Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall Vase

Today's post is very simple, so I hope you weren't expecting something grand. :)


As part of my fall decorations, I changed out the contents of my favorite vase. I actually bought the vase in a school auction for $30. It was handmade from one of our pottery professors. The moment I saw it, I knew I must have it. Its actually a pitcher, but it works better as a vase, with or without water.

Prior to changing out the decorations, it contained some lime green and purple tissue paper the Mortician used to wrap one of my birthday gifts last October. Yes, I held on to it. It was beautiful and worked great as a decoration. You should try it sometime!

I picked up some fall leaves and flowers at the store, three sprigs to be exact, and mixed them together, forming the arrangement you see in the pictures. The crow was handmade by a student at my college two years ago. I keep it in the vase all year as crows are my favorite animal, and it works great which this set up. The crow is actually very simply constructed. It's felt sewed together, stuffed, and stuck through a wire stake. Pretty simple, so you could probably make your own. If not, Joanna's Fabric has some beautiful crows on sale at the moment with the same antique look.


Do you have a fall arrangement?

Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Stuffed Squash

 

This week's tasty Tuesday is stuffed squash. The idea for this recipe came from a friend who actually used it to stuff zucchini. You can use it for either, but I like squash better.


Ingredients

2-4 summer squash (2 will feed two people)
1/2 Italian Bread Crumbs
1/2 Vegan Parmesan
1 box long grain and wild rice
1 tbsp garlic powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook rice according to package. If you buy a box of rice, use the flavor packet too.

Using a fork, poke holes in squash. This is very important. I forgot this step the second time I made this and the squash exploded in my microwave. Place the squash in a bowl and fill with water. You don't need to cover the squash, just make sure there is adequate water for steaming. Place the bowl in the microwave and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the squash is soft.

Meanwhile, mix together the Parmesan, bread crumbs, rice, and garlic powder. Remove the squash from the microwave and immediately run it under cold water. When they are cool enough to handle, cut in half and scoop out of innards into the Parmesan mixture. Scoop the seeds and all but make sure the squash is still sturdy enough to hold the filling.

Scoop the filling into the squash. If you are only cooking two squash, you may have left over filling. I over stuff mine so I don't waste anything. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes and enjoy!


This has become a favorite around here and it only costs a couple bucks to make. Unfortunately, the summer squash season is ending. I am not sure how this recipe will taste with other squashes, but I am prepared to find out.

Enjoy and Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

DIY: Homemade Washing Soda

I love making homemade cleaners, but I have been unable to try many for the simple fact that I can't find washing soda in the stores, even in the pool section. Its absolutely frustrating, but I have coped. Currently, the only cleaners I would like to make that include washing soda are homemade detergents. In the course of looking for cleaning recipes, I realized I only really needed two things, vinegar and baking soda. Really, I only used vinegar, but when cleaning drains, I break out the baking soda. I'll make a post later of what I use my vinegar spray for, but this post is for making your own washing soda!

I have noticed lately I'm not the only one who can't  find washing soda in the store, so I did a bit of research. Really, I was looking up if there was a suitable alternative or if I could do a little chemistry at home. Turns out, you can do a little chemistry at home, which is great! As it turns out, sodium bicarbonate aka Baking Soda reacts with higher temperatures, around 300-400 degrees Fahrenheit. When exposed to these temperatures, the baking soda releases carbon dioxide, becoming sodium carbonate aka washing soda! Simple as that! So how can you make your own?


Supplies:
1 lbs baking soda
baking sheet

First, preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover your baking sheet with foil. This will allow you to easily remove the washing soda when its ready. Spread the pound of baking soda evenly over the baking sheet. This will ensure that it reacts evenly and therefore turns into washing soda. Bake in the oven for one hour. Using gloves, transfer the now washing soda to a jar and seal it tightly. Be careful! Washing soda is more alkaline than baking soda, meaning it can irritate and possibly burn your skin.

And there you have it, homemade washing soda! I hope this has been helpful, and I would love to know what you make at home with washing soda!

Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Swedish Meatballs

 

Growing up, my mother made several traditional Swedish dishes around the holidays. Being almost entirely Swedish herself, she felt it was the best way to connect with her heritage. I'm very proud to say my family hails from Sweden, and I was very upset when I could no longer partake in Swedish Meatballs during the holidays. So what did I do? I veganized the recipe! This recipe is perfect for the holiday season or all year. If you eat seasonally, this is a fall to winter dish. I have had a lot requests for my Swedish Meatball recipe, so without further ado, I'd like to present it to you. This recipe is vegan, but can easily be modified to include animal based products.

