Thursday, August 28, 2008


Is three posts in one day crazy? This is a quicky, I got my fabric in! Take a look...and tell me what to do with it, Im at a loss, it was an impulse buy

The colors change as you go down the fabric

Im thinking maybe a riding hood for this one? More likely an apron

and then just for fun she threw in this..its tiny...what to do with it! Change purse?

Havarti with Dill

If you haven't tried Havarti with Dill....I feel really bad for you. This stuff is the better than sliced bread...way better because that stuff isn't even that cool. Pick some up and make one of these!

This is another of my craving masterpieces: Havarti Dill and Chicken Samich

French bread with fresh roasted garlic (giant chunks of garlic...soo good)
Rotisserie style chicken cut into thickish slices (I bought a whole cooked chicken at the gstore and have been making dinner and lunch from it all week, low on cash)
Half an avocado
as much Havarti Dill as you want
Bit 'o Mayo if you please

Press that stuff on the ole george forman (in my case, you can just make it in a frying pan too)
Eats it up.
Behind the Samich you might notice the orange circles? Yes?

Sweet Potatoes with Basil and Oregano

Just cut them up, toss them in olive oil (not too much, just a tiny bit) and the herbs and put it in the toaster oven or oven for 10ish minutes

Frederick for Realsies

So I was out in Frederick the other night and we were supposed to be playing frisbee but silly putty for brains Lacey forgot her running shoes.. so instead I suggested we go for a walk so we could still burn a few calories (watching the Olympics and Walle made me feel like a slug so I have been working real hard to not be one). I suggested walking along Carol Creek but walking past all the nice new little restaurants and getting out to the gritty side...and boy is it gritty

Here's Jon looking thrilled about our walkies...hehe...sorry but I needed a walkies

looking back at the sunset towards the nice side of town

And I'm pretty sure we saw the residents of this here house fishing out in the creek...for realsies

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tea-Time Cake

Today we had Jon's parents over to the house and we made French Dip in the crock (which I will post the recipe for soon) and I made Madeira cake, which is a pound cake-like treat with a lemon syrup. The cake was a hit (especially with Jon's dad) so I'm passing along the yummies.

Looks good doesn't it? See how the side though the glass looks kinda wet and sticky? That's the glaze you pour over and into it.

1 cup plus 2 tbsp butter, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
5 eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

For sugary crust/filling stuff

4 tbsp lemon juice ( I again used my squeezing power for this but you can use a juicer if you are high-tech or just the lemon juice you buy at the store)
1 tbsp light corn syrup (i used regular because stown doesn't have much to offer in the light department)
2 tbsp granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Grease a 1.5 quart loaf tin (as you can see I used a glass use whatever you have)
3. Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy, then gradually beat in the eggs ( I like to crack the eggs into a separate bowl and pre-beat them before adding them to any mixture, makes it easy to catch stray shell pieces)
4. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt and fold in gently (ok I started freaking at this point because the mixture became very dense and it was impossible to simply "fold it gently" and it was all bumpy, but this is normal, just mix as best you can until all the flour is mixed in and have faith)
5. Spoon into the tin and level the top, bake 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer pushed into the middle comes out clean (note this loaf cannot be pierced all the way to the bottom with a toothpick, its just too deep, so I used a knife because I don't have a kebab skewer or anything like that)
6. Remove cake and while it's still warm pierce it all over with the skewer (or knife) all the way to the bottom. Do this a lot...all over...really.
7. Warm together the lemon juice and syrup, then add the sugar and spoon over the cake right away. Make sure you get a lot down the sides and into the holes. You will really soak this into the cake as much as possible.
8. Chill for several hours or overnight and then serve..with tea or without! You can also make a clotted cream to go with this or just some butter, up to you. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lemonade and Pumpkin Pie!

