Great Sage.

I have been wanting to go to Great Sage, a vegan restaurant in Clarksville, for a long time. The menu looks delicious, and it’s not apparent it is, in fact, a vegan restaurant until you read it on the inside of the menu sitting in the place. (Unless you go on their website, because it says VEGAN RESTAURANT in a giant banner across the page.)

The food was delicious, please admire the wealth of food I ordered with my Mom one lovely lunch outing. Although the atmosphere was a bit snooty, the food was definitely worth it. I can’t wait to go back to try one of their green lentil and butternut squash burgers.

great_sage-12

Spring Rolls

great_sage-8

Chai Latte with choice of soy, rice, or coconut milk

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Raw Falafel

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Samosas!

great_sage-10

DIY magnets.

Magnets are important. They’re fun. They hold things. Best of all, they’re easy to make.

You will need several things before you can begin:

  • paper
  • drawing instruments
  • clear marbles, with flat backs (any size)
  • magnets (base the size of your magnet on the size of your marbles)
  • glue – one that dries clear.
  • and scissors.

I got all of the above supplies from Michaels, minus the drawing instruments (a gift) and the paper (taken from Dani’s sketchbook).

The saturday swine was not about to be left out of such a fun project, and so he convinced me to use him for a ‘demonstration’ magnet.

DIY_magnet DIY_magnet DIY_magnet DIY_magnet DIY_magnet DIY_magnetA quick and easy project – kids would probably enjoy it, too. Of course, you’d have to keep them from eating the glue …

a festive housewarming & goodbye celebration.

This is very slightly overdue. Last summer, Dani sold the house she’d been renovating for three years, which we’d been living in together for the past year. To celebrate, she decided to throw a housewarming/goodbye celebration, and enlisted my help.

It was a really beautiful summer evening. The house was sparkling, full of candles, people, laughter, and – most delicious of all – heaps of glorious food.

homemade_sangria

our homemade sangria

baguettes with sundried tomato pesto, prosciutto, fresh basil, and mozzarella

baguettes with sun-dried tomatoes, prosciutto, fresh basil, and mozzarella

tabbouleh

homemade tabbouleh

sundried_tomato_pesto

sundried tomato pesto, crunchy french bread, olive oil & spices for dipping

fresh veggies and fruitscandleand a close-up, because they were so pretty:housewarming_2What a spectacular combination: delicious food, scrumptious drinks, and great company on a really lovely evening – and the perfect send-off for such a beautiful little house.

saturday swine.

the saturday swine decided, as his first act of 2013, to make himself more famous.

he marched himself downstairs to the row of mailboxes just inside the front door, and there posted the first (of many, i’m sure) photos of himself.

apartment_mailboxDIY_mailbox_label

watch out, baltimore, the swine is a’comin – and no place is sacred. his little hooves will trot all over the city, and you’ll see his snout in the most surprising places.

goodbye, 2012!

It’s been a great year for us senoritas, full of pretty awesome things.

1. Our trip to Mexico ….

dani_bradford_katie_bradford_dos_senoritas_mexico

… where I accidentally mixed up the words for ‘shark’ and ‘shit’ in Spanish, and Dani amazed us both with her motorbike skills as she zoomed us around Isla Mujeres.

2. My new job (a technical writer/editor under contract with the FAA) …

technical_writer_cartoon

… where I’ve learned more about acronyms than I ever imagined possible.

3. Several months of us commuting together to DC, in which we learned the metro is run by shrieking eels, the MARC train breaks down frequently, and there are always people who get caught in the metro doors and frantically shriek for help (once, I was one of them. Luckily, Dani was there to both help and laugh at me).

4. Dani quitting her job to travel as a freelance photographer/videographer. That’s pretty dang cool.

quitting_job_cartoon

5. Discovering the best way to mow the lawn is to attach a fisher price wagon to the back of the lawnmower.

mowing_the_lawn

6. Roaches. In my new apartment. Dani found one in her wine glass.

cartoon_cockroach(okay, not awesome. but pretty memorable)

7. Dani’s death-defying hang over Victoria Falls in Zambia – seriously. She was at the edge of a freaking gi-normous waterfall, grinning like a loon. How’s that for crazy?

dani_bradford_vicoria_falls

8. My relationship with the most amazing guy on earth. And probably in the entire galaxy.

the boyfriend

9. Dani’s really awesome experience swimming and riding quads at Lac Rose, the pink lake, outside of Dakar in Senegal. Read about it here, on her site.

lac_rose_dakar_senegal_cartoon

10. Scrumptious (adult) beverages, like our watermelon jalopeno margaritas, super sangria, and Dani’s famous pirate juice. We drink a lot of wine, too. We recommend Cupcake wine because it’s inexpensive and delicious.

