Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dirty Kitchen I-Spy

Ever get to that point where you just can't handle the clutter? I reached my breaking point today and decided it was time to remove stuff from my kitchen that I rarely or hardly ever use.  Looking at the before picture it reminded me of an I-Spy book. 
Can you find:
Beer bottle
Coffee can
Old shoe box
Diaper cream
Egg carton
Spool of thread

The after. I am pretty proud of what I got accomplished. Notice the new hanging fruit/veggie basket. I love that it fits right on my pot holder. Maybe tomorrow I will work on actually putting away all the clean laundry - no promises.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cocktails and Crafts - Mozzarella and Moxibustion

Last Friday we made mozzarella! It was so easy I am not sure why anyone would buy it in a store after they learn the process. Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorite books. She offers a free 30-minute recipe here.

There are many different recipes out there for mozzarella and you can also make ricotta out of the leftover whey but we stuck to this simple recipe to keep the time manageable for a group.

Since most of the group is pregnant I was the only one drinking. I kept it simple with some good ole fashion Colorado Coors - conveniently already located in my fridge.

Okay - on to the mozzarella...

Heat up the milk to 55 degrees which takes about 30 seconds.

Add citric acid and watch it curdle. Science is awesome.

Add the rennet and once the curds have separated from the whey you strain out the curds.
Knead the curds to remove access water.

Pop it in the microwave for about a minute and start to stretch it. Holy crap - that looks like mozzarella!
 I forget (then and now while typing) that you add the salt before kneading the cheese. I also read that you can store it in a salt brine. We added some the whey back to a container for storage.

Not really related to cocktails and crafts - but we also had a moxibustion session to try and turn a breech baby.  You light the cones and then hold them to the outside of the pinky toe until it is warm and red. We did have a licensed acupuncturist administering the moxibustion.

The baby didn't turn at my house (damn). It does smell like an illegal substance (unless medically necessary) so I am sure anyone walking by my front door would rightly assume that this is the party house on the block - just not for the reason they are thinking.

Now go make some mozzarella. You can get all the supplies at Whole Foods, probably Wegmans, Trader Joes or Amazon.com.

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's Been Nice Winter... (now leave)

We have been enjoying a warm spell here in Colorado and it is making us all ready for short-sleeve weather.

Here are some recent pictures taken in our backyard. 

Roma enjoying the nice weather.
 
 This White Orpington is spicy! She was ready to attack my camera.

Baby Girl feeding the chickens some scratch.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Slime and Snails

Nothing says Valentines Day like the gift of crabs!

M has really been into the book The Legend of the Golden Snail by Graeme Base so I thought what better gift for a three year old boy than a couple snails. After talking to my Sister-In-Law I learned that there are also small crabs that live in aquariums so I quickly added a crab for my sweetheart's Valentines Day gift.  I bought one Mystery Black Snail (I think has already met his demise, rest his little snail heart), one Mystery Blue Snail and one Red Clawed Crab.
I asked M what he wanted to name them and the snails are Shell and Another Shell and crab goes simply by Crab.
 G loves them just as much as M but has a harder time understanding that we don't put our hand in the tank.
I love how much they love them and hopefully we can keep the two survivors alive longer than a week. I do foresee another trip to the pet store because M asked me where the fish were. I did read this morning that I have to get fast moving fish because the crab will eat them (someone should tell the people at PetSmart that since they said the crab would never eat the fish/snails).
video

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Putting Yourself Out There

My dear friend asked me to photograph her beautiful pregnant belly. I am both honored and inspired to put myself out there more. I hope this can be an inspiration for you to step out of your comfort zone and have faith that you have something special to offer the world. I know that is a bucket full of sap, but it is exactly how I feel.

Her belly was painted by my friend and first doula client, Helenbeth. Isn't it beautiful?




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I love shooting into the light to get this type of photograph.
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

So Proud!

My little man wrote his name for the first time today! He has been expressing a desire to learn to read and write so each day we practice a couple letters. He now knows the sounds of all the letters and we have started to blend them to make words.

Looking at Exhibit A you might not see it but I can (you have the turn the page while you read).


He wrote it on the back of one of the printables from Confessions of a Homeschooler. I highly recommend that site if you are looking for a curriculum or just enrichment ideas.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cat Burglar Cowl

This pattern was designed to give as a birthday gift. I wanted a simple black cowl that had some interesting textures for the edging. I hope she loves it! If you are reading this Hilary - SuRpRiSe!

Cat Burglar Cowl

Materials:
I/5.5mm hook
About 150 yards (more likely less) of worsted weight yarn
Tapestry needle to weave in ends
Stitch marker - cowl is worked in continuous rounds

Instructions:
Cast on 95 and join in circle
Round 1-3: Single crochet back loop only
Round 4: Front post single crochet around
Round 5: Double crochet around
Round 6: Single crochet back loop in first stitch, single crochet front loop in second stitch - repeat around
Repeat round 6 until you have the desired width. (Mine is 20 rows)
Round 27ish: Repeat Round 5
Round 28: Repeat Round 4
Round 29: Repeat Rounds 1-3
Bind off.
You can be done here or...
I added a Crab Stitch edging to the top and bottom. It was my first attempt at this edging and I had some trouble keeping my tension the same around but liked the results.

This is a great project to try out some new techniques.

Note to self: Black is hard to photograph!

Creative Commons License
Cat Burglar Cowl by Sarah Boccolucci is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

January 2011 - One Day, One Photo

One month down, eleven more to go! You can read about my New Year's Resolution here but the concept is pretty simple - one day, one photo.

I realized when I was creating the video that my computer sorts the photos by import date and not the day the picture was actually taken, hopefully I got all the days correct!! For February I will be sure to import my card once a day to make it easier.

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