Thursday, September 30, 2010

afternoon tea

 I don't know if it's because I'm getting older or it's having an Englishman for a husband but I have begun to develop a serious need for something sweet with my afternoon cup of tea. This almond wafer adapted from here was so easy, fast too make and really tasty to boot. I love the light crispy texture and the subtle spiciness which the kids love too. I didn't have any ground cloves on hand so I omitted that and used a 1/4 cup less brown sugar. I didn't blanch my almonds either, I just used as is. I also used Eagle Mills ultra grain flour instead of all-purpose; I always use this flour when making cookies. Once the dough starts to soften after cutting it will stick like mad so I placed the sliced uncooked cookies right away on silpat or parchment paper, placed the almonds and stuck it back in the freezer while the oven reached 400 degrees. I warn you these are seriously moreish.


I decided my bookshelves needed a re-org and so I've put some of my japanese crafting books in the shop. These books are in excellent condition, some of them with just minor shelf wear on the covers.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

This little birdie is in the shop today and I hope to list a couple more by the end of this month.
I hope you are having a lovely weekend; we have got a bit of hot weather again in the bay area.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

a much needed break

Thank you all for your comments on my last post! The mac book died we weren't able to revive it. Or the data. I learned a hard lesson there..always back up!! Thank you for the comments on my contribution to Plush You LA also. I'm glad you liked them.

The last week of August before Big C started his first day of kinder we went on holiday to a beautiful place on the Mendocino/Sonoma coastline in California called The Sea Ranch.
It's a 10 mile private area of land about 3 hours from San Francisco and an hour before Mendocino, and I really feel it is one of the most tranquil and beautiful places in California. Sea Ranch houses are built so that they don't detract from the surrounding scenery but they are also beautifully designed. Wild deer are everywhere, the night sky is dazzling with stars, and the tide pools are wonderful. And of course the coastline is just breathtaking.
We missed the whale migration this year but spotted lots of sea lions and harbor seals soaking up the sun.
We spent hours hiking through the majestic redwoods and the bluff trails right along the coast to watch the crashing surf. We woke up early every morning to bike down to two fish bakery to buy their delicious sticky buns and morning buns before they sold out, and kayaked in the beautiful neighboring Gualala river and ate our picnic lunch on the beach. The house we rented for the week was amazing and we spent every single night in the separate bath house located next to the house relaxing in the tub gazing at the stars ( I can't believe I don't didn't take more photos of the house to share with you!)
The best part about Sea Ranch is that it is very secluded and quiet and on all the hikes we went on we hardly bumped into anyone. What a contrast to somewhere like Disneyland. You see, I felt really guilty about not taking the kids to Disneyland this year as we had agreed that would be our holiday this year. They have never been to Disneyland and I feel sad when I hear his friends talk about their summer trip there. After such a busy year, we decided we needed a break where we could slow down and be truly rejuvenated.  It was nice being whole again, after being away from my husband for 6 months last year. We wished we could have stayed forever. and ever.