Afternoon of Nature

We have had the most glorious weather in the past week. Yesterday, Little A and I went over to our good friend, Darlene's, house. When we first moved to NJ, she, Bob and Chris lived beside us. Such terrific neighbors and great, generous friends.

Their property is so lovely. Imagine waking up to this everyday. 

There's a waterfall that runs through their front yard and there are many beautiful nooks to explore. I thought that you'd love some eye candy on such a cooler day. Though Dar didn't know it, our day together was a much needed distraction.  The afternoon of just walking around with our cameras was a good dose of inspiration that brought me back to seeing things in their natural beautiful state.

Little A was mesmerized by this frog. He wanted to pick it up and take it home with us.

Dar tried to find some fish for us and we did eventually find them swimming around the bottom of the water. Then we went over their bridge to the other side to look for copperhead snakes. Unfortunately, we didn't find any today.

I'm going to miss these afternoons with my kids when Little A starts first grade this fall.
xo, L

april jewels.
Originally uploaded by Paper Treasure

april jewels.
Originally uploaded by Paper Treasure

Mother's Day is coming up, don't forget to treat your mom!

Earth Day

I'm having some technical difficulties. Here is the pattern for the Earth Day Bath Mat. I'm working on putting the file in the correct spot. Enjoy!

The Other Derby

We had a super fun Saturday here in Clinton. There was a fishing derby and we were out the door around 8 a.m. [I know, as my friend Colleen reminded me, the real derby is in less than 6 days.] Stylin' aren't we? The scenery was beautiful too.

Little A started out well enough. He was all ready to fish, until he discovered that the bait tubs contained worms!

Little A tried to fish a bit but, as I said before, he soon forgot about the fish and focused his attention on the tub of worms. I was enjoying the scenery and not hooking any worms.

"Look, Mommy. These are so cool and squishy."

Big A turned out to be great at casting the rod.  In the end, it was so much fun.  How could I resist when they looked at me like this and asked if they could bring the worms home?

xo, L

Forgot To Share This!

I forgot to share this with you. Don't you just love my flip video camera?!? I put the kids' photo onto the front of it. So cool.

Spring Break

While in Toronto over the spring break, Auntie Linda, tried her best to get a photo of nephew Jack Oliver with her own two kids. It is nearly impossible to photograph these three at the same time but I keep trying. I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never get a "perfect" portrait shot and that that's ok. Aren't they silly?

I did get to sneak out on my own. I just love to hop onto the streetcar and travel around town. Why bother driving when there's public transit? Of course, I visited some of my favorite places. The Paper Place is near and dear to my heart. What a fab place. Go to my other journal and check out the Japanese watermark tissue dress. Awesome! I always love the colors and the designs of the stores along the way. They give me inspiration.

the workroom is a funky fabric shop/sewing studio. I'd love to visit everyday and just sew all day. Oooh, I love the green work tables.

Yes, I need to get out often to see the world. xo, L

Chocolate Hazelnut Friands

Five egg whites were burning a hole in my freezer. I had used the yolks for something (crispy cereal prawns!) and decided to try freezing the I have heard so many people do. I was quite pleased that, finally, I would not be sending some poor unused whites to the bin without a fighting chance. So I smugly tucked the whites to sleep for a bit in the deep freeze and that was that.

Much too soon, little niggling egg white thoughts began to badger me. “Must use those egg whites soon!” “What will you do with those egg whites?” “Don’t forget about those five frozen egg whites!


I know you must be thinking of a ton of things to do with egg whites – meringue or some version of it – like a pavlova (which seems to be enjoying some kind of crazy resurgence!) – maybe an angel food cake or a canonigo. But you see, I am not an egg white kind of girl. I, sigh, do not like meringue (even though I think the making of it is pretty charming). I do not really like any (solely) egg white based desserts. I am more an egg yolk kind of girl – rich, creamy, intense, and loaded with cholesterol.

So what to do with those whites that didn’t involve something even slightly meringuesque?

