An Arizona East Collaboration: Designing Air Plant Terrariums

Air Plaint Terrarium - Bacon is The Way to Happiness

My oh my. Terrariums. They’re posh. They’re whimsical. They’re everywhere on Pinterest. You can hang them. You can put them on your desk. You can sleep next to them… on your nightstand… because ouch, broken glass hurts. And what’s not to love? They are self-contained little planetoids that are able to take care of themselves with minimal interference, which is PERFECT for the non-green-thumb.

When ArizonaEast (the leading wholesaler of cacti & succulents in the northeast) contacted me about a design collaboration this November, I hippity-hopped at the opportunity to get my hands dirty and have fun designing terrariums for their ever-perfect air plants.

This is what came in the mail. Eager little loves waiting to be designed into a new home!
air plants - Bacon is the Way to Happiness

The package in the mail came with a lot of fun beauties to work with and two beautiful hanging terrariums. The toughest part was pulling out some of my favoritest designs to create new ones!

Here are some of the designs that I came up with!

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I hope one of these designs will prove to be useful for this fantastic wholesaler that provides designs like these for places like Whole Foods in the Northeast. This project was so much fun. I even broke out a pair of tweezers to get some of these designs just so. And maybe did some plucking of the eyebrows after, for good measure.

Thank you, AGAIN, ArizonaEast for this wonderfully fun opportunity!!

Kids’ Kitchen: On Cooking with Your Toddler

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Toddlers. Aren’t they just the most wonderfully paradoxical little beings? Baby snuggles meets teenage egotism. They are strong-willed, they are adorable with their little faces and language grasping (and the colorful use of the word “no”), full of boogers, and completely fantastic.

Dinnertime can be one of the most stressful times of day. You’re scurrying in an attempt to feed hungry bellies at a decent hour while the little loves (who are under foot) demand a snack, a piggyback ride, or reading their favorite story– all at a shriek.

What’s a gal to do? Ignore? Holler? Give in? How about a new strategy– invite your kids to cook with you.

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It is not as scary as it sounds. All it requires is a bit of patience and creativity. A stool or stepstool. And a collection of DULL kitchen tools.

One of my favorite go-to kitchen tools is a cheese spreader. You can use it to serve CHEESE, which is a perfect no brainer way to a good day. And, since they aren’t sharp, my little man can use it to make little dents into a bell pepper (as you can see below) and feel involved in cooking dinner. At his age (almost 2), he really doesn’t know that he isn’t slicing the pepper… he just realizes that he is being included in the process, feels important to be trusted, and is not ignored. The best part? He is in my line of vision and I know he isn’t R-U-N-N-O-F-T making trouble!

One amazing thing I have noticed is that he is more keen on trying the meals he is helping to create! Any person who has a daily interaction with a toddler knows that getting them to eat is a cause for celebration!

Cooking with Toddlers- Bacon is the Way to Happiness

Please note that the grouping of cut bell peppers was my doing! If your little love is using a tool that can do THAT, it’s probably much too sharp and little fingers could also be added to the pile of chopped food.

Ways that my son loves to help in the kitchen that involves no tools? Putting cheese on pizza. Oh my. This makes him so very happy. And he sneaks in a lot of bites of cheese, so it’s good to have an excess on hand! He loves to add already chopped veggies to a big bowl, or to stir just about anything into a big bowl.

Another activity in the kitchen that my son loves to contribute to is the making of scrambled eggs! Now, this takes a bit of patience! I let him crack the eggs into a bowl. Granted, some end up on the counter, but hey! this is where the patience part comes in! Fortunately, the counter was clean and I just gently pushed the egg from the counter into the bowl with the others. The rest of the day, he was so happy to tell anyone that was willing to listen that he “crackkk eggsssss” with motions included.

How about you? Have you tried inviting your kids into the dinner-making process? What has worked? What hasn’t worked?

 

Taking Inventory at the Year’s Close

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As one year comes to a close and another begins, one is forced into a state of retrospection and introspection. It may seem cliche, but it is arguably important. The need to take inventory is not just for retail managers.

