Thursday, January 31, 2013

Stefani makes cat drawings that become cat toys. (You're probably wondering why I've sewn the cat an apron. Because he loves to bake and garden of course.)
Stefani has been making lots of 'S' themed days. Soup. Snow. So. Much. Snow. Sweets. Too. Many Sweets. I made Jenny Rosenstrach's 'Butternut Squash Soup with Apples' for dinner the other night. Another recipe from Rosenstrach's fabulous Dinner: a Love Story. In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, brown 1 medium chopped onion in some olive oil until wilted. Add some salt and pepper, the leaves from 1 sprig of fresh thyme, 1 tablespoon of curry powder (optional) and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Stir in butternut squash (about 2 pounds, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes) and apples(2 apples that have been peeled, cored and cut into chunks...any variety except Red Delicious will work), and add enough chicken broth to cover everything in the pot by about half an inch. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes-checking and adding water or broth every ten minutes to make sure liquid stays at about the same level. When squash is tender, turn off heat and puree with a handheld immersion blender until soup reaches desired consistency. Top with walnuts, chives, and sour cream (we used yogurt). Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Stefani makes a cat. I've finally made a cat prototype that I am happy with. I used a pair of M.'s 'faded' pants to make him. (I think it looks like a 'he' cat.) Unfortunately I don't think that M. will keep donating pairs of his pants to my cat making. Which means I have to do some fabric shopping. I think I would like to make linen cats. Unbleached linen cats...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Stefani makes an anniversary. Tomorrow M. and I celebrate two years of marriage. TWO. YEARS. Wow. I am one heck of a lucky girl.
Stefani makes ears. So. Many. Ears. (I think I need to work on my ears.)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Stefani made a trip to the store and bought some thread. For her shiny, new SEWING MACHINE!!! Yup. I finally bought a sewing machine. I am VERY EXCITED to make with fabric and thread again. I've spent all morning experimenting with an old pattern. An oldie but a goodie.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Stefani makes a yellow day. A cheerful, yellow day. Why so cheerful you ask? 1. I have been experimenting with necklace making and I am really liking the results. 2. I had one heck of a good teaching experience yesterday. If I do say so myself. My assignment was in the 'VERY bad' class NEXT DOOR to M.'s room. (!) I think all of the teachers and students (AND M.) were expecting me to have a miserable time. But, I didn't have a miserable time. I had a great time! I sort of like that 'VERY bad' class. I think that they are a very interesting, misunderstood group of kids. 3. Daffodils. 4. I've saved the most cheerful news for last. My little sister received her very first university acceptance yesterday. An early acceptance! I am so very proud of her. That girl is going to go places! I think this news calls for some celebratory lemon squares...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Stefani made a book about December. And January. It is done! Books are in the mail.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Stefani makes a NEW STUDIO! I did it! I moved my studio out of our dining room and into the extra bedroom upstairs. I LOVE my new studio. It's a fantastic space: there is a BIG window beside my desk, I have a plant (a Jade...I hope it will bring good luck to all of my making), and a wall to hang decorations on. Let the making begin! (Antlers made by Pancake and Franks. Horseshoes made by Lagom Design. Crochet made by the SUPER talented Margaret Lim.)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Stefani makes Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cookies. The cold and snow are back. Cold + snow = baking. I found this recipe in Jenny Rosenstrach's Dinner: a Love Story, my new go-to cookbook. (Last night I made Jenny's delicious Apricot-Mustard Baked Chicken for dinner. But I'll save that recipe for another post.) Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cookies: Sift together 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, cream together 3/4 cup butter and 1 cup of sugar. Beat in 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 1 egg. Gradually add the dry mixture to the butter mixture until dough is uniform in colour and no unmixed flour remains. Using lightly floured hands, divide the dough into two pieces and shape each half into a log. Wrap tightly in wax paper or plastic wrap and freeze for a minimum of 2 hours and up to 6 weeks. When ready to use, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Slice the frozen dough in rounds, place on baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies are ready when they feel a bit firm at the edges. Store in an airtight container when cool. These spicy cookies are the PERFECT cold weather treat.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Stefani makes a visit to Calgary. M. and I went to Calgary this weekend. We lunched (and desserted) at a Swiss bakery. We explored. We discovered a gigantic inside garden with living walls and ponds and many, many little yellow birds. That perched on human hands for photos. Weird. We bought buns and speck at a sausage haus. We enjoyed our time in the big city, but at the end of the day we were happy to head home.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Stefani makes a spring day. In January. In Alberta. I think we are experiencing our very first chinook. It is warm in Olds. Has been all week. The sun is shining and the snow has begun to melt. You can see pavement on the roads and sidewalks again. People are driving with their car windows down. Shops and homes have their front doors and windows propped open. People are out and about. I went for a walk this afternoon and had to keep reminding myself to walk slow or I would overheat in my winter jacket. I could have worn my jean jacket. Really. I found us a blue hyacinth at the grocery store. A little bit of spring to bring inside of the house. This little bit of spring is a nice, but I do miss winter.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Stefani makes a plan for her mobiles! Stay tuned...

Monday, January 14, 2013

Stefani makes drawings for a (very late) book about December.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Stefani made a trip to the gym. Really. I'm not lying. We went to the gym this afternoon. I was supposed to go with M. yesterday, but at the last minute I chickened out. While he was at the gym I watched episodes of Nurse Jackie and ate an entire bag of potato chips. Really. Not today. Today I went to the gym. I walked and ran (mostly walked) on the treadmill. I got REALLY sweaty and at times (most of the time) felt VERY uncomfortable (I haven't been to a gym in YEARS) but I stuck it out, lasted a whole hour, and I am so very glad that I challenged myself. We are going to try to visit the gym four times a week. Think happy gym thoughts for me...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Stefani made a very HECK-tic start to the new year. Our first week back in Alberta was BUSY. Teaching + a BIG snow storm + unpacking (sort of) + grocery shopping + more teaching + catching up with new friends + planning for teaching. I am happy to report that things have slowed down. We are feeling settled. We are excited for the new year!