Monthly Archives: July 2012

Baked Falafel Pitas

Late in June while I was neck-deep in the 30 Days of Creativity project I made these Baked Falafel Pitas for dinner.  I found the recipe, posted by ThreeManyCooks, on the Tasty Kitchen website (an offshoot of The Pioneer Woman).  I really love falafel but have never fixed it at home because they’re usually fried and I don’t eat much fried food.  I was happy to see this recipe and really love how it turned out.

I increased the fresh herbs in the recipe and didn’t use as much feta cheese as a topping.  In fact, next time I make them I will probably use regular-size pitas so I have room for more lettuce, tomato and cucumber.  I also decreased the garlic. These have loads of flavor with 2 cloves of garlic, herbs and spices.

Baked Falafel Pitas

4 to 6 servings

2 cans (15 oz. size) garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas)

3 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley or any of the following or a combination of all three: parsley, cilantro and mint

2 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon chili powder

Toppings:

4 tablespoons tahini

3 tablespoons lemon juice

3 whole tomatoes, diced

3 small cucumbers, diced

4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

lettuce

avocado (optional)

12 small pitas or 6 regular pitas

Directions:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine garbanzo beans, flour, parsley (or combination of parsley, cilantro and mint), garlic and spices in a food processor and pulse until well blended.

Form 24 small patties out of the mixture about 1.5 inches wide and an inch thick.

For easy clean-up, cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with nonstick spray.  You can use a baking sheet without the parchment paper, sprayed with nonstick spray.  Place patties on baking sheet and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, turning once half-way through the baking time.  (You don’t really have to turn them but they’ll brown more evenly if you do.)

While falafel patties are baking, mix together tahini and lemon juice and arrange  other toppings on a serving platter.  We used feta, tomato, cucumber, lettuce and some store bought hummus.  Avocado would be  is a nice addition.

Serve warm patties in pita bread with toppings.  The pita at the top of the post is a full-sized whole wheat pita bread.  The one below is a mini-pita.

Writing this out reminds me of how good this was…I’m going to add the ingredients to my grocery list.

UPDATE: We had Baked Falafel Pitas for dinner and went with full-sized whole wheat pitas and added avocado to the toppings.  The larger size pita works well if you like to put a lot of veggies in with your falafel.

Thanks for the visit!

Coming soon: I’ll be giving away some of the items I made during 30 Days of Creativity!

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Filed under 30DOC, Cooking

Folk Art in Sebastopol

Rem and I enjoyed a relaxing few hours in Sebastopol last Sunday revisiting the wonderful folk art sculptures of Patrick Amiot and Brigette Laurent. Our first stop was at Renga Arts which includes both a shop of art and products from reclaimed and recycled objects and a sculpture garden.

There are sculptures around the city of Sebastopol but a visit to Renga Arts and a few blocks of Florence Avenue are where you will find many of them.

From farmers on tractors to firefighters in their firetruck, complete with dalmatian, all the figures are full of quirky character.  Look closely (click on photos for a closer look), to appreciate the clever use of found and reclaimed objects.

A White Rabbit glances nervously at his watch, a waitress runs to deliver fresh coffee, her arms loaded with plates, while a tired milk man drags along delivering milk, watched by three kitties in the background.

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There are vehicles of every kind from a dog-piloted biplane, and a natty skipper sailing a yacht, to a skeleton on a motorcycle and a shark truck.

Even more run-of-the-mill trucks have sweet characters either driving  or riding in them.  A couple with a dog in the back of their truck look happy as does the dog.  Another truck has a cow in the back and I loved the Three Little Pigs Construction truck; a glance in the back and I noticed sticks and bricks.

It’s not all work either.  A banjo player plays while relaxing in his rocking chair. A baseball player that bears more than a passing resemblance to Babe Ruth is in the middle of a game, and a surfer catches a wave.  Three acrobats stand on each others shoulders while one is juggling, and two old codgers drink beer by the campfire.

There are characters from history, myths and comic books with an Indian astride a wheeled horse , steering with a steering wheel, with three turkeys riding along behind, Batman in full gear and not one, but two mermaids.  My very favorite is the final one here, the beautiful mermaid with her fishy tail covered in metal scales.

The imagination and detail of these figures is really something to see. If you are in the area, consider a visit to Sebastopol and search out these folk art sculptures.  You can also get a calendar with rich, beautiful photos of whimsical folk art by Patrick Amiot.  It is a fundraiser for local school.  The 2012 calendar sold out but you can go to this link to pre-order a Folk Art for School calendar for 2013.

Thanks for the visit.

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Filed under Crafts, Life

Two Friends, Three Projects

I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see the craft-seeds I plant in my blog, bloom with someone else’s creative input!  Ariel and Emma were at Sea Ranch with my sister Kathleen.  Kathleen stocked up on supplies and and in between walks on the beach, cooking, swimming, pulling weeds, and reading they did crafting.  Their Bleach Pen T-shirts worked out great!

They also whipped up some Wrap Bracelets, some Macrame Bracelets and even a macrame anklet!

Kathleen said they tried the Buttermilk Lace Pancakes too but the tip of the squeeze bottle kept getting clogged.  At least it is still a delicious pancake even if it wasn’t the lacy design they had hoped for.

I was truly delighted to get these pictures and see how well their projects turned out.  Please send any pictures of projects  from my posts that you’ve tried so I can share them here.

Thanks, Kathleen, for sharing the pictures and providing the supplies and guidance, and thanks to Emma  and Ariel for putting your creative energy into my projects and making them your own.

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Filed under 30DOC, Crafts

Scorecard for 30DoC

I’ve been thinking about all those things I created during the 30 Days of Creativity (30DoC) project, and I decided to review and rate them in several areas:

Was it fun to make?  Did I like the results?  Would I suggest it to others? Would I do it again? Do I consider it a winner?

I’m using a scale of 1 to 10 with 1= No Way! and 10= Definitely!

Project

Fun?

Like?

Suggest to

Others?

Repeat?

Winner?

Day 1: Washi Tape B-day Card

8

9

8

8

8

Day 2: DIY Cake Stand

7

10

10

5

8

Day 3: Icebox Cupcakes

6

9

10

6

8

Day 4: Double Sponged Card

10

10

10

10

10

Day 5: Tape Dispenser

6

10

8

4

7

Day 6: Shrinky Dink Rings – Fail

5

0

0

0

1

Day 7: Lemon Ice Cream

7

10

10

10

9

Day 8: Cardamom Cookies

5

6

7

7

6

Day 9: Glass Tile Pendants

9

9

10

10

9

Day 10: Veg Potato Salad

5

8

8

8

7

Day 11: Button Rings

9

8

10

7

8

Day 12: String Jar

7

10

10

5

8

Day 13: Vegcycle

10

10

4

0

6

Day 14: Business Cards

10

10

10

10

10

Day 15: Lined Envelopes

7

9

10

6

8

Day 16: Carved Rubber Stamp

10

7

7

10

8

Day 17: Chocolate Bowl

8

0

0

0

2

Day 18: Banana Message

10

8

10

7

9

Day 19: Wrap Bracelet

9

10

10

10

10

Day 20: Chewy Granola Bars

8

10

10

8

9

Day 21: Bleach Pen T-Shirt

9

10

10

10

10

Day 22: Water Marbled Nails

6

4

5

0

4

Day 23: Crepe Paper Flower

6

8

8

9

8

Day 24: Lace Pancakes

8

10

10

10

10

Day 25: DIY Blue Glass Jars

7

9

9

5

7

Day 26: Recycled Gift Bow

6

9

10

5

7

Day 27: Image Journal

10

10

10

10

10

Day 28: Marbleized Notebook

5

8

10

3

6

Day 29: Plastic Spoon Rose

5

6

7

0

4

Day 30: Macramé Bracelet

8

10

10

10

10

Some projects didn’t really work in the end, but were fun to make.  I have to say the Chocolate Bowl project that ended up splattering melted chocolate all over me was fun.

Would I suggest it to someone else? No.   The final score isn’t always mathematically correct.  I rounded up for some and rounded down for others just depending on my own gut response.

I have a total of 7 projects that I gave the full score of 10 in the Winner Category.  Does that mean they’ll work for you or that you’ll love them?  Nope.  But those are the projects I will go back and do again, in fact, I’ve already completed another wrap bracelet and I did a batch of Sponged and Embossed Cards.  I want to make another batch of business cards because I so enjoyed making them and because I want to have business cards with my blog site on hand to give away.

The recipe for the Lacy Buttermilk pancakes made delicious pancakes even in a traditional but boring round shape.  I’ve made another batch of those but I loved the lace ones too and I’m sure I’ll make them again.

I don’t know how soon I’ll do a Bleach Pen T-Shirt but I’m completely delighted with the one I made and I am happy to put it on every time I wear it.

I’ve had my Image Journal for years but it had been gathering dust lately.  It was such a pleasure working on a layout that I plan to continue doing pages.

My final project, Macrame Bracelets, has been keeping me busy in recent days.  Some friends at work wanted a closer look so I  organized a crafting session at lunch.   I love it when I can combine crafting, eating, talking and laughing with friends!  I’ve made a few more macrame bracelets and I keep going back to the bead store for more supplies so I’m not finished with this project yet.

