Thursday, June 30, 2011

DIY Plant Markers

I am liking these DIY plant markers found at Eat, Drink So Simple to make and use again year after year, season after season.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Time in Reflection

I made this clock out of an Ikea Malma Mirror. I simply drilled through the center with a 3/8" glass drill bit, and just installed a clock works kit. In case you crack the mirror, you can replace it with a 4" ceramic tile. Guess why I made a 2nd clock with a tile?

I only party down with the best at:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Martha Stewart's Swiss Chard Pie

Chard grows so well here in Burien. Leave it to Martha Stewart to come up with a good way to use it up! Plus, since you can freeze this pie, it is a great way to preserve a taste of summer!

This vegetarian pie is great to have on hand -- it can go straight from the freezer to the oven. To bake it without freezing, reduce the baking time to 40 to 45 minutes.

For the Olive Oil Dough:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup cold water
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

For the Swiss Chard Pie Filling:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, cut into small dice
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 pounds Swiss chard, stems cut into small dice and leaves torn
3/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Grated zest of 1 large lemon, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 large egg yolk


Make the Olive Oil Dough

In a bowl, combine all-purpose flour, extra-virgin olive oil, cold water, and coarse salt. Stir with a fork to combine, then turn out onto a work surface and knead 1 minute. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature, 30 minutes.
Make the Swiss Chard Pie

In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add chard stems and red-pepper flakes; cook until stems begin to soften, about 2 minutes.

Pack chard leaves into pot; season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until chard leaves wilt, about 4 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until chard is soft, about 4 minutes. Drain, pressing out as much liquid as possible. Place chard mixture in a large bowl and toss with Parmesan, flour, lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Roll two-thirds the dough to a 12 1/2-inch round; fit into an 8-inch round cake pan (2 inches deep). Fill bottom crust with chard mixture. Roll remaining dough to a 9 1/2-inch round; place over filling. Pinch edges of dough together and tuck in to seal; cut several vents into center of pie. Combine yolk with 1 teaspoon water and brush over dough, avoiding edge of pan. Freeze pie (see below).

To serve, preheat oven to 400, with rack in lowest position. Bake frozen pie until crust is deep golden brown, about 1 1/2 hours. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekly Challenge Update

Independence Days Challenge Year 4, Week 24
Plant something-Some radishes,
In the greenhouse:
In the community garden plot: radishes, new carrot patch
Planted at home:
Harvest something: All my garlic, some leek thinnings , oyster mushrooms, strawberries, radishes, kohl rabi, pineapple weed;
Preserve something: Drying (dehydrating the garlic) I did it this way last year and it was fine. Cut up the garlic scapes and stalks and dehydrated
Community: replanted a new aquare of carrots for the Plant A Row challenge
Preparation: After reading about Malabar Spinach, ordered a packet of seeds to grow this wonderful vine! Bought some GORM shelving units at Ikea- changing pantry around!
Eat the Food: Local Pasta with a sauce made from infused olive oil with homegrown garlic, leek thinings, some oyster mushrooms, pineapple weed tea
Waste not: Cut up the garlic scapes and stalks and dehydrated
Want not: After reading about Malabar Spinach, ordered a packet of seeds to grow this wonderful vine!

Had to replant my square of carrots. I think the birds got all the seedlings. Luckily the Ed Hume seed packet I got had plenty!

Friday, June 24, 2011


Having a mini stay-cation for the next few days. Romeo and I went to the WestCrest Dog park in Seattle, and just puttered around the garden(s)

Having a drink with the guys at the Canine Cantina at Westcrest Dog Park
zuchinni in blossom
WINDOW BOX KITTY- Sammy Kat approves of the window box
Garlic- or why my house smells like Luigi's Pizzeria! This was part of my garlic harvest!
My tomatoes happy in their Self watering planters
Tomatoes in my Community garden plot
My DIY topsy turvey planters

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How to Load a Bike on the Bus

Don't be afraid of loading your bike on a bus... very simple just watch the video~~
Loading a bike on the front of a King County Metro Bus can be very intimidating on the first try. Standing in front of a growling, huge bus while being watched by every bus passenger as well as a driver who needs to keep on schedule is not the best place to learn the procedure.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Finally - Drawers in my Kitchen

You may have read on occasion my frustration with my kitchen (or lack of) drawers. Well I finally did something about it. I purchased 2 IKEA Akurum 12" drawer cabinets with adel fronts.
I installed them per directions, except instead of Capita legs, I used 11" Ekby Bjarnum shelf supports (I needed to clear a baseboard heater). For the top I reused an EKBY MOSSBY 14" stainless steel shelf (No longer available) I was using in the same place for wall storage, minus the Bjarnum supports. Since the shelf was about and 1 1/2" too short I made it longer with a piece of 1" Square dowling I found at Lowes and cut down into two 14" pieces and screwed onto the the sides- which I actually like the looks of. I attached the old shelf to the top and I have a stainless steel countertop on my new drawer unit! Now to add the handles and I will have drawers -Finally
I only party down with the best at:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Weekly Challenge Update

