Monday, February 28, 2011

because we need a little more stress in our lives

Two weeks ago I had a tire blow out, thankfully it happened right in front of Les Schwab, not so happily it (and the other rear tire) could not be patched, they were both worn out, so $384 later I was on my way.

Last night we had a crazy wind storm with howling rain, and woke up with a leak in Freyja's bedroom, which is really the attic.  I had visions of thousands of dollars for the repair, but it turns out only to be hundreds, but still.  Why must this all come at once?

I am made to be a renter, and a bus rider.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Viola! the tower of wedding cupcakes!

The night before, I  cleaned like a crazy lady, set up the bar area, washed all the glasses, ironed the napkins and tablecloths and freshened up the flowers, by trimming them and soaking overnight in sugar water

I wanted the cake to be as fresh as possible, so I started baking around 10:00pm when the kids were in bed.  I was anamored by these fancy cupcake papers! I wasn't super thrilled by the way they showed the grease from the cake, once baked though.  I don't think they are worth the extra expense.

while the cupcakes were baking I cooked the three vegan "pates" carrot with curry, lentil "mock chopped liver" and an eggplant salad.

making frosting at midnight, feeling really ready for bed- it was the late night end of a very long, hard week.

damn lumpy sugar!

strawberry lemonaid, and water

these spreads came out great! The curry, carrot one was a wonderful color too!

The finished product looked pretty damn snazzy if I say so myself!

We were going for sparkle and jewel tones, I think I got it right.

It all started with a craving

I made grape leaves stuffed with rice and spinach with a lemon and olive oil dressing.  You can find excellent vine leaves on the Russian aisle at Food 4 Less on Powell.
 It began with a craving for knafe, which I went out for at 8:00pm in a rain storm, on evening, but it wasn't was good as I wanted it to be, so naturally I couldn't stop thinking of making my own perfect knafe, which got Rolf all worked up, as he loves nothing more than a good cake challenge.  Then I had the wedding reception for a friend coming up, with Lebanese food on the menu, so I thought I should test drive some Moroccan cooking just to get into the mood, the end result being a Moroccan dinner for nine friends with eight dishes!  
I wound up going to three different store to get all the little things I needed, including rice flour, apricots, pistachios, blanched almonds, rose and orange waters.

We had vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free guests, so I made the tagine, with seven vegetables and the couscous separate.  This is beets, yam, turnip, tomato, eggplant, artichoke hearts, and parsley, in a lemon and olive oil dressing with Moroccan dried black olives.

Kathryn checking out the menu. I always feel like there should be more people in my photos, so there you go, my effort to add people.

orange and red onion salad, Morrocan carrot salad, shanklish over arugula, labne with cucumbers, eggplant salad, chicken with green olives and preserved lemon, couscous.

the seven vegetables with chick peas

couscous with apricots, almonds and peas

Freyja jumping into rockstar mode, as I try to photograph some of the guests.

Rolf presenting the knafe

Knafe came out PERFECTLY!!!

We were given thsi magnum of wine for Christmas, and Rolf was very amused by the size of the bottle.

cooking always makes me red in the face and tired looking. 

"Take a picture of ME, mommy!"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Taking the snow, with the good

Papa Haydn margarita
I really did not need a SNOW day today, geez!  I have so much to do to prepare for that wedding reception... on a positive note,  I went out with the mother of one of Freyja's friend's last evening- dare I call her a friend? I think I will. 

I felt positively giddy to be out, in a nice restaurant and it wasn't even my birthday.  

Hooray for an evening out, and for Papa Haydn East still being lovely after all these years!

Papa Haydn cheesecake

We ate giant slabs of fancy cake and gabbed about how motherhood turns you into a hermit. 

It was hugely liberating.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

a very small town

For years and years I had an unlisted phone number, in fact it wasn't even my phone, it was an unlisted phone number belonging to my housemate. 

When the internet came along I created a cutified user-name in pidgin German, which kept me pretty anonymous.

Ten years ago a Jr. High boyfriend  phone me out of the blue, having gone to a lot of trouble for many years to find me,but other than that I have managed to keep mostly to myself.

Turning forty and the novelty of Facebook broke me down a little, made me want to resurface and I find myself running into old acquaintances, lovers and friends left and right.

