Sunday, February 14, 2010

love for my sisters...

sometimes we have something wonderful right under out noses and we cant help but take it for granted in the busy world that we live in. my sister are two of my greatest friends. my little sister left town to return to milwaukee about 4 years ago. i miss her everyday. we were roommates for a short time and i think the fighting managed to bring us closer. my older sister and i have lived in the same town for 5 years. for one year we were roommates which again brought us closer, but now she is waiting. waiting for a destination, where she will live in five months. no matter where it is it will be far away from here. i wish her the best with all my heart. i will miss her so much that i can't imagine what it will be like not having her here. and not knowing how far away she will be makes me excited and a little sad. i never knew how important it would be to have her so close to me but i always knew how much she did for me. how much time she donated to better my life. i don't know how much i ever gave back. i don't know if i will ever have the chance to balance it out. she is the best older sister i could ask for. i want to thank her a millions time over. for the cupcakes, the bubbly and the sake. for coming to dinner. i will miss these dinners. how simple they are and how easily they come. i am a better person because of her.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

old things....

i found this fantastic vinyl bag at artifacts, the local cabinet of wonderment. i can't go in there without finding something wonderful. todd, the owner, is a mad collector of pottery and can spot diamonds among the piles of old things people bring into his store. he has taught me so much about pottery and i have a wonderful collection of my own. i especially love to find local art which is common in his shop. just stopping in to say hello i was met with this brilliant orange bag. i have been looking for the perfect bag for everyday/work/research use and this one is perfect (and waaaayyyyy cheaper than the others that I have been coveting online.) it is in such good shape too, inside and out. i even found a tiny treasure to give my dearest friend tina for her birthday/moving present. i am lucky to have a second hand shop that is so close to me and that todd is such a friendly person.

Rustic banana bread muffins!

With my new diet I have been searching for ways to replace old favorites. I have a recipe that was my grandmothers for Banana bread that my mother gave to me. I have been baking it for years and even shared it with my dear friend Weng-Yew when we were roommates in Tasmania. There were some funny moments while baking that bread one that included me forgetting the flour and WY eating the mush anyway saying it was good. What a good friend. So now, 4 months after starting my new diet, Josh the bread baker, has perfected the GF, egg-free, dairy-free banana bread/scone/muffin recipe. He found a recipe on Gluten Free Goddess for pumpkin scones made from scratch. He took this recipe and made scones with butternut squash, acorn squash, apple butter and bananas. At the New Pioneer Coop we found Bob's Red Mill Biscuit and Baking Mix. He replaced her homemade flour blend with this mix (which is bean flour free). A few adjustments here, the touch of a bakers hand, some extra special ingredients there and here we have a recipe for Rustic Banana Bread Muffins! Enjoy!

Pre-heat oven to 400*F.

2 c Bob's Red Mill Biscuit and Baking Mix
5 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp double action baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 tsp ginger powder*
1/2 tsp cinnamon*
1/2 tsp all-spice*
1/2 tsp clove powder*

*these spices are optional and can be adjusted to your liking.

Whisk above ingredients together.

Add 7-10 Tbsp of cold butter, margarine, soy butter or lard (lard is the best for these muffins but does not need to be used, you will need to add 1/2 tsp of salt in total if you aren't using lard.) Mix the cold butter/lard into the dry mixture with your hands. It will be crumbly. You are done mixing when you can pinch it between your fingers and it sticks together. You want the dry mixture to be incorporated into the butter/lard. You can use a mixer for this but I find it easier to use your hands. Plus less dishes.

2 eggs or equivalent in reconstituted egg substitute (I use egg replacer by Ener-G)
3 over-ripe bananas
2 heaping Tbsp apple butter, apple sauce, etc.**
3 -4 Tbsp Honey, depending on how sweet you like them to be.
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp hazelnut milk, soy milk, or coconut milk, any milk or milk substitute will do.

**(we've used a homemade habanero apple butter, pear ginger butter and a peach ginger jam in the past. I know these are not your common household item but the spice was really nice. Apple sauce from a jar works great and you can always add a pinch of cayenne or some fresh ginger. You can add anything you want to make them your own.)

Use a spatula to fold in the above ingredients until everything is incorporated. It will be a sticky dough when done. Spoon into muffin cups or cut into scones.

You can brush the tops with the hazelnut milk and add some brown sugar and cinnamon.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Muffins took upward of 25 and scones only 20.

Serve alone or with some jam. They are so yummy!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

christien meindertsma

today i found myself trying to explain the brilliance that represents one amazing woman. it's as hard as pronouncing her name correctly. so here is my attempt to share something beautiful with you and a few of my favorites...

this is amazing

christien meindertsma is a dutch multi-media artist and designer. she has exhibitions all over the world and has won many awards in graphic design including best living product and sustainable product from sonoma woon. her work includes a book mapping the journey of a pig after its death. it's very interesting to see how many strange and unexpected applications the by-products of a slaughtered pig can be traced to. i love that she is interested in sustainability and the environment. this video explains the book and what it entails. it's a bit long, over ten minutes but well worth it if you are interested in where our products come from and what they are made of.

TEDxAmsterdam: Christien Meindertsma from TEDxAmsterdam on Vimeo.

i also admire her for her knitting. she takes the wool from an individual sheep and turns it into a one sheep sweater.

she knits these rugs that aren't like your usual rugs...

giant yarn + giant needles = gigantic cable knit rugs.

i want one of these floor poofs for my home...maybe some day...

this is a sustainable sheep ranch in idaho where the yarn for the one sheep sweaters and the giant rugs comes from. lava lake ranch is concerned with land conservation and habitat restoration. sounds fantastic.

designs for a living world is a project by the nature conservancy. christien meindertsma's created a patch-work rug where each section is made of an individual sheep's wool. thus creating a "flock" rug.