Oh for the Love of Elephants

I've always loved elephants.  Who doesn't?
Elephants are grand and wise and steadfast so here are some elephanty etsy finds including a baby book I just finished.

First off, an handmade iron-on elephant patch from tadpolecreations.  This would be so great on a pair of baby overalls:
Vintage-y cupcake toppers...I'm thinking an elephant theme party would be just right for a two-year old...next Februray...these are from coconeenies:

scarletfig has this original fabric for all your elphant sewing needs:

This pendant is made of a scrabble tile!  It's from Pieces of Me Pendants:

A whimsical print "Elephants in the Living Room II" from krisblues:

And my coptic bound elephant scrapbook/photo album from my shop:

Enjoy the elephant finds!
Oh, and in movie news...
I just watched a netflix movie The Fall, which was absolutely gorgeous and has a very awesome swimming elephant scene.  It's a must-see for the startling landscape scenes from locations around the planet.  So add it to your queue if you haven't seen it.


Accordion Book Photos At Last

I finally added some pictures to FGH's little accordion book.  It is about 200 times more popular now.


Heating Up the Kitchen

OK, I like them too, it is comfort food after all. 

Tonight I have the kitchen heated up with a couple big pots of food bubbling away.*  These should last a few days (or longer since I got a little creative on one recipe and that's not always the best idea...it may be in the fridge collecting fuzz for a couple of weeks).

Curried Lentils
I make this often.  The boy likes it and you can throw all sorts of veggies in it.  He likes the curry.  Go figure.
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, cubed 
1/2 head cauliflower, cubed (baby-sized chunks)
1 white potato, cubed
1 large sweet potato, cubed
olive oil
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 or so cups of broth (chicken or veg)
2 cups red lentils
frozen peas

Saute onions in olive oil until soft, add garlic and carrots and saute another 5-10 minutes.  Add curry and saute a few seconds.  Add tomato paste, potato, sweet potato, broth, lentils, and plenty of salt.  Bring to a boil and then reduce and almost fully cover with lid.  Simmer for a good 20 minutes or until veggies are soft and lentils have turned into a good mush-consistency.  Mmmmm, mush...great word choice.  Add peas.  

Split Pea Quinoa Casserole
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 head cauli, chopped
olive oil
2 tablespoons herbs d' provence
splash of plum vinegar (or another tasty vinegar)
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup uncooked split peas
5 cups broth (chicken or veg)
1 can wild salmon

saute onions and garlic in olive oil until browning, add cauliflower and herbs d' provence, and salt and saute another 10 minutes.  Add the splash of vinegar.  Mix mixture with quinoa, split peas, and broth in a 9x13 (or comparable round) baking dish.  Evenly distribute sections of the salmon throughout casserole.  Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, covered, checking and stirring half-way through.  

I think next time I'll add mushrooms and maybe asparagus.

*It is now out of the oven and quite tasty. 



I did not bake this cake, the bakers at Wuollet Bakery did (and my MIL brought it over).  It is beautiful.  I had a bit of a mishap in my own kitchen, so much of a mishap that I chose not to even show it on my blog.  My cake for the husband looked like a pile of vomit.  Really!  True, the WB cake is full of gluten, which certainly helps when baking.  I used a mix (I already threw out/recycled the packaging so I'm not sure what brand) which SHOULD be full proof, even without gluten.  I blame my oven.  I left the cake in the oven for at least 20 extra minutes and when I cut into in today it was a little too fudgy...aka undercooked...not a GREAT feature in cake. It was chocolate, so it had that going for it.  I was going for German Chocolate so I made that frosting with the coconut, pecans (I only had almonds which worked well), evaporated milk, vanilla , and butter...a HALF POUND OF BUTTER.   Needless to say, it was tasty.  Tasty, but a little nasty when your house is 83 degrees, humid, and the frosting is starting to turn back into butter, a little droopy on the too-short raw-ish cake.  Mmmmm.  The vomit similarity came from the texture of the frosting and also the fact that I had much more frosting than cake, but I used all of it and just kept piling it on until it looked like a big puddle.   I blame the heat.  One can always blame the weather, right?


