Author Archives: granolawannabes

Preserved Lemon & Brussel Sprout Pizza

Another great use for the lemons (courtesy of my favorite felon, Martha Stewart), pizza!

lemon brussel pizza

A couple of differences:

  1. I used a premade dough from The Farm Stand (friggin’ love that place!)
  2. Spread goat cheese and oil over the crust as a “sauce”
  3. Sautéed whole brussels (cut in half) in oil vs just using the leaves
  4. Sautéed shallots and garlic with chili flakes
  5. Preserved lemon confit…of course
  6. Cooked on a pizza stone instead of cast iron

Delicioso my friends, delicioso.

Lemon Confit

A friend of ours graciously donated to us an abundance of Meyer lemons from her backyard.  This was perfect timing since I had been wanting to try a recipe I keep hearing about –  Preserved lemons.

preserved lemons

 It’s a condiment found mostly in Morocco and India as well as Middle Eastern and African spreads of food.  Commonly used alongside curries and stews, preserved lemons can be paired with pretty much anything, salads, seafood even as a piquant side dish to roasted meats and poultry.  I like to blend it up into a lemony vinaigrette to dress my salads and grains (quinoa can be quite bland and boring all by itself).

lemon confit

The recipe it simple:

  1. Blanch the lemons and wipe clean
  2. Thinly slice the lemons
  3. Discard the seeds and the ends
  4. Layer the slices in the bottom of a jar
  5. Sprinkle sugar & salt over lemons
  6. Repeat layering lemons and salt/sugar until the jar is full
  7. Give it at least 3 days to “cure”
  8. Alternately, you can top the jar off with olive oil.  Your preference.

After I used all the lemons, I stumbled upon A Little Life.  A blog which gave me the brilliant idea to make a lemon-infused-honey tea base.

Unimpressed?  Read directly from her site:

She produced a glass container from the very back of her fridge and dug out a giant dollop of amber colored jam that she uncermoniously gloped into a cup. She poured boiling water over it, and handed me my mug. Wow, the most glorious thing I’ve ever tasted…it was fruity, and warming, and totally blissful. I was suprised to find it only contained two ingredients as well…sliced lemons and honey. She said when she ever had extra lemons she sliced them up and added them to her jar…extra honey? Same thing.

Lemons sliced, put into a jar and covered with honey. Simple, two ingredients and perfect for a cold winters day or at the onset of some sniffles.  Personally, there is nothing better than an old fashioned, hot toddy waiting for you after a long day of snowboarding!  In fact, I hear the kettle calling now… ebullience?

Thanks Beth!

Hot buttered…chicken?

hot buttered wings

hot wings

Damn straight!

That’s pretty much what buffalo wings are, butter and hot sauce slathered over some grilled, baked or fried chicken.  “Butter is bad,” you cry?  No, butter is flavor… butter is good… and butter is good for you.  Well, ok, it’s not helping anyone keep their svelte figure but it is alright to indulge in the creamy wonderful land-o-butta from time to time.  Why tonight?  Super Bowl?  No.  Special occasion?  None.  Just a gut craving.  Do I feel disgusted and full to the point of puking now, of course.  But wings are totally worth it sometimes.

hot buttered wings

I love the typical “buffalo style “wing sauce and will never stray from it no matter what the menu says or where I am.  But recently, I have stumbled onto my own new creation which…I should friggin’ patent!  But I have never served it to anyone else, so it’s only like, my opinion man.

Here it is:

hot buttered wings keith special sauce

special sauce

Its a mix of these 5 ingredients plus sum extra seasonings and BUTTER!

buffalo wing sauce

cholesterol

before and after

This post was a little gut punch to get us inspired for our 21 day cleanse/detox.  Bring on the copious amounts of fruits and veggies, mostly raw and all organic with a touch of seeds, nuts and gluten-free grains next month!

Cheers!

D.I.Y. Homemade Candles

candle white

Another item I often see going to waste is candle wax.  When a candle (particularly a pillar) burns down, there is usually a good amount of wax leftover that gets tossed into the trash.  At my previous place of employment, they burned large pillar candles.  The round ones were about the size of a basketball.  But even with 3 wicks, the flame would only burn a relatively small hole straight down, leaving copious amounts of wax on the sides to go unused…wasted.

What could one do about this?  Make candles of course!  Our local Michaels craft store just happened to be going out of business at that time and allowed me to grab a few candle making supplies for extra cheap.

