Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a day for family and delicious food! My favorite Thanksgiving foods are sweet potatoes, turkey and pumpkin desserts! My father-in-law, John, likes to enjoy his Cool Whip with a little pumpkin pie - what are your favorite Thanksgiving foods and traditions?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Eve

These photos are from today's Thanksgiving Eve festivities at Franklin Park Conservatory - sweet turkeys and a Peanuts Thanksgiving celebration with Snoopy, Woodstock, Charlie Brown, Sally, Peppermint Patty and Marshall (Marci's brother). Kenneth even gave Snoopy a check-up!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Battelle Darby Creek

Battelle Darby Creek is my favorite Columbus Metro Park! Kenneth and I visit this park the most, it is the only Metro Park we have been to during every season (the photos in this post and the slideshow are from our recent visits in September and October). This park contains 7,000 acres and 18 miles of trails, making it the largest Metro Park! It's located on the west side of Columbus, just south of US Route 40. 

The habitats at Battelle Darby Creek are prairie, wetlands and riparian forest along Big Darby and Little Darby Creeks. The creeks are state and national scenic rivers and provide habitat for 44 species of freshwater mussels (8 of these are endangered) and 100 species of fish. Visitors can get an up close view of these underwater creatures in the new nature center, which opened in late 2012. The nature center features an indoor stream with live fish and turtles and interactive exhibits about the history of the area as well as the native flora and fauna. 


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sugar Plum Pas de Deux

Today's holiday entertainment at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens!  Several ballet dancers performed excerpts from the Nutcracker for us.  They were wonderful!

Happy Birthday Josh!

Yesterday we celebrated my cousin Josh's 12th birthday! My aunt Susie bought trick candles for Josh's cake. My photo of the day was taken after he first tried to blow out the candles and they relight themselves!

The way that trick candles work is that magnesium dust is inside of the candle wick. When the candle is blown out, the magnesium dust is ignited by the burning ember inside the wick. The ignited magnesium dust then catches the paraffin smoke on fire and relights the candle! You can see the smoke from the first time Josh blew the candles out in the photo. Pretty cool! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

How-To: Make Christmas Card Globes

Christmas Card Globes are a great way to recycle old holiday cards into something new! Over the past two weeks I made a large collection of globes and have finally finished my photo tutorial to illustrate how easily they can be made! If you do not have a large hole punch, you can print my 3-D Globe Stencil Templates and make reusable templates out of lightweight cardboard (cereal boxes work well). The stencil templates are different sized circles with equilateral triangles inside of them. To make a template cut out the circle and trace it on cardboard before cutting out the triangle and tracing it. (Even if you use a large punch, you will still need an equilateral triangle template).

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Long live the weeds and the wilderness

What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

Gerard Manley Hopkins
from the book Earth Prayers From around the World: 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Gluten-Free Apple Oven Cake + Recipe

This delicious oven cake is like a giant, puffy pancake!  It comes together very quickly and is the easiest baked good I make.  It's fantastic for breakfast or dessert! 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Historic Palm House - Franklin Park

This awesome photo is on display in the Palm House Gallery at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.  It's cool to see how the Palm House looked many years ago!  It was built in 1895 and now is home to over forty different species of palm trees from all around the world.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Gluten-Free Research

I'm teaching a gluten-free baking class in a few months and am looking for some good gluten-free cookbooks to recommend to my class. Usually I use the internet to search for gluten-free recipes, or I modify wheat-containing recipes to be gluten-free. I only own a few gluten-free cookbooks, my favorite is Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free: 75 Recipes for Irresistible Gluten-Free Desserts and Pastries by Karen Morgan! I expect to find some new favorites in this giant stack of books!

Do you have a favorite cookbook, gluten-free or otherwise?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Bather

This looks nothing like the painting, The Bather, by my favorite artist, Paul Cézanne.  This is however, a photograph which captures a fleeting moment in time.  Amelia's raspy, dry cat tongue, poised and ready to clean her arm... 

She does do this every few hours though, so I might be romanticising the idea a bit!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Foxy Cider!

