Friday, February 7, 2014

Weekly Happiness

It's Friday! Yay!!  Here are my top 5 from the week...

1.  Tomorrow is my husband's birthday! It still feels so weird to say "husband" even though we have been married for 3 months. We are having a pretty low key and quiet birthday this year, but it will be fun and perfect no matter what we do because we will be together.

2. Yesterday was my sister's birthday! This is the week of birthdays apparently. My sister is my best friend and such a wonderful person! I am so sad that she lives so far away and that I was unable to spend the day with her. We will just have to make up for lost time when I go to visit her next month in D.C.

3. I ate at the most amazing restaurant last night with my dear friend Cindy. It was soooo good! If any of you live in the Phoenix area you need to check out Liberty Market. And if you don't live in Phoenix, you should probably come visit just to eat there. Totally worth it.

4. I was in a training for two days this week about interactive ways to teach algebra to your students. It was fascinating! I learned so many things, but I think my favorite was learning how to use algebra tiles affectively. Have you ever used those? I feel like I have been living under a rock because I didn't even know they existed until yesterday. I will have to post something about them at a later date because they are a-mazing.

5. I got the cutest affirmation today on my desk when I got back to school from my two day training. It was so sweet and simple, but really touched my heart. Isn't it amazing that when you need it the most, your students show you their love for you and it makes everything worth it. :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Trailer Love

I have a slight obsession with vintage campers. My dream is to buy a vintage camper, redo it, travel all across the nation, stop at every largest ball of twine, and bring my eighteen french bulldog puppies with me. OK, well none of this is probably going to happen, but a girl can dream right?

I love trailers so much I just bought this lunch box over the weekend... P.S. This is about the most preparation I have done for the new school year starting up here in a little over a week! Yikes!

Here are some inspirations...

 I hope you fall in love as much as I am! 

~ Heather <3

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Recipe: Peach Blackberry Crisp and Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Remember the Fourth of July post that I wrote here?  I wanted to follow it up with the dessert recipe because it was just.that.good.  And kind of good for you in that I-am-eating-fruit-and-vitamins-even-if-they-are-coated-in-reduced-sugar-deliciousness kind of way.  In terms of desserts, this is a definitely a lesser sin.

All recipes below adapted from Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" cookbook.  Love that man and love that book.  It has the basics on everything you have ever wanted to make, and more than you realized you did.  It is huge though and could also make an excellent doorstop.  Your choice.

Peach Blackberry Crisp

My rule of thumb for fruit dishes is that you should have about one cup of fruit per person you are serving.  Since we had three people, we did three cups.  Adjust accordingly for your party or if you want leftovers! Keep the topping the same as below. 

The filling
3 cups of cut up and peeled peach and blackberries
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 TBSP corn starch

The topping
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 TBSP cold butter plus more for greasing pan
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup chopped nuts

Pre-heat oven to 400F.  Toss the fruit with half of the pumpkin pie spice, the lemon juice, 1/2 TBSP of brown sugar, and 1 TBSP of cornstarch.  Spread in a lightly buttered casserole dish (I used a 8 inch round pie dish because we weren't making much).
Combine all other ingredients, along with remaining pie spice and sugar in a food processor and pulse until everything is combined but coarse-like in texture.  Spread over the fruit and bake for 30 minutes.  It's great hot, warm, room temperature, and even straight out of the fridge (which I may or may not have experience with).

We served it warm with this:

Basic French Vanilla Ice Cream
I used my cuisinart ice cream maker to make the ice cream.  I adore my ice cream maker but seem to only really use it in the summer and I really should resolve to use it all year round.  It makes frozen yogurt too which would be the next thing I would try. 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1.5 cup cream
1.5 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons maple syrup
3 egg yolks

Combine 1 cup of the cream and 1 cup of the whole milk in a saucepan with 2 tbsp maple syrup.  Heat, stirring occcasionally till steam rises but not to boiling.  Remove from heat.  In a smaller bowl, using a whisk, beat the other 2 tbsp maple syrup with the egg yolks until thickened, about three minutes.  Gradually add a 1/2 cup hot cream mixture to the egg yolks.  Then transfer that into the rest of the heated cream waiting in the saucepan (the idea is to gradually add the egg yolks to the warm cream so that you don't end up with scrambled egg ice cream - yuck!).  Cook over medium low heat stirring constantly until it is slightly thickened (how you can tell is if you can run your finger over the stirring spoon and the line stays clear).
Strain this custard into a bowl and add vanilla extract and the remaining milk and cream at this point.  Stir together and fridge it for a few hours then add to the ice cream maker when desired.  Eat right after, don't try to freeze - it is my humble opinion that homemade ice cream NEVER tastes the same as right out of the mixer. 

