~mindful monday~

~mindful monday~

 

to be honest…. they are far to sweet for me….

but they still taste like childhood

and smell like the pine forests of Idaho

where I used to run wild as a kid

funny how one little thing can bring back such a flood of memories

 

tell me, what brings back these memories for you?

 

shop talk {there’s a sale going on!}

tenderfoot bags

 

There’s a sale. A HUGE sale.

It’s going on in my shop. The last of the skirts & organic blankets. Linen bags. A few pairs of pollywog britches. Remember those

 

Pollywog Britches - Fall 2010 Colors

 

just good


The truth is…. I am finding less and less time to sew for the shop. It’s been fun. I’ve loved it. But I am discontinuing everything (other than the quilts & play silks). I just had a really sweet Waldorf teacher buy ALL of the silks I had in stock…. so those are out for now but should be back within the month. I’m awaiting back ordered blank silks to dye.

But back to the sale. Everything is at least 50% off and nothing is over $15. It’s a pretty sweet bargain! Take a peek if you’re interested…..

Next week I’ll start listing a ton of fabric, patterns & such in the shop as I declutter & get organized. I’ve got a couple of really fun things to give away here too!

I’ve got something in the works that I am adding to the shop in the coming weeks. It isn’t sewn. It isn’t fabric or yarn. If you can picture me jumping up & down with excitement…. that’s exactly what I’m doing. I can’t wait to share it with you when it’s ready. Any guesses?

 

chocolate & zucchini

Well, first things first. KC of Little Homestead in the Desert invited me to be part of her "In Her Shoes" series. It's up today! Thank you KC! Do go take a peek, she asked some really fun questions. Also, if you've never visited KC, you should. She's sweet, creative, shares great recipes and her girls are completely adorable.

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So when I said I was going to make grilled zucchini or chocolate cake with those first zucchinis…. you knew which one was going to win, right? 

The cake. Yes. Of course.

 

chocolate + zucchini

 

I don't think cake has any healing powers for a foggy brain and coughing mama. But it does for the soul. You could be having a really rotten day and someone could say, "here, have a piece of cake." And it would instantly be better. Especially if it is chocolate.

Yesterday morning I took this cake out of the oven to cool and Sophia wandered into the kitchen and said "oooh, mama what is that smell?"

"Chocolate zucchini cake." I told her.

"Mmmmm. Are you going to put frosting on it?" she asked.

"No." I told her. She looked disappointed.

Next my very hungry grumpy little one came in. He was wailing about no lunch, it was 12:25 after all. He was famished. He looked at the cake and said, "That looks awful. What is it?"

"It's cake, chocolate zucchini cake." I told him.

"Why is there no frosting?" he grumbled.

Clearly my youngest children like their frosting. But it gets better.

When Joe came home from work and was eating his second piece he said to me, "This is so delicious, and I think it would be even better with some sort of chocolate peanut butter frosting."

I made a dramatic scream like I saw a scary bug. 

"You people and your frosting!" I yelled.

He looked rather surprised. So I told him how my day had gone. This made him laugh.

But back the cake. It's a moist cake made with whole wheat pastry flour and is barely sweetened. Think deep dark chocolate. It's delicious. And it does not need frosting.

But you can make that choice on your own. If you do frost it, don't be surprised to see at least three of my family members on your front porch. If Sam were home, he'd surely have voted for frosting as well.

 

chocolate + zucchini

 

Chocolate & Zucchini Cake

(adapted from this recipe) 

 

1/2  cup sucanat (or brown sugar)

1/4  cup strong coffee (you can sub water if necessary)

1  tsp vanilla extract

 

1  3/4  cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/2  cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1  tsp baking soda

1/2  tsp baking powder

1/2  tsp sea salt

 

2  cups unpeeled grated zucchini (about two small-ish ones)

1/2  cup olive oil or melted coconut oil

3  eggs

1/2  cup good quality bittersweet chocolate chips, lightly chopped

 

preheat oven to 350

add sucanat & coffee (or water) & vanilla to a bowl, mix & set aside (you can skip this if you are using brown sugar)

using coconut oil or butter or olive oil, grease a baking dish (coconut oil is my favorite for this) I used a 10×14 pan, because that is what I have. an 8×10 would have resulted in a taller cake. round would be lovely too.

measure dry ingredients into a bowl & set aside.

grate zucchini, toss in with sucanat, mix. add eggs & oil, mix again.

chop the chocolate chips.

mix the dry stuff with the wet stuff until just barely mixed together.

gently stir in the chocolate chip chips.

taste the batter, if it isn't sweet enough, you can add another 1/4 cup of sucanat/sugar.

spread/pour evenly into the pan.

bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

about 30 minutes for me.

enjoy!

