About Me

Friday, March 29, 2013

My Latest Obesssion (aka revisiting the 1970's)

My meals tend to go in cycles; ranging from down home to near gourmet. I will get on a tomato pasta kick, then a hummus kick, then a lemon pepper kick... Right now, I am completely addicted to Seven Layer Dip. I'm sure part of it is that it is so stupid easy, I always have the ingredients, it dirties very few dishes and lately I am TIRED! But also, it is just so yummy! I call it seven layer because I'm a child of the seventies and I'm pretty sure that was its heyday, but it rarely has only seven. Here is today's edition:

Starting to layer - the beer doesn't go in, but it certainly is delicious!

Finished product, isn't it pretty! 
Here are today's layers:

canned refried beans
canned chili beans
frozen corn
raw jalapeno
almost guacamole (diced avocado, lime juice, s&p) sometimes I make real guac, but today was all about fast
sour cream (dairy free)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

$3 and 5 Minutes

I always feel so silly when I finally get around to a project that seemed like a hassle so I kept putting it off and it turns out to take next to nothing to complete. Today's project like that is the window covering in the shower.
Before: Fake bamboo. And that darkness in the bottom right corner? Mildew. Nice, I know.

After: $3 blinds. Sheesh, why, oh why do I procrastinate?? Literally took 5 minutes to install and that even included the 4 extra holes I accidentally drilled!

Does anyone else procrastinate for no reason?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Eating Scraps

I hate to waste food. Hate it. Haaaate it. I save all our leftovers, even things that weren't great the first time around. I can usually re-purpose those into something at least pretty good (eg a weak french onion soup became the base for one of the best pastas I've made lately). Today was an unusual leftover day since some of the food was leftover from my Book Club and the rest was on-its-last-leg refrigerator finds. 

Mission - feed myself lunch using scraps that most people would probably just pitch
For example, my friend, Jessica brought a delish raw veggie pizza and all these bits were left after we had devoured the slices

The rest of my list of hope-to-use-items was as follows:
mini sweet red peppers
chopped black olives
spring mix greens

I also have a pretty well stocked pantry that I could call for help to fill in missing items. I thought about just making a salad and calling it a day, but a sandwich sounded really good today.

The seminal thought came from the red peppers; they made me think roasted red pepper hummus. That worked since I always have canned chick peas, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice (I usually have lemons, but keep some bottled stuff for just this kind of emergency) and could add the parsley, checking another thing off the list.

I decided to broil the red peppers (tossed them in olive oil and dusted them with Jane's Krazy salt) until they just lost their crunch instead of truly roasting them and leave them separate instead of putting them in the hummus. Look how pretty they are!

Here is the start of the sandwich build

So, now to built the ultimate scraps sandwich:

whole wheat bread
sliced roma tomatoes
raw broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, celery mix with a little of the spread that was on the pizza (maybe a mayo, cream cheese and ranch-ish blend?)
spring greens
black olives
Finished product - sooo good!!

You might think, "Boy, that's a lot of layers, how do you eat that?" Hmm, good question. The answer is - privately. It got pretty ugly:

I should mention that I also fed the kids from the leftovers, Levi had the veggie pizza, some turkey, cheese, pepperoni, and crackers (and a perfectly good apple from the fridge). Paige had a turkey, lettuce, and tomato sandwich (and cherry pie she made yesterday).

(note - I'm lazy and have two babies in the house during the day so the pics are just from my phone)

Basic Hummus

There are many, many ways to make hummus. This is what I do when I feel like hummus at home - it's nothing special or fancy, but we like it.

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
medium garlic cloves

Juice of 1 medium lemon
1/4 c roasted tahini (I rarely actually have tahini, so I skip it or drizzle about 1/2 t of sesame oil)
1/4 c olive oil

water if it needs it to blend well

Throw it all in the food processor until it is relatively smooth. 

Sometimes I add one or more of the following:
 a teaspoon or so of cayenne or smoked paprika
1/4 c diced onion or green onion
1/2 c fresh parsley
5-6 oven roasted cherry tomatoes, diced (my friend, Jen taught me how to make these and I made a whole bag this summer and they are in the freezer)

Friday, March 15, 2013

It Might be Spring!

It is GLORIOUS outside! I am so ready for summer! I opened the windows today and maybe, just maybe the house will smell less like dog by this evening (one can dream). The weather channel says high of 77° today and it certainly looks like it will get there. Dolbi Downer pipes in that the high tomorrow is 48° - boo!

Paiger has her Buttons girls club meeting today and we are heading to the park for it. That means I'm taking two babies, one of whom (mine) would love nothing more than to just eat dirt - all the dirt - so that should be fun.

Lucille showing Abby love; Abby justifiably concerned about how this might end.

Today, I also scheduled a Sno Biz remote for April 5, so get ready Moreau Heights, here we come! I am super excited about this and it comes at a perfect time, since we need to purchase about 100 bags (500 lbs) of sugar next month and I *may* suck at saving money from last season to do things like that.

