Ask B: Family Stationery

Dear B, 

I want to order custom stationary for my family. What wording do you recommend? “The ____ Family”? Or “The ___’s”….etc.? And do you think it’s necessary to have family stationery, as well as personalized stationery for each family member?

Sincerely, 

S


Dear S,

I’m a huge proponent of family stationery, as its uses are endless – thank you notes, well wishes to family and friends, a note to your neighbor, etc. Plus any excuse to commission beautiful custom paper goods, right? In terms of wording, I prefer, “The ___ Family”, however it is really up to you. As for the look, choose colors and a design that reflect your personal style, be it modern or traditional, bright or subtle.

As for personalized stationery for each family member, I think this is an excellent idea. That way, each family member can write their own thank you notes or letters. Plus, it gives the kids a chance to have fun picking out their stationery! You might have a local stationery store to use, but if not, there are fabulous online options available, such as Love Lucy, Ellis Hill, and Minted. I love this company for children’s stationery too, as they have precious designs to showcase each child’s interests.

Biscuits and New Beginnings

 

While washing the breakfast dishes the other morning, I noticed the most beautiful white flowers blooming on the trees outside of our kitchen window. Such a tiny yet cheerful greeting from Mother Nature! It reminded me that the cooler temperatures and gray skies of Winter have been replaced with warm sunny afternoons of Spring, and how this year in particular I am so thankful for a new season.

At the beginning of this year I was diagnosed with food allergies to eggs and dairy, and it has certainly been a learning curve trying to navigate this new normal. We eat healthy as it is and I ate little dairy to begin with, however our family has had to look at food – especially baking – with a more creative lens. Believe it or not readers, from almond milk and coconut oil to vegan butter, there are so many fabulous non-dairy alternatives – how fortunate we are to live during a time when we have access to such things! Instead of viewing this as a negative (and believe me, there have been some challenging days), I’ve strived to view this as an opportunity to eat clean and learn about an entirely new way of cooking. And guess what? I’m feeling better than ever and eating healthier than ever!

Cooking as you know has always been a cornerstone to my life, as some of my earliest memories take me back to the kitchen’s of my childhood – cooking with my mom, grandmother and godmother. Now as an I adult I love to cook for my family, and my boys love to cook with me which is so fun. They have been such troopers about trying new recipes, like blueberry muffins made with coconut yogurt and our new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe made with vegan chocolate chips. Most recently we made biscuits to enjoy along provencal vegetable soup, and what a treat they were! Flaky and buttery as only a biscuit can be, we topped each with a pat of butter (vegan of course!) and drizzle of golden honey and it was pure heaven. The recipe is from the Sweet Laurel Bakery cookbook, which is filled with the most fabulous dairy-free, grain-free, and refined sugar-free recipes, it’s my absolutely favorite. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have, and here’s to clean and healthy eating!

Biscuits

Ingredients 

2 tablespoons coconut butter, cubed
2 tablespoons coconut oil, solid
2 1/2 cups almond flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
3/4 cup coconut yogurt, store-bought or homemade
1 large egg, beaten (we omitted the egg due to my allergy)

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the coconut butter and coconut oil in a small bowl and chill in the freezer for about 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the chilled coconut butter and coconut oil and cut in using a pastry blender, until a meal forms. It will look like wet sand, and the fats should be pea-sized. Stir in the coconut yogurt. Loosely form the dough into a ball and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Cover the dough with a second sheet of parchment paper and press into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Fold the dough over itself in three sections, like you would a letter. Again pat down the dough until it’s 3/4-inch thick, and repeat this entire process two more times. This creates the fluffy layers that will puff and add lift as the biscuits bake. Press out the folded dough so it’s 1-inch thick, and cut out biscuits with a 3-inch round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter. Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the top of each biscuit with the beaten egg. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until puffed up and golden. Allow to cool or serve warm.