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

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Seattle Tilth's Edible Plant Sale


This is the big one!! The one with all the tomatoes!!  And summer veggies and herbs!! I may have to buy a wagon just to get all the plants I'm planning to get this year!!  (Doesn't help that I'm getting starts for several other people too, but SO EXCITING!!!)

List of this year's herbs here and veggies here!!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Easter Craft! (Yes, I know it's late)

A few weeks ago, I found this super cute Easter craft on Pinterest... and had to make it immediately.  And, you're in luck!  If you want to make it for next year, everything is on clearance now, so it should be even cheaper for you!   

I started out with 2 bags of $2 plastic eggs from Target (make sure you find ones with holes at both ends), and ended up with about 7 leftover eggs.  I used the biggest needle I could find and threaded it with some baker's twine (that red/white stuff that everyone is using for everything right now.  I used it because it is strong and I have a huge spool of it.  Win-win!).  Tie a really big knot at the end.  I mean, really big.  Maybe even 2 or 3 of them.  You want it to not go through the hole in the egg. (Can you tell that I had some trouble with this?)  

Decide on a color pattern, and start sewing the eggs onto your twine.  Go until you run out of twine or eggs, then tie a big (really big) knot on the end.  Give yourself a little extra twine to make a loop that you can hang it with.  That's it!  Pinterest success!!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pasta Primevera II

A long time ago I posted a version of Pasta Primevera... and now it's time for an update! When I've made this recently, I've added chickpeas or Quorn chicken, and those are both good additions to use if you want a bit more protein in this dish.  Last week, we went super fancy and had it as a side accompaniment to some salmon.  

Pasta Primevera, 2014

8 oz. uncooked pasta (I weigh mine)
1 yellow or red pepper, diced
1 yellow or red onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
3 carrots, diced (I had rainbow carrots!)
1 bunch of asparagus
1 head of broccoli
3 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1-2 Tbsp. butter

Boil some water for your pasta and when it's ready, throw it in there.  Let it cook for 5-10 minutes, until it is done to your liking. Drain and set aside.

Then, in a frying pan, cook up your pepper, onion, garlic, celery and carrots in the olive oil.  Add the butter for good measure.  Cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

While that is cooking, cut up your broccoli and asparagus.  I will tell you my asparagus secret- bend the bottoms and they will break in the place that they should be cut (getting rid of the dead/dried out part of the stem).  You can throw those old bits into your freezer veggie bits bag that you use to make veggie stock- but I never do all of them- I don't want my stock to have an overly asparagus-y flavor.

Continuing on!  Add those green veggies to your other veggies and cook them up.  Add a little water if necessary.  

When everything is cooked to your liking, add to your pasta, with copious amounts of parmesan cheese.  Copious!

Add some pepper if you like, and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Herbs with Ciscoe Morris

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Do you know this crazy guy?  He's Ciscoe Morris, one of the premier gardening experts of the Pacific Northwest.  Here's a link to a great article about him.  I was lucky enough to go to a (free!) class on herbs that he taught at Molbak's a few weeks ago.  Here are some things that I learned:

Basil- cut it in the morning, before the oils evaporate

5/1/5 fertilizer is good to use on herbs and edibles because it keeps them healthy and from going to seed.
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Hardneck garlic is more pungent than softneck garlic, and you should fertilize it in March with blood meal or fish fertilizer.  

Chives and peas "hate each others' guts" (i.e. don't plant them by each other.)

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Geraniums repel flies, especially red ones.  Scented geraniums have scented foliage (I have a rose one that's amazing) and he recommended the "Maple Grey" variety.

Mint repels moles.
Bronze fennel will self seed everywhere. (He said, "I love this herb, but I won't grow it again.  I will visit you at your house to eat it!")

Catnip will grow in the shade.
Catmint is good for groundcover under roses.  Cats will only attach it if the foliage is bruised, so if they can't smell it, they'll leave it alone.

Parsley will grow in the sun or shade, but soak the seeds overnight before planting it.
Sage plants are good for about 4 years, then they get rangey.  Best to cut it down in the spring.

Hummingbirds love nasturtiums! (Wonder what I'll be planting on the back porch this year?)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Farro with Apple Sage Soysages and Kale

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The other day, a friend gave me some Field Roast soysages, the apple sage flavor.  I wasn't really sure what I was going to make with them, but then lunchtime called and I threw this together.  It was really good!

Farro with Apple Sage Soysages and Kale
1 onion, diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 c. farro, uncooked (I use the 10-minute Trader Joe's kind)
about 3 c. vegetable broth
3 Field Roast Soysages, cut into half-moons
1/2 a bunch of curly kale, chopped fine

In a large pan, add the oil and saute your onion.  Once it is translucent, add the veggie broth and start to cook the farro.  Cut up your soysages and add them too.  Once the farro is done, add the kale and cook for another five minutes.  If you run out of broth before the farro is done cooking, add a little bit of water to the pan.

