Heart-Shaped Thank You

Heart-Shaped Thank You

This week marks my six month blogaversary. Next week is my 41st birthday (shhh!!!!). And it is a new year. Lots of milestones to celebrate and contemplate in my life this month! I am full of inspiration and hope for 2008. Yes, there are reasons to be stressed and uncertain in spite of my optimism. Questions that remain unanswered. Choices to make, hard work and bends in the road yet unknown. But still, my heart is bursting with anticipation to see where life will take me.

Something in me changed when I turned 40 in January of last year — I knew instantly a new and different chapter had begun. It was like my mind and heart opened up to a new level of awareness and sense of purpose around me. I could see more clearly but at the same time, wasn’t sure what I was seeing! I stepped out in confidence not knowing exactly where I was going. I still wonder, but I still move forward. Each new step I take reveals a little bit more of the journey’s twists and turns while the end of the road is still clouded from view.

So, what will this year look like on my blog? I’m planning more inspiration weeks, some collaborations, more inspiring guest features, design inspiration, ideas to encourage you in living your best life and more PARTIES to keep things lively! I’ve got more drive-bys in the works and of course, more sweet escapes to make life fun! Just for laughs, I’ll show you some horrifying “before” photos from inside my fixer upper house and keep you posted on the other crazy stuff that happens around my home! I’m even creating my “virtual dream house” to share with you in the coming weeks (and will give you a tour of our real-life totally remodeled beach house! I can’t wait to see that one myself, after a year long wait!). Lots of ideas floating around, I am SO happy you are all a part of it.

I never imagined what a contribution blogging would make to my life. It is where parts of my heart and mind overflow and become something more visible and tangible. It is a place where I try to inspire, stretch and challenge myself. And through each connection I make with all of you I add new pieces of the puzzle to my life. Blogging isn’t my whole life (although sometimes it threatens to take over!), but as I keep it in proper perspective I feel confident it will take me on new roads, revealing amazing and exciting milestones along the way.

I am so thankful to each of you for inspiring me.

I’m turning off the comments here, as this post is simply a THANK YOU. I of course welcome emails if you would like to share an idea, a thought, a suggestion for the new year or have a question you’d like answered! I am still new to blogging and I can use all of the feedback, advice and input I can get as I plan my new year. I appreciate all of you who have taken the time to share with me over the past six months. It means so much.

photo & products: Sur La Table

Weekend Tradition: Puff Pancakes

Weekend Tradition: Puff Pancakes

No matter what you’ve done for yourself or for humanity, if you can’t look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?

–Elbert Hubbard

With kids of all different ages and a busy household, family time is precious to us. One way we gather everyone together on a regular basis is with a breakfast of Puffed Pancakes. In our house, we just say the word “puffs” on a Saturday morning and everyone comes running! “Puffs” (as we affectionately call them) are puffed pancakes (a.k.a. Dutch Babies) topped with fresh squeezed lemon and powdered sugar. YUM! We’ve been making Puffs for over a decade. They are simple to make and everyone loves them. Best of all, Puffs are a frequent reminder of special times together.

Puff Pancakes

Butter: 1/3 cup
Eggs: 4
Milk & Flour: 1 cup each
Vanilla: 1 tsp.

Put butter in 3-4 qt. pan and set in 425 degree oven.
Mix batter as quickly as butter melts.
Put eggs in a blender and blend at high speed for 1 minute.
While motor is running, gradually pour in milk, the slowly add the flour; continue blending for about 30 seconds. Add a teaspoon or more of vanilla.

Remove pan from oven and pour batter into hot melted butter. Bake until puffed, about 20 minutes.

Garnish with fresh squeezed lemon and powdered sugar.

Here are a couple of nifty gadgets from Williams-Sonoma you could easily use to start a new breakfast tradition:

Weekend Tradition: Puff Pancakes

Stack & Fill Pancake Molds

Creating stacks of small, medium and large custom-filled flapjacks is fun and easy with our kid-friendly steel molds. When stacked, the pancakes’ hollow centers create a deep well that can be filled with whatever you choose – from favorite syrups and jams to pecan pralines. The molds’ nonstick finish ensures easy release and cleanup, and the handles fold for storage. Hand-wash. 4 1/4″ to 6 1/2″ diam. Set of three, one of each size. A Williams-Sonoma exclusive.

Weekend Tradition: Puff Pancakes

Ebelskiver Filled-Pancake Pan

Light, puffy pancakes known as ebelskiver are an adored treat in Denmark. Now you can make them at home with this NordicWare pan crafted with seven deep wells for shaping the batter into the traditional ball shape. The heavy cast-aluminum pan heats evenly, and a nonstick coating assures clean release. Served for breakfast, as hors d’oeuvres or as a light supper, ebelskiver can be filled with fruit, jam, cheese, chocolate or meats. Serve the sweet variety with a traditional dusting of powdered sugar. Recipes included. Makes seven pancakes. 9 1/2″ diam.

Top image: House To Home (originally from Ideal Home 2005
Products: Williams Sonoma
Weekend Tradition: Puff Pancakes