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Make (delicious) artichokes

Today’s how-to recipe is from Donni of the Etsy shop Fairyfolk, full of delightful + magical felted acorns, toys, terrariums and more.

Make (delicious) artichokes

photo via Flickr

Oh how I love an artichoke… it’s the combination of their earthy flavor, the peeling of their green petals and the yummyness of the dipping sauce. I feel simple and sophisticated, all at once.
Lucky me… I had an artichoke for lunch today!
This is how I cook them…
I rinse them in water to wash them and get any little lingering bugs out of them.

Cut off the stalks with a knife.

The little spikes on the ends of the petals can be a nuisance. I cut them off before cooking by using a knife to cut off the tips of the petals.

And then I use scissors to trim the spikes off the remaining petals.
Place the trimmed artichokes in a steamer, stem up.

Steam for about 30 minutes or until stalk bases are tender.
My favorite dipping sauce is balsamic vinaigrette. I mix equal parts balsamic vinegar with olive oil and a little salt to taste (yes, I love balsamic!) Whisk together until it emulsifies and… Voila!
Melted butter is another great artichoke sauce, as is lemon butter or mayonnaise.
Peel a petal, dip it into the sauce and eat the soft flesh at the base of the petal. It’s delicious!!
When you come to the heart, use a spoon to gently scrape the hairs away, leaving the tender heart. What’s left is pure delicacy.
I cooked 4 today. As no one else in my family eats artichokes, guess what I’m having for lunch tomorrow, the next day and the day after? Lucky me!

What’s in Fairyfolk’s shop? These spring golden yellow acorns are so lovely!

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make a chocolate nut cake

Today’s recipe is by Sue of PolarBearCreations, her shop of Waldorf-inspired dolls, and much more.

Chocolate Nut Cake

250 g sugar

200 g soft unsalted butter (just over 7 oz, or a little less than a cup)

250 g flour (just over 1 cup)

2 tsp baking powder

125 g finely grated (or melted) milk chocolate (baking chocolate) (this is about 1/2 cup)

125 g finely grated hazelnuts (or almonds)(about 1/2 cup)

1 small can of condensed milk (note: Sue has not tried it, but it might just work with yogurt, milk, or even buttermilk)

A bit of icing sugar


Preheat oven to 370°F

Mix butter and sugar in large bowl until smooth.

Stir in eggs, one at the time.

Combine baking powder and flour. Sift into mixture. Mix well, then add chocolate and nuts, a bit at the time. Pour in the milk.

Cake batter should not be too moist.

Grease bundt pan (a tube pan works too)

Fill with chocolate mixture.

Bake at 350°F to 400°F for 40 to 55 minutes.

Let cool and remove from the pan.

Dust with icing sugar & enjoy!

What’s in PolarBearCreations’ shop? Beautiful Waldorf dolls and much more, including this mini baby, stuffed with wool.

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Lemon Currant Scones Recipe

Vegan Agave Sweetened Lemon and Currant Scones
by Steph from Elemental Handcrafts

image via Ms.Tea

Ingredients: (use organic where possible)

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegan butter like Earth Balance or coconut oil
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup rice milk
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1/4 to 1/2 cup currants
1/4 flax seed meal (optional)
Zest from one lemon

image via Satoru Kikuchi


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheight. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease pan.

2) In large bowl combine flour, salt and baking powder. Mix well. Cut in the vegan butter or coconut oil. It is best to have the coconut oil cool enough that it is solid.

3) Add rice milk, juice, vanilla, agave, currants and lemon zest. Stir very gently until just mixed. Over mixing bad for scones!

4) Drop by the spoonful on to prepared sheet and pop in oven. They will grow so if you definitely don’t want them to stick together, don’t be lazy like me- use two cookie sheets. Bake until just barely starting to golden on the tops, about 15 to 20 minutes

Let cool and serve with tea. Mmmm!

image via Mads Boedker

Source of recipe: I wrote this recipe.

Makes: 12 scones, Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 20 minutes

What’s in Elemental Handcraft’s shop? This personalized wooden baby ball toy!

