Thursday, September 11, 2014

let's talk about: quail eggs and garam masala

I know what today is. We all do in the United States. Today is a day in our recent history that rocked us all to our core. We lived a life of security, and 9/11 dashed those notions to the ground. But, today is just a day. Like 1/19 (MLK day), and 2/16 (Presidents day)and 7/4 (independence day) or 11/22/63 (JFK dies). These historical days stack up over decades, centuries and time makes us remember the people that created a change in our way of life.  The people that gave their lives for our rights, our freedoms, and our ability to have just what we want if we truly want it.
I wasn't there. I was on the other side of the country. It was 6 AM when I heard about the towers on the radio. I will always remember driving the hour to my house from my boyfriends place and thinking I just wanted to turn around and get a huge hug.
But, it's 13 years later, and this morning, I sent two boys to school. I am waiting on the contractor, and I am considering how to put together Garam Masala. Even though we have a great deal of things to be proud of in this wide and great country, I can't find Garam Masala in my own little part of it. I knew I could put it together myself, but I thought I would just pick up what little I needed in bulk, only to find that the grocery store was lacking...
A little research has provided me with a few recipes, and I decided to go with this one from Cooking like a Fox. but, while searching through my spices to find what I need, I found a little baggy of garam masala buried in the recesses of the spice cabinet! here it is though, for the next time.

I can't find quail eggs either.  This surprises me greatly. I live in a land of hunters, poultry farmers, beef ranches and new age grocery stores. How is it that not a one of them has quail eggs? Why is it that when I ask about them, people look at me like I am a loony for wanting a different form of EGGS!


oh well.
In the end, I asked my sister ( that lives in Portland) to drive to Uwajimaya, and get me some canned hard boiled quail eggs. She did, and promptly mailed them to me before her honeymoon. what a good sister!

The boys love to snack on them. I did have a conversation with a friend that said she knew of someone that might have quail eggs. So I may have a way in. I think its just time for me to start raising quail. It will have to wait until spring, but, I have always wanted to raise quail!


yes. I need and love quail eggs.  I love the quail too! I love watching the quail families in the spring, and their little calls in the evening. Someday I will be able to have quail, but for now, I will stock up on the canned versions when I go to Portland, and I am on the hunt now for some one in Central Oregon with fresh quail eggs.
Luckily I can use the hard boiled ones for Wee Scotch eggs a la Jamie Oliver!
I will never forget 9/11, even when it sneaks up on a Thursday. I will tell my children about it, where I was, and what we did as a nation to recover. The series of events that have taken place since then will effect my boys futures and their friends. That is a weighty thought.
My love and thoughts go to all those that survived, and the families that lost loved ones.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Labor day camping

labor day 14

We went back to a favorite spot this year for the annual family labor day campout. Meeting up with my in-laws, my sis in-law and her family and my Mother caught the bus up the mountain to join us as well!  Timothy Lake is a glorious family campground, lots of water access, very clean, and well tended by the camp hosts. Hawley had the joy of being allowed to head out on the lake on his own in the inflatable kayak. He was out there for most of the 3 days we were there!

labor day 14
my mom. she would hate this pic, but I love it.  It is her to a "T". She hauled her life jacket onto the bus for this occasion, having it take up a good portion of space. but she had to be sure we would all get out on the water!
labor day 14

When the boys weren't out on the water, they were making friends from other camp sites and found this perfect climbing tree.  They played and played and made the weekend all the more enjoyable by their child hood adventuring. We covertly listened to the conversations and that provided us with fodder for the camp fire stories!
labor day 14
My own pied piper played every chance he could, floating on the lake, entertaining the teething nephew, and relaxing us all around marshmallows with his tunes.
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And of course, what good family campout wouldn't include mondo amounts of food?  I didn't take overwhelming dinner pics, but I was vividly reminded of camping when I was a kid, in the rain, cooking over the fire.
labor day 14

Especially since my mom and I spent time making fry bread together. She had prepared the dry ingredients at home, making a savory recipe and a sweet recipe.  I brought the bacon and veg oil for frying over the fire, as well as the cast iron pan, which was my first that she gave me when I was 21. Lots of memories going on. I have a memory of my dad doing this same action, now I have one of my mom.
labor day 14


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Murphy's Oliver inspired Salad

Before we left for camping, I ordered a new to me series from Jamie Oliver: food escapes. I discovered long ago that tv chefs always have a cookbook that mirrors the episodes of the show.  One of my favorites is Jamie at Home and I'll tell you why.  Jamie Oliver is the kind of chef that does a lot of outdoor, natural, organic, whole food cooking that appeals to me. In a word: simple. In the end, its some of the best food I've made.

