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Hello World.

I hope your February has been good.  If it hasn’t… well, it sure wouldn’t hurt to make these…

They’re amazing.  I made the desserts for our Valentine tea this year.  This was my favourite out of the three dessert choices.  Definitely turned out the best.  I used my sugar cookie recipe and just added a little almond extract to the dough, cut out my hearts and windows and baked them.  A few hours before serving, I spread raspberry jam on the bottom cookies and dusted the top “frames” with powderd sugar.  Sandwich those lovely hearts and…

fall

in

love

with them.

It will be easy, trust me.

The valentine tea was a lot of fun, as always. We had amazing food, some really great teas, fun little crafts, good friends, and a lot of laughs. 

     There has been a lot going on this month.  With my nephew, Jason’s, birthday.  My daddy’s birthday.  Valentines day… It has seemed busy, indeed.  I have been trying to keep on doing some of the things I love between working and random events.  I haven’t been reading much, or sewing, or baking.  I was so happy I could bake up the valentine treats, they were such fun.  And I’ve been trying to read more often, when I find the time.  I’ve been reading ‘Tom Sawyer’ to Hunter and Brooklynn while at my nanny job, waiting for the bus in the morning.  It has been great.  They are really enjoying it.  I love when they ask me questions about what’s going on or what a word means. 

I’ve been digging into some sewing projects too!  I made a little button-up shirt for Jason.  I still can’t believe it turned out as well as it did.  It’s a little big for him but he’ll grow into it, right?  That was fun.  The button holes were a bit of a dilemma but they got done, eventually.  Right now I’m working on a dress.  I bought three yards of this amazing deep purple knit material one day.  I finally got up the courage to cut into it on Monday.  I’m glad I did.  The dress is almost finished, it just needs a few changes and a little touching up.  Sewing with knit material isn’t as scary as everyone makes it sound.  There are a few little tricks I would recomend knowing before making your attempt though.   Anyways, the dress is almost finished and maybe someday I’ll get a picture of it on here. For now I think I’ll go work on it and hopefully wrap up this project soon, as there are always plenty of projects on the horizon to keep me busy.

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       I made up these lovely little Butternut Cardamom Muffins this morning.  They were inspired by the season.  I used roasted butternut squash from our garden and I decided to throw a dash of cardamom in.  That was after getting my package from Harney & Sons Tea.  I bought a few new teas this time and one has a hint of cardamom in it.  So this morning I decided to have cardamom in my muffins to go along with the tea.  It was delicious.  Muffins are one of the best baked-goods to recreate healthily (fresh ground whole wheat flour, raw honey, pure maple syrup…the options for muffins are endless).  They always turn out wonderful for me. 

     I am enjoying my day off today.  I do love other peoples children but… a day off is just so lovely.  Kind of funny though, my day off consists of having my nephew, Jason, here with me today.  He isn’t like work at all… He’s just a darling. I just rocked him to sleep and put him down for a nap.  He and his poor mama haven’t been sleeping so well the past few nights.  He’s getting his first two teeth!  He’s becoming less and less ‘baby’ and turning more and more into ‘little boy’.  It is truly amazing how fast he has grown.  I snapped this picture after I layed him down (sorry it’s dark).  I couldn’t resist.

       Other than muffins and Jason I’ve been doing laundry.  I used to crave Tide laundry detergent all the time but I’ve gotten used to our homemade laundry soap.  It really smells pretty good.  The past few times I’ve done my laundry though…. I’ve desired Tide.  I don’t know why.  I’ve been wanting to make cupcakes so bad too!  I just have to wait… I will make them. 

       Anyhow.  That’s my today so far. ♥

       Go bake something.

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     I really want to start on Christmas presents now.  I have a few ideas.  I haven’t knit something for a while now and feel like knitting so much.  I’m hoping to start knitting a sweater for my nephew, Jason.  Looking for a handsome pattern is not easy.  There are a lot of ugly sweaters out there.  I finally found one that is a vintage pattern. It has ships and dots on it but…I’m going to change mine to stripes.  Just little stripes. Anyways, the site had some really neat patterns that truly are vintage.  It’s called Free Vintage Knitting.  It was pretty cute.

     Yesterday I worked an espresso machine!  I’m so excited to learn the ins-n-outs of making good coffee. There is a difference between coffee and good coffee. I definitely need practice in the steaming area. I think I was told I made Starbucks foam a few times (not good).  Dear Me. It is really fun to hear Starbucks being made out as the epitome of ‘bad coffee’.  It is different, as most people adore beloved Starbucks.  Anyways, back at it this Sunday. We’ll see what sort of foam I’ll make this time.

     I received one of the best gifts ever for my birthday this year.  Mom and Dad got me a down comforter.  O how wonderful it is!  I went to work on Monday and dreamed all day about being under my comforter.  I love my new blanket.  I can’t stop thinking about it.  I think it’s an addiction!

     I made a Pumpkin Spice Cake with cream cheese frosting and it turned out SO good. I believe I’ll share it with you.~
    

 For the cake~

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice (or 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon each allspice and cloves)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin puree

For the frosting~

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese, very soft
  • 1/4 cup honey or enough powdered sugar to make it sweet enough for you
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin-pie spice. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, butter, and pumpkin puree until combined (I added a tad bit of cream as it seemed rather thick for a cake batter) . Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture, and mix gently until smooth.
  3. Turn batter into prepared pan, and smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool cake 10 minutes in pan, then turn out of pan, and cool completely, right side up, on a rack.
  4. Make Honey Frosting: In a medium bowl, whisk butter, cream cheese, and honey until smooth.
  5. Spread top of cooled cake with honey frosting. Cut cake into squares to serve.

     I hope you enjoy it! I absolutely LOVE it.

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