Tag Archives: OKMH

OKMH – The December Issue

OKMH Collage 2013

Ah, the holidays. A time for family, friends, gifts, and food followed by more gifts and even more food. Am I right? This month, our One Kitchen Many Hearts band of merry elves kissed 2013 goodbye and bid 2014 a hearty hello with our last round of gift boxes for the year. My December box was from Beka of Kvetchin’ Kitchen fame. Here’s a look at the bounty she sent.

OKMH Dec2013 - All The Goodies

So many fabulous things stuffed in one box! Let’s start with The Cuteness.

Chippy Collage

Oh how I love a cute squirrel or chipmunk. Close friends & family know that I often joke about buying a squirrel ranch to retire to in our old age. I can picture The Complete Package and I sitting on the porch in our rockers, sipping on a bourbon, watching the ‘herd’ come in for the evening. Laugh if you want, but it’s a great way to use up the seven pounds of pecans & assorted nuts in my freezer. And every girl should have a dream.

Next up: The Sparkles

Nail Polish Collage - Dec2013

Mani/pedis (or what we like to call Paws & Mitts) are an OKMH staple. This month, Beka clearly outdid herself by sending a 14-pack of Elf Polish. Get it? Elf. Christmas. I see what she did there. Even more impressive than her holiday humor is the variety of colors & sparkles included in the set. My favorite is the color/sparkle combos like the metallic silver and the chunky silver & black glitter. Or the pastels paired with the white snowflake glitter. Want gold? We got it! Partial to pinks? They’re in there, along with a passionate purple/blue shade, a groovy green and a few not-so-naughty nudes. I love it all!

And now: The Edibles

Food & Bev Collage

Just take a second to soak this in. That’s apple pie cream liqueur, coconut jam (aka coconut curd), and a bottle of Dr Pepper jelly beans. First of all, that coconut jam is off the charts amazing. I sampled it with a spoon and was this close to eating the entire jar. So creamy, so dreamy, so…. coconutty. I want to pair it with chocolate. Or smear it on a roasted banana. But what I don’t want to do is share. Speaking of sharing, the grandkids (Jonah Bear & Lilly Bug) were here when the box arrived and immediately volunteered to sample the jelly beans. They got 4 thumbs up, Beka. Way up. I have yet to try the apple pie liqueur, but that won’t last long. It’s supposed to be close to freezing in Houston tonight, and The Complete Package & I don’t do ‘cold’ well. I’m thinking hot toddies of apple pie cream liqueur mixed with my homemade Apple Pie Moonshine may be in order, or perhaps a spiked vanilla latte.

And that’s where the next part of Beka’s box comes in: The Drinkables

Coffee Cocoa Collage - Dec2013

Know what pairs well with Apple Pie Cream Liqueur? I’m guessing caramel macchiato or vanilla bean coffees and/or vanilla rose cocoa mix. Thanks, Beka! Just in time for our cold snap. I feel toastier already.

Nothing warms the heart like friends & family, and Beka’s last gift brings that point home. I’ll call our last reveal: The Collectibles

Frame & Card Collage

Adorable frame, Beka! And I know just which picture to put in it. It hasn’t been taken yet, but I have plans. Big plans. February plans. Did you notice? It’s a recordable frame. There’s a nifty recorder built into the back of the frame so you can record any message. Or song. That’s What Friends Are For, You Have A Friend In Me, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Feelings… so many earworms, so little time. Let me know if any of those sticks with you all day. You’re welcome.

Now if you want to see what I sent to Allison, CLICK HERE!
From there, you can see the fun unfold with:

Kirsten @ Comfortably Domestic
Megan @ Country Cleaver
Kat @ Tenaciously Yours
Mads @ La Petite Pancake
Beka @ Kvetchin’ Kitchen

Wishing you all health, wealth and a Happy New Year! -jeanne

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OKMH – The October Box

OKMH Collage 2013

It’s that time again, kids – time for another One Kitchen Many Hearts box. Wahoo! I love mail days like OKMH, where blogging buddies send care packages to one another round-robin-style. For October, I sent a box of love to Madelyn in California and received a box from Kat in Minnesota. Here’s what Kat sent. It started with this card. So much promise in a 4×6 format.

