Monday, December 21, 2009


I've waited all year to find the right dog for our family and Saturday we did. We went to the ARL in search of a Cairn Terrier that was up for adoption. I'd called the night before to make sure she was available and they assured me she was. We ( my mom and her wife,Crayola, Jasper and I) were at the front of the line waiting outside of the ARL the next morning. I went straight to the first staff I could find and asked for the dog, Cocoa.
They searched their database and found that sometime from when I'd called to when they opened today she had been adopted or taken away due to medical reasons. They seriously couldn't tell me which one. While we where waiting to find out about Cocoa, Crayola was scouting the other dogs. She spotted a cute shitzu terrier mix and got us a 'hug' room. Needless to say we loved her and adopted her straight away. We had a list to the universe of criteria for our dog. Small but not to small, not yappy, doesn't shed(much), playful and independent. Ginger fits this bill and then some!
Thank you Crayola! You gave us an awesome gift :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gingerbread House

Building a Gingerbread House sounds like a pleasant activity to do with your family, right? Joining in the holiday spirit while creating memories that will last a life time?
Sounds good, count me in!
Costco has had a pre-built all necessary items included ginger bread house on sale for the last month. It kept tempting me by it's pretty colors and promise of ease until I finally gave in and bought it.
We waited until we were all available to help on this great project. With two snowdays last week we agreed to combat a couple hours of cabin fever by decorating the (mostly) pre assembled house. Easy and merry and fun.

Not so much. Sylvia gave up after a few minutes of messing with the icing. Joe did a valiant job assembling the tree and ginger bread men. Though they eventually had to have a few emergency 'surgeries' to re-attach lost limbs. The box's promise of ease and beauty taunted me as I kept looking at it for support and reassurance. Jasper had the most fun as most of the candy was added by him. He was pretty mad though when they all started to slip down the sides in some gingerbread house meets haunted mansion massacre scene. It did take up a couple hours of our time and instead of going all 'Shining' on each other that night we where able to take it out on the box which ended up nicely mutilated by a pair of scissors and a 4 year old's zealous desire to destroy.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Baby Kirk Jr

Here is a picture of my baby cousin. He's sporting the new hat that I made him. It's very fashionable, don't you think? I used the umbilical cord pattern from Stitch n Bitch.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Apple Bread Pudding

I like food porn. I admit it. I love pictures of food, recipes for comfort food and exotic recipes that I'll never make but can imagine eating. I seek out peoples experience eating all sorts of meals and hope to come across some new ingredient.
The other night Joe was out and Sylvia was spending the night at a friends, so it was just Jasper and I. He fell asleep early and I found myself spending the next 3 hours surfing the internet for food blogs. Upon reflection, it was pretty sad, I could have been watching Cartoon Network or finishing my socks.
While I was cruising sites I came across a lot of posts dedicated to bread puddings, which I love. It's custard and bread, two of the best things in the world, all in one place. Of course I bookmarked my favorites so I could make them. Or at least I thought I did.
Who needs a recipe anyway? You do? Okay here is what I did for this delicious Apple Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce.....a total conglomeration of what I can remember reading on how to make it. Be warned.....this recipe is unnecessarily fattening, but totally worth it.

4 apples peeled and diced
4 cups ciabatta bread cubed
1 1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
1 cup or so milk
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 eggs beaten
added with no particular measuring involved(use common sense):
almond extract( a tasty but non necessary addition)
vanilla extract
ginger powder
chopped pecans
1/4 cup currants soaked in whiskey then drained....the soaking part is probably optional but it then it won't taste like whiskey!

To start, the bread was combined with the pecans,currants and apples in a greased 9x11 or so pan. Then I beat the eggs , sugars, spices and extracts together in a bowl.
I melted the butter over medium low heat in a saucepan than added the cream,milk and molasses while stirring constantly until the molasses melted. I then removed the pan from the heat and slowly added the egg mixture, again making sure to still stir constantly.
The egg mixture was poured over the bread and baked in a preheated oven at 350 for about 45 minutes.

