FWF: Week 9

This week:

a bruised and battered pear

1 cup citrus waffle batter - note to self: make batter into waffles before batter goes bad.

1/2 cup tuna salad - from our hiking trip this weekend. jerkey and trail mix just don't cut it for me, so we took fresh strawberries, cut up fuji apples and tuna salad with water crackers as a mid-trail snack.

On a better note, we've eaten up all the dinner leftovers, no precious strawberries have committed suicide by mold and the two zucchini that are on the fence are getting used up in omelettes this morning and stuffed omelettes tonight (with calzones, which will also use up peppers, mushrooms and a half cut onion - they are truly God's gift to leftovers).

Grocery shopping this week - ridiculously light. Only one bag of uncooked jumbo shrimp (for this recipe later in the weekend). 

Last Weekend


We headed out to Ice Box once again. This time, however, it didn't live up to it's namesake. The higher spring sun kept us warm the whole hike so the cooler area near the falls was quite welcome. The beautiful colors we saw on the trees and bushes were signs that spring has definitely hit the desert. I love how the colors just seem to pop so much more when they are surrounded by the stark rock. I particularly love the tree growing sideways from the rock. (also noticed that basically every hike you can do at the desert ends at a water source, coincidence?)

Also, this dog. This fat, lazy princess of a dog. She needed a lift for the last half of the hike. It was hilarious watching the guys switch off carrying her and lifting her over the boulders like a search and rescue team. I think now she needs a puppy pedicure.

*On another note, have you ever noticed how sometimes photos don't seem to do a place justice while at the same time framing or featuring things you couldn't even notice at the time?

my latest fabric purchase

I recently got into quilting. It's endlessly creative in that there are always new fabrics, new designs, new ways of putting things together that it's led to me constantly dream up new things I'd like to do or try. The best part: it satisfies my need for pretty while still staying useful. I love all that creative DIY stuff, but I find it hard to implement most of it in my own home because it doesn't serve a purpose (except looking pretty, which I guess qualifies, but I would prefer form and function - picky, I know). Don't remind me that I live in Vegas and my need for quilts spans about 3 months a year at most and, as my husband likes to point out, we only need one. I conveniently put this in the back of my head where I keep other things I'd like to not be reminded of - like how good cheese really is or that my baby brother will be in high school soon.

All that to say that I joined a quilt guild. And this next month, we are doing a fabric swap for the upcoming challenge. Pantone's color of the year is "Tangerine Tango" - a fiery reddish orange that is awesomely attractive and very bold. So, the guild decided to have an orange quilt challenge and I couldn't be more thrilled. I think I might be one of those weirdos that likes loves orange because it seems many people don't as I found out when searching for orange fabric to contribute to the swap (it is not an easily found color with much variety).

Today, the lovely UPS man arrived at my door fabric in hand. I ran upstairs afterwards and tore open the envelope to see it. It's lovely. I ordered extra because I love it so much and even though I'm not sure what I'll do with the remainder, I am so glad I ordered it. I know I have to cut this down into strips for the swap, but I'll put that off a little longer so I can just stare at it some more.

I also picked up these pretties. For some reason I am loving elephant fabrics recently and can't get enough.

FWF: Week 8

So, it's taken me two months, but I'm finally getting the hang of this FWF business. (I'm hoping this cockiness doesn't jinx me for next week). Before y'all get too excited, I will say I wasn't totally waste free this week, but after a major and thorough fridge clean out (even scrubbed the crisper drawers - go me!), this is all I had:

little baggies stuffed with various herbs. Technically these have (or had) some value monetarily, but they are all cut from the hubs plants. Sometimes when I say I need 1/4 c. chopped parsley, for instance, he can't help himself but give the plant a little pruning and me a little more than I bargained for. I think in the future I'll just toss in the extras just to use them up, but the good news is that we spent about $0.00 on these so it isn't a real big waste.

