At the beginning of the summer, we had dinner with our Pastor and his family. He was about to go hunting for bear. Yes, I said bear; think large, furry, and black. A few glasses of wine into the night, we decided we should have a bear feast! I agreed to cook the bear and my husband decided to throw the 1983 Bordeaux that we were gifted. That bottle should have been opened a few years ago, but alas, we kept putting it off for a truly special occasion. Apparently, eating a bear is a special occasion. Thus, we gathered for the first ever Bear & Bordeaux feast.
I love to try cooking new things but this one made me particularly nervous because what I read suggested black bear caught at the beginning of summer will mean a lean, grisly piece of meat. Nobody wants to eat that! So, after much deliberation and maybe a bad dream about cooking inedible bear, I decided to go for a classic recipe: beef bourguignon or now, bear bourguignon!
I was only able to take a few little bites (trouble digesting meat), but it was tasty. The bear ended up perfectly tender, after simmering for several hours. I was so relieved.
Bear Bourguignon (Julia Child’s recipe, sub beef for bear)
Mini Caesar Salads with Anchovy Dressing (Thomas Keller’s recipe)
I would love for you to join me at The Library Shop on October 18th (from noon to 2:30) to kick-off the new Kids’ Book Club with the Central Library! We will be reading Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate
Factory,” now celebrating its 50th anniversary! Yay! Enjoy discussion, book trivia, and an introduction to the Sanford Children’s Library – you might even win a golden ticket!
Please read the book beforehand; extra copies have been
ordered for the Children’s Library, and the book is also
available in the shop for 25% off. Book discussion will be
followed by book-themed activities with ME at 1:00 pm. :)
Geared toward ages 8-12. Parents/caregivers welcome. Event is free and open to the public.
We hope you can join us!
For more info and to let us know you’re coming, go to The Library Shop’s facebook page HERE.
The Library Shop (inside the Central Library Downtown)
My Mom is the best gift giver. Everyone knows it. She always has the most thoughtful ideas, which also happen to be completely practical. It’s amazing. Whenever a friend and family member is getting married, my Mom patiently sets aside items for her traditional wedding shower present. I love watching the look on each recipient’s face as they uncover the thoughtful items to make their new home equipped and ready for ANYTHING. Out of MY box, the biggest surprise item was a box of Christmas tree hooks. Who knew that we would buy ornaments for our first Christmas tree and they wouldn’t have hooks on them? Sheesh. Mom’s box to the rescue!
As soon as the new Makr app came out (download here), I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to make: a smaller version of my Mom’s special kit. I decided to put a spin on the idea and just make it a DIY home repair kit. Also, our Worship Director at Church is getting married this weekend, which makes the timing perfect for making a gift! The tote is perfect to use because it can hang right inside of your front closet. Plus, the app let’s you personalize the tote which is a win win. ;) You can also design tote bags, t-shirts, and even temporary tattoos (if that’s your thing). If you used the Makr ipad app, you will find this app just as easy to tinker with. I have told my sister and many of my friends to use Makr because I really do love it.
You know how excited I was when Makr arrived on the scene with a quick and easy way to make gorgeously designed labels for my DIY champagne cocktail kit. Remember that?
When making your kit, try to look for natural materials and durable items made in the USA (handmade is even better!), as opposed to plastic tools that will break next week. I found most of these items at Home Depot or my local Sherwin William’s Paint Store. Here’s what I put in my DIY Home Repair kit:
1 bag filled with thumbtacks, some picture hanging kits, and a ceiling hook
1 pair of safety goggles
1 pair of leather gloves
1 measuring tape
Here are some other fun things we made with the app, including our first EVER design for our little backyard farm that says “Backyard to Table” (see the picture below)! Faith was excited to have her very own tote designed after her favorite chicken, Susan. The tote has written what Susan walks around the yard proclaiming EVERY DAY. Remember, you can buy any of my designs here.
