Sunday, August 10, 2014

Now Open: Two if by Sea Studios Provisions!

Well, besides running an eco-resort or cabin style bed & breakfast, my next dream solo business idea could definitely be opening a small store centered around the art of gift giving. I love curating, ahem... "pinning" for hours on end.

ENTER GREAT.LY: There's something really addicting about gathering groups of beautiful products and supporting artists. Lucky for me, has included me as a tastemaker so I can share the unique goods of independent makers! With my shop, Two if by Sea Studios : Provisions I'm focused on gift-able items. It can be really challenging finding unique items for all the array of people in your life, but I think this website is the solution to this problem. A one stop shop for curated unique, handcrafted items for anyone from baby to grandparent. (Special note: this week only FREE SHIPPING!)

Here are some of my favorite gifts to give from two of my four shop categories:

bag, purse, notebook, field notes, body oil, keychain, clip, paper, stationery, accessories
One / Two / Three / Four

pillows, cork, planter, succulent, cactus, bunting, clay, tablecloth, linen
One / Two / Three / Four
Happy Shopping!

Friday, August 08, 2014

CSA Summer : Week 8

Week 8: Cherry Tomatoes, Potatoes, Garlic, Mixed Herbs, Hot Peppers, Carrots, Cucumbers and Kale (Photo shows what's left of it... ) As you can see the Cherry Tomatoes didn't make it past this Instagram post.

Showing off my new camping & picnic addition! This eco-friendly rug made of recycled plastic may elevate us to "glamping" status this summer. Here's the link if you're interested: Fab Habitat 3-Feet by 5-Feet Lhasa Indoor/Outdoor Rug

A full post about our camping supplies and set-up to come!

Recently baked / cooked with past weeks boxes:
I fried up those squash blossoms on Monday night and Dylan and I were fighting over the last one. The were so. good. No special recipe, I just made a quick, light batter out of flour, salt and milk. Then I swirled them around and dropped them into some hot olive oil. 3-4 minutes per side and the crispiest treats emerged.

Lots of veggie sandwiches and salads this week.

A batch of swiss chard, garlic and parmesan pasta.

Why have I never sautéed green beans in garlic and Sriracha before?!? Delicious!

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Travel Inspired Designs for Minted Notebook Challenge

I've submitted three designs for the Minted Day Planner, Notebook and Address Book Challenge. Minted just expanded this line of product so that you'll be able to chose a cover design and specify whether you want a planner, standard notebook or address book interior pages. GENIUS!

Since my travel inspired wedding items are doing so well, I thought I'd work on three concepts that branch out from that and that I would use to document my own yearly destinations. What do you think? Which do you like best? Click the images below to view the challenge and rate my designs!

journal wanderlust minted travel map globe design notebook planner address book

journal wanderlust minted travel map globe design notebook planner address book

journal wanderlust minted travel map globe design notebook planner address book passport stamps
Fingers crossed these will be available for sale soon!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

CSA Summer : Weeks 6 + 7

I was gifted this amazing hand-painted Munising bowl from my parents for my birthday. I wish I could figure out the story behind the painting, so romantic...

Weeks 6 and 7: Squash Blossoms (most excited about!), Tomatoes, Potatoes, Onions, Radicchio, Chives, Dill, Yellow Cucumbers, Pickling Cucumbers, Salad Mix, Carrots, Dino Kale, Nasturtium, Swiss Chard and Purple, Yellow and Green Beans

So, if there was ever a question as to whether members get enough vegetables to make it worth the $400 for a full share let me tell you, just these two weeks have made me believe that the CSA will save us a significant amount on groceries this year! The above items in the quantity provided would have easily exceeded the $40 over 2 weeks. Mind you, I wouldn't have chosen to buy radicchio, so bitter and the escarole two weeks ago is all I'd like to have to eat for a while, but that's part of the fun. Getting creative and trying new recipes.

Recently baked / cooked with past weeks boxes:

Radicchio Risotto was suggested by City Commons CSA and it was pretty good considering I've never really cared for radicchio. I might try grilling the last 2-3 heads tomorrow with some balsamic to lessen the bitterness.

