Saturday, October 25, 2014

Curiouser and Curiouser

Purple is the new black.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Things my mom has taught me...

My mom is pretty amazing. 

She started early, even before I was born, teaching me things I'd need to know. 

My mom has (possibly unknowingly) shown me by example how to be not only a good wife, but also a partner/best friend in an amazing team. (Seriously, the avengers would be jealous!)

Teaching me the way to a man's heart is through good food (and wine and cheese :) ). 

That disagreement doesn't mean failure, just compromise.  

There is no point in buying bad beer for the BBQ. 

There is nothing wrong with being an independent woman. Or changing a tire. Or checking the oil. 

There is nothing wrong with appreciating the talent (hotness) of Robert Downey Jr.

Sadness doesn't mean the world is ending.  

Hard times just make every relationship even more valuable and solid than it already is. 

Puppies (especially adopted ones!) make the world a better, happier place.  Especially in packs. :)

That I never will want to snap peas or pit cherries again :)

That creative minds create creative clutter, but at the end of the day have the best craft rooms, the best art projects, the most satisfying messes and the most brilliant creations.

My dad is one of the coolest guys ever, and one of the best men. 

Bright colors totally kick neutrals ass.

Converse sneakers are and will forever be in style.

Nothing is cooler than an Apple Blossom float that moves with man power. 

Canning, freezing, dehydrating and having a pantry is waaay underrated.  Suddenly must make 200 chocolate chip cookies and have no flour?! Failure. :P

That vinyl table clothes are the only way to set the table when you have children.  

Cookies fix everything.

Oatmeal fixes everything.

Homemade bread fixes everything.

If I ever see a bee, I should probably run. 

Homemade lunches are way better, even if you're too cool for school when you find a note inside :) 

Father Abraham is not welcome in our home. 

Growing, cooking, preparing everything yourself sets off a unmeasurable sense of accomplishment and good in the world.

Having 500 millions family pictures from the last 60 years is a Cancer's (natural scrapbookers) dream. 

There is optimism in even the blackest of thumbs

Love you mommy...happy mommas day :)

The happy insomniac


Monday, April 7, 2014

Oatmeal Pizza Crust

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 20-30 minutes

3 cups oats, ground into flour-consistency
2 T baking powder
1 cup flax seed, ground
2 t rosemary
3 T basil
Pinch of salt 
1/2 c water
1/4 c olive oil 

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients, kneeling slightly and forming it into a dough ball. Dust slightly with more oat flour if necessary and roll into an even crust.

Place in the oven at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until crisp. Remove, top and bake until toppings are baked. 

The happy insomniac 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

BBQ Lentils + Vegan Cornbread=

BBQ lentils
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5-6 hours 

4 cups dry lentils, rinsed 
1 bottle of BBQ sauce, (check to make sure there is no honey if you want to make it full vegan)
2 T chili powder 

In a crockpot, add lentils and fill 2-4 inches over the top of the lentil line. Set on high and allow to cook, checking every so often. Usually I allow 5 hours, sometimes adding more water if they appear to incomplete.  

When the lentils are fully cooked, shift crock pot to low. Stir in bottle of BBQ sauce and chili powder. Allow to simmer and then turn off completely. 

Lasts refrigerated for 3-4 days. 

Vegan Cornbread
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: Approximately 20-25

4 cups cornmeal 
2 T baking powder
1 t salt
4 T Earth Balance butter substitute, slightly melted
1/2-3/4 c warm water

In a medium sized bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing thoroughly into a loose batter.  If it appears to wet, more cornmeal may be added.  Place in an oiled 9x9 pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the center is done. 

Remove and allow to cool slightly until served with lentils. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

For those with black thumbs...

It is a fairly well known fact in my family that my mom, is in fact a gardening wizard.  We had two huge gardens on either end of the yard for as long as I could remember and the infamous "dirt patch" for my little brother the bulldozer.  Added a bit later was a glass green house that housed seedlings galore, which quickly outgrew into a mass of fruits, veggies and herbs.  Which, of course, I didn't wholly appreciate to it's potential until I moved away and couldn't be near to the veggie goodness at the blink of an eye.  Thank god for Trader Joe's.

It didn't take long to realize that I was gardening challenged.  As with a select few of things in my life that were lost on me (math mainly lol, oh and my knack for racking up speeding tickets), gardening definitely topped the list.  My mother, the eternal gardening optimist (anyone can garden!), began her mission pretty much as soon as I had found an apartment.  There was the window herb garden.  Then came the balcony tomato garden (to my defense, it dumped over in my car BEFORE I could properly kill it).  Then the countless basil plants that made the trek to my apartments and were tenderly care for day after day (I didn't KNOW they don't need water EVERY hour...I was also very generous with the sunlight). 

Eventually and still to this day, I feel the overwhelming need to warn my mother every time she attempts to stow a plant into my car.  My tactics have gotten quite blunt at times.  

Mom:  Here, a basil plant!  You can have fresh pesto!  They love apartments!  

Me:  Aw!  Yum, I love pesto!  *Cue Death Eater sign in the sky*

Just kidding, but there isn't...well...any plant that I haven't killed except my giant spider plant.  Which lives in water.  With no light.  It's like a green pet rock, really.  

Then, the hobby of collecting succulents was born!  For a while I just collected pictures on Pinterest (wouldn't you if you had my history of plant murder?),  then around Christmas of last year (DIY Christmas!), I decided that I would be brave and give some homemade terrariums as gifts.  If they weren't LIVING with me, maybe they would be more likely to live?  Right?!  Anyways, right or wrong, that was my justification.  

As it turns out, it ended up being on the best decisions (and gifting ideas!) that I've had to date!  My first few were mediums sized, "dollar store terrariums" (they sound cheap, but they are ADORABLE), with Christmas ornaments planted inside for a little custom pizzazz.  


1. (1) glass jar, large mouth jars work the best (easier to plant)
Be creative! Old coffee mugs, mason jars, goodwill finds, big or small, really anything will do.  A variety of glass planters is the start of a very cute collection!

2. Dirt.  
Most people can find this somewhere outside. But you can also purchase it by the bag at Home Depot or walmart in their gardening section. 

3. Rocks.
Depending on your planting vessel, really any rocks will do from larger stones to gravel. Make sure it fits in your jar.  The dollar store and any craft store carries bags of polished stones.  Glass stones and even wine corks will also do the job and they add a little bling ;) 

4. Moss
Moss for me unfortunately falls under the "live plant" category, which of course I end up I buy fake moss. It's more for a decorative, finishing top layer anyways.

5. Succulents.
Size and variation will depend on the price of each plant.  I usually get smaller ones, so they typically run between 2-3 bucks per plant. Sometimes you can find some pretty decent deals in the gardening section at Fred Meyers and other places if you're looking.  

6. Miniature decor.
All my gifts I made for Christmas had little gnomes in them (christmas ornaments from world market), but be creative!  Tiny cupcakes, a little figures or even antique jewlery makes cute additions, and makes terrariums easy to personalize. 

After you have gathered your supplies, time to build!

Layer: Stones, dirt (don't pack to tight), plant succulents, add more dirt to cover the roots, pack firmly, moss and add your decorations!

Your succulents only need water once every week or no overwatering! :)

The happy insomniac 

Cooks in the Kitchen