Posts tagged: holiday

Surprise Snowfall

By , December 11, 2012

I love surprises!

Last night I kept looking out at the streetlight, expecting to see snow falling. We weren’t forecast to get any (that I knew of), but the color of the light and clouds were what I always associate with snow. But I didn’t really think twice because it’s been such a stingy year for precipitation and the weather forecast was nothing but little sunshine icons. And so once again, life is at its best when you have zero expectations!

I woke up this morning and I gasped with a big smile as I saw what had fallen overnight! They were snow clouds!!

The sun in shining though, so it won’t last long.

But there’s nothing like snow and cold to remind you what season it is, and I’m thinking it might be time to get a tree pretty soon…

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Happy Thanksgiving!

By , November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

We’re nearly ready to head to my parents’ place for dinner…with the pumpkin pie, green beans, and cranberry sauce. The pie sorta flopped… I used the organic healthfood store brand of canned pumpkin which seemed way too watery — and indeed, it was. The pie filling took forever to set, and the crust got overdone while that was happening. Now I know to always use Libby’s pumpkin! I also used electric beaters to mix the filling and I think I overmixed it and turned the thing into a bit of a souffle. I think it’ll still be good though, even if we’re just scraping pumpkin-pudding-souffle out of an overdone crust! (Who needs those crust calories, anyway.)

The beans turned out nicely — just cooked those in salted water and added a bit of butter and Penzey’s RuthAnn’s Muskego Ave Seasoning. They’re yummy.

The cranberry sauce I think will be very nice too; I started with a can of organic whole cranberry sauce, then added my own fresh cranberries and freshly squeezed orange juice, and then simmered it along with a cinnamon stick, strips of fresh orange zest (use a carrot peeler to peel off strips), and fresh ginger slices.

On the phone a minute ago, my mom and I were marvelling at how it’s the exact same food every year, but each year it seems like a totally new meal — like we’re reinventing the wheel and things we’ve made year in and year out turn out differently, somehow!

Anyway, have a happy time with friends and family!

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Classic Pumpkin Pie

By , November 19, 2012

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With an eye toward Thanksgiving this week, here’s my own recipe for classic pumpkin pie, along with my own crust recipe.

Neither recipe is the most decadent you’ll find out there because heavy, fatty things don’t agree with me. So if you’re wanting to make a pumpkin pie that’s on the lighter side, try this one. I make it every Thanksgiving. The crust is not really rich and flaky, and probably won’t wow any chefs out there, but it is humble and it does the job. I like it.

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Lindsey’s Classic Pumpkin Pie

Rounded 2/3 cup of rapadura (or white or brown sugar)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp, heaping, of cinnamon

1/2 tsp, heaping, of powdered ginger

1 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup whole milk

3/4 cup half-n-half (light cream)

1 15-oz can Libby’s pumpkin (or 2 cups cooked pumpkin or winter squash, pureed, and cooked down if too watery — the healthfood store brands of canned pumpkin are way too watery. I learned my lesson to use Libby’s!)

1 9-inch pie shell (recipe below)

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Preheat oven to 425°.

Mix sugar, salt, and spices in a small bowl.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl, then stir in pumpkin, sugar-spice mix, and the milk and half-n-half. Mix until thoroughly combined, but don’t get overzealous (like, don’t do what I did once and overbeat with egg beaters — it beats too much air in, and makes a souffle-type thing!)

Pour into unbaked pie shell.

Bake at 425° for 15 minutes, and then reduce temperature to 350° and bake 40-50 more minutes until a knife inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours.

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Lindsey’s Not-Too-Rich 9″ Pie Crust

2 cups flour (whole wheat, or white, or a combo)

1 Tbsp sugar

Scant 1/2 tsp salt

6 Tbsp cold butter, cut into pieces (salted or unsalted, either is fine)

Ice water (you’ll use about 3/4 cup)

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In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in cold butter.

I like to use my fingers to rub in the butter and blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Mix the ice water in, 1 Tbsp at a time, stirring lightly with a fork after each addition, until a dough is formed. (3/4 cup is about 12 Tbsp.) Try not to overwork the dough. Small bits of butter will be visible — this is what you want.

When a good, workable dough is formed — not too dry, not too sticky — wrap in cellophane and refrigerate until ready to use.

When ready to roll out, lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin.

Roll into a circle. Transferring to your pie plate is made easier by folding the dough in half and draping it over your rolling pin.

Trim off any excess dough, but leave enough extra around the edge to fold under and crimp with three fingers, as in the photo below.

If you do have a little extra dough, you could use a cookie cutter to cut out a little something-or-other (a maple leaf, for example) that you can bake and then place on top of your finished pie as decoration.

