I Love Camping I Hate Camping

  

I love camping. Being outdoors, setting up the campsite, cooking outside, reading by the fire–it’s awesome! 

I hate camping. Breathing in campfire smoke for days–gross! Feeling grimy and dirty even if I take a shower every day. Baby waking up in the middle of the night howling, refusing to go back to sleep in her Pack N Play and instead sleeping on my neck. Who needs it?!?

But I love camping. Riding bikes with Sid, checking out the lake and docks. Reading The Swiss Family Robinson to everyone every night. S’mores!

But after three days of camping, what I really love? Is landing at an awesome rental house in Lincoln City. With laundry. And beds. And a hot tub. And laundry. Oh clean clothes I missed you.

10 Item Wardrobe Lobster Spider-Man Sweatshirt

Camping & Vacation Wardrobe

We’re leaving on vacation today–yay!–starting with three days of camping at Fort Stevens in Astoria, Oregon and continuing with three days at a house in Lincoln City. Because I am lazy and haven’t done any packing yet, I’m trying an experiment and selecting my wardrobe by writing this post!

This is a true test of my 10-Item Wardrobe, because these are two totally different environments: camping outside with bike riding and hiking, and relaxing in a rental house, exploring nearby Newport and Tillamook, and going out to at least one nice dinner (to celebrate our anniversary).

Can I do it?!? Since the high temperatures will max out in the early 70s and lows will be in the mid-50s, I’m dipping back into my fall/winter wardrobe. Fortunately, there’s a washer and dryer in the rental house, so I’ll be able to wash the campfire smell out of everything!

So here are my picks for camping:

10-Item Wardrobe

Halogen black T-shirt.

A black T-shirt is good for practically anything!

10-Item Wardrobe

I’ve had and worn this shirt for two years, but . . . everyone loves Archie!

I love this shirt, and it’s a little old–perfect for camping.

10 Item Wardrobe Spider-Man Sweatshirt

Does whatever a Spider can.

Good for chilly nights!

10-Item Wardrobe

Gap navy cargo shorts. They actually roll down about two inches. I swear they don’t look as short on, Mom!

These cargo shorts are again on the older side, and dark–so into the camping wardrobe they go!

10 Item Wardrobe Grey Skinny Jeans

Gap grey skinny jeans.

Good for cool nights–I hope.

And here are my additions for the rest of the trip!

10-Item Wardrobe

Another new item: J Crew Factory “fruit salad” T-shirt.

Something dressier for this part of the trip!

10-Item Wardrobe

J Crew Factory chambray shirt.

I will probably wear this shirt until it falls apart. It goes with everything.

10-Item Wardrobe

Light aqua shorts from J Crew Factory.

Again, something dressier for sightseeing,

10 Item Wardrobe

Coral “Clare” cardigan from J Crew.

Breaking out the new cardigan to combat the lower temperatures.

10-Item Wardrobe

Floral dress, made by me maybe four or five years ago? Pattern by Amy Butler.

Dinner dress!

Phew! I feel so much better now that I’ve chosen my wardrobe for our vacation. Wait . . . crap, I still have to pack, don’t I?

Welp, I’ll let you know how it goes. This blog will likely go on hiatus while I’m out in the woods, so I’ll see you later!

I’m Sucking at Zero Waste

Regular readers of the blog know I’ve been interested in zero waste since my pregnancy, and I’ve taken measures to reduce what we bring to the curb–both garbage and recycling.

While some habits–bringing cloth grocery bags as well as reusable bags for produce and bulk items–have become second nature, this week I have to admit it: I’m sucking at zero waste.

This came to a head yesterday as I took bags and bags of food waste out of my freezer and fridge to bring to our curbside compost bin. Why am I hoarding it? Because our compost bin got maggots (huge maggots!) and my husband still hasn’t recovered from cleaning them all out.

I can’t save veggie scraps to make broth! It’s been 95-plus degrees this summer! Plus: vegetable broth kind of sucks!

I can’t bring glass containers on our camping trip next week–are you kidding me? I’m still finding shards of glass in the freezer from jars of (vegetable!) broth self-destructing, perhaps from an understandable sense of self loathing!

Okay, Elisabeth, breathe. Like I said, many habits have become second nature, and I’m psyched. The bulk bins at WinCo are fantastic. We only need to take out the trash once every two weeks. Summer will be over in a couple months, and I can go back to making broth–with some bones added.

