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Summer Squash: A Simple Recipe

I have to file this one away to remember. Our CSA share today included summer squash, which became the tastiest side dish tonight. I don’t think I’ve ever prepared summer squash on its own before. But sauteed with CSA onions and garlic, and finished with sea salt, pepper, butter, and fresh basil, it was so delicious. I’m going to have to do that one again. Yum. I’d share a picture, but we ate it all up.

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Vertigo (and Cookies)

I’ve had vertigo all weekend, but I’ve still managed to make it somewhat productive. Saturday, I went out the farmer’s market, and despite the heat it was a good morning.  Of course, then I wasted most of Saturday afternoon taking a post-market nap. I used up a bunch of CSA veggies making Curried Chickpeas and Rice (tasty, but I think maybe it needs a can of diced tomatoes added next time) and Kale with Sundried Tomatoes and Chickpeas. We are big chickpea fans around here.

Today, I started working on 18 new card wallets made from recycled fabric (a.k.a., old pants. Recycled fabric sounds nicer, doesn’t it? The pants were fine, just a little frayed at the hems, and perfectly clean, but still… which would you rather, “recycled fabric,” or old pants?)

I also finally got myself out to see the last Harry Potter movie, and was surprised to see I wasn’t the only one at the theater. I was a little wary about going to a movie while feeling dizzy, but fortunately if I stare straight ahead, I do alright, and there were only a few dizzying scenes in the movie.

I’m wrapping up the night by baking Pumpkin Spiced Cookies (no icing necessary), after getting all inspired by JCasa *handmade’s post mentioning pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and finding a can of pumpkin hiding in the back of my cupboard.

Now, if only I could lose this vertigo. I don’t know where it came from, but it’s been hanging around for a few days now, and I’m tired of feeling at sea.

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Peanut Butter Kisses

I baked some cookies today. SciFi Man is crazy about peanut butter, so I made a batch of peanut butter kisses for him. They are so simple and tasty, that if you haven’t made them, you should. Right now. Seriously, how can you go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate?

Peanut Butter Kisses

Peanut Butter Kisses

1 (8oz) package of Hershey’s Kisses
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup white sugar for decoration


1. Heat oven to 375F. Remove wrappers from kisses.

2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in a large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup white sugar and brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

3. Shape dough into 1″ balls. Roll in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately place a chocolate piece into the center of each cookie. Cookie will crack around the edges. Cool on wire rack.

When I make them, I get about 45 cookies. But maybe you want to tell people that it makes a few less than that, so you can keep some just for you.

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Snow Day

A winter storm rolled in yesterday and it’s been snowing big, wet flakes ever since. While I love the dreamy, cozy feeling of being snowbound, the reality isn’t always so nice. Slippery roads and cars in the repair shop are not dreamy or cozy at all. The plan for tonight is to make up this Chunky Celery Soup and some warm homemade bread and maybe settle down for a movie with my sweetheart.

Staying home has given me some time to work on some new wristlets, though, and I’m so excited to share them with you! I’ve been thinking spring, and I think that’s evident here. Butterflies and other insects, pale pinks and greens, and richly colored french velvet ribbon. Some of the bags are adorned with the ribbon and some with pretty vintage brooches. Some of these are intended for S’more Couture, but if you see something you like, let me know. With all this snow, I’m not going to make it in to S’more Couture right away, so you could snag one of these bags first!

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Happy Weekend!

It’s Friday, and although for some reason I feel like it was just Sunday, it’s about to be the weekend again. I’ve got some fun lunch plans and a craft show I’m planning on visiting this weekend. I plan on doing lots of sewing, too. It’s been awhile since I sat down on my sewing machine, and I really need to fix that.

Some notes from the week…

  • Did you see the giveaway Olive Manna and Hooray Design are doing together? It seems like such a lovely idea to team up like that, and the little cans of goodies are so sweet! You should check out the giveaway, and then stay for the blog, or something like that. They both have great blogs.
  • If you like chickpeas at all, you need to give this recipe for Lemony Chickpea Stir-fry a try. Soon. It’s so very good, and easy. I made it on a last-minute whim this week, and I liked it so much I made it a second time. I served it with some brown rice, cooked in veggie broth. And while you are cooking, make a batch of these Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies. You won’t regret it, although your waist might.
  • Are you on Twitter? I am, and I was thinking this week that if you aren’t following me on Twitter, you might be missing out on some of the little updates that I don’t think merit a whole blog post, but are still awesome. Like when I tweeted about this fashion no-no. I’d love for you to be my Twitter friend. 🙂
  • I really loved this post on Cicada Daydream, Anatomy of a Cost Effective Project.

