grown ups are like that....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

paper flowers

There are no crocuses poking green sprigs through the soil yet. There are no snow drops blinking white eyes as we stride by. The earth has yet to give up it's first spring shoots.

To bring a little spring to our lives we make coffee filter flowers.

You'll need:
white, flat bottom coffee filters, water based markers, a spray bottle with water, various pipe cleaners


When I was in second grade I made my first communion,and my parents threw a huge party in my honor. I was very shy so the attention was hard for me, and I spent much of the party hiding on the side of the house avoiding the dancing and presents and cake. I remember that my mother made beautiful tissue paper flowers to decorate the fence in our yard. They also decorated the lattice work arch under which folklorico dancers entertained the guests who ate enchiladas and beans and Mexican rice.


Have your child draw various designs on the filters then spray one or two sprays of water on each one. The colors will spread, tie-dye fashion, into hazy, water color patterns. Lay flat to dry on cookie cooling racks or hang on a clothes line with wooden clothes pins.


Once my family drove to Tijuana on a whim while visiting Southern California. After quickly discerning that it wasn't really a family friendly area the we drove to, we turned around without ever getting out to walk around. A multitude of vendors approached us as we waited in our hot, steamy car to re-enter the U.S. We bought a large bouquet of colorful tissue paper flowers, a souvenir of a not-quite-vacation.


After the filters dry pinch the middle of one and twist to form a flower. Wrap the very end of a pipe cleaner around the nub of tissue to create a flower. Repeat with the remaining filters and pipe cleaners until you have a full bouquet.

Once, when I was a teenager, my out of town cousin sent my Nana (my mom's mother) a box filled with flowers made from blue Kleenex. My Nana treasured these sweet mementos from a far away grand child. When she passed away we found them safely tucked away in a shoe box in her bedroom closet.

Take the finished coffee filter flowers and decorate your house, give to friends, or pin them behind your ear. Spritz with a light perfume, if you like. Scent, they say, helps seal a memory.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Christine's Coconut Banana Bread (for Rosa)

I've recently discovered the yummy goodness of coconut oil. If you haven't tried coconut oil you really should. Make sure, though, that you by only virgin, unrefined coconut oil. Unrefined coconut oil retains a lovely coconut flavor and a pearly white color and is excellent for cooking, baking, skin care, and hair care.
1/4 cup coconut oil with
1/4 cup brown sugar (dark is best)

1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Then mix in:
1 cup of raw, rolled oats
5 mashed bananas

In a separate bowl sift together
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened is best, but sweetened will work, too)

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix just until combined. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake in a 350 degree oven about 1 hour or until it tests done. Cool on rack before slicing.

This is great with cream cheese or a little coconut oil spread on top.

Friday, February 13, 2009


We are sentimental fools around here.

Valentine's Day requires candy and hearts and flowers and cards in my house. Commercial? Yes. Forced upon us my the greeting card industry? Absolutely. But I've come to the conclusion that life is short and often dreary, so a little extra celebration in the most difficult part of winter is fun and even necessary.

Every year my husband makes True Love Coffee Cake. His mother made it for him when he was a child, and I imagine his grandmother made it as well. This sweet, moist breakfast bread will warm any heart this February 14th.

Paul's True Love Coffee Cake

1/4 c. warm water
1 c. warm milk
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 melted butter

Add two packets of yeast to this mixture and proof

when cool add:
2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 tsp. salt
4 cups flour

Mix the liquid and dry ingredients together to form a soft dough and let rise one hour. Punch down and form into two parts; rest for 10 minutes. Roll out into rectangles and spread the following mixture over each one:

1/2 c. powdered sugar
a few drops of red food coloring
1/2 soft butter (more if needed)

Roll up each rectangle, cinnamon roll style, then shape each log into a heart. Split tops and let rise another 1/2 hour.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.