Resolve for corporeal resolutions so often fail, as they rightly should, since they fall short in tackling the real issue: our faults. Instead, we should (myself more than most) take inventory of our behaviors and respective kryptonites (ahem, cookies, Pinterest, and so much more) and discover why it is that we allow ourselves to overindulge, not indulge, and everything in between. Most likely, it is a result of something within ourselves, within our souls that we are neglecting and ignoring. We endlessly strive to fill this void. And, at each year’s end, we endeavor upon the same resolutions which forever repeat and remain unsuccessful. I challenge you to seek why.

For our family, 2015 was both a trying and joyful year, but this is life, isn’t it? One could make this claim each year. We see triumphs wax and wane throughout life’s happenings. The trick is learning to find joy despite trying circumstances. As the clock strikes midnight on January 1, we are filled with the new hope of a clean slate. But what is it that we will do with this new beginning?

I am fortunate to have a sneak preview of blessings to come in 2016, as these have begun to unfold at this year’s close. It is going to be a year of great change for our family. Our house search continues as selling our house did not line up with purchasing our forever home. It is a subject of much prayer and we are so excited to see what God has in store, as we know it will exceed our expectations.

As I look at this past year the greatest blessing is this little gentleman.He has taught me so much about love, patience, and joy. What is your greatest blessing?

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Let’s resolve in this new year to dig deep. To grow. To heal. To forgive. To give. To be thankful in all things. To count our blessings each day. To empty ourselves completely. To be vulnerable. And most of all, to love.

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Buttermilk Ranch Popcorn

Bacon is the Way to Happiness Ranch Popcorn

Icky rainy days call for staying in pajamas (if you can help it).  They also called for endless snacking. Popcorn is the best way to maximize your snacking abilities and not have that “holy cow I’m dying” feeling immediately thereafter. Unless you eat 95 cups.

When it’s a rainy, icky day, you need a pick-me-up, as well as a delicious snack to carry you through the whole day.

My pick-me-up du jour (well, really, du month) has been buttermilk ranch dressing. My heavens you really can put that stuff in ANYTHING when cooking. (Except for pizza, if you tell me to do that, I will hit you. Pizza sauce and cheese is just too good.) There will be more on this concept of ranch-adding-while-cooking later..

Enter: buttermilk ranch popcorn.

It’s delicious. It’s not nutritious. It is everything my icky, rainy day needed. And, I am still able to be in my pajamas through it all.

Score. And you’re welcome.

Buttermilk Ranch Popcorn**
Yields: a lot, but somehow not enough.

Bacon is the Way to Happiness Ranch Popcorn

Ingredients:
6 cups popped popcorn
5 TBS salted butter
2 TBS buttermilk ranch dressing

Directions:
1. Melt your butter over medium heat and add the ranch dressing, stirring until it is completely combined.
2. With your popcorn in a big serving bowl, slowly pour the buttery-ranch mixture over the popcorn as you stir.

Bacon is the Way to Happiness Ranch Popcorn

**RECIPE NOTE: To make a more decadent popcorn, increase your butter and ranch portion, while trying to maintain the ratio. This yielded a mild flavoring of just enough awesome without going overboard. The time to go overboard? SNOW DAYS!

 

 

“I Was Not the Only One Crying”

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I was not the only one crying

The World Meeting of Families held in Philadelphia this September had a profound impact upon me. There were key moments that I truly think were the saving of me. I didn’t realize how I had begun to slip away.

It was in listening to Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle’s keynote address at the World Meeting of Families Congress and a chance encounter and blessing from a Nigerian Bishop the day before that caused me to stop in my tracks. I realized that I was hanging on by a thread. (You can watch Cardinal Tagle’s address here.)

Grief has a funny way of quietly robbing you. The most obvious of its loot is your joy, but it often places your true self into exile. This September, I suffered my third miscarriage. In 2012, I had a late missed miscarriage that ended up being a partially molar pregnancy, which comes with a whole host of worries. To say the least, that experience was rather traumatizing. To say the very least. After 9 months of close monitoring and one surgery later for an unrelated mass on my Fallopian tube, I found myself overwhelmed with joy as I was expecting again! Thanks be to God I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful baby boy (at 41.5 weeks gestation, but, hey- who was counting?). We named him Gerard, after the patron saint of expectant mothers. He is hurrying his way to two years of age and brings us such joy every day.

