Friday, February 26, 2010

human rainbow

If you visit my blog with any regularity, you can probably tell that
I love color.Bright, vivid, saturated color.
When I heard the NPR story on the Hindu festival Holi,
I just had to see it for myself. Absolutely stunning.

Holi is a celebration of Spring. During the festival, all
social gaps are bridged. Age, sex and social status are
disregarded. It's noisy, raucous and joyful.

People hug and laugh and douse one another in color.
A human rainbow.

By the way, this natural powder supposedly washes off
with a shower or two.

Holi begins this Sunday, the 28th. Happy Holi to
all those who celebrate this incredible festival
and happy weekend to everyone else!

photo credits:,,,
porus chaudry for

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

like magic

I had some really big plans for my shiny new crock pot. We've all heard the tales. Toss in this and that before you go to work and let the savory smells greet you at the end of the day. Pour yourself a big glass of wine, adjust the seasonings in your magic crock pot and call the family because it's time to eat! Sadly, I dropped my brand new crock pot and now it's sitting on the floor all busted up, a mocking reminder of the culinary conveniences that might've been. This is the soup I would've made in my magic crock pot. It's one of our family favorites. Back to my trusty stock pot. Dazzle factor? Low.

Monterey Chicken Soup - The Peach Tree Family Cookbook

3 T olive oil
1 1/2 med. onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 @ 4 ounce cans green chiles, diced
3 t chili powder
3 t cumin
3 t dried oregano, crumbled
12 c chicken broth
3 @ 14 1/2 ounce cans tomatoes, diced with juice
4 c chicken, cubed
4 c frozen corn, thawed
2/3 c cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
monterey jack cheese, shredded
  1. Heat oil in stock pot over medium low heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic. Saute until soft. Add chiles, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Stir one minute.
  3. Mix in broth and tomatoes and their juice. Bring mixture just to a boil. Add chicken, corn, cilantro and simmer until cooked thoroughly.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle with cheese.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

abs on wheels

Shot early this morning (take a look at the bags under my eyes!), here's a little peek at my portable gym.

Monday, February 22, 2010

hatching a winner

Would you like to see the project that kept me from blogging last week? Our recent snow storm literally forced my hand on this current quilt project. The power outage turned this machine applique quilt into a hand applique one and had me channeling my inner Ma Ingalls on the prarie with Sophie and Sadie in the supporting roles of Mary and Laura.
Long after the power was restored, I was still hand stitching, thimble on finger, finishing what I started. This sweet little quilt is for a school auction.

I've made many, many quilts for school auctions. The objective is to involve kids in the process and to end up with a quilt that all of them want for their very own. A bidding frenzy ensues. A win for the school and for one delighted kid.

Since these kids raise chickens at their school, this quilt is all about eggs. Every child embroidered an egg. Here's some of their handiwork. Kids don't over think the creative process. The result is magic. They have tons of fun. And they're invested in our project.

You'll see this chicken again.

Today, off to Deb, my master quilter and pal, so she can bring the quilt to life.
I'll post the finished quilt next week. In the meantime, have a great Monday.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

give it up for josh

It's been a wild couple of days here in Texas! A record breaking snowfall and no power for a couple of days. Everybody had a blast. I know you're all anxious to find out who won Monday's giveaway. Thanks to everyone who participated, both long time readers as well as new friends! Watch today's special Valentines Day video to find out who gets the drawstring bag! A big hug and thank you to my dear friend Josh Alan Friedman for treating us to a great show. Enjoy!

To hear more from Josh, click right here or visit him at

Thursday, February 11, 2010

snow curtain

I woke up early this morning to a steady shower of big, fat, beautiful snowflakes. I guess Texas just couldn't stand to be left out of the winter snow party! Look at this lovely snowflake curtain made from recycled paper. A perfect DIY snow day project. Complete instructions can be found on the always inspiring design*sponge.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

my tiny valentines

Aren't you just crazy over sweet homemade
Valentines cards?
Shiny, messy glitter and a swash of watercolor
is all you need. Oh, and an adorable photo
doesn't hurt either.
I just love this one of the girls when they were tiny.

What else do I love on Valentines Day?How about our family favorite
flour less chocolate cake, aka "Bruce" cake, named for
the chocolate loving boy who infuriates the evil Miss Trunchbull in
Matilda, by Roald Dahl.Recipe on following post.

bruce! bruce! bruce!

Bruce Bogtrotter's Cake - Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes

This is a fantastic cake!

8 oz. good quality semi sweet chocolate
12 T. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. plus 2T sugar
1/4 c. all purpose flour
6 eggs, separated, yolks lightly beaten

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line 8 1/2 inch round cake pan with wax paper and butter the sides and bottom of pan.
  3. Melt the chocolate in a pyrex bowl set in a saucepan of simmering water or in a microwave on low heat. Mix in the butter and stir until melted.
  4. Transfer to a large bowl and add the sugar, flour and lightly beaten egg yolks.
  5. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Gently folk half of the whites into the chocolate mixture, blending thoroughly, then fold in the remaining whites.
  6. Pour batter into the cake pan and bake for about 35 minutes. There will be a think crust on top of the cake, and if tested with a toothpick, the inside will appear undercooked (don't worry, the cake will get firmer as it cools). Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack.
  7. When the cake is cool enough to handle, carefully remove from the pan, leaving the crusty side up.
  8. Dust generously with powdered sugar and serve with sliced strawberries.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

recycling is not foreplay

Valentines Day. One day.
A comical look at the other
the other 364 from Bret and Jemaine,
Flight of the Conchords.
Thanks to Ken for putting this song on
last years Valentines Day mix. It
makes us laugh! Check out Ken's great music blog.
For mature audiences only. The video that is....
Ken's music blog can can be enjoyed by
the whole family!

Monday, February 8, 2010

mine and yours

Dear readers,
Be mine and a handmade bag
made up from my sweet stash could be yours!
Please sign up for my valentine week giveaway.
Just make a comment to this post no later than midnight
Wednesday. The winner will be announced on Friday.
I heart your odds: if you send a brand new follower my way,
I'll put your name in twice. Just have your friend identify you
when they become a follower and make a comment.
Have a lovely week!

Friday, February 5, 2010

emily's oven

This simple little gem of a recipe came from a 1999 preschool cookbook.
We've made it hundreds of times over the years as it's Sophie and Sadie's weekend favorite.
Thanks and hugs to Emily and Nancy for years of delicious oven pancakes.

Emily's Oven Pancake

2 eggs
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. sugar
dash of vanilla
1 T of butter
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Let butter melt in ovenproof skillet while oven is preheating.
  3. Beat 2 eggs.
  4. Add 1/2 c. flour, 1/4 c. sugar, 1/2 c. milk and dash of vanilla.
  5. Stir until smooth.
  6. Bake in preheated skillet for 12 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and lemon or syrup.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

prize with poundage

I love prizes.
I saved these birthday gift cards to reward myself back to
my Weight Watchers goal. One month in, I'm
hoping to snag 5# prize tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

sunshine & inspiration

I'm attempting to channel the sun on this otherwise
gray and cloudy day. How about you? If you're looking
for a little sunshine and inspiration,
click here to play with endless
combinations of color
featuring images from Flickr!
This just makes me happy.

Monday, February 1, 2010


A family snapshot, by these guys, from Rachel's swanky
bat mitzvah party.
A wonderful celebration and fabulous day beginning to end.
Sadie's big day will be here in a flash.
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