Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cooking challenge #2 - Try something new!

God Jul ladies! I hope that everyone had an amazing holiday and are ready to cook up a storm in the New Year!! I know it's still a busy time of year and you might not have the luxury of being in your own kitchen, so feel free to jump in on these challenges at a later date, but just in case you're bored and looking for something to do, I'm going to continue posting.

This week's challenge is to cook with an ingredient you've never used. Maybe you've seen your grandma use it, or you've had your eye on it in the grocery store...or maybe there's a really pretty bush outside with some berries...oh wait.  That's a bad idea. Don't do that. 

We just received a mystery vegetable from our CSA and I'm planning on figuring out what it is soon...they are covered in dirt so it really could be anything: Reese's peanut butter cups. Orange eggplants. Lemon cake. Ryan Gosling. (I'm a terrible guesser. My mom once wrapped a Rubik's cube and I thought it was a super soaker. Or a pogo ball. What a sad Christmas it was until I realized how AWESOME Rubik's cubes were. Plus, it far exceeded the previous year's gift of a calculator. Though, it was a TI-83 PLUS. Super sweet.) 

(...Mom, if you're reading this, I'm just joking. Seriously, I was really really spoilt with My Little Ponies, Cabbage Patch Dolls, Glow Worms, Pound Puppies, Skip Its, and Popples....Love you!)

Lots of love from Uppsala, I miss you all

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cooking challenge #1 results - Cheese. Eggplant Parmesan

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):

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.

Can't wait to see what you ladies whip up!  Hope you're having a good pre-Christmas week!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Look what I made this morning!!!!

My bed! 

And then this........

A balanced breakfast! 

All before 9am MST. I'm on a roll, ladies. I'm on a roll.

Kim, I like your idea of trying some food adventures. I promise to be more impressive with my next post.

Cooking challenge - Week #1. Cheese.


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. 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

We bought a house!

Okay, I apologize, this isn't a post about anything crafty or cooking, but I wanted to share anyway. I will try to post something about all the wedding crafts I did before we get to our first anniversary :)

The Mr. and I will be homeowners as of January 15, 2012. So excited! It's in the lovely Westmount area of Edmonton. It's an older home, so it will need a lot of TLC over the years (even though the inside has been nicely renovated). I am going to try and document our homeownership (is that a word) via a blog. If you're interested you can follow at

Happy holidays to everyone!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Hello blog - it's me....

To my dearest blogging ladies,


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

My Do-Good-For-Me Garden

My first Science Sews & Sautes post is to share with you my garden joy.  Making a successful garden was on my “Do Good Things for Me” list this year. Some of the other things on the list included: take vitamins every day, make 2 new recipes per week,  eat meat-free at least 2 times per week, read 2 books per month, and appreciate the little things (amazing how hard this is to do sometimes).  I’m happy to say I'm doing really good on my list, but I knew the garden one was going to be a challenge.  See, I’m not really known for my green thumb. In fact, I’m known for killing anything that is green (I had an aloe plant  live for a year and that was likely only because Andrea looked after it for 6 out of those 12 months). I know some of you are extreme gardeners, so you may scoff at this simple task. But this was a big goal for me, and I was excited about it. Maybe a little too excited....

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.

Hah! So much for the weather! The next week, we got frost every night. Needless to say, my starter plants promptly shriveled up and died.
And then, the dog decided that muddy spot looked like a good spot to dig. Right in the middle of the carefully set-out garden plot. She got a good talking to after that. But she’s cute, so we forgive her. And, she hasn't done it again (in fact I'd say she looks quite remorseful in this photo). A dog that learns, is a dog that's loved.

I kept my fingers crossed that something (anything?) survived the dual attacks by Mother Nature and Zoey, and continued to buy my veggies in the organic section of the grocery store. And when it seemed we REALLY were done with the below zero temperatures, I threw in some more seeds in miscellaneous places. So much for my fridge diagram.

 I got another tomato and pepper starter plants and put them in pots so I could bring them inside, just in case the weather went bad again. Unfortunately, the dog once again ruined the pepper, when she bulldozed into the pot one day while playing with her human-father. Luckily, the tomato plant survived (so far).

So here we are, in July, and guess what… THERE ARE GREEN THINGS GROWING IN MY GARDEN!!! :) 
Now, I don’t want to jinx myself, but things are looking good. I believe what I have below is the following (I'd label the photo if I knew how to do that in photoshop):
Left-side column, top to bottom: squash, green onion, cucumber, and miscellaneous greens (spinach I think)
Right-side column: pumpkin, miscellaneous greens, carrots

Ok, I admit,  it’s not the most exciting garden of all time. As of right now it looks like this fall we will be "feasting" on 3 squash, 10 carrots and some greens… and maybe carving a pumpkin or two. But it’s growing!! There may even be a pepper seed that survived the dig and is in with the cucumber, but I can’t tell yet... it might just be a weed. The herbs are growing like mad though, especially the dill, so much so that I’ve started drying them because there’s just too much to go through (know any good recipes that call for massive amounts of dill??).

