Daisy Days

comments: 78


























The weather here has been very cold and very rainy and very gray and very dim this past week. Every night I've been piling several quilts on top of me and my sofa-seat and knitting, knitting, knitting, or taking warm baths by candlelight in the afternoon with my girl, who lounges in my lap and lets me pour warm water over her for an hour; we turn the hot tap a few times because we sit for so long it gets too cold. The swimming pool is supposed to open next week and I simply can't imagine this. A lonely, empty pool, and us Portlanders at home in the steamy bathtub.

So the midsummer festival felt more like late spring, with daisies and dancing girls and our college friends (and how lucky we are to have them here, thousands of miles away from where we all went to college!). Last year I made Amelia a baby bunad (a traditional Norwegian folk dress; hers was inspired by the beautiful dresses of the Dovre region of Norway, where her birthfather's family is from). This year I just happened to find this little red calico dress at the resale shop and it fit her perfectly. It is a handmade dress, too, so I couldn't resist. I planned to make her a new Norwegian dress every year so I'll just have to start planning for Christmas because I think little red will be too small by then. Super cute princess-seamed pattern, though. I love princess-seamed dresses. You don't see them too much lately (early '80s — I'm just sayin'!).

We had such a nice Father's Day, home all day alone together, cooking and playing. It was just a perfect day with my loves. I made a Dutch baby pancake and scrambled eggs with onions and mushrooms for Andy for breakfast. He made an awesome — possibly his best one ever — stuffed pizza last night. His recipe is the Edwardo's Famous Stuffed Spinach Pizza from the book Pizza: More than 60 Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pizza. If you aren't sure what Chicago stuffed pizza is, I will tell you: Think of an actual double-crust pie. There's a crust on the bottom, and then inside is all of the mozzarella cheese and a ton of fresh spinach. You pack it in. Then there's another crust on the top, and you crimp up the edges, just like with a pie. And on top of this top crust you add a light layer of a lovely, chunky, light tomato-and-garlic sauce, and then just a bit of sprinkled parmesan cheese. The whole thing is a massive concoction. You bake it in a cheesecake pan (I waitressed at Geppetto's in Oak Park after college, and we had special springform pans for our pizzas there, larger and shallower than a typical cheesecake pan; I need to look for one because I think it would help our crust thin out a bit). It weighs — actually, I have no idea how much it weighs, but a lot! The recipe in this book really does taste so much like Edwardo's pizza (which I liked better than Geppetto's, or even Gino's [Chicagoans, you know all these, right?]). Andy makes this about once a year and it is one of my favorite things. I love it, and it tastes like home.

I also made the Bangkok peanut ice cream from my sister's recipe and that was very delicious. Someone asked if this was a Jeni's recipe and I didn't know what that meant, so I looked it up and discovered that yes, it is! (And I am so getting her book.) I found a recipe online for the Bangkok peanut here. I thought it was really lovely — very subtle but with some texture and a bit of a kick from the cayenne pepper. Making ice cream has given me a whole new appreciation for buying ice cream. I have no idea where this ice cream thing I'm going through came from, really. I have really been enjoying it — and by the time it's time to eat it, you really only need to have the smallest of scoops to be happy. I have a lot of ice cream in my freezer. Which makes one feels rather secure. So that's nice.

Today Amelia and I are going to go to the fabric store. I need some skirts. I have a lot of fabric in my stash but it's all small amounts. I think we'll go to Knittin' Kitten tomorrow and look for '80s calicoes, too.

***My Ravelry page for the Fimma sweater is here :)


I must say that I love your pink patchwork quilt. So sweet and cozy! Perfect for cool weather snuggling... :)

We had grand plans of a Father's Day bike ride but it was so cold we were much happier ensconced on the couch with piles of blankets watching World Cup matches! Brrr

Cat McKenzie says: June 16, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Thanks so much for the tip on Jeni's ice cream book. I got an ice cream attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer and have been looking for some good recipes. Bonus, the Kindle edition on Amazon is amazingly reasonable!
I am also loving the deep dish pizza, that looks incredible. A must try for this summer.
I am embarking on a quilt for my new grandson and I have been going back and forth on whether to do a fancy one that hangs on the wall or a useable pattern and after seeing all your lovely photos of your rectangle quilts and how much they play a part in your family's daily life and add to the beauty of your day I am going with your strip pattern. I have some wonderful Parson Grey fabric that I think will work.
Your blog is a constant source of inspiration!

You had a feast of a day..
I am going to try that pizza..We love making our own..
And have made Chicago style..but never this one..cannot wait:)
I would love to lie down like Amelia.. all cozy ..and relaxed like she.
Father's day was sweet here too with 4 little grandsons enjoying each others comapny..food ..the outdoors.
I am a lucky nana..
I think i have told you Amelia would be loved by them:)
That is my fave palette for thunbergias..
Her dress is so cute! What a lucky little family:)

The pizza sounds incredible. I've been planning to make myself some skirts from cotton knit material, sort of an alternative to shorts. Do you have a pattern you like or are you making your own design?

