Oh yeah…my birthday

December 2, 2010

My birthday was at the beginning of November. I can’t believe it’s already been a month. Does time go faster as you age? I had intended to blog about the special day because it was indeed special but time just got away from me. Plus I was enjoying myself so much that I didn’t end up taking that many photos. My best friends/former band mates drove 4 hours to our apartment and surprised me at 1am on my actual birthday. I was in shock! I felt so honored that they would go to such trouble. We stayed up until early morning talking, laughing, reconnecting. We got up and went to the Institute of Art for hours. Amazing. Upon leaving, we got stuck in freezing rain and wind. So we went home, ordered take out and relaxed. It was the best birthday ever!! They got me two fabulous cookbooks and a vintage recipe box with many of their favorite recipes written out. Beyond thoughtful. These two people are amazing! I love you guys!

One of the cookbooks was Indian cuisine (my favorite). I made a recipe from that book last night: Spicy Cauliflower and Potatoes. Lots of work but totally worth it. Spicy and delicious.

My best advice when cooking things with many ingredients is to have everything chopped, measured, and ready to go. It saves a lot of time and stress.

Indian food has a remarkable depth of flavor because each recipe has thoughtful use of many spices. This can be expensive if buying the bottles of spices at the store. I suggest going somewhere like a Whole Foods or local health food store and get your spices in bulk. This recipe called for 8 spices. I got a couple teaspoons of each at Whole Foods and only spent about $1 total. I cannot stress enough how useful bulk bins can be when you want to eat healthy on a tight budget.

The end result. Seriously my stomach is growling just looking at this photo.

I’m excited about this winter beanie. I have a big head. Its true. It is really difficult for me to find hats that fit properly. In search of gloves for Trent, we stumbled upon these men’s hats for $3. I was so excited because I really needed something warm to cover my ears. It fits my head and its kinda cute. Another tip when living on a tight budget is looking for things in unlikely places.

As I am sitting here looking out the window I see snowflakes falling. Winter has arrived. Stay warm everyone!

I started reading Dewey by Vicki Myron. So far I have cried my way through 3 chapters. I think I will do a proper post on this book when I finish.

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Lemon Cake!

March 28, 2010

I have had a really fantastic weekend. After wanting one for a long time I bought a new bike. Its retro, cherry red, and fabulous! My sweet, sweet husband attached a basket and bell for me which just put it over the top with greatness. I cannot wait for the weather to be dry and warm this week so I can take it out in the sunshine. Yesterday was fully devoted to art. Our local art museum had its grand reopening after a really beautiful renovation. I am volunteering there as a tour guide for local schools so T and I were fortunate enough to be invited to an early morning private tour of the main traveling exhibit with the artist’s granddaughter. It was exceptional. We had a great dinner with friends then returned to the museum for a really moving night of music and art. It was so inspiring.

I made Lemon Cake for dessert. I have talked about this in mini muffin form before. This recipe came from my mother in law and has become my favorite cake. I never liked the taste of lemon in anything when I was young. My pallet has really changed and I am finding myself loving new things all the time. It’s wonderful. So this is a variation on the original recipe but still works pretty well. It’s so easy. You can make a homemade vanilla cake or use a boxed cake mix like I did. For a vegan option use egg replacer in place of eggs and canola oil instead of veg oil. I also change it up by adding less water and 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice for that extra zing. Bake and let it cool. I made it in a bundt cake mold this time but you can make it anyway you wish. When its cooled completely top it with this simple glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar mixed with 2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and 2 Tablespoons of plain soymilk. You may need to add more liquid or sugar depending on your desired thickness. Enjoy!

Currently listening to the always lovely Andrew Bird

Enjoy the week!