Condo Blues: food and drink




Showing posts with label food and drink. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food and drink. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Have You Tried Slow Cooking without Electricity?

For the most part my emergency storm blackout supplies include a bottle of red wine,a manual corkscrew, (you will understand why if you read what happened during our last multiday blackout) and a whole bunch of candles.

We got a grill shortly after that so at least we could cook something that is melting in the freezer and avoid standing in very long lines at area restaurants with all of our neighbors who can’t cook in their all-electric kitchens either.

While I appreciate being able to cook on a grill on my patio during a summer blackout, standing knee-deep in snow is something I’d like to avoid during a winter blackout if I can. And I will with my new eco non-electric slow cooker the Wonderbag.


How can this big pillow cook food without fire or electricity?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Covered Kitchen Storage Boxes

My kitchen is shrinking.

Not really but it feels that way.

We have one cupboard we use to store food. The rest of the cupboards hold dishes, cups, and stuff we want  to keep but don’t use often. In my dream kitchen all of these special dishes and things would live on the tippy top shelves of cupboards that go all the way to the ceiling so they are accessible but not in the every day way.

A kitchen remodel isn’t in the plan this year. Moving to a bigger house is too much work. I need to find some space in the kitchen I have.

I found it!

Kitchencabinetstoragebox




I know I’m supposed to like having a decorating space on top of my kitchen cabinets. I tried hanging plates on the wall because that is what you are supposed to do in a kitchen, right? I didn’t like it. I tried groupings of doodads on top of the cabinets - meh. I just can’t make it work.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

21 Ways to Decorate Real Halloween Pumpkins

Husband suggested I bump up my Halloween décor for Lacey since it is her first Halloween with us.

pumpkinlacey
ALL of these are for me to eat?!


That’s right. He said for Lacey.

It’s not like the guy likes Halloween or pumpkins or manipulating me into doing something he wants for Lacey (and I certainly do not do this on him because it works 100% of the time on both of us.)


I usually keep the pumpkins plain because I bake, puree, and freeze our pumpkins after Halloween. Cute but not as festive.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

One Eco Dress, Three Looks, and a $75 Giveaway!

Happy news! I met my weight loss goal! I am now back into what is considered thedressyOasisdress healthy range of my Body Mass Index (BMI.) I realize BMI measurements and numbers aren’t a perfect indication of health because there are other factors in play such as muscle mass that can skew BMI numbers to the overweight range of a perfectly healthy and fit person.

I’m using BMI as a healthier target range for my height instead of  picking an arbitrary weight or saying that I want be a size 2 like I was in high school. Not realistic and probably unhealthy skinny for my only slightly older than high school body. (I may not lie about my weight but age is fair game!)

Eating a whole foods, no trans fat, no hydrogenated oil, no processed food from a box diet to lose the weight wasn’t difficult. In fact, I’m following the same no bad stuff diet that made me gain the extra 25 pounds I had to lose. I’m proof that if you eat too much of anything, even very good for you things, and get little to no exercise you will gain weight.

Thanks to my trainer and high energy exercise buddy Lacey, I lost the last of those 25 extra pounds. I feel better (especially now that my waist is no longer larger than Husband’s.) I also have a new problem. My clothes don’t fit! I need new duds.


Monday, September 9, 2013

The Last of the Summer Fun and Lacey Update!

Oh Summer. I wait for you all year long and before you know it – poof! – you are gone.

Our summer got off to a weirdly slow start due to the constant heavy rain. Husband and I tag teamed a few necessary business trips so Lacey would not be face her greatest fear – being left behind. 

Lacey’s behavior is not consistent enough to earn the privilege of a vacation or to keep us from being kicked out because of her behavior. Husband and I took long weekend staycations instead because we still need time off to unplug, be silly, and recharge.

We started with short trips to the dog park. Lacey thinks she has to challenge other dogs and get them before they get her - a classic case of Little Dog Syndrome.  We keep the dog park trips short so Lacey won’t get overwhelmed.

LaceySummer2014
Some of Lacey's summer adventures!

Just like with human kids, there are well behaved dogs that play well with others and sometimes there are bullies who try to challenge the other dogs or dominate them. It is critical you keep an eye on your dogs at all times to head off any potential problems and be ready to leave to avoid them even if it means you are only there for 15 minutes.

Sometimes we had to leave the park shortly after we arrived with our tail between our legs because our kid was the one whipping the other dogs into a frenzy. It doesn't happen often, and it is part of the process as we puppy step her in the right direction.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

How to Make a Juice Pouch Belt

All of the walking I'm doing to burn off Lacey's nervous energy is paying off. My jeans and shorts are too loose in the waist! I haven't lost enough weight to go down a size yet but I have lost just enough weight to make my current pants droop to I-need-to-do-something-about-this levels.

I recently added more empty Go Go squeeZ applesauce squeeze pouches to my craft room stash (I don't care if they are supposed to be kid food. They are fake sugar, GMO, and artificially color and flavor free,  made from real apples, and a life saver when I'm traveling lactose intolerant.) Then it hit me - why don't I solve my baggy pants problem and clear out the soon to be painted craft closet by making a belt out of Go Go squeeZ packets?




 How to Make a Belt Out of Go Go squeeZ Pouches

Thursday, April 4, 2013

We're Kicking the Flavored Creamer Habit

I like to say I am the cream in Husband’s coffee but that isn’t entirely true. For the past year or so Husband used flavored creamer in his coffee, which is fine because I don’t like third degree burns from swimming in his coffee cup every morning.

April's One Small Green Change is Husband’s. He is going to give up flavored coffee creamer with its questionable ingredients and extra packaging (while recyclable it is still an extra thing to deal with.) This won't effect me either way because I drink my coffee black - like my heart.

We try not to buy products containing high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils to try to keep the health conditions affecting our older family members at bay for as long as possible. Although realistically no matter how well we eat and take care of ourselves, that stuff may happen because genetics are well, genetic. Our goal is if it happens, it happens when we're 90 or so.

Monday, November 19, 2012

20 Cute and Eco! Christmas Ornaments


I think my love of tree ornaments comes from Grandmother making me ornaments each Christmas of my teenage years so I’d have a set when I went out on my own. My favorites will hang on our family Christmas tree. It feels like she is still with us during Christmas. 

I carry on the Christmas tree ornament gift tradition. I give each of my nine nieces and nephews a Baby’s First Christmas ornament on their first Christmas. Santa always puts a new ornament in Miss 3 of 9’s and Mr. 7 of 9’s Christmas stocking since those are the only kids who do stockings (besides my house.) I usually buy those ornaments so I don’t tip them off that Santa sometimes has help filling their stockings from this side of the North Pole. Not to mention, I get to satisfy my ornament addition, um fascination, by spending a lot of time browsing for their perfect yearly ornament.

Let’s check out some Christmas tree ornament eye candy!  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How to Install an Under Sink Water Filter System

We are a tap water house. It is cheaper, greener, and lazier because I don’t buy and lug bottles to and from the store or send them to recycling limbo.



We’re also a filtered tap water in the refrigerator house. In theory. Unfortunately, the filtered water pitcher is the first thing jettisoned from the refrigerator when I need to make room for food after a shopping trip.

Friday, October 19, 2012

5 Fall Fun and Howling Halloween Projects

Kristina from Claiming Our Space asked me to co-host her Fall and and Howling Halloween Link Party along with the fabulous  The Chic GeekSecond Chance to DreamMaking My Apt a Home, The Cookie a Day Challenge, and Domestic Randomness here on Condo Blues.

I  love that I got to introduce my super crafty DIY friends to my clever green living friends. I feel like the hostess of a successful dinner party. I'm the Yenta of the blogging world introducing all of you over there to all of you over there!  I met a slew of new people myself too.


Wowzers gang. Your projects knocked my socks off! Kristina suggested the co-hosts pick a few favorites and share them on our blogs. It wasn't easy!

Friday, September 14, 2012

I'm Canning Tomatoes!

Our almost illegal but not quite tomato plants (read the story on Lazy Budget Chef. It involves a police helicopter AND a paddy wagon) exploded into a bunch of tomatoes. We definitely met our 2012 DIY goal of growing more than six tomatoes. Yay!
 
The results are delicious.

But more than we can eat right now.

Last summer, I faced my fear of canning (don’t laugh. It’s true) and canned strawberry peach jam with leftover fruit (our eyes were bigger than our stomachs) and raspberry Moscato jam. No one died of botulism AND we had a nice stash of impromptu Christmas gifts in the pantry. I call that I double win.

You can find the recipes on my food blog Lazy Budget Chef

The use what canning equipment I had on hand method worked well enough for me to consider buying a canning kit to make home canning easier. Fortunately, my mom passed her canning supplies down to me. I was off and running. Well, actually, it is more like trotting.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Urban Scrawl Inspiration

Urban Scrawl MuralHusband and I have the best friends in the world. Our in real life group is so understanding of our devastating loss of Blitzkrieg. We got sympathy cards, personal calls, and condolences from an overwhelming number of friends, neighbors, our family vet, and the vet hospital oncology team. Every single one touched our hearts but none so much as Blitzkrieg's oncology nurse. She made and painted a plaster paw print she took of Blitzkrieg for us on her own. Tears I did not know I had welled up inside me when I unwrapped it.

