Updates & Five Monday Things

Good morning, lovely readers! It's Monday and while for many of us that is not a particularly welcome day, this particular Monday means I have a few updates:

1. This is my first FULL WEEK of graduate school. Last week was only a partial week and I didn't have a full work schedule but this week is the real test. I'm both pumped and also a little bit terrified. Last week was great so I can only think it will stay that way at least until mid-terms.

Suzzalo Library looking so damn collegiate 

Suzzalo Library looking so damn collegiate 

2. Speaking of school, you may have noticed less than regular posting for the last several months-- some of that is school, some new job, other life crap. You know the drill. However, I've been playing with some new formats and I have (most likely) found what's going to keep you awesome people going on great projects and me from loosing my marbles!

3. In addition to working on new post formats I'm working on an updated look! Keep your eyes peeled for that to drop sometime... soon... ish. My awesome friend Nina is helping me get that going and I can't wait for everyone to see what we come up with!

 

Five Things (formerly Gems of the Internet)

1. Utterly incredible long-exposure photographs of trees that seem to drip with light by Vitor Schietti.

2. Speaking of art... Fox News credited Leonardo Decaprio with painting the Mona Lisa a week ago. Shows what my art history profs know!

3. There's too much awful shit happening in the world right now but this is an amazing way to for refugee children to deal with what's going on:

4. Brilliant UW Museology alum Sarah Olivo has written a great piece on her blog Queering the Museum and it's a great read even if you aren't a museum dork.

5. I'm on a photography kick these days so here are some stunning photos by Michele Marshall capturing redheads of color. You may remember her previous series I posted on freckles. I'm totally in love.


Let me know what you think of the new shorter formats and keep up with everything I'm up to on social media! Don't forget you can donate to Betty HQ by clicking on the donate button in the About Betty tab. xo--



Betty's Healthy Hangover Buster

Happy Labor Day, readers! Here in Seattle, the weather is starting to cool and the clouds have returned after what felt like a very LONG and very HOT summer.

As you all know, I love testing and writing about projects to share will you guys--but unfortunately materials and supplies cost real money. However, I am thrilled to announce that I have set up a "Donate" button on the About Betty page, which allows you amazing people to kick me a little cash here and there to help me keep this blog going and ad-free. No one likes sidebars full of ads and popups and I want to keep the content coming so if you've got a few extra bucks here and there-- I would be most appreciative. I promise your hard-earned dollars will only go toward craft supplies, not hookers and smack.

Speaking of new content--

Hold on to your butts, Beta Testers, it's about to get so damn AUTUMNAL up in here-- As you all know, Fall is my all time favorite time of year which culminates in my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. Consider yourselves warned.

Autumn at Greenlake, via Olypress.com taken by Bill Baker

Autumn at Greenlake, via Olypress.com taken by Bill Baker

As for today's post, I think we've all been in this situation...

But then the next day...

But NEVER FEAR! I have some easy, healthy recipes that will bust that hangover and save you from a greasy food induced mid-afternoon coma. You've got shit to do and ain't nobody got time for an all day hangover. 

Betty's Hangover Buster

Mushroom Scramble

Eggs have tons of protein and fats that help absorb the alcohol still swimming around in your body and mushrooms are full of vitamin B and antioxidants which help you detox from your bacchanal. Also giving your body the calories to repair and gives a slightly touchy tummy something to hold on to. 

  • Eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • Any other veggies you have (opt)
  • 1tbs milk, s&p (opt)

Whisk 2-3 eggs with a dash of milk, s&p (opt). If you'r an onion person, sauté 1/4c diced onion and sliced mushrooms over medium heat in an oiled skillet for approx. 3 minutes. Reduce the heat and add the eggy goodness. Use a spatula or wood spoon to shove everything around until the eggs are firm and matte (less if you are a runny-egg loving savage). Consume, and be healed.  

Honey Elvis Toast

Can't quite face eggs or turning on the stove? No problem. Honey and bananas are not only full of potassium and antioxidants, they're also a natural sugar to help you replenish the sugars you lost. Honey can also help soothe a croaky throat stirred into some tea. The toast helps to settle the stomach and the peanut butter gives you some easy to digest protein. 

  • Whole wheat toast
  • 2tbs peanut butter
  • 1 medium banana
  • Drizzle of honey

Toast 1-2pcs of bread and slather with peanut butter. Cut the banana into rounds or slices and lay on top of peanut butter, drizzle with honey. A little less hangover, a little more awesome.

