Sunday, December 27, 2009


Awhile ago I decided I wanted to host a dinner party so we did it a couple of weekends ago. Since I have become such a fancy lady, I thought it was fitting. Okay, maybe not fancy but I try to make myself and family look nice.
Before we get to the dinner part though, I want to tell you about the pre-dinner action. T and I realized that since we aren't married and therefore haven't registered for all the nice house things, we don't have all the things one needs to throw a dinner party.
Wine glasses, well, check. Enough tables, check. Candles, yea. Sister to help decorate table, yessir. Plates, need about 3. Butter knives, have about 3. Regular cups, that numbers keeps shrinking due to mister and sister butterfingers. Napkins, I guess paper towels don't count. Crap. Time to go to the fancy home store. If we are going to buy things, might as well start out right. Off we went to the Greenhouse in Bham. We decided to go without the butter knives though, we didn't really need them. And napkins were brought in the paper variety. Who can spend $20 on four napkins? We needed 10. Don't worry, we left enough for you to buy.
Okay back from the store, we have some eco-friendly plates (can't leave water on them or they'll disintegrate, seriously), we have flowers, we have food, we have drinks. Let's get this partay started yo! To begin, I would like to say that one guest exclaimed, "you made this and you can't even taste it?! It is so good!" Yes, I had some rave reviews. The menu was:
Veggie Sushi
Garlic Mashed Taters
Sage Grilled Carrots
Beef Wellington
Ricotta Gnocchi with Apple Cream Sauce
Mmmmm! Now that I think about it, I never did post my gnocchi recipe. I have been meaning to, it is awesome. I will someday. Right now I would like to focus on the Beef Wellington. Now, I have never had beef wellington but saw it on the Food Network over Thanksgiving (we don't have cable so I watch a crap ton at Mom and Dad's when I visit). It looked divine and like something T would enjoy. After a positive taste testing from T before the dinner party, I decide to make it. It is actually quite easy. You can find the recipe I used here at the Food Network site (the cook time is not 6 hours, I don't know why it says that!). I haven't figured out how to make the bottom not soggy though. If you figure it out, please let me know.
Besides the good food, the party was a good time and enjoyed by all (I believe). We chatted and played apples to apples and ate 3 different desserts thanks to the guests. We even had a sleep over with a few party-goers. It was a success and I can't wait until I feel like having another one.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cookin' Cookies

I have come across some awesome vegan cookie recipes this winter. Here are a couple of my favs! They are so easy to make...and eat.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from Punk Post Kitchen blog
Yields about 2 dozen smallish cookies

Ingredients -

1/2c brown sugar
1/4c white sugar
2/3c canola oil
1/4c your favorite non-dairy milk (I used vanilla soy milk)
1 T tapioca flour
2 t pure vanilla extract
1 3/4c all purpose flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

how ever many you want chocolate chips

Method -

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix together sugars, oil, milk and tapioca flour in a mixing bowl. Use a strong fork and mix really well, for about 2 minutes, until it resembles smooth caramel. Mix in the vanilla (use a bit less if you used a vanilla "milk").

Add 1 cup of the flour, the baking soda and salt. Mix until well incorporated. Mix in the rest of the flour. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Roll the dough into desired sized balls (ping pong size will make 3 inch cookies). Flatten them out in your hands to about 2 1/2 inches. They will spread just a bit when cooking. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes - no more than 9 - until they are just a little browned around the edges. Cook a little less for chewier cookies. Let cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

Pb Filled Chocolate Cookies
adapted from Punk Post Kitchen blog
Yields about 2.5 dozen smallish cookies


1/2c canola oil

1c sugar

1/4c maple syrup

3T non dairy milk (I used vanilla soy)

1/2t vanilla extract (use less if using a vanilla flavored milk)

1 1/2c all purpose flour

1/3c unsweetened cocoa powder

2T shaved (or food processed) black unsweetened cocoa

1/2t baking soda

1/4t salt

PB Filling:
3/4c natural peanut butter (any style)

2/3c powder sugar
2T non dairy milk

1/4t vanilla extract

Method -

In a large mixing bowl combine oil, sugar, maple syrup, non-dairy milk and vanilla extract and mix with fork until smooth. Sift in flour, cocoa powder, black cocoa, baking soda and salt. Mix to form a moist dough.

