Day 224 -Gnomes

This project is a few weeks old, and I have been meaning to post it for a few days now. Oops!

I was particularly troubled and saddened by the events that happened in Norway last month. Saddened not only because of the horrible things that happened but also because it happened to a beautiful, peaceful nation that my family immigrated to Canada from. I know that in the world, horrible events happen all the time; earthquakes, famine, airplane crashes but until the attack in Norway I had never really felt a strong connection or tie to what was happening. Yes it’s heartbreaking to read about Japan, Haiti and Libya and in no way do I think that those stories are any less tragic or important. For me, my Norwegian heritage has always been important and to see a part of my life affected by a negative action really bothered me. I did what I tend to do when I’m feeling stressed or without words. I created. I made some Gnomes ( I think my love of Gnomes must be the Scandinavian in me!) and took this photo as a visual representation of how I felt at the time.

Project Made Day 223 – Rhubarb Tea

This blog has slowly turned into a food blog and not a well maintained one at that, I’m trying to keep on top of things but it’s hard with summer and extra work and all that stuff. Anyways enough about that, let’s get to the good stuff.

Last week I got an email from Freecycle stating that someone in Cranbrook had a bunch of rhubarb to give away. I love the concept of free-cycle, essentially it’s a mailing list in which you post things you don’t need and people that want it email you and take it off your hands, but rarely are their items that I need/want. Rhubarb however, I was interested in. The best part was the lady lives a block away and she’ll have some more ready for me soon!

I wanted to make something a little out of the ordinary with the rhubarb that I got. I’ve made pies and sauces and muffins before but I wanted to try something different. After a quick look on Pinterest.com (my new obsession) I found this recipe for Rhubarb Tea which looked and sounded good. The recipe was easy and it turned out pretty good, if you like rhubarb you’ll like this drink.

Recipe:
6-8 large stalks of rhubarb
7 cups of water (you want a cup for every stalk)
1/4 cup of sugar
lemon juice

Method:
1. Chop rhubarb into small pieces and place in pot with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for half  an hour.
2. Strain the water into a bowl or pitcher and add sugar and lemon juice, cool for at least 2 hours.

Project Made Day 222 – Chocolate Pudding Pops

Ooops…kind of missed a few days…more like a few weeks of this project. I blame the heat and the sun and the fact I find myself out and enjoying the summer weather until it’s too late to make any projects, heck I barely have time to make myself food!

So yesterday at work I decided to try and make chocolate pudding from scratch. The boy that I’m working with is on a soft food diet and I thought he might enjoy it if I made him some homemade snacks. I’ve never made pudding, aside from the instant “dump in bowl, add milk, stir” kind so I was excited to see how it turned out. Turns out it’s pretty delicous, and I think he thought it was too since he smiled the instant the spoon hit his mouth. When I got home from work I thought “I wonder if I made pudding and then froze it in popsicle molds if that would work!”  So, I whipped up pudding batch #2 and stuck them in the freezer, a few hours later I tested them and……freaking awesome. They’re so good and so easy and I think you need to make some right now.

 

Here’s the recipe I used which i have already memorized

3 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp water
1 2/3 cups of milk (I used chocolate soy)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup white sugar

Step 1.  Mix together the water and corn starch until it forms a thick paste.
Step 2. In saucepan, heat the rest of the ingredients, adding the corn-starch mixture. Bring to a slow boil, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Pudding will thicken in a few minutes.
Step 3. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze or into bowls and place in fridge to thicken some more.

Project Made – Day 221 – Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

The minute I saw this post I knew that I had to make this bread. Not only did it sound delicious, it looks freaking cool!

 

Perhaps I shouldn’t have decided to bake bread during the hottest time of the day though…regardless, it turned out really good, not too sweet but perfectly moist and fun to pull apart. Do yourself a favour and make this bread!

