Sunday, January 31, 2010

homemade oreos.

From Smitten Kitchen, of course.
If I look at anymore of these, I think I'll be sick.

But they were damn good, though.

I think I'll just quit life and stay home and cook/bake all day.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Don't forget,
you can always email me at
ruthwritesblog at gmail dot com.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

thursday nights.



What, you don't spend your Thursday nights playing Monopoly Junior?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

a tidbit.

Getting ready for work this morning, wearing one black boot and one brown boot:

Me: MH, which do you think looks better--the black or the brown?

MH, scrutinizing my outfit: The black. Definitely the black.

Me, looking in the full-length mirror: Are you sure? I kinda like the brown. I think I'm going to wear the brown, actually. Would that be really bad?

MH: Well, yeah, it would be.

Me: I'm wearing the brown.

MH, as her face contorts into a look of disgust: Okaaaay, but like I said . . . the brown's pretty terrible.

Children can be so honest sometimes.

(Photo via JennyLeigh)

Monday, January 25, 2010

a (small) dapple of my weekend.

Three photos. That's all I mustered this weekend. Taking pictures just wasn't on my to-do list. And thankfully, there wasn't much of anything on my to-do list.

I really needed to practice some relaxation this weekend, since I clearly have such a problem with doing nothing. So I got the cleaning/errands/odds&ends out of the way and actually made time to do things I wanted to do, like make headbands and take a bath and start some Valentines (I'm feeling so crafty lately, I suppose I should run with it!) I got around to finally trying this recipe, too (which, by the way, is delicious).

All in all, I had a nice weekend--even though I'll admit I'm already excited for this Friday . . .

Tell me: how was your weekend?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

weekend vows.

I am sitting in Starbucks, early this Saturday morning,
with the intentions of completing some scholarship essays
and consuming at least two shots of espresso.
So far, so good (besides being distracted with blogging.....uh, oops).

Yet I'm surrounded by a group of old men
with velcro sneakers and lots of rings on their fingers,
talking loudly about things like leaky dishwashers,
and seafood in Key West,
and reverse mortgages,
and Citizen of the Year awards.

I'm trying really hard not to let it bother me.

But this is something I'm working on:
instead of ignoring any negative feelings I might be having,
and subduing them into illegitimacy and forcing artificial optimism,
I'm going to recognize this annoyance as a real feeling,
and then move on.

Because really, it's all about our own reactions.
I could have the most horrid, awful, despisable morning,
which could put me in a bad mood for the rest of my day or rest of my week,
even (I'm a pro at getting into bad moods),
or I could acknowledge that I'm having a rough time,
feel sorry for myself for only the tiniest moment,
and then vow to not let it ruin any more of my time.

I think that's the trick.
It's an extremely difficult trick,
and not a very nice trick,
but I think I might be getting the hang of it.
So I'm going to down some more hot coffee,
bang out these essays like I haven't been out of school for almost a year,
and move on with my weekend,
not complacently,
but with the intention of having a fantastic weekend
that beats all other weekends.

Here's to a happy weekend.

*Addendum: The old men have left. Now a nice old man wearing plaid and working on a crossword puzzle has assumed their place. Also, Feist is happily being played. See?**

Thursday, January 21, 2010

super flaxseed boule.

Last night I baked a delicious flaxseed loaf and couldn't wait to share it with you guys. I've made it in the past (and shared a little about it here), and it lived up to its previous success again. It's packed full of flaxseeds and just plain tastes GOOD for you. I first came across this recipe in Vegetarian Times, but adjusted the recipe just a little (the magazine's version also leaves out a step, which confused me at first). I'd highly recommend it!

Super-Flax Whole Wheat Boule

1 cup + 1 T. flaxseeds
2 T. sugar, agave nectar, or honey
0.25 oz. active yeast
3 c. flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 t. salt

(Or, like me, just use 4 1/2 c. white flour if you don't have whole wheat.)

Place 1/2 cup flaxseeds in a bowl, cover with water, and let soak overnight.

Combine sugar, yeast, and 2 cups warm water in bowl and let sit for 5 minutes.

Grind remaining 1/2 cup + 1 T. flaxseeds in a coffee grinder. Combine in a bowl with flour and salt. Drain soaked seeds and add to flour mixture. Add yeast mixture and stir until a dough forms.

Knead on a floured surface until no longer sticky, adding flour as needed. Roll into a ball and place in a greased bowl, letting rise for 1 hour. Punch down, and let rise for 1 hour more.

Roll into a tight ball and place on a large, greased cookie sheet. Brush with water and sprinkle with flaxseeds and cut a tic-tac-toe crisscross in the top, if desired. Bake at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes, or until loaf sounds hollow. Let cool, and then slice.

I prefer mine topped with melted cheese and cup of coffee in the morning. Nothing beats it.

Keep a smile on your face!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

rice pudding.

All day long, I've been reading Smitten Kitchen. I've read the words "Smitten Kitchen" so many times today I could make up a song about it. Smitten Kitchen SmittenKitchen SMITTEN KITCHEN. I don't know what it is--the witty banter, the gorgeous photos, the scrumptious little baby, or (perhaps) the mouth-watering cuisine.

