fried pickles

Fried pickles.  We love them. Which is a good thing, because we have a lot of pickles around these parts.  We are entering the time of year where we start questioning why we planted more than one cucumber, squash etc.  But we aren't complaining.  Too much fresh produce is never a problem, it just requires creative thinking.  Soooo, what do you do with the many jars of pickles taking up space in your fridge? Here you go.

Fried Pickles

 jar of pickles, cut into bite size pieces // 1 cup AP flour // 1 teaspoon salt // 1 teaspoon baking soda // 1/2 teaspoon paprika // 1 egg // 1 cup cold water //  freshly ground pepper // oil for frying

Combine flour, salt, baking soda, paprika and pepper in bowl.  Whisk together and make a well in the center.  Add egg and water.  Whisk together until just combined.  Set aside for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large deep pan, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350 degrees. 

Dip pickle pieces in batter and deep fry until deep golden brown.  Repeat until all pickles have been fried.  Drain on paper towels and enjoy!

**We also used jalapeños in this batter.  Ah-mazing.

Best Days // Weekend Getaway. Unplugged

      Every year we have a family reunion, which is great. But, every year we end up saying the same thing, "I had a really good time, I just wish we could have been a little more, ya know, together".  This year we decided on something a little different than the standard format camping we have always done. We found a secluded little retreat in the middle of the woods of northern Michigan, checked us all in and unplugged for the whole weekend.

       Canoe trips. Bonfires. Hiking. Ultimate slip and sliding. Rock climbing. chipmunk chasing. Kids running wild. Eating. Talking. All the while, keeping our eyes peeled for that bear who was said to have been lurking about. No interruptions. Just family.

       We already booked it for next year!

      Hope you all had an awesome weekend too!          



 By the time you read this, we will be long gone.  I obviously have camping,  day trips and the great outdoors on my mind.  I cannot wait to get away for the weekend, so you will have to forgive this week's theme.  

 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 //

**P.S. don't forget to enter the Shabby Apple giveaway here.



 Monday is John's birthday, so in honor of that, I have decided to list 34 reasons why I hold him so near and dear. 

 1 //John has taught me to pursue the things I want in life.  Full force.  Life is short and you should make it count.
2// He is sexy.
3 // J is loyal.  Almost to a fault.
4 // John is an amazing father.
5 // He is fearless (except when it comes to the boys)
6 // He truly is my best friend.
7 // He humors me by watching British period pieces
8 //  J makes me laugh (cackle even) like nobody else.
9 //He refuses to go to bed at separate times. This only ever happens because he is playing a show or illness.
10 //He is resourceful.
11 // John eats leftovers straight from the fridge.  In his hand.
12 // His passion for cooking-it's contagious.
13 // He does an awesome Cleveland impression.
14 // All of his other impressions are terrible.
15 //He let's me think I am right.
16 //He dances like a Peanut character.
17 //He makes me feel beautiful.  Always.
18 //He is a hard worker. And rarely complains.
19 //John is the King of Karaoke.
20 //He has an incredible sense of adventure.
21//He doesn't like sports.
22 //John is uncompromising. In the best way possible.
23 //He is sentimental.
24 //He makes the effort every day.
25 //John is honest.
26 //He would give you his last dollar and not think twice.
27 //He takes charge.
28 //John knows how to have a good time.
29 //John is the most supportive person I know.  He makes me feel like I can do anything.
30 //John notices.  If you are wearing a new shade of lipstick or wearing new perfume, he will notice.
31 //He almost always does the dishes.
32 //He makes me feel better.  Even after the worst day.
33 //Even though we know each other inside and out, he still manages to surprise me.
34//He makes me happy.  Every day.



Woolgathering // flux capacitor, open road.

      You probably have gathered by now that we love old things. Books, records, furniture, cars, clothes; all of it, give it to us. If it was not for the T.V, I fear our living room could be mistaken for some sort of time capsule, or an untouched shrine for some slightly off collector long since gone. But in a good way, ya know. However, for all of our (many) old things, I would have to say that my favorite by far are some that you don't often notice. They are the pictures, mostly of our respective families, some of people we never knew. There is something about old photos that has always drawn me in. Especially ones of vacations.

