Snow, custard pie and bran muffin recipe

What a fun snow we had. I absolutely enjoyed every minute of it! The snow is rare, which probably makes it a whole lot easier to love. But goodness, it was a nice change of pace. We spent so much time home, kids and all, just relaxing, playing, baking and storing up on together-time knowing that the restaurant will soon be open and who knows when the next time we will be able to just lay-low like this.




easy custard pie recipe


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl combine:

3 eggs

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon pepper 

1/4 teaspoon paprika

Sauté and then add to the rest of the ingredients:

1 bunch chopped collards or greens of your choice

4 cloves garlic minced


1+1/2 cups cooked and sliced fingerling potatoes 

Optional: 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice

Pour into an oiled pie pan and top with:

Lemon zest

Bake for about 25 minutes or until the center is fairly firm when you shake the pan.


easy bran muffin recipe

easy bran muffin recipe


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl combine:

3 eggs

1/3 cup molasses

3/4 cup coconut milk

3/4 cup safflower oil

1 cup wheat bran

3/4 cup oats

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup applesauce

1/2 cup rye flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Sift together and then add to the rest of the ingredients:

2 cups unbleached white flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup raspberries 

1 cup blueberries

Pour into an oiled muffin pan and bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

easy custard pie recipe

puzzles with cats



Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday!





At long last I am actually writing this post. I have dreamed about this for almost as many years as I have been authoring this blog. It is with great satisfaction I can finally say–and mean it–The birthday book is done! 
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I have told my husband and the kids so many times “the birthday book is done” that it started to loose meaning. Draft after draft, after frustrating small-tweaks-here-and-there draft, it is really truly completely, no-more-to-do done. I invite you to to pop some champagne for me… no not really, I can do that myself, but geez luize, it is good to put this one on the shelf and say fini! 
crafts, chidren, homeschool, birthdays
It was a project my good friend Robin and I started back when the kids were little. We traveled through so many stages of our lives and I have lived in five houses since we started. I guess I like to move! Or it has just taken a long time and finding the place that is home takes a long time too. 
But anyway, enough about that, here are some of my favorite images from the book:

Filled to the brim with step-by-step instructions for making original gifts, favors, cakes, wrapping, decorations and games, BIRTHDAYS: HANDMADE, HOMEMADE is interwoven with stories, photographs, illustrations and anecdotes. We invite readers to pull up a chair, pour a cup of tea and spend the afternoon making and creating. Our goal is to offer inspiration on how to make a birthday handmade, homemade and your very own.
Readers will love the creative ideas that make this book so personal and tangible. Projects range from fast and easy . . . Dinosaurs in real eggshells, to more timely and in depth . . . Dining table forts. Young parents and do-it-yourself enthusiasts will find endless help onhow to prepare and execute a homemade birthday party.
At a time when it seems like families are trying to take back just a bit of their own and blogs hum with self-reliant know-how, this book is a great jumping-off point for those aiming to leave commercialism behind and bring it all back to the ones they love. 
Birthdays: Handmade, Homemade is available online. 
crafts, chidren, homeschool, birthdays

Hope everyone is enjoying summer!


P.S. I have one copy to give away, so if you live in the United States and would like to enter for a chance to win, leave a comment below. I’ll pick a name at random and post a winner Sunday July 23rd.

Vegan Banana Muffins Recipe

I have a real soft spot for banana muffins. These particular muffins are yummy and yet still a tiny bit healthy. I often make a batch at the pie truck and then bring them home at the end of the day for my kiddos—They love when I bring treats. These days it’s hard to keep my fifteen-year-old from eating us out of house and home. Seriously! As an added piece—so you can get in the mind of a crazy pie-maker/mother/obsesser-of-story-books—I have an old love affair with the Betsy Tacy and Tib books. I read each and every one multiple times as a child, and to be truthful, I even read some of her later books not so very long ago. Either way, in the stories the house keeper/cook always makes the family muffins on their first day back to school. I found this tradition so romantic. Every time I make my children muffins I think of Betsy and her family and the simple tradition that somehow has made a lasting impression on me. Silly as it sounds, I feel like these are the things that matter. These bits and pieces are what keeps us inspired, warm and decent people in a very complicated world.
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In a large bowl mix:
3 ripe bananas 
1 cup orange juice 
1/2 cup grape seed oil
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup ground walnuts
In a separate bowl sift together:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix both sets of ingredients together. Pour into an oiled muffin pan and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes and then rotate the the pan and bake for another 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