Busy day of cooking today after classes. Jon made the trek out here after work to see me so I figured I would do my part and provide the good eats. First I made the drink which was

Vanilla Lemonade

4 lemons, cut and squeezed into the pitcher
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla

1. combine sugar and water in saucepan on low heat and stir together until the sugar disapears and you have a yummy little syrup - set aside to cool
2. Squeeze lemons out into pitcher (save some to throw back in) - this will really work your squeezing hand fyi
3. Stir your syrup into your lemon juice
4. Fill pitcher most of the way with water
5. Add vanilla and stir it all together

Must be giving credit : I got this idea from Inside Black Apple I just made mine smaller and with a bit more vanilla

After that I was killing time before making the meal and was thinking...what to do with this 3 day old bread that isn't going to make good samiches now...aha! Croutons!

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cut your bread up into 1/2 inch cubes
3. Place cubes in bowl and toss with olive oil and basil and oregano (dried) (the amount really depends on how much bread you have, but enough to coat the bread but not soak it)
4. bake for 15- 20 min, checking it half way and moving the cubes around if necessary

I threw these in with our salad which was 50/50 mix of spinach and spring mix, cucumber, and radish with Italian Dressing

The main dish tonight was a Cornbread Battered Fish Fry. Real simple, just coat the fish in a beaten egg then coat it in the batter (in this case cornbread stuffing) then heat some oil in a frying pan and fry away.

And Plus! Last night I made pumpkin first time making pie filling from scratch (well I didn't puree the pumpkin this time like I did for my pumpkin spice muffins :look for those in the fall:, but mostly you can say from scratch). Sorry, no pictures of that, though I might take one at breakfast - that's my favorite time of day to eat pumpkin pie

Oh the things one learns at school

Tuesday I had my first economics class (which I am apprehensive about...anything that involves math makes me apprehensive) and the teacher walks in and says "Ok I hope you are all here for the Math 123 class."....huh? we're all looking around at each other and people are starting to get their things together as they realize they are in the wrong room until the teacher pulls a "JK!" do not want to mess with me when math is involved. So then he goes on to joke about how the first day automatically calls for the first quiz, and is everyone ok with that. Of course we all just stare dumbly at him, and he says, "ok well we wont do that quiz then. You will find that this class is not a monopoly" pause...pause....pause...he's looking around the room, and i'm looking at him wondering what he's talking about...wait here it comes "its a democracy!" Wait what? it's not a monopoly its a democracy? Tell me I'm not being crazy...that doesn't make sense right? He's mixing business terms with types of governments and I'm supposed to know what he's talking about?! And he's going to be instructing me for the next 15 weeks! Oh la!
Speaking of the next 15 weeks, here is what Boober (Hibou) and I have to look forward to for the next 15 weeks of drawing

while I am getting better I still really don't enjoy drawing and i especially don't enjoy drawing people (or skeletons). But don't worry I'll keep you updated and let you see all the embarrassing alien shaped people I draw.

Also, I had my first speech class today (scary!) but the guy seems really cool. He was living/working in New Orleans when Katrina hit and lost everything (poor guy) so he came home to West Virginia and is teaching a bit. But! He took pictures of each of us individually before we were allowed to he could "remember us." Certainly not so he could track us down for missing a class or stalk us and steal our houses (mean joke, not his fault he doesn't have a house), but really...kinda creepers.

And also here is the picture of the camera strap I made, full length. Bad pictures but you can see the front and back

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Sloppy Avocado Cheesy, made possible by English Granary Bread

As promised I will now give you the recipe for the English Granary Bread. I always make the small loaves because I'm the only one here to eat it, so here is the measurements for that size.