Note to self, Dino Kale chips take less time to bake than the curly leaf variety...

Made a potato salad and used not only carrots, potatoes and dill from weeks 5 and 6, but also daikon radishes! Yum!

Remember those giant bouquets of basil? Well I made my first successful pizza dough from scratch (thanks to!) and used it on that, bruschetta and two batches of pesto. I made one batch of vegan pesto from Food52 using nutritional yeast and another more traditional variation. One of the repeat meals this week has been sliced zucchini with pesto spread on top, baked and then broiled with mozzarella and parmesan on top. Here's the recipe!

Pesto Zucchini Pizzas (adapted from here.)
1 Large Zucchini
1/4 c Pesto
Olive Oil
1-2 c. Cheese (I used mainly mozzarella and then sprinkled on some freshly grated parmesan)
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 350º.

Slice zucchini into 1/2" thick rounds and lay out on baking sheet. Brush tops with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread a hefty spoonful of pesto on top of each round; enough to cover the tops pretty well. Put in preheated oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes.

Remove baking sheet from oven and increase temperature to the broil setting. Add cheese. I cut rounds of fresh mozzarella and aimed for about 1/2 coverage of the top of the zucchini rounds, then sprinkled on the freshly grated parmesan. Put back in oven, still on middle rack, for 3-5 minutes.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

CSA Summer : Week 5 (Holy Bouquet of Basil!)

 Recently baked / cooked with past weeks boxes:

Sunday I baked a loaf of dill bread (via Windy Kitchen), my first completely successful non-bread maker loaf ever. Definitely will be making again this week.

This Sweet Basil Vinaigrette by Cafe Sucre Farine I retweeted last week is DELICIOUS and a great way to use up those big batches of basil! I've dipped veggies in it, drizzled it on tomatoes, used it as salad dressing and of course, soaked my bread in it.

The escarole was a real stumper for me, but ended up loving it in a rendition of this pasta.

Lastly, I read that kohlrabi is good in Indian food, so I used a Saffron Road Simmer Sauce with my last two kohlrabi, carrots and some garlic paired with naan and rice. One of my favorite easy dinners for busy weeknights.

Kale chips + green smoothies used up the gigantic bunch from last week's box.

Beet & Turnip Gratin adapted from this Kitchen Konfidence recipe, was buttery and rich using up the last of my root veggies and garlic scapes last week.

Week 5: Basil, Frisee, Cucumbers, Zucchini, Garlic, Chives, Kohlrabi and Green Beans

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

CSA Summer : Weeks 3 + 4

I was disconnecting last week in the Upper Peninsula so here's the lowdown on weeks 3 and 4 of the City Commons CSA. The fridge is officially full.

Week 3: Chard, Strawberries, Diakon Radishes, Escarole, Baby Lettuce, Nasturtiums, Kohlrabi, Oregano and Basil

Week 4: Turnips, Garlic, Dill, Chard, Beets, Carrots, Radish Seed Pods and a HUGE bunch of Kale

Recently Cooked with CSA Elements: Chard Frittata adapted from this recipe to include garlic scapes and swiss cheese rather than pecorino and Roasted Harukei Turnips with Quinoa, loosely based off this version by Not Eating Out in New York.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

CSA Summer : Week 2

Week 2 : Kale, Strawberries, Carrots, Beets, Garlic Scapes, Chives and Salad Greens

I've determined the two most useful kitchen tools with the CSA have to be my OXO Salad Spinner, similar to this one, and my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker! See below for a super easy strawberry ice cream recipe... 4 ingredients, no egg yolks and fresh berries, it doesn't get much better.

4 INGREDIENT STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM (adapted from this Simply Stated recipe)
2 c. 2% milk
1 c. heavy cream
2/3 c. sugar
4 c. strawberries

Heat milk, cream and sugar in a medium saucepan, slowly increasing the heat to avoid scalding until all the sugar is dissolved. While you're doing that remove all the tops and chop the strawberries up into small 1/4 inch - 1/2 inch pieces. After I chopped up all the strawberries, I placed half in a big mixing bowl and used my potato masher to mush them up. Set aside the other half of chopped berries for adding later on.

