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Posts Tagged ‘Seasons’

I know I really shouldn’t complain.  As far as winters go, this one has been fairly mild.  I guess I just wasn’t expecting the huge snow storm that rolled through here a couple days ago.  I’m not usually one to lounge on the beach, but right now all I want to do is dig a hole for my every growing belly and lay face down in the sand.

For now, I suppose I must be content to sip my tea and look at the bright snow from the comfort of my warm office, with the little one dancing happily in my tummy.  Only 17 weeks until I get to see her beautiful face!

Are you looking forward to a change of season?

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Weekend Fun

Hi everyone, I hope you had a great holiday weekend, if you celebrate Thanksgiving, or just a great weekend if you don’t!  We had family visiting from California last week, and we definately enjoyed the festivities.  And can you believe it is now less than a month to Christmas??  This is one of my favorite times of year.

This weekend we travelled into the mountains to choose the perfect Christmas tree.  This is my family’s first time doing this, and we had a blast.  The sun was out, the view was beautiful, and there was only a minimal amount of snow covering the ground.

We finished decorating our tree last night, and it looks great.  I love having a fresh tree to look at and enjoy in our living room…it makes the whole house smell delicious!  To celebrate our accomplishment, Mike and I had a glass of eggnog, some peppermint candy, and watched Elf.

In light of the new future addition to our family, Mike and I are trying to get some family traditions in place so that we can continue them when we have the little one.  I am really interested in hearing your holiday traditions!

Are you enjoying the holidays yet?  Do you have any family traditions that make the holidays special?

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Gourds

At the Pumpkin Patch

Carving

Jack-o-lanterns

With the lights out

These are all photos from this weekend.  Mike and I had a bunch of friends over to carve pumpkins for Halloween.  For some reason, I always have a really hard time coming up with a design for my carving each year.  This time was no exception…I finally chose to to an owl, which came out fairly well.  You will notice that a bunch of us decided to carve animals this year…we have a spider, a cat, an owl, and a snake.  Another friend carved the words from the One Ring (Lord of the Rings), and it looked really awesome. 

Do you have any Halloween traditions?

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Pumpkin Pies

This weekend I found myself wondering where fall went, and how I had suddenly stepped right into winter.  We had our first snow, which came a bit early this year, and nothing seemed more fitting than staying home and eating pumpkin pie.

I got the recipe for the pie at Martha Stewart, and made it into a bunch of tiny pies instead.  One recipe of her Pate Brisee made 24 mini pies, and there was plenty of filling left over at the end, which I froze so that we could have pumpkin pie again in a few weeks.  I basically followed the recipe, except for cooking time.  I cooked the pies at 450 degrees F for 5 minutes instead of 10.  Then I switched the oven to 350 degrees F and cooked them for about 15 minutes more.  I kept a careful eye on them, though because they cooked much faster than their full-sized counterpart.  If you don’t have a mini tart/pie pan, you could use a muffin tin instead.

For the whipped cream on top, I made up a recipe as I went along, and it turned out absolutely delicious.  It is so incredibly quick and easy, and the difference in taste between this and the store bought whipped cream is huge.

Maple Whipped Cream

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Pour heavy cream into a clean glass bowl.  Whip on high until it holds shape.  Slowly drizzle in the maple syrup and vanilla with the mixer on low.  Mix until fully incorporated.

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Noticing

Yesterday I recieved a pie pumpkin in my CSA.  I was quite suprised to see it there, in the bottom of my bag.  All this attention I have been paying to tomatoes has distracted my attention and kept me from hearing Autumn knocking ever so lightly on my front door.

That knock turned into a loud rapping last night when the howling wind threatened to blow the door in.  I woke up this morning to find broken branches, and the autumn sign I have been waiting for…vibrant leaves covering the ground like a colorful carpet, or a patchwork quilt that I could wrap myself in to keep warm.  Mike and I decided to go for early morning lattes to celebrate.

I love feeling the change in the air.  Every little detail of my surroundings is whispering the story of the changing season.  The squirrels are scavaging for every bit of food they can get, and the wind comes just in time to ensure they will have enough to store up for the winter.  Just as the squash and pumpkins are ripening, the temperature goes down to sweeten their taste, and to draw people in to autumn flavors again.

Speaking of autumn flavors, I can’t wait for my bowl of steaming butternut squash soup tonight!

What have you been noticing about the season you live in?  What is your favorite time of year?

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I know this feels more like a spring entry, instead of an autumn one, but I had to share this beautiful book that I found at the thrift store.  “The Gardener’s Bed Book” was written in 1929 and was meant to be read in small increments each evening, right before bed.  It is full of charming stories and short, simple pieces of advice.  What I was initially drawn to was the pretty design on the cover of the book.  I started a small embroidery project using that design.  For the embroidery, I am using an ecru colored linen, and a cream-colored cotton embroidery thread.

With all the busyness going on around here, it is very relaxing to sit down with a small embroidery project, and a short excerpt from this book to contemplate.  I find it grounding, to do something so simple and to take my time doing it.  With back to school and the end of summer, what are you doing to relax?

