Mama Knows Her Cocktails Debut

February 13, 2012

I hope your 2012 is off to a tiptop start.  I’ve been busy launching my latest endeavor, Mama Knows Her Cocktails.  I’d be so happy if you would visit my new blog to see what I am doing.  Organic gardening and cooking, thrifted barware, a cocktail bar with industrial style, and delicious cocktails all in one place!

I will be retiring from posting on this blog.  My deepest thanks for supporting my efforts here the last year and a half.

I’m having buckets of fun infusing spirits with herbs and spices, inventing tasty syrups like Thyme, Orange & Pink Peppercorn to liven up cocktails and non-alcoholic sips, and “researching” happy hour hot spots all over Seattle.

Please click Mama Knows Her Cocktails to join in the fun.

Happy Holidays to You

December 23, 2011

I’ve been busy having a wonderful week with my family.  Hope your holidays are filled with lots of merry and bright!

More Tin Can Love

December 14, 2011

I created these food gifts for our big family gathering on Christmas Eve.  Each family will receive this dinner-in-a-bag gift to share.  The container for the soup mix is a 15 oz. can wrapped in paper, and secured with double-sided tape that hides.  If you didn’t want to make your own soup mix, you could buy some.  (I was in World Market recently, and they had a big selection.)  Another plus is you can make this gift a little ahead of time.  More time for other merry-making!

Simple Bottle Wrap

December 12, 2011

Here’s a simple way to dress up a bottle of something to give as a gift.  I had made some ornaments a while back, and had one to spare.  A sparkly pipe cleaner was strung with a tree ornament and a jingle bell.  The ends were bent to together in a curly design, forming an oval shape.  I added a simple – like tying your shoelaces – bow.  The ornament slips over the neck of the bottle, and you are good to go!

Christmas Charm Swap

December 8, 2011

I look forward to a friend’s special, annual Christmas Charm swap, and had fun putting a little extra zip into my presentation this year.  I used 15 oz. tin cans, wrapped in some strips of Midori paper.  Double-sided tape is my friend, since it hides, and does a fine job of holding the papers in place.  Inside the cans are homemade ornaments and some other goodies for crafting and eating.  No charms!  We’ll share a potluck lunch, and do lots of visiting.  It is a wonderful way to share a day during our holiday season.

Enoughness

December 5, 2011

I am a lucky duck.  I am feeling good and grateful for having enough.  It is amazing me how much more time I have to work on the holiday projects that matter the most to me, instead of acquiring more stuff.  I am making lots of food gifts for sharing with our friends and family.  Today’s kitchen activities include butterscotch bourbon sauce, grapefruit bitters and a beeswax coconut oil lip balm.

Cataract surgery has spurred me on to better time management as well.  Raoul and I got all the heavy-lifting-and-bending-over decorating done right before my second eye was done last week.  Seeing our tree with my new eyes is an absolutely incredible gift.  And of course, my favorite ornaments to gaze at are the ones our sons made from popsicle sticks, juice can lids and wrapped yarn back in the day.

Soup Swap

November 23, 2011

I had read about soup swaps in a past issue of Edible Seattle, and couldn’t wait to round up half a dozen of my soup-loving friends.  Our first swap was this last Sunday.  Everyone brought six – one quart containers of a favorite homemade soup, and we left with six future dinners to store in our freezers for the busy, winter nights ahead.  In between, we had pumpkin hot toddies and cake, shared more info about the soups we made, and enjoyed each other’s company.

Our haul of soups included:

  • halibut cheese chowder with poppyseed parmesan croutons
  • chicken and black bean enchilada
  • split pea with cheesey crostinis
  • carrot and ginger
  • corn, wild rice and sausage
  • coconut red lentil
  • Albondigas (Mexican meatballs)

We are already looking forward to our second swap in January.  My Thanksgiving started early with this wonderful celebration of sharing food and friendship.  Hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful as well!

Book Larder Excitement

November 18, 2011

I love cookbooks, and I love cocktails!  So this exciting event at Seattle’s new Book Larder provided a very entertaining evening recently.  Author Brad Thomas Parsons was in town to share his wonderful Bitters book.  Now until this past summer, I had no idea what bitters were about.  The cocktail class Raoul and I took at Cuoco changed all that, with one of the recipes for a Manhattan we learned to make.  (I even made my own Lavender Bitters with some organic lavender from our garden not long ago.)  At the Book Larder shindig, we got to sample some amazing bitters concoctions, with flavors ranging from cardamon to chocolate mole.  Brad’s book is a gem of bitters lore, cocktail recipes, and some very intriguing recipes for your own homemade creations.

If you enjoy cooking, please visit the Book Larder for one of the best selection of cookbooks around.  And many of their events are free.  Fun on top of more fun!

The Gift of Eyesight

November 14, 2011

Thanksgiving has come early for me.  I had cataract surgery last week, and can see better with my right eye than I can ever remember.  My eyesight had deteriorated rapidly this last year.  A terrifying process.  A very humbling experience.  I will have my left eye done in a couple of weeks.  In the meantime, I’m finding projects that don’t require much lifting, bending over, or the need for depth perception.  Today I cranked out our Thanksgiving dinner favors.

I feel immense gratitude for this gift of new eyesight.

Badass Cookies Idea

November 9, 2011

While reading soup recipes in Love Soup by Anna Thomas, I had to immediately try Lauren’s Badass Trailmix Cookies.  Great title, and a great cookie.  The whole Love Soup cookbook is tiptop.  The recipe said it would make 4 1/2 dozen cookies.  That meant Raoul and I would be tempted to eat all 54 cookies.  Well I’m probably the last person on the block to figure this out, but I decided to freeze a good portion of the dough for later.  I made two dozen cookies, and am happy to have this cookie dough all ready to go for a future baking treat.


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