Once all the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and add the strawberry "mush." Refrigerate until cool. I'm impatient, so I put it in the freezer for the last 30 minutes. Total, it cooled for about 1.5 hours. 

Add the cooled combo to your ice cream maker and follow the instructions based on your model. I let mine churn for 20 minutes. Add in the remaining strawberries at this point and place in the freezer for an additional 1-2 hours. Take a little taste at any point... it's so delicious!

One of these beets is going to go in some juice right now!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Balcony Garden : June

I've realized this small balcony gets pretty windy, but I knew it gets some killer afternoon sun all summer long so I decided to employ these awesome planters from Target that attach to the railings! In went basil and tomatoes, then I found more planters and increased the number to 8, including chives and a jalapeño plant.

I can't find these planters online, only in stores. There are some similar, but much more expensive options online. (I think at Target they were only $4 each!)

Everything is just bursting with blooms and new growth! I hope the planters are going to be big enough and the zip ties that hold them on strong enough... It's all an experiment, which is fun. I'm also discovering growing in a small space in planters is much more enjoyable than battling weeds and critters in my larger garden. I'm partially crediting the soil from Detroit Farm & Garden for how amazing these plants are coming along!

Use What You've Got: I stowed away two glass milk bottles over the winter for using as vases, but they are coming in handy as my watering cans. Leftover pepper plant seeds from years ago have sprouted into a side garden, I better find something bigger to transplant them into soon!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A CSA Summer : Week 1

As I mentioned in my Earth Day blog post, we joined a CSA! Today was the first pick-up and I'm pretty pumped about this. Read on... 

Now, I'm no food blogger but I have decided I will be blogging about my 20 week produce adventure including recipes, photos, drawings and random other veggie-focused ramblings here on Clean Slate. In addition, I've started a Pinterest board titled CSA Summer to compile ideas for storing produce, recipes and to share my experiences.

In case you aren't familiar with the term, it stands for Community Supported Agriculture. The one we chose to join is called City Commons and it's centered around 6 different Detroit urban farms. (Check out their website and this article to learn more about them.) This is something we've talked about doing for years, but either didn't sign up in time, couldn't work around the pick-up times or like last summer, were going to be traveling too much to take advantage of the weekly bounty.

Week 1 : Turnips (Hakurei, I think!), Garlic Scapes, Swiss Chard, Lettuce, Snap Peas, Mint, Dill, Oregano

Now, for the sorting, researching and planning so nothing goes to waste! I think I'm going to start with this Roasted Hakurei Turnips recipe. I'll let you know how it turns out and we're definitely open to suggestions for using and preserving, so comment away or tag me in pins of your favorite recipes or tips.

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Thank You (& DIY)

Haley and I needed to create some extra special thank you notes for all the kind folks that donated to our Bowl for Kids Sake fundraising team. So I printed out a thin, faint circle with the message in the middle on my cheapie home printer, trimmed them to size and we got to work. (You could also just use a pencil and trace something round in the center of a pre-made card!)

Using a few still surviving Prismacolor art markers from my art school days we dotted away at the local library so we could spread out. Filling the white space with multi-colored dots in different patterns and shapes had a very modern feel. After the fact, it seemed so easy, but the results were super creative and fun so I thought I'd share!

Haley and I have been matched through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washtenaw County for FIVE YEARS next month! It's hard to explain how much she has taught me, the different perspectives on life she lends me, and the immense amount of joy I have as I watch her grow into a teenager. Haley has always called me "Sister," rather than "Brittany," and there isn't an occasion when I see her that I don't realize how important we are to each other beyond being just a mentor and kid; how our common love of animals, getting down and dirty with paints and projects, the outdoors, and more recently, shopping, :) makes us a perfect match. So, thank you not only to our supporters, but to Haley.