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Beverage Koozie

by Emma on June 17, 2012

in Craft

This is a camping inspired craft project. On the last camping trip I was on there were beverage koozie necklaces (P.S. is it koozie, or cozy, or cozie, or what? The internet seemed confused on the subject.). These are, well, for keeping your beverage cool while you row a canoe. Or you can just keep yours on the entire trip to try to be cool. Worked for me.

I think.

Never mind.

Now, you can buy beverage koozies. They are not expensive. They come in bunches of colors, have logos, blah blah. But I think it’s fun to make your own. And you get to make it the exact length that suits you, which is nice. I would say that you get to choose your ideal colors… but, that wasn’t really the case for me. You see, this project was born out of the children’s craft section. Which, frankly, has an appalling lack of color options. But I originally thought I would have to make the koozie body from foam panels so I guess I’ll just thank the children’s craft section gods for having these pre made in the first place. And only 99 cents. Awesome.

1. Supplies needed: koozies, water-proof ribbon, matching thread, sticky foam and scissors. I also ended up using an exact-o knife. 2. Cut a slit large enough for your ribbon to run through and sew in place. As you work measure the koozie around your neck to get the perfect length. 3. Add an initial with the sticky foam. That way your beverage won’t get mixed up with others. Unless you plan to be the only homemade koozie in the company….

This was a super simple, practical, and totally random craft. Thanks for letting me share project #26 of my 2012 craft challenge. Happy crafting! xo. Emma


On being vegetarian. Sort of.

by Emma on June 14, 2012

in Personal

I get asked fairly often why I don’t eat meat. I always feel a little bit on the spot in those moments because I want to be honest and open with folks but I also don’t think that I have all the answers or that my way is the right way. Usually people are just curious so I don’t know why I get so nervous about it. If I heard someone made a point not to eat flowering plants I’d be curious why… it’s just interesting.

I became a vegetarian sometime in February/March of 2007 (the semester I graduated college). It was something I had been thinking about for a while and I had set a date for myself. :) I remember my very last meat meal; I had chinese chicken on a pretty awkward second date (there was not a third). And I think, at first, the most difficult part to me was having to request special things at events, or dinners with friends. I’m an extremely no-you-pick-the-resturant kind of girl. So having to go out of my way to fulfill my new-found vegetarian principles was a little hard for me.

The reason I became a vegetarian in the first place was because I learned about factory farming and how cruelly the gross majority of animals are raised and slaughtered for commercial consumption. It was quite a shock to me at first. My grandparents were cattle farmers so I grew up spending lots of summer hours at their ranch. I knew my grandfather’s cows were meat cows, they would one day be slaughtered for eating. I got that. But on my grandfather’s farm they had tons of land to roam on and I knew how much care and concern my grandparents had for their animals. I thought all meat you bought at the grocery store had a story like that behind it. It doesn’t. If you’re interested in learning more there are tons of books and website out there, I highly recommend Eating Animals or the Butcher and the Vegetarian. I was first exposed to this truth through an environmental ethics class I took as an undergrad (I was a philosophy major).

For a couple of years I was vegetarian with only a few minor slip ups here and there. Then for about six months I went vegan. Then back to vegetarian. Then about 2 years ago I ate meat probably about 2-3 times a month. Weird stage, for me. Now I’m a pescatarian (I eat seafood, eggs and dairy) who will once in a blue moon eat a special meat dish (like turkey at Thanksgiving) and who owns one purse with fur. I do feel a little guilty about the fur purse. But I also love that purse. I don’t think my situation or choices are perfect, far from it. But I do like the idea that for the vast majority of my meals I’m choosing to not promote or support a business model that is cruel and unsustainable. And I feel good about that. xo. Emma


Teff Dinner Rolls

by Emma on June 13, 2012

in Bread

I love baking things in my cast iron skillet. It took me a while to realize you could just pop these (or stainless steel pans) right into the oven. How fun! It’s sort of like when you find crayons in your refrigerator.

Well. Actually no. It’s not really like that.

It’s just sort of fun when things have dual purposes. I feel like my skillet can do double duty since she can both sauté and bake (and yeah, mine’s totally a she). And that’s sort of cool. Plus I like having a handle for pulling it out of the oven.

The main draw back to baking with cast iron is that the pan is very, very heavy. I’m not a strong lady. I go to the gym, yeah. But I don’t lift much, and it’s real hard. I’m just not strong. So pulling a heavy and super hot pan out of the oven is dangerous. Not to mention that every time I open the oven with my glass on they fog up like crazy.

So I can’t see.

And I’m not strong.

But dang it, I still get that pan out of the oven. Because that’s how I do.

I like trying something sweet and savory with all my new flour adventures to start. I made teff cookies so now I’ve added teff dinner rolls to my list of breads I’ve baked this year (we’re up to 16 so far!). Both of these turned out pretty good. I think I like teff. We are friends now.

Teff Dinner Rolls, makes 16, adapted from this recipe.

Needed: 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup teff flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons active dry yeast, 2 tablespoons sugar, 3/4 cup warm water and 2/3 cup milk. Melted butter and coarse sea salt for the topping.

In a small bowl dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Add the yeast allow this to bubble. In the bowl of mixer combine the flours and salt. Now pour in the yeasty water and milk. With the dough hook attachment mix/knead the bread until the dough is smooth. You could also do this by hand.

Oil and bowl, set the dough ball inside and cover with plastic wrap. Allow this to rise for 1 hour.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 16 pieces. Roll each into a bowl and lay in your baking… uh… vessel. Cover and allow to rise for another hour.

Bake at 350 F for 22-25 minutes. Remove from oven, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt. xo. Emma


Five Things… June 11th

by Emma on June 11, 2012

in Uncategorized

Getting back into the swing of things after  a few days in beautiful San Francisco for work. I gotz clothes in the washer. Finally got my car fixed this morning. Eating a leftover veggie burger with a fried egg (of course)—love cook out left overs. And here’s 5 things I’ve been thinking about this morning as I clean/catch up on emails/live the glamorous life:

1. I’m starting my summer class tonight. I always get nervous on the first day of anything, probably because I’m an anxious person. I think, “What if there’s no parking. Or I can’t find my class room. Or I buy the wrong text-book and then can’t follow along properly.” None of these worries are grounded on anything really, I’m just weird.

2. Currently enjoying: Liz’s blog, gonna have to try some of her projects soon. Too cute.

3. Planning to buy: cans and cans of chalkboard paint. Dreamed up (what I think) is the coolest idea over the weekend. Beyond chalkboard paint here’s three hints; it involves church, hollow balls, and neon. Dream big.

4. Wanting to cook: classic dinner rolls. I’ve been off my game in the bread baking department. Lame. Get it together lady and bake some dang bread already.

5. Goal for the week: There is a certain chest in my life that is in desperate need of a makeover. I’m hoping to remedy that situation sometime this week.

Hope you’re having a fantastic Monday! xo. Emma