Thursday, May 27, 2010

Beauty all around us...

Isn't this a stunning photo?

I didn't take it, though I wish I had. I simply stumbled  upon it while surfing the web via StumbleUpon. I thought it was a photo worth sharing.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In Order to Fatten My Friends

Yes, I think as being a self-proclaimed food lover and semi-rotund individual, I must equalize myself not through dieting or exercise, but by converting all of my friends to the dark (and tasty) side. Therefore I have whipped up some new culinary delights to wow your tastebuds and enlarge your waistlines. Beware, they're good. Like, cream of the crop good. You have been warned. (also note, these dishes were not intended to go together...they just happened in the same week.)

#1: Sweet Thai Yellow Curry

1 14~oz can coconut milk
1 14~oz can chicken broth
1 large onion
2 tsp red curry paste
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp yellow curry powder
2 tbsp canola/vegetable oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 bunch green onions

1.5lbs (or more) of the meat of your choice - chicken, shrimp, fish works well
Salt & Red pepper flakes to taste
Serve over Jasmine rice or cous-cous

Step 1: Dice your green onions into rounds, and your large onion into strips (think fajitas.)
Step 2: Pour canola oil into a large skillet, heat and add the onion strips. Saute until lightly browned.
Step 3: Add curry paste, mix with onions and stir for about 30 seconds.
Step 4: Pour in chicken broth & coconut milk. Add all other spices and ingredients except the meat.
Step 5: Cook for 5 minutes on medium, stirring ingredients in and tasting curry for the proper flavor (this is where you add the "to taste" items.
Step 6: Add meat (cut into bite-size strips) and continue cooking until meat is fully cooked.
Step 7: Enjoy served over rice or cous-cous! (Cous-cous is particularly good with sauteed onions & carrots with some dried cranberries thrown in.)

#2 The Best Freakin' Cinnamon Rolls...ever. Cream-Cheese Infused, you heard right...
4 cups flour (plus extra for kneading!)
2 cups water (heat to 105-115* F, use a thermometer!)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp yeast
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

1 8oz pkg. cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon extract

1/4c sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Brown sugar
Whipping cream

Step 1: Heat the 2 cups water to 105-115* F. Add 1 tbsp sugar and the 1 tsp yeast, stir together AFTER HEATING.
Step 2: Mix dry dough ingredients together.
Step 3: Add liquid mix to dry mix, stir together, cover and set aside for 1-2 hours (until doubled in size.)
Step 4: Soften cream cheese in microwave and add vanilla & cinnamon extracts. stir together until a frosting-like consistency is achieved.
Step 5: After dough has risen, pour onto floured surface. Flour your hands and add some to the dough until it is no longer sticky to handle.
Step 6: Roll dough out with floured rolling pin - 1/4" thick and about 16"x12" is what you're looking for.
Step 7: Spread cream cheese mixture on the rolled out dough evenly.
Step 8: Fold dough back on itself - 3 times lengthwise like an envelope, then back to make a square.
Step 9: Roll dough back out until it is 16"12" and 1/4" thick or so. You may have to continue adding a little flour to prevent it from sticking.
Step 10: Mix the 1/4c sugar & 1tbsp cinnamon and spread on dough.
Step 11: Tightly roll dough (as tightly as you can) into a log.
Step 12: With a SHARP knife, cut into 1/2" rounds.
Step 13: Place rounds in a greased 9x13" pan
Step 14: Bake for 350* for 15 minutes and check. If browned on the top, prepare the topping. If not browned, return to oven until lightly browned on top.
Topping: Mix whipping cream & brown sugar (approximately 1part whipping cream to 2 parts brown sugar) to make a gooey syrup. Consistently should be roughly that of liquid soap.
Step 15: Pour topping over rolls and bake for another 5 minutes.

You don't know how delicious and fattening these suckers are. Reader'll be dreaming of these.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Le Pouf!

This tutorial from Design Sponge is so cool that I thought I would share it with everyone! I'm now excitedly planning on making my very own "pouf."

Tutorial: Making a Pouf

Here's a photo of the pouf from Design Sponge's website:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

MT Quilt Swap, Finished!

I finished my quilt for the Modify Tradition Quilt Swap!! I made it a little bigger than the guidelines, which call for a quilt the size of a large place mat, and I'm happy I did.  I couldn't figure out what on earth you would use a mini quilt for and I just got so frustrated with the rules that I nearly made a complete full size quilt.

As I was unaware of the rules when I signed up for the quilt, I didn't realize that we were swapping MINI quilts. What am I going to do with a doll-sized quilt? Give it to me cat?

At any rate, I decided to make mine similar in fashion to a baby quilt. This way, at least, if my swap-ee is like "What the deuce should I do with this shoddy example of quilting?" she can just give the quilt to someone she knows who is having a baby girl or wait until she has a baby.

