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



Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blackberry Sauce

My camera battery is toast; and I absolutely CANNOT FIND the charger!! So, I have a feeling we'll be having some borrowed pictures around here for a while. Like this one:

But I digress. Yesterday, I made waffles (surprise), and some blackberry sauce!


We picked a ton last weekend at John's sisters' house, and I immediately froze them. Now here is my cauldron of sauce:

Mmmm...



You need:

2 c. blackberries

1/2 c. water

2 Tbsp. sugar (I used brown)

approx. 2 Tbsp. cornstarch


Wash the berries really well; those suckers hold some leafy bits! Heat the blackberries, water, and sugar over medium high heat for about 10 minutes. Smash up the berries while cooking. Then, after the berries have broken down a bit, and some of the water has evaporated, very carefully (I use a fine mesh strainer) tap in some cornstarch. Stir, and add a bit more. Keep slowly adding it (to avoid lumps) until the sauce starts to thicken. Serve over waffles, ice cream, or just let it cool and use it like jam!

Monday, August 22, 2011

DIY Sprouts II

Did you know that I already wrote about growing sprouts yourself? I totally forgot about it!



But, now I have upgraded from basic alfalfa sprouts to actual sprouting beans!

They are very tasty and crunchy, and I've put them on all sorts of things; from stir fry to ramen to a sandwich or a salad! And ridiculously easy to grow. All together, it takes less than a week from seed to edible sprout. Both Whole Foods and PCC have sprout mix seeds you can buy, or just get them one type at a time from a bulk spice section.


They are really fun to make, even if they sometimes look like scary snakes. (that's what I call it when they look like the sprouts in the first picture!)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Look what I discovered....

That mystery squash? The one that came from nowhere (probably the compost)? Look what it's turned into: A pumpkin!! Of course it's taking over the world, and there's only one, but how exciting is that? I've never been able to grow one before, so the fact that it just started itself is pretty cool. :)


Here is the whole "new this year" side of the driveway bed. The pumpkin is on the left.


And here is the newest bed, that used to be entirely ivy. Right now I have strawberries, bush beans, rhubarb, kale, chard, brussels sprouts, and I think arugula growing there.


Look at this rhubarb!! These plants are actually already a year old, and until I moved them here, had done NOTHING. Now they're making an entirely new harvest this month!


Other side of the bed

And my new delphinium. Isn't she gorgeous?


And this is the biggest tomato plant in my troop this year; aptly named "Goliath". The tomatoes are yellow and sweet; really fantastic!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Weekend Coffee Cake

This morning, I wanted to make some waffles, but I realized that I didn't have enough soy milk. So, I made this instead:

It was lovely.

Since I used the exact recipe that Isa made, I think I'll leave the details to her. I did however use strawberry jam instead of raspberry jam. I was also going to add some blueberries, but I forgot. It's slightly on the dry side (um, hi, it's coffee cake!) but very good just the same.

First make the topping:


Then make the batter and pour it in the pan.

Top with spoonfuls of jam....


and swirl it in!




Bake at 350* for 35-40 minutes. See if you can make some last until tomorrow.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pizza!!

Sometimes you want pizza, but you don't want to spend $20 on it. This is our pizza today:

I got some dough ($1.29?) at Trader Joe's. I let it sit out for a while, so it was closer to room temperature. Then I took it out of the plastic, and put some corn meal on it (it's awfully sticky!). After stretching it out, I put some jarred pesto on it, and some thinly sliced zucchini. Then, some chopped tomatoes from the garden, a bit of pepper, arugula, and goat cheese. Topped it with some shredded mozzerella cheese sticks, and baked at 450 for 12 minutes. So easy and so delicious!! (the second one also had a few walnuts on it... you can take the girl out of California....)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

German-ish Vegan Potato Salad

I don't like mayonaisse. It is gross. John feels the same way, which is one of the many reasons why I like him. :)

But I digress! In the summer, potato salad is awesome; but since mayonaisse is not, I have invented another version that I think is much better. It is sort of German-style, but according to the Food Netword Magazine's 50 Potato Salad recipes, it is not so official. Here's what I did:

Germanesque Potato Salad:

2 lbs potatoes (or however many you would like)

2 green onions

1/3 c. white vinegar

1/4 c. olive oil

1/2 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1/4-1/2 c. diced red onion (to taste)

1/2 c. chopped dill (fresh is best; otherwise do a few tablespoons of dried)



In a large pot, bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add the potatoes, and cook until they are soft. Drain. Wash out the colander because it's easy and dry it (otherwise your sink will be instantly full, and noone wants that!).


Chop up the onions. In a small bowl, mix together the vinegar, oil, salt, and sugar. Taste, and adjust accordingly. I usually use a little less oil than vinegar, but some people like equal parts. Mix the onions into the drained potatoes, and cover with dressing.


Add the dill, and salt/pepper to taste. Refrigerate for an hour or so, or serve warm!

Friday, August 12, 2011

OMG CAKE!!

I made a really awesome cake last weekend for my Mom's B-day. It used the yellow cake recipe (doubled) from this: I won't put it all here (*you know, prolly copyrights and stuff) but that's what I did... and I made the vegetable oil version, not the margarine one.


Cake, glorious cake!


Even prettier in my fancy new cake dome!
Now for the frosting, that's another story. Decidedly NOT vegan. Are you ready for this?

Get:

1 stick of butter, softened
1, 12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (best quality you can find, I used TJ's this time, but Ghiradelli's is the best, IMO )
Powdered sugar
Heavy cream
1/2 tsp. Vanilla

In a mixer, blend up the butter with a small amount of powdered sugar (around 1 cup). Melt the chocolate, either in a double boiler, or in the microwave, 10 seconds at a time, until smooth. Add some chocolate to the butter/sugar mixture. Add a bit more sugar, and mix. Pour in a small amount of heavy cream, and continue mixing. Add the rest of the melted chocolate. Alternate sugar and cream, mixing until it is a good frosting consistency. Try not to eat it all at once!

OMG SO GOOD!!! (and this actually made more frosting than I needed, so I tucked it into a small tupperware, put some wax paper on top, and froze it. We'll totally eat it later on some graham crackers!)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

M.I.A.

Where did last week go? And how did I not write anything here? Let's see...

Last weekend was this (Alice in Wonderland Adventures with theatersimple at the BBG)

Monday I took the dog to the vet (not exciting), Tuesday was our annual Block Party (I made some couscous), Wednesday was the Redmond chicken/duck meeting (look, John and I are in the background! That's me in the purple skirt!)

Thursday was my first day with nothing, and I took a nap. Friday was gardening with Shelley (more on that later; it involved some shrubbery demolition!) and yesterday? Yesterday we celebrated my mom's birthday:

My mom in high school

I made her a yellow cake with chocolate frosting; just like she wanted (except she may not have known it was a vegan cake; not so much with the fudgy frosting though; more on that later too).