happy valentine’s day!

i have been unforgivably absent from the blog lately.

i DID have some sort of plague which made getting out of bed difficult, but still. no excuse.

i decided a mini project was just the thing to to properly usher myself back into the blogging world. hence: mini heart lollipops with handmade tags for co-workers for valentine’s day.

valentine's_day_lollipopfirst, i made all the handwritten tags. i then glued them onto various kinds of pretty scrap booking paper to make them festive. i punched a hole into each tag with a fork.

yes. a fork. THIS fork specifically:

fork

i strung a short length of hemp string through each hole, using the string to tie the tag onto the lollipop stem. voila! after approximately 45 minutes, i had 25 cheerful little valentine’s day greetings to pass out at work.

handmade_valentine's_day_tagshandmade_valentine's_day_tagsvalentine's_day_lollipopshappy valentine’s day!

katie

fun fact: physicians of the 1800s commonly advised their patients to eat chocolate to calm their pining for lost love.

fun fact #2: the italian city of verona, where shakespeare’s lovers romeo and juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to juliet every valentine’s day.

DIY stuffed whale.

Dani and I used to make our own barbie clothes. They ranged from simple frocks to more elaborate, southern belle style dresses with bits of lace. Our mom made us gorgeous Halloween costumes when we were younger, and we learned to enjoy sewing from her. I love creating things – and I especially love working with fabric, thread, and above all, buttons.

For Matt’s birthday, I decided to make him a stuffed whale. Previously he’d requested, if ever I were to make him a stuffed creature, a blue whale, so I thought it would be a fun birthday present.

I bought an adorable whale pattern on Etsy here.

Unfortunately, it’s not a blue whale. Well, I guess technically it’s a blue whale, but it’s not a blue whale. So … I altered the pattern. Hooray!

important note: altering patterns is a tricky business.


and finally – sew his eyes on, sew the last bit together, and …

you have one grumpy little whale.

katie

note: despite my best efforts, he still didn’t look like a blue whale. matt loves him anyway.

a homemade birthday card.

you will need scissors, glue, fun patterned paper, a marker, and buttons, along with about half an hour of your time.

the front:

creatures are good for birthday cards. who wouldn’t want a creature with such a magnificent tail wishing them a happy birthday? a sour grouch, that’s who.

the inside:

a creature AND balloons? whoever gets this card is going to have the best birthday ever, guaranteed.

happy card-making!

katie

eggplant parmigiana with vodka sundried tomato sauce

Happy Vegetarian Monday! It’s the start of a brand-new week and, unless you’re Dani, you’ll be at work for most of it. To keep up your strength, you should eat. A lot. Start with this week’s delicious eggplant parmigiana!

You will need:

  • two ripe eggplants
  • a large can of plum tomatoes
  • a small can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup sundried tomatoes
  • black pepper & red pepper flakes
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • shirataki tofu noodles
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • panko bread crumbs
  • makings for garlic bread – earth balance butter, heaps of garlic, a loaf of crusty french bread

1. Mince the garlic. In a medium sized pan, toast the garlic in a tablespoon or so of olive oil. While the garlic is browning, blend the plum and diced tomatoes (with juices) with the sundried tomatoes in a blender. When the garlic is done, add the tomatoes to the pan, and add the vodka. Add a dash of salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Stir and let simmer for one hour.

2. While the sauce is cooking, peel and slice the eggplant. Coat each piece with olive oil, then coat with panko bread crumbs.

3. Fill a frying pan with olive oil for frying the eggplant. Cook each piece until lightly browned.

4. Open the bag(s) of tofu noodles. Pour the noodles, along with the water in the bag, into a pot and cook on low until hot.

5. Cut the french bread into thin slices. Spead the earth balance butter liberally over the slices, and either mince approximately six cloves of garlic or put them through a garlic press. Slather the bread with garlic. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees fahrenheit.

6. Put the noodles on a plate, lay the eggplant slices on top, and pour the sauce over top. If you like, top with daiya mozzarella style cheese or leave plain. Enjoy with one or two (or ten) delicious pieces of garlic bread. And wine.

Happy eating!

the senoritas

trixy treats

Trix aren’t just for kids anymore, rabbit.

You will need 2 bags of marshmallow and one box of Trix fruitalicious swirls.

  1. Melt the marshmallows in a large pot over very low heat, stirring frequently, for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Mix in the Trix.
  3. Transfer the mix onto a buttered pan* and let cool; cut into squares with a sharp, buttered knife.
  4. ENJOY!

* this is a LOT harder than it sounds. The marshmallow increases in stickiness and strength as it cools. When trying to smooth out the mixture, my hands stuck fast to the sticky, blobby mess – I battled with it for 15 solid minutes, trying to free myself. It was like wrestling Swamp Thing. Or a hydra.

vegetarian monday!

