Potato & Onion Tart

I guess I’m into savory tarts right now. Today I made an upside-down potato and onion faux tart, I say faux because there’s no crust other than a crunchy bottom of cheese and potato, but it looks pie-ish enough. Check it out:


Butter + fresh thyme in a cast iron pan, fat slices of onion arranged onto that, cooked for a few minutes over medium-high on the stove. Then a mixture of sliced potatoes, EVOO, salt n pepa, and 3 cheeses go on top of that and the whole kaboodle gets baked for 45 minutes. Let it cool a bit and plop it upside down to serve. I didn’t measure anything and used chèvre instead of feta, but otherwise I followed the recipe! It’s basically a lazy au gratin since you don’t mess with making a bechamel. I think next time it doesn’t need so much cheese and the onion would have caramelized just fine without the brief sauté. Anyhoo: YUMMERS! 20130226-192302.jpg

Catch Up

I’m on a Pinterest Rampage this week as I try to catch up with my one-a-day goal by the end of the month. Prior to this post I had done 16 out of 24 so, uhm, yikes!

Martha’s parsnip fries came out very well. Crispy on the outside and almost buttery on the inside. We ate them with corn dogs for lunch–classy!

This Cinnamon Quinoa Bake seems promising. I tasted a little corner of one and it tasted pretty good and had a nice texture. I look forward to nuking for 15 seconds and slathering with almond butter and a drizzle of honey for weekday breakfasts. I used regular soy milk and doubled the vanilla extract, subbed honey for the maple syrup just because we were out of the good stuff.

And lastly, I tried to make these homemade fruit leathers but uh, they died. They were baking at 170 degrees for many hours and I needed to go out so I left Ian in charge, but he’s sick, as mentioned earlier, and he didn’t tend them so well so they became homemade fruit shards of charcoal. Oh well. I’ll try this again some day when I can commit to the task.

Sicky-head Snot Station

Ian has a cold and it’s been a very, er, productive illness. He’s been going through tissue like nobody’s business! I picked up a handy Pinterest solution for used-tissue disposal the last time I was home sick with a nasty sinus infection. Normally I keep a bag next to the couch and I try to get most of my sick refuse in there, but honestly when I’m sick, I’m not shooting with my “A game.” This little set-up is so simple and can easily move with the sicky-head from bed to couch to bed, and, unlike a plastic grocery bag, you don’t have to engineer a way to keep it propped open each time you settle down somewhere new.

It’s just an empty tissue box fastened to a full tissue box with an elastic headband but it works really well and looks pretty slick:


Cauliflower Soup and Peasant Bread

Months apart, I pinned two cauliflower soup recipes, and since I bought two heads of cauli but used just one for the lemon-tahini recipe, I decided to make a soup. One recipe uses roasted cauliflower, aged cheddar, garlic and fresh thyme, while the other uses carrots, a little bay leaf, and lotsa cream, so I made a hybrid version. Shallot, garlic, carrot, thyme, bay leaf, nice and singed roasted cauliflower, veggie broth, a little roux, milk, heavy cream, sharp cheddar, garnished with bacon! Heck yeah! This turned out AMAZING even though it’s really unphotogenic.


I also baked some bread. Yep, me. It was suuuuper easy, which was the whole gist of the original blog and why I pinned it at all, but it did fall a bit when it cooled. No matter–it was absolutely HEAVENLY. The crust was crispy and buttery and the inside spongy and moist. While I was eating it while it was still warm I had a gut-level wonderment that we eat anything that isn’t bread. I mean, look at this motherfucker:


This soup and bread together made for one decadent homemade meal! Pinterest success! Pinter-cess…Princess? Sure, that’s how I felt manga-ing on this feast! 🙂


Date “Jar”

I’ve seen several “Date Night” jars around Pinterest. It’s a lovely–and very convenient–idea to avoid falling into the same ol’ routine or spending lots of moola on nights out. Whenever you have time, or ideally make time, to have a date with your sweetie, a date jar takes the pressure off deciding what to do so you can skip to the fun stuff. I looked at a lot of them while mining for unique date ideas, and I like this one the most because it has minimal frills and is done neatly.


