Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Joy of Less

For some time now I've been inclined to be free of stuff; to have less and live more. I've said that I could be a minimalist... if I had less stuff. I like simple. I like peaceful. So I got this book recently, The Joy of Less by Francine Jay, and it has been so encouraging in that direction. Find a neat review of the book here. It was responsible for the eight apple boxes full of things that left our home the other day, and it's beckoning the stack of empty boxes in my living room to be filled and leave forever. It's such a good feeling to me to have only what we use, and be content with that. There are truly innumerable things that I could better spend my time, money, and brainpower on than a bunch of things cluttering my life. Since we moved last summer from our home in MN to our apartment in WA, we got rid of what felt like tons of things. And yet we still have what feels like tons of things. In a few weeks, we're moving from one small apartment to another slightly better but still small apartment, and here's my goal: to move with half our stuff. And I'm serious about it. Let's do this thing.

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Unglorious Return + Chocolate Pie

Alright. I realize I'm terrible at following through with things. Usually it's because I completely forget. That's not good. I wish I had a better reason... something like... I had something way more important to do. Sadly, no. If I didn't do it, I probably forgot. This makes me feel just terrible when I do remember what I was going to do. And now it's been six months since I've posted last, so it's safe to say I've turned out to be an inconsistant blogger at best. In keeping with learning things about me: you don't even want to know how many thank you cards I've started but haven't sent. Because I forgot.  I forgot to get the address, I forgot to buy stamps... and the well meaning thank you note never came to be. I should really just call people to say thank you.

Since I'm back, I thought I should have something awesome to share. And I do. I requires a little work from you or your personal chef, but here it is: my recipe for Fantastic Chocolate Pie. Yep, named it myself. It's almost like a no-bake chocolate cheesecake+french silk pie. You could serve it with another layer of whipped cream on top and some raspberry sauce if you think you need some more calories. That sounds good.

Crust Ingredients: (or use a ready made crust)
4 tablespoons (or more if you think you need it) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups chocolate graham crackers, crushed (that means one package to me)

Filling Ingredients:
2 cups good chocolate, melted (this will only taste as good as the chocolate you use)
8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream

To make the crust: In a small bowl combine the butter and the cookie crumbs till well combined. Press firmly into a 9 inch glass pie dish. Bake for about 10 minutes at 325 degrees. Remove from oven and cool completely.

To make the filling
: Melt chocolate in double boiler until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the melted chocolate, cream cheese, and vanilla until lighter in color, about a couple of minutes. In another bowl, whip the heavy cream on high speed until stiff peaks form. Then, gently fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until completely incorporated. Spoon this into the crust and smooth the top. Chill till firm... at least a few hours.

I think it's much better when refrigerated at overnight. And use whatever chocolate you like to eat plain. I use half milk Dove chocolate and half dark Dove chocolate. The texture will vary a little depending on the cocoa content of your chocolate. Yummy. Enjoy!

Friday, September 17, 2010

New Issue of LMNOP Out Now

I just love this, so I have to share it with you again. If you have kids or if kids are a part of your life this is for you. Download HERE. Then subscribe so it comes to your inbox in the future. :) Free online magazines are the best.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Caps for Sale

Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business by Esphyr Slobodkina has been one of my favorite books since I was a little kid. It's a fun and simple story that uses repetition to capture the attention of kids.  I think the first time I learned of it was while watching Reading Rainbow (one of the best kid shows ever, right along side Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood) and now I read it to my kiddos. Our library has the jumbo version for story time, and whenever the kids and I go there we read the massive Caps for Sale book. But now, thanks to Grandma and Aunt Sarah, Corbin has his very own copy. I must mention that one of the reasons I love this book so much is because of the illustrations. They're minimalistic, stick to a fantastic color scheme, and that color scheme happens to be one of my very favorites.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Community Supported Agriculture... Who knew?

Oh, the invaluable things I learn from my friend Emily. The most recent of these things: Community Supported Agriculture. When she was telling me about this last week I had never ever heard of it before. But guess what? Everyone should know.  The way CSA works is 1: buy a share in a local farm (or half a share, each setup is different), 2: wait for the food to grow, and 3: pick up your box fresh, local, and many times organic food from this farm once a week during growing season. Some of these farms offer even more than just veggies, like meat, eggs, fresh flowers, hay, and compost. I'm so excited to get involved with a CSA farm when we move. Check out the Local Harvest website to do a search for a nearby CSA farm. Way cool. I owe the reality of all my local slow food dreams to you, Em.