Wednesday, January 30

I Could Eat Sweet Potatoes Every Day

Just a quick share on a new favorite.

It's easy, [relatively] quick, and healthy!

Oh, and it reheats wonderfully for lunch at work.  :o)

I found the recipe on Naturally Ella, and although I was a bit unsure about 1) eating poached eggs and 2) actually making them myself (what can I say, I'm a scrambled girl... in many ways).  Figured I'd give it a try though!  Glad I did.  :o)

Here's my spin on her recipe:

Garlic Sweet Potatoes & Dill Eggs
Adapted from Naturally Ella

  • 1 medium - large'ish sweet potato
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, or 1-2 T of minced garlic
  • <1 T olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • dill (dried or fresh)
How to:
  1. Preheat oven to 400*
  2. Scrub sweet potato and cut into 1/4" slices (yay, no peeling!)
  3. Mix together sweet potato rounds, olive oil, and garlic so the sweet potato has a nice covering of olive oil and the garlic is spread around.
  4. Cover sweet potato mix in a foil pouch and cook for 25-30 minutes
  5. While the potatoes are doing their thing...  Bring a pot of water to a good simmer.  Crack eggs into simmering (not quite boiling) water and cook for 3-4 minutes, one egg at a time.  I used a slotted spoon to remove my eggs from the water.
  6. When the potatoes are done, pour out your potatoes onto a plate/bowl, and top with the eggs.  Sprinkle dill on top to your liking.  

Ok, my pictures may not be uber-appetizing... but this is yummy!  You'll just have to trust me on this one.  This was listed as a breakfast on Erin's blog, but I think it makes for a really good anytime meal!  Can you imagine this with a slice of homemade bread on the side??  Oh yum!

Tuesday, January 22

A Dog of Many Hairstyles

Woohoo!  Okay, I am sporadic at best, but here goes my third (?) 23Paws post!  I really love the idea, but I am oh so unorganized when it comes to getting this done on/by/around the 23rd!

So, giving Rudder a haircut is probably the FIRST thing I'll do come Spring...  He is such a fuzzy beast with the weirdest patches of super fluffy blonde hair.  but there is some of his hair that I will never cut...
Fozzie Bear'esque
Ever since I picked up this little ball of spazzy'ness, he has had a crazy scientist 'do on top of his head.  It 100% fits his personality.


It is also SUPER fun to style!


So, enjoy the many styles of Rudder! ;o)

The comb-over

 The quasi-mohawk/Einstein

The "Reginald Von Wigglebottom" of the Edwardian (?) era.

Unicorn braid

The snow-laden forward wave (ya know circa 1999)


"Frosted" tips

Oh, and there are more.  So many more... :op 

Friday, January 18

Sweet Treat

I really liked the quinoa parsnip cookies I made a while back, so when I stumbled upon this pin of quinoa cookies, I figured I'd pin it to try later.  Glad I did! 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies
Adapted From: 366 Days of Pinterest

  • 2 c. cooked quinoa, chilled
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter (I used pb2, which makes it even HEALTHIER!)
  • 3 T maple syrup 
  • 1/4 t. sea salt
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • 3/4 c. rolled oats
  • 1/2 c. shredded coconut
  • 1/2 c. (or so) chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)

How To:
  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Mix together quinoa, peanut butter, maple syrup, sea salt, and oats together with a hand mixer.
  3. Stir in coconut and chocolate chips
  4. Form into balls onto parchment paper or Silpat 
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Eat one right after they come out of the oven because they are gosh darn delicious and gooey!

A healthy'ish treat that totally satisfies my sweet tooth.  :o)  I'm fairly certain I could almost make this pass as a breakfast food...  Maybe if I added banana... ;o)

Monday, January 14

Sangria... Not Just For Summer Anymore!

When I think sangria... I think summer.  However, when I made this... it was below -10*F.  Definitely not summer.  Kevin and I were having some people over to taste test batch #2 from the Muddy Rudder Homebrew, but I wanted to have something for the non-beer [gasp!] drinkers.  It also helped that I just happened to have a bunch of apples and oranges that were just sitting in the fruit bowl begging to swim in alcohol.  Thus the creation of winter sangria.

I didn't write down exactly what I put in... so here's my best attempt at re-creating a recipe!  I really should start writing these things down somewhere...

Spiced Winter Sangria
  • 1/2 c. brandy
  • 1/4 c. sugar (a scant 1/4 cup)
  • 1-2 T. maple syrup
  • 1 bottle red wine (I used a shiraz/cabernet blend)
  • 1-2 c. lime soda water
  • 1/2 c. orange juice
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 c. cranberries (I used frozen)
  • handful of cinnamon sticks
  • whole cloves (just be sure they don't end up in the glass!)
I mixed the brandy, sugar, syrup, and fruit together first.  Ya know, to make the the fruit was nice and drunk.  :o)  Let it sit for a while (I kept busy prepping other food, so we'll say 15-20 minutes?) then add in the rest of the ingredients.

