A place to store and share the things I make.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


There's a lot I want to write about today.  I read, visited with friends, and am cooking now.  We had a great party last night, though I didn't take my camera out a bit (I was too preoccupied with mixing cocktails).  I'm tired, recovering from an energy filled week, revving up for a return to real-life tomorrow, then sending Graham off for an adventure overseas.  I feel sometimes like I have so much to share I can't really figure out a way to share it, and at those times I have to make myself be okay with not sharing.  I still have stories and pictures on the computer and in my mind that I've wanted to go back and write about, but those times are still with me, and they don't necessarily have to be here.  And that is okay.  I did want to share this quote though, so I'll just leave it with that.


“Television: A medium. So called because it's neither rare nor well done.” Ernie Kovacs

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Yeah, it's a couple days late.  But the last couple days were filled with more cooing and cuddling and smooshing the cheeks of my nephew, playing cards and having grown-up conversations with my family, driving to Billings with my dad.  Add to that repacking my bag at the ticket counter since it was overweight,  a long day at the airport while carrying a 30# box full of dishes, and dinner with my hub who I had left home in Portland all week, I just didn't have time to blog.  But I did have time to be thankful.  What I'm thankful for:
family.  all of them
my husband
orange jello with cool whip
the human body
sharing talents
forgiveness and grace

 My mom always makes us do "affirmations" at holiday meals.  We always groaned at them as kids, but as an adult I really appreciate this.  It really just means that we go around the table and give an honest affirmation to each individual, something we appreciate about them.  Something more than "you're cool" or "I like your hair."  It's hard!  But rewarding.  I got choked up.  All the little things that bug you about a family member (let's all be honest, they exist) seem to disappear and you realize that you really do appreciate X,Y, and Z about them.  Try it.  I think you'll like it.

Stealing my sister-in-law away for a run around the lake
look!  turkeys have a medial and lateral meniscus too!
Potholder made by mom
What's not to be thankful for?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Because Taylen is already in bed, we have a game of cards waiting to be started, and mom wants to make a pumpkin pie tonight, this will be short.  The events of the past two days: a run around the surge pond, some auntie time with Taylen, wildlife viewing, watching videos of us and all our cousins when we were kids, crafting, and woodwork.  Here's a peek:

Some Auntie & Taylen time while everyone else went to the gym

Playtime with Nana

Wishful thinking for the guys as this 4x5 fella kept showing up in the backyard.

Mom and I sewed while Belinda got a nap.  I made him a Bobcat shirt, despite their sad showing in the big game last week (I'm always a little torn during Cat/Griz time...)

Mom and I work best when we put our minds together (she keeps reminding me of this).  A true Colstrip shirt; don't worry--it's mostly steam that comes out of the stacks.  As a kid I thought the stacks actually made clouds.  This created great confusion on days when there were clouds but no steam...

More signs of the big guy and his girlfriends out back.

Sunset from the driveway.

Working with my pops in the shop.

A man and his toys.

My new boots!  I lived in Montana for 25 years and this if my very first pair of cowboy boots.  I bought them at a second hand store in Colstrip (read: a house filled with other people's stuff run by a high school classmate's mom).  I love them!

I should probably go help with this pie now.  Happy humpday!

Monday, November 21, 2011

November Rush

Thanksgiving Holiday.

I'm sitting on my parents' couch watching August Rush with my sister-in-law.  We've had a busy day: chasing my nephew, crafting, cooking, listening to hunting stories that didn't go as planned.  It's a holiday.  We played in Billings with my grandparents for a night and I've been enjoying the snow back here in Colstrip, watching deer bounding across the backyard.  We even checked out the local co-op (read: my 3rd grade classroom turned into a store selling socks and jeans, as well as Robeez for Taylen).    It was a good day with my mama and Belinda, ending with Kermit the Frog soup and chocolate chip cookies (half and half GF and regular), as well as a little Kirkland red wine and now some wind down time with a tired mama.  It is a holiday indeed.

cutest little cowlick ever

also quite possibly the cutest kid ever

crafting with his mama and my sister-in-law (yes, that's snot and tears on her shoulders.  She's a trooper.)

