made a quick stir fry last week - fresh snow peas, baby carrots, and basmati rice in a simple citrus sauce with cilantro and mint.
right now i'm trying a bit of a low carb thing, and it is so hard - i *love* indian rice.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
this winter i have been using birch logs for firewood - mostly b/c i love the way they look -- with their gorgeous silvery bark - just beautiful & winter-y sitting in the fireplace. when i bought my first bunch - they seemed kind of expensive - about double what i normally spend on firewood. i don't buy in cords like my family did when i was growing up - i'm the "lets get a movie, some dinner, and pick up some firewood on the way" type girl. so after paying what feels like a premium for the birch i was wondering about the different types of wood and came across this informational site about firewood.
this is what they said about birch: Birch gives off good heat but tends to be consumed pretty quickly. The flavor is good, similar to maple which compliments pork and poultry nicely.
i should tell my sister and her new husband, he loves doing mini bbq's in their family room fireplace...
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
usually when i have people over for dinner, i try to send them home with a little something - and as is usually the case, i don't get my nice freezable & microwaveable containers back. so i recently started saving my grocery plastic containers again, and remembered (!) to use them this weekend when friends came over. after they left i wanted to make sure i had complete sets of lids and containers and this is what i came up with - not beautiful but very useful - and bonus point - i'm recycling containers that aren't commonly recyclable.
i'd say this is a nice stash - if u are a cook like me. and yes, i do love yogurt...
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
not much to blog about today. just a boring post about how i spent my day cleaning up my house.
it's 6pm and i have been up since 9. i am just now sitting down to eat something and have a nice cup of hot sweet coffee. since i was sick i hadn't done much - cursory cleanings of bathrooms, some laundry, and definitely no mopping in these last 2 weeks. that last part is kind of embarrassing :P
i queued up npr's fresh air on my ipod, and went at it. i did what i *try* to do weekly - clorox-ed my fridge, freezer, microwave, stove, bathrooms, and all the floors. i dusted the ceilings, wiped down the windowsills, dry -- and wet if necessary -- dusted everything, windex-ed the shiny surfaces, and then vacuumed. changed my sheets and quilts, and tidied up my closet and dresser. i did the regular laundry - but added all the mattress pads and pillow protectors.
then i went into a quick spring cleaning mode. i ran all my pantry glass containers thru the dishwasher. then clorox-ed (can u tell i like the stuff?) all my trashcans, nylon brooms, and dustpans. i washed the walls & wiped down the baseboards on the first floor, and stuck all the heating grates in the dishwasher for a quick cycle.
i did not do my windows - b/c i so dislike them, and i held myself back from washing my slipcovers. i'll do that next week.
and now sitting here with my coffee, music, and favorite citrus-y essential oil burning -- i can't tell u how relaxed i feel, and i am so looking forward to a relaxing evening of candlelight, some indian food, and catching up on my magazines.
took me almost all day, but it's definitely worth it.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
take a good look at this picture. what are you seeing is my dietary equivalent of haley's comet. something so rare, so amazing, it defies belief.
that, my friends, is a partially eaten mini-cheesecake that was actually put back in the fridge to be eaten at a later time. i know, i know, if i didn't have the picture i wouldn't have believed it either. i mean, this is a chocolate cheesecake, and a mini one at that -- in my house, and it was left partially eaten?! to come back to later?! see, i knew u'd be amazed.
but, like haleys, it was a thing of beauty and gone just as quick.
Friday, February 15, 2008
after talking to friends last week about how i was cooking some indian butter chicken, they came over for lunch. it was kind of short notice - but i did manage to set this table. i thought it looked pretty valentine-y for a 10 minute effort :)
the beautiful roses were a gift from another friend :)
Thursday, February 14, 2008
- tomato bisque can o' soup
- half can milk
- half can water
- pinch italian seasoning
- pinch salt to taste
- parmesan cheese
put everything but cheese in pot, bring to simmer, pour into bowls, generously sprinkle parmesan cheese on top!
whenever i think of real love i think of my mom & dad. they had a great marriage. married for 30 years with a love that spanned countries and cultures. and through that love came my sisters and i. when i got married, my mom gave me 6 gold bangles. they were the first jewelry my dad bought her and he gave them to her on their wedding night. i have not taken them off since my mom gave them to me on my wedding day, and when i look them i can't help but think about my parents as a very young very new couple and how they must have been feeling at the time this gift was given. i've never asked my mom about it, and i'm thinking i probably should do that.