Beverage Flight

When you drink alcohol, your body gets super dehydrated which is part of what causes the raging hangover. You can reduce the hangover by drinking plenty of water while you're out on the town, but the next day you also need to hydrate. My go-to is a flight of water (flat or sparkling, with a little lemon), the perfect cup of black tea and super-hydrator of your choice. Water is an obvious choice, and the sparking will help calm your tummy and the lemon assists in replenishing electrolytes. I recommend tea over coffee for your caffeine fix (it won't help your hangover to also have caffeine withdrawal) because it's gentler on the stomach and less dehydrating. As far as a super-hydrator, you can take your pick! Coconut water, Gatorade, Pedialyte, fruit juice... whatever you're partial to. These drinks hydrate and replenish electrolytes which will help with the headache and the "I think I got hit by a bus" feeling. 

  • A big ol' glass of sparkling water with 2 lemon wheels
  • My perfect cup of tea is PG TIps steeped 3-4 minutes in just-below-boiling water with a bit of half and half (bliss)
  • Small glass of your super-hydrator of choice. Consider cutting it with regular water if your choice has a ton of sugar to keep you from the dreaded mid-day sugar crash.

Remember to hydrate hydrate hydrate and you do have to eat-- especially if you're going to take painkillers for the headache. So get out there, you party animals and remember these tips so you can be back to doin what you do in no time.


There you have it beta-testers! Have some tried-and-true hangover cures of your own? Let me know in the comments. Stay up to date with Betty HQ by following me on social media and using #bettybetatester. Keep those suggestions coming! xoxo--

Let There Be Summer Scones!

Bonne soirée, readers! Hope you have all had a wonderful weekend... full of lazy mornings and charming afternoons with friends (and perhaps a beverage or two). 

Last week I had quite a hankering for scones so I set to some serious baking. I love using my mom's farmhouse bowl for these kind of baking projects-- cathartic AND nostalgic, what more could you want?

My favorite scone recipe is this one from Joy the Baker. Her Lavender Blackberry Scones are to die for. Though I usually find the blackberries make the dough too damp and swap them for blueberries. I also added a bit of lemon zest to the dough and to the egg wash. It adds another level of perkiness that compliments the lavender. If you're not keen to roll out a sticky dough, they also make excellent drop scones, no rolling or cutting required!

I also made some Pear Jam from pears I got from some lovely friends' tree.

It's been a few weeks, so let's have some...

Gems of the Internet

Welcome to my new favorite artist! Amrita Sher-Gil is known as India's Frida Kahlo for her capturing of both Europe on the cusp of modernity and India after decades of colonial rule. I really want a print of one of her paintings-- help me choose!

Science proves what we suspected all along! We are smarties!

Why our future depends on libraries... hear hear!

Mindy Kaling's guide to killer confidence

I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS MOVIE

Camping Fun & Time Management (or the Lack Thereof)

So it turns out that the days and weeks are apt to get away from me. Fortunately I have some lovely photos (as promised) from my recent trip to Mount Rainier to entertain you with!

Sunrise Point

Sunrise Point

Our first day, after setting up camp, we drove up to Sunrise Point and the Sunrise Visitor Center for some hiking. We did Sourdough Ridge to Frozen Lake, then around Shadow Lake and back up to Emmon's Vista. We didn't really mean to hike that far... but it was beautiful! 

Mount Rainier and Little Tahoma to the left

Mount Rainier and Little Tahoma to the left

Sourdough Ridge

Sourdough Ridge

Alpine meadow between Sourdough Ridge and Frozen Lake

Alpine meadow between Sourdough Ridge and Frozen Lake

Our second day we hiked up the Glacier Basin Trail, by the Emmon's Moraine to the Glacier Basin Camp. It was a misty, wet hike and though we came out exhausted, damp and cold it was incredibly beautiful. 

Glacier Basin trail, Emmons Moraine

Glacier Basin trail, Emmons Moraine

Alpine Meadow along the Glacier Basin trail

Alpine Meadow along the Glacier Basin trail

Glacier Basin trail toward White River

Glacier Basin trail toward White River

Then on our last day after breaking camp, we hiked a bit of the Upper Palisades Trail from Sunset Point just to the first outlook over Sunrise Lake. 

Sunrise Point trail

Sunrise Point trail

Sunrise Lake from Sunrise Point

Sunrise Lake from Sunrise Point

All in all-- a restorative and wonderful three days!

