Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fig Jam

 they are pretty...
inside and out...they taste good fresh....they taste good dried...and they make great jam!
So...this last weekend...Jenny, Lane and I whipped up a batch - well maybe it was just Jenny and I because I think Lane was whipping up those incredible Blueberry Cupcakes that I was telling you about.  And Madison, she, was taking the photos of those incredible cupcakes.

We don't peel the figs when we make the jam...I like the chunky-ness - and it is just too darn much work to peel all of those tiny figs!  So we cut them up....

add some stuff...pectin, lemon, water, a tiny pat of butter and a whole lot of sugar....and cook 'em up.
Next put them piping hot into nice clean jars, get those lids on nice and tight and turn them upside down for 5 minutes...

and there you that beautiful or what!?

Thanks for the help Jen!  I just got a whole new batch of fresh figs...when are you coming over to work on these? Hee Hee!

From a hot stove in Merced.....

xoxo      Elizabeth

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pesto French Bread

This weekend we celebrated my dad moving into his 83rd year...

My contribution for the dinner was to be the bread.  I have a wonderful French bread recipe from my good friend, Stacy, and I had some lovely pesto that the hubby whipped up (from our garden I might mention!) it just made sense to make some Pesto French Bread!

Brian made our pesto with just garlic, fresh basil and olive oil.  This is supposed to freeze well and then we add parmigiano cheese when we use it. Traditionally you would also add pine nuts...sometimes we do and sometimes we don't!
Don't you love my wonderful little measuring spoons!?
I made the usual French bread recipe...and added about 1/2 of the 1/2 pint jar of pesto to the dough.  I cut the water back by 1/4 cup to balance adding the pesto.  The dough looked so pretty with the bits of basil in it....and the whole kitchen smelled divine!

Patience is required in bread baking....the bread needs time to is worth the wait...
and I get to use my pretty little towels to cover the dough while it rises and they just make me happy!

Just realized the dough looks the same size in both! One is closer...
Here you can see the dough before and after rising...time now to punch the dough down and shape it into loaves.
 At this point I decided to add just a little bit more to the bread!
I split the top of the loaf, spread in about 3 large tablespoons of pesto and a nice handful of parmigiano...
more patience required for another bit of rising...then into the oven...and....

I had finger's crossed that my altered recipe would be a success...and everyone said the bread was delicious! Whew!

We had lots of other great food at our little birthday bash...tri-tip from Wolfsen's in Gustine, a quinoa salad, watermelon and for dessert Lane made some marvelous Blueberry Cupcakes. You will be able to find them on her blog, Food Lane, in a bit!

So here's to a wonderful 83rd year for my wonderful Dad!  I love you Daddy!

xoxo        Elizabeth

Monday, August 13, 2012

Off to College....

Just dropped my oldest girlie off at the Junior home and a funny feeling hit me....I didn’t take a pic of her first day of college!...then another funny feeling hit would probably be really weird if you did take a pic of her first day of college!

And so another adventure of motherhood begins...trying to be the best Mom I can be for a college girl.  Trying to keep the unwanted Mommy advice to a minimum, trying to give the space that a college girlie needs, trying to just watch for a while...let her go, let her grow.

Wow this motherhood thing sometimes just socks you right in the tummy!  I have been here all of these years right by her side...and yet....where did they all go!?  How did that tiny four year old that we dropped at kindergarten turn into this lovely young woman?  Well, of course, I always knew she would be a lovely young woman.  That isn’t the surprising part - the surprising part is just how fast it happened.  One minute...and then the next...and know....

self portrait

So she is off at college now experiencing all those college-y things...I will hear about some of them (a lot of them I hope!)...but others will be hers and hers alone.  That will take some getting used to.  Just like the realization I had the other day when Lane, Madison and I were sitting around talking about when they (someday) have babies.  We were laughing, talking about names, how many and what kind of babies (not puppies or kittens, but, boy babies or girl babies).... and it hit me...once more, right in the tummy....they will not live here with me when they do this...again, it would be weird if they did.  But, I will not see every little thing that goes on.  Some of the things I will hear about and others will be just theirs.  This is a good thing I have to remind myself.  This is the way it is supposed to be.  And yet it is world shaking.  My being the center of their world is a temporary thing...I knew this...I know this and yet....

