Dutch Babies, German Pancakes, Fluffy Pancakes, Fluffys…I have heard these called so many different names. I grew up eating them, and in my family, this is a dutch baby. They are my signature breakfast, my go-to for big or important days. Before every single track meet, the morning of the SATs, before my first day at a new job, always a dutch baby. If I had been allowed to eat the morning that I gave birth, I would have eaten a dutch baby darn it. Perfect for special occasions, but just as good for an everyday breakfast. There are literally hundreds of different dutch baby recipes, but I have never used anything other than the good old classic recipe that my family has always used. I prefer to use a cast iron skillet, but any heavy frying pan will work.
-1/3 cup flour
-1/3 cup milk
-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, with a cast iron skillet in the oven.
-Mix the flour, milk and eggs in a large bowl, or in the blender. It should be slightly frothy and there shouldn’t be any lumps in the batter.
-Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the hot cast iron skillet. Once the butter is melted, swirl the pan so that the butter covers the bottom and sides, then pour the batter into the pan.
-Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the sides have risen and are golden brown and starting to crisp.
-Remove from the oven and cut into wedges. It will deflate a bit, but that is normal. Serve with powdered sugar, berries, syrup, or just eat it as it is.
2012. A new year. A new beginning. A time for resolutions.
I have always looked forward to new years, but not for the same reasons as everyone else. While most people are making New Years Eve plans for parties and fancy dresses, I am planning my New Year’s resolutions. The fresh start, the clean slate, the idea that I can somehow improve myself, is just so appealing. I love making my New Year’s resolutions so much that I usually have lists. Lists of things to do in the coming year. To-do lists of resolutions. My life is so exciting.
But this year was different. I started like normal, making my lists, and had dozens of possible resolutions. But something about it just wasn’t right. How were my resolutions to drink more water or to stop eating french fries going to make me a better person? Wouldn’t I just be well-hydrated and craving fries all day? I want more this year. So instead of my usual unreasonable resolutions, I am focusing on peace in 2012. Finding peace in the midst of the crazy chaos which is sometimes my life. Peace with who I am and what I do or don’t have. Peace with whatever 2012 brings.
And for all of you, may your 2012 be filled with peace.
Done. With 24 hours to spare! This play kitchen has been in the works for an entire year, and I am so excited to say that it is done, and it is perfect.
After searching forever for a play kitchen, I couldn’t find one that was exactly what I wanted. So I gathered inspiration from a bunch of different DIY versions, and I decided I would build it myself. This was months and months ago. Since I wanted her to have it before she left for college, I enlisted a little help. I drew up very detailed plans, and found someone who could build the basic structure for me. So no, I did not make the whole thing all by myself. But I designed it, and I added everything to it. So I am just going to go ahead and say that I made it. Because mine totally could have come out looking this good. ha!
And yes, I had to take it out to the front walkway to take pictures… I have a very curious two year old glued to my side, and I had approximately 45 seconds to myself to get photos of it.
I sewed some kitchen towels, a little apron, an oven mitt and a hot pad out of vintage fabric left over from her birthday party.
The timer and the knobs are from Anthropologie, and the timer is detachable so that we can actually use it. The faucet and sink are both vintage, from Etsy.
The napkins are vintage, and were actually made by my grandmother. I was a little hesitant to put them in there, but at least now they will actually get used.
So there it is. I love it. And Avery might have to fight me to get to play with it.
I love looking at the beautifully decorated Christmas trees in magazines and on Pinterest, with their classy color schemes and perfectly matching and modern ornaments. But when I see trees like that in people’s homes, it just feels wrong to me. I like to think of a family’s Christmas tree like a photo album, or a charm bracelet. Full of happy memories and souvenirs of a life full of different interests and experiences. Every ornament tells a story. On our tree is the mini Snoopy book ornament that my grandmother gave me in 1983 that has bite marks all over it from the kitten I got when I was in 5th grade. The football player girl that my best friend Melissa gave me to commemorate our undefeated season of powder puff football in high school. The trapeze artists that my sister-in-law gave me when that was my life, and the vintage cable car that my mom gave me the first year I lived in San Francisco. The silver locket with 2008 engraved on it, with Avery’s first ultrasound picture in it. The list goes on and on. Some are broken, a lot have seen better days. But I treasure each and every one of them.
When we started putting up the tree this year, Avery was in one of her moods, where everything is “hers”, and no one else can touch a thing. Every ornament that I put up, she took down and said, “No! Thats mio!” I had planned that we were going to have such a fun day, hanging the ornaments up together, me telling her about each one. But things were not going according to my plan, as usual, so I finally gave up and started putting up other decorations around the house. A few minutes later, I looked over, and she was carefully pulling the ornaments out of the boxes, one by one, examining and talking to each one as if it were an amazing treasure that she had just discovered. She played with each one for a few minutes, then took it over to a small section of the tree to hang it up. After she was finished, 80% of our ornaments hung on about 5 branches of the tree. She was so proud of herself.
It was like she knew. She knew that each ornament was special, and in her own way, she was cherishing the ornaments the way I had planned on teaching her to. Only I didn’t have to.
So our tree is not even close to those tall, monochromatic beauties that I admire from afar. It is a short, very fake (or should I say artificial?) tree, with a mismatched modge podge of crazy ornaments, all hung in one corner of the tree. And I love everything about it. It makes me happy in a way that no magazine-worthy tree ever could.