I tried a new gluten-free cider tonight: Fox Barrel Pear Cider.  It was delicious and now I want to try all of their other flavors - the fox on the bottle is pretty cool too!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Little Lady Apples

These are the cutest little apples! They are called Lady Apples (not to be confused with crabapples, which are also small, but are pretty tart!) and are tasty enough to eat fresh. They're only about an inch and a half to two inches in diameter (about the size of a ping pong ball!).  I saw these cuties at Whole Foods last week and had to have them. I later researched Lady Apples and found some fun recipes to make with them, if I don't eat them all first!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Very 1950s Holiday with the Ohio Historical Society at Whole Foods - Upper Arlington

On Saturday this weekend, Kenneth and I went back in time at our local Whole Foods!  The Ohio Historical Society was celebrating a 1950s Thanksgiving at Whole Foods, complete with costumed characters, 1950s recipes and crafts for kids. After Halloween, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love visiting with my family (without the chaos of Christmas shopping) and Thanksgiving food is the best!  I also really enjoy learning about the past, local history and my own genealogy are my favorite historical subjects.  When I read about this event I was pretty excited to attend! 

A Very Whovian Dinner

Author's Note: I apologize if, dear reader, you are not a fan of the British sci-fi series called Doctor Who, which is what this post was inspired by.  It's a fantastic show I highly recommend about an alien (who looks human, but has two hearts) who goes on adventures saving our planet and others, usually with the help of a human companion (or two). He's a very old alien and when he's badly hurt, instead of dying, he regenerates (and they get a new actor to play him). The most recent regeneration of the Doctor (played by Matt Smith), was hungry after regenerating but didn't know what he liked to eat:

"New mouth. New rules. It's like eating after cleaning your teeth. Everything tastes wrong." - the Doctor 

So he tries many 'new' foods, hating all of them, until deciding what he really wanted was fish fingers and custard, not just eaten at the same meal, mind you, he dipped the fish fingers in the custard and thoroughly enjoyed it! 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Ohio Love

Saw this lovely necklace today at the Celebrate Local store today.  I will post a review of one of the coolest stores at Easton very soon!  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Gluten-Free Ginger Pear Pumpkin Muffins + Recipe

These pumpkin muffins really make me wish I had a jumbo muffin pan (kind of like this one by Lodge).  When I was a college student at Ohio University I would eagerly wait for Fall every year so I could buy a gigantic pumpkin muffin from Perk's Coffee House & Roastery.  Those muffins were amazing!  They signaled that Fall had arrived just as much as the changing leaves and cool temperatures did.  Eating one of those muffins made me feel better after a rough day, once I even bought Kenneth a giant pumpkin muffin as a way to say "I'm sorry" after a fight (that's how good these muffins were, they could serve as a food apology) only to find out he had bought me one too!  They were pretty powerful pumpkin muffins...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dance With Me

A fairy tale themed collage I made several years ago. It's one of several hanging together over our dining room table.

Monday, November 4, 2013

How-To: Make Your Own Bobblehead Cat

How-To: Make Your Own Bobblehead Cat

1 camera

1 magnifying glass
1+ cats (it's a good idea to have extras in case anyone gets tired, or someone refuses to cooperate)
Patience (infinite amount)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Simple Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup + Recipe

Fall is the time of year for soups and stews!  Kenneth and I made a really simple gluten-free chicken noodle soup this afternoon and paired it with some gluten-free crackers and ginger ale for dinner.  A perfect meal if you're feeling under the weather, or if you're feeling perfectly healthy!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Kadu Bouranee (Sweet Pumpkin with Yogurt Sauce) + Recipe

Kadu bouranee is one of my favorite pumpkin dishes!  You can make it with pumpkin or squash (this time I used butternut squash that was pre-cut to save some time).  I've made this dish a few times for Kenneth and I's anniversary - but it took my so long to cut and peel the squash I only felt like making it once a year!  Now that I've successfully made it with the short-cut pre-cut butternut squash, it may become a more regular Fall dish in our house. Today I served it with the Brazilian Pão de Queijo (gluten-free cheese rolls) and it was delicious!