Thursday, November 20, 2008

making baking fun

So sometime last week, or the week before, I had a serious pizza dough making disaster. Since then I have been doing a lot more baking (if you know me, you know Im not a baker). I've been sticking with recipes I know well to build up my baking confidence and this morning I felt like venturing out.

Homemade crackers! and boy were they good! I skipped the holiday spice breakfast muffins all together and went straight for the crackers. mmmmm....

autumn crackers
autumn crackers

This is my attempt to sticking with the small local business thing. I don't know of any local cracker companies, do you? I have decided to go to Whole foods and pick up some locally made tofu. I am seriously craving some tofu-E goodness.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Spicy Pumpkin Raisin Bread (from Enduring Harvests)

1 1/2 cups fresh pumpkin, cooked and pureed, or canned solid-pack pumpkin puree
1/2 cup honey, maple syrup, or sugar
1/2 melted butter or corn oil
2 eggs, beaten slightly
1/2 cup milk
1/2 raisins or currants
1/2 cup butternuts or black walnuts, chopped
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 fine yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350
Place the pumpkin puree in a medium sized bowl and add the honey, meted butter, and beaten eggs, stirring well with each addition. Stir in the milk, then add the raisins or currants, and butternuts of black walnuts.
Measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl and make a big well in the enter. Carefully pour in the blended wet ingredients, stirring carefully and blending well without overworking the batter.
Pour the batter into a well-greased 6x9 inch loaf pan. Bake for one hour or until a toothpick or knife insert in the center or the load comes out clean. Remove to cooling rack for 10 minutes, then slide a clean blade around the edges f the loaf to loosen it. Turn the steaming loaf onto a board or rack to cool completely. Serve hot or wrap up and serve days later for great flavor and fragrance.

I had to post this to make sure I don't lose it!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Crisabella's (crazy) good idea of only shopping small business or local for a whole month

so why wouldn't i accept a challange? life would just be too easy without these hoops i make myself jump through.

So it has been one week since we hopped on board. (we are late for everything) SO far everything with the exception of groceries seems to be in normal working order. I have a feeling farmers markets and local (NOT whole foods) grocery stores will take me awhile. I don't have any plan to go back to big business(whole foods) if I can make this work. So I have to make this work! Last week I went to the Centeral City Co-op
farmers market at Discovery Green Park(Which is currently in a lot of trouble with nursing mamas of Houston - another post.) I liked this farmers market a lot but it just isn't really practical being downtown and only open during rush hour traffic. Saturday I headed over to the Urban Harvest
farmers market which I loved! It felt more like a farmers market should. What does that mean? Im not really sure. Bigger. More diverse? Maybe. The only problem I had with it was that most of it isn't organic. What is more important organic or local? I don't know! You tell me! The best part about the Urban Harvest market, if you ask me, is Cheesy Girl. All her cheeses are 100% Vegetarian meaning she doesn't use animal rennet. Infact I believe she said she didn't use any rennet. I don't know how that is possible in the cheese making processes but I don't really care either because her goat cheese was soo delicous.

I know this would be easier in my home town of Federal Way WA because we have a lot more small business earth/health friendly grocery stores. Its time for me to stop being lazy and find what I can do here! Atleast I know I can keep up this small and local business only challange when I get to Washington this winter AND this summer. Ohhh me. I need to start thinking about Houston more.

Also we searched far and wide... just kidding, David insisted on going with a small local DSL provider. We have been anti-comcast and anti-att for what feels like forever so this seemed like the natural choice. It fit in well with our small business challange. (Yey, David is all about this challange!) Twenty five bucks a month for a fast not throddled DSL line seems very reasonable to me. Thank you... uhh I forgot your name you silly small business! If anyone is interested in knowing the name of the company I can ask David.

P.s. it has been cold here. i think its real cold. (not the fake kind i usually laugh at people for wearing big coats for here in houston) im not sure, it has been a few years since i've felt real cold. it's been as low as 42 outside and 60 inside. if you have some insight on this, please fill me in!

