A home for all things crafty, health-conscious, cake-related, or in need of a wagon!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The vegetables of my labor

Yesterday, I harvested the first of my two potato pots; look how many I got! They were from two types of potatoes (obviously) and were very yummy. We ate them right away, unlike last year. It feels so good to be able to grow things that are actually edible, and not just by bugs. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Chicken-less Parmesana

The other day, I decided that I didn't want to cook very much, but still wanted something tasty. Then I found a box of Morningstar Farms buffalo wings in my freezer. Success!

Chicken-less Parmesana

1 box veggie chicken nuggets (bake according to directions)
2 oz. uncooked pasta
1 c. canned stewed tomatoes
1 zucchini
1/4 onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper
1 tsp. oregano
4 leaves fresh basil
1 clove garlic, minced

Cook the zucchini and pasta in boiling water until done. Drain. Cook the pepper and onion in a small amount of olive oil. Add the garlic and tomatoes. Add the spices, pasta, and zucchini. Chop up the cooked nuggets, and add them to the mix. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ikea, How Do I love thee?

Let me count the ways..

I love this wonderful coconut/chocolate/marshmallow "confection" called a Cocosball. Not only is it really tasty like an Easter candy...

THERE IS NO GELATIN!! (perhaps you do not realize how amazing this is, but trust me.. it is!)

And they are also gigantic!

I love your lingonberry juice concentrate, that I can mix into cold drinks on hot days...

And D'aim! Your chocolate toffee is awesome too!
(Is it crazy that at Ikea, I spend more on food than I do on furniture lately? Yes, probably.)

Veggies are fun!

These hilarious moments with squash are brought to you, courtesy of $1.50, and the Redmond Farmer's Market.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lulu's Birthday Treats

It was my little dog Lulu's 6th birthday last weekend, so we did a bunch of special things with her. We took her to the dog park at Marymoor, and brought along our visiting friend Chico.

They've been getting along pretty well, and we might be thinking about getting a new friend for her soon (ish)!

It was really gorgeous out, and I love the lily pads out here on the lake.

Then we got home, and I made Lulu some special birthday cookies from this book:

I chose these ones because they looked yummy, and had peanuts (a dog's favorite treat; after broccoli, of course.)

The illustrations in this book are really cute, which is why I put in this picture. :)
Now, on to the cookies! (safe for humans to eat too!)
Grandpaw's Spice Cookies (slightly adapted from Three Dog Bakery Cookbook)
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. molasses
1 egg
2 1/4 c. white flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
peanuts for topping
Preheat oven to 350*. Mix together wet ingredients, then add the dry ones. Drop spoonfuls onto a parchment-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle a few peanuts on top, and press them down gently with your hand. (They like to fall off.) Bake for 8-10 minutes, and cool before serving. Leftovers can be frozen, or stored in an airtight container.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Smoothie Pops!

These are ridiculously easy to make. I got the idea last week from Veg News, and then ran out to the store to buy tons of fruit! All you need is a set of popsicle molds (or an ice cube tray, but those would be really tiny) and a food processor. Let's go!

Strawberry Banana Smoothie Pops:

1 pound strawberries, washed and tops removed
2 bananas
1/3 cup yogurt
2 tsp. honey (optional)

Place all items in food processor. Blend it up! Have someone hold the popsicle molds for you and pour the mixture into each holder. Put on the top, and insert sticks. Freeze for at least an hour, then unmold and eat!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's good to be a grill...

Yesterday, I was enticed by the latest issue of VT to make some grilled corn with chipotle butter. (really good!) Then I went on to make some veggie quesedillas with some black beans. The leftovers are now calling to me for lunch, but before I answer them, I must tell you how to make them!
First, shuck some corn, but leave on the last layer of husks. Grill them for about 10-15 minutes, until the corn looks done. Carefully remove the last husks and cornsilk. (I used scissors to cut them off, since they didn't really want to be pulled off.) Then, spread them with a mixture of butter/chipotle powder/lemon zest. (The recipe said lime zest, but all I had was a lemon, and it tasted great!) Top with a little salt.

Then cook up some veggies in a pan with some olive oil, roasted paprika, and a little water. I did 1/2 an onion, 1/2 a red pepper, 1/2 a green pepper, and 1 yellow zucchini. Cook them until they are translucent (onions) or floppy (everything else).