11. Some hectic animals – I got to hold a chicken, and a goat tried to eat my scarf.

goat_eating_scarf11. Dani moved to North Carolina to live at the beach for a couple months.

outer_banks_north_carolina11. And of course, lots of beaver, who gets a little bit grouchier everyday.

beaver_chronicles_cartoonOther noteworthy items: Dani sold her house. She also ate caterpillars. I went to Vermont (twice) and to the zoo. We went apple-picking and to the renaissance festival, to our grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary party, and out to eat (a lot). We had a photo shoot. We stayed at haunted inns in Annapolis and went on ghost tours. We frequented the farmer’s market. We smoked cigars by the ocean and sat on the beach at midnight.

midnight_beach_photographyIt’s been a year of good friends, food, fun, and adventures (sorry to break the alliteration). We’re eagerly looking forward to 2013, and we hope you are, too. Happy New Year’s Eve!

a glass jellyfish.

Ages ago, I soldered together bits of colored glass to make a jellyfish. I named him Herman P. Jelly, and he hung from my rearview for several years until finally, the solder fell apart, his legs fell off, and all that was left was his body, dangling from a string.

I needed a new jelly.

Here’s how I made my new one:

1. the workshop. it’s located in our parent’s garage, and stocked with everything you need to make things with glass. cutters, grinders, solder, soldering guns, rulers, wire, glue, beads, marbles, a kiln.

glass_workshop

stained_glass

glass cutter

2. after choosing your glass (and deciding what to make), cut!

cutting glass3. the glass had sharp edges, so i moseyed to the grinder, and ground down the edges on all my pieces.

glass_grinding

glass pieces

4. now you have your glass pieces. they’re round, but dirty, so they need to be wiped clean. i used windex.

glass_pieces

5. into the kiln! warning: if you’re using a kiln, make sure the glass you’re using is fusable.

glass_kiln

6. fast forward to 4 1/2 to 5 hours later, and … JELLYFISH!

glass_jellyfish

7. last step – drill a hole in the top. you can use it for an ornament or hang it from somewhere. this little guy will be taking Herman P. Jelly’s spot of honor dangling from my rearview mirror.

the casualties:

1. slipping while trying to break glass along the score line. i added a heart to my band-aid to make it more festive.

casualty

2. spilled glass rods. they look like really pretty pick-up sticks, but are much trickier to pick up since they’re so delicate.

glass_rods

if you don’t have a kiln, call some make-your-own pottery places. they might have a dual glass/pottery kiln like the one i used, and will let you fire your own pieces for a fee.

katie

grilled tofu with rosemary and juniper berries.

Our dad is THE grill king.

charlie_bradfordHe is the owner (and co-builder) of a 14 foot long stainless steel grill, capable of roasting a whole pig on one side while a multitude of hamburgers and hot dogs sizzle on the other.

charlie_bradford_grillHe makes a beef tenderloin so juicy and succulent, the aroma alone is enough to make a grown man weep. He was commissioned to make it for our cousin’s rehearsal dinner, and the smell wafting from the grill caused a minor stampede and a small child was trampled.

[slight exaggeration]

Our family went to North Carolina for our dad’s birthday this year, and he decided to make this scrumptious, wonderful, amazing tenderloin (although the grill down there isn’t nearly as amazing as his 14 foot-er). Unfortunately … Dani and I weren’t eating meat. We were (justifiably) sad about it, but we knew there must be an answer. The solution? From Dani’s clever brain, it emerged: take the tenderloin rub and, instead of putting it on beef, put it on tofu. Pure genius.

To make Dani’s mouth-watering grilled tofu, you will need:

  • 1 package of firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • olive oil
  • several garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • juniper berries
  • fresh rosemary
  • kosher salt
  • tin foil and a grill

It’s really simple to make! Once your tofu is cut into cubes and dried (lay it out flat on paper towels and let sit for 10 minutes or so), lay the cubes onto a layer of tin foil, leaving enough foil to fold over and use as a cover when grilling. Brush the cubes with olive oil. Distribute the garlic evenly over the tofu cubes. Sprinkle with salt, fresh rosemary, and juniper berries. Fold the foil over and crimp all the edges. Put the entire foil package onto the grill for 15-20 minutes, checking occasionally. The end result?

grilled_tofu_rosemary_juniper_berries

It was fantastic. Try it – you’ll see! Happy Vegetarian Monday!

for the love of chickens.

I’ve been wanting, for awhile now, to share a subject near and dear to my heart:

chickens.

I love them. I love their silly feet, how they walk, the ridiculousness of their gobbles. I love that although they cannot fly, they hop, and they can run like cheetahs. Only slower.

On September 2, 2012, a truly historic day, I fulfilled my life-long dream of holding a chicken (TWO chickens, actually) at Shelbourne Farms in Burlington, Vermont.

The three steps to properly capturing and holding a chicken:


Here’s to making your dreams a reality.

katie