We had a great weekend. A dear friend of ours moved back to California and has been staying with us for a while. Since I am one that will celebrate anything if given the chance I decided we needed to celebrate his return with a trip to the tide pools. Many people think of the beach as this sunny place with people in bikinis, but if you are from Norther California you know that is not true. They are rocky and cool and stunning year round.
While on our beach day we got to have so many great conversations. One of them brought a great deal of realization on my part. I realized I am compiler. I take the best things I can find in on one end and spit out something useful on the other. Take an over sized car, 6 friends and free time out comes a beach holiday. Take bread (from possible the single greatest place in the world to buy bread from) sharp cheddar, and apples and out comes grilled cheese.
I hope you find some great things to compile soon.
note* we visited Shell Beach in Bodega Bay, ,, Wildflour Bakery, The Volunteer Fire Department in Bodega, and the Bodega Bay Visitors Center
If you are in the greater Sacramento area and would like to attend a free short class on starting a food based business please join me at Whole Foods Sacramento next Friday evening. Please use the link below to register, space is limited and spots are filling quickly! Hope to see you there
Its one of those days where it's crazy all day until 5pm hits and then the crazy decided its time to double down on its bets for the day. By the end of the day you are tired and have a washing machine full of clothes and towels covered in blood and raw sewage. You know one of those days. Yeah it was one of those.
I have got all of my things together to apply for a grant recently in hopes that I would be able to expand operation and bring food to grocery stores near you instead of just through special order. It has been a labor of love for years now and I would love to share that with a broader audience. From this point forward it is out of my hands but I was thankful to have been invited to apply. Fingers crossed!
(here is a great recipe for canning your own peach jam! on a side note I peal my fruit with a serrated peeler and I add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste and cardamom to taste)
This is the image I submitted to the grant committee. While it was staged, it is still unfiltered and unedited.
I love a well crafted party as much as the next person, really I do, but . . . it can reach a point where "crafting the party" becomes the point of the party. Please hosts/hostesses be creative (we all love to see what you are capable of) but have fun, engage with your guests, and for the love of everything HAVE ENOUGH FOOD. The push is to make a very fixed table scape with a set number of items per plate is pushing parties away from being a place where we can snack and chat and enjoy each others company. While these parties are visually beautiful if everyone leaves hungry they are not going to care that you hand made every flower at the party, labeled every person water bottle and had a beautiful fabric cake. The most fun parties are the parties where everyone is relaxed and has a full belly. I call for the return of the fun party. It's loud, its a little messy and everyone is having a great time.
Have fun party filled summer!
(Here are a few photos of some crafty touches that I added to a recent dino bash. I wanted to maximize time with my guests so we served pizza and to help out on our budget since we had 50 people in attendance we ordered sheet cakes from my fav big box store)
So I have to admit it, I am a lousy potty trainer. I have always operated off of the assumption when a kid wants to take care of their own business they would, but as we crept well into 4 with out any change in my sons attitude towards using the potty I became impatient and frustrated. So many things were passing him by because he had not figured out this one thing! I sought advise from a professional who asked if I felt he knew how to use his own body and I had no real clue. At the therapists request we started blowing up a balloon when it was time to use the potty (especially #2) and with in a week we were there! Apparently, much to my surprise, he still had not figured out how to make all of those muscles work in his favor. Now with a bathroom full of balloons this happy boy and his happy mama will pass this tip along to you. Hopefully it is as helpful to you as it was to me. (as always never leave your child unattended with a balloon)
Check out this great chart by Kilner. It gives you a good idea of when things are in season and when it is the best time to preserve them for the year to come!
I had a very wise mom once tell me, "Kids want to start celebrating their birthday first thing when they get up, so I have a donuts cake ready for them." While we are not big consumers of donuts, on birthdays they are a must. With three kids, who all want to celebrate the moment they get out of bed, I always have a donut cake at the ready and it always makes birthdays a little extra special. (And if you live in the Sacramento area I recommend Bakers Donuts)
As we get ready for a spring trip to the happiest place on earth I am reminded of the bottle painter at the Disneyland Perfume Shop. Hope to stop and see the bottle painter the next time I am there. You should stop by too!
Its no surprise to anyone I know that I love to make jam. I have some mangoes and a pineapple ripening right now for jam. These are great recipes, look them over and be ready to can this spring! How to can, Strawberry Jam, Peach Jam (two of my favorites) Always get the freshest most flavorful in season fruit possible and use a low sugar recipe if possible. Tip: use a serrated peeler on the peaches instead of scalding them in hot water, so much faster!
Filter Free Zone
Everything is put through a filter before it gets to us these days. This will be a space where photos will be unfiltered, simple projects will be showcased and more difficult ones will not be portrayed as things that only took a few minutes. This will be a place where I show in photos and short posts some of the things that inspire my family and business. I hope that you will be inspired to try something different!