Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Spice Glazed Pecans

Today I finally got around to cleaning out the closet in the boy's room.  It was about a year ago when I first painted and switched their room with the guest room. It has seriously taken me the entire year to get all my junk out of their closet.  Today I got up, drank an entire pot of coffee, and tackled the closet. After it was all cleaned out I decided that it needed a fresh coat so I took out my roller and painted it a nice dusty tan. It feels good to finally be finishing the boys room, and I can't wait to share some pics with all of you...soon!

In the meantime I thought I'd share my favorite salad with you. I made a big bowl of this yesterday to take to the BBQ we went to and it was a hit. The combination of Feta, dried cranberries and pecans has to be one of my favorite flavors ever! All the greens in the salad are straight out of our garden and aside from a few strawberries this is the first harvest we had so far...Homegrown organic spring mix? Yes please!
Usually I just lightly toast the chopped pecans in a pan but this time I thought it would be fun to mix it up a bit so while the pecans were toasting I tossed in a few extra ingredients and came up with a simple and delicious recipe for spice glazed pecans. They are not completely candied but do have a lot of extra flavor!
Spice Glazed Pecans
1 1/2 -2 C. Chopped Pecans
1 tbsp butter
1 heaping Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice
1-2 dashes Cayenne pepper
pinch salt

Add chopped pecans to heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Add butter, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice and cook until nuts are toasted and the sugar is bubbly and melted. Spread pecans out on a sheet of parchment and lightly sprinkle with salt and cayenne pepper, toss to coat evenly and allow to cool. Store in air tight container and enjoy on salads, in popcorn, or just by the handful.
This recipe seems pretty adaptable so if you want more sugar or less pepper feel free to play around with it. I think it would also be good if you added curry instead of pumpkin pie spice. Enjoy!

I like to enjoy this salad with a white balsamic vinaigrette but it is delicious with any dressing!

Tuesday Night Supper Club

Peace pass the salad!

Monday, May 30, 2011

My Girls Moved Out

Happy Memorial Day! I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. Before I zip out of here to go to a BBQ I thought I'd show you what my honored veteran got to do this weekend. (I know I'm a slave driver, lol!)

It's been a few weeks since we've brought our tiny chickies home and I bet you've been wondering what they have been up to... which is mostly just pooping and shredding their newspaper.
Yep, the time has come and although I love them dearly they need to get OUT!

Jess and Orion went to work building the peckplex we designed based on a few "chicken coop" internet searches. Basically it is a nesting box upstairs with a little free space downstairs. While the lovely ladies will spend most of their time out and about in the backyard we needed a home that they would be safe in we we leave town. Also, until they are big enough to stick up for themselves they will have to stay safely out of reach of our cats and dog, unless someone is outside with them.

and today we moved the ladies into their palatial new digs. This is not the final location of the chicken house as we have to do a little yard re-arranging. Soon the house will be up against the fence with a fresh coat of stain and maybe even a few flowers planted around it.

they seemed to settle right in to their new home and I think they are very happy to finally be out of their tiny cardboard box!

Getting the hang of their stairs took a little while but they seem to have it down now.

I can't wait until I can go out and collect their fresh brown eggs!

Also for those of you who don't already know, this weekend Humboldt county celebrated it's 43rd Kinetic Grand Championship race.  I was lucky enough to be amidst all the fun and chaos at work this weekend where I waited on Giraffes, fairy princess and the like. If you want to know a little more about it go Here and check out one of the the Northcoast's most eccentric and celebrated festivities!

Peace remember all those who have given to this nation today and always!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

M is for

Via pintrest

M has to be one of my absolute favorite letters. Not only do I like the way it looks but I love the way it sounds.   Like when I hear my little one say "Momma will you snuggle me?"
Yep, I like that letter M, and snuggling with my Masie
So that's what were doing today
Cause there's no M's in laundry, or cleaning, or decorating
but there are lots of M's in Momma & Masie

Peace is rocking a baby

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fresh Watermelon lemonade and a Very Happy Birthday

Hello all my lovely friends, I hope you are all having as great of a day as I am.
Today is Orion's birthday, and in our family we like to make birthdays a big event. The day is usually filled with all of the birthee's favorite treats and activities. Here are a few photos from his party we had on Saturday. we had such a blast and having the party at a gymnastics studio really worked out great!

Watermelon Lemonade
 For a special birhtday treat I made up some special Watermelon lemonade to go with our dinner.

1 small seedless watermelon (or half a big one)
3 lemons
Grenadine syrup (optional)
sugar to taste

Remove  watermelon rind and cut into chunks. Place melon in blender and puree.  Add lemon juice and strain into pitcher. Add about 2 tbsp Grenadine and sugar to taste. Serve well chilled over ice or frozen watermelon chunks.

Watermelon cocktails

2 parts Watermelon lemonade
1 part Gin, vodka, or rum (optional)
2 parts soda water
Lemon slice
Mint leaves

In large pitcher mix Juice, alcohol, and soda water. Stir and over Ice into glasses and garnish with Lemon slice and fresh mint leaves. Enjoy! You can also mash some mint into the lemonade for a Mojito-ish twist!

Peace and smiling children!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Best Gal in the Business

These, my latest addition to what is becoming a very large terrarium collection were made for me by the best gal in the biz. Can you guess who she is...?
Okay I'll give you a hint, I am also blaming her for the rain/hail that is going on outside my window today.

