Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Remember this?

How mean of me to flippantly post pics of something so tantalizing without sharing the recipe!

This is truly a great go-to for your last-minute dessert (or brunch!) stash, and it's so much easier than it looks like it should be! It's basically a nice, tart jam plus some fresh fruit and a crust... the end! Sound possible? Of course! Sound delicious? You better believe it.

Great for any season.

Great for any seasonal fruit.

Great for any occasion.

Give it a try... that is, now that I'm sharing! *ahem*


2 1/2 C unbleached all purpose flour*
3/4 C butter, cold, cut into cubes
1/2 C sugar (scant)
2 tsp baking powder
3 egg yolks
2 TBS milk
1/2 tsp almond extract
fruit marmalade or jam
~1 lb fresh fruit, cleaned and cut into desired size (if necessary)

Cut butter into flour, then use fingers to rub into pea-sized pieces. Add sugar and baking powder and incorporate. Form a well in the center and add egg yolks, almond extract, and milk. Blend into sticky dough and form dough into a ball (dough will be sticky). 

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn dough ball out onto parchment paper and flatten into 1/2" thick disk. Spread jam onto pastry from the center outward, leaving about 2" of dough free of jam (this will be turned over fruit to create the crust). Jam can be as thick as you like it, but make sure it's a good coating! Place fruit of choice on top of jam, and use parchment paper to help you roll edges of dough over filling to form crust. If desired, you can brush crust with an egg wash and sprinkle sugar over the top, but not necessary!

Bake crostata in an oven (that has been preheated to 350 degrees) for about 45 mins, or until edges are nicely browned and fruit/jam is bubbly all over. Cool completely before cutting, or jam will run everywhere!

Suggested jam/fruit combos: apricot jam + fresh apricots or plums, orange marmalade + berries, black raspberry jelly + granny smith apples, apple butter + fresh apples, blueberry jam + fresh peaches.


*We frequently sub whole-wheat pastry flour with great success!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Right Now



Right now, I'm...

...laughing at the casual pool-side brother-sister conversations of the weekend.
...marveling at how, once again, balloon play can completely consume this little girl of ours (this balloon is named Gallee the Girl Friend, and she can't float, but she can fly up and fall down).
...coming full circle with the linking of the facebook and this space.
...adding bubbles to our regular morning outside play because, well, how could I not? Love!
...enjoying our second co-op cantaloupe, some with a little chili powder and prosciutto, the rest with the sprinkler and more time in the kiddie pool, filled to the brim, of course.
...still smiling at my bookworms, and their assertions this weekend that Daddy read to them... a lot.
...loving the smell of turkey stock filling my house from our Thanksgiving-In-July dinner trimmings.

Right now, we are all enjoying our summer, our time together, and the slow , hot, and sticky pace of things around here, and we hope you and yours are as well! Happy Monday.

"Summer afternoon... summer afternoon; to me, those have always been 
the two most beautiful words in the English language." ~Henry James

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Checking in on this hot mid-weekend, and wishing all a good one!

Friday, July 27, 2012

This Moment

Playing along with Amanda today... in her words: {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A 4-Baby Birthday Party

On Sunday morning, Audrey came down the stairs bright and early, and the first thing out of her mouth was, "EllieBaby and ElmoBaby and AbbeyBabby and SisterBaby are having a birthday party today because it's their birthdays, and they're SO excited!"

So over breakfast, we chatted about their birthdays. The smallest baby, SisterBaby, was turning two, as was the biggest baby, EllieBaby. ElmoBaby was turning one (again), and AbbeyBaby was going to be three. All on the same day.

Later that day, as Brother was going down for his nap, she asked if I'd play Birthday Party with her. How could I resist? But, honestly, how can one simply pretend to celebrate a birthday, when it would be so much better with real cake, decorations, and presents?

Audrey loved the idea of having real food that she could, as she said, "Put in my mouth and actually eat it." Yes.

In the hour and a half between Henry's nap and lunch, we made a little bundt cake, some paper birthday crowns for all the birthday babies, we threw up a string of celebration flags, and we made and wrapped new blankets for them all (size-appropriate, of course). When lunch rolled around, we set her table with the little cake, some popcorn, olives, sausages, and dried fruit, and then Henny and I were informed we weren't invited, and were promptly shooed out of the room (Daddy got the same message upon peeking in at the cuteness).

When lunch and cake were consumed and gifts were opened, I was summoned back upstairs with, "Mama, will you come up here and take away the dirty dishes, please?"

Honestly. She could have at least saved me a piece of cake for my trouble.

Yellow cake with apricot glaze

At nap time, as I was taking down the celebration flags, she begged to have another birthday party, this time for her stuffed animals, at dinner time.

Um, maybe another day.


All the babies tucked in with their new blankets at bedtime 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Right Now


Right now, I'm...

