia JamYield: One half-pint jarAuthor: Jenn Erickson Prep time: 10 MCook time: 10 MTotal time: 20 M An easy and delicious sweet-tart jam to make from foraged Elderberries. Ingredients:1 1/2 cups elderberries, rinsedPinch of salt1 cup blueberries, rinsed2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds1/2 Tabl…

2010 ~ SIMPLIFY

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"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak"  ~ Hans Hofmann

I've long held the belief in QUALITY over QUANTITY, and each year strive to further pare down the superflouous layers of my life, and focus on what is most near and dear to my heart.

This year I managed to sign-up and volunteer for less, thereby having more time to devote my love, energy and creativity to those places and people that I still chose to commit to.  My stress level decreased, my family felt more stable and happy, and my productivity increased. 
One area where my participaton and time were still wildly out of control, however, was the blogosphere.    Since my blog only really started to pick up this year, I got swept up in a wave of excitment, inspiration, and fascination that led to many hours spent online that probably should have been more evenly distributed between my online and offline committments. 
Have you made any New Year's Resolutions with…

COUTURE CANDY DIY, PART II ~ Chocolate Transfer Sheets for you to try

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UPDATE:  Thank you for commenting and following, and thereby entering this little giveaway.  Ladies, here are your numbers: Conquer the MonkeyLee the Hot Flash QueenFoxyCarolineMarilynHollyKimberlyShannonCompliments of Random.org, the winner is: RANDOM.ORG Integer Widget:
Min: 1 Max: 8 Result:  5
CONGRATULATIONS Marilyn!  Please email me to let me know where to send your transfer sheets.


If you've ever felt inspired to try your hand at working with Chocolate Transfer Sheets, here's your chance:

After writing the post"Couture Candy DIY" and ruminating over the lack of traffic in my Etsy store, I decided to go ahead and list some of the Chocolate Transfer Sheets from my inventory.  I've priced them competitively, and am offering flat rate shipping, whether you buy one sheet or 10.  Three patterns are available: 



To purchase, please visit my Etsy store: the cute little shop on the corner

Become a follower, and comment below (or, if you're already a follower, just com…

DIY Hostess Gift: "Hostess with the Mostest" Glitter Candle

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Whimsical, versatile, and very simple To put together, These charming candles are the perfect craft For thoughtful friends on a budget.

HOLIDAY MEMORIES ~ SHARING THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST MOMENTS

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This was the best part of my Christmas:  The looks on the girls' faces when they came down the stairs and saw the "magic" that Santa had made while they slept.
What was yours?

LAST MINUTE STOCKING STUFFERS FOR THE HOME CHEF

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 KITCHEN TOOLS EVERY HOME CHEF SHOULD NOT BE WITHOUT

1. SILICONE SPATULA ~ the essential tool for getting every last bit clinging to a bowl, container, or jar. The silicone spatula is non-stick, so it’s perfect for candy-making (caramels, marshmallows, etc.). They’re heat resistant (usually up to about 600 degrees f), so they’re perfect for stirring pots of hot stuff on the stove.


2. MICROPLANE GRATER ~ eliminates the need for such costly tools as a zester, nutmeg grater, and fine cheese grater. The microplane is positively the best zester for your citrus. Works beautifully on hard cheeses for a fine grate, and is a whiz with nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon sticks and fresh ginger. Makes those delicious little chocolate shavings on your hot cocoa too!
3. BENCH SCRAPER ~ makes clean-up a breeze. Great for cleaning crumbs from the table, removing flour and sticky dough from a counter or board, and carmelized bits from your stainless steel pans. You can find bench-scrapers in the kitchen secti…

O CHRISTMAS TREE, O CHRISTMAS TREE

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WELCOME FRIENDS!
A PEEK INSIDE "THE ROOKERY"
OUR CHRISTMAS TREE ~
Cherished ornaments in antique white, shimmery beige, and lots of German glass glitter
 Vintage silver christmas candle clips hold German beeswax candles
 Little papier mache angels by Nicol Sayre spread holiday magic throughout
 My vintage music Magnolias

And, of course ~ birds
Papier Mache, glass glitter, crepe paper, and candles ~
Christmas tree decorations of a time gone by.

