A city chick trying to keep her creative side alive! "All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." - Pablo Picasso

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Side Trip 2: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Can you say... YUM?
I got this recipe from the Angry Chicken blog,
and it's so great and lower in fat!
I'm posting it here as well...
now go make them!
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, salt
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2/3 cups apple sauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 can (15oz) pumpkin
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flours, spices, and all the other dry stuff together. In a different bowl mix the eggs, oil, applesauce and pumpkin. Add the dry stuff- to the wet,then stir in the chocolate chips. Bake 20 min.

Side Trip: Beerocks

So with Cyclocross season here, Patrick is begging me to make Beerocks. He had them once, homemade by my Grandma Mildred, and he can't get them off his mind. So, on this rainy Saturday, I got to work.

I found this recipe on Cooks.com. I modified it a bit... but I'll tell you how in a minute. First, the recipe:

1 1/2 lbs. beef
2 c. shredded cabbage
1 env. onion soup mix
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. drained sauerkraut
1/2 tsp. pepper
3/4 c. water

3/4 c. warm water
1 pkg. yeast
1/3 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 c. mashed potatoes (instant)
1 egg
1/3 c. oil
3 1/2 c. flour

Brown meat. Drain off fat. Add remaining ingredients. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. In bowl mix water, yeast, salt and sugar. Let stand 5 minutes. Add potatoes (instant mixed with water), egg and oil. Beat at medium speed until well mixed. Add 1 1/2 cup flour and beat a medium speed for 2 minutes, with wooden spoon. Stir in 1 1/2 cup flour, until dough is stiff. Put on floured board. Knead 5 minutes. Divide in half. Roll to 18 inches. Cut into squares. Put on spoonfuls of mixture and seal. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
Here's my modifications -
Lean Ground Turkey (Instead of Beef - I might also try soy meat later)
+1 onion
- water (I forgot to add it... but the onion added some needed moisture)
1/8 tsp Ginger
Real potatoes, peeled (I didn't have instant... just don't forget to peel them like I did!)

I also allowed the Beerocks to rise for 30 minutes before putting them in the oven. I don't know if it was necessary, but many other recipes said to do that. And this recipe makes far more filling than the dough could handle. So, either double the dough or just freeze the filling for later.

As for the dough... so easy! And definitely sweet enough to use to make other things.

So bottom line... my Beerocks will never be as good as my Grandma Mildred's... but this is a good recipe! Enjoy! (Sigmund wished he could... he drooled the entire time!)

Mika - Relax, Take It Easy (Official Music Video)

Italia 2007 Theme Song:
This song was literally playing everywhere we went, all the time.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Italy: The Vatican & Sistine Chapel

I'm not Catholic, but when in Rome, you absolutely must see Saint Peters Basilica.

We got up early, made sure to cover our knees and shoulders and set in for the traditional tour, complete with the climb up to the Cupola (dome). Patrick didn't want to spend the 2 extra Euro so we hiked all the way up. But the view from above was more breath-taking than the 500 and something stairs.

Next stop, the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. Here are a few things that caught out eye along the long way to the chapel... we were allowed to take pictures of these:

But NOT of this:

Obviously, some people did. As fascinating and awe-inspiring it was to see Michelangelo's masterpiece...(It brought tears to my eyes,) it was so distracting. So many people did not respect it. It was so loud in the chapel, despite warnings to be silent. And so many people were taking FLASH pictures! HELLO. Their cameras are destroying history and they don't care. The security guards were yelling at everyone. Needless to say, it took away from the moment. To think it only took four years and was a pay-back for a debt.

Italy: The Bee Hive

Patrick, being the great travel agent he is, found us this incredible place to stay. It's called The Bee Hive.

This is the quote from it's website: "The most stylish and contemporary of Rome's budget hotels and hostels offering accommodation in private rooms, dorms, and self-catering apartments. Owned and run by Steve & Linda, an American couple who promote and combine style with substance through art, design, yoga, environmentalism and vegetarianism."

That pretty much sums it up. This couple from L.A. got sick of the rat race, moved to Rome and opened a SWEET place!

The first three nights we stayed in the apartment. That's Patrick opening the door. This is me getting in to what must be the tiniest elevator ever.

And check out the cute room! We did share a bathroom down the hall with 2 other rooms... but no big deal. We also had a kitchen and the sound of bells out our window. The price $70 a night! IN ROME!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Italy: Ancient Rome

You might say... this stuff is old!

After an 18 hour flight, Patrick and I decided the best thing to do was ignore jet lag and get out and WALK. So we checked in to The Bee Hive, ditched our backpacks, scarfed down some yummy organic, vegetarian breakfast, (don't worry, we pigged out on bad stuff, too!) and then hit the cobblestones.

First stop, tourist destination numero uno - The Colosseum - THE Roman monument. As incredible as it was to see, and try to imagine how it was built... strangely, I felt sad there. It's hard to believe tens of thousands of people died unnecessarily inside something as magnificent. Needless to say... I was glad we paid to take the tour because I learned a lot!

This is where we headed next...

The Roman Forum is this incredible outdoor architecture museum! It's so impressive to see the pieces of the temples, houses, and Corinthian columns that still exist from 2nd century B.C. That's hard to get your head around.

From there, we wandered the city to scout future gelaterias. We strolled through local parks and watched families play their Sunday evenings away.

The whole time we kept saying... We finally made it to Italy!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Garden Greats!

Gone two weeks...
A garden with no water...
and I still get this bounty!Must be that great organic soil.
Check out Portland Parks and Rec to get more information on how to have your own plot in the Adams Community Garden.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Back from Italia!

I'll post pictures and chronicles soon!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Buon Giorno!

Off to sip and eat my way around Italy.See you with fun pictures in 2 weeks!

Friday, September 07, 2007

ABC Steals!

The first time one of my stories makes "Good Morning America," and those losers have some guy re-track it... wrong! My version was way better. At least they left me in asking one question at the very end.

The story was an exclusive with the family of a 76-year-old grandmother who survived 13 nights trapped in the wilderness with no real food or water.
You can see it on ABC News.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Dog Mountain

Patrick, Sigmund, sunshine and a GORGEous hike!
These are a few pictures from one of the prettiest (and hardest) hikes I've ever done.
Dog Mountain is near Stevenson, WA, in the scenic Columbia River Gorge.
My tips for this one:
1. Do it early in the season so you don't miss the incredible flowers.
2. Take the LONGER route to the top... it's not nearly so steep.