2/3 cups water
1 tablespoon English Golden Syrup or honey (dont be afraid to use honey, I do)
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour (I didn't know what this meant when I first started making bread, but there is a special kind of flour that works best for bread, its not all-purpose, so check the labels)
1 teaspoon rapid-rising or active dry yeast

Right now I make all my bread in the bread machine because my 200 year old apartment only boasts the best of 1960's (with the exception of the new fridge) so my oven is tiny (about half the size of normal ones) and it's also terribly unbalanced and unreliable

So in the machine you pour the water in at room temperature and then all the other ingredients except the yeast. You then make a small indent in the flour to deposit your yeast into (it can't be touching any wet ingredients). Use either the Basic or Whole Wheat setting and set the crust to medium. And three hours later you have bread!
Now I know not all of you have bread machines so if you want the mixer/hand/ or oven version of the directions just let me know!

So! Now that you have bread what to do with it? Well this bread is just right for grilled samiches I would say because its not too soft and not too dense, so it holds up well. It also has a light, unobtrusive flavor so you can sauce the sillies out of your creation. Here is what I made:

The Sloppy Avocado Cheesy

two slices English Granary, buttered on one side
pesto, a nice thick spread on one or both pieces of bread (not on the butter side of course..duh)
sharp cheddar cheese
half an avocado, sliced

The reason this is called "the sloppy" is because avocado has a habit of slipping out of samiches and going all the places you dont want it to. So I would suggest using a panini press or George Forman or something to squish it down. Or sloppy like me..still tastes good :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Baby's First Day of School

Oh school days. I must say though, I have been very productive today, unlike all the empty days of summer that I whiled away reading the Twilight Series..not that I regret that :)

So the only class I had today was Chemistry in Society - big 50 student lecture hall class, but I think it's going to be pretty cool actually. The professor is a woman that spent most of her life as a researcher for the army making body armor and other fun things like that. She spent the first 15 minutes of class trying to convince us that science is cool - don't worry lady, Bill Nye took care of that one already - by showing us pictures of "real scientists" and telling us about her old jobs. From what I've heard of this class we will be learning what kind of stuff is in everyday household items...good thing I'm already using mostly natural products

After class I went to Ab Attack - a 30 min class that's all core, I just keep telling myself pain is beauty :) No really it should help with so many things to have a strong core, and I've always had kinda a lame one - but no more!

On to dinner! I call this

Don't Ruin Your Work-Out Salad

1 cup 50/50 salad (50 percent salad, 50 percent spring mix)
half an avocado, sliced
1/3 cucumber, sliced
1 carrot, cut
2 medium radishes, sliced
half a hamsteak, sliced
olive oil as salad dressing

Basically I just throw it all together and dig in! Now I know hamsteak is not the most healthy meat to be eating on my salad, BUT whenever I work out I always want to come home and binge on sweet and/or salty food. Hamsteak takes care of my salt craving without me stuffing my face with chips.

Here's what it looks like...yummers right?

Then! I finished a project...well started and finished it in the same day (woop woop)

Not to pat my own head but I did real good :) Katy will be so pleased with this I think. I will take a picture of the full thing tomorrow. I would have tonight but I wanted to attach it to the camera and take a picture in the mirror so you can see how it looks on but Im already in jam jams for the night.

THEN! I made some fresh bread...look for the recipe tomorrow yall!

Fun Fings

While taking a little browsy browsy on the internets I came across The Small Things, and they have some really cut fings! Its just this one lady, Sarah Neuburger who makes all these cute little finds.

Like this!

Its a needle case that has been printed by Sarah with her original work

Or how bout this one? It's a stamp necklace...yes that's right...stamp on a necklace.

Just wanted to share that :)
PS I did ask Sarah for permission to use these photos (gotta give credits and also protect my fellow artists)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

More Night Photography

As I realized school starts Monday I figured I better get in some more work on my night body, so here are a few new ones

and what body would be complete without a cheesy self portrait?

Last Free Weekend

Yesterday was beautiful so when Brittney suggested swinging we couldn't say no

And Plus!

