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Showing posts from October, 2012

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…

Art Deco Halloween Ladies ~ Bridge Tally Graphics of the 1920s

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Happy Halloween friends!
No tricks here today, just some little vintage treats:
A few charming Halloween images that I scanned from my vintage Bridge Tally collection.  The ladies of the 1920s certainly had style!
Enjoy!



The Best Reese's Peanut Butter Cake EVER!

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It's a bold statement, I know -- "Best Reese's Peanut Butter Cake EVER!".  But I stand firmly behind my assertion that you'd be hard pressed to find a more delicious Reese's Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake than this one.
Inspired by a few different Reese's cakes I saw online, I used my own recipes from my boutique cakerie days to create this four-layered fantasy of chocolate and peanut butter.  I started with my signature sour cream fudge cake, a wonderfully moist and chocolatey cake that balances perfectly with the not-too-sweet peanut butter frosting.  The chocolate frosting is cocoa based, so it too isn't too cloyingly sweet, leaving room for the Reese's chunks to shine through and take center stage.
Read to begin?  Let's go...


Best Reese's Peanut Butter Cake EVER
Flour Shop Signature Sour Cream Fudge Cake:This is a perfect cake for stacking and sculpting because of its tight crumb and firm structure.(makes two 9" rounds) 

1 1/2 cups u…

Easy Troll Doll Halloween Costume

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If you were around in the 1960s or 70s, you'll likely remember Troll Dolls - the wild-haired, pointy-eared little nudists that inhabited dashboards and dressers.  Only one troll doll remains from my childhood collection, but he's become a favorite with my girls who have a soft spot for weird little trinkets, just like their mom! 

A few weeks ago, we were  breezing through the Halloween aisles at Target, when my youngest daughter came across a fuzzy green wig.  She put it on, and we all immediately chimed, "Troll Doll"!  Bringing the retro collectible toy to life became our mission.  Here's how we did it...

Materials:
Fuzzy Wig (Ours came from Target for $9.99)Bal Togs Mock Turtleneck Body Suit/Unitard (Amazon, $32)1 large jewel (flat back) from the craft store1 button (slightly smaller than the jewel)Hot glue gunClothing (optional)
All that this costume requires as far as preparation is attaching the jewel.  I didn't want to ruin the bodysuit by gluing the jewe…

Easy, Elegant Raven Wreath

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Every October I like tinkering around with dollar store finds to try to make a new Halloween decoration that is quick and easy, but has a certain elegance too.  I was glad to see that our local Dollar Tree stores were once again carrying a brood of black-feathered birds.   There's a certain elegance to blackbirds with their glossy black wings and somber silhouettes -- the perfect plumage with which to create a simple, yet striking Halloween wreath.
Easy, Elegant Raven Wreath Approx. Cost:  $12 Time:  Less than 10  minutes
Materials 1 small wreath form 9 1/2"(I found mine in the dollar section at Target) 10 dollar store black birds (pick ones that are all facing the same direction) Glue Gun Spray Adhesive (I like Elmer's Craft Bond) Black Microfine Glitter (I used PK Glitz) Optional:  Black string or cord for hanging

Step 1:  (Optional) Tie a string around the wreath form if you plan on hanging the wreath from a string.  Because the wreath is lightweight, and my form is styrofoam, I …

Craft-a-Day ~ 365 Simple Handmade Projects
(Review & Giveaway)

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Whether you're 7 or 70, proclaim yourself "not creative" or a "crafty diva", have lots of free time on your hands, or only a few minutes to spare,  you're going to love Craft-A-Day!  

Craft-A-Day by Sarah Goldschadt contains 365 adorable and simple projects to kick-start your creativity any day of the year!  The whimsical, yet basic projects are organized into playful weekly themes and are accompanied by easy-to-follow instructions with handy patterns and lots of photographs to guide you every step of the way.  

I love the way each page follows the calendar -- with a different craft for every day of the year.  You can pick your craft by date, by theme, by flipping through for something that catches your fancy, or by starting on January 1 and working your way through the entire year.

The projects are simple and sweet.  You don't need to be a craft expert or have any fancy equipment.  As as Sarah says in her introduction, "we're going old school" wi…

DIY: Faux Mercury Glass Pedestal Bowl
(From Dollar Store or Thrift Store Finds)

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I've loved seeing a resurgence in the popularity of mercury glass. It's showing up everywhere these days, but true mercury glass can be prohibitively priced.  

Fortunately, creatives in blogland have figured out a simple technique for mimicking the look so that you can whip up a whole collection for the price of a single piece from a store.

Combining the technique I learned from Katies Rose Cottage, and a popular dollar store craft, I've made my own version of a Mercury Glass Pedestal Bowl that I saw HERE for $65.95.  My version cost only $2 (plus the small amount of paint and glue I used in the project). 

Faux Mercury Glass Pedestal Bowl DIY
Supplies Glass candlestick Glass bowl E-6000 Glue Krylon Looking Glass Mirror Spray Spray bottle filled with 50/50 water/vinegar A soft lint-free cloth (or Viva paper towel) Step 1:  Run a bead of E-6000 around the top rim of the candlestick.  Set bowl centered on top.  Allow to dry 24 hours.

Step 2:  On a covered work area, invert pedestal bo…

Crispy Almond-Butter Power Balls ~ A nutritious and delicious snack that's easy for kids to make!

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Last week I had the pleasure of hosting a group of Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts at my house to earn a badge for learning to makenutritious snacks.  The most popular snack, with both girls and parents, by far was the Crispy Almond-Butter Power Balls.  They're packed with healthy ingredients and are a terrific energy snack.  They're loaded with protein, calcium, antioxidants, whole grains, omega 3s and taste great!  They're easy for kids to make and can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

Crispy Almond Butter Power Balls (adapted from fixmeasnack.com
Time:  Approx. 10 minutes
Yield:  Approx. 20 
¾ cup powdered milk
1 cup crispy brown rice cereal (Envirokidz Organic Koala Crisp is what we like) 2 tablespoons wheat germ 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ cup mini dark chocolate chips ½ cup smooth almond butter ¼ cup honey 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil
Optional coating: 2 TB cocoa powder 2 TB confectioner's sugar
Step 1:  In a medi…