Monday, November 28, 2011

Portland bound

Me and my mom took a road trip this weekend! My mom has been wanting to go to Astoria/Portland for a while (Jared and I visit Portland as often as we can) and I've been wanting a road trip, so we decided to make a weekend of it. Our first was Astoria. We actually stayed in Warrenton, but it's like, 10 min. away, so whatevs...
We spent the first day heading down there, and the next day bumming around Astoria. We stopped at a great coffee place, and a little shop that was very inspiring. I got a great idea for a gift and we saw these super cute Christmas decorations. I'll be trying this some day soon...

 We even drove past the Goonies house! (goonies never say die!!)


Then we drove into Portland where we stayed at the Jupiter (which is a part of the Doug Fir). Jared and I have stayed there before and I liked it, plus, they're dog friendly, which we needed since Abbey was with us.

We went to Screen Door for dinner. They don't do reservations, and there's always a line at least a half hour before the doors open, so it's usually best to get there late, (8:30-9) but we were hungry from the drive, so we got there about, 5:45, and had to wait an hour, but we had drinks and chatted with the other waiting people, so it wasn't so bad. The food was beyond, as usual! I'll be eating the left overs well into this week! All in all a great weekend.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I love Thanksgiving

I love thanksgiving. I'm like Seth Cohen from the OC, I dream about eating so much thanksgiving deliciousness that I pass out right there at the table.
The past couple of years I've prepared our meal (although last year it came a week late due to scheduling conflicts and a turkey delay). It's no secret that I love to cook, and with thanksgiving, you can't really over do it. in a normal meal you can make 4 maybe 5 different dishes before you're overdoing it, but with thanksgiving, the sky's the limit.
I also love that there's usually left overs, and finding new and interesting ways to use turkey is one of my favorite things.
speaking of this, I found a delish turkey pho recipe in the recent edition of 'goop' that I had to share (and can't WAIT to try!):


Turkey pho by Winnie Ab




Makes: 2 big bowls of soup
  • 1 quart homemade turkey stock (or homemade or store-bought chicken stock)
  • 1 bunch scallions (green top parts only), chopped
  • One 3-inch chunk of ginger, sliced and smashed with side of a knife
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 to 2 cups kale, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 pound leftover turkey breast, shredded
  • 1 bunch (about 2 ounces) cellophane or bean thread noodles (or enough flat dried rice noodles to serve 2)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped scallions (white parts only), for garnish (optional)
  • Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1/2 lime, cut into wedges
Heat a cast-iron skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the spices and toast until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Immediately spoon the spices into a bowl to avoid burning them.
Add the toasted spices, stock, scallions, ginger, brown sugar, and fish sauce to a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface frequently.
Taste the broth and add more sugar or fish sauce if needed. Strain the broth and discard the solids. Add the kale and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes. Remove from heat.
Add the turkey and noodles. Allow to sit for a few minutes while the noodles soften.
Ladle the broth into 2 bowls. Divide the kale, turkey and noodles evenly between the bowls.
Sprinkle on the garnishes and add Sriracha to taste. Squeeze lime juice to taste before eating.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Aquakids

One of the things I love most about being a nanny, is getting to do fun kid stuff without having to actually have kids, and not look like a total weirdo. So in the spirit of that, I've been anxiously patiently awaiting the day when Deven would be old enough to enjoy these things, and that day has come. So far we've visited the children's museum and the zoo, but today we went to the aquarium!



We had soooooo much fun, obviously!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pinterest sickness

I just recently joined Pinterest, and I can already tell it's going to be a problem... in a good way!
I can't wait to try some of the DIY stuff, the recipes, beauty and cleaning tips. Here's a selection of some of my favorite re-pins so far... (the link to the original post is in the caption)












definitely leave a comment if you try any of these! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Big boy

the boy is a big 16 months! We've started doing playdates, and he's in gymboree classes once a week. I can't believe how big he's gotten in such a short amount of time! it really is amazing....

The remodel is almost finished as well! Sounds like if all goes according to plan, he'll be sleeping in his own bed tomorrow night!

