Friday, October 26, 2012

Jammin' it

 My good friend Andrea, over at Mandreago, asked if I would write a post about food and cooking. This is the perfect excuse for me to get back on the blogging horse. If you're wandering here from Andrea's blog, welcome and please excuse my lapse in recent posts but please look around.

For everyone else, hi mom, I solemnly swear to get my blogging act together once again.

Back to the food! Earlier this year I thought it would be a swell idea to whip up my first ever batch of jam in the dead of summer and during record humidity. Cool.  I'm full of smart ideas. I'm going to walk you through my missteps to guide you on what not to do.

I started with some plump blueberries from Joel's parents own blueberry bushes. Yum.

Mistake number one: starting the jam in this small-ish pot. The thing I learned about canning is you need to bring the fruit to a boil. This scene in the pot should have been a clue that problems were a'comin'.  But, instead, I soldered on and waited until this was a boiling-over hot mess. Oy. Lesson learned. The hard way.

 To give you a sense of how chaotic the boil-over was here's the view of the stove top pre-mess. As it turns out making jam requires me to have every burner going. The steam from all of the boiling water plus the mess of the boil-over I felt like I was in an episode of I Love Lucy. I didn't snap a photo because it was such a mess and frankly the boiling jam was a bit dangerous and of course my side-kick, the dog, was underfoot the whole time. #jamfail.

Ahhh, much better.   And check out the bottom right corner in the pic and notice evidence of the spillage. I'm just keeping it real, friends.

I successfully made the blueberry-cinnamon jam and even a strawberry rhubarb jam. Both equally delicious.  I'm not an expert in making jam as you've probably guessed at this point. However, the fabulous Food in Jars blog provided me endless guidance in my jamming adventures.

As you may know I could eat ice cream daily so it's no surprise that I enjoy the jam warmed up over vanilla ice cream. Yum-yum so delicious. What a fabulous way to enjoy this treat. 

How about you - have you ever had any kitchen mishaps? Do you love making jam? Are you laughing at my boil-over hot-mess? All of the above? 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I love lamp.

I hope you all had a fabulous 4th! Oddly enough Ithaca celebrates with fireworks on the 2nd. Weird right? That coupled with Joel working yesterday meant I spent the day crafting up some red and blue jams. More on that later.

Remember the lamp I showed you a few weeks ago? No? Ok, I'll refresh your memory.

My mother mentioned that she wanted a new lamp for her bedroom that is primarily yellow with a few green accents. Good god are nice lamps expensive. A budding crafty-blogger that I attempt to be I decided I was going to DIY this year's Mother's Day gift. The search for the base didn't take long; one trip to the local Salvation Army and I found this beauty.

$5 later and I had it home. Can I just say what in the world is this color combination? In what decor would this actually "work?" Of course the good news is the shape is just perfect. I loved the curves and angles. I looked soft and I thought with a large drum shade and a new paint job we could be in business.

I am a terrible blogger, but you already knew this since it went quiet here for a couple months recently, aneeewaaay, I forgot to take pictures throughout the redo process.

::blink, blink::

Doh! The breakdown from how I got from taupey-brown-sapphire mess to the end result goes a little something like this. First, I taped up the cord and the top hardware. Next up was a thorough wipe down. This puppy was durrty. Then I sprayed on some base spray paint that I had kicking around. Finally, a few even coats of the green paint I picked up at Hobby Lobby.

Let me give you the breakdown of the approximate cost of this project.  
$5 - lamp at Salvie's
$0 - Zinsser primer paint (already owned)
$5 - green spray paint from Hobby Lobby
$15 - large drum shade from Lowe's
Total: $25

Not too shabby for the end result. Now I want one for me. :)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Formal Introductions and a frozen treat

I need to forewarn you - this is a longish post. I've got a lot to catch you up on.

Internet meet Frida.

Hi, Frida! Isn't she the cutest?

Let me give you the back story. We weren't getting a dog. For that reason I perused Thompkins County SPCA to check out the pups from time to time. Yeah, that's a reasonable thing to do for people not getting a dog. So anyway in early April I saw the sweetest picture of little Frida on the site I started begging Joel to go look at her with me. That same day we look again and she was gone. Adopted. Gone. Ah well, wasn't meant to be. Plus, as you remember, we were not getting a dog.

Two weeks later and a similar event ensued. SPCA website shows Frida and characterizes the little peanut as friendly, shy, and sweet. We green light it and rush to visit with her. She was so sweet, didn't pull on a leash, and the perfect size. Cut to adopting her and picking her up two days later. She totally lied to us. She pulls on her leash, a lot. To the point of me wanting to scream after one embarrassingly bad walk. We bought a gentle leader and my rage has subsided. Clearly no dog or person (ahem) is perfect but Frida is pretty darn fantastic.

Cut to her hair cut. (Aren't I funny?) We decided to get her groomed and it was abundantly clear that I have been a terrible dog-owner/lover. Want proof? See her before picture.

Sorry for the blurriness. She was wiggly. Please notice her lion's mane around her neck and the hair in front of her eyes. I let her walk around like this for two months.

The after.

So much better. She can see now!

In food related news I saw a pin on pinterest for "frosty paws" which are basically doggie frozen treats. I whipped up the "recipe" minus the honey it called for. It's a 32 oz. plain nonfat yogurt, 3 tablespoons of peanut butter, and 1 mashed banana. I used a hand mixer to smooth it out and plopped dollops into two ice cube trays and froze.  

She loves them. Just like yours truly she uses a hot summer day as the perfect opportunity for a cool treat.

Oh and for those of you who may be wondering why she was returned to the SCPA and subsequently why we adopted her after her "rejection." Well in fact little Frida, who was originally a stray, was more than the woman bargained from with her children and other animals. She was just so cute she couldn't say least at first.  Her loss was our gain.

Moral of our story is, we love Frida, we love the SPCA, and we love frozen treats.