Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Earlywork Mercantile Update

I am happy to finally have a new offering for Early Work Mercantile! We usually listen to a book on tape while we travel and I stitch while DH drives. For this trip I picked up the Steve Job's biography from the library.  I don't know how long the book is, but there are 20 CD's so I was able to do a lot of stitching. It was interesting learning about the history of Apple and Job's passion for designing great products, but sad to hear how poorly he treated people.
Maggie Bononomi Design
I would never think of mixing orange and purple, but God knows what he's doing. I love driving up and seeing these little guys blooming away in the front yard.
We made another whirlwind trip to Michigan for son's graduation.  
We'll miss Michigan and Grand Rapids. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Happy Times

Last weekend we had the great joy of traveling to Michigan to hear our son's Senior Recital/Capstone Project. Since it was an evening recital we decided to serve cookies afterwards.  So Sunday afternoon, as my son made the final arrangements for his recital DH and I baked up several batches of cookies in his little apartment kitchen.
Pinterest to the rescue! We made several cookie recipes that I'd pinned, such as Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Pecan, from Blooming on Bainbridge, Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl, Perfect Chocolate Chip,  
White Chocolate Chip Cranberry and Golden Oreo Cake Batter Blondies from one of my favorite dessert blogs, Sally's Baking Addiction
and Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chunk from our local foodie magazine, Tastebud.
Coconut Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chunks
Adapted by Erin Brown of Dulce Baking Company from epicurious.com 
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (I use half butter and half Crisco)
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups packaged finely shredded sweetened coconut    
12 oz bittersweet chocolate chunks (about 2 cups) (I used a mixture of dark and milk chocolate Dove chocolate)
3/4 cup slivered almonds (4 oz), toasted & cooled (I used walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Beat together butter and sugar in a bowl at medium high speed until fluffy.  Add eggs and beat just until blended, then beat in vanilla, baking soda and salt. Add flour and mix at low speed until just blended.

Gently add in oats, coconut, chocolate and nuts. Be careful not to over mix.

Arrange rounded tablespoons of cookie dough about 3 inches apart on 2 parchment covered baking sheets, then gently pat down each mound to about 1/2 inch thick (slightly flattening your cookie dough ensures even baking). Bake until golden, 12-14 minutes total. Cool on sheets until firm enough to transfer to cooling rack. 
It was a very fun evening and we were so proud to hear our son perform as well as hear other groups play several pieces he's composed.
Hard to believe this is his senior year already and in one more week he'll be graduating!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Honoring Cathy

Last week I lost a dear friend to a tragic illness. Cathy, in pink on the right in this photo, was friendly, outgoing, always kind and a true Christian woman. We worked together for five years and she left two years ago to pursue opportunities with her expanding communications business. However, I know how isolating working from home can be so I invited her to lunch last Wednesday to catch up. Two days later I received news of her death and shortly after this message from her husband.

Rob Posting on behalf of Cathy

I wish I could sit down with each of you and tell you this heart breaking news in person. On Thursday, April 11, after suffering for the last two years with a deep depression and other health related issues my wife Cathy took her life.

With the deep depression that she was in she was not thinking clearly and lost touch with all of the people that meant so much to her. It is a terrible and painful illness. We were seeing psychiatrists, therapists, doctors, ministers, and the support from close friends and family over her final months. We tried everything we knew to do. You cannot blame yourself for anything that you had done or failed to do. We don't have enough answers yet on this terrible illness that is a silent epidemic in our nation. Get help early and tell your family and friends if you feel you are depressed. You can also contact me and I will tell you what I have learned through all of this.

She was my best friend for over 36 years. She was an amazing wife to me, and unbelievable mother to our two daughters. She poured everything she had into their lives and they are her greatest legacy. They are amazing, strong and beautiful women. They will forever remind me of their dear mother. Keep us in your prayers as we move forward with our lives.

She leaves behind all of us and will be missed greatly, but will be present as a part of all us forever. We will see her again someday.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:3, 4 NIV)

As we say at our church the worst thing is never the last thing.

I Love you all.

Please, please, please, don't let Cathy's death be in vain. If you are struggling with depression  get help. Depression is an illness. I can't comprehend the effects of this illness, but Cathy was absolutely the last person I could imagine who would take her own life. She lived out her faith every day. My prayer is that we will all become more aware of this disease so we can avoid losing another gifted, caring, dear person who has so much to offer.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

You Too Can Make Marshmallow Creme

If I can do it, anybody can! I've never made marshmallows or marshmallow creme before, but it was really easy (although time-consuming) and really good. I guess pretty much anything that's homemade is going to taste better--even if it requires only three ingredients like the marshmallow creme did.
This recipe for Soda Cracker Fudge from Serious Eats caught my attention the other day. I'm trying to avoid temptation by using up the remaining chocolate stash from Valentine's Day. And what better way to use it up than to add it to dessert?
However, even though I scored the top and dipped my sharp knife in hot water, I could not cut the finished product into cute little squares. Do you have any hints for neatly cutting through cooled chocolate?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

April Update

Well, hello (somewhat sheepishly). I know it's been a looooong time since I last posted. All I can say is, sometimes life gives you lemons and I had to suck on some for awhile before deciding it was time to make lemonade.
WIP--Another Maggie Design!
Not that it's been all bad. Kiska continues to grow and has the sweetest nature. She does not sit still for long unless she's sleeping, so getting a photo of her is very hard so they all tend to be somewhat blurry.
We enjoyed spending spring break in rural Texas with FIL and MIL and witnessing some typical ranch life...
Visit From the Farrier
How a City Boy Feeds the Chickens
with a side trip to New Orleans where we enjoyed touring the Garden District

 The French Quarter
 listening to live music
 and the food!


I've never been to New Orleans before but it was absolutely wonderful! We loved walking through the French Quarter and hearing all the street musicians--from an electric cello ensemble to traditional New Orleans jazz. Of course, all that walking makes you hungry which is good because the food is unique and excellent. Wish we could have spent more time there!