A few nights ago I noticed mention of my dear friend that committed suicide in 1985. 

It was like a punch to the gut to see his name on Facebook in 2011, so close to the anniversary of his death. 

I didn't recognize the post's name as anyone in our close circle of friends, so I became one of those creepy people, and sent her a personal message, asking if it really was the same person. 

I may have sounded a little bit like a nutter, which has never stopped me before.

The woman was kind enough to reply to my probing questions and yes, it does seem like she knew my L, and yes he was the sweetest person, etc. 

I have no idea what I think about all of this connection.  All of the oversharing I usually reserve for close friends, or people unfortunate enough to be related to me. 

I have no idea what to do with all the information I have, and how to quell the desire to gather more, that it seems to generate in me. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

have I mentioned the weddding cake?

I am being allowed to make a wedding cake for a friend. 

OK, it is a tower of cupcakes, and she is not interested in wedding cakes, but it is a cake for the celebration of her vegan wedding, and I am making it and I am super excited.

My friend?  Not so much excited about wedding cakes, as me. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Too tired to write, so I will report what I am reading Medium Raw more of Anthony Bourdain coasting on the excellence of Kitchen Confidential.  I love him though, can't help myself, I read every derivative burble from this man, and I like it.  We are also working our way through season one of Justified

Which isn't as good as "six feet under" or the "Sopranos", or "Madmen" by it is a lot better than anything on regular tv, plus it features Timothy Olyphant as the sexy cowboy lead, and the freakishly ugly, but super talented Walton Goggins, from "the shield", so I am sticking with it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Not feeling very valentinious

I would have let the day pass, but Mark insisted on going out to dinner.
I loathed the notion of making a reservation, or going anyplace that required me to do more than comb my hair, so I convinced him that the slightly upscale Lebanese place on Hawthorne Tarboush would be a good compromise.
It is housed in an old, nicely restored Victorian, which is little weird for a Lebanese place, but nice if you don't think about it too much.
The food was good, but expensive and that was unsettling, since I kept calculating the cost of garbanzo beans and cringing with each mouthful of hummus.
I love Lebanese food, it is truly something I could eat everyday, but this was a little on the bland and safe side.  Truth be told I love Nicholas the most and nothing will ever be as good for me, but Mark hates the atmosphere, and it does totally suck, so who could blame him?
Me.  I could, because the food is just not as good other places.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Catching up

Maxwell and Aunt Karen on New Year's eve.

Cupcakes for Freyja's thrid, sixth birthday party. 

He's gaining on me!

Ever wonder what 50 balloons would look like in your living room?  Note the band aid on the elbow- two minutes before the guests were to arrive, she wiped out and skinned her elbow and was howling. 

I can do this! I can handle ten children!

Onkel and Freyja doing their nightly training for the circus! 

I have been doing something besides birthday parties! COOKING like a Mofo.  Three kinds of salsa and a cactus salad, guacamole, beans, rice, cheese enchiladas with homemade sauce and cornbread- not too shabby.

and a Swedish meatball feast for my long suffering husband, with cauliflower gratin, arugula salad and roasted asparagus for the veggies among us.

an almond torte

served with a bit of marzipan candy on top

a handsome snack for some little girls

Saturday, February 12, 2011

slllooooowwwww upload

I have I mentioned how much I hate the new blogger format, and how blasted SLOW it is to upload photos? and how the old format worked perfectly well, and was pretty fast and good enough?

I have now been sitting around for FORTY FIVE MINUTES waiting for my photos to load, and I am cranky.  This makes me hate posting.  If I was a real writer, I would not be dependent on photos, I would simply write away and never need to prop myself up with photos, but I am not a real writer, I am a tired, cranky mama who needs to show off and overshare.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What's your excuse?

My writing has really gone down the drain, not to mention my embroidery,  and all the other crafts I try to keep myself busy with.
Why the sudden idleness?  Why have I chosen to step up as a full time employee of the devil's workshop? I have not idea.  I just feel tired and worn out and fresh out of inspiration lately.
I have written dozens of pithy little posts in my head, usually while driving around, but haven't had the energy to put them here, or on paper or any place. 
So there you go. That is all I know.