Inspire Musings

Captured Moments

Ever just melt into a moment?

As in be totally aware of just how awesome that very moment happens to be? It’s a delicious, extraordinary feeling isn’t it? Time seems to slow down, dangling in the air in front of you. You can almost touch the minutes as they slip into the next. Your eyes allow you to really see the moments unfolding before you. The glorious present becomes of the utmost importance. You find yourself wrapped in an exquisite awareness of being. The everyday struggles, trials and tribulations just seem to dissolve into the recesses of your mind and all of the things that matter most in your world become crystal clear.

Last weekend I traveled to The Pioneer Woman’s ranch after being invited by Ree to share in a weekend of cooking and time spent with girlfriends.

But it turned out to be much more than that.

For a week now I’ve tried to organize those moments on the ranch spent with a group of extraordinary women and weave them into sentences.

For once I’m at a loss for words.

The beauty that was seen in captured moments…

and felt within the heart,

seem to be almost too beautiful for words…like getting the chance to hug Julie, in real life. *Sniff*

Listening to the lovely and ever-so-witty Rebecca,

as she showed us how to make fresh mozzarella cheese,

delicious braided bread,

and scrumptious roasted red pepper spread,

fed not only our appetites, but our hearts and souls.

Herding cattle on horseback with her lovely family,

(photo by Ree) 

as the blazing hot day slipped into a gorgeous golden hue,

was invigorating,

eye opening,



The experiences we shared,

whilst the sun flared its last stunning rays before slipping into the horizon,

awakened my every sense.

I felt intensely alive,



and awestruck, by the vast beauty of the open skies.

I was honored to have the opportunity to experience a tiny taste of the hard work, difficult decisions and unforgiving circumstances that come with running a ranch. I was mesmerized by the grace of Ree’s children as they instinctively followed the lead of their father. How effortlessly they did whatever task they where asked to do. Watching them work in tandem with one another gave me a whole new appreciation for family and what it’s meant to be. I was humbled to witness what the past generations of hard workers had produced.

Life just seems so much bigger on the ranch somehow. Deeper. Fuller.

I was so grateful for the opportunity to have these new perspectives.



And for a chance to be reminded of how important it is, to really… see.

The captured moments shared with these lovely ladies…Bridget, Robyn, SandyAmy , Georgia

(photo by Ree)

 Ree, Meseidy, Stephanie, Julie and Shari, were life changing.

Beautiful hearts, generous souls, beautiful spirits, and a most gracious hostess.

It will indeed be a weekend that will be forever remembered and held close to my heart.

Wishing you the eyes to *see*…the many moments that are waiting to be captured.


Desserts Eat Inspire

The Pioneer Woman’s Homemade Glazed Doughnuts at the Cabin & a Giveaway (Winners Announced)

We have the winners for the 3 signed by Ree The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier cookbooks!

Winners have been picked at random by my family.

They are…(drumroll please)…

# 1 Cassie
“my favorite kind of doughnut is a cake doughnut with maple glaze!”

# 444 Hannah S.
“Maple bar! The coconut-crumb cake donuts are a close second”

# 1,263 Jessica Baer
“Apple Fritters!!”

I will be emailing each of you for address information.

Thank you SO MUCH to all who joined in the FUN!

It’s spring break in suburbia. So I did what any other mother of a darling teen and pre-teen daughter lamenting to spend a week on a beach but had to stay home would do. I improvised. I packed the car with some clothes and Ree Drummond’s delicious new cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier and headed to the cabin with the girls and my parents for some cooking, eating and bonding time.

I mean it is the second best thing, right?

Ree’s newest cookbook is a collection of mouthwatering recipes explained through beautiful pictures and heartwarming stories of life on the ranch with her darling family. Just flipping through her lovely book makes you feel as if you’ve been whisked away to her ranch to enjoy all the adventure, food and fun that it has to offer.

So I figure, why not have some of that at the cabin? We’ll turn our charming little cabin into a sprawling ranch only without the horses and cowboys and instead a little improvisation.

We decided that we just had to make Ree’s homemade glazed doughnuts. Doughnuts hold a cherished place in all of our hearts. We love doughnuts. Not to mention, I always think of Ree whenever I see a doughnut after reading one of her posts that has now become one of my very favorite.  And what a better way to kick off our weekend than to do so with delicious homemade doughnuts? It was a perfect plan.

I cracked opened the cookbook and the fun began.

I soon realized that I had no doughnut cutter. No mixer with a hook. No silpat mats or parchment paper. No cooling racks.


Can you see that improvisation was a theme here?

But no worries. I mixed the dough with my hands. Used an antique vase and a wine glass for doughnut cutters. Aluminum foil in place of my beloved silpat mat. And scrubbed the dickens out of the oven rack to use as a cooling rack. To see the recipe done the right way with a step by step photo tutorial check out Ree’s post for Homemade Glazed Doughnuts.

Now back to the ranch, um I mean cabin. After letting the dough chill in the fridge and then rise the next morning Sassafras and I got busy.

It was such fun cutting out the doughnut holes with an antique vase.

I may never go back to a doughnut cutter personally.

After the little gems sat in a warm spot and turned into little pillows of fluffiness, it was time to fry them.

Pretend like I have a photo of the little darlings in their glory of puffiness. Thank you for your cooperation. 

I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised about how easy and fun it was to fry the little suckers.

Ahhhhhhh, haaaaaaaaa…

Insert angels singing.

Are those glorious or what?

Just so you know. An oven rack works perfectly as cooling rack.

Or in this instance a doughnut-glaze-dripping-rack.

And a cookie sheet works fabulously as a doughnut-hole-glaze-pouring surface.

And my mouth works perfectly as a doughnut-taste-tester.

Just thought I’d share. Le YUM! We’ll never buy doughnuts again!

You really must get your hot little hands on one of these delightful cookbooks. The recipes are divine (even when a little improv is necessary) and you too can have a slice of Ree’s frontier right in your own home. But guess what? Today is your LUCKY day! Sweet Ree is actually going to give three lucky winners a personalized cookbook!

Enter to win one of three Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier cookbooks signed by Ree and addressed to you!

 Just leave me a comment below telling me your favorite kind of doughnut.

Entries will be accepted today March 20, 2012 through Friday March 23, 2012 midnight EST.

Winners will be announced sometime on Saturday March 24, 2012 and contacted via email. Make sure to leave a valid email address with your comment!

The giveaway is only open to U.S. residents.

Have fun & good luck!


Eat Inspire

The Traveling Cookbook

Recently I returned home from shopping to find this waiting on my front step… it felt like Christmas.

Well, o.k. actually, it was almost Christmas, but if you could imagine that tickle you get in your belly at Christmastime, then you’d know exactly how I felt when I saw that box.

The Traveling Cookbook had arrived on my doorstep.

What’s The Traveling Cookbook you ask?

Well, two lovely ladies, Chris Ann and Kristin of LoveFeast Table have put together a fabulous project called The Traveling Cookbook. In a nutshell, one cookbook will travel from one blogger to the next and cook a few recipes from the book, share their experiences by scrapbooking in the cookbook and then pass it along. Eventually the cookbook will be as full of personal experiences as all of the bellies that got to enjoy the recipes and it will be auctioned off with all proceeds going to Feed My Starving Children. How cool is that?

The first cookbook to take this most splendid journey is The Pioneer Woman Cooks, by Ree Drummond.

I just adore Ree’s cookbook and couldn’t wait to dig in and try some new recipes! We decided to kick off the New Year by cooking up a hearty breakfast. Please join me over at The Traveling Cookbook page to see all the fun!