March 27, 2012

A very productive beginning

The sun has started to make its appearance here in Seattle and our family has been taking full advantage of it because we know rain could come at any time! On Sunday we walked around old Ballard and went to my favorite fabric store, The Quilting Loft. I have been wanting to start sewing again and thought I'd start with making things for the kids room. I picked up some heather Ross fabric and also a pack of fat quarters. The line is called Reunion by Sweetwater for moda fabrics. I decided to make a mini quilt out of the fat quarters, and have almost finished it. I just need to go buy some fabric for the border!

My husband has also got the creative bug that has crept into our week. He has this week off so he decided to spend some time in the wood shop making some furniture for our house. In just two days he built a credenza and a wood mount made from black walnut for some of our deer antlers. The mount also has a butterfly joint that he put in to prevent the wood from splitting completely. The credenza was made out of scraps of white oak. I was so excited to see what he had come up with and I completely fell in love with them both! I felt like it was my birthday, even though they weren't actually gifts to me specifically :) Can't wait to see what he comes up with next!

March 6, 2012

cookie time

Ever since I can remember, baking has been something that either puts me in a great mood, or I bake because I am in a great mood. Today it was the latter. While Ruby was watching her morning cartoon, Max and Ruby, I got all of the ingredients ready for us to make buttery jam cookies. The recipe is from the book Baking: from my home to yours by: Dorie Greenspan. You might also know her from her book Baking with Julia. This was the first time I made these cookies, and they are delicious. She recommends eating these with a hot cup of tea, and I fully agree. They are petite little cookies, which are perfect for a small afternoon treat. (Recipe found at the end of the post)

Buttery Jam Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup apricot jam (or your flavor of choice)...we used raspberry jam

Getting ready:
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
      Whisk together the flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt.
       Working with a standing mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth. Add the sugar and beat for a minute. Add the egg and beat for 2 minutes more.The mixture will be satiny. Add the milk and vanilla and beat just to combine. Don't be concerned if the mixture looks curdled, it will even out shortly. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the jam and beat for 1 minute more. With the mixer still on low, add the dry ingredients and mix only until they are incorporated. You'll have a very thick dough.
Spoon the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about an inch between mounds.
        Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The cookies will be only just firm, fairly pale and browned around the edges. Pull the sheets from the oven and allow the cookies to rest 1 minute, then carefully transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature.
       Repeat with the remainder of the dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.
Makes about 45 cookies

March 5, 2012

our weekend

Since living in our new place I have fallen in love with walking to the library. It honestly is my new favorite place to go by myself or with the kids. This past weekend Jeremy and Ruby left to go hang out at the wood shop, so Shepherd and I took a nice long walk around the neighborhood. We found a pretty cool little spot that has a great view of the SoDo district. Then we headed to the library. I found a few movies, a book on preserving food and also a book on no-knead bread (can't wait to try out some of the recipes!). One of the videos I got was baby ballet for Ruby. Today I surprised her with it and we got her dressing the part in no time. She dug out her old bathing suit in place of a leotard and she paired it with her red tutu. I was pretty impressed with how attentive she was to the teacher. I started ballet when I was about three. My mom put me into dance because I was a very energetic child who needed an outlet. I stuck with dance for about 7 years and I have recital videos for each performance. I think that would be something Ruby would love to see. I am very excited and eager to see what Ruby will gravitate towards as she gets older.

Woke up with a smile

I went to bed knowing that there would be dishes calling my name when I woke up in the morning, and that the garbage and recycling would be begging me to stop trying to squish it down more so I could fit that last wrapper or jar. I went to bed exhausted from trying to get Shepherd to bed. I unfortunately did not get the sleep I needed to be rejuvenated for the next day because a sweet, stubborn, little, playful baby was having a LOUD conversation with himself from about 3am to 5am. And he wanted to include me in it, but I was too tired to hold him and talk back, so my husband came to the rescue! Jeremy got up about 4:30am and eventually got Shepherd down by 5am just in time to get ready for work. But my amazing husband didn't stop there. When I walked into the kitchen this morning, I smiled and I am still smiling. He put away all the dishes, washed another load in the dishwasher, took both garbage and recycling out, and cleared all the counters...and a bonus there was hot coffee in the pot for me to enjoy! There is nothing like having a clean kitchen...especially one that was cleaned by a loving husband.

March 1, 2012

happy thursday!

One more day until the weekend! We have had a very relaxing week thus far. Right now I am sitting in the living room watching Ruby take the cushions off the couch to make what she calls "a jumping bean place!" As she is jumping on the cushions, and jumping on the bare couch, I wonder how many more broken bones are going to be in her future...hopefully zero! I am not sure though because she is one very active and ambitious little girl.

One thing we've acquired by moving back to Seattle are a few new roommates. One is an old friend of the family, the other is his twin brother, and last but not least is this cuddly friend, Memphis.
It sure is nice to have a friend around for our dog Wyatt. They play all day long, lick each other’s wounds when hurt, share food and toys, and cuddle on the couch together. It’s pretty darn cute!
One amazing thing about our house is the fire place. It has all the original tile work and heats the whole main level of the house. Ruby is always the first on the scene to help gather fire wood and is very attentive to the fire. She always yells, “We need more wood, the fire is almost gone!”   She is such a helper, I love that about her!  Well, I better be off…it’s a clear day which means it’s time for a walk to the park, and maybe a little snack at the coffee shop J
Sean and Ruby enjoying their hard work starting the fire

A very proud Ruby after helping daddy make kindling for the fire

A little friendly ram I picked up for Shepherd in the sale section at Anthropologie

Jeremy's delicious birthday cake : carrot cake, cream cheese frosting, and a pecan topping!

Little Shep, getting so big!

Playing on my old doll quilt made by my mom when I was three. It is shared by all in the, parents, and sometimes the doggies.