Feet by the fire!

Feet by the fire!


Sorry for the delay in new projects, but rest assured more fun Betty projects, recipes and (inevitably) mishaps are coming your way! xo--

Gourmet Camp Cooking Recipe Roundup

Happy Tuesday, Beta Testers! This week we're tackling camping food, and I'm not talkin' weenies and sandwiches... so let's jump right in! 

For all of these recipes you will need either foil pans or a cast iron dutch oven (10"-12" with legs and lid), heavy-duty aluminum foil, cooking spray, insulated BBQ mitts, BBQ tongs, a charcoal chimney starter, and charcoal briquettes.

A note about the charcoal...

For each of these recipes, I suggest splitting the number of charcoal briquettes needed in half and heating them in the chimney in shifts. Here is a simple how-to for lighting charcoal! Once the first shift is lightly ashy, pour them out flat so that you can place the dutch oven over top. Then start the second set, which you will use on the top of the dutch oven. This method gets the bottom cooking first and keeps stuff from burning. Also remember that these are my estimates, and you may find you need more or less briquettes to cook, hence the frequent checking. 

Dutch Oven Pizza 

35 minutes total (5-10 to prep, 25-30 cooking)

20 briquettes on bottom, 12-15 on top

Apologies for the mood-lighting... our late-start (and sort of loosing our way on the trails) that afternoon meant we ate in the dark

Apologies for the mood-lighting... our late-start (and sort of loosing our way on the trails) that afternoon meant we ate in the dark

  • Pre-made pizza dough (I buy it from Trader Joe's, but you could get extra fancy and make some from scratch. I recommend the recipe in Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast by Ken Forkish)
  • Marinera sauce (also from TJ's)
  • Shredded mozzerella
  • Desired toppings (we chose canadian bacon and pineapple, I suggest cutting any veggies before you leave home to save on chopping time and cleanup)
  1. Line dutch oven with heavy-duty foil, spray foil with cooking spray
  2. Turn dough out into (clean) hands and begin to stretch it by holding the dough vertically and allowing gravity to pull it down. Move your hands around the outside of the dough until you have a disc close to the size of your dutch oven.
  3. Lay the dough into the dutch oven and push it to the edges with your fingers.
  4. Spread your sauce over the dough leaving a narrow boarder around the edges.
  5. Top your pizza with whatever you like, including plenty of cheese.
  6. Following the above instructions about charcoal, start cookin your pizza! I checked it at 10m, 20m, 25m and then it was done at 30minutes, however actual timing may vary-- again with the obsessive checking!

This pizza made a great first-night meal. We were tired from setting up camp and wandering around the campground and visitor area, but not starving. Paired with a cold Fremont Summer Ale and s'mores later around the fire it made for the perfect first night meal with easy cleanup to boot.

Our second evening boasted a much more elaborate meal as we were coming off a long, damp hike and needed some serious food. The menu was Lemon Tilapia with Roasted Veggies and Cornbread, and a mixed berry cobbler for dessert. Paired with a red wine to help warm us back up.

Cooking arrangement, cornbread in dutch oven, cobbler and tilapia w veggies in the foil pans

Cooking arrangement, cornbread in dutch oven, cobbler and tilapia w veggies in the foil pans

Tilapia with Roast Veggies

40 minutes (5 prep, 35 to cook)

  • Tilapia fillets (frozen from TJ's)
  • 1 Lemon (2 if you're doing several fillets)
  • Butter (about 1tbs per fillet)
  • S&P (and any other herbs/spices you fancy)
  • Veggies (we went with fingerling potatoes, baby carrots, and (sliced) mushrooms)
  • foil roasting pan
  1. Lay tilapia fillets in roasting pan and top with bits of butter, lemon slices and S&P
  2. Place veggies around and on top of the fillets
  3. Cover with heavy duty foil
  4. Place on grate over a good cooking fire
  5. Check every 5-7 minutes (rotating 1/4 turn when you check) until the fish flakes and the veggies are tender. Ours took about 35 minutes because potatoes are stubborn.

Cast Iron Cornbread

35 minutes total (5 prep, 30 cook)

20 briquettes on bottom, 10 on top

  • 1 1/4c milk
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 1/2 c medium-grind cornmeal
  • 1/2c all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs sugar 
  • 1 egg
  1. Before you leave: mix dry ingredients in a plastic container to minimize work at the campsite
  2. Line dutch oven with foil and spray with cooking spray
  3. Melt butter in saucepan over pre-heating briquettes and pour into dutch oven (I dearly wish I had captured this maneuver, because it was brilliantly simple and ingenious)
  4. White butter is melting, mix dry ingredients with milk and egg until combined and pour into dutch oven after butter
  5. Follow the charcoal instructions and start the bottom to cooking. Add the briquettes to the top once they are ready. Check every 10 minutes until done (approx 30 minutes). 

