Sun Shines

comments: 46























We've had a week of perfect weather. It's incredible, just incredible, how much easier, happier, and sweeter it makes everything. Today it's perfectly sunny, with a slight breeze blowing. Birds are singing. The sprinkler's waving. I feel as if I can think. The other day Andy and Amelia were out and I was sitting in the yard with the sprinkler going. It was spraying just inches from where I sat reading, in the middle of the day, which I usually never let it (or myself, for that matter) do. Within ten minutes, I had four hummingbirds playing in the sprinkler, just feet away from me. I could actually hear their wings buzzing. It was amazing. And then, all of a sudden there were about a dozen little chickadees or finches (I don't even know) playing in the magnolia tree (just a few feet away in the other direction) that was getting wet from the sprinkler. The little birds were all taking showers in the wet leaves, and just singing and singing. It was one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me. I felt like Snow White. It only lasted about fifteen minutes but I had the biggest smile on my face the whole time. I dared not move a muscle. It was just so wonderful.

Have you heard of Magic Custard Cake? This thing is really quite amazing! It's kind of like a giant Dutch baby pancake. Or what I always wish clafoutis was but it never is. Try it. I thought it was absolutely perfect. I really like this kind of plain, custardy-type stuff so much. Plus, it's magic (you'll see!), so that's cool.

Party hat kits won't be ready this week. Wah. My fault. I need to reprint one of the pages of the pattern and will send that back to the printer tomorrow. But that's the only thing that's holding us up, so I'm thinking we can put the kits on sale next week, and I will let you know the details on Monday. So sorry about that. I have lots of things to tell you about shop-wise, so I will put together my thoughts about all that very soon! It's been hard to think but, as mentioned, it seems to be getting easier.

Munch, munch. Try this banana bread from Nigella, too. I have it in her How to Be a Domestic Goddess cookbook, but I can only find this one in metric online. You'll have to translate it. It's incredibly moist. I made two loaves and shared one at a play date and we're still eating the other one, two days later, and it's just as good as it was the same morning I baked it. Andy made this chicken tikka masala for us and it is one of my favorite dinners (and again, you have to change the salt amount recommended if you make this recipe — it's insane; we use 1 teaspoon wherever they call for FOUR).

Meems and I are going to have a lazy day today. Thrifting, grocery store, picnic in the yard, maybe another mango milkshake for dessert. This weather. What a blessing. I wish you a truly wonderful weekend! xoxo

***No, that's neither my nor Andy's tattoo; it's my mom's. 'Cause she's cool like that.


Barbara Kane says: August 07, 2015 at 12:10 PM

Thank you Alicia, another lovely post. I have an 18 month old son so I have really empathised with your recent posts about the difficulties of cooking AND taking care of a toddler. The Chicken Tikka Masala looks delicious and not too onerous (and looks like not too much washing-up created!) so I will try that for our supper tomorrow night. THe magic custard cake is right up my husband's street so I will try that also. I will definitely be ordering one of your kits for my son's second birthday in January. Just hope they don't sell out too quickly!

I now not only love your photos in your post but I find myself getting rather hungry! x

Seems like you're coming up with some fabulous goodies in your kitchen. That magic custard cake looks wonderful - I'd like a slice right now!

Look at you!
We have the same Zyliss..
Bon weekend..

You're right.. we are having perfect weather! Our birds are singing too. Our little hummingbirds also enjoy enjoy the hose when we're watering the flowers. Our little stream and waterfall really attract the bigger birds. That custard cake looks delish.. I think I'll print up that recipe. Enjoy your day, I'm off to swim! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Your feathered friends were grateful for the thoughtful cooling bath and said thank you with a happy chirp & song.
I'm hoping the rain comes this weekend. Even if it's a small one.

Thank you for sharing the Magic Custard Cake recipe. It looks so good!

Love the thumbs up Andy's showing in the first photo. What a sweet papa.

Hope you & yours enjoy a very nice weekend.

Custard cake? Oh my, i shall try that soon! Love how lovely your pictures are!

