Rain rain go away...

At least I have these postcards from the weekend. A promise of what lies ahead.


royal mussels and fries

For my brother, eating like a king means daily breakfast meats. You know, bacon, sausage and the like (although really, what else is there besides bacon?)

And it's got me thinking about what food -- however simple -- makes me feel like I'm living high on the hog.

I think I've figured it out. Good quality seafood.

I'm not sure why mussels feels like an extravagance for us when, for 9 dollars total, we each get a huge bowl of mussels. But it does feel indulgent -- and we feel like kings.

Throughout this entire meal of simply prepared mussels with french fries and mustard mayo and some roasted veggies, both Jeff and I couldn't stop ooing and ahhhing, loudly enjoying each bite, and filling the space between bites with declarations of never moving far from the ocean.

If you could bottle the ocean (I mean, obviously that would be quite easy but I'm talking about essence of that salty air) in a bite, that would be these mussels, cooked in white wine, butter, garlic and onion. It's almost too simple.

And the best pairings? French fries and mustard mayo for dipping. Hands down. It will take you on a trip to France before you've even had a moment to think about what to pack. We enjoyed ours with a Duvel beer -- a Belgian for the full experience.

This is from Gourmet, so I'll just send you on over for the recipe.

Pssst, Glenda. Don't make this at home. Just come over to our house on Saturday night!


dreaming of laos

Some friends of ours brought me four beautiful, embroidered fabric panels from their trip to Laos. Now that they're expecting a wee one, I thought I'd give one of the panels back in a very useful form: a drawstring bag.

The rest were made into mini blankets for all the mini things that take naps at our house.



bunny - duck :: done!
Before being joined for life...

...and after. Something about this duck makes him look guilty.
Wha? A bunny? I don't know what you're talking about.

elephant - lion :: making progress
I wish an elephant-bear would be as cute so I could skip the time-consuming mane.

new project :: started
a spring sweater for the kidlet (and my first attempt at intarsia)


bunnies galore

Easter is fast approaching and I want to get some serious crafting happening 'round here because, as I've said before, my kid has a thing for bunnies. Imagine her delight with a whole holiday decked with bunny rabbits!

A few projects to get me started...
finger puppets, which I linked to last year, but I still really want to make
a recycled mooshy belly bunny (such a great name)
and because I'm gonzo for reversible toys, a knit bunny & duck.

And this peanut butter and jelly game is totally beyond my wee toddler, but it's so stinkin' cute I have to pass it along in case you know someone the right age.


plum pullover

I knit a sweater for me.

So what, you ask? Well, after 11 years of knitting, I finally knit something for me that doesn't go around my neck or on my head. A sweater, people. A bonafide, adult-sized sweater. I'm feeling proud -- and plum.

It's the oatmeal pullover pattern (available on etsy too). The pattern required some math to fit me and my gauge, but thanks to Glenda, my sweater fits! And the yarn, Cascade Eco+, is a dream to work with.

My favorite part is the neckline. (Feeling a bit funny about modeling the sweater for ya'll, but since you can't really tell anything about a sweater until you see it on someone, it was either me or Jeff.)

And finally, it's time for a confession: I already bought the wool for another sweater pour moi. It'll be green and cable-y.

I know what you're thinking -- watch out, this could become a terribly time-consuming addiction. But I'm not too worried. I know that deep down (well, not that deep) I'm too impatient to stick with these sorts of big projects for long. I like my knitting satisfaction to come quick n' easy.

But maybe just one more for me...


diy deodorant

I smell like lavender. It's lovely, really. I'll let you know how it turns out in the long run, but right now I smell like lavender.

I've been wanting to try making deodorant for a while now. None of the 'natural' deodorants that I've tried really work that great, it bugs me that none of their plastic is recyclable, and I'm kind of scared of the ingredients in anti-persperants.

When I came across this recipe, I was inspired. I talked a friend into splitting the first batch: hippy party, check.

We had some trouble sourcing the cocoa butter (at a price we were willing to pay) and after much discussion with folks who seemed to know what they were talking about, we got talked into coconut oil instead. I was a little worried about having to cover up the scent of coconut (not my fave) instead of cocoa bean, but it was actually shea butter's strong scent that was the holdout. But given enough lavender essential oil, even shea butter can be knocked down to just a hint.

homemade deodorant
adapted from Amy Karol's recipe
makes enough for 2-125ml jam jars

4 Tbs shea butter
4 Tbs baking soda
2 2/3 Tbs corn starch
2 2/3 Tbs coconut oil
essential oil

Add all of the ingredients except the essential oil in a small glass bowl and melt in the microwave for about 20 seconds (coconut oil gets hot quickly.) Stir well. Start adding the essential oil and keep adding and stirring until it's the desired scent. Pour into jars and put in the fridge to set. Once it's cool, you can store it at room temperature (but it won't be as solid as in the fridge.)


banana oat muffins

These are tasty -- and they're healthier than your average bear's banana oat muffins.

Recipe here. Following some advice in the comments, I used unsweetened applesauce instead of the oil, upped the vanilla to 1 teaspoon, and added 3/4 teas of cinnamon. Perfect.

The few that were left after a couple of days went bad on the counter. Looking back on it, I should've put these in the fridge on account of the applesauce.