3.22.2015

Thrifter Share Hiatus

Meant to post earlier but I'm taking a little mini-break holiday this week with two boys under 12.


(HELP ME)



No in seriousness we're having a blast.

I read this story on stuff, it's great, I would encourage everyone to read it. It resonated with me because I think we've reduced our belongings by 1/3 in the last 6 months and I understand it's so hard to get rid of stuff. Especially stuff that people you love gave you, that's the hardest to purge.

If you want to link please do, this is last weeks link up but feel free to add your posts. I'll be around to visit once we get back home!



3.19.2015

Do you LOVE Artichokes?

Yeah me too! Want to win some? Soon you can!


In April you can head on over to AllAboutArtichokes.com and check out their newest flavor contest. It's easy just digitally create your ultimate flavor combo for an artichoke dip, name it, share it with friends and you can be entered to win lots of prizes like a CASE of artichokes from Ocean Mist Farm and the grand prize is 1,000 dollars, so giddy up. 

It's an easy way to get a box delicious seasonal artichokes on your doorstep. I know what I'm talking about here, those artichokes are fresh picked and super tasty. Heck you could even make Artichokes with Snail Butter for dinner if you win.  



There's going to be a winner EACH day in April and you can enter EACH day in April. With NO kitchen mess to clean up, nothing to lose and everything to gain this contest is a NO brainer.


3.18.2015

Easy Dried Fruit

I have an affliction, I can't walk past the marked down fruit bin at the grocery store with picking out all the good stuff. Already have 3 pounds of apples in my cart? WHO CARES THESE 3 COST A DOLLAR! Bananas a whole bunch for a dollar? Giddy Up, I'll make banana bread! It's just an easy way to spread our food dollars a little farther.




Since going Whole30 in February I found it hard(er) to make baked goods like banana bread and apple crisp without tasting them once their done or even the batter for that matter. There I said it I'm a finger licker. So while I was finding bang up deals on fruit I wasn't using them as fast as I wanted or needed to. Finally I pulled out my old friend the dehydrator to come to the rescue because while I couldn't eat apple bread I COULD nibble dried apples. Now inhaling 4 pounds of dried apples is no ones idea of a perfect whole30 but carrying a bag of dried apples to stave off hunger while running errands is a perfectly legit idea.




To make super simple dried fruit you need fruit and a dehydrator. If you're worried about discoloration use a simple lemon juice in water dip but because I wasn't going for a beauty prize I skipped it. I'm also lazy about things like that and I don't like the sour tang it can give fruit.


I've done apples and bananas and it's basically the same "technique" if you can even call it that.
Wash the fruit
Slice the fruit--about 1/2 thick
Dry the fruit--I dry until it's reduced by about 1/2




Did I say it was simple? I think the hardest part of the whole thing was coring the apples and that's not even hard.




In my big dehydrator I ran it full fan on the highest temp which is 155˚ I believe and after an hour or so began rotating the bottom rack to the top and just cycled through the racks making sure every one got a while on the bottom. After 6-7 hours they were done, for me done was leathery and when they cooled they became slightly crunchy in spots. Your actual drying time will vary because you should dry your fruit to the level of done-ness you prefer. I like the banana chips to be completely crispy when I take them out because I like the snappy crunch. You can also peel the apples if you prefer to but you certainly don't have to.



3.15.2015

Thrifter Share

A post to share your thrifted finds, whether you sell them, keep them or give them, share them here first.


 Mundane.




Boring.





Necessary.




All words you can use to describe my thrift store finds this week. And I wouldn't be offended if you agreed with me. Sometimes you find the A-MAY-ZING, sometimes you find swim trunks for your son who somehow grew out of his in the 4 months since he wore them. And it would be totally OK in most instances IF he didn't have a pair immediately except that we're taking a few days in Seattle next week and our hotel has a pool. So these happened



and I realized that my shirts are dingy, grungy, tattered or otherwise OLD so I looked for a few new-to-me tops. I think I can remake this into a tunic top.




This will be great for summer.




This one too.


And this top has giraffes on it, I like it a lot.






So there we are, the boring stuff that cost me less than 10 dollars and would have cost about 100 dollars brand new. I can live with that!

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Link 'em up, leave a comment and go visit your fellow thrifters!



3.12.2015

maybe it's not you

Lately I've read a couple of rage filled pieces written by moms of small children. I've been schooled by those posts or at least I think I was supposed to be. These moms don't like to hear "oh those days go so fast" or "enjoy 'em they don't last for long". Words I myself have uttered, yes I AM one of those and I just can't be ashamed of it. I won't be. And sorry, not sorry.

I know those days are long, often on top of nights that are liberally sprinkled with potty runs, diaper changes, bed thieves, night nursings and a myriad of other bothersome problems. I've been there before, right there in the thick of things. Dried breast milk on my best shirt, barf down my back, unwashed hair that you're too tired to care about. A dog who needs food, a teenager who needs a ride, a two year old who needs a walk and a baby slung because there just aren't enough arms all the time. And somehow they want dinner every single night and of course other meals too. And the laundry. The cleaning. The damned bills that never quit. And I'm sure so much more. Oh yes sharing the bathroom with a child trying to either get in or get out depends on where you started them off.

