Thursday, September 30, 2010

pumpkin pancakes.....

for your fall brunch ..........

pumpkin pancakes...

1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon trader joe's pumpkin pie spice or anyones
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 cups trader joe's organic canned pumpkin
1/2 cup molasses, or maple syrup
3-4 tablespoons buttermilk or milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, or margarine, melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans or hazelnuts, optional

powdered sugar for dusting

1. in a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. set aside.

2. in another bowl, beat egg slightly. add pumpkin  puree, molasses or syrup, milk or buttermilk and melted butter or margarine. mix until smooth.

3. blend in the dry ingredients all at once. mix until batter is smooth. allow batter to rest for 30 minutes or more.

4. stir nuts into batter, and add additional tablespoon of buttermilk or milk if batter is too thick.

5. to make pancakes, spoon a heaping tablespoon of batter onto a lightly greased preheated griddle or heavy skillet. with the back of the spoon, flatten batter to about 1/2-inch thickness. cook slowly until bubbles appear on top and bottom is golden brown tuen over to finishing

6. place on a platter and set platter in a warm oven. continue making pancakes until all batter is used. makes about 24, 3-inch pancakes. serves 4 to 6 people. garnish with powdered sugar or serve with corn syrup, maple syrup or your favorite pancake syrup.

dad stuck with the blueberry ones......  :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

all you need is love...

the whole wedding day, i watched the beaming couple and their newlywed bliss and was reminded of the phrase, all you need is love.  the best parts in life are all wrapped up in love.

                     congratulations aprile and michael.

i'm so in love with you
it just keeps getting better
i want to spend the rest of my life
with you by my side
forever and ever

every little thing that you do
baby, i'm amazed by you
the smell of your skin, the taste of your kiss
the way you whisper in the dark
your hair all around me
baby you surround me
you touch every place in my heart
oh, it feels like the first time, every time
i want to spend the whole night in your eyes........

love sent,

Sunday, September 26, 2010

my favorite ...

perfect blueberry muffins

muffins are really best on the first day
makes 9 to 10 standard muffins

5 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon  baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, don’t bother defrosting)

preheat oven to 375°F. line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners or spray each cup with a nonstick spray. beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. add egg and beat well, then yogurt and zest. put flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a sifter and sift half of dry ingredients over batter. mix until combined. sift remaining dry ingredients into batter and mix just until the flour disappears. gently fold in your blueberries. the dough will be quite thick (and even thicker, if you used a full-fat greek-style yogurt), closer to a cookie dough, which is why an ice cream scoop is a great tool to fill your muffin cups. you’re looking for them to be about 3/4 full, nothing more, so you might only need 9 instead of 10 cups. bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean (you know, except for blueberry goo). let cool on rack, serve with a generous pat of butter.

love sent,

Friday, September 24, 2010


i realized something this evening as nighttime came and passed- i realized that relationships are constantly in flux and it is our duty to touch base with those we love and inquire about balance every now and then. women's friendships turn round on the same principal as a marriage- they need tending and attention. i am so lucky to have the friends i have.  i don't always get to see everyone but most often i am thinking
of them and hoping all is well in their corner of the world.

i spent the evening talking with a friend. our talks were focused on our friendship, one that has spanned many years. we talked about our families and our jobs and our issues- the very real ones that we do have. the ones we may want to ignore because sometimes the history you have with a person can try and be sneaky and trump or hide anything that is wrong.

friendships as we become older though need to be able to be given the opportunity to change and shift without failing too. they are not level playing fields anymore between me and the handful of women i love like mad. everyone is so different and in such different places, but the middle is the matter. the crux of it is what first brought me to love them.  these perfectly lovely girls who i have shared so much with. when the world was so easy.  the crux of it is gooey and full of adoration and bliss and i am thankful it is always going to be there even when garden nights are full of tears and beers wine.

so tell your friends you love them today.
ask them if things are ok.
find out if you are in balance.
be more aware and you will feel
that the space around your heart will stretch.

love sent,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

we are all fragile...

blurry sometimes...
i know what a heart is. 
it is the muscular rhythm,  an organ that keeps us here. 
but it has a back part to it.
a part behind the chambers that holds our passion and our pain.
why else would it hurt so much inside there?
some day i will surely recall this day in my life.
the people in it.
the conversations.
the tears.
the hope.
the fear.
the surroundings, the words.
the pain.
all scenes of today.
i listen but i am safe where you can't see my tears.
i want life to slow down a bit
to that place where we can forget
maybe all we need to do is to meet in the middle of impossibility.
i wish you  would have known me before i lost all my invincible skin and before i had kids. i hope that all my old friends can still squint there eyes and see me unafraid and charging at life. those days are really far away sometimes. days when not much would shake me or get me down. days when problems were like math- not real. days when i knew exactly who i wasn't. days when i would spend  the whole day writing one perfect poem. days when i really didn't care what others thought, like at all, i keep writing affirmations on my blog but they are not working.

love sent,

goodbye summer...

