Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Purpose Fairy

I read a couple articles from this blog last week and I've been thinking about it a lot. I've been thinking about a lot of things a lot, especially improving my mindset and my world around me.

This list was going around Facebook the other week and I finally learned about The Purpose Fairy, an inspirational blog with "ideas and suggestions about life." I checked out some other articles and got a great daily dose of emotional sunshine. Let's face it, we all need it.

Some great quotes to think about:

Ne te quaesiveris extra - Do not look outside of yourself for the truth


“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”  Ghandi


“Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?”


Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to.


“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”Winston Churchill


Beauty is not in the face, but rather a light in the heart.


Whatever it is that you want, you have to want it more for someone else.


"How you treat anybody is how you will treat everybody"


My goodness, I could read for days and I suggest you do the same. I guarantee it will add at least one random act of kindness to your day.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Birthday Weekend Picnic Baskets

What a weekend! One of my bestie's had a joint birthday/anniversary party, which turned into an impromptu weekend camping trip. Need inspiration for easy entertaining at your next big turnout?


The culinary highlight was individual picnic baskets, to cut down on dishes. (She thinks of everything!)


Also included were (French Laundry) lemon tarts, fresh fruit, asparagus flatbread, and smoked salmon tartar on cucumber.



Each basket contained: an abalone po'boy sandwich, personally foraged by Daisy's husband, Trout; a mason jar filled with potato salad (the classy Alice Waters one, not the mayonnaisy kind); a homemade chocolate chip cookie and wrapped caramel; and my special caesar salad (recipe to be revealed soon).


Now that it's summer, I recommend food that can be served cold. It's way easier to assemble and you have a little more leeway in serving time. Get an assembly line going for something like sandwiches, and the sides should be one-dish wonders like pasta salad, cous cous, or greens. Make it easier on yourself and invite friends to bring something, or at the very least, wine and apps.

What kind of parties will you be throwing this summer?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Procession of Game

"In 1886, we gorged. In 2012, we nibble." 


So I read yesterday in an article by Robert Krulwich at NPR on the state of overfished waters in the past century.


See White House menus from 1886 titled, "Procession of Game."




SOUP

Venison (Hunter style) Game Broth

FISH

Broiled Trout, Shrimp Sauce, Baked Black Bass, Claret Sauce

BOILED

Leg of Mountain Sheep, Ham of Bear, Venison Tongue, Buffalo Tongue

ROAST

Loin of Buffalo, Mountain Sheep, Wild Goose, Quail, Redhead Duck, Jack Rabbit, Blacktail Deer, Coon, Canvasback Duck, English Hare, Bluewing Teal, Partridge, Widgeon, Brant, Saddle of Venison, Pheasants, Mallard Duck, Prairie Chicken, Wild Turkey, Spotted Grouse, Black Bear, Oppossum, Leg of Elk, Wood Duck, Sandhill Crane, Ruffed Grouse Cinnamon Bear

BROILED

Bluewing Teal, Jacksnipe, Blackbirds, Reed Birds, Partridges, Pheasants, Quails, Butterballs, Ducks, English Snipe, Rice Birds, Red-wing Starling, Marsh Birds, Plover, Gray Squirrel, Buffalo Steak, Rabbits, Venison Steak

ENTREES

Antelope Steak, Mushroom sauce; Rabbit Braise, Cream Sauce: Fillet of Grouse with Truffles; Venison Cutlet, Jelly Sauce; Ragout of Bear, Hunter Style; Oyster Pie

SALADS

Shrimp, Prairie Chicken, Celery

ORNAMENTAL DISHES

Pyramid of Game en Bellevue, Boned Duck au Naturel, Pyramid of Wild-Goose Liver in Jelly, The Coon Out at Night, Boned Quail in Plumage, Red-Wing Starling on Tree, Partridge in Nest, Prairie Chicken en Socle

vs. a menu from a State dinner last month:



FIRST COURSE

Crisped Halibut with Potato Crust, served on a bed of baby kale fresh from the White House garden, shaved Brussels sprouts and micro cabbage sprouts.