Independence Days Challenge Year 4, Week 22

Plant something-
In the greenhouse: Nothing-
In the community garden plot:Beans
Planted at home- radishes, peas, lettuce
Harvest something: Miner's lettuce, radishes, peas, foraged some pineapple weed,
Preserve something: nothing
Community: Volunteered at the B-town Bike Fair
Preparation: Fell in love with an "e-Bike" now saving my pennies for one
Eat the Food: Miners lettuce, radishes and peas in a salad
Waste not: figured out a way to reuse old shelf as a counter top on new drawers in kitchen
Want not: I'm good this week

Monday, June 20, 2011

B-Town Bike Fair

Well another rainy Bike Fair in Burien. Romeo looked like a drowned rat, Some how I managed to stay dry until we started to break down the booths at the end... I forgot those canopies hold water. I even got to try out an E-Bike from Alki Bike and Board... and fell madly in love with it.
All in all though a very good turn out for our little town. Lots of kids did some obstacle courses. There was even a trike course for the littlest ones! And a whole lot of people got outfitted with free helmets, donated by local medical companies.
One of the most popular features was from Outdoors For All, a very cool organization that promotes outdoor recreation for the physically disabled, and their collection of handicapable bikes.
Of course the seven seater conference bike was popular as well!
One of the most popular items at the fair was the 7-Seattler "Conference Bike from the Dutch Bike Company in Seattle.

Of course the Unicyclists were popular as well as Local celebrity Manuela Horn , AGT's "Yodeling Dominatrix", who showed up on her "Austrian powered" buggy

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Fathers' Day

I haven't had my Dad around since 1982, the year he died. And I thought this photo was lost forever - I had it in an account online but apparentely they deleted all the files that no one has edited for a couple of years. Thanks to my cousin, Shelley and her cool christmas present last year, I now have this photo back. She took and made a copy of it while it was still online. It is one of my favorite photo's of dad. So I framed it and hung it up in my studio.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Climate Change: Spend Four Minutes on This

I got this VIA Green Roof Growers- take 4 minutes out of your life and watch.

Register your Bike today

I recently discovered the National Bike Registry. Very cool- for the cost of $1 per year ($10 covers your bike for 10 years)you can register your bicycle to prove ownership, should it get stolen. The NBR is run by the “Take a bite out of crime” folks so it is "McGruff approved". And from their website:

"Many stolen bikes are recovered by police but there is no way to identify the owner. With the NBR service, you can register your bicycle by serial number in our national database and apply the special label you receive to your bike. If your bike is ever stolen, it can be identified and you can prove ownership.
Law Enforcement anywhere can access our database, advise us that your bike has been recovered, and you can be notified immediately."

Kind of like a dog tag for your bike. And there is a family plan,($25 to cover up to five bikes at the same residence for 10 years) Making it more affordable to cover Junior and Missy.

So maybe it is time to take a bite out of crime!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Depressed because you don’t have a gray water system? Want to save hundreds maybe even thousands of gallons of water per month (thus lowering your water bill?) Just by following some simple steps you can save!

1- Replace your faucet aerators and shower heads with low flow ones- Just doing this alone can save hundreds of gallons of water per month For example I just changed to lower flow shower heads (my old ones were 3 Gallons Per Minute my new ones are 2.0 GPM) MY average shower lasts 5 minutes, for every 5 minutes I save 5 gallons of water per shower Multiply that by 7 showers a week, that’s 35 gallons, and multiply that by the month (four weeks)and it is 140 gallons per month.And on the theory that the average family of 4 and they all shower, that would be 560 gallons per month. No Cheating- just because you use a lower flow shower head is no excuse to take longer showers!
2- SAVE THE WARM UP WATER- I keep a bucket in the bathroom and warm up my shower water by turning on the tub faucet and let it run into the bucket. Save about 2 gallons each shower- I then use the saved water to water plants in the garden, or wash the dog or even to flush the toilet

3- Don’t flush as much- If you can stand it, use the old if "it’s yellow let it mellow rule"- Don’t flush for Number one. Depending on your toilet you can save between 1.6 and 5 gallons each time you don’t flush. (And yes I am counting dual flush toilets) That adds up to many gallons saved per month.EXTREME WATER SAVERS- Will use a composting toilet and do odd things like save their urine for fertilizer.
4- Turn the water off – brushing your teeth… it is a necessary evil unless you have falsies. Don’t run the water while brushing.
5- Save the water- while shaving. Fill a small bowl with hot water to rinse your razor out in.Or just plug the sink. Just don't run the water while shaving! The advantage to the bowl is you will be able to save the water for other uses like plant watering. Me? I just put it in the shower bucket to water plants, flush the toilet, etc etc.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Veggie Kabobs

A quick, easy and tasty way to eat your veggies- grill in minutes,
Assorted vegetables, cut bite size (I like to use mushrooms, tomatoes squash and onion good dish for cherry tomatoes)
Let vegetables marinate in a shallow dish between 30 minutes to an hour. Then piece by piece, shove them on skewers- (You may want to soak skewers in a shallow bowl or pan in some water- helps keep them from burning)Place them on a hot grill or BBQ- cook for about two minutes and turn over. Should have nice grill marks. Serve and enjoy!
Tip- brush the grill with a light brush of Olive oil before grilling- adds good flavor and helps to keep veggies from sticking to the grill.