As you go about your weekend, I want to leave a small reminder with you:

However busy you are these days in physical labor,

spare a few moments to enjoy the beauty of the flowers that remain.

-The Gardener’s Bed Book, 1929

Have a wonderful weekend!

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With Build Your Wardrobe, Autumn 2009 up and running, and thoughts of cooler weather on my mind, I put together this little acorn necklace.  At our new place, we have about 10 oak trees right outside our back door, and they have been dropping acorns like crazy.  I have been gathering them for some crafting, and I thought this necklace was the perfect project for them.  This necklace has been in my head since last autumn actually, though I missed the acorn “season” and there weren’t any where I used to live.

To make it, I got some inexpensive wooden beads and used a dark wood stain to paint them brown.  I drilled a hole in the acorn caps with a small drill bit.  I then made the acorns with some gold beading wire, some amber colored glass beads, and an acorn cap.  This necklace has  5 acorns on it, but I’m not sure I am going to keep that many on there.  I might only leave 1 on and have it be more like a pendant necklace.

I am planning on putting a couple of these necklaces in my Etsy store in the next week, in case anyone is interested in having one, but doesn’t have an oak tree on hand.

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Cherry Season

Cherry season is going strong out here, so I have been spending lots of time, waiting in line at the farmer’s market, canning and drying, and of course, eating cherries!  This summer I am trying to be a bit more conscientious about eating with the seasons, so I am getting all the cherries I can before the Colorado season is up.

I used to think the idea of a cherry pitter was kinda dumb…one of those one use kitchen items that you can get by just as easily without.  Now I know why people get those things…I was using a paperclip to pit the cherries and it took me about an hour to do 4 pounds.  Yikes!  Have any of you used a cherry pitter?  Does it save any time?

Probably the most sucessful of my cherry recipes was a cherry compote, made of cherries, sugar, and a bit of lemon juice (unfortunately I don’t have a picture).  The cool thing about cherries is you don’t really need to add extra pectin to get a good jam…after cooking the compote for about 10-15 min, I did a test on a cold plate and it had set just as well as any store-bought jam, and it tastes a hundred times better!  Even Mike, who has never been a cherry cheerleader, absolutely loved this!  The recipe I used: Cherry Preserves via Martha Stewart.  I only made half of the recipe, and it turned out well.  Also, watch the timing for the preserves…the recipe says it will gel after 30-40 minutes, but it only took me about 10 minutes.

The dried cherries went pretty well too.  The only problem is they have to be dried more than store-bought dried cherries because there are no additives to keep them from going bad.  This is kind of a double edged sword…its nice to have dried fruit without the preservatives, but they are a little more tough.

Just a reminder: Projects for the contest are due next Thursday!  Also, I should probably clarify…you can pick any color/color combo that you don’t normally use for the contest.  I picked hot pink, but you don’t have to.

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Hosted by Abby.

{See}

- The sudden changes in weather.  Mid-Spring one day, Mid-Winter the next.

{Smell}

- Sweet Cardamom Cookies (recipe below), baking.

- Fresh snow falling outside, laying a thick blanket over the earthy-sweet fragrances of Spring.

{Taste}

- Freshly baked cookies and Good Earth tea, from my favorite mug.

- A simple quesadilla with black beans.  mmmm.

{Touch}

- The warmth radiating from the fireplace.

- Freshly ironed fabric…ready for the many projects I have in queue.

{Hear}

- The sewing machine, marching onward all day long.

- The wind howling outside, while I am bundled up inside.

This week we experienced some really odd weather…a sudden storm dumped over a foot of snow in one day, so we were pretty much confined to our apartment.  I made this recipe up using ingredients we had on hand, and I have to say, it turned out deliciously!!  Cardamom is one of my new favorite spices!

Cardamom Cookies

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/3 cups unbleached AP flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream the butter and sugar on medium until fluffy and lighter in color.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.  sift flour,  baking soda, salt and cardamom into the butter mixture.  Mix on low speed to combine.  Be sure to scrape down the sides once with a spatula to make sure you combine everything evenly.  Drop cookies about the size of a tablespoon onto a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet.  bake in oven for 12 minutes, turning half way through.  The cookies will be done when they are just slightly golden on the very edges.  Place cookies on a cooling rack until cool.  Enjoy with a tall, cold glass of milk, or some tea!

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The news keeps saying that there with be more winter weather coming to my town, but each day I wake up the sun is shining and the neighborhood shows more and more small signs of spring.  Last night, however, the storm finally came.  We didn’t get too much snow, but there was a beautiful layer of white covering everything.  I love the way the trees look as the sunlight kisses their very tips and slowly exposes their surroundings.

 The days are getting longer.  I know that Spring is coming, but I am so grateful for the beauty and silence that comes with the snow.  Last night I embroidered a small ornament to welcome the coming season.  I look forward to Spring with anticipation, but for now, I am satisfied with this wintry paradise.

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