Serve on fancy plates with salt and pepper.

fancy plate!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Painting Update

Man, this project is taking a lot longer than I expected it to.  Seriously, we're coming up on a month here pretty soon!  I could blame a lot of things, but the truth of the matter is, I have a lot less free-time-in-a-row than I used to have.  That, and it's kind of hard to move a king-sized bed, without a place to move it to!  Oh well, at least I'm making some progress, and will hopefully get more done today.  :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

These are my new favorite cookies; pretend healthy and completely delicious!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Vegan With A Vengeance, by Isa Chandra Moskowicz

1/2 c. butter, softened (can also use margarine)
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. molasses
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. oatmeal
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips (the ones from Trader Joe's are vegan)
1/2 c. raisins

Preheat your oven to 350*.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar.  Add in the applesauce and vanilla.  Then add the flours, baking soda, salt and oatmeal.  Mix together well, then add the chocolate chips and raisins.  Spoon tablespoon-sized amounts of dough onto a parchment-covered cookie sheet, and bake for 14 minutes.  Let them cool a few minutes before eating/moving to a cooling rack (let's be real, they all aren't going to make it there!)  Try to share them with your friends and family.  :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

On Turning 40... 40 Things I Have Loved

My 40th birthday was in February, and I was thinking about all of the things I have loved throughout my life.... and I came up with a list.  It is not in any particular order, and does not include family or friends.. that's just obvious!!  Some of them are not current loves (i.e. #12) but very important nonetheless.  Settle in, this is going to be a long one! (and you might discover some weird things about me)

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1.) Hole (the band)- I have loved them FOREVER- I think I've seen them play three times- once at the Gorge, and Courtney showed up in a Volvo.  Drew Barrymore was also on stage with them, since that's when she was dating the guitarist. Even when Courtney Love is kind of a train wreck, I still think she is amazing.
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2.) Basil

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3.) Shark Week on the Discovery Channel

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4.) Speak and Spell- Does anyone else remember this toy? I freaking LOVED this thing, and I still have it, hiding in a box somewhere in the garage, waiting for Zizi.  It works too!

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 5.) Jeopardy- I always win.  Always.  Unless it's questions about sports.  Or really specific history.  But I kick ass at anything related to movies, Shakespeare, geography, and obscure pop culture.  I don't think I could beat Ken Jennings or anything, but I'm really good.  I also think that Alex Trebek looks weird without his moustache.

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6.) Raspberries

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7.) Hollywood- I love it so much, I lived there for two and a half years.  I could see the sign from the roof of my building.  I still miss it; the weather, the random celebrity sightings, the awesome bookstore on the next block, fantastic Italian place behind my apartment building, the palm trees, walking to work, the shopping, exercising in Gwen Stefani's neighborhood.. just an amazing place to be.

8.) Palm Trees- When I lived in LA, a friend told me that rats live in the tops of the trees.  I refuse to believe her.  

 9.) Swimming- my favorite exercise, even when I was little; except I still don't put my face in the water unless absolutely necessary.
10.) Hazelnuts

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11.) The Cure- So many songs, so many memories.  I saw them a couple of years ago, and even though they're getting a bit older, it was still such an amazing show, with two encores- I think it was at least 3 hours!

12.) Bologna- This was my favorite type of sandwich as a kid.  I would even eat it with tortillas.  One of two meat products I really miss (the other is summer sausage), but will most likely never eat again.  Momentarily sad vegetarian! (ok, sadness over- I went looking for a picture and got really grossed out.  Gah!)

13.) Making Forts- I did this just today with Zizi!  She liked playing under the dining room table a lot more than the one that was just made out of sheets over her octagon/play area.

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14.) Unicorns- Child of the 70's, what can I say?

15.) Gardening- Growing up, we pretty much always had a garden, but I really didn't have much of one until I lived in L.A.  I had a gap for a few years when I moved back to WA, but now with almost 1/3 of an acre, there are things growing everywhere!

16.) Dressing Up- Who doesn't like that?

17.) Making Secret Clubs- I couldn't even tell you how many clubs I made up with friends, stuffed animals, neighbors, etc.  We didn't even really do anything, it was mostly the idea of having a club that was so appealing.

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18.) Butterflies

19.) Sourdough Bread- as a kid, we would get those big round loaves, cut them in half lengthwise, and make pizza on top of it.  It was so good... maybe I should try that again? :)

Lulu at my wedding
20.) Dogs- I wanted a dog for over 10 years before I got Lulu.  When I moved back to WA, I finally found an apartment where I could get a dog, and it was all over for me!