But! I realize that despite my best meal-planning efforts, our food waste is out of control, and I need to radically rethink how we eat–and how I shop–to get a handle on it.

If I come up with any answers, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, you’ll find me pouting into my (Kraft!) macaroni and cheese.

Zucchini

Happy Monday! Links to Make Your Day Brighter

Zucchini

This tray is huge, some of those zucchini are more than a foot long!

Happy Monday! Oh my god guys, it is so hot here in Portland. It is miserable. I believe we just reached 100 degrees yesterday–thank god for the AC in our bedrooms–so I am unashamedly enjoying the much cooler morning temperatures in a bra and shorts. Keep in mind that the shorts are too big and it’s a nursing bra, so no fantasy material here!

Sid’s at BPRD day camp at Trackers this week, so I’m hoping to get a lot of stuff done, including prepping for our camping/beach vacation next week. The highs are 65 in Astoria and Lincoln City, and I cannot wait. I want to wear a sweatshirt!

Cooking

Sid is carpooling to camp this week with his friend Ernie and stepbrother Zach, so I have a houseful of boys to make breakfast for this week, yay! I plan to use part of our zucchini crop to make this Lemon Zucchini Bread my Mom brought to my attention. Yum!

I’m trying to do the impossible with our upcoming three-day camping trip: I don’t want to bring too much food. I know, have you met me?!? I’ll write it out if my meal plan is successful. Meanwhile, I might make this Sausage and Bean One-Pot Stew to bring with us. Fortunately, we’re renting a house with a kitchen immediately after camping, so any leftover food will be eaten there.

Comics and Books

I was able to get a sneak peek at the finale of Archie vs. Predator, and it was great. There’s something super satisfying about gore and decapitations in that classic “Archie” house style. If you’re not into floppies (individual comics), there’s an Archie vs. Predator hardcover coming out this fall–if you pre-order, you’ll save 20%.

If I haven’t said it before, I am loving the library. Our library is awesome. I’m currently reading The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food by Dan Barber, an excellent look at the present and future of the “farm-to-table” movement, and Style, by Kate Spade. Style was a bit of a disappointment–lots of lists of things without any context (20 artists, a dozen books, etc.)–but still fun.

Fashion (and TMI)

In keeping with the TMI of my opening paragraph, I wanted to let you know that you should buy my underwear. Well, not my actual underwear, but Nordstrom is having a sale on Hanky Pankys. I buy eight every year during their Anniversary Sale (a savings of $52 this time) and they are the best. I heard about them a decade ago from my mom, who heard about them from Oprah, so–clearly well vetted. They’re cute, they’re comfortable (more TMI–I wore them my entire pregnancy), they’re practically invisible under clothes, and if you hang them to dry they’ll last for years. Get the low-rise unless you’re really tall.

Murder, She Wrote

I couldn’t resist this “How Would You Die on Murder, She Wrote?” quiz. Although there’s no skiing in Cabot Cove, BuzzFeed!

Quiche

Yes You Can: Make a Big-Ass Quiche

Quiche

This is not my quiche. My quiches are eaten too quickly for pictures. This is Martha Stewart’s quiche!

Fact: quiche is the best food you can make. It’s all the best things about an omelet, but with lots of cream and pie crust. You can eat it for breakfast. You can eat it for lunch. Dinner? Serve it with a salad. It’s delicious cold, warm, or at room temperature. Plus, it can contain almost any kind of leftover meat, vegetable, or cheese in your fridge. You must make quiche now!

Note: My son Sid just asked me, “What about mac and cheese?” So I must amend my earlier statement: quiche is the second best food you can make. But you should still make it.

When I need a large brunch dish or appetizers for a crowd, I like to take a page from Martha Stewart (O Captain! My Captain!) and make a big-ass quiche in a cookie sheet. It’s easy, tasty, and versatile. You can cut it into three-inch pieces for a luncheon, or one-inch pieces for a cocktail party.

Since I prefer to make up my own quiches (or use up veggies, meat, and cheeses in my fridge), I’ve developed my own rule of thumb for fillings: about 2 cups of sauteed vegetables/meat/seafood, plus 1-2 cups grated cheese. You can further adjust this to your taste: for example, you don’t need cheese (but why not?). So let’s get it started!