I used this caramel sauce recipe except I substituted brown sugar for white. It all was very rich and delicious!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Elderberry Tincture

In September I got some elderberries from GirlWithASword. I tinctured them in a quart jar with Bombay Gin. I waited until today to bottle it. I probably should have done it a few weeks ago but I was a little worried about getting the job done right.
So today I cleaned and boiled the bottles, found my funnel and cheese cloth and went to it. It was very messy. I wasted about half a bottle due to the funnel spout being the wrong size and elderberry is very staining. Cie la Vie.
It's another thing I can check of my to do list, which always feels good.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I spent some time with my grandma in Harvey yesterday. As usual she made a delicious and simple lunch. We had oven roasted chicken breast with celery,carrots, and ginger accompanied by baked sweet potatoes, salad and caramelized corn. Then we went outside to work. I helped her wrap small grapevines for the winter so the rabbits won't eat them. We also did some pruning of the vines. It was a gorgeous day to be outside working. I feel so alive and happy when I do manual labor outside and yet I don't do it that often. I'm pretty good at identifying the things that make me happy, but it's pretty hard for me to do them. Things like walking everyday, working in the yard, keeping the dishes clean, drinking lots of water.....ah, it's okay. It's a process right?

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Okay, it's been awhile. More than a little while really. It wouldn't suprise me if you never wanted to hear from me again. The way I just fell of the face of the interweb and into Real life.
Well I can tell you I've been a busy bee. It hasn't been for lack of news that I have neglected to blog. Rather it's been for lack of words.
I can say today that I am very happy and grateful for my life in all it's many layers. On November 1st I dedicated my self to a year and a day( the 366 kind) of self seeking and discovery. I intend this to be a deeping of my soul and a reconnection to my journey here on earth.
Cheesy and esoteric? Yep. Awesome and life changing. Yep.

Jasper and Sylvia are both growing and changing. I will post fun picks as soon as I reclaim my camera from a set of less than appropriate pictures ;)

You may or may not have noticed that I added two new links to The Place's I Go section. Abundance By Magic and My Everyday Magic are both magical places that you should visit. It's awesome to me that there are people out there doing such fun and positive things in their everyday lives. It something I am trying to incorporate into mine. Check them out and watch the magic unfold!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I know I'm just throwing links out right now, but it's all I have in me.
Check out this blog for some inspirational tips on keeping house.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Geez Louis

Interested in astrology? Check out this article(and blog) about the upcoming new moon in Leo.

For another Des Moines we have an awesome place called Geez Louis. Check it out here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

For the Grand Finale…

For the Grand Finale…

Check out this link to win a Vita Mix.

Smoothie take 2

Day two smoothie is a frothy mess. Which is very unappealing. I've gotten lots of great ideas though on how to make an edible and possibly tasty green smoothie. So today I'm off to the store to purchase bananas to cut up and freeze and other frozen fruits....I'm thinking a tropical blend and a bag of strawberries.
A nice cup and a straw for everyone is also on the list of must haves. At the least we need the straw to combat the inch of green foam.
Every one but Joe has had a smoothie now. I'm waiting until I perfect it to offer him a drink. He gags just thinking about things he doesn't like. Wussy. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

12 steps for simplicity

I certainly needed to read this today. Perhaps it will help you too.

Green Smoothie take 1

Day one of the green smoothie challenge. Check it out here. I'm going to do it because I'm stubborn but getting everyone else on board is going to be,well, challenging. Even Jasper wasn't impressed and he'll eat anything.

Today's Smoothie:

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bread is Zen

I picked up a new cook book at a garage sale last week. It's a nifty little 70's book simply titled Bread Baking. I'm enamored. Bread is a marvelous thing, pure magic really. There are about 50 recipes for different types of breads in this book. You know what? They all use the same ingredients! Just a handful of easy on hand items put in at different times in different combination produces completely different textures and tastes. Or so the book says.

