Sunday, December 30, 2012
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Inspired by one of the best dishes we ate in Italy (that wasn't pasta, of course), we baked up one of my favourite comfort foods - eggplant parmesan. It often falls under my radar but it's SO GOOD. And easy! We basically used this recipe (by a really great food blogger): http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2012/04/the-ultimate-eggplant-parmesan.html.
1. Bake the oiled and salted eggplant slices until brown at 450°C
2. Make tomato sauce (onions, garlic, carrots, oregano, tomatoes)
3. Layer them up (eggplant, fresh mozza, eggplant, mozza, eggplant, toasted breadcrumbs, parmesan)
4. Bake at 350°C until it looks good!
We only used 1 ball of mozzarella (125g) for a dish that could serve 4 sides - with the creaminess of the eggplant, you really don't need any more and it makes a perfect gooey delicious mess.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Cooking in Uppsala has been a bit more of a challenge than usual - smaller fridge, fewer options at the grocery store (they don't even have real sriracha!), and a lack of recipe books and magazines means that I have fallen into a bit of a cooking funk. One can only make root vegetable stew so many times before her stomach and brain start mutiny-ing.
Soooo....how would everyone feel about weekly food projects? A new theme every week, ranging from an ingredient to a style to a simple challenge such as "make something you've never made before". Anything goes.
This week: Make something that highlights cheese. Simply because it's easy to get everywhere, and we have an ABUNDANCE of it in the fridge.
Deadline to post: next Sunday, Dec. 23rd (oh my...I just realized it's close to Xmas, this is probably terrible timing). Regardless, I'll post another challenge next Sat.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Friday, November 30, 2012
We have clearly dropped the ball on this beautiful site that used to be a source of such joy for us all. I am just as guilty, so would encourage all of us to dig deep into our stashes of wool, fabric, food, but most of all, stories, to tell a tale of success and/or failure in the world of hand-made!
The holiday season is upon us. Pick up those knitting needles, take the sewing stash out from under your bed, dust off the kitchenaid (my god...this is sounding waaaaaay too domestic), clean out your rifle, recall your perfect fly cast, tell us stories from the road, anecdotes from the desk, tales from the lab. I will vow to do the same. I've got a stash of stories that I've been too lazy to write-up. Let's do it!!!!
Also - who's up for a craft swap. The trivets were so fun, but so long ago. Who's in!?!?!? What should the deadline be? I'm assuming after Christmas? How about the end of January?
I miss you all and look forward to all the stories that are going to flood the pages of this little blog that has been quiet for too long!
Friday, July 13, 2012
We got a streak of beautiful weather in Grande Prairie at the end of April. And because I was feeling so ambitious (and it was on my list, dammit!), I stood staring at the grass-less spot in the yard that had clearly at one point in time been a garden, and declared to Tyler that I was making a garden this weekend. I mean, summer was CLEARLY here! So I went out and bought a bunch of organic soil, a whole slew of seeds, and a couple starter tomato and pepper plants. And I made a diagram and put it on the fridge so I could remember what I had, and where, when all my wonderful veggies started growing prosperously.
Alright, major lessons learned:
Friday, June 1, 2012
But in a moment of needed procrastination, I decided to google "best place in the world."
So here you go: http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/best-trips-2012/#/botw-main-gallery-iceland_41325_600x450.jpg
Anyone up for a trip to Pittsburgh?
Sunday, April 29, 2012
|Weeks like this make me want to go back to Portland. Stat.|
Anyways, with all the sitting at my computer I of course wasted some time on Google Reader...here are some things that caught my eye this week. Enjoy!
I just can't imagine Stephen Harper slow jamming.
This link can only be explained by the fact that I have cat costumes on the brain due to the fact that we will be cat-sitting for a year in Sweden. Does that explain it? Maybe not. (This is for the dog lovers.)
Walk-in showers? Yes please.
This colour is everywhere, and I want it!
Going traveling? I have used this site many times over the past few years to book accommodation, and have only had good experiences.
Anyone have 839 Euro they want to give me? It's worth it.
Talented people with waterproof cameras can take some amazing pictures.
And finally, there's been a lot of buzz around this new tv show "Girls" (and lots of comparisons to "Sex in the City"). Have you watched it? What do you think of it?
Hope you all had a great weekend!!
Sunday, April 22, 2012
|These are kinds of photos I take on fly fishing trips when we don't catch any fish.|
Hello ladies! Spring has finally sprung and that means that it's time to crawl out of my dark winter hole. I've always noticed that as soon as the days start getting longer, I start getting up earlier, I get into a more regular work out schedule, and I spend more time drinking beer on patios with friends. All good things!
