Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chocolate Scones

We baked these wonderful scones last week and they were gone so quickly *wink* that the girls wanted to make more. So, they each got their own mixing bowl and added the ingredients and made their own. We varied one batch due to running out of orange juice. I substituted milk and we added cinnamon, they were great! Here is the recipe.

1 3/4 cup flour 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed & chilled
1/3 cup sugar 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or mini chips
2 tsp baking powder 3-5 tbsp orange juice
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease pie plate or baking sheet.
In a large bowl, whisk together the four, sugar, baking powder and salt. With a pastry blender or large fork , cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in chocolate chips. Mix in orange juice to form dough. You may have to add a bit more to make it stick together.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Pat or roll into a 9 inch circle about 1/2 inch thick. Put into pie baking dish or cut with biscuit cutter and place on baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven about 10-12 min until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

*with about 3-5 min left in cooking you can sprinkle some course sugar on top for added taste!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Windowsill Herbs

I am always using fresh parsley in my recipes. It adds such a crisp taste and added iron too! Our climate is mild enough to grow it all winter, so I try to keep a bunch handy on the windowsill.
It is especially wonderful in my Israeli cous cous.
2 cups boiling water
1 cup cous cous (large pearl or Israeli)
pinch of salt
fresh chopped parsley
grape seed oil

Heat oil in saute pan and lightly toast cous cous. Add water and cover, simmer about 15min. Add parsley halfway through simmer time. Remove from heat and fluff with fork. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and salt to taste. Perfect side dish or main meal (tastes great with toasted chick peas)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Herbal Cleaner

I love to use lavender and peppermint essential oils when cleaning and freshening. Today, I added just 2 drops of peppermint oil to my steam mop. The entire room smelled fresh and clean! I have 2 of my DH's socks tied in a large knot I use as my laundry softener. I add 5 or 6 drops of lavender oil every other load and pop it in the dryer. It keeps the static away and makes my laundry smell heavenly!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Simple toys

Lily & Brooke had so much fun flying these wooden airplanes. Remember these?
In this age of electronics it is nice to see something simple spark fun, creativity and joy!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Welcoming Olive

After much consideration within our "dog" family-home, we decided to rescue a 5-month old black kitten. She showed up at a friend's warehouse and he fed her for about 2 weeks and tried to get her used to people. It worked! She is such a sweet, outgoing cat.
Our dog is still getting used to the idea, so we've given her her own room for a few days.
The vet said she is a healthy kitten ready for a loving family. We are glad she has come to ours.
After 2 days of debating and many funny, cute names, the winner is- Olive!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Snow Day

The weather report predicted 2-4" of snow in Charlotte, so I packed up the girls Monday afternoon and we drove to my sister's house. It stated snowing Tuesday morning early (around 2am) We woke up and sat awhile in front of the window gazing at the large, fluffy flakes.
Then, 7:45am, the kids were bundled and with sleds in hand began their first experience playing in the snow! What a spectacular day.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Warming up by the Fire

Saturday we received a truckload of firewood delivered by a friend. It was so cold, but my sweet hubby made a fire in our backyard firepit. Lily & Brooke and him enjoyed the warmth and roasted marshmallows, while I served the hot cocoa.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

January brings the snow

But hark!the roots begin to grow

This is from the monthly verses from the poem "The Crowning of the Year" by Juliet Compton-Burnett. I have tried to find a link to this poem, but can find nothing about it on Google. So, I will re-type it here. We use each verse during its month and recite during circle time. It is wonderful way for Lily and Brooke to learn the months and they love it!

The months weave a garland to crown the year,
Its jewels are the leaves and the flower
The golden sun and twinkling stars
The wind and the snow and the showers
Colour and beauty from far and near
Weaving a garland to crown the year

January brings the snow
But hark, the root begin to grow

February brings flowers of light
Petals three of snowdrops white

March's blossoms- purple, gold
Six petals to the sun unfold

April's here, gold trumpets sound
And star of white bedeck the ground

May is the month of pink and white
Apple, may, and Parsley light

June brings flowers of rainbow hue
Crimson, gold and heavenly blue

Flowers gay we still may see
Though dark the green on July's tree

Yellow turn the field of grain
In August sun and August rain

September's fruit grow good to see
On pear and plum and apple tree

October's leaves come fluttering down
In shades of gold and red and brown

November's gift is rich and rare
The beauty of the branches bare

December's joy in each heart glows
For then was born a Christmas rose

Colour and beauty from far and near
Weaving a garland to crown the year.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Winter Garden

We planted lettuce, swiss chard and spinach in October for our winter garden. The weather changes this season have been great, so we'll see how it goes. The lettuce is looking crisp.

Here are some other pictures of winter interest.
Nandina berries

Pink Wallflower Great Red Mustard pot with pansies

Beautiful winter camellia

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Warm as Wool

We are reading "Warm as Wool"
It is a wonderful book, but out of print. I get it from our library. We are talking about wool, learning to spin wool into yarn, finger knit, braid and begin to knit with two needles. Cold winter days seem to lend themselves to cozy handwork. We decorated our nature table with yummy yarns and knitting notions.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sweeping out the Corners

I purchased a new straw broom, and it is being put to good use! I have spent the last week emptying out my craft/school room, purging, cleaning and re-organizing. What a sigh of relief when I look around and all papers are filed, bins are tidy and labeled and I know where everything is. It is also a time of re-discovering items long tucked away and out of sight. A beautiful skein of homespun wool yarn ready for knitting a treasure. A new set of watercolor paints and paper waiting to create a a story. It feels fresh and ready to begin.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Cow jumped over the Moon

Tonight I had one of those sweet moments while driving home with my girls.

We were looking up at the moon and stars and they began asking me questions like. "How far away is the moon? Is it farther than Texas and South America? etc.."

I started thinking how lucky I am to be able to give them a simple answer that won't break the magic. If they were in school they would be studying the planets. Instead they are wondering if
the unicorns fly to them. This time of wonderment and fantasy is so precious and I am blessed to have found Waldorf Education and gentle parenting that allows my girls to be girls a bit longer.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Three Kings Day

I baked a Buttermilk -Maple Spice cake this morning hidden with a special Fairy Coin. The lucky one who gets this piece is "king for a day" and gets to decided what fun thing we do!

Lily was the lucky winner. We spent the day drawing horses and birds and enjoying Daddy's homemade pizza. Sharing our gifts of love and time together was a day well spent.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Shiny and New

We spent the morning having peppermint hot cocoa and taking down the holiday decorations.

Then we organized our new attic space; perfect to house lots of containers! I am going from room to room decluttering, making piles to give away and recycle. It is freeing to have a clean, organized space to begin a new year.