                                    tonight summer will  pack up her beach bag and head home...
                              the summer of 2010 holds lots of special memories. ones i will always     

"At the beach, life is different. Time doesn't move hour to hour but mood to moment. We live by the currents, plan by the tides, and follow the sun."  never stop following the sun....

- Anonymous


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

caramel salted brownies...

brownie batter

in a sauce pan over medium heat, mix:

-3/4 cup vegetable oil
-1/4 cup water
-2 cups brown sugar
-a heaping 3/4 cup of dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa
-2 cups all purpose flour
-1 heaping teaspoon of coarse sea salt
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract

(add ingredients in that order. remove from heat after flour.)


in a saucepan over high heat, mix:

-8 tablespoons butter
-2 tablespoons half & half, heavy cream or whole milk
-1 1/2 to 2 cups of brown sugar
-1 or 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
(bring to a boil, stir vigorously until it thickens.)

-layer the brownie batter and caramel in a parchment paper-lined pan (i.e. pour half the brownie batter, then pour half of the caramel, then the rest of the brownie batter, than the rest of the caramel.) sprinkle coarse sea salt over the top layer. bake for about 20-25 minutes in a 350 degree oven (but make sure you keep an eye on them, all ovens are different).

-it's better to take them out of the oven too early rather than too late. they probably won't look done when they are done, so the knife test is a must.

-let cool and refrigerate for a few hours or even overnight before cutting (i like storing them in the fridge too).
-the measurements for caramel are approximate. it always turns out delicious as long as you stir enough and allow it to thicken. if the caramel isn't thick enough it will just melt into the batter (which still tastes amazing but isn't quite as pretty).

Friday, September 17, 2010


today someone told me yesterday was 100 days until christmas.. ugh.. i mean i love christmas but come on summer is not even over yet.  who is thinking about christmas ?  surely not me.
in any case, yesterday was a rough day.  life will always come with check points and yesterday -  well
yesterday was a major check point day. the whole day was filled with them. times that make us
stop and re-evaluate - everything. i wish i could contain my worried energy so i can have more
positive energy to move me along.
in my head i travel through hundreds of miles of convoluted mazes of complexity and land on epiphany's every single day. but to the passersby, i simply look like i'm walking to my car.
today i am wishing you drifting dreams in clearwater streams, one last bowl of golden watermelon and a nap beneath the summer stars…because even tho it doesn't feel like it, summer is still here and i am hanging on to every last second.
love sent,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

what i have learned....

most things are complicated.
most people are complicated.
sooner or later, you have to learn to be assertive.
you really only need a few good friends.
the amount of thanks you gave your mother for cooking is directly related to the amount of thanks you'll get from your own kids.
no matter what you think you will be sad when all your children leave home.
being right is less important and valuable than you ever thought it would be.
grownups get mad at kids for making messes, but nobody makes bigger messes than grownups.
there are too many occasions where there is very little you can do to help. :(
just when you think you've got it all figured out, everything changes.
nothing is black and white. nothing.
you will continue to be haunted by everything you swore you'd never do as a parent.
people can change, but you can't change them.
sometimes life is absolutely terrifying.
the most valuable skill you will ever develop is listening, followed closely by shutting up.
you're going to feel ambivalent about a lot of things.
no matter how old you get, there are still times when all you want is your mom.
emotions are transient. let them come and go.
worry is a robber.
you are going to change a lot of toilet paper rolls, diapers, and trash can liners.
swearing, when saved for special occasions, can really make you feel better.
it's completely, 100% okay and normal to doubt.
it's virtually impossible to leave the house without spending at least $40.
you really don't need all that stuff.
but buying stuff really does seem to make you feel better sometimes.
watching the news is only occasionally beneficial.
no good has ever come from the word "upgrade" especially as it relates to software.
every time you turn around, some organization will be asking for your money.
you will continually surprise yourself at your ability to waste time.
there is freedom in accepting that life is uncertain and unfair.
it's good to say no sometimes.
you can act brave without feeling brave.
loving someone will reveal just as much about yourself as it will about them.
you might as well say "i love you" every time you feel like it. life is short.
no matter what you do, individual socks are going to randomly disappear.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

in between...

