Tincture Making Party

Today I went to a tincture making party.  A tincture is an herbal extract.  They are more potent than an herbal tea, so you don’t have to take as much (which I like, since I don’t care that much for tea).  A lady from our church bought enough herbs for everyone who signed up to make several different tinctures and teas.  Then we got together and made the tinctures, teas, and a syrup.  All the herbal preparations are for cold and flu symptoms.  Perfect timing, as I am coming down with a cold. 🙂  The party was so fun, and I hope we’ll do another.

All the recipes we used can be found either in Be Your Own Doctor by Rachel Weaver or Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health.


Master tonic


Blackberry root tincture


Elderberry syrup


Wild cherry bark tincture


Echinacea tincture


Herbs for teas and a syrup

A Happy Thanksgiving

We had a lovely Thanksgiving.  Friends from church came over and it was so fun being together.  We had dinner, played “Sequence,” ate dessert (had to eat those pies!), did hair, beaded, and talked a lot.  It was very nice and relaxing.

I had so much fun getting dishes out and setting the table.  My mom likes to buy pretty dishes at thrift stores.  It was so fun going through the drawers and finding dishes and candles that I could use.

I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!


The dishes – I keep them in my mom and dad’s room so they are easily accessible


The table


Lots of glass!


All lit


I put these on the piano, and loved how they looked


More pie pictures – a cranberry apple pie made by my friend


Chocolate pie – my friend made this one too


Pumpkin bars


 I love these candlesticks


I’ve been doing some baking getting ready for thanksgiving.  I’ve made a total of four pies – two on Wednesday and two on Saturday.  The two I made on Saturday – a pumpkin pie and an apple pie – were for our church Thanksgiving service.  The two I made Wednesday – an apple pie and an apple pie for Drake – are for Thanksgiving.  The regular pie I made today was one of my big apple pies – I made it in our cast iron skillet (I believe that it is a 15” skillet).

I made Drake’s pie crust using the recipe in Allergy Free Desserts.  The filling is the same recipe I usually use, but with arrowroot powder instead of the flour.

I took quite a few pictures.  Pies are pretty fun to photograph. 🙂


Saturday – the pumpkin pie




Wednesday – apples



Drake’s apple pie




The big apple pie



Kitchen Creations

I haven’t been in the kitchen cooking up something new or exciting for awhile, but I mad a few fun things on Wednesday and yesterday.

Wednesday I made America’s Test Kitchen’s triple chocolate cookies.  Mine were only double chocolate, as I used bittersweet chips instead of the semisweet chips (the bittersweet chips make for a darker cookie, though:)). They turned out as wonderful as usual. I have made them several times before, and Mom and I especially like them. 


Melted chocolate – all I need is a spoon!


They taste almost like brownies

Mom took a few of us to the library on Wednesday, and I got a new cookbook titled Allergy Free Desserts, by Elizabeth Gordon.  I am really excited about it, as all the recipes in it are gluten, dairy, egg, soy, and nut free.  My brother can’t have soy, corn, wheat, some nuts, and egg whites, so I was quite excited that I have a cookbook with recipes that are free of most of those things.  I made a coffee cake for him from the book and it turned out really well.  Regrettably, it contains xanthan gum, which comes from corn. 😦  On the bright side, I found a few things that can be substituted for xanthan gum, so I am hoping to make something for him today.


Ready to go into the oven

For dinner yesterday, I made French onion soup, also an ATK recipe.  I put less balsamic vinegar in it this time, and everyone said that it was better than the two times I’ve made it before.


The bowl of onions




All ready to be eaten

What’s Up?

Things have been a bit quiet around here, I know.  We’ve been quite busy, and I haven’t had time to post or anything worthy of posting.  🙂

Last weekend we had a wonderful visit with a friend that we haven’t seen in awhile.  It was great just sitting around and getting to hear what she has been doing.  Can’t wait to get together with her around Christmastime.

Then on Wednesday we went to a friend’s home and stayed for three nights because my parents went to San Antonio for a few nights for their anniversary (if you want to say it right, according to Meiling, they went to “Sandy Antonio”).  We had so much fun with our friends.

A little before we went to our friend’s home and over the past few days I have been working on painting our mudroom.  The bead board and the cubbies and corner shelves have all been painted blue, and I now have to paint the walls and a few more shelves cream.

I also mixed a blend of essential oils with a carrier oils for a massage oils for my mom.  The blend contains orange, lavender, clary sage geranium, vetiver, and Roman chamomile, and it is for anxiety/stress.  I am planning to use it as a massage oil for my mom when she feels stressed.  It should be fun!


Before – all wiped and taped for painting the bead board




Halfway through – ready to paint the top


Random Tip

When you are pressing garlic, don’t point the press toward your face.  Garlic will go flying into your face, and may possibly, as was my experience, land in your eye.  Just in case you were wondering, that doesn’t feel good.

I’m on a Roll(er)!

Since I’ve been painting more(and I’ve discovered that it’s rather fun),  I was motivated to repaint the kitchen and part of the family room.

The kitchen used to be a brighter yellow, called “goldfinch,” which suited it exactly.  Mom has been saying for awhile that it needed to be lighter, but it never got repainted.  Once our new floor was laid, the yellow was too bright and it made the floor look yellow.  Mom picked out a the new shade and I painted the kitchen on Tuesday. 

The part of the family room that I painted used to be the same yellow as the kitchen, but after living with it for four years, Mom decided that it needed to be blue to match the rest of the family room.  I painted the first coat on Thursday, and the second coat today.

Now I have paint left for one of the upstairs bathrooms (its going to be purple – the color is called “purplicious”) and for the mud room (it was finished 3 years or so ago, but it only got primed :)).  After that I believe we are going to paint the other two bathrooms, and I can’t think of any other rooms that need to be painted off the top of my head.  Oh, except for the high part of the wall above the stairs, and I think Dad is going to do that.

That’s why I’m on a roll(er)!


The blue wall


The kitchen – the sink is opposite the wall with the stereo.  There’s not a whole lot of wall space in the kitchen, so if

I posted a picture of the actual kitchen, you wouldn’t see a whole lot of the new yellow.