Friday, April 29, 2011

Sooo Busy . . .

I have been so ridiculously busy over the last couple of weeks there has hardly been time to breath. I am flying between current house and house to be . . . making decision after decision . . . which is something exhilarating and tricky all at the same time. . . 
I love this. This is the largest art project I have ever put my hands into.  I am shaping and creating something so complex . . . my only frustration is that I can't do it all myself. I don't have enough know how or straight up physical strength, but heck, I sure have enough ideas.
                                                                                                   ~Marica
P.S. Pictures of the work to come soon . . .

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter . . .

Well a few weeks ago I had big Easter plans . . . sweet fabric to make a dress for my daughter, wool for making needle felted rabbits, a brand new cookie cutter to make bunny shaped chocolates . . . the list may even go on, but alas, this last week has been a scurrying hurrying ball of new house fun/work and none of those things happened . . .  we only just barely scrapped together time to dye eggs . . .
 Last minute I resigned myself to bought bunnies and pastel wrapped Hershey kisses. I felt a mixed vigor of diapointment and odd enjoyment at how catalogue the table looked . . .
Today however I dove into Easter cooking and produced a very lovely brunch . . . With hot-cross-buns . . .
 And chocolate vanilla striped cake. . .

I made modeling chocolate for sculpting the bunnies, something I had never done before, but have been aching to try after watching way too many episodes of Cake Boss
The bunnies came out remotely acceptable, but I feel a few more tries are in order. . . 
The buns however were heavenly . . .

                             ~Marica





Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'll come running . . . By Mr. Brian Eno

This has to be one of my all time favorite songs. It always makes me think of when I was pregnant with my first baby, and over the buttons of my cheesy denim jumper (one of my only ever pieces of actual maternity clothes) I would bend to try to reach my shoes. I don't even remember if I actually ever got help, but I have an image of being by our apartment door saying ~ I can't reach, will you help me tie my shoes. At this point, whether or not it happened is beside the point . . . only to say this song fills me with that first pregnancy and honestly, I think it is one of the sweetest songs ever.

                ~Marica

Monday, April 18, 2011

Plastic Bottle Houses . . .

I just saw this thing about building houses with plastic bottles. What an amazing idea!!! 
I am all into houses and building right now. I am looking up websites about painting, sinks, tubs, floors, property lines . . . you name it, I probably looked it up. I didn't however look up how to build houses with plastic bottles. When I saw a post about it however, it was right up my alley. Anyway, I thought it was something well worth passing along. Amazing website about building houses with plastic bottles!!!

                                                                                          Best wishes ~ Marica

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A House is a House for Me . . .

Oh my goodness, the things I have to tell you all . . .
The exciting elbow grease project that I had hinted at a while back is in loud action . . . 
A space is being created, a nest is being built, a home is being made . . . 
When you pull a carrot from the garden, the clinging dirt does not deter you, nor when you weed the pesky volunteer stragglers mother nature so numerously offers, do we think it is impossible to make the  bed beautiful  . . . This house is run down and in need of work work work. . .

 It is the perfect project with all the potential to end up amazing. 
 
And the yard . . . 
It backs to and an oak forest . . .
Indulges in fruit trees . . . 
And an outdoor kitchen . . .
So I went to the library to get inspiration and ideas.
 I figured it only helps to see all views and ranges . . . 
Now the work begins . . .
                                                                          ~Marica    

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring Farmers Market Dinner . . .

Well springtime is hitting, the farmers market is abundant and the sun is shimmering between testy clouds. I call to those clouds asking them to stay just a bit longer . . . Lengthen your visit dear-one and spread your cool moist air over this valley and beyond. But the clouds will not have a chance to heed, as the sun's rays will deepen with determination, until not a speck of moister wants hold on this dry land . . . Alas. But enough of that, snap peas, new potatoes, lettuce, dates and my beloved Ahi were waiting at the stands this morning, and this evening I prepared the following . . .
Potato Salad with mayonnaise, olive oil, dijon mustard, green onions, salt and black pepper . . .
An extremely simple corn chowder. 
Don't tell anyone how easy it is, or they're likely to think your lazy:

Corn Chowder
In a pot combine and bring to a simmer:
1 lb. frozen corn
2 cups water
1 tablespoon better than bouillon  
(If your gluten free be sure to buy the gluten free option)

Mix separately until smooth then add
whisking well so there are no lumps:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon potato flour

Serve with salt and black pepper.

