27 January 2011

I want to answer it, I truly did, but today, today I am suffering from ennui.

Image of Anne (of Green Gables fame) found here.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry! It's not even February and I'm off my self imposed blogging schedule. Real life man. I have been pretty busy trying to be good and do happy things, but all I feel is ennui (definition of ennui). Do you know ennui? Watch this clip from Gilmore Girls if you don't. It's probably due to a lack of sunshine/vitamin D/direction in life wait, no! I have direction! It's just sometimes the going is really slow, so that you feel you are not going up anymore, you know? Anyway fighting this off with books and pie and knitting.

Part of my whole new years resolute-thinger was read more, and I've been doing pretty good. I finished up Left Hand of Darkness this week, and I started Anne of Green Gables. Can I even begin to tell you how much I love Anne Shirley? She is my hero. I want to have her attitude towards life. So excited and looking at the beauty in everything. It's wonderful.

Anyway how have you been? Any ennui sufferers out there?

11 January 2011

Beans and Bread and other things

Last week I managed to get 2 of my dinner plans done. Not such a great record, but I still feel good about it. The Curry Quinoa was a hit with some tofu, read about it here in my previous post.

On Saturday I made the Butternut Squash and Coconut Milk Rice as planned and it was lovely. I followed the recipe except I used chickpeas instead of black beans (it's what I had in the pantry). The only thing I would have done differently is maybe leave the lemon grass whole and take it out before serving, because I guess I didn't get it chopped fine enough and it was a bit like chomping down on tree bark at times. Teeny tiny pieces of tree bark. The flavors were phenomenal though, and I will definitely make it, or a variation, again soon.

On Saturday I also made two loaves of bread and a big ol' pot of black beans. For the black beans I used this Spicy, Citrusy Black Beans Recipe from Simply Recipes. The bread and the beans turned out AH-mazing! I think I'm gonna make it a regular thing to make bread and a pot of beans, or something equally as slow-cooking and savory, on Saturdays. A nice long day of leisurely cooking and baking in between book reading.

Trying out a new thing, here is a link to the bread recipe I used from the Joy of Cooking on google books. It's called White Sandwich Bread. Scroll down, it starts on the bottom of this page and goes on to the next (they explain the whole wheat version on the next page, that's the version I made).

10 January 2011

Colors make me happy.

"There is no blue without yellow and without orange." - Vincent Van Gogh


Back when I was a graphic designer at a lil small town newspaper I used to do all sorts of creative things all day long. Some of it was pretty much wasting time when you get down to it, but I like to look at it rather like building the creative mind instead of calling it a waste of time.

Anyway I used to frequent this website, Colourlovers all the time for color ideas. What you do is build a color palette of 5 colors. It is addicting! You can use photos to help make your palettes, or just pick colors. You can also then apply those colors to fun patterns. The coolest part though is you can download a file for photoshop or illustrator and thus import your colors into the color palette of the project you are working on. So awesome.

Click here to see colors and palettes I've designed. You should head over there and design some palettes of your own. It is fun!

05 January 2011

Tree Jewelry


Now I just need a pic during the spring and summer and voila, round the year photos of the tree on grandma's back porch. This tree always makes me smile because of all the decor it gets to hold. I like to think of it as if the tree is wearing jewelry. :)

04 January 2011

5 blogs

Mt. Hood from Booth hill, October 2010.

I thought I'd make a little list of some of the blogs I've been into lately.
Maybe you'll discover a new favorite?

Cannelle et Vanille
This blog is what I aspire to do with my blog Clearly Tasty. It has such beautiful photos, clean design, and nice writing, and the recipes are so fresh, full of good things, real food, the kind of food I love. I really can't tell you enough how much I love this blog.

Eat Move Write
This blog is great. It runs the gamut from easy everyday-style recipes, books and writing, inspirational, relationships, life and everything in between. I really like it because it's very accessible and it is so down to earth it's refreshing. It's cool to see how it has evolved and grown since I started reading it, and I'm excited to see where it goes.

Go Fug Yourself
Does this count as a blog? I think so. Basically this is a couple of gals writing about crazy Hollywood fashion, and they are friggin' hilarious. Kindred spirits. We must be close to the same age because all there jokes are hilarious and there references are spot on. If you are like me, and you probably are since you are reading this, do yourself a favor and read this site for some laughs.

Meet Me At Mikes
This blog is so great. Crafty and retro and fun and lighthearted and nice. I really like how the gal who does this blog is so upbeat, and not in a fake way. It makes me smile all the time, and she links to music a lot, I have discovered some real favorites because of her.

Lovely Undergrad
This blog is written by a college student, and she posts mostly about interior design type stuff, like good ideas for your dorm room or small apartment. While I'm not in college anymore I find her ideas still really useful, and she always links to pretty pictures, and you all know how much I love pretty pictures. She also blogs a bit about fashion and other college type stuff. It is enjoyable.

What are some of your current fav blogs?

03 January 2011

Breaded Curry Tofu and Curried Quinoa Salad

So, first day of this week's meal plan and already off track! 

Monday night dinner.
I decided I needed to switch Monday and Tuesday's dinner plans since I forgot to soak my white beans overnight, which meant Curried Quinoa Salad. While reading a post this morning about tofu on I Will Run For Chocolate I remembered I had some Mori-Nu Silken Tofu on top of the fridge, and decided I would incorporate that with the Curried Quinoa Salad.
Curried Quinoa Salad.

I loosely followed Healthy Green Kitchen's Curried Quinoa Salad recipe, found here.
Here are my changes: I used peas instead of edamame, fresh tomato instead of sun dried, walnuts instead of pecans, and omitted the parsley (would have been delish but I didn't have any) and didn't do the chicken or turkey recommendation. I add some chopped fresh spinach and a splash of Ponzu (which is basically a citrus soy sauce). It was amazing. Fresh and filling.

The tofu recipe follows. Served on the side. In hindsight this would work better with non-silken tofu, and I wish I'd sliced the pieces a bit smaller, because it crumbled a bit. Still it turned out amazing.

Breaded Curry Tofu.

Breaded Curry Tofu

1 pack firm or extra firm tofu
3 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 tbsp curry seasoning

Drain and pat dry the tofu. Slice the into 1/2 inch or 1/4 inch chunks. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of the olive oil, lightly tossing. In a bowl combine the breadcrumbs and curry seasoning, toss in the tofu and mix lightly until coated on all sides. Heat a nonstick pan or a wok over high heat, add the remaining olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the tofu to the pan and cook until crispy, flipping a few times to cook on all sides. Remove from pan and drain on plate covered with a paper towel to remove excess oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

02 January 2011

Menu Plan Sunday!

peeling apples

This week I'm going to try and use up some stuff around the kitchen without purchasing anything, or at least very little. It's the new year, and one of my resolutions is trying to be as frugal as possible. Should be easy for a while, since we've got lots of meats in the freezer and beans, rice and quinoa in the pantry as well as various veggies. I'm sure I can come up with plenty of interesting recipes! I've found a few for this week, and I'll just adapt them as close as I can to what I have.

This week's plan:
Sunday- Leftovers! 
Monday- New Orleans' Style White Beans (with sausage, only because we have some in the freezer)
Tuesday- Curried Quinoa Salad with steamed broccoli
Wednesday- Polish sausages with garlic potato fries
Thursday- Burritos with chips & salsa
Friday- Leftovers!
Saturday- Butternut Squash and Coconut Milk Rice with baked chicken breasts

I also think I'll make an apple crisp at least one night this week since I still have a few apples left in my fridge.

What are you making this week?

Grandma's Garden

Uploaded a bunch of photos from last fall, you can see most of them in this set, Plants & Flowers on my flickr page. I love taking photos in my grandmother's garden. One of my favorite places on the planet.