      To be more precise, I am talking road trips. 50's and 60's to be exact. The age of travel. There is something about that time that I have always longed to experience. The idea that you could get into a car and just drive. That there were so many things out there that you did not know existed. It was still an adventure to travel. No GPS or internet maps. No video games or dvds. Just a pile of brochures and a worn out atlas. The trip itself was interesting enough to keep your attention. The idea that you did not know what was coming next. To be surprised by somewhere you had never been. I am drawn to those things because I am afraid they are all but gone from our lives today. I am afraid that the idea of everyday adventure is disappearing for our children.

      "You want to talk about a road trip kids, sure! How about we hop online and create a map and an itinerary. How about we do a virtual tour of all the places we will stop along the way. What is the fastest route to get there? We don't want to waste all our time driving now do we?"

      Bah! Bury me in a sea of rest stop fold outs. Wax museums and truck stops. Give me "the worlds biggest rocking chair". Give me Dollywood. Take me to Branson. Take me to Wall Drug. 
 Because when we get to the Grand Canyon or Mt. Rushmore I want to see their faces. I want to hear them whispering and giggling about all the goofy shit they did along the way. I want them to tell stories about getting lost and what they found when they did. 

      My grandfather's Buick. Middle of nowhere. Headed somewhere.
This is where I have been.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 //

Veggie Banh Mi With Crispy Tofu

 We love a good sandwich in this house, and the Banh mi is definitely one of our favorites. Since there are so many variations of it we almost always have everything on hand to make some version of them. By using a method normally reserved for chicken and green tomatoes, we were able to make tofu that was a tasty substitute for whatever porky something or other we would normally fill it with. And it was good, really good.

Crispy Tofu

 1 cup buttermilk* // 1 tsp. salt // 1/2 tsp. garlic powder // 1 tsp paprika // 1 1/2 cups flour // 1 1/2 tsp. salt // 1 tsp. garlic powder //1-2 packages extra firm tofu // oil for frying

Combine first 4 ingredients in 1 bowl, in another combine the remaining flour, salt and garlic powder.
Slice tofu into 1/2" pieces and lay out on towels. Dry thoroughly. Heat 1/2" oil in high walled pan to about 350-375. Dip tofu into buttermilk mixture and then roll in seasoned flour. Fry in batches until tofu is golden brown all over. Flipping once. Season with additional salt immediately after removing from pan and drain on paper towels.

*Vegan substitute. 1 cup non dairy milk // 1 Tb. acid (cider vinegar, lemon juice, etc.) Mix together, let sit 5-10 min,


Baguettes (the fresher, the better) // Veggies (any combination, or all) // Chili pepper // Carrot // Daikon or other radish // Romaine // Cucumber // Cilantro // 


2/3 cup Rice wine vinegar // 1 Tb. Mirin // 1 Tb. Sugar // 1 Tb. Salt

Combine ingredients in saucepan over medium high heat. Stir until salt and sugar is dissolved.
(Coincidentally, this is also our recipe for sushi vinegar. Just in case you needed one.)

Mayo // Fish Sauce // Sriracha // Rice Vinegar

Toss veggies (except romaine and cilantro, if using) with vinegar mixture to taste, let sit 10- 15 min. Slice the the baguette into desired size. Smear on desired condiment and stack tofu and veggies as high as you wish. Stuff it in your face.

**Don't forget to enter the Shabby Apple giveaway!

best days.

 This weekend was productive. Honestly, not much more can be said.  We spent our days cleaning, painting, repairing and building.  It feels good to be crossing things off of our long list of projects, and we are not too far away from being finished.  On the downside, it does seem like we are pushing to get everything done, and when we do, the summer will be over!
Fortunately, we are leaving all projects behind and heading up to northern Michigan next weekend.  We cannot wait.

