Sunday, November 13, 2011

NBPM: Recipe - Pumpkin Bread

This is a recipe that kind of developed over the course of several batches. It started from a google search for pumpkin bread recipe, involved accidentally adding twice the amount of pumpkin the recipe called for (2 cans instead of 2 cups OOPS) and went from there, including a new type of flour, and a reduction in sugar. The result is a moist and hearty spiced bread.

Pumpkin Bread

4 eggs
1C sugar (brown or white, I prefer brown) 
1-3T maple syrup (or you can skip the syrup and add up to another 1/2C sugar, if you like)
2 cans unsweetened plain pumpkin
1C vegetable oil
2/3C almond milk (or regular milk or water)
3 1/2C flour (I use barley flour but whole wheat or white works too)
1/2t baking powder
2t baking soda
3/4t salt
1t nutmeg
1t cloves
1t cinnamon
1t ginger
1t allspice

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

2. Mix eggs and sugar. Add pumpkin, almond milk, maple syrup, oil. Mix thoroughly.

3. Combine all dry ingredients in separate bowl. Mix together with with pumpkin mixture.

4. Pour into greased baking pans. Begin checking large loaf at 50-60 min. Begin checking smaller ones sooner, perhaps 35-45 min. The above makes one loaf pan and three small loafs. I like it because the big loaf is for me to eat and share; the small ones can be for gifts! A half recipe makes one loaf. 

Sprinkle top before baking with a bit of cinnamon sugar and some sunflower seeds and chopped pistachios. Press it into the batter a little bit with your fingers. You could probably use slivered almonds, other chopped nuts, and/or oats, I am thinking of trying that next time. 


Mix 1C chopped nuts into batter when combining wet and dry ingredients.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NBPM: Powder Base

I don't really wear much makeup, typically just a bit of eyeliner, mascara, some subtle eyeshadow. I used to have some liquid foundation Mary Kay from my mom's friend but it was soooo old I threw it out a couple months ago in one of those intense purging moods.

Getting ready for a wedding* this past weekend I realized maybe I wanted to wear a base of some sort, so I had to ask my other lady roommate who fortunately has a similar skin tone and is in the possession of a foundation stick. It made me realize that maybe I need to invest in some of my own, for special occasions or more dressy/professional days even.

Anyway, so today after work I marched my little hiney over to Macy's up to the Origins counter.  No idea why I chose that one, maybe just it didn't seem so harsh, more mild, natural, whatever. Asked the young woman (probably 23 or something, not that I look much older than that) to help me get the right shade and discuss the different options. She was very thorough, talked to me about the pros and cons, what she wears, tried out different types - the powders, the liquid with powder coating, etc.
Exactly what I was hoping for when I walked in there.

I kind of like not wearing tons of makeup all the time. It's more "me." But it's good to have that option now/again.

Not sure where I'm headed with the blog post here, if anywhere. I'm not loving the prompts they are giving, so I guess I'm just going with whatever I feel like writing.

*wedding was tons of fun, btw!

Monday, November 7, 2011

NBPM: Totally Cheating

This is totally cheating as a blog post, but I came across this tutorial on how to do a really cute bun using only a sock:

That was actually going to be my whole post but then I thought of something else I want to say.

I was thinking about crafting, art, on the way home. How I really enjoy it. Almost more than anything. By myself or with other people, doesn't matter, both are nice. Even if whatever it is comes out super crappy (a lot of the time it does - a lot of the time it comes out fantastic too), it is still just enjoyable to be MAKING. Like the process itself is pleasurable. So, as I was walking I was thinking or wondering if it isn't because there is no pressure to perform in that type of situation. Nobody's counting on me, there's no deadline, there's no need to be accurate or money will be lost or someone's reputation will be damaged. It's just nice, like how eating is nice, or running is nice, or jumping or singing or swimming in the waves of the sea. My pace, my vision, just see what happens. You know?

Potato print pillow in progress

Finished product!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

NBPM: More Like Mom or Dad?

Another from October : Between your mother and your father, who are you more alike?

