creating space for beauty & simplicity
We had a fun- filled weekend starting with Hannah’s first winter formal dance. It was a 1920’s theme and I think she pulled off lady Hannah rather beautifully. And Chris was quite the dapper chaperone!
While Hannah and Chris were off dancing the night away, Norah and I went out for Indian food.
Saturday was spent cooking, cleaning and sprucing up our home for dinner guests that evening.
On Sunday we hosted an afternoon Valentine tea party. There was lots of chocolate, whipped cream, heart shaped sugar cookies and of course conversation hearts. But my favorite were the pickled radish hearts. We have an over abundance of watermelon radishes from our winter CSA share and last week I packed a huge mason jar full and covered them with a salty, spicy brine. I was pleasantly surprised to find that within a few days they had turned a beautiful shade of pink. Cut into hearts, they were perfect paired with cheese and nuts.
We ended the evening with Downton and all was right with the world:)
Today Norah cashed in on one of her Christmas gifts and attended a 4 hour long cooking class. She came back even more inspired to cook new things (if that was even possible).
It is now snowing and we are getting ready to cozy up and watch this.
How was your weekend my friends?
We had a lovely holiday weekend at home full of festivities, food, fireworks and an outdoor cinema all right in our own backyard.
Not a day goes by where I don’t appreciate our community, our town, our neighborhood and the wonderful traditions we have created around them.
If I won the lottery I wouldn’t change a thing.
I would stay put right where we have so luckily landed.
Life is good.
we are on a tight budget this year which means i needed to get creative with the holiday decor.
i am always on the look out and keep a sturdy pair of clippers and a pair of gloves in the car at this time of year.
my girls moan and groan when i swerve off the side of the road for that perfect fallen branch or crop of pine cones on the ground.
my goal is to not buy one single green and so far i am keeping my promise.
today i helped a friend prune back a very overgrown juniper which filled the entire trunk of my car.
i used it to fill my window boxes and pots.
i still hope to make my own garland to go around the front and back door and adorn it with magnolia seed heads.
i saw a bunch of them at the library the other day and plan to fill up a basket tomorrow.
i am also inspired to make a wreath like this one.
what are some of your favorite things to decorate with?
i thought it would be fun to hang the advent calendar in a new spot this year. one we didn’t even have last year!
december 1 envelope was to take out all of our christmas and winter books.
it’s always so much fun to look through all of them. even though we have read them hundreds of times it always feels as if if we have a brand new bunch of books.
many in the pile give me warm and fuzzy feelings from my childhood including tasha tudor’s a doll’s christmas. i remember studying every single detail in each drawing and my mother would even let us get a real live christmas tree for our dolls.
there are so many beautiful books out there for the christmas and winter season. we probably have at least 50 of our own. i have had to hold myself back from accumulating too many or we may need to build a whole new room on top of hannah’s for a library!
i am always drawn to beautiful illustrations and love elsa beskow’s books. a favorite is peter and lotta’s christmas about the christmas goat.
christmas in noisy village is one of the sweetest books ever and this version of the mitten is beautifully done.
owl moon by jane yolen is probably one of my most favorite books at this time of year. it makes we want to out on a night hike in the woods each time we read it.
so now all we need is a new load of fire wood and we are all set for hunkering down each night to read.
these last few days i have been slowly adding some holiday cheer to our home. i just can’t help myself!
i haven’t put electric candles in the windows for a few years now. i missed the cheery glow. especially with these shorter days. my mom always had candles in our windows at christmas times. it was one of the first things that went up for the holiday and i loved falling asleep each night with those little lights on.
i’m on the look out for fallen evergreen branches, pinecones,magnolia leaves, osage oranges, etc.
we head off this afternoon for a few days to visit chris’ family for thanksgiving.
hannah and i have to leave a day early for her nutcracker rehearsals.
but we will be sure to make time to stop on the way home for our annual tradition.
wishing you all a peaceful thanksgiving.
i am extremely thankful for this space and for all of you who take the time to stop by.
yesterday we had fun playing in the snow, sitting by the fire, making molasses candy, having a friend over for a tea party, making soup and eating dinner with good friends.
we spent a few days visiting family for the holiday.
i baked some goodies to bring along including a triple ginger apple crisp.
inspired by a recipe from the moosewood restaurant book of desserts i have been making this for years and love how quick and easy it is with only a few simple ingredients that i always have on hand (i now always have a fresh jar of ginger preserves stored in the pantry). it’s my go to for when i have to make something in a pinch at this time of year. i have created my own version with a little more butter and maple syrup instead of honey.
with ginger preserves, ginger snaps and ground ginger this crisp has a yummy bite to it.
triple ginger apple crisp
preheat oven to 350 degrees
6 cups of peeled apple slices
1/4 to 1/2 cup ginger preserves
2 tablespoons hot water
1 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup gingersnaps cookie crumbs (about 15 cookies.. simply crush in a plastic bag with a rolling pin)
place apple slices in bottom of baking pan. in small bowl mix together ginger preserves and hot water. pour over apple slices and coat evenly.
in a bowl combine butter, maple syrup, cinnamon,nutmeg and ginger and mix well.
stir in oats and cookie crumbs until well blended.
spread oat mixture over apples and tamp down.
bake 35-45 minutes until apples are tender and topping is crisp.
serve at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream.
a few things made by Chris for us all for Christmas.
a mitten dryer
a hermit crab cage
and an a-frame tent.
we are lucky.
thanks papa! xo