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February 2014

loving art. {homeschool moments}

the youngest two have taken a liking to art.  all five crave music when we work, and it blesses my heart.  so we play everything from classical, to “new age guitar,” to instrumental worship music, to our beloved Mumford.  and when we’re not doing math, or logic, or latin, or geography, or writing, or grammar, or the rest, they can create to their hearts’ content.  i’m trying to get better at giving myself permission to create with them, and their love makes it easier!

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extra-large cup of coffee or tea in-hand, kisses aplenty, and true slowing-down from the pace of running a business, home-educating, and building community, i am finding again that their developing joy is my own.

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recently we discovered a new way our individual interests overlapped!  rembrandt is known for his awe-inspiring use of light.  “Rembrandt lighting” is studied by portrait photographers who want to be classically excellent in portraying the human face in a flattering form.  as i seek to become a better professional photographer, i have studied this style and continually look for ways to “see light” and incorporate it skillfully into my portrait work.  this week, the kids created their own “Rembrandt lighting” and drew portraits of each other.  when i’ve taught to photography students, we used a light bulb to create dramatic light.  in this case, the boys played with light streaming in from the wall of windows, coupled with a placemat they used to make shadows.

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i’m enjoying the structure of our curriculum, and with it, the freedom to let the kids’ interests lead how they spend their “free” time in enriching their learning.

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this post was featured at the hearts for home blog hop – head on over to see lots of sweet posts!

lemon butter baked fish

on any given night when we’re famished and nobody (ahem, that means me) has planned dinner, one of us will almost invariably ask, “should we make the fish?”  this is code language for, “shall we bake up the easiest, most luscious fish recipe on the planet, which will result in happy people and scraping of the baking dish to sop up every last dribble of buttery lemon and every last nibble of gooey, near-candied onions?

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and the answer, almost invariably, will be, “YES!”

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trust me when i say this is a must-make dish.  the fish will become silky, with just a tease of a crunch around the edges.  you can use any fish (we buy what’s on sale; we love almost any white fish and the whole gang is smitten with salmon.  do look for “wild caught” as opposed to farmed fish for the nutritional benefits).  this particular night, we served with cauliflower “rice.”  to make cauliflower rice, i simply run fresh or frozen, thawed cauliflower through the food processor until it resembles the size of rice (mine here is slightly chunkier).  then spread on a baking sheet, toss with olive or coconut oil and seasoning of choice.  roast at 425 degrees for 15-ish minutes, or until it just starts to brown & crisp.  if you’d like a more in-depth recipe, click here for a great and simple version at nom nom paleo.  i’m sorry, grandma rose, if you can hear me, for the lack of color variation in this plating!

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you’ll forgive me the less-than-stellar photos for this post?  the plates were practically running by me in the effort of their owners to devour them.  i promise, i’ll re-make these images down the road.  if you promise you’ll make this recipe.

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print.  make.  devour.  that is all.

lemon butter baked fish


  • 2 pounds fish filets, your choice
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 whole lemon
  • salt and pepper or seasoning of choice


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Slice onion and lemon, cross-wise, into thin slices.
  3. In a 9x13 glass baking dish, lay onion slices in a single layer.
  4. Lay fish filets on top of onion.
  5. Season fish with salt and pepper or seasoning blend (we prefer blackened seasoning).
  6. Top fish with lemon slices, then butter pats.
  7. Bake fish for 8-15 minutes, or until edges crisp and fish is easily flaked with a fork.


as you can see, the recipe is super-simple.  you can dress it up, if you like, by varying your spices or adding capers.  but really, i promise, it isn’t necessary.  did you make it?  let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


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‘morning, sunshine. {florida orange caramel coffee frappe}

        Florida Orange Caramel Iced Coffee Frappe_title

we live in florida, at least for now, and we make the most of our never-ending supply of local, fresh produce.  i’m not sure if there’s been a week go by that we don’t have a bowl of florida oranges in the big wooden bowl on the kitchen island.

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when Florida Department of Citrus contacted me to offer a mini-cookbook giveaway for readers, i was excited to participate, because citrus is one of my favorite “food groups,” whether as a snack or a recipe addition.

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the cookbook is full of innovative ways to cook with citrus, including recipes like crispy gator salad (of course a floridian would name that!), beef short ribs (oh, my husband’s dream dish) with florida orange texas-style barbecue sauce, and florida citrus-peach mint julep (oh, my, southern-girl-heaven).

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in the afternoons, i often hit a slump and get a desperate craving for coffee and sugar (i’m working on adding more protein through the day to help with that!), but this coffee frappe finished off my craving with a pop of citrus.

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the original recipe calls for sugar and orange juice; we opted for fresh oranges we juiced, and replaced the sugar with raw honey.  i highly recommend this switch – the honey adds nutritional value and a deep sweetness that brings so much more to the flavor!

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here is our version of the recipe.  would you like the original?  enter to win a cookbook from Florida Department of Citrus below!

from their words:

·         Drinking just one 8-ounce glass of 100% orange juice has no added sugar and is an excellent natural source of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, a key nutrient that helps support a healthy immune system/overall health.

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florida orange caramel coffee frappe


  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1-2 cups ice, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon caramel (or this primal caramel sauce)
  • 2 cups strong coffee
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Add ingredients to a high-speed blender in the order listed.
  2. Begin with one cup ice, and add up to two cups, stopping blender, as needed.
  3. To serve, pour into two chilled glasses.
  4. Frappe will naturally "settle" into layers of color as it sits.
  5. If you prefer, stir with a spoon to combine layers.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway
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