Hi. I'm Whitney.
I like cheese.

I'm a graphic designer and sometimes photographer who likes food, cooking, and crafty things. There's more details over here. Or you can read through the archives. There's lots.



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Bits and Pieces
September 24, 2014

Swaying


Fall weather hasn't really started around here, but I'm ready for sweaters, boots, and warm food. So I made one of my favorite soup recipes for my lunches this week. As I am wont to do, I made a few modifications (because soups usually take well to that sort of thing). The beans in it make it non-paleo, but I decided to tip it more to that side by using only 1 can of white beans and using a whole package of chicken italian sausage (16oz!). I also switched out the frozen spinach for frozen kale (because why not) and used lemon juice instead of red wine vinegar. I really like how it turned out!

I tried on this shirt dress from the Gap over the weekend and was surprised by how much I liked it (and that was before I discovered that it had pockets). I wore it on Monday (over pants, because that's how I roll) and I think it may be my new favorite thing in my closet.

I'm doing a 30 day trial of Rdio for music listening at work. I had been using Spotify, which I do like, but a friend had mentioned she used Rdio so I thought I'd give it a go. I've only been using it for a few days so I don't want to pass any judgement yet, but I may end up doing a whole post comparing Pandora, Spotify, and Rdio...

I think I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I had started the process to brew my own Kombucha. We're now about 3 batches in, and I think I've kind of got the process down? The latest batch is doing it's second fermentation and it will be ready for us to taste tomorrow. I have a feeling it might be the best batch yet. If so, there will be a whole post about what I've been doing.

Now, bring on the sweater weather!
(And the rain, we could REALLY use some rain out this way.)


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« last time | September 04, 2014 : Kitchen Time



Kitchen Time
September 04, 2014

Backyard Garden II


I've been cooking! Sort of!

  • That giant zucchini I mentioned last time? I finally shredded it into zucchini noodles, and it may be my new favorite way to eat the abundant green squash. I used this recipe, which has you salt and drain the noodles to keep them from getting mushy. It's a little extra work, but totally worth it. My "zoodles" were good straight from the pan, and just as good the next day for lunch. I'm definitely making them again.
  • And while we're talking about cooking, have I ever raved about this Mark Bittman chicken recipe? I hadn't used it in a while, but I busted it out earlier this week to quickly cook a couple of chicken breasts for my lunch, which reminded me of its awesomeness. I didn't make the pan sauce with it, but if you have the ingredients and the time, I definitely recommend trying that.
  • This book was gifted to me and I came across a recipe for breakfast quinoa. It's basically making quinoa and topping it with things you'd put on oatmeal, which is an awesome idea. But I don't leave myself a lot of time in the morning to actually cook quinoa (and I'm not willing to change my schedule just for that), but I came up with another idea: frozen single serve breakfast quinoa! I followed the directions from this recipe over on the kitchn, except I topped my quinoa pucks with frozen blueberries and toasted almond slivers. Now all I have to do in the morning is nuke a couple of pucks in the microwave, and add a little milk and sweetener. Practically instant breakfast!

What have you been cooking?


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« last time | August 29, 2014 : A Little Slice of Life



A Little Slice of Life
August 29, 2014

Backyard Garden I


Last week was pretty horrible as far as weeks go. I'm not going to get into details, but I'm finding that getting back into a normal routine of things is helping me cope.

Not that writing a blog post is a normal routine for me right now, but I think I'd like it to be, so here we are.

Holly posted something last week that struck a chord with me. She mentioned that some of her favorite blogs were the ones that provide a little slice of everyday life, and I couldn't agree more. The blog Say La Vee has been a favorite for years because I love the little "slice of life" tidbits she provides (whether they be good or bad). I need to remember this for my own blog.

So with that in mind, here's a few day-to-day things that are knocking around in my brain:

  • I was gifted with a giant zucchini squash a few days ago, so I ordered this tool in the hope that at some point I will attempt "zoodles". I'll let you know how that goes.
  • The husband recently had a birthday, and I tried to find him a matcha tea set locally, but ended up ordering this one from Amazon. We were surprised by how large the bowl/mug is. It is, however, a very nice bowl. Even if it doesn't get used for tea, it will get used.
  • The second batch of mango lassi popsicles that I made with the full amount of honey turned out better than the first. They were still on the icy side (but they are popsicles, after all), but definitely not as hard as the first batch. I am finding that the longer they're in the freezer, the harder they get, but if there's more than two people in your household that like popsicles, it probably won't be an issue.
  • And while we're on the topic of popsicles, Molly just posted this recipe for fudgesicles - I think this may be my next frozen dessert adventure...

  • Last, but not least, I'm in the very early stages of planning a trip to Chicago and possibly Quebec next year. If anyone has restaurant/sight seeing/hotel/etc. recommendations, feel free to send them my way.