Large Quantity Pate Brisee–From The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook

You need:

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1/2 to 1/4 cup ice water.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.

With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Flatten dough into a large rectangle and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour.

Roll pastry on a floured board until it’s about 2 inches wider and longer than your cookie sheet. Press into the pan, folding down the edges and fluting them. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line crust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights, dried beans, or uncooked rice; bake for 15 minutes. Remove weights and foil, prick crust all over with a fork. Return to the oven and bake 15-20 minutes, until light golden brown.

Now get ready for filling!

Big-Ass Quiche Filling–Adapted From Martha Stewart’s Entertaining Cookbook

You need:

3 cups heavy cream
9 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 large pinch nutmeg
Pepper to taste
About 2 cups of sauteed veggies, meat, seafood–whatever you like
1-2 cups shredded/crumbled cheese
Fresh herbs of your choice

Whisk the cream, eggs, salt, nutmeg, and pepper in a large bowl. Sprinkle your veggies/meat/seafood into your cooked crust. Cover with cheese. Carefully pour the cream and egg mixture over your filling in a slow stream (so you don’t disturb your filling ingredients). Bake at 350 degrees until puffed and golden, about 35-40 minutes.

Filling Ideas

Red, White, and Blue Quiche

One pint cherry tomatoes, halved
One large white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
About 6 oz gruyere cheese, grated
Crumbled blue cheese, to taste
Fresh chopped basil, to taste

Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add peppers, onions, and garlic. Saute until tender, adding salt and pepper to taste. Proceed with recipe above.

Quiche Lorraine

1 1/2 cups cooked bacon, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 cups gruyere cheese, grated

Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil (or bacon grease, if you’ve cooked the bacon that day). Proceed with recipe above.

Sausage and Apples Got the Blues Quiche

1 lb bulk breakfast sausage
2 large apples, cored and chopped
1/2 to 1 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 to 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Fresh thyme, to taste

Saute the sausage in a frying pan, adding the apples when halfway cooked. Sprinkle with thyme when apples are tender but not falling apart. Proceed with recipe above.

Lox of Love Quiche

1 1/2 cups Nova lox, chopped
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 lb cream cheese, at room temperature
Fresh chives, snipped with scissors

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned.

Place the cream cheese in a large bowl and stir in the capers, chives to taste, lemon zest, 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle the lox over your cooked crust, and top with the onions and cherry tomatoes. Dot with cream cheese. 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half. Proceed with recipe above.

So there you have it! I encourage you to go rogue and use my general guidelines to make your wildest quiche fantasies come true (come on, everyone has at least one, right?), or to utilize all the leftover goodies in your fridge and pantry.

So what’s your quiche fantasy? Mine involves eating in the bathtub.

Archie #1 Reboot

Happy Monday! Links to Make Your Day Brighter

Archie #1 Reboot

Archie #1, by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples. Wonderful!

Happy Monday! I survived a bittersweet weekend, as I missed San Diego Comic-Con for the second year in a row–it’s not a place for babies. While it was nice to not stand in a booth for 8+ hours per day, I do regret not being in the thick of things and seeing my friends. Boo.

Comics

However, my husband (Dark Horse Comics’ Editor-in-Chief) kept me up to date, and even a little ahead of the loop–I knew to watch for the eruption of excitement when Joss Whedon announced his new comic book series, Twist, about a steampunk female superhero! I even have a vote in for who the artist should be–I’ll let you know if my choice wins out. So while I didn’t get to see my husband on stage in Hall H, I did have a little insider info to keep me warm. Sigh.

The other big release from SDCC was the Star Wars behind-the-scenes reel. It. Is. AWESOME. The practical effects are going to be WONDERFUL. I’m going against AP Style and using all caps, people!

Something I’m going to write a full post on is the much-anticipated (and a little feared, by me), reboot of Archie. That’s right, after 70+ years, Archie Andrews got a major makeover. After the full-body cringes inspired by the Archie New Look Series (shudder), I was worried the new series would be like when your Mom starts saying things like, “Raise the roof!” But it was wonderful. I’ll write more soon.

Survival

Well this is a new section for this blog! NPR told us that the Pacific Northwest is due for a major earthquake and created an app so that Oregonians can get an idea of when services and power would be restored after a 9.0 quake. But even if you’re not in Oregon, there’s a lot of good advice on disaster prep here.

