Wednesday, June 30, 2010

on turning 33

Can you tell what these things have in common?

an arrangement of red roses

a plate full of veggie Indian food

peach galette from an awesome local bakery
with homemade strawberry ice cream

hand-painted cotton yarn

and new neck decoration

They are the makings of a lovely 33rd birthday. Thanks to my family for making this a wonderful day.

*don't forget to head over to The Book Children to enter the giveaway!*

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

WIP Wednesday and vegan cowboy cookies

The crafting has been a little slow around here lately. Between the busyness of travel and the fact I forgot my knitting bag when we went to the beach, I'm a little behind. So I only really have one thing to share with you this week. You might remember these slippers I made for Finn a while back, well, I decided to make a pair for Paulie as well. I made a few adjustments like using the adult pattern and making them MUCH larger than the size I intended them felt down to. I also used 2 strands of Knit Picky's Wool of the Andes worsted, one evergreen and one bittersweet heather. The result after washing in 3 hot water cycles was a much thicker durable slipper than Finn's, which is fine since Finn will outgrow his so quickly anyway.

I really like how the brown and green yarn together sort of make the slipper look mottled in color. I'll have to find something decorative for the front of the slippers to gussy them up a bit.

In other news, Finn has suddenly become very interested in helping in the kitchen. I guess I'm surprised it took so long, but now he's come around with gusto. He especially likes to help me make cookies. In fact, if I so much as pull out a certain mixing bowl, he immediately heads to drag a chair over to help me. :) This evening he helped me make Vegan Cowboy Cookies.

It's safe to say that even though he lacked a hat and some spurs, Finn quite enjoyed the fruit of his efforts.

Vegan Cowboy Cookies

2 cups quick oats
2 cups spelt flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup coconut oil (I skimped a wee bit)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup almond butter
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
1/2 cup milk alternative (I used rice milk)
1 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350. Stir everything together in a bowl until ingredients are just blended. Then drop by spoonful (about golf ball sized) onto baking sheet. Bake for 15-17 min until cookies are completely set. Enjoy! Eat leftovers for breakfast. (Oh wait, that's just what we plan to do...)

Psst...there's a giveaway at The Book Children. Go check it out here.

Monday, June 28, 2010

the face of God

When I was small, I always thought the sunbeams streaming out from behind a cloud were God. (That idea might have been based on the pictures in this book, which my own kids still read.) After I had a rather blah day, Paul snapped this photo with his camera phone this evening and emailed it to me with just the subject line God. Somehow it seems fitting that He would show Himself in just simple ray of light through our evening sky at the right moment.

Where never lark, nor even eagle flew –
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high, untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
~ John Gillespie Magee

Sunday, June 27, 2010

return of the summer salad

We've been slacking a little on our Saturday lunch tradition, what with heading out to the beach one Saturday and returning the next Saturday. So...Sunday dinner was the mostly local meal this week. Since the heat has been extraordinarily oppressive here as of late, I decided to make various favorite summer salads. It's just hard to hover over a stove or oven when it's around 100° outside.

We came home to an overgrowth of basil in our yard which made tomato-mozzarella salad an easy choice to start our meal. We especially love it with slightly coarse sea salt and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

The textures just blend so marvelously.

Another go-to summer salad for us is Black Bean Salad. Two cups of cooked black beans, two cups of blanched, then cut from the cob, corn, with one medium bell pepper diced and a quarter cup of finely diced onion mixed with 2-3 tbsp of each olive oil and red wine vinegar then sprinkled with sea salt and pepper to taste. Very easy and tasty summer treat!

Another dish, that's not exactly a salad but will use up your plethora of summer squash, is this side that's essentially pan-fried squash. Slice 4 small-medium sized squash (you want it on the smallish side so it's not too wide or seedy) into about 1/4-1/3 inch slices. Half (from top to bottom) and peel 1-2 yellow onions slicing each half in about the same width as the squash. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat with 2-3 tbsp olive oil. Place the squash and onions in the heated pan with 3 cloves of minced garlic and 1/2 tsp salt and a fair amount of freshly ground pepper. Stir every couple of minutes until the onions are starting to turn clear and the squash is starting to soften. Turn off heat, cover dish and leave for about 5 minutes. Turn out pan-fried squash into bowl and wait another 5-10 minutes. When I'm eating this with salads, I like for it to be closer to room temperature than piping hot.

Finn prefers his mozzarella sans balsamic vinegar. His tongue hasn't quite developed to appreciate the sour yet.

But it's quite a tasty plate of "Saturday lunch" food, if I do say so myself.

Friday, June 25, 2010

the last of the beach

The last few days of our beach trip we've been busy packing in every last bit of fun we possibly can. We've been busy

searching for the perfect shell,

watching the coquina clams burrow back into the sand,

jumping over waves,

practicing silly splash moves,

feeling the sea spray on our faces,

smiling through the sand,

collecting these little balls of sea jelly called Salp (Does anyone know what these are? They look similar to jellyfish but are all similarly sized and shaped and we found them everywhere at high tide today.)

digging holes,

playing in holes,

observing a thunderstorm roll over the ocean,

visiting the Graveyard of the Atlantic museum,

playing a round of putt-putt,

giggling at Finn's first putting experience,

scoring a hole-in-one in a lovely lush green setting,

climbing to the top of the lighthouse,

exploring some marshes,

marveling at the windsurfers,

basking in the warm glow of the ocean sunset.

goodbye beach! until next time...

{this moment} - waves

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. See Soulemama to play along.

{single moment that took 4 photos to capture}

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

more beachy fun

being dragged on the boogie board by a big brother

being buried (standing up) in the sand by the siblings (which then sparked a 20 minute water shoe hunt)

watering the flowers

discovering a skate egg sac

digging a trench to the ocean

exploring the Hatteras lighthouse (in the crazy 95° heat)

watching the lighthouse climbers from a shady spot

relaxing on the beach house hammock

drying all the swimsuits during dinner (and now we can participate in Wash Wednesday)

finally, observing a lovely sunset over the sound with a windsurfer zipping along in the fading golden light

*Don't forget to check out beach week on The Book Children*

Monday, June 21, 2010

scenes from a summer solstice

How we're celebrating the summer solstice:

Happy summer!!