Category Archives: Uncategorized

The end of the saga

I think that we’ve finally gotten to the end of the door saga. We bought more new door hardware yesterday, this one is a very nice Baldwin. Scott installed it last night, in under an hour. It doesn’t look much different from the other hardware, but so far, things are going much, much better.

Namely, the door reliably opens, we haven’t gotten a key stuck, and we can open the door from the inside. So I’m chalking this up as a win.

Here’s the new hardware:


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Laziness sucks!

So what do you do when you’re too lazy to cook? My husband and I had an interesting conversation the other day about divvying up the cooking “chore” and came up with some good solutions, and a real appreciation for the fact that we are occasionally totally OK with mac & cheese out of a box.

I know, I should be embarrassed about that fact, but I’m really not.

That said, I will eat caprese anything, in just about any format, so my go-to meal looks a little like this:

I mean, as far as cheese sandwiches go, I could do worse, right?

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Kale Chips!

I have bought more than one bunch of kale thinking I would get around to making kale chips. Not so much. This time, however, things were different. I actually did it! They are tasty little buggers, eaten hot off the baking tray. They are a little less exciting the next day, after softening in the olive oil. That said, they make a terrific snack for movie, game or TV show watching, or anything else, really.

The recipe I used is from The Kitchn, of course, and here are the pics:

I know–the before and after baking pictures don’t really look that different. But it was nice and tasty!

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Not fun!

So my least favorite DIY every year is our taxes. I use TurboTax, and do our state by hand since I am cheap. And this post is largely to celebrate the fact that I am done, for another year. Whew and ugh!

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Shout out!

I completely spaced on taking a picture, but my wonderful husband whipped up biscuits and gravy from scratch for breakfast this morning. Apparently I am not the only one who has caught the DIY bug around here!

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A religious experience

I went yurt camping with a bunch of friends over the weekend at the Oregon coast and had an absolutely wonderful time. We ate, we drank, we hiked, and then we ate and drank some more. It was divine.

What is also divine? Homemade tonic for gin & tonics. I made my first batch of homemade tonic over the summer because I was tired of drinking tasteless store-bought tonic containing high fructose corn syrup to boot. After sampling HFCS-free tonic that cost almost as much as the gin, I figured that I could do better. Thanks to Google and my new BFF Jeffrey Morgenthaler, I pulled it off. I asked my mother-in-law for a soda siphon for my birthday and she totally delivered, with one of these babies.

Here’s the recipe:
4 cups water
1 cup chopped lemongrass (roughly one large stalk)
¼ cup powdered cinchona bark
zest and juice of 1 orange
zest and juice of 1 lemon
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tsp whole allspice berries
¼ cup citric acid
¼ tsp Kosher salt

Note: It’s not easy to find everything, but Portlandites can find everything at Limbo, on SE 39th and Holgate.

Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once mixture starts to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and strain out solids using a strainer or chinois. You’ll need to fine-strain the mixture, as it still contains quite a bit of the cinchona bark. You can use a coffee filter and wait for an hour or more, or do as I do and run the whole mixture through a French coffee press.

Once you’re satisfied with the clarity of your mix, heat it back up on the stovetop or microwave, and then add ¾ cup of agave syrup to each cup of your hot mix. Stir until combined, and store in the attractive bottle of your choice.

And when you serve it to your friends while yurt camping, they will tell you that it’s a religious experience. It’s that good.

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