Friday, November 18, 2011

full disclosure: I'm a dorky fan girl

Breaking dawn part one comes out this weekend!!! I originally read the Twilight series because I'd found out that my youngest sister was reading it. I had heard some buzz about it (this was before I was aware of a movie deal) and I wanted to be sure my sister (who was like, 11 at the time) wasn't being inducted into some weird teen vampire cult. TOO LATE! The books we're an easy enough read, and I appreciated the earnest style that she writes in (the critics I know find it tedious but whatever) I also liked her unique take on the whole vampire lore (this was before true blood, vampire diaries, etc) and by the time I got to the last book, I was sold. (in all truth, that last book is a total guilty pleasure of mine now, I could read it over and over, I totally stole it from my sister!)
suffice to say, once the movies came out, the 12 year old girl in me was all giddy, and fortunately for me, I'm not the only one in my circle(s) that agrees. I'll be seeing it tonight with my mom, and tomorrow for a matinee with fellow fan girls friends. Tonight we'll be having dinner at a ridiculously fabulous restaurant, and tomorrow will be at big picture, which serves drinks (helloooo bloody Mary!!)
I have to admit, I"m pretty jazzed...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chickens and strawberries, chickens and strawberries...and ducks

This last weekend I started digging the strawberry plants. We will be leaving one row for the property owners, and the rest we will attempt to sell.
We had one family out to dig last saturday, and I managed to pull 200 (or so) before it started raining/got dark. I hope to pull more on sunday, I'm just hoping to get most of them out before it freezes too hard!
We also sold our first 5 birds to one of our former CSA families. I hope they bring them much joy and eggs in the coming months and years. I also have a friend who would like 3, and received an email about someone interested in possibly taking 11 more. 16 to go!
I've also found a home for our ducks at a (reletively) nearby dairy who already has a small flock of the same breed. fingers crossed that they will  get along with the rest of the flock.

So in the mean time, I'll still be commuting. One direction for the farm,

 nannying in the other...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

bring on the comfort

I hate cold weather (which to me is anything below like, 50). My plan when the clouds roll in and the rain starts to fall (which, in Seattle, is like, October through may) is usually to get out of town or snuggle somewhere relaxing with the hubster, but when I'm alone, it's all about movies and comfort food. I must say, I love to cook. There's something that is so satisfying about being able to combine fresh ingredients in a way that just makes you warm all over.
In the spirit of this, I made one of my favorites this week: Shepard's Pie. Now, I'm sure there's a standard recipe for this dish, I'm not fully aware of it, but this is my version...

Sara's Shepard's pie
1 lb ground beef (or whatever you use)
1 onion, sliced
a handful of your favorite mushrooms, sliced
1 C + 1 C (or so) heavy cream
1 bunch of kale, coarsely chopped
1 C corn (or the corn from 1 ear, but frozen or canned is fine)
1 C peas (frozen or canned are fine)
4-5 potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 C grated cheddar cheese (I used Dubliner)
& have these available for flavor:
salt
pepper
nutmeg
butter/olive oil

Brown the beef, boil and mash the potatoes (add butter, cream, salt, and/or pepper to taste), and saute the onions (I used olive oil). cover them and set aside.
In a small sauce pan, combine 1C cream, mushrooms, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a low boil, stirring continuously until it starts to thicken a bit.
in a casserole dish (9x11 or 13) spread the beef along the bottom of the dish. pour the mushroom cream evenly over the beef. layer the sauteed onions on top of that.
in a large saute pan, saute kale until bright in color. reduce heat. add 1 C cream or enough to cover the bottom of the pan evenly. dust with salt, pepper and nutmeg. cover and let simmer for 20 min. or until most of the moisture has evaporated. stir. (try not to lift the lid very much during the simmering off process)
add peas and corn on top of the onions and beef/mushroom cream while the kale is simmering.
add kale layer on top of peas and corn layer.
spread mashed potatoes on top of the kale layer.
sprinkle cheese on top of potatoes layer.
place in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 25 min. or until bubbly, and cheese has started to brown.
let cool before serving.


