Friday, August 27, 2010

this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

fall leaves garland

Three kinds of maple - including big-leaf maple and vine maple.

Oregon white oak leaves.

Cottonwood and quaking aspen leaves.

Oregon ash

Now I just need some twine to turn these lovely felt leaves into a garland.

My wonderful husband used his amazing computer skills to turn some Google search images I found into simple stencils that I cut out and traced onto felt. The whole tracing and cutting felt part of this project took much more time than I thought, so he grabbed some scissors and helped me out. He's great like that.

In case you're wondering where I got the idea for this project, the second and third picture in this post inspired me.

Monday, August 23, 2010

peach salsa

First you need some peaches.

I used three and a half in order to get six cups (don't worry, the other half found a good home).

Add some chopped onion, red bell pepper and jalapeno.

Oh, and don't forget the cilantro.

Add some vinegar and honey, and give it a good stir.

Raw pack into jars, filling all the way to the top (it cooks down).

Process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes.

This recipe yielded 4 pints of salsa. I was worried about spiciness, so I didn't add the jalapeno seeds. My salsa turned out very high on the tasty scale, but very low on the spiciness scale. So next time I'll add the seeds.

Peach Salsa
6 cups pitted peaches, diced
1 1/4 cup diced onion (I just used a whole onion)
4 jalapeno peppers, diced (seed these if you don't want it too spicy)
1 bell pepper, preferably red, diced and seeded (though any color will suffice)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or 1/4 c dried
3/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoon honey

This peach salsa recipe is from a Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op blog post.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

vanilla syrup

Using this recipe, I turned sugar, water and vanilla beans into tasty, tasty vanilla syrup.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

a home for Rosie

Rosie needs a new home. In case you don't know Rosie, he's (yes, Rosie is a he) a 12-lb furry bundle of love.

While we love him to pieces, we have to split up our cats. Tiger has been having seizures when she gets over-excited and really needs to be the only cat in the house.

Rosie needs a healthy cat or dog to play with. He'd also do fine as the only pet, as long as he gets enough love and attention from his humans.

The pros and cons of adopting Rosie

Pros: extremely loving
-lets you carry him like a baby
-lets you pet him any which way you want
-will demand love and attention
-loves to sit on laps
-extremely cute

Cons: loves human food
-will get onto counters and into the sink in search of food
-will lick plates and stick his head/paws into glasses
-yodels randomly

If you, or someone you know, is interested in adopting Rosie, please contact us. My email is elizabeth dot n dot stone at gmail dot com, or you can leave a comment on this post.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mt Rainier - Paradise

Mt Rainier is truly breathtaking. It's no wonder that the south slope is officially named Paradise. Not as high up as the northern slope of Sunrise (6400 ft), Paradise is 5400 ft above sea level. Since I live just steps away from Lake Washington, standing on a mountain that high is an ethereal experience. Of course the actual peak of Mt Rainier is 14411 ft, so even though it looks so close, I was really only about a third of the way up.

There's something about the air up there that I can't pin down. Maybe it's just how clean the air is. Or maybe it's the lack of the city pollution that I've grown accustomed to. Or maybe it's just that fresh mountain smell. I'm not sure. But whatever it is, I am always acutely aware of the air on Mt Rainier.

Last Saturday my husband and I visited Paradise and did some hiking. I'd like to one day hike the Wonderland Trail, but I'm far from ready for such a long hike. Instead, we hiked to Sluiskin Falls and back, which was about 4 miles round-trip. Along the way we saw tall firs and fields of wildflowers.

I'm ashamed to say that in the seven years I've lived in the Seattle-Tacoma area, this is only the third time I've made it up to Mt Rainier. I want to plan more day trips to Mt Rainier, and eventually camp up there (reservations can be tough to get).

Couldn't have said it better myself, Muir.

Where's your favorite place to enjoy nature?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

two years

Yesterday Joe and I celebrated our handfasting anniversary. Married for two years, together for almost seven. I couldn't have found a better man. I love you Joe.

paddling a canoe

Yesterday Joe and I rented canoes through the UW and paddled through parts of the Washington Park Arboretum.

We saw many female mallard ducks, some of which decided that we were very interesting.

Here's my goofy and wonderful husband.

Look how much my hair has grown!

There are a few spots in the arboretum where you can pull up to the shore. We stopped at one and traded seats. These ducks, I think, were hoping for some food.

In order to get to the arboretum from UW, you have to paddle below parts of the 520 bridge. We spotted this heron standing on the overpass, watching the water.

I love seeing how nature copes with city life.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

raspberry liqueur

Totally started some of this on Thursday using frozen raspberries from u-picking.

I'm sad that this process takes a couple months, but excited to try some homemade raspberry liqueur.

I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Apricot-Blackberry jam

Following this recipe, I made two batches of apricot-blackberry jam yesterday.

The first batch tasted great, but didn't firm up enough. It's not so runny that I would call it syrup, but it is a runny jam. I think I rushed the recipe a little, letting it just boil, instead of hard boil. I couldn't help it, though; I was excited.

I didn't have enough blackberries for the second batch, so I ended up using 2 cups blackberries and 2 cups raspberries (from our u-pick experience).

I bought the apricots from the Lake City Farmers Market. Which means that while I harvested only half of the fruit in this jam, it all came from either local farmers, or in the case of the blackberries, a public park in Seattle.

I was patient with the second batch, and it turned out runny as well. Not sure what I did wrong, but at least it's tasty.

Friday, August 6, 2010

this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

wild blackberries

We found plenty of invasive Himalayan blackberries over at Magnuson Park today. Tomorrow I am going to look for apricots at the farmer's market so I can make blackberry-apricot jam.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

beet pizza

I found some beets in my CSA box this week, and wasn't sure what to do with them. I've cooked beets before, as part of my desert tortoise's food, but I had never eaten them myself (as far as I can remember). So I decided to give them a try. Only problem was that I had no idea how to prepare them.

So I headed over to the Pioneer Woman's food blog, Tasty Kitchen, and searched for "beet." What I found, among other recipes, was the bloody beet and goat cheese pizza. This seemed a no-brainer. I love pizza. I love roasted garlic. I love goat cheese. Seemed a good way to introduce my taste-buds to beets.

Besides, cut beets are so pretty, don't you think?

Anyway, I modified the recipe a bit. We like to make our pizza dough in the bread machine instead of by hand. It's still tasty, but that way I can prepare the toppings while the bread machine takes care of the dough. And, bread machine pizza dough turns out well every time, whereas pizza dough by my hands sometimes is a flop. I also didn't pay attention to the amount of goat cheese that the recipe called for. I just added cheese until I was satisfied. Here's the finished product:

The roasted garlic and goat cheese was a great combination. The beets added a sweet touch that I enjoyed. I'd definitely consider making this combo again.