I'm Starting a Band...

Just home from my second guitar lesson.
I can now play three notes and read some tablature.
I'm starting a band...
who's in.

Marmalade Winner...

..and the winner of my first ever attempt at making marmalade is....

It's the beautiful Julieann!! 
Come on down and tell us about yourself...
Julieann doesn't have a blog but is a mother, wife and is self employed.  Julieann also likes music but not the Doors, loves vintage goodies and magazines.  Well who doesn't!
Julieann wishes she had more time to read, and now, with her new jar of marmalade on route, perhaps she will find an hour with some toast and a new copy of Country Living magazine.
I will wait for you to let me know where you are Julieann...
Hope you like it!

Cute vs Snore...?

Well, my marmalade is good.
I'm picking a random name tomorrow and I'll send them a jar!
If you want in, leave me a comment saying you might like a jar.
You can also leave a comment saying you hate marmalade, but have answers to my questions below.

Besides the Meyer lemon marmalade, I've also created a mini me.

She styles her shoots, and photographs them with her hot pink camera.

I tend to go in tight and am always looking for the pretty detail shot.
It's that little bubble I love at the top.
How long do you spend taking photos?
And while I'm asking questions, what would you do about this...

It's 10pm, and I'm going to bed.
Would you kick him off or let him stay?
Did I mention he snores!
I kick my husband out for that, so you can imagine Oliver got sent packing.
Or did he... 
OK, I let him stay one night but will never let it happen again.

When Life Gives you Lemons...

...make lemon curd.  
It's too cold for lemonade.
My friend Noelle brought back a suitcase of Meyer lemons from her tree in Palm Desert.
Yes, I'm serious.

Just to put the size of these lovelies into perspective.

we zested...

We juiced..

...we went through what I'd call a fairly disgusting amount of eggs...

...and came out with this.
Seriously, it was two jars.
OK, we made about 4 jars total, but one batch I ruined by using salted butter by mistake.

Noelle left me four lemons and half a grapefruit (also from her tree), 
so I began a two day process of making marmalade.

If it turns out, I'll post about it and send one of you a jar.
If you like marmalade that is.
It's not for everyone.
Yes, Dad, I'll save a jar for you.

You Never Know...

Did your life become what you thought it would be?
Through years of strange turns, ups, downs, and even some deep dark despair..
Mine did.
I never thought I'd be a magazine stylist, or have my own jam line, never thought I'd be a blogger...
But I am and I love it all.
Some things still surprise me though...

I use to buy 12.00 Australian design publications.
Now I buy 6.00 Chicken magazines.
And though I may not have leg
warmers and knitted hats for my girls... yet...

I do make them little 'sundaes' when the weather is bad.

Of course, when the sundae falls out of the coop, and that 'new' guy gets it,
you can feel the resentment building.
Five ladies with nothing to do but plot...
watch out Oliver.

Speaking of the new guy..
When we lost our sweet dog last spring, after 13 years, I didn't expect to get another one any time soon.
But, here he is.
And we do love him so.
He makes the farm feel more like..well, a farm.
Has your life taken a strange turn or detour that turned out to be a blessing in disguise?

Fifi is Fabulous...

I e-met the fabulous Fifi.  
I didn't even know 'Fabulous' was already attached to her name.
I just thought she simply was.
Fabulous that is.
She is, by far, the most generous, kind person I've encountered in the magazine industry.
I know a lot of you already know Fifi, and have been in her books.
So I'm sure you know about her new magazine coming out this March.
But some of you don't.

Just after boxing day, I got to shoot a holiday story for her Christmas 2012 issue.
It was so fun, and I have to say, refreshing to shoot a Christmas story while Christmas is on.
We usually do it in the summer.
And boy, let me tell you, finding a flocking machine in June ain't easy!
I can't show you pictures, but I can share some of the behind the scene 'messes'

I'm pretty sure these won't make the final cut.
My dear friend Kim Christie came out and shot the story.
And if you read my past post about the friend who came for dinner and ate the dog biscuits I had made..
this is her.

These are our exhausted models.  
They were brilliant and adorable..as usual.
Romantic Prairie style will be out in March.

Snow Balls & Tomatoes...

We got some snow. 
I got some tomatoes.

Pretty snow.

Pretty Tomatoes.

There is good and bad to be found here today.
Cut them into very thin slices..

spread out on some parchment paper...

sprinkle with salt, pepper and olive oil...

mmmm...but wait...
bake them at 200 degrees for about 2 1/2 hours...


they are crispy and salty...

hey..wait a minute..
Ok, someone needs some snow time outside.
Back to the tomatoes in a few...

While Oliver is loving the snow, the girls are not.

They are looking to me for answers..
but what can I say.

Puff up and keep warm.  

Does everyone feel the utter despair here.
Take it in.
Move on.
We're going in.

So, here is the problem with these...

do you see...

ah nuts.

That is why you must make two pans.
One to eat.
One for the home made pizza that night.

How I'm Keeping the Weight Off..

...by baking cookies for the dog.

1 cup oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/8 cup wheat germ
1/8 cup ground flax
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cup hot water
handful of sunflower seeds
handful of chopped parsley (find me a dog who doesn't need some assistance in the breath department)

Mix it all in a large bowl.  You will have to get in there with your hands to really get the job done.
Put down a sheet of wax paper, sprinkle with whole wheat flour.
Add dough..
Sprinkle with more whole wheat flour.

Add a sheet of wax paper on top of the dough.
Press down between the wax paper and then roll it out.
This will save the counter from a nasty sticky mess, and keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin.

You now have two options...
1.  Use your cookie cutters to make fun shapes like this...

..or this.

But you can also grab your pizza cutter and roll it into little biscuit size pieces.
SOOOO much easier and faster, but when there is a toddler involved, it's a compromise.

We did half and half.
bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 f, or till slightly brown.

Oliver now knows the smell and won't leave the oven till they are out.

My friend Kim also knows the smell, and when she was here two weeks ago, she wouldn't leave the oven either.  She ate them with the tomato soup I made.
Actually, we all ended up eating them.
It's basically a healthy cracker!
It produces three trays.

I have to say, the shapes are rather fun and make for a better presentation at the dinner table for your guests.
Your choice if you want to tell them who they are really for.