Saturday, July 31, 2010

delicious july!

delicious july!
We ate well in July - lots of treats from the farmers' market, blueberry picking, a few homegrown zucchini, and I tried a record-breaking 24 new recipes!

What we were eating & cooking this month: corn on the cob, zucchini, tomatoes, lemonade, grilled (and smoked!) meat, and lots of blueberries.

Recipes on Vicious Dishes:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

life list #155: make fresh-squeezed lemonade

#155 off The Life List. Check!
peach lemonade
fresh-squeezed lemonade
I first made strawberry lemonade in June - I found a recipe that was so good I had to hold myself back from sucking down the whole pitcher in one sitting. Then I made it again...and doubled the recipe. Still delicious.  A few day ago, I tweaked the recipe to make peach lemonade. Fantastic!
peach lemonade

Fresh squeezed is definitely the way to go, and I think making my own lemonade will become a summer tradition around here.  I'm also fascinated by the resulting pile of just squeezed lemon pucks:
fresh-squeezed lemonade
Note: After the 4th of July, I had a leftover watermelon sitting around and tried to make watermelon lemonade. That was a bad idea.  Now, I've never been a huge fan of watermelon (unless it's spiked with vodka), so I may not be the best judge, but I don't think watermelon belongs in lemonade.  The taste reminds me of a rotten pumpkin.

In summary:

Strawberry Lemonade:  Delicious!
Peach Lemonade: Delicious!
Watermelon Lemonade:  Foul.

Next up: Raspberry, Blueberry, or Strawberry-Peach.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

hi mama!

Blurry photo, unmade bed, but I love being greeted by this happy face every morning!

Monday, July 19, 2010

what to do with seven pounds of blueberries

Just one week later, and all seven pounds of blueberries are gone.  I'm kind of addicted and already craving more.  Quite a few of the berries went straight from the bucket into my hungry maw (blueberries are a superfood, so it's ok, right?), but the rest were made into...

Blueberry Oatmeal Squares
blueberry oatmeal squares

Blueberry Maple Parfaits
blueberry maple parfaits

Blueberry Galette
blueberry galette
blueberry galette

Blueberry Peach Smoothie
blueberry peach smoothie

Blueberry Freezer Jam
blueberry freezer jam
I have about 23 more blueberry recipes I want to try, so I may have to head back to Butlers Orchard for a refill before the picking season is over.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

eat your vegetables

My mother brought over a basket of homegrown treats from her garden.  She set it on the floor and within seconds Gravy had retrieved the largest zucchini and retreated to his bed with his prize.

Rather than discipline him, of course I ran for the camera.  I only wish I had gotten a picture of him carrying it, because there is really nothing funnier than a greyhound with a three pound squash in his jaws.

greyhound vs. zucchini

greyhound vs. zucchini
greyhound vs. zucchini

greyhound vs. zucchini

Thursday, July 15, 2010

feathered friends

We've had quite a few birds choose our yard for their home this year. First we had this robin family make a nest in our trellis. I called the babies Morsel & Tidbit - which is what they would've become had they fallen out of the nest and into the jaws of one of our hungry beasts.
Then while ripping out a vine growing in our forsythia bushes, I got screeched at by an angry mama bird, and discovered this:
DSC_0970 ES
And most recently, we have a new nest on top of the column on our front porch. I was hoping to see babies hatch (I could see this nest from the window in our foyer), but sadly, the nest blew away in a storm.

modern cactus

New cactus papercut available in my Etsy shop.
Modern Cactus
Modern Cactus
Modern Cactus
Modern Cactus

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

that's what he said . #3

Him: (sleepy and confused) I think a bug bit me - I feel weird.  I think I'm becoming a SUPERHERO!
Me:  You mean like Spider Man?
Him:  No, I'm RECLUSE MAN!*

(*He is referring to a Brown Recluse Spider, NOT a person who likes to keep to himself.)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

(almost) carded

So I got the following message when going through the self-check out at Home Depot today:

STOP and show ID to Cashier.

