Friday, October 30, 2009

Heavy booted and wild eyed

When I'm working I find that Joanna inspires me the most. She mesmerizes me.

Apple Toffee Pie Cookies

I'm working on so many projects right now with the cold weather coming!
Here is a yummy treat to keep yourself warm and cozy.

Toffee Apple Pie Cookies!

preheat to 350
Combine :
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground fresh ginger

In a larger bowl combine :
1/2 cup room temp. butter
3/4 cup brown sugar

Next add,
1 large egg
2 tbsp maple syrup

Combine the flour mixture and the wet mixture

Finally add:
1 package toffee bits
2 medium green apples, chopped

Place spoonfuls on cookie sheets. This made 2 dozen large cookies!

Bake for 15-18 min.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Here is a delicious version of the old Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.

Preheat to 350.
Mix together:
1 1/2 cups of old fashioned oats
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup dark raisins
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup zante currants (not a currant) ----->
(you could substitute dried cranberries for the Zantes. Maybe I'll try that next time....)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Set that mixture aside and get a different bowl
In the other bowl mix :
6 tbsp room temp. butter unsalted
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Mix until combined well, then add
1 large egg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Combine wet mixture and dry mixture. I had to use my hands for this.
I don't like using the mixer once the flour is involved because it tends to make cookies more tough. The wooden spoon just didn't cut it.
Next, take heaping spoonfuls and place onto two baking sheets.
I came out with 22 cookies.
After having your mounds place a pinch full of mixed raisin mixture on top .
Bake for 12-16 minutes. I needed the whole 16 minutes! I usually take my cookies out a little early but these didn't work that way.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Easy Halloween masks

After reading October's "Martha Stewart Living", I decided to would make my own Halloween masks this year.

Here is a link to her bird mask idea.

But crepe paper? I prefer a more authentic look. Sorry Martha. Here are the masks I created after being inspired by her article.

Gathered materials that I bought at Michaels.
Then I separated the feathers into piles of relating kinds
There were a lot of steps I didn't document, silly, but I made a beak out of a hard felt sheet. I cut a long corner and hot glued it into place, then cut it to the desired shape.
The began the feather process.
I started with the longer feathers and glued layers related by type and size. Then, around the eyes I glued the felt as a sort of eyeliner.
Finished product.
I also made a arctic fox mask using faux fur fabric and felt. Thats really all you need! (Besides the mask template)

No documentation here, but it was really easy!
I started with a base of fur, then glued fur on the back of hard felt triangles for the ears. Those were glued onto the back of the mask.
Next, a moon shaped fur piece for the nose. This was the most difficult part and took a couple of tries.
Lastly, a nose felt piece on the end of the nose. I will use thin wire for the whiskers.

Finished product (besides the whiskers)

Monday, October 19, 2009


I finally received my etsy order from beckandcallgirl!
She hand picks these beautiful fibers and color coordinates.
I bought "Herb Garden"

and "Into the Woods"
So now I have 60 yards of various beautiful fibers and no idea what to do with it...
Initially I wanted to make a hat or scarf but I don't think that's what these fibers had in mind for the rest of their life.

Any ideas?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fiery Red Thai Curry

Wednesday was my 5th year anniversary and I agreed to cook any recipe that was given to me. It turned out to be...
"Fiery Red Thai Curry"

In a blender or food processor combine :
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup raw cashews
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded, chopped
1 onion chopped
stems from 1 bunch of cilantro
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup chopped ginger root
generous tbsp red curry paste

Heat in a large pan for 10 minutes med/high heat
Stir regularly

Add :
1 cup veggie broth
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 pkg extra firm tofu, cubed

Reduce heat, cover, simmer for 30 minutes

Finally add:
4 chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
Simmer for another 10 minutes

Serve over rice!

There were a few ingredients from the original recipe that I couldn't find (lime kaffir leaves, Thai green finger chilies)/forgot (milk) but my version turned out amazing!

Original recipe :

Leaf Stains

It rained all day Wednesday and after the rain the leaves had stained the sidewalk.

The wind has come and gone and the leaves on the sidewalks have blown away.
Their skeleton prints are left. Some are just dark outlines.
Some, like the photo shows, are like leaf color explosions.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My pumpkin

the other day I bought Martha Stewart's magazine and was inspired to do some pumpkin carving
I went to Michael's and bought some wood carving tools

First I cut out the bottom and scooped all the insides out. I drew my design on free hand and started carving trying not to go too deep. In Martha's example she doesn't ever go through the whole pumpkin. So, I did that and lit a light underneath.... Nothing. No light shining through.
I guess this pumpkin was too thick.

