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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Bleach pen graphic tees (attempt #1 failed)

As I was perusing Pinterest last week, I came across a project to revive old t-shirts (or at least give them a new lease on life and maybe wear them again!).  The premise was simple – use a Clorox Bleach Pen to draw graphics on the t-shirts, rinse off and wash/dry.  I found 3 t-shirts that I almost never wear and rolled up my sleeves to get to work.  I decided to draw them freehand after making some doodles in my sketchbook.  I was really happy with the two bolder looks and let them sit to supposedly bleach away.  When I checked on the progress 15 minutes later, I was sad to see that there was no change in color.  So I let them sit another 15 minutes.  After more than 30 minutes, the bleach still wasn’t working.  I thought perhaps the content of the t-shirts may have something to do with it.  Two of them were mostly cotton with a touch of polyester, but one was 100% cotton and should be affected by bleach. I decided to rinse them off and chalk this up to a lesson.  But I’m still trying to figure out the lesson….t-shirt content?  Bleach strength?  Color of dye?  This will require a trip to the store to look at the different bleach pens to see if there is one specifically for whites (and therefore a higher concentration).  To be continued……..

 original pin

Original Pin

supplies

Supplies

brown tee start

Prepping the t-shirt with waxed paper and newspaper

brown tee dots

Simple first design on brown tee

orange tee pattern

A little more creative on tee #2

green tee tree

My favorite design (that sadly washed away….)

Crab Quesadilla

I treated myself to a fresh Dungeness Crab for dinner the other evening.  It was a really large crab, so I ended up with some delicious lump crab meat left over.  Instead of making crab cakes, I decided to make a crab quesadilla.  I mixed the lump crab meat with my favorite Mexican 2-cheese blend from Tillamook and added some chopped avocado.  After heating the corn tortillas in a medium-hot pan, I added the crab mixture and topped with another tortilla.  I flipped the quesadilla once to ensure the mixture was heated through and the cheese was melted.  Placing the quesadilla onto a cutting board, I used a pizza cutter to slice it into quarters.  The punch of the cheese paired nicely with the sweet crab and avocado.  Delicious!

ingredients

The ingredients

mixing avocado crab cheese

Mixing the crab, cheese, and avocado

heating tortilla

Heating the tortillas

adding the toppings

Adding the filling

topped with tortilla

Topping with a second tortilla

ready to eat

Ready to eat!

Mossy Morning

Portland has been experiencing foggy mornings and evenings and warmer than usual temperatures.  On my misty morning walk, I noticed moss everywhere.  That isn’t something unusual for Portland, but I thought some of the places it decided to inhabit were interesting.

Alameda moss

hearty tree moss

Bryce ave moss

decorative sidewalk moss

stair moss

Joplin moss

paving co moss

swing moss

Holy Molcajete! Now that’s Guacamole

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My friend, Laura, sent me a house warming gift of a granite molcajete.  Last year, she visited me and we went to a restaurant called Oba! where they make table side guacamole using a molcajete.  It was fun to watch as the waiter threw in lots of delicious ingredients and ground them into a creamy, delicious guacamole for us to devour.  I thought I’d try my hand at making my guacamole in my very own molcajete.  I like to keep my guacamole simple so I can savor the rich taste of avocado.  Three simple ingredients:  avocados, garlic, salt.  Add the chips and enjoy!

grinding rice

First steps:  cure the molcajete by grinding uncooked rice

ground after some muscle

Lots of hard work and muscle to grind it into dust, followed by a rinse in hot water

season with salt

Next up:  rock salt

salt inside

Adding the rock salt

salt ground into dust

Ground into a fine salty dust followed by a rinse in hot water

avocados

Ripened avocados ready for smashing

avocado chunks

The scooped-out insides of the avocados

adding the garlic

Adding the salt and garlic

creamy goodness

Smashed into creamy goodness

add some chips

Add some chips and dig in!

Now That’s My Kind of Knitting…..