In another mixing bowl beat together peanut butter, confectioner’s sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk and vanilla extract to form a moist but firm dough. If peanut butter dough is too dry (as different natural peanut butters have different moisture content), stir in another tablespoon of non-dairy milk.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Its time to shape the cookies. Create the centers of the cookies by rolling the peanut butter dough into hazelnut-sized balls. Use a generous tablespoon of chocolate dough, flatten into a disc with palm of hand and place a peanut butter ball in the center. Fold the sides of the chocolate dough up and around the peanut butter center and roll the chocolate into a ball ans smooth by rolling. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and repeat with remaining doughs.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and let cookies for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to complete cooling. If you desire the cookies warm (which is better) microwave for 10 to 12 seconds before serving.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Note to Self:

I would say most people living in the county have a dog. The dog(s) get to roam the property and be happy. Some of them are outside dogs, some are inside dogs, and the spoiled rotten ones are the dogs that get to stay inside and be warm but go outside to run independently. Buk and Gus, our dogs, fit in the third category. The summer months are great, the rainy months are not so great. The dogs come in with the muddiest paws, dirtiest stomachs, and usually bleeding from something. They don't mind though, they LOVE it. They also love to find dead things. At least, that is what I am guessing that stank is. Gus, rarely Buk, comes home probably 50% of the time smelling like rotten bodies. It is so gross. He obviously rolls around in deadness and so his whole body and collar are sick! In fact, he did this today and here is my story....

I am going to work late today so I use my morning to clean the house and get ready for a dinner party we are having the next night. I let the dogs out because I will be home for awhile and they have ample time to wander back home. They come home. One of them stinks like deadness. It's Gus. Go figure. I have about 30 min to get ready and I still need to take a shower. Great idea!! Gus will just come in the shower with me then Sis won't have to give him a bath when she gets home. Into the shower we go. Gus does all right. He only doesn't like it when I try to hold him on his back to get water on his belly. He is cute in the shower. Shower over, that was fine. Note to self: that was NOT fine, no showering with the dogs! Floor, all wet. Stomach, covered in Gus hair. Towel, now covered in Gus hair. Clean? Gus, yes. Me, no. Gross.

Gus will be happy that was his last co-shower.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


As you may well know, I like to celebrate the holiday season. However, because T and I aren't affiliated with any religion, I like to acknowledge them all and T becomes somewhat of a humbug. He doesn't "really like" the holidays, he told one co-worker. Sometimes I can see that he likes it. He needs underwear at least ONCE a year, come on. I do know that T likes the Nutcracker, even community preformed Nutcrackers. He likes watching me play ballet after the Nutcracker. He secretly likes lights too. Although, he only acknowledges these things in a comment or smile about once a season but I catch it every time.
I only talk about this because now that we are engaged, we have to start making our own traditions. These conversations all end by discussing what we will do with our kids. I think it is worth exploring. When T told me my Hanukkah menorah was stupid, I asked why. He said because we aren't Jewish. In my mind I thought, yeah we aren't Christian either but we have that crap too. Upon second look though, we don't. We just celebrate winter. huh. Interesting. My menorah is so colorful though, I like it. Maybe I just need a cool nativity scene to go with it. Nice. My minor is in religion so I think I think they are interesting. My kids will know about different winter traditions. They won't have dreads though.

Another one of my holiday conundrums is the fact that I want to give gifts that are handmade and/or homemade. I have been able to get most gifts at local bazaars which are great but I think the handmade thing is not really going to work this year. I didn't plan for it. Shocking, I know. Next year I will do a better job.

To sign off, I want to let you know I have all been listening to Bob Dylan's Christmas CD that T's sister so kindly sent to me! Let me just say I am on the first song and Bobby sounds like a creeper. His old rough voice singing about Santa is almost too much. But then, you realize it is just great and Bobby is Jewish anyway. He likes exploring traditions and he understands me. Obviously.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Get it. Watch it. Think about it.

Last year a movie named, Food Inc. came out on the scene. I don't think it was played in theaters, lord knows it wasn't actually. But Bellingham has an independent movie theater where it did play, The Pickford Theatre. I had heard about this movie but of course, I don't spend money on movies as I can't justify spending $9 for that when I can get it for free later (Library...shout out!). So after months of waiting, actually forgetting about it, I got it from the library. Every time a movie that I have on hold comes to me, it is like a new present, it’s great.

Anywho, this week we watched Food Inc. It was pretty much stuff I already knew; the food industry is pretty corrupt and the nasty-ass food is much cheaper than healthy food because of government subsidies which leads to poor farming practices and genetic engineering which leads to poor health which leads to poor people eating crap and getting sick, blah, blah, blah. However, it is great to watch films like this once in awhile because it reminds me why I want to eat local and what I can do to NOT support that industry. I want people to be healthy and support local growth but with big business controlling everything (and things you don't even think about, like soybeans) it is hard to get away from it. People want things cheap and so they buy these things that have poor employee practices and support big businesses. That’s capitalism, which is fine, but I think it has gone a little too far in this case.
It makes me happy that we are trying to be more self sustainable and the movie makes me want to own a farm with animals and gardens galore. Although I don't want to eat meat, it seems like a cool idea to grow animals that you kill and sell to local people. I don't want to kill them but if people are going to eat them instead of meat from factories with horrible employee conditions and poor animal practices, I would like to provide that opportunity.
Honestly, I don't think we will ever get that productive but it is nice to at least do these things for ourselves.

I recommend that people see Food Inc. It makes you think about your food and where it comes from. It isn't about animal cruelty or anything and it isn't trying to make you a vegetarian at all. In fact, it wants you to eat meat. The producers just want you to think about reading labels and what you are supporting by buying certain foods. It makes you think about what is important to you because it's true, some people don't care about what they support buying food, they just need/want it cheap, which is fine. Personally, I would rather spend more money on local food and less on other things (like movies). So, I want you to watch Food Inc. and make that decision for yourself.

Plus, how can you not want to see this farmer? In this pose!

It is Joel Salatin, he runs a pretty sweet farm. He's a little odd though.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Really Getting my Goat

This last holiday weekend was wonderful. I got to relax and not worry about chores. I got to watch TV, go shopping, read, and knit. I even watched TWO movies (Bruno, eh. The Great Buck Howard, eh +). Who knew I could have so much time to do jack shit?!
Anywho, I let my dad cook for me. I say "let" because my dad assumes vegetarians only eat vegetables and can never think of a version of something I might eat. Alas, the weekend has come where my father realizes that I DO eat everything, just without meat. AND...there are meat substitutes (beans, mushrooms, soy stuff, etc) for everything. I am proud Dad.

So after some coaxing, my dad did a little net research and *gasp* used a recipe (with his own variations, of course)! It was delicious. He made me some Indian food, which I must admit, I do not make often because I can't make it taste very good. Dad made two dishes one was Mutter Panner and the other was a chickpea something. They were both very flavorful. I preferred the latter of the two and I think I realized why the next day....
I will say, I ate all of the Mutter Panner that night Dad had his vegetarian epiphany and it wasn't until I went to eat leftovers I discovered the dreaded ingredient. I think reheating the stuff in the microwave made it bubble up and rear its ugly head. I couldn't eat it anymore, so sad.

GOAT CHEESE! I hate that f-ing stuff. Blegh. I have a good taste palate but I cannot bring myself to eat that plasticy cheese. I don't know what it is really but holy crap it ruins any delectable it touches.

Needless to say, I don't cook with that but Tyler loves it. The only time he gets it is when he orders the Northwest Pizza from Boundary Bay Brewery. He loves it! In fact, it was that pizza that made me realize I hated the stuff. The pizza is: salmon, capers, goat cheese and something else mouth watering. However, when I ordered it about five years ago, I ate one piece and stopped. I thought it was bad salmon. I didn't learn until my second try that it was goat cheese. Boo.

Goats. Boo.

Anywho, here are pics of Dad's creation. It looked so good! You can find the recipe here if you do in fact like the devil's milk (actually, turns out, Dad substituted goat cheese for paneer cause he couldn't find it. Do the same if you dare. If not, just use cottage cheese for my sake).....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving of Thanks

This is the silly Thanksgiving post. I feel like I really should be thankful this year. First, I would like to note that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! Food. Good. Family. Good. Vacation. Gooood. How could you get any better? Someday I will host Thanksgiving and I am looking forward to it. For now, I will be going to Ptown to celebrate with T's family and Mom's family. Two Thanksgivings. Hells yes. Should be good times.
Side Note: I will also be trying on some wedding dresses. We'll see if I am thankful for that, or not.
My Thanks List:
- Tyler
- Sister
- Mom and Dad
- All other family and to-be family (please don't be offended you aren't listed seperately, there are too many of you)
- Friends I see now and old friends I don't see as much
- Sammy
- Stanley
- Buky
- Gussy
- My job
- The kids at work
- My House
- My Land
- Getting married
- Heat
- Stove
- Popcorn
- Carpet Cleaner
- Flowers
- Money
- Hot water
- Coffee
- Being dorky but thinking I am hil.arious.
That is my main list.
Oh wait, Sam wants to give thanks too!

Me: "Hey Sam."

