Brussel Sprouts

Our family loves brussels sprouts.  Usually I just toss them with olive oil and a little salt and pop them into the oven, but this Brussels Sprouts Gratin recipe from Skinnytaste found it’s way into my email inbox and I had to give it a try.


Brussels Sprouts Gratin

I think this is one of the only recipes I have ever made where the end product looks like the photo from the recipe.  This was simply delicious and easy to make.  My husband and every single one of my kids enjoyed this dish.  A complete win!

Teaching again!!

I’m excited to be back teaching again starting in February!!Slide1

I can’t wait to get started and it’s such a great name for my studio, Let’s Go Crafting!  And more good things are happening!  I was hired by our local art center to teach a pre-school fiber arts class and a tween fiber arts class – that will be so fun.  AND one of the local consignment shops decided to have my beaded eggs in their shop!!  I’m on cloud nine!

Light homework load

When the kids come home from school, I like to have a snack waiting and I like to sit with them and hear about whatever they want to share.  Sometimes they talk about school, sometimes it’s friends, sometimes they just joke around with each other, and sometimes they are in a bad mood and don’t want to talk at all.  I just enjoy being there at this time to reconnect with them.IMG_1694

On this particular day there were only two of them and neither one had much homework so there was time for a few games of UNO and a snack before getting on with the afternoon.  So much laughter and fun – I am grateful for these times!

Matzo Ball Soup

All of us really enjoy Matzo Ball Soup.  I had never even heard of it until I met my husband, but after we were married I learned how to make it.IMG_1709

I’ve tried all kinds of recipes, but we like this mix the best (even my husband’s mother used to make it with this)IMG_1699

The matzo ball mix is combined with eggs and oil and then let to sit for a bit.IMG_1701

While it sits, I prepare the other ingredients.  I had made chicken a few days ago and used the leftovers for this soup.  I then brought the homemade chicken stock I had made to a boilIMG_1700

and dropped rounded tablespoons of the matzo ball mix into the boiling liquid.  After that I just tossed in the veges and the chicken and cooked for about 20 minutes.IMG_1703

A nice warm nutritious meal and we ate it with a salad and some bread.  Yum, Yum!

Whipped Cream

My kids LOVE whipped cream and so do I.  I was at Safeway and they have chocolate whipped cream and mint whipped cream – these are holiday items and won’t be there all the time.  I had not seen these before and had to bring them home and give them a try.


Hot chocolate with fancy whipped cream.

I made these for the two that happened to be at home at the time.  They both wanted both kinds of whipped cream.  It was a hit!  I’ll have to go back and stock up on a few more of each flavor.

Chicken Stock

Every time we bake and eat a whole chicken, I save the carcass and bits to make chicken stock.  Sometimes I don’t have time right away so I will freeze them.  As I was perusing the internet, I discovered a way to make the stock in my slow cooker!  This has saved me so much time – I just load up the slow cooker and let it go.


Loaded slow cooker.

I used to make it on the stove top, but  I needed to be around so that I could make sure it didn’t boil over or boil down.  Now I pop everything in the slow cooker and forget about it.  I usually do this in the early afternoon and let it go all night.  In the morning, I will turn off the slow cooker, let everything cool a bit and then strain into jars.



One batch usually makes three jars of stock which is good for a meal plus leftovers.  I have ideas for this particular batch!


I love quail!  I love watching the mommies and daddies with their little babies running behind them.  I love the little top feather, they are just so cute.  Recently I went to an arts and crafts fair in Santa Barbara and picked up a handmade metal set.IMG_1637

Aren’t they cute!!  Looking at them everyday (or more than once a day!) as I come home from some errand makes me happy.