My plan is to work my way through this book, starting today and ending sometime in the future. ;)
Though time is not linear and therefore we shouldn't have to be, I decided to start at the front of this book for simplicities sake. I'm making a white bread(which I would normally not eat) using unbleached flour. It has an easy mixing and rising time. I'm thinking it should be moist and tender and slightly dense as the ingredients include milk as well as water. I'm hoping for some good french toast or Nutella sandwiches out of it.

I will say that this is not my first foray into bread. I've been making no knead bread, hamburger and hotdog buns, pizza dough and homemade tortillas fairly regular for a few years now. I also worked a small stint at a local bread shop.

There is something about bread that is so tactile and delicious. Both in it's making and consumption. There are so many life lessons to be learned and mastered through the art of bread-making, things that I could really use, like patients and forethought and patients.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What lies before you?

Here are some great sites for online divination. I find them to often be eerily accurate and if nothing else amusing. Have fun!

Osho Zen - online tarot reading with one of my favorite decks

Enlightenment Pa
ck - online tarot reading

Free Will Astrology - smart and humorous horoscopes

Astrodienst - you can do a free astrological chart that has an awesome application that tells you about each sign and house

Friday, July 10, 2009

Zucchini Zucchini Everywhere!!

What to do with all that extra zucchini? Here are two recipes that might make a dent.

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

This first one I made yesterday with help from this recipe. I replaced the last two optional ingredients and added a generous cup of fresh blueberries instead. I poured some into a bread pan and into mini muffin tins. I had Jasper add chocolate chips to the top of the muffins. I added a 1/2 cup of coconut flakes to the rest of the dough and made that into another loaf.

Zucchini Cakes With Basil Garlic Aoili

This is one of my favorite summer time eats. I was introduced to this at a restaurant I worked at. It is simple and delicious. Note: I wing this recipe so what you see below is an approximation.

For the Cakes:

Grate 3 cups of zucchini.... lightly salt, cover with paper towels and set aside in a colander to drain off moisture for an hour or two.

When zucchini is dry combine with :

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove of garlic,minced
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup flour, all-purpose
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • salt ( if you didn't use salt early to help zucchini dry)
  • pepper, black

Cook these like you would a pancake.....heat a pat or two of butter in a skillet and place 1/4 cup of batter in the pan. Brown and flip. Serve with aioli.

Garlic Basil Aoili

Again, winging it!

Place in a food processor:

  • 4-6 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • salt/pepper
  • clove of garlic
  • 1 cup mayonnaise

Blend well. Use leftovers on such things as sandwiches and fried potatoes.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Worms and More....

My worm bin is still working. I've had a little trouble with fruit flies, which frankly, drive me insane. Small stupid bugs that swarm up from the bin every time I opened it and took up residents in my kitchen! I did a little Internet sleuthing and found out how to minimize the occurrence of fruit flies in the bin. So I did it and it's been better...still there...but better.
It's hard to imagine that under this:
Is this:Rich beautiful humus!
Here's a few pictures of my yard. Above is a sweat pea vine that pretty much takes over one side of my fence each year. Luckily it's pretty. Below is my container garden. I have several heirloom tomato varieties, a few that I started from seed and a couple I got from a friend. I also have carrots, dill,eggplant and peppers. Hopefully they keep growing.
The last picture is the front of my house. The blair witch project did what I hoped it would, which is be taken over by the morning glories. It's pretty cool if not incredibly messy. But hey that's my life.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July

For quit a few years our family has been going to Bussey,Iowa on the 4th of July to see my grandparents ride their mules in the parade. Well, time passes and people pass and new traditions must be made. What better way to celebrate America's own brand of freedom then with food! I mean is there really any other way to celebrate something?
Homemade waffles, whipped cream, fresh blueberries and strawberries, real maple syrup and pork and bacon sausages. (that's right....pork and bacon).
How's that for Patriotism!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Des Moines Swap-O-Rama

