My Sugar Muffin recently found the new love of her life. A sweet little fox from the lovely Hazel Village. We purchased her on a sunny day at Dekalb Market. I've always loved the work of Jane at Hazel Village. All of her pieces have a touch of magic to them. If you're interested in viewing more of her pieces, please visit her at http://www.hazelvillage.com/
In the meantime, we're enjoying the company of the sweet fox, which my daughter named Elizabeth Bean Fox, a.k.a. Lizzy Bean. Happy Summer!
So happy to see the cherry blossoms have come again to remind us that warmer weather is on the way. I'm sure this Spring will bring lots of new memories and plenty of trips to the park. Although my daughter and I have been super busy these days, we can't wait to rekindle our relationship with beautiful Prospect Park. Here in Brooklyn, Prospect Park is one of the best places to relax upon spring trees. All the buds are forming and flowers are blossoming and of course plenty of pollen is falling (we have to stay clear until that subsides), but nonetheless, we are ready. Hope to share pictures soon!
Today is December 1st! In case you hadn't noticed. I tend to state the obvious out of pure joy. Ha!
Well, the pressure is on to start your holiday lists, get your shopping done (hope it's handmade), or get started if you tend to procrastinate like me and spread whatever cheer is left after these tough times have thrown us under the bus.
I just dug our tree out of storage and can't wait until tonight when "Muffin" and I decorate it with pretty, sparkly things.
We have lots of ornaments, including handmade and have our ritual of chocolatey lamentations and such. Always puts me in the mood for Christmas. So whatever your holiday season, try not to get too stressed and enjoy the festivities of the season!
We have a winner for our first give-away for the holidays! Congratulations to Meghan for sharing her Christmas wish with us! she will receive one each of the handmade ornaments shown. I will be posting our next Holiday give-away very soon!
We haven't done a give-away in a while so I decided it was long overdue. After-all, 'tis the season. It starts today and runs through December 1st. It's a great way to win a wonderful gift for the holidays.
To enter our give-away, just post a comment on our blog letting us know your wish for this holiday season. We will randomly choose a winner and post the announcement on our blog. "Well, what are you giving away?" you ask. A set of hand-crafted wool felt Christmas tree ornaments! Yes, you'll get all three ornaments as a cute little set!
We have them listed in our shop, if you'd like to view the details, but one lucky winner gets this set for free. So while I'm busy making these, think of what you're wishing for this holiday season.
I was busy working on it all summer and then became extremely busy with life and didn't get a chance to finish the details. Well, I'm happy to announce it is now finished and just wanted to show you pictures.
The challenge for this brownstone, was how to make the pockets sturdy enough to keep their shape while maintaining the softness of a pillow. It was indeed a challenge, but I was able to figure it out. There are two "rooms" and a "front door" pocket to store your dolls or other soft toys in and plenty of details to spark any child's imagination.
The one house pictured is for display at the local markets we sell at, but the listing in our shop can be customized with your choice of fabrics. It also includes a pocket on the back for storing your favorite book. An added plus when traveling with your brownstone pillow, or preparing for a bedtime story.
So remember when I told you I lost the pattern for my favorite rhino and had to draw it all over again? Well, good news. I was able to recreate the original! You can't even tell the difference. Or can you?
I was so happy, I made his buddy Lula too. Such a sweet rhino Lula is. She loves life and remembers to cherish it. Just my inspiration for the day. Happy I stopped procrastinating and got things done. Hope this inspires you to pull out an unfinished project and get to work.
This is the season for baking and breaking that summer diet you were on (or were supposed to be on) two months ago.
Well, muffin and I have been busy in the kitchen experimenting with an easy macaron recipe. We got the inspiration from the cool autumn weather. Weather that makes you want to stay inside and pop something yummy in the oven. The recipe comes from one of our favorite sites, 101 Cookbooks. Our lovely friend Heidi Swanson, (who in real life has no clue who we are here at The Honey Piet Tree), has a simple, non-frightening recipe for the most delicious, delectable limoncello macarons/macaroons. I must say, these are delicious, and I'm not even a big lemon fan.
Pair these with a steaming cup of whatever hot drink you like to sip on when the air gets crisp and get ready for a blissful getaway to macaron heaven. Now of course we can't give real limoncello to the kids, so if you're thinking of sharing these with your little ones Muffin and I have created a kid friendly version with a twist. Still yummy and perfect for kids.
