In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter and sharing of pleasures. ~ Gibran

Saturday, November 29, 2014

November Holiday Preperation for Make and Take Gals!

The Make and Take Gals gathered at Poh's today to stock up on appetizers and gifts for the holiday season. As she does every year, Poh showered us in new recipes that had us nibbling the whole day! Tucked inside in a cozy warm kitchen, it was bitter cold outside as Portland received an early cold snap from Canada this year. 

No worries for us, because Poh had hot tea and blueberry crumble bread waiting to greet us. Then it was down to work! We made Bourbon Spiced Pumpkin Seeds, Spiced Pecans, Cranberry Curd, Peanut Dipping Sauce, and Poh's famous 3-layer spread!

We worked up quite the appetite. Poh was ready with some peanut sauce with a kick to try on a yummy bed of chicken, rice and vegis! Delicious! For dessert... brightly presented parfaits with pound cake, cranberry curd, whip cream and spiced pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top.

After getting our fill we headed back to the work table and packaged up our creations. Another holiday prep in the bag! Thanks Poh!

Recipe: This is a keeper! Recipients have been asking for more! Enjoy!

October Make and Take Goes for a Broom Ride!

Make and Take celebrates Halloween at Pam's house!
With Witches Brooms Candied Apples and Birthday Peanut butter Cup Cupcakes! That's right, a trick is in our treat making!

The kitchen was brewing with our many hands creating these darling brooms and cupcakes. We stuffed our chocolate cups with peanut butter or marshmallow and created these cheerful looking cupcake creations that are really a chocolate surprise!

Then it was time to gather around Pam's festive table and enjoy her always indulging menu for lunch. We delighted in Butternut Squash soup and Cheese Fondue! It was so delicious!
Dessert was a treat for the eyes with this darling witch's hat and broom, and a delicious pumpkin bar drizzled in chocolate! 

 Thank you Pam for all the treats and no tricks!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fall Flowers for Parties and More!

The Make and Take Gals get ready for celebrating this Fall!

Jean hosted our lovely morning of catching up on all the Make and Take Gals' news since our last gathering. Lots of stories of summer travels, our grown children's adventures and plans for the new Fall season over tea and apple bread... yummy!

Our craft of paper flowers brought back memories of making these paper puff balls from our childhood. The perfect craft to allow us to focus on our conversations!

We took 8 to 12 layers of tissue, depending on the size ball we wanted, alternated colors in a stack and then made one inch accordions; tied off with a ribbon so that we had a loop to attach the fishing line to allowing us to easily hang them.

With our goody bags packed with festive flowers ready to be fluffed up at our next celebration, we moved on to a delicious lunch that had all the flavors of Fall! Jean, you knocked it out of the park again! Our surprising table favor was a darling tea bag of broth! We had never seen these before.  Check them out HERE!

For Jean's lunch recipes, see the recipe section for links to her delicious choices! Thank you Jean for a wonderful day!

(To die for Vegetarian African Peanut Soup and 
Arugula, Carrot & Chickpea Salad)

                                                                    (Pumpkin Cake)

We hope you will be inspired to try some Fall meals and decorating! 
Until next month, be well!

For the Vegetarian African Peanut Soup, I used the tomato paste and did add two small sweet potatoes to the broth as suggested.

Apple Crumb Cake

Pumpkin Cake

Arugula, Carrot & Chickpea Salad

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Make and Take Gals Head to Milwaukie!

On a sunny May morning in Portland, the Make and Take Gals piled into MJ's car for her Make and Take on the road! MJ planned our journey to Milwaukie, Oregon with a variety of factory stores and beautiful local boutiques. Our first stop was the Dave's Killer Bread Breadquarters, were we filled our sacks with all the favorites!

Across the street... Bob's Red Mill and rows upon rows of freshly ground grains, fresh baked bakery items, and all you need for healthy eating! As we prepared to leave Bob's, it was clear we brought too small of a car :)

It was time for the surprise Make and Take that MJ lined up for us. Heading onto Milwaukie's Main Street we pulled up to KMarie where our eyes rolled back in our heads as we entered this enchanted store. Kelli, the owner greeted us with a introduction of all the fun mischief one could get into in her paper play land.

We entered the workshop in the back and knew we had found paradise. Kelli had a beautiful farm table in the middle of the workshop all prepped for our project we would be making.

This Spring box was our goal and when complete would be the vessel for our next surprise stop 2 doors down from the KMarie!

Kelli's workshop, filled with every doodad invited us to explore every nook.

She provided nourishment for the crafting angels stright from chocolate heaven!

As Kelli guided us through our project, it was not long before we were all producing fluffy pink paper flowers for the top of our Spring Box.

After a wonderful 40 minutes of glitter and glue we finished our little treasures and regretted having to pack up and bid Kelli are gret big thank you and good bye.