OKMH - October 2013 - Card

As promised, there was so much to squeal over. As the postscript hints, there was a pashmina (possibly from Paris) in a lovely blue hue. So pretty. Ooo la la!

OKMH - October 2013 - Pashmina

And two bags of what can only be deemed the Rolls Royce of rice.

OKMH - October 2013 - MN Wild Rice

I already have plans that involve roasted chicken with mushrooms and grilled shrimp with lemons. Or maybe a wild rice salad with dried cranberries, oranges and nuts. So many possibilities hidden in those gorgeous ebony grains. In sharp contrast, these next goodies have no possibility of lasting. Zero. Zip. Zilch.

Caramello Bar - RIP

No mincing words here. That Caramello Bar died instantly. Thankfully, it was a quick & painless death. I made sure of that. It wasn’t pretty, but it was quick. These are lasting a little longer, but not by much.

Chocolate & Caramel Collage

Okay, confess. When you see a chocolate bar with grid lines, and that bar breaks contrary to said lines, are you compelled to ‘fix’ it by evening it up? To the point that you may eat additional squares just to make sure the bar is neatly within the lines? No? Tell the truth! It can’t just be me!

Yes, I color within the lines.

But my favorite squee-inducing gift from Kat is the vintage cookbooks (cookbooklets?) from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Seriously, they are too much fun!

OKMH - October 2013 - Vintage Cookbooks

Techniques, ingredients and product sizes may have changed over the years, but the tried & true recipes and killer artwork of yesteryear never go out of style.

40's Cookbook Art Collage

Vintage Cookbook Collage

Never has a sandwich filling been so happy to leap onto a loaf of bread.

OKMH - October 2013 - 50's Happy Sandwich

Hello 1950’s Thanksgiving Dinner. Hubba hubba! Please pass the gravy.

OKMH - October 2013 - Thanksgiving Spread

Pillsbury’s annual bake-off contests have been bringing home bakers together through blood-sport baking battles throughout the years, but I had no idea how many years. Kat’s flea market collection included these two vintage gems.

OKMH - October 2013 - Vintage 50's Baking Books

OKMH - October 2013 - Pillsbury Bake-Off Book

That’s the $25,000 winner from the second annual Pillsbury Bake-Off. From 1950. At the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Amazing. Also stellar – Mrs. G. Harold Kirk of Bar Harbor, who knows how to dress for an occasion.

OKMH - October 2013 - Dolled Up Contestant

In an age where people feel comfortable wearing their pajama pants to shop and/or board airplanes, Mrs. Kirk is a breath of fresh air. She is, without a doubt, even more fabulous than her prize-winning crabmeat cobbler.

I was super excited to find this recipe for Raisin Cream Pie, since it reminded me of the Sour Cream Raisin Pies of my youth, and then this recipe card fell out of the booklet and I got a bonus recipe for Baked Beans. Like a gift from heaven.

OKMH - October 2013 - Bonus Baked Beans Recipe

The best indication a recipe was loved is the stains all over it. This one was obviously a favorite. Most touching for me, was this wee booklet that still had the mailing label attached. It was a simple shortening recipe booklet from Swift & Co. addressed to Mrs. Robert Fleischehhacker of Fort Ripley, MN.

OKMH - October 2013 - Vintage Mailing Label

Did you catch that? Two pennies for postage? No way! Most notable was her address – Route #2 with no zip code. These, my friends, were simpler times. When people knew their neighbors, shared their tables and crafted meals not only from scratch, but with a great deal of love. And just like the recipe booklets, this box from Kat is meant to be shared. I may make a dish soon to share on the blog. And I’m thinking of baking a wild rice casserole for our extended family at Thanksgiving. But I probably won’t share the chocolate.

And just when you thought I was getting sentimental.

