Wonderful handmade dishes!

I recently treated myself to a couple beautiful coffee cups -- in my recent grief I've been dropping things left and right in my retro kitchen, and figured it was time to slow down, be careful, take care of myself more consciously....I found this and another and will be checking her shop again, because not only does she make beautiful things, they are safe and very well made: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PotterybyTeresa

An idea for organizing your favorite menus year after year, with free PDFs!

I've made myself a looseleaf 3-ring notebook in which I have a page for each week of the year, to fill in my favorite menus for each meal and snack and such. Here is a sample of the opening pages and of a menu page -- feel completely free to redo to your taste! I like to add pictures to each, including a nice large one for the title page, and also to add my name to the title page.
opening pages: opening pages A Notebook of Favorite Menus

a sample menu page to fill in: sample menu page , though for variety, for some weeks I use free menu pages that I find adaptable to this

A wisdom in happy food

I've just finished the main parts of the brilliant Mark Girouard's book The Victorian Country House. After describing Philip Webb's somewhat tortured work on the house called Standen in Sussex (finished c1894) and of how he typically would deny himself nice food, Dr Girouard writes,
One can't help feeling that Webb would have been a happier man and a greater architect if he had helped himself to more strawberries and cream.
Standen House, from its official website, https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/standen-house-and-garden :

More at https://associationoftimetravelers.blogspot.com/2019/12/a-wisdom-in-enjoying-happy-things.html .

Cozy Rye and Oat Porridge

Cozy Rye and Oat Porridge
serves 2 or 3

with ideas for getting ahead the night before you serve it for breakfast

Put into a saucepan and cover until needed:
         ½ cup oatmeal
         ½ cup rye flakes
         1 tsp ground cinnamon
         2 dates cut up
         pinch of salt (unless the nuts you'll be adding are salted)
Meanwhile, set aside (in the refrigerator of course if waiting to serve):
         about ¼ cup cranberries (frozen are fine)
         1 mandarin orange, peeled and sectioned
Also set aside (just on the counter by where you'll be assembling):
         almonds to taste (I used about ¼ to 1/3 cup)
         your cinnamon container from which to take what you need
When ready to start cooking, add to the saucepan:   
         1 cup milk
         1 cup water
Bring to a boil, simmer about 5 minutes, stirring sometimes.
Meanwhile, mash just with a fork, no need to be very mashed:
         2 soft bananas (this is why you don't need to add a real sweetener). 
When the porridge is cooked, stir in and heat just a bit:
         the bananas
         about 2 tbl almond butter (this makes it really luscious)
Pour into bowls and top with the other fruit (in pretty patterns if you'd like), more cinnamon to taste (maybe ¼ tsp), and almonds.

Inspired by Sea Buckthorn & Rye Porridge in Porridge by Anni Kravi

Homemade "Bisquick" mix for whole-grain and olive-oil lovers

My Homemade Bisquick®

Mix together:
5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2-1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 Tbl sugar

Stir in well but lightly
1 cup olive oil

Stir in
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 cup milk powder

Store in refrigerator.

Note that this seems to work best -- resulting in moister and more flavorful dishes -- with older Bisquick recipe books, which I enjoy collecting. Either the formula is closer to the older Bisquick, or the Bisquick cookbooks themselves have more flavorful recipes -- or both! These 2 are by far my favorites: