One door closes, and another one opens

Monday, I received a check in the mail from the good people over at Magpie in Somerville, MA. I am now sold out of my inventory there, and they want more! This is spectacular news – as I now have more time to dedicate to the business. Not that this supplemental income is enough to live on (I wish) but better than nothing, nonetheless.

So, if you are in the Somerville area, stop by and check them out! I plan on sending them a package by the end of the week. Looks like I better get to work!

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January 15, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Maybe I will have more time for this now…

I was just canned from my job this past Thursday. I will refrain from talking about it – because I may say something I will regret. Perhaps when I am less angry. Karma. That’s what I keep telling myself.

Anyway, I have not posted on here in ages, so I figure might as well get back into it. It will give me something to do, so I don’t go stir crazy. In between job searches, of course.

What made me log in actually, was that we (E & I) made an excellent pizza last night – so delicious, I had to share. Unfortunately there will be no picture, because as soon as it was done, it was gone.

Lets call it – Vegetarian White Bean Pizza. It is a combination of two of our favorite recipes – from two different cook books.

Start with the *Olive Oil Dough from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (I HIGHLY recommend this book!) The topping comes from the Giant Crusty and Creamy White Beans recipe in the Super Natural Cooking book, by Heidi Swanson (I also HIGHLY recommend this book!)

*This recipe makes 4 lbs. of dough – of which will keep in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks! Keep it on hand for fresh pizza crust, rolls, pitas, etc.! 

Olive Oil Dough

2 3/4 c. lukewarm water

1 1/2 tbs. granulated yeast (or 1 1/2 packets)

1 1/2 tbs. salt

1 tbs. sugar

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur Organic All-Purpose)

1. Mix yeast, salt, sugar, and olive oil with the water in a 5-qt. bowl or lidded (not air tight) food container. (I mixed this in my 5-qt. Kitchen Aid mixer – use the hook attachment)

2. Mix in the flour – without kneading, using a spoon, a 14 c. capacity food processor, or a heavy-duty stand mixer using dough hook.  If you are not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.

3. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.

4. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 12 days.

 

Giant Crusty and Creamy White Beans (with a few modifications)

1/2 lb. medium or large white beans, cooked (we used 1 can of Cannelloni beans – I don’t have the patience for dry beans)

3 tbs. clarified butter (we used olive oil)

Sea Salt for taste

1 onion, coarsely chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped (we sliced and added to the pizza in the end)

6 or 7 big leaves of chard (we used 1 container of organic spinach)

Fresh ground pepper

Fresh grated Parmesan cheese (we omitted, and added sliced Havarti to top our pizza)

In a large skillet, heat your clarified butter (or olive oil). Add your white beans in a single layer. Stir to coat the beans, then let them sit long enough to turn brown and crusty – about 3 or 4 minutes, before turning to brown the other side – also about 3-4 minutes. They should be golden and crunchy on the outside, and creamy inside. Salt to taste, then add the onion and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the onion softens. Stir in the chard (or spinach) and cook just until wilted. Remove from the heat and season to taste with a generous dose of salt and pepper. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with cheese.

—Now, to assemble!—

Preheat oven and pizza stone to 550 degrees (or 500, if that is how hot your oven can get)

Dust the surface of your refrigerated (or freshly made) dough with flour, and cut off a 1 lb. (grapefruit sized) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go.

Flatten the dough with your hands and a rolling pin on a wooden board, to produce a 1/8″ thick round crust. Do not over-use flour or will hinder the doughs ability to stretch. Transfer crust to a peel covered in cornmeal.

Distribute the  white beans mixture evenly over the crust. Top with cheese (we used Havarti). 

**If you have an exhaust fan, turn it on now – because the corn meal will cause the oven to smoke.

Slide the pizza directly onto the stone (it may take a few back-and-forth shakes to dislodge the pizza). Check for doneness in 8-10 minutes; at this time, turn the pizza around in the oven if one side is browning faster than the other. It may need up to 5 more minutes in the oven.