After this rather miraculous occasion, I believed myself to be immune to this sort of loss again. After all, it is rare to suffer more than one miscarriage, so they say. Shortly after my son’s first birthday, I was pregnant again. I was so happy. So overjoyed! My son would have a sibling- close in age, too! What a gift! On Valentine’s Day, which marked the beginning of my 6th week, I miscarried. I was heart sick. I became numb. I felt so hurt. Why would God allow this to happen to me not only once, but twice? I fell deeply into a world of disillusion.

My faith suffered greatly. It wasn’t until after several financial miracles and a family pilgrimage to Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina did I fully regain my hope, my faith. In the stillness of my heart, I knew that God would take care of me. That he knew the desires of my heart (Ps. 37:4). I received so many graces on that retreat, so many glimpses of pure joy. In September the joy continued, as I found out that I was pregnant once more! Oh, happy day! Surely, I would be blessed enough to meet this child face-to-face.

It wasn’t so.

At 5 weeks, I lost that baby as well. Three? Three miscarriages? How could this possibly be? How could I possibly have three children so cruelly taken from me? Taken from a mother who loved them so deeply from the very moment I knew they had life! Especially to be taken from a woman who so desperately wants a home brimming with children in a world in which so many babies are unwanted and cruelly treated as such. How could God allow this?

Silence.

Absolute silence. I have realized that sometimes there is no rhyme or reason. Sometimes there is both rhyme and reason, like my very first loss. The two consecutive losses just were. They occurred because they happened. They were sensical only in the realm of genetics, but remain entirely nonsensical in the heart of a mother.

Fast forward two weeks to the historic World Meeting of Families and Papal visit in Philadelphia. I am completely shattered. Coming apart at the seams. I pray, but only from a place of anger. I lament having any faith or hope, as it has only allowed me to have heartache. What a fool I was to have hope in something completely hopeless. Yet, still, I am there. White knuckled. Clinging onto hope.

I took the train into Center City for the World Meeting of Families event that took place at the Convention Center. I went alone, so desperately hoping to catch up with friends. I was unable to find any one. I felt so horrifically alone. Not only was I alone with no life growing in my womb, but I felt so alone amid hundreds upon hundreds of people. And then, I saw her at the end of Mass: the woman who has been my saving grace ever since I lost that first little love: Sr. Veronica Susan, the beggar for the Little Sisters of the Poor.

I don’t believe my feet could have carried me to her any faster. At the moment of her embrace, my hurt subsided. We decided we were going to spend the day together. We chatted and decided which of the talks we would attend as we sat within the main hall where Mass had just concluded.

A jovial man in a collar walked past and greeted us and thanked Sister for giving her life as a religious. We stood and talked to him for so very long. He was a bishop from Nigeria! In the middle of our wonderful conversation, Sister spontaneously interrupted His Excellency and explained my story and my pain and asked that he give me a special blessing.

His words broke the silence of my heart.

He said, “the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, and we have no idea why… but maybe one day, one day, it will be clear… and it may never be while we are on this earth… it’s all in the Lord’s time… but He knows… He knows.”

I knew this. I’ve always known this, but as he said this, I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit surround me. The scales fell from my eyes and I just knew. I knew that he was right. My anger subsided, my fear dissipated, and my hope was restored. I saw everything in a new light.

The following day, I had to come back. I felt my heart crying to go back to the Congress. This time, I took my son along with me. The day came with its mortifications and trials, but I was there and with my miracle, Gerard!

The keynote address given by Cardinal Tagle changed me. In his address, he talked about a gal who was separated from her family on account of a war. She was unable to return home and it caused her great pain. When disaster struck the Philippines, she volunteered herself to aid those in need. She realized, as she saw those she served, that she was “not the only one crying.”

SHE WAS NOT THE ONLY ONE CRYING.

Cardinal Tagle continued on to say that the Church is a field hospital, caring for the wounded in the battlefield of life. He repeated what she said once more, “I was not the only one crying. The Church is the home for the wounded heart.”

Despite the simplicity that all people are wounded, it particularly struck me in that moment. Perhaps it has been my journey that enabled me to truly grasp this truth for the first time.

I am not alone in my suffering.

Tears fell down my cheeks and landed on the sleeping angel in my arms. I am not the only one crying. These seven little words opened Pandora’s box of emotions within me. I am one who stuffs my emotions, in avoidance and self-preservation.

