Saturday, May 28, 2011

Week 21: Vivid

I had such a colorful laundry day on Wednesday that I just felt like sharing it with all of you. :D (This is what happens when you let your five-year-old pick out not only her own clothes, but her own bed sheets...)

Week 20: Epic Fail

So, this is late. And, for a minute I thought I had totally failed in my attempt to take at least one picture a week; then, I discovered that I DID take this quick snapshot of my kids as they headed off to a luau birthday party last weekend. It's a lousy picture quality-wise, but it makes me laugh that to go to a luau in MAY, my kids had to wear sweaters because of the frigid rain that never ceased. Fail, Utah. Fail.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Week 19: Highlit

So, a really nice girl I know offered to give me highlights just because she likes doing them. I have never dyed my hair because I'm so UBER-low-maintenance about my appearance, that I didn't want to have to upkeep anything. But, hey. I was up for a change, so I figured, why not!? Happy (early) Birthday to me!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Low-Sugar Dandelion Jam

Okay, so I would say that this dandelion jam is really more of a dandelion jelly, but now I'm just being nitpicky. My lawn inspired me to give it a try (and the nice weather we had all last week cooperated very nicely, as did my dandelion-pickers); this blog gave me a starting point. When I went to purchase the pectin, I decided to attempt a low-sugar one, just for laughs. (Please note: I have NEVER attempted jam because it completely terrifies me. So, this was me out on a very long and brittle limb...)

Here's what I ended up doing:

Low-Sugar Dandelion (Jelly) Jam:

2 Cups loose-packed dandelion petals
2 Cups boiling water
Juice and zest of one large-ish lemon
1 1/3 Cup sugar
1/2 packet of powdered low-sugar pectin (I used Ball brand "No-Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin"

Get your children to behead every bright yellow dandelion in sight. Then comes the hard part: take the flowers inside and carefully pull out the yellow petals until you have two cups worth. (You can include the whitish fluffy stuff, too, but DON'T get ANY green from the leaves or sepals, or you WILL regret it. Or so I'm told. :P ) Put a movie on for the kids during this part, because it will take awhile.

When you finally have two-cups-worth, put them in a medium bowl and pour the two cups of boiling water in. Steep overnight. Next day, strain through muslin (or if you're cheap like me, a simple flour-bag towel will do), into a large sauce pan. Discard petals. Add lemon zest and juice to the pan. (I wanted mine a little "chunky", so I even threw in some of the pulp. If you prefer a smoother jam consistency, you could put the zest in with the dandelion petals the night before.) Add sugar and pectin and boil according to package directions.

There! Done! Here's what I ended up with:

And, because I was already pushing my limits with this attempt (laziness and terror holding equal sway), I did not attempt to actually can it. Just dumped it all into a big jar and have been eating it on my toast nearly every day since.

In case you are wondering, it tastes tart and lemon-y. I honestly wonder how much leaving out the dandelions would affect the taste in the long run... (Lazy.)

Monday, May 02, 2011

Week 18: Knights of the Kitchen Table.

Oh, yes those are my bundt and tube pans; why do you ask?

And, in case you are wondering, no. This isn't the first time this has happened...

Week 17b: A Pirate and a Lady (and a Baby?)

What do you get when you mix my daughter's imagination, with my son's silliness, a pile of Daddy's shoes, and one tired baby? You guessed it! These pictures!

Week 17: Tea-Staining

I have an amazing teak frame that I picked up at a thrift store. The silk surround on it has seen better days, though. I've been wanting to tea stain it in hopes that that would be a way to cover the marks on the silk, but still be in keeping with the era of the frame itself. Problem: I don't drink tea. Hm. Mate cocido is kinda like tea, right...? *fingers crossed*

Week 16c: Still

These gorgeous tulips and daffodils came out of my yard. Many thanks to the woman who lived in this house before us, as they come up faithfully and beautifully year after year despite my neglect.

And, true to form, I had a "helper" with these shots, too. (Or maybe he was just hinting that I should be working on dinner instead of photography. Hummmm....)

Week 16b: Easter.

Just a few shots from our (cold!) Easter hunts. (Yes, I caved and we did our family Easter egg hunting indoors. Abram was the only one smiling after going to the park Saturday morning...)