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Today…

By , July 4, 2012

Today, I am:

…enjoying that sweet bouquet of flowers plucked from the garden…

…noticing that Queen Anne’s Lace was probably not the best choice for an indoor bouquet because it’s dropping stuff all over the table…

…enjoying a very delicious breakfast salad of lettuce, green onions, cucumbers, avocado, and fresh pineapple, with salt and cracked pepper, lemon juice, orange juice, and balsamic vinegar…

…drinking a hot mug of pu-erh tea even though there’s 90-degree air breezing through the open window next to me…

…glad that Mountain Rose got pu-erh back in stock! I’ve missed it very much and just ordered more…

…noticing how good it feels to place an order the old fashioned way and send a check to Mountain Rose, instead of paying via credit card online…

…packing up treasures…

…taking time out to get re-inspired by this book, Lillian Too’s 168 Feng Shui Ways to Declutter Your Home. It gets me back into the mindset I like to be in when attacking piles of possessions: “Do I love this and absolutely want it? Does it pertain to who I am now?”

…looking at messes and piles that seem to breed in the night…

…glad that my Honey has the day off from work today; he deserves it…

…remembering that I have some soaked & solar-cooked quinoa in the fridge, waiting to be made into tabbouleh

…thinking it’s nearly time to close up the windows in favor of the comfort of our little air conditioner. It’s gonna be another hot one today…

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♥ I hope you all have a relaxing holiday today ♥

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This Memorial Day Weekend

By , May 28, 2012

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Gratitude Sunday * April 8, 2012

By , April 8, 2012

 ~ I’m once again joining Taryn over at Wooly Moss Roots in her Gratitude Sunday tradition. ~

Gratitude Sunday is a time to slow down and remember those thankful moments that graced our week. One reason I love keeping a daily gratitude journal is because it helps keep things in perspective for me. Each Sunday, I open my journal and share some of those moments with you here. If you’d like to join in, just leave a comment!

Gratitude is powerful energy. I love hearing others’ gratitudes!

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– More glorious weather! Punctuated by a couple of strategically timed snow days, when I had lots of moneymaking work to do and was glad not to have the temptation to be outdoors.

– Artichokes.

– Meeting F and his co-worker friends for lunch. It always cheers me up 🙂

– A clean bathroom! It’s been so long…

– Shopping at the thrift store, and finding treasures. It’s like panning for gold, kind of! I found a couple treasures for my mom, too. She’s been wanting a juicer & a citrus juicer. While I was at the thrift store, I saw a nice juicer & matching citrus juicer, for only $5.99 each! I called her up when I got home and she flew down there, arriving 2 minutes before closing, and bought them! They work perfectly and are really quality, probably from the mid 90s when they made stuff a little better than they do now; one of them is actually made in Spain. So she now has two awesome juicers for only $12!

– The extra spectacular redbuds this year.

– The beauty of the neighborhoods at this time of year when everything is blooming!!!

– Smelling apple blossoms in the moist morning air! Oh my gosh.

– Spur-of-the-moment plans. Those are the best!

– Doing lots of handstands on the grass; they’re fun and it feels so good to move my body again… after so long of feeling way too crummy to do any such thing, and not having the energy to move in any “unnecessary way!” Ha!

– Getting the tomatoes into their walls-o-water.

– The full moon shining in the kitchen window while I did my moneymaking work at night. Sure beats working in a cubicle!

– Being outside a lot. It’s so vital for me.

– A sweet bike ride to the store and back with my Hubby yesterday. I love those simple pleasures so much.

– The most wonderful Easter day I had today. My parents went to brunch while I opted not to (the buffet would have been torture I’m afraid)… and instead I had such a sweet time alone. I’ve been feeling pretty inward…reflective…quiet lately, and easily scrambled too, and this glorious Easter morning spent alone was just… right. I also gave myself the ‘day off,’ so I stayed up past 11 last night to complete and send off some time-sensitive moneymaking work, so I wouldn’t have to worry about it today. Today’s rule was no moneymaking work, no to-do’s to accomplish, no garden work, no garden planning, etc. Just a day to be outdoors and enjoy. I moved through it at a leisurely pace. I walked slowly. It was amazing. I felt more relaxed than I have in so long! I packed some nice food, stopped at the bagel place to get a cinnamon raisin Easter Bagel, and had my own little brunch under the apple blossoms at my parents’ house while they were gone. And then puttered around outside. I couldn’t help but transplant some little lettuce, beet, and turnip seedlings to space them out better, but even that was at such a relaxed pace that it didn’t feel like work at all. We took a leisurely family walk in flip-flops around the park in the perfect evening. And Hubby took a long bike ride and stopped over on his way home! From start to finish, I enjoyed this gentle day so much.

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Did you have a special Easter?

What are some of your gratitudes this week?

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Easter Branch

By , April 5, 2012

Cute huh.

A catalpa branch flew off and landed in the backyard of our apartment-house. I think it makes a nice Easter Branch, to go with the rest of my Easter Shrine.

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Happy Spring!

By , March 20, 2012

Happy Spring Equinox to each and every one of you out there!

The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.

—Harriet Ann Jacobs

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

By , February 14, 2012

 

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