Behold, our vegetarian eatings from yesterday:

tomato and fresh, homemade mozzarella with basil pesto from coastal provisions in southern shores

tomato basil soup, also from coastal provisions

mussel and watercress chowder, coastal provisions, featured in the previous day’s ‘chowder cook-off’ (which we took part of. great fun!)

our mom’s absolutely scrumptious homemade cheesecake

vegetable samosas from red parrot

green tofu with curry and rice, also from red parrot

kimchi soup from red parrot (do not eat this. it is imposter kimchi soup. kimchi soup does NOT contain baby corn, green beans, or asparagus).

happy eating, friends!

the senoritas

homemade thank you cards

hedgehog greetings

dos senoritas has a hedgehog, a little albino african pygmy. his name is 고슴도치. it means ‘hedgehog’ in korean and is pronounced ‘kosim-doch’i’, but we call him dochee for short. he is beautiful:

this is dochee at his first birthday party. he likes hats - look at his smile!

this is how you turn our beautiful little dochee into a birthday card:

1. get some toothpicks

2. wite-out!

3. coat the toothpicks with wite-out and let dry

4. make a suitable background

5. construct a dochee out of paper and a peach colored crayon and glue to the front (be sure to give him a red eye to make it authentic). make a festive birthday sign to glue to the back of the card

7. attach your toothpicks (with super glue or a hot glue gun, whatever you can scrounge up). for fun, write in dochee language around the edge of the card.

(dochee has two languages, sniff-hiss and whiffle)

8. voila! your dochee card is complete and ready to be given to some lucky friend for his/her birthday!

(for the purposes of this card, the dochee does not need legs. he does, however, have them in real life)

katie!

 

potato soup, senorita style

this is our mom’s recipe and therefore this blog post is dedicated to her!

it doesn’t matter that baltimore is in the grip of the hottest heat wave we can remember, hot soup is still a wonderful thing to come home to. well, dani will be coming home to it, at least; as acting chef du jour, i’m making it. ‘it’ being gorgeous, savory potato soup!

we have crusty ciabatta, lots of aircon, and a new show to watch (mad men) … it just might be the perfect evening.

the recipe:

hastily written in the grocery store parking lot on the back of a kabbalah class flyer i picked up in brooklyn last weekend

if you can’t read/follow that gibberish … see below!

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • l large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 8 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • salt / pepper / parsley to taste

1. melt the butter!

2. saute the celery and onion until translucent, approximately 10 minutes or so

please admire our colorful kitchenware

this isn't the best example of translucent, but i got really tired of waiting for it. patience is not one of my virtues.


3. add your cubed potatoes, then cover completely with chicken broth

side note: it took approximately FOREVER to peel the potatoes, mostly because i couldn’t find our veggie peeler. why, you ask? take a look at how many drawers we have:

... and this is just one wall!

4. cook until mush (mom’s exact words)

5. using a hand beater, mix/chop/beat the soup until blended.

6. add the evaporated milk, return to the stove, and heat until hot. <– we know, we know. you got it!

7. cut slices of ciabatta, slather with olive oil, and bake for 5-6 minutes.

8. feast!

katie!

(somewhat) homemade pizza

… very fast if you need dinner on the run

3.2 veggie wednesday – happy march 🙂

it has been far too long between posts, friends! things have gotten hectic, dos senorita-wise, but we’re back in action!

things you will need:

store-bought pizza crust
canned pizza sauce
bagged cheese (mozzarella, 5-cheese, etc)
cornmeal
olive oil
assorted veggies
an oven!

meet your chefs for the evening (plus rod, who did not want his photo taken):

danabot returns in her original form, while katiebot (seen here for the first time ever) rides in on a bottle of wine.

1. coat the bottom of the pizza crust with olive oil and sprinkle with cornmeal. this gives the crust a nice, texturized bottom.


2. flip back over and slather with pizza sauce.


3. sprinkle with cheese!

4. chop your veggies. helpful hint: don’t wash your mushrooms – it apparently does something to the texture, and makes them not taste as delicious as they should. instead, rub the dirt off gently with a damp paper towel or cloth.

danabot was in charge of chopping (because she has arms), while katiebot attempted to drink a glass of water (which she couldn’t, because she has no arms. but notice her festive scarf).


5. arrange your veggies so they’re pleasing to the eye.

rod hates olives and katiebot hates bell peppers, so our pizza was very segregated.

6. bake the pizza for 10-15 minutes at 450 degrees. keep an eye on it – it’s easy to overcook if you forget it’s in the oven.

7. voila!

katie!