Friday, January 27, 2012

Potluck Offerings

Every year my partner's father's cousin hosts Ribfest. He cooks tons of ribs, everyone brings sides and deserts, we eat, drink and head to a UNH hockey game. This year we brought apple sweet potato tarts and kale salad. 

Step 1, turn on some tunes, get some good cooking music cranking...

I started by cooking down 6 small apples and a large sweet potato (from our farm share) in about 1/2 a stick of butter. While that was cooking I combined 
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 large lemon and some lemon zest
I added some cinnamon to the pan and stirred it in, then added the liquid mixture and 1 cup of chopped pecans and let that simmer. 

I ended up putting the filling in the fridge because I didn't have any pie crust on hand and didn't feel like making any. Once I got the pie crust I greased mini muffin tins, filled them with crust, let it cook about 7 minutes at 400 then added the filling and let it cook another 7 minutes. 

Kale Salad 

We've been going to this restaurant that recently opened a branch near us, Life Alive, and I love their Green Goddess Bowl so I made a kale salad inspired by that. 
I had lacinato/dino kale on hand so I used that, cleaned, chopped and then really briefly steamed to soften it just a bit and bring that bright green color out
I sautéed  butternut squash in a little olive oil (I had it on hand from the farm share but a sweet potato or other squash would have been good)
I cut up extra firm tofu and sautéed that in some olive oil too 
The dressing glop - I should have written down the amounts because this turned out really well but all I have is the ingredients I used
soy sauce
sesame oil
juice from one lemon
olive oil
fresh garlic
maple syrup
raw cashews
I put it all in a small food processor type thing but a blender or immersion blender would work fine too I think it was a pretty thing concoction about the consistency of yoghurt. 
About 30 minutes before food was going to be served we mixed the dressing with the greens & squash & tofu to get it kind of coated and let the flavors settle together. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Heart full of roses

Valentine's Day is coming up and I've been trying to think of new twists on Valentine's gifts. I have some glass heart ornaments and some roses that I've dried. A bouquet of roses will die but these will keep. I tried filling a heart with whole dried roses (it's on etsy)  and filled two hearts with the petals I had to remove to with the whole roses in one heart (also on etsy)

Monday, January 23, 2012

gnomes away

First my gnomes went to Ohio to play in an arboretum then they showed up in my etsy shop and now a bunch of them are in Australia. I was thrilled to get a custom order for my gnomes. It was my first time reusing a screen and it worked well. 

The order was for 6 colors, I only had 3 colors of paint so I also got to mix up some new colors. 

It was also requested that I add a little text to the bags so I made a stencil to add the text. 
They all got packed up and sent off so hopefully they'll make it safely and be a hit. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

open to the bigger picture

january, new year, new beginnings, resolutions for a healthier happier life... today's yoga class was a beautiful reminder to open to the bigger picture
in the winter it's so easy to close up - stay inside, physically close with shoulders hunched hiding your heart and your light, blocking energy flow - and so important to open
what a beautiful way to come in to the new year and reconnect with a consistent practice, being open to grace, remembering that there is room enough space enough for all of us and it is easy for each of us to close up and become caught in our problems that feel like they are putting the weight of the world on our shoulders but when you open to the bigger picture, open to the universe, you see that these individual problems are barely perceptible so why choose to close up and dwell in those places where the weight feels impossible and your shoulders collapse and crush your light and crush your breath... the sun is shining, every day, even if there are clouds in front of it, we can be like the sun, we can open and shine our light, every day even on the ones that are cloudy

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

painted floor

Our kitchen floor was a mess. The wood is old and unevenly worn, too much so to sand down, too uneven to put linoleum or tile on top without removing it and anytime you get it wet this awful smell of the glue that had been holding down some kind of floor tile (all that was left was the paper backing stuck to the floor when we moved in) fills the space... we needed to do something about the floor. 

The fastest, cheapest solution for us is to paint the floor. We went to the paint store to get the paint and advice from the guys there. After scraping, cleaning, vacuuming... I started by putting an oil primer on the floor. 

After the primer it was time for the floor paint - 3 coats. And topped off with water based poly. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

a champagne toast

Holidays are over, 2012 is here. Christmas trees are showing up on the curb, houses getting ready for a fresh start in the new year...

Some friends had a New Years party and between the champagne they bought and the champagne that was brought to their house for the party they had 12 bottles left over. Seems like the perfect reminder to find something every month to celebrate, it could be a birthday or anniversary or just the end to a long week or making a mimosa brunch but what a great way to be regularly reminded to raise a glass with gratitude for all that we have. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

grow to the light

I poured myself a cup of coffee and sat in the living room. As I was waking up a little more with each sip I found myself drawn to the purple shamrock. It's one of those plants that seems to go to sleep at night, the leaves fold down and then they open up again the next day to greet the sun. I looked at how each one was stretching and growing to find its own place where it would be bathed in light. I realize you learn at young age about the things plants need to grow and about how this works so in itself not a big revelation that they're growing toward the sun. As I admired the richness of the color and the way some of the leaves looked with the light passing through them I began to think bigger picture, this is a universal truth, everything grows toward the light. And even when the end of life is described for people there's often an image described of going toward light. And all my yoga teachers talk about a person's tejas,  about letting your inner light shine. On this 4th day of 2012 when it's 9 degrees outside what a beautiful reminder to wake up to, grow toward the light and nurture and grow the tejas within. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

a new year

Life is as beautiful and shiny as we make it. 

I resolve to make this a year of me. 
I resolve to love myself - only then can I love others.
I resolve to take care of myself - healthy food, exercise, yoga - only then can I care for others.
I resolve to work on myself first instead of judging others. 
I resolve to embrace the darkness and the light.
I resolve to trust in the universe. 

Welcome 2012! What a beautiful gift it is to be alive.