Plum drink syrup

This syrup turned the most delicious looking red as it cooked which surprised me because the inside of teh plums are green, the skins came through though.

Once I dipped my finger in the finished syrup I had to restrain myself from taking a swig of it, ah it was amazing!

Plum Syrup Recipe:

8 plums; pit removed and cut into wedges
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup water

1   in a saucepan add sugar and water and heat until sugar is melted
2   bring to a boil
3   add in the plums
4   let simmer for 8-10 minutes
5   strain out the plum pulp
6   the refrigerate until cold

Plum Drink:

1   in a small glass add 2 cubes of ice; crushed
2   a squeeze of lime
3   and a 1 to 1 ratio of gin to plum syrup
4   and top it off with some plum slices and a lime

it would also be good with a dash of it in lemonade, over pancakes and much more

Plum Ice Cream Sandwiches

Plum Ice Cream
adapted from Perfect Scoop

10 italian plums
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp cherry infused rum

1   using only 10 of the plums: half plums, remove their pits, and cut each into about 8 pieces
2   place plums and water in large saucepan, cover and cook unitl tender, about 6-8 mintues
3   remove from heat and let cool to room temperature
4   place the plums in a bowl with the heavy cream and rum
5   mash them well together until there are no chunks, or put them in a food processor
6   chilll in the fridge for 1-3 hours
7   follow your ice cream makers instructions
9   store in freezer for a few hours before serving

Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies:

2 2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup + 1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup butter; room temp
1 cup of sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tbs vanilla

preheat oven to 350 degrees F
1    beat the butter, sugar and salt together until fluffy
2    beat in the yolks and vanilla until just combined
3    add the flour and cocoa powder in  a little at a time, alternating flour and cocoa
4    mix until just combined
5    divide dough into 2 balls
6    on parchment paper roll out dough to about 1/4 inch
7    with a pizza cutter cut the dough into desired cookie sizes and shapes (could be fun with cookie cutters)
8    then using a chopstick, or something like it, poke 10-14 holes in each cookie
9    transfer to parchment paper covered baking sheet, bake for 13-16 minutes
10  repeat with other ball of dough and let cool
11  then,once completly cool, pair up the cookies with like sizes
12  take the ice cream out of the freezer and place a blob of it on parchement paper, put another sheet of parchment paper over top and roll out the ice cream to about 1/2 inch
13   then with a pizza cutter cut them to the shapes of the cookies (or cut with cookie cutters)
14   scape off each chunk of ice cream with a spatula, place on cookie, add the other cookie
15   wrap each ice cream sandwich in plastic wrap or parchment paper so that the ice cream doesn't lose it's shape before you get it back in the freezer, plus it makes them cute :)
16  put them in the freezer for about 1/2 hour and then serve em up!


Golden Raisin and Nut Baguette

It was a great hiking snack, but also super tasted sliced, toasted and topped with butter or honey.

To make this bread keep its freshness for longer than a few hours making a sponge is the key!
This should be made the night or early morning before so it can sit and bubble
This is also a really good was to make any bread last longer than with only using dry active yeast.
adapted from this recipe

3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup water; room temp
1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1   mix together and let sit for12-24 hours at room temperature

the sponge
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 tbs chia seeds (can easily leave out, only added them for additional protien/fiber benefits)
1/2 cup walnuts; toasted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup almonds; toasted and roughly chopped
3/4 cup golden raisins

1   knead with your hands or using a dough hook for mixer, the sponge,
     flours, salt, chia seeds until the dough is smooth, 8-10 minutes
2   knead in the nuts and raisins until well incorporated and spread out
3   lightly oil a medium size bowl and place the dough inside, cover with plastic wrap
4   let rise at room temp for 1-1 1/2 hours, should about double in size
5   divide the dough in 1/2 and roll each into a small baguette
6   place parchment paper on baking sheet, place the baguettes on top and place a towel over them
7   let rise for another hour
8   preheat oven to 450 degrees F and slice 4 diagonal slits down the loaves and brush with water
9   bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven to 375 degrees F and bake for 10-12 more minutes
10 let cool, and devour :)