Here's the recipe form Heidi's website for Limoncello Macaroons in case you'd like to make them for yourself or friends. Delicious!
Now here is our kid-friendly version:
Mommy and Muffin's English Lemon Curd Macaroons
1 large egg white
14 oz / 400g almond paste (not marzipan) -You can find this at Whole Foods
1/4 cup / 2 oz / 55g confectioners' sugar, (sift if you want and have extra on hand for surface and coating
1/4 cup of organic coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (Heidi's recipe uses almond extract)
scant 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoon Lemon Curd (Whole Foods and Trader Joe's has a nice brand imported from England)
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Optional Add-ins: 1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded organic coconut.
Note: If your dough seem a bit gooey, ad a little more flour. The dough should be firm and hold it's shape pretty well. To prevent it from sticking to the surface, be sure to coat your hands and work surface with enough powdered sugar.
Directions (Courtesy of Heidi of 101 Cookbooks)
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Beat the egg white, the almond paste, confectioners' sugar, and almond extract together either by hand or with an electric mixer, until creamy, about 2 minutes.
Add the zest, limoncello, and salt and beat until combined, another 30 seconds.
Coat a clean/dry surface with a generous handful of sifted confectioners' sugar then turn the dough out onto it. Shape and roll out the dough into two 3/4-inch thick logs, roughly 18 inches long. Cut each log into 24 equal pieces (see photo). Make sure each piece is entirely coated in sugar, tapping to remove excess.
Transfer to prepared baking sheets. They don't spread much so you can crowd them a bit more than you might with other cookies. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F / 180C degrees. Use three fingers to gently pinch each piece of dough to form an irregular pyramid shape of you like, or you can leave them pillow shaped. Bake until pale golden, about 15 minutes. Alternatively, I also like them deeply golden, it's a matter of personal preference really, but baking for a few extra minutes will achieve this. Transfer the cookies from baking sheets to wire racks, and let cool completely. These cookies keep well in an air-tight container for a few days.
Makes 4 dozen bite-sized cookies.
These cookies are a riff on the Pinched Orange Macaroons by Patrick Lemble (executive pastry chef at the Four Seasons restaurant, New York City) highlighted in the December 2009 issue of Martha Stewart Living.
Prep time: 45 min - Cook time: 15 min
I gotta give it to Heidi for inspiring these cookies. I actually haven't had her version with Limoncello, maybe I'll make my own some day when Muffin is away at a playdate, but for now, I must say our lemon curd version is pretty good. If you decide to try our version we'd be happy to hear your thoughts on how it turned out.
So I misplaced the pattern for Riley over the summer and I can't seem to find it anywhere. This is what happens when you move things into storage. I promise I'm really organized, that's why this is bugging me so much. I guess I'll have to start from scratch, because Riley's a popular little guy and I have to make more for the holiday season. Wish me luck friends. Let's see if I can make him again from memory. Stay tuned for the before an after.
So, autumn has begun and you have the sudden need to be wrapped in a thin sweater and you're looking for a scarf to place loosley around your neck, because you're chilly, but not quite ready for the jacket. This is the time of year when I feel renewed again. The changing of the seasons always give me a jump start on organizing my life and work space. I have a newfound appreciation for earth tones and love refamiliarizing myself with healthy fall recipes. The revisiting of autumn also connects me with all things woodland as the park is one of my favorite places to be. I am more than happy to dive into my stash of felt and start once again making little woodland friends to put in my shop.
I'm inspired by the changing of the leaves, yeilding transitions from bright greens to nutty browns, golden yellows and rustic reds. Orange is again a prominent splash of color seen around every neighborhood. My daughter and I still collect leaves on our walk home, a past time we'll never outgrown. Being an autumn baby, my daughter easily identifies with this season and loves to rellish in the joys of the harvest. Revisiting farmer's markets and exploring their plentiful bounty of fruits, vegetables and of course her favorite, freshly pressed apple cider.
If you're still hanging on to summer and you just can't stand to put that last pair of shorts away. Think again about embracing some of the wonderful commodities autumn has to offer. Before you know it, winter will be here.