Last week was extremely busy... filled with lots of cooking, cleaning, laundry, visitors, grocery shopping, ringing phones, nurses, drug store runs, meetings. My Dad continues to decline rather quickly. We were all grieving from the alarming news of three to six months when the doctors changed that to one to two weeks. He arrived home to hospice care set up in the living room of his house on Monday. It has been an amazing experience so far. My oldest brother took a leave from work and is now there 24/7 helping out. I am continually in awe of the way my family has come together during this sad time, supporting each other emotionally and working as a team to do whatever is necessary. And my amazing father has retained his sense of humor. He often has us all laughing through situations that would otherwise be very stressful. He craves touch. When I sit and hold his hand, he seems very content. It's still hard for me to believe that he will not live through all this.
We have a beautiful, forested park near our house. Tryon Creek State Park. It's filled with lush, green, quiet trails and clear streams. This has become our go-to escape from the pressures of life. It's a perfect place to gain perspective, breathe fresh air and get some exercise. This little trillium caught my eye on our hike yesterday.
It is too cute!
Lola and Ellie are showing each other a lot of affection these days.
There are many recipes on food blogs and food sites for Vietnamese Spring Rolls, I looked at a lot and just decided to follow the style of the spring rolls and not go with a specific recipe. Mine were very basic in regards to the filling, using rice sticks (rice noodles, also called rice vermicelli, or mai fun) carrot, celery, and black wood ear mushrooms. Lots of the spring roll recipes I looked at also had a lettuce, sprouts, and some meat or protein. Next time I'm thinking of marinating some thin strips of tofu and baking them and using that for the filling.
practice her cow milking skills !
On the side I served another Barefoot Contessa recipe, Ina's French String Beans, which were divine! For that recipe I changed up a few little things, using triple the amount of peppers and subbing out onions for celery, which may sound like a strange sub, but we were out of onions and always keep celery on hand (another favorite of the kids) so I figured I'd roast it with the peppers and it turned out perfectly.
The peppers were sweet from the roasting and the celery added a nice crunch. This is a perfect veggie side dish that can be personalized with many different veggies, I'm thinking next time I'll roast some cherry tomatoes and mushrooms along with the peppers.
Put the pasta into a 8 inch square glass baking dish or similar sized casserole dish. Toss with the garlic olive oil and wine.
Spread the butter crumb mixture over the top of the pasta, bake at 435 for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. This is a little messy to serve so my best suggestion is to cut a square of pasta and then remove it from the dish to your plate with pasta or salad tongs, trying not to loose too much crumb topping. Serve with lemon wedges.
At first I was a little nervous this would be bland, but it was so flavorful and the buttery garlicky wine sauce was perfect with the crunchy panko topping. I'm betting this dish would be amazing with homemade fettuccine, I was going to make some to do this dish with, then I opted to just use boxed Barilla pasta because I didn't want to "waste" homemade pasta with a dish I didn't know would work or not. Silly me, it would have been perfect!
They both love reading in our laps these days too... here is Ellie reading with daddy. It is so cute, she will go get a book and climb up onto Tony's feet and read with him. Can we say daddy's little girl or what?
This kind of Cloth Dolls has also been used since generation to calm and comfort young babies. If a Mama keeps this doll with her a little while the silk is absorbing familiar fragrances and comforting a baby wherever it is.
All You need is:
- One piece of pure silk with rolled hem.
(Ours is 16 x 16 inch) and plant dyed with organic beetroot
Xiling offers beautiful, organic, high quality silk in her online Shop incl. worldwide shipping.
- Fitting cotton thread
- Lambs wool stuffing
- A cutter
Roll a little wool ball for the dolls head.
Put the wool ball between Your palms and give it a round shape.
Fold the Silk to find the center.
Put the wool ball onto the silks center.
Form the dolls head
and use the cotton thread to tie the silk together.
You can use a needle and a thread and make a few stitches if You want to ensure the thread in its position and knot two hands.
Play and cuddle.
Time for Tuesdays with Dorie! Our treat today, Honey Wheat Cookies, was picked by one of the sweetest blogging friends I have, Michelle at Flourchild. Thanks for a wonderful pick, Michelle! These cookies are delicious! They were one of the stand out recipes for me that was noticed right after I got Baking From My Home To Yours, and I am so glad these goodies finally got picked. They sure were worth the wait, and have me wishing I would have tried this recipe on my own a long time ago.
