Monday, June 29, 2009

Results - Feeling Sixy!

Wow, June flew by, didn't it? I know I have one day left, but there's about no chance I'll finish up here are the long awaited results of my sixy challenge.

1. I did barbecue three times, so I fell short of the once a week goal. I think I should get a few extra days on this one, because we WERE up on vacation for a week...

2. The freezer is definately cleaner. I threw out two things...a bag of hot peppers from someone's garden from a growing season past, and a container of what may or may not have been leftover potatoes. AND today I made cream of brocolli soup from some pieces and shards of questionable age. But holy cow, was it good! And I really don't like's a good recipe.

3. I did START to organize my recipes...I tossed some that will never be made, and put some into a binder that I started a few years ago. All in all, I'd call this one about a 50% success.

4. Yippee! This one was a winner. I cooked a green bean casserole with real mushrooms, a fantastic mushroom soup, and grilled portabellas. And I really enjoyed the soup. I used a package of dried wild mushrooms, reconstituted with chicken broth.

5. The sweet potato grilling was okay, but they didn't taste any better than ones out of the oven. Not worth the trouble in my opinion.

6. I only cooked from the cupboard one time. I made a very sweet cornbread using a bunch of cornmeal...but I didn't even seem to put a dent in it! I need to make about 5 more loaves. The molasses and fluff recipes are still pending.

So what's the theme for July? Maybe I'll get started early!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

June is so Sixy!

My friend M has encouraged all of her friends to participate in a monthly club of sorts...well, this is the second month so I'm calling it "monthly". If we're still going by August, I'll be pretty impressed! Last month was "Every Day in May" something, anything, every day for a month. I tried to do a random act of kindness every day, but it really only turned out to be every third day or so...BUT, I did do one big thing that should count for quite a few days. No, I can't tell you what it is, that would be cheating. But if you guess it, I will nod.

Though I haven't received the catchy title for June, the gist of it is to set six goals of any sort (avoiding "nots" if you can) and actually do them during June. Kind of like short term New Year's resolutions. I like this. I decided to center mine around food. Yes, I need to lose a few pounds, but dieting is not what I mean. Here, read them and you'll see:
  1. Barbecue at least once a week. I have a very nice grill and a husband who loves grilled anything.
  2. Clean out the freezer by either eating or chucking the "mature" food.
  3. Organize my small task. I have about a thousand ripped out magazine pages and an almost empty binder with good intentions.
  4. Cook with mushrooms at least three times. Again, husband.
  5. Grill sweet potatoes. I've been wondering whether this is possible, and today there was Bobby Flay doing it, right on Food Network.
  6. "Kitchen Cupboard Cook" once a week. I have molasses, marshmallow fluff, cornmeal, and a dozen other random ingredients that need to be utilized. has an ingredient lookup that will give me plenty of recipes to choose from. And I will NOT BUY additional ingredients in order to use up the offenders.

Thanks, M, for the kick in the butt. I love lists...but uh, six is bothering me. Five or ten would be so much better. Next year do this one in May or October, please!

Unplugged - We're Back!

The Unplugged Theme this week was "petal". At this time of year, this theme should have been easy for us, but on the afternoon that we were supposed to plant flowers, it rained. It was cold. We did not go outside.

So we started with flowers made from Styrofoam egg containers. We have done many open ended projects, because wanted to encourage E to create without boundaries, something I really think is lacking in education at all levels. But this time I decided to challenge her in a different way, by showing her how to make the flower, step by step. Thanks to my crazy-craft-supply-hoarding tendencies, we had all of the materials...egg containers, pipe cleaners, beads, and tissue paper. You can see by the picture how easy they are to put together...E is 3 and had no trouble with the steps involved. The stiffness of the pipe cleaner makes it very easy to put the beads on.As you can see from her pose, she wanted to "smell the roses", so we took out some Tommy Girl perfume and gave each one a little squirt. Warning: The tissue paper in the center of the flower holds the scent VERY well. So use the perfume sparingly.

Baby m was pretty fascinated with the pipe cleaners. I did give him a completed flower to play with, and in true "boy" fashion he demolished it in seconds. (And no, it's not up his nose...just dangerously close).Later in the week, when Grandma and Grandpa came for dinner, E and I got them crafting...E really doesn't take no for an answer. She passed out all the pieces and "supervised", and then reminded me that we had to squirt them with perfume. Seriously, next time I'll use a diluted mixture. My eyes water every time I go into the dining room!
Once we had a dry day, E and I went back to the task of planting the annuals. She really loved picking out the colors and placement. The digging was a little hard for her because our soil is heavy on the clay. But she would gladly pull that wagon around all day!
Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr