"Coffee and a Pen" is the working title of the new section of my blog where I reflect upon the past week and list a few of my favorite inspirations I've come across during this time.

So, welcome! Grab a cup of coffee on this fine Saturday morning and get your pen (or keyboard) and get ready to jot down (or click) a few inspiring and interesting links.

I love the first signs of Spring. The above photo was taken this past Monday. These are the branches of some kind of tree that started growing out of nowhere a couple of years back. I'm still not sure what it is or how it appeared, but I love staring at the new leaves sprouting on the branches right outside my bedroom window.

Tuesday was haircut day...for everyone. The kids, Sagey especially, really needed that haircut. Everywhere we went, people would exclaim, "Oh! Three girls!" After a while, we stopped correcting them. Of course, taking all three kids anywhere becomes a challenge. The way they took to having their hair washed was interesting to note. Seena (short for Cinnamon) was calm, Saffi (short for Saffron) was a bit wild, and Sagey was absolutely enjoying it.

The results:

This is also the day that my hairdresser told me about the Savory Spice Shop . So, the following morning, Saffron and I spent over an hour picking out various spices I plan to use for next week's experiment with Moroccan cuisine. I also found a very dark cocoa powder called Black Onyx Cocoa Powder. I discovered white poppy seeds and grabbed a small bag of black seeds as well. I plan on trying this cake with the black poppy seeds.

Yesterday, I found a great bargain for a tagine here , along with a few German chocolates.

On Thursday, I posted my Potato and Cabbage Gratin here and was happy to get my first comment from a great newborn photographer who has recently started her own blog . Check out her other work here.

This morning, I (the rest of the family was still sleeping) went to our local farmer's market to buy farm fresh eggs when the lady in line behind me informed me that they're open year-round. I guess it's time to start getting my fresh veggies there every week. A booth across from the place I purchased the eggs caught my attention. Perhaps it was the fascinating tatoos all over this lady's arms or the fact that she was selling gluten free baked goods. Maybe it was both, so I curiously walked over to see for myself what she was selling. What impressed me the most was that she actually took the time to explain to me her story and process of transforming baked goods containing gluten into ones that uses a variety of flours - most of which have been sitting in my pantry untouched for the past six or so months. I decided to buy a carrot cupcake and see for myself. I'll let you know in another post.

I leave you with a few other food links I've found this past week and a half:

A white potato gnocchi recipe that I made last week. It was the first time I actually made gnocchi and it turned out pretty good. I did, though, discover that gnocchi dough does not keep past the second day.

A sweet potato gnocchi recipe that I will definitely have to make. I've never eaten sweet potatoes before but I am willing to give them a try.

Raspberry Almond Cake that looks so delicious.

A mint cheesecake that will be on my list of cakes to make once I have guests.

Finally, this recipe for Carrot & Quinoa muffins.

Have a great weekend. Join me next week for more new finds and adventures.


P.S. The more I think I about it, the more I'm considering keeping the name "Coffee and a Pen".