In the Kitchen: Peppermint Patties

i really love to cook.  especially bake, because making something delicious in the kitchen makes me happy.  it seems that lately though things have been busy and even when i am cooking dinner... it is in a hurry.  that takes away from the fun of it all, doesn't it?  i feel like if you hurry making the dinner, then everyone tends to eat fast,  too. (although my sons always seems to be able to finish their dinner before i can even take 4 bites... what is that all about?)

so this weekend, i made a decision... each weekend i am going to find a few recipes from all the wonderful recipes i have 'pinned' on pinterest and make them!  take my time and enjoy the process!  i look at my recipe board (find it here) and want to make them all! but time is an issue... so hopefully this will help that situation!!  i am excited about it!  woop-woop!

this past weekend i started out small (since i just made this decision) and made peppermint patties.  they turned out great!  i followed this recipe:

picture & recipe from ...but can she bake?  check it out!
i did make a few changes.  i decided to take the 'dough' and roll it into a log which was around 1" across, wrap that in parchment paper, and put that in the fridge for several hours.  then i took the roll out and cut it into discs about 1/4 inch thick... you could make them whatever size you wanted to.  it worked out great.  the original recipe called for rolling the dough out like you would a cookie and cutting it with a circular cutter.  this just seemed like it would have lots of leftover which i would have to  reroll... who wants to do that?  so, voila, a log cut up instead!  sorry i didn't take pictures of that!

oh, when making the dough... i just dug in with my hands and worked the dough together.  it worked wonderfully and really didn't take very long.  i tried using my kitchenaid mixer first... that did not work so well.

outside of the kitchen, i am busy working on two new floorcloths for the shop.  hope to finish those by the end of the week!  wish me luck :-)

have a great week!

~ julie

ps... if you go to buy the peppermint oil... i couldn't find it at the store so i asked at customer service and found out that they keep it in the pharmacy area.  not sure why??  anyway, just wanted to give you a heads up.


sugar sweet

so, i just love the sweetwater line of fabric called 'hometown'... it is hard to find now, but i ordered a jelly roll a while back.

it has the loveliest colors, and it has been calling my name for a while.  as well, i love the quilt pattern 'sugar dish' i ordered from cluck, cluck, sew early last spring, but i just hadn't had the time or right fabric to start it.

now my two favorites have finally come together!  i started my sugar dish quilt last week...  it is looking good so far.  it just makes me smile to see the beautiful colors sliding through my fingers on the sewing machine.  ~smile~

on a separate train of thought... i just started a class today from mayi carles.  It is called "Life is Messy Bootcamp." It's a class for folks making living, wanting to make a living, or those thinking about making a living from being creative... and then creating. there are women from all over the globe in the class.  so far i have 'met' other creative people from singapore, uk (living in japan), cyprus, illinois, michigan, venezuela (living in montreal), portugal, north carolina, and panama!!  how exciting is that??  check it out at the link to the right...

and... here is the finished quilt top for sugar dish... now, i have to contemplate how this will be quilted. eventually. 

ooooooooh, and one more exciting note... my oldest son just found out last week that he will be serving his first tour in the army in HAWAII!  he won't be there until next summer (2013), but how exciting is that?  now we have a new trip to start planning! woop-woop!  or should i say aloha?!

~ julie


oh my... an amazing getaway!

view looking out from the deck of the beach house in san juan del sur, nicaragua
have you ever wanted to just get away from your everyday busy life?  just go to the beach and relax with no worries?  but, even when you go on vacation, it still seems busy? and when you get home you need a vacation from your vacation? ha.  well...  my husband and i just took a trip for our 25th anniversary (ok, our anniversary was in june, but it took us a while to finally sit down and plan the trip)... and it was one of the most amazing vacations we may have ever been on!  seriously. in nicaragua!

this is what i like to refer to as "our" beach house! cool, huh?
 we stayed in a wonderful house on the beach partially in the 'jungle' secluded from most of civilization.  now, this house was a cross between a beach cottage and camping...  meaning, it had everything we needed: plenty of space, a full kitchen (no dishwasher), bathroom, amazing views, the beach all to ourselves except for a few locals fishing once in a while, hammocks, and lots of peacefulness.... but, no hot water, showers that might have lizards once in a while (hey, they live there, it is what it is), have to go outside to get from one building to another. there were 4 buildings: one with 2 bedrooms, one with a bathroom, one with the kitchen/deck and a bedroom, and one more with a bedroom.  this place holds up to 16 people... but we had it all to ourselves!

taking a little afternoon siesta.  so great.  hammock... i miss you!

and the best part... we were allowed to just relax, not worry about going places. not worry about the internet, phone, tv, radio. just walk along the beach, lay in hammocks for hours, eat whatever easy stuff we wanted to make (lots of fresh fruit from the local market), and lay around some more, watch the sunset every day, wake up to the beautiful sunny pacific ocean out our bedroom 'window'.  oh, fyi, there were no windows, just screens.  and huge sliding doors that you would open up, then you just had a huge outside room! 

this is up on the lookout by the large jesus statue... san juan del sur is in the background.
(and this is the sweetest man i know smiling at me!)
we did take a trip into town one day.  did the canopy zipline, went up to the high point where a large statue of jesus looked out over the harbor, and ate dinner at a nice restaurant on the beach.

pool and lounging around area at hotel plaza colon in granada, nicaragua
we also traveled our last 3 days to two other cities. grananda, a colonial city with beautiful old buildings, a large open air market, lots of restaurants to eat outside and watch the action, went to a active volcano, visited an artisan marketplace in masaya, went up a mountain with amazing views. the hotel (hotel plaza colon) was simply amaaaaazing.  beautiful pool/common areas, great food, and the people working there were so helpful and nice.  i highly recommend it if you travel to nicaragua...  which i highly recommend you do.  we hadn't even left the country before we were trying to figure out how soon we could go back. 

this is a delivery truck arriving at the open air market...
can you believe how much is packed onto it? 
beans & grains for sale at the market in granada
 the last night we stayed in managua (the capital) so we would be nearby for our flight out the next day. so sad. anyway, we had the privilege to eat at a peruvian restaurant up the street from our hotel which was great. funny to think we were americans in nicaragua eating in a peruvian restaurant.

did i mention the amazing fresh fruit?  i don't know what this one is...
but we made smoothies with it... delicious! 
i am going to attempt to make a video out of all the pictures (probably a thousand!) which i will post in the next week or so, depending on how long it takes me to figure out how to do that. ha.

this is the beach in front of "our" beach house.  the mountains in the distance
(far right side) are costa rica. 
 if you have any questions about our trip, leave a comment below, and i will try to answer the best i can... but did i mention that it was a most amazing vacation?  would go again in a heartbeat.

another view of a sunset from our deck/eating spot/hammock swinging area...
 now maybe i can get back onto a regular schedule for my blog.  when i am not daydreaming about 'our' beach house....

~ julie