What were your favorite projects?  Are there any you’ve tried or plan to try?

Thanks for the visit.

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Filed under 30DOC, Cooking, Crafts

Sea Ranch in the Summer

It’s been over a year since my last trip to Sea Ranch.  My mom and I went up to the vacation home neither of us had been back to since my dad had been diagnosed with cancer last May.  It was an emotional trip but also comforting to be in this soothing, familiar place that is another home.  Mom wanted to return for her first time up there without Dad but she didn’t want to go alone.  My sister would be arriving a day after my mom  and I suggested I go along, following in my own car.  We would provide company for each other and I could help with Molly who, though she loves being at Sea Ranch, hates the ride up the twisty parts of Route 1.

We went through fog in Bodega Bay.   I usually visit in the early spring when the hills are green and dotted with cows, sheep and lambs and wild iris and other wild flowers are coming into bloom.  As we neared Sea Ranch, the fog cleared to a warm, sunny afternoon.  The summer landscape is tawny with golden-yellow meadows of dry grasses. Once we get to the house, we take a walk down the path to the bluff and beach.  On closer look I started to notice the different colors.

Soft purple flowers grow almost hidden in the edges of the meadow, lower than the surrounding grass.

These large, lacy clusters remind me of cauliflower but prettier with white and pale purple blossoms.

A wild rose is a spot of pink.

Thistle bloom in a rich magenta.

Unripe blackberries are an eye-catching red.

Deep-orange nasturtium grow up a fence.

A cluster of yellow flowers have a toe-hold in the rocky face of the bluffs.

A large group of harbor seals are resting on a beach. If you look carefully (or click on the photo for a closer look) , you can see a pelican is hanging out with them. This link has some great close-up shots of harbor seals at Sea Ranch.

It’s lovely being by the ocean and breathing in the salt air.

In our walks that afternoon and the following morning we saw several driftwood structures.

Playhouses for kids enjoying the Fourth of July holiday.

Or architectural artwork created by adults.

Seaweed marked the tide line.

Walk On Beach was wide and welcoming.

Molly found a rope of kelp to chew on.

Mom and Molly – a poignant reminder of my dad walking on the beach with Molly.

I love the variety of beautiful if subtle textures and colors the beach offers.

Although the sun is out and we’ve shed our sweatshirts, neither of us is interested in a dip in the ocean but this woman and her dog seemed to be enjoying themselves.

We climb the three flights of stairs from the beach to the bluff trail and head back to the house.  We catch our breath and look back at the beautiful beach and ocean.

A flock of pelicans is going the other direction.

Back at the house, Mom gave Molly a quick rinse and towel dry to get off the sand and salt water.

That afternoon I was back on the road, heading south and home.  I varied the route slightly by going up Meyers Grade – when I pulled off to take this picture of the fog coming off the ocean.  I’m looking down the coast towards the mouth of the Russian River  and Bodega Bay.

Across the road I saw my first ever Pirate Cow. Aaarrr! Moo.

One last shot of the road twisting down the hillside back to Highway One and then I turned my attention to my drive home after a short but satisfying visit to Sea Ranch.

Thanks for coming along.

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After 30 Days of Creativity

I know.  I said I was going to take a little break from crafting.  On July 1st I took a walk with my sister in the morning.  Rem and I went out to Pt. Bonita Lighthouse in the afternoon.  In the evening…I made a batch of cards.  It was really nice just digging into my card supplies and creating without stopping to take pictures of the process and without writing a post about it.

I did a few using the Double Sponged & Embossed Technique I first tried on Day 4 of 30DoC.

This bird was embossed on a page torn from an old Math textbook.

I did a butterfly stamped over a cracked texture background and I embellished it with some postage stamps from Poland.

I tried the technique on another old page – I love the stamp  (Floral Vine from Paper Source) I used but it didn’t quite work.  So I stamped it again on plain white paper and layered the two images.

I love the bird stamp (from Always set) so I did another one using that same stamp that I think worked out well.  The background is a word stamp (also from Stampin’ Up) from the set called Charming.

My favorite was the dragonfly card on a little patchwork background (up at the top of the post).  It didn’t use the Double Sponged technique, in fact, I wasn’t sure where I was going with the card.  I punched out squares of different papers and arranged them in rows.   But I wasn’t happy with just that, so I took a scrap left from another card, layered on a bit more ink, stamped the dragonfly in brown and splattered some silver ink over it.  I finished the card off with some Diva Dots as embellishment and went to bed very satisfied with crafting and relieved to be finished with the thirty days of creativity.

Thanks for the visit.

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Filed under 30DOC, Crafts