Thursday, June 27, 2013

What To Do When It's 98 degrees...

If you are London Isobel, you mop the floor. Naked. Totally her idea.
ps. Tyson met another little girl out in service last week named London!

Old Family Photo

Don't you love looking at old photos? This is 1971. My Dad on the left, Aunt Lisa in the middle, Uncle Mark on the right.

What Happens During Naptime - Two Dresses (with the pattern number)

^^Totally pulled a "Sound of Music" and commandeered my curtains for dress duty.
Jewelry custom made by Olivia Bernard.^^
 So our convention is this weekend! It came so fast, I cannot believe that it's almost July. But at the same time I've been looking forward to it for so long. I feel like I should have been a lot better prepared a lot earlier. But I did manage to whittle away at two dresses during the past couple weeks, and I have a pattern recommendation for you.
Sometimes no matter how well you measure and follow the lines, a pattern just doesn't come together well. Or the finished garment is supposed to measure 35" somewhere but you could swear they meant to write 25". After all the effort and time and attachment, that's quite a blow. So whenever I come across a good one I feel I should share.

I've had success with NEW LOOK, in general. They're cheap, they're usually pretty simple and the instructions are almost always spot on. SO HELPFUL. I chose this dress because it had some really clean lines, darts on the top and bottom and a seam around the waist which made it easy to customize the size. I was an 8 on the top and a 10/12 on the bottom but it came together perfectly.

I also like to choose a relatively plain pattern that I can use as a template to make a few different kinds of items. It's easy to add things like collars or buttons or a little more flare. But if those things are built into a pattern it can be confusing to try to get rid of them without leaving raw edges or figuring out which steps go where.
 Number 6184
So from me to you, if you're looking for a quick easy summer shift, I recommend this one. Let me know how it goes!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pistachio Brown Butter (feat. tarragon tilapia)

About a week ago I bought a huge jar of pistachios for my scarlet turnip salad (they were cheaper per pound...) so you may have noticed that this is the third mention of the funny green nut in recent history. And there's more to come.

I've also been finding ways to use the tarragon that picked at my CSA. You pour boiling water over it and make delicious tea, but the tilapia was also a winner. Marry pistachio butter and tarragon tilapia and you get a simple fresh entree, albeit a little lacking in color. Make sure to find a festive side...
Tarragon Tilapia
This is about as simple as it gets. Place larger tarragon sprigs underneath the fish and sprinkle with some leaves. Drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper and bake for about 12 minutes at 350. Fish is finicky, adjust according to thickness of fish.
Meanwhile, brown a stick of butter. Pour hot butter over pistachio into a glass dish, like a liquid measuring cup. Drizzle brown butter over your fish at the table.
(I apologize, no after photos. My camera died.)
As you can imagine, this leaves a lot of butter left over so I've had fun using it up.
So far my favorite way was to spread a tiny bit on a halved radish and sprinkle with salt.
Also, it was very good on toast.
And I'm wondering what nut-infused butter would be like in cookies. Or pie crust!
I'll get back to you on this...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny...

Also, I've been switching up my oatmeal a little lately. I've been feeling like something a little creamier, but I don't usually like having dairy first thing in the morning.
I tried substituting a third of the water with coconut milk instead and it worked totally fine. I didn't let it boil all the way because coconut milk can get a little frothy and I didn't want it to separate, but other than that I made it exactly the same as before.

You can also use coconut milk for a dairy free tapioca pudding. I made this one time for a guest that every allergy in every book. It behaved very well and gave it an even better texture, I thought.

So, yeah, just a couple thoughts of some ways to use coconut milk. It's super good for you so I like it slip it in whenever I can. Or sometimes just pour it right over the top of watermelon balls. Yum.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Watermelon Feta Salad (Risotto? What risotto...?)

Remember I said I couldn't get enough sorrel? So yeah I put it on my scrambled eggs, my avocado sandwiches, in lemonade, in actualy salad because hey it's a leaf, and now I'm putting it on my watermelon.
 I've seen a lot of different watermelon/feta combinations but I just tossed together what I had in the fridge and it was more flavorful that the recipes I've tried. They usually chop mint into the salads but the sorrel gives it a really great lemon brightness. So I cubed the watermelon, crumbled the feta, thinly thinly slice the sorrel, chopped the pistachios, and gave it a squeeze of lemon.
Ta-dah. Risotto, what risotto? I love risotto but it was a token dish last night.

Also went to the cant store on our bikes last night. I'm arranging the pictures so that it looks like we waited until after dinner. But we didn't.
London likes the Peachy Penguins and the Chocolate "Pencils"(yeah, they are what they look like they are).

 Our sweet ride.
 Possibly the coolest sign in Keene.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Scarlet Turnips!

 You know those days? You know those days. When food is something that has only happened by accident. You had a great idea for breakfast but didn't, you planned a relaxed lunch but couldn't, dinner is supposed to be fresh and healthy but isn't looking like it. And the last thing you remember eating was the bottom of your daughters raisin bran, using her little spoon. You know those days and oh yes you have.
Today was not one of those days! For lunch I had this amazing avocado sandwich with just enough mayo and mustard with some delicious sorrel leaves (never had sorrel?! me neither until I got it on Tuesday... can't get enough now). And London was at her grandmother's so I sat on the front porch and did while Bible reading for the day uninterrupted. With my delicious sandwich.
 Then for dinner I tried a new food. Scarlet turnips. Got them at my CSA on Tuesday. They look like the most perfect radishes, they have a wonderful crunch and a slight spice. I looked it up and decided to give this recipe a try...
 And it was great. My photos are not as artfully arranged as hers, mostly because I put alot more cheese on mine.
 But if in your summer travels you stumble upon some Scarlet turnips give them a try and let me know what you find to do with them!

Enthusiastis Eaters

It must quickly pass by, and away we fly

Rocking out in five year old body and footy pajamas
 The past two weeks London has been saying the most interesting and often very funny things as she tries her hardest to tame the English language. I keep telling myself to write them down, write them down! Everything changes so fast and once you enter the next phase/month it's as if the last phase has evaporated. Looking back at my 12 month old is like a memory of another child!
^^Check it out! A land-line!^^
 But, we've also been talking about some the things that Spencer used to say and do. And although I'm sure there are plenty of precious details that have slipped like sand it's reassuring how many little phrases we can remember. "Wanna watch me cake a bath?" "Daddy, can I try your beard(beer)?" Motorcycles were gulla-gullas, chicken nuggets were gicken-gagas and he grew all of his teeth only to look like a really bad fighter a couple years later.
Younger sister Olivia about 5 1/2 years ago.

^^Spencer in 1st grade^^
 When Tyson first took this little video we thought he looked sooo big! Now he's grown out of the sweatshirt two years ago and he wore it to the last..

On Wednesday London told our friend Becky that there was an orange "mow-lawner" in the garage.

She also asked me if she could wear my glasses to play outside.
Me : "Why do you need glasses?"
London: "To keep my nose warm"

Spencer's name is Fesser, scrambled eggs are eggys, she loves to swing to Africa on the swing Daddy made and she pets her two elephants in the yard(very large rocks).

 So, I'll share these little tidbits in hopes in that my typing it will help embed it in my memory.
Or maybe in a few years we'll be sitting at a dinner table somewhere and you can remind me...