Sam: "Yes Mommy?"
Me: "What are you thankful for?"

Sam: "You!"
Me: "Oh sweet jesus, you are cute."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Artsy Fartsy

As I have mentioned before, I do not have a keen eye when it comes to detail. I do not have any artistic ability and cannot manage to decorate my house. This means, for my wedding, I recruit my mom and sister and Tyler's mom to decorate. I know what colors I like I just cannot vision the final product. I think I have just given up trying. When I was younger I thought I was an artist and I went to draw a dog and it turned out to be a "side profile" consisting of circles with one long dangley ear. This was when I gave up.
Anyway, yesterday I was cleaning my house and the sun was getting low in the sky. The house was warm and outside was stormy. As I was tidying up the living room I looked up and thought, this really doesn't look so bad. I have some good pieces, like I like my coffee table and my lamp, but I don't know if they fit together. We always joke that our house looks like the 70's blew up in it and that bothers me. Yesterday though, I thought it looked a little more modern. So I took pictures because I thought, this cannot be true, my eyes are seriously just messing with me. I kept taking pictures and looking up from the camera and wondering if it was really that bad. I don't trust myself.
I still haven't decided if it has come together very well but I figured I would let others tell me if my random decorating skills are adequate.....

Please note that I hate this Christmas Cactus. Although I like having color in the house this pink is just a little too much for me.

I do really want a new entertainment center. One that is taller.

Marrs hasn't quite fixed the wiring yet. It runs across random things.

Pretend the chair is recovered.

Oh god, the 70's did blow up. Where are the orange and green curtains? Humph!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Punk'in Pie Cinnamon Rolls

I have found a new blog. Cook Local. It is a Seattle blog. It isn't vegetarian specific but they certainly have a lot of things that I can eat on there. It's wonderful.
I found these cinnamon rolls on there and thought they sounded so tasty. I cooked them for breakfast the next morning. Turned out great. They definitely taste best right out of the oven though!
This recipe may look daunting but I assure you it isn't too difficult, especially if you make the dough beforehand.
Punk'in Pie Cinnamon Rolls
adapted from Cook Local blog
Makes about 6 - 9 rolls, depending on how large/small you make them

For Rolls:
1 T of active dry yeast
1/4c of warm water
1/2 t sugar
1.5c + 1T flour
1/8 t
1/2c pumpkin puree
2 t cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t ground cloves
1/2 cup brown sugar

For Filling:
1/4 c butter, softened
2 t crystallized ginger, minced
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
2 Tbsp sugar

For Frosting:
1 c powdered sugar
1/2 t ginger
2-3Tbsp water

1. Place the warm water in a small bowl.
2. Add the 1/2 tsp of sugar and the 1 Tbsp of yeast and let stand while you prepare the dry ingredients.
3. Mix the flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and brown sugar on low speed until just combined.
4. Add in the pumpkin puree, yeast and mix well until the dough comes together. It should be a bit sticky. Add more water or milk if not.
5. Oil a large bowl.
6. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat all surfaces with oil.
7. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let sit in a warm area for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
8. Punch the dough down and let it rest for a moment while you flour the counter or large cutting board.
9. Roll out the dough to approximately 7 x 11 inches.
10. Mix the filling ingredients together and gently spread the filling over the dough.
11. Starting with the long end, roll the dough up, trying to prevent any large air gaps. Pinch the ends to seal.
12. Cut the dough into 1 inch rounds.
13. Grease an 11×9 inch baking dish on the bottom and sides.
14. Lay the rounds, cut side down, in the dish, leaving plenty of space on all sides.

*At this point, you can put the dough in fridge (cover the dish) and eat in the morning...or you can go ahead and finished the recipe to eat now.*

15. If kept in the fridge overnight, take the rolls out and let rise for at least a hour, or until not too cold anymore. If you are eating them right away, cover the dish and let the dough sit for about 45 min more to rise.
16. Preheat oven to 350.
17. Bake for 20-22 minutes.
18. Mix the frosting ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.
19. Frost by drizzling frosting over the rolls and enjoy.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Yea I like flowers. Shoot Me.

Disclaimer: In this posting I reference my youth and my parents. Please note that I love my parents dearly. They are the best and I had a great GREAT childhood! I make fun in this post (and probably more posts) of my childhood. I do not actually think my sister is a boy. I do not actually think my dad wanted boys, he loved us more than anything and wouldn't trade us for the world! (Hell, my mom gave Claire that cut anyway) To summarize, I love my parents and think they raised me perfectly and very lovingly. I am forever grateful for that. I don't think they tortured me, I only thought that when I was 10, hence why I can poke fun now.