What was I buying?

Spray paint.

I didn't actually end up getting carded. In fact, what was even more irritating than the delay in checking out was when the teenage cashier apologized "Sorry about that Ma'am." Dude, first they want to see ID to buy paint and then I get MA'AMed by a teenager.

Still...I ALMOST got carded for buying SPRAY PAINT.

Now that I've got my stash home, I've got to decide whether I'm going to huff the fumes or tag the buildings in downtown Falls Church...

Monday, July 12, 2010

that's what he said . #2

Him: I thought of a name for my band. Fartsicle!
Me: Gee, I can't wait to wear the t-shirt.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

life list #48: go berry picking

#48 off The Life List.  Check!

I've been wanting to pick fruit at a local farm for several years now - and today was the day.  We decided on Butlers Orchard in Germantown, Maryland because their website indicated that the blueberry picking was good - and that was an understatement - there were fields and fields of blueberry bushes all dripping with fruit.

They have a great farm market full of produce, baked goods, and something that we tried for the first time - honey straws.
Market at Butlers Orchard
There's a snack stand where you wait for the shuttle to take you to the picking fields - so we had a lunch of grilled hot dogs and frozen lemonade.
Snack Bar at Butlers Orchard
One of the best parts - being towed by a tractor to the blueberry fields:
Being Towed by a Tractor into the Picking Fields
I think Larry expected the whole experience to consist of boring manual labor under the hot July sun, but we actually both had a lot of fun.  Larry was a champion berry picker - he picked almost twice as many as I did.  Perhaps he missed his calling as a farmer?
Blueberry Picking
Blueberry Picking
Blueberry Picking
Big bear in the blueberry bushes:
Blueberry Picking
Blueberry Picking
Strawberry Van at Butlers Orchard
Our bounty:
7 Pounds of Blueberries
We picked over seven pounds of berries. It was fun. I can't wait to start baking...but first, time for a nap!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

monster message

New lino print available in my shop - Monster Message! I can add any custom message you want to the speech bubble. Some suggestions:
monster message
monster message
monster message
Like all my lino prints, your purchase includes a free mat, so it is frame-ready!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

zinnia lino prints - special edition

After printing the first edition of my Zinnia prints in orange and silver, I decided to mix things up a bit and print using different colored inks on some beautiful colored paper I found in a drawer in my studio. I only have a few of each color combination, but the resulting prints are very bright and modern! All are available for sale in my shop.
zinnia lino prints
Silver on blue:
zinnia lino print
White on orange:
zinnia lino print
Love this one - silver on silver. Very elegant and industrial!
zinnia lino print
Red on orange. Pow!
zinnia lino print
Orange on gray:
zinnia lino print
They look great grouped together:
zinnia lino print

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

butterflies for anna & jane

2010 has really been the year of the baby - all my friends are expecting this year, and when I say all, I mean childhood friends, high school friends, college friends, work friends - pretty much everyone I know is having a baby!

Two of these friends had babies just a few weeks apart this spring. Neither one knew the gender of the baby beforehand, and when both ended up having girls, I knew exactly what I had to make!
butterfly punch art
This butterfly punch art was inspired by a project I saw by Ali Edwards a few months ago. Since the gender of these babies was a surprise, my friends had gender-neutral nurseries, and I wanted to make something that would add some girly-accents to their spaces. I also wanted to make something that would look sweet in a baby girl's room, but wouldn't be too babyish for an older girl, either.
butterfly punch art
The butterflies were punched from patterned paper with a butterfly punch and adhered using adhesive foam squares. This gave the butterflies a three-dimensional effect like a real collection of butterflies (without being as creepy as a frame full of dead insects!).
butterfly punch art
butterfly punch art
I framed these myself using simple white frames and custom-cut double mats from American Frame.
butterfly punch art
butterfly punch art
Congratulations to Sarah and Abby on the birth of their beautiful daughters Anna and Jane! I can't wait to meet them!