OKMH - October 2013 - 40's Cookbook Art1

To see what everyone else shipped & received this month, visit:

Mads @ La Petite Pancake – recipient of my box
Kat @ Tenaciously Yours – who sent this box to me
Beka @ Kvetchin’ Kitchen
Kirsten @ Comfortably Domestic
Megan @ Wanna Be A Country Cleaver
Allison @ Decadent Philistines Save the World

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One Kitchen Many Hearts: August

OKMH Collage 2013

It’s that time again – time for another OKMH box exchange! I love getting a box of love from my blogging buddies almost as much as I love sending them. This month, my box came from Megan of Country Cleaver fame. Megan hails from the Seattle area and mark my words – she will be a famous foodie soon. She’s destined for greatness and a spot on the Food Network. And I’m going to be a founding member of her fan club. Perhaps even Vice President.

Our theme this month was “Pimp My Desk” or “Office Essentials” or “Back to School” – whichever you think is less offensive. Here’s what Megan sent:

Photo5

This sweet little bookmark is adorable and Megan’s timing was perfect. I literally just set a new paperback out to read when her box arrived. It was immediately put to use in my copy of ‘The Winter Garden’ by Kristin Hannah. Ever read her stuff? This one tells the story of two sisters who grew up with an adoring father and a ridiculously frigid mother. Without giving too much away, the girls learn more about their mother through the Russian fairytales she shares from her youth. It’s a good story, but overall I think I preferred her other novel ‘Firefly Lane’. If you’ve read any of her other books and have recommendations, please share!

Collage3

What better accompaniment to a good book and a lazy Saturday than a cup of tea and some sea salt caramels? Again, perfect timing. The caramels died as soon as the box was opened (yes, all 3 of them). The tea lasted longer, but only because it wasn’t rolled in caramel and dipped in chocolate. So stinkin’ good!

Next up was a spa treatment box filled with lip balm, hand salve and a soap truffle. See my previous comment to know why Megan slapped a post-it note on it that read “Soap Truffle – DO NOT EAT!” She knows me well.

Collage2

She knows me so well, she fostered my obsession with Seattle’s Beecher’s Cheese by sending me a bag of their crackers. Beecher’s is always the first place I hit when we go to Seattle and walk through Pike Place Market. I love that place. If it were possible to die from the over-consumption of fresh squeaky cheese curds, I’d be the first to do it. I could eat them by the tub. Oh wait, I totally HAVE eaten them by the tub. I’m not called ‘The Cheesel’ (like weasel) for nothing, folks.

Collage1

These little pupper magnets have to be the most adorable things ever. There’s actually a Boston Terrier magnet in honor of our beloved Ziggy who passed away in March and a pug to represent our sweet friend Miss Josie Pugglesworth of the Long Beach Pugglesworths. If the magnets didn’t having me smiling ear to ear, the pens certainly did. They’re anti-theft pens for your desk. Why anti-theft? Just read them. Springfield Sexual Addiction Center? Hilarious!

I loved everything in my box, but I’ll cherish this card from Megan most.

Collage4jpg

The post-it notes explained each gift, but that sweet card and the love behind it are the real treasure. Our Story: Seven friends meet on the internet via their blogs and become real-life friends forever. And that is the greatest gift of all.

Want to see more? Check out what I sent to Kirsten at Comfortably Domestic by clicking HERE. From there, you can click from blog to blog & follow the fun.

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OKMH – The Spring Edition

One Kitchen Many Hearts – a small, close-knit community of bloggers from all across the country sharing boxes of love, laughs and local goodies every other month. This month’s theme was Spring Fling, and my box came from Madelyn of La Petite Pancake from the southern regions of Cal-eye-FOR-nigh-aye. Here’s what she sent:

OKMH - April 2013 - Mmm, Candy

Leftover Easter candy for the win! I love coconut & chocolate, so Mads was definitely on a roll here. And the dark chocolate chili by Lindt is a favorite. Our friends Kaki & Donny introduced us to it with the recommendation that it pairs beautifully with red wine… which we just happen to have in the pantry. How convenient! It’s like she was reading my mind. Sometimes you feel like a nut.