SALAD COURSE

Spring Garden Lettuces with radishes, cucumbers and avocodo (greens also From the White House Garden)

MAIN COURSE

Bison Wellington

DESSERT

Steamed Lemon Pudding over Newtown Pippin Apples (the apples "are believed to have been developed in Queens, New York")


Hmm. What do you think?


See the article here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Goddess Dressing in a Snap

I love this salad dressing so much, I would marry it if I could (but others should get priority ahead of me on that waiting list).

But seriously, this is great for so many reasons- it's thick and creamy, it has a little more substance than vinaigrette, but isn't as heavy as caesar. And the best part? It's vegetarian and vegan, so it makes the perfect addition to vegetable dips and salads for those finicky dinner guests (you know who you are).

It's also incredibly easy to make- barely 5 minutes to throw together in a blender. And it tastes as good as Annie's! I got this recipe from Jolinda Hackett- but here's the direct link.

Tahini "Goddess" Dressing
By , About.com Guide
My version of the tahini-based "goddess" dressing found in many health food stores and restaurants. If you like the store-bought goddess dressings, you'll love this easy homemade goddess salad dressing made with tahini, lemon juice and parsley. You might also want to try this recipe for goddess dressing with ginger.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce  (I use a little worcestershire or fish sauce to make it tastier, but then it's not vegetarian!)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley  (Oregano also works well)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil

Preparation:

Add all the ingredients, except for the oil to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth and creamy. 



Slowly add oil until well mixed. Dressing will be thick, but you can always add a bit more water if you prefer a thinner consistency.


Monday, May 14, 2012

My First Quilt Square


One small step for the community quilt ladies, one giant step for a fledgling sewer!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

It's Our Right to Know!

Busy weekend getting those garden beds started? Well, before you plant all those tomatoes, check out the Label GMO's site. They even print the reminder on seed packets.


Pretty scary to think of how many innocent little seeds are genetically modified! We can change it, or at least make people even more aware of their food choices.


Happy planting!

And here's the link to Rare Seeds for all your heirloom needs.

Friday, May 11, 2012

My New Favorite Blog

It's such a shame that in all my days chasing around music boys in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, I never ran into Bon Iver. He was probably busy hanging out with cool guys while we band geeks were lucky to mix with the "jazzers." 


Perhaps that allows me to like him more from afar, with the new discovery of Boniverotica. The humor blog was dreamt up by a trio of friends Alice Warren-Gregory, Anna Sawyer and Alex Finkel from Boulder, Colorado, and went viral within a couple days of launching. Here's what happens when hipster girls imagine the perfect dude with comedic genius.


Some of my faves:


 "I am out back by the shed, tending to our chickens - Clara and Jack, and little Myron, who is lame. Bon Iver is waiting patiently for my return. While he waits, he is darning my socks."



"Bon Iver is sitting cross-legged on the floor, his brow furrowed. It seems he and the jigsaw puzzle have come to an impasse. We’d bought it secondhand, and the box had been lost, so we were left to guess what shape the pieces would take. We weren’t even sure they were all there. I suggest he take a break for a bit and clear his head. ‘I can’t,’ he says, ‘I need to make something whole today.’"


"Our trip to Eagle River took twice as long as the map said: because Bon Iver begged me to pull over for the apricot stand, the Indian village, the typewriter museum."

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better than Feminist Ryan Gosling's Hey Girl Meme. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Yosemite Range of Light

Here's an absolutely gorgeous video I found showcasing the splendor of Yosemite through time-lapse photography from Shawn Reeder. It's hard to believe it's real.




Thanks, Shawn and Climbing Magazine! I'm already planning my next trip.

Here's the link.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Supermoon 2012

A lovely view enjoyed on the night of the Supermoon from a ridge in Forestville. Even from the perspective of a low-end point-and-shoot camera, the wonder of the moon's luminescence can not be denied. 






Where did you go to see the lunar phenomenon? Did anyone get a view from a telescope?