Last night Sylvia and I along with Jessica and Sabbath went to an informational meeting for the upcoming Des Moines Swap-O-Rama. The original Swap-O-Rama was started by Wendy Tremayne in Seattle in the 90's.
For the Swap you bring a bag of clothes and 10 dollars(8 if purchased in advance) and your creativity. Clothes are layed out and sorted, everyone grabs what they want and goes to stations to rip and embellish. There will be demos and workshops and knowledgeable volunteers to help with all your creating needs.
This event is happening August 1st at my new favorite hangout....the Des Moines Social Club. If you haven't been to the DMSC yet and are in the area I highly recommend checking it out. Ping Pong and Bubblegum Martinis....just saying.
The women who are putting on the Swap here still need volenteers to work the event, be part of the street team and to do demos and workshops. If your interested you can contact them here. They are also still accepting sponsors for the event. There are three levels of sponsorship each with some cool perks.
And I bet you thought Des Moines was boring!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Yesterday was a day of bounty!
It started with a call from my friend begging me to come take some lettuce and spinach off her hands. Apparently her garden was growing faster than her family could consume it. I was happy to oblige. I scored two large bags of lettuce and one of spinach....thanks Traci!
After a quick stop off at the park near our house, we picked up Sylvia and headed over to Brandy's house to cook.
We made homemade pasta then stuffed it with fresh ricotta cheese purchased at Graziano's, mozzarella, fresh herbs from her garden ,parmesan and feta cheese.
I was surprised at how easy it was to make the pasta. Messy, but doable. We used the left over pasta and cheese mixture and some Graziano sausage to make a couple of lasagnas as well.
We also made bread and chocolate chip cookies.

After we finished cooking I went to another friend's house and picked up a very large box of produce and a 2 dozen farm fresh eggs that she scored from another friend's father's farm. (whew! say that ten time's fast)
Since this farm is further south than me the box contained several tomatoes, which I used to make my sauce for the fresh ravioli's.
It has been a little while since I made homemade tomato sauce, so I used this recipe to refresh my memory. It never fails to amaze me how easy it is to make delicious homemade tomato sauce! Granted, Joe hates tomatoes so this dish ended up being more for me than him, but sometimes I have to cook for my taste too.

This picture is of Brandy's finished dinner.....delicious!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mountian Man

Joe spent most of yesterday working on cleaning up branches. There is still a bit of work to do, but it's coming along. I'm excited to do some more found object creepy lost in the woods inspired art in the yard.

Today I decided to make an asparagus tart,inspired by this post to bring with me to a potluck. I pretty much followed the recipe, but I used some basil pesto as well. I had to cut into it to try it....I mean I would hate to feed people something gross :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Moving but Stuck

I'm feeling like there is a lot of things going on in my life lately and many things left untouched. My house for example is a mess. Clean laundry is wrinkling in the baskets or near their respective drawer, toys are strewn about the house, papers are piling up. My yard is full of branches that were cut down from our magnolia tree Saturday. I don't know what the hell I'm doing with those. My 'gardens' are really weed patches with a few well placed interesting flowers. I'm sure it's an incubation ground for deadly mosquitoes. I haven't feed the birds for at least two weeks. I'm down to mice and raccoons as the main wildlife in my yard now.
We are still in the process of purchasing MC Ginsberg. All the wow I started out with has turned into annoyance and 'head in the sandness' ( ?). It's hard to want to put together something when
A. You don't know what your doing and B. You don't know if it's happening. The first part isn't that big of a deal, I often don't know what I'm doing and yet somehow manage to get shit done. The second part is the one that really has me immobile. I have a lot of places where my energy can go right now and I want to focus it on places that are productive.
I did do the Iowa Metaphysical Fair last weekend. I had a booth and did Reiki, I even have a website now . The fair was fun and draining and the website needs a lot of work(ideas/suggestions appreciated). By the end of it I was pretty certian that I need to spend my time helping Joe construct MC Ginsberg and not focusing on Reiki. Yet, I still come back to this problem of non ownership....of what the hell is going to happen. UGH!
Anyway, that's my crazy life today.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

