You can’t buy Christmas

Life lately has been full of promise. Promises once  forgotten, and promises fulfilled . Hope for the future and excitement glittering in the background, despite a darkening world. And, as dark as this world can be, it’s necessary to look for the bright spots that are still there, flickering quietly. Christmas is different this year. My gift list has gotten smaller, and the moments are getting bigger. Because this year is not about stuff, it’s not about fighting for a good deal, it’s not about getting the perfect gift to somehow attempt to win over those distant relatives  that really […]

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Thanksgiving wrap up!

I have to admit something: I’m a terrible food blogger. While  other food bloggers are prepping for Thanksgiving posts in the summer, I’m in full summer mode and simply cannot bring myself to make and photograph a Thanksgiving meal in 96F heat. And, every Thanksgiving, I intend to get great food shots and use them to post *on time* next year. However, every year I get caught in the actual  holiday.. cooking, the parade, spending time with friends and family, sipping wine,  and honestly: I don’t want to spend an hour getting the perfect shot and eat cold food. (sipping […]

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Swiss, caramelized onion, ham and leek quiche

I’m continuing the French theme this week with this rich, creamy and savory quiche. It’s funny how many people I know that claim they don’t like quiche…. then they love it. For example: Me (to my 8 year old): “Let’s make a quiche to go along with our French studies” My 8 year old: “I don’t like what ever you said” Me: “What? Quiche? When have you had quiche?” Her: “Never. It just sounds gross” Me: “It’s like scrambled eggs, ham and onions  in a buttery crust” Her: “Oooo. That’s sounds good, let’s make that.” Maybe it’s just the word […]

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spiced apple tart

My daughter and I made this during our study of France, while working on  our Five In A Row unit of Madeline. We also made a Swiss, ham and leek quiche, French Onion soup, and crouque mosuiers, which I will share with you soon. But, today I’m sharing this with you. Most of you may not be familiar with Five In A Row, so I will quickly summarize that ; basically it’s a curriculum based off of children’s books.  You read the book for five days in a row, and on each day you study different components related to the […]

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week one- planning and time management

We officially started our home school experience last  two weeks ago, and, as I promised I will be doing weekly(ish) roundups of what we did, (and didn’t do) Of course, this post was originally intended for LAST Friday… but as Fridays happen so does life. And, this was our life: I have to admit a few things right off the bat: I am a planner. I am a slight control freak. Those, my friend are two things that may work against you in homeschooling.  Because there are going to be times where things don’t get done. There are going to be […]

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school buns or school bread

  To kick off our official first day of “school”, (yes, I waited until after Labor day) I made something special. School Buns. (Or School Bread) According to Wikipedia: Skolebolle (English: School Bun) is the Norwegian name for a type of sweet roll that consists of regular dough of yeast, custard and icing with grated coconut. It was usually put in school lunches as a dessert or sold at bake sales, hence the name. In the western parts of Norway where the Norwegian baking traditions stems from it is called “Skolebolle” (School Bun), in the eastern and northern parts of […]

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stepping out, stepping in

I’ve been gone for a while, I’ve been in a season of decision making, prayer and probably too much thinking. Situations happened that catapulted me out of my norm, and shifted me back to a hope that had dissipated years ago. That hope, soon became a reality and stepping into the reality of a hope can be scary and intimidating, no matter how you perceive it. Stepping out of the norm of routine, familiarity and ease, and into something different requires much more than walking away, signing a paper and ordering some books.  It’s times like these, when I make […]

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buffalo macaroni and cheese

Sometimes mellow, mild  and creamy macaroni and cheese is just what you need for ultimate comfort food. Other times, you need a little kick, but not just a few splashes… you need a kick that’s part of the dish, where it’s fiery flavor mingles with the creamy cheese and chewy pasta. That’s where this comes in. Taking a good thing and making it even better. It’s recipe refinishing. Speaking of refinishing… I must share my latest project: I found the bench months ago in a curbside trash pile (yes, months ago and I finally got around to do something with […]

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mango salsa and summer stories

This is summer in a bowl. Sweet, salty, tangy and fresh, with a slight crisp from jicima, it’s a tropical vacation for your tongue. I live in an old neighborhood. And, with old neighborhoods, come established trees. An established home with a yard that feeds you is a perk and a blessing. A friend once commented to me, “Mangoes are such generous trees.” And, she is right. This time of year,( this summer in particular), locals have more than they can handle. It’s the zucchini of the south.

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Little Havana Culinary Tour

Throughout the world, there are several areas where culture and history make such a footprint, they become interwoven with the fabric of the society, an ethnic enclave that pieces together the people and roots of our country. I was born and raised in South Florida. I’m a third generation native Floridian,  This is my home, humidity and all.In addition,  my home is where the produce  stands sell cups of fresh fruit with chile and lime, where  a hot loaf of Cuban bread is at every market, and where you never have to search far for a good cup of cafe […]

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chicken and yellow rice

Chicken and yellow rice~ sans the yellow dye A few months’ ago, my mother gave me stacks of old cookbooks. In the stack of dusty and tattered bindings were titles ranging from diet fads of the 70’s (grapefruit diet, anyone?) to more modern gems like Nigella. But.  the diamond in the bunch was an old navy blue cloth covered binder, it’s once pointed corners now frayed,  worn and rounded with time… bursting with handwritten recipes collected over a span of 70 years, small amber colored  clippings from newspapers and magazines, and assorted labels from wine bottles, that were carefully soaked […]

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10,000 steps and other journeys

   I try to take 10,000 steps a day.  there are days when it’s an easy task. Then, there are other days where each step is a journey. Days when my patience is tested, I grow weary and weak from the challenges and obstacles that lay in the path of life. You see, it’s not only in the physical steps that we move forward. It’s in the spiritual steps that we really get somewhere. The days when you realize how you have moved beyond periods of life, or the days when you realize that you haven’t. I have crushing days, […]

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homemade pretzel buns

My husband thought I was a bit crazy making these once he saw all the steps involved.  He had no clue what goes into pretzel making I suppose… You see, pretzels have that chewy, slightly  briny exterior for a reason. They take a swim before they bake. And, that extra step makes all the difference and yes, it’s well worth it to make your own. Pretzel buns are expensive, and It’s just plain  fun to save money. That was my logic when the hubby raised an eyebrow as I heated up the big stockpot. Then, when they came out of […]

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The New Spring

I use every Springtime as a sort of “do over” for New Years. A time to clear out, not only excess clutter form my home, but also my life and my mind.   Every year, I cut out processed foods, meats, dairy, and sugars. In addition, I cut out processed society, too. I eliminate the endless chatter of newsfeeds and social media sites. The first few days are always a challenge. You don’t realize how much of a habit it is to just pick up your device and do a quick scroll. That quick scroll usually ends up several minutes. […]

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Sunday school 101

For a while now, I have been the director of Children’s ministry at a small local church…  which basically means  I’m a Sunday school teacher and jr youth group leader, and I get to write my own curriculum, and lessons. Of course, I could always use a pre written curriculum, but developing my own has not only helped the children grow spiritually. but it has also helped me to see scripture on their level as well.  Sometimes, opening our eyes with childlike faith is all we need to see the true glory of God. I had pondered sharing some of it […]

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