31 July, 2010


                                                  me, my mom, hubs, larry (my mom's husband)
my boys
me and my brother, Micah
                                                                      my Daddy

23 July, 2010

i heart B.L.T.'s w/ avocado

Being that I've been given more homegrown tomatoes (thanks neighbors and friends:) we inevitably turn to the delicious trio of bacon, lettuce, and our beautiful ripe tomatoes for one of our family's favorites B.L.T.'s.  Have you ever added avocado?  You must try it.
I usually like to use a denser bread, but whole wheat worked fine. 
2 slices whole wheat, toasted
Hellman's mayo spread on the toast
3-4 slices crisp bacon
avocado slices
salt and fresh ground pepper
You know how to put it together. :)   Bean sprouts and red onion are also delicious additions if you have them.  

22 July, 2010

 Quito, Ecuador South America 1984 A photo of my church youth group missions trip.  I am in the middle with the white shirt clutching my bag.  The little boy to the right of me took quite a liking to me and I ended up giving him my sunglasses when we left since he liked them so much.  The two boys in the front row were handicapped brothers with some muscular disease.  They both sat in their little chairs since they couldn't walk, and they were always smiling.  Their house was in very poor condition (notice behind us)  We poured concrete and did repairs to their house.  Everyone was exhausted after that day but so glad we were able to help.  After witnessing people in those desperate situations you learn to appreciate what you have (which is immense compared to these people).  Don't take anything for granted.

Late lunch

   As I rushed around getting things done today I realized I needed to feed my children lunch. duh.  After baking them a quick pizza I spied a couple ripe romas on the counter.  Those ripe beauties needed to be eaten soon, and my basil plant is producing more than I can use. I need to make some pesto (but that's a different post).  What better way to use fresh summer tomatoes and basil than to make Insalata Caprese!  Simply slice your tomatoes, chunk up some mozarella (fresh would be awesome, but I used what I had). Spread some fresh basil about.  Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil, a little salt and fresh ground black pepper.  If you have capers they would be a nice addition.  

Blackberry & Raspberry creamed ice

Growing up my daddy liked to invert words for our amusement.   Ice cream became "creamed ice", candy bar became "bar candied", etc...  So in honor of daddy, I present my
"Blackberry  Raspberry Creamed Ice" recipe.
This is pure decadence in a dish!  I've seen several recipes for blackberry ice cream but I wanted to mix my berries because more berries can never be a bad thing. You could use whatever berry you like. Smooth as silk creaminess on your tongue.  Homemade ice cream with 6 ingredients!  I like knowing what's in my food don't you?  

Blackberry Raspberry Creamed Ice

1 ½ cups half and half
1 cup sugar (divided)
1 ½ cups heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
1 2/3 cups strained blackberry and raspberry puree (from about 4 cups whole blackberries and raspberries)
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
Put your berries into a saucepan with 1/4 c. sugar and lemon juice and let cook down about 30 minutes.  
In a medium size saucepan heat the half and half and  3/4 c. sugar until the sugar granules have disappeared. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top of it. In another bowl whisk together the egg yolks. Pour some of the warm half and half mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Add in the rest of the half and half mixture and whisk to combine. Pour this back into the saucepan and stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Pour the mixture through the strainer into the cream and mix to combine. Add in the blackberry and raspberry puree. Chill in the fridge for 2-4 hours and then churn as directed by your ice cream machine.

19 July, 2010

Once upon a duvet continued...

                           The duvet that just keeps on giving!  I thought I'd post a quick pic of this sweet little ruffled apron I'm working on (not finished or pressed down)  Just wanted to show the combination of fabrics together that I think is so adorable.  :)

15 July, 2010

college bound

You sound awesome!!!



                    you wake up one day and your kids are grown. this weekend is college
          orientation for my oldest son.  connor, i pray that in all your life pursuits,
 your first priority in everything, will be to bring honor and glory to the name of Christ...
                                         no matter the cost.


And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,
 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;
  having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Phillipians 1:9-11


14 July, 2010

Once upon a duvet

Once upon a time there lived a king size pottery barn duvet that longed for adventure.  After serving it's time on the master's bed, it was folded up and placed in the the dark, lonely linen closet for 8 long years.  The master's wife loved the duvet more than all the others and would come to the closet to visit her beloved duvet often.
She would take the duvet out, feel it's smooth fabric, and tell it about all the beautiful things it could become.  She talked of aprons, pillows, curtains, and tote bags  as the duvet drooled from it's hidden button placket.   The duvet waited and waited longing for it's unfulfilled dream to some day come true.

