Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Dangers of Pinterest and Other Random Distractions AKA “Squirrel”

I get distracted a lot. It’s not a case of undiagnosed Adult ADHD but your run of the mill “There’s so much cool stuff to make and do, I want to do it all NOW” syndrome (TSMCSMDS). Symptoms include, but not limited to, browsing Pinterest and immediately having to make that recipe for those mini casseroles cooked in muffin tins; starting a craft project inspired by something you saw on Pinterest(surprise, surprise!!) but having it be interrupted by having to start another craft project inspired by something you saw on Pinterest; and having to take pictures of all little neat things you do and see on a daily basis, including your own or other peoples presentation of food.

I believe there was a TSMCSMDS support group but they all eventually were distracted by something or another. 

But I digress, as many with TSMCSMDS do. My purpose for this post is to show my solidarity with others who suffer from it, through a picture tribute to my random distractions over the past two weeks.

Over the Holidays while visiting family back East the kiddo and I got on a mini paper boat making kick. We made a bunch of boats, took them down to the creek and set sail to the Armada. I am still on that kick and have been making itty-bitty, mini-winnie boats from origami paper to eventually string into a garland of paper boats. A couple of Sundays ago, we sat outside the Starbucks and made a bunch. 

I eventually strung a couple of the little boats and hung them in one of the Kumquat  trees in the courtyard.

Last Sunday I found a recipe on Pinterest (where else) for a bread that I couldn't resist making despite the fact that I haven't successfully made a loaf of yeast bread in many, many years. It was an Olive Oil and Rosemary bread from a hint of honey. I made two loaves. The first one I brushed with some bacon fat I had saved and the second one I brushed with the egg wash. The egg wash definitely added a nice crunch to the crust but the bacon fat added a nice flavor.

 And last but definitely not least, the kiddo wanted pancakes this morning but we do these so much all I could think was "BORING!" However, I knew Pinterest wouldn't fail me and sure enough I found Mini German Pancakes. Guess what, you make them in a muffin tin. I love muffin tin recipes! This one comes from Chef in Training

I didn't follow the recipe precisely. It has you make the pancake batter from scratch but I went for my old standby, Target's Market Pantry Pancake Mix. As I always do, I added some toasted oat bran to the mix. Not only does it make me feel better about using a pre-made pancake mix, the oat bran adds a little sweetness.

These were super easy and came out perfect! I have some left over, which will make a nice little sweet snack later in the day.

I think I'll make some Lasagna Roll-ups today.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fun with Freezing Cold Temps AKA Ice Buntings


We Southwest desert dwellers are the type to shrug off 110’F weather and put on a heavy winter jacket on the first 60’F fall day. So when the weatherman said we would be dropping into the 20’s and teens for overnight temps this week, it was big news. Yes, we get freezes here but a hard freeze is a rare occurrence as attested to by the un-insulated pipes that run along the outside walls of many houses here. 

O.k. after those of you who have real winters stop giggling, I’ll continue…

I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to make an ice bunting, something that I thought I might never get to do. I had seen them a few years ago on the interwebs and thought “that’s neat, too bad it’s generally nice and mild here in the winter.”

After I covered the cacti (they go gelatinous and die if it’s too cold), the bougainvillea, and double checked that the water pipes under the new house were in a layer of insulation, I broke out the paper cups left over from a birthday party a few years ago and food coloring. I filled each cup halfway with water and then put a few drops of food coloring in each. I did this out on the back deck where they were going to be left out overnight, that way I would make the inevitable spill of dyed water while transferring them out there.

As my fingers became increasingly numb with cold, I strung paperclips to some yarn I had dyed awhile back. I draped the yarn over each cup so that the paperclip sunk in to the colored water, which would later freeze to secure the paperclip. 

I was very excited about my use of the weather to my crafty advantage and went to bed very satisfied with myself.

Now the next morning, despite being excited about my ice bunting, I didn’t immediately run outside to check on it. Why? Well, it was freezing cold outside!! After warming my core with coffee, slipping my feet into some fleece socks and slippers, and donning a sweatshirt PLUS a heavy wool sweater, I went out to check on my creation. I tapped on the top of one of my frozen concoctions and felt the ice crack. They were mostly frozen but not completely. I had a remedy for this...the freezer. I gathered up my creation in a storage box, which btw I should have started them in, stuck it all in the freezer and went about my day.

Of course, as you can imagine, I was very excited to get home that afternoon. I pulled the bunting out of the freezer, took it to the front porch and tore the paper cups away from the colored ice and strung the bunting up. I also got food coloring all over my hands but I didn’t care b/c I had my ice bunting!!

Yay for winter weather and to excitedly anticipating this weekend’s upper 60’F sunny forecast!

Monday, January 7, 2013

What I Want for My Birthday

So, my birthday is this week. I won’t tell you how old I will be but suffice to say I will be 39 again J I am sure everybody reading this is scrambling to figure out what to get me. Not to worry! I will just come straight out and tell ya.

I want food!

No, seriously and I’m not being cheeky. I want food for my birthday.

Well, I actually don’t want you to give me the food. I want you to give it to your local food bank or any other organization that serves the food insecure in your area. Go take a peek in your kitchen pantry. See that can of beans, soup or tuna or that bag of rice or that unopened jar of peanut butter? That’s what your local food bank needs.

You’re voice, you’re time are just as important as anything that would be given in kind. SO, I want something else for my birthday. I want you to pass this along. Encourage others to donate food or their time to their local organizations.

Don’t know where to donate in your local area? FeedingAmerica can help.

Not in the U.S.? Check out the Global FoodBanking Network 

Want to donate your time and support other great organizations serving the food insecure? One concept that I love is the Community Café. If you live in the Denver area, you may be familiar with  SAME Café. They are a restaurant that runs on a pay what you can model just like many others around the United States. Find one near you and go have a birthday lunch for me.
Make my birthday this year the best one ever!!