If you want to sing out, sing out, and if you want to be free, be free, cause there's a million ways to be, you know that there are.
--Cat Stevens

Friday, April 29, 2011

Dessert Wars-Vanilla

The secret ingredient for this month's Dessert War is Vanilla. Now don't get me wrong I love vanilla. Vanilla Ice Cream, vanilla frosting, vanilla
cake--as far as desserts go it probably my favorite flavor, but vanilla can go in just about any dessert as a "flavor enhancer". It's never the star of the show. I was kinda hoping that we'd have an April Fools theme this month because it's always fun to make food that looks like something else but is really an awesome dessert.
I guess we decided to attempt to make vanilla the star of the show and have some April fool's fun.
We made dessert poutine. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, poutine is a dish consisting of french fries topped with fresh cheese curds, c
overed with brown gravy. Our poutines consisted of sweet potato fries dredge in cinnamon sugar, feta cheese and vanilla caramel. This all sounds deceptively simple.
Our first hurdle was the fries. Sweet potatoes make notoriously soggy fries so in an attempt to crisp our fries, we attempted to use the double fry method. DISASTER!
We fried them for 3 mins at 350 and removed them, drained the oil and let them cool down and then did a second fry at about 375 and with in seconds they went from limp and lightly browned to totally burnt.
We then did more research and after looking at more blog postings about sweet potato fries than any one would care to count. We decided that we would soak them in ice water for thirty minutes before putting them through a single 4 minute fry at 375. It worked pretty well. They were reasonably crisp and didn't go limp the secon
d they started to cool down.
So one the next hurdle. Caramel Sauce. I can't make it. Or at least I couldn't until a few days ago. I have practiced making caramel sauce and tried out several different recipes over the years and they were up and till recently all unmitigated failures. Then I found Kittencal's Caramel Sauce, so easy even Amy can't mess it up. I made it even more delicious by ditching the store bought vanilla extract and steeping 2 vanilla beans in the cream before adding it two the sugar and butter.
So without further ado I will introduce you to our sneaky dessert poutine.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Finished Objects: Lots of baby stuffs

I wanted share all the things I have finished up in the last couple weeks. I've been crocheting like mad lately. I have been trying to use up some of my stash finish some WIPs and possibly even get a few gifts made. My sister and some of friends are having babies and baby stuff is really great for stash busting since most pieces take only small amounts of yarn.

Project #1 was this cute little granny square sweater in black and turquoise.

Project # 2: I was playing around with some black acrylic and this little black beret emerged.

Project #3: A beautiful little hat in spring green with pink flowers.

Project #4 Tiny pink and black shirt dress.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Attack of the Lizard Brain

I guess I kind of dropped off the radar. I had a ton of things I had planned to write about, but I haven't been feeling too awesome for the last week or so. My fibromyalgia has really been flaring up on me.
I also had an attack of the lizard brain. I am a U.S. citizen living with my husband in Canada. For the past year or so I did not have permission to work here in Canada. I have been waiting for my residency and work permit paperwork to be processed. Wednesday, I received my work permit in the mail, since then I have had an increase in anxiety and depression. I realized today that every time I worked on or thought about my resume or searching for jobs I became very stressed.
I took a walk to a beautiful little play park near our apartment and spent a few minutes playing on the swings. After I had calmed down I got out my journal and had a serious "talk" with my lizard brain.
"What are you so scared of lizard brain?"
"I like not having any responsibilities." It says. " I like sleeping in when I don't feel good. I like doing what I want when I want to do it. I like not having a boss. "
" I know all that, but what's this really about?" I asked.
" What if no one want to give me a job? What if I can't get any jobs but stupid one like Working at McDonalds again? What if I have forgotten everything I learned at school? What if I get a job and then realize I am not qualified and they fire me? What if..?"
"Enough." I said. "Listen here lizard brain, I learned a lot of things at school and I haven't forgotten all of them. I also learned that I can learn anything. Anything I have forgotten can be relearned. I know that I am employable. I might get turned down but that doesn't mean that there is not a job out there for me. "
The lizard brain and discussed many other things. At first when I told it to stop being stupid about looking for employment it started to attack me about other things such as writing this blog. I think the lizard brain is just pretty comfortable right now and doesn't want to be shaken up.