And seared Ahi with tartar sauce. 
I'd never made tartar sauce before, but it was way more basic than I had expected:

Tartar sauce:
1/2 cup mayonaise 
1/2 cup chopped pickle
1 lemon squeezed 
1 tablespoon agave
salt and pepper to taste

P.S. The snap peas went into the green salad ~ Marica

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes Gluten and Dairy Free

Well who doesn't love a cupcake? I'm not talking about the over sugared, plastic version from the supermarket . . . I'm referring to a homemade, pint-sized bundle of sweet, just waiting for the right hand to pick it. Gosh be darling darned . . . I do believe there is such a thing. And just to prove it I am fastening the directions of how to make such decadent trivelry to this post.
Now being that I made these for a gluten and dairy free birthday party, these cupcakes are of that denomination, but no apologies for flavor . . . none.
The following recipe sits pretty, and feel free to try it:

Chocolate Cup Cakes
Preheat oven to 325 degrees

In a large bowl whisk:
6 egg yolks (save whites)
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup grapeseed oil or other vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift, combine separately, then add:
1 cup sweet rice flour only the most finely ground
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon guar gum
1+1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt

Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold in gently.
Oil, then line with cupcake papers, one 12 socket muffin tin.
Distribute batter evenly, then pop in the oven.
Bake 325 degrees for 35 minutes 
or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Icing:
Melt
4 oz unsweetened bakers chocolate
1/4 cup coconut oil

Add:
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar 

Dip each cupcake in head first to ice the entire top.

                                                               Best wishes ~ Marica

Friday, April 8, 2011

Bits of around here . . .

Well french toast is always an order around here. Not that we have it all the time, but there are hungry creatures that come out of the woodwork when french toast is being served on our table. This last batch that I made I decided to use Molly Wizenberg's, who wrote A Homemade Life, advice on generous oil in the pan rather than cooking the toast in butter.
I had mixed feelings on the results: Although the bread did seal better . . . which was 
her guidance . . . the flavor was of oil rather than butter . . . 
Hmm . . . I'll have to test it again to get better aquatinted. 
A tid bit of weaving has begun. I like seeing my seven-year-old hard at work . . .
Choosing colors . . . designing in her mind . . .
Then putting them in action . . .
We got a bocce ball set . . . 
Everyone had lots of fun . . . 
But my secret enjoyment was taking pictures of their darling 
feet and the beautiful colored balls . . .
                                                                                    Happy Friday ~ Marica

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

At the river . . .

Spring is registering. We are getting the sunshine, yet leaves and grass are still green. The river is pumping with water and gushing frothy, excited bubbles down its center, over rocks and around the spindly willows that grow in its shallows. We made our way to its shore, not yet decided whether we wanted to swim in the still chilly water, or just wade to our knees. 
As a kid, it was one of my favorite moments when the weather was warm enough to swim yet the current was strong enough to send you down stream. I'd jump in and let the pull take me as far as it would go. Today we tested the waters, climbed the rocks, and my ten-year-old and I rode the jolly swiftness . . . much to our shivering delight . . .
A Mama and Papa duck landed . . .
 And we even got to see them duck their heads under and stick their feet skyward . . .
I wished for my camera over and over . . .
Spring was in the air . . . and we were here to enjoy it!


                                                                                                             ~Marica

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fairies do exist . . .


I found this amongst my many photographs that remind me of times past . . . It was taken close to two years ago when my eldest son was logging information about fairies . . . Untitled by wasabi honey bee



 He talked about them constantly. His wee sized sister was in on the track, for even at five she realized the impact she could have if she had encounters with these somewhat elusive beings. To have information needed by this older, far more knowledge brother, was something she coveted and managed to work to her advantage. He would question her and take notes then quickly add them to his book of proof. I miss that era, it was magical . . . and not just because of the fairies.

Friday, April 1, 2011

After Dinner Walk . . .

I don't know if there is a better time to take a walk than after dinner . . .
When I was still tiny, and by some peoples standards I still am . . . size-wise at least, but I mean a little girl, my dad would call it ~ an evening stroll ~  "You want to go on an evening stroll?" And I did.
Everything sounds different . . . more hushed . . . more muted . . .
The trees hug themselves . . . settled for the night . . .
The frogs crouch . . .
By the murky pond . . . it smells like evening.
The stone lets the cold climb its way in . . .
Nighttime is coming . . . 
Evening is the other half of morning . . .
Half light  . . . just as spring and fall hold together summer and winter . . .
Shhhh . . .
                                                            ~Marica