The “Backyard to Table” tshirt I partnered with Makr for this post. I received most of the items (I bought too!) and was compensated in exchange for taking the time to spread the news about one of my fave apps. All opinions are obviously my own. Thanks for being here and let me know if you end up using my designs!
School is here again! As much as summer was especially AMAZING for me, I know that life needs the routines of the every day. Summer wouldn’t be a gift, though, if it wasn’t a deliberate break from the ordinary, right? It was indeed appreciated.
Homeschooling friends, have you signed up for the free Wild & Free content bundle? There are so many inspiring homeschool mamas sharing their wisdom and stories in there! The first PRAIRIE bundle is free, then you just pay $19/month after that to keep the content flowing! This next month you can find ME, in the GARDEN edition, sharing a fresh tomato risotto recipe and tips on how to cook with kiddos. Go and sign up here!
This last week brought some simple moments I wanted to remember:
// The boys made wooden boats. I LOVE that they are old enough to go in the backyard and build something from their imagination,using a hammer and nails. //
// Getting back in the granola game with my old favorites, pecan and vanilla. I posted the recipe here this week. //
// Jack was so sad it was summer because he missed doing math. Go figure. //
// Math-u-see blocks are part of every school day, but seeing the manipulative picture below makes me think of these wooden math blocks I just saw on Etsy here. //
// FINALLY got my vintage 5-panel door hung up in the kid’s bathroom! Praise the Lord for finding a handyman and progress! Now, to find the piece that makes the fabulous glass handle turn. I think my littlest guy ran off with it somewhere. Ruh roh. //
//I attempted to help my extremely tactile kiddo with letter writing by breaking out the shaving cream option. Quite simply, it didn’t go as well as I’d like, but it did create 30 minutes of bath-time fun for the boys. //
// Every kid loves the time of year when costume magazines come nearly daily. Not sure whether to thank them for the few quiet minutes it allows or shake my fists for the junk mail. //
// Snap-circuits are amazing. I’ve been storing them away until school started. Have you tried them?! The instructions are easy for the kids to follow and they love the fact that they can make an electrical circuit that creates explosive noises. //
// Peach roses forever. //
// Ice cream in a can doesn’t work with regular goat’s milk, FYI. Fat is necessary so cream is the only way. Guess I’ll have to go out of my way for some raw cream so I can have some. San Diego, you can find raw milk options from Organic Pastures at some Sprouts and the little Boney’s Bayside Market on Coronado. La Mesa Sprouts is the only one I’ve actually seen it at. //
// I’ve been taking a lot of clay and salt baths lately, trying to get rid of some yuck stuck in my body during the gut healing I’ve been undergoing. The happy effect of this is I’ve been getting some reading done. Any good books you think I can’t live without reading? //
// Experimenting with some new board balm options. Coconut oil seems to be the only option that brings the least amount of rancid effects. Mineral oil is a spawn of plastic so it’s weird that people think it’s cool to put it so near their food. I’ve been using a coconut oil and beeswax combo. So far so good. There’s a convo happening on my IG about this here. //
// Filling our pantry shelves with as much homemade canned tomato sauce as possible before the season is gone. I started with is Better Homes and Gardens recipe here, I just added the roasting element and kicked up the garlic. //
I love the flexibility of summer which allows us to go where we want or stay put if we desire to put up our feet a little longer. I’ve loved the healing and purposeful rest that I was able to experience this summer. The last few years have been rough on my body. The rest was necessary and appreciated. Now that Fall is only a few weeks away, I am ready to embrace this new season, where relaxation gives way to routine and pattern. For me, the routine brings some of my favorite weekly food preparations. Inspired by the Kinfolk Cookbook, this week I chose to get back in the granola game…
Pecan & Vanilla Bean Granola
3 cups oats 1 cup pecans (or any nut)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup melted ghee or coconut oil
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
Preheat oven to 300. Combine all ingredients and spread on a baking sheet lines with parchment. Bake and stir every 15 minutes until the granola feels dry, about 45 minutes. Cool and enjoy!