Friday, January 27, 2012


Just to state, I love Sunset Magazine.  It's one of the only magazines I will sit down and read cover to cover.  While flipping through the newest February issue, I started reading an article called "The 5 Mile Bouquet" and wound up bumping into some familiar faces.

Dennis and Diane of Washington's local Jello Mold Farm were our neighbors this past year at the Queen Anne Farmers Market, while my husband and I were selling beef for Happy Mountain Farm.  I've always known they were wonderful, but it was great to see a popular magazine praising them as much as they deserve to be praised!  Diane has the most beautiful color-popping flower arrangements you've ever seen, and her and Dennis are two of the nicest considerate people out there.  They are always full of happiness and cheer and always make sure to throw beautiful flower arrangements at you when its your birthday or if your just feeling blue.

This couple doesn't only tend to the human spirit, they also tend to the richness of the earth and our wonderful array of wildlife here in Washington.  Avid composters, Jello Mold Farm adds mineral amendments and certified organic fertilizers with the compost, to enrich the soil as they farm. supporting and increasing the diversity of critters great and small. 

They have also set aside one third of their seven acers of land for habitat conservation. 
"We have beetle banks and wild grassy areas to support voles. The cupola on our barn is outfitted as a bat house and we built a special rock pile “condo” for garter snakes. Our efforts are rewarded with frequent sightings of harrier hawks, sparrow hawks, red tail hawks, ospreys, bald eagles, three kinds of owls and an occasional heron."

If you follow practices to reduce your carbon footprint, where you buy your flowers is a big deal.
To supply the US with every variety of plant and flower needed or wanted at any given time, takes shipping and transportation from other states and or countries.  A lot of the flowers you buy in the store have been treated with dyes and chemicals to make them look like they have just been picked.  Whats impressive about Jello Mold Farms is the array of textures and colors they offer, that seem to be unique only to them.  Dennis has a variety of Dahlia's that produce for only a short period of time during the early fall.  The petals are almost an indigo blue, with bright pink petals on the inside.  Almost psychedelic!  You'll also see varieties of cabbage, artichokes, and other furney foliage, that you would never see bundled up in your store bought bouquet. 

So if you live in the Washington area, keep an eye out for these lovely folks.  They are down to earth wonderful people, enjoying a life that they are so passioned about.  If you're not in the Washington area, think about buying your flowers locally.  I think you be surprised to find what original and unique flowers you can find, and the price usually comparable to what you would find in the store.  Yeah its harder for small farms to give you massed produced prices, but think about the savings of not having to transport them, or the expense of spraying them with chemicals to make them look different or to live in unnatural habitats.  That's how small flower farms can offer you reasonable prices, and knowing where your products come from simply takes the cake....... I mean JELLO!

Till next time!

"Beep Beep" from The Little Road!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I can never figure out what to do with all those seasoning packets!
Brown gravy, ranch dressing, guacamole, taco seasoning!!
You can't be surprised that I don't get excited to make anything like this from scratch.
But where the heck can I store all these packets!!!!

Here is my solution.

I always have tons of berry containers left over from the farmers market.
Yes, I know you should give them back for reuse, but I like to keep them on hand for crafts and such.
Well they came in super handy while I was reorganizing one of our catch all closets.  Now I don't have to go scrounging around for my brown gravy mixes and my yummy Serendipity dips!
I can just grab and go!

"Beep Beep" from The Little Road

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Being a nanny to Little Liam was one of the best jobs I've ever had.  Now that hes getting so big and going to school, I don't get to spend as much time with him as I used to, and boy do I miss him all the time!  On the plus side, now when I do get to spend time with him, I can just spoil him rotten!!
The other day his family and Curt and I all went out to ice cream.  Liam managed to eat his whole chocolate ice cream cone, plus half of his dads, then his moms.... then snuck over to me for a few bites of mine!  This kid loves his sweets!
Which makes his upcoming 3rd birthday party CANDY theme SOOOOO PERFECT!
His mom and dad and I have been brainstorming for a couple weeks now for perfect candy party activities!  His invitation just came in the mail the other day.  Take a look at this cutie!

Isn't he just the cutest kid!  If only you could see his funny personality, he can melt any heart.
So here are a few pictures from one of my Pinterest Boards with some inspiration for this upcoming CANDY BIRTHDAY PARTY!!

What would a CANDY party be with out a CANDY TABLE!!
This can be an awesome (and cleaner) alternative to cake.  Give the kids a bag, and let them fill it up!

Did you know that your local library often times can be rented out for parties and get-to-gethers?
Its surprisingly affordable, and the best part, you don't have to clean your house.
I think I'm going to make a few of these gum drop wreaths for the front doors.

I love this idea for kid sized lolly pops.  Looks like they just tied cellophane around a few balloons and attached them to PVC pipe.  This makes me think of Willy Wonka's secret candy garden.  Now if only we had a river of chocolate!

