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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

 

blogger's ennui

i'm totally struggling with the blogging lately. have you noticed? that's just the thing---i'm not sure if anyone IS noticing.
i feel like i'm struggling to find my voice as a blogger or for a strong identity or something. what IS my blog? how would a reader describe it easily to someone else?
WHY do i blog? i've asked myself this a number of times lately. i guess it began because i wanted to connect with other mothers. so i started a blog called Peeping Moms. then, i quit that when i was offered a job as a "food blogger." i joined up with a blog network called Content Quake. then, shortly after my daughter was born, i gave that up as well. i had to post everyday and do lots of linking within the post and i was too underslept to keep up.
then, along came this blog. stared out as a food blog--the clean plate club, everyone has heard that phrase. definitely family-focused, but still about food at it's heart. i started the Cookie Carnival for something fun to do in the blogosphere.
then, i realized that getting into crafting, sewing and taking pictures made me feel like my blog should be more. more about me and what i'm interested in. so, i added "Tales of Food and Family." it encompasses it all--the parenting, the interest in Waldorf education, the crafting, the sewing, the family life. it's all good, right?
but somehow it feels like it's still not working. or i would be posting more? sometimes i think i'm too worried about how it will be received or trying to hard to be make it be like other blogs or just not having anything interesting to say. or fearing that i don't.
so, now through all of it, i've somehow forgotten my initial desire---to connect with other moms. most of the moms i found when i was doing Peeping Moms have fallen away as readers/commenters on this blog. and i don't see much of the real "foodies" i once connected with either. so, who IS out there? anyone? or is it just the Cookie Carnivalers who come here now?
i feel like it comes down to lack of posting frequency and lack of focus. but i don't know how to fix it. any pointers? anyone? anyone? Bueller?

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

 

Acorn (animal and felt)

i haven't been around in a while. here is what has been going on. . .
loving on our new kitty, Acorn. he is the cutest of the cute and i love watching my kids dote on him.
i love that Acorn is looking up at him. so sweet.


and of course there is lots and lots of playtime!

having a kitten around has changed things a lot in one way, but in another way, he feels so much like family, it's like he's always been here. he's got a lot of energy and often tears around the house playing with anything that moves. and causing trouble everywhere he goes! we often refer to him simply as "trouble," or "our other toddler." mischief-maker, he is.

but we wouldn't have him any other way.
in other news, there is lots of crafting preparation going on. i've started making felted acorns and that's a lot of fun! more on that later when i have some finished ones to share. we're getting the workshop ready for the holidays. i can hardly wait to create!

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Monday, November 9, 2009

 

cookie monsters!

as you know, we are fond of cookies around here. i'm also fond of keeping things as healthy as i can. (is it wrong that my son only had 2 pieces of halloween candy, even though he's got a bucket-full?)

recently, i found this recipe (below) for Lemony Sugar Cookie Monsters on the Whole Foods website. i love that it is fun and playful while using natural ingredients. i cut down the sugar a bit and used orange rather than lemon. my munchkins aren't big fans of lemony things.
we had the best time making little "orange pumpkin monster cookies!" and it was something both little sister and big brother could do together. which is always a bonus!

LEMONY SUGAR COOKIE MONSTERS

Ingredients

2½ cups flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon fine salt 3/4 cup (1½ sticks) butter, softened 3/4 cup sugar (we used 1/2 cup) 2 eggs 1 tablespoon lemon juice (we used orange) 2 teaspoons lemon zest (we used orange) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 10 drops natural orange (or a combination of red and yellow) food coloring (optional) Dried fruit and nuts for decorating

