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Showing posts from August, 2010

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…

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC

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I managed to wrangle my ragtag circus into three rings today (work, home/family, and cyber stuff), and thus afforded myself the rare opportunity to visit some of my favorite blogs and to find some new ones.  A music link-up at 5 Minutes Just for Me inspired me to share a few of the songs and artists I've discovered lately that make me smile, bring me peace, or stir some joy in my oft weary soul.   What songs or artists have you made a connection with lately?





MY FAVORITE FREE CLIPART & GRAPHICS SITES

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FUDGY S'MORE CRINKLE COOKIE RECIPE ~ Thank you for being a friend...Golden Girls & Golden Grahams

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My real-life friend and blogging confidante, Holly, recently commented to me about the undiminishing power of anything remoteley s'more-related captivating her attention.




This past weekend, we left behind our foggy, sleepy little home town for the vibrant, sky-scraper stacked, (yet still fog blanketed) City by the Bay ~ San Francisco ~ to attend a blog conference organized by the sisterhood of bloggers to which we belong ~ SITS.  It was fun getting to meet so many diverse, talented, and intelligent women, and I'm looking forward to implementing all the tips, tricks, and techniques that I picked up.  


photo compliments of SITS Bloggy Boot Camp

Most of all, it was nice just having a weekend away with a good friend.  This is the part where the "Golden Girls" theme song should start to play...





Thank you for being a friend, (Really, it means the world to me)
Traveled down the road and back again. (Alameda Point Antiques Fair, The Slow Food "Eat-In", Bloggy Boot Camp...…

BE A GOOD LITTLE GIRL AND DRINK YOUR MUSHROOMS ~ THE ADVENT OF HIBISCUS VANILLA REISHI ICED TEA

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There are many reasons why people blog, but like many craft and culinary aficionados,  I do it because it gives me a creative outlet and an opportunity to do that which brings me the most joy:  sharing my ideas, projects, and recipes, and connecting with other creative people who in turn teach and inspire me.
Every once in a while, however, an opportunity comes along to sample a new product (usually food items), create an original recipe, and share the findings with my readers.  I must admit, I enjoy this little "perk".


Last year I had fun creating a delicious holiday cocktail (recipe HERE), compliments of the POM Wonderful company. Recently, I was contacted by Marx Foods, a 5th generation family business (since 1895) that works with foragers, farmers, fishermen and artisans to supply home chefs with restaurant-quality gourmet foods such as exotic mushrooms, sausages and charcuterie, and sugars and salts from around the globe. Marx Foods offered me a complimentary sample of th…

Don't be a Nub, try Spaghetti Tacos...

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Several weeks ago I ran a feature about the Spaghetti Tacos I created for my girls, inspired by their favorite Nickelodeon television show, iCarly.  Well, the show had its season premier just before school started, and to celebrate the end of summer and to round up some of the kids' friends, we decided to put together a low-key iCarly premier party.  I'm not talking party favors, decorations and a disco ball, here ~ just a simple dinner and show.  IF THERE'S ONE LESSON I'VE LEARNED (THE HARD WAY) OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS, IT'S THAT IT DOESN'T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE OVER-THE-TOP.
In this event, simplicity was the key to its success:  The kids arrived around 6:00 p.m., enjoyed building their own Spaghetti Tacos, then watched the premier at 7:00 p.m.  



Bobbie over at A VISION TO REMEMBER is running a 30 Day Food Challengethis month, and I'm honored to have had my Spaghetti Tacos included in her menu of fabulous recipes!  Stop by, check out my irreverent, but delicious…

FREE GIFT TAG DOWNLOAD ~ MAGICAL CREATURES

Click HERE to download -- Gift Tags Magical Creatures
Add a magical touch to gifts with these Old World style tags graced by Unicorns, Phoenix, Mermaids and Griffons.  Enjoy!

DIY FRIENDSHIP CUP ~ A CRAFT, A TRADITION, AND A DELICIOUS RECIPE

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With our children heading back to school, this season brings with it the perfect opportunity to seize some "grown-up" time ~  to reconnect with good friends, to reflect, laugh and share, and to establish some new traditions.  Regularly sharing a cup of coffee or tea with a friend or friends can be a wonderful way to ease the hectic pace we often find ourselves caught up in during the school year.  For a simple hour each week, time slows down, and you can talk ~ really talk and be listened to.  You can listen, and really hear without the distractions of home, family, and work.  

The get-together needn't be formal or even strictly scheduled.  It's simply nice to know that there's some special time for just "YOU" each week, and that there's a door that's always open and a friend you can count on.

So, in this spirit, I've put together the "FRIENDSHIP CUP" DIY.  It features a new spin on the Lazertran waterslide decal paper that I've …

A TISKET A TASKET, A DIY TREAT BASKET

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I recently had the pleasure of having some of my youngest daughter's friends over for tea.  It was a delightful little party, and was so easy to put together.  It gave me and my girls an opportunity to plan a party together, create a menu, and to pull out some of our vintage linens and china. It showed my girls, and reminded me, that you need not go to elaborate lengths, expense, and preparations to have a charming and memorable party.  All you need is a little creativity and a few good friends.  
With the first day of school looming ever closer, we had little time to prepare, cook, or shop, so it was wonderful to be able to pick up so many of the little treats on our menu from Trader Joes.  While there, we found the most lovely little assortment of salt-water taffies in soft pastels, which inspired the creation of the little treat baskets we put together, using supplies we already had at home, and based on the treat and nut cups that were popular at children's parties in the V…