My hubby tells me to think back to when we decided to get married and start a family.  My relationship with my mom didn’t matured and changed, I had so much to share with her.  She was always there when I needed her, she always listened and gave advice when I wanted it (well ok sometimes even when I thought I didn’t want it!) but I was making my own family and it worked out ok.

So, now I have taken myself from a simple first day of college to marriage and children, but, once it all just doesn’t seem that big of a leap anymore.

What I really want to say to my girlie (and to the other girlie in the wings) is are strong, you are beautiful, you are sensitive, you are smart, you are kind, you are loving, you are funny, you are reflective, you have ideas, you have opinions, you have energy, you have excitement....and you will do wonderfully.  I am sure of it.

Love you to the moon (and some more),

xoxo        Mom (Elizabeth)

*Portrait credit for the last photo goes to Craig Smith @ Insight Photography
       Thank you for this gorgeous pic of our girlie!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mission Complete!

I would have to say that this messy table of art supplies produced some pretty wonderful things!  As you can see at the very back we even got the sewing machine out...

Camp ended with a bang - we got to be with one of our students on her birthday!

It was a treat to get to sit with our students day after day and come to know them...and to visit with and get to know their parents when they dropped off and picked up.  Such a wonderful group of people.  We were treated to cinnamon rolls, madeleines, and even freshly picked tomatoes!
During the week we made puzzle maps of the United States...

We labeled the states, talked about the capitals, and coloured them in...
then we spray glued them to craft foam, cut them out and decorated a box to put them in.
I shared how to make my funny little owls...look how nicely they turned out!
We created our own stamps with craft foam and cardboard....
and used them to stamp totes that we made from old T shirts.

This was a fun and easy on T shirts above for the instructions from Family Fun's website.
More owls....these are from toilet paper rolls.  You just push in the end of the roll to make the owl ears and then have fun decorating.  We used tissue paper and glue to cover them first, and then when they were dry we used Sharpies to add the details.
just a few simple reminders of what to do and not to do!

a place to list favorites...

a schedule for personal hygiene!

We made journals out of composition notebooks...we decorated them with images and washi tape and added tabs for different sections...and I couldn't resist sharing these journal entry headings!

So....a very successful Art Time 'Back to School' art camp!!! Thank you to all of our students and the parents that brought them to us!  Can't wait til next time!

xoxo        Elizabeth

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Class in is Session!

Bright and early Monday morning (well ok it was 10:00, but for us that is bright and early!) everything was set out and ready for Art Time 'Back to School' classes.
There was a bag of necessities...glue, scissors, ruler, bubble gum and a caramel Tootsie Roll....waiting for each student!

All of the supplies were in neat piles....
and then everything just went crazy - stamps and stamp pads came out, papers were scattered as students looked for just the right item, sharpies and coloured pencils were out in abundance...
We made collages for binders, dividers for subjects...and some really fun 3D letters!
There is a wonderful website that offers these cute cutouts of each letter in the alphabet...
they are so clever...C is for chameleon!
J is for joker and D is for doctor....please go to their website and have some can down load the whole alphabet.  Some of the letters are more challenging than others, but with a little concentration and patience they really turn out nicely.

So Art Time classes are in full swing, we are having such fun crafting, visiting, and of course snacking!!!
xoxo       Elizabeth

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Art Time!!!!

Things are pretty crafty around here....
there are heaps of cut-outs...
art supplies are piling up...
examples are being created...
...let's just say - there are crafting and art supplies everywhere!!!

All in preparation for next week's Art Time 'Back to School' classes!

We will be sprucing up binders, creating fun things to put in the binders, making teacher cards...and so much more.  The girlies and I are excited to see our students on Monday!

Can't wait til you get here!

xoxo       Elizabeth