While I'm on this roll, I wanted to start something that I've been wanting to do. I love the weekly round-ups that many bloggers do, so I'm going to try my darndest to do something similar, and try to post at least one photograph each week with the post. If anyone else feels so inclined to also do this, that would be very very cool.
Math + 90s television show = my favourite kind of joke.
I've been thinking about buying a watch and I think I'm drawn to classic styles with a twist. Like this. Or this.
I'm still watching this Gotye video over and over again. You've probably already heard this amazing cover, but if you haven't, you're welcome! (Update: my friend just sent me this video, making this the longest series of linked links of all time. (But it's totally worth it.))
This fish identification issue has been of great interest to me, and is often a source of internal conflict.
Would it be silly to buy a smart phone just so I could deck it out with this?
Some interesting information (and of course, amazing footage) of The Last Waltz. RIP Levon Helm.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Ah, I feel like a legitimate part of the group now. Legit enough to get to my real post: books books books! I begin with a sad fact: I lost my list of books to read some time ago. It’s hard enough trying to recreate a list of books that you came up with yourself, but it’s a whole new ballgame when you’re attempting to recall titles and authors that other people had suggested. Unfortunately, at least 83% of my list was made up of other people’s suggestions. Needless to say I gave up and started over, hence the book email I sent to you all a few months back.
|The Hunger Games||Suzanne Collins|
|In the Garden of Beasts||Erik Larson|
|A Game of Thrones||George R.R. Martin|
|Medium Raw||Anthony Bourdain|
|Kitchen Confidential||Anthony Bourdain|
|The Sisters Brothers||Patrick deWitt|
|The Paris Wife||Paula McLain|
|The Help||Kathryn Stockett|
|Polar Dream||Helen Thayer|
|A Complicated Kindness||Miriam Toews|
|Anna Pigeon series||Nevada Barr|
|Something Fierce||Carmen Aguirre|
|The Big Year||Mark Obmascik|
|Pink Boots and a Machete||Mireya Mayor|
|The Corrections||Jonathan Franzen|
|The No. 1 Ladies' Detective's Agency||Alexander McCall Smith|
|Sometimes a Great Notion||Ken Kesey|
|Merlin trilogy||Mary Stewart|
|The Power of One||Bryce Courtenay|
|Ender's Game||Orson Scott Card|
|Best Laid Plans||Terry Fallis|
|The Orphan Master's Son||Adam Johnson|
|A Study in Sherlock||Laurie R. King (editor)|
|The Night Circus||Erin Morgenstern|
|Still Alice||Lisa Genova|
|The Glass Castle||Jeannette Walls|
|Josephine B trilogy||Sandra Gulland|
|Song of the Dodo||David Quammen|
|A Primate's Memoir||Robert Sapolsky|
|Why Zebra's Don't Get Ulcers||Robert Sapolsky|
|Sand County Almanac||Aldo Leopold|
|Three Cups of Tea||Greg Mortenson|
|Three Day Road||Joseph Boyden|
|The Hakawati||Rabih Alameddine|
|the Arthurian saga||Jack Whyte|
And this is the result of those emails...so far...
Monday, January 30, 2012
January was my buy-nothing month. And by “buy nothing,” I mean I purchased a camera that costs hundreds of dollars on January 1st, and then decided to make up for the subsequent hole in my wallet by avoiding other frivolous purchases such as beauty products, fast food, and lovely warm coffee drinks that I enjoy almost every day. In addition to saving money, I figured this would be a good test of my will-power. I’m going to start off by saying I failed, but before you shake your head in disappointment, rest assured that I came up with a back-up plan.
I was lucky enough to get a Starbucks gift card for Christmas from my landlord, so that helped take care of the coffee problem. Feeling pretty good about myself, I became a bit more empowered every time I didn’t eat out or buy some cute item I saw. But then I chose to go to both the Banff Film Festival and an Oilers game on the same weekend (frivolous for sure, but our good friend Lara can explain both purchases, just not on the blog-o-sphere—sorry ladies). It went downhill from there.
Even though I was able to keep most of my dollars in my pocket after that weekend splurge of films, hockey games, and obligatory game day hot dogs/soft pretzels, I had a huge hurdle looming: Georgia. Georgia = tempting travel expenses, splurges on food and treats, and an adorable, present-worthy niece and new nephew. Granted, this trip was to serve as our family Christmas and I hadn’t planned ahead for my buy-nothing month by making gifts, so I was feeling a tad bit justified in any upcoming spending. After all, is a Prance-a-Pony unicorn for my niece REALLY a frivolous purchase?
Don’t answer that.