Everything Bishop Ezoukwu had said the day before was flooding back into my mind. I had been desperately clinging onto my own will. My plan for my life and my family. I left no room for God. I realized that in avoiding my hurt, I was only further adhering to my own will. I was not divorcing myself from my will and refusing to accept of God’s will, despite it being shrouded in mystery.

And, even though every fiber of my flesh screams, I realize that suffering is so very beautiful.

Acceptance of suffering is an admittance of our own brokenness and a realization that we are not in control.  Losing something so precious (no matter what the loss is- child, parent, spouse) creates a certain empathy that you would not have otherwise. It is only through our wounds that we are able to unite ourselves with Christ, as it is the only time we allow ourselves to seek Him.  When all is well, we remain in a state of self-reliance. It is through our suffering that He perfects us. He who endured the greatest suffering of all. God condescended Himself so that we may become more like Him (St. Athanasius). Through Him humanity is perfected. Perfected only by the way of the cross.

Never should we forget His  Sorrowful Mother, who intimately knows the pain of losing a child.

 michelangel-pieta-paintingPieta painting by Michaelangelo

Suffering without God creates isolation. I have so often permitted myself to suffer silently, quietly, alone. We all have wounds, but we each have different afflictions. You see, suffering is not pointless. It binds us together and draws us nearer to the only One who can heal us. He makes us more beautiful because of our wounds. Acceptance of our suffering greatly aids others who are wounded.

Only in suffering do we become fully human. Suffering creates empathy and charity, which– in turn– creates unity.

Even though Cardinal Tagle was addressing a room full of people, he was truly speaking directly to my heart. A heart whose walls were knocked down by the Holy Spirit through Bishop Ezoukwu. I was no longer able to avoid the silence, the pain, and, consequently, God’s healing.

Bask in the silence of your heart. Do not seek to fill the void with noise. It strips you of your humanity, your ability to have empathy.

I have come to despise October, a month which I once dearly loved. I have for so long hated all of the “awareness” that comes on October 15th (I’m pretty aware that babies can die before they are born!, so let’s stop reminding me of my pain, please… I’m just going to go eat a donut). But, all of this time, I have been depriving myself of my humanity. It is in learning the beauty of my wounds that I might be able to help one other woman by sharing in her heartache of losing a pregnancy. Or two. Or three. Or share in her heartache of losing a parent, a job, a spouse, anything.

I am not the only one crying. 

I pray every day that God might bless us with another baby. Or two. Or five. But, mostly, I pray that, despite the outcome of each day, I rejoice in having been created. And I rejoice in being able to experience the joys of pregnancy and taking part in God’s creation (even if, sometimes, it was just for a short while), the grit of childbirth, the unconditional love that burns within my heart each time I see Gerard; and for the love of a husband who lifts me up through all of the heartache. If I reach heaven, it is only because of his hard work.

Sure, bacon is a palatal way to happiness, but it is only through Him that we can attain true happiness in joyfully picking up our crosses, in learning how to give thanks in all things, and having empathy for all of life’s soldiers, as we are all the walking wounded.

Please pray for me, and know that I, too, am praying for you because you are not the only one crying. 

8 Months of Silence

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Well, it has been approximately 8 months since I’ve done anything remotely productive on here. I would normally apologize, but I won’t. And, let me tell you, it’s because a heck of a lot has happened in these short (or long) 8 months.  Some things I will chat about, others I am not quite ready to share, but I may be ready in time.

The first reason I have completely neglected this blog? Well, we made the tough decision to sell our home. It is never an easy decision, but when weighing a whole host of pros & cons to packing and shipping out, we realized it was the right decision to make. Now, let me tell you, selling your house is difficult.

No real ground-breaking realization there, but it is something that can only be realized when lived.

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It is tough when you love the home you’ve created, especially when it was created from nothing (our house was a shell when we purchased it, complete with tin patches on the floors that were once hardwood). It’s not easy to have this home scrutinized. It may be even more difficult to have your house liked, even close to loved, with no bites from buyers.

