Your Forest

1/11/17

There is an entire forest
full of the most incredible flowers,
plants and trees inside you,
and you are ignoring all of it to nurture a single tree
that they planted inside your heart and abandoned.


The people who left you this way
don’t deserve to become your favourite stories to tell.
You are a massive forest full of beautiful and vibrant stories
and every single one of them deserves you more
than those that abandoned you. 

—Nikita Gill 



Magic Clove Cough Suckers

1/11/17


It's about that time of year in Minnesota when there seems to be a consistent little cough that sometimes lingers and lingers, like that darn squirrel on our bird feeder. Just ALWAYS there. (I still love you squirrel) Lue has had a little cough for the last few days and kept asking today for a honey sucker so we finally made them together. It was honestly SO simple and she has absolutely loved them. It's a nourishing and healthy way to heal the throat, give them an activity to focus on besides the cough, and a sweet and magical way to spark wonder in a child's world.

 

Magic Clove Cough Suckers (and cough drops!) 

1/2 cup Local Honey 
1/4 teaspoon Ginger 
1/4 teaspoon Cloves 

*Optional Tablespoon of Elderberry Syrup or Lemon balm

Heat ingredients on stove just like candy, simmering slowly and stirring like there's no tomorrow. Technically this should heat to 300 degrees if you own a candy thermometer, but I had Minoux on my hip and it was all made just before the dinner hour so I just went with it, and it worked! Trust your intuition here! We stirred for about fifteen to twenty minutes and I ended up adding in a dash of the elderberry syrup we made just before the winter which also has a pinch of melatonin in it as well which will help her get through the night and calm her cough. 

Lay out wax or parchment paper on a pan and line up your sticks. Or in my case, trimmed Q-tips. Go with whatcha got! Spoon a small amount on the tip like a sucker and don't get too Type A with these beauties, because honestly the more organic the shapes, the more magical and fun they become. Like clouds. The more different the shapes, the more our imagination gets a chance to work. 


I made some small circles on an additional pan in the shapes of mushrooms and a few standard cough drop sizes for Max and I to pull from occasionally. Let cool at room temperature and don't stick in the fridge or they won't work. Have patience for it to harden, then peel off, wrap in parchment paper, and store in a glass container or jar for future use! That's it! Happiness and health to you! 


New Years Day Brunch!

1/11/17

This was our second year celebrating New Years Day together for brunch in our princess dresses at the sweetest old hotel where we used to live. It all started when I would play dress up with Lue and she would ask me to wear a dress too, so I threw on one of my prom dresses and acted out scenes with her. (Because THATS totally normal right?..) Some months it wouldn't zip up when I was pregnant with Minoux, but she didn't care. This was such a special year with Lue being almost five and me just grasping at her little sweet thoughts and wanting to hear all her words. I loved the way she tucked her napkin into her dress, the way her face was so tender and sweet waiting for her mint tea, and the tone in her voice when she ordered pancakes and one "sunshine" egg. (Sunny-Side Up!) We toured the halls of the old hotel, sat on ALL the fancy couches, stared at ALL the chandeliers and spent more time there than I would care to admit. It was the best. We can't wait for Minoux to be old enough too and we can sit as girls, or maybe Max would come too. But with the holidays consistently feeling crazy and busy every year, filled to the brim with to do's and to make's and to wrap's, I look so forward to this day so so much. I hope to carry this tradition for as long as the girls want to. (Visual: me as a wrinkly grandma and them all grown up and even more beautiful) ((insert tears)) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Alice in Wonderland Feast

1/11/17

"Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality." -Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland. 


Alice in Wonderland Feast: 

1 Onion
 10 Purple, Orange, Yellow Carrots
 A Mini Bouquet of Fresh Oregano 
4 Potatoes 
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil 
1/2 Stick of Butter 
1/2 Cup Dried Morels 

*Optional Chicken Breast 


Layer the thawed, salt and peppered chicken breast as the base of the feast. Chop the onion, carrots, potatoes, and layer on top of chicken. Sprinkle with Olive Oil and 1 cup water for moisture. Cut or pinch small fragments of butter to disperse over feast and sprinkle fresh oregano and dried morels on top. Bake covered fully at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until potatoes are easily forked, softened and ready to serve. 
Feast with a side of buttered rice or rainbow quinoa. Additional option to this is to chop the ingredients into smaller portions and cook as a stovetop stew with a chicken bone broth base. 




