March 29, 2009

Industrious me!

This was the yuckiness that was our spare room closet before the transformation...

Unfortunately this picture doesn't capture the several boxes strewn around the room (tucked under the desk, along the walls) that were still packed with stuff!

So last weekend I channeled my inner construction guy: I bought some lumber, cut it, painted it, made use of my measuring tape, level, and drill. Add some necessary organizing, purging, and even a trip to The Container Store, and now...

Everything fits, and it's all accessible! No more tumbling piles of stuff to get to the stuff I want to use - AND there is room for more stuff. I could even hang some clothing in there. I'm already thinking the DVDs might find a new home...

Best of all, the room is no longer cluttered with boxes. Success!

March 28, 2009

Bug Mugs

So a Boston-based bicycle shop owner commissioned me to make some mugs - to try to sell in said shop. Coffee mugs in a bicycle shop? I could work with this: Their team mascot is the cockroach, every time I've watched a race or looked at pictures the cyclists are covered in mud...

The result is something I would never drink out of. The style and aesthetic are (shall we say) unpalatable.

They sold out within hours of being posted on the shop's blog. Wow.

Have I found my niche?

March 24, 2009

Easy Minestrone

I love Minestrone Soup. I hate chopping vegetables. Actually, I don't mind chopping vegetables. Sometimes I'm just not in the mood.

Here's my easy recipe:

1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can crushed tomatoes (or 1 large tomato), pulverized in the blender
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
about 10 oz. frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup ditalini pasta
salt and pepper
olive oil
grated parmesan

Saute the onion and garlic in oil until soft. Add broth, beans, tomatoes, and frozen veggies. Bring to a boil and add salt to taste. Once the soup is boiling, add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Serve with grated parmesan and pepper.


March 21, 2009

Can I finally finish unpacking?

I'm getting ready to build a closet unit. Bought the lumber this morning, going to a friend's house to do a couple of precision cuts, charging the drill, and we'll see what the afternoon brings.

My *hope* is the shelves will offer enough room to empty the last few boxes that have been sitting in the spare room since last June. I'd love to say that's the only place the mess is coming from, but I can't! (sigh.) I wonder if building shelves will help with my domestic goddess cause... or if it just proves that I'm industrious!

March 7, 2009

A day's work

I made a loaf of bread and a batch of bagels this afternoon. I've gotten pretty good at wheat bread - I use the bread machine to knead/rise, then finish the loaves in the regular oven. I do that so the pieces of bread will fit in the toaster.

It's only my second attempt at bagels, and they came out MUCH prettier this week. They actually look like bagels! Last week's bagels were ugly but delicious. I used a different recipe; hopefully they aren't pretty but yucky. Too hot to taste right now.

It took the better part of the afternoon, but I'm very proud.

March 1, 2009

Ha! Bagels!

Ok, so they may be the ugliest bagels I've ever seen in my life... but I made them from scratch, so ha!

Sporadically over the last couple of years, and more consistently over the last couple of months, I have been making bread from scratch. Something about putting in five ingredients and ending up with a delicious loaf of bread - rather than the alternative that comes from the store with thirty-some ingredients I can't even pronounce - appeals to me. If only I could get a slicer. Guess that is an acquired talent.

Today I tried bagels for the first time. I don't know that I conquered them, but at least they are recognizable as... well, at least they resemble lumpy amateur bagels. Let's just see how they taste.