Copying Terri's Xmas trees from old sweaters

My GF cookies: I just replaced the flour in the Tollhouse recipe with
1/2 C chickpea, 1/2 C coconut flours and a little cornstarch. 
Kermit the Frog Soup (Mom's recipe)

Boil 2 C stock, add 3 stems of broccoli and one onion, chopped into small chunks.  Cover and boil 10 minutes.  Chop in food processor or with immersion blender.  In another pan, melt 2 Tb butter with 2 Tb flour (I cheated today, but you could probably replace with Arrowroot or cornstarch, or else just brown rice flour), and "cook til smooth 'n bubbly", stir in 2 1/2 C stock to boiling, boil 6 minutes.  Add 1 T boullion (we didn't today since we used stock, but it may add more flavor), some salt & pepper, a dash of nutmeg, and 3/4 cup whipping cream to the broccoli/onion mixture, then add the roux to thicken it.  Serve with crackers or just by itself.  Ty claims that mom had to name it Kermit the Frog because no kid would ever willingly eat soup with broccoli in the title.  I think he's right.

I think I'll be back with more this week.  But for now I'm watching a movie.  Happy holidays!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

cookie fail

I'm a big fan of modifying recipes.  This habit does not always work for the best results.  I remember my first modification--mom and I were trying to make "blonde" lasagna (this was way back in high school), and didn't have all the ingredients so we made some adjustments.  That was a mistake.  I don't remember the details, but it was not pretty.  I remember saying to myself, "from this day forward, I will never try to modify a recipe the first time I make it."  Needless to say, that is not a rule that I've kept.

Megan was bragging about these cookies last week, and I've been jonesing to try them.  I was practicing self-control and stay-in-the-budget strategies at Fred Meyer the other day, and I ended up not buying the coconut oil and coconut flour; so of course, I didn't have all the ingredients.  I actually have been having some success lately at my own modifications, particularly in making things free of gluten (like these!), so I went forth with confidence.  I used almond flour instead of coconut, and we didn't have enough eggs so I did the flax seed equivalent (1 T flax seed, ground and mixed with 4 T water).  Those were the only changes I made...but it didn't turn out well. Kind of a like a pan of crepes that are crispy on the outside and raw in the middle, they look nothing like the gorgeous ones that came out of Megan's oven.  I'll try again soon, and follow the recipe.  I guess some directions really should be followed closely.  But I'm certain I'll test that theory again as well.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tis the season...almost

Monday nights are date nights.  Tonight kind of ended up being plan-free, so we had leftovers and decided to have a holiday evening.  I went to work to find a GF gingerbread recipe, then Graham walked me through the recipe as I mixed it up, while emceeing the Christmas music.  I'm working on our Christmas cards, so I finished a couple of those to pass approval of the other signee of them come December.  Finally the buzzer went off and this masterpiece came out of the oven.  Delicious.  I don't always get a good cakey texture with GF cakes, but this was pretty good, albeit a little spongy.  It was the perfect amount of sweetness and spice, perfect for the holiday season which is (nearly) upon us. If only we had an open fire and some chestnuts...

Gluten-free Gingerbread  (modified from Jules Gluten Free)

1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (I usually use brown rice, sorghum, tapioca mix)
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
dash of salt
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (really just ginger/nutmeg/allspice/cloves)
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
Wet Ingredients:

3/4 cup shortening (I used Coconut Oil)
1 1/4 cup pumpkin purée (you can use apple sauce too)
2 eggs
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix the dry ingredients with the shortening, then mix in the wet ingredients.  Pour into a greased 13x9 inch pan, and bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes.  Done!  

Hang on Little Tomato

Audrey is having a baby.  I lived with Audrey and her husband Joran my last semester in Missoula, and they now live up in Washington.  To my knowledge, Joran's first mention of being ready to have a kid was when he found a blog of a dad who had tracked statistics about the kid--like how often he fed at night, and how often he needed a diaper change, what proportion of those times was poop vs. pee, etc.  He's a stats guy.  In fact he has a PhD in statistics.  So I wasn't surprised when she told me she was pregnant; I just can't wait to see what his data entry looks like.  When Audrey would get stressed out about school, Joran would play this song for her.  I thought this little gift would be perfect for their little tomato.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I just got home from a crafternight with some very talented and creative women.  Sadly, I did not take pictures.  Happily, my husband has become a model.  Maybe this could be his next big thing...

photo courtesy Robyn Steely, ED at Write Around Portland

Also this breakfast tofu recipe has been hanging out in a blog draft for long enough that I've referenced it to make breakfast multiple times, so I figured it was time to actually post it.  I've been finding more and more lately, though I try and deny it, that I just don't like eggs.  That's it.  So tofu for breakfast is a tasty alternative.  Because it can become anything you want it to be.

Also did you know that it's actually not proper grammar to have two spaces at the end of your sentence?  Read this.  I just spaced twice.  What do you think?  Do you use one space or two?  I think this will be a hard one to break.  space...space...