Mixed Berry Cobbler

30 minutes total (5 to prep, 25 to cook)

18 briquettes on bottom, 10 on top

  • 4 cups fresh mixed berries

  • 1/4c granulated sugar

  • 2 tbs all-purpose flour

  • 1 can Pillsbury Biscuits (you could also pre-make homemade if you are feeling like going the extra mile-- try this one from Joy the Baker, omitting the extra flavor additions if you prefer)

  1. Pre-mix the berries, sugar and flour in a plastic container for easy cleanup.
  2. Line dutch oven with foil (you can also prepare a foil pan as with the tilapia, but it is much more difficult to achieve browned biscuits that way--trust me)
  3. Pour the berry mix into the dutch oven and top with the pre-made biscuits
  4. Follow the charcoal instructions and start the bottom to cooking. Add the briquettes to the top once they are ready. Check every 5-7 minutes until done (approx 25 minutes). 
  5. I did the cobbler in the foil pan, but I wouldn't recommend it-- it was too hard to get the top to brown (which is how there came to be burned parts and bits of ash in the cobbler...don't be like me) and it would have been just as easy to do the cornbread first, lift it out of the dutch oven and then start the cobbler.
Cheers to the great outdoors

Cheers to the great outdoors


Hope you enjoyed this summer's camp cooking roundup! If you missed the pictures from my camping trip check out next Sunday's post to get the full panorama of Mt Rainier beauty. As always, keep those requests coming and give me a follow on the social medias for even more Betty action. xo--

Triumphant Return! And Sunday Funday

Greetings Beta Testers! Apologies for my extended absence... however some wonderful news!

I have gotten an new job at Pacific Northwest Ballet as the (newly created) Production Assistant for Shoes and Rentals. I am thrilled to step into this post at a company I already know and like. This means that I can start school and still be able to pay my rent! Woohoo! 

I am utterly obsessed with lemons and lemony flavored/scented things. Pardon me while I bask in the glory of these beauties.

I am utterly obsessed with lemons and lemony flavored/scented things. Pardon me while I bask in the glory of these beauties.

Today's short project is Lemon Sugar Scrub! I made this one on location visiting my dear friend from college Emily on Bainbridge Island. 

View from the Seattle to Bainbridge Island ferry

View from the Seattle to Bainbridge Island ferry

Ingredients:

2c white sugar

Jojoba oil (or any other skin oil you have on hand such as Almond or Avocado oil)

Dr Bronner's castile soap (I like the almond scent but you could also use the unscented)

Zest from 3 lemons

Vitamin E oil

Lemon extract

Airtight or screw-top containers (sterilized)

Bowl, measuring cups & spoons, and spatula

Method

1. Mix the sugar with enough Dr Bronner's to achieve an almost soupy texture. Mix approximately a quarter cup of Jojoba oil into the mixture. If this is too soupy, add some sugar and stir.

2. Zest three lemons into the mix and add a teaspoon or two of lemon extract to your scent preference.

3. Stir in about half a teaspoon of vitamin E oil. 

4. Pour the mixture into your pre-sterilized containers and ta-da! 

Lemon is my most favorite scent these days and this luscious scrub is absolute heaven! It's great on feet or hands after a long weekend at the beach or out gardening. I especially love using it as one step in treating my over worked dry hands. And now... for the

Gems of the Internet

I hope you celebrated Malala's 18th birthday! She is a shining light for the future.

Well this statistic is disheartening. UGH

Some self-love inspiration for all my babelicious readers

Dyed pit hair is getting to be all the rage, spurred along by my friend and brilliant hair stylist and blogger Roxie-- mastermind of How to Hair Girl (whose praises you have heard me sing before)

And finally a little good news about the massive earthquake set to devastate my beloved Pacific Northwest


Hope you've enjoyed my return post-- keep those questions and suggestions coming! More body products are definitely in the works as well as recipes and more of my deck re-do, so stay tuned for those projects. To get the behind the scenes scoop on what's going on at Betty HQ, follow me on instagram, twitter and pinterest! xo--