i rise from a nights rest.  i shivered when my feet hit the floor this morning. i can feel the chill
through my body.  i love this weather tho, it is so inspiring.  it's the kind of air that makes me
want to do things. like bake and clean and make soup or jam.  today my short sleeves will be traded
in for a sweater that i can wrap myself up in.

i adore this in-between time. rising to the promise of autumn, being swept into the deliciously brief bite of late summer, cool mornings, and a sun that kisses your face in the afternoon.  then watching as the sun sinks into skies that darken at just the right time.  heaven.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010


there is something to be said about balloons. just let go. stay calm and carry on. let them carry you away. come fly with me.  or, my personal favorite; it's friday and somewhere out there, it's five o'clock. we are free....

happy weekend.

love sent,

strawberry lemonade cupcakes...

to celebrate the end of summer i think you should make these ...
you won't be sorry...these were a huge hit thanks to hil and her mom
she is amazing see her work here

strawberry lemonade cupcakes


1 (6 ounce) cans frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 box white cake mix
1 (8 ounce) carton sour cream
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 eggs

1 recipe strawberry cream cheese frosting (see below)

preheat oven to 350.

remove 2 tablespoons lemonade concentrate from can and discard or reserve for other use.
combine remaining concentrate, cake mix, sour cream, cream cheese and eggs in large bowl.
beat with mixer until well blended.
spoon batter into paper-lined muffin tins, filling 3/4 full.
bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
cool completely before frosting.
strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 C butter (room temperature)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 8 oz package cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 C strawberries, mashed up in a food processor
3 to 4 C powdered sugar

cream butter, vanilla and cream cheese.
mix in the strawberries.
add the powdered sugar to the taste and consistency you prefer.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


i have been writing from my desk, about my thoughts this morning. heavy charcoal clouds in the sky, the window is open so i can hear the last of the summer rain falling hard. the thunder is loud and the dog is crying. hot cup of my favorite coffee fresh from the stove. home looks like this at the moment, but autumn makes me want to move things around almost every day. it's time to say goodbye to starfish and seashells... and to welcome pumpkins and apples.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

happy first day of school....

happy new shoes...
happy doodle free notebook....
happy clean desk..
happy organized notes...
happy good handwriting...
happy scuff free backpack...
happy fall weather...
happy big ideas...

and happy happy first birthday to john...

Friday, September 3, 2010

happy labor day weekend.

hope it's filled with fun and family and cook outs and love...  oh yes, and of course amazing food.

i need to sit at a table like this one more time before the chill sets in ....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

see you in september... or lose you to a summer love?

is it really september?  not sure how that could have possibly happened.  it feels like august just got swept under the rug.  the light is fading, it gets darker earlier each evening.  i am ready to launch into a new season, a new season of  life.  i can feel summer slipping away, it's bittersweet.  things have shifted alot for me in the past few months and summer marks the end of a big phase of life for me.  i guess you could call it the end of the kid phase.  and honestly i am excited about this new time.  but a little melancholy is okay.  and  when i feel unsure about the coming months it's nice to remember how it  feels to be plain and simply happy. to remember things this summer that made me feel like no other time and to remind myself that i've learned how love works, how the heart can expand and how time may be divided but love multiplies.

today i will say goodbye to a sweet, sweet  man who lived a great long life and savored every moment of
his 88 years up until the end.  what more could we wish for?  rest in peace manny and when we think of you we will always remember your creativity and passion for life. your spirit will live on forever.    xo

when your heart hurts make a blueberry pie with the blueberries you picked.....
it might help a little.

preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening
1 egg
2 tablespoons water
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
flour, for dusting
sugar, for sprinkling on top

combine flour, sugar and salt. cut in shortening. whisk together egg, water and vinegar. add to flour mixture tossing lightly with a fork. Turn out onto a lightly floured cutting board and using your hands combine dough. separate into 2 single crusts. Line the bottom of a pie plate with 1 of the crusts.


3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water
3 cups blueberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


for filling: combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and water. add to a saucepan and heat rapidly until thickened. set aside to cool as you prepare the pastry. once cooled add the berries and lemon juice.

pour filling into dough lined pie pan, and sprinkle the lemon juice over the filling. adjust top crust, cut vents and flute rim. Sprinkle top lightly with sugar. Place pie onto a baking sheet and into the oven for 20 minutes. reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. allow to cool, cut and enjoy!

love sent,