Serve chilled.

I may like this better than summer-like sangria.  MAY.  I dunno, I think I'm an equal opportunity sangria enthusiast.  I definitely love the spiced aspect of this one though.  Mmmm mmmm mmmm!!!

Saturday, January 12

A New Crafting Hobby... Craft Brews!

Over the past few months, Kevin and I have been brewing beer.  I do believe we started in October, and have now made 3 different batches of beerliciousness!  [Okay, maybe only two are beerlicious...  I wasn't a big fan of brew #1]

Like many blog posts I've intended on writing and sharing... this is a wee bit belated.  :o)  I had this awesome idea that I was going to do a "one year anniversary" now and then house post this summer.  Problem is, when the house was "picture perfect" (which was maybe once) it was dark.  Oh, and like a couple weeks ago.  Oh well!  Maybe after two years of buying the house.  :oD

Oh yeah, beer.

Kevin and I are calling our beer and brewing "operation" (ha!) the Muddy Rudder Homebrew.  Ya know, named for our favorite little buddy and his propensity to attract mud from the far corners of the earth (seriously, its like his superpower).

So, here's a little bit about the home brewing thus far:

Our first beer was a simple brown ale that came in a can.  Like the kind that's hard to mess up.  Well... we did!  Ha!  No, no issues with contamination or anything...  more of a too much bottling sugar (in my opinion) and not enough aeration at the beginning of the fermentation.  It's drinkable, and to be honest some bottles taste alright, but not at all bottles.  Oh, and some bottles, they are bubbly messes when you open them.   So this first beer, which I've dubbed "Beginner's Brown" came in at a whopping 2% alcohol.  Oh yeah.  We're just above a near beer. :op  It does make for some excellent beer bread though!

Second beer was a Christmas Ale.  Again, we went with a simple can extract kit.  Seeing as our first batch wasn't a smashing success, we didn't want to get too big for our britches by doing a more legit recipe.  Christmas ale came in around 5-6%.  We remembered to aerate the snot out of the beer with this nifty thing you put on the drill.  Bet Kevin didn't think he'd be using his birthday present to make beer! ;o)  We ended up having a few people over to share the beer, and have been giving it away to friends and family as a Christmas card of sorts.  Since this beer was made during Rudder's "bed rest" with his sprained paw, we named it Broken Wheel Ale, after his gimpy paw.

Our most recent beer, and my personal favorite thus far, is the Maple Wheat.  First recipe followed beer that was a wee bit more complicated.  Holy cannoli the smell of hops in your kitchen is AMAZING!  I think that was my favorite part of the whole brewing process (favorite part was definitely not clean up post bottling...).  We used Vermont maple syrup that Kevin's dad brought up.  This one was a good compromise for us because I love all things maple, and Kevin loves all beers that are wheat.  :o)  Haven't named this one yet... Any suggestions?  The color of the beer is the same as Rudder's "highlights" in his hair [disclaimer: I do NOT dye my dog's hair, he just gets a bit blonde in the sun.  :o) ]

Right now we're on a home brewing break - we aren't the world's fastest beer drinkers. :o)  We're planning on making a St. Patty's day beer for Rudder's birthday (which is on St. Patrick's Day).  Not sure what kind yet...  I'm still crossing my fingers for a honey cream ale... but who knows what beer recipe will make Rudder us drool.  :o)

[update: I want to try a Mexican chocolate oatmeal stout!  I think it perfectly describes the little dude: chocolate and oatmeal colored, with a little kick!  Oh, and he's a bit stout in the waistline at the moment... ha!  To be discussed with co-brewer Kevin...]

Wednesday, January 9

Making Mugs

I have seen tutorial after tutorial on Pinterest on using a sharpies on porcelain.  I think I pinned one of them over a year ago.  In true Krista fashion, I just now got around to trying it out.  :o)

Oh, and pardon the pics.  I took them before I left for work (which was like 7:00 am, which is also pitch black dark in December)

One of my schools was auctioning off cookie trays to benefit Abused Women's Aid in Crisis (AWAIC) in Anchorage.  Last year they were able to donate over $1000 (this is my more affluent school) from parent/teacher bids on cookies.  Well, give me any excuse to bake copious amounts of cookies and I will do just that.  :o)  I wanted to try hot chocolate on a stick (FAIL!) and serve it in custom mugs with marshmallows (I toyed with the idea of trying to make my own... but then I realized I was uber busy) and homemade sugar cookies.  I'd share the sugar cookie recipe, but its a family one from my Great Aunt Dorothy that I'm not ready to share yet.  Maybe next year. ;o)

Okay, like I was saying... mugs.  I picked up two plain white porcelain mugs for $1 at the thrift store with "good lines" (dunno why I felt the need to stick that in quotations... It just felt right...).  I followed this tutorial from A Beautiful Mess.  I drew on them freehand, then baked them at 350* for 30 minutes.  Cooled, washed, then ready to go!

