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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…

Gevalia, Take Me Away ~ New Gevalia Single-Serve Coffee Cups #CupOfKaffe

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I'd love to be able to say that it's been quiet around here these past few weeks because I've been on holiday ~
exploring the natural beauty of our rocky shores, enjoying good food, great coffee, and the company of my family ~ sand between our toes sea air leaving salty kisses on our skin.

Alas, the reality is that I've been up to my eyes with textbooks, term papers andfinal exams. I've seen my share of late nights. My steady companion through the weea.m. hours -- my cup of coffee.

The timing couldn't have been better to give the rich, never bitter taste of Gevalia single serve coffee a try. 
(You can take a tour of my path to purchase in this Google+ Gallery.)
Gevalia...take me away!
Perhaps any old cup of Joe could have helped me power through the paperwork and late night study sessions, but why sacrifice quality when you don't have to?
With the NEWGevalia Colombia single serve cups, the smooth, rich taste of a truly excellent cup of coffee took me to my happy place at the touch of a b…

{Reduced Fat} Fluffy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Apple Dip

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I'm so happy to announce that I'm finished with my graduate classes until  August.  I have just a few more days of papers and projects, and then I'll be free to resume crafting, concocting and sharing ideas for making everyday life a little sweeter.  Thanks for bearing with me.

Like a true mom, I can't just leave you hungry while you wait patiently for "dinner".  So, I made a little something to hold you over:  {Reduced Fat}Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Apple Dip!
You've probably seen a lot of wonderful recipes for apple dip online.  The concept is nothing new. What's different about this recipe is that I've taken some steps, in the creation of my original recipe, to reduce the fat.  I'm still not going to recommend that you eat it every day (even though you'll probably want to), but if you get the occasional sweet tooth and would like to squeeze in some nutrition -- protein, calcium, fresh fruit -- without sacrificing taste, you should give …

The Best Gluten Free Cookies ~ Oatmeal Chocolate Chip with Coconut & Apricot

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I am so, so excited to be sharing this recipe!  These cookies are chewy, toasty, buttery, and have the perfect balance of flavors.  What's more, they're packed with protein and whole grains.  Best of all -- they're GLUTEN FREE!

The creation of this recipe has been a labor of love.  A childhood friend came to me last week and asked me to look after her daughter while she was out of  town for a family emergency.  My girls were excited about having a sleepover during the school-week.  We decided that baking cookies should definitely be on the agenda.  "But, Mama," my little one chimed in, "our friend is hot-toast-intolerant" (her way of saying allergic to gluten).  

I wasn't going to let a little 'ol ingredient get in our way of having a fun evening, so I set right to work on creating a gluten-free cookie so delicious thatit might join the ranks of "best cookie", not just "best gluten-free cookie".  They were a huge hit with the f…

Lilies for Mothers Day ~ Victorian Boot Planter DIY (and $25 VISA gift card giveaway)

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This post brought to you by iBulb. All opinions are 100% mine.

 I lovelilies! They're beautiful, easy to care for and smell divine!

 They're perfect for every occasion from classic to modern casual to formal anniversaries, birthdays... ...and even when you need to apologize for forgetting one of those occasions.

Did you know that there are hundreds of types of lilies and that they're considered a symbol of refined beauty? It's no wonder that they were the inspiration for my
Mothers Day Lily Bouquet!

Don't these Asiatic lilies look elegant in this Victorian ladies' lace-up boot?

I'm excited to show you how to transform a modern pair of thrift store boots into a vintage looking Victorian Boot Planter for the refined beauty in your life!

Victorian Boot Planter with fresh Lily arrangement
For the boot planter:  1 lace-up boot, leather or vinyl (I found a pair at Goodwill for $5.25)A few sheets of newspaper

Retro Graphics: FREE Vintage Flashcard Images (Camera, Plume, Bicycle, Ball, Apple, Rotary Telephone, Fern, Bird Cage & Goggles)

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This ride has not come to a complete stop. Do not unbuckle your safety harness. I've been a candle-burning-at-both ends graduate student mom taxi Leprechaun Easter bunny private tutor full-time classroom aide zombie  these past few weeks.
There's light at the end of the tunnel though: My college classes end in a few short weeks, and I should be back to more regular posting ~ sugar-shakin', bakin', crafting and creative knoodlingvery soon!
In the meantime, do something amazing with one of these charming retro graphics that I pulled from my vintage flashcard collection.  I can't wait to see what you come up with!





Recipe: Homemade Super Seed Matzoh Sticks

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Matzoh! It's the thin and crispy unleavened bread eaten at Passover (but delicious year-round)

As a child in a mixed-faith home, I grew up noshing on boards of butter matzoh as an after school snack, learning to make matzoh brie from my Gentile dad, and looking forward to the perfect little matzoh meal pancakes that my grandmother would make when she came to visit.

I've always been curious about making matzoh from scratch, and this year a conversation with my mom inspired me to come up with a party-stylematzoh: A chic compliment to wine and cheese at happy hour Or a dramatic presentation for your table setting.  
Here are my Super Seed Matzoh Bread Sticks. They take less time to make from start to finish than it takes to run to the store for a box of the premade stuff.
My family loved them. I hope yours does too.
Super Seed Matzoh Bread Sticks adapted from the New York Times Olive Oil Matzo recipe (makes approx. 30)
Active time: 10 minutes Baking time:  6 minutes 
2 cups all purpose flour1/2 teaspoo…