So I cut the design all the way through in some places and this is what I got.

Out for the whole community to enjoy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Today after going to the market and purchasing some fall goodies (this was difficult for me, I could have easily bought more) I decided on making a Butternut Squash Soup.

Step 1: Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler (this is not easy!)

Step 2 : Halve the squash and dig out the seeds.

Step 3: Cut the squash into 1 inch cubes
Step 4: Roast the Squash
Recipe : In a skillet melt 1 stick of butter
After the butter is melted and is turning light brown, add on low heat -
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. cinnamon
Let this simmer for about 1-2 minutes, then pour over squash and mix until well coated.

Step 5: Place squash in 400 degree oven for 1 hour. Turn once after 30 minutes.

Step 6: After squash is roasted and removed from oven
take a medium saucepan and heat
2tbsp. olive oil
1 diced onion
1 diced stalk of celery
salt and pepper
add 4 cups of vegetable stock to the vegetables and let simmer for 10 minutes
Then add your roasted butternut squash!
Let this simmer for another 10 minutes while mixing.
Take your immersion blender and mix it up so it becomes a puree. If you don't have an immersion blender you can put this in a regular blender and transfer it back to the pot when done. You should really just go get an immersion blender if you don't have one though!

Next, you should taste your soup and add spices to taste.
I added cinnamon, which I don't think was a good idea, too much cinnamon!
Some people love cinnamon though, so feel free to add some. I don't like it.
I also added lots of salt. I love salty squash!
Simmer for another 10 minutes and your soup should be done!

Honestly, not the best butternut squash soup I've had, but its pretty good!
I adapted the recipe from

Sunday, October 11, 2009


The wild thing had a first time playdate with a new friend. It went surprisingly well.
Here are the new friends :

Friday, October 9, 2009

A new addition

Today was spent cleaning and resting. No work today.

During the last two days I have created a wonderful habitat in my home for 5 new individuals and some plants.
I bought the tank 2 days ago with some gravel and plants.
Set it up and let it sit for 24 hours so all the wonderful things inside the tank could adjust to my household before I brought in the little fish.
Today I went back to the store and after looking at fish for the better part of an hour I decided upon 2 black and red tuxedo guppies, and 3 sunset dwarf guppies. There were so many to choose from. I eliminated all of the quick larger fish from my decision because I didn't want them to be upset with the small tank. Now that these tiny fish are in the tank you don't even notice them... I will have to wait a couple weeks and possibly get some new friends for them.
You can see in this photo how much tinier the dwarf guppies are than the regular guppies. About the size of a pinky nail!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Taking a new path

After taking some good advice from a friend I decided to take a little different walk with the wild thing today. It is still all concrete and gardens, but we did find some interesting things along the way. We found these berries that I remember once being called a type of raspberry, but I don't think they are...

Then on our walk a magnificent find. A reminder of a favorite piece by Michael Gagne.

From Michael Gagne's "Freaky Flora from A to Z"

Monday, October 5, 2009

Infinite time and space

Something that has always intrigued me was the concept of time.

Here is an excerpt from the story "In the Tube" by E.F. Benson.

"There is no such thing as Time really; it has no actual existence. Time is nothing more than an infinitesimal point in eternity, just as space is an infinitesimal point in infinity. At the most, Time is a sort if tunnel through which we are accustomed to believe that we are traveling. There's a roar in our ears and a darkness in our eyes which makes it seem real to us. But before we came into the tunnel we existed for ever in an infinite sunlight, and after we have got through it we shall exist in an infinite sunlight again. So why should we bother ourselves about the confusion and noise and darkness which only encompass us for a moment?"

We are then posed the feat : "Try to imagine finite Time and Space" . Thus, we cannot.

"The only solution comprehensible to you is the existence of an eternity, something that never began and will never end."

A short walk

I knew she liked the ocean
and I knew she liked to take long country drives
and I knew she worshiped the mountains
and I knew she liked it when I told the moon to shine.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

welcom garden

Found leaf - reminds me of yesterday's post and not being able to decide to change. Tiny little green dots.

This space has been in my community since I moved here and I have never given it a second thought. Today I decided to redecorate.

Before :

After :