What traditions or decorations from the past
do you cherish in the present?

Wishing you and yours a most joyful, magical,
and peaceful holiday season! ~ Jenn

WINNER WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER...

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First, I just have to say a big thanks to my friend Sam who first introduced me to the phrase, "Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner."  It's just so homey!  It evokes thoughts of warm biscuits wrapped in a blue gingham napkin, a favorite quilt passed down from one generation to the next, a rocking chair on the porch, and of course that comfort of all comfort foods, good-old fashioned fried chicken. 

Must be near dinner time, because I'm thinking food!  Ah yes, 5:00 P.M. PST, and that means it's time to announce the winners of the lovely jewelry, so generously donated by my friend Iris of Arco Iris and Till Death Do Us Art


Here's how it all broke down:
Holly Entered by following TDDUA & Rook No. 17, and commenting on fav jewelry piece Holly Posted Giveaway on Sidebar Holly Posted Giveaway on Sidebar Holly Posted Giveaway on Sidebar Holly Is a FB Fan Kys Entered by following TDDUA & Rook No. 17, and commenting on fav jewelry piece carma Entered by following …

FREE CHRISTMAS & HOLIDAY CLIPART ~ another installment of "Graphics & Gratitutde"

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I'VE RECEIVED ANOTHER GENEROUS DOSE OF LOVE AND AFFIRMATION FROM MY FELLOW BLOGGERS IN THE FORM OF THREE NEW AWARDS. THANK YOU!
As is becoming my custom, I like to "give back" when something nice like this happens to me.  So, in continuing with the tradition, I give you some free Christmas clipart from my vintage postcard and German scrap collection:









And now, those lovely awards:

The "Heartfelt Blogger Award" from Morgan at "Becoming Homegrown" Made me feel all warm and happy inside!

I'm passing this one on to Nicole at Miss Dot's Cupcake Spot
and now also at Saving the World One Cupcake at a Time
because she always puts a smile on my face,
especially on Mustache Mondays!
The "Superior Scribbler Award" from Dana at "Feeling Fit with Dana" Another tremendous compliment from a blogger I greatly admire.
This one goes to Nicole at "Tattoos and Teething Rings"  for some particulary candid, moving, and superlative writing this wee…

FROSTY THE SNOWMAN ~ Lost in Translation

I received a visit from my pal Marilyn over at A Lot of Loves today, and returned the favor with a visit to her lovely blog. She had a delightful post about her family’s animatronic snowman with an adorable video of her children dancing along and swaying their hips to the tune. It reminded me of another, less talented, linguistically challenged snowman that my husband and I received as a “bonus gift” from a travelling salesman when we owned our store.
This Frosty hails from China, and is for all intents and purposes benign and an adequate representation of the classic Christmas character. But, wait! Apparently something was lost in translation when his melody was recorded. Here are the “lyrics” as best as we’ve been able to interpret them:

"Frosty the Snowman
Was a Happy, Tolly Shmoe
With a Coined-up Pipe
And a Boddon Nose
And two Eye made I Don’t Know!"

We are, of course, completely enamored with this Misfit Toy! So much so, that Frosty has become the principal player in a game o…

WONKATEERS, PROJECT #4: CLASSIC DARK CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

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Classic Dark Chocolate Truffles

For this recipe, use a high quality chocolate. If making a large batch for holiday giving, I recommend the bittersweet “Pound Plus” Bar from Trader Joes.

You can in this instance use chocolate chips, but you will get better results from a higher quality of chocolate. If you’re limited to what you can find at your local grocery, try Guittard or Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate chips.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups (350 grams) semisweet chocolate (around 50-62% cacao), finely chopped
1 cup (250) grams heavy cream (I prefer organic)
3 Tablespoons (50 grams) unsalted sweet cream butter, room temperature
Cocoa powder for coating


• Finely chop the chocolate and place in a medium bowl.
• In a microwave or on a stovetop, boil heavy cream.
• Pour over the chopped chocolate.
• Allow to sit for two minutes.
• Whisk until cream and chocolate are fully incorporated and no lumps remain.
• Stir in butter. You have now created a ganache.
• Refrigerate until firm (at least two hours).
• Fill a …