 

fresh turmeric + curry soup

So it was inevitable, after all, that I get Luke's crud.

I am currently craving sinus clearing spices of any kind and drinking green tea by the gallon. GALLON. Unfortunately it is one of those colds that quietly fills your lungs with gunk and is all ready in full swing before you even get a sore throat. Dang.

I plan to share some KCWC sewing with you over the weekend when I'm done with my sewing frenzy, but for now, let's talk about turmeric. Have you ever seen fresh turmeric? I hadn't before last week. I found it at the health food store when I happened to be in town on a Tuesday. This happens to be the very best day to be there because they have freshly stocked the produce section for the week. Explains the slim pickings on my usual Monday visits. Anyhow… this is what it looks like….

 

fresh turmeric

 

Sort of like skinny ginger root. And even though it goes for about $14 a pound, this nice sized piece was under $2. I only used half of it in my soup. I can live with that. I found some good info on fresh turmeric here. It's essential in curry. It's got a sweet mild heat sort of similar to ginger. It looks like a carrot on the inside and grates up really nicely. It doesn't get woody and stringy like ginger root. It boosts the immune system, aids digestion, and has anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, it's a pretty color. I really like it.

 

fresh turmeric

 

fresh turmeric

 

And since I think spices and vegetables and onions and garlic are all good medicine for a chest cold. I turned it in to soup. It was delicious.

See….

 

fresh turmeric

 

I think soup is always one of those things that should be made with a loose recipe and whatever you have hanging around in your kitchen. It's especially good for the purple-ish thing you bought that you thought was a yam, but upon peeling it found it to be white?! Whatever, into the soup pot it goes. (does anyone know what kind of potato that was?)

So here you go, a loose recipe for mild curry veggie soup.

 

3 sweet potatoes (cooked until tender in just enough water to cover them)

2 onions

3 cloves garlic

2×3 inch piece of ginger, grated

2×1 piece of turmeric, grated 

1 quart veggie or bone broth (stock)

1 large bunch chopped greens (I used chard)

3 cups cooked white beans (I used baby lima beans)

1/2 c almond or peanut butter (I used almond)

 

saute the onions in a splash of coconut or olive oil in a large soup pot, when tender and translucent add the garlic, ginger & turmeric. stir & smell the lovely aroma.

pour in the potatoes with their water & add the quart of stock.

add the beans & chopped greens and cook until beans are just wilted. (medium-low heat)

use a bit of water or some of the broth from the soup to thin the nut butter, then stir it into the soup.

season with a bit of salt & crushed red pepper.

you can certainly add some dried spices to amp up the curry flavor, but is deliciously simple just as it is.

this feeds five people a hearty dinner (with a loaf of crusty bread or over rice) + a light lunch the next day

 

fresh turmeric

 

enjoy~

 

weekend bits….

weekend bits

 

First, on a completely random note, I love it when dragon flies hitch a ride while I'm paddling. I mean love.

We're making a fairy garden next week.

I miss my boy. I can't wait for summer.

It's pouring down rain and thundering outside. But I don't mind one bit. I'll be cutting fabric all weekend to gear up for this next week. Remember last year? Do you have a favorite easy kid clothing pattern? Do share!

This looks delicious. (thank you Heather for sharing!)

And those first zucchini? It's a toss up between this and this.

This lady can draw, and she makes me laugh.

Also…. sheepishly… I wanted you to know I updated my about page. And there is a picture of me on there… in my garden…. sipping a beer. I'd love you tell me what you think… even it's something like "dang, you're long winded Stephinie!" And also if you have some burning question to ask me…. do it. You know like, can I stand on my head or hop on one foot while drinking coffee?

Okay, back to the pile of fabric that needs cutting….

 

it’s like this…..

it's like this.....

 

My poor sweet boy has been coughing all week.

all. night. long.

Which means Joe & I have gotten a negative amount of sleep.