So, I consumed a much higher level of sugar over the holiday week and weekend as did the girls. I had like one million chocolate covered peanut butter balls. This week after was all about getting back to a nourishing normal. We try to eat well because I know it actually affects us all so much. Our mood, emotions, 'can't get off the couch syndrome', anxiety.. all of these can be affected by what we are actually fueling and feeding our bodies with. An interesting experiment is to track your child's emotional outbursts or frustrations, then go backwards... what did they eat, how much sugar was tucked in that fruit roll up, how much food coloring is currently in their system, how is their body reacting to these substances or the weight of digesting an entire carb loaded consumption. What if they are all in relation to each other. 



So if you're in a post holiday cooking rut.. if your drawn to it, try exploring with foraged mushrooms. They are an amazing ingredient to use through the winter months. They're bound to make any feast a little more magical. Tuck them in with onions, purple carrots, fresh oregano, dried chamomile flowers with a side of rice. It takes practice to change a child's cravings or habits. They might not like it the first time, but maybe the second or third. Nourishing and magical and so, so easy. Current offerings at most co-ops are dried chanterelles, crimini, lobster, morel, matsutake, maitake, oyster, portabella, porcini, and shiitake. Many mushrooms are incredible sources of selenium, an antioxidant mineral, literally as much as carrots, peppers, tomatoes and green beans. Truly magical. They provide protein, vitamin C and an incredible source of iron. They can benefit bone health by adding strength to the teeth, hair, nails and skeletal system. Plus, you can say you are having Alice in Wonderland stew for supper and maybe it will dash in a little intrigue and wonder to their small little worlds.


There is much potential for magical conversation to be paired with this meal, to choose a character from Alice in Wonderland and dream up scenes of woodland friends gathering for a feast. I know I will miss playing and acting with my girls someday, so for now I will be the weirdo Mom who does it whenever I can. To drip into their world with the smallest acts could mean so much to little ones. For us to weave into their world of imagination and play is beyond essential. It can shape their mind to be open to new experiences and communicate a connection and playfulness in an all too serious world. Nourishing and magical. I hope Alice would be proud. Also PS the new remake of Alice in Wonderland while beautiful, is so intense, is it not? So many stressful scenes. I prefer the classic film for SURE. 




Magic and wonder to you!  

A Forager's Kitchen

12/15/16

When we walked through the A-frame this summer, the kitchen was like that emoji with the circle mouth and wide open eyes and cheeks that are a little blushed. Like uhh! Okay we could make a few changes in here! But the open space, six windows that look out to the back woods and general layout made us feel optimistic. Both houses we have ever purchased needed "vision". Neither of them were perfectly done or even close to it. The A-frame had a lot of things that needed "vision" and that made it part of the process, induced gratitude, and made it fun to add our own elements a little. To be perfectly honest, when we started designing the kitchen, I felt these tugs like.. "oh it should be this... it should be that... is it modern enough? wait, that's not even what I am drawn to.." It didn't start feeling good, until I put all of that aside and just went with what WE would like and what we were drawn to. What we would want to actually live in. It was first painted all white and then didn't quite feel like me, so after painting the walls a shade of green, things started to feel a lot better! Always trust yourself and listen to your heart in designing, not what you are "supposed to" do or what you think others will like. I can honestly say now the kitchen is one of our favorite places in the home now, and legit isn't perfect but here are a few of my favorite things about it. Sorry in advance for the image count! 



The Before: Lots of peel up linoleum, dark cabinets, and that gorgeous linear light! Yikes.






We found this gorgeous fridge from an estate sale in Minneapolis! One of my favorite colors for sure. 



A small space for my beeswax candles, salt block, tea funnels, measuring cups, some of my baking pans and pine tree collection. Originally those deer weren't going to be in here but Lue asked to keep them where she can see them because they reminded of me and her, so I kept them here. There used to be two deer but she gave the other one away to my Mom. 




Raw linen needing proper curtain rods. The goal for this weekend! 


Cattails for cattail flour! I made this twice this summer and can't tell you how the process changed the way I view going to the store and putting a bag of flour into my cart. Absolute gratitude. 

That kitchen island was a find almost four years ago and we were so happy it fit so well in this space too. 



 This summer's pickled chanterelles, queen annes lace, dill and onion blend. 

















One of my favorite foraged finds in our backyard this summer. 















Installing our brass sink was a legit highlight of my summer. Thank you You Tube!




Where to Find: 


Copper Pots and Pans Set- Crate and Barrel
Glass and Brass Chandelier- Rejuvenation
Beeswax Candles- The Foundry Home Goods
Measuring Cups: Schoolhouse Electric
Brass Farmhouse Sink: Texas Lightsmith
Plateware and Dishes: Mette Duedahl
Bear Fox Illustration: Bear Fox Chalk
Raw Linen Curtains: Linen Bee
Copper Cookie Cutters: Martha Stewart by Mail 

So thankful to have this space to write and create in for the cookbook and to cook and bake with and for my family. 


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