Either way, I'm smitten.

You see, I'm trying this alternative lifestyle (did I hear someone say diet? I didn't say that. I said alternative lifestyle. You know, alternative to my old gain-ten-pounds lifestyle. The word diet implies it's bound to fail, in my mind. So it's an alternative lifestyle. Say it with me: ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE.) In other words, reading Smitten Kitchen all day is making my insides churn and my tongue seize up. I need some carbs and I need them now.

Fortunately, A Day That Is Dessert somehow heard my inner plea for help and sent out her latest post into the blogosphere for me to find. She made rice pudding for dessert, for her family. Um, PRINT. I brought that recipe home with me and whipped it up pronto. It sure did placate my Smitten Kitchen obsession. I'm not sure how fond I am of rice pudding to begin with, but if I was, this would be one great recipe. It was Vanilla Almond Rice Pudding, actually, and it was divine.

Unfortunately, my body tried to make up for the day-long goodie-starvation and forced my mind into thinking an entire bowlful would be okay. Now, my tummy hurts and I'm pretty sure I just confirmed my fear of lactose intolerance. Oops.

That's all.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

playing in the snow.

Friday afternoon, I didn't have to go into work and got to spend the afternoon at home. I took my time coming home from my morning doctor's appointment, went to the gym, shopped for a few groceries (I have an absurb affinity for grocery shopping) and then got some reading (for work) in.

Later that afternoon, as the sunlight was just beginning to fade away quickly, MH convinced me to go outside with her while she went sledding. I told her I wouldn't sled, but that I'd take my camera along as she played on the big hill in our backyard. "I'll sled slowly so you can take some good pictures," she told me. Sometimes I think she could be a ten-year-old photographer.

Even though I hate bad lighting and all these photos are somewhat dull-looking, the grey light on these dead hydrangeas seemed too perfect to pass up.

If only I were still so young that wearing bulky snowpants and winter coats didn't bother me, and that I could run outside happily and build forts in the snow all on my own.
This was entirely her pose. She practiced this stance for a good minute, without smiling once.

The sunlight faded fast and made the bright white snow look dirty and grey in its absence. So we snapped a few more photos (much to MH's chagrin) and tromped through the snow up to the house.

I miss the days of being young and playing outside, don't you? I'm glad I have a little sister, though, to remind me of it all.

Monday, January 18, 2010

ice skating.

This past Saturday (wow, I'm just getting around to this post almost a week later??), I went ice skating for the first time in years. I've been wanting to all winter, and finally the opportunity arose so I gobbled it up eagerly.

Put on boy's hockey skates that barely fit? Sure!
Fear desperately of the couple-inch-deep water cracking? Of course!
Try not to roll my ankles and topple over like the Abominable Snowman? I'm so there.

(Note: I know skating in a human-made rink in a public park hardly qualifies as ice skating, but it was about 40 degrees and rising quickly, so we didn't want to take our chances. By the time the sun rose fully and we were heading home, there was already a layer of slush across the ice and I was practically running off of it. No, I wasn't afraid of falling into two-inch deep water, but I sure was afraid of falling in, losing my balance, getting my skate stuck, and landing on my ass. And, more importantly, dropping my camera.)

It seems as if we're standing on absolutely nothing in this picture. In actuality, you could see the twigs and leaves frozen on the layer of cold dirt at the bottom, as if we were looking into some amber fossil with a mosquito in it like in Jurassic Park. I don't know why that scared me so much--maybe it just looked too eerie.

I guess I'm going to have to muster up a little more courage if I want to go ice skating in DC when MH and I visit Rachel in February, or gasp! on a real pond!

Do you have any traditions or must-dos for the winter season? I need some ideas to get me through this dark and dreary month!

a dapple of my weekend.

stacks of books.

cooking carrots and parsnips.

lots of reading.

we should have put away that old soccer goal before winter.


who's george?

saturday morning ice skating.

my ankles started to hurt.

three girl-shadows.

snowy fields. i remembered to stop and capture.

note to self: do not click and drive.

really, is there much better than old wooden spools?

boiling lentils. with a bay leaf.

blood oranges are back in season.

so let's make cake.

Did you know it's January 18th already? JANUARY EIGHTEENTH.
This year/month is flying by without my noticing, just like this weekend did.
It always seems that no matter how prepared for it I am,
the weekend always comes and goes quicker than I can realize,
and then POOF! it's Monday.

I've come to know, though, that I have a large problem with learning to relax.
I mean, I just said I "prepared" for my weekend.
I did not go on a trip.
I did not have big plans.
I did not need to fulfill large responsibilities.
I simply needed to unwind.

And for me, that apparently means making lists three pages long of "unwinding" items,
like cleaning the litter box, changing my sheets, and paying bills.

Now, these are all nice things to accomplish over the weekend,
but it did not take me all weekend.
Free time was spent watching TV, watching movies, checking blogs, and writing emails.
Which pretty much means placing myself in a time warp and coming to hours later to see my day is gone.

I need to learn how to do nothing.
I haven't been able to understand why I'm still feeling so tired and worn out,
even though the holidays just ended and I've had plenty of time off.
It's because with my "time off," I haven't actually shut off.
I need to learn how to do nothing.