Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 365/365 (Why I "365")

My 365th day of my 2010 Project 365.
I'm not sure I ever really thought I'd follow through.
I think that was key.
I jumped in and just did it without thinking about it too, too much.
Folks who know me might agree, I've been known to think too much.
Also, important to me finishing, was allowing myself to be utterly and completely less than perfect.
I still quake at times, with certain posts, with the feeling of *vulnerability*.
Posting a photo each day?  Yikes.  That's a lot of sharing.
A daily practice of anything, I would imagine, can have a tremendous effect on other areas of a person's life. 
That's true for me.  
I see things differently now. 
Things in the world.
Things in me.
Things in my past, present, future.
I see possibilities.
I pretend to toy with the idea of whether I'll continue for another 365 days.
Truth is, I don't know if I could stop.
And then, I know, I would be so easy to just get swept up and busy and then, days would pass and that would be that.
So, still it requires commitment, and stick-with-it-ness.  
And, with that, at the end of 365 days comes great satisfaction.
Satisfaction and the complete sense that life is so, so short.
I don't want to miss a thing.
365 days.  
365 photos.
I can hold that in my hand.
And in my heart.
(There are actually 902 photos in the collage...all the photos from this year's blog posts, not just the one featured photo per day.)
Thank you for sharing this journey with me.
I hope you'll join me in 2011.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


The sky looked like the beach this morning....

I'm already *longing* for gentle sun and warmth and rolling waves and *the beach*. 
Not sure I was really ever ready to let it go this year.

It's going to be a long rest of the winter for me!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


 Caught this photo last night during "Family Wii Night" and I have a great and important (that's a joke) post brewing about authenticity and learning to read and what's right about the way human learners learn and how foolish the teaching (and assessment) of reading can often be in school, but I have the chance right now to snuggle up with my girls and watch a really great movie and so I'm just going to post this quick and know what I know and spare you all from hearing me drone on about reading lessons (and the dreaded "Reading Log", for goodness sakes) and how wonderful and powerful is the "reading lesson" learned from (the blessing of) sitting in your dad's lap
after he's read a book to you 
and is now reading his own...
 From getting him the dictionary to look up an exotic word...
...and then flipping through the thesaurus looking for more exotic words 
because you want to.  
 From having a heart to heart discussion about why and how you choose the books you choose and hearing about how your dad chooses his, while your sister kicks butt in the Wii fit obstacle course. 

Ah-em, well, I seem to have droned on a bit without even trying!
(Emma was running back to The Last Hero, by Rick Riordan 
after each of her turns, too.)


I'm jealous because I'm in between books and feeling quite desperate!  
I need to hit the library tomorrow. snuggling!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


While the winds continued to howl outside last night, 
the girls snuggled in close together and fell asleep 
to the flickering of the flame-less candles Santa had stuffed in their stockings.  
 Night, night, sweet ones!

Monday, December 27, 2010


*Loving* New England today!  
I'm sharing some views of the first official blizzard of the season.
From inside, of course ~ I'm not going out there!  
I am, however, the only one on self-imposed house arrest, 
(complete with hot coffee and warm pumpkin bread).  

Paul is clearing paths and exits, 

 the girls are bundled up for snow play and sledding, 

 and the poor dog doesn't know quite understand what's happening.
Feeling thankful for hearth and home today!
I think I'll put on another pot of coffee and just continue to watch the show. 
Looks like they've fired up the sleds.
 We have quite a hill!
Hope you have a blessed day whether filled with snow or sun.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Best for last in this series of recipes...

Mimi's French Coffee Cake
This is a family classic.  
 Made glutenous for gift-giving and gluten-free with Pamela's Baking Mix, 
they never disappoint!

French Coffee Cake
Filling: 1 1/2 squares unsweetened chocolate, grated
3/4 c chopped nuts
1/4 c sugar
 Batter: 2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 lb butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 c sour cream
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c sugar
2 eggs

Cream sugar, butter; add eggs, sour cream and dry ingredients; alternately add vanilla.  Bake in a large loaf pan (greased and floured).  Put 1/2 batter, then half filling, then rest of batter and cut in for marble effect.  Then top with remaining filling.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.  Savor!

Friday, December 24, 2010


Oh, my...Pumpkin Bread baked in coffee cans.  Another recipe made by my grandmother, my mother, and now me.  
I made glutenous breads for gift-giving and gluten-free (made with Bob's All-Purpose Gluten-free Flour) for our household consumption.  

These are *so* yummy!  And, really easy to make.  They get rave reviews.  
Delicious warmed slightly and topped with butter.
No photo of gets eaten too quickly!

Pumpkin Bread
3/12 c sifted flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
3 c sugar
4 eggs
2/3 c water
1 c oil
2 c (1 small can) pumpkin
1 c chopped nuts, floured
1 c raisins, floured

Sift all dry ingredients, even sugar, in bowl.  Beat eggs - add water & oil.  Add egg mixture to ingredients & mix.  Add pumpkin and beat until smooth.  Add raisins & nuts which have been floured.  Divide mixture between 3 greased & floured coffee cans (1 lb).  Bake 1 - 1/4 hours (I did closer to 1 1/2 hours) in 350 degree oven.  Cool in cans.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


We took our perfectly delicious Gluten-free peanut butter cookies and 
candy canes and dipped them in chocolate!  
Gluten-free Peanut Butter Cookies
(I get requests for these cookies from gluten eating adults and children all the time!)

1 jar of natural peanut butter (Jiff types won't work)
2 eggs
2 scant cups sugar

Mix all ingredients well.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  (I do mine on a baking stone for 18 minutes and let them cool on the stones.)  For the dipping, we just melted chocolate chips, dipped, and let cool on waxed paper.  Enjoy!

UPDATE: after mixing, you have to drop small balls of the dough onto the cookie sheets...forgot to state that step, pretty sure y'all could have figured that out, but just to be sure, I'm telling you -- put the cookies on the sheet, don't put the bowl of mixed ingredients in the oven ;-)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Gluten-free Oatmeal-Cranberry Delights
These have become our "new" old family favorite.  Made, for the first time last year, they were a big hit among the gluten eaters and non-gluten eaters.  (I heart Pamela's!)
Bob's Gluten-free oats make them more reasonably priced than the limited options for gluten-free oats we had in the past.  Also, last year, so many of them crumbled when we removed them from the baking stone, I nearly cried.  This year, I lined the stones with parchment paper, sprayed lightly with olive oil.  I also really followed the instructions about leaving enough room for them to spread.  I only put 12 cookies on a sheet.  Using a baking stone, I increased the baking time to 22-24 minutes.  

They came off so easily and much to my family's dismay, only a few broke and required immediate eating!

Here's the recipe from A Gluten Free Guide:
Gluten Free Oatmeal Cranberry Delights

14 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons good vanilla extract
1 ½ cups Pamela’s baking mix
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups gluten free oats
1 1/3 cups dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars with a mixer at medium speed. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth. Gradually add the baking mix and cinnamon and mix on low until smooth.  Stir in the oats and cranberries until evenly distributed.

Drop in small teaspoons-full on a silpat or slightly greased cookie sheet. Allow plenty of room for them to spread during baking. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Cooking times will vary according to the size of the cookie. Let cool before removing from the silpat or cookie sheet or they could crumble.

Adjustments for other gluten free flour mixes – because Pamela’s mix includes baking soda, salt and additional fat A Gluten Free Guide adjusted the recipe accordingly. If your flour mix doesn’t have any fat, increase the butter by two tablespoons. Add 1 teaspoon baking soda and ½ teaspoon salt with the dry ingredients if your mix doesn’t include them already.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


We broke out some of the old family holiday favorite recipes and got busy baking.
 That's today's photo...the recipe for Noodle Candy.
My mom made them.  Her mom made them.  I make them.
You get the idea!
These are not gluten-free.
I have yet to find a substitute for the chow mien noodles.  
I might try corn chex cereal one day.
In any event, these are being made for gifts.
It's an easy recipe that makes lots of yumminess.

The hardest part is all the stirring...
 and stirring....
and stirring...
 and stirring...
 and stirring...
and stirring!
And, then it moves pretty quickly, so having the
waxed papered surfaces ready is important.

Here's the recipe if you'd like to try them:
I always double this and it makes approx. 4 dozen depending on how large/small you make them.
12 oz chocolate morsels
12 oz butterscotch morsels
1 c chopped nuts
3 oz chow mien noodles

Melt all the morsels together in a double boiler.  Add nuts and noodles.  Mix well.  Drop by teaspoonfuls on a waxed paper covered cookie sheet.  Cool briefly in freezer (or on deck!).  Enjoy!