Bon Appetit,

Friday, July 12, 2013

Out and About

While we are waiting for Baby to gift the world with his presence, my sister and I went out and about in Alexandria, VA. I love this town because it is so different than Phoenix. Everything is walkable and it has the cutest downtown.
We went to a groovy place called Teaism. We went around 2:30 for tea time! It reminded me of old fashioned tea time in jolly old England except with an Asian flare.

We chose to sit in the cute upholstered cubes. They pretty much have the best fabric selection I have ever seen.

We had Earl Grey Tea with a delicious tray of goodies that we split. Our favorites were the scones and salmon tea sandwiches, but everything was delish!

We had such a fun time! It was really chill in there and it is definitely worth a visit if you are ever in the area. 

~ Heather <3

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fourth of July Feast Recap

I have nothing but time on my hands now while I wait for baby boy.  When I do have time to spare, I like making more elaborate meals than I normally would.  America's birthday and a pregnant appetite means that one has the perfect excuse to REALLY do it up.  So I did.

Trying to avoid burning my belly
Our meal plan involved my husband spending hours devoted to ribs in the smoker (kudos to me for the bday gift that keeps on giving).  This is an all day affair that draws curious neighbors and their noses.
Hubby hard at work at the smoker
We had fresh farmers market corn on the cob, made a simple summer caprese salad, and skillet cornbread for the sides.

The true highlight for me (I have developed such a sweet tooth since becoming pregnant) was the peach and blackberry crisp with homemade vanilla ice cream.

Creating the custard base for the ice cream.  We used maple syrup instead of sugar and it turned out great.

Peaches and blackberries - yummmmmmmmm

The finished product - get in my big belly!!
It was all so very simple and so summery.  We didn't end up catching any fireworks due to a misunderstanding in where the views would be, but I truly feel like we did it right just based on this meal alone.  I'm hoping next year will involve a festive cocktail or two but that will have to wait.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Flavored Vodka

 It's no secret, I love a good cocktail.  I always am trying to create crazy cocktails (some successful, most not) and I thought flavored vodka would be super fun to try. I made a raspberry, mango, jalapeno, and vanilla.
I was just experimenting so I didn't make a ton of each flavor, just enough to make a drink or two out of them. I added enough vodka to cover the ingredients and put them in a cute mason jar (my container of choice!).
I added washi tape at the top with letter stamps to add a cuteness factor.

I left them alone in the pantry for a week and shook them every once in a while. Strain them and get ready for a festive taste test.

Look at how beautiful the colors are! I love the raspberry especially...

The vanilla was gorgeous also!

The jalapeno and raspberry vodka were our favorites! You may have noticed the jalapeno vodka was a little skimpy in the first picture because we drank that bad boy already. It added a delicious zing to our bloody marys the night before!

Try them for yourself and make some delicious flavors to share with us!

~ Heather <3

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Introduction to Jessica

Hey y'all!

Pleased to introduce myself - I am Jessica, the other half of the Two Flew duo.  I am new to the blogging world and looking forward to exploring all it has to offer.  Right now is a good time in my life, as my husband and I are anxiously awaiting the arrival of a sweet baby boy (39 weeks and counting!!!).  I will have many stories of trial and error to share I am sure as I navigate mommyhood.  I also love to discuss all things food, baking, natural living, gardening, home decorating, great books... the list goes on!  I wouldn't say at all that I here to  "educate" per se, but I love to learn to do new things and I will be happy to share the learning process with you as I go.  After all, what good is experience and learning new tricks and tips if we can't share it with anyone else? 

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