Some new items at The Ruffled Bird on Etsy!

Here are some things the Ruffled Bird has been working on lately.  A custom pillow made for a client to bring out some orange and blue tones she had going on.  Teresa made this pillow for the clients family room and re-covered their dining room shares with awesome Dwell Studio fabric to pull it all together.

Interested in a custom pillow or having your chairs recovered?  Check her out.

cousin time

Kristen and Owen came down for a visit yesterday so Anderson and I decided to head out to Grammy's to get the boys together.  These two are going to have so many memories together.

Owen is so verbal and such the extrovert waving hi to everyone from us to the baby on the yogurt container while Anderson likes to play for a bit with him then go off by himself with his trucks.  It'll be fun to see their personalities come out more and more over the coming months!

let's get crafty. my first DIY

I'm a victim to the world of Pinterest and thinking I can do things all by myself just like that.  There are so many crafty ideas on there so between that and my super talented Mother-in-Law I was encouraged to do some painting in our place.  Since we're renting and I didn't want to commit to painting walls I looked around our room and decided with all the wood it was time for some more color.

dear 10 months

Oh Buddy.  You are 10 months now and such the little man.  Yesterday you learned how to clap and I also learned that you really know how to disobey.  While you were eating you tug at the tablecloth and when I said "NO" you just looked at me and gave an adorable toothy grin. I laughed.  Today I will not laugh and be firm with you so that you know that you need to obey me too and not just your daddy who doesn't laugh.

As your Mama I'll just go ahead and say that I think you're a smart one.  You are putting things together so much these days and playing so well by yourself.  Today as I was helping Daddy get his lunch together you quickly bolted for and proceeded to climb up the stairs.  Slow down lil buddy.

Thankfully you're eating better now, choking and gagging less, and sleeping through the night thanks to us coming to the conclusion that it was time for you to do so!  It really wasn't as painful as I would have thought and I'm pretty sure you could have been doing this for awhile now.

Truth be told the second night of sleep training I missed seeing you during the night.  You've got me wrapped around your finger little one.

I can't believe you'll be ONE soon.  I know that's cliche to say but it's true.  We're going to have to celebrate this year by throwing you a party.  It'll have some baby theme I'm sure as I know someday you'll want a truck or airplane party.  I don't want to get stressed by the planning though and just focus on what this year has meant to us and how much you've changed our world.

With ever growing love,
your mamma

Our real last day

And so the trip had to come to an end. After a long day of travel we got back and tried to recover today. We're having a bit of culture shock as SB seems to be just about the opposite of life in dc. That and I forgot for about a week what 100 and humid feels like. We'll be back SB. Yes we will.

Our last full day?

More Beach Time Please.

Jess and Kyle's Wedding Day #jkwedding

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Day Three. Baby Meets Beach

A wonderful breakfast, wine country, rehearsal dinner at the beach, baby's first time in the water, eating sand, and Roth and I making sangria for the wedding. That about sums up the day.

Day Two in Photos

Here's day two of vacation. Naps were taken by all and we're all feeling much better. Minus Anderson and his cold.

Benny and I got to go on a date tonight to our favorite- Hungry Cat. Thankful for friends who babysit our boy after he had them and us up every 2 hours last night!

Vacation Day One in Photos

Its been a long day. Up at 4:30 eastern time and now it's 10 pacific time. Full day traveling across the country and soaking up SB. Time for bed but here's the day in pictures. Super thankful to have called this place home for a season of my life!

slow-cooker lemon poppyseed cake

I'm all about the slow cooker these days.  Although it's obviously a good route for making dinner during a busy week, or when it's 105 outside and you don't want to turn on the oven, I was happy to learn that I could make various desserts in the slow cooker as well.

This recipe is great for dessert with some powdered sugar on there, fresh whipped cream if you want to be fancy, or in the morning with a cup of coffee.  It's great being an adult and having cake for breakfast.  

Thanks to the cornmeal in this cake it almost tastes like a lemony cornbread.  It keeps well and tastes even better several days in.  I think I'll be making this recipe again for times when we need a versatile cake on hand which unfortunately for us can be justified to be just about any day.  

{Recipe thanks to and loosely modified from Real Simple}

{Ingredients You'll Need}

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
  • whipped cream (optional)
  • blueberries for serving (optional)
1.  In a bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, soda, and salt

2. In a mixer beat the butter and 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar until smooth.  Add the eggs and beat for about 2 minutes.  Now add in the sour cream, vanilla, lemon zest, and poppy seeds.  Beat until combined then turn on low and blend in the flour until just combined.

3.  In your slow cooker place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom with the excess coming up the sides.  Pour the batter into the bottom of the slow cooker and spread so that it's even.  

4.  Cover and bake on high for 2 1/2 hours or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.  Check the cake after 2 hours to see how it's doing.

5.  When it's done let it cool for 10-15 minutes in the slow cooker then lift it up and dust it with confectioner's sugar and serve with berries if you'd like. 

Happy slow-cooker baking!

blueberry coffee cake

We're all one happy family this weekend.  Todd, Kristen, and Mr. Owen came into town and we're camping out at Grammy and Grandpa's house.  Knowing I wasn't going to be up for making pancakes in the morning, as much as I love them, I opted to make this blueberry coffee cake last night.

It's a recipe that I found when sifting through a stack of papers.  This time it was a copy which means my Mom gave it to me awhile ago with the unspoken words, "you should make this..."

The recipe hails from Cooking Light but you'd never know it. The buttermilk and layers of blueberries throughout make it a nice and substantial and perfect with a hot cup of black coffee.  I made this last night and it tasted delicious this morning.