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons almond oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 6 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or regular whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2-1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • Filling:
  • 1 tablespoon almond oil
  • 1/3 cup sucanat
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine ground flax seed and water, set aside. Heat almond milk (either in a sauce pan or microwave)- don’t let it get too hot (I zapped mine in the microwave for about a minute.)
  2. In a stand mixer bowl, at milk, yeast, and sugar. Let sit for about five minutes or until yeast activates. Add in oil, flax seed mixture, salt, and the wheat flour. Give a good stir with a spoon and then turn on the mixer with the dough hook. Begin adding the all-purpose flour 1/4 cup at a time, letting it mix in before adding more. You want your dough to be soft (but not sticky) and the key to that is adding just enough flour so that it pulls away from the sides of the bowl but may still slightly stick to the bottom and letting it knead for 5-8 minutes.
  3. Once the dough is here, scoop out of the bowl, form into a ball, place back in the bowl, brush it with a oil, and let it sit in a warm, draft free spot for 1- 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll out into a 8 by 12 rectangle. Brush oil over surface and sprinkle with sucanat and cinnamon. Cut the dough into 6 strips (cutting the shorter of the length-it’s easier to handle.) Stack the strips on top of each other and cutting downward, cut 6 pieces for jumbo muffin tins or 8-10 for regular size muffin tins. Brush muffin tins with oil and place each piece in the tin. Cover and let rise again.
  5. After about a half hour of rising, pre-heat your oven to 350˚. Once rolls have risen and oven is up to temperature, bake for 15-20 minutes. Fantails should be firm to the touch and golden brown. Remove from oven and eat warm! You can also add your favorite icing but these were delicious even without the extra sugar!

 

Day 220 – Mind Map Journal

I have a tendency to overthink things, and I have a terrible habit of fixating on ideas or thoughts or plans or lists, letting them swirl around in my headspace until I get a headache. Not good.  I remembered last summer when one of my Otesha-mates, Tyler, started to do a mind-map; a visual list of ideas branching off of one another. I followed suit, using my mind-map as a way to journal the every little details of our trip (where we stayed, kilometre’s per day, even how many showers I had).  Lately I’ve been finding my brain full of ideas regarding photography and where I want to take it and what photos I want to create but instead of being organized, I let it all cloud my brain. Enter…mind-mapping.

I made this little journal from an empty cereal-type box, some graph paper and string.  It’s simple construction, just fold the cover in half, cut the inside paper to fit and fold that in half and sew it up the middle. So far my journal has helped me clear out my brain-clutter and write down themes and ideas so that they don’t have to spend eternity in my head!

Here’s a look at the journal itself:

 

Here’s a before/after of the photo I did today.

illustration friday – Midsummer Night

gnomes. easy to draw, funny to put into random contexts. perfect for illustration friday drawings!

This week’s theme is midsummer nights and after I saw so many people already doing fireflies (which i’ve never ACTUALLY seen in real life) I settled on drawing a meteor shower.

Project Made 217/218 – Owl & Cupcakes

A dual post as I waited a little too late to post yesterday.

 

Day 217
Polymer Clay Owl

 

When I opened up my print shop on Etsy, I wanted something a little more exciting than just “Joel Robison Photography” as a store name. I decided a while back that if I ever got around to opening up an etsy shop that the name should be “The Owl and Gnome” and I liked it so much that I used it for my shop. Buisness has been going pretty good in the month that I’ve been open, it’s a great way to get my name out and make some money on the side to help pay for more photography adventures!  I want to make a little diorama/figure set of an Owl and a Gnome to use if/when I go to farmers markets/art shows etc….so I made this prototype owl as a test. I kind of love his long legs.

 

Day 218
Chocolate Cupcakes

I had a craving for cupcakes…actually for anything sweet and these seemed like the perfect idea :)
Recipe is from all recipes, modified to include cocoa powder.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 12 cup muffin pans or line with 18 paper baking cups.
  2. Measure the apple cider vinegar into a 2 cup measuring cup. Fill with almond milk to make 1 1/2 cups. Let stand until curdled, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk mixture, coconut oil and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter. Frost with desired frosting.

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