TammyE's Profile

Display Name: TammyE
Member Since: 5/2/07

Latest Comments...

Ice cream sandwiches for a potluck! Homemade strawberry ice cream between double-chocolate cookies. Can't wait to serve these!

What's Cooking This Weekend? Weekend of July 19-20, 2014
7/19/14 05:29 PM

Any time I find myself with a surplus of zucchini, I grate it and freeze it in 2-cup quantities. Then I can make zucchini muffins and chocolate zucchini cake all winter long.

What Are Some Recipes for Really Huge Zucchinis? Good Questions
7/9/14 08:38 PM

Use metal skewers. I've found that wooden ones need at least 20-30 minutes of soak time, and I used to always forget to do this until I was ready to start grilling. So frustrating. Not only do metal skewers solve this problem, they make you look like a totally hardcore barbecue geek.

5 Tips for Skewering Foods for the Grill Tips from The Kitchn
7/2/14 02:39 AM

I'm not gluten free, but I have a good friend who is, so when she comes over for dinner, I bake GF desserts. I always use Bob's AP GF mix, and I've had good success (my friend is a professional baker, so I gauge success by whether or not she asks me for the recipe) by sticking with baked goods that don't need to rise very much, if at all. Examples are millionaire's shortbread (with a GF shortbread bottom layer), lemon brownies, and pound cake. I converted my favourite cornbread recipe to a GF version, and couldn't even tell the difference.

Xantham gum is a must. I just follow the directions on the flour packaging for the amount needed.

When Should I Use All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour? Good Questions
6/13/14 02:02 AM

You can make smoothies the night before (so long as they don't contain blueberries, which get weird overnight).

When I make pancakes on the weekend, I freeze the leftovers. During the week, I defrost them in the toaster and put Nutella and jam on them... a sort of pancake sandwich.

What are Good Make-Ahead Breakfasts? Good Questions
6/13/14 01:49 AM

The posters featured in this post make me feel the same way I feel when strange men tell me to smile.

Two of the best places I've ever worked at had posters from despair.com on the walls. Just saying.

Trend Watch: Embracing Bold Messages in the Workspace
6/6/14 04:46 PM

My kids are not fans of greens, but fortunately they like pesto. And as I've discovered, you can turn any leafy green into pesto. The great thing us that a tablespoon of pesto equals quite a decent serving of greens. We use it in pizza, pasta, and polenta, and have it at least once a week.

How Do I Incorporate Dark, Leafy Greens Into My Diet? Good Questions
6/3/14 01:46 AM

Good timing. After listing our 1,000 square foot house (which houses two adults who both work from home, two kids, two cats, and one rambunctious dog) and spending the past three months looking around for a bigger home to buy, my husband and I just made the decision to stay put. We love our small house. It's bright and has high ceilings, a great floor plan, and amazing windows and views. And the smaller mortgage is appealing, too.

We looked at a lot of bigger houses that were nowhere near as beautiful as our small house. And after living with an excellent floor plan for so long, we were both quick to see how inefficient most houses are in terms of usable space. They had more square footage, yes, but so much of it was wasted.

Now that we've recommitted to this house, it feels so good. We're tackling some new projects, doing a bit of purging and painting, and excited about our home all over again. Even our boys are excited about staying, despite the fact that they know it means they'll be roommates for the next ten years.

How To Chase Those Living Small Blues Away
5/28/14 01:57 AM

I used to make these in the oven in the winter, too. Yum!

My Favorite Summer Dessert: Grilled S'mores Banana Boats Delicious Links
5/24/14 02:31 AM

I found a cool-looking walnut and leather sling chair for $35 at Value Village. Turns out it's a rare Jerry Johnson piece worth $1500. Score!

Tell Us: What's Your Best Bargain Find?
5/22/14 12:28 AM

I got Sweden. After I took the quiz, I realized that Canada (where I'm from) wasn't an option, so Sweden makes sense. It's kind of like Euro-Canada.

Take the Quiz: Which Country's Parenting Values Match Yours? PBS
5/17/14 12:41 AM

I've only experienced this problem once, when my husband and I threw a reunion party for some of our closest friends when one of our friends, who had moved away, was back in the city for a visit. We were all sitting around having a good time, except for one person who was ignoring us and playing Angry Birds, of all things, on her phone. Eventually the rest of us went all WTF on her, in a friendly way, and she seemed chagrined and put her phone away. This person has since fallen away from our group of friends, and in hindsight, this was the incident that first made us realize we were no longer close.

5 Ways to Deal With Dinner Party Guests Who Won't Put Down Their Phones
5/9/14 02:44 PM

When I was a grad student almost twenty (!!!) years ago, I was at a thrift store with one of my roommates, and I spotted the most awesome chair I'd ever seen -- lovely moulded walnut with a dark brown suede sling seat. I fell in love with it and spent almost all the money I had ($35) to buy it. My roommate, on the other hand, HATED it and tried to talk me out of it. I ended up carrying the thing on my head for the twelve-block walk back to our house, because duh, I forgot we'd walked. As an act of protest, my roomie refused to help.

My other roommates (one of whom was, and still is, my husband) thought the chair was kind of weird, but they liked it enough to allow me to keep it in the living room. They nicknamed it "the porn star chair", because they said it looked like something a successful 1960s male porn star would have in his bachelor pad. It was always a conversation piece at parties because it was so unusual looking.

Fast forward many years. My husband and I learned that the porn star chair is actually a rare Jerry Johnson piece (here's a very similar one: http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/55329-mid-century-modern-jerry-johnson-sling-c) and is worth around $1500. We've had it for so long that we haven't gotten all precious about it. Our kids drag it around, our cats wrestle use it as a jungle gym, and our (not small) dog sleeps in it. And we still call it the porn star chair. I plan to keep it forever.

What Home Item Have You Had the Longest? (And What Is Its Story?)
5/4/14 01:22 AM

My kids' art is all over our house, and displaying it ended up being a surprising creative catalyst for me. One day, many months ago, my then-five-year-old asked me why none of *my* artwork was on the walls. It was one of those parenting moments that leaves you gobsmacked. I opened my mouth to start explaining why ("I just doodle, my art isn't real"), but I realized those weren't good excuses, and they definitely wouldn't convey what I want him to know about creativity.

Obviously, my behaviour was totally out of synch with my values, and I'm so glad my kid innocently busted me on it. I started sticking my art on the walls, too, and was so pleased and touched when friends would notice my work and compliment me on it. As a result, I'm drawing and painting more than ever, and collaborating with my kids on projects almost every day. None of us may ever become professional artists, but we get a lot of joy from the creating we do.

10 Lovely Homes that Display their Children's Artwork Proudly
4/30/14 01:03 AM

As a child, I was the World's Pickiest Eater (TM), and I dreaded every mealtime. Now I'm mom to a six-year-old and a nine-year-old, and I'm just so thrilled that they seem to enjoy sitting down at the table and at least trying whatever is on the menu.

Sometimes our meals skew super-healthy, and other times (such as earlier this evening) we invite a bunch of friends over at the last minute and have hot dogs and potato chips, because hot dogs and potato chips are easy to prepare for a dozen last-minute guests.

Both kinds of meals are good, for different reasons.

You're Doing It Right: Feeding Your Kids You're Doing It Right
4/26/14 01:46 AM

@jbroseph: I have a spa-like all-white bedroom. The secret is to get a white dog. Mine camouflages herself between the pillows. :)

Stop Worrying: 7 Things About Your Home That Aren't a Big Deal
4/21/14 01:33 AM

Lovely. I really relate to this tour. I also have a 1,000 square foot house, shared with my husband, our two boys, two cats, and a dog.

Like you, I'm a bit obsessed with storage containers. My husband laughs every time I bring a new bin, crate, or basket home, but they always end up being useful. And custom-built window seats have been a storage saviour for us, too.

My husband and I both work from home full-time, so that's been an interesting challenge. Right now, I work in a little nook in our bedroom, and he works on his laptop at the dining room table. We've been doing this for two years and starting to admit to ourselves that it's not a great long-term solution, so now we're exploring the idea of building a tiny studio in the back yard.

My Small Home: Lauren's Small Space Solutions
4/16/14 01:17 AM

I live in a small lakeside town in a mountain valley, and like most of the houses in town, my house is built on the side of a mountain, facing the water and the mountain range on the other side of the lake. We have many windows, most of which don't need coverings, and the windows couldn't be better situated to bring in light exactly when we need it. In the morning, the sun streams into the kitchen and dining room while we eat breakfast and start our days. In the afternoon, it shines into the dining room from another direction while we eat, the kids do their homework, and we work on projects. At the end of the day, we watch the sun set over the mountains and lake from our living room and bedrooms.

When we initially bought this house, we admired the windows and the brightness in a general way, but living in it has made us appreciate the genius of whomever designed it and situated all the windows. They've transformed our cute but otherwise generic heritage house into a magical space.

What's Your Home's Golden Hour?
4/14/14 12:51 AM

Second those who said soup. Homemade soup is a beautiful thing. Restaurant soup is usually an uninspired way to use up leftovers.

Salad. Only really excellent restaurants serve really excellent salads.

French toast. Usually either too dry or uses bleh bread.

Pizza. My husband and I like really thin-crust pizza, which is virtually impossible to find.

Tacos. After I learned how to make my own shells, I realized how rare it us to find a restaurant that uses homemade shells.

I've worked really hard over the past ten years to become a better cook, so on one hand it's been gratifying to discover that I prefer my own versions of many dishes, but it's also narrowed down the types of places I go to eat. I'll still happily go out for Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and French food. Considering that these are arguably some of the finest cuisines in the world, I'm miles away from being able to do a better job at home. Yet. ;)

The Dishes I Never Order Out Because They're Better at Home
4/12/14 01:09 AM

Thank you! This is the best guide to composting I've encountered. I have to admit to being a bit if a fair-weather three-season composter, and I've never been totally sure I'm doing it right. This post taught me a lot!

A Guide to Setting up a Simple Backyard Compost System Gardening Guides from The Kitchn
4/9/14 01:07 AM