Many of our friends are calling us for spur of the moment dinners and get togethers too. Thank you friends. Keeping busy helps.

That's how Husband and I ended up at Urban Scrawl. One of our couple friends invited us to join them at Urban Scrawl because they know we like local food and arty things.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Plastic Free Picnic

We are staycating, picnicking, and Cooking Food with Fire (you may call it BBQing) at every opportunity as part of Operation: Best Darn Doggie Summer Ever.

We got our original picnic basket, cloth tablecloth and napkins, and dishes as a wedding present. When wore out the first picnic basket from constant use, Husband bought me a new one from Cost Plus World Market  as a birthday gift because he knows I have a thing for baskets, picnic baskets in particular. What a guy! 


A tisket. A tasket. This is my picnic basket.    

We have friends coming over. We don’t have room at our patio table for more than four people. No problem. I’ll pull out the picnic stuff and have the kiddies picnic in the yard while the adults claim the table and chairs. Adulthood has its privileges ya know. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bacon Candles


I cut the top off a beer bottle, ground the sharp edges, and filled it with phthalate free bacon scented soy wax and topped it with a lead free wick. 

Why?

  • I like candles.
  • Husband likes beer.
  • Blitzkrieg likes bacon.
I floated the idea of a bacon candle to my foodie friends during a Monday Foodies Nite In Twitter chat (Join us! Please?) They went bonkers for it. No surprise there because bacon always comes up during the chat no matter what the weekly party topic. I don't understand it, but people really love their bacon.  

I made soy beer candles, crème brulee candles, and campfire candles so my bacon candles would not feel lonely in our Blitzkrieg Cancer Treatment Fund booth at the Pet Promise Rescue Run. After the candles cooled, I realized I needed a label. Then I realized I needed something to put on the label. Think. Think. Thinkidy think.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Eat From the Pantry Month Challenge

Husband and I stumbled into May’s One Small Green Change by accident.  I am busy crafting for and building Blitzkrieg’s Pet Promise Rescue Run booth. Add to that Husband’s weekly choir rehearsal, Blitzkrieg’s chemo day, and now my weekly marching band rehearsal it’s been difficult to squeeze time in for grocery shopping except for a quick milk run. Husband goes through almost a gallon a week.

 I relive my high school color guard glory days by twirling flag in two parades each summer. Some things never change. I'm stilled placed by the tubas and am the shortest person in the band.
 
Fortunately, we did a big grocery shopping trip before Crazy Time, which should keep us in fish, meat, and fresh produce for awhile. We really need to work on eating the fresh frozen veggies, 17 cups ofhomemade chicken stock that keep falling out of the freezer and onto my head, and the backup bags of frozen vegetables to make room for this summer’s garden produce. When Husband and I bought seeds last January we bought with our stomachs instead of our heads because this year’s garden will be items I cannot can. I have to freeze whatever we can’t devour in our tiny freezer. Whoops!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

How to Make Two Tone Cloth Placemats


I want to replace my placemats for the holidays. Me being me, I figure why buy, when I can DIY? 



This project will also help me in my New Year’s Resolution to use my fabric scraps for impromptu projects before buying new fabric.  I made a deal with myself that I cannot start on the sewing room/guest room/room where-furniture-goes-to-die remodel I want to do until I do something with all of the fabric and supplies I’ve been hanging on to for Someday.

Today is Someday.

Monday, October 31, 2011

DIY Edison Lights

Husband and I spent an evening at Brothers Drake Meadery.  I looked up as we tasted the wonderful locally brewed mead and saw these.

oooo industrial!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Make Solar Milk Jug Ghosts for Halloween

The rechargeable batteries in the solar garden lights I repainted last summer heaved their last breath. 

While I am searching for outdoor rechargeable batteries,  I need something to light the way for the Trick or Treaters.

Luminaries are simple and festive. However, I don’t want to with traditional candles in case the kids accidentally walk into them. Husband says lighting your neighbor’s children on fire is rude. What-ever.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Green Moms Carnival: Green Pet Edition!

Welcome to the Green Pet edition of the Green Moms Carnival! October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month as well as National Pet Wellness Month. I thought of no better way to celebrate than to ask my wonderful friends to share their stories about greening their pets.

Before we start, I want to introduce my guest editor and the inspiration for today’s carnival, my one eyed rescue Pekingese Blitzkrieg!

Photobucket
Hello everyone! I realize Lisa saying I am the guest editor is trite blogging device.
I humor her because she pays me in dog treats to pose for blog photos. 

Since it’s National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, let kick off the carnival with…