Wordless Wednesdays

Fall Red Buds


Fall colors, spices and big cozy sweaters

Golden Trees

This morning I woke to the sound of geese making their way south!

If I would have made my way to the window I am sure that I would have seen them flying low overhead in their wonderful formation with the ripply flow of a few geese breaking the pattern to find a new spot. We have just returned from a quick trip to Vermont to visit my dear friend and see some of New England in the fall so I was content to listen and snuggle under the covers for a few more minutes before beginning the day.

Fall is absolutely my favorite season! Heading out for my morning run with the new snap to the air and the colors in the trees against the skies dramatic sun and cloud mix is magical. I have already worn my big heavy orange sweatshirt – relaxing, cozy and comforting in its weight. Then there are the earthy flavors of fall – crisp apples with a sharp cheddar cheese, butternut squash soup and the warm, spicy pumpkin chai shortbread that I am getting ready to bake!

Before I turn on some music and warm the house with the smell of fresh baked cookies I want to share a few things:

The reading I did while traveling – KINFOLK http://www.kinfolkmag.com Beautiful and Inspiring!

http://www.vergenneslaundry.com – a french wood-fired bakery and espresso bar in what used to be a laundromat. It was a rainy day so the simply delicious potato leek soup with amazing slices of perfect rustic bread was awesome and followed by a mocha that is made with their hand made truffles, really, wow ; ) Oh and a great could sit here all day atmosphere!

http://www.pizzeriaverita.com – Neapolitan wood-fired [possible theme for the day] pizza and a very nice wine selection.

peace + love + hot cider gatherings around a fire

Wordless Wednesdays

Vacation Dinner View

Wordless Wednesdays


Wordless Wednesdays

My Shoes

In the café kitchen . . . Blackberry Sonker with Dip

The really awesome thing about my blog friends is like my community friends they share information that makes me think or want to do, like right away! And so was the case with this recipe – –

We had just picked up these amazing blackberries at our farmers market in town and I was thinking about a special Sunday dessert when this awesome post came across from Lottie + Doof [definitely worth a check out @ http://www.lottieanddoof.com] and thank you for the inspiration Tim!

A Sonker is like a cobbler with a biscuit topping – loved learning a new baking word! This recipe was fun, easy to make and rewarding both with all pieces coming together to highlight the flavor of the dark sweet blackberries and that there are three pieces (this is many) which came together so quickly to make this wonderfully rustic dessert. I had a berry shortage, too, but will definitely buy enough blackberries for a full recipe next time.

The recipe is from a new book by Ashley English – A Year of Pies which was just added to my must have list! I happen to have a couple of her other books – one about bees and one about canning, both from her Homemade Living series which are interesting, informative and approachable as well as sweet to look at. If I were closer to having a chicken or two I would have this book as well ; )

Listen to some great music, bake and have fun in your kitchen!

Bakers notes: I use as many organic ingredients as I can. I did use arrowroot starch and for the topping used sour cream (this is what I had) with great results!

Blackberry Sonker with “Dip”(fromA Year of Pies by Ashley English)


  • 4 1/2 half-pints blackberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Butter a 10-inch skillet or a 9-inch pie pan and set aside.

Prepare the filling:

Combine all the ingredients for the filling in a medium-size bowl. Stir until the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed and the berries are well-coated. Cover bowl with a kitchen cloth and set aside for 15 minutes.

Prepare the biscuit topping:

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.

Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in the butter cubes until the mixture is crumbly and the size of peas or smaller.

Create a well in the center of the mixture. Pour in the buttermilk, and using a large spoon, gently incorporate just until all of the dry ingredients are moistened. The mixture will look quite wet at this point, but that’s fine.

Prepare the dip:

Heat the milk in a medium-seized saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil.

Whisk the sugar and starch in a small bowl to mix well, then add to the milk along with the vanilla extract, stirring until thoroughly blended and smooth.

Reduce the heat under the saucepan to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes until the mixture is reduced by half.

Remove from the heat and transfer to a pourable container. Cover and set aside while the sonker bakes.

Assemble the sonker:

Place the blackberry mixture in the prepared skillet.

Using a large spoon,dollop the surface of the blackberries with the biscuit topping, aiming for mounds of about 3 tablespoons of batter. You needn’t be terribly specific on the biscuit amounts; as long as the surface is dotted with reasonably similar biscuit mounds, you’re in good shape.

Pour the melted butter over the biscuit topping and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking an additional 30 minutes.

Cool at least 30 minutes, then, just before serving, drizzle each portion with several tablespoons of dip.

Breakthrough & Thank You

Garden CenterIt happened last week . . . the day started and I was feeling happy, grateful and appreciative of everything! This not totally unusual and mostly this is how I am, but over the years I have become a little unsure and unsettled and anxious. These feelings have creeped in slowly over time and create an undertone of how I perceive my activities and my days. Much of this has to do with time – I am getting older with less of it but more of an awareness of all the things I want to do compounded with a self inflicted uncertainty that I am doing what I should be doing. Add to this the current cultural state that time is going by so fast – really?

I have realized what has been going on and have been mantra-ing myself to living in the moment and acceptance. Everything I read and hear on this subject has also instilled a resolve to change. After all I most definitely do not want to look back and see how wonderful my life has been without fully appreciating it while I am living it – –

So on that day when everything was good, all of what I had been reading and hearing and working on myself overtook the questioning and let me just be in the moment and ok with me and my world. The breakthrough was it felt so incredibly good in my heart and my head that I know that this is the way of thinking and feeling and being that I want to hold on to.

It would be awesome if I could tell you that I am fixed and here is the answer. What I can tell you is that it is so worth the effort to work on being good with you just as you are. And, that I feel that my breakthrough came with time, knowing things had to change and after reading so many blogs, hearing so many stories and listening to so many friends . . . and for this I am so appreciative!

I want to Thank You!


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