Yep, these beauties were found for me in a junk heap deep in the redwoods.
I am just so happy that sweet man of mine saw these while doing his typical (kinda boring) Hydrologist thing at work and carried them all the way back just for me.

I mean really, old junk glass + stuff growing inside + free = happy dance!
I'll take these over a dozen roses anyday!

All I had to do was take a long  toothbrush and scrub the sides a little,
and then poke in a few agate and quartz pebbles of course!

So thanks Mother Nature, for the lovely gift. Nobody does it like you do!

Now I'm off to start baking, cooking and wrapping for a certain handsome boy's 6th birthday tomorrow.
6!I cannot believe it!
Soon he will be 26 I'm sure I will still be in awe of how quickly time passes.
Yesterday I asked him what he would like for his birthday dinner and he instantly replied "Cabbage!"
Really cabbage? 
I offered we go out for Teppanyaki, or as he calls it Ninja Chef's, but he wants cabbage and I'm not gonna argue with a birthday boy!

Mossy Green Peace!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Feel Like Bacon Love...

Oh is that not how you sing that song, so it's just me? oh well...

Tonight I am attending a going away party for 2 of my coworkers and I really wanted to bring something to wow them. I have become known for the baked goods I usually bring so I was feeling like I needed to step it up a little...So I made these

A bacony revision of my favorite Saltine cracker toffee treats. Yes bacon, because bacon is the food of the gods and it plays nice with anything. Now don't get me wrong, these can be made minus the pork, but why oh why would you want them that way? (unless of course you are a vegetarian)

Bacon Pecan Toffee
2 packs graham crackers
1 stick butter
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. chopped pecans
8-10 slices of cooked bacon crumbled
1 tsp.  good Vanilla extract
1/4 c reserved bacon drippings (yeah that's not a typo!)
1/4 c. chopped good quality dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and lay out graham crackers in a single flat layer. I like to break the crackers in half.
Place butter brown sugar and bacon drippings in saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in vanilla, peacns and crumbled bacon pieces.
Pour or spoon mixture over crackers and attempt to spread, it's hard to spread so don't get too worried about it.
Place pan in oven and cook for about 10 minutes or until the toffee is bubbly. Remove from oven and carefully slide the parchment off the hot jelly roll pan onto a flat surface to cool. Sprinkle with chopped chocolate and cool.
Once the cookies are cooled you may either cut or break them into individual pieces. Store in the refrigerator and stay away from your scale for a few days. Enjoy

Linking up to Tuesday Night Supper Club over at Fudge Ripple, come on over and join the party too!

Peace and bacon grease!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cake Carrier Lamp

A few weeks ago I posted about my cake carrier lamp I made for my guest room/ studio space. Today I thought I'd show you how I put it all together. Actually it was alarmingly easy ( I say alarming because most of the time my hair brained schemes are a lot more work) 
I found my cake carrier for FREE at a yard sale but I have seen similar things on thrift shops and most certainly ebay.
As badly as I wanted to turn this into a lamp I had a big problem, the inside of the cake carrier is also bright yellow and when I placed it over an exsisting lamp the light it put out could only be described as "Bug Light" yellow, not what I had in mind for a bedside reading lamp. Husband said I should paint the inside, (NO way!) the bright yellow is the best part! I had to come up with another option, so I decided to try making a lamp with 2 lampshades, an inner white one, and my beloved cake carrier top.

Initial I wanted to find a lamp base at a thrift store but I was having trouble finding something that would work for the size of the cake carrier

So I caved and bought this new one on clearance at Target, totally not my style but hey it was only $8!

First thing I did was remove the, ummm...graphic print pattern from the shade as my kitty looked wistfully out the window. 
Her name is Meetu, because her personality as a little sister cat is "Me Too!"
Whoa, tangent!

Anyways, because the shade was 10" tall and I needed it to be 6"  I removed the vinyl, cut a 4" strip off and  hot glued the vinyl shade back onto the wire lamp shade things.

Then I covered the rebuilt lampshade in a light white fabric

 I painted the base of the lamp with the perfectly matching yellow spray paint I already had. How lucky is that?!
then with just a few glue dots i adheared the top of the cake carrier to the top of the lamp shade, clicked on the light and fell in love!

Here you can see the white shade underneath the top of the cake carrier.

since I did not alter the actual carrier I can always dismantle my lamp and still have a vintage cake carrier to use.

Bright Yellow Peace!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fresh eggs

 Love comes in many shapes and sizes, the shape I'm referring today is an egg shaped love.
I grew up with chickens and fresh eggs so the last few hen-less years have made me yearn for that familiar backyard squawking. 

Although we live on a small lot it is fully fenced and definitely enough bug riddled territory for our new ladies

Of course they will have to live inside with us for a few weeks until they are big enough to be transfered to their pen

what? what? tiny chicken butt!
we got 4 in all, one for each of us

 I let the boys each name one...
Jess and I picked Margot and Lucy...
Orion named his Zip...
and Mason chose the best name...Eggz (with a "Z" he says!)

Mason and Eggz

Smooches for Eggz!

Sorry I've been gone so long, but I'm back, and with pine shavings in my hair!

Peace and Peeps!
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