Wednesday, May 22, 2013


The "keeps"

We're unsettling in order to settle again. I've gone through moves many times; yet each time feels harder than the last. I don't mean to sound dramatic (or gross), but it's a bit like disturbing an old sore. There's a psychological ache that comes with examining the "stuff" of one's life to determine what deserves to move onward.

In the past week I've been going through my children's old toys. The girls are gone now. One is married with a child of her own; the other graduated from college and follows her own path. What to do with all those stuffed rabbits, puppies, dinosaurs, orcas…

I snapped photos of each toy and sent them to my daughters. The girls can decide which toys to keep and which to give away. My eldest daughter was quick to give me guidance. I spent an afternoon separating her "keeps" from her "giveaways".

Bittersweetness is to sit and look at each of your children's toys and remember the story times and bedtimes and holidays we shared. Giving away these toys feels like giving away precious memories.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Shabby-Chic Sachets

Shabby-chic sachets
Now that my Mother's Day gift has survived our precarious international mail and reached Mom, I can share my creation - homemade lavender sachets! I'd been wondering what to make, when I came across some fabric and lace I'd stained with tea. Feeling nostalgic, I thought, "Why not shabby-chic vintage-esque sachets?"

To make the sachets, I cut my fabric into four rectangles, and finished one edge of each piece. Then I sewed on the lace and adored each lace strip with an old-fashioned button.

Adorning the rectangles

Lace and buttons
I sewed the pieces together to make two small rectangular pouches. I decided on French seams, which would make it easier to refill the sachets in the future.

Ready for filling
Finally, I filled the pouches with French lavender and tied them closed with a satin ribbon.


What did you give your Mom for Mother's Day?

Happy Mother's Day to all Moms out there!

Shared with nifty thrifty things.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Rolls

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Rolls

A few nights ago my husband made a delicious roast pork recipe. It was spicy, a little sweet, and the meat was so tender that it fell apart. Just the way I like it!

There was enough left over for another meal, so I decided to make roast pork sandwiches. As we had no rolls in the house, I went to work on a new recipe: whole wheat pumpkin rolls! (I confess. I had pumpkin pure in the freezer from the holidays.)

The resulting rolls were so delicious, and they held up well as sandwich rolls. The pumpkin flavor was a nice complement to the pork. Give my recipe a try and let me know what you think.

Pure from fresh pumpkin

Here are the ingredients:

2 cups pumpkin pure (not from can)
1 tbsp pumpkin seed oil (or other oil)
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
2 cups white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp dry yeast

Makes approximately 18 3-inch rolls.


Using your electric mixer with a paddle attachment or your bread machine, combine the ingredients – keeping in mind your machine’s instructions.

When kneading is done, let the dough rise for about 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size. (If you prefer hand kneading, see my note on hand kneading in my Best Ever Polenta Pumpkin Seed Bread Recipe.)

Once the dough has doubled, pour it out into a floured surface, give it a good kneading - a couple minutes - and then divide the dough into 18 dough balls. Place the balls on a baking sheet and let rise until they have doubled in size (approximately 20 minutes).

Dough balls rising

While the rolls are rising, preheat your oven to 200 C (or approximately 390 F).

Once the rolls have doubled in size, score them with a sharp knife and place in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Scored and ready for the oven

These rolls come out a nice toasted orange color. They are tasty!

Just out of the oven

Don't worry if the rolls have expanded into each other. They pull apart easily.

Ready to eat!

Let me know how your rolls come out, and happy baking!

You may enjoy some of my other bread recipes:

Dinkel Bread
Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pumpkin Seed Bread
Nourishing Corn Oat Bread
Beer and Swiss Cheese Bread
Val's Twisted Anadama Bread
Val's Braided Cardamom Egg Bread
Val's Original Sundried Tomato Polenta Bread
Best Ever Polenta Pumpkin Seed Bread

This recipe was shared with Everyday Mom's Meals.