I’ve been adding date ideas to a list for a couple weeks now and just got around to Joann’s today to buy tongue depressor sticks to put my jar together. I guess I had too many ideas though because after I wrote them all on sticks they didn’t fit in any jars I have. They fit perfectly in a glass, but then the tops didn’t stick out the top so it was difficult to pick a stick without dumping out the whole lot. Kind of negates the “easy to select at random” point of the whole thing. Then I found my wooden renaissance fair mug at the back of the cabinet and voilà! A perfect fit! I still need to color code them, but I’m torn on using stickers or dipping the tips in paint. I have neither so another trip to Joann’s (when they aren’t closing, whoops!) is in my near future.


I’ve divided date ideas into cost categories and as cost goes up, so does the amount of planning or time needed.

Dollar Values:
Free to $20 = green
$20 to $50= yellow
$50 to $100 = orange
Over $100 = red

These are written just as they are on the sticks. Anything in parentheses is written on the back of the stick because I thought more info would be useful. A few are season-specific so I may give those a special marking on the tips so we don’t draw a winter only date in summer and vice versa. But hey for now they’re unmarked.

Living Social / Groupon
S’mores, PJs, Cards
Go out for tea
IMAX & butterfly house
Star gazing (cocoa thermos & blankets)
Build a fort!
Cuddle pit- read to each other
Wii Sports
Bike ride & picnic
Make a “mix tape”
Make bagels, Klezmer music
Make ice cream
Write bucket lists
Candlelight Dinner
Cartoons, popcorn, root beer floats
Fondue Night
Movie marathon (series or theme, remember snacks)
Waterfront arcade
Rollerblading at Alki (weather permitting)
Breakfast for dinner
Living room dance party (move furniture)
Kubota Gardens
Visit a patch, orchard or field (pumpkin, apple or strawberry)
BBC’s Hitchhiker’s Guide **This is what we watched on our first “date”**
YouTube karaoke night
Make donuts
Living room camp out

Dinner + a movie out (Ballard)
Dinner + a movie out (out of Ballard)
Dress up and go to “high” tea
Roller skating & pizza
Arboretum kayaking
Ferry to Bainbridge, explore
Laser tag
Comedy club
Boat rental at Green Lake (seasonal)
Ride the dang duck
SAM and Taste
Home Spa Night (massages, candles, baths)
Great Wheel
Tubing (seasonal)
Snowshoeing (seasonal)
Jazz Alley
Rent a tandem bike (weather permitting)
Check out a local brewery
Agua Verde & kayak

Check out La Conner
Skagit Valley day trip (tour farms)
Restaurant Hop (app, entree, dessert @ 3 places)
See a play or ballet
Leavenworth day trip
Heart o the Hills (Off-season)
Dance classes (4-5 dates)
Hike or snowshoe, The Attic
Mt. Rainier camping (May or October)
Cooking class (check comm. colleges)
Seattle Symphony
Whale Watching
Staple & Fancy

Bed and Breakfast
Hot air balloon!
Horseback ride!
Amtrak to Portland (weekend)
Wolf Lodge 🙂

A lot of these are specific to me and my sweetie or local stuff, so apologies if the brief description doesn’t make sense. Cheers to quality time with your love!


Lemon infused olive oil and DIY soap dispenser

It’s super easy to make flavorful infused oils at home!
I made a lemon one today, haven’t tasted it since it’s for a friend, and I already lost more oil than I anticipated during the process. I wanted to use Meyer lemons as I had for the holidays, but finding organic ones has proven difficult! They need to be organic too because you use the peel, and I don’t care how much you scrub, a lot of those chemicals ain’t coming off. It’s not a problem when you just want the juice but oh well. I used our zester and that worked very well–little risk of pith contaminating the batch that way (you can also just peel in strips but you’ve got to be careful).

Then, as a catch up, I made a hand soap dispenser using a glass jar, hot glue gun, and pump from a bottle of Method foaming hand soap. It’s full of the aforementioned DIY foaming soap. It’s very simple and kind of silly but I think it’s cute.