The only thing that made it possible to skip out of Kelli's charming shop was that we were headed a few doors down to her sisters shop, Enchante
it was now time to fill our blooming Spring Boxes with chocolate treats. This sweet haven is a Parisian candy store for adults. Bobbles and sparkles surround a seemingly endless selection of homemade chocolates!

It was no easy task to select just a couple treats, but our time was growing to a close in Milwaukie. We left the enchanted sister's and their stunning boutiques and headed to Cha. Cha, Cha across the street for lunch, where we do what we do best, catch up on all the news in each others lives and ooogle over our treasures.

As we left Milwaukie downtown we made one last stop at the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store. It was a fun filled day of friendship and discovery!

Until next time...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Make & Take Gals Get their Green Thumbs Dirty!

 Make and Take bloomed at Poh's house this month. She started us out making flavored sugars. We powered some freeze dried fruit in the food processor and blended this with organic raw sugar. These will make great hostess gifts for dipping drink glasses into or sprinkling on cookies and cakes.

Once we packaged these little treasures up we moved on the making gardens in containers. Ins Yazdani visited us to share her wonderful gift of container gardening. Poh had a wide variety of items for us to create natural, fairy or gnome gardens. They turned out darling! Thank you Ins!

 As usual, Poh cooked us a delicious lunch. Her daughter is in pastry chef school and sent home amazing fruit jellies and marshmallows that she had made. Pok served a wonderful lunch of Chicken Satay and a fresh cauliflower salad. For dessert we enjoyed a sweet raspberry shortbread.

Thanks for another wonderful month of crafts, food and friendship!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bunnies and Chicks! Make and Take Gals Prepare for Easter!

Easter Garland
Make and Take this week bursts with color as we make these darling bunny and chick garlands for the mantel or window! Jean hosts our gathering and starts our morning with home made scones and tea. After catching up on all the news we hop right into these darling creations. Each egg holds yummy chocolate treats!

As the birds hatch and the bunnies grow fuzzy tails I work on replenishing our stock of note cards. Jean has darling stickers and papers to create with, which all inspir a hive of Bee cards...

It didn't take long for the garland strings to emerge. Jean provided darling Easter baskets to nest the new family of fuzzy friends into.

As we package up our creations, yummy smells float into to call us to the lunch table. Jean has prepared a beautiful and delicious meal complete with Jelly Belly favors for our Easter egg treats!

Thank you Jean for a wonderful Make and Take! The colors and flavors of Spring have lifted all these Winter Blues!


Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Frosting
Source: -  
 Adapted from Southern Living, as posted by From Calculus to Cupcakes

A new all time favorite of the Make and Take Gals!

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
1 T. canola oil
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. buttermilk

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 lb. confectioners' sugar
4 T. milk, divided
15 caramel candies, unwrapped (I used Kraft caramels)

Additional sliced caramels (for garnish)
Sea salt

For the Cupcakes:
1.  Line 24 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners.

2.  Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, cream cheese, sugar, brown sugar, and oil until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix until well combined.

3.  Beginning and ending with flour, add flour alternately with buttermilk, mixing between each addition.

4.  Distribute batter evenly between the muffin cups.  Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

5.  Cool completely on a wire rack.  Frost with Salted Caramel Buttercream, garnish with a slice of caramel candy, and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt.

For the Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:
6.  Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.  Add confectioners' sugar and 3 tablespoons of the milk; beat until well combined and smooth, about 2 minutes.  Cover and refrigerate.

7.  Meanwhile, melt the caramel candies along with the remaining 1 tablespoon of milk in the microwave at 30 second intervals until caramels are completely melted.  Set aside to cool until the caramel is cooled but still soft and pliable.*

8.  Once the caramel is cooled, mix into the frosting until well combined.

*Setting the caramel aside to cool is important!  I discovered the hard way that mixing hot melted caramel into butter-based frosting does NOT turn out well.  Also, I had to use the electric mixer to thoroughly mix in the caramel - simply folding or stirring didn't work.  You may want to refrigerate the frosting for 30 minutes or so prior to frosting the cupcakes to let it set up a bit after mixing in the caramel.

  1. 1/4 cup raw pistachios
  2. 1/4 cup raw cashews
  3. 1/4 cup blanched almonds
  4. 1/4 cup blanched hazelnuts
  5. 1/4 cup coriander seeds
  6. 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  7. 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  8. 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  9. 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  10. 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 8 minutes, until golden. Coarsely chop the nuts.
  2. In a skillet, toast the coriander seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until chopped. In the skillet, toast the unsweetened shredded coconut and cumin seeds, stirring, until the coconut is golden, 2 minutes; add to the food processor along with the chopped nuts and pulse until coarsely ground. Transfer the dukka to a bowl. In the skillet, toast the sesame seeds until golden, 4 minutes. Stir the sesame seeds into the dukka, season with the salt and pepper and serve.