I went with "Merry and Bright" and "Comfort & Joy" because I love how two (okay, technically three) words can encompass the coziness of the holidays during the darkness that is Winter.  Love, love, love!

Here are the final platters I brought in.  No clue how much they auctioned for, but hey, they went for something, and that something went for good.  Oh, and I got to be a bit artsy fartsy and decorate mugs AND cookies!  Sounds like a win-win-win to me! :oD

Tuesday, January 8

If I Were To Get This All Done...

...Then I must have magically ended up with a 32 hour day in which I required no sleep!

Yay! No sleep!  I'm so excited!

Oh wait... I forgot.  I like sleep!

So, I know that this list is a bit over zealous.  I know that a lot of these projects will cost more than I expect.  I know some (or many) will carry into 2014.  I know that I will probably change my mind about some of these [hair-brained] ideas...

But here they are!  Break out the Carhartts!

In 2013, I'd like to do/work on the following house projects:

Living Room:
  • Wall art - my walls are tired of being naked!
  • Bookshelves - need somewhere to keep my growing pile of books and various assundries
  • Curtains - I've hated the cheapy ones that came with the house since day 1.  They need to go.
  • 1/2 wall into the kitchen - I'm dreaming big! :o)
  • Shoe rack - this is Kevin's request, as he hates tripping over my boots when he's over.
  • Finish cabinets - Paint underneath (one year later...) and put up the rest of the hardware
  • Counter tops - bigger project, but if it happened... I'd be such a happy camper!  Not sure what I want to do with them though...
  • Floor - mine is uuuuuuugly! ["but she sure can cook!" - name that song!].  Again, bamboo?  Cork?  Engineered hardwood?
Downstairs Bathroom:
  • New vanity - the one I have is falling apart (oh, and has graffiti left from previous tenants)
  • Frame out the mirror
  • Change the light - I have the fixture, just haven't gotten to it.
  • Hooks - no towel bars in there, bought some neato toledo artisan hooks, just need to nail those bad boys in.
Office/Gear Room:
  • Paint the gear shelves - but what color????  ahhhh!
  • Make/buy bins for said gear on the shelf
  • Light - change it out, maybe, still undecided
  • Curtains - DONE!  (I had to put one thing on the checklist I could immediately check off.  That's how I roll.)
Guest Room:
  • Window - make it purdy
  • Quilts - break out the sewing machine and get to stitching!
  • Art - finish the half done art hanging on the walls. :op
Upstairs Bathroom:
  • Vanity - need a new one.  Stat.
  • Floor - need a new one.  Stat. (seriously, its grungy AND a small lotion bottle created a huge spider like crack in the tile.  Reeee dic u lous!)
  • Figure out how to make the long awkward shelves into a usable "linen closet"
  • Re-tile the tub - Or else it's going to look more and more like caulk city in there.  Oh, and I HATE the dusty pink tile and the ones with the flowers...
  • Hang up towel hooks.  I hate the brassy bar that's dangling from the wall.
  • Paint.  Make it.... blue! (or some variation of, I have a lot of blue paint)
Upstairs Room:
  • Paint. 
  • Awkward sink - Mission: make less awkward (yes, I have a pedestal sink chilling in my bedroom)
  • Art.  Again, another naked room.
  • Patio like something or other in the back.
  • Work on the drainage issue - although this may not be a problem with the lack of snow this year...
  • Flowers & Garden - Plant some more flowers.  Grow some grub.  Add two more small raised beds to the side of the house.

I'd also like to:
  • Go berry picking on the Denali Highway while everyone else is caribou hunting.
  • Have a [at least moderately] successful garden.
  • Be way more awesome at preserving things from said garden.
  • Travel somewhere I haven't been (preferably outside of Alaska).
  • Spend more time outdoors.  Hiking, biking, boating, camping, picnicking... Anything outside!
  • Read more, Hulu less.
  • Be a better bread baker and soup maker.
  • Consider craft fairs for the Fall/Winter.
  • Give Rudder a haircut (ok, I know this one is weird, but I cannot wait until it is warm enough to get rid of his well loved Fozzie bear look he's rocking...)
  • Tune my piano and play it!
  • Not kill all of my house plants.
  • Finally organize all my paperwork...  
  • Rediscover my sketchbook.
  • Post things sooner (instead of waiting, oh 6+ months, then deciding its a bit late to talk about Easter in November...) 
  • Make my house feel more like home (good post here on that)

Now, where did I leave that tape measure...