Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jack should have been a baker

This is the butter that I made.


This is the dough that was rolled in thin layers
With the butter that I made.


These are the pastries baked from the dough
That was rolled in thin layers
With the butter that I made.


These are the layers found in the pastries (243 of them, baby!)
That were baked from the dough
That was rolled in thin layers
With the butter that I made.


These are the children devouring the layers (all 243 of them!)
That were found in the pastries
That were baked from the dough
That was rolled in thin layers
With the butter that I made.

By the way, I love this book.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Musings of a Food Crazed Weirdo: The Best Food Website

When it comes to blogs/websites/etc, if you want to me to be a follower you have got to be pretty special. If don't know you, you have got to be extra, extra special. And if you are a website dedicated to food, well, let's just say I'm picky.

Because I am so picky, I just have to share my newest favorite food website that I happened to stumble upon just a few months ago. And for something to beat Epicurious, that is saying something. I would highly recommend it, especially for recipes for those obscure veggies. We just can't get enough of this kale recipe and there are so many other recipes I can't wait to try.

But it isn't just the recipes! I love their articles. OK, sure, they are a little heavy on the local food, non-industrial food thing, but I like that. I like good honest food without fillers etc (I noticed my heaving whipping cream had added skim milk, oils, and a thickener. How is that cream?). It is amazing how much more control you have over what you eat when you start with the basics. I discovered that it is possible to make your own baking powder after my newest sister-in-law mentioned that commercial baking powder has cornstarch, to which she is allergic. I've tried it (1 part baking soda, 2 parts cream of tartar) and it works well. And I control what goes into my food.

Enough of that soapbox, I do really like Culinate. Check it out. You just might like it too.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Oh where, oh where has my little boy gone?

Yesterday was a momentous day in our family. We lost our cute little cherubic, surfer dude little boy. This is was he looked like:

Isn't he adorable? I loved his sunbleached, angelic curls, but they was starting to get long. Well, they would on an almost two year old who has never had his hair cut. So, we decided to take the plunge.

The night before, we got the clippers out and let Mathias play with the guards, hold the clippers, and feel what it is like when it is on. Fast forward to yesterday afternoon and we once again got the clippers out, this time to cut Hubby's hair. Then we asked Mathias if it was his turn. He said yes.

Oh, where is my cute little boy!? (Yes, I know he is still cute, but I so miss those curls.)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

It finally happened!

Just so you all know, Hubby defended his dissertation this past Wednesday and his committee has decided that he can graduate. Ah, what a feeling! All he has left to do is get his reading committee to sign off on his actual dissertation and then jump through whatever hoops the graduate student office has prepared and then we are free. Here's to hoping that a job isn't too far behind.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Crunchy, not Crusty

My sister would say that I've been living in Seattle too long. While I certainly don't disagree with her, for completely different reasons, I definitely have changed in the five years we have been here. (Don't get me wrong. I do love living here.)

One of those many changes include how I take care of myself, personal hygiene-wise. Now, I have not become a non-shaving, skirt wearing, non-bathing, dreadlocked hippy. In fact, none of those descriptions would apply to me, except for skirt wearing and only on Sundays. But I have stopped using shampoo and conditioner.

Now, before you get up and move as far from me as possible, I promise you my hair is clean. Very clean and probably the healthiest it's been in years. It is even coming in a little wavy, something that I've never used to describe my hair, except on the odd day with 99% humidity. It's growing out now, but I even had that lovely halo of new hair growing in for a while. You know, the one that makes your hair look frizzy no matter what you do? It is finally getting long enough that it isn't as bad, but that means my hair will be thicker, and I need it!

So, when did I start this rather crunchy habit? Well, I first read about it in September '09, thought seriously about it in November '09, and did something about it in December '09. That's been more than six months of being shampoo free. And I love it.

Why do I love it? Well, my hair has responded very well to it. But it is more than that. It is also very "green", which also appeals to me, for reasons I'm not sure of. The final reason, and perhaps my favorite, is cost. It is SO CHEAP. A tablespoon of baking soda lasts me about two weeks. A tablespoon of baking soda costs three cents (if you pay a dollar a box). Add a couple pennies for the water and suddenly you are paying 10 cents or less a month to wash your hair. Compare that to the $3 a bottle (at least) I was spending before. The apple cider vinegar rinse is more expensive, but still probably only ends up being 20-30 cents a month. You do the math.

Unfortunately, I don't have a good picture of my hair to show off. But really, who wants to see a close up of my hair anyway. Just trust me; it looks great.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It is finally gone!

Six-ish months ago we had the great cookie fiasco. Since I just can't get rid of anything useful, the flour/sugar mixture sat in the cupboard and even survived the move into our new place. Finally, about a month ago, I sat down with a calculator and figured out how much of the "cookie mix" I would need to replace the sugar in a recipe for challah.

And today, I used the very last of the "cookie mix".

By the way, challah makes marvelous french toast.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Nothing is ever as you expect

In my last post, I was rather optimistic that my managing days were over and that the a life of peace and happiness was ahead of me. No such luck. It took a MONTH for them to find a replacement and I was stupid enough to offer to continue to work until they found a new manager or the end of March, which ever came first. Now that I'm not having nightmares about what happened (I really did have a few), I'll tell you the story.

March 1st: We were in process of evicting someone in the building. I got a call that day from a family member of the tenant involved saying he was at the building to pick up the tenant and would I please open the front door. I did so and stayed around until they left. And left they did: everything that was in the apartment. I didn't dare go near the apartment until several days later, and then only with someone with me. The place was filthy and was basically a drug house.

I almost quit right then, but I have an overactive sense of duty and I couldn't just abandon them. I did, however, refuse to clean anything in the apartment. The maintenance crew picked up all the needles, a junk removal company cleaned out the junk, and a cleaning company did the cleaning.

Wait a minute, you might say, did you just say needles? How many needles could their be? 10? 50? Try this:

Yes, that is the bathtub. Yes, it is full. No, no one believed me that it was as bad as I said it was, not even my property manager or the company that disposed of all of them for us. A friend of mine who works for the police department told her boss who thought "Yeah, sure. I'm sure the bottom of the tub is covered, but that's it." HA!

It is only got worse, if that is possible. We had fresh needles showing up in the parking garage for a while. Then the former tenants druggie friends were kind enough to break into every single storage unit in the garage and steal from a couple of them. Then a week later THEY STARTED TO DO IT AGAIN!!!! They only stopped when we changed the locks on all the outside doors.

And then they finally found a new manager and I was thrilled! And a week or so after that I finally turned my keys in. Oh, what a happy day that was!

What have I been doing since that blessed day? Trying not to have nightmares and spending plenty of time outside in our yard. I'll try to post more soon, if I can.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I QUIT!!!!!!

For those of you that I don't communicate with more frequently, I've been feeling that it is "needful for me to obtain another place of residence". Being an apartment manager can be hard work and for the past several months it has become quite stressful, especially as my children need more and more attention.

So I quit. I've been looking around for places to rent, in particular houses or duplexes, and just a few weeks ago we found a place with in our budget. Of course, the move corresponded with a previously planned vacation, so I wasn't really involved. But thanks to my most amazing Hubby and his parents, the kids and I came home to a new house already unpacked. Am I lucky or what!

I sincerely hope that by removing the stress of managing from my life I will be more able to be a better person, mom, wife and friend. Wish me luck! And look for future posts about gardening in a YARD!!!