I was able to use fresh corn, kale and ground beef from local farms and potatoes from our own garden. score!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A week without Abbey

I decided to board Abbey for this last week before the family moves back into the remodeled house. Their dog, Stella, is back, and the small condo where they're staying is, I think, too small for both dogs all day, for a full week. The boarding place we take her to is wonderful, they will even play with her during the day so she doesn't go too crazy (being a border collie, she needs that exercise!).
I have to admit, I'm going to be a bit sad without her though! This will be the first time I've been completely alone since we got her 3 years ago. I've boarded her before, but it was always for a vacation, so I didn't have too much time to think about it.
I'm sure she'll have a great time, and I'll be so excited to see her on saturday!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

They're made out of meat

(photo courtesy of www.canningbasics.com)

I heard a reading of this really amazing science fiction short story on NPR the other day. I know that doesn't necessarily make it sound super interesting, but I think you should read it for yourself, it's totally short, and incredibly thought provoking, in my opinion. This story originally appeared in Omni April 1991 and was nominated for the Nebula Award. It is taken from the collection 'Bears Discover Fire' and was written by Terry Bisson. (You can find out more about Terry Bisson on his website.) I couldn't seem to find that recording, but I did find a print of it and you can read it here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Another chapter closes

We've put the word out that we're going to be moving off of our farming property. I will be setting up a 'dig day' for the strawberry patch for Sunday (fingers crossed that it doesn't rain!!).

The birds have been a bit more challenging. We only have homes for 8 of the chickens so far.

I'd like to find a foster for the ducks until we can find out own place, but I'm not sure if we can make that happen. I'd just be so sad to see those 3 go! As much as they want me to just leave them alone, they were always more than just 'production' animals in my heart. :(
 I'm trying not to be too sad about it, and as much as I hate being outside when it's cold, I'm going to really miss farming full time and having the animals around, but instead of being bummed, I'm trying to focus on what we want for the future so when we're ready to start looking, we'll know exactly what we want. I'm really excited for what's to come!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

coooooold

It would appear that our faux-summer is officially over. we got like, a cumulative month of 70+ weather (maybe) and only like, 5 days where we cracked 80. I have only one thing to say to that: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Seriously?! I feel gyped. but anyway....
Before Jared left for Europe, I had a chance to make a really great dinner, acorn squash with stuffed quinoa, and fortunately I was able to get the recipe down before I forgot it! so here it is:


Yellow acorn squash 
w/ quinoa& pear stuffing



Squash
1 acorn squash, I used a yellow
Maple syrup
Butter



Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds and smear soft butter all over the inside and then drizzle maple syrup over that.
Bake squash cut side down in a shallow pan (w/ a little water) in 400 deg oven for 30-45 min, or until you can pierce the rind w/ a fork but BEFORE the rind burns and collapses. Let cool.

Cook quinoa according to directions.


Stuffing
1 cup quinoa
Half a pear, chopped
Half a jalapeƱo, diced
1/4 cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts
2 med. Chantrelle mushrooms, chopped
A pinch or two (or smidgen, if you like) of the following:
Cardamom          Cinnamon
Powdered curry   Nutmeg
Pepper                Salt

Mix all this in a bowl, cover it, and set aside, or in the fridge 


Flip over the squash and spoon in stuffing. I usually kinda lean them against each other so I can mound up the quinoa. Press a pat of butter into the top. 

Put them back in the oven at 300 for another 10-15 min, then take them out and serve!

Delish!!!



Monday, November 7, 2011

Cleanse

Jared and I had an awesome night out before he left for Europe. We had dinner at an awesome farm to table restaurant called Sitka and Spruce in Seattle, and went bowling at the Garage after.




I drank a bit too much that night, so after he left, I decided to try a cleanse. I heard about it originally on Lauren Conrad's website (scoff if you like, but the girl has some gems on her site, and is incredibly real for a 'reality' star, you should check it out here). I did the Kaeng Raeng 3 day cleanse and I was pleasantly surprised. I was definitely never hungry, and only seemed to crave cheese (since its a vegan/raw cleanse, you're only allowed the shakes they provide, pure teas, juices, and raw fruits and veggies.) The shake is soy based, which I have a little bit of intolerance to, so I made sure to drink plenty of green tea and other anti-inflammatory fruits and veggies like blueberries and pomegranate. I ended it a couple of days ago and have noticed a difference in my appetite level, and I'm much more sensitive to gluten than I was before. I'm interested to see if it will have any sort of lasting effect.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Segaloween!!

Last night was my sister and her bf's annual Segaloween party. I didn't get any party pics, since it was pretty dark, but can you guess what my costume is?
here's a hint: I'm Taylor Momsen ;)