Remember Julie Andrews curtains into play clothes undertaking in the Sound of Music (my favorite movie of all time)?  Maria wasn't a problem.  She was a woman after my own heart!  

Do you know how many things you can make from a king size duvet?  This french print is such a vibrant, gorgeous china blue. I knew I would  use it in many other projects.  So far I've made a couple of these zippered throw pillows (pictured above).  I'm working on an apron, and planning  a skirt for my studio table.   I don't believe I'll ever tire of this print. 

So...next time you're in the market for fabric, rethink what you have around your place that you could use instead.  Recycle a bedspread, a duvet, etc.. into something new with minimal cost.  

Now....go sew something.  

13 July, 2010

Berries aplenty muffins

The abundance of sweet, juicy berries at the market recently at a great price makes me really happy.  I tend to buy too many.  That's not a problem tho' since we can freeze them for smoothies or find lots of great recipes to use them in.  I haven't fired up my oven in quite awhile due to all this southern heat and humidity.  This morning I decided to brave a hot kitchen so we could enjoy some delicious berry-filled muffins.  This recipe uses buttermilk which makes the muffins tender and airy.  

 My youngest son didn't like my muffin photos.  He was bothered by the plate of muffins in the back.  He said the muffin to the far left looked "bad".  I needed to school him in the goodness of crunchy streusel topping. 

"Folks will come to blows over the muffin with the most streusel topping on it, son."  I tell him.  
He nods his head in agreement as he crunches down on the "bad" muffin top. :)

Berries aplenty muffins with streusel topping: 
This makes between 6 and 8 muffins depending on how big you like 'em.  Doubling the recipe works fine.

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, raspberries, or a combo of both
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place canola oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough buttermilk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture .  Don't over mix, we want a light and tender muffin.  If you like your batter a bit runnier a little more buttermilk can be added.  Gently fold in berries. Fill muffin cups near the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon.  Mix it all well and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

10 July, 2010

Lighting the burn pile

Fire is such a beautiful thing.  Just watching it consume whatever it touches is amazing to me (not in a pyromaniac sort of way).  The colors. How it moves and travels. The heat on your face. The smells reminiscent of summer camp. One of the most interesting things to photograph imo.  
All this talk of a dramatic, fascinating fire are somewhat smoldered when my kids walk out with a bag of jet-puffs yelling about finding sticks. That's what a backyard fire is all about to them.  Licking the gooey, toasted goodness off off a semi-dirty stick is making their viewpoint ever clearer. :)  Happy Marshmallow toasting everyone.  

09 July, 2010

Cherry Chomper

It's a fact that my middle son Cayd is a serious gadget guy all the way.  He's the one who figures out all the new electronics, appliances, etc...around our house.  If you don't know how to do it, chances are Cayd will be able to tell you.  It is also a fact that I love to thrift store shop.  After years of taking (dragging) my kids with me they kind of know what I look for and set out to hunt on their own for useful treasures.  
Knowing my love of ripe summer cherries Cayd found me the most useful little gadget I've seen in a long time.  It's the Cherry Chomper. It was brand new and unopened in the box, and the price was right.  This nifty little chomper guy is so great I'd pay full price for him.  It would make a great gift too. I'm also happy to say the Cherry Chomper has given Cayd a new love for cherries!

Insert the cherry

Press the head down, then release

The pit is pushed out.  See the hole?
It's very quick and easy.  The head simply lifts off and it's dishwasher safe.

there's the pit
Look for it on www.talismandesigns.com

05 July, 2010

                                                        Cayd n Carrs at the lake
 DLP and the boys spent time today digging out DEEP roots of the tree/shrub from hell.  In the 8 summers we've lived here this shrub has been pruned down, cut down with a chainsaw twice, and last year stump grinded. We were "guaranteed" it wouldn't grow back.  Right.  So hopefully after that's the last of it.

04 July, 2010

Happy Firecracker 4th!!!

                                "Taste of Heat" was our grande finale and it was pretty awesome.  I was having trouble shooting at night with my camera so I wasn't able to capture it.  Trust me-it was awesome. :)

fRuiTy sUmMeR

Ripe summer fruit is one of life's greatest pleasures in my opinion.  DLP and I were talking the other night about how the Lord even made our food beautiful.  He could have made everything black and white.  His glory shown even in food....because he's GOD and he doesn't miss anything does he?  :)