I was raised to be strong. I did push ups as punishment, I played many sports and spent many summers on gymnastic and jump rope teams. I was also raised to have a strong need to help others. Although being socially responsible and kind has its advantages (ie: people like you and think you are funny) it also comes with great downfalls. I experience some of those in my work and play today.
I am a female. I am a female who works in a male dominated environment. I constantly have to stick up for myself because people just assume I am weak and know nothing about rules of let's say, baseball, where big strong boys throw a circle thing. (Mind you, I hate football rules, I choose NOT to learn those...therefore, the football season is my weakness and big strong boys do ignore me. I have come to terms with it.) I surprise people when I can lift bleachers, carry 5 boxes at once, and can throw two bags of recycling up into the container. Hippy? Yes. Silly little girl? No. Its nice to make people realize that.

Anyway, back to how this affects my farm life (because that is what this blog is about). Now that Tyler and I are turning our lives into gardening, farming, and cleaning, there are definite gender roles. When I was little, I would help chop the wood, pick rocks, shovel manure, start the fire, etc. And...I HATED it. Now I am wondering why I hated it. Did I hate it because I was forced to do it or because I am a girl and boys are "supposed" to do those things and like it? My dad just didn't happen to have any boys so Claire and I were forced to fulfill that void. Maybe THAT is why Claire had a bowl hair cut and went naked from the waist up FOR YEARS. Anyway, to continue, having to do those chores in the past has left me feeling I need to do them and I need to help others when they are doing them. Because of this, I feel torn ALL THE TIME!
Right now, my life consists of working (43+/week), doing chores, and sleeping (throw "going to the gym" in there a couple times too). Tyler has different chores which include things like shoveling manure, hammering things, and using his tractor. I feel bad when I don't help because I feel like 1) my mom and dad taught me people always need help and 2) I can do them to prove I am not a girly girl.

I AM NOT DOING THEM though. Unless Tyler wants some help, I have decided I am not volunteering to saw, chop, and shovel. I will gladly do it when asked but I am no longer feeling bad about not doing it when not asked. Tyler doesn't clean the bathroom without being asked, so there! Maybe this is what happens when you finally are ready to live with someone forever and you realize you don't have to do it all yourself anymore. Hell, that's why my mom finally realized kids were all right.

So that is my new life altering revelation and something I am now accepting. If I need to blame it on being a girl, fine, but I think I am growing up. I am a delicate flower that cannot break a nail or get my high heels muddy.

Dad, his daughter, and his gaily dressed "son" (whose pissed about getting that ribbon)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Goodbye Summer

I know, summer ended officially on Sept. 21 but I can't say I fully embraced it with the early warm weather fall and my flowers still in bloom. Alas, the weekend has come where I say goodbye to summer and I say it gladly. I love summer, don't get me wrong. I love swimming (in pools), getting sun baked, wearing shorts and tanks, cutting flowers, eating beans, etc but one can only take so much of the work that summer requires and begs you to do in it's basking sun. It wants you to be outside and you feel guilty when you want to be inside making that fruit salad or just taking a nap (I don't do outside naps...allergies). Note: I did not take one nap this summer.

With that said, I have started to fully embrace fall! It allows me more time in the kitchen and more time to clean my house, not that it is clean but I putter around and try. Today I took down my dried hydrangeas and replaced them with a paper pear and some fake, YES FAKE, fall colored flowers. Don't judge me, it adds color and they don't look too fake. Its not like they are bright blue or green mums or something! gosh! Anyway, I also cut down my dahlias, although they were still blooming because it is time to get those suckers out of the ground and ready for next year (crossing my fingers they still "plantable" over the winter).

As far as cooking goes, I have been reading books and cooking like mad with fall edibles. I LOVE squash and we have something containing its brilliance once a week. I have also gone to making soup with some of our left over summer veggies. Fall/winter = food, in my opinion. In fact, this morning I made vegan french toast, veggie sausage (not from scratch), biscuits, and veggie gravy for breakfast. Needless to say, it is noon and we still aren't hungry. Its heavenly.

Next on the list: start knitting again and finish some home make overs.

To leave you on a good note and enjoying that warm cozy feeling, I present vegan french toast. Seriously, good.

