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What Do You Love Most About Our Move?

Today was a bit of a rough one for me.  I miss my friends.  To be honest, I think the kids have adapted more easily then I have.  They have not complained once about the move. Nor should they. I’ve never seen them so happy running around and exploring, out in nature, & hanging out with their cousins.

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Each morning, they dash out of bed to eat quickly, and then rush off to visit with nano and papa. It’s a joy to have them free to run and play at the crack of dawn while I prepare fresh-baked sourdough,  home-made granola, and a farm fresh fruit smoothie.  With six acres to run around on, they are pooped by the end of the day after tending to chickens and playing with their cousins.

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This place has so much glorious charm: kayaking the bay across the road, running hills, partaking of fresh food (we have our own live-in co-op), and all of the wildlife right at our fingertips, not to mention the hiking.  But when you say the grass is always greener, that is not true.  There is always a trade-off.  We traded convenience, for rural. We traded social chaos for leisure. We traded rushing ourselves crazy to calming the storm. The trade-off is positive, but different.  The thing I miss most is our friends, and our church.

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When we moved, our cell service did not move with us. We have to drive 6 miles to town just for reception. Our catching up with friends, has been minimal. So when we split from our jobs, and all we have ever known, we also severed any socializing we knew.  It’s been super limited, and at times sad.  Yes, we have family. For that I am super thankful.  I cannot imagine moving to a new setting not having those comforts.

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As we look towards the start of school next week, knowing we are trying homeschooling for the first time, I only hope that I can settle in socially for the kids through extracurricular along with a 4-H club.  I look forward to being their teacher, and being able to build their interests individually. This is my first time ever being a stay at home mom. I have really wanted this opportunity to be a bigger part of their days; to influence them whole-heartedly.

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So today when my heart was heavy with “What the hell did we do!”, I was gently reminded why we did what we did.  Ever since Thanksgiving last year, our nightly routine at dinner is to go around and each give thanks with a direct compliment, and for something we are thankful for in general.  Tonight as I proposed the question, “What do you love most about our move?”, the responses settled my heart.  Mallory replied, “I love how much time we have together as a family”. Margeux said, “I love seeing Nano and Papa”. Lastly, Matilda chimed in with, “I love my family”.

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I know the things I don’t miss at all.  I don’t miss my job. I don’t miss the traffic. I don’t miss the anxiety of rushing about.  Spending time with those you love, is absolutely what is important!

 

 

 

 

 

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Peach Galettes with Cashew Creme

We have a plethora of fresh vine-ripened, sun-kissed Washington peaches on our hands.  We are freezing, pureeing, dehydrating, juicing, and full of recipe ideas.  This afternoon, I made some wonderful peach galettes that I served alongside some vanilla ice cream and garnished with a dollop of cashew creme & sprinkle of powdered sugar.  The galette dough was nice and flaky, while the peaches the perfect filling. Serves 12.

PASTRY DOUGH:

1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp. barley flour

2 Tbsp. of organic cane sugar

pinch of sea salt

1 cup of spectrum spread shortening, plus 2 Tbsp.

2 Tbsp. of flax-seed meal

2 Tbsp. of almond milk

2 heaping Tbsp. of coconut creme

FILLING:

1 cup brown sugar

6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 heaping tsp. of cinnamon

1 Tbsp. of rum enhanced vanilla extract (by Edwin & Lesha extracts)

12 peaches

CASHEW CREME:

1 cup cashews

pinch sea salt

1 tsp. rum vanilla extract

1/2 cup filtered water

2 Tbsp of agave syrup

* powdered sugar (as garnish)

DIRECTIONS:

1. To make the pastry dough, combine the flours, sugar, and sea salt.  Whisk thoroughly. Scatter the shortening over the flour and use a pastry blender to make a fine crumble. In a bowl, whisk together the flax meal, milk, and  coconut creme until fluffy. Add the flax meal blend to the pastry dough blend and with a spatula, fold into one another until gently mixed.  Do not over mix, as the dough will be tough.