Other than that, I did have one itty bitty strawberry. I was cutting up the last ones for a mid-morning snack and this one, stuck in the bottom of the container, was plagued with mold. It was only about 4 days post-purchase, but you all know how strawberries are, especially organic ones. The waste associated is worth in season strawberry goodness, in my opinion, although ideally I would get to eat them all!

So, even though this isn't a completely waste free week, we are getting that much closer. I am claiming this week as a food waste win, because for me, it's the closest I've ever come.

I will say that I love that my fridge is actually making more sense now. I sometimes get carried away at the grocery store, but I'm shopping very moderately this week, just so I can keep that fabulous looking fridge I've got going.

natural egg dyes - success and failures

 This year, I wanted to give natural egg dyes a try. I read tons of recipes online that used a variety of different fruits, vegetables and spices. None of these sites, however, had any actual examples of dyed eggs (except one, which was a super done up mag photo - i question it's authenticity). It seemed people loved posting recipes for natural egg dyes, but no one actually bothered to post the eggs. Did they suck? Did the recipes work? I tried seven this year. Here are the successful attempts (all of these were left in for about 20 minutes, except for the cabbage, which was left in the dye for an hour):

 As for our not so successful attempts: carrots (for orange) did nothing, spinach (for green) - nada, cranberries - nope. Next year I think I will get some dollar store paprika for orange (I thought about it this year, but didn't want to run out and definitely didn't want to use our good Penzey's stuff for egg dyes). I'd also like to try and mix maybe the turmeric and the red cabbage to see if I can get a green egg out of it. And possibly, although only if I can find inexpensive frozen berries, raspberries for a more red-pink.

For now though, I'm happy with our little egg experiment. I think they are cute, pastel, soft colors and don't have any weird ingredients. It was kind of interesting though in that they didn't come out in the same colors they dried:

blueberries: these came out more purple, and as they dried they turned this deeper blue hue.

turmeric: they came out more gold, but once dried ended up as a nice, soft yellow

red cabbage: this surprised me the most. it came out much more purple and dried this lovely robin's egg blue.

beets: came out pink, as i imagined. the eggs i pulled out quickly dried more slight purple pink. the ones i left longer in the dye, assuming i would get a darker, more vibrant pink, ended up drying a reddish-brown.

FWF: Week 7

After almost 2 months of this, you'd think I'd be getting better. But I don't know what to say this week. It was interesting. We didn't spend too much at the grocery store, but we did buy a lot of our bulk items this week, which included 4 chickens. Those four chickens took up any freezer space I thought I might have, so it's been tricky to try and eat some things from the freezer (so I could take the duct tape off the door) and using up our fresh ingredients.

I actually thought, way back at the beginning of the week, that I was doing fairly well. I used up half an old turnip, some partially wilted celery, some on the verge carrots and some older parsley in the stock.  I also used an old baked potato to make some potato cakes for a weekend breakfast and some yellow potatoes for during the week hash browns and a gnocchi dinner. But, despite the saves, we still had some waste.

Here's how we fared:

a bit of salad: didn't look inedible, but had that funky yucky salad smell

a butt of bread: got mold on it before we could finish it, but I would say we did fairly well considering this was the third artisan loaf we made this week on top of 2 loafs of sandwich bread we made.

2 c. chicken stock: after we got the four chickens, i made a bunch of chicken stock. towards the end of cooking, i added a bit more water because usually we end up with something like a jello mold instead of something a little more liquid like. i shouldn't have bothered, because that last two cups wouldn't fit in the freezer and I didn't have recipes calling for stock on the menu.

half a pot pie: this one pains me the most. I couldn't finish the whole thing for dinner so i put some foil around it and was waiting for it to cool (so as not to place a hot thing in the fridge), but silly, tired me went to bed without remembering to actually put it in the fridge and walked in to the kitchen the next morning very sad.

All in all, the bread and stock are very low in terms of cost. The salad, well, not a huge expense. But the pot pie, so sad about that one.