Lovely New Books

I've been challenging myself lately with some new binding techniques and materials.  It's fun, time-consuming, and worth the results...I think anyway.  
I find little tiny bits of time during the day; 15 minutes during naptime (after I pick up a bit and cook a bit), an hour after bedtime and before evening vege-out with the husband time.  Perhaps I'll have more time now that Peter's finals are over.  I'm also gearing up for some sumer course, two web/ graphic courses at MCAD and one at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts...so the book making time slot will probably not get much bigger.  

This first book is made with some Mohawk Superfine text weight paper (the pages, that is) which was super smooth and nice.  I used the coptic-stitch method and sewed some buttony beads onto the front cover which was a lot trickier than I thought it would be.  Inside is some lovely decorative Iris paper.
This skinny guy uses the same long-stich technique but I added glass beads on the spine.  The blue paper inside is some blue art/sketch paper.  Tres nice.
I finished this one today; long stitch using gray thread, green paper, bead closure...pretty putzy.
These are all in my shop now, and so are 4 large sketch books/journals.  Check them out for more detailed pictures.  (If you want).


Spring Frittata

Mmmmmmm.  Seasonal eating just got a lot tastier in Minnesota with the first spring greens arriving at the the farmers' markets.  We visited the Mill City Farmers' Market on Saturday to visit our old farm's new owners, Loon Organics.  We'll be picking up our CSA share there this summer.  
We ended up with a big canvas bag full of very familiar produce. Hey, isn't that the asparagus we planted?  Who knew the produce grown on that particular land would look a certain way, even after we moved?  It's something I never thought about.  Isn't asparagus always the same?  No.  After purchasing or at least browsing through asparagus in the local co-ops and grocery stores it was apparent right away that it was our asparagus, the long stems that grow about 14" in one day because they were planted on a uber-fertile former cow yard.  Pretty cool, I think.
We also loaded up with baby bok choy, radishes, and mesclun mix.  I'm so excited to be cooking with farm-fresh produce again...It was a long winter. 
I cooked up a spring frittata that turned out quite well.  Peter loved it.  I loved it, and most importantly, the little man in the house devoured it.  
I threw our radish greens in with the remaining 1/2 bunch of asparagus, a can of wild salmon, and some farm eggs.  I'm always looking for ways to use up radish greens.  They're so healthy yet I don't love their texture in raw salads.  At the farm we threw them to the chickens, but now we're actually buying them and we don't have chickens.   It was simple and oh so good.

Spring Frittata with Salmon
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch radish greens, chopped
1/2 bunch asparagus, ends removed, chopped into 1 inch segments
6 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  
Add asparagus, saute for a few minutes then add a splash of water and cook until slightly softened, 5- 10 minutes, or until water is evaporated.
Whisk eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and cheese together.
Add radish greens to skillet and cook for about 1 minute or until wilted.
Add can of salmon (drained first) and cook for another minute or so.
Pour egg mixture over salmon and veggies, stir together once,then let simmer over burner until somewhat set in the middle.
Place under boiler until firm, about 2-4 minutes.

We ate our frittata at room temperature which I think is the best.  
I love the versatile frittata, it allows a delicious quick meal made with whatever is in the pantry or produce drawer.



Woop Woo for sales at the Levandowski Pottery Openhouse!  I have 18 less books in  my inventory and have sold some to passers by as well.  That equals a very good mood today and a free ticket to buy more supplies and even revamp my studio a wee bit.  Look out IKEA AS IS section, I need some sort of storage/work unit.  

I'm not sure the Little Accordion Books are a good thing yet, but I've certainly made a lot of them.  There are some in my shop now, and I will get some of my other books in there before the clock strikes 12 tonight.  

Celebrate!  Plus, it's raining and that makes me happy (residual farmer feelings of relief).