googly eyes

Ha! Check out this "what can you make with a..." series from The Crafty Crow. Some good ol' fashioned arts n' crafts inspiration à la Amy Sedaris.


some times you feel like a nut...

We began the evening with a malty Rogue hazelnut brown ale, and then enjoyed this easy nutty pasta for dinner...

broccoli and walnut orecchiette

from Real Simple, Feb 09
serves 4

3 C orecchiette pasta
1-2 bunches (1.5 lbs) broccoli, cut into small florets
1/2 C walnuts, roughly chopped
olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
salt and pepper
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1/4 C grated parmasan

Heat oven to 400 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together the broccoli florets, walnuts, oil, garlic, and a dash of salt and pepper. Roast, tossing once or twice, until the broccoli is tender (20 mins.)

Meanwhile, cook the pasta. Reserve 3/4 C of the pasta water before draining. Return to pot.

Toss the pasta with the butter, the broccoli mixture and slowly add a little of the reserved pasta water. (You may only use 1/4 C, or may need more if it still seems dry.) Sprinkle with lots of freshly grated parmesan and serve.


urban homesteading: chicken

I used to buy boneless skinless chicken breasts. Oh the money I could've saved! In the last few years, I've gotten into preparing my own cuts of chicken -- all it took was a big sharp knife.

Actually, it took a little imperative. When we decided to only buy happy chickens that hadn't done drugs, I thought I'd better find a way to get our money's worth.

Nowadays it's just part of the routine -- once every couple of months I go buy a couple chickens to make up some stock and to put wings, thighs, and breasts into our freezer. On average, we enjoy about 9 meals out of those 2 chickens (not counting leftovers): 4 quarts of stock (one quart has all the chicken off the soup bones), 4 thighs, 4 drumsticks, 2 whole breasts, and 2 breasts cut into pieces and bagged separately.

I have to laugh at myself (and my, ahem, competitive nature.) When I read a teaser for an economizing article in Gourmet, 'learn how to stretch 2 chickens to 16 servings,' I scoffed. "Whatever, I can get at least 18!" Whoever said life isn't a game to win?!

I am reminded of my grandma being proud of using every bit of butter from the wrapper. The important thing was that it was more butter than her neighbor got, who just threw out the wrapper without even scraping it with a spatula (if you can even imagine!)

Thriftiness is fun for me because it requires a bit of competition. Getting the deal. Making things stretch further than last time. I'm just glad I don't have to compete against my grandma.


a little inspiration...

Feeling like making something? Here are a few things to consider...

* an ultra soft checkerboard lace scarf
* these adorable kimono baby booties
* make a fabric egg for Easter -- or better yet, one with a secret pocket
* a cape for the superhero in your life
* a new spring handbag
* or a bag with sling capabilities
* these cute ponytail scarves make me wish I had long hair
* some shoe bags for your next trip
* I know Christmas is a loooong way away, but doesn't this tree skirt (scroll down) look fun?! (it's the buttons that are doin' it for me)
* if you need a project to last you the next 10 years, how about recreating this selvedge dress
* not into fabric or fiber? how about paper fortune cookies
* or a terrarium!