Thursday, July 07, 2011

Birthday celebrations!

This picture absolutely melts my heart. Ever since I moved to Houston in 1997 (holy moly that's a long time ago) I have taken the kids to Moorhead's Blueberry Farm every summer and we have picked them and eaten as many as we could from the bush and taken the rest home. This is actually the 2nd year of picking - 1999 - or gosh maybe it was even 2000. Look at my beautiful babies! They are teenagers now! We went there a couple weeks ago and I now have a freezer full of blueberries (as well as fresh blueberry crisp, blueberries & cream cupcakes and fruit salads already baked/made and consumed). I didn't get pics of the kids because they were inside the bushes (see below) and it was hard to get a photo with the lighting. But I have blueberry pickin' pics and stories from 2009 - Yer Face, 2007 - blueberries and Gawad Kalinga, and 2005 - blueberries, kids and the hippie generation.
My friend Elise is inside the blueberry bush! Elise is the President of Astrodome Studios - aiming to turn the architectural wonder that is the Astrodome into a film studio.
This is this year's crop we picked! Well this is my bucket and Elise's I think - my kids had two smaller buckets also. Notice she picked the unripe red ones because she's a newbie... ha ha. I gave her a hard time.
And here's a photo of the blueberries & cream gluten-free cupcakes I baked. I found this recipe at Elena's Pantry blog. It seemed like a lot of oil to flour... I didn't use coconut flour but instead used rice flour and coconut oil instead of grapeseed oil. I made a couple of batches and the first batch I used all coconut oil (1/2 cup as it says) but coconut oil is sort of solid-like at room temp so I think it ended up being more volume of oil than the recipe should have had and they were pretty greasy albeit delicious and coconutty! The second time I used less oil overall and a bit of butter and a bit of coconut oil. Those were not as tasty but still good, especially once topped with (organic) whipping cream and blueberries. Anyway it was a fun experiment. I saw some coconut oil at the store the other day but it was expensive and seemed high in fat content for flour. Anyway the cupcakes were for...drum roll please...
... a birthday celebration! Mine! And my good friend Elise! We are Moonchildren, Cancerians, water babies... children of July! I hosted an I Dont Want to Grow Up party at my house for us! A great excuse to get my favorite girl-power people together! This is Eileen, Lynn, me, Trish and Georgia!
Forgive the photo quality - some of these, this one included, were taken from my phone. This is me, Jessica (who owns Joyfolie - adorable baby shoes and soon-to-be-adult shoes) and Georgia.
Another pic of us girls, with Jessica at the right end this time!
Talking, laughing and eating! Do you like my pink knit cap? I got it at a thrift store in Oregon!
Some of the things I made for the party -counterclockwise from left - roasted veggies (onions, peppers, blue potatoes, carrots with olive oil), coconut-mango salsa with chips, blueberry crisp, white bean pesto salad (I sort of made up the recipe), and toasted quinoa, corn & avocado salad (OMG I am now obsessed with toasted quinoa - it is soooooo freaking delicious!) I will post the recipe soon along with another good one - fennel-white bean soup.
My sister from another mother is making the face I have made since I was a wee one!
Oh and I should add that part of the "I don't want to grow up" party theme was to pop bubble wrap!
Hanging around the kitchen table! My lovely friend Stef is in this pic too - sitting on the left by Eileen - and Mary is next to Elise.
Elise, me and Georgia. I was standing up tall to make myself taller than Elise who had super high heels on! Later in the evening we played the game "things" which is super fun (my friend Nikki introduced me when I was visiting her in Dallas) and it's similar to Balderdash, if you've ever played that.
Beebopping in the kitchen! Eileen, Lynn and I.
Create a mug! I bought one of these for each of the birthday girls for the past couple months - me, Elise, Lynn and Eileen & had everyone sign and then you bake them in the oven to make it permanent. They're at Starbuck's if you want your own! :)
Lynn at Tammy's 4th of July/Eileen's surprise party Monday. I love this photo of her! It's a bit fuzzy and dark because it's a phone pic but still...that is Lake Houston in the background and you can tell how dry it has been here because there is normally not a "beach" at all!! That is due to the extremely low water.
Elise & I at Tammy's on the 4th of July. And with that, I bid adieu! I love my friends soooo much!

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