Fashion

I’ve been trying to buy fewer clothes and stick to my 10-Item Wardrobe, but I’ve been dealing with one problem: I’m actually 10 pounds below my pre-baby weight due to breastfeeding, and my shorts are falling off my body. I look like I have baggy elephant butt. So I bought this pair of chino shorts in navy at (of course) J. Crew Factory this weekend!

Books

So we started to go to the library for Book Babies for Sarah, but I have been loving it for myself! I used to spend hours in the library every week when I was growing up, but it’s been years since I’ve gone regularly. I just finished As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, by Cary Elwes (the actor who played Westley) and it was wonderful. Now, The Princess Bride was my favorite movie in junior high and high school (I made a pirate shirt for my boyfriend–for prom), but I admit I had seen it so many times, I was a little sick of it. No more! This was a delightful read that reignited my love for the movie, and even stranger–there was no bitterness! No scandal! It was as sweet and lovely as the movie–and still interesting!

In other news, we’re going camping in about two weeks. Anyone have any camping food tips?

!0 Item Wardrobe

Summer 10-Item Wardrobe: Update

A couple things have changed since I posted my Summer 10-Item Wardrobe back in June. One: it’s gotten hot. Wicked hot. Breaking 100 degrees hot.

Two: I’ve come back to earth and realized I will never wear white jeans on a daily basis. Ha! I was so young and naive . . . last month. Fortunately, I found a replacement right in my bureau.

10 Item Wardrobe

Coral seersucker shorts from J Crew Factory.

Boom! These suckers go with all of my tops, and they’re cute, to boot. Plus, they’re great as part of a casual outfit with a white t-shirt, but they’re also dress-up worthy when paired with my sequined top, below (one of my extras).

!0 Item Wardrobe

Coral sequined tank from J Crew Factory.

Finally, I realized that my mint green cardigan was a bit of a mistake. While I will wear it, it doesn’t go with enough things in my 10-Item Wardrobe and must be added to the extras instead. In its place, I found (drumroll please): something from J Crew Factory. Of course.

10 Item Wardrobe

Coral “Clare” cardigan from J Crew.

As you can tell from the picture, I was so excited to take a photo, that it still has the fold marks. Whoops. Also, the color looks a little different in the photos, but the sweater does harmonize nicely with the shorts. However, it looks even better with the navy items in my wardrobe (see the full deal below).

Now! On to accessories. I have to admit: I usually don’t wear ’em. The only items pictures below that I wear all the time are my gold hoop earrings and my wedding and engagement rings (not pictured). But, I thought I’d take a picture of the stuff I wear when I’m not worried about my baby eating my jewelry.

10 Item Wardrobe Accessories

From the top, then left to right: a gold necklace from my husband, yellow “statement necklace” from J Crew Factory. Gold hoop earrings and Tiffany bracelet–both from my mom–and a gold leather bracelet I picked up from a friend on Martha’s Vineyard.

10 Item Wardrobe

Orange You Jealous by L’Oreal.

However! There is one accessory I wear every day on my toes. No, it’s not a toe ring (and ew). When I was in high school, I was determined to wear Birkenstocks, to the dismay of my more fashionable mother. So she struck a bargain with me. If I wanted to wear them, I had to keep my toes painted. No exceptions.

Usually I’m a red nail polish kind of girl, but in keeping with this summer’s (totally accidental) coral theme, I found the perfect pinky-orange polish. Even better, the name is a pun!

So, just for reference, my updated 10-Item Summer Wardrobe:

10-Item Wardrobe

J Crew Factory chambray shirt.

10-Item Wardrobe

J Crew Factory fruit t-shirt.

10-Item Wardrobe

J Crew Factory gray T-shirt.

10-Item Wardrobe

J Crew Factory white T-shirt.

10-Item Wardrobe

Light aqua shorts from J Crew Factory.

10-Item Wardrobe

Gap navy cargo shorts.

10 Item Wardrobe

Coral seersucker shorts from J Crew Factory.

10-Item Wardrobe

J Crew Factory striped dress. I love this dress. I wore it until I was eight months pregnant last year and it still looks great.

10-Item Wardrobe

Floral dress, made by me maybe four or five years ago? Pattern by Amy Butler.

10 Item Wardrobe

Coral “Clare” cardigan from J Crew.

So there you have it: another dorky fashion post by yours truly. Got any tips to share?