You will need:

  • wax
  • wicks
  • glue gun or tape
  • wick centering tool (chopsticks or two pencils works too)
  • melting pot (do not use your good cook ware!)
  • stockpot (go to the dollar store for a cheapy or look on Freecycle!)
  • candle mold or candle container (old glassware perhaps)
  • dye (optional)
  • scent (optional)
  • Thermometer (helpful but not necessary)
STEPS:
  1. Break the wax down as small as possible.  Cut it, smash it, drop it, hammer it…but do it outside because it will make a big mess trust me!  You can skip this step but the melt time will take longer.
  2. Put the wax into the melting pot
  3. Put the melting pot into a stockpot that already has about 2-3 inches of water in it.
  4. Heat on med-low until the wax is completely melted, stirring occasionally to break up the large chunks.  Ideally you are looking for at least 170 degrees or more to insure that all the used wax, scent and oil is melted together.  Do not go much over 200 or you could risk something bad happening!
  5. At this time you could add the coloring if you wish.  Stir to combine.  We like ours clean and white.
  6. Take the melting pot off the heat and allow it to cool.  While it is cooling, you want to add the scent at the final moments before you pour the wax into the mold.  Ideally a lower temperature around 130 degrees.
  7. While the wax cools, glue or tape a wick to the bottom of your container.
  8. After the wax has properly cooled, pour slowly and steadily into your container, trying not to create a lot of bubbles.  Fill to within a half inch of the rim of you container.
  9. Place wick in the centering tool.  Or tape two pencils together with the wick in between them.  Carefully adjusting it so that the wick looks fairly straight.
  10. Allow to cool overnight for at least 24 hours.
  11. Burn and enjoy!
Hmmm, I left out one critical detail…

…one person drinks wine while the other does ALL the work!
! We also sell candles !
More details to come in a future post.  But if you want more info now, just drop us a note and we would be happy to fill you in with all the fine details.
*We do not assume any responsibility for your actions.  Different types of wax, scents, wicks and coloring have different and variable flash points.  Please do your research to learn about the possible dangers of making and burning candles at home.  Not appropriate for kids.  Please do not let your candle burn unattended or burn for longer than 3 hrs at a time.   Please be smart and practice safety first*

DIY laundry soap

In our quest to become greener and thriftier, we started making our own laundry detergent at home.

laundry detergent

The essential tools.

It is a pretty simple thing to do and will save you a boatload of money.  Now, I haven’t done all the math to show exactly how much it costs, how many loads you can do, how long it normally lasts us, cost per load etc.  But I can tell you that all the ingredients listed in this picture were under $10.  The price for borax has since shot up, but you will get about 10-15 gallons of detergent out of each box.

The first batch we ever made lasted us at 6 months, the next batch lasted closer to a year.  We started out using way more than we needed!  Some people claim to add 5 drops of essential oil to their bucket for some smell good clothing.  I used to be “Tide” obsessed.  Nothing else would do when it came to washing my clothes.  Now, I can’t tell a difference.  But I can tell a huge difference in the $$$ savings per year.

What you will need:

5 Gallon bucket (check Freecycle.com = $0)

2 cups Borax

2 cups Washing Soda (not to be mistaken with baking soda)

1 Bar of Soap (preferably natural ivory soap)

Box Grater

Cooking Pot

2 Quarts Water

Let’s Begin:

Bring water to boil in pot.

melted soap

melting the soap

While you are waiting, finely grate the entire bar of soap the add it to the water.  Stir until the soap is melted.

Add the water mixture to the bucket as well as the Borax and Washing Soda.  Stir to combine.

Add about 3 gallons of hot water, stirring again.

laundry detergent

Pop a lid on it and that’s it!

In the end you, will have a thick, gel-like substance that will need to be shaken or stirred before you scoop it out and into the washer.  Use 1/4 cup of detergent per load of laundry.  Also can be used as a pre-treater for tough stains.

For about 20 minutes worth of time and a few bucks, you have at least half a years worth of detergent for a 2 person household.  Now kick back and relax while your significant other does “your dirty undies Dude… the whites!”

I got my flippy floppies!

I had bought a pair of Cobian flip flops about 5 (at least) years ago.

cobian flip flop blue

Cobian Shattered

I liked the flops because they had the surf style traction pads for the foot bedding.  Super non slick one would think!  Indeed they were, and uber comfortable too.  For $20, they were half the price of any other flip flop I had bought since 2001.

old cobians

old cobians

My flops go through the wringer as they are used daily, all daily, every daily.  I would be lucky to get a full year out of a pair before having to move onto another.  The tops and bottoms would wear down so bad that my foot would be sliding on the shoe, and the shoe sliding on the ground.  Not good when you work on boats.  Even though the bottoms of the Cobian’s wore down to nothing pretty fast, they have managed to stay in my possession for much longer than any other flop I have owned.  Partly because they are so comfortable.

old cobians

And now they have found new life… being reused in the form of a puppy chew toy!  What amazes me most, is they are still fully intact.  I’m blown away!  Rasta has razer sharp teeth and has dispatched a lot of other toys (shoes) pretty quickly, but these blue Cobian’s, take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’!

old cobians as chew toy

Flippy floppity chew toy

on the battlefield with all the other chew toys

island of misfits

If feels good finding a new way to repurpose something that would otherwise end up in the land fill.  And at this current moment, these flip flops, are acting as extra shingle for our roof!  Any one have a ladder we could borrow?  Seriously.

 

5 Minute Artisan Bread

Delicious warm crusty bread

A friend of ours turned us on to a book  titled, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  It has changed my life, and my gut.  I have tried making bread in the past, but it is usually a lengthy process with lots of kneading involved.  A tough thing for someone after ineffective wrist surgery.  The resulting bread was hardly edible.

This book offers another option.  A “no knead” version of bread which literally takes 5 minutes to throw together.  Look at the gif image below to see how quick it is.  You do have to let the dough rest for about 2 hours.  No matter what kind of bread you make, you will have to let it proof for at least that long, so if there is a way to cut out the labor and make an equally awesome tasting bread, then “hoo-ray” you should say!

bread gif

Aparently you need to click on this picture in order to watch the steps in action. It's lousy but you get the picture, sort of.

Basic Recipe:

1.5 tb salt

1.5 tb yeast

3 cups warm water

6.5 cups flour

Combine the first three ingredients, add in the flour stirring just to combine.  Pop the lid on and let it sit until the dough doubles in size.  You can use the dough right away but I would recommend transferring the container to the refrigerator overnight as it will be much easier to handle the chilled dough, trust me.

Throw some flour into the bucket, grab a grapefruit sized ball of dough and lay it on a cornmeal covered pizza peel.  Let it rest while the oven comes to temp.  Bake and enjoy!

bread black and white

Missing something?  Of course!  Go buy the book to find all the neat details about how to shape the dough, what temperature to bake, cornstarch washing, flour dusting etc.  Or email me and perhaps I could divulge a little more info, just for you.  Because you, are awesome!

plumline

Apricot Jam from Plumline

The apricot jam from Plumline, goes quite well with homemade bread!

Power Hour

Oh how I miss my Daytona Beach yoga community especially our girls at Renew Yoga studio.  Keith and I could wake up Saturday morning, jump on the beach cruisers and head down Beach St. to our quiet little yoga oasis.  I miss Melissa’s energy and smiling face, Mellony’s soothing tone and Mary’s positive attitude and spirit.  I miss yoga/art nights at the studio and nights out starting with a bike meetup at the studio and cruising around the beach on our bikes (and maybe a few of us falling off bikes!).  I miss Saturday morning mimosa’s at Ivy Lane after a killer Vin Yin class with Mellony. Or Sundays at the Shores for mojitos and a little firepit action with the yoga girls.   Ok…so you get the point – I miss yoga in general but most of all the community that surrounded it.  Keith and I started practicing yoga together even before we started dating and these ladies were there to witness our transformation – not just in yoga but as our relationship evolved.  We started going to yoga at another studio in Daytona and then followed these ladies when they decided to open up their very own studio just down the street from our house.  These lovely ladies became so much more than yoga instructors/mentors – they are dear friends and I miss them and their motivating yoga classes every day!

My favorite yogis - Mellony, Mary, Melissa

We went from having a fairly regular practice to going MAYBE once a month if we are lucky in Hood River.  There is one yoga studio in town – it’s quite nice and seems to have an active membership of loyal yogis but it hasn’t really been a place or a community Keith and I have been able to connect with.  A few months ago I was able to sneak out for a quick power hour lunchtime yoga class and a new teacher Mary who had recently moved from Bend was teaching the class.  She had a great energy and renewed my spirit for yoga again.  Unfortunately I haven’t made it back to a class since but have been hoping to recommit to my practice in 2012.  Well…the timing is perfect.  Mary and her husband Charles just opened a new studio in town.  Somehow I stumbled upon it last night and realized they were opening the doors today.  I was fortunate enough to attend their first class at Root Down Yoga.  They teach the Baptiste method one I was already familiar with thanks to my Renew girls and having taken a field trip with them to MBody Yoga in Jacksonville for some yoga and kirtan.

This morning’s class was great and I’m super pumped to get back into it but yikes – I was not so great.  Yes, I know…self critisism goes against the yoga code but boy did it make me realize how out of shape I am.  Probably a good thing b/c after stuffing into my yoga pants like a pork sausage and panting through the class I’m really ready to kick it into high gear and get back in shape.  Good thing I’ll have a new yoga studio to practice at!  I know that my bendy straw/gumby husband (who I not-so-secretly think should get certified as an instructor) will be excited to check it out too.  It’s probably good karma that her name is Mary too – will bring me some Daytona Beach comfort! Oh and Mary and Charles – if you guys start offering stand up paddleboard yoga this summer you’ll really make this little out of shape yogi happy!

Looking forward to getting back to yoga in 2012!

Next time I see you I’ll be flipping you my dog – see you in yoga!  And Mellony, Mary, Melissa – maybe a Wanderlust meetup?!??!!

Enter the Puppy!

This past October we adopted a little puppy dog.

Yes he is what Willis was talking about and yeah, he probably could have taken down Bruce Lee with his notorious ankle biting.

ankle bite

Ankle biter!

Rasta Pup 2 months

I know, he looks deadly, but don’t be fooled.  This dog is seriously the chillest little guy ever.  I expected zero sleep for me and many hours of poo-pick up and carpet cleaning, but that hasn’t been the case.  We received him crate trained, puppy pad trained and somewhat house broken.  If it weren’t for our rug which looks and feels like a nice, manicured piece of grass to pee on, there would not have been any accidents.  So we quickly demoted the rug to garage duty and have since been, piss free and loving life.  I have the killer trained to ring a bell anytime he wants to go outside.  As crazy as I thought it sounded at first, “no way will I be able to train this pup to ring a bell to go potty.”  It literally took only about 2 minutes before he figured it out.  Thank’s Mr. Pavlov.

Rather than the hyper annoying, terrorizer I expected, I got this wonderful little bundle of (somewhat lazy) love.

Awww!  Looks like an “Axel” right?  No way Jose.  Our little buddy came to us with a name that screams rock and roll but with a demeanor that purrs reggae.  It just so happens that he responded quite well to one name in particular (we threw out over a hundred), Rasta.   Thank you for the name  Miss Megnadoodle!

puppy dreads

"If I weren't from Jamaica then why would I be wearin' this hat mon?!?" No crying in Babylon

So now you have met Rasta, though, through his ears he might think his name is Mr. Buddy, Mr. Mister, Mr. Miyagi-san, Rastapuss, Pasta…  Whatever the name, he will be the source of many of upcoming photographs I am sure (half of these were iPhone pics).

wated puppy dog barron

Rasta’s Brother, Barron – this was are other option (how could you ever choose?)

When Deb pulled up at the vet clinic there were two bros left, it was a tough choice between the two puppies, in hindsight we wish we would have taken both.  If you happen to have seen Barron and know his Facebook, Myspace or Twitter handle…or how to get a hold of his new family, please contact us.  If for nothing else, just to see how the old chap is doing and what he looks like, how big etc., so perhaps we can get a better idea of what type of dog their father was.  And doesn’t Barron look like a mini ball of fuzz, maybe a Bernese Mountain Dog?  And Rasta looks more like a wirehaired terrier/lab mix.  Hmmm, not sure what breed these pups are made of but sure are cute!  I’m sure we’ll be those annoying parents posting way too many pictures of our babe but he’s too cute not to show off!

Our little Rasta pup

You talkin’ to me?

Ice Storm… continued

icicle tree black and white

Here is the Reuters link to the madness which ensued after the storms.

And here are some more backyard pics in black and white.

frozen pine needles

frozen tree limb

christmas lights, clothespin and clothesline with ice