hope your valentine's day is full of enduring love and happiness.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
these are the valentine's day pillows that i made. i wish i was a fantastic seamstress and could do zippers and buttonholes, but i am learning. with this project i developed a healthy respect for regular thread and i am getting better with my straight seams. the seams are so straight on these i am actually thinking of trying some simple straight line quilting! its such a feeling of accomplishment getting these little projects done and they just make me want to do more.
so here is my 13x20" pillow on my living room chairs - a wordy "love" print from joanne's. i think after the holiday, this will go in my bedroom:
and this is my "love u" applique pillow, with a very simple heart print pillow behind it. did u notice the heart shape on the applique - its a nice and generous fat heart - just the way a heart should be! the pinky purple plain one, all the way in back, is from ikea. i love ikea fabric and hope to get some more next week :)
happy valentine's day!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
i am trying to make some valentine's day pillows before the deadline passes -- though a friend did point out that love-themed decorations are great all year round. thanks for trying to help me slow my roll, pat.
so, i'm sewing along with my invisible thread which mom says is an absolutely horrendous habit. i told her i like how i never have to change threads and bobbins b/c invisible thread goes with everything, and she said that was just plain laziness and not really sewing. somehow i know she's right - and spending $7 for a spool of thread that doesn't even want to behave -- seems to support her point. look what keeps happening to my seams with this thread - the tension or something gets messed up and then i have to rip it out-- which isn't so easy b/c oh, i don't know why...maybe b/c...ITS F*&%!#@ INVISIBLE!!!
so as soon as i give up and change to normal thread - voila! i sew a picture perfect seam. i guess this is what you call "learning things the hard way."
Monday, February 11, 2008
long time no see - how ru doin'? good i hope :)
that was an unintended 2 week break. the first week i missed a day, which turned into 2, and then just became laziness. but the second week was b/c i got the flu. and it was kinda bad. i can tolerate the sneezing, aches, chills, and even fever, but what i absolutely dread the most is the onslaught of "the cough." you know the one. you've been sick a few days, then one morning you wake up and you can feel this pressure in your chest, and you know that first cough is going to rack your body. and it won't stop once it starts. it'll be a nice long series of hacking coughs that hurt so bad. oh my God i so dread that part of being sick. so naively hopeful sometimes, i actually think that maybe this time i won't get "the cough" -- but i always do. this time it was shorter though, so i thank heaven for that.
but while i was sick i couldn't help thinking about all the people in the world who have to work when they're sick. i don't mean sitting behind a desk when you're feeling feverish - i've done that - no fun, but a little dayquil and it's usually manageable. i'm thinking about the people who carry bricks on their heads in wicker baskets while barefoot, who work in rice paddies with babies strapped to their backs, bicycle rickshaws through smog and traffic. people who do all the hard manual labor in all the corners of our planet without an HR department or scheduled sick leave. they are at the mercy of the world, of their bosses, the weather, and their own bodies. and while i was thinking how blessed i am to be born in the time and place that i was - through no work or merit of my own -- just dumb luck to be living in a developed country -- i realized that here too people have to work when they are sick. most of us can take off a day or two and be none the worse. but what if u get really sick? or a loved one gets sick and needs you? maybe you can take some time off, or get disability, but things can get pretty ugly pretty fast. you can lose everything in a heartbeat. so i'm thinking, in the end -- how first world, developed, and modern a society are we? we work all our lives only a breath away from personal disaster. what if we get sick? who will pay? what kind of care will we receive? will i lose my job and/ or insurance?
all this tragedy on top of tragedy only because we are human?
we are a medical wonderland. here impossibilities become possibilities within years. we have such knowledge and power and ability and desire to do good as a nation. people look to us as an example for so much, and the planet's sick line up in hope to somehow be treated here. we hold and prove such promise everyday - but it is a deeply flawed system. to have the power to save human life and dole it out based on ppo plans or pre-exisiting conditions is a true sin. i really do believe that a place that houses the minds that give rise to such brilliant science can easily come up with a way to give health care to all.
if we can unlock the secrets of molecules and atoms, we can decide how to split a check.