Any mom who stays home with kids has been there, and what you don't realize until you come out the other side of all that is that every mom since the history of forever has been there. It is the quintessential worst of times best of times situation. What more could a mom want that to have people need, love and depend on her, only maybe they could do it a little less? But with kids it's all or all, there is no break, no less than double full time. Even if you get a break, the work to catch up from that break, can make you wonder if it was worth it.

And then as it happens suddenly those warm little bodies, they're mobile, they're independent, maybe they go to school and you get a break. Or if you're lucky lots of breaks but the other side of kids growing up, is that they grow up. And no more hand holding, warm breath on your face at the crack of 5 am. No more banzai jumps from three steps up. No kisses in front of friends. Soon they'll act like you don't exist. Where did they go? Where did YOU go?

So forgive an old lady her seeming stupidity when she dares to utter those damn awful words like "enjoy it while you got it" because she knows. She's probably not even thinking about you at all, she's thinking of herself, she speaks from experience and maybe with a hint of regret or remorse for days gone by. Those days when everyone depended on her, when she was the one and a kiss solved everything.

3.11.2015

Artichokes with Snail Butter

Tangy garlicky snail butter paired with simple seasonal artichokes fairly well shouts "spring is here" can you hear it?




To be sure there were no snails consumed in this dish. Snail butter simply refers to the butter you make to stuff into snails, if you stuff snails that is. When I saw David Lebovitz's recipe for Green Beans in Snail Butter I filed it away in my "must make" recipe file in my head. And promptly forgot it. Yet when faced with a case of fresh artichokes sent to me by Ocean Mist Farm, a prize from last fall's Fresh Summit, suddenly the snail butter dinged dinged in my my mind.




Garlic and parsley nestled deep in melted butter with just a drip of lemon juice replaces the usual plain melted butter served with artichokes and it makes all the difference in the world. One boy who refused to eat an artichoke the other night suddenly wanted one because of the snail butter. And to be equal the one who always loves artichokes and will add butter to anything completely refused to believe there were no snails in the snail butter and he ate his artichoke plain.





Artichokes with Snail Butter

4 trimmed artichokes
1/4 cup butter +1 TBSP
3 TBSP minced garlic
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
2-3 drops lemon juice

steam or boil 4 trimmed artichokes until a leaf plucked from it comes out easily and the bottom 1/3 of the petal is tender
while they cook melt the butter in small sauce pan over low heat
once melted add the garlic and let in cook for 20 minutes or so
don't let your butter cook away or brown just keep the heat low and let the garlic steep
add the parsley, salt and pepper
continue warming until the artichokes are done
let the artichokes drain and then serve warm
divide the snail butter between 4 small ramekins and serve as well




Make sure you get out a stack of napkins because the artichokes drip and the butter runs and smears. It can get ugly but it's a beautiful fragrant kind of ugly, you're going to want more of it.





A big shout out thank you to Ocean Mist Farm for the AMAZING artichokes, I've been looking forward to my prize since I won it at at Fresh Summit last fall. I was so pleased with how well they held up to shipping and how tasty they were. Thank you!

3.09.2015

Upcycled Vintage Trivet

I bought this funky old trivet ages ago and gave it to my husband as a gift. The church pictured is a Russian Orthodox Church, St. Nicholas in Juneau I think but I'm not 100% certain. Any which way it doesn't matter because my husband is Orthodox and that's why I bought it for him, he's orthodox+the church pictured is orthodox=he will like it.



And he does. Er did.

The thing is, it's too big to fit in our drawer with all the other trivets and hot pads so I kept stashing it away and forgetting to use it. Hiding it is not an effective way to actually remember to use it, surprise surprise. So today when I was ambushed the hutch with a surprise gutting of junk we never use I came across and tossed it in the donate box, not to donate, I am mean but I don't throw out other people's junk, I simply placed it in the box to remind me to ask if he actually wanted it. I SWEAR.

I was moving that box of stuff to the next area due for it's dejunking when I started mulling over why we don't love and use this treasure every day. It's simply too big, it stands over an inch high but the tile in it is a regular tile depth, what like a 1/4 inch?



Imagine my surprise/pleasure when I easily tore off the bulky wooden frame and was left with just the tile, TA-DA, wait I mean oops not mine to up cycle, too late to stop now. The damage is done.





the irony of the made in Japan stamp on a piece by 'Art Alaska' is not lost on me... 


So I added little pads to the corners and now I've got a trivet I can use. And because I cook in cast iron I really need hot pads and trivets that will hold up to intense prolonged heat. It's almost a perfect match size wise to the trivet we picked up in Arizona last year. Wow another church, I didn't even realize that until I parked that photo here.