P.s.s. I making the challange next month.... I think it will go something like this.... No meat eating! ok ok Thats too hard maybe only small farm meat eating. ok ok I will give it more thought!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mama and baby's day home together

So we were instructed to stay home all day from 8am to 8pm to wait for the dsl man to come hook up our dsl. Normally mama and baby would be itching to get out around 11am. This was not the case yesterday. We had a day of what we, in preschool, would call parallel play. We both played, sometimes with the same things, independently next to each other. I think it might have been the weather that had us both in such mellow moods. It felt like a real Western Washington kind of day which put me in a mood I can't really describe.

Things just slowed down.
seattle like day in houston

I did a little baby hat knitting
homey comforts
(more pictures to be posted as soon as I wrap up the finishing touches)

and Isabella did a little baby one year old home destroying
exploring kitchen drawers

then I started some mama home destroying
thinking room
(I swear those piles are organized)

All in all, we had a good day home together and Im wishing we could spend more days like this. Im loving this little giggly, curious, mama-running-to little girl my baby turned into.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

cleaning the sewing/crafting/thinking/tv/guest room

Yes we just had a birthday and have no shortage of clothes. But I couldn't help myself. I was putting away all my fabric, fabric scraps, fabric accessories, and old clothes needing to be re purposed into their new home, (yes! they have a home! in a room devoted to them!) when I came across this old shirt and instantly saw something new.

old tshirt

So I am not a pattern follower or a very good direction taker. I took a chance sewing knit for the first time and it came out... not horrible!

repurposed tshirt dress

She wore the dress all day and rolled around in some dirt, spilled passion tea down the front of her and mama didn't even a blink an eye because really that dress didn't cost a thing. I'm on a re purposing old t-shirt mission now.

Sometimes avoiding doing your chores makes beautiful things! (Im pretty sure that is how Isabella was made too)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

In my life time:

08 election

Over come with joy. It's time for change!

Monday, November 3, 2008

In search of seeds!

Oh my goodness we have green beans! Don't ask me how these little guys made it through a hurricane and a transplant and look so pathetic and small yet are still producing food for me. Boy were they delicious! I can't wait to try again hopefully without the troubles we faced this time around.
first green beans big
Noah had been begging me all day to pick and eat the green beans and kept asking me when he could help me plant some new plants. It was so heart warming to see him so excited about something so simple like growing green beans. (Do you think he could have gotten that from me?) I can't wait to share that with Isabella when she is old enough.

Things are calming down here, finally. I almost feel like things are back to normal. The chances of us being in Washington for the summer is looking greater and greater. We will know for sure by Nov. 11th! I really am looking forward to spending more time with my family and friends. My sister said she might come home form Israel after all and Bailey may be home from Germany by then. David is going to have a really hard time getting me back to Houston.

Tomorrow is election day! I'm embarrassed and excited to say this will be my first voting experience. I felt no passion about the last election and felt like a vote for either candidate wouldn't have been in my interest. This last year has proven to be a political growing experience for me. I am very excited about my vote for president and very excited about voting locally. I guess this officially makes me a Houstonian(Firefox says this isn't a word psh).

Happy voting everyone!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hello Halloween, you snuck up on me!

After recovering from family in town, in-laws, Isabella's birthday, getting settled into our new place, and the stomach bug, Halloween kind of snuck up on me! Isabella wasn't quite ready for trick or treating this year and I have to keep telling myself she probably didn't mind that she didn't have a super cute homemade costume. I still can't help but wish I had my marbles together and whipped something up. Oh well. There is always next year. I think im going to get started soon. Our original Idea was to go as geishas and David was going to be a Japanese business man. Buuuuut the wig didn't fit and the makeup looked HORRIBLE and of course I didn't have a backup plan AND I didn't try anything out until 15 minutes before we were walking out the door. Thank goodness for David and his great last minute ideas!

Here are a few pictures of her first Halloween party and what we did end up wearing:
halloween small 5
Our quick but still fun game of "pumpkin pumpkin, who has the pumpkin?" Isabella is helping mama.

halloween small 4
Our halloween portrait. Frightening!

halloween car ride
Can you guess what we are? and I mean besides ridiculous.

I went as a hippie artist, David is my corporate sponsor and Isabella is our love child. I know it is a stretch. We had a really hard time this year.