When you're cuddling in a blanket, you aren't judging the quilting know-how of the quilter.  On the other hand, when your quilt is the size of a computer screen, you see all it's faults and flaws. Not to mention, my quilting isn't up to the standard of wall-hangings yet (I did sign up as a beginner) and, therefore, I think it would be irrational of me to attempt one... yet.

So, with that said, here are the photos of the quilt:

The full quilt:

A detailed look:

I decided to go with a unique way of binding the quilt that I actually made up on the spot [dangerous - as the last time I made a quilting technique up on the spot it pretty much failed miserably]. Instead of sewing the binding to the edge of the quilt and hand-sewing it to the back, I simply cut my backing a little longer than my quilt face. Then I folded the edges over the front and machine quilted the folded backing on the face of the quilt. I kind of like the effect and it was a lot less time consuming than the normal process.

Andy snapped a photo of me ironing my current quilt in process. I like the photo, but I'm pretty unhappy with the quilt and I'm tempted to scrap the whole thing. Happily though, Andy captured this very Elisha moment.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Becca!! And Sisters!

Becca is one of my closest friends and an amazing photographer. And as such, there was no one else on my list who I could even think to want to do our sister-shoot for my mom's Mother's Day gift.

After only a little arm twisting, [I mean, seriously, I would not be excited about doing a shoot with me as the subject. I am undeniably a camera control freak. No joke.] Becca agreed to be tortured and take photos of Taleah, Chantel, & I.

It was a blast (after I stopped trying to look at every photo that Becca took and I desisted from trying to steal borrow Becca's camera every minute or two). If you could hire any photographer in the Portland area, I would definitely forcibly coerce recommend that you choose Becca. She has a crisp and refreshing style and has a natural gift at photography. Not to mention, she is super fun and easy to relax with - which makes having your photo taken feel so natural.

Anyway, enough raving. The pictures speak for themselves.

Thanks Becca! You can check out her website here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Little Things We Do

Go check out my guest blog on photography featured on my dear friend Lauren's blog - The Little Things We Do .

[FYI- click on the photo to take you directly to the my fantastic words of wisdom]

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

My lovely friend, Lauren [who has an awesome blog at], does these fun "Fill in the Blank Friday" posts every - you guessed it - Friday

I haven't posted one of these before, but since it is about my absolute favorite subject (well, right after how wonderful my husband is), I figured I might as well play along.

So here we go:

1.  My favorite book growing up was: The Mark of the Lion series, by Francine Rivers. It is probably the only book I've read more than twice. Actually, I'm pretty sure I read it every other week throughout my entire adolescence.

2.  The funniest book I've ever read was: I haven't really read that many "funny" books, but the Anne of Green Gables series completely captivated me and etched a perma-smile on my face whenever I read it. I found myself frequently finding a long-suffering family member and holding them prisoner while I shared amusing quotes and sections from the books.

3.  The one book that has truly changed my life is: Obviously, the Bible. However, if I choose another book I think I would choose Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge or Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers.

4.  If you're looking for a real "tear jerker" you should probably read: My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult. I bawled. Snotty yucky bawling.

5.  If I could meet any author living or dead I would want to meet: LM Montgomery - Her writing makes me feel like we're soul-sisters.

6.  The next book on my "to read" list is: The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa

7.  If I was snowed into  remote cabin in the woods and could only choose three books to bring with me I'd bring: Eeek! I can't pick just three... Maybe three series??? Or three hundred??  Okay, I'll try to narrow it down.  The Anne of Green Gables series, Redeeming Love, & Ella Enchanted. Ugh. I'm literally forcing myself not to make a ridiculous long list of all the books that I would stack around this imaginary cabin.

If you'd like to play along, just fill in the blanks on your own blog (or in the comment section!) and then link back here using by leaving a comment.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Quilting Swap!

So I'm doing my first quilting swap and I have to admit I'm a little nervous about it. Thus far, all the quilts I've made have ended up in the hands of family members and not under the critical eye of fellow quilters! eek!

One of the things I love most about quilting is the creativity and diversity amongst quilters! I'm always so inspired when I see what other quilters have created with only fabric and thread.

Below are a few photos of quilts (made by more talented hands than mine) that I am inspired by.

I love One Block Wonder Quilts -


Yay for bright colors!



I heart circles!


I've recently been obssessed with mixing grey with bright colors! So fun!





Note to my wonderful swap partner - I love bright colors in my quilts, but I also love the subtlety of soft colors together. I love wonky quilts and I love structured quilts. Unfortunately, this means that I don't have much direction to give you when it comes to designing a quilt. However, I can tell you the things I definitely do not love.

I do not love pink. Even though you see it in the pictures above and I can appreciate it when others use it, I simply cannot even begin to think about cuddling up with a quilt that has pink in it. :( 

I do not love batiks.

I do not love anything that looks like tie-dye.

That's it! I can't wait to see what you come up with

I promise I'll post pictures of the quilt I'm making and the quilt I receive!