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buttermilk chocolate cake recipe {+ cookbook giveaway!!}

by Jen of SewnNatural

Our new Thursday recipe/tutorial feature is off to a huge start with today’s chocolate cake recipe… and cookbook giveaway from Cynthia Lair, author of “Feeding the Whole Family – Recipes for Babies, Young Children and Their Parents.”


I found this recipe in a wonderful cookbook I highly recommend. Cynthia Lair’s “Feeding the Whole Family – Recipes for Babies, Young Children and Their Parents”. As a mom of a toddler, I’m always on the look-out for quick, delicious and nutritious recipes I can whip up to spice up our meal routine.

The cookbook is packed with simple recipes that excite the tastebuds, employ whole, organic foods and can be easily adapted for everyone around the supper table. You need not be a parent of little kids to enjoy this book – it would be a wonderful treat for anyone.

Check out Cynthia’s new humorous {+ fabulous} online cooking show CookusInterruptus, about how to cook fresh local whole foods despite life’s interruptions. You can also read her “baby food is not rocket science” article here about how it’s best to feed babies “family food”.

Note: For a dairy free version, substitute 1 cup soy milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice added for the buttermilk and use melted coconut oil in place of buttter.

image by elana’s pantry

Prep time: 45 minutes
Makes 2, 8-inch layers

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup organic cocoa powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup of maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly oil two 8-inch cake pans. Mix flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients and stir into flour mixture (do not overstir). Pour batter into cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or a little less, depending on your oven.

I poured Cynthia Lair’s strawberry sauce on for added fruit, presentation and contrast. With strawberries being out of season right now (unless you’ve stored some away in your freezer from the last harvest), I’d recommend using pears, apples, whatever is freshest & has travelled the least distance to get to your plate.

image by anashruti

Prep time: 10 minutes
Makes 1 cup

1 pint organic strawberries
1 tsp lemon or orange juice
1 tbsp maple syrup, honey or agave nectar

Wash and trim strawberries. Place them, the juice, and sweetener in a blender and blend until smooth. Use at once or refrigerate the rest. Will keep a few days in the fridge.

|”Reprinted with permission from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair”.


Cynthia has generously offered one reader a copy of her book!

That’s Cynthia 2nd from left!

To enter today’s giveaway, simply visit CookusInterruptus and leave a comment about something you enjoyed or learned (one entry per person, please!). This giveaway will end at 9am EST on Sunday, and the winner will be announced soon after.

image by Bruce Tuten


The winner (drawn at random) is… comment #12 Katherine Robb! CONGRATS (now you don’t have to go out and buy one!!)

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Recipe for the Stutenmann or Weckmann (breadman)

It’s been an exciting day yesterday. Unfortunately as a permanent resident/greencard holder – I don’t get to vote! I found it very hard this time to be a bystander. Living between two countries- being in a nowhereland – not able to vote in either country – is very frustrating! But what an amazing time to be here and witness this historic moment…

I promised you a recipe for the little breadman, I believe. Remember my article about Saint Martin form last Wednesday? If you have time you should try and make them with the kids!

Ingredients for 6 little Guys:
600 grams of flour
40 grams of fresh yeast ( if not available use about 2.25 teaspoons of dry yeast)
1 cup of lukewarm milk
2 eggs
60 grams of sugar
100 grams of butter ( a little less than one stick)
a pinch of salt,
grated lemon zest from one whole lemon
a touch of vanilla
Raisins and almonds to make mouth,eyes, buttons

Sift flour into a bowl and make a hole in the center. Mix the warmish milk with the yeast and pour it into the hole. Gently mix it in with some of the flour scooped from the sides of the hole. Germans call that the Vorteig=Predough.

Cover the bowl with a towel and let rest in a warm place for 15 minutes. Add the melted butter, eggs, salt, sugar, lemon zest to the mixture and blend it all together. Knead the dough until nice and smooth. Let it rest again for 15 minutes.
Roll out the dough about 1/2 inch thick and cut out or shape into breadman. Decorate as shown in the pictures. Children love to help with this! Rub on some beaten egg yolks to give a nice brown shiny tint! Let them rest another 15 minutes before baking.
In Germany the breadman usually come with a pipe made of clay. I prefer the non-smoking kind =).
Bake at about 380 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
Hope you have time to make them with the kids!
Peace, Ulla