Thursday, July 30, 2009


Sad sad.

My laptop adapter bit the dust- and since my laptop battery also no longer works- I am currently without a computer at home. I can blog from work- but I can't upload pictures. So even though I've been up to plenty of trouble lately- I have no proof! Hopefully this will be remedied soon.

I made cupcakes twice in the past week, which was completely ridiculous- due to the fact that Seattle is having an insane heat wave, and my apartment definitely isn't air conditioned. Vegan carrot cake cupcakes were this week- and with whiskey buttercream and coconut on top- they were so effing good. Most of the people who ate them (co-workers) said they were the best they'd ever had. They don't lie. I think. Recipe later.

I'm also incredibly sleep deprived, because I can't sleep at all when it's as hot as it is. We actually stayed out at my friend Stefanie's cabin last night- trying to escape the heat- just a little. We hung out in the riving-room (pictures someday!) until our butts were good and cold- then I grilled up a side of sockeye, and Stefanie made a ridiculously delicious salad with arugula, beets, and chèvre, rice pilaf and green beanies. I ATE SO MUCH FOOD. It was so good. I couldn't help it. Sleeping still didn't really happen for me- as Mant Double-Jerkson IS THE LOUDEST SLEEPER EVER. I came into work this morning slightly delirious, un-showered and covered in old sticky sunscreen (no bug bites!) Mmm! I'm wearing a dress though, which apparently is quite deceptive and seems to override my general grossness. HOT.

Matao and I went canoing last Sunday and had so much fun. I haven't done it in years, but UW does canoe rentals for relatively cheap, and it was the perfect way to cool off a bit. We had talked earlier this week about doing it again tonight- this time brining along dinner and bread to feed the duckies. We'll see what the mood is when I'm off work today. I'm trying to find a killer gazpacho recipe to make, and I think I'm going to end up improvising to fit what we like. I'll post about it later if it's a success!

A few other silly but exciting (to me) things. My tomato plants have gone pretty crazy and popped out a ton of pretty little green tomatoes. One of them actually turned red! Holy crap. Except that the humidity in our apartment seems to be taking the plants down quickly. They're a sad droopy mess, and I'm not sure how to fix it. A lot of the leaves have turned yellow as well, which I don't think is a good sign. Woe is me. So much for that being good news. However- my jalapeño plants- which previously were horribly infested with aphids, and also wouldn't fruit- are doing insanely well now. They're living outside and I had been sort of a bad mother and neglected them a bit- but when I checked on them a few days ago- they were full of peppers! They're all tiny and green still, but it's still pretty damn cool. I'm not a total failure after all!

Time to go sleep under my desk.

Friday, July 24, 2009


My bff Mant Jerkson (known by most as Mike) is house sitting for a couple who has both a kick ass garden, as well as CHICKENS! They have four laying hens, and I fell terribly in love with Inky, the slowest of them (easier to catch!) last night. The other three would let me stand close-by, but the second I would even so much as creep towards one of them, they'd be off clucking in the other direction.

Oh, chickens. The things you do to me.

We went over to steal some veggies and eggs since Mant is leaving for the weekend, and also because I am greedy. Dinner last night absolutely ruled. We threw together a few things we'd just picked, with some goodies from our CSA and some fresh cheese, prawns, and steak from Whole Foods.

Manty + Inky

Me + Inky. Looking all gothed out.

Squash, onions, and a pumpkin! The chickens had scratched up quite a few smaller onions, so we took a bunch of them home.

Bees! It took me far too long to catch on to what this was. This discovery more or less put me over the top with my love for this house and yard. Please give me your life. Thanks.

Our haul- on my lap in the car. It's hard to tell in the photos, but the "white" eggs were actually a very light blue. So cool.

Kale from our CSA box- about to be wilted. Nevermind my disgusting dirty stove. Yeesh.

Eggs, onions, heirloom tomatoes (we bought these), and fresh picked basil! Perfect.

I wasn't able to get a decent picture of dinner last night, but it was delicious. Previously mentioned wilted kale with caramelized onions and garlic, Insalata Caprese made with heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh picked basil, and grilled wild prawns and flank steak for Matao.

I want to eat like this forever.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Link Love!

These are mostly food related. Big surprise!

- Windowsill Tomato Sauce and Sun Dried Jam are both things that I'd like to try in the very near future.

- Golden Beet and Marinated Goat Cheese Salad- if this sounds good, check out THIS: Chocolate Beet Cupcakes with Goat Cheese Frosting. YES REALLY. I actually wanted to make these last night, but didn't have any goat cheese, and thought I'd make sure I actually liked beet cupcakes before I went all out. When I do make these I'll most likely add lavender to the frosting. Because I'm me and that's what I do. Blueberry Mint Cupcakes also look absolutely wonderful.

- Notes on a Miracle Fruit dinner party from Pro Bono Baker. This is something that I'd love to do once Matao and I are in our own place in a few months. Let me know if you want to be invited!

- I finished Animal, Vegetable, Miracle yesterday and wanted to cry. It was so wonderful and I was glad to take my time getting through it. I'm still working my way through Alone In The Kitchen With An Eggplant which so far is a lot of fun to read. Me being me though, I needed to add to my reading list before I reached the end of both of my books. So next up is Goat Song, and then Small Giants which looks wonderful. We will see!

- Vertical Vegetables tutorial on Instructables. Made using a hanging shoe rack, and absolutely badass.

- A post on seeds that I think is definitely worth reading, if you find it important to support smaller, environmentally responsible companies.

- My current favorite Etsy store. You should buy me everything. Especially this:

- A Week of Dinner from Bread & Honey. I really, really enjoyed this post. Worth a quick read- plus the rest of her blog rules.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Red Velvet Redux

Did you know that there is something seriously wrong with me? Or seriously right. It all depends on how you look at it.

I can't waste anything. I also can't make anything that isn't at least 5% healthy, in some way or another. Ice cream, cupcakes, pizza... don't matta. I will health the shit out of it. Well, kind of.

Yesterday I battled broccoli. Tonight seemed like a good night for beets. Except that I'm really tired of beats already, and I've barely eaten any in the past few weeks. I usually love them, but I get burnt out fast. Anyway. I had beets in the fridge. We'd already chopped off the greens and wilted them down to go with pasta last week. It would seem a bit backwards to eat the greens and toss the beets, yeah?

A little over a year ago, when I was on a really weird food kick- I tried to make chocolate beet cupcakes. Now, this wasn't an entirely crazy idea in and of itself- real red velvet cake is made with beets. The problem is that I used canned beets, I didn't puree them, and for some whack ass reason I also used whole wheat flour instead of white. That only works for muffins, silly girl.

Tonight I decided I was going to do it again, and do it right. This time I found a recipe full of butter and sugar and white flour. YES. So not my style, but (probably) so delicious. Add to this the fact that I still had leftover coconut/rum/vanilla bean buttercream frosting in the fridge- and I knew I was in troubs.

Making me even more in troubs- I didn't have enough beets for two full cups of puree. Oh, the horror. Luckily I am a genius with a fridge (and freezer) full of produce- and I threw some zucchini and homemade (frozen) applesauce in the food processor and worked it all out.

They have this perfect little crispy top and are so soft and dense in the middle. They don't have the perfect cupcake shape as they sunk/cracked in the middle while baking, and I went light on the frosting. You can't taste the veggies at all. They're super chocolaty and moist.

So basically- you should make these. They're actually pretty basic, and definitely a good way to trick significant others, children, and roommates into eating up all of those beets for you. NOM.

Chocolate Beet Cupcakes from Vanilla Garlic:

Makes 24 cupcakes / 350 F

What You'll Need...
2 cups beet puree (about 3 large beets)
1 cup of unsalted butter, melted
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup tightly packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoons of salt

1) Peel and chop the beets and wrap in foil with a dab of butter and roast for one hour at 350 F. Puree in a food processor and let cool completely.

2) Mix together the melted butter, sugars, eggs, and water until smooth.

3) Combine the cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly sift into the wet ingredients until just combined.

4) Fold in the beet puree. Scoop into cupcake papers about 3/4 of the way full. (Originally recipe says to fill them 1/4 of the way- but you'd end up with about 300 tiny cupcakes if you did this, so listen to me!)

5) Bake for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (it will be red, but should have no cake on it). Let sit for a minute then, let cool on a wire rack.

If you need/want to make these vegan- just sub the melted butter out for vegetable oil, and whatever egg replacement you prefer. I'd lean more towards flax eggs or Ener-G for these, as tofu will probably make them too dense.

Also- if you are in the same situation that I was re: beets, it's not difficult to sub them out entirely if you need to. Two full cups of pureed zucchini or unsweetened applesauce will both work perfectly- you just won't have the fun red color to them. Cooked carrots would also work wonderfully.

For the frosting just mix about a half a cup of shortening or butter with 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup of full fat coconut milk, a teaspoon of whiskey, and the insides of a vanilla bean. I don't have an electric mixer so I just use my food processor which does the trick wonderfully. Add/change proportions as you need to. Everyone likes their frosting a little differently.

Oh yeah, and if you're in Seattle and want to try these- PLEASE tell me, and I will bring you some! I really don't need two dozen cupcakes hanging out around my kitchen causing trouble.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Broccoli Thunderstorms

My keyboard is full of flour.

I made buttermilk biscuits for breakfast this morning. I think I ate half a dozen before noon today. I bought dark chocolate peanut butter from Peanut Butter & Co. on Friday and OH MY GOD. This stuff is just ridiculous. So far I have eaten it off of a spoon, my fingers, fuji apple slices, and biscuits. The apple won out big time. I like my biscuits with honey or jam. I like my fingers to not have peanut butter on them.

