Sep 17, 2009


The past few weeks I've been frequenting the amazing Missoula farmer's market every Saturday, and manage to come home with tons of fresh goodies on the cheap. Lately I've always managed to have zucchini and huckleberries, and wanted to make a nice treat using both. I found a zucchini and blueberry muffin recipe and substituted one berry for the other. The first batch was awesome and is pictured below.

I then decided to try and make the yummy muffins even yummier - and healthier! So, today I made the muffins again, substituted part of the zucchini for carrots and part of the regular flour for whole wheat. They are SO AWESOME (and prettier than the original batch)!

Here's the recipe:

1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
5T butter or margarine, melted then brought to room temp
1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 c sugar
1 c. shredded zucchini
1/2 c. shredded carrots
1 c. huckleberries

-beat: butter, sugar, egg in one bowl; mix all dry ingredients in another. stir shredded veggies in egg mixture, then gradually add flour mixture. fold in berries. bake at 375 for about 25 mins.

Jul 26, 2009

tank top

Problem: Yesterday it was hot. I own two tank tops and didn't want to wear either of them. Solution: Attempt to make a tank top out of a ridiculously large t-shirt that I found at a thrift store months ago for a ridiculously cheap price (and that I absolutely love but don't ever wear because of the size issue).

I basically just put the shirt on the ground, set a well-fitting tank on top of it, traced it, then stitched it. I suck at hemming, but I managed to make something fairly wearable for super hot days where you don't really leave the house...

it also makes a nice cover-up for swimwear ;-)

Jul 24, 2009

resin casting!

I've been toying with the idea of resin casting for a long time and about a month ago decided to purchase some Easy Cast 2-step epoxy resin and give it a try! I did a bit of research about mold types, inclusions, etc. for a couple of weeks then finally started casting. I found a cool little ice cube tray for $1 to use in the experimental pour.

I made a few heart shaped magnets with candy and popcorn kernel inclusions, also Wenk asked to have a Big Sky Brewery bottle cap turned into a magnet.

After the first round of casting I was hooked and started coming up with ideas for things to use as inclusions. I also bought two bangle bracelet molds on eBay off of a nice lady in Texas who has a "resin obsession," and a sweet store of casting supplies because of it. The first round of bracelets is made with plastic bb inclusions. I found an old stash of Wenk's airsoft pellets supplies and went to town. I'm afraid I may be well the way to my own little resin obsession with this bangle thing because the bbs are super cheap and come in a million different colors...

check out my Etsy shop for the opportunity to purchase some of these items!

Jun 3, 2009

breakfast food-filled corn muffins

It's that time of year where friends are moving away after completion of grad school, which also means that we acquire more "stuff." I have only accepted useful stuff, mind you. That chest of drawers was much needed, and it never hurts to have more than one set of muffin tins. Okay so I may or may not have needed all the muffin tins, and Chris probably had the right to wryly ask if I was going to open up a muffin shop. After that very appropriate comment I actually started brainstorming muffin ideas and came up with some interesting breakfast muffin ideas.

Now, these were not the traditional fruit and cream cheese filled muffin ideas. I started thinking, "sausage and gravy corn muffins?" or, "bacon, egg n cheese?" Just before work yesterday I decided to experiment. I found a basic corn muffin recipe using masa harina, and started filling them with ham, peper jack, and eggs. The tricky part was trying to figure out how to make a barrier so that the scrambled egg wouldn't just run into the mix. I tried cheese barriers and ham barriers. The ham seemed to work the best...but didn't do exactly what I had imagined it would.

I didn't get any photos of these glorious creations because they were compled just minutes before I had to leave for work, and when I got home from work, all but two were gone - and they were not the two best examples of the batch.

At any rate, I think i'll keep experimenting with muffins. I'm thinking - Chicken Tamale muffins - or- Chili and Cheese???

here's a link to the masa harina corn muffin recipe I followed. I'd recommend it over the usual yellow cornmeal muffin.

May 31, 2009

strawberry-blueberry sorbet

Yesterday we attended a bbq for a friend who is moving out of town. Strawberries happened to be on sale and it also happened to be a fairly warm day so sorbet was made! I didn't get any pictures because it was made at the last minute then devoured within seconds of being shared, but just imagine a rich dark red frozen delight sprinkled with seeds and flecks of deep blueberry skin. I modeled my recipe off of a simple strawberry one that I found through a google search but added blueberries and used lime juice instead of lemon (because I had a lonely lime waiting to be used for something). The blueberry wasn't very prominent but there was just enough to notice that it wasn't just strawberry, which is what i was going for. More blueberries can be added to this recipe as needed.