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While Hawley started school, Murphy has a few days until his 1st grade class starts.  WHile he is home with me alone, we decided to watch an episode from the new series (I had to order the dvds, but bonus, they were drastically reduced, so I got a used version of his cookbook and bob's your uncle!).  We choose to start with Venice.

Murphy loves to watch cooking shows with me.  It spurs his creative food palette as well and he then wants to cook with me and try new foods.  So we agreed to take a little inspiration from our Tuesday foodie watching.  In our part of the world we cannot find a lot of the ingredients in the more metropolitan markets.  We also have a hard time finding fresh fish (not frozen) and then odd things like quail eggs. My mom had a couple of tins of hard boiled quail eggs while we were camping.  She hadn't used them and so we came home with them!  We dug through what was left in the fridge for a this little mid day salad:

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Murphy's Oliver Inspired Salad:

(these are approximates as we made a 1 person large salad.  I anticipated that Murphy might not want to eat a whole portion, so my portion would end up being extra large)

1/2 an apple
1/2 head of romaine lettuce (or really any lettuce)
8 cherry tomatoes
1/2 red or yellow or orange bell pepper
a little fennel bulb
1/2 an avocado
hard boiled quail eggs
about 6 slices pepper bacon
some Parmesan
1/2 lemon
olive oil
salt to taste

to start: get you bacon in a hot pan with a little olive oil, let it cook while you are making your salad
next: squeeze your half a lemon into a medium size bowl, add an equal portion of olive oil and salt to tase, mix it until it is combined

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next, we used a "y" peeler for the apple and fennel , these two were more for adding a little seasoned crunch to our other ingredients, so just chuck in your shavings
thinly slice your bell pepper and lettuce and cherry tomatoes, chuck them in the bowl too.
next you want small chunks of the avocado and I cut the quail eggs into 4 pieces, add those to the bowl.
when your bacon is done, use a little paper towel to get the excess grease off. cut it into bite size chunks and chuck that into the bowl with everything else.  It will wilt the lettuce a little but it will also make your dressing a little aromatic with the warmth. toss everything together getting the entire mass seasoned with the dressing.
Put it on your plate and use your  Y peeler for the Parmesan to garnish.

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Voila!
Murphy tried all the ingredients individually, even the fennel and liked it, but when we got it all together, he thought the lemon was a little too strong.  I liked the salad and gobbled it all up. to each their own. I am just excited that he was willing to try it at all. He is now obsessed with the Jamie Oliver show, and we are working our way around the world Oliver style. He wants to make risotto with me for part of our dinner.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

this sweater is brought to you by teenage vampires

larch done3 (1 of 1)

my first sweater for the Summer Sweater Knit along is done! and oh man is it an incredible sweater. It is so soft, so colorful, and fits like a glove. It was so warm and perfect for our camping trip this weekend, I loved it. We were so cold I even had to sleep in it one night, but it was well worth it!

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When I am knitting... and knitting... and knitting, I am often also sitting and watching something on tv. Often it is me catching up on recorded episodes of favorite shows, but other times, its me watching some series on netflix that I would never even begin to consider in regular viewing rotation. This is a perfect example.  For this sweater, I watched The Vampire Diaries. basically teenager problems on the CW with a vampire/ werewolf/ occult twist.

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I am not proud of this choice. but in the spirit of full disclosure I will say that I watched every episode available... and now, I may have to start the next season when its available. ugh.

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(this is my fairy view pic)
I do have a special place in my fantasy land for vampires, and it started in my teens with Anne Rice. so I guess its not far off the mark that anything vaguely Buffy-like would catch my eye.

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the Larch sweater in Tigerlilly Maxima from Manos del Uruguay

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel: the schoolboy vest

schoolboy-vest1-(1-of-1)
well, we are cooking right along through the Perfect Pattern Parcel, and as you can see a little further down, I kept a little more sew geeky in the mix! I love this little vest! Its easy to construct, creates a statement and Murphy really loved his. Hawley took his off pretty fast, but I think I can convince him to wear it more, you'll see in a moment...
Pattern Parcel #4


When I was planning out the sew geeky projects this month, I gathered up all my superhero fabric in the stash and then I picked up a yard of this from JoAnn Fabrics. guys, it's GLOW IN THE DARK. oh yes. all those webs light up! but, fair warning, it is a pain to iron (use a pressing cloth!), and I had ok luck with the dryer, but line drying is probably best.

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The lovely thing about this little vest is it really turns any outfit into something a little more hipster, unusual, and cool.
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Murphy's is also a statement. You may have seen in my instagram feed how much Murphy loves to draw ed emberley style? Thanks to a couple of drawing books from our friend Rachael, the boys have loved to Make A World. Murphy has also loved to have pieces made from the ed emberley line from Cloud 9 Fabrics( organic!).
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so growling with a mop of hair and a Popsicle, this little boys enjoyed a sunny afternoon in style!


