Sunday, February 22, 2015

a veggie adventure

so we're sorta vegetarians now and would you believe it's homework? shaun's homework not mine but as the meal planner and primary cook, i couldn't really let shaun do it alone. shall i explain? shaun had to choose a social issue for one of his classes and he felt drawn to animal rights. after studying it further in class and having to watch some pretty graphic documentaries, he was more than willing to give up meat as the topic for his class project.  

and how's it going? well after 4 weeks i'm feeling good. i have more energy and i'm not really missing meat. and i'm cooking a lot! here are some of our new favs:

- black bean avocado enchiladas from the garden grazer
- one-pot pasta primavera from oh my veggies
- baked pinto bean taquitos with the best salsa maybe ever (and it is) from dream a little bigger
- pasta with spinach & beans from cooking light (we use parmesan instead of feta)

we have 4 weeks to go in the school quarter and then we are going talk about what we might want to add back in. 


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

crafty projects for 2015

2015 is my 3rd year creating a crafty project list for the year and while i've yet to successful complete a list, it has proved a very fun way to focus my creative energies and goals. here's my new list:

-DIY beauty products: i've been working really hard to go "green" with my cosmetics (more on that later) and all my free time spent on pinterest has encouraged me to just make some things myself.
from great oak circle

-english muffins: as a baker bread feels challenging so i just tackle one recipe at a time. now that i'm pretty happy with my cinnamon roll recipe, i ready to move on to something else. and i've sampled homemade english muffins so i know they are worth the effort!
from king arthur flour

-ricotta: another kitchen project i've been meaning to tackle is trying my hand at making my own fresh ricotta cheese.
from framed cooks

-cute throw pillows: i think this might have been on the list 2 years ago but now i have some cute ideas and i might actually get them done.
from style me pretty

-scrapbooking: last year it was my goal to scrapbook more, i did and it was wonderful so i want to do it even more! this year i hope to do it at least once a month to document all of changes coming our way!

-cardmaking: my scrapbooking style is pretty streamlined but cardmaking is where i test new products and techniques. and it's so fun to send mail to the ones you love! so i think mondays should be mail day mondays!

what's on your list?


Thursday, January 1, 2015

hello again

it's been a long, long time! i suspect most of you have given up on me and now it's just my father-in-law reading this (hi mark, thanks for checking in on me). 

but if you are still here, thank you. i never meant to quit blogging, i just needed a break last year after my grandpa passed away. first i left my blog and then i kinda took a break from the internet in general. well except from pinterest. and instagram...because you know i have those apps on my phone (hee, hee). then there were a few silly projects that kept me occupied but i'll tell you about those later...

and now 2015 is here and so much is going to happen. shaun is so close to finishing school which will precipitate so much change in our lives. i've personally been living in a happy little holding pattern for the last 3+ years, i'm kinda freaking out. but i think i'm formulating a plan for my future happiness. so you might see big changes here on the blog as i puzzle it out or they might turn out to be small ones (i'm fickle like that so who knows) but at least you know i'm blogging again.

so happy new year! 2015 is going to be the best yet!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

for the love of red velvet!

there are lots of things about me that just don't make sense like how i wouldn't dream of frying food at home because it's so unhealthy but i LOVE (and still eat) mcdonald's fries and hamburgers. now we don't have time to tackle all (or any really) of the thousands of other things about me that don't make sense, and i really only brought it up so we could chat about red velvet. i love red velvet anything which is so weird because i never add food coloring to anything. coloring usually seems unnecessary and sometimes even a little unhealthy but red velvet is of course the huge exception.

and with valentine's day just a little more than 2 weeks away, i had to try this recipe for red velvet crinkles from cooking classy.

they are beautiful cookies and would make great valentine's treats for your sweeties. be careful not to over bake, and i would definitely recommend substituting the extra cocoa powder for the flour as she suggests at the bottom of the recipe for a little more flavor. and if you're not a huge fan of white chocolate chips, try chocolate ones. these cookies do need the extra bit of flavor but they are really fun.

and looking for even more red velvet? try this recipe for red velvet chocolate chip cookies from baking serendipity. these are great cookies as well and have become a favorite at my house!