...thinking about tweaking and re-making the kale chips I stayed up late working on last Wednesday night (FYI: they soften quickly, so to crisp back up a batch of day-old chips, pop 'em in the microwave!).
...still in awe at the amazing sunrise I witnessed on Saturday morning as I drove to pick up our Co-op share.
...having leftover plum crostata for breakfast with my coffee.
...gearing up to re-make a small batch of cherry-grape jelly that didn't jell *sigh*
...eyeing the sandwich-sliced pickles and pickled carrots that did make the 'success' column from my weekend canning endeavor.
...planning another round of homemade noodles soon.
...listening to the sounds of my kiddos playing in the sandbox in the shade of morning clouds.
...admiring the tenacity of a rogue patch of watermelon sprouts off the porch from last years' snacks.
...loving the fresh determination of our Henny Benny as he walks everywhere... crawling was so last week!

This sweltering month has one more full week left to go, and as we sweat and wilt through the last of July, may we also remember not to wish it away too quickly... time flies fast enough all on its own! Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Too Wild and Woolly

Fifteen months and 15 days.

That's how long it lasted.

What, you may be wondering?

Henny's wild and woolly curls, that's what.

Fifteen and a half bouncy, frizzy, adorable months before the getting-in-the-eyes-and-mouth thing got a little too old.

A little buzz buzz, a little snip snip, and absolutely perfect behavior with nary a peep, and the result? A dapper Bubba with a fresh summer 'do.

Photos taken by Sissy on Mama's iPhone

In the immediate aftermath of the cut, Mama felt a little remorse (especially while collecting the severed curls for the keepsake book, sigh), but 24 hours later, I can't help but love this new look on the little boy who now looks so much more proportionate!

He seems to like it, too, and who can argue with that?

Friday, July 20, 2012

This Moment

Playing along with Amanda today... in her words: {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Homemade Life

I use this space for many purposes- chronicling the growth of our family, babes, and household in general, ranting or rambling about some hot topic, documenting local history, recording impromptu recipes, and straight-up venting, if I'm being honest.

Occasionally, I might share something that inspires me, like blogs I've stumbled upon, gift ideas, projects, and books.

Have I used this space to confess that I'm a complete and total bibliophile yet? No? Oh... well, heregoes.

Hi, my name is Courtney (hiiiiiiiiiiii, Courtney...), and I'm a bibliophile.

Whew. It feels good to get that off of my chest.

Let's keep the ball rolling, shall we? I usually have not one, not three, but no less than 5 books dog-eared or marked in various stages of perusing scattered here and there all over the house. A bread book and a whole foods book in the kitchen. An Elizabeth Zimmerman book in the living room. Two or three books about mainstream myths and traditions at various stages of digestion on my shelves, and usually a novel or memoir bedside (and that doesn't even include my book wish list, which is ever-changing and updating!).

Despite the ever-present reminders of the lack of resolution in my literary life, it doesn't bother me one bit to move through my home and lay eyes on so many texts waiting patiently for my attention. Rather, it seems to build the anticipation for the perfect moment when kiddos are occupied, the phone falls silent, the business of life is handled (mostly), and I get the chance to put away a few chapters. Those moments are lovely, really, and more so I think because they are not abundant.

I had a rare chance this week to actually finish one that's been sitting around for a couple months now- a book that has inspired much page-marking, note-taking, and adventurousness in my kitchen:  A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. The final few pages closed with me sitting on the porch with a glass of red wine, wheels turning with the inspiration from many of Molly's recipes, watching the kiddos play in the sandbox.

I have to say, it is an incredibly well-written memoir that I would have enjoyed had it been simply that; however, she concludes each account of the many mundane and pivotal moments of her early life with a recipe relevant to that moment, and almost every recipe struck a chord for me.

I have yet to follow one of her recipes to the letter, but several meals since finishing this book have had at least one component influenced by them in some way, and I think she'd like that. It was truly a good read that made me finish the last page, close the book, rest it beside me, and feel all that is good and full in my life.

The author also has a great blog at http://orangette.blogspot.com/

For me, any book that can inspire that is worth recommending. And so I do. Wholeheartedly.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Right Now

Right now, I'm loving...

...the chance to be on the porch on a rainy Sunday evening

...the sunsets that conclude rainy evenings

...our Bubba, and the sudden decision that yes, it's finally time to start walking

...the sleep of a fledgling champion walker

...early mornings, bacon and banana bread and scrambled eggs, trying new coffees, the smell of freshly  mowed grass, getting out with the fam, playing catch and cars with both kiddos, watching brother and sister play together more and more, hearing thunder and feeling cool breezes and watching rain fall, the feeling of knowing that the back seat of my car has finally been purged of months of cereal accumulated in the seams, clean sheets, and- in general- a weekend well spent.

May we all start the week with the comfort of a good weekend lingering on our minds. Happy Monday.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Devouring our First Co-op Veg

The first night after collecting our co-op share, we tackled...

...the radishes. They were the most obvious choice, especially after reading this post. Besides, who could argue with rigatoni with peas, prosciutto, and radish-leaf pesto and salted radishes over whipped butter on a baguette?

Not this family.