As you make a house a home, you put your blood, sweat, and tears into the transformation. Like fine Italian leather shoes, it takes years to break it in and get it just right. Truthfully, I have never owned fine Italian leather shoes, so I am taking others’ words for it. And using the metaphor for the shoes I often purchase barely held up.

Each showing brings about a new level of stress as to whether the house is clean enough and staged properly. Throwing a toddler into the process only increases the anxiety! Especially considering that the majority of showings take place during the dinner hour through bedtime. Although, he somehow managed to keep up his spirits despite it all.

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We put our house on the market in the beginning of the spring. We had so many showings. So so many. But the market was completely flooded, so after a couple months of showings with no bites, we took our house off the market. We needed a break. Our son needed a break. And we were going abroad, so it just made sense.

As summer came to a close, we decided to put our house back on the market. And boy were things even more active this time around- and they were active to begin with! I don’t even have enough fingers and toes to count the amount of buyers that came through our house since the first week of September. We even had a local website do a video feature on our house as a must-see real estate listing (that made this mama feel gooooood). Creep that video here. Fortunately now, after one month of relisting, our house is under contract.

Thanks be to God, really. I think it is only because of His goodness we survived this second bout of house selling and that someone finally decided to put in an offer. Not to mention St. Joseph’s intercessory prayers– poor guy, we really put him to work. And also our realtor… he has made everything so much easier, too. It is really worth having a top-notch realtor. Seriously.

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Our prayer is that everything goes smoothly with the inspection Monday. I must admit, I have this fear that the report will come back to read,

         “YOU NEED TO REPLACE…. WELL, JUST THE WHOLE HOUSE”

In all likelihood, this isn’t going to happen! But, I will be completely relieved when that step of the process is over.

The other reality to having your house on the market, especially as a food blogger? It is INSANELY difficult to cook, stage, photograph, and– consequently– to write. One week, we were out of the house 5 days during the dinner hour(s). Cooking breakfast and lunch those days wasn’t really happening, considering once I scrubbed that oven, I was adamant that it was going to stay clean. SO, DINER HERE WE COME!!

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Today, I had a realization about myself, my perfectionism, and how I viewed my blog. If I weren’t going to craft what I viewed to be the most amazing recipe, I believed it wasn’t worth sharing.

How unrealistic is this? This is not normal life! If you make a dinner and it’s purely mediocre, you don’t toss everything into the trashcan and explain to your family that, well, I mean, it just wasn’t photographable. Real life is a mediocre dinner.

Real life is heating up leftovers for dinner. Real life is heating up leftovers that someone else was paid to cook for dinner!!

Like this… Pizza from lunch today that someone else cooked and I reheated for dinner, documented via iPhone. The neat thing was, the way it was reheated recreated that fresh-out-of-the-oven, I-can’t-possibly-wait-for-it-to-cool-before-my-first-bite pizza feeling.

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How do you properly reheat leftover pizza?

First, do yourself a favor and purchase a baking stone.

Then, preheat your oven (with baking stone in) to 350 degrees. Once the oven has preheated, place these bad boys on your baking stone and wait 5 minutes. And MAGIC! It’s just like when you were in the restaurant.

Another thing that this 8 month silence has caused me to realize, other than the fact that not all recipes have to be ground-breaking to be real and useful… that not all posts have to be strictly related to food. I mean, we’re all living LIFE and the realities of it, right?

 

….more on that to come… along with a website redesign, eep!

Jardesca California Aperitiva

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Imagine opening a bottle of springtime. It is crisp and fresh. It is light and airy. It is sweet and dry. Its citrusy acidity dances on the tongue. This bottle is Jardesca California Apertiva and it is the perfect introduction to your evening.

As Jardesca California Aperitiva is an aperitif, its sole existence is to be the origin of your night, to prepare you for what is to come. Because of it, your evening will surely begin on a high note.

It can be enjoyed in countless fashions. A myriad of flavors can come together to exemplify the current season (see below).  Or, as I prefer, you can enjoy it in an unadulterated fashion, simply poured over ice.

It is the very first aperitif to be from California. It is blended from three white wines and is handcrafted in Sonoma.

