“Welllll…at least there weren’t any bugs…”

June 1. (keep that in mind, JUNE 1st). I had the day off and it was lining up that Scott would have the majority of the day off as well. So while he was finishing up work this morning, I sent him a text…

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Okay! Picnic time FINALLY! Of course, this was before I had stepped outside.

Windy…
Raining…
And temperatures in the 50’s.

Did I mention it was JUNE?!

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I didn’t care. We went to the store to get what we needed. Came home and made the sandwiches…wrapping them in wax paper because for some reason, picnics must include sandwiches wrapped in wax paper (and no…we didn’t eat ALL the sandwiches, but they were cuter in a large quantity.)

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I put Scott’s name on one bag and my G on the other. Then I wrote descriptive words using the letters S-C-O-T-T and Scott wrote words starting with a G on my bag. We packed our picnic blanket (first giving it a good shake out for the season), put everything in a cute little “picnic basket” ala Paper Source bag and set off for the park/lake. We were so excited to find this lake last month, so near our house.

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We drove up to the lake, as rain splattered our windshield. We were both shivering in our respective jackets and weren’t quite sure what our next move would be.

Problem solved.

We threw the picnic blanket over the steering wheel and dashboard and set up shop, safe and secure in our car with a view of the lake through the trees.

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(Also. Picnic sandwiches need to be with white bread. I don’t know why; I don’t make up these rules. It is just the way it was meant to be.)

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Good’nuf.

Our washi tape-wrapped wax paper sandwiches, cheese sticks, baggies of chips and chocolate chip cookies were perfect (alas, no juice boxes though.) We ate. Talked. Listened to the radio. Packed up and drove back home.

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A very uneventful First Picnic of 2013.

I’m already looking forward to the next one.
Perhaps it needs to be the Second First Picnic of 2013.

why does food look so much better in the fall?

Fall makes me want to bake and craft. I could spend entire days creating in both the kitchen and at my craft table. I don’t know if it is the colors outside my windows on the trees or the cooler temperatures that set my mood in a calmer state for some daring creativity.

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This recipe from Jamie Oliver looks tempting: roast chicken with lemon rosemary

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source: emilie griottes.fr
Topped off with apple muffins with orange by La Cuisine Helene.

I hope you are enjoying the last vestiges of autumn in your world. I look forward to this season all year then hang onto it desperately until the last leaf has fallen.

strawberry cake cookie

I made a really yummy Pinterest recipe recently from a strawberry cake mix. I added coconut for the perfect pink display. Tasty and easy!

My husband doesn’t really love icing, so I didn’t top these cookies with anything – they are PLENTY sweet as is.

Strawberry

1 strawberry cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup coconut

Mix eggs and vegetable oil until well combined. Stir in cake mix then add coconut. Drop by teaspoons onto greased cookie sheet. Cook for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Chocolate

1 chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Mix eggs and vegetable oil until well combined. Stir in cake mix then add chips. Drop by teaspoons onto greased cookie sheet. Cook for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.

let’s take a tumble together

Tumblr has been a great source of visual inspiration for me. The pictures I re-post on my Tumblr site are sometimes about the content, but predominately it is because of the photography. When picking pictures I go by the simple rule that whatever makes me stop for longer than usual, I realize it is a picture that I want to tuck away to revisit later.

Here are some of the random ones I have saved lately:


source: finding cool stuff

some of my favorite online magazines

I have mentioned before that I am a total magazine whore. I love spending time absorbing magazines of various types. Being a food stylist or interior design stylist – setting up small vignettes and photographing them in perfect light…mmmmmm – that would be pure heaven to me!

There are many paper subscriptions I have, but I also enjoy the beauty of online magazines as well. The photography advancements over the past few years has been remarkable. Print magazines are meeting some sad outcomes, like Newsweek’s recent announcement that they will soon be eliminating their hard-copy magazine. I have enjoyed the mixture of both print and online magazines this year and hopefully a few of the following links are new to you so you can relish in some leisurely hours of dreaming along with me.

Inside Out – creating your ideal home

Heart and Home – British home decor magazine

Sweet Paul – food, photography, exceptional!

est – home decor and fashion with an Australian flair

refueled – modern day stories about the resurging interest in our heritage, and how we live today (crafting, community, gardening)

What Liberty Ate – foodie

Add an overstuff chair and a cup of warm chai tea and I am one content, happy reader!

I really need to get over this phase…


source: Roost

To maximize cooking/waiting time, you should make the glaze first. Then while it is cooling and thickening you can make the donuts.

Cinnamon Butter Glaze (Makes enough to glaze 12 donuts)

1/4 cup ghee or butter
1/4 cup roasted, creamy almond butter
3 TBS honey
1 TBS ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
In a small saucepan heat the butter until just melted on low heat. As soon as it is melted remove from from heat. Whisk in remaining ingredients until a smooth glaze forms. Pour into a bowl or cup and set aside. It will thicken as it cools which is ideal for the glaze to stick.

Pumpkin Spice Donuts (makes 12 donuts)

2 1/3 cup almond flour (I use Honeyville)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground ginger
4 eggs
1 cup puréed pumpkin (If you use pumpkin from a can the Farmer’s Market brand is without additives and there is no BPA in the can liner)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup ghee/butter/oil of choice
Preheat oven to 350F and grease your donut pan.

Mix almond flour, salt, baking soda, and spices in a bowl. Pour into a blender* Add wet ingredients and blend until smooth. You may need to to turn off blender, scrape sides with spatula and keep blending to ensure all the dry ingredients are mixed.

Pour batter into each donut mold, filling almost to the top. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on them to ensure they do not overbake!

Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Invert the pan to remove the donuts (they should slip out very easily) and cool on a cooling rack.

*Blending the batter creates a very smooth batter that can sometimes be difficult to achieve when working with nut flours.

To Serve

Using a spoon or cup pour glaze onto each donut. Serve and enjoy.