Baking Gift Guide

Thanksgiving was such a lovely day. Though raining, JP and I went with friends and ran the Turkey Trot for the first time. Afterwards, we came home to make rolls, green bean casserole, roasted sweet potatoes and rice krispy treats to take to our friend’s house for the Thanksgiving feast. I had the best pumpkin pie of  my life that night. I will never again make pumpkin pie with canned pumpkin. The fresh pumpkin gave the pie such a full pumpkin flavor and the custard was perfectly spiced and smooth. Not to mention the flaky crust or the whipped cream using a real vanilla bean. Friday morning came and I was still in Thanksgiving heaven. I told my family that no, I wasn’t quite ready to decorate for Christmas and maybe we would wait until next weekend. I didn’t want to break the spell.

IMG_0027

Saturday we went downtown and saw the Gingerbread installation at the Sheridan. This year the theme was Seattle. The sculptures of candy and cookies spun and twinkled, beckoning all to gather around. Next we walked through Pike Place Market. Lights were strung and the market was filled with holiday cheer. Ornaments, flowers and holiday greenery were on every corner. Santa had a line of children waiting to sit on his lap. I bought a beautiful fresh swag for the front door. The Christmas season had arrived.

IMG_0048

I love giving gifts around the holidays. Its a time to show friends, family and teachers how much I appreciate them. I care about the things that they like and I want them to feel joy with the package they receive. As I’ve been looking for gifts to give, I thought maybe you would like some ideas as well. Here are a few things that I have found that I know would be appreciated all year long.

Cookbooks on my wish list:

Kitchen Favorites:

Friday Reflections – April 7

Happy Friday friends! I’m sitting here after attending a class on emotional management taught by our school principal. She started with a quote that struck me and that I want to remember. “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.” – Viktor E. Franki. So powerful. May we respond to life’s challenges this week with our best selves and gain growth and freedom in the process.

IMG_1839
These tasty little snacks are made with only banana, egg white, oats and nuts or chocolate chips. The recipe is from Home Baked, which is chalk full of baked goods with a nod to health.
IMG_1845
Mike and I had lunch together and strolled through the market on Monday. This is what I dreamed having school-aged children would be like. We definitely need to make this happen more often!
fullsizeoutput_3e17
I’m feeling like I’m missing Spring with all the rain we’ve been having. Glad I walked around and snapped some cherry blossoms while they are still here.
IMG_1853
This guy and his faces! There were so many sticks laying around at the park he could hardly decide which ones to play with but settled on these two.