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I have never been fond of knitting.  I am self-taught under duress.   When I was a senior at Drexel University, I decided to design sweaters and a knit skirt for my senior collection.  I was able to use a knitting machine for the sweaters (which I loved!), but the yarn for the skirt was just to curly and loopy to work on a machine.  So I bought a book and spent many hours knitting and unraveling and knitting again.  I finished the skirt, but decided that knitting was not for me.  That was until I discovered this on Pinterest.  It is called arm knitting and you use chunky yarn.  I made a scarf and actually had fun doing it.  The total project took 20 minutes.  Fun and fast?  That is a win!

Original pin scarf

Original Pinterest inspiration

chunky yarn

Chunky yarn

casting on

Casting on

adding rows

Starting the rows

making progress

The knitting progresses….

finished scarf

The Finished scarf

on the model

Ta-dah!

Lasagna – It’s What’s for New Year’s!

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Ever since I can remember, my family tradition was to eat Pork and Sauerkraut on New Year’s Day.  It was said to bring good luck in the new year.  And once I was married, I carried on the tradition for 13 years.  After the year I have had, I thought it might be time to revisit my tradition for culinary luck in the new year.  This year, I decided to try something new- to select something I like to cook and love to eat.  I chose lasagna.  I used a basic recipe and added some modifications.  I’m not sure it will bring good luck, but I certainly enjoyed eating it!

the ingredients

Gathering the ingredients

rough recipe

The basic recipe

onions and beef

Browning the onions and ground beef

boiling noodles

Boiling the noodles

new pan liner

Trying out a new liner to help with the clean-up

layering the noodles

Layering the noodles

layer of cheeses

Followed by the ricotta and cheeses

ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

done baking

Fully baked

ready to freeze

Packaged individually for the freezer

complete meal

Cheers and Happiness in 2014!

Recipe:

  • 16 pieces of lasagna noodles
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 cups spaghetti sauce (I used Newman’s Own Sockarooni)
  • 4 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup Italian blend cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (I used shredded, so I just eyeballed it)
  • Spicy Italian seasoning (*if desired- adds a bit of punch)
  • Reynolds Wrap pan liner (*if desired- it worked well!)

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Saute chopped onion until clear.  Brown the beef.  Add spaghetti sauce and heat through.  Line 9 x 13 pan with Reynolds Wrap pan liner if desired.  Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce mixture in bottom of pan.  Top with 4 pieces of lasagna, overlapping the edges.  Spread 1/3 of the ricotta cheese and mozzarella/Italian cheeses over pasta.  Sprinkle with Spicy Italian Seasoning.  Cover with 1/4 of sauce mixture.  Repeat layers twice, beginning and ending with the pasta.  Spread the remaining 1/4 sauce mixture on top of pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and a final dash of the Spicy Italian Seasoning.  Cover with foil.  Back 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Remove foil and bake an additional 5 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.  Makes 8 – 10 servings.

Good Thoughts Jar 2013- That’s a Wrap!

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At the start of 2013, I knew I was facing a challenging year.  Just how challenging it actually became was a complete shock to the system.  By committing to the Good Thoughts Jar, I knew I would have to come up with one good thought every day- even on those days that seemed impossible.  As I read through all 365 thoughts today, it made me smile, chuckle, a bit sad (with some reminders), but mostly I felt loved.   When you have physical evidence of the love and support you have felt throughout the year, it is difficult to feel sorry for yourself – no matter what is going on.  I have stumbled and even failed at things this past year, but most importantly I have grown.  I have learned valuable lessons.  I have realized that your mind is very powerful and when you start to focus on the good, you instinctively continue to go there.   I still have a challenging hill to climb, but I am committing to the Good Thoughts Jar this year and each year thereafter.  Here’s to continued good thoughts in 2014!

I discovered several recurring themes while reading through my good thoughts:

-Outings

-Creative Pursuits

-My Moves (I had to find places to live and move twice in 4 months)

-Happy Thoughts About Others

-Self Reflection and Care

-Reset/Refresh in Nature

-Support of Family and Friends

Some of My Favorites….

going out

happy for others

nature refresh

travel

support and love

sparkly headband

January Jar

January

February jar

February

March jar

March

April jar

April

May jar

May

June jar

June

July jar

July

August jar

August

September jar

September

October jar

October

November jar

November

December jar

December

what 365 thoughts look like

What 365 Good Thoughts look like

starting fresh 2014

Reset for 2014