Friday, November 19, 2010


What 3-yr-old girl loves to eat tomatoes and salad as a snack?

What 3-yr-old girl decides to clean the kitchen all by herself, just for fun?

What 3-yr-old girl wants to be a fly for halloween?

What 3-yr-old girl takes piles of books to bed so she can read herself to sleep?

My niece, that's who!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

1000 Words

Dress. Apron. Bare feet. Flowers. Cooking. I think this picture sums me up perfectly.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

First Thanksgiving

No, this post isn't about pilgrims, it's about my first Thanksgiving this year, and my first Thanksgiving dinner made all by myself. It may seem a little early to be making a turkey, but it's actually very late. My sister bought this turkey last year, because they're such a good price around the holidays, but never got around to making it until now. I've been helping with Thanksgiving pretty much my whole life, and my dad let Lee and I do Thanksgiving a couple of years ago, but it was still exhilarating and intimidating when I pulled out this turkey with no one else even home to help me with anything.

I started to browse some recipes, but then I decided to just gather up some fruit and bread and things that needed using and make it up as I went.

Look at that turkey just chilling out in the sink. I'm pretty sure he was laughing at me, because I couldn't find the hole that all the stuffing and such goes in. But I won in the end.

First I sliced up nine mandarins and four lemons, and shoved them all under the skin. I'm pretty sure not an inch of skin was actually touching the meat—top, bottom, even the legs.

Then four apples, two pears, a loaf of Macaroni Grill Bread, a few slices of sandwich bread, and a handful or two of craisins all mixed up for stuffing. I always thought you cook it in the turkey, but there wasn't nearly enough room, so most of it had to go in a separate pan.

Mmmmm garlic. Originally I was going to put this under the skin as well, but I ran out of room, so I just added it to the stuffing.

I mixed up some fresh chopped rosemary, seasoning salt (Lawry's is my favorite), and olive oil to smear all over the turkey.

Into the 325ยบ oven for about 4 hours. Thanks to the easy cooking guide on the turkey package. Just look at those lemon slices in the leg...beautiful!

Of course turkey needs mashed potatoes, so I boiled a few russets and mixed them with butter, parmesan, and half & half.

I left the skins on, but blended till smooth.

And there's my first solo Thanksgiving feast. Only about five hours start to finish. Not nearly as bad as I expected. But you may notice something missing—gravy! There were almost no drippings. Did I do something wrong, or do you usually make the gravy out of something else?

The turkey was a little dry, but it was turkey. The mashed potatoes were pretty good. But that stuffing...Brilliant! (If I do say so myself.) I was a little worried at first that there was way more fruit than bread, but it was delicious, I'd definitely recommend it!


This is one of my all time favorite pictures. I love flowers that grow in bunches like this (it's called an inflorescence, the one thing I remember from biology). I love that these are only about an inch diameter in real life, tiny flowers that people rarely even notice. I love the usually white flowers that for some reason started turning purple in this spot. I love the contrast of the bright, happy flowers against the dead leaves and dirt all around. It just makes me happy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Eden Circus

"All aboard!" Conductor Eden will drive you to the Big Top Tent.

Come on IN, everyone's welcome.

The audience eagerly awaits the start of the show.

Everyone is captivated by the hilarious clowns in Act 1.

Now for Act 2...the incredible Koala balances on not 1, not 2, not even 3 or 4, but FIVE balls!

Act 3: You've never seen anything like it folks. It's astounding, tremendous, colossal, stupendous! Liony, the brave lion, jumps off a high dive into a tiny pool of water!

And the grand finale. Can it be? Yes! It's Plex, the never-before-seen tight-rope-walking robot!

Now carefully exit through the OUT door.

And come on over to meet the clowns.

Who will give a lesson about the circus:

"Sometimes in the circus people stand on balls. In the circus people leap into a pool. Sometimes in the circus people do a tight rope walk."

Monday, November 15, 2010


As I've already said at least a zillion times, I have the best job in the world. I get to spend all day doing all of my favorite things, then get paid for it. Not to mention free room and board in the "Biggest Little City." Even though I technically have certain hours I work and certain days I'm off, living at work (or working at home) means that I'm occasionally on-call for about anything you can think of; usually this involves making things on the computer, like coloring books or marathon training schedules or math worksheets.

Tonight I had a different request...Lee needs 2 dozen crepes for her study group tomorrow. She asked me at about 10, but then I discovered a serious lack of eggs in our refrigerator. Unfortunately she was in the middle of a crazy math problem, so we didn't get to the store until midnight. Now I'm sitting here half asleep cooking crepe after crepe. Luckily we make crepes often enough that we have a nice little system.

Some of our favorite toppings (from another day).

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...what more can I say?

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I watched Alice in Wonderland a few days ago, and it reminded me of something exciting that I haven't posted about yet. In June, I got to help out my friend with Sober Grad Night for the graduating seniors. The theme was Alice in Wonderland. A theater gave them a giant poster of the tea party, with lots of scrumptious desserts all over it. In front of this, they replicated the table, with fabulous old silverware and teapots and platter. I got to replicate the desserts—so much fun! I used tins and candles for the cakes, but real fondant and frosting. The "cakes" are still sitting on my desk at home. They don't match perfectly, but not bad for making them all in about 5 hours.