A Holiday Tea Party… and savory butter recipe

A few weeks ago I asked my eleven-year-old if she wanted to have a tea party with her friends and their moms. I love tea parties, especially preparing them. It made me miss my friends from far away back home, because it reminded me of so many an afternoon we had spent together. There was a lot of cleaning to do, the kids are just getting over colds and the house always needs a good scrub come Monday. Luckily I had spent some time Sunday evening reorganizing bits of my house, and the swoop to get tea-party-worthy-clean wasn’t too bad…
We did the classic gingerbread cookie bit…
 We did all the cookies beforehand…
making gingerbread cookies cookies, gingerbread dough, christmas
 So as not to have a crazy kitchen…
making gingerbread cookies cookies, gingerbread dough, christmas
 “Too many cooks in the kitchen can spoil the…
 FLOOR!”
making gingerbread cookies cookies, gingerbread dough, christmas
 But cookies are christmasy and fun to decorate…
 On Sunday while I was at the truck, I baked our desserts…
Apple Custard Pie with a gingerbread crust…
  (This link is to a different recipe, I thought it was the same one, but I guess I have two) 
I brought home leftover biscuits and made the most tantalizing savory butter to spread on them…
The very rough recipe is:
Rough Savory Butter
Please use your tongue as your guide, if at some point I get an exact recipe I will update this.
In a bowl combine:
1 stick butter room temperature
1/2 or more teaspoon summer savory
1/2 or more teaspoon tarragon
1/2 or more teaspoon onion powder
1/2 or more teaspoon sage
1/2 or more teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon toasted ground cumin
1 pinch nutmeg
zest from one lemon
Whisk until evenly distributed. Taste and adjust. 
We set out oranges and cloves to make hanging orbs of heavenly aroma. 
I remember doing this with my mom when I was very little…
 The cloves always hurt so much to push in…
 All in all it was lovely and very sweet. A very nice bunch of girls and their mamas…savory butter
                                                       All my best ~
                                                                    Marica

Life Past . . .

I found this post from a while back that I must have never published. What’s funny is it fits with exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. I decided to post it because I could have written it last night. 
“I can’t quite say it right, but, there were other times… 

Years in our quaint yurt… 

With a small tucked area where the dolls from my childhood became the dolls of my daughter’s play… 
Little feet and faces…
Breakfasts at a small table (I’m smelling those flowers as if I’m there…)
Walks in the evening—only sometimes—but they are stamped in my brain… 
Magical forest trips, with unicorns and fairies… 
Three soft heads together… 
Pouty faces and bare feet…
Earnest workers… 

Three children small enough to carry… 
I feel so like I miss the past, and yet, when I stop to remember how hard it was

 to keep everything clean in one-round-room with no walls, I wonder…

                                Remebering… 

                                The kids in diapers… 
                                The baby nursing… 
                                The RV with our kitchen and what could be called a bathroom… 
                                Baby faces… 
                                A well worn handmade robe… 
                                Mountains everyday… 
                                Sunrises thatif I got up to see thembroke reality and all assumption to knowing 
                                     anything… 
                                Rivers and twilight… 
                                Babies still babies… 
                                Oh, babies still babies again… 
                                Chubby cheeks… 
                                My husband and me… 
                                Oh, a few years ago feels so long ago.
                                I don’t want to trade back, but I do want to remember… 
                                Fond memories… 
                                Memories… 
                                Yes, memories.”

Well if that’s not enough nostalgia for you then I don’t know what to say.
Hope Everyone’s week is going well!  

                                                                                                                  ~ Marica

Invited to tea time . . .

We are at an exciting new stage. A stage where I am being invited to tea by my children. 
Every so often the kids will spend a flurry of time in the kitchen scurrying about, mixing and pouring, adding and tasting. 
I’m usually not allowed in the kitchen at this point. Then, roughly an hour later I’m told “it’s tea time!!” 
What’s most amazing is that their desserts come out incredibly.
 I’ve yet to have something that isn’t honest-to-goodness delicious.
The boys tend to skip recipes and just go full throttle by the seat of their pants. My dear girl, on-the-other-hand, carefully measures and completes each step along the way. 
Her desserts are decorated and presented in a most satisfying fashion. 
I love these little tea times. I remember being a kid and setting the table up nicely for some special treat I had concocted. I’m so glad to see my kiddoes enjoying the very same thing. And now, here I am, getting to enjoy it from the other prospective.
                                                                                                Cheers ~ Marica

Bits of all that Christmas-ness…

This year I was very excited because we actually stopped, 
in mid-motion of Christmas madness, to make gingerbread houses… 
It was wonderful fun, although the walls kept caving in until we 
became patient enough to just hold them in place while they dried a bit…

The whole process took some time, and loads and loads of disgusting candy…

But in the end, we all agreed they came out nice…

ginger bread house pictures, images of gingerbread house, homemade gingerbread house
 And quite gingerbread-house-y…
Christmas morning was pleasant… The kids got a million books.

