Monday, July 16, 2012

Makaio's Tooth Fairy Pillow

My nephew, Makaio, just lost his first tooth! What a big boy! Can you believe I hadn't even made him a tooth fairy pillow yet? What kinda auntie am I anyhow??

He was a little uneasy with the idea of someone coming into his room while he slept, so that bought me a little time.  But now I have redeemed myself and he can carry on losing those teeth.  It's actually not a pillow at all - this design fits better under his pillow. Or maybe I should have made one that hangs on the doorknob.... oh, well.

Remember this one I made for Malia? 

Here's the front:

The back (aka where you cash in).  I made it nice and roomy so the tooth fairy can fit packs of gum, hotwheels cars, or large wads of cash (inflation, y'all):

I hope he loves it!

Minty Lip Balms

The lip balm factory was open again today.  This time, mostly because I had a surplus of Altoids Smalls tins (addict?) and also because I was inspired by the excess wax comb from my neighbor's bee hive.  I didn't end up using that comb because it smelled like smoke, and nobody wants a hickory-flavored kisser.  So I used regular wax...intended for such things as lip balms. 

I used this recipe again, which I love because it's simple and I had all the ingredients on hand.  Aaand, it's a pretty great lip balm.  I used a jar in the microwave this time instead of a double-boiler and it was A) much quicker, B) much less messy, and C) now I have a container to hold the leftovers until next time.

If you try this recipe in Altoid tins, be careful not to fill the tin past the hinge as your lip balm will leak out the back (which I learned the hard way). And for this reason, you might not want to keep this in your purse, in case it heats up too much (like, if you left it in a hot car or something) and leaks all over your very expensive purse.  This is best kept in a bedside table or medicine cabinet. 

But isn't it so cute?!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

"Wild" Blackberry & Rosewater Jam

To those of you who aren't familiar with Oakland, you might be surprised to know that there are wild blackberry brambles in several parts of the city (we also have a serious deer problem, which I may or may not have told you about... more on that later).  

On one of our walks recently, D and I noticed a very prolific patch of them and made a mental note to return when they ripen. So yesterday, we marched right down there with our bucket (and ladder, maybe) and got to pickin'.  In half an hour, we picked about seven cups of beautifully wild blackberries!  (I think the movement is called "foraging," and while very trendy a term, it still sounds like "scrounging" to I say "wild")

 These guys were a little fuzzier than regular blackberries, but after a good soaking, the fuzzies came right off. 


For a little added interest, I put about one teaspoon of rosewater in the jam.  You can find rosewater among the Middle Eastern or Indian products in specialty/ethnic stores.  It's not expensive, but it is potent.  A little goes a long way! D was worried that even the little tiny teaspoon I did add was too much, but it's actually just right.


Look how gorgeous and deep the color is!

And now it's officially summer, now that we've canned something.  Sidenote: This is my all-time favorite size/shape/brand of jar, in case anyone cares. Simple design (no cornucopias embossed on the other side), not too big, not too little, nice and wide, easy to pour into, easy to get jam out.

Oh, yeah. Fruits of our labor. 

Wild/Foraged/Scrounged/Organic Oakland Blackberry and Rosewater Jam

Monday, July 09, 2012

Every Herb Pesto

Oh, yeah.  You're gonna like this one.

This is some good stuff. 

Here we have my adaptation of this pesto recipe (p.s. She's my new favorite. Also, when I say "adaptation" it mostly means I forgot something or I tinkered with the instructions. But I'm a glass-half-full kinda gal, so I use words like "adaptation" to make it seem like I did it on purpose and from a place of creativity when mostly it came from a place of haste or lack-of-planning), made with basil, parsley, cilantro, and spinach. I used pine nuts, because I didn't have almonds, but I think it tastes more decadent that way. Also, I forgot to add lemon, but I like it just way it is.  Next time I'll actually follow the recipe (something I'm notorious for NOT doing).

Anyhow, I was totally excited to make this for dinner and tell you all about it, but something even better happened - we just got invited for Persian food at the neighbors!  And I do not pass up Persian food with the neighbors.  So, the pesto will have to wait another night, but I can tell you that it was delicious right off the spatula.  Late for dinner - see ya!