Surrey has been a bad little kitten. Do you remember this plant? Take a look here

So last night we went out to Htown to see Pang in her very first art show :) It was a food based show so she made some cute little plushies

I like the fangs :)


and this one she sold! It's a Durian...did I spell that right Pang?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Book Club September : Skinny Legs and All

So far this book club is only me and Pang (and she is so on the ball she already picked the next book) but anyone is welcome to join anytime. This book will be the second Robbin's book for me, and I chose it because the first one was so inventive and funny that I thought it would be a nice light one to start with but one that still has some depth for discussion purposes.

Here's an example of his style, its from the back cover:

"An Arab and a Jew open and restaurant together across the street from the United Nations...

It sounds like the beginning of an ethnic joke, but its the axis around which spins Tim Robbins's gutsy, fun-loving, and alarmingly provocative, new novel, in which a bean can philosophizes, a dessert spoon mystifies, a young waitress takes on the New York art world, and a rowdy redneck welder discovers the lost god of Palestine--while the illusions that obscure humanity's view of the true universe falls away, one by one, like Solome's veils."

Just let me know if you want to join. There will be a new book every month, and at the end of the month hopefully some juicy discussion. Happy Reading Folks!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Book Update- Twilight Saga

So only a week or so ago I was complaining about the unsophisticated writing of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series. After reading the first book I was determined to move forward with the series and stick it out to see what happened. In less than a week I read the other 3 books, finishing the last and final book in the saga today. I must admit, I was pulling into the "phenomenon" just like everyone else. I couldn't wait to read more, I wanted to spend all my free time with these books. I took them to work even and found myself wanting to hiss (something Edward the vampire does quite often) at the customers coming in and pulling me away from my obsession. Last night I put the book down to go to bed with only 6 or so chapters left. I had so much anxiety about the book and getting to the ending that my insomniac tendency reared its ugly dumb sheep head and kept me up until 5am tossing and turning with my brain churning, thinking, thinking, not always about the book, but I know that's what fueled the unrest. I may have to stop reading in bed like Jon suggested :(
I don't want to give anything away here so I can't quite go into too much detail about the specific aspects, but I think what drew me to these books was the nostalgic power they have to take me right back to high school. The drama and the relationship between Bella and Edward, that first love relationship, is so bitter-sweet, so unrealistic, so not anything I ever let myself believe in (the whole being together forever and marrying my first love right out of high-school) that I go through the book really wanting things to work out for Bella and Edward (despite how annoyingly "high-school" she can act (but that actually makes it all the more nostalgic because I remember being that way, we all were), really wanting the truly romantic to come true. It just reminds me of a time when love didn't have so much pressure. There was no worrying about making money, getting married, living together, having kids. None of those things were real concerns, they were fantasies. You were so in love that you thought about those things with longing and pleasure, not having the slightest clue about all the stress and anxiety that is really involved.
And also...she just makes Edward so darn sexy :)

Weekend in the Woods

This weekend I went to my grandparent's cabin in Terra Alta for a bit of golfing and swimming (well the kids and Jon swam but not me)...and I have a few pictures to share...thats all really

Jon is concentrating here, too many balls get sacrificed to the "drink"

Look at me go! See the little orange thing in the air? I did that! (this was actually a very bad shot that went into the trees which I ignored and proceeded to hit another ball which made it almost to the green)

This was at a "creek" (my Pop kept calling it that but it looked like a river to me). Jon and Rick wanted to climb up to the top but mom vetoed that idea

very pretty area

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Katy comes for a visit

My dear lovely Katy came to visit last week. I only had one day to see her :( poor timing all around but we had a good day.

here she is on the porch with Steven. I didn't set this up I swear, they really were looking in opposite directions.

