make list 2011

there are many projects nestled deep within my head. i forget a lot of them, remember them, write a few down from time to time and accomplish quite a few of them ( eventually ) when i allow the time for it. so here goes... to trying to remember all of the wandering thoughts of projects and things i want to make this year.

Make List 2011

  1. knit socks for jason ( i've been promising this for over a year now)
  2. sun tea
  3. french macaroons
  4. this wild vest
  5. lip balm
  6. vanilla extract
  7. curtains for the remaining  windows in our house
  8. bread lots of bread 
  9. compost pile
  10. chicken coop
  11. herb garden 
  12. make my own stock
  13. cheese
  14. peaches and cream pie ( with our own peaches )
  15. business cards


a little holiday recap

we enjoyed our christmas celebration immensely this year. we held a christmas eve party at our house with some family and friends. we are still enjoying the feast as you can see. we are glad for the party leftovers as we seem to be snowed in. that is just fine with me, i don't think i could have thought of a better way to spend the end of this holiday weekend. our first snow in our new home. we took a very quiet snowy walk this evening and i remember commenting to jason just how peaceful it truly is here.
so i made sticky toffee pudding in hopes of recreating the good food we had in london around christmas time 4 years ago. my friend and i went back packing around europe during the month of december. not the most obvious choice for an adventure, but we did get to experience the christmas culture in a few different ways. so basically it is a date cake, covered in caramel sauce and topped with cream. it turned out great.
so we decided to take our baby, chips to jason's parents house this year for christmas. we learned that chips is a great travel cat, and also a very mild mannered cat in comparison to his parents cat. there is talk of a second cat. we are still undecided.
in other news, i made my first ice cream cake. people ask me to do crazy things. i love it ! turned out great and i was told it was a hit.
... and the lunar eclipse. pretty great, right? i had jason wake me on his way out the door to work, so i could catch a glimpse of it.
well i hope you have had a merry christmas. we sure did.


"faux" hostess cupcake!

all i can say  is yum! moist chocolate cupcake, homemade cream filling, dipped in chocolate ganache. best cupcake ever!


christmas light show spectacular

there is a house that has now become a christmas tradition for us to drive by and gawk at. well actually we park in front of it with our four ways on, because it is a sight to see. just wanted to share some of our christmasy good time with you all.


For your listening pleasure


some fresh "new" CHRISTMAS MUSIC!
if you are anything like me, you are a bit tired of listening to your christmas music collection already. 
i hope you enjoy these merry tunes.

another year

 i had a wonderful birthday with jason and friends. brunch at a green house cafe called styers. delicious local food. brioche served in a terra cotta pots. omlets and the yummiest butternut squash soup.
took a tour around terrain. the most beautiful garden/ home store i've ever been to. traveled into the city for some french macaroons ( a birthday wish) and a few more shops. had dinner with a most lovely crew of friends at our favorite trattoria. and cake... that cake was hand made by my man. the first birthday cake he's every made me! let me tell you about it.  he drew a curtain around the kitchen and forbid me to be downstairs. late into the night he wakes me up on my birthday with cake in hand and a most accomplished smile on his face. it was a priceless moment. hummingbird cake... similar to carrot, but instead it has banana, pineapple and toasted nuts. cream cheese frosting enrobe it. so yummy.


a recipe, a 200th post!

a slightly different take on beef stew. one where i take some traditional and non traditional stew ingredients, throw them together in a pot and out comes my favorite stew, to date.

1 lb beef cubes or chuck
2 medium onions coarsly chopped
4 medium red potatoes chopped
1pkg. dried wild mushrooms ( or fresh )
3 carrots chopped
1/2 c. sundried tomatoes chopped 
2 garlic gloves
salt, peper, cayenne pepper, orgeano, thyme and parsley to taste
1T. grey poupon
1T. worchestershire
1T. teriyaki
1T. tomato paste
1 can beer
2 cans beef stock
1/2 c. mushroom liquid ( leftover from re hydrating )
flour to coat beef
2T. olive oil

coat beef cubes in flour. set aside. heat up water to rehydrate mushrooms. pour boiling water over mushrooms and let sit for at least 10 minutes. reserve mushroom liquid for later use. heat oil in stock pot. brown beef and one chopped onion. add garlic a little later to prevent burning it. after the meat is nicely browned add beer and beef stock. next add other onion, carrots and potatoes. add spices, grey poupon, worcestershire, teriyaki, tomato paste, mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes. add flour to mushroom liquid to make a roux. add to the stew to thicken. add all other liquids and simmer for one hour.

craft bazaar

 getting everything together = crazy mess
 fingerless mitts and other fun treats i made for my table
 cookie samples of my christmas cookie sampler
my wonderfully supportive mom stopped by to say hi and buy my goodies.
its was a fun day of sharing my goodies with some new folks. meeting some fun new people and knitting and eating in the free moments of the day


we love light

so much so that we decided to put up some extra garland around our bed this year. it is pure magic. i don't think i'm taking it down until the spring.
another light activity. we went to our little town's christmas tree lighting this evening. i felt like such a townie... oh this season we are in... may there be light in your life. may it illuminate the dark places. may you know the hope and peace that is our loving savior, the LIGHT of the world!


post thanksgiving dish

we had a great time over this past thanksgiving weekend. two turkey dinners. two rounds of pie. fun with loved ones. eating too much pie. lots of knitting and enjoying the flurries of snow. games, glasses of wine and antiquing.
we are home again and our kitty is glad. today was a day of tidying up the yard. tossing the pumpkins overboard out back, making stew ( i'll have to share that recipe soon ) and making pumpkin custards with some of the leftover pumpkin sitting in the refrigerator. here's the recipe to try.