Allow to cool slightly on a cooling rack before serving, to allow the cheese to set.

Holy cow, was this pizza good. Let me know if you try it – or if you have any questions!

January 11, 2009. cooking, life. Leave a comment.

Women Against Sarah Palin

I recently came across this blog from a co-worker. I just felt the need to share.

http://womenagainstsarahpalin.blogspot.com/

From the blog creator:

“Friends —

We are writing to you because of the fury and dread we have felt since the announcement of Sarah Palin as the Vice-Presidential candidate for the Republican Party. We believe that this terrible decision has surpassed mere partisanship, and that it is a dangerous farce on the part of a pandering and rudderless Presidential candidate that has a real possibility of becoming fact.

Perhaps like us, as American women, you share the fear of what Ms. Palin and her professed beliefs and proven record could lead to for ourselves and for our present or future daughters. To date, she is against sex education, birth control, the pro-choice platform, environmental protection, alternative energy development, freedom of speech (as mayor she wanted to ban books and attempted to fire the librarian who stood against her), gun control, the separation of church and state, and polar bears. To say nothing of her complete lack of real preparation to become the second-most-powerful person on the planet.

We want to clarify that we are not against Sarah Palin as a woman, a mother, or, for that matter, a parent of a pregnant teenager, but solely as a rash, incompetent, and all together devastating choice for Vice-President.

Ms. Palin’s political views are in every way a slap in the face to the accomplishments that our mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers so fiercely fought for, and that we’ve so demonstrably benefited from.

First and foremost, Ms. Palin does not represent us. She does not demonstrate or uphold our interests as American women. It is presumed that the inclusion of a woman on the Republican ticket could win over women voters. We want to disagree, publicly.

Therefore, we invite you to reply here with a short, succinct message about why you, as a woman living in this country, do not support this candidate as second-in-command for our nation.

Please include your name (last initial is fine), age, and place of residence.

We will post your responses on a blog called “Women Against Sarah Palin,” which we intend to publicize as widely as possible. Please send us your reply at your earliest convenience.

The greater the volume of responses we receive, the stronger our message will be.

Thank you for your time and action.

VIVA!

Sincerely,

Quinn Latimer and Lyra Kilston
New York, NY
womensaynopalin@gmail.com

Reading this blog is amazing, and I couldn’t agree more with the women who wrote in.

How many women died through self inflicted or botched back room abortions because they didn’t have the right to choose? Women who made agonizing choices, women who have been raped, victims of incest, women in poor health, or poor women who already have too many mouths to feed. How many women fought year after year to give us this right? Shouldn’t this be a personal decision? It the daughters of future generations who will pay the price if Roe v Wade is reversed and they will have us to thank.

As environment conscious citizens are fighting to protect what is left of our natural resources and the health of our planet for ourselves and future generations, do we need someone in the White House who only sees a way out of this overindulgent, immediate gratification centered mess by continuing to decimate protected lands and deplete our nonrenewable resources?

Given the age of the Republican Party’s nominee for president, are we willing to risk the chance that Sarah Palin may very will one day assume the power as the leader of the most powerful country in the world?

Sarah Palin does not speak for me. I am willing to fight for my hard earned rights as a woman, and as a citizen of the United States of America.

Send your comments to Quinn Latimer and Lyra Kilston @ womensaynopalin@gmail.com

September 10, 2008. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Hell has frozen over, and pigs are flying

I actually completed a shirt folks! AND IT FITS!

The pattern – Simplicity ‘Built By Wendy’ 3692 Sz. 14

I’ve had this pattern for some time now, but never got around to sewing it – until last weekend, when I decided I needed a new shirt. So, I go to Joann’s to get some fabric, elastic, thread, and buttons (I’m making the sleeveless version). 

I get home, iron the fabric (I never wash it first because I am too lazy), cut out the pattern in a size 18 (my normal pattern size) and start to lay out the fabric. But wait!? The back of the envelope says its for knits! 

SHIT!

No worries – google to see if anyone tried this without knit material (Thank goodness! Someone else has attempted this! Thank you, Melissa!) So, I continue with cutting out the pattern…

Well…….. this pattern is HUGE! The first attempt came out OK, but needs some alteration. So, do I fix that one? Nooooooo because I am allergic to actually completing one project before I start another. So, what do I I do? Go up to the sewing room, search for some fabric, and start a new one! DUH!!!

Found 2 awesome vintage Ward’s Muslin pillowcases I picked up at the local thrift shop, and away I go…

This time, I cut the top of it in a size 14, but tapered out to a 16 for a more comfy fit. I skipped the elastic along the bottom, and added white piping on top. Cheated by not hemming, but used white bias tape. Oh this is turning out way better than I had imagined – and out of $.50 worth of pillowcases at that! Holla!

Sew, iron, sew, cut, sew, iron, sew, iron …. and WALLA! You have this!


Phew! I think I will add some buttons to the top for a little more decor. Other than that, this is perfecto!

Time to dig through the stash to see about making another one of these babies!

August 1, 2008. sewing. 3 comments.

44 Questions

So, it’s E’s birthday today, and he got stuck dog-sitting his TWIN BROTHER’s dogs. Yep. I’m here, he’s there. I’m bored out of my mind, with no motivation to do anything. So, here are 44 useless bits of information about me. Make yourself some (organic) popcorn, crack open a beer, and enjoy.

1. Do you like blue cheese? Only this sharp cheddar with blue cheese in it – Shropshire Blue. Other blue cheeses are absolutely repulsive.

2. Have you ever smoked? I  used to regularly. I quit about 5 months ago, but still smoke on occasion when I have a drink. I know, I need to quit completely. Damn those Nat Sherman cigarettes.

3. Do you own a gun? No. And I never will.

4. What flavor Kool Aid was your favorite? Blue Raspberry Lemonade!

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Not usually. 

6. What do you think of hot dogs? Oh, this is a good one. In one word – Arnies. No one will understand that unless you are from the ‘Region’ or Northwest Indiana. Those hot dogs are a delicacy!

7. Favorite Christmas song? I don’t really have a favorite. Really I like all the classics by artists such as Brenda Lee, Nat King Cole, The Carpenters, etc. If you asked what my all time least favorite Christmas song was, I would have to say “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by Bruce Springsteen, hands down.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Tea with honey. Has to be loose leaf. I have become a tea snob.

9. Can you do push ups? haha that’s funny.

10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? Probably a ring I got at the MCA. I wear it all the time, and if I forget to put it on, I feel naked. 

12. Do you have A.D.D.? No.

13. What’s one trait you dislike about yourself? I laugh too much, at just about everything. Some wouldn’t call that a bad trait, but it has gotten me into trouble.

14. Middle name? Estelle. It’s the name of both of my grandmothers. I hated it as a kid, but love it now.

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: I should be completing a shirt I started to sew. I should also be putting clean clothes away. I am too lazy.

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink. Bubbly water, tea, wine.

17. Current worry? Surprisingly, I am not worried about anything at the moment!

18. Current hate right now? I can’t get motivated to do anything productive. I also hate that E isn’t here with me, and that he got stuck dog sitting on his birthday.

19. Favorite place to be? At home with E. 

20. How did you bring in the new year? This past New Year’s was the best ever! I was at a friends house, drinking too many margaritas & champaign, eating lots of delicious food, having great conversation with some interesting people, and finally passing out in a super comfy couch with E.

21. Where would you like to go? That’s a hard one. I’m happy going anywhere. I love going on trips and seeing new things – even if its in the same state. I’ve been to 5 places so far (New Harmony, IN, Rochester, NY, Pittsburgh, PA, Atlanta, GA, Kelley’s Island, OH) this year, and have 2 more scheduled before the end of the year! Woohoo!!!

