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I've been blogging over at Our Sleeping Flowers these days. Still me, and still delicious, come join me!

Monday evening our internet connection was lost. Not to worry, my beloved booboo came to the rescue with her trusty little mac and internet connection included in her student rent. Until we get things figured out on our end, I hope you won’t mind the quiet around here. I will update when I can; and I had some yummy stuff for you too. {sigh} c’est la vie.

Check out this week’s zupas post. We’ve been eating these quite often, even with the snow outside (yes. snow. it's almost may.) then we use the leftover peanut sauce on pasta the nights following. I highly recommend it.

weekends are lovely, even though for the babe & i they feel like any other day. A large difference is the happily welcomed company, we love when daddy has the day off.

I think the lure of the weekend is in the fact that anything goes. we make general plans to clean, run errands, eat food; but then we can play in bed until 8:30 if we want, take as little or as much time as we want cleaning and laundering -although we tend to make it a game seeing how fast we can go, we can eat a big breakfast and then skip lunch altogether, there are few time constraints and expectations. So when I needed to go to the library to pick up a book on hold, I decided to walk. As I walked home, I poured over the headings, savored the photos, anticipated the fun I would have baking from it, learning from it. I have made a few things from Jim Lahey and loved them. There is something about his bread that is unlike any other. Of course there is a scientific explanation for it all, but I was sold with the first bite.

His approach to making great bread is similar to our approach to the weekend, which might be why I love it so much. Given guidelines with an emphasis on "customiz[ing] the recipes". For the past few weeks I have been playing with ideas in my head, and as I followed his advice to adjust, tinker, and play, I made a variation on his rye that I love which will be featured here next month. Sometimes doing things according to plan is best done by hardly following one at all.

pretty sure you didn't expect to see brownies on an earth day post. You may have assumed I would be posting something green, or "eco-friendly". But instead you see something decadent, indulgent and seemingly extravagant. But really you can change any recipe to be more environment friendly by the ingredients you use and the way you make it. However, even if you use better-for-the-earth ingredients for these brownies, you will still need to use electricity; that is unless you only make it to the batter, which would be understandable. I think it's fitting that these brownies are so dense and resemble the dust of the earth. Speaking of, have you seen this yet?

I found this recipe some time ago and wanted to try it sans chocolate chips, and then after stephanie's post over at the zupas blog, I had to pair it with a slightly altered version of her vanilla caramel sauce.  Do not make these brownies if you are not a fan of the chocolate, or chocolate induced comas, don't like heavy, moist, fudgy cake-like brownies, or don't have any type of milk in stock, as you will definitely need a glass (or two) nearby.

hope you are doing something today to improve the world; because we can.

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We have been surrounded with beautiful weather, and this past week every tree exploded with life. Perfect for this week's holiday, no?

On friday I could tell the babe wanted to go outside and play in the grass, eat some dirt, and pull herself up on trunks of blooming trees. We spent the day inside, baking instead. I don't know about you, but whenever there is a lot going on, something always goes wrong and I notice it as if it's a huge catastrophe. I couldn't help but nitpick at myself all weekend, why do we do that?  My cookie packaging wasn't finished saturday morning, the snickerdoodles didn't get the tlc they deserved and were a bit over-baked, the halva bites were a little dry from being made a couple days before, I hated that I couldn't cut off a slice of the raisin walnut loaves to see if they were as delicious as I know they could be. I felt inadequate, unprepared, and so nervous. But of course after I swallowed my pride and just did what I had to do, everything went well, the things I worried about really didn't matter, and I wondered what I was so concerned about. It bugs me when I make something that isn't about me, about me.

Saturday was fun, meeting other bloggers, getting awesome tips and new resources, and although I brought home leftovers and we didn't meet our 'thousand dollar goal', I know we will have more success next time. And with all my leftover cookies, I made a few neighbors happy as they got an unexpected visit from me with packaged goods in hand. Sunday was relaxing, we had spring rolls for dinner and watched life on tlc; a perfect activity to kick off the week.