2. Form the dough into a ball (do not knead), and flatten onto plastic wrap until 1 1/2 inches thick.  Wrap flat in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

3. When the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

4. Remove the dough and allow to sit at room temp.  While this is happening, prepare the filling. In a small bowl, stir together organic brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, & vanilla. Peel the peaches and slice. In a small bowl, coat the peaches with the sugar mixture.

5. On a large sheet of parchment paper, dust with parchment.  Place the dough in 12 small balls.  Using a rolling-pin, flatten each dough ball into 3-4 inch wide circles.  (they are messy circles). Place a 2-3 Tbsp. of peach filling into the center of your rolled out dough. Gently fold in the corners in a single layer in concentric circles, continuing until you reach the center of the round. Do not overfill, as the juices will drip while baking.  Brush the pastry border with safflower oil.

6. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. Allow the galette to cool on a baking sheet on a wire rack.

7. While the galette is baking, place cashews, sea salt, vanilla extract, water, and agave into a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a small container and refrigerate for 1 hour.

8. Serve the galette with a dollop of cashew creme and sprinkle of powdered sugar, and ice cream if you please.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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Peaches!

Peaches. The name alone makes me think of a boy from high school who showed his “peaches” to girls walking the hallways.  The name also reminds me of Ice Age and the code for giving birth to the wholly mammoth baby. But really, the true reason for my love of the name peaches is for all of the wonderful desserts I’m inspired to make.  Peach Pie, Peach Smoothies, Peach Tarts, Peach Cobbler, Peach Sorbet, Peach sauce for vanilla ice cream, Peach Galettes, Dehydrated Peaches, Peach Granita, …. the list goes on.

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Lavender Lemon Bundt Cake

What a whirlwind of a month this has been!  Renting out our home, quitting our jobs, and moving to Washington State.  I’d say, it has been a grand adventure; one definitely worth it.  As we adjust to our new setting, and begin working away at building our businesses, it’s has been utterly lovely having ample fresh food at our fingertips.  My mom has quite a green thumb when it comes to gardening, and my dad’s woodworking and photography is pretty impressive.  It is pretty wonderful being in their guest quarters; though we are hardly guests.

I’ve busied myself with getting acquainted to my “new” kitchen; the one my dad built from scratch. It’s cabinets are a great hue of cobalt blue, and reminds me of my new-found love; Crater Lake.

Today the girls and I broke in the oven.  The four of us diligently set to task preparing and baking a lovely vegan lavender and lemon bundt cake with honey lemon icing.  It’s flavoring is so exquisite, that I need write about it while whisking away the mosquitoes that are circling my head.

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:

3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

8 Tbsp spectrum palm shortening

8 Tbsp. earth balance

1 1/2 cups of granulated organic cane sugar

1 Tbsp. of herbs de provence

4  tsp. egg replacer  (by EnerG)

1/4 cup almond milk

1 1/2 tsp. of lemon extract

1 cup of plain coconut yogurt

1 Tbsp. of finely grated lemon zest

1 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice

Glaze:

2 Tbsp. honey

1/2 cup organic powdered sugar

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Have all the ingredients at room temp. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan; tap out excess flour

2. To make the cake: Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a bowl, with an electric mixer, cream together the shortening, and butter along with the sugar, herbs de province, eggs, extract, and yogurt.  Add the lemon zest and lemon juice and for a short 30 seconds, whisk again.

4.  Make a well in the dry mix, and fold the wet into the dry.  Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading the batter so the sides are higher than the center.   Bake until the cake comes out clean or begins to pull away from the sides of the pan or a toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour.

5. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

6. To make the glaze: in a small saucepan over low heat, warm the honey until runny.  Place the 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a small bowl along with the lemon juice and mix the honey with the two. Using a pastry brush, brush the cake with the glaze. Let the cake cool completely; at least 2 hours before serving.  Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Garnish with fresh lemon zest or lavender.