22. Name three people who will complete this. I don’t know, but if you do, let me know–I love reading these things.

23. Do you own slippers? Yes, I own several pairs.

24. What shirt are you wearing? A new thin cotton blouse from Tar-jay.

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? No. Too slippery (and tacky).

26.Can you whistle? Yes. I can also roll my tongue, wiggle my ears, roll my r’s, and touch my toes. Some would call me extremely multi-talented (and lame).

27. Favorite color? Black – even though E says its not an actual color (that’s what a MFA does to you I guess). I like all other colors equally, but don’t like rainbows.

28. Would you be a pirate? What is the obsession with pirates these days? Arrrrrgh!

29. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don’t sing in the shower. My stage is the car.

30. Favorite Girl’s Name? Adelaide, Emma, or Elyse

31. Favorite boy’s name? Oliver, Aiden, or Liam

32. What’s in your pocket right now? Lint.

33. Last thing that made you laugh? I laugh all the time, but what really made me laugh hard today was a co-worker had spilled water all over his crotch during our company meeting.

34. What do you drive? Mitsubishi Outlander. I love my car!

35. Worst injury you’ve ever had? I had some pretty serious Gall Stones, and had to have my gall bladder removed. That was the worst pain I had ever been in.

36. Do you love where you live? Mostly, but I believe I belong on the east coast.

37. How many TVs do you have in your house? Two. I watch nether of them.

38. Who is your loudest friend? I don’t really have a loud friend. I am probably the loudest with all my cackling. 

39. Do you have any pets? Some would call it a zoo. One dog, two cats, and 5 fish (Koi).

40. Does someone have a crush on you? I don’t think so. I am very happily taken.

41. Your favorite book(s)? right now? I don’t have a favorite, but plan to start reading “Magical Thinking: True Stories” by Augusten Burroughs tonight. I loved his other books.

42. Do you collect anything? I have a small (ha) collection of anything and everything Andy Warhol. 

43. Favorite Sports Team? I am so not a sports fan.  

44. What song do you want played at your funeral? “Pure Imagination” – the song that was in the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie. It would also be awesome if Gene Wilder could be there to personally sing it. I never really thought of that, but that was the first song that came to mind. 

 

Yea, that was a waste of time. Hope someone thought that was interesting. Hopefully, my next post will be about how productive I’ve been – featuring my completed shirt… (don’t hold your breath)

July 29, 2008. Tags: , . life, me. Leave a comment.

I’m back, folks

It’s been a while. Things have been hectic – but good. I’ve made quite a few changes in my life in the last 7-8 months. In a nutshell, I have;

Relieved myself of a relationship that was going downhill – fast

Become even more eco-friendly – like removing and avoiding plastic at home, using all natural and eco-friendly cleaners/products, avoiding unnecessary energy consumption, supporting local business, etc.

Gone back to school (and am very close to graduating!)

Eating more natural foods – healthier & unprocessed, if you will – and eating a LOT less meat

Avoiding negative thoughts, people, and ideas

Re-entering the world of Mac’s (why did I ever buy a Dell?)

Taking my ‘business‘ more serious – trying to get it off the ground

And, last but certainly not least, I have found someone to live this positive, healthy, creative lifestyle with me. Someone who makes me smile every day, makes me feel good about myself, and supports my ideas. Someone who loves conversation, trying new things, laughing, and most importantly – my little zoo.

Thanks E. I couldn’t be any happier at this point in my life without you. (Andre says so, and he thanks you too)

So, that said, I am hoping to be more active in blog posting, sharing new and exciting things that are going on in my life. Providing creative, eco-friendly ideas, recipes, sewing and crafting tips, and hopefully sharing the overabundance of happiness and smiles that have made their way into my life.

July 23, 2008. Tags: . life, me. 1 comment.

Boo!

