Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summer, Summer, Summer Time

Tim, Brennan and I just returned from a wonderful trip to our old stomping grounds in Atlanta, GA. We stayed with old friends, Louis and Kathy Cahill. They are gracious hosts, so kind and accommodating. They also happen to be incredibly talented. Louis is a professional photographer. (Click on the link to view some of his photos.) However, he is also REALLY into fly fishing and makes his own rods. He also renovates houses. Seriously. I don't know how he does it. Kathy is an amazing graphic designer with a love for animals. She rehabs squirrels and used to work with elephants at the zoo. Oh, and she makes soap and cooks all sorts of yummy veggie food. There's more. They do so much more. Tim and I have named them the official most annoying couple on the planet! We love them, but they've got to give us a break. They're really making us look bad!

Anyway, while we were down in Atlanta, we visited the GA Aquarium. Amazing! The pictures I have don't do it justice. We also took Brennan to the zoo in Grant Park and the Botanical Garden. Both were lots of fun, but we about roasted at the gardens. It was worth it though. That's how much I love plants. I am willing to suffer sunburn and exhaustion to see as much plant life as possible. Of course, we also ate a bunch of amazing food. We tried Ethiopian food for the first time and love, love, loved it. LB liked it as well (whew!). The restaurant doesn't have a website, but it's called Bahel and is located on Briarcliff. We also had yummy falafel at Marco's on Ponce, Indian at Zyka on Scott Blvd. in Decatur and Chinese at Green Sprout on Piedmont (Try the Empire "chicken."). And then there was our old friend Veggieland. I can't say enough good things about this place. The food is so good. The service is wonderful. And, unbelievably, the place is cheap! Yay for Veggieland! If you're ever in Atlanta, you must, must, must try their veggie burger with avocado.

Being back in Atlanta made me miss big city living, but I haven't packed my bags yet. I think it will pass. I didn't care for that life when in any of the larger cities where we've lived (except for maybe NYC, but I'm not wealthy, so scratch that). I do love Louisville and I figure we'll be calling it home for at least a few more years.

It was super hot in Atlanta on Sunday. It really felt like a Southern summer day. When I returned from the trip and realized I had some treasuries to update on Treasury East, I felt inspired to curate an Etsy Greetings Team treasury dedicated to the summer (hence the title of this post). Here's a taste. Click on the link to view the entire treasury.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Items of the Week - in Purple

Here are some of my current faves on etsy. They all also happen to be purple. Click on the link to view the entire treasury.

View treasury.

Friday, May 14, 2010

What Do Vegans Eat? Food that Rocks!

I made a couple of recipes from "Vegan with a Vengeance" this week that I've never made before. This is an awesome cookbook from the Post-Punk Kitchen founder Isa Chandra Moskowitz. This isn't a cookbook that requires you to buy a bunch of obscure and expensive ingredients. It's full of simple, economical, and, so far, delicious recipes. I neglected to take pictures of the food before we ate it. You'll just have to take me at my word when I say they looked delicious as well. Here are the recipes. Let me know if you try either.

Apple Pie-Crumb Cake Muffins

for muffins:
1 and 1/2 c flour
1/4 c plus 2 T sugar
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground allspice
1/8 t ground cloves
1/4 t salt
3/4 c apple cider
1/3 c canola oil
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 c grated apple
1/2 c chopped apple (1/4-inch pieces)

for topping:
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground allspice
pinch of salt
3 T canola oil

Prepare the topping by mixing all of the dry topping ingredients together in a small bowl. Drizzle the oil in while mixing with your fingertips until crumbs form. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, lightly grease a twelve-muffin tin.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Create a well in the center and add the apple cider, oil, and vanilla. Mix, then fold in the grated and chopped apple.

Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full. Sprinkle the crumb topping over each muffin. Bake for 22 minutes.

Tempeh Reuben Makes four sandwiches.

8 slices good, dark pumpernickel bread
8 t nonhydrogenated margarine
1 and 1/2 c sauerkraut
2 dill pickles, thinly sliced
1 avocado, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
1 pound tempeh, cut into four equal pieces, then cut through the middle so that you have eight thin squares

for the marinade:
1/2 c white cooking wine
2 T olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, smashed

for the dressing:
1/3 c Vegannaise
2 T ketchup
Juice of 1 lemon
1 T minced onion
3 t capers
2 T sweet pickle relish (or equivalent amount chopped pickles)
a pinch of cayenne

Prepare the tempeh:
Combine all the ingredients for the marinade. Add the tempeh and marinate for at least one hour, turning once.