Okay, so after typing all that up, I'm realizing that my "slice of life" stuff may involve a lot of lists. But I'm a lover of lists, so I suppose that makes sense.

So, um, stay tuned for some more lists!


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« last time | August 09, 2014 : Even More Popsicle Related Rambling



Even More Popsicle Related Rambling
August 09, 2014

Karla and Josh Wedding


Turns out I didn't have my RSS feed fixed. But now, I think we're all good. Cross your fingers.

In case you missed it, I made some popsicles last weekend that turned out really well. So well, in fact, that I just made another batch. I modified the recipe ever so slightly and used frozen mango, which is super convenient, but I ran into a little snag. When I went to blend everything together, the coldness of the mango made the honey harden up and stick to the sides of my blender jar. Nothing that couldn't be fixed with a little scraping and reblending, but something I had not noticed the first time I made these. So keep an eye out for that if you make these pops and use frozen mango. I also used the full amount of honey from Tracy's original recipe, so I'm hoping the batch I made this morning will turn out even better than the first!


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« last time | August 07, 2014 : Nobody Here But Us Chickens



Nobody Here But Us Chickens
August 07, 2014

In the Hen House


So, I've been going over my domain bandwidth with this little site, and I think a lot of it has to do with feed readers and things like that. So in an attempt to do something about that, I set up a Feed Burner feed, and then I tweaked some things, and then my feed stopped updating. And in that time, I ended up posting something TWICE. And it's not showing up at all. Well, unless you actually come to the site, which I'm not sure happens that often. (I should check my stats every once in a while, shouldn't I? Or maybe not.)

ANYWAYS.

I think things are back to normal. So I'm putting this here to see if it'll show up in a feed reader. Oh, and I also figured out how to change my bandwidth allotment, so maybe there was no need for all this Feed Burner nonsense in the first place, but let's see what happens, shall we?


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« last time | August 05, 2014 : Summer Goal Achieved!



Summer Goal Achieved!
August 05, 2014

I set one goal for myself this summer: make @tracyshutterbean's mango lassi Popsicles. I'll be able to cross it off the list today. Terrible photo of a delicious mango lassi Popsicle. Summer goal achieved!


I don't usually do things like this, but I set a goal for myself this summer. I've been wanting to make these Mango Lassi Popsicles since Tracy posted the recipe. It's from last June. Yeah. I figured if I made it a goal, I might actually do it, and whaddya know. IT WORKED.

I did have a couple of obstacles to overcome. One, I needed popsicle molds (easily solved, I ordered these). Two, I recently decided to cut dairy out of my diet (I may have more to say about that later) and these are yogurt based popsicles. Thankfully, there are a lot of non-dairy yogurt options now, and my local Whole Foods had a coconut milk option that I thought might work.

Aside from the yogurt, the only other modifications I made were using frozen mangoes and cutting the amount of honey by one tablespoon. I thought the vanilla flavor in the yogurt (as opposed to the plain in the original recipe) might make them too sweet. However, after reading this article about rock hard popsicles (turns out they need sugar to prevent being frozen solid), I might keep that extra tablespoon in there next time. (My end result was not rock hard, but I wouldn't mind them being a little less solid.)

I love these popsicles so much. The cardamom gives them an unexpected flavor and I think it keeps them from being too sweet. And since I used frozen mangoes, I almost always have all the ingredients on hand to make a batch. Which will definitely be happening again soon!


Go on, read the rest...

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« last time | August 03, 2014 : Farewell, July



Farewell, July
August 03, 2014

Poppies with Blurry Bee


I'm a little bit relieved that July is over. It ended up being the month of the BBQ. Pretty much every weekend, there was some sort of BBQ going on, which was awesome, but exhausting and I'm happy to have some time to bum around at home and get stuff done, such as:

  • Learning to brew my own kobucha. Why? Because apparently I'm a bigger hippie than any of us realized and I've developed a bit of a kombucha habit and it's expensive. We're currently in the "grow a SCOBY" phase of this adventure. I'm sure I'll have more to elaborate on in a few weeks.
  • Make some popsicles! I've been wanting to do this for a while. I made a batch of coconut milk fudgsicles last night, and I've got a batch of Mango Lassi Popsicles freezing right now. If those turn out as good as I think they might, they'll get their own blog post.
  • And since we're talking about recipes. I JUST put together a board on Pinterest for recipes I've pinned and have actually made. I pin A LOT of recipes, and there's no way I'm ever going to make them all. But I have made some. I may even elaborate on some of them here, but for now, I can re-pin them to this board.

And of course, there's the usual laundry, lunch making, and tidying up of the house. All things that need to get done, and can sometimes fall off the radar when we're having too much weekend fun. But I think that's totally okay every once in a while, especially when it means I come home with a bag full of smoked pork shoulder. (Okay, so I might actually miss all those BBQs now that they're over.)


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« last time | July 23, 2014 : How We Watch TV