I love that these cookies use wheat germ, something that I had never tried until 2004 when I was pregnant with my first child and I had read about it being a good source of omega-3s, I think it was on a list of foods that was recommended by my ob, if I remember correctly. I bought a jar of it and used it on yogurt with fruit and oatmeal, but didn't know of any recipes using it.
These cookies also feature honey, one of my favorite flavors! I used a local orange blossom honey that I recently bought for these, see about how dark it is? It really kicked up the citrus zing in these from the lemon zest. This was my first jar of orange blossom honey and I wasn't sure what to expect but you really can taste a little hint of citrus in it, I of course had to do a taste test with all of the honey varieties in my pantry, and was surprised how much I noticed the citrus in the orange blossom honey.
... then I woke up and realized it was real.
This week has had many ups and downs. My Dad's kidneys began functioning again after receiving three days of dialysis. He also received a blood transfusion and a bone marrow test. While waiting for results from the bone marrow test, the doctor told us there was some confusion about the type of cancer he has, but they were convinced that it was, in fact, a cancer. After reviewing a blood sample, the lab technician thought it was leukemia, the oncologist thought it was lymphoma. He gave us a bit of hope by telling us that some types of these are easily curable.
The diagnosis finally came Friday. My Dad has Acute Leukemia and three to six months to live. Yesterday was a blur of activity as we made preparations for his discharge tomorrow and in-home hospice care.
Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and virtual hugs.
Don't these look delicious? They really are! Soft and gooey, with a little crunch from the cinnamon sugar, the portability of cinnamon rolls and pull-apart fun of monkey bread. This recipe for Bakery Style Cinnamon Bursts comes from one of those little grocery store check-out lane cookbooks, I have a ton of them and love finding little recipe treasures hidden inside. Sometimes you have to tweak the recipes a little, but if nothing else you get a nice picture and an idea of a recipe as a jumping off point.
These were featured in a Betty Crocker / Gold Medal Flour special edition mini book called Soups & Breads from 2005. It's the same book I recently made this Chipotle Cheddar Bread from. I think I made a few things from in when I got it in 2005, but it had been sitting on a bookshelf since then -- until last month when I randomly pulled it out and found some fun recipes to try. My husband actually picked these to try, and I am sure glad he did! Not only were these treats delicious, it's always fun for me to make a recipe he picked, maybe that sounds a little corny but it's true, something about being in the kitchen, making a recipe for and picked by someone you love.
I adapted this recipe to make the dough in the bread machine on the dough cycle, I've also included the by hand directions. This would be a great recipe to do with little helpers in the kitchen who can roll the dough balls with you!
adapted from Betty Crocker / Gold Medal Flour
2 1/2 to 3 cups bread flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package regular or fast-acting dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast)
3/4 cup very warm water (120°F to 130°F)
3 tablespoons butter, softened
Cinnamon Sugar Coating:
1 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 teaspoons milk
Put the dough ingredients into your bread machine pan in the order suggested by the manufacturer (my Oster calls for the liquids first, then the flour, then other ingredients and yeast) and set it for the dough cycle.
Or by hand -- in medium bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups of the flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the salt and yeast. Add warm water, 3 tablespoons butter and the egg. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
On lightly floured surface, knead dough about 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Grease medium bowl with shortening or cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap; let rise in warm place about 1 hour or until double in size. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
Grease 12 regular-size muffin cups, 2 3/4x1 1/4 inches, with shortening or cooking spray -- I used Baker's Joy Spray. In small bowl, mix 1 cup granulated sugar and the cinnamon. Gently push fist into dough to deflate. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Pinch each piece into 6 small balls.
Roll balls in melted butter, then roll in cinnamon-sugar. Place 5 balls in each muffin cup; top with 1 ball in center. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let rise in warm place 30 to 45 minutes or until double in size.
Heat oven to 350°F. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. The pan will look kind of difficult to clean but it wasn't a problem thanks to the Baker's Joy Spray, and I had no sticking issues.
Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack (place rack on waxed paper to catch glaze drips). In small bowl, stir glaze ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle glaze over rolls. Sprinkles optional. Serve warm.
We all loved these as a special breakfast treat. I hope you love them as much as we did if you give them a try. Now at our house monkey bread and cinnamon buns have a brunch rival :)