OKMH - April 2013 - Flower Spatula

Y’all, it’s a flower spatula! As a lover of all things Kitchen Gadgety, this was awesome. It’s long enough to flip things on the grill. I can’t wait to make The Complete Package use it for burgers! We’ll have to see if he can channel his inner diva enough to take it outside where other male neighbors might see him. If not, it’s also perfect for pancakes and cookies. So springy!

OKMH - April 2013 - Manicure Goodies

Next up, Mitts & Paws – because nothing says “I’m ready to take off my flannel PJ’s and get outside” like a mani/pedi. I love this vibrant hot pink. And it came with foam spacers (for accident free piggies) and a sparkly glitter nail file. How spectacularly girly, Mads!

OKMH - April 2013 - Polish Close-Up

In case you’re curious, that shade is called Folly. If that doesn’t snap you out of your winter funk, I don’t know what will. Am I right, ladies? And when your mitts & paws are perfectly painted, it’s time for this:

OKMH - April 2013 - Olive Body Butter

After a few months of running the heater in Houston, my skin is crying “yessss!” Madelyn says she hoards this body butter and now I know why. Haven’t tried it yet? You need to. Your hands will thank you. Your shins will thank you. Your crusty elbows will thank you. Your significant other will thank you.

Lastly, Mads included something that said in the most gentle of ways “You’ve scarred me for life.” It made me laugh out loud (the items, not the scarring).

OKMH - April 2013 - Mads' Mouse Supplies

It’s a bag of leftover craft supplies from The Mouse Project when my OKMH buddies crafted 50 felt mice to celebrate my 50th birthday. It was a hoot for me because it was based on my felt mouse tutorial, but mildly traumatic for those who, in their own words, were not born to craft. To see their glorious creations, you can click here. It was Madelyn’s note that made me laugh out loud.

OKMH - April 2013 - Mads' Craft Memo

Those feathers! They are too much. And the glittery sunglasses – so fun! Yes, Mads. I will put it all to good use. There’s no telling whose OKMH box they may make it into next. So many potential victims, so little time.

OKMH Collage 2013

Speaking of victims, my April Spring Fling box went to Kat at Tenaciously Yours. To see what I sent, CLICK HERE. To be honest, I love getting these boxes but I love giving them even more. I think most if not all of the girls in our group feel the same way. We have so much fun collecting the perfect items to send in each box, hoarding cute things like squirrels until it’s time to ship. Or canning homemade goodies. Or tackling handmade crafts. There’s so much squee-ing.

Lots of love goes into every box. To see the rest of this month’s boxes, visit:

Rebeka @ Kvetchin’ Kitchen
Madelyn @ La Petite Pancake
Kirsten @ Comfortably Domestic
Megan @ Wanna Be A Country Cleaver
Allison @ Decadent Philistines Save the World

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OKMH – It’s baaaack!

One Kitchen Many Hearts – it’s a box exchange program we started last year among a small group of blogging friends. Every other month, we send a box of local, handmade and/or favorite goodies to another blogger on a rotating basis. By the end of the year, each of us has received a box of love from everyone on the list. Last year was so much fun we hated to see it end, so it won’t! With absolutely no arm twisting, we’ve decided to continue for another year.

OKMH Collage 2013

My first OKMH box of 2013 came from Allison of Decadent Philistines Save the World. Here’s what she sent from her neck o’ the woods (AZ):

OKMH - Feb13 - the loot

Yeehaw! That’s a big pile of fun! Let’s take a closer look. First up is the card. I almost ruined a panty liner laughing at this cutie patotootie.

OKMH - Feb13 - Cutest Card

Allison knows me well. If there’s two things I love in life, it’s squirrels and corn. I joke with The Complete Package that some day we’ll retire to a squirrel ranch where we’ll sit on the porch each night, sipping whiskey and watching the ‘herd’ come in over the hills for the evening. Because I’m weird like that.

Speaking of hooch, check out this Scottish style ale called Kilt Lifter.

