Saturday, August 30, 2014

Coconut Cream Pie

This recipe is a favorite! Easy to make, it has a rich flavor and appeals to anyone who loves coconut or custard!  It's dairy free and eggless and can be poured into a regular pie crust or into a nut or graham cracker crust as well.

Coconut Cream Pie


3 1/2 cups vanilla flavored rice milk
1/2 cup agave syrup or honey
6 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups unsweetened coconut, fine
2 tablespoons coconut extract

Save out 1/2 cup rice milk to blend with cornstarch for thickening. Bring the remaining ingredients to a slow boil, then add the 1/2 cup rice milk with cornstarch. Cook until thick. Cool completely. Pour into baked pie crust. Chill and serve.

*Use gluten free crust if necessary.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

One if by Land; Two if by Tea


A favorite writer of mine is Ce'leste perrino Walker who writes from Rutland, Vermont. I think I enjoy her writing because it her topics deal with real life things. In the Sept/Oct 2001 issue of Vibrant Life magazine she wrote an article that I've saved called One if by Land; Two if by Tea. In it she shares how a friend introduced her (and her French blood) to the gentle art of the English afternoon tea. She learned that tea is much more than a beverage in a cup, but rather something emotionally fulfilling, and a refreshing pause to the day. 

  • To quote her: "Teatime fills a need for peace in our stressed-out society. Not only that, but the manner in which you 'take tea' lifts the spirits and fills the senses with beauty. Everything about tea time contributes in some small way to this: beautiful tea linens, gorgeous china, luscious tea, delicious tea biscuits or cookies (or other even more scrumptious treats). Teatime 'for the soul' can be compared to dropping everything to spend a few stolen moments in a beautiful garden." 
  • She goes on to say: "I've decided to give 'teatime' a try. I'm not sure how it works. Maybe it's the special feeling you get from using the pretty teapot and china on yourself for a change. Maybe it's the ritual of preparig the tea, boiling the water, smelling the aroma of the tea as you measure it out, the rhythm of the procedure that won't be hurried. But teatime really is all they say it is."

Her advice to her readers is to take a little time for yourself this week and discover teatime, the pause that refreshes. Then thank the English. They were right all along. C'est la vie.

*The photo shown with the article reminds me of the children's teas that my mother used to conduct. She taught kindergarten for thirty years. Sometimes her school would have a benefit auction, and mother would donate a children's tea party. They were always popular and mothers and daughters would enjoy a lovely afternoon tea with all the trimmings at mom's house if they were the winners of the auction bid. Her beautiful children's china tea set was put to good use!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Marionberry Crisp



Berries make wonderful desserts!  They are filled with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.  Their juicy sweetness delights the taste buds and satisfy any craving for a delicate dessert.  Strawberries, raspberries, boysenberries, huckleberries, elderberries, lingonberries, blueberries and more come in a colorful palette of reds, blues, and purples.  A simple half cup of Marionberries contain 4.4 grams of fiber and only 27 calories.  Nutrient dense, they are not only tasty, but amazingly good for you as well!

A friend grows Marionberries in abundance and shares her crop with friends and family.  Individually frozen berries placed in zip-lock bags keep their fresh flavor and appearance for use during the off-season.  Yesterday I drew a bag of this treasured fruit out of my freezer to create a dessert for a family celebration.  The result?  A healthy and wholesome crisp!

Marionberry Crisp

4 - 6 cups Marionberries
3 - 4 Tbsp. tapioca

Allow berries to thaw.  Add tapioca and let mixture sit for about 30 minutes, so tapioca softens.  Then add:

stevia to taste (the amount used will vary by brand of stevia; I used about 6 packets of NuNaturals powdered stevia)
1/4 cup agave syrup (or to taste)

Mix together well and place in a low baking dish.  Add crumb topping:

1/2 cup coconut oil (or less)
1/4 cup gluten free flour blend (of choice)
3/4 cup gluten free oats
stevia (2 - 3 packets if using NuNatural)
agave syrup (to add moisture and sweeten)
pinch of salt (optional)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Blend ingredients together until moistened.  Crumble with hands and sprinkle over berry mixture.  If you would like more 'crisp', double the topping recipe.  Drizzle with agave syrup and place in oven.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 - 40 minutes.  Enjoy!

{Can substitute any sweetener of your choice!}

Friday, July 04, 2014

Happy Birthday, America!



God Bless America!

Happy birthday to our country --- land of spacious skies, golden fields of grain, and purple mountain majesty. Be blessed on this 4th of July!

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Patriotic Tea Towel



I stitched this patriotic tea towel for an exchange partner in Florida. It is definitely primitive and quirky! The pattern is by "Pieceable Dry Goods" and has a tea and a patriotic theme. Since this exchange was for the 4th of July, I thought the design appropriate. The pattern was originally designed to be made into a sampler, stitched on tea dyed muslin and embroidered in brown. Because I was stitching on a pure white tea towel, I decided color would be nicer. I started with a red, white, and blue theme, but quickly came to the conclusion that I needed to make the stars yellow. Everything fell together from there. Although this tea towel is not technically 'color appropriate' for the holiday, I decided it would do because there are many colors, including yellow, exhibited in the magnificent fireworks of July 4!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Magazine Heaven


Every now and then it is fun to sit down with a cup of tea and read a magazine from cover to cover. The opportunity is a rare treat. It's one I enjoy doing when at the cabin. It's quiet and there's no electronic media to distract me. Browsing through a magazine is a great way to inspire creativity in kitchen and home.



Recipes and gardening tips bring new things to the kitchen table.


And simple craft instructions bring ideas for future projects. This article entitled "Arm Candy" give an idea for Christmas gifts for our quilt guild members. Fabric scraps from favorite quilts could make interesting bangles for each lady.



Do you have a favorite magazine or two? What are they? Do you read them from cover to cover? Is there a special time or place you like to read them at? And if so, is a cup of tea a part of the experience?