Good grief, that Magic Custard Cake looks so good! I just pinned the recipe for later! All of the things you mentioned sound delicious, now if I only weren't too lazy to get in the kitchen and fix them!!

Remember your New Years resolution to not grumble about the heat in the summer? Well, when I read that I decided that it would be a good one for me too. Then the blazing 2015 Pacific Northwest summer (that has tried to kill us all) rolled in and I decided that there was a reason God Almighty chose to make hell hot. And now I feel completely justified in my groanings! But I completely agree, this week is like taking a walk down the refrigerated isle at the grocer, you know the next isle won't be as nice, so you decide to peruse dairy products until it might be considered loitering!

Your Snow White moment!! Yes! That's exactly how you described it!! I would have LOVED that as much as you did!! And are not little birds some of the most wonderful, joyful things God created?? I often think that they, and little dogs speak of His tenderness toward us, His other creations. :)

I thought I needed that magic custard cake as soon as I saw it, it looks delicious. The hummingbird moment must have been amazing, we're big bird fans here, we'd have been beside ourselves. I hope you enjoy your lazy day, it sounds as though it will be wonderful. CJ xx

I love Magic Custard Cake! It is one of our favorites. I like the middle and bottom layers the best and my toddler likes the top cakey layer so I always split up the pieces so we get exactly what we like lol

I made this tikka masala last xmas and it was AMAZING. So much so that I'm almost reconciled to the fiddly prep of dishes like this (cuisinart? marinating?!).

Oooh, I'm so curious as to the magic element of the custard cake!!! Will have to try that. Have you made a rice pudding? (I'm sure you have but just in case you haven't... so good, with nutmeg). I'm glad you got on well with How to Be a Domestic Goddess. I had that book, but after one or two disasters I couldn't trust myself (or it) again. I do trust Lorraine Pascale and also, Mary Berry. (UK reader here). However, specifically Lorraine for cakes. Mary favours the all-in-one method for sponge which isn't my preferred method. Fussy!!

Full disclosure: You got me on my feet, and to my computer, so I could thank you for posting links to the recipes! I was in a languid heap, browsing on my phone, and in no mind to recover my kitchen from the two day garbage disposal disaster... anyway, those foodie photos of yours are beyond tantalizing! I skimmed and sighed, and swooned, because that's what your pictures do to me, and when I saw the food I thought: "Oh, please let there be recipes!" I will definitely read your post, too... but thank you! Thank you for getting me off the couch, for giving me a spark to build a fire.

Also... is that a mango lassi I'm gazing at? Frozen yogurt, fresh fruit? I am only guessing, and hoping, it's that simple.

Your Snow White moment sounds magical. Happy weekend to you also.

It all sounds so lovely. And I would certainly make a magic custard cake and hummingbirds any day.

Love reading about your day, what a idealic time you're having , going to try the 'magic cake' sounds scrummy !! X

how fun about the recipes!!! and what a special experience, with the hummingbirds and chickadees or finches singing!!! It reminds me of the books by Elizabeth Goudge, esp. the Elliot trilogy with the special garden!!! have a great weekend!!!

My family loves this slow cooker chicken tikka masala recipe, if you ever want to experiment!

I have been enjoying the Paprika Application...thank you so much for sharing the information regarding it...

I finally found your book (was in a used book store) Been looking everywhere..calling and having anyone interested looking at second hand stores, flea markets, etc ....I wanted to stitch the white sampler on your dinning room wall. I am now working on it. BUT, Since I looked for it for over a year, you might think about selling the pattern or kit online. I would have grabbed that right up, and I bet there are others looking for your out of print stuff. Thank you for your blog, store, and sharing your life. I am disabled and You brighten many of my days! xoxo T

I wonder if you ever realise how incredibly happy reading your blog makes some of us. And by some of us, I mainly mean me. But I know that there are others who come here to visit when they are low, because you make it all better, much like the warm glow of your photos. I am so glad you found happiness with your little girl and that lovely man of yours.

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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