Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tulips


Everyone talks of spring, but there have been no signs of it here. Just two days ago the cold weather had me feeling solidly mired in winter. Whoever said that spring begins in March is stupid. Marh is the most desolate month for seasonal eating, as the last of the hearty vegetables dwindle after a winter spent in storage, and fresh young vegetables haven't yet peeked up from the earth. It won't truly feel like spring until that first warm morning I can buy ramps at the market.

But today! - these bright tulips called to me at the farmers market. I don't usually buy flowers because of the expense, but I felt like indulging this time. The pussywillows my sister brought home for free last weekend as one of the many perks of working at the farmers market herself. So now I can have a piece of spring here in my home.

Eco Tip: Reusable Dishes at Work


Bring real dishes to work

Keep a whole set of dishes for yourself (bowl, plate, mug, silverware) at your office desk, including a dish towel so you can wash and dry your dishes after lunch. You'll no longer need to use disposable plastic plates and forks from your office kitchen that will just get trashed and pile up in landfills. I bring my lunch most days in tupperware (usually leftovers from dinner), and transfer it to a bowl for microwaving and eating because I don't like the idea of plastic chemicals leaching into my food. I actually brought my spoon home and keep forgetting to bring it back to work so I've been guilty of using plastic spoons a few times. Bad girl! Must remember!

via etsy

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thanks!

I feel so honored. You like me, you really like me! Or at least someone does enough to give me the Kreativ Blogger award. Thanks!


Here are the award rules:
List 7 things that you love, and then pass the award on to 7 bloggers that you love!Be sure to tag them and let them know that they have won. You can copy the picture of the award and paste it on your sideboard letting the whole world know...you are Kreativ!


7 Things That I Currently Love...

1. The beautiful lookout point at the end of a hike
2. J-Man's smile
3. Farmers markets
4. Catching up with friends (I don't do this enough)
5. Riding my bike
6. Cooking good food for other people
7. Leaving work behind me at at the end of every day (I thank the stars regularly I'm no longer in school with homework hanging over my head)

Although I'm actually waiting for the weather to warm up a bit to rekindle some of these loves (ie. hiking, biking, the bounty of the market).

I would now like to present this award to the following lovely ladies who inspire me with their words and images and have made me feel welcome to air my voice in the blogosphere:

a farmhouse wedding
veiled vows
a girl's world
mother and bride
all that you have is your soul
a lesson in survival
the sweetest occasion

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Eco Tip: Shake Shake Shake

Presenting the first semi-regular series of green advice, dispersed in easy bits.


Shake - Shake - Shake!

Next time you're in a public bathroom, instead of reaching for yet another disposable paper towel after washing your hands, try letting your hands air dry instead. I shake my hands rapidly over the sink a few times to get off excess water, and then sometimes gently pat them on my pants.

I discovered this little known method of air-drying when I was camping and realized that my hands dried naturally within minutes of washing them at a spigot, with no towel in sight.

Give it a try! Your hands will be dry by the time you get back to your desk. And we'll save a lot of pointless paper from landfills.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Inspiration Board: Rose and Gray


My friend Kathleen recently got engaged and just started planning her wedding for next spring (actually - a year from today!), and I thought it would be fun to put together an inspiration board to capture her ideas. Since the lovely couple met at our alma mater, she is going to base the theme around our school colors, rose and gray. How sweet!

The mood: Classic, elegant, spring
Colors: Rose/pink, gray/silver, ivory/white, and I inserted a touch of yellow for some pop

1. Dress via J. Crew [The sash is actually pink, so I photoshopped in the gray, but I'd like to think you could swap out the sash for a different color]
2. Fun gray fabric via ikea [I can't find it available online anymore, but any gray fabric would be great for tablecloths, napkins, table runners, photo backdrops, etc]
3. Pearl necklace via Overstock
4. Gray heels via J. Crew
5. Celebratory champagne via Style Me Pretty
6. Elegant white cake via Wedding Planning in Exile
7. White bouquet via Style Me Pretty
8. Cap-sleeved dress via Brides.com
9. Invitation via Hello Lucky.
10. Pink boutenniere via etsy
11. Gray vest via Once Wed
12. Pink and white bouquet via Peonies and Polaroids
13. Silver candlesticks via Jennifer Echols Photography
14. Chapel via here
15. Ring dish via Paloma's Nest on etsy [I especially love that you can keep this and use it to hold jewelry or as a holiday ornament.]

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Weekend

It was finally warm enough this weekend to walk outside bare legged (!). Makes SUCH a difference.






After a pre-dinner trip to the Split They Skull festival at Mug's for some strong beers, we were drunk and I was feeling lazy, so I convinced my boyfriend to cook dinner. He knows how to cook, he just doesn't do it very often. Risotto (recipe below) was one of the first meals we made together. Sausage and carrot is my favorite. If you don't have wine on hand, you can use Budweiser or another light beer, which is what I often do.


Risotto
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

1 lb chicken sausage
2 carrots
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup risotto rice
1 cup white wine
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
crushed red pepper
salt
pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan

De-case the chicken sausage and cut into small pieces. Chop the carrots into small pieces.
Dice the garlic. Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil, throw in the sausage, carrots, and garlic. Cook at medium heat for 8-10 minutes until the sausage is no longer pink and the carrots are just starting to soften. Add the rice and then the wine. Turn the heat to low. Stir occasionally as the mixture simmers and the rice absorbs the liquid. When the liquid is mostly absorbed, add 1 cup of chicken broth. Again, stir occasionally as the mixture simmers and the broth is absorbed. Repeat this process, adding 1 cup of broth each time, and continuing to stir, until the rice and carrots are soft. Add the red pepper, salt, pepper, and parmesan. Serves 4.

NOTE: You can make risotto with any combination of ingredients. I prefer chicken sausage, but you might also try chicken breast or regular sausage. I like to get sweet sausage and add crushed red pepper to make it the level of spiciness I like, but if you like it spicier, buy spicy sausage. Make seafood risotto with shrimp and peas, for example. Make it vegetarian by using vegetarian broth instead of chicken broth and carrots, butternut squash, peas, mushrooms, onions, peppers, etc. Make it vegan by leaving out the parmesan.