Ingredients

1 pkg veggie meatballs (your favorite brand)
1/4-1/2 onion, diced (this depends on how much onion you want. We use 1/4)
1-2 cloves of garlic, diced (again, depends on how much you want)
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary or thyme
1 can mushroom gravy (I use Kroger's Value Brand)
1-2 large spoon fulls of Tofutti Sour Cream
whole wheat pasta

Directions

Serving Size: 2-3 (double the recipe to serve a family)

Preheat oven to 350. Cook the whole wheat pasta according to the box. Foil a baking sheet. Evenly space the meatballs on the baking sheet. Cook in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute onion and garlic. Once the onion is translucent, add basil, oregano, and rosemary/thyme. Cook for 1 minute. Add the can of mushroom gravy and spoonfuls of sour cream. The mixture should turn a beige color. Stir in completely. When the mixture turns a darker brown color, add the meatballs and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve on top of pasta.

This dish goes great with green beans, corn, or bread spread with traditional Swedish lingonberry jam. I love lingonberry jam. My mom generally buys it around the holidays as a treat, making it all the more delicious.


I hope that you enjoy my recipe. What is your favorite traditional recipe? Feel free to share it. Is there a recipe you are interested in seeing me veganize? I love to experiment!

Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Great Expectations

I'd like to go ahead and layout what readers can expect from this particular blog. First of all, this isn't just for men and women in a relationship with a mortician. This blog is for everyone who is in or hopes to be in a relationship and those wishing to live frugally and happily. I'm am not a relationship counselor, but I know how to make and break a relationship. I hope that my knowledge and advice coupled with that of my readers will fulfill the reader expectations.

I plan on letting everyone know what I do for myself while the Mortician is at work to keep myself happy and busy. This will be anything from cleaning (yes, I enjoy cleaning), cooking and baking (vegan friendly!), reading, movies, crafts, home decor, spiritualism, saving money (of course), etc. Finally, I plan to post what we do to keep our relationship strong and avoid fights. This is not always an easy task; we struggle just as much as every other couple.

If there is a topic you wish me to address, please, feel free to comment, send me an email, or send a Facebook message. I welcome all the ideas I can get! My goal is to serve my readers, so please, do not hesitate to ask questions, email testimonials, or ask to write a guest post! I will be happy to hear from you and glad to do whatever I can answer your questions.

I hope that you will follow me here and on Facebook and keep in touch!

Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

A Brief Introduction

In February, I introduced myself to the blogging world, sharing my ideas, religion, recipes, feelings, etc. It was great up until about a month ago when my fiancé got a new job and we moved to the big city of Atlanta from a small, county town. Honestly, this is probably the best thing that could have happened to us, but a new job meant new responsibilities and a very different community. Fortunately, I’m from the Atlanta area and my fiancé is made for the city. Such a big change, however, has changed how I feel about life in general and what I want to write about. Why? Well, as you can guess from the title, my fiancé is a mortician.

The good news is the job itself doesn't bother me. In fact, I'm pretty indifferent to it. It's what he wants to do, he enjoys it, doesn't complain, and we have enough money to pay the bills, have some fun and eat well; enough to the point where I don't have to work a job I hate. This is great, but there is a catch. If you know anything about the funeral business, you know death has no hours and it doesn't wait for your schedule. My fiance works long hours away from home, gets one day off a wee and every other weekend, and is on call most nights. Sometimes he is home only long enough to eat dinner and go pick up a body. It is actually rather difficult ad puts a lot of strain on our relationship. When I found out he had accepted the job, I did some research to find others in my position so I could have a better understanding of what was to come. Unfortunately, I came up relatively empty handed. The best advice I received was from one of the owners. He sat me down the Saturday we moved in to our home and told me what to expect. I found it rather upsetting that the only resource I had was a man whose marriage was failing due to the business. Maybe if there were resources available for his wife, things would have worked out. That is what I hope to provide here. I do a number of things everyday to keep myself and the Mortician happy and our relationship blossoming. I hope that my insights will not only help others fantastic men and women in my position but housewives and husbands of the world. Much of my advice is for EVERYONE. I hope that you will find it enlightening and instructive.

So who is the cast of this poorly constructed farce? Well, there is my fiance the Mortician. We met on an online dating website over a year ago and we haven't looked back. When they say opposites attract, they (whoever they is) was right. We keep each other on our toes and it works!

And me? Well, I'm a recent graduate with a Bachelor's in biology trying my best to do something with it. Hopefully I'll end up in graduate school in the next year or two, but until then, I'm enjoying the time off!
Us

I'm sorry for the long wait. It has been hectic here trying to get this blog ready. I look forward to getting this project off the ground, and I hope your death won't interupt my day! So without further ado, I present The Mortician's Wife.

Look alive!


<3The Mortician's Wife






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