Sunday, January 26, 2014

in loving memory

i think i've written before that i struggle with how much of my personal life to share here on this blog. i generally want this to be a happy space about my creative life, like diy projects, baking and scrapbooking. but i also want to be authentic so in the spirit of that and of memory keeping, i'm going to take a little detour today.

grandpa's 87th birthday, marth 2014
my grandpa passed away this past tuesday, 1 year 1 month and 6 days after we lost my grandmother. he was a hard man to know, a fact that became even more clear to me at my grandmother's memorial when i met a girl just bit younger than myself who considered my grandparents hers. i'd never met her before, never even heard her name mentioned. it hurt my feelings at the time but people are complicated. families even more so. and my family sometimes impossible to decipher. but now that both my grandparents are gone i don't want to dwell on all of the things that were wrong in our relationship, or all of the things we didn't know about each other. i want to think about all of the things that were wonderful and true and that i will remember forever.

what i will remember was his quiet manner, carefully watching and observing at family dinners and holidays. breaking his silence every once in a while to recount a funny story or poke fun at the previous story's teller. then we would all laugh and delight in his wit. and i'll especially remember his deep, gravelly voice, earned from years of smoking. i'll remember the camera, perpetually around his neck, snapping quiet, candid frames. i believe it inspired both my father's and my love for photography. i'll remember his member's only jackets in a rainbow of colors, one to match all of his shirts. and i'll remember that he loved them so much he was still wearing them up until last year. i'll remember his love of sugar. he told my sister just recently that god made sugar and he wants us to eat it. so i come by my sugar addiction honestly. i'll remember that to honor my grandpa's sugar addiction we made him his favorite snickerdoodles and gingersnaps every christmas since i was a little girl and i'll keep making them every year in remembrance. and i'll remember that in the last few years he fell in love with hersey's chocolate drops. once i asked him if they weren't just the same as m&m's and with bright eyes and a giant smile, he told me they were much better because they were bigger. i'll remember that he called me darling and he loved me.

and i'll always remember how much he loved my grandmother. i'm happy that they are together again.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

national pie day!

this thursday is national pie day. did you know? are you having a big party? taking the day off work? of course i'm teasing. i'm not having a party either but i will be having pie! i'm always game for celebrating sweet treats.

one of my first glazed cherry pies
pies aren't usually my first choice for dessert but they have won a spot in my heart since shaun went back to school. to make his very first day back to school special, i made his favorite dinner and a cherry pie for dessert. now we celebrate the first day of each quarter with a "back to school pie".

thanks to national pie day, i have learned that pies have a long and illustrious history but mostly as a savory dish. the greeks and romans made some of the first pies but it wasn't until the late 1800s that the first sweet pies were made. by the 1940s, pies had become an all-american treat!

hope you have a happy pie day this week!


Monday, January 13, 2014

crafty projects for 2014

last year it was super fun to make a list of the crafty projects i wanted to accomplish. now i didn't actually complete all of my 2013 projects but a crafty list is no place for deadlines, only fun!
i have a new list this year, and besides rolling over some of my unfinished projects, here's what i'm planning on:

-scrapbooking more: in the past few years i have only scrapbooked just a handful of times, most of them recently and it has been wonderful. i must do it more!

from studio calico
-take more pictures & print them: see item above. to scrapbook you need photos. i'm great at documenting life for others, not always as good at it for myself so i need to take more photos and actually get them printed (a snag with digital photos, too often them live in the computer).
-organize my studio: to create, you need a beautiful space and lately my studio has been looking a little cuckoo bananas! now it won't look like this but it is certainly inspiring...
from on flickr
perfect the brownie: we love brownies but so far we love duncan hines brownies in a box the best. i'm on a mission to find the best brownies from scratch recipe.

and that's it so far.