21.) French- I studied French for 3 years in high school, and taught English at a French school for 5 years.  I am fluent enough to understand very long staff meetings about dishwashing, and most songs after a few listens.  But I still love French.  :)

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22.) Dave Navarro: I had such a huge crush on Dave Navarro, I had a shrine to him for several years of college.  I used to make up vocabulary assignments for my students by using him in stories.  All the years I lived in LA, and I never saw or met him.  (although, for what it's worth, a friend of mine did and told me that he was super tiny-- she was not so tall herself, so I take her word for it.) And, it was very hard to find a picture of him wearing a shirt.  Does he need to wear a shirt?

23.) Tea: Lemon, green, roobios... I love them all!

image source Pretty much what my house would look like if I never gave any away...
24.) Books: I worked at my Grandmother's bookstore most Saturdays during my junior high years, and maybe early high school? I got to stamp books, put them away, secretly read the inside cover of romance novels, and then walk over to the grocery store for some kind of afternoon treat (usually raspberry cookies).  It was awesome.  I've always been an avid reader, and I used to say that Sesame Street taught me how to read- but it was really my mom.  :)

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25.) Hummingbirds: I saw one flying around inside the covered part of Molbak's the other  day, and it made me so happy.  (and they like hellabores? Who knew?)  Every time one shows up at the feeder, I hold up Zephyr to see it, and tell her that they are my favorite birds.  

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26.) Artichokes: especially with butter and fresh basil!
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27.) Dr. Who: I'm talking about the newest version here, from the last 8 years or so. I got OBSESSED with this show for a very long time- we have a Tardis cookie jar!  This last season was kind of disappointing though, and I'm actually rewatching it right now, just to see if there is anything redeeming about it  (Clara is so terrible and pointless!) David Tennant will always be my favorite.  :)

28.) Road Trips

29.) Homemade Macaroni and Cheese: This is my favorite thing to make for my birthday.  I used to have a recipe that I copied out of a cookbook, and now it's lost.  I seem to find it at inopportune times, and it's never where I think it is... but no matter.  I can make it from memory now.  Bechamel sauce+ onions+ dijion mustard+ nutmeg+ pasta

30.) Rhubarb Cake: I really need to blog about this cake.  I thought I already had, since I make it every summer, but alas, it's not here!  It's the only thing I really make with rhubarb, and it's freaking delicious.  It's a family recipe originally from my grandmother,  and I've even veganized it to pretty good effect.  Look for it soon!
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31.) Alias- This show is my gold standard for television.  Except for maybe the last season, (and a couple of random plots- zombie disease? really?)  it stands as my favorite action/drama t.v. show of all time.  Kickass female lead? Check.  5 million disguises? Check. Piles of plot twists? Check.  Not much else comes even close.  Oh yeah, and Michael Vartan.

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32.) Cheesecake Danishes- One of my favorite things I remember eating in college, and probably the cause of any weight gain that I incurred there. (These actually look pretty close, and come with a recipe.  Danger!)

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33.) The Wizard of Oz- My favorite movie as a child, and really, still.  It's so great!  From the Technicolor to the Wicked Witch (my mom used to use her voice every time we drove through any dark woods), just so fantastic!

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34.) Roald Dahl- Childhood would have been a lot more boring without books by Roald Dahl.  Even though I thought his name was a typo for "Ronald" for the longest time, I have always loved his books.  Especially The BFG.  :)

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35.) Dinosaurs

36.) Vanilla Pudding- Way better than chocolate pudding, in my opinion!

37.) Sewing- This one's kind of obvious, isn't it? 

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38.) Dancing in the Rain

39.) Fairy Tales- old ones, modern ones, some Disney ones... I've even tried to write a few myself. The best kind of fiction there is.

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40.) Freesias- My favorite flower.  So pretty. So fragrant.  So hard for me to grow!

And there you have it... the post that took me two months to finish!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Alice in Wonderland Garden Update!

This garden is really starting to come together!! With a moss-inducing winter, the path has more than doubled in size, and although I suffered some decorative losses (things froze because I didn't get them inside on time), I more than replaced the mushrooms that broke.

To start, you are greeted by a Chinese dragon, just because he is awesome.

View down the path

Kind of falling over flamingos; I think they're tired from being used as croquet mallets.  :)

Right and left sides of the path

I used some leftover bits of fallen trees to make the edging on the left. 

Also moved the red plant stand from the backyard, and filled it with fuschias from last weekend's plant sale.

There's the White Rabbit! (and transplanted hydrangea #1)

And the Caterpiller! (with future butterfly)

Hellabore that came back, transplanted hydrangea #2, and new euphobria!!

My favorite part.. all the colorful mushrooms!

 And new entrance stakes (they were a Christmas present from John)!
(You can almost see the dragon over there on the left.)