Mix together all the dressing ingredients and set aside.

When the tempeh has marinated for an hour, preheat a grill pan over high heat. Cook the slices on the grill for 4 minutes on one side, until dark grill lines have appeared, then use tongs to flip them over and cook on the other side for about 3 minutes.

Prepare the sandwich:

Spread a teaspoon of margarine on each piece of bread. Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Fry each piece of bread on the buttered side for 3 minutes, flip over and cook one minute more.

Divide the ingredients equally among four buttered-side-down fried bread slices. Smother in dressing, top each serving with another slice of fried bread, nonbuttered side down, cut in half, and serve.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

etsy Greetings on Treasury East

I changed up my etsygreetingsteam treasury today. The theme is "love" because, as one seller put it, love needs no season. Here's a preview. Click the link to view the entire treasury.

Love, Love, Love

Giveaway at Adore by Nat

Adore by Nat is having a giveaway this week. It's a $20.00 gift certificate to etsy shop Tiny Made. Gorgeous clothes! Click on the links to view the blog giveaway entry and the Tiny Made shop.

Blog Candy at Killam Creative

Susan at Killam Creative is giving away a ton of stuff in honor of her birthday. There's a preview pic below. Check out the link for details and to view her blog. She's assembling a community of crafters who love to share new ideas.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Arrivals

I finally listed some new items in the shop! Yay, me! I've posted them below. Also, don't forget that I currently have a HUGE sale section. Be sure to visit the shop and check it out.

Flora $4.50 (includes free domestic shipping)

Bird $4.50 (includes free domestic shipping)

Flowers $4.50 (includes free domestic shipping)

Welcome $4.50 (includes free domestic shipping)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Featured Seller - Isabellaflora Greeting Cards

Today's featured seller, Isabellaflora, is a collaborative effort between a father and daughter. He handles the photography and she the watercolor painting. They are (obviously) inspired by botanicals and produce many beautiful handmade cards for their etsy shop. I recently sent a few questions to Eve and found some favorites from her shop. Please be sure to go check out the remaining items!

What inspires you?

My inspiration comes from flowers, leaves, trees and all things botanical. Both my Father and I love the beauty and textures that our green world presents to us.

Water Dance Card $4.00

How did you get started paper crafting?

Actually, my girlfriend suggested I start painting about 3 years ago. I immediately knew it would be water colors, as I am so drawn to that medium. My father started with photography in 1928, so he has had a lifetime with his hobby. I decided that greeting cards would be a fantastic way to share our art with everyone.

Purple Passion Card $4.00

What are your favorite colors and materials?

Favorite colors...that's a tough one...perhaps blues, green and purples. Favorite materials...the gorgeous way those watercolor paints just ooze and mingle and then create a life of their own.

Sunflower Card $4.00

What prompted you to open an etsy shop?

My girlfriend showed me the Etsy site and I decided to take the plunge. It's such a big venue with exposure around the world.

Rose of Sharon Card $4.00

Do you have any advice for your fellow etsians?

Advice for others: Join esty teams that unite like-minded crafters and artists. I have learned so much from esty greetings team. Advice for newbies: Give etsy a try. What is there to lose?

Columbine Card $4.00

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Per my request, my husband took me plant shopping for Mother's Day. I wanted to go early and get them planted before the big day, so I could relax on the deck and admire the plants on Sunday afternoon. Here are some of the new arrivals, as well as some oldies that are in bloom. The hosta and fern garden is really filling out. The perennial bed on the terrace is looking really wild, just as I like it! Also, I couldn't resist putting in a pic or two of my baby girl's first trip to the dentist. Happy Mother's Day all!


low-growing yarrow:


lemon thyme:

I can't remember the name of this one:

perennial geranium:


My baby's first dental appointment:

Brennan was such a big girl! She was calm the entire time. The dentist said she did better than many grownups. I'm a proud mama.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Items of the Week

Here's a sneak peek of my latest "Items of the Week" treasury on etsy. Click the link here: "Items of the Week" to view the entire treasury. It was inspired by the greens of spring.