Tuesday, June 30, 2009

blueberry puff

Originally, this Blueberry creature was supposed to be a sour cream blueberry turnover made with puff pastry. Unfortunately, the turnover opened mid baking and created a tart like treat.

Basically, it's just Puff pastry with a bit of filling baked into the center of it. Quite tasty, not much to look at.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Baby Blue Elephants

I like to pronounce it, Elliefonts. This concept of little, blue, baby elephants seems to have become very popular around here.

We found the cup (along with two others, that I'll post later) and a week later, without realizing the theme, I found the tiny elephant soap in an entirely different shop.

Just the lonely little elephant, stomping about in the sunshine.

It wasn't until I got them home and saw them sitting side by side that I noticed the similarities. Same blue color, same cute smallness. Hmmm...I like this style of elephant.

Just for size reference.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

piggy post

(In reality, my excuse to take the new "stunt grass" out for a big, obvious spin. It just didn't get much exposure in the last strawberry pie post.)

So many piggies around the apartment. Here are a few for your enjoyment:

Piggy Snouts.

Piggy tails. Cute!

Two friends, lying in the grass, contemplating clouds and the blueness of the sky.

Guinea pig (not really a piggy, but he really wanted his picture taken)

My piggies

Piggy bank- a useful piggy!

This little bank gets hungry and must be fed often! He likes quarters best but mostly gets dimes, nickels and pennies.


Oh dear! don't fall over little piggies.

Tiny piggies in the grass.

Where's the grass?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This may look like dejavu, but it's just another strawberry pie

Today was long and tiring but fairly productive. We spent a couple hours in line to submit Passport applications and I spent the rest of the day doing chores and making dinner, which consisted of Lamb and Mushroom pie, and Dessert, which consisted of Matthew's family's traditional strawberry pie. The Lamb and Mushroom pie was wonderful, probably the best version that I've made of it, thus far(it changes every time I make it), but the strawberry pie was just so, so. I used a graham cracker crust since I'm not very good at making traditional crusts, and a press-in-crust is ideal for tiny kitchens. That probably wasn't the best plan, but the pie was fairly satisfying, despite it's rather unorthodox crust.

In case you didn't notice, and it would be easy to overlook, I took the strawberry pie photos on the new "posing mat." I hope to use this square of plastic grass as a cheerful background for many of my future photos. It cost all of a dollar fifty and I intend to make it worth every penny.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

yum chili yum

Ever since visiting Alex and Jessica's for Red Beans and Rice, where we tried the West Indies Creole Hot Pepper Sauce, Matthew has wanted me to make chili. He just couldn't wait to try this new hot sauce (available from a little hot sauce shop in Normal Heights) with chili and Cornbread. I usually patch a couple recipes together when I make chili but this time I just added whatever seemed like it might make the chili better. We wanted to keep this chili relatively healthy so I used ground turkey breast and a smoked spicy turkey sausage for the meat base instead of ground beef and traditional Andouille Sausage. Matthew said, that this chili might very well have been better than my last batch made with Andouille, also incredible chili. Who really knows which one was better but I figured I'd better write a record of how I made this chili before I forget entirely. That has always been a serious flaw, my inability to recreate yummy meals. I suppose that just makes dinner extra special, if I've tampered with the recipe, or simply not used one.


1 cup each of red beans and pinto beans, soaked for 8-10 hours(I put mine to soak before going to work and when i got home, I cooked them), drained, then cooked for 1- 1 1/2 hours with a large clove peeled garlic and a peeled potato. Discard the potato and garlic after the beans are done. If you cooked them the night before making the chili, then chill them until ready to use.

1-2 teaspoons canola oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
1+ pound ground turkey
2 smoked sausages, sliced (I used turkey, but pork would be good too)
1 pint can diced peeled tomatoes
1 little can tomato paste
1 12 ounce bottle of porter, stout or brown ale (I used one of Matthew's home brewed porters)
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/4-1/2 cup water

1 bouillon cube(not necessary, I just like the extra flavor)
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder(not the hot kind, the dark red, flavorful kind)
1/2 teaspoon hot chili powder or perhaps 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1-2 teaspoons stone ground mustard
6 or so, good dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt

Saute the onion and celery in canola oil for about 5 min. add the bell pepper and saute another 5 or 10 min. just make sure the onion is starting to get very soft and a bit squishy. Dump the veggies into a crock pot. Cook turkey and garlic in a bit more oil, if necessary, and add 1/4-1/3 of the beer to pan, to help lift the stuck bits from the pan; add the bouillon cube and cook until meat is done. While meat is cooking, put all other ingredients into the crock pot, including your pre cooked beans and the rest of the bottle of beer. Add the meat mixture to crock pot and stir everything very well. Now, cook on high heat until it starts to bubble, turn down to low or perhaps medium if you have that setting(I only have keep warm, low and high settings, my low setting might be medium for other people). Let the chili bubble away until you get home from work or are done with your day and ready for a yummy meal. Serve chili topped with a dollop of sour cream, cheddar cheese and some very spicy hot sauce, alongside buttery southern cornbread.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A wee mushroom forest

Honestly, my idea didn't turn out very well. I thought it would be so cute to make a tiny forest out of the Chocolate biscuit mushrooms that I love to snack on, but it wasn't so cute. A bit silly and strange more than anything. I decided that I'd post it anyway, just because I intended to do so originally. My apologies for the strangeness.

Happy little forest mushrooms

Mushroom munching monster


Little Lone survivor

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Weekend Trip...

...to the ever exciting Banning, CA.

We made the hour and a half drive up to Banning to see Matthew's friend Tim(who was in the area from the east coast). Since Banning has very little to do or see, we drove a couple miles down highway 10 to Cabazon where we visited the Dinosaurs and the local casino.

We played a couple slots, Matthew won 15 dollars and I lost a dollar. It's pretty amazingly desolate out there on the edge of the dessert. But we had a great visit and enjoyed every minute that we spent with Tim.

strawberry muffins

These muffins are very healthy, but surprisingly delicious, considering the incident that prompted their creation. Yesterday morning, after I looked around in the fridge for breakfast options, I realized that I'd left a week-out-of-date strawberry yogurt in my lunch bag, on the floor of the living room all night. It was completely at room temp. and so naturally, I thought, "maybe it's still good, i'll open it up and try some." It was actually delicious, didn't taste bad at all, but I decided to play it safe and use the yogurt in a batch of strawberry muffins.

I made a whole wheat muffin recipe and added freeze dried strawberries to the batter which was, of course, moisted by my rather dubious low-fat strawberry yogurt. Not bad, considering the origins.