Financiers and friands. Almond meal, melted butter, and unbeaten (trumpet sounding here please) egg whites. The perfect vehicle for any egg white of mine I say! Not only are they delicious, financiers have an interesting provenance involving Parisian bankers, breakfast, and gold ingots. What more could you ask for in a lovely little cake? Friands meanwhile, are pretty much the same in make-up, although I am still a bit unsure as to their origins. Some say they are the Australian versions of financiers, and I am inclined to agree since my recipe came from one of my favourite Aussie ladies :)

Chocolate Hazelnut Friands
(adapted from Chocolate Friands, page 40, Simple Essentials Chocolate by Donna Hay)

  • 1 cup (110 grams) hazelnut meal
  • 1 2/3 cup (250 grams) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup (75 grams) all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup (40 grams) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 egg whites
  • 200 grams butter, melted

- Grease mini muffin tins, or mini tart pans (I must have used over 30 over these little pans).
- Place hazelnut meal, confectioner’s sugar, flour, cocoa, and baking powder in a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the egg whites and stir to combine.
- Add the butter and stir until just combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the tins and bake for 15-20 minutes in a 160C (320F) oven (until springy to touch). Adjust the baking time to the size of your tins and check early on how it’s cooking.

I fear there may be some French bakers out there shaking their fists in the air at my mentioning financiers and then using hazelnut meal instead of the traditional almond meal in this recipe. There may even be some hissing and scratching about how a chocolate version could in no way be likened to a gold ingot – although I’ll have you know that Pierre Herme, French pastry chef extraordinaire, has also made a chocolate version. The simple fact was, I had some hazelnut meal that needed using and no almond meal in sight. Plus, as any Nutella lover would know, hazelnuts and chocolate were destined to be together.

Friand or financier, I liked how these came out! Not too sweet, very chocolate-y, with the hazelnut’s nutty flavour all throughout. They were not too heavy and their small size made them perfect for serving with a cup of coffee or tea...or as a nice hostess gift :)

I’ll need to start freezing my egg whites more often!

p.s. I got these cute little tartlet pans from a famously sweet-toothed local blogger who needed to find new homes for some of the many bits of bake ware she had accumulated (as any expert baker out there with mountains of baking stuff needs to do once in a while). I also got this pan from her. Lori, your stuff have found a good home over here :)

Sweet, Sweet Garden...

Yay, tomatoes!
Originally uploaded by Paper Treasure

At first I was feeling a little impatient. I thought I had messed everything up and that nothing would ever grow. But then the beautiful little sprouts started inching their way out of the soil. Looks like I'll have my heirloom tomatoes, snap peas, green beans, cilantro, basil and mint after all. The next project is to clear a spot in the yard for some spinach, cucumbers and zucchinni.

And, FYI: The Xtabay and Noun have brand new stocks of brand new Paper Treasure jewelry. Go get 'em before they're scooped up!

Plus: Paper Treasure is going to be in Button Magazine (more details soon!).

Be Green

To commemorate Earth Day, I made this little bath mat from a towel and some scrap fabric from my Funky Flowers line of fabric. I love the greens and the browns. Makes me more impatient for spring. Pattern will be posted at the end of the week. Enjoy and do your share.

xo, L

More Quilts and Inspiration

Here are some more quilts from the Lancaster show.  Phew! There's lots to inspire you at this show and I am always amazed at the work that I see. I hope that you've enjoyed this little showing.

One last note:  I always love to see the booths with antique quilts. The colors are so cool and quirky! xo, L

Nature, Nature

I'm still here. It has been crazy here. The weather's finally nice! We've been battling colds and I've just recovered from my sprained ankle. Ok, so perhaps skipping sideways and backwards down a sidewalk trying to keep up with a kindergartener wasn't the greatest idea. It was fun while I was doing it though!

I made the little birdie for my nephew Jack. Isn't he cute? We've been in Toronto visiting for a few days over spring break but it's back to school time. I can't believe that the week has come and gone.
I bought a couple of these super cute books for Little A recently. The book is made from 98% recycled materials. Isn't that awesome? What I loved even more were the illustrations. I've been working on a quilt with a tree and owls just like this. So interesting how designs/ideas from completely different sources can merge together. I had the exact same image in mind including the owls, the trunk and the stitching along the edges of the applique. That's one of the tough parts about designing. I'm conscious of not copying anyone's work but sometimes identical ideas do come out from different sources. I'm amazed by that.

