Things I Like Right Now

I hadn’t even thought of New Year’s resolutions until this exact moment. Now that the deadline has passed I guess any goals I could have had for 2012 are now ruined.

The only reason I would have written my resolutions down the first place would be because of my addiction to list-making. However, maybe I’ll just make a different list. A year is a long time and a statement like “I’m going to work out for 3 days a week” is A) never going to happen and B) Something that might get in the way of a new-found passion, activity, or project.

So how about list of current interests?

THINGS I LIKE RIGHT NOW

Crafts: Maybe it was all the people-ing during the holidays, but all I want to do lately is watch shows and make crap.

Beach: Who wants to go on the elliptical when you can collect shells on the beach for an hour. **this contributes to crafting

Fried Egg + Toast + Arugula: This is pretty constantly my favorite meal. Lately it’s just been better from extra-spicy arugula, homemade sourdough, and raw butter.

Pintrest: Did you know that mason jars screw onto most regular blenders? Ya, you are welcome. **this contributes to crafting

Now that school has started we will see what happens in another month. Until then, here are the steps to make some cutesie, recycled-book flower magnets.

Ingredients

1 old thrifted book. A little yellowing looks cool, too much and the pages will be too brittle.

Mod Podge. Or white glue and water if you are cheap like me

ruler, pencil, paintbrush

Super glue

round magnets

1. Slice off the white edges of 4 book pages. This is optional, but I like more text in my flowers.

2. Fold all lengthwise and keep two snuggled together.

3. Measure and mark each folded sheet at 2 cm and one and both 2 and 3 cm.

4. Cut the double layered sheet on the 2 cm and the one at the 3 cm. You should have 3 different sizes.


4. Paint the double layered sheet with mod podge and roll rightly.

5. Cut small strips into the medium sheet, stopping at the 2 cm line.

6. Paint with mod podge and roll rightly around the base roll, leaving the cut part unglued.

7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 with the larger sheet. Let glue dry

8. Super glue magnets to the bottom.

Experiment with more layers and different sizes!

-Nico

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Free things. Figs!

I love figs in any form: fresh, dried, roasted, jammed, or newton.

The other day I started to notice all the fig trees in Isla Vista. Judging by all the fruit on the ground, other people must not notice them either.

I picked 3 lb off one tree alone.

At one point while standing on a top branch, I found myself at eye-level with a guy brushing his teeth on the second floor of an apartment. Luckily, Isla Vista home to stranger sights than a girl sitting in your tree and eating figs.

No special shopping required, I whipped this jam out with what was on hand and some thrift-ed mason jars.


Right now, I should be doing homework, or working, or getting some sleep or cleaning or whatever.

But all I would like to do is make some extra spicy gingersnaps to eat with this jam.
Or some goat cheese.
Or some ice cream.

Fig Balsamic Jam
Check the ingredients of your balsamic vinegar, it should only say “balsamic vinegar”. If you try to cook down fake ingredients you could end up with really gross jammy black goop.

3 lb figs, quartered
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 t. salt
1 lemon (juice and zest)

1/2-pint mason jars- I filled 6

Cook all ingredients except lemon over medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until thick and jammy. Stir in lemon zest and juice and cook for another 5 minutes.

Seal in hot mason jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

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Days alone: Potstickers

Some days I just want to be alone.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to spend time with friends and family. I’ll throw parties and talk your ear off if you’d let me.

But I also like to be quiet. To ride my bike, pick flowers, do laundry, get coffee, and notice different shades of lip prints on other people’s cups.

I like to sit beneath lemon trees.

I savor these days. They are not extraordinary or spectacular, they are small and laced with stray thoughts and dreams.

On a day like that I made some potstickers.

I could fold all 40 without a hungry belly watching and waiting.

Kale and Smoked Tofu Potstickers
I used a tea-smoked tofu from a local company called TofuYu. Any drained and smoked tofu would be fine.

2 TBS cooking oil (I used grapeseed)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBS minced ginger
2 cups kale, stems removed and chopped
1 medium carrot, finely shredded
3 TBS soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 cup smoked and drained tofu, finely cubed
1 lightly beaten egg
1 package of wanton wrappers (you need around 40)
small amount of oil for cooking

Heat oil and garlic in a skillet until garlic is softened. Add kale and ginger and wilt for about 3 minute. Cool

In a large bowl, fold together kale, carrot, soy sauce, cilantro, chives, and tofu. Fold in beaten egg.

set out a large workspace to fill the dumplings. You will need two damp kitchen towels to cover the wrappers  and the filled potstickers to keep them from drying out while working.
Lay one wonton wrapper out and wet all edges with your finger. fill with a teaspoon-ish of filling and pull all sides together as shown above. Push all the air out you can.

Repeat until all wrappers are filled.*

To cook, heat a sticky pan** with just a tiny amount of oil brushed on the bottom. Heat until water dances when it hits the pan and then add 8-10 potstickers.

Cook for 2 minutes without touching the dumplings. Add 1/3 cup of water and quickly lid. Cook for another 3 mintues with the lid off.

Remove and serve imminently.

* You can also freeze them beautifully at this point. Lay the dumplings out on a cookie sheet and, when frozen, put in a ziplock bag.

**as in the opposite of a non-stick pan. You need the stick for potSTICKERS

 

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