Thursday, August 23, 2007

Before & After


(waves magic wand . . . )


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

summer food, summer reading

I somehow thought I was going to have all of these food photos to post . . . I don't. Why? Because I've been eating beans and rice, sushi, salads, smoothies, cold cereal, and lots of fruit. Why? Because it's been HOT, up until today. I do have a couple of things to show you, though!

Dan's birthday sushi (he bought, and enjoyed, his own fish, while I took care of the rest):

A salad of mixed greens, local tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil chiffonade, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, and extra-virgin olive oil:

TODDY COFFEE CONCENTRATE (I made this in my very own kitchen!):
This is my absolute most favorite thing in the whole, wide world of coffee. Why? Many reasons:
1. Cold brew method means more flavor, a little less caffeine, and WAY less acid.
2. You can brew up to a pound of coffee at a time (thus, no more messing about with the coffee grinder.)
3. It only takes 24 hours to brew a pitcher of concentrate, and all you have to do during that time is remember to pull the stopper after 12 hours.
4. The coffee concentrate stays fresh in the fridge for up to two weeks (and it's also freezable.)
5. Coffee's already ready every day -- just reconstitute with water or (soy) milk, and heat if desired.
6. The filters can be reused many times, for up to three months.
7. The whole system is extremely low-tech, and uses no electricity (other than to grind the beans before, and chill the concentrate after.)

If you like coffee, buy a Toddy. (Oh yeah -- and they retail for right around forty bucks.)

Segue . . .

Recent reading (courtesy of the Minneapolis Public Library):
Must. Buy. This. Cookbook. The chapters on muffins and whole-grain breakfast cereals alone make it worth the purchase price! I want to try EVERYTHING!

Julia Child was a hilarious, intelligent, passionate, amazing woman, who lead a hilarious, intelligent, passionate, amazing life. Read this book (if you can stomach the many, many references to cooking meat -- the only part I really had trouble with was her description of how to make "pressed duck.") This was one of those wonderful reads that, when I finished the book, I felt a little sad it was over. (Does that ever happen to you, or am I just a little bit nutty?) P.S. Paul Child's photographs are breathtaking.

Hm. I really have been devouring books lately. I guess it's been too hot to do anything else!

Off to bed -- more training for the new job tomorrow morning!

Sunday, August 12, 2007


I accepted a full-time teaching job last week! I start orientation tomorrow morning, and will begin working August 20th. I'll be working for a nonprofit organization pretty close to my house that serves young, single mothers and their children -- a break the cycle of poverty type organization, with onsite living for the families, and onsite childcare for the kids, (where I'll be working,) while the moms go to school, work, and attend life skills training classes.

I'm really, really looking forward to it.


Friday, August 10, 2007

keyboards rock.

I have a new keyboard with a functioning spacebar!

Keyboards rock. (And my property tax return rocks, too!)

Will be posting more sometime soon, but right now, I have to go do the dishes, so I can finish making bread. Why did I think that making bread at midnight was a good idea? Sheesh. ;-)

Friday, August 03, 2007

A Birthday Adventure

(I still haven't fixed my keyboard, but am copying and pasting spaces for the time being. Time consuming, but effective!)

The Minneapolis Public Library has been offering passes to museums, zoos, and other local, cool places to visit for check-out! I think it's the coolest program, and have only recently taken advantage of this service.

Dan and I checked out a pass to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and had a little adventure on Wednesday to celebrate his birthday! We packed up a picnic and LOTS of water, since it was so hot and sunny, and drove down to Chaska. As usual, I took lots of pictures (this being a small sample, of course):




(Dan really wanted the koi in the pond in the Japanese Garden to nibble on his fingers, but they didn't seem all that interested, once they discovered he didn't have any food.)

(One very cool thing about the Arboretum is that they incorporate art -- sculpture,mainly -- into nature. There's a statue of a bird well-hidden in this pond!)





We stopped at the "weeping trees" display along the 3-mile drive and enjoyed our picnic of iced tea, fruit, nuts, and a cold soba noodle salad, underneath this willow tree -- a breezy, shady spot!


The view from "high point."

This year's main attraction -- a living maze. Tricky, but fun!

Lastly, a view of a neighboring farm, with a perfectly-painted barn.

Next on the check-out list for us is the Minnesota Zoo . . . and I have a bunch of food photos to post, too. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Crazy Tragedy

Hey Blog Folks:

There was a huge tragedy in MN today -- the I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River collapsed. Just wanted to say that I'm OK, and so far, everyone I know is OK.

Check out the Star Tribune for more information.