Monday, February 27, 2012

let's give it a whirl...

...otherwise known as my crazy attempt to make a bid for "project runway, season 10".

yes, it's a bit crazy. i am aware of that. but i am also the only one who is fully aware of how EVERY piece of clothing i look at gets a pattern and construction run down (that includes what you were wearing the last time i saw you), how my brain always goes to new designs for fabrics in my overflowing stash, and how many of my sleepless nights and free moments are filled with all things apparel.

this is not a new thing. i have been sketching clothing for as long as i can remember and even have books saved in a box from when i was in elementary and junior high.

three years ago i discovered "project runway" on netflix. INSTANTLY, i was hooked. season 5 was the first one i watched, and over the next three months i ran on my elliptical, lost 10+ pounds (from two baking and eating and rainy weather/outdoor exercise-less years in oregon), and motored through the first four seasons before beginning to watch the current season, season 6. initially, it was just my thing. then one evening andy sat down with me and watched a few episodes. from then on i wasn't supposed to watch "project runway" without him.

occasionally i was inspired to make something, but not consistently with all the other craziness in my life. most of the things i was making then were quick, uncomplicated projects: dresses for the girls, simple things for myself, stuff for the house.

last year "project runway" applications were due on tax day. at that point i knew i wasn't ready, but was intrigued by them taping through the summer. was this a do-able thing for me? if, if, IF they had the same time frame, maybe, mayBE, MAYBE i could do it.

then, andy began prompting. when could HE stay home with the kids and have ME go do design work? so, i put together a plan this fall. if the timing was the same as last year and i was ready, perhaps i would apply. thinking the process wouldn't open until late march like last year, i procrastinated. i was unmotivated. i was tired. i was...making a lot of excuses...

ash wednesday, less than a week ago, the posting went up on facebook. applications were being accepted. the deadline was the day before my birthday. i sighed...i was not ready...but i printed off the application anyway and began filling it out.

all evening it pulled on me. was it even possible for me to get everything together?

thursday, i talked to a friend who is a wonderful photographer, but also a stay-at-home homeschool momma. to my surprise she was available the next day to take pictures. so i started digging, finding things i could show. instead of going to see my beloved annie bethancourt in concert, i spent thursday night sewing new pieces to add to other things i had already created. it was incredibly exhilarating, albeit exhausting.

friday was my day to play model. the only bad thing about making things for yourself is that you end up being your own model. who did i know that is my same size who was available at a moments notice? uh, i think that leaves me. so i posed and gazed and worked it while kendra took close to 400 photos.

saturday i hit the wall. the exhaustion set in along with the overwhelming reality that i will be up against so many other designers who have been working full-time at this the whole time i have been mothering, cooking, and cleaning. by lunch time i surrendered to the emotions (and a nap) and by dinner i was feeling much better. once the kids were in bed i quickly finished draping the dress i had tried to start that morning, having the whole thing completed before 10pm. maybe, contrary to the morning's emotions, i CAN do this.

so, for all those words, i will show you a few of the pieces we photographed on friday.

 i hope to "see you on the runway." i'm putting myself out there, so i guess we will see...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

coconut lemon no-bake cookies

i needed a treat! (and we're not doing wheat or sugar) but i needed a treat!! i saw a recipe for these coconut lemon cookies and decided to give them a whirl. after all, it combined two of my favorite things: coconut and lemon. i had to make them easier, so tonight i made them a second time to change the recipe a little.

coconut lemon no-bake cookies

3 C raw almonds (or one 16 oz bag)
3 C unsweetened shredded coconut

--put almonds and coconut into food processor and process for 3-5 minutes. it should be very fine, but with the addition of the coconut will not turn into almond butter. ;) transfer to the bowl of your mixer and sprinkle in 1/4 t sea salt.

1/2 C agave OR raw honey OR combination
1/2 C lemon juice
zest of one or two lemons
1 T vanilla

--whisk wet ingredients together in a small bowl and pour into mixer. blend well.

--meanwhile, melt coconut oil by placing the jar into hot water. you can use tap water if yours gets hot enough or you can warm water on the stove or in the microwave. i don't normally use a microwave for food, but in this case you will not be doing anything other than using its heat. measure 1/2 C of melted oil and pour into mixer while it's running.

--use a cookie scoop to measure out balls, rolling in your hand to press together. continue with the rest of the dough. place finished cookies into the refrigerator to solidify, at least one hour. makes 53 cookies if you have the same size scoop as i do. ;)

cauliflower pizza crust

when my sister decided to go on the GAPS diet in november, she was at my house. she ordered a few books and even got a menu plan. one of the recipes i remember seeing was for cauliflower pizza crust. it was intriguing, but at that point i wasn't interested in anything beyond my standard sicilian pizza crust.

enter "wheat belly" and rethinking our grain consumption. cauliflower pizza crust seems so much more appealing... ;)

i had seen a recipe on pinterest, but decided to consult kara who gave me her recipe. armed with her tips, i set to making a new kind of pizza. the recipe i had seen on pinterest said the cauliflower needed to be cooked, but kara assured me she never does this. the pinterest recipe made a very small pizza but i have six people to feed. i also don't like using part of things (like 1 C of riced cauliflower?!) so, as with everything, i changed it and it turned out very good. so good, in fact, that i decided to share this newly tweaked recipe.

cauliflower pizza crust

1 head cauliflower, core and leaves removed, broken into florets

--put cauliflower into food processor to create "meal". this took three batches through my 11-cup food processor. a couple times i put too much cauliflower in the bowl and a few large pieces wouldn't process. i scooped out all the finely chopped cauliflower that accumulated on the side of the bowl and ran it again. once it's all done, put it in a large bowl.

2 handfuls of mozzerella cheese (2-3 C)
3 eggs
1 t dried basil
1/2 t dried oregano
1/4 t garlic powder
salt and pepper

--mix all ingredients together well. preheat oven to 450. line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. divide mixture between the two pans and press evenly to edge of parchment, about 1/4-1/2" thin. bake for 15 minutes.

--top pizza as desired. return to oven for 15 more minutes, or until cheese is browned. after 15 minutes you can turn on your broiler if you want it done sooner.

when this crust was cooled, i was able to peel it off of the parchment and it held together. i was able to pick up some of the outside pieces like "normal" pizza, but chose to eat most of it with a fork. it was very good and i will definitely be making it again.