*Asian Vegetable Marinade
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil

mix the marinade up and let your vegetables marinate in a shallow dish from between 30 minutes to an hour before grilling.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Make your french toast healthier

I found a surprising way on Yahoo! Green to make french toast that is quite clever and tasty. By replacing whole milk and whole eggs with low-fat yogurt and egg whites, you remove much of the fat and swap in a little extra life. Hurray.

6 ounces low-fat yogurt (plain, or any flavor)
1/4 cup water
2 egg whites
6 slices day-old multigrain bread (or 12 slices if you are using a skinnier baguette)
3 teaspoons olive oil
Fresh fruit (optional)
Mint for garnish (optional)

1. If yogurt has chunks of fruit in it, blend with water in a blender.

2. In a pie pan or other shallow pan, whisk together yogurt, water, and egg whites; dip bread on both side in the yogurt mixture.

3. Heat a small frying pan to medium-high heat and spread 1/2 teaspoon of olive in the pan.

4. Cover and cook soaked bread in the pan for 2 to 3 minutes on both sides, or until lightly browned.

5. Continue with each bread slice, adding 1/2 teaspoon olive oil per slice.

6. To make a quick fresh fruit “compote,” toss together mixed berries or fruit of your choice with a small splash of maple syrup and let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The fruit will soften slightly and begin to make a juicy syrup that is prefect with the french toast. Garnish with mint if you have a pinch on hand.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Meet Evelyn

I would like to introduce you to Evelyn, Seattle Public Utilities go to gal on what to do with your garbage. Evelyn is actually an A to Z data base on just about everything garbage. What can be recycled, which bin to put it in, etc. And even though Evelyn is Seattle based, she may be a great tool to use in any city's recycling. I know she works pretty much here!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bicycle Inspired Desk Chair

Ever since our family doctor, who told a young Rob, you need to get your fat ass on a bicycle seat, I have pondered this dilemma for years, how to get on a bicycle seat without doing all the work and balancing crap. Today I have come up with it... my Bicycle inspired desk chair. I took the seat off of a desk chair I found at the thrift store, cut off the bracket, and was left with the poles that go up and down. On problem was, they were in the down position. No matter. I simply drilled a hole in the the outer pole, near the bottom, and one near the top, and then one in the inner pole for the seat heigth. Then I attached an old Bicycle seat on that pole. Now I sit on my bike seat whenever. Hope your happy, Doc!
I only party down with the best at:

Hump Day link

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Weekly Challenge Update

Independence Days Challenge Year 4, Week 20

Plant something-
In the greenhouse: Started some Runner beans-

In the community garden plot: Lemon Cucumbers, amaranth

Planted at home- radishes, pickling cucmbers, sugar pumpkins

Harvest something: French sorrel, miner’s lettuce, radishes, baby beets

Preserve something: nothing
Community: helped out at a booth for the B-Town Bike fair at the farmers' market
Preparation: Made a bunch of seed tapes for successive plantings; started assembling new cabinets in kitchen
Eat the food/eat something new: Salad with Sorrel, miners lettuce, radishes, baby beets
Waste not: Made an office chair using a chair base bought at the thrift store and a bike seat
Want not: bought some new cabinets for kitchen

Monday, June 6, 2011

If you happen to be in town on your two wheeler on the 17th - 18th...

Consider these fine events...

There will be a whole day of fun and mirth the 18th at the B-town Bike Fair, part of the Annual Burien "Wild" Strawberry festival, and fun and the bike version of a pub crawl the night before at the "Tour De Friends" benefiting Para Los Ninos! You might even win this nifty cruiser!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Earth Rattling True Confession....

Okay. Maybe not earth rattling. But here it is... I eat popcorn. "So What, Big Deal" you say? Let me finish- I eat popcorn like cereal with milk on it. Have for years. Since I was young. In my defense, I should say it is cheaper than cereal, little to none processing, and by eating the last of a bowl of popcorn I am not wasting food.
Maybe I should tell you about my Grandma's Onion Orange Sandwiches. Or perhaps another time.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My Boxes are Featured!!!

Yesterday's post on my DIY Window Boxes is featured at ME MAKING DO. What an honor! Especially to be amongst such great and talented DIY'ers!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Window boxes

Well I finally got something I have wanted to do for a long time done... Put in a Shower? No. Clean the Garage? Nope. Win the lottery? Sadly no.... But I did manage to make a window box for the Picture window. Not hard to make to make, there are actually two window boxes, each is simply 3- 1" X 6" X 6' cedar fence boards with a 6" piece cut off each and re-used to make the ends, and I re-use pots to keep the wood clean. Besides flowers, there are herbs and window box romas and tumbler tomatoes planted in it
I only party down with the best at:

Hump Day link