Vegan French Toast
adapted from "I can't remember"
Yields 4 pieces of French Toast

1/2c raw cashew pieces
1c soymilk
1/2t vanilla extract
generous coating of oil
4 slices bread (a bit stale works best)

1) Grind cashews in dry blender or food processor until powdery.
2) Add soymilk and vanilla. Blend until smooth.
3) Pour into a shallow dish.
4) Preheat skillet coated in oil, enough to "fry" bread. Don't be shy.
5) Dip the bread in cashew mixture and flip onto both sides.
6) Transfer coated bread into hot pan and flip after 45 secs - 1 min or until brown. Note that most of the cashews have fallen to the bottom of the shallow dish and you may want to scoop some manually onto the top of your bread with a spoon.
7) Serve with maple syrup.

Enjoy. Preferably with coffee. Mmmmm

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Farmer's Wife Chore #142

Halloween came and went. Halloween was on a Saturday. Tyler and I have not gone to a Halloween party for 4 years. I told Tyler we were going out. Bad idea.

This year I made Tyler's Halloween costume. I knew that Tyler wouldn't poo poo being Nacho Libre for Halloween so I decided a month ago that I would make this costume (being one of my new "wifely" duties). I needed to find some boots, women's underwear, cape, gold fringe, wig, mustache hair, and some extra material. For the past couple of weeks I have been searching, sewing, and dyeing things to put Ty's outfit together. It was all pretty easy until I had to channel my home-ec self and use my sewing machine.
I received my sewing machine as a gift a couple of years ago and have used it for numerous projects but haven't used it in the past year or so. I had a feeling that my machine wasn't going to agree it should work. Turns out I was right. Growing up, I feel like my mom was always swearing at her machine and I am pretty sure I did the same this week. Sometimes it was my fault but 85% of the time, the machine was the problem. In the end, the machine and I came to peace with each other and I finished everything but not after sewing, re sewing, petting and kicking my machine. It was a love/hate relationship.

I did it though and Tyler was a great Nacho. We encountered one other Nacho and Tyler was SO MUCH BETTER! (I was Encarnacion, Nacho's love in the movie)

The Machine: It is going to the doctor this week to get fixed. I diagnosed the problem (has to do with how the needle is sitting) so we'll see if it works better next time.

Jack Frost Ain't Knocking

It is November 1 and I still have dahlias blooming. The frost hasn't hit our property yet, a bit of a phenomenon I think, but probably because we live up on the hill and the cold air drains down into the corn fields. Therefore, I am still picking blooming flowers and there are more to pick this weekend than there were three weeks ago! I love the pretty flowers but honestly, they are making me cling onto summer when I am ready to move onto fall and winter. Their colors are still bright and vibrant and make me think of sunny warm weather. I shouldn't complain though because I still have a ton of flowers making my kitchen and bathroom bright.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Oh my Lord, Squash is Good!

As Tyler and I prepare for our wedding, we have realized that food is an important aspect of "the party". We have been interviewing caterers and toyed with different ideas about what we want to serve. In the end, we REALLY want to use food from our own garden so we are working on all that and we found a caterer we like who knows about food and is excited to use our food. Good food.
When we met with this particular caterer she told us about this pasta they make with butternut squash. It sounded mouth watering delicious to me and so of course I went home and looked for a recipe. Turns out, I found one.
I made this last night for dinner as an experiment and it turned out to be my favorite thing I have made in awhile. Granted, I don't cook with butter and cream that often and how can that not taste mmm mmm good?

Creamy Squash Pasta


*adapted from
- 2 medium squash (I used delicata and some other thing I picked up), about 2 pounds
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2c finely minced shallots
- 1 1/2c heavy cream
- 1/2c veggie (or chicken) broth
- Salt to taste
- 1/4t freshly grated nutmeg
- pasta
- freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

*please note you want to do these in this order because the sauce does need time to cool down and thicken so this recipe is set up to allow for that*
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Peel the squash then cut, discard the seeds and slice into 1 inch cubes.
3. Place squash on a sheet pan and toss with oil until covered.
4. Bake until pieces are lightly golden and soft-about 20 minutes.
5. Cool and transfer to a bowl.
6. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
7. When the butter begins to foam add the shallots and stir until lightly golden and soft.
8. Add the cream and broth, season with salt and nutmeg and simmer until sauce just begins to thicken, three to four minutes.
9. Add the squash and stir for a minute or two.
10. Turn the heat off as you are cooking the pasta.
11. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta.
12. When cooked, drain pasta.
13. Spoon pasta on plate and top with sauce and cheese and salt to taste.

