Refurbished Medicine Cabinate

by Nick on Jul 30, 2012

After buying and returning this inferior product, Claire and I realized that we should have just refurbished our existing medicine cabinet. After removing the four screws that held it in place, I scraped away decades of oxidation using steel wool, and repainted it with appliance paint. Claire cleaned the mirror, and painted the wooden frame white. It's no Mona Lisa, but it looks much better than it did before.

Ode to the Pancake

by Claire on Jul 20, 2012

Oh, pancake!
spongey and golden goodness 
hot on a ceramic plate
butter and Grade-B maple vessel 
warm my gut

Dottie is drooling!
slobbery lips drip into saltillo tile
puddle forms
hot cake flips from spatula
cautiously she eats

Lo, there is a problem!
though I stuff my face at 7 am
I am famished at 9
sugar crash


(But, not for long. Meet the protein pancake!)

As a solution, I tweaked an already delicious family recipe given to me from my brother-in-law's (Leni's) family. I am happy to report that once again pancakes are my favorite food! And aside from all the butter and maple, these bad boys are pretty dang healthy. I can only imagine how it good it would be if someone were to top them with, say, plain yogurt and berries. That someone will never be me. But, if you can do it, good for you. 

Actual Protein Pancake:

And, soaking up the nectar of the gods:

(serves 4 if you like A LOT of pancakes like I do, or 8 if you are a dainty type of person)

Mix the following in a bowl:
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons of oil
  • 1/3 Cup of peanut butter
  • 1 Cup of plain yogurt
Top the above liquid mixture with the following, being careful to not mix them together. (This is a way my mom showed me to avoid sifting, which is a pain. Or you can mix it in a separate bowl, if you prefer.) After you have added all of the dry ingredients, stir them a bit before digging your mixing spoon deeper and combining everything. 
  • 1 Cup of 100% whole wheat flour
  • 1 Cup of garbanzo bean (chick pea) flour. I buy Bob's Red Mill brand from Sunflower Market. 
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • pinch of salt
Mix dry and wet ingredients together. It will form a thick, almost biscuit-like dough. Then, add water or milk until it reaches the consistency you prefer. I like mine rather thin, but I know some like them fluffy. 

Cook on a medium-hot griddle, flipping them when they start to bubble and look a little less shiny around the edges. 

(Note: I have also substituted half of the garbanzo bean flour for almond meal, which is also delicious. Or, you can substitute all of the garbanzo bean flour for cornmeal, to make you feel more like a pioneer.  The cornmeal option is less healthy and proteinerific, however.)

Let me know if you try them, and what you think! I thought they were good, but I think many of my tastes have strayed from the traditional...

Dottie Goes Camping

by Claire on Jul 15, 2012

This probably doesn't come as a surprise, but we love our dog, Dottie. I'll admit, we also pamper her too much: insulated dog house, hot-dog Halloween costume, frozen carrot treats in summer, puffy winter coat, dog-backpack, to name a few. We are those embarrassing dog-parents. Today, we took overindulging our dog about 300 steps further: we made her a sleeping bag. But, before I show a bunch of cute pictures, allow me to attempt to defend my sanity. Please. 

We took Dottie backpacking in March two years ago for her first camping trip. In her pack, she carried her own food and water dish quite successfully. We thought she would be comfortable at night with a little fleece blanket inside the tent at our feet--after all, when I was a kid, our family dog always slept just outside the tent; it was generous of us to give her room inside! Shortly after we were settled in for the night, she started shaking violently from the cold. Nick took pity on her, and she ended up sharing his sleeping bag for the rest of the night. We knew we needed to figure something out for the next backpacking trip. 

Following that trip, we went car camping several times with her in our big four-person tent. She did well with an old comforter wrapped tightly around her. 

This past weekend, we went on a little one-night backpacking trip. Not wanting to replicate the experience of two years ago, I crammed an entire Snuggie into my pack for Dottie. Surely that would keep her warm enough: it could surround her twice and it was only supposed to reach a low of 55 degrees at night. It felt like overkill. But, it wasn't. It rained, and ended up being 45 degrees. Here's how it all went down during the night. 

10:00 PM: Dottie is twice-wrapped in the Snuggie at the foot of Nick's sleeping bag in our light, tight, two-person tent. 

1:00 AM: Dottie works her way out of the Snuggie and wedges herself between Nick and I. We try to ignore her. 

1:10 AM: Dottie has her face resting on my neck, a paw on my shoulder, and her bottom in Nick's face and is shivering. 

1:11 AM: Dottie spends the rest of the night between our shoulders, wrapped again in the Snuggie, and partially sharing Nick's sleeping bag. Nick and I each have roughly an inch of space between our faces and the sweating tent walls. (It is a downpour outside). 

6:00 AM: Nick wakes up to find Dottie has almost completely taken over his sleeping bag. (See below). 

6:20 AM: Nick gets out of the tent. Dottie stays in his sleeping bag. (See below). 

6:35 AM: I get out of the tent. Dottie stays in this position for another hour. (See below). 

Today I decided to make Dottie her own sleeping bag. I cut the top half off of my old bag, and sewed the bottom shut, to save on weight. Here she is in the final product (which looks pretty stupid). I think she loves it... and we just might like camping with her from now on!