OKMH - Feb13 - Kiltlifter

She had me at kilt. After a few of these, you can bet I’ll want to know what’s under the kilt. I’m hanging on to it for a little while so I can pair it with a big fat toasty rueben or pastrami sandwich. Or maybe a batch of Beer Bread.

I jumped for joy when I pulled this next bottle from the box:

OKMH - Feb13 - Prickly Pear Syrup

It’s syrup made from the fruit of the prickly pear cactus. It’s sweet & tart and fabulous. Yes it would be great on pancakes or drizzled over ice cream, but my mind went straight to margaritas. Have you ever had a cocktail you can’t stop thinking about? Well, one of mine was a big frozen margarita swirled with this lovely elixir. It was probably 8 years ago at a business dinner in downtown Houston, and I still think of it fondly. For me, this stuff is liquid gold.

Remember Sweets Week? I made my retro Raspberry Divinity. Allison made Lemon Marshmallows. I’m thinking we should schedule all future theme week endeavors so that they publish just before our OKMH boxes are shipped, because I got a bag of these beauties:

OKMH - Feb13 - Lemon Marshmallows

Big soft fluffy lemon marshmallows. It goes without saying these are NOT the dry spongy flavorless version you find at grocery stores. These are the perfect texture with a burst of lemon zest that makes your tongue tingle, and they are lovely. One died instantly; the rest are being rationed for maximum pleasure.

Our theme this month was “Winter Essentials” and Allison outdid herself by crafting a handmade scarf in my favorite colors – blue & green.

OKMH - Feb13 - Handmade Scarf

It’s so delicate and light as a feather. I cannot imagine the number of hours spent creating it. What a treasure! We don’t really experience winter down here, but this lightweight beauty is perfect for those occasional chilly evenings. Thank you hardly seems adequate when someone puts this much time & love into a project, but THANK YOU, ALLISON!

Did you notice that snowflake in the background? All of the gift tags were made from hand-crafted paper snowflakes – the closest thing to snow we ever get on the southern coast. Not that I’m complaining (okay, I’m complaining).

OKMH - Feb13 - snowflake tags

I’ve saved the best surprise for last. This one really knocked my socks off because it was so unexpected. Remember the felt mouse tutorial I posted last month? Well, look who just got an A on her homework:

OKMH - Feb13 - Little Cutie

Oh my goodness! Isn’t she adorable? Here’s what Allison had to say about her.

“Her name is Mousidora, from the Greek that means “from the Muses.” She’s so named because I felt inspired to make her. Obviously she is a coffee drinker, and while she’ll take a splash of cream, she prefers it strong and black. That being said, she won’t say no to a wee nip of cheddar schnapps, if you know what I mean. Keeps the chill off. Her scarf is functional, but of course it’s a good look for her as well. Mousidora takes great pains to look good, even when it’s cold outside. She knows that the cranberry sets off the sparkle in her eyes. Mousidora’s hobbies include antiquing, lunching with her lady-mice friends, and betting on the ponies. She’s as sharp as a tack and likes a good nosh.”

Words cannot describe how fun it was to find this little sweetie. She and her tiny ‘cup-a-joe’ are forever perched on my kitchen coffee station so we can enjoy our morning brew together (like the bag of Sumatran coffee beans Allison included – yum). We’ll just be sipping our coffee under the Eiffel Tower, sharing our plans for the day and expressing our gratitude for great friends like Allison.

OKMH - Feb13 - Mousidora's Perch

I swear, we could do this for 100 years and I would never tire of these boxes.