Alright, major lessons learned:
1)   This is Alberta. Do not get excited about nice weather in April. Be patient and don’t plant until at least mid-May.
2)   Chicken wire does not keep a curious dog out of the garden, aka the muddiest spot in the yard.
3)   Don’t be so sparse with the seeds. My garden could be a lot denser but I was trying to give the seeds room to grow. I might have overdone it. But this year I’m just gonna blame that on lesson #1 and 2.
And now my questions for the group:
1)      I started spreading my used coffee grains on the garden after I was in a Starbucks and saw a free bin of used ground coffee to take for gardening. Do any of you do that? I read a few places online that it's best to mix it in with the soil, but how do I do that without messing up the plants that are now growing?
2)      Will I be able to transplant any of these things into pots and/or plant new things in pots and keep them growing all winter? Or should I stick to an indoor herb garden?
Any tips for the beginner gardener are welcome! In the meantime, if you're looking for me, I'll be out by the garden shooing away the dog... and keeping my fingers crossed that we don't get frost in July.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Yeah, I'd go there.

Please note: I am actually working today.

But in a moment of needed procrastination, I decided to google "best place in the world."

So here you go:

Anyone up for a trip to Pittsburgh?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Links for a week during which I wore both a down jacket and shorts.

Weeks like this make me want to go back to Portland. Stat.
Hello ladies! This week was full of poster-making for two upcoming conferences (Sackville and Berlin!), so unless you want to be regaled with stories of Adobe Illustrator, I don't have much to say. It snowed. Then it was warm. I was confused. Oh, Aaron and I have finally found a place to rent in Sweden and it has the requisite sauna and looks perfect for us. comes with a cat!

Anyways, with all the sitting at my computer I of course wasted some time on Google 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!!
-xo- Kim

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekly links.

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.

Grammar wisdom.

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.

-xo- Kim

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Science sews

Did any of you check Elizabeth Hartman's blog today

Science Sews!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Books books books!

I feel as if my last few blog posts have been questionable in terms of their relevance to science, sewing, or sautéing, so in the interest of “crafting” (sewing’s cousin, right?) here are two things I made in pottery class this year. I call them “bird mug” and “flower bowl.”

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.

Keeping in line with my first book list, I did not want to be confined by my own literary experiences—it’s more fun incorporating other people’s recommendations into the mix. I also realized that in addition to discovering what others have read and enjoyed, I was interested in knowing what folks intended to read. So here’s a little compilation of titles and authors, courtesy of you all:

The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins
Bossypants Tina Fey
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
Modoc Ralph Helfer
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
1Q84 Haruki Murakami
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
Trinity Leon Uris
Song of the Dodo David Quammen
A Primate's Memoir Robert Sapolsky
Why Zebra's Don't Get Ulcers Robert Sapolsky
South Ernest Shackleton
Sand County Almanac Aldo Leopold
Foutainhead Ayn Rand
Three Cups of Tea Greg Mortenson
Three Day Road Joseph Boyden
The Hakawati Rabih Alameddine
the Arthurian saga Jack Whyte
The Lacuna                                       Barbara Kingsolver
And this is the result of those far...

Almost all of these books, authors, or genres are on people’s “to read” list, and helped guide my wandering eyes while in the bookshops. Libraries are great, but there is something to be said about adding a couple new titles to the ol’ bookshelf, know what I mean? If you’ve forgotten, I suspect you’ll remember sooner rather than later. ;-)

Happy Reading!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Spending and Shooting (pictures, that is)

This is a blog post of sort ofs. It’s sort of about crafting, sort of about Lara, and sort of about random things. Collectively, it’s about what I did during the month of January.

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: 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

A recap of today, and this past year.

A quick analysis of my day reveals that so far I've managed to:

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:;
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!

I made a quilt.

I made pottery.

 Aaron and I made mittens out of his deer hide.

I made other random things.

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

Just Wishing and Hoping

I want to sew, but I know I should be working on my thesis. Seriously, this thesis thing sucks. Hard core. To cope, I allow myself to surf a few certain internet sites much too frequently. Sanity is just as important as a degree. Am I right? The last thing I made was a Halloween costume. I learned how to do a bubble hem skirt which was so incredibly easy. Cora loved the overkill of pink. I thought it looked like she threw up peptobismol, but it worked.

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.

 OMG. Amazing, right? To top it off she threw in another one that I might, dare I say, like more. Hello RUGS! I may have to invest. I wonder how well they are made?

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,