                                                                    Cheers ~

And a million pies later…

This was a good week. A long week, but good in so many ways. Firstly, I felt in tune with the pie truckand that is a must to feeling good. Sometimes the inside me doesn’t align properly with the tasks the world is requiring which certainly causes a lousy battle.  I find that when I feel as if I am playing, I am most at ease. It is a constant wonder in my mind if I am completely loopy, partially loopy, or if most people “play” when they are doing their best work. I hope some of you understand what I mean, because alas, it would be unfortunate to find I am the only one…

Secondly, this week I completed a project so huge and satisfying that my soul doesn’t know how to withstand the comfort in having it done. I keep wanting to go back, tweak this, adjust that, yet there is nothing necessary to tweak or adjust. The project is done, at least for this stretch of the road. I am not going to be so thoughtful as to include you all in what the project is, I am not being coy or sassy, it is just that it needs to be kept unrevealed at this time. (Is unrevealed a word? My computer doesn’t seem to think so). I will however say it is a book project, so no one will start believing that I built a house from ice blocks or sculpted a goddess in a giant boulder. 
Lastly, I managed to have my children clean the housejust enough<!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"MS 明朝"; panose-1:0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0; mso-font-charset:128; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-format:other; mso-font-pitch:fixed; mso-font-signature:1 134676480 16 0 131072 0;} @font-face {font-family:”MS 明朝”; panose-1:0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0; mso-font-charset:128; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-format:other; mso-font-pitch:fixed; mso-font-signature:1 134676480 16 0 131072 0;} @font-face {font-family:Cambria; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; msoascii-font-family:Cambria; msoascii-theme-font:minor-latin; msofareast-font-family:”MS 明朝”; msofareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; msohansi-font-family:Cambria; msohansi-theme-font:minor-latin; msobidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; msobidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-family:Cambria; msoascii-font-family:Cambria; msoascii-theme-font:minor-latin; msofareast-font-family:”MS 明朝”; msofareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; msohansi-font-family:Cambria; msohansi-theme-font:minor-latin; msobidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; msobidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page WordSection1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} –>that my “weekend” was not fiddling with dishes, washing floors and scrubbing toilets. I’ll admit, I did do all of those things; wash dishes, clean floors and scrub toilets, but they were all minimal versions of what would usually be defined as major cleaning. I am so thankful.

Oh, and on a simple, minor note of satisfaction, I bought a small wood-desk at Goodwill. I thought it was for my daughter’s room, but my husband reminded my what a stack of things would gather on it in oh so short a timeand he is rightit will be of so much more use downstairs as a wee work spot for me. Now here I sit, so professional, writing this and feeling quite complete with my forearms resting appropriately as I type. What a lucky trick for me, guiltlessly buying something for someone else, and then reaping the benefit of its luxury.
Well, that just about does it.
All my best to Everyone!
                                                           Cheers ~

Cranberry Tea Scones…

Yesterday morning we had a nice breakfast of scones. I woke up with a strong wish for cranberry bundt cake, but realized I didn’t have everything I needed to make it. Instead I made a batch of cranberry scones, which hit the spot entirely.

Cranberry Tea Scones

In a large bowl sift together:
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cut into small pieces and crumble in with your fingers:
1/2 cup butter, cold
Mix then add:
1 egg
1 + 1/2 cups milk
1 lemon, zest and juice
Mix gently until combined then press into a rectangle about 3/4′ – 1′ thick.
Cut into squares. Place on a buttered baking sheet then bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
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                                                             Cheers ~ Marica