In another pan, spray it with some cooking spray, and put in a small corn tortilla. Cover with a couple of tablespoons of grated cheese (I used vintage white Tillamook cheddar), some veggies, then some more cheese. After the cheese starts to melt, cover it with another tortilla. Then c.a.r.e.f.u.l.l.y flip it over. (I usually lose some veggies at this point, but just put them back in there, it will be fine!) Serve with salsa, tomatoes, guacamole, olives, sour cream... whatever you like!! (I also roasted some potatoes on the grill. Yum!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pina Colada Sorbet

It has been pretty hot here lately, and my ice cream maker has been calling to me. (That and some awesome-looking but rather strange herbs in my garden.) Here's what I came up with:

Pina Colada Sorbet (Coconut/Pineapple)

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 can coconut milk (regular, not light)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup fresh pineapple
8-10 leaves, pineapple sage (you could probably substitute mint, or just leave it out)

Wash off the pineapple sage leaves. Spread them out nicely, and take a picture!

In the bowl of your food processor, puree up the water, sugar, and pineapple sage. Then add the coconut, pineapple, and coconut milk last.

Pour into the bowl of your ice cream maker, and run it for 30 minutes or so.


Serve with a spoon.
This was the best ice cream making experience I've had yet. Most of them take a really long time to set up, and never really get that hard. This one had some bits I had to scrape out of the bowl! If you don't eat all of it right away (i.e. you're not having a party) you can freeze the rest of it in a tupperaware container. I put a piece of wax paper on top of the sorbet, and pressed it down on top of it, so that ice crystals wouldn't form. Today's sample was really solid, but still very tasty! Next time, I might reduce the sugar just a little bit, but it was very good!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Somehow, in the midst of all my lovely garden pictures, I missed this one. The giant composter. (although if you look at it, it's called a "compact". I would hate to see the full-sized one! This one is easily 3 1/2 feet in diameter!) The nice thing about this composter is that it saves you the trouble and mess of turning the compost; you just have to turn the handle. Pretty cool, eh?

Garden Voyeurism: My Parents' House

It's been a while since we had an update on my parents' garden, so here we go...

Strawberries are strawberrying...

Hydrangeas are gorgeous!

Teeny yellow squash...

Giant potato plant in the corner of the greenhouse....

My dad made these ingenius tomato planters; there is a moveable arm on the back with a string tied to it, to support the plant as it grows. As you can see, they are already HUGE!

My favorite weed: Queen Anne's Lace. :)

Beautiful fuschias

And petunias!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Peanut Butter Brownies

I first made these 2 years ago, when I was going to meet John for the first time. We were having dinner at a mutual friends house, and I wanted to be sure to impress him. Mission accomplished!!

Peanut Butter Brownies
(adapted from Veganomicon)

3/4 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup soy milk
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almomd extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 c. chunky peanut butter
4 Tbsp. butter
approx. 2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. soy milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325*. In a mixing bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. (oil, peanut butter, extracts, applesauce, soy milk) Then add in the sugar and cocoa powder. Add the baking powder, soda, and salt. In a small pan on the stove, slowly melt the 2/3 cup of chocolate chips. Add the melted chocolate to the batter. Then add the flour and mix thoroughly. Last, add the 1/2 c. whole chocolate chips. Bake in a 10x10 pan for 35 minutes, or a 9x13 for 45 minutes.

While it is a bakin', make the frosting. First whip together the butter, vanilla, and peanut butter, then slowly add the soy milk, and sugar; about 1/4 cup at a time. Taste test it to make sure it is um.. tasty. (This is just my excuse to eat some early.. because it is damn good!)

After brownies have cooled, frost. They will be a bit crumbly, but the frosting will hold them together!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Renton Farmer's Market II

Have I mentioned how much I love this market? I have? Well, here I go again...

Truffles! Flowers! Fruits and Veggies! Pastry! Roasted Nuts! Corn! Bread! Cheese! Fresh Pasta! So many organic, local, and tasty things...

The only thing I was not so happy about was the lack of vegetarian options for cooked food. My only choice was a $6 veggie/cheese crepe- which I really wasn't in the mood for, so I abstained. I had my heart set on a veggie burrito, but it really wasn't going to happen. But I did have some lovely cherries!!
In season at the market right now:
peas, fava beans, wax beans, yellow squash, zucchini, carrots, asparagus, spring onions, kale, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, apricots, blueberries

Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4th Battle of the Dogs!

We have a doggie house guest this month. His name is Chico. He made the mistake this morning of thinking he could play with Lulu's favorite toy, the hedgehog. What follows is what we in the blogging business like to call an "action sequence". Maybe that's what everyone calls it.

You will see that Lulu, a Boston Terrier represents America, and Chico, a Spanial mix, represents Oppressive England (in Europe?... it's the best I can do.) In this fight for freedom, who will win?

They fight mercilessly, tugging back on forth on the Hedgehog of Freedom*! (patent pending)

But clearly, on this Independence Day, we know who will win.

God Bless America.

Nom nom nom nom nom nom