Chelsea was there too and as usual I hassled her into being my model (she doesn't really fight it)

While we were there (Jenn's place) we were witness to a bit of neighborhood drama. Katy and Jenn were outside when the neighbor (an older woman in her 60's I would guess) comes running over to Jenn crying saying over and over "he hit me, he hit me." She had already called the police and shortly after she came over three cruisers showed up. She was drunk and although I didn't get close enough to know I'm sure he was too. She kept saying "look at my face!" Honestly I didn't see too much, but Jenn could tell her face was more swollen than usual. As soon as the man comes out of the house they start yelling at each other, mostly her yelling "he's lying!"
The cops cuffed him and put him in the car then came to talk to this woman. This was the worst part because then she starts hysterically screaming "I'm not pressing charges! I don't want him to go to jail! I love him! He's a good man." All the while Katy is holding this woman's hand over the balcony trying to calm her down (not possible at her state of drunkness and hysteria) and then the cops come over the talk to her. They say this is the 6th time they've been out for domestic abuse so the state of MD is pressing charges, nothing she can do about it. Then the female cop gets frustrated with the woman's constant yelling and starts telling her "he's going to kill you, he hits you, you need to move, he's going to kill you, one day you will call and when we get here you will be dead." This was all taking place right in front of me, like I could reach out and touch any of them. They made her file a report and write in her own words what happened, but she could barely do it. Katy feeling bad for her tried to help her spell but the cop told us that wasn't allowed. So he got taken away and she wandered down the street to show people her face. Really sad to watch.

Later we were all feeling a little hungry so we went to Proof and got yummy custard filled fruit tarts, my favorite!

Katy is a good sharer :)

you can see more pictures here

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Pang and Lacey Sewing Line continued

Oh one day we will be master sewers and get a third person to make our line into a day.

So this week we made a camera strap! Mine didn't come out quite as good as I want so I will try again, but now I have even more motivation because Katy gave me hers to cover too! My first (non-paid) commission :)

So I picked this sweet turquoise houndstooth material and basically just cut a long strip, hemmed it on all sides, decorated it with zigzags (crooked ones...I need help in the sewing a straight line department) and then just wrapped it around and sewed it on.

check out Pang's!

Before that we went to the Rhubarb House and had some yummy sandiches! (I know its spelled wrong, thats the way I say it busters!)

Partytime for Junior

Saturday of last week was JR's bday so Jon and I had a packed day getting ready for that because we made this!

TAH DAH! Jon made it really...He cut out all the stuff and ironed it on. It was my idea though! Im just not good at details!

Hibou was oh so thrilled and excited :)

I also made this little dinny. I called it the cowboy dinny: Baked taters, beans with real bacon and hard boiled that gross to you? Well its delish.

Then on to the drinkies!

This was a whisky shot they did. I thought Pang was going to vom after this but she held it together!

another soft-focus portrait for my little growing project

yeah...pang face...what can we say about her? she dont know no better :)

Also... I realize now that I didn't really get any pictures of JR...Im just too obsessed with Pang.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Unprovoked Moose Attack

Friday night Jon and I went out to Germantown to hang with my mammy and see her soon to be husband's band play. While there we played a bit of pool and made ridiculous redneck faces and then just some goofy faces for my soft focus bar portraits. Here are the results:

shoooot buster!

mammy would be so proud

i try and i try

ahhhhhh gozirra!

I took this one for Pang: mouchi mouchi!

and this one: insert awkward noise here

Then we played pool

and this is me coaxing the ball into the vain

and this is Rick..handsome I know, playing with his band Unprovoked Moose Attack.

In other news. While I was at the bar Emily called. The bat got into the house. Perfect timing for me because I just took Hibou to stay with Jon for the week. I knew that little monster would find a way through. I had been hearing it for weeks in the chimney and it would crawl and inch its way over to the ceiling of my bedroom and scratch and squeak and make me all squirmy and scared. Well luckily (i say this with great sarcasm) Eddie (landlord) was in his studio which is attached to our apartment. I called him..he came over and told Emily some stories (apparently this is not the first time this has happened..thanks a lot Eddie) and then went upstairs with a paddle to "take care of it." He and two of our friends (equipped with a frying pan and a net) somehow managed to catch it and...well I dont know what the did with it...hopefully they let it go. Oh the drama of living in a 200 year old house!