Crest Cottage Creations

Food, Family, and Fun in our little cottage…


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A Fresh Start

It has been a long time since I have shared anything here.  Life got in the way, and this just became another thing on the to-do list.  Now, three years later, I realized how much I missed it.  So many things have changed, and I’m sure I will be sharing that as time goes on.  Now, I am just happy to be back.

So, what’s next for me, and Crest Cottage Creations?

Well, expect lots of edible creations, of course!  Some featuring a fantastic little cook-in-training…

JB

I’ll also be sharing tidbits about our lives.  Since we last spoke, we added another little one to the crew.

Baby J

As our family grows, I’m learning as much as the kids!  I’d love to share the ups, downs, lessons, and wins while I work out the tough stuff.  After all, creations come in all shapes, sizes, and forms.

I’m excited to be creating, sharing, and learning again.  I hope you will be along for the ride!

whole family

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2012 Green Goals

A few of my Green Goals for 2012:
1) Fill our spare freezer with home made ingredients (stock, macaroni sauce, breads, “convenience foods” from scratch, etc)
2) Grow a portion of our food in our garden.  We tried one last summer (our first at Crest Cottage), but I was pregnant and sick and not any help at all.  We got some cucumbers and tomatoes, and John had some success with garlic and potatoes, but not much of anything else.  This year we are going in with a better plan of attack.  Hopefully the baby will like to be outside!
3) Create an herb garden that can be brought inside for the winter.
4) Remember to actually USE the bags in my car.
5) Make some more cleaners at home (and find more uses for my current baking soda/white vinegar/essential oils/castile soap)
That seems like a manageable amount of goals to start with.  What are yours?
Great Food for Thought!

 This post was shared on the Nourishing New Year’s Resolution Carnival!


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Long Time, No See

Hello!
Welcome back to Crest Cottage!  I know it has been a while since I last posted, but I promise, there is a good reason!!
I was tired… and therefore not creating. 
Not too good of a reason?  Well….  How about the reason I was tired?
Yes!  We at Crest Cottage are expecting our newest creation to arrive in February!  In the meantime, stick around!  I’m feeling better and am jumping back onto the blogging/creating train.  I missed it!


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Thoughts on Allergies.

Recently, I have had some thoughts on seasonal (namely, spring) allergies, and I want to share them with you.
My whole life I have suffered from allergies.  In addition to indoor and pet dander, I had a multitude of outdoor allergies.  Pollen and freshly cut grass were especially bad, and most of the spring was spent battling itchy, puffy eyes, a clogged yet runny nose, a scratchy throat, and sometimes asthma. 
This year they are just about gone.  Sure, I sneeze a little.  My nose was itchy a few times.  But basically?  They are gone!  For the first time in my life, I am smelling the roses… literally!  When I drive home from work with my windows open, I am shocked by the amazing aromas of the flowers.  I never realized it before, but my nose is always so clogged during this season that I have never had the ability to smell it before.  The other day, I was at a traffic light near a home that was having its lawn trimmed.  In the past, I would have held my breath to prevent breathing in the allergens.  This time?  I inhaled deeply and enjoyed it!
I haven’t figured out why I am immune this year.  I mean, rumor has it that this year has the highest pollen levels in ages.  I do have a few theories…
1)  Our diet.  This spring marks nearly year in which we have been eating in this way.  Happy animals, raw milk, and local honey may have contributed.  Each of these foods has been attributed with healing allergies.   
2)  Our location.  We moved last summer.  This is the first spring that we lived here.  Maybe the plants are different!   I’m not sure how much this contributes, though, because I still work in the town that we were living in before.  I am still there every day with no problem.  
3)  Our cleaning products.  We really only use anti-bacterial products for really germy messes… toilets, raw meat juices, and things of that nature.  Maybe my immune system has to fight more environmental germs the way it was designed to, and it stopped wasting its time on pollen and grass?
4)  I outgrew them.  Doubtful, but possible.
Yes, I know that by posting this, I am basically ASKING for a major allergy attack.  It’s like when you say “It can’t get any worse!” and it does.  Well, I’m ready for it.  
What are your thoughts?  Where did my allergies go?

This post was shared on Your Green Resource and Simple Lives Thursday!


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Vodka Sauce and Table-Scapes

So… This week I created my first “tablescape.”  Our dining room table has been naked since we moved in, and on Monday I was inspired to change that.  
Blue and white checker table cloth, white napkins, Crate-and-Barrel bowls, and simple wine glasses.  My favorite part is the centerpiece.  
We picked up this blue pitcher at a garage sale a few years back.  I went outside and snipped some forsythia from the huge, overgrown bushes in our yard.  It is the perfect touch!
Moving on to the food, which is why you are all here, of course.  
Vodka Sauce.  
The last time I made this recipe, I was in high school.  It was late at night and my best friend Kristie and I decided to make vodka sauce.  I think we were the only kids that sneaked liquor, not to drink, but to cook with.  Anyway, it was a disaster.  The original recipe called for canned tomatoes, which of course, we didn’t have.  We took cherry tomatoes and tried to mush them up.  That didn’t work, they just exploded everywhere.  Then, it seemed that I wrote the recipe down incorrectly.  The vodka measurement I wrote down was 2/c cup.  When we make it, we put in 2 cups.  FYI, that is a flammable amount of vodka.  The stove went up in flames.  Oops.  
Now, a decade later, I decided to re-attempt that very recipe.  
First, I melted down 2 tablespoons of butter.  Then, I had to figure out what 2/c cup was.  I settled on 1/2 cup.  
The rest of the recipe was easy.  I added in my tomato sauce and raw milk cream. 
I mixed it all together and added some salt. 
It was so yummy!  I poured it into a jar, and it is waiting to me mixed with rigatoni and peas!
…and don’t worry, the cream in the measuring cup didn’t go to waste.