It has been cold, I had to turn the heat back on this weekend! I think I put my quilts away too soon.

That deep dish looks amazing. I've never had anything like that and I think I need to try one immediately!

Jeni's!!!!!!!!!!! YES, get the book!!!

We are luckyluckyLUCKY to live within walking distance of one; easy driving of the rest. Her ice cream is THE BOMB! (As is she, btw. I had the good fortune to interview her last year, and she is, impossibly, more lovely in person than in frozen cream form.)

As to the book, what is so brilliant is her technique: I am forever curdling my custard for ice cream, then chucking out good cream and eggs and insults along the way. Jeni bypasses all that. There's this novel cream cheese thang going on that thickens beautifully, works every time, and is easy-peasy.

Also: Lime cardamom. Just saying.


Every time I see a picture of Amelia I think of a doll come to life. She's so, so adorable! I've taken the tram 3 times already today for work and it's been raining 2 of those 3 times - I'm loving the last gasp of spring before it gets all hot and bright. (but I know I'm in the minority. :) )

Amelia is too adorable in the red dress with boots. She should be in picture books!

I have never had a double crust pizza but it sounds delicious! It would probably be best if my first taste was an authentic version because I'm not very good at making pizza crust from scratch. The midsummer festival looks so, well, festive!! Love all the flowers and happy faces!! I must admit to being quite jealous of your cool, rainy weather. Here in the South we are sweating our way through a hot spell. Supposed to hit 97 on Wednesday. NOoooo! I will dream of a cooler day filled with as much fun as yours. :)

Lovely, lovely as usual:)

This was the meditation and lovely breath of fresh air I needed.
Thank you for being a generous and beautiful blogger.

Laura Kish says: June 16, 2014 at 01:52 PM

Jeni's ice cream is amazing! A storefront just opened up here in Atlanta and I love it so much. We actually have the book and made my dad goat cheese ice cream with roasted cherries for Father's Day. Her recipes have the best texture to them. I also really love the super dark chocolate recipe of hers, and we've made the wild berry lavender before, which is lovely and floral.

Amelia's dress is adorable! As is she.

I am just in love with her baby wellies.

michelle says: June 16, 2014 at 02:21 PM

Were you in chicago when Jake's pizza was around? I liked Gepetto's but Jakes deep dish was my favorite. I miss Chicago pizza!!!!

Alicia, your posts are like heart warming medicine. Always - every time.

Jean x

I love your blog, and to see your pictures, they are so real. So how much fun for me to see, your Amelia (I have one too) and the Icelandic flag in the same picture. ;-) . These booties on Amelia are so cute, she must love them to pieces. Just adorable also in her new red dress.
Hugs from Iceland

Troy Louise says: June 16, 2014 at 02:31 PM

Oh how I love going through all of your beautiful pictures. Amelia looks so adorable in her fun festival dress. Yes, I love princess seams too. You certainly had a lovely father's day, thanks for sharing with us!

OMG. Those pictures... She still sleeps in a sleep sack?!?! that is amazing!! Cozy and warm and snug. Your knitting inspires me so much. Beauty abounds.

I saw that pizza and my eyes bugged out! I thought it was a pizza cake. I must buy that book.

I think I can't possibly love your blog posts any more than I do, and then you go and post one like this...pizza (my fave was Giordano's), ice cream, daisies, little red dress on that sweet growing girl, knitting, softies tucked under a pink patchwork quilt...oh, my goodness. I will have to research making one of those pizzas. I haven't had one in way too long!

I had to add that ice cream cookbook to my wishlist, so many yummy options! Also, Amelia looks adorable in her sweet dress :)

I lived in Chicago after college. Loooved the stuffed spinach pizza at Edwardos. Also liked that oven grinder place.

Wendi Mulvey says: June 16, 2014 at 04:33 PM

I absolutely adore all the photos of Amelia in wellies. When she is older, you might want to read her the Sophie books: https://www.goodreads.com/series/71090-sophie Sophie is a sturdy little English girl who is constantly shown stumping around in her wellies, full of plans for becoming a farmer one day. Both my daughters loved being read the Sophie books, one chapter nightly at bedtime, and I think you and your little love will like her, too.

Amazing that it's been so cold there and that you're taking hot baths. Quite the opposite here in the Chicago area (I'm in the far NW suburbs)this week! We're supposed to hit 90 tomorrow. Oh, Edwardo's...their stuffed pizza is amazing. I dare say that Andy's pie looks even better than Edwardo's! Now I'm craving stuffed pizza, lol.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com