Wednesday, November 17, 2010


It has been a considerable amount of time since my previous post. Major life changes, relocation, and the start of kindergarten have been on the forefront. Fortunately, the holiday season has begun, and though is now closed, there is just enough to keep busy and productive!

Living in Central Washington and reconnecting with old friends, has afforded me the luxury of offering my baked goods at the Tefft Cellars 1st annual holiday bazaar on December 4th, in Outlook, WA! Those who live in the area are invited to bask in the comfort and joy of the holiday season via the vendors and vino!

Sweet Hope is in full swing and taking orders! New and exciting flavors have joined the family of ultimate sweetness! Proceeds of candy sales go to a Mirnoe, a Russian orphange. Please visit for the reason for the season, and to place your order today!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pear Frozen Yogurt

A chilly, but oh so welcoming reception to Spring! Flowers burst forth with their shout out for all to hear and see...even an arctic fox, at our local zoo, took in Spring's soft sun rays. A lovely sight!
Upon my return from the zoo, I perused through the fridge and encountered bits of this, that, and the other. It was then, when I found inspiration--leftover plain whole milk yogurt and several forgotten pear slices. I had them get together with cardamom and honey, a truly dynamic couple, and gave them a whirl. Added a splash of alcohol, '43', and made everyone a little swirly! Who knew such staples would pack a punch? Really, a true story!
My refrigerated finds were further inspired by Helene from She has a plethora of tempting recipes. I can't forget to mention her photography, a genius with a bionic aesthetic eye!

Pear Frozen Yogurt

10 ounces plain whole milk yogurt
4 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 pear
1 tablespoon '43' or other preferred liquor
1/4-1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Frozen yogurt base prep:
Line colander with cheesecloth or heavy duty paper towels. Place colander in bowl and let sit at least 6 hours to overnight to release excess moisture.
Peel and puree pear in food processor
Add yogurt 'base', honey, and cardamom
Combine in food processor
Add 1 tablespoon of alcohol pulse 2-3 times to blend
Pour into freezer safe bowl
Freeze until desired firmness
Serve as is, or drizzle honey and dress with chopped pistachios!
Spectaculary sexy!
* Canned pears work just as well
* To enhance flavors, allow mixture to sit in fridge for at least 15 minutes before freezing
* I think I may have added a little too much cardamom, adjust it to suit your taste.
* I added '43', to keep the frozen yogurt creamy and scoopable, I don't care for it to be rock hard. Ok, the truth of the matter is, I don't like to wait. When I pull it out of the freezer, I want to enjoy it right then, as in now, it has to be at the ready!
* Alcohol inhibits complete freezing--no more than 1tbs. If you want more, then serve yourself in a chilled glass and call it good

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Simple Pleasure

The transition of Winter into Spring has most certainly begun in the great Pacific Northwest...foggy mornings ascending into sunshiny afternoons, budding stems, blissfully chirping birds, and the scent of 'green'. Observing their gradual stirring and resurfacing from their long winter's sleep, I'm delighted to see my grape hyacinths have emerged and blossomed! Some buds were as tiny as a child's fingernail and others proudly stretch as if to say, 'Hey, here I am! Look at me!'

I tell you, those are a few of the simple pleasures I soak in each and every day, unless it's raining then I hold on to a different set of simple pleasures...strong big comforting hugs, cups of hot tea, a softy throw, hmmmm...Another humble yet simple indulgence is a bowl of whole milk fresh ricotta sweetened with honey and topped with walnuts. Next time, it'll be topped with unsalted pistachios. Don't go nuts (of course, no pun intended) and serve yourself a huge bowl assuming to find an answer at the bottom of it. It is fairly rich and yet so highly satisfying!
  • Simple Pleasure in a Bowl
Whole milk ricotta
  1. Serve into bowl
  2. Drizzle with honey to your heart's desire
  3. Sprinkle with nuts
  4. Clear the room
  5. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Apple Cider Tea

A soft sun on a Saturday afternoon and a calm mellow child...hmmm, sheer contentment! Hot drinks were in order after a round of Lord of the Rings, Return of the King. I'm not certain of the association, if any, but it inspired my son to request, 'something yummy, something hot, something apple-y and something drink-y. '
So the search began! I found a couple of recipes for apple tea, and opted to combine the best of both. For a moment, I thought I would need a 'special' apple tea blend. Nah! Apple juice and tea bags! Sweet!
It would not surprise me if there was another recipe like this floating about in the blogosphere or on the internet. If so, it was never my intent to 'steal' any one's recipe....

Easy to prepare and simple enough for enthusiastic little hands! Simmering the concoction for 10 minutes, left a mesmerizing and inviting scent!
An absolute must try!

Apple Cider Tea

4 cups apple juice, unsweetened
2 cups water
4-5 inches of whole cinnamon (sticks)
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
4 bags black tea
1 bag orange spice tea
sliced apples, to garnish, optional

Place all ingredients into a medium pot
Bring to a gentle boil
Reduce heat
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes
Remove bags and cinnamon sticks
Sweeten with honey
Garnish with thin apple slices or pieces, optional
* Lovely infusion of flavors
* Decaffeinated black tea can be used interchangeably
* Next time, I think I will place the ground allspice in a piece of cheese cloth, as it created a bit of unappealing sediment, or use whole allspice
* I'm not pitching products, but Bigelow Orange Spice tea is an easily obtainable tea with strong bold flavors which works well in this drink
Also, Simply Apple apple juice is a full bodied unsweetened juice that I prefer and used, as well.