{Recipe thanks to and minimally adapted from Cooking Light}

{Ingredients You'll Need}

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado (raw) sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350 then combine the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt in a bowl with a whisk.

2.  Place the sugar and butter in a mixer and blend for about 2 minutes.  Now add in the vanilla then the eggs and beat well.  Now add in the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  

3.  Using a 9 inch round cake pan that's been sprayed with cooking spray, place half the batter in the pan then top with 1 cup of blueberries.  Spoon over the remaining batter, top with remaining blueberries, and sprinkle the turbinado sugar on top.  

4.  Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove from pan.

Enjoy with coffee.  You'll be glad you did.

Prosciutto and Blue Cheese Grilled Peaches

The other night we were savoring our grill.  I was concerned it's days were numbered so when we lit her up I decided it was a good time to try out a recipe I had been thinking about for some time.  Grilled peaches seemed to be like a good idea and the fact that we had some prosciutto laying around and just enough blue cheese to dollop on top, our appetizer, or dessert, was set.

Summer is a great time to get creative on the grill.  You can grill everything from peaches to romaine so don't be shy.

For the recipe here's what you'll need.

2 ripe peaches
8 thinly sliced pieces of prosciutto
4 quarter size pieces of blue cheese

Cut your peaches in half and remove the pit.  Wrap 2 pieces of prosciutto each around each peach.

Place the peaches on the grill with the pit-side down and let them cook for just 2-4 minutes. Flip and let them cook for just 2 minutes longer, adding the blue cheese in the last minute so that it'll melt just a bit.

Enjoy them warm by themselves.  I bet they'd be delicious with a peppery arugula salad too.  Next time.

the recipe binder project

So tell me.  How do you save recipes you love.  Do you rely on Pinterest or do you have a cute file like this one from Etsy?

For whatever reason I've been all about the binder.  Pretty classic with it's 3 rings and laminated pages.  It's easy to pull what I want out and know that whatever splatters won't ruin the pages.  Unfortunately for me though I have a stack of recipes that need to go into the binder and even more magazines yet to be read.  Think of all the recipes in these babies?  Especially since most of them are Cook's so you know they're real winners.

I'd love to know how you store your recipes.  What's been the best method?  There is something special about recipe cards whether it's writing down a favorite dish for a friend or referring to your Grandmother's apple crumble on a card she wrote many years ago.  That said, if I had them all on cards it would take me a long time to sift through everything I've made.  Then again, that's what this blog is for, right?  I've started just keeping my classics on cards in the kitchen so I know the temperature and ingredients for items we make often, like company crusted pork tenderloin, pizza dough, or risotto.

never buy canned beans again

You're sitting on the edge of your seat, right?

This is really that exciting.  I heard about this from a friend and was quick to ask her how to do this.  Have you done it?  I could very well be late in receiving the news but for those of you who are like me and find tips like this on friend, read on.

Although a can of beans is easy to buy I was excited to do this for black beans since we often have them as a side.  I have some chickpeas I'm going to make up next and then I'll do it for kidney beans when chili season rolls around.  Although I kept these simple you could of course add an onion or two in the mix and some spices too.  Keeping them simple means I can use them for all sorts of things from a simple side to this cheesy cilantro black bean recipe.  It also means there's no added salt when I go ahead and heat them up.

Here's the recipe.  Thanks to Kara who got it from ... ?!

1.  Take your bag of beans, or two, and soak them overnight in a large dutch oven.
2.  In the morning drain the beans and pour them into your slow cooker then cover the beans with water.
3.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours until the beans are cooked and tender.
4.  For 1 can of beans you'll freeze in portions of 1 2/3 cups.  

So tell me, this is revolutionary, right?! Part of my excitement is due to the fact that canned beans go for well over $1.00 here and I think they should cost $.48 max!

butternut squash and barley risotto for my buddy boo

Sometime in the last week Anderson has decided to kick it up a notch and really eat food.  For the first time in his little life I've had to actually go and heat more food up for him.  Since he's actually packing it down now I'm on a mission to make some food that I think he'll like, but that Benjamin and I can eat as well.

First up is this Butternut Squash and Barley Risotto.  I made it several months ago and at the time thought of it as baby food.  It's pretty mushy and not the most appetizing to adults, although I'll admittedly serve it to Benjamin.  I'll probably have to process it a bit for Anderson but I think with the barley, squash, and spices, this will be a real winner.  Interested in making it yourself?  Check out the recipe here thanks to Good Housekeeping.

A Happy Fourth!

Happy Independence Day, Nation!  I sit here having just watched the fireworks on TV while Benjamin ran outside to catch the show over the monuments just a few minute walk from our house where he could see them.

Although it was a wonderful day off, this year the holiday seems like a bit of a tease since Benjamin is headed back to work tomorrow.  We did of course enjoy the day at my parents where we grilled steaks, ate corn on the cob and watermelon. Apart from having the chance to crawl around a space much larger than our apartment Anderson also got to swim this afternoon.  His appetite was definitely up today and I'm hoping it helps him sleep better tonight.

I didn't feel the pressure to make anything too patriotic, though Pinterest sure has me thinking next year I just might.  It'll be fun when we can get Anderson excited about fireworks and when I have a reason to actually make something festive.  

Truth be told we set red, white, and blue aside this year and decided on Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake to celebrate my Dad's Birthday yesterday.  Have you tried this recipe yet?  It truly is a winner and a cake I'm glad I made again!