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they both need haircuts...

Buy Pattern Parcel #4



Pattern Parcel #4 includes:
Maxwell Top by Shwin Designs
Zippy Jacket by Blank Slate Patterns
Schoolboy Vest by Sew Much Ado
Small Fry Jeans by Titchy Threads
Jet Pack Bag by Betz White

Bonus Pattern:
Choose a price of $26 or greater for Parcel #4 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is Knight Hoodie by Charming Doodle. This pattern is a unique and fun spin on the traditional hoodie. Thorough instructions and pictures help you create an amazing and memorable hoodie that will inspire creativity in your little one.

About Pattern Parcel:
Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel. We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity Donorschoose.org in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Together we've raised $9,800 towards eliminating educational inequality.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sew Geeky: Marvel vs DC and PPP


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It's sew geeky time! wahoo! I apologize in advance for the quick feel of this post, I am so behind this week, and strapped for time! So let's get on with it shall we?

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I asked the boys what their fav characters were right now, as they change frequently.  Hawley said Spiderman, Murphy- Green Arrow.  I wanted these to be functional pieces for their wardrobes, and not entirely costumes. So I used the Zippy pattern from the Perfect Pattern Parcel, and through a series of color blocking on each, we have the top half of the costumes! This pattern uses regular knits, and is very light weight. Perfect for layering. I added the hood instead of the collar, because honestly, these super heros always have hoods... not collars!

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For Murphy/Green Arrow, I tried to make it look like he had on a vest by doing to tones of green french terry.  I added arm gauntlets in black, and a quiver of arrows applique.  I have a bow for him to pose wiht, his own bow, but the rest of the pictures that I didn't post show his complete unhappiness with taking pictures.  I was lucky to get these few...
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Murphy really likes his hoody and I am glad of it, but I will say that I wish I had planned out the  applique from the beginning, then I would have carried the strap around to line up better.

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Hawley/ spiderman is a pretty basic favorite.  The boys have both loved spiderman forever, as do I.  I may still end up adding drawn on spider webbing for the red parts, but for now its just a simple red and blue.
I drew in the spider on the front of Hawley's.  It was too tiny for me to attempt to applique! I used the Sharpie for fabric markers. The color blocking for Hawley's was a little more intense and keeping tight corners and rounded edges with the jersey was sometimes trying.
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Not to be forgotten, I made myself a Grainline Scout Tee from some Batman Beyond fabric in my stash. I thought it was a flat sheet until I looked a little closer to the selvedge / hem.  I used the madewell variation like I did on this one.  I wore it all day and it doesn't feel like a scrubs top.
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There are a few of us jumping on the band wagon this time, and all these kiddos look amazing!  As usual, Ari and Kat are rocking the geeky forefront and I am super happy to be involved.  Both the boys really love their hoodies, and I know they will get worn often. check out all the other amazing posts!


Pattern Parcel #4

Buy Pattern Parcel #4


If you would like to get your own Zippy Hoodie Pattern, head on through the link to the PPP website!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel: the knight hoodie

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I try to sew up all the patterns in the pattern parcel. I have already sewn this one, for Murphy's birthday, but I had been intending one for Hawley the whole time. I just delayed it until now.  I made the size 10. Hawley is in between sizing and looks like he is drowning in his clothes until about November, every time he changes sizes its like this.  Everything is too short otherwise.

so, knighty knight!

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"Hawley, put your hands in your pockets"
"ok!" pushes down dramatically and makes crazy silly faces

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"Wait, just, stop wiggling, why don't you put your arms up?"
"no, I wanna stand like this!"

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"okay, fine. can you smile?"
"hmphf"

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oh well... he hasn't been very gallant lately, but we'll get over that...

In the meantime, get your own Perfect Pattern Parcel!

Pattern Parcel #4



Buy Pattern Parcel #4




Pattern Parcel #4 includes:
Maxwell Top by Shwin Designs
Zippy Jacket by Blank Slate Patterns
Schoolboy Vest by Sew Much Ado
Small Fry Jeans by Titchy Threads
Jet Pack Bag by Betz White

Bonus Pattern:
Choose a price of $26 or greater for Parcel #4 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is Knight Hoodie by Charming Doodle. This pattern is a unique and fun spin on the traditional hoodie. Thorough instructions and pictures help you create an amazing and memorable hoodie that will inspire creativity in your little one.

About Pattern Parcel:
Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel.  We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity Donorschoose.org in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Together we've raised $9,800 towards eliminating educational inequality.