Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Clothes makin' the man

If you want a cool illustration of the difference that just makeup, clothes, and hairstyles can make, watch Lars and the Real Girl. Then check out an episode of Pan Am to see Kelli Garner as a total bombshell and... basically anything else with Ryan Gosling to see him very, very yummy. (The Notebook, if you've a high saccharine tolerance; Fracture was good too.)

I watched Lars last night, and man, that movie rocks so hard. Every single performance is impeccable, touching without being sappy; I love it. I keep it with our holiday movies because the setting is so wintery and cold, I can't ever get into it any other time of year.

Anyway, last night the first scene featuring Kelli Garner had me bolting upright on the couch: That's the girl from Pan Am. No way. Because she looks SO different, it's crazy. When I first saw "Lars," I never in a million years thought that actress could be done up to be the bombshell she is on the TV drama. In fact, though I've been watching the show all season, I didn't even recognize her from my favorite movie until I re-watched it last night.

It makes me wonder if eyeliner and red hair would work the same wonders for me!

Love, J

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pretty products - kitchen edition

Just some cool things I've seen on Pinterest, thought I'd share ; )

Love, J

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Carrot harvest

I finally pulled out about half of my carrots the other day. I'd planned to leave them in and see how they managed the winter, but the greens were looking so sad after the freezing nights that I took pity on them.

I pulled the greens off the carrots I picked, rubbed most of the dirt off, layered them in a basket with an old sheet, and stuck them in the garage. (Oh, and took all the split, holey ones inside to be eaten soonish.)

The other half of them is still planted, so I can keep an eye on them and see how they do. Man, I wish I had the guts to just dig a root cellar behind the garage or something. But I'm afraid: 1) It wouldn't work. Like, I wouldn't be able to get it deep enough or something and then I'd have ripped up part of the yard for no reason; and/or 2) I might find the skeleton of a pet the previous owners buried. The idea of this TOTALLY freaks me out.

Anyway, the carrots are gorgeous, and I am SO planting the same rainbow mix next year. A couple of the yellows are mutant monsters, they are so huge! Though there were hardly any purples, which seems odd - I'd think there would be an even mix.

Love, J

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Make a brownie in minutes

I am on a MAJOR baked goods kick lately, in that I need at least one cupcakebrowniecookie per day or else.

Thing is, in our house, a batch of cookies or whatever will get eaten within 12 hours of coming out of the oven. There are no exceptions to this rule. Even if they were burned to a crisp, the offending black bottoms would be cut off and the rest of them devoured.

And while I may have more free time on my hands than most, and I do love baking, I'm not really up for making a new batch of goodies every single day.

Enter, microwave brownie.

In a ramekin, mash up an old banana (I throw mushy ones in the freezer so I've always got a stash). If it is from the freezer, cut the peel off, slice it into rounds and microwave it for 10-15 seconds, until you can smash it with a fork.

Add a few tablespoons of brownie mix. Just keep adding and stirring it into the mushed banana until it has a batter consistency.

Add walnuts. (This is not optional - brownies are incomplete without walnuts. If you disagree, you have no place eating a brownie.)

Microwave it all for about 2 minutes. (I just do this on high, but probably you'd get fancier results if you tried it at half-power for a little bit longer.)

Mmmm, brownie.

Note: I use banana because that's what I've always got around. I'm pretty sure any sort of liquid would work, just so you get the right consistency. I know yogurt does the trick because that's what my grandma and aunt use and I stole this idea from them!

Love, J

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pumpkins & pears

Did you know Albertson's (at least the one in Liberty Lake) gives away its leftover pumpkins FOR FREE after Halloween?!? I learned this as I drove by last week (and this was even on Nov. 2 and there were still some left!) and saw the big "free" sign in front of the pile. A quick call to Grandma - "Can you make pie from any kind of pumpkins?" "I think so" - and I backed the car up to the pile and filled the trunk with six of the biggest squash I could lift.

After two days of slicing & scooping & cooking & blending, I've preserved my way through 3 of the monsters, and have stashed the other three in the basement until I've the ambition to do the rest.


Slice it open, scoop out the guts.

Cut it into wedges, slice off the peel. (Peel? Rind? idon'tknow.) The hubs used the vegetable peeler for this, but I preferred to hack it off with a knife.

Cut it into smallish chunks and toss it in the slow cooker with a cup of water, cook on high until it's all mushy.

Drain it really, really well (like, smash it into the strainer with a heavy mixing bowl to squish out all the liquid, then let it sit to cool and finish draining).

Run the hand mixer through it until it's all smooth.

Scoop it into all those leftover cottage cheeses containers Grandma saves for you and freeze.

I may try to make soup with some of this, but probably it will all wind up as pie.


This was the first year we've gotten any pears off the tree in our yard, and they were sooo good. They confused me at first by not really getting soft on the tree, but once they fell to the ground, they turned so ripe and yummy. And then after it got really cold out, the fruit left on the tree was pretty good too. Not counting the dozens I ate fresh & put in my smoothies, we got an overflowing fruit-box full to preserve (maybe 25 lbs?).


Slice and core pears into chunks.

With a little bit of water, cook on the stovetop on low/med, stirring frequently, until mushy & cooked down.

Run it through the food mill.

I was expecting this to look like the applesauce I've been making for my apple butter practice batches, but it's way thinner. I could have boiled it down after the food mill to make it thicker, but it's just so damn GOOD like this - I was sipping on it while it was still hot from the stovetop and it's like this sweet, hot slurry and I think it will be amazing added to smoothies, desserts, or just as a hot drink in the winter. So I froze it in mason jars - the big boxful gave me 8 quarts of pear sauce.

Love, J

PS ~ I love my Lily rabbit.