Monday, April 29, 2013

Ruby's Progress and some Peanut Butter Cookie Rewards

“When you make a decision, you are really diving in a strong current that will bring you to places you never dreamed of when you first made that decision”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Don't these look yummy ?  So sad they are all gone-I had one and the rest were sent off to J's office.  I have a love hate relationship with them.  They love me for my baked goods but they hate me for breaking their diets.  Yes that's me, twisting everyone's arm,forcing them to eat these. Ha.  I made these using Ruby's oven. I wanted to see how they would turn out. Ruby didn't disappoint-they came out beautifully.  Now my next challenge is to try and bake these on our Cobb charcoal grill !  We are heading to the Oregon Coast this week and if the weather cooperates I may try this recipe.  

Love,love,love this recipe.  It's a one bowl wonder.  Everything gets mixed and blended in the same bowl.  And if you don't have the time or don't want to take the time to make the homemade marshmallow filling you can substitute Marshmallow fluff (gasp). I prefer homemade-no corn syrup. But again in small contained spaces, like Ruby, the Marshmallow fluff works. 

I think next time I do make these, I may try and dip them in melted chocolate-a little riff on a S'more. What do you think ?

 Area behind the driver's and passenger's seats with two seats removed-just waiting for the cabinets to be finished !

So the progress with Ruby is a little slow.  When you have a friend making the cabinets for you , you don't want to be pushy and demanding.  They are all cut and being assembled this week. Hopefully when we get back from the Oregon Coast they will be ready for installation.  All that means is a little bit more packing and unpacking and repacking from plastic containers on this trip to the coast.  But when they are installed ,it's going to be storage heaven. I've become a more patient person as I get older. 

Today, I hung the little storage baskets that I made.  The orange crab one contains headlamps,binoculars and outdoor patio lights; the middle one is Hailey's with her toys and pooper scooper bags; and the flamingo one has our hats and gloves.  I'm really getting organized.

Also ordered our inflatable kayaks this week.  I don't think they will be here in time for the Oregon Coast, but will definitely be here for our return trip to Cape Disappointment at the end of the month. Folding bicycles are our next major purchase-will have to wait to see the final cabinet bill to know if those are a May or June purchase.  I'm getting really really good at sticking to a budget.  I know my fashionista friends will find that hard to believe . I've kicked my boot/shoe buying habit ! (another huge gasp)    

What I find hard to believe is the amount of "stuff" that we have collected over the years.  As each day goes by it does get easier and easier to let go. Clothing and shoes are going to Northwest Community Service for the Blind.  We are pretty sure we are just going to hire someone to come in and hold an "Estate Sale" and be done with it.  Of course we should probably call it something else because we really don't have an "Estate",ha ha.  I admit it is a little frightening letting go of everything, but we figured out that what we would pay in storage,moving expenses and insurance would more than furnish a new place for us.  Okay,I have to get off the computer and get back to purging the basement.

Try this recipe-it's very good and you won't be disappointed.  If you make them in the campground , share and you will have friends for life ! Happy Trails and Bon Appetit.

This recipe is from Bakers Royale blog. You should check out Naomi's blog -it's gorgeous.

1 cup natural peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

MARSHMALLOW FROSTING-this recipe makes a ton of frosting-so either make half of the recipe or double the cookie recipe .  I doubled the cookie recipe and got 3 dozen cookies.
5 large egg whites
1 1/2 cup sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.

To make peanut butter cookie: Place all ingredients in a stand mixer bowl and mix on low. Using a cookie scoop, drop 1 1/2 tablespoon of dough on bake sheet. Flatten cookie with a fork in criss-cross design. Bake cookies for about 10-15 minutes or until golden around the edges. Rest cookies on the baking sheet for 2-5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack.
To make marshmallow frosting: Combine egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer bowl and place it over—not on, (think bain marie style) simmering water. Heat mixture to 160 degrees F while whisking constantly. Don't worry, it doesn't take long to get to 160 degrees. Transfer mixer bowl to stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium high speed (speed 8 on a KitchenAid stand mixer) until mixture cools, doubles in volume and forms stiff peaks; about 10-12 minutes.
Optional: You can use marshmallow fluff, in lieu of making homemade marshmallow frosting.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day

“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.”
― Edward Abbey                             

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Present Moment

Remember the Glamping Fabric from here ? I finished the place mats today !

I don't want to jinx anything but I think Spring has finally arrived in Seattle.  Yesterday was such a gorgeous day.  Bright blue skies,a soft breeze creating little blossom snowstorms as I passed under the plum trees,and the feel of the warm sun on my face-just amazing.  I feel so grateful to be able to enjoy every single moment of it.  But , isn't there usually a but ?  I need to kick into gear and get serious about packing up the house so we can paint and do all the fun things to get ready to put it on the market.  I'm trying the self talk thing by reminding myself that the work I'm doing now will be done and soon we will be on the road.  I've been working really hard to stay in the moment and not day dream about taking off in Ruby in December.  It's so hard,especially on days like today.  I want to be out on the open road,getting ready to pull into a campground on the beach or out in the desert.  Sigh.

"The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.” 

Present moment, concentrate,keep myself aware of today and enjoy it, who knows what comes next.  Lately I've been avoiding present moment . Present moment means going through things for "keep", "throw away" or  "donate" piles.  Letting go of possessions is a challenge.  I can't tell you how many times I've put my aunt's little porcelain plate into a box and pulled it out wondering if it's something I want to keep.  Last night laying in bed I came to a decision about having a garage sale-not going to happen !   I dislike having garage sales (love going to them).  There's a domestic violence shelter that we've donated to in the past and I've decided that's where everything is going to go. No haggling in the driveway over $1 or $2 for a frying pan. Now, I'm just trying to look at my possessions as , what do I need to live ?  And what is "fluff", nice to have but not necessary to exist.  It's the "fluff" that gets to you.  Those are the possessions that have the memories-you know the little collection of Eiffel Towers that takes you back to the streets of Paris; the mosaic mirrors that were intensely labored over; the tiny eclectic jewelry boxes picked up at garage sales-you get the picture.  Oh and don't forget the two boxes of photo albums, collected before I went totally digital !  Those are the most difficult to let go of.  Will I really forget the excitement of camping on the Pacific coast trail if I don't have a picture of it ? No,the memory will never fade.

 I almost feel a little guilty over collecting "things" for Ruby.  But what I'm learning from this house cleaning is how to let go of the "fluff". And especially since Ruby has limited storage I don't have a choice, unless we end up hauling a trailer behind Ruby and that is not going to happen !  What I'm trying to do is make everyday items special-like the shabby chic place mats I just finished.  You remember the fabric I bought here ?  Well they worked out beautifully-and now when we are sitting out at the picnic table I'll remember sitting in my sun room,looking out at the birds and flowers in the backyard as I was sewing them. Sigh.

It's another gorgeous day in Seattle and I'm in my "present moment mode",packing and sorting. Enjoy your day and your moment.

"A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, dream big, laugh a lot and realize how blessed you are."

If you know anyone who is interested in a gorgeous mosaic life size mermaid,handmade by me ,let me know.  There is no room inside Ruby for her,and she's been moved to a "try to sell list".  Email me if you are interested ♥