Makes three generous servings

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Trial and Error

This is me. This is me failing. This picture was supposed to go with a great recipe posting but it didn't turn out so well. As I begin to try new recipes and make new things with our bounty, I sometimes hit the freaking mark! and sometimes I miss. A list of food that didn't turn out so well thus far: 1) salsa batch #1 2) kohlrabi pickles 3)pickled beans #1 and #2 (honestly). This picture is of me failing apple crumble. Blegh! I got the recipe off smitten kitchen. Usually her stuff is awesome but crumble is not good. The crumble part just doesn't taste great. It isn't buttery, it isn't savory, it is somewhat like eating bark crumble really. Even with ice cream. I ended up throwing it away.
To my credit though, I HAVE hit the mark on most things. I have no problem admitting when my hard work didn't turn out though. That's part of cooking and creating.

We accidentally glued the dogs together. Whoops. Error.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Don't Squash it out with your Boots Ted

Two things to talk about: boots and squash soup.

Fall Squash Soup
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1/4 cup (1/2sitck) butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 14 1/2-ounce cans (equals 5.5 cups) veggie broth*
8 cups 1-inch pieces peeled squash {butternut, delicata, acorn, mix and match, what ev'} (about 3 pounds)
1 1/4t minced fresh thyme
1 1/4t minced fresh sage
1 1/2t ground cumin
1/2t ground ginger
1t Salt
1/8 cup whipping cream
Sugar to taste (I used about one t)


1. Melt butter in large pot over medium heat.
2. Add onion and garlic and sauté on low until tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Add broth, all squash and herbs and spices; bring to boil.
4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.
5. Working in batches, puree soup in blender.
6. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and sugar; bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

This recipe is DELICIOUS with a broiled bread. Put butter on one side of bread and broil for one minute. Flip bread over, cover with your favorite cheese and some salt and pepper and broil for another minute. Awesome!

*This would be a great place to add that homemade veggie broth to a soup!!

To be a true farmer (or you could insert logger, for Mt Baker purposes), you need Romeo's. Who is Romeo and since when did he live on a farm, you may ask. Meet Romeo....

Story: I bought these "boots" a couple of years ago because I liked them and all the cool kids (seriously, kids) were wearing them and I liked how they looked. Turned out to be quite handy, they are slip ons 'nuf said, and although I got the HUGEST blister on my heel the first time I wore them we became fast friends.
Tyler on the other hand was holding out. He was waiting until they became functional. Today, that day has come and he bought his first pair. What a true farmer. He used them to feed the pigeons and to let Gus out to poo. Really working 'em in hard! His were half off too, can't beat that.

Shoe Friends

Monday, October 12, 2009

Gimme Heat

Since buying our house/land, the only major work has been gardening and painting the house. Neither of which cost too much money. However, our first major house project came and went this past week.

First, I would like to tell you how hard Tyler worked on this project. I did nothing and that really does make me feel worthless but I don't know that I would have been helpful. Tyler did it all and finished it very fast and, I am sure, very well, although I can't prove that since I refuse to go under the house. There are some dead animals parts under there and I don't do well in small spaces because if there an earthquake, you would be f'ed. Tyler goes.

Anyway, the project started out as repairs to the old heating ducts. Rats had been under the house (before we moved in) and tore it up so Tyler set to using duct tape for actual ducting and replaced some of the old ducts. After spending a weekend doing that, Tyler realized we probably should have the ducts cleaned in order not to die of rat-poo-poisoning this winter. Turns out, I agreed and we had some duct people come take a look at how much it would be to clean it. In the end, cleaning it cost more then just replacing the whole damn thing Tyler goes, again.

This last Saturday Tyler finished the whole thing and just in time! Now that it is actually 30 degrees at night, it is nice to have heat in the morning. ("When you're supposed to be up cooking breakfast for somebody" - find that quote here)

After it is all said and done I learned:
- Tyler can really work hard and not complain...once (a quality I don't have)
- It is beneficial to be a helpless girl sometimes
- It is great/necessary to have a savings account for those unexpected household expenditures.
- Tyler likes listening to opera whilst being under the house.
- Tyler is very knowledgeable and nice to have around. So far, the marriage is still on.
- I like chips and salsa. Oh wait, that's unrelated but that is what I am eating/making right now. More to come on how that turns out later.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This Week on the Farm

On August 25th, I canned "Dilly Beans", which are just pickled beans. I got the recipe out of a book from the library. I opened these said beans this last Sunday on October 4th and holy crap....they are awesome! I have only one regret, I didn't find this recipe until the end of the bean harvest so I only have enough cans for...myself. :)