Georgia came and Georgia went; my mom and sister were gracious and treated me to 90% of the coffee I consumed. But now as I reached the end of my buy-nothing month I was presented with a problem—my bank statement. Somehow I’ve managed to wind up a couple hundred dollars poorer. I asked myself what good was an exercise in frugality and will-power if neither occurred? I needed to come up with some sort of remedy that wasn’t synonymous with punishment. Should I extend my buy-nothing month for another week? Should I put the equivalent amount I had spent into my savings account? Neither of these options seemed right; not buying something for a week is easy, and I always have the option of taking the money right back out of savings. I decided instead to increase my Kiva account amount by the amount of unnecessary money I spent in January (note: if you’re not familiar with Kiva, check it out: http://www.kiva.org/). One may ask, how will decreasing your account balance even MORE satisfy a lesson in will-power and frugality? My argument is that this month also made me consider the value of each purchase I made. I decided that if I placed a value of $xx.xx on Oiler’s games and film festivals, I certainly valued the idea of giving back to my community just as much. Hopefully from this point forward, I’ll think about how easy it was to throw a few extra dollars in the collection plate once in a while instead of buying a latte. But to be clear to my coffee break partners: I’m not planning on eschewing ALL future coffee outings—they are necessary for my sanity—perhaps just choosing a tall instead of a grande more often than not.
On a completely different note, let’s get on to what prompted this buy-nothing-month in the first place—my new camera. It’s definitely a starter DSLR (Canon Rebel T3i), but it was easiest on my budget and will be perfect for learning some tricks while in the meantime allowing my bank account to refuel before I eventually upgrade. I have been wanting, pining for, and whining about a single-lens-reflex camera ever since I was in high school. Over ten years later, I finally got over my hemming and hawing cheap self and put the money down. My first subjects were my niece and new nephew; after one week and over 700 shots later, here are some of my favorites. This counts as a craft, right?
As far as doing another buy-nothing month, I think I'd like to try it again sometime and be a bit more strict on myself. But I think I'll wait until my birthday month--chances are good I might get another Starbucks gift card to help me out.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
1. Turn a cheestring into Ollie the Orangutan, as suggested on the packaging;
2. Eat 4 packages of '100 cal' Special K bars (This type of gimmick doesn't work for me apparently);
3. Contemplate whether this product is going to change my life: http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2012/01/pretty-hair-while-traveling.html;
4. Lift weights at Goodlife with our gym crew (whaddup M&L) (P.S. I was secretly thinking of cheesestrings the entire time);
5. Conclude that ramen is great, but pho is better;
6. Turn another cheesestring into Helicopter Heather;
Despite the fact that I have clearly already had a very productive and gratifying day, I am really going for it...a blog post to top off this day...
... so I present: Crafts of 2011!
This recap makes me realize that I didn't make much this year.
I've plotted an interesting relationship based on my observations of my photos from this past year:
Friday, January 13, 2012
So, instead of sewing, I have been daydreaming. I thought it was going to be hard to find fabric I like for a baby boy. Not so! Here are just a few that have caught my eye in the last couple of weeks. This was only the icing on the cake. I guess having a daughter had blinded to me to all the wonderful "boy" fabrics there are. I still have not fallen in love with boy clothing patterns yet. I envision a mini-Lee that looks like me. Hey, he got a mini-Sascha that looks like him. It's the least I could ask for. :) Anyways, I guess I had better try my hand at plaid button-up shirts.
I bought Lee a new tent for Christmas. Our 3-person backpacking tent was getting a little tight with two adults, one kid, and a dog, so we upgraded to a good ol' car camping tent. Yep, we've become that family. Introducing the REI Kingdom 4!
What in the world does this have to do with sewing? Since we'll have a brand spanking new baby this summer, we definitely need a nice big quilt that we can all fit on. A quilt with a laminate back side. Otherwise known as a PICNIC BLANKET!! Woot! :) Check out this laminate. It's much to busy for a front, but perfect for a waterproof backside. Next project, maybe??
The other thing I have been wasting my time with is daydreaming. Daydreaming about silly stuff like what color walls I would paint my bedroom if I could. And, then. It happened. The unexpected of all unexpected. I was nearly moved to tears. Well, that could be this pregnancy hormonal shit, but I digress. Anna Maria Horner has turned my absolute, all-time favorite fabric, into a rug. I shit you not. Begin hyperventilation. I love this fabric so much that I backed a queen size quilt in it. And, put it on the front, in two different colors. And bought it in home-dec weight to make a bag for my mother-in-law. I'm psychotic.
Mmmm, on second thought, I can't cheat on my first true fabric obsession. That is what is on my mind this lovely Friday night. I think I should put the thesis to the side for an afternoon/evening and sew. Yeah, that sounds good.
Over and Out,