Pumpkin Gnocchi

I was very tenative about this but hubs loves pumpkin things so I went for it. I was very plesantly surprised!
The dish came together really easily and was so simple.
Washing it down with the first pumpkin beer of the season made it excellent

Pumpkin Gnocchi:

1 can (1lb) pumpkin
2-2 1/2 cups of flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup cheese of your choice; grated
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds; toasted until brown

1   mix pumpkin, flour, egg, cinnamon, S&P in small bowl until combined
you may need to add a little more flour to make the gnocchi workable
2   flour your hands and form the dough into 4 rolls
3   individually roll out each roll to about 1/2" thick and then cut them into small rectangles
4   with the back of the tines of a fork impress the fork onto the top of each gnocchi
5   continue with rest of the dough
6   bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
7   place about 1/2 the gnocchi in the pot and cook until they float in the pot,
     open one to make sure they are actually cooked through
8   in a small saucepan heat heavy cream until simmering and then remove from
     heat and stir in cheese, keep on low heat
9   finish boiling the remaining gnocchi
10 plate the gnocchi and spoon the cheese sauce over top, top with toasted pumpkin
     seeds and a little more grated cheese
11 enjoy and be very surprised with how delicious it is!

if you're feeling pumpkiny also try out Pumpkin Seed Bread

Pumpkin Seed Bread

I've made pumpkin bread before, but the can of pumpkin is spread over 3 loaves,
and this time I wanted something with a deeper flavor and less of a dessert loaf.
Plus I wanted to throw in some seeds- so here is my more rustic recipe for Pumpkin bread
it is delicious!

1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup pepitas; toasted (pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1   preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease 1 bread pan
2   in a small bowl mix together the flours, soda, powder, salt, and spices
3   in a larger bowl, using an electric mixer, mix the sugars and oil until well combined
4   then mix in the eggs, 1 at a time
5   pour 1/2 the flour mixture in and mix until just combined, repeat with the other 1/2
6   then hand mix in the water, sunflower seeds, and 1/2 of the pepitas
7   pour into bread pan, sprinkle remaining pepitas on top
8   bake for 45-55 minutes, until browned and cooked through
9   let cool and serve in slices with butter & maybe some cinnamon or apple butter on top


To the land of Bellingham

Our good friends are both from Bellingham, WA, they have some gorgeous photos of it up around their apartment and Joshua and I always think it looks so magical. We've been dying to see it in person and our friends were kind enough to bring us with them this past weekend. It didn't disapoint.

Views of the ocean from the house, ability to walk to hiking trails, gardens full of fruit, Mt. Baker so close, apple orchards, houses full of animals and people- it was a really special weekend.
They let us meet thier families and join in their festivites, they were terrific hosts and it was so fun to meet their families and hear their stories about our friends.
Plus I got to pet tons of kitties and dogs, pick up a freshly layed egg, pick wild blackberries and pick apples all which are things I've been wanting to do, so I was in bliss.

Also hiking on Mt. Baker was mesmorizing to Joshua and I. of course the hike was fantastic but also every time you looked up you saw snow capped mountains and trees everywhere. We already thought the Nelson's were the best hiking partners but this weekend they outdid themselves. Plus they have good snacks :)

Hiking in Bellingham


Mt. Baker & Old Growth Forest

Daniel hitchiking back up from where he parked the car :)


The twins are twenty!

My youngest siblings are no longer teenagers.
That is so hard to say.
As the oldest it's so hard to admit to myself that they no longer need me to make them breakfast or help them open the gallon of milk. They are both off at different colleges on different adventures and as much as it breaks my heart that I can't be there for them when it's hard or stressful, the truth is they don't need me for that. They are growing up, they can do all their own homework and everything. It's hard to step out of that role but I am so proud of them and who they are working to become.

