Saturday, March 31, 2012

One down. Lucky fishing socks.

Woah, an actual knitting post! Sweet. Here is the first of a pair of fishing socks I'm making for Pinky...we're hoping they are filled with fish-catching luck! Pattern is from Purlbee (amazingly lovely patterns) and is called Socks for Giving Away. I'm using Cascade Sport for the oatmeal color and Blue Sky Alpacas Baby Alpaca Sport (doubled for strength) for the red. I haven't made a ton of socks and I'm still figuring out gauge now that I've switched to continental style knitting. I went down 3 needle sizes than the recommended for the foot part, because I like a snug fit on the foot. They fit him well! Now, to just get that second one done. I've already cast-on, so hopefully it will get done :)

Here are a few patterns in the queue to make next, after finishing a few undone projects, of course... (we'll see!!).

What's on your needles or in your queue? I want to see!! :) Happy Weekend! Oooh, the sun is coming out! Must soak up some vitamin D!!!

Candy striped beets and Saturday salad surprise

Sometimes your last minute lunch can surprise you, and today mine did! I've been cleaning all morning and wanted to just grab a quick bite. Sometimes that literally means a piece of turkey from the fridge. I don't get too worked up over fancy lunches most of the time. But then I thought, well, I need some veggies with this and oh! that avocado I this is what it turned into...a super yummy salad! Score!

Candy Striped Beet, Avocado & Turkey Salad

-1 small Candy Striped Beet, sliced in small strips
-3 slices organic/nitrate-free oven roasted turkey breast (I like Applegate Farms that you get at the deli counter)
-1/2 ripe avocado, sliced
-handful of green lettuce
-tbsp red wine vinegar
-tbsp good olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste.

So quick and easy to slice up all of the ingredients and put together topped with oil & vinegar. The richness of the avocado totally makes this dish. The candy striped beets are nice and crunchy and sweet with just a little bit of that beet bitterness. Yum! What a nice Saturday surprise :)

Friday, March 30, 2012

New spring accessory. All-natural, bright lipstick.

Happy Friday! Today it is a little gloomy here and it was hard to wake up, so I'm glad to be talking about something bright and fun. I got bold this week and bought a new Spring accessory...bright red lipstick! I have finally been able to embrace the size of my smackers and am excited to put this lovely hue on them. Here's the key to wearing a bright color though...tone down the rest of your makeup. Wear just a touch of a natural blush and a little mascara. Only concealer on your lids or something really neutral. Your lips do all the talking. Heh.

In addition to being bright, this lipstick is also all natural, with good ingredients that aren't harming to me or the environment. This particular brand is ZuZu in color "Starlet." You can buy at this link or find it at Whole Foods or if you're in Portland, at New Seasons Markets.

I've recently been switching all of my cosmetics to natural products. It's not as easy as you might think because who wants to buy a bunch of expensive things that don't work? Not me. Here is where my next recommendation comes in... No More Dirty Looks by Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt. It's a really great read on all of the natural products they tested, what to look for and not look for in a good, natural product and shopping lists of their favorites for each beauty category. I can't say enough about how helpful this book is. I'm still in the process of switching a few things over, but so far I am in love with what I've gotten, at their recommendation. Please check it out. Here is their website which has additional great information. They are fun and not too crunchy, which is really nice for someone who likes painted nails and lipstick.

The reason I found this great book is from signing up for a really wonderful daily email. I know, I get too many emails as well, but this one is short. And worth it. It's called Very Short List and it is just that. It includes very interesting, artistic, short blurbs about really cool people/art/products/ etc. In today's email we got a link to Culture Kitchen Box, a program that sends you hard-to-find ingredients, shopping lists and instructions on how to cook various ethnic cuisine. Really fun if you want to have a dinner party each month and impress people with your fancy cooking skills.

Have a beautiful weekend everyone. I am going to hear Anne Lamot speak tonight and am SO excited about it. She is a brilliant, hilarious writer. If you get the chance, please read her books, especially Traveling Mercies and Bird by Bird. You will not be disappointed. Adios for now!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Gluten-free/ grain-free cookie recipe!

Okay, so even though I am eating much healthier these days, I am so addicted to having a cookie in the afternoons. I love to bake so at least I'm making my own and making them gluten and grain free. I just got in some Honeyville Farms Blanched Almond Flour and of course had to instantly give it a whirl in the kitchen. I combined a few recipes and came up with the following:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 c. Honeyville Farms Blanched Almond Flour (order here)
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 c butter, coconut oil, or combination of both (coconut oil is what I used today and it gives a little more coconut flavor. Use organic butter if you use butter)
2 omega 3 eggs
1 T vanilla extract
1/2 c grade A maple syrup
1/2 c (or more to taste) dark chocolate chips (I like less chocolate chips - you can put in as many as you like! Most recipes this size call for 1 cup)

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Melt coconut oil or butter and set aside to cool a bit. Combine other wet ingredients in smaller bowl and whisk together. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir. Then pour in butter/coconut oil and combine. Stir in chocolate chips.