Pin A Day February

These days, receiving a compliment for something I did or made often warrants the response of “thanks, I saw it on Pinterest!” My friends, family, and coworkers have all benefited from the collective brilliance of this visual idea machine. You might think museum is a more appropriate analogy for what is officially a public “pin board”–a place for storing and showing simple ideas–but I say machine because more often than not I don’t straight ahead copy a Pinterest idea, it just gets me started in a new direction, and that idea can lead to another and so on. It’s great!

Anyhoo, I had been thinking of setting some kind of goal to make myself DO more things I pin, since I have so many, adding more evey day, and I never have the time to do more than MAYBE one a week. Since some are larger DIY projects and others are quick little things I thought I could probably average one a day for a month if motivated by, say, the shortest month of the year. So, this February I’m doing just that.

The month is already flying by so quickly that this is the first time I’ve sat down to take stock of how it’s going. So let’s back-track a bit!

Friday the 1st:
Tension rod under the sink for cleaning supply storage. This didn’t turn out nearly so well as the original pinner’s attempt. I ordered a tension rod from Amazon, and while it fits perfectly, the tension just isn’t that great. When I hung the spray bottles the weight was enough to pull the whole thing down. Fortunately, there was an ever-so-slight ledge up higher on the sides of the cabinetry, so I scooted the rod up to rest on that. That was just enough support that it holds the bottles fine, but now it’s up so high that sliding the spray bottles on and off is a little awkward because their tops hit the top of the under-cabinet. I may replace the rod with a better quality version at some point, but meh for now! This is what it was supposed to look like:underthesink

Saturday the 2nd:
I bought some Method foaming hand soap for the bathroom a while ago. When it ran out I bought a refill bag, thinking we’d save some $ and avoid wasting the plastic of the dispenser. Then I discovered that whoops! I had bought their non-foaming liquid soap. Because I was still using the foaming dispenser, it tried foaming it with each squirt, resulting in kind of a weird, sploogey experience. Pinterest to the rescue! Apparently you can make your own foaming soap by just adding water to regular liquid soap. No joke. Just make sure you use very little soap–like an inch–and fill the rest of the way up with aqua. Give it a little shake to combine and blammo: foaming soap! The refill stuff will last us forever now! foamsoap

Sunday the 3rd:
This one was kind of a cheat because I had done it before, but these bedtime stretches are great and worth many repeats.

Wednesday the 6th:
Lemon-tahini roasted cauliflower. This turned out delicious but fairly different from the original pin. For one. I have no idea how she got those nice slabs of cauliflower. I suspect she sliced multiple heads and just used the innards because only the “heart” of my cauliflower stayed in one piece. No matter, I floret-ed the whole thing so they’d cook evenly. I served in a warm pita, half slathered with the lemon-tahini sauce (with extra lemon and garlic, duh) and half shmeared with hummus. It was really delicious but only some pieces were crispy like she wrote about. Next time–crank up the heat and serve less time in the oven. 20130210-232722.jpg
Thursday the 7th:
Crescent roll apple pies! Man these were easy and real tasty. I mixed cinnamon and sugar and spooned it directly onto the full triangle of dough, added a couple slices of apple, then rolled up, pinching the sides up/in, light dusting of more cinnamon and sugar. The original source used butter in the cinnamon-sugar mix but I left it out and didn’t miss it. One issue surfaced–the apples didn’t have that apple pie consistency because the dough crisped up too quickly to give them a chance to soften. I think a lower temp for longer would do the trick.

Saturday the 9th:
A year of happy memories jar. Anytime something happy happens–not EVERYTHING because jeez! But the stuff that I want to remember– I’ll write it down on a little piece of paper and pop in the jar. At New Year’s I’ll read them all and remember all the great things that happened throughout 2013. Since I’m starting late I just wrote what I could remember and put them in a Mason jar. Maybe it’ll be a good enough year I’ll have to upgrade to a bigger container! memoryjar

Sunday the 10th:
Good morning yoga sequence.Well, I tried to do all of these–I’m not flexible enough to properly do the 6th pose, and I was really wobbly on the last–but man it still did a good job waking me up and getting my blood flowing. Good morning indeed! 🙂


I didn’t get anything done the 4th, 5th, or 8th, so I have 3 extra pins to fit in by the end of the month. Fun stuff so far!