While I haven't been blogging here much, I have been reading them. I'm hoping to get inspired to make meal plans again. I've been falling behind on everything around here. Cooking, cleaning, caring.
Here are some places I've been recently. Inspired? Feel free to share.
  • Kitchen Parade - This site is awesome. The photos make your mouth water and the recipes are easy and fun.
  • FoodBuzz - Be careful you might get lost in this world of blog links.
  • The Farmhouse Table - I have been using the grandmother's bread recipe for hotdog and hamburger buns.
  • Broke Ass Gourmet - I haven't used any recipes from here yet, but I like how she breaks the price down. The section on sex and food is fun too!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I know I haven't posted in awhile. It's not like I haven't been doing anything! On the contrary I've been way busy. Which is good, but it hasn't translated to anything fun for you to read.
I figured I need to update though, so here is a post on the spanakopita I made tonight. Even though the phyllo dough was hard to work with, it turned out that a little Bob Marley and a lot of 'who gives a shit' and anything is wonderful. :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009


I turned some of the rhubarb into a fabulous cobbler with homemade date rhubarb butter sandwiched between a buttery dough and a crumbly oat filled top. Eaten with a scoop of carmel ice cream....delicous!

Yep, he needs a hair cut.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I went to my grandmother's this morning and picked a garbage sack of rhubarb. Let me tell you something, a garbage bag of rhubarb is a lot of f@# rhubarb. I brought it home and cleaned them off, chopped them up and then placed them in gallon freezer bags for later. I saved four cups to make something delicious with tonight. I'm thinking about a simple crumble but I'm open to ideas. Do you have a favorite recipe?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I put my desk(okay it's my sister's but she lives very far away and will not want it back because she will have enough money to buy a new one when she needs it) on my porch. It's sitting facing out to a large bush, my magnolia tree, a mulberry tree and a not so unpleasant side of my neighbors house. I have a neon green yarn plant hanger with plants from my grandfathers funeral above me, a blue ceramic pot with aloe vera and an orange candle for creativity on the desk . I've ran a power cord out here so I can plug my laptop in. It is by far the most relaxing and inspiring space that I have yet created in this home. Or anywhere for that matter. I want to write stories here, create poems, connect with friends new and old. I want to learn and teach, reach out and explore, stay still and meditate. I feel all is possible in this space. I am very grateful to have it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Yay or Nay?

The front of my house is very boring. I've been working on the garden part. I took out three bushes and put in flowers, some from seed and some tranplants. There was a height element that was missing though. This is how I solved it.....

The first thing out of Joe and my mom's mouth was "Blair Witch Project".
So what do you think....should I keep it or compost it?

I have seedlings.....

Many seedlings to plant and many places to plant them. Though only a small space in my yard will be used for vegetable gardening. I thinned out seedlings yesterday and re potted some things into bigger pots. If everything survives, I will have tomatos and cucumbers and basil coming out my ears! Or some orifice ;)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Just another maniac Wednesday

Okay, so the song is Monday but it's my blog so I say Wednesday.
Before 9:00am today I had done several loads of dishes by hand, several loads of laundry and started a batch of bread/cinnamon rolls. By 12:00 I had ran, had coffee with my friends,dug some yuccas, saved a toddler trapped in a car :)(not mine),and finished my bread and rolls.
Not that this is an entirely non-normal day. It just felt a bit fuller than usual, probably because I started my morning just wanting to lay in bed. Not an option.

Here is my bread experiment. I used this recipe. I made a double batch, using half for a loaf of bread and half for cinnamon rolls. They both turned out, but the loaf of bread got a little more than it's share of dough.

Yeast Rising

Second Rising
Big Enough For Ya?

Monday, April 13, 2009


We did a lot of work in our yard this weekend. It felt good to honor spring by playing in the soil!
We moved around plants and large stones, had dinner outside and an egg hunt. I'd add more text about our weekend,but this app is not letting me type anywhere but here. I love blogger.