What are your weekend plans? Are you relaxing, doing something fun? Going somewhere interesting? Whatever they are, I hope it’s a wonderful weekend!

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Apple-Pie Crumb Cake Muffins

Apple-Pie Crumb Cake Muffins

Oh my, these muffins are so good. Go make them right now. Well, print out the recipe. Then go make them! I found the recipe for this via a post on Liesl Made, but originally the recipe is from Vegan with a Vengeance. The recipe for those of us who don’t own Vegan with a Vengeance can be found (with a slight modification of the addition of walnuts) at The Flying Vegan. (The recipe calls for 1 tsp of baking powder twice, just pretend one of those is baking soda.)

I used large honeycrisp apples in mine, and I actually only needed one. I don’t know if honeycrisp apples are proper baking apples, but the muffins came out so delicious it doesn’t matter. I made these muffins last night, and I may have to make more later today. Yum.

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Cherry Bounce

Somewhere in blogland, I stumbled across a link to Gourmet magazine’s favorite cocktails. Each month they share a new decade. As I looked the through sixties, I discovered something intriguing called Cherry Bounce. A brand new idea to me, but a very old one to most everyone else, apparently. I mean, Martha Washington was brewing this up for pre-United States parties. How awesome would it be, I thought to myself, to be able to pull out a bottle of my own cordial. So of course I had to make it.

Four pounds of cherries and some stained fingers later, I present to you, my bottle of Cherry Bounce (minus a few drinks). It’s spicy, strong, and smooth and I definitely want to make some more. I think more skilled bounce-makers than I could extract more juice from the cherries, but this was a learning experience, and I’m just happy it came out drinkable.

Cheers! A Glass of Cherry Bounce

This recipe definitely calls for a cherry pitter, and I loved the one I got from Oxo. If you make this yourself, wear an apron. Cherries are very juicy and splatter when you pit them. I thought pitting the cherries would take forever, but I finished that part quite quickly. It was cooking the cherries until “very soft” that actually took the most time.  The best part of this? Once you’ve mixed everything together and bottled it, you can drink up right away. No waiting weeks or months for this recipe to reach peak flavor. Which is good, when patience isn’t your greatest virtue.

Cherry Bounce from Gourmet

Stone 4 pounds Bing cherries and cook them in a double boiler until they are very soft. Strain the juice and measure it. For each quart of juice add 2 cups sugar and 1/4 teaspoon each of ground mace and ground allspice. Simmer the mixture, skimming it frequently, until the scum ceases to rise. Cool the syrup and measure it. For each quart of syrup add 1 cup each of brandy and rum. Store the cordial in bottles. Serve the cherry bounce as an after-dinner liqueur.

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Refreshing Lemonade

Wouldn’t a nice, cool glass of lemonade just be wonderful right now? Of course, when wouldn’t a glass of lemonade be wonderful? Homemade lemonade, with lots of sugar, is one of my favorite summer treats. So how perfect that I found out my Lemonade wristlet was including in a lemon-flavored themed treasury today. Look at all that cheery lemony goodness!

Lemony Treasury

If that’s got you thirsty, check out this recipe for perfect lemonade, or bake up some pink lemonade cupcakes!

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Cute Stationery

Family Card

How cute is this? While I was replenishing my business card stash at Vista Print, I took advantage of some of their other free offers, including the one for free cards. The design I picked allowed you to create little cartoons of your family members (including beloved pets). I love having personalized stationery, and you can’t beat free.

Also, SciFi Man and I are loving this chana masala recipe at Thimble. If you like Indian food, you should definitely give this one a try. It’s the best chana masala recipe I’ve found, and it’s quite easy, which makes it extra nice. Mmm, chickpeas!