Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ginger Molasses Cookies

{Pieter's favorite mug}

{Juliana cuddling with a friend}

We had a lovely spring weekend full of work and play outdoors. Juliana is getting some more teeth and has been feeling miserable with an ongoing fever for days on end and is constantly needing hugs, cuddles and nursing. Last night the wind blew in some rain, hail and cooler temperatures. Pieter asked for a tea party and I thought the addition of a few warm cookies would make this overcast day a little bit brighter. While I love chunky, chocolate chip cookies, there is something about a smooth, soft ginger cookie that is just right, especially on a cool, cloudy day.

Ginger Molasses Cookies
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup rapadura (or brown sugar or honey)
1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup granulated sugar (for rolling)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Beat butter and rapadura until light and fluffy.
  • Whisk flour, spices, baking soda, and salt together.
  • Add molasses, egg and vanilla to butter mixture. Beat well. 
  • Gradually add flour mixture until well mixed. 
  • Shape into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes. 
  • Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
*If you are patient, put the dough in a covered container and chill overnight. That allows the whole grains to soften and the dough will also not spread as much. My method for any cookie is to make one baking sheet worth on the day of making the dough and then a refrigerate the rest. Then I just put aside the baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper and throughout the week I make fresh cookies several times.

{nothing beats talking to Papa on the phone}

Friday, April 26, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS

Thursday, April 25, 2013


I just picked up my Azure order yesterday and in it was a five pound bag of organic cocoa powder. As I was putting it into canning jars this afternoon I got the urge to make some brownies. This recipe is one that I grew up with, dating back to my mom's days in the girl scouts. It is a wonderful family recipe and very quick - everything stirs together in one sauce pan. It is the perfect recipe to whip up after dinner for impromptu guests. The original recipe uses only 2 ounces of chocolate and 2 eggs. My palette likes a stronger chocolate taste and the extra egg gives a bit more fudgie taste to the brownie. I usually use unsweetened baking chocolate, but found a nice substitution chart for using cocoa instead. They came out just right. While the brownies were great, the kids seemed to like the foam from our cappuccinos even better. They use these little espresso cups every morning for their foam from mama's morning latte.

8 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate*
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 eggs
1 cup chopped nuts
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a 9" square pan.
  • Melt butter and chocolate in a medium sauce pan on low heat.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Stir in the sugar and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture.
  • Add eggs, beat and then stir in the nuts.
  • Pour into pan and spread evenly.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes, cool and cut.
*If you'd like to substitute for cocoa use: 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa and 3 tablespoons butter. Whisk into melted butter.

Friday, April 19, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS

Thursday, April 18, 2013

When did April become winter?

When did April become winter? We've been under snow now for about two weeks and it just keeps coming down in slow, lazy flurries. There is plenty to look at out the window these days. The song birds are busy at the feeders all day long and we've had this mama and baby deer visiting our backyard several times over the past week. The kids love it, needless to say. And Maya hasn't left her station - I think if this kitty were an outside kitty she would be decimating the bird population.

While we have been enjoying all these backyard visitors, the front is also fun when the city comes to pick up the snow from the street. What little boy wouldn't love this action?

Snow or no snow, the fireman is always on the prowl around here. It is a good life!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Water Baby

{such cute chubby legs}

{the boat that became the submarine}

{when did his legs start looking just like Papa's?}

This little girl of ours is a water baby. If she hears the shower, she comes running and will climb in, clothes and all. If you want a shower in peace, the only way is to sneak in and lock the door before she figures out what is happening. She appears to like the pool, too. We had a great time swimming on Saturday at a local pool. I think this summer is going to be lots of fun in Michigan!

Friday, April 12, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Raspberry Scarf

Needles: US 9

I picked up this ever-so-soft alpaca yarn at the thrift store a while back and found just the right pattern. The raspberry stitch really holds the yarn together without the normal stretching that alpaca is so prone to. I made the scarf back in March but wasn't motivated to get any photos. A little snow was the perfect incentive!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Still snowing

We woke up to more snow this morning and it is still coming down even now. We are up to almost two feet - plenty for all kinds of fun. I slipped outside to take some pictures by myself. Just on Sunday we were in shorts and gardening all afternoon. Ben turned the compost. Pieter played with the worms I dug up as I mixed in manure and compost in the raised bed. Then we got the greens planted and put up stakes to grow peas. Well, that will have to wait for a little bit. Ben and Pieter are off sledding, while Juliana snoozes. Now for a bit of knitting...

{teepees ready for snowpeas}

{steaming compost pile}

{downy woodpecker - check out those big buds on the poplar}

{maple buds ready to burst}
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