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We spent our Independence Day in Shaftsbury, VT with family; swimming, hiking, collecting wildflowers, and stopping for ice cream on the way home. Lovely.

I hope you all had a joyful and relaxing 4th!

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Happy Valentine’s day!

Getting started on this year’s valentines…

Happy New Year!

2011 was a fantastic year – a Master’s degree, engagement, pregnancy, lots of new friends and happy memories, and the birth of my sweet baby boy.

In 2012, I’m looking forward to getting married to my best guy, celebrating the marriages of dear friends, moving to a new home (and maybe a new city), doing fulfilling work, and watching my boy grow.

All health, all happiness, all good things to you in 2012.

Happy holidays!

Below are some of the photos we took this year to send out with our Christmas cards. Or, post-Christmas cards. I had good intentions, but with a newborn I’m learning that sometimes these things don’t happen as quickly as you think they can. It’s the thought that counts, right? This year I made them using white and ivory Stonehenge paper and cut-out paper stars, and I letterpressed the text in my “house” font (a classic and the only typeface I have a full set of), 18 pt Caslon. I included a photo or two of Henry with each one, and tied them together with some bright red thread. Next year I promise to be more timely!

Here’s wishing everyone a joyful and merry holiday week, and a productive and healthy new year.

Henry has been with us for three weeks now. Every day is sweeter with him around. This week we took photos to send out with our holiday cards, listened to records and danced in the living room, and decorated our tiny Christmas tree. Tomorrow I’ll be baking lots of cupcakes for the Last Minute Panic Holiday Marketplace, and a couple of Henry’s uncles will be visiting this weekend.

It’s bittersweet to feel these newborn days passing so quickly. Every day he seems to grow more and more. I can’t wait to watch him laugh, explore, grow tall; but I will miss these early days and all the quiet hours just spent nursing and napping with my boy.

This video (accompanied by one of my favorite songs of the past few months) makes me so excited for Henry to be a kid.

Here’s to your future adventures, baby boy.

Friends, I think we have our first family recipe.

A week or so ago we went on a lovely drive through Niagara County on the hunt for fresh apples, concord grapes, pumpkins, and other seasonal produce. We bought a bushel of the sweetest apples I’ve ever tasted, and I quickly laid plans to make a pie. I’m not actually a big fan of fruit pie, so I wanted to come up with a way to make an apple pie that I would really enjoy. I was inspired by Julia Child’s recipe for a custard apple tart from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but I changed a few things and used a different recipe for the crust.

It was so, so good. Creamy custard with sweet apples and just the right amount of spice. I’ll be making this pie every fall.

Apple Custard Pie

Ingredients:
1 pie crust (see below)
3-4 of your favorite apples
Pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Pie crust:

Use whatever pie crust you like, I’m a fan of Gluten-Free Girl’s pie crust recipe, or for a conventional crust, I really like this one by Smitten Kitchen.

In either case, add a pinch of cinnamon to the dry ingredients for this pie, you’ll notice the difference. Also note, especially if you are using the Smitten Kitchen recipe, you do NOT need to pre-bake the crust. The baking time for the custard will be plenty of time for the crust to bake.

Prepare your pie crust, and roll out to 1/4″ thickness and line your pie pan. Fold over the edges or crimp your crust, and poke some holes in the dough with your fork so it doesn’t puff up in the oven.

To make the custard, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cream, and vanilla until combined.

Chop 3-4 apples (depending on size – I used 3 large Jonagold apples) into slices and lay them in concentric circles around the pie crust. Sprinkle the apples with a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, then pour the custard mixture over the top.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the custard in the center has set.

I’d recommend refrigerating this pie overnight after it cools, it’s absolutely delicious cold.

I had the most lovely Valentine’s Day.

My valentine had to work all day, but it gave me the chance to get into the spirit. I hung a paper heart garland, made a valentine for Rosie, and prepared a special dinner and dessert. I made gluten-free devil’s food cupcakes with pink vanilla icing and shredded coconut, and for Rosie a batch of yummy (to her) all-natural peanut butter dog treats.

I also received the best Valentine’s Day present ever – my first typeface! 12 & 18 pt Original Old Caslon, can’t wait to print with it.

Here’s a peek at our little Valentine’s Day:

Letterpress note cards, printed as a gift for a dear friend using vintage blocks and type.

On Friday night Erin came over for an evening of holiday decorating. We made simple holiday wreaths with natural materials including grapevines, mountain roses, and fresh rosemary. Mine is now hanging on the mantle, adding just a little extra holiday warmth.