I still have Portland pictures that I need to post- but knowing my style it probably won't happen if it hasn't happened yet. I've been using my Flickr account a bit more frequently lately, so my pictures are up there, if you are just DYING to see them. I took a ton when we went to ¿Por Qué No?, where I fell madly, deeply in love with their patio and hibiscus tea. The one thing that I NEED to post still is the recipe and write up of the berry cobbler that I whipped up alongside Becca. So stupidly good. She just did a post about it today, so go give her some love for that.

Tour de Watertower was today and I hung out at the Woodland Park stop with Laila for a couple of hours, despite the fact that the weather wasn't looking very good. We did a little impromptu photo shoot, in which Laila kept trying to get me to look "hot". I was rocking dirty jeans and Smartwool and had crazy person hair, so I'm not sure how well that worked out. There were only 25 riders, due to the fact that the ride was entirely hill-based, so I was lucky to be able to roll out before the weather turned too nasty on us. I did get some good lightening and was sufficiently soaked by the time I got home. I love summer storms.

I made myself roasted broccoli for dinner tonight- trying to use the broccoli that has been taunting me from the fridge for the past little while. It came in our CSA and I'm not sure why I didn't switch it out, as I'm not much of a broccoli eater. I tossed the florets with minced garlic, olive oil, and balsamic and threw them in the oven for 12 minutes at 450 and it turned out wonderfully. So, we'll see how it goes from here. I've been loving my CSA box almost entirely because it's been forcing me to learn new ways to cook things.

Time to go snug up and read in bed.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I Could Always Try To Reach You

I downloaded the new The Sounds album last night, and have been listening to it on repeat tonight while sewing.

My current favorite. It makes me think of Steffani and Amy. The entire album does, actually. I miss my loves.

Let us go back to the time when the underground
Was the place where we all used to hide away
Let us go back to the streets where it all begun
How could I know, it was the last time I saw you?

Seventeen and believed in just anything
Could be true, could be bad, something in between
I recall all those lazy summer nights
And all I knew was the time I spent with you

I could easily stay, and never come home
Looking out on the field like it's never been changed
The past is a place that you can never return to
Even though people say that this is where you belong
I could easily stay, and never come home
Looking out on the field like it's never been changed
The past is a place that you can never return to
Even though people say that this is where you belong

I could always try to reach you
And it's pumping through my veins
And there's nothing I can do about it
(though people say that this is where you belong)

Let us go back to the time when the underground
It used to be our place it belonged to us
And I'd go back if I could but it's not the same
And now I know, it was the last time I saw you?


I could always try to reach you
And it's pumping through my veins
And there's nothing I can do about it

I could always try to reach you
And it's pumping through my veins
And there's nothing I can do about it

I could easily stay, and never come home
Looking out on the field like it's never been changed
The past is a place that you can never return to
Even though people say that this is where you belong

I could always try to reach you
And it's pumping through my veins
And there's nothing I can do about it

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pack Your Bags and Hitch A Ride

On Saturday I booked it out of Seattle with some of my lovely lovers, and hopped the ferry to Bremerton for the afternoon.

The idea was basically just to avoid the absolute ridiculousness of 4th of July in Seattle, by more or less getting completely out of dodge. We had a bit of a late start, and with buses running behind we cut it ridiculously close getting to the ferry terminal on time.

(Sara, Shana, and Liz looking adorbs- Becca and my hot self not pictured)

Our day more or less consisted of going to their tiny local street fair, looking at way too many antiques, watching a 7 year old perform Elvis impersonations, eating delicious salmon burgers, falling asleep in a park on the waterfront, and... THIS:

I had no idea how much I loved Pyrex until we stumbled upon this. I, just like everyone else- grew up with it in both of my parents homes, as well as just about every other kitchen I spent any time in. It was everywhere, and I never thought much of it. The longer I'm away from my family, and the place where I grew up- the more I find myself seeking out objects and places that remind me of home. Now I'm a little afraid of what this may have sparked inside this brain of mine. It's nostalgic, cheap, functional, and graphically pleasing- what more could a girl want in cookware??? I'm about to turn into the youngest old lady ever. Lucky for me (and Matao!) it's everywhere on eBay and in thrift stores. Best collectible ever!


We came back to the city in time for me to throw together a pitcher of brown sugar lemonade and to thaw out the side of wild Alaskan king salmon that I was hiding in our freezer. Matao drove us over to our friend Erik's apartment that sits right on the lake, which was the perfect location to watch completely mediocre fireworks. But- the drinks and the food were good, and there was a black lab puppy, so I was more or less in mid-summer heaven.

No complaints here.
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