Let's see. I would say in looks, I'm probably more like my dad's side of the family. Personality may be a toss-up. Both are smart, fun, loyal...

Ways I'm like my mom:
  • Sentimental, sympathetic, concerned for others
  • Somewhat conflict-avoidant
  • Making food for people as a way of showing love
  • Maybe more self-doubting

Ways I'm like my dad:
  • Interested in trying new things
  • A bit more of a clown/outgoing/people-oriented
  • Can be detached if I need or want to be
  • Like working with my hands
  • Can get obsessed with a topic

I dunno, this is a difficult prompt. It's hard to describe people, especially those you've known from birth. And maybe even harder to describe yourself.

Friday, November 4, 2011

NBPM: Life Flashing Before My Eyes

Did one from October for today's: If your life flashed before your eyes, what are 5 moments you know would be included?

Things that have taken up a somewhat depressingly large portion of my life and therefore would be more of an honest representation of how I have spent my days:
  • Studying or attending class, daydreaming or doodling
  • Sleeping, trying to avoid waking up
  • Cleaning, cooking, eating, pooping, showering, etc
  • Riding on a train/bus/bike or in a car
  • Sitting in my office cube, working on the computer

Things I'd actually want to remember:
  1. I'm small. My hair in a long braid down my back. My grandpa, my mom's father, drives me and my brothers and sisters in the back of his rusty pickup truck up a dirt road in the mountains. The air is breezy, whipping strands of hair as we bump over potholes. He pulls over finally to a place with thick green beneath the trees. Gives us each a tin coffee can with a loop of string to hang around our neck. We pick blackberries - hundreds of them. So sweet. So fat. Careful of the thorns! Fill the cans up. Dump them into a big plastic bucket. Pick more. Empty the cans again. Almost as many going into my mouth as into the coffee can. Come home. Make blackberry crisp and jam and pie.
  2. At my parents' house. It's dinner time, maybe thanksgiving, maybe a birthday, maybe a relative has died and we are telling our favorite stories in rememberence. Piles of food, all types. Maybe there is a debate. Maybe there are some passions flying. Maybe we are laughing. Loosening our belt buckles or changing into sweat pants to make room for more food.
  3. I'm scrambling up a rocky mountain, half graceful, half totally out of control. There's a bit of wind rustling the leaves and there is some moss but not too slippery, and I'm feeling my way up and over and around boulders. Breathing slightly heavy from the intensity. Get to a clearing. The sun bursts out over the valleys. The view is extraordinary. I almost want to die from how awesome I feel.
  4. Sitting with friends or family around a campfire, possibly on the beach. Wearing a cosy sweatshirt. Breathe in. Smokey on the breeze. A tiny bit chilly on the backside, warm on the side facing the flame. Crunchy pine needles or damp cool sand underfoot. Sky getting dark. Stars coming out. Some mosquitoes coming out too but we swat em. Maybe we are lucky, see some fireflies.
  5. Probably if anything important or life-changing ever happened to me, like meeting the person I was going to spend my life with or seeing my son or daughter for the first time, that would be the fifth thing.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NBPM: Last Meal

Ok so it is national blog post month (similar to the novel writing one but seems like somewhat less work, since they don't have to tie together into a coherent story). I just found it out from Cinderella's Pear. Anyway I missed the first two days and kind of don't really love the prompt for today, so I'm going to go with yesterday's prompt:

If you knew that whatever you ate next would be your last meal, what would you want it to be?

This is soooooo difficult to me.

Probably it would be an around the world vegetarian buffet. That is probably cheating. But I have no idea how I'd choose something. I love pretty much all vegetarian Indian food. I love lasagna and pizza. I love greens and mushrooms and cheese and fruit. I love different types of hearty bread. Hummus. Lentil soup. Stuffed peppers. And some nice red wine.

For dessert, pumpkin pie. Whipped cream. Berries. Mmm I'm sort of salivating thinking of it all.

Ok yes I definitely choose around the world vegetarian buffet. Haha I am such a cheater! I would go out with a bang. And of course everyone I love is there eating with me.