Last year's initial haul

And to round out the random thoughts, both babies are sleeping so I got to read (and write, obviously) a bit and I am loving this blog today: 
 life rearranged

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Depression Era Cooking

Levi is reading To Kill a Mockingbird in his English class and they are having a "Depression Era Picnic" to wrap up the lessons. Each student is bringing a side dish that would fit the theme and $5 to buy fried chicken provided by the teacher. A couple of things struck me as we discussed this event. One - nearly everything we eat on a regular basis would be classified as Depression era and two - I can feed the whole family an entire meal for $5!

Today's meal is pretty typical and it was super yummy (humble, I know). I sauteed half an onion (40¢) and a red pepper ($1, ridiculous, considering that in the summer everyone is overrun with them, but whatcha gonna do?) then added a big can of diced tomatoes ($1), a can of kidney beans (69¢), a can of mushrooms (69¢), some mixed seasonings, half a box of pasta (50¢), and topped it with some fresh parsley (50¢ also ridiculous , darn winter!). I served it with some bread sliced and broiled with olive oil (50¢ at most). This made enough to feed me and the kids tonight plus lunch tomorrow for at least two of us (5-6 large servings) for a whopping $5.28!

The moral of this is that, hmm. I don't think I had a moral...or a point, but just thought I'd share. :-)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Stepping on the Book of Knowledge

When I bought my house in 2007 I had a list of things that needed to be fixed RIGHT AWAY. The carpet had to be pulled up, the stairs to the kids' rooms had to be replaced, there had to be more storage in the kitchen, walls and cabinets needed to be painted, the bathroom needed remodeling, and many small tasks. As an excited new homeowner, I got right to work! Then quickly realized that some projects were a bit more involved and/or costly than I realized. The stairs, unfortunately, fell into this category. They must have been originally built by a DIYer with no measuring device or carpentry skills. They are just plywood, even though the rest of the house has hardwood, and are too shallow (but in varying amounts) and too tall. Because they are so bad, they have always been on my list of things to not even try to camouflage, I just needed to get them replaced.

Well, I decided on Friday I had HAD ENOUGH! I don't have the money to replace them and was sick of looking at them. So, I called my friend, internet, and asked if she had any ideas. She was full of them! I found a beautiful technique for a kraft paper floor at An Oregon Cottage blog and that got me thinking... I have been holding on to several volumes of a 1945 edition of The Book of Knowledge Children's Encyclopedia for no reason other than a rampant case of bibliophilism.

I thought the kraft paper idea was gorgeous, but using the same technique with pages from the encyclopedia would be fun and interesting, and make me happy, which is important. :-) I have to admit that tearing that first page was a little hard, but once I got started, it was fun!

Tear and glue, tear and glue, tear and glue... Here is me hard at work, but Paige actually did about a third of them all on her own, plus helped tear and gather supplies when I was all gluey. Levi watched Lucille which was also a crucial part of the process.

I did every other at first so the kids could get to their rooms for part of the day

Deciding on how to trim them since some have a lip, some have a gap, some are flush... I think I am doing this ribbon on bottom and a piece of quarter round trim at the back. 

Here is the almost finished product, I need another coat of paint on the risers and several more coats of polyurethane and the trim, but I think they are great!

Here are the finished for now stairs, they are 1000X better than they started! I decided to go with quarter round trim at the back of each stair and just live with the gaps at the top of some of the risers. I'm thinking about painting the trim on the sides black and maybe doing a fancy treatment on the risers - we shall see...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Stop It!

I am obsessing today about this election and I need to stop! I know that I didn't do everything I could to get my name out, but I'm just hoping it was enough. We will know more in seven short hours...

On a positive note, I did crop a pretty picture for the tv station:

It had to be cropped because it's from my maternity pics LOL

####UPDATE##### I lost heartily, extravagantly, awesomely. Truly skunked. Oh well, maybe I'll try again another time.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Random Pics

The pics above are all from the girls' baptism day taken by our good friend, Kat (below) of the famous FDub family and Kathryn Fishman-Weaver Photography.

Lucille meeting brother and sister

and Aunt Danielle and cousin Sophia

and Aunt Taylor

and Grandma Brenda

and Aunt Kara and cousin Tuesday

City Council? Yup!

I started my run for a city council seat a bit on a whim, to be honest. I wanted to use my extra time wisely and serve my community, but didn't really have a set plan as to how to do that.

 I truly believe that homemaker is an honorable, worthwhile occupation and I derive a great deal of pleasure and pride from running my household and taking care of my children, but I still felt that I should be doing more. I had become accustomed to the homemaker by day and breadwinner by night division and so felt that I had extra time to spend on something, but what? That combination of a desire to serve and an irrational love of politics, coupled with an accidental stop at the City Clerk’s website culminated in a bid for the JC Ward 1 seat.

The closer the election gets the more excited I am about it! I had a lovely interview with Madeline from the News Tribune this week and it really helped cement the idea for me. I loved talking about my city and how I could be a part of making it the best it can be!

Originally, I had this, “I want to win, but if I don’t – no biggie” attitude. That has morphed into a much stronger desire to win. I have backup plans in the event that I lose, but goodness, I hope that doesn't happen! The primary election is now only days away and I am getting a bit nervous, it would be fantastic to win 50+ % of the votes and have my seat decided, but I will take just getting on the April ballot. I’m sure the other two candidates are fine people, but darn it, I would be great at this!