2 lbs strawberries, rinsed & hulled
1.5 c sugar
2 oz blueberries (about a handfull)
juice of 1 lime

Puree all ingredients into food processor until smooth. You can pour the mixture through a sieve if you don't want seeds, but I firmly believe it will compromise the aesthetic integrity of the dessert. freeze in ice cream maker as manufacturer's directions or freeze in airtight canister.

May 8, 2009

I believe that experimentation with food, no matter at what level, is a very important part of life...especially when you're in college. I've since graduated the years of nothing but ramen noodles, pizza and sandwiches but still end up randomly eating like a student, and I have to admit that I keep a small stock of ramen in the pantry. This "regressive eating" happens mostly on Fridays when the week's groceries are starting to dwindle and I'm at my laziest.

Today happens to be a Friday, a day that started with thrift stores and rummage sales. The last rummage sale I went to was in a church and while sifting through piles of other people's used stuff, the all too familiar smell of what I like to call "cardboard pizza" started wafting through the air vents. I immediately craved it, but didn't want to go to the store and buy only a frozen pizza. So, when I got home I realized that we had some frozen chicken nuggets (for emergencies only, i swear) some jarred pasta sauce, and some cotija cheese leftover from Cinco de Mayo. What does that make? A little something I like to call, Ghetto Chickn Parmesan. This is the closest I could get to something pizza-like in the sense that it has sauce and cheese. HA! The cotija cheese is really what makes it. I like to think that the Mexican crumbling dairy solid tastes like a mix between mozzarella and Parmesan, so it worked perfectly. It ended up being a couple of levels higher on the taste scale than those frozen cheapo chicken parm dinners you can but in the freezer section, so I'd say it was a success.
I really wish my pictures were more flattering, but I'm convinced that it takes a pro or a HD camera from the Food Network to make it so. I've had a few conversations in my life about the unflattering-ness of most food photos, and it really doesn't help that I've been using my phone's camera! I'll eventually have everything I need to use my "real" camera again but for now they'll just have to look like those nasty old photos of jello molds in your mom's cookbook that are more nauseous than appetizing.

May 7, 2009

First thing's first: PIE!!!

From the moment that I decided to create this blog, a mere 6-7 hours ago, I've been contemplating what would be the optimal first post. Today I didn't have to actually work much, so I planned on cooking a bit. Wenk had purchased a few mangoes the other day with the sole intention of convincing me to make a pie. A month or so ago, there was a huge sale on the aromatic bulbs and I had decided to use them in lieu of peaches in a traditional 2-crust southen dessert favorite. Wenk loved it but soon after eating it talked to his mom and realized that a cold mango pie, made to imitate his great aunt k's cold-peach pie would be wonderful. He knows me well enough to know that if he gets the ingredients and throws an idea at me that I'll eventually whip something up. Well, I didn't get the recipe for that but found a good and healthy looking recipe to follow for my cold mango strawberry pie. Fresh peach and yogurt no-bake pie

I really wanted to make my own graham cracker crust with some cinnamon grahams that have been occupying my pantry but soon realized that I had lent out all my pie pans to our friend Carrie, who recently did her non-fiction thesis reading which included a piece on searching for authentic pies and of course featured several pies at the reception. So the crust was store bought sadly enough, but ended up being delicious. I substituted 3 decently sized mangoes for the peaches and used a 6oz container of strawberry flavored yogurt from Tillamook (yum!) for the yogurt/sour cream option. While mixing the vanilla into the yogurt I couldn't stop myself from adding some powdered ginger, which ended up amounting to probably 1.5 tsp.

On a less healthy note, Wenk has also been craving tater tot casserole. I've pretty much stopped making anything that calls for a condensed cream of mushroom soup, but decided it wouldn't hurt to make it since it's kind of a comfort food. I used cousin Erika's traditional recipe, 1lb gr. beef/2 cans green beans/2 cans cr. of mushroom soup/tots, but substituted the gr beef for some elk. Wenk had a baseball/bbq get-together the other night and a buddy brought elk burgers.
There were a couple of well seasoned ones left over so I just crumbled them into the mix. Yay comfort food! Great first post, me!

shopping bag

So, I haven't posted for quite some time because we've had some major computer issues, but i've made a few things. The most recent venture into the crafting world was a couple of shopping bags made from reclaimed fabric and old cloth napkins found at a thrift store here called the Wunderground, which by the way is an amazing place under the senior citizen's center here in Missoula.

Here's a pic of one...