I was so very lucky to be asked to review this libation and I must be very honest, it is simply lovely. I cannot wait to get my hands on more! Be sure to click here for information on where to buy  Jardesca California Aperitiva or how to purchase it online. (SRP $30)

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Jardesca Ruby Sparkler
From Bay Area mixologist and winemaker Duggan McDonnell

 3 oz Jardesca
1 oz Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
2 Sparkling Moscato

Stir, fill glass with ice, garnish with floating pomegranate seeds and a sprig of mint

 

Winter Garden Cobbler
From Christopher Long, Campo Fina & Libations Unlimited (Healdsburg)

1 muddled kumquat
3 oz. Jardesca
1-2 oz. Amontillado dry sherry
grapefruit or orange zest

Muddle the kumquat, then add the Jardesca, sherry and ice. Stir, then garnish with the orange or grapefruit zest.

 

Bacon & Vegetable Polenta Bites (Bacrulenta)

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Wishing you and yours a Happy & Healthy 2015! Pop the champagne &  confetti. It’s a time to celebrate.

There are many reasons why I love polenta: one of which is its versatility. You can use it as a base for anything: pizza bites, goat cheese & a chutney, poached eggs, the possibilities are endless.

I would be remiss if I didn’t create an occasional recipe including my favorite breakfast (and, well, anytime) meat.

Bacon. Pop the champagne & confetti. 

As it is New Year’s Day, it is a cultural custom in many a family in this area to eat pork and sauerkraut for good luck!

This recipe makes for a wonderful appetizer that is a fun twist on this local tradition. Bacon & cruciferous vegetable polenta. It really needs a snappier name than just this. Ba-cru-lenta. Aha. There it is.

Serve it up as a New Year’s treat or just for a regular nice night in!

 

Bacrulenta
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Yields: 4 servings
Time: 5 minutes prep + 15 minutes cook

Ingredients
1 lb precooked polenta
3 cups chopped cruciferous vegetables, (choose from: Brussels Sprouts, broccoli, kale, and/or cabbage)
4 slices of bacon, chopped
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2-3 TBS butter

Directions

1. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Slice the polenta into 1/4″ to 1/2″ slices. Cook for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until nicely browned.

2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon on a separate skillet over medium high heat until slightly crisp, remove and set aside. Add the vegetables on the skillet, sauteeing for approximately 5 minutes. Add the bacon back onto the skillet and cook for an additional minute.

3. Lastly, in a dry, small skillet over medium low heat, toast the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper for 2 minutes.

4. To assemble: Place 1 TBS worth of bacon/vegetable mix on top of each slice of polenta, top with a sprinkle of the Parmesan/bread crumb mixture.

5. EAT!!!! (As if I really have to remind you!)

 

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Parmesan Crisps

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“Raindrops on roses…” As working with flowers is my main profession, I do love the sight of dewy drops on delicate petals. However, there are so many things I do love that were never delicately sung by Julie Andrews.

Christmastime conjures up so many a feeling, but despite all of the hustle and bustle, we should all remain thankful. As we are in the height of the 12 Days of Christmas, I wanted to take a minute and note a few of my favorite things, all for which I am very thankful.

IMG_7405For thoughtful Christmas presents. And for coffee. And thoughtful Christmas presents that involve coffee.

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For family heirlooms and cherished memories. IMG_7418 IMG_7421

For Christmas tree farms and the fresh smell of evergreens. And for tripods and camera self-timers.

christmas treeFor felt ornaments that won’t break and harm little hands. {This one is from Falls Flowers.}
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For my husband and my son. IMG_7285

And for cheese. I am guessing that this is something that we have in common. That’s because cheese is amazing.

These cheese crisps are divine. Really. You can adapt this recipe to include any hard cheese. I’ve done both Parmesan and cheddar, as well as a four cheese blend. They are fabulous to eat solo or put onto a sandwich.  The best part is that they are easy to make and look very impressive! (My favorite combo).

Oh, and it consists of just one ingredient: cheese!

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word.

 

Parmesan Crisps
Time: 5 minutes
Yields: 8 crisps

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Ingredients:

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (or feel free to substitute this for any firm cheese)

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Place parchment paper, or a Silpat, onto a rimmed baking sheet.

2.Sprinkle the cheese to create 8 round circles, making sure they are relatively uniform in size, and spaced about two fingertips apart.

3. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the edges slightly brown. Allow it to cool, and place on paper towels to remove excess oil. The crisps will harden as they cool.

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