Halloween is two days away, and I still havent carved a pumpkin! I’ve been busy painting and doing other things around the house trying to prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas. One of those two holidays is usually held here, so I need to get things presentable. I’ve lived here two years now, and still have little projects started all over the house. I should have gotten this painting done MONTHS ago…

Anyway, I dont think I will have time to carve a pumpkin this year… so I thought I would share a few pictures from last year.

bears-pumpkin-001.jpg

Remember when the Bears didn’t suck?

Happy Halloween!

October 29, 2007. Tags: , , . diy, home repair, life. Leave a comment.

East coast, here I come

So, I just returned from a long weekend in Rochester, NY to visit family. My brother and sister-in-law moved there about a year ago from New Jersey. What an awesome trip. It’s beautiful there. I am now seriously considering moving out there. It’s no Chicago, but its awesome in its own small town-ish way. I really liked the old homes, quaint neighborhoods with little downtown shopping areas, and of course, the many VINYARDS. 

Oh wine, how I love thee.

 Here are pictures from two vinyards we visited (and tasted… and tasted a little more) – Heron Hill Winery & Dr. Franks Winery

rochester-ny-10_12_07-023.jpg

rochester-ny-10_12_07-049.jpg

rochester-ny-10_12_07-032.jpg

Next up, Lake Erie

rochester-ny-10_12_07-020.jpg

Then on to the George Eastman House

rochester-ny-10_12_07-055.jpg

(thats me)

rochester-ny-10_12_07-065.jpg

Great gardens at the Eastman house

rochester-ny-10_12_07-070.jpg

I cant wait to go back. Thank you so much for being awesome hosts. I had a great time. See you at Christmas!

October 18, 2007. Tags: , , , , , . life, me, travel. Leave a comment.

It’s another hot one, folks

Way too hot to be up in my sewing room (its in the attic). So, I will post a little something I made a few months back (when the air conditioners were still in the windows). Its a little something I call a ‘billboard bag’.  This bag is made of recycled billboard vinyl. You know, the big ol billboards on the side of the road? Yea, they are made of a really sturdy vinyl. I got my hands on some over the summer and whipped up these awesome bags.

billboard bag

Its pretty nifty, if you ask me. I use mine as a clutch. It holds a lot of junk. See?

billboard-bag-005.jpg

It could make a great makeup bag t00, since its waterproof. I have about 6 of these things left. I just picked up a new piece of billboard vinyl and will be making more. If you are interested in one, I have just listed them in the shop. All of the ones I have now are mostly black and white vinyl, with a colored zipper. They measure 10″x5″.  My new vinyl is pink, white and teal. If you are interested in one of those, I can gladly whip one up for you.

October 8, 2007. Tags: , . crafting, sewing, the shop. 2 comments.

Feelin’ HOT HOT HOT

Is it October or July? Seriously! In Chicago, it was 85+ degrees today, and tomorrow its supposed to be 90! What the heck is going on?!  …..global warming? (I could go on a tangent about that whole thing, so I think I will save that for another day) Of course, we took out our window air conditioners about 3 weeks ago, when the temperature started to drop (like its supposed to, in the fall). So, I’m super hot. Think cool Adrienne… think cool. I think I will head over to mom & dad’s tomorrow, where the temperature never gets above 67. Dad lives in flannel shirts year round. Mom gets into cooking fits, where she’s got the oven going all day long, not to mention the hot flashes. Fun times.

 So, I had that craft fair today. It S U C K E D! It was so small. Smaller than I had thought. After entry fee, I made $3. THREE DOLLARS! It cost me more in gas to get there! Thank god it was only from 9am-2pm (even though EVERYONE started packing up at 1)

90 degrees+no air conditioning+no fans+grouchy vendors= no customers.

So. That prompted me to update the shop with some of the stuff I drug over there and had to drag back home. blah. I even made some NEW stuff. Super cute travel tissue holders. Check em out!

Enjoy. Stay cool, and RECYCLE!

October 6, 2007. Tags: , , , . craft fairs, crafting, life, me, sewing, the shop. Leave a comment.

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