So as I step into the role of sending delicious care packages and encouraging texts instead they make it easier because I know how awesome they are & how capable of doing whatever they aim for.

Love you guys and hope your birthday is awesome! Miss you tons!

Happy Birthday!!!


Seeping into fall

Joshua has had to work at least 1 night shift a week (as in until 11pm) which gets pretty lonely.
Luckily I've had amazing friends ask me to do things at the exact right moments that I haven't had to spend many alone. I've painted walls, made cookies with friends, grabbed coffees, and the other night my friend and I hade Monday mimosas and made 2 huge batches of homeade cheese its :).
Except one night when I was left alone I bought a sweater online, haha oops.

photos from Camila's phone
Other than filling in my weekdays without hubs with lovely friends we haven't been up to too much this past few weeks. This weekend we saw Head & the Heart Concert at a really pretty theater, Paramount, had a birthday dinner for a friend, and layed around all morning listening to Lord of the Rings on tape, walked along the driftwood beach in the early afternoon.
 Very full of life but also very slow past few weeks which have been very rejuvinating, except now we're both getting sick.

So excited for all the feelings of fall flying around, some leaves are changing,
most are pine trees though haha.
Stoked to wear my new sweater :)

Just a few pictures of what we've been up to, sorry left the camera behind for concert & dinner:

Sherman, the mini crab we found


My favorite sandwich

I get tired of sandwiches and lunch meat really quickly. So sometimes it's challenging to find something that I don't have to prep a lot for or make a big batch the night before of to take for lunch. But I've recently been inspired by a sandwich I love at the Cherry Street Cafe down the street from work. It is just as easy as a lunch meat sandwich but much fresher and flavorful.

Hummus Sandwich:

2 slices of bread (I made homeade wheat bread! It makes a difference!)
5-6 slices cucumber
4 slices roma tomato
1/4" slice of red onion; pulled apart
4 tbs hummus
small handful sprouts
1   toast the bread
2   spread on the hummus
3   and pile on the toppings

It is a fantastic sandwich that leaves me still feeling great and it's a lunch I actually enjoy eating.



Kindness and friendship is something that Joshua and I have really been discussing and thinking on for awhile now. What has been really cool is the different way that God keeps building upon this from the people and conversations he puts in our lives at certain times, to the books we're reading. Maybe it's just because our minds are focused on it, but regardless it has truly turned into a meditative journey for us and something we are constantly trying to change in our hearts.

We're reading Renovation of the Heart together right now and some things have really been grabbing at our hearts.

Overall I just wanted to share what's going on in our lives out here beyond our weekends and on the physical level. Also we're just really excited with all that we are learning and being challenged with.
(below is paraphrase of Dallas Willard's words mixed with mine & Joshua's)

: It's not about outward change, it must be Christlikeness of the inner being, which is not done trhough my attempt but is a gift of Grace. He allows me to transform without holding the past against me (in which letting me transform in the first place is a gift)

:This was a really heart-wrenching one for us- Stopping the behavior is not the root of the point, think of the heart that these terrors come from.
Wow just sitting with that for awhile was really a struggle because it's so much easier to forget that than let myself realize I have those really dark places and even worse what they can do to the people around me when they only see the tinest part of that place in me. The why of what I do or think or feel towards others is so much darker than the instance.

:Trying to be loving and patient = we will fail, we should do the best we can in action, but will only make real progress when we advance in love itself. It will be as a well and source of joy not an 'act' or burden
So genuinely enter Christ's way of the heart.
This thought also really held onto us, and is a great reminder of how to love people and how to work on changing how we do it and why! Also really encouraging that if you surrender and truly work through ourselves it will all be coming from a source of Joy!

:And finally the part that is hardest for me of all it seems- You must allow God to play God, which involves daily, even moment-by-moment surrender.

That's what has been on our heart's lately and if you think of us please pray for us and the areas we are working towards letting God heal and grow.

Thanks & we love you!!!