At least that's how we feel.

Having a wiggly coughing little one who can't sleep means he's certain to end up in your bed. Sleeping upside down and sideways and on top of you. And somehow in the midst of all of that you're so tired that by night three you sleep with your head twisted in a funny direction and wake up with a sore stiff neck and Dr. Evil skills. You know, you have to turn your whole body to look at something….

Last night the cough was bad enough I finally pulled the humidifier out from the closet. Joe & I made an enormously big to-do about how he had to sleep in his very own bed all night so that he could breathe in the magic mist. Scented with eucalyptus. Good stuff. That and a few spoon fulls of honey mixed with apple cider vinegar and a half dose of motrin. And you know what? That kid slept 12 hours without a single cough! He was surprisingly good about the sweet & sour mixture and it has certainly taken the edge of his seal bark. I think we're on the mend…..

 

it's like this.....

 

it's like this.....

 

If you're interested, we mixed equal parts of good local honey & raw apple cider vinegar. I gave him two spoon fulls at bedtime. I'll be giving him a spoonful every couple of hours throughout the day. Both apple cider & honey help with sore throat, coughs & congestion. Some details here.

Here's to good health & a happy weekend.

(ps ~ Joe read this post at lunch and said it looked like Luke was having a beer with his breakfast…. "of course," I told him. No, not really, it's cranberry emergen-c. I'm sure you weren't worried.)

 

finding center

The last few weeks have been so very full.

Travel, visitors. Incoming & outgoing. Just very, very busy.

As much as I loved every bit of it, I must admit I am happy to be settling back into our everyday. Today we spent most our time cleaning up the house, doing laundry and putting clean sheets on all the beds.

I've been lost in a lot of deep thought these past few days and weeks. Sometimes life pulls the rug right out from under your feet, you know? And even when it's in a good sort of way you still grab hold of something to find your balance, to find your center. This time I found it when we stopped into our farm. We hadn't seen our farmers in weeks and we were met at the driveway by the usual tail wagging dogs and smiling folks. We waited as Karen warmed bottles and brought us all out to meet the babies….

 

IMG_5107

 

We oohed and ahhhed and huddled around five sweet week old baby goats in the little shelter as the kids bottle fed them. The wind whipped around us as Karen shared the stories of their births with my kids who listened as they squealed with delight at the sweet little babes. As the mud and hay stuck to my sandals I felt myself sink back into the earth. I felt grounded, centered. Right where I am. After we played with the babies we went inside to collect our goods. Kale, collards, strawberries, beets, lettuce, spinach, eggs and four of the very first green zucchini of the year. Oh those zucchini…. we haven't had them since last fall! Karen told us all that would be ready in the coming weeks as the season began to pick up and the summer crops started producing. So much to look forward to…..

We said our goodbye's and loaded up the car. I left the farm as I always do. With bags of nourishing food and happy children. A little more in love with this life. And full of gratitude for hard work and good people.

 

~mindful monday~

mindful monday

 

we've never met

and yet our paths share similar journeys

a young mama starting out, on her own

i stitched this quilt up and thought of my past, of my present

i sent it along with a note to wish her well

to wish her bravery

i wanted to tell her, it will all work out somehow

just love

and all will be well

i don't know her

and yet, I do

 

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The first mindful Monday was here. It can be a photo, art, quote, words, poetry. Anything that speaks to your heart and leaves you feeling beautifully grounded right where you are.

If you'd like to share yours, leave a link in the comments for others to discover.

 

right now i am

right now i am

 

planning a picnic dinner for our paddle trip tonight

finally unpacked from our trip

looking at a pair of tickets to see her again (& again) to make sure they're reallly sitting in an envelope on my counter. oh my.

smitten with this song…. and this one too… are they cute or what?

happy to be signed up for this with a friend, Heather is truly amazing

enjoying the recipes & beautiful photography in this

loving this, and this, and this, and these

collaborating on this inspiring Pinterest Board with some lovely folks

sipping this iced, with a bit of honey…. divine

planning for this, this & this to be on the menu next week, yum

drooling over this and wishing I was here this August (so I could meet Denyse)

sharing an article on birth affirmations in this lovely new space, do take a peek

wishing you all a very happy bit of weekending

 

(ps – the fabricworm giveaway winner was announced here!)