A blog about outdoors, food and other handy projects.
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Monday, January 17th, 2011
9:14 PM

Not too long ago I received a wonderful surprise from Jess and Q is Seattle - a jar (with ingredients) and recipe for oat scones! This gift was absolutely perfect since we've been getting bombarded with snow, and freezing temps. It really warms you up! A few weekends ago Dave and I actually made them, and they were lovely! The recipe is from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, and is actually quite simple. Jess and Q included all the dry ingredients, so all we had to add were the wet things (butter, eggs, etc).

I love getting gifts, especially surprises, so I was even more delighted when I opened the jar to find a bag of some Princess Grey tea inside the jar! The tea is from a very cute spice shop in Pike Place Market in Seattle called Market Spice. The tea was perfect (Earl Grey is one of my favorites, and I'm totally a princess- so it was very fitting), and went really well with the scones.

I was honestly surprised at how good these scones were, I've really only ever tried scones at a cafe, and they've always been dry and rock hard. These scones were smooth and sweet and even good a few days later (they really didn't last long, so I'm not sure how long they hold up). These gifts were absolutely wonderful, so thank you gals!

Also, did you see my wonderful display plate up top? I got a bunch of awesome plates for Christmas, I just have to make more so I can show you them all!

Sunday, January 09th, 2011
7:54 PM

I am about to share with you one of my favorite family traditions, Tire sur la Neige (Maple Taffy on Snow). My mom's family is from Québec, and my grandfather even grew up on a maple farm. I "blame" him on why I am a complete maple syrup snob - I will only eat the real stuff! This taffy is not only really tasty, it's actually quite fun to make!

As I'm sure most of you are aware, Boston (and New England) had a pretty big blizzard here the day after Christmas! We got around 2 feet in 24 hours. This is important, because you need some nice clean snow to make this taffy! So, how do you make this stuff??

Maple Syrup (real)
Snow (or ice)

Heat maple syrup
Slowly heat up 2 cups of maple syrup in a pot to a soft-ball stage. Soft-ball stage means that when the reduced syrup is dropped in ice cold water, it forms a ball, but is still soft. If you have a candy thermometer, its around 240F. You want to monitor this process not only because it smells amazing, but so that it does not over heat.

Collect snow in a shallow pan.
While heating up the maple syrup, have a friend collect the snow in a shallow pan. It's easiest to plan ahead and put out some pans outside before it snows, so it will just fill up the pan. Second best is to fill it up while it is still snowing. You really just want to ensure you get clean snow, as you will be eating off of it. We didn't really plan ahead, so we skimmed the top layer off of some snow and used the snow underneath. You can also use some crushed ice for this if you happen to be unlucky and have no snow.

Pour maple syrup over the snow and ENJOY!
This is the fun step! Just pour the  maple syrup over the snow. You want to pour it into small strips (like a long piece of taffy). Once you are finished filling up the pan, it should be cooled enough to eat. Take a fork and start at one end of the taffy strip, and twist it around your fork. It's ok if you take some snow with it.

This was Dave's first time! He loved it! Just as a warning, this stuff is really tasty - you will want to eat the entire pan yourself.

Wednesday, January 05th, 2011
7:28 PM
Phew! I made a lot of Christmas Presents this year! The most I think I've ever done since I was maybe 5. I'm so glad I did, as it was fun, cheap, and way more special than anything bought really could be (even the LLBean monogrammed backpacks). OK maybe a puppy would be better (hint hint) - but that's it! I really think everyone who got a gift loved it, and that makes it so much better.

Anyways, if you haven't been around the past week or so - here is a wrap-up of all my Christmas Gifts::

I only really bought 2 gifts (which were also awesome), a ticket to see Donald Glover live, and a Timbuk2 Messenger Bag. I'm sure the bag could have been made, but it was a pretty last minute gift. I'm pretty sure that makes it way over 75% of my gifts being homemade (which was one of my goals before I hit 25)

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