It's earth week! Well, thursday is earth day, and you don't really need a designated day to improve the environment and be good to mother earth. Every moment, every day, every meal, every choice you make can improve the health of our environment. The impact of such choices have a direct effect on us; as we take care of the earth, we're really taking care of ourselves.

Here are a few things that we have done as a family to better the environment, including few new additions. If you only do one thing to improve the environment, it's a good start to living up to our responsibilities as human beings.

Educate yourself about what you can do to better the world we live in and why you should do it, learn about what you eat, where it comes from, and its impact on everyone/everything involved; start a chemical-free garden, even if it's a small windowsill/herb garden; buy organic; buy local; buy seasonal; buy sustainable; visit a local farm and get to know your farmers, help weed, I'm sure they'd love the help!; join a CSA; visit your local farmer's market (I can't wait for ours to start); use less water, use less electricity, carpool; reduce, reuse, recycle and up-cycle; teach your children about our environmental responsibilities; go on a walk, a bike ride, just be outside and enjoy nature.

that's all.
for today.

After my post the other day, a few wonderful and a couple not so wonderful things have happened. I found out that I won something from Rookie Cookie's giveaway, Ina Garten's Back to Basics cookbook. I cannot wait to get it; mostly because it means I get to meet up with the wonderfully fabulous Whitney.  Then yesterday all our seedlings were sprouted, except the peppers. I did a little bake sale prep - making the black and white halva bites (recipe at zupas blog tomorrow), we ran errands, weeded our front flower bed, re-planted a few tulips, sprinkled around some columbine, poppy, and butterfly weed, worked a little more on my biscotti and gf apple molasses cookies (which I hoped to share with you today), failed, and accordingly re-drafted my bake sale lineup - see bottom of post.

I also got an e-mail with some details about the bake sale this saturday. Are you sick of hearing about it yet? no? well good; because I will be talking about it again tomorrow. Keep reading to get all the details about what when and where. Even if you don't live in the beehive state, you can still help by donating. However if you do make it, there will be free stuff from some awesome local cakeries, and you know you won't want to miss that.

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There will be two bake sales in Utah this saturday supporting share our strength. There will be one in salt lake city and the other in my backyard (hypothetically) at Shirley J's in Orem. Please come. Buy my cookies; or her cupcakes, or theirs. Baked goods will be for sale, all proceeds will be donated to share our strength, there may also be a few demos in the kitchen (from what i hear), and the conversation will be free and surely fabulous.

For more info, check out Becky Olsen's blog. You can also check out all the other cupcake events happening in the beehive state, or see if your local cupcake shop offers frosting shots.

I will be bringing gluten free apple molasses cookies, halvah bites, and maybe biscotti. I have been having issues with it lately, and can't figure out what is going on. The cookies and halvah bites are vegan and gluten free, but of course you don't need to be a vegan or celiac/allergic to enjoy these delicious treats.

And just in case you won't be able to make it to the bake sale, whether it's because you live in a faraway land, or because you have agoraphobia, I will be sharing the recipes later this week. Aren't I thoughtful?

I do hope you will come out this saturday and support this worthy organization.
see you there!

UPDATE: more info here.

How was your weekend? Did you make it a lovely one? Quite a bit has happened here, and although I could have easily been caught up in the stress of it all, I feel content and comforted; even if it is monday.

- Both our kale and thyme seedlings have sprouted. Can you imagine my excitement? I swear I checked them at least every hour just to see if they had grown another millimeter; I felt ten years old again.

- We had this for dessert last night while catching up on America's funniest and Jamie Oliver. Only we had strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, kiwi, apple and one deliciously sweet orange; what a treat.

- Aaron's grandfather passed yesterday evening. It was expected, although that doesn't mean we didn't feel the loss. He had lived a long and wonderful life. I didn't cry because of my sure knowledge of what lies ahead. He will be missed, what a man he was. Even on his deathbed he had good humor.  When a nurse asked if he was restless, his reply was "I'm as restless as a whore in church."

Switching from looking back to looking ahead, there are a couple things going on this week.