Method

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl; set aside. In a second large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 30 seconds, then beat in 1 egg. Add lemon juice, zest and vanilla and beat again until smooth, about 30 seconds more. Add flour mixture and beat to combine. Add food coloring (if using) and beat again, or knead by hand, just until color is evenly distributed. Shape dough into two logs then wrap each snugly in parchment paper, twisting the ends in opposite directions like a piece of candy to tighten each roll and make it uniformly round and about 6 inches long. Chill for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk remaining egg and 1 tablespoon water together in a small bowl to make an egg wash; set aside. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut dough crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and transfer to prepared baking sheets, arranging cookies about 1 inch apart. Working with a few cookies at a time, brush tops with egg wash then decorate with dried fruit and nuts to make monster faces on each. Bake until light golden brown about the edges, 12 to 13 minutes. Set aside to let cookies cool completely then serve.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

 

a big day

there were two milestones in our house today.

bb lost his first tooth!!!!! and my little bear made her first pee in her potty. a real one. not just a coincidental-happened-to-be-near-the-potty-when-the-pee-started-to-hit-the-floor-one!

there was much high-fiving, hugging and being proud.

now......what should the tooth fairy bring? it would be great if she could bring the lovely goodies that are being given away on Garden Mama's blog. go check it out. her blog is wonderful, beautiful and uplifting. and the goodies she's giving away from her sponsor, Hip Mountain Mama are just sweet, sweet.

: )

off to sew up a tooth pouch....

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Cookie Carnival :: October Round up and November Cookie

another month down! and we did this one in style, ladies. i loved this biscotti from giada. it was classy, tasty and slightly addictive, i found.

sadly i have no pictures to share. i can't talk about it. digital camera debacle, let's just say.

thanks to everyone who participated in the challenge. it was a low turn-out, but we got some really pretty looking biscotti here....

**for the november challenge head down to the bottom of the post**



karen of short bread south had this to say, "Fun, festive, addictively crunchy and just right for the Holidays." read the rest of her post here.


gala of purple cookie used white chocolate and had this to say,"I loved the combination of both lemon and orange zest with white chocolate... " read her post here.


stormie of bite size baker had this to say, "This is a recipe I plan on baking again and again. It was absolutely wonderful." read her post here.


tessa of cookin' chemist had this to say, "biscotti is a new venture for me. In fact, every single recipe I've made along with the other bakers in the Cookie Carnival has been a new recipe." yay! that's the spirit! read her post here.


nathalie of Snowbell Jewelry played along even tho she has a major citrus/chocolate aversion--thanks for trying something new nathalie! read her post here.


juliana of horneAndo Algo made up a pretty batch of biscotti. read her post here.


sabiilaa participated this month, but her blog post wouldn't work for some reason, so sadly, i have no link for you.


christine at whimsical bakery played along this month-- read her post here.

after putting it to a vote, we have a winning cookie for November. i'm totally psyched because if this one hadn't won, i would have had to make it anyway :: PECAN PIE COOKIES! thanks to Jen from Beantown Baker for submitting that one! you can find the recipe on her blog.

last year i took January off from the Carnival and realized later that i should have taken December. everyone was so busy in December (including me) that we didn't have much of a Carnival, so i'll be taking December off this year. because of that, i'm extending the November challenge into December.

so, send me your photo and link by DECEMBER 5th @ 7PM EST to be included in the round-up!

now let's go make some pecan pie! cookies!

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

 

Cookie Carnival :: November Challenge--VOTE!


it's time for the November Cookie Vote! low turnout for October, let's see if we can pick something that will make all our mouths water.

thanks everyone for your submissions. a lot of yumminess coming to my inbox! i've narrowed it down to 5.

here goes.

from Katie :: Espresso Chip and Pecan Cookies (the photo looks really good, but i can't
seem to get it out of the document she sent me! sorry!)




next from Christine at Whimsical Baker :: Cinnamon-Cardamom Crisps








the third choice comes from Jen at Beantown Baker :: Pecan Pie Cookies


the fourth choice comes from Jen at Delightful Delicacies :: Molasses Cookies




and finally from April of April's Home Cooking :: Ginger Snaps with Pumpkin Dip



let the voting begin! from now until November 4th (i know, short window, but we need time to bake, right?)



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