I also love this idea of making a giant dot candy paper for party favors.
Just use some large thick white poster board and cut out circles. Put colored tissue paper behind it, and tape on a paper bag to the back (to hold the favor).  Kids break through the tissue paper to get to the prize!! Here is a tutorial on how to make it.

And of course you can't have a CANDY PARTY without a Pinata!!

I'm also planning on dressing up as the crazy candy lady, passing out MORE candy and reading the kids a book.  So far I'm thinking about reading "If you give a mouse a cookie."  Do any of you know of any other sweet treat related kids books?
I think this is going to be such a fun party!  I just can't wait!  Were going to have to send all these kids home with toothbrushes!

"Beep Beep" from The Little Road


Wednesday, January 18, 2012


All week everyone has been going on and on about

It's been snowing lightly off and on over the weekend, and honestly, yesterday was bright and sunny!
Boy it hit hard last night though!  We woke up to a full 8 inches of smooth glistening white.  It's Beautiful!  Us Washingtonians are a temperate culture, so anytime the temperature goes outside of our 40 to 75 degree temperature radius.... well, we complain.  When it does actually snow here, (which it does a few times a year.) most of us just stay indoors!  The Great American Mid West would call us all a bunch of sissy's!  Maybe its true, but I certainly enjoy snow most from inside my home.

Curtis got the day off work so we've just been watching the snow lightly fall outside our window all day, while we cozy up in warm blankets, drink Black Tea (with just a splash of Disaronno Amaretto Liquor), and watch the Wonder Years on Netflix.  Curt and I did take a short walk on the beach and snatched a few photos, but me being the pansy that I am high tailed it right back indoors.

Just around the corner from our house is the Des Moines Marina.  A local photographer David Sharp, snapped this awesome photo of a frozen Puget Sound, and posted it on the Des Moines Marina Facebook page.  Such a great photo!

Even our cat Tula got in on a little snow action today!

I hope everyone out there in snow land is enjoying some warm blankets, loved ones, hot drinks and staying safe.

"Beep Beep" from The Little Road!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


As a beef monger by day crafter by night kind of person,  I figured it would only be right for me to share one of my all time favorite recipes.  Though I wouldn't say that I eat a ton of beef.  I actually try to eat a vegetarian meal at least once or twice a week, but I don't think I could ever quit being a carnivore.

Selling beef for a local farm here in Washington was something that my husband and I really just stumbled into.  We started working for the farm to help earn some extra money for our upcoming wedding, and the farm really needed some extra help too.  It was a win win situation for both of us!  What started as a summer job has actually turned into a full fledged career of sorts.

One thing I have to say about beef is that I really try not to be a snob about it.  I don't hold any grudge or bad thought about people who buy their meat from the grocery store.  I know that if we weren't so lucky to have a considerable discount for working for our farm, we would rarely be able to afford to buy it, certainly not on a regular basis.  On the flip side, there is an enormous difference in taste and quality when you choose to eat organic and grass fed beef, and its incredibly good for you too.  Grass fed beef will give you the same nutrients you can get from eating fish, only a lot more.... and its not so fishy smelling.  I also really love being part of a small farm and what it means in our local community and what it stands for in this crazy mass meat producing world.  Unfortunately its not cheep to eat local.  Some how that basic quality that used to be such a big part of our livelihood changed in a BIG way, and I think its sad that to support local farms is actually a treat we have to allow ourselves to have rather then a necessity.  But that's just my opinion.

Enough of my politics, lets get to the good eats!

A few months back I found this recipe for Korean Short Ribs HERE and Curt and I have been gobbling short ribs like they are going out of stile!!!  Short ribs tend to have a lot of fat on them, but after slow cooking them all day all that fat just melts right into the meat. This literally just falls right off the bone, and the sauce is just the right amount of spice, that accumulates that low smoldering burn in your mouth. I know your mouth is watering now.

Just look at that glaze!  Believe me, this is a fail proof meal.  Its so simple and really takes no prep or slaving over a stove.

Lets start off with:

1 cup soy sauce
1 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons sesame oil
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
I head of garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
5 lbs beef short ribs, uncut whole ribs (grass fed if you can)
1-2 stalks green onions, sliced thin for garnish
1/2 teaspoon white sesame seeds for garnish

To Make Simply:
Mix soy sauce, sugar, oil, vinegar, ginger, garlic and red pepper in a small bowl. Place ribs in a 5-quart slow cooker and pour sauce over. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Remove ribs from crockpot and serve hot over a bed of rice with a garnish of green onions and sesame seeds.

Enjoy this thoroughly, and if you try it, let me know how you liked it!

"Beep Beep" from The Little Road!

market photos by Suyama Images