- I am the featured blog over at the Simply Utah website. It's a brilliant directory of local artists and businesses. I have been waiting for a website like this as I have loved attending events like the beehive bazaar. I like that this website gives you a place to find lovely and local items like those sold at the bazaar any time of year.  I love supporting local artisans and businesses, you build such a wonderful community when you do. You can follow them through twitter or facebook, no matter where you live.

- This saturday I will be participating in the first national food bloggers bake sale to support share our strength, an organization at the forefront of ending child hunger in America. No child should go hungry, and if I can help by baking a few cookies then of course I will. Not that I really need a reason to bake cookies. I will explain a little more about this bake sale tomorrow, including what I will be contributing. Until then check out Becky Olsen's post about it.

what plans do you have this week?

yesterday the countless things on my to-do list were filling my head and I felt quite overwhelmed. so what did I do? I pulled out the umbrella stroller, went for a walk with the babe in the sunshine, chatted with each neighbor I saw along the way, picked up a book on hold for me at the library - plus a few extras - along with a david shannon collection for the baby cakes. When I came home I realized a number of the things on my to-do list weren't as important as I originally thought. I applied my favored double sifting technique for dry ingredients to my to-do list. I was left with a handful of things that were most important, got them done, and felt quite accomplished and very happy.

Sometimes you just need to do something unplanned, preferably surrounded by nature and tangible people, to realize what is necessary and what is excess.

I hope this weekend you will sift through your own to-do list twice and fill your days with the things that matter most. it will make for a really wonderful weekend.

and of course be sure to check out today's zupas post, it's all about the incredible food that sprouts are; i'm amazed at these baby vegetables. They are proof that small things have incredible qualities. But of course if it's not one of your necessaries, I understand.

have a good one.

even if it was filled with snowy stormy weather, we had a wonderful weekend.
we spent the days listening to general conference, along with many others all around the world. i am always uplifted and motivated to change for the better after such encouraging words and stories.

In our free time on saturday, we finally combined our soil and compost for our patio box garden. I will be planting lettuce, chard and kale either tomorrow or wednesday, after the latest storm. We also put together our starts, i know we barely made it, and i am excited for when those green little seedlings pop through the soil. I also watched the latest episode of Jamie's food revolution for the second time, made little tags for our seedlings, baked a few more test cookies for an upcoming bake sale, and had a good chat with my bestie.

On easter sunday we traveled north to spend the day with my side of the family. Jane had her first easter egg hunt, plastic eggs filled with poofs, and although she didn't wear her dress, we still brought it with us, just in case. Mom made monster pancakes for breakfast, and dad made a handful of thai dishes for dinner per request of the birthday girl. It was his first try at thai food, and with the help of some youtube videos he did a phenomenal job. On of my favorite parts about meals with the whole family is the conversation and noise at the dinner table. There was a lot of chattering and laughter, a few moments of pause, and an overall feeling of contentment. We were very full and very happy and as always, took home a nice tote of leftovers.

Today I'm sharing the recipe for the fruit compote we had saturday morning. It's so simple, I almost feel silly writing about it. But if there's even one person who ends up enjoying it as much as we did, then it's worth it. It's a perfect weekend breakfast, just combining the fruit, toasting a few slices of delicious bread (preferably homemade) and you're set for the day. We had it with perfectly crispy buttered toast and a glass of almond milk sitting cross legged listening to inspired words; the perfect start for our weekend.

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I believe 'hot cross buns' was the first song I practiced from a lesson book on the piano, although the first song I learned via my big brothers had to have been either chopsticks or heart and soul.  Even as I sing it now, it is tainted with a feeling of frustration, annoyance and resent from having to do it over and over again.

Even if the tune became annoying after repeated exposure, the buns they sing of could return time and time again, I would welcome them with open arms. They're my favorite combination of spice and sweet, they're moist and dense, they have an interesting history, and they are reminiscent of my favorite time of year.

Today's zupas post is a bit of history about these little biddy's, so hop on over to learn a little more about them. Then hop on back and make some yourself, it will bring you good luck! heaven knows you may need it after all the tricks you played yesterday.

have a lovely holiday weekend.
and of course, happy easter.

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