Why, Hello There!

I truly believe food is love; it calms the soul, and lightens the heart. I am pleased you are here to share my many recipes, crafts and thoughts. Thank you so much for joining me, and may you always eat, drink, and be merry!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Chocoholic's Dream

Now that Jacob and I have established the garden party theme for our wedding, I get to go to work on what foods will work best at our reception.  Since we are on an extreme budget, we are doing all of the food ourselves. What??!? Yes.

We are not totally in the woods however.  My parents are long time food artists, and caterers.  They have owned several restaurants and will be there to help.  Even though for the wedding Jacob and I are virtually on our own financially, they have agreed to help with all the food.  I am eternally grateful.

I am envisioning somewhat of a tea party like set up.  With tiers and tiers of goodies.  Beyond that I am not entirely sure yet, but that is okay.  Determining what will go on the tiers will be enough work for now.  Of course, Jacob is excited for this part, I will be making my own recipes, and he will be the taste tester.  I will probably end up sending most of the treats to work with him to share...after all, I will be trying to fit inside of a wedding dress soon :)

First up ~ Chocolate Espresso Muffins:

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unbleached sugar
  • 1 cage free large egg
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup organic whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping tablespoon good quality ground espresso beans
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips, reserving 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top 

How to: 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Makes about 12 muffins. 

Mix dry ingredients: flour, sugar, espresso beans,
 cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda,
 (leave chocolate chips until the end)

Stir until well combined

In a separate bowl, pour all wet ingredients together:
milk, oil, vanilla, egg; whisk well.

Pour wet mixture into dry mixture, and stir until just smooth.

Next, add 1/2 cup chocolate chips to batter, stir.

Grease and flour (or cocoa powder) a muffin tin,
and pour batter into prepared tin evenly.
Fill cups about 1/2 way up.

Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips
onto the tops of the unbaked muffins.
 Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from the oven, let cool slightly and bon appetit!

***Slather with cream cheese for an extra yummy breakfast treat! ( We use Nancy's organic cream cheese, it's incredible!)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake

I am at home with my wonderful husband to be, and what do you know, it is pouring buckets outside!  I shouldn't be surprised...I do live in Oregon.  On this very rainy occasion I did what I do best; bake.  There is something about this type of weather that seems to triggers my inner homemaker.  I decided on a lemon poppy seed pound cake to lift our spirits; and thus I will share it with you!  Bon appetit!

Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake


  • 2 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • ¾ tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbsp good quality Vanilla Extract 
  • ½ Cup + 3 Tbsp salted Butter, melted and cooled to warm
  • ¼ Cup Organic Whole Milk
  • Lemon Zest  from 1 large Lemon
1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
  •  3 Tbsp Poppy Seeds 
  • 4 Large Free-Range Eggs
  • 1 ¼ Cups Unbleached Sugar
How to:

Grease and flour a loaf pan, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whip the following ingredients together for about 5 minutes: vanilla, butter, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, eggs, and sugar.  In a separate, large bowl combine: flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds, mix very well.  Then pour dry ingredients into the prepared wet ingredients, and fold mixture together with a spatula until batter is smooth.

Pour batter into oven-ready pan.  Bake for about 1 hour, until golden and a toothpick comes out mostly clean.

Possible wedding cake flavor :) Bon appetit!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pretty Picnic Photoshoot

Although I enjoy many aspects of modern day living, I wish people in industrialized countries lived more simply. The thought of life without so much technology is a bit freeing.  I probably keep a romanticized version of the good ol' days in my conscious, but never the less, it seemed like a captivating time.  It was a time when the people of the world were more connected with the land they lived on.

A dream Jacob and I share, is to be able to live a life less pressured by the commercialized society we live in.  We would have a home far from big city lights, gather fresh produce from our garden, collect eggs from our chickens, get our heat exclusively from a wood stove or large fireplace.  We would ride horses, read countless books, and listen to the rain on our country back-porch, while drinking peach tea.

To get there, we will just have to keep working on our life map, and plot a course that leads to our dreams.

Our engagement photos were somewhat of a tribute to the days, when life was a bit simpler.  We decided to go with a picnic and wildflower theme.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! P.S The recipe for the rolls that we used for the session are at the very bottom of this post, bon appetit! 

Recipe at bottom of page :)

 The "props" for this shoot where the most fun of all. We got most of the food from a local farmers market.  Jacob kept running back for more food in the middle of switching positions for new shots.  He is so silly.  Here is a recipe for the savory rolls above, thanks for stopping by!

Savory Rolls 
makes 6 large rolls

  • Olive oil, for oiling bowl
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups warm (110 degrees) water
  • 6 cups whole wheat pastry flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/4 cup dark-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Option 1
  • 1/2 cup good quality marinara sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
 Option 2
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 
  • 1/2 cup spinach

Lightly oil a large bowl; set aside. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water. Add 3 cups flour, and stir to combine. Stir in the sugar and salt. Add remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, stirring until a sticky dough forms. When the dough becomes too stiff to stir, turn it out onto a well-floured work surface. Knead, incorporating only as much flour as needed to make a smooth and elastic dough, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, this will take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 
Split dough in half for the two different fillings.  Roll out dough on a floured surface until 1/2 an inch thick.  Spread either marinara sauce or melted butter over the dough, leaving an inch border plain.  Next, sprinkle the remaining ingredients over the dough evenly.  Roll prepared dough into a log, like you would a cinnamon roll.  Cut crosswise into large sections, each log should produce about 3 rolls each.  Place on a greased baking sheet at least 1/2 inch apart, let rise for another 30 minutes. Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes.  Let cool, or eat warm.