1 // play time
2 // garden harvest
3 // leftover lunch
4 // F and his box.  He was in it all weekend.
5 // no need to worry
6 // our very clean kitchen *cheers to productivity!

**Haven't entered the Shabby Apple giveaway?  Do it here.


Shabby Apple Giveaway // CLOSED

  O.k Folks, here is the deal. Super simple, Shabby Apple is awesome! Well, if you are a girl anyways. Tons of cute stuff. Especially the dresses. So many in fact, it is almost hard to choose a favorite.  They even have maternity! However, if you want to win you are just going to have to knuckle down and make some decisions! What will you win you ask? Well, you will win $50 towards anything you want from their online store! Not too shabby, eh! Sorry, had to.

      The rules are super easy. First, you need to go like Shabby Apple on Facebook. Then, we need a comment from you telling us what your favorite items are from their shop are. Told you it was simple!  The winner will be selected via random number generator and announced next Monday!

(Unfortunately, this giveaway is closed to international readers)

 *Mandatory Entry-Go like Shabby Apple on Facebook.  Come back here and leave a comment telling us what your favorite things from the shop are.

*Extra Entries  

* Tweet "$50 Shabby Apple giveaway @birdandcleaver blog!"  You must include a link, and leave an additional comment.

*Pin it.  Again, you must leave an additional comment.

* If you are feeling so inclined, share a link on Facebook.  Leave another comment.

**Please do not forget to include your email address. Otherwise, we will not be able to contact you if you win. **

      One more thing, if you just can't wait. Shabby Apple is giving our readers a coupon for 10% off their purchase, good for the next month! Just use the code birdandcleaver10off at the checkout.

Good luck, and thanks for entering. 




Maybe this bank would satisfy my need for a real one??

 This wool trivet tutorial is not only adorable, but it's child friendly project.  And it's functional!

Everything at Schoolhouse Electric is amazing.  I think I need to snag one of these bolster pillows for F's room.

 Antique milking stool via Apartment Therapy.


**Check back Monday for a giveaway from Shabby Apple**


vegan chocolate ice cream

This ice cream came about as a result of a conversation with friends on Sunday night.  We were having a discussion about experimenting with ice cream and frozen yogurt.  John declared half-jokingly that he wanted homemade ice cream. And I took it as a challenge.  I knew we had a can of coconut milk at home, and I wanted to attempt a vegan ice cream.  As soon as we got in the door, I got started.

This ice cream is super easy to make and delicious.  It is really creamy, almost like frozen pudding.  I highly suggest you try it.

vegan chocolate ice cream

 1 can full fat coconut milk // 1/2 cup sugar // 1/4 cup cocoa powder // 3 tablespoons corn starch // pinch of salt // 1 teaspoon vanilla //

Combine coconut milk, sugar, cocoa powder, corn starch, salt and vanilla in medium saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture comes to a simmer. Boil just until mixture begins to thicken.  It should be the consistency of pudding.  Remove from heat and cool.  Chill in fridge until thoroughly cold.  Freeze in your ice cream maker per the manufacturer's instructions.  Freeze for an additional few hours or until it is firm.
Remove from freezer 15-20 minutes before serving, to soften up. 


woolgathering // farmhouse

      The more she talks about it, the more I want it. The way her voice changes and her eyes get big, when she talks about tending to all the furry little creatures that will be running under foot. How,when we talk, it doesn't seem so far fetched anymore. How one small comment, made in passing, swells up into an hour long conversation. At the end of which we find ourselves sitting on the floor of our dusty garage. Because being comfortable was far less important than............

"Oooh, yes, we could do that!"
"You could build that, right?"
"You could fix that, couldn't you?"
"We wouldn't ever have to _____, anymore. How great will that be!"
"And we could have a _____"
"How about we do it in _______, I have always loved______, and we would be close to ______"

On and on.

Ifs are whens.

 This is where I have been.

 1 // 2 // 3 // 4// 5 // 6 //

« »

bird & cleaver All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger