Friday, June 22, 2012

election propaganda part 2

election propaganda #3 - Who? Will Protect Our Children; made from June 5, 2012 election mailers

Sunday, June 10, 2012

10 on 10, June 2012

10 on 10, June, 2012

feeding the rattie breakfast : going to the farmer's market : at the farmer's market : breakfast - whole grain waffles with strawberries and peaches from the farmer's market : painting : tiny cactus : poking my head outside : watching the sun on my plants : no june gloom! : errands

Saturday, June 9, 2012

a reusable bag!

As a fairly eco-conscious person, I am aware of both the possibly of reusing and recycling plastic bags, but I also know I bring way more than I can use into my apartment. To reduce my use of the bags, I've been using reusable bags for a while. One of the big problems with them is actually remembering to bring them along or having them with you for spontaneous trips. Most people mention to put the bags back in your car as soon as you're done. As someone without a car, this doesn't really work. And those giant, 99 cent bags you find or are given for free every place don't fold up well and are rather bulky. Same with canvas bags or even ones made from most cotton-knit material. Reuse tshirts for a bag? So now I'm carrying an equivalent of a few days worth of shirts with me all of the time? I also have to say, I hate all of the advertisements, logos and words that come on the bags. I regularly turn them inside out (including my "Brag about your bag!" from the Coastal Cleanup events...)

Over the years I've found that the bags that seem to make it back into my purse, backpack or pocket are the tiny, nylon ones that fold up into a little ball of some sort. I've also realized there is such a wide variation in design - some force you to carry them on your shoulder, hold them in your hand or give you the option of both. Some also have their "holder" as a separate piece vs. being part of the bag itself. Since I've aquired sewing machine skills in the past year, I decided it was time I tried my hand at making my ideal bag, using some discount nylon remnants from Joann's.

I did a lot of browsing online for shapes and designs and used my own experiences to come up with this pattern. I'd definitely tweak it some for subsequent bags, but it's working out well so far. I made the bag a few weeks ago and have tried to use it as often as possible without any problems. Next up, I get see how it stands up in the wash after a smoothie jar leaked onto it in my backpack yesterday! It is a little larger than some bags when folded up, but that also makes it easier to handle than some that require a particular folding method. It still squishes down in the pouch, it's just fluffier, like a marshmallow instead of a rock! Or something. I ordered 10 yards of nylon to play with and have come across some worn-out items that can be chopped up and used for these bags as well. Joy for custom bags!

Yummy Kale & veggies

I've made this dish of kale and veggies probably 7 or 8 times in the last few weeks. To say the least, it's one of my favorite meals recently. It's pretty filling and a super fast recipe, especially if you cheat and clean the kale ahead of time or get the pre-washed and chopped kale from trader joe's ($2 for about 3 meals worth!)

Yummy Kale and Veggies (1 serving)

1/2 to 1 whole onion, depending on your mood
handful of mushrooms of any type you want or have
1/2 cup of frozen or fresh peas
4 cloves of garlic
a few leaves of kale or about 4 ounces of chopped kale
olive oil
soy sauce/salt
sesame seeds
sesame oil

Heat a cast iron pan. While warming, begin cutting onion (I usually just slice it into long thin slices, but do whatever you want!) Once the pan is warm, add a little bit of olive oil. After a few seconds, add the onions into the pan and stir. Begin cutting the washed mushrooms into slices of semi-uniform thickness so they cook evenly. Add to pan whenever they are cut. Let the mushrooms and onions cook for a few minutes until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms cook down. Add the peas and stir.

While that's cooking, crush garlic & prep the kale. When the veggies in the pan are almost done, add the kale and garlic. Especially if you used pre-washed kale, add a little bit of water to the pan to keep things from getting to dry. Cover the pan to let the kale steam for 30 seconds or so. Remove the cover, add a few splashes of soy sauce or salt to your taste & pepper at this time along with sesame oil if you want and stir. If I am adding sesame seeds (recommended!), I make a little hole in the middle of all the food where I drop the sesame seeds to let them toast a little.

I let everything cook for about 30-60 more seconds until it looks good to you. Stir in the sesame seeds and serve! I find this meal very filling, but if you want, you can also add in something like bread, crackers or rice. You can also easily add in cooked chicken, salmon or tofu. It's infinite recipes! In one!!! Feel free to tweak the veggies to what you have on hand or prefer! This would be good with most any type of mushrooms, spinach, red & yellow bell peppers, leeks and beans.