If you’d like to see what I sent to our newest member of the OKMH tribe, visit Beka at Kvetchin’ Kitchen. Since it was her first ever OKMH Box, I may have gone a smidge overboard. I wanted her first adventure with our group to be one she would never forget. From there, you can also visit the other ladies and peek inside their boxes by clicking on any of these links:

Kirsten @ Comfortably Domestic
Megan @ Country Cleaver
Kat @ Tenaciously Yours
Mads @ La Petite Pancake
Allison @ Decadent Philistines

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OKMH: The Secret Santa Project

The OKMH Gang (clockwise from top left) - Mads, Kirsten, Megan, Kat, Allison & me

The OKMH Gang (clockwise from top left) – Mads, Kirsten, Megan, Kat, Allison & me

As 2012 draws to a close (that seems so unreal) so does our first year of One Kitchen Many Hearts boxes. This little ‘boxes of love’ project has been one of the greatest joys of the year for me. Not necessarily for what I received, but for how much fun I had hand-picking items to send to each beloved friend. I anxiously waited, every other month, to see how those gifts would be received. And when a box of love was a success, it made the whole world seem brighter.

For December, our final exchange of 2012, we decided to draw names Secret Santa style and surprise each other. No teasers. No hints. No “wait until you see what I’m sending you” tweets. Until that box showed up on each porch, there would be no clue as to who was sending to whom. My Secret Santa was Kirsten (my twin separated at birth) from Comfortably Domestic in Michigan. And true to her ‘kindred spirit’ form, she totally nailed it.

Perfect theme. Perfect choices. And SO…. MUCH…. LOOT!

OKMH Dec - A Sleigh full of Gifts

Check out this card. Clearly, she’s on board with my exercise regime.

OKMH Dec - Front of Card

OKMH Dec - Inside the Card

Yup. She gets me. She knows that I pine (whine) over her glorious abundance of snow while we languish in shorts and sip iced drinks well into January. I covet her snow. So she sent me a Winter Wonderland in a box, and it was perfect. Perfect timing, perfect selections… just perfect in every way.

My first squeal came when I discovered the tub of Mayan Hot Cocoa Mix. She posted this recipe on her blog and I swooned, but then she sent me some! AND she even sent a fabulous snowflake mug and a tub of miniature freeze-dried marshmallows. How fun is that? They’re so tiny & cute!

OKMH Dec - Cocoa Marshmallow & A Cup

So of course I immediately made a cup so I could enjoy it while I unpacked the rest of the box. Evidently, I am all about instant gratification when it comes to hot cocoa. Kirsten’s is even more decadent because it has a hint of cayenne pepper in it. Not enough so that you taste it, but just enough that you feel a slight burn in the back of your throat. I love that sweet little burn.

OKMH Dec - First Cup of Cocoa

SO. GOOD. If that wasn’t enough, she included these cute ‘cup’ cookie cutters.

OKMH Dec - Cup Cookie Cutters

I haven’t made cookies with them yet, but I’m going to. Soon. Until I get around to it, here’s a suggestion of how they would work. Just imagine it’s a chocolate almond shortbread cookie. Or a cranberry orange sugar cookie.

OKMH Dec - Cup Cookie Cutter

Get a load of the Winter Wonderland goodies she sourced for this baking kit:

OKMH Dec - Holiday Baking Bonanza

It’s a virtual baking blizzard up in here! That snowflake spatula is sturdy, man! Even the stiffest cookie or bread doughs will be conquered with that beast. I love it! And a girl can never, ever have too many cupcake wrappers. There’s just no such thing as ‘enough’ cupcake wrappers.

OKMH Dec - Snowflake Baking Cups

And there were sprinkles. Snowflake Sprinkles, y’all!

OKMH Dec - Snowflake Sprinkles

This snowflake cookie cutter is sturdy, too. This ain’t no flimsy aluminum cookie cutter, my friends. This cutter says ‘I could do this all day.’ It laughs at flimsy cookie cutters. At nearly 4″ across, if this made actual snowflakes, they could kill on impact. Can you just imagine giant buttery snowflakes falling from the sky? I can, and I’m catching them in my mug of hot cocoa.

OKMH Dec - Snowflake Cutter & Spatula

One cookie, and you’d be stuffed to the gills. I would pretend to be a dainty eater. You’d be all like, “Can I offer you another holiday treat?” And I’d be all like, “No thanks; I just ate a snowflake. I couldn’t eat another bite!”

But I saved the best baking surprise for last. It’s this little unassuming bottle:

OKMH Dec - Nectar of the Gods

It’s unicorn tears. I’m just kidding. It’s actually fiori di sicilia and it’s a baker’s secret weapon. A blend of citrus & vanilla, it brightens everything from ice cream to cookies to bread dough. I cannot WAIT to crack that puppy open! I just have to find the perfect recipe. Something truly worthy. Suggestions?

Also included in the box – two sweet winter-themed hand towels (who doesn’t love a penguin, seriously) and a snowflake ornament. Ah-door-ah-bull.

OKMH Dec - Cute Ornament & Towels

But wait, there’s more! No OKMH box is complete without something girlie and Kirsten went for mani/pedi fun. As a south coaster, Kirsten knows I’m a slave to humidity. When winter comes and the heaters click on, I begin to shrivel like a lizard. There’s nothing pretty about it, either. So for my dry lizard skin, there is Carmex healing cream. As soon as I put it on, my skin said, “Ahhhhhhhhh.” And there was polish! I love these two sparkly, frosty colors together. So pretty!

OKMH Dec - Hand Care

And for those days when sweet & frosty won’t cut it, she included this wild OPI set as a tribute to my Day of the Dead Mask post from October. So much fun, and they even came with little DOTD stickers for your nails, too!

OKMH Dec - DOTD Nail Polish

These are going in my Tub-O-Polish for girlie nail painting parties like Hoegarden. Or when I want to spice up my toes (even though no one will see them this winter). It’s like wearing racy underwear under a boring business suit. Hypothetically speaking, of course. {giggling}

Always a mom at heart, she included these reuseable snack bags for the grandkids – Jonah Bear & Lilly Bug. They’re going to love them. I’ve already stuffed them with snacks and juice boxes. No kidding.

OKMH Dec - Reusable Snack Bags

I love that these are washable, and the kids are going to love the cute prints. Lilly Bug is all girl with a pink fetish and Jonah Bear is all about the super heroes. Thanks for thinking of them, Kirsten. So thoughtful.

But I saved my very favorite surprise for last.

Did I mention Kirsten is a knitter? I wish I knew how to knit. We made a deal recently. She’ll teach me to knit if I’ll teach her to sew. We just need a few weeks together. That’s all. Or maybe a month. A month would be much better.

Lucky for me, Kirsten is a gifted knitter and she made something special just for me in the most beautiful shade of blue. Seriously, I died.

OKMH Dec - Hand-Knitted Gloves

Fingerless Victorian-inspired gloves. Fingerless because she knows it never gets cold enough down here to wear a heavy coat. Victorian because we share a love of antiques. Some day we will wear gloves and sip chai tea together as we browse antique shops. It’s a dream of ours, and one I’m determined WILL come true. Some day. Until then, check out the details on these beauties:

OKMH Dec - Glove Details

Not just ruffles, but ruffles with contrasting trim in black. And those buttons. They kill me. I don’t know how she did it. Well, actually there’s a story behind the gloves. If you look at the photo of the inside of the card again, you’ll see that little note on the top left corner about a funny story. It turns out that Kirsten crafted these gloves while they were traveling by car for Thanksgiving. She was so excited to get them done on the drive, she showed them to her husband, who commented “Did you mean to knit two left-handed gloves?” To her surprise, she’d accidentally made two lefts. She had to rip one apart and re-knit it into a right handed glove. She calls that a funny story. I would have cried.

OKMH Dec - gloves & a heart

Those gloves are a symbol of how nothing gets in the way of our devotion to make each box as perfect as possible. I can’t speak for all the ladies, but I believe the preparation and care and love that goes into crafting each OKMH box is the best part of this project. Well, that and hearing how much each box meant to those who received them. And although 2012 is almost behind us, I have a feeling One Kitchen Many Hearts will continue for years to come.

I’m sending a big bear hug to Kirsten, along with a very special thanks for my Winter Wonderland extravaganza. I could not imagine a better holiday surprise. As Kirsten so eloquently puts it, I love these ladies more than cake. And if you’d like to see what everyone else received, drop in on them at the links below. In case you’re curious, I sent my Secret Santa box to Mads. {squee!}

Kirsten at Comfortably Domestic

Megan at Country Cleaver

Kat at Tenaciously Yours

Allison at Decadent Philistines Save the World

Mads at La Petite Pancake

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One Kitchen Many Hearts – October

Oh sweet glorious gift exchanges, it’s that time again. The time when our little circle of blogging buddies send care packages to each other; just because.

The OKMH Gang (top, left to right) – Mads, Kirsten & Megan (bottom, left to right) me, Allison & Kat

And while we know who’s sending each box, we never quite know what to expect. For that reason, each exchange is like a little bit of Christmas all year round. This month my box came from Kat of Tenaciously Yours in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area of Minnesota. Check out all the fabulousness, including every non-perishable thing needed to make Cafe Latte’s Famous Turtle Cake. You heard me – gooey, fudgy caramel-coated Turtle Cake. {sigh; where are my fat pants?}

Dessert in a Box & all the pretties to serve it with


See that cute tea towel? If I’m not mistaken, Kat’s sweet mother has been hand-stitching these one-of-a-kind towels for all of Kat’s OKMH boxes this year. How sweet is that? Mine has purple plums framed in a cheerful yellow border. Absolutely lovely. And get a load of that silver server. I have an old dainty one that I have to use with caution. This one is fancy AND sturdy. I’m talking ‘lift a turkey from the roaster’ sturdy. I think that cut-out at the end may even double as a beer bottle opener. How’s that for an all-purpose kitchen tool?

A vintage cake server & a handmade tea towel

This next treasure really made my heart melt. I don’t even remember how it first came up, but Kat showed off this vintage 1940’s cookbook a few weeks ago and I immediately swooned. I have a deep abiding love for vintage cookbooks, as well as a long-standing love affair the JR Watkins brand. This book was like a long-lost star-crossed love at first sight thing for me. When I opened my box, I was stunned to find the book with its purple post-it note. Heart be still.

A vintage cookbook from 1946; heart be still

It’s a salad cookbook; copyright 1946. In case you’re wondering, yes there are ingredients listed that I don’t believe exist any more & yes, there’s a lot of mayonnaise throughout the book. But I’m not afraid of a little mayonnaise, and you should know by now that I always play around with recipes. So hello, 1946. Let me introduce you to a little thing called fat-free Greek yogurt. Booyah!

Salads from the 1940’s; how fun is that?

Another unexpected surprise: while flipping through the cookbook, this gem fell out. It’s a recipe from a magazine or newspaper circa the 1950’s, and it’s for Halloween Doughnuts. Just before Halloween, y’all! Talk about timing!

This bonus recipe was tucked inside. Perfect timing!

I’ll have to try those soon, but for now let’s get to the real meat of this OKMH Box – that Turtle Cake. Raise your hand if you want to help me eat this:

The star of the show – Cafe Latte’s Turtle Cake

What? Still not sure? What if I show it to you like this? All sliced up and ready to face-plant into? Does that help? Did I mention it’s all soft and gorgeous on the bottom, and all fudgy and caramel-coated on top? Now are you interested?

Yes, it is as rich and gooey as it looks.

Okay, I’ll put on a pot of coffee and wait for you. Who am I kidding?! This cake is GONE! G-O-N-E gone. Don’t despair, my lovelies. Kat included the link to the recipe on her blog and I’ll share it here, too. Just click here for the recipe. Note: the recipe calls for this to be baked in three 9″ round pans. I baked it in a 13″x9″ pan (baking time changes to 35 minutes, in case you’re taking notes).

Next month, in celebration of the holidays, we’re rocking OKMH “Secret Santa” style. Boxes will arrive in December with no advance notice of who will be shipping it. When I say “I can’t wait!” I mean it; I’ve already been crafting cute holiday things for my secret recipient. Until then, see what I sent to Allison by clicking here, and you can follow the chain from blog to blog to see what everyone else got, as well. Now… where did I hide that last piece of cake?

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