      Pumpkin Custard
1 cup fresh or canned cooked pumpkin puree, drained
1 egg, beaten slightly
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. warm Myer's rum
1 cup evaporated milk
Preheat oven to 325°F.Heat rum in microwave for 30 seconds until warm.
Combine pumpkin with egg, sugar, salt and spices blended to a paste with rum. Stir in milk, then pour mixture into custard cups.
Set cups in a shallow pan of hot water and bake in a preheated 325°F oven for 40 minutes or until a thin knife inserted in center of custard comes out clean.

from cooks.com


cakes, muffins oh monday

 its been a busy baking time for me lately. i'm loving every minute of it. cakes for friends. muffins for our church cafe. i just wanted to share a link to snacky french fb page. its were all my cake and baked treats are pictured. enjoy.


some things...

surprise you.
it rained and rained and rained last night. our laundry room is soaked.
the good news is... it striped down to the insulation.
the bad news is the insulation is wet.
the good news is that we are replacing our roof this weekend.
a bad situation that has a lot of good in it. we are thankful for these good things in the midst of the bad. timing is everything. we knew the roof was bad, we are just so glad to have decided to replace it before the holidays.
that's what's on the mind today.
the joys and sorrows of owning a house.


birthday girls and family photoshoots

 this beautiful girl turned 10 last weekend. my oh my how my nieces are growing into little ladies, so quickly. her birthday cake request for this year was a a turkey running around. i tried for the running turkey but turkeys, i told my niece are just so bottom heavy that they want to sit on cakes instead of  running around. she was thrilled anyway.

 i snapped a few family photos for my sister's family. these are a few of my favorites from the day. oh the beauty of fall. how it is waning away.


knitting season has begun

so i know there are many avid knitters all year long...not me. i am a seasonal one. its not until fall before i start thinking about the projects i want to try for the winter season. i am currently working on fingerless mitts. many pairs and many colors are being made in a frenzy for an upcoming craft bazaar.
i'm contemplating opening an etsy shop if i don't sell them all at the bazaar. this is new for me. another small step into self-employed territory. its exciting to have more time and energy for crafting. i am still learning to balance my free time with chores, a little me time and projects. its something to be mindful of. time can just run away from you  if your are not protective of it. i don't mean that in a selfish way. i am just beginning to see that i really need to prioritize, in order to work on the dreams that are near and dear to me.
i hope this season finds you well. bundle up friends. its the season of warm knits, rosy cheeks and frosty breath.


pumpkin cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting + halloween costumes

 pumpkin cupcakes! best recipe i've tried so far. it can be found here. you should make these!
maple cream cheese frosting. whats not to love. thanks honey & jam  for the idea.

Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

ragady folk we were this year for our friends costume party.


autumn oats

i've been eating a lot of oatmeal lately. i prefer hot cereal over cold any day.
so i've been playing around with different combinations of oatmeal and the fixings... here is my favorite for this autumn season.

1/4 c. oatmeal
1/2 macintosh apple cut into small chunks
1/4 t. pumpkin pie spice
cook accordingly. i just add water and pop it in the microwave. i know many prefer to make theirs on the stove.

after its heated add:

2 T. pumpkin butter
handful of chopped walnuts
sprinkle of brown sugar
splash of  milk


a cake

this cake was for a boy in love with "ncis". i heard he enjoyed it very much.
have a lovely day. i plan to re cooperate from my weekend.


sweet potato biscuits

today was a make day. the kind of day i have now and again, where i just go crazy in the kitchen. cakes, cupcakes , biscuits, turkey chili. the cakes will have to wait for another day. i'm still working on those. sweet potato biscuits. yummy. my first time making them. here's the recipe if you'd like to give it ago. i would add more sweet potato next time. they were delicious, however with our turkey chili.
in addition to making i did some fall sprucing around here. i am really starting to feel at home here. mostly due to the fact i have more time to spend here now that i quit my bakery job. did i mention that. silly me forgetting details of my life.
yes i quit. i quit for many reasons, but the big one is now i will have time for side baking projects, cakes, and treats. Snacky French isn't just a blog to me. right now its my creative outlet. it will one day be my cafe/ bakery. i am taking a lot of small steps in that direction lately. progress that makes me smile a whole lot more these days.


sunday picnic

yesterday was gorgeous. we thought it proper picnic weather. so we packed up and moved out quickly to catch some of the warmth of the day.
 we found this on the bridge. j + k. put there like it was for us to see. oh the little things. how they delight.


fall love

these are a few of my favorite things...
what delights you about this season we are in?


squash soup.

the cold, rainy weather of late has been tempting me to make soups and stews again. here is a quick and easy soup for fall.
curried coconut squash soup

1 butternut squash
1/2 onion
1 can coconut milk
2-3 c. vegetable stock
2 sweet potatoes
1 carrot
1 T. curry
1 t. ginger

prepare squash first. bake @ 350 for 45min. - 1 hr.
boil water. add chopped sweet potato, onion and carrot. boil until soft.
in a food processor, blend peeled squash, dump in a big bowl. blend sweet potato, carrot and onion. if too thick in processor, add some vegetable broth. mix sweet potato puree with squash. add coconut milk, ginger, curry and remainder of vegetable stock. depending on thickness add more or less stock. heat up on the stove. enjoy.

*thanks noel, for a great recipe i still love to make.
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