See you back soon with the rest of the Lancaster quilts. xo, L

Balsamic Snake Beans

Sitaw, also known as long beans, or even more excitingly as snake beans (shiver-shiver), are a standard fixture in my organic veggie basket. It is a vegetable commonly found at the markets here. Pretty much most of us grew up eating it in one form or the other – and I can hazard a guess that the form most common was adobong sitaw.

Adobo is arguably our National Dish, being cooked in a plethora of versions from one end of our archipelago to the other (and beyond!). Every cook has their own version and you can find my basic one here (although I must admit I have more versions besides!). We can turn any edible into adobo...from chicken to pork to beef to lamb (I love this!) to seafood to vegetables. And adobong sitaw, long beans cooked with soy sauce and vinegar, is one of the most typical veggie-adobos around.

Adobong sitatw is also one of C’s favourite vegetable dishes so that, along with it being a regular in our veggie-basket, is the reason that it is often present in our dining table. Although C can wolf this down all day any day, I need a little more variation. I decided to try this dish using balsamic vinegar after seeing a similar preparation in a magazine. It is simple to make and provides a nice, tasty alternate to a much-loved but too-oft-repeated dish!

*I’ve gone with snake beans in the title because I think it sounds sexy and dangerous...which is not something beans are often given the chance to be! ;)

Balsamic Snake Beans
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 300 gram bundle of sitaw/snake beans/long beans, chopped into one-inch pieces
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

- Heat oil and garlic in a wok/kawali or skillet (this way the garlic will infuse the oil without burning).
- Once the garlic’s aroma wafts up, and it starts to sizzle, add the sitaw/snake beans and toss so everything is coated in garlicky oil. Sautee until almost done.
- Add balsamic vinegar and sautee until the vinegar’s acidic smell mellows, tossing once or twice to make sure all the beans are coated in the caramelizing vinegar.
- Season generously with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Serves 2.

I love the sweet-sharp tang that the balsamic vinegar lends this dish, rounded out by the spicy-savouriness of the garlic. Paired simply with olive oil, sea salt, and lots of cracked black pepper, it is proof that you can get fantastic flavour using good ingredients without much fuss. The garlic-black pepper-vinegar blend is reminiscent of our adobong sitaw just enough for you to recognize a smidgen of comforting familiarity among bright new flavours.

I hope to post more about other vegetable preparations I stumble on in the ongoing adventure of trying to use every single leaf and bulb in our veggie-basket. For me, it’s an exciting challenge I always look forward to! If anyone wants to share other sitaw/snake bean/long bean recipes, please do and I will make it with my future batches! Credit to you of course :)

Tomorrow I am getting half a kilo of kalamansi with my basket, which I plan to turn into icy-cold, kalamansi juice...another way to combat the Manila summer heat!

Lancaster, Part 2

Several of the big winners at the Lancaster QHC show were winners from the NJ show that I went to a few weeks ago. The beautiful work above is from Barbara Lies, OCD Meets SAD.

I love the colors in this mod little quilt, Desert Study II.

The workmanship on the following are so beautiful. The quilts are classic yet fun.

Crossed Palms, Marcia M. Lentz

My, That's A Lot Of Yella, Fay and Merl Pritts

Daisy Dance, Kathy Munkelwitz

Balloon Quilt, Janet Sutton

Threaded Wedding Ring, Geri V. Ford

There was a terrific little display of mola quilts and designs.

This floral one is so pretty. Dahlia Reflections, Barbara Barrick McKie

Look at the color in this one!

There were a lot of miniature quilts and the craftsmanship was amazing. Just look at this mini crazy quilt. My Petite Victorian Image, Ellen Purdy.

More fun color! Bold and Blue, Marla Hattabaugh

I also ran into a lot of friends. Susan Faeder didn't disappoint with her beautiful Japanese fabrics. She offers tours of Japan. Check out her site for details.

This week has been a crazy one. Hopefully, I'll wrap this up in the next post! 
Still more to come ...
xo, L