This guy wasted no time getting started reading…

We let them sneak a little of their chocolate Santas before breakfast…

Breakfast was a wonderful frittata. The following is a rough telling of how it went:
Christmas Frittata
In a large bowl wisk together:

8 eggs
4 egg yolks (I think this added to the overall effect)
4 cups milk
1+1/2 cups cheddar cheese grated
2 cups broccoli (Lightly steamed first then chopped small)
1 small onion minced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 pasilla pepper (Roasted over a flame on the stove 
then the skin scrapped and the pepper diced) 
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and black pepper

Poured into a buttered 11 x 13 baking dish.
Baked at 350 degrees until middle sets… I think about 30-35 minutes.
Later we went to Pier Park and all the boys played disc golf…

The weather was PERFECT!!!!

I love the weather up here…

The fluctuation makes me so appreciative of that golden sun…

Everyone had a great time…

Christmas evening we made a massive feast.
Yes, there was duck!! And lots of other things…
christmas feast

                            Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!!!
                 

                                                       Cheers ~ Marica

Some days turn into kitchen days…

I think I like those best!!! We got home yesterday morning from a camping/house-sitting
 extravaganza and I spent most the rest of the day on and off in the kitchen…
Buttermilk Pancakes are my new most favorite pancakes. I didn’t measure too much, but the rough recipe is at the end of this post… And as we were out of maple syrup and happen to have a dabbling of blackberries and strawberries ripening, I made a berry jam to pour over them…
buttermilk pancakes, buttermilk pancake recipe, recipe for buttermilk pancakes
I guess jam was in the air, because before it was even mid-morning our neighbor reached over the fence to handed us three bags of small early peaches; saying “they aren’t big, but they would make a good pie…”And although I do love peach pie, these peaches plumish size shouted peach butter far louder than peach pie…
peaches, California peaches,
Later I had potato pizza on my mind, and decided to give it a go…
I used the potatoes to make a white sauce instead of a typical pizza style sauce…
I also used green onions, lime and Romano cheese…
It was good, but could have had a little more bite to it.
So I dumped fresh minced garlic and chard on mine to help fill out the flavor…
homemade pizza, pizza at home,
Lastly, my dear sweetie-pie and I made a batch of thumb print cookies…
She is such an amazing help these days… especially in the kitchen;
 it’s like having another adult at work…
A fun excited adult, full of ideas…
thumb print cookies, cookie pictures, homemade cookie pictures
Anyway, it was a cooking day… and a cookie day… I love days like that.
Hope you all had a nice weekend!
                                                                Cheers~ Marica 
P.S.    Roughly the recipe for…
Buttermilk Pancakes:
In a large bowl whisk:
Three eggs
1/4 cup grapeseed or safflower oil
3 cups buttermilk
Add:
3 cups unbeached white flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
A pinch salt
Mix gently until pretty well combined.
Pour spoonfuls of batter onto a hot buttered cast-iron pan. 
Flip when small holes appear around the edges. 

Today…

Was one of those rare gaps in time where it was only one of the kids and me…
My six-year-old and I spent from the early morning all the way to late afternoon just us.
 It started a little earlier than I might have aimed for, but we had lovely tea… Twice!!!
The second time round we devoured giant cookies…
We stopped by a yard sale and found a couple of very perfect things…
Which opened the door to a large size project…
Including using up some perfectly purple corduroy…
This young man was quite the help I needed, and a bit of a photographer too…
 His photos were numerous…
 And I always appreciate the unique prospective…
There was no time wasted in using the new addition… 
And with the momentum going, it was quick to fix this other needy piece of furniture… 
All in all, it was nice to spend some time with just one sweet kiddo, and realize how 
smooth the time can be when it’s just one relationship to cocoon in.
Happy Saturday to you all!!!
                    
                                              ~ Marica

Nimble Fingers…

Not too long ago, one of our lovely little ladies in this group of
 sweet children reached the ripe and exciting age of seven…
In preparation for a party that all these young ones were soon to be attending, they worked 
quickly and nimbly to create a small presentable pile of gifts to show our truly deep 
appreciation for her presence in our world…
 Using needle and thread…
Paper and pen…
Hot glue and wool roving…
 Their complete focus on making something for their close companion was so very inspiring to me…
                        Now let us let December begin ~ Marica