Using a cookie dough scoop (this dough is sticky!) drop cookies onto lined baking sheet. (Get a Sil-pat if you don't have one!) Bake for 10-12 minutes. I push mine down a bit with a fork after 2 minutes or so. Makes them spread out just a bit more.

Cool them on a rack. Makes approx. 24 cookies.

I am so happy with how these turned out! You get a fluffy cookie with a soft center and a little crispiness outside. Oh man. Good. And not THAT bad for you. Protein in the almond flour, right?? Right.

I hope you enjoy! You can use other almond flour or meal, but beware of different results. Many people claim Honeyville Farms' almond flour is best for great baking results. Happy baking!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Weekly round up and newest breakfast addiction

Baked eggs breakfast by elletrain
Baked eggs breakfast, a photo by elletrain on Flickr.
Hello again! I have quite a few things to share with you today.

Pictured above is my latest favorite breakfast...baked eggs! My friend Becky over at The Root Cellar's Garden mentioned baked eggs a while ago and I was intrigued! It's the perfect dish for my lovely little mini-cocottes.

You pretty much just start with butter and maybe a little milk or cream (or almond milk in my case!), heat that in the cocottes under the broiler for a few minutes.

Add any ingredients you like this morning I had a little spinach sauteéd with garlic I put in the bottom of each one.

Then crack an egg on top and sprinkle a little salt.

Put them back under the broiler for 5-7 minutes until the egg white is almost cooked.

Pull them out and put the cover on to keep warm and finish cooking the egg while you set the table, etc.

You could do this in ramekins if you don't have these little dishes. Mmm. They are so good! Kind of like a soft boiled egg, but easier to eat. You do have to watch them a little as they cook. Don't overcook the top of the eggs as they will be tough. You could put any kind of sauteéd veggie on the bottom...or potatoes, etc. Next time I'm going to try sweet potatoes and goat cheese, maybe with some thyme. Mmmm! Try them please.

Here, now, is a round up of photos from the last week.

Finished a new hat. Yarn: Berocco Flicker. Pattern from Knitty Flitty.

Hazards is self-photography. Was trying to get the hat...

The cuteness never ends with this pup. She turned on the iPad when she put her head on it...priceless.


My new, most favoritest shirt ever. "Lettuce. Turnip. The beet." From Etsy.

Yes. Lettuce. I just love this shirt.

Started my china collection :) From Horse & Hound.

Had to return something bought w Christmas money recently. So I decided to use it to start my china collection. I am so in love!!!! Please come for tea.

And finally some drawings I did in the ol' watercolor journal. Our neighborhood Part I & II.

Our neighborhood part 2

Our neighborhood part 1

I have been a busy body this week. Today has included logo design, making carnitas for dinner, exploding chicken broth, and a bit of laundry. What have you been up to?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Eagle tee daily outfit

Eagle tee by elletrain
Eagle tee, a photo by elletrain on Flickr.

Going to do some shopping today. I needed to feel tougher than I look...

Eagle sleeveless tee & faux leather jacket: Urban Outfitters; hoodie: Old Navy; jeans: Hudson; shoes: Seychelles.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Theatre outfit

Theatre outfit by elletrain
Theatre outfit, a photo by elletrain on Flickr.

Last night we went to see Wicked here in Portland. It was SO incredibly good! It was fun to get a little bit dressed up for the's the outfit:

Faux leather jacket: Urban Outfitters; colorblocked blouse: H&M; scarf & belt: Target; skirt: label says Bird by Bird; black suede ankle boots (not pictured): Shoe Mint.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

preparing an embroidery hoop for hanging.

This is a gem of a thing to know...Thanks Wild Olive!!

Grey day

Grey day by elletrain
Grey day, a photo by elletrain on Flickr.
So, my brother commented on this photo on Facebook saying "Sis, you're silly." I replied, "Brother, girls like outfits." I do, I LOVE looking at other people's outfits. So, if you are like me, here ya go. Otherwise, if you think this is silly, you can go hang with my brother... Happy Wednesday!!

Scarf: knitted by me (pattern: Stripe Study shawl); jacket: Gap; jeans: H&M; mocassins: thrifted via Etsy - Minnetonka