The other exciting thing on the farm here is our wedding planning. Last week we had our engagement pictures taken here at our house. We don't have all of them back yet but we do have a preview. They were taken by Aubrey Joy Photo here in Bellingham. She is a local photographer who is our age. She took awesome pictures. I will post a couple, well more than a couple since I love them all. {you can click on them to make them a bigger size}

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hot Stuff

We have a lot of tomatoes this year and fortunately, I have found great uses for them, even though I am perfecting the recipes a bit. First, I made spaghetti sauce and it tasted very fresh and delicious. Next, I made salsa. I found a random recipe online that sounded pretty good and used a lot of peppers (which we also have in abundance). From the taste test jar a day after it was made, it really wasn't that good. It didn't help that I had a cold the day I made it and couldn't taste it because my nostrils were 100% plugged with snot and when I asked Tyler what it needed he said, "no, I wouldn't mess with it". I think he didn't want me messing with the recipe which turned out to be a bad idea, in my opinion, because I don't think I like all. I won't even put the recipe here because it isn't very good but I will soon find a good one and post that. The pictures make it look good though.

On a different note, here is my fiance, Harry Poppins. I won't even go into the story about letting the birds out for the first time. Let's just say my roof has 3 days (and counting) worth of pigeon poop on it. dumb, DUMB, DUMB!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Okay, That's It

For the last 4 summers, I have been training for some race be it triathlon, duatholon, or half marathon. This year with buying a house and just being tired of running on my vacations, I decided to "take this year off". It turned out to be a good idea since I injured my shoulder, got mouth surgery, have tons of chores, and needed time to just be a first year home owner. However, now, I am starting to feel the affects of not running or working out regularly. With that said (for Tyler - he'll know what that means), I know I am a small person but I also do feel out of shape. Or in other words, I definitely have my winter fat on and will make it through the winter, no worries. Not cool though. is time to start working out. I went for a 3 mile run this morning that felt like the last 3 miles of my half marathon. Not good! Another problem is that out here in the country, there are dogs that are allowed to run free and bark at people running by (especially people running with dogs). So on our runs, Buk and I usually get approached by at least 3 barking dogs. Again, not cool.
And to complain one more time, running on these roads is not the best. They are long straight roads with numerous hills. I guess that will just get me in shape faster. Something to look forward to, I guess.

So here's to running and working out again in the county even though it may prevent me from "making it through the winter".

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Stanley likes being a farmer too. (Sometimes you just have to give in to how cute he is, hah)

Mom, please, I am trying to get some work done.

p.s. please notice the Doors poster in the back ground. The garage has turned into Tyler's Freshman dorm room.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I Heart Fries

First, let me start by saying, I know some of my food pictures aren't the greatest. I need to work on my presentation. But as those close to me would know, I am not much of a thoughtful presents get wrapped in newspaper, my interior decorating skills are poor, I rarely use an get the point.

ANYWAY, this is a recipe I created yesterday with some potatoes we had. I love LOVE fries so I decided to take a shot at them. Turns out they are DELICIOUS homemade too!!

Fries From Marrs
(I know I am not a Marrs...yet...but I like the title. I am experimenting what I can do with the name since Hark the Herold Angels sing will be out)

How ever many potatoes you want to eat (they do shrink while baked)
1 clove garlic - minced
1 sprinkle dill
salt and pepper to taste

1) Preheat oven to 400.
2) Cut the potatoes into uniform fry size. Place in a mixing bowl.
3) Add the rest of the ingredients to the mixing bowl(with enough oil to cover well) and mix with hands.
4) Place on a baking sheet (I used a ceramic baking sheet and it worked great).
5) After 10 min, stir fries.
6) My fries took about 30 min. It takes a long time when they are fresh.

p.s. these ARE purple potatoes, hence the color

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm Sorry...

Sometimes you just have to post pictures to show what you did this week. This is one of those posts. "Pondering Life" posts coming soon (when I actually think about it). This was just one of those week where you don't buy groceries and just play it by ear. (Gimme a break, I plan out everything)

My favorite colored Dehlia so far.

Tyler has taught the birds how to eat out of his hands. He is a regular Mary Poppins.

I canned more hot peppers. I plan on trying ketchup. We did go to the fair this week and I made a list of everything I want to enter next year. Not even joking!

Yes, on Monday, I tried on dresses. I hate trying things on so wedding dress shopping isn't my favorite thing to do (although the first time wasn't so bad). I did it again though and I think the wedding ladies are rude. This is my magazine pose where all the models bend forward. Why do they do that?! (Maybe that is why the wedding ladies hate me) :)