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.

IMG_0622

IMG_0643

IMG_0638

easy custard pie recipe

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

Add:

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.

DSC_0570

easy bran muffin recipe

easy bran muffin recipe

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

IMG_0648

IMG_0647

Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday!

 

                                                                                                      Cheers,

                                                                                                                   Marica

What a week!

Goodness gracious, what a couple weeks. There is no one place I am supposed to be, no one thing I am supposed to be doing. Instead, I am balancing two hundred tiny—some big—things that all need to happen soon. . . There has been so much fun too! We had a visit from one of my best friend’s daughters, who is almost like a niece and her best friend. I love showing people Portland. It’s such a fun city, that is still sweet and remotely humble; although I don’t know how long that will last. It’s growing a mile a minute!

IMG_0009IMG_0010IMG_0007

I’ve managed to fit in walks with my oldest; he prefers cold, rainy-day walks, and most of the time so do I. . .

IMG_3142IMG_3138IMG_3139IMG_3143IMG_3144IMG_3141IMG_3145IMG_3146

And then of course there is pre-restaurant work. Silly little things like pealing off the old tenant’s lettering on the door. . .

IMG_0089IMG_0090

To more dramatic things like painting with the Paiku dudes . . .

fullsizeoutput_32aIMG_0058IMG_0073

Lastly, back at home, the fury family members never cease to be hilarious. I have way too many pictures on my phone of one snorty creature or another. . .

IMG_0020IMG_0100IMG_0043

 

Happy mid-January to everyone!

                                                        Cheers ~

                                                                          Marica

The BIRTHDAY BOOK IS DONE!!!

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! 
crafts, chidren, homeschool, birthdays
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!
                                   

                                              Cheers~
                                                         Marica

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.

Snow and a tiramisu recipe…

 We got SNOW!!! They had talked about it coming on Christmas, but no such luck. Still, in some ways this was even better. Right when the after Christmas blues were about to hit, a snowball did instead. Yes, LOTS of snowballs. We had a good, finger freezing, rosy cheeked blasting, snowball frenzy. It was lovely. We played in the day and then by evening when we thought the best of the snow was over it started up again, this time even bigger flakes. The kids headed outside once more and built a snowman by the yellow glow of the street lights.
Thank you mini snowstorm, we miss you already!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now for that tiramisu recipe: I have made tiramisu for years; this way and that way, with more ingredients and less. Sometimes using Kahlua sometimes with no alcohol at all. But this year I had an idea about using eggs which I usually omit. I don’t mind raw egg too much, but when we don’t have our own chickens to get them from I am more wary. So, what I did was make a custard instead. I am not a good judge when it comes to traditional tiramisu because I don’t know if I’ve ever had a truly traditional tiramisu. Most restaurants that sell tiramisu bring out something tasty but much sweeter than I can handle. Even this recipe is a little too sweet for me, but a far cry from what sugar load it could have. Sweet or not, it came out wonderfully, and I watched as in disappeared quickly from the refrigerator, nobody really fessing up as the one who gobbled the last slices.
Tiramisu Recipe
In a saucepan whisk until very smooth:
5 egg yolks
1 cup milk
2/3 cup white sugar
Put the sauce pan over medium heat and stir constantly until thick
about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Once the custard is cool add and whisk until smooth:
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
Brew 2 cups very dark coffee and dissolve 1 tablespoon of sugar into it.
Let cool entirely then add:
1 tablespoon whiskey
Whip 4 cups heavy cream until stiff then add:
1 tablespoon whiskey
1 teaspoon vanilla
Refrigerate until ready to use.
Grate 2 cups worth of bittersweet chocolate and set aside.

Take out about 36 ladyfingers. Dip each one in the cold coffee and place into a 9x11″ baking dish. Continue until the entire bottom is lined. Now spread half of the custard over the ladyfingers, then half of the unsweetened whipped cream. Sprinkle half of the grated chocolate and then repeat making a layer of dipped lady fingers, custard, whipped cream and then chocolate. Cover and refrigerate for several hours. I noticed the next day the tiramisu had aged into the perfect consistency, so if you have more ability to plan ahead then I do, make it a day in advanced.

Cheers to Everyone ~
Marica

Why nine-year-olds should be part of making the decisions on how to run a country…

I just had the most amazing conversation in the car with my nine-year-old son. He has talked a lot about homelessness lately, and fairness in general. So out of the blue, as we are speeding along to go pick up his friend, he says:
      “I think everybody should have the same amount of money. If there are rich people they should have to give the government some of their money and then it should go to poor people.”
I responded something along the lines of:
 “That is a really good thought.” Not wanting to crush the incredible ideal that is so alive in this idea.
He then goes on to say:
      “If I was rich I would give my money away to poor people and then I wouldn’t be rich anymore. Well I would give half of my money away.”
A minute later he says:
         “There is probably someone sleeping on the sidewalk right now, right this minute. I feel really bad for homeless people.”
We drive on and he says:
“Look there are pillows and a blanket. Look out there. That’s so funny I just said there is probably someone sleeping on the sidewalk right now!”
 
Pause and then:
        “But I feel good for homeless people who live in Alaska.”
“Why?” I ask.
         “Because, they could build themselves igloos, and in the summer it is warm. I feel good for them.”
 
We finally get to his friend’s house and are parking.
“The president should make it so there are no poor people.”
 
“That would be wonderful.” I say, “Unfortunately there isn’t a simple solution.” 
 
Come on folks in office, lets hear from our children, lets remember we are all living-beings on this massive, swirling orb. Time to stop thinking one person is more important than another.
                                                Hope everyone is enjoying their Tuesday!

                                                                        ~ Marica

Thoughts… creation… a doll maker… a circle back round…

Ooo, I just read a wonderful post, by a most wonderful doll maker. I love hearing from people who feel similarly about the process of making things. Too often and too easily we are “taught” how to do things. I make an immense effort to guide rather than teach artistic processes. I notice this most lately via the pie-truck. Teaching people how to cook is such a tender occupation. I don’t mean they come for classes, I mean more that the folk so far who have helped out at the pie-truck are far from experienced or knowledgeable in the practice of cooking. 
Right from the beginning I was very sure I wanted, not to have them follow my recipe, for even I don’t bother to do that most days, but to hone the understanding of what was happening as they put ingredients together. They do use the recipes, but more as bench markers and arrows pointing in the direction of a fabulous pie, or amazing soup. 
I notice the same thing as my kiddos grow with their drawing, or my daughter asks for help with her sewing. I am terrified of giving too much instruction, scared they will rely on rules rather than discovered notions. 
As a somewhat impatient person, I loath directions, recipes and instructions. Trial and error are my best friend. I have tried to discover why, and finally thirty-three years into this life I truly understand my determination to make several disasters before I finally find the correct path. It is because I feel like an explorer; I feel my own discovery is mine, and to top that, I understand why and how what I did worked. 
I wrote a similar post several years back, it made me smile because somehow we can never get away from ourselves. I have found bits in my teenage diaries that ring true like I am writing them for the first time today.
Thanks for reading my rant, I recommend you check out Fig & Me, she got me inspired even after my dawn to dusk day at the truck. 
                                                                   Cheers 
                                                                                      ~ Marica