Tomato & Artichoke Galette

I’m not one for following recipes. I scroll through Pinterest for inspiration and then make it up as I go based on whatever I have in the fridge. I’m also not one for buying ingredients for specific things but rather I’ll experiment with the staples I already have in the fridge.Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Inspired by the beautiful tomatoes found this week at the farmers market and wanting to use up the pastry flour in the pantry, I decided to make a galette. After poking around a few blogs and looking at a couple of recipes, I had the basic idea and experimented from there. These free form pastries allow for a lot of creative freedom and are a great way to use up ingredients. I had a jar of artichoke hearts and ricotta cheese that were begging to be used with these tomatoes.

They are also really forgiving – the sloppier more rustic the edges the better!

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  • 1.5 cups of flour (I used pastry flour, but pretty much any flour will do)
  • 1/2 cup butter – cold
  • Heaping spoonful of ricotta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan (or something similar) cheese – a good handful should do

-Mix the cold butter and flour until crumbly.

-Stir in ricotta cheese, start with a little and add more if needed. I used the ricotta to replace the liquid and just kept adding a bit at a time until it formed a dough.

-Mix in salt, pepper and cheese and form a ball of dough

-Chill dough in fridge for at least half an hour

-Using a rolling pin (or an empty glass bottle) roll dough into about a 12 inch circle, no need to be perfect

-Put dough onto ungreased baking sheet. Use parchment paper if you feel like it, don’t use it if you don’t feel like it. This time I felt like it, most of the time I don’t.

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-Slice tomatoes (zucchini, eggplants squash, whatever you’re using)

-Lay slices on a towel and sprinkle with salt to draw out liquids (I put the dough in the fridge, then I sliced the tomatoes. By the time the dough was rolled out, the tomatoes were ready)

-In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup of ricotta with a good lug of olive oil and salt, pepper, garlic to taste

-Spread ricotta in the middle of dough, leaving about 2 inches of exposed dough around the edges.

-Layer your slices and whatever else you might be adding (in this case, artichokes) on top of the ricotta

-Fold extra dough towards the middle but leave the middle open

-Beat an egg and brush the egg over the dough – or skip this step. Whatevs, it will be good either way

-Bake at 400° for 30-40 minutes

Let sit for a while or if you’re a beast like me, dig in and then burn the hell out of your tongue. After you’ve chugged some water to soothe your mouth, the galette should be cool enough to slice and enjoy.

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I’m calling bullshit on anyone who every says they can’t cook at home because their kitchen is too small!



Throwback Thursday


During the construction of Little Lou, it felt like everything was always a mess and disorganized. We were constantly shifting materials to make room or hauling stuff in and out of the carport. It was a struggle to keep everything in order. I can be a bit of a control freak so the whole process was an exercise in letting go. Constant deep breaths and reminders that I can’t control everything.

I cherished the moments (ugh, that sounds corny) when the house was clean and tidy. It was a moment to reassess and allowed me to actually envision the structure as a house rather than a construction site. When we started, I had an idea of a floor plan but didn’t have everything totally laid out. I had drawn out several designs but found that many of my ideas didn’t actually translate well to the space. Another reminder that I can’t control everything, I have to be flexible and willing to change my plans.

Tiny Tip

Tiny Tip #3

Bust out the cloth napkins and not just on the special occasions.

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You might hesitate to do this because cloth napkins can be pricey. But they don’t have to be. All of the cloth napkins in this house came from the thrift store. The first set was white with little flowers and I found them in a box of textiles at a flea market. Cute but showed every little stain so I was scared to use them.

Oh hello dinner party guest! Here’s a napkin but please wipe your hands on your pants instead. I don’t want to ruin my napkins.

I’ve since picked up two sets at a thrift store that are darker and don’t show so much wear.  And I’m a slob so you know my napkins do heavy duty work. Cloth napkins serve a purpose beyond wiping up messes – I often use them to wrap up my lunch to bring to work or produce at the grocery store.

I’ll also hand it over at the bakery or deli to have a to-go order wrapped up. Sometimes I get weird looks for this one (most notably at a Publix in Florida-I thought their heads might explode when I asked for this!) but often, especially in Vermont, people are more than happy to do it. I find this a really simple way to reduce trash and to make whatever treats I’m getting feel even more special. Isn’t it better to have something wrapped up in a pretty napkin instead of trash?




Happy Trailer-versary

Happy trailerversary Little Lou!


One year ago today, the 8 x 24 custom built tiny house trailer from Tumbleweed Tiny House Company arrived! What an incredible year it’s been. I’ve accomplished more than I ever thought possible and worked  so incredibly hard to do so. It would have been impossible with out the unwavering love and support from family and friends. Coincidentally, the trailerversary falls just after that I embarked on another new adventure.


For the past four years, I’ve worked at the Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District in several roles, most recently serving as the School Program Manager. Basically, I got to teach  kids about recycling and composting – two of my favorite things! Want to know my third favorite thing? (kid shouts out: trash!) No,  I don’t really like trash. My third favorite thing is pizza!

That joke was always a hit and having fun with students while talking about such important topics always brought me a lot of joy. However, I knew that I beginning to get tired and wanted to move on before I was burnt out. So I started putting feelers out for new jobs. I applied and interviewed for a couple of positions but nothing really worked out – mostly because I wasn’t particularly excited about the opportunities.


Well, I finally found an opportunity that I’m really excited about. Last week, I began working at Yestermorrow – a sustainable design and build school in Warren, VT. If you’re interested in tiny houses, yurts, timber framing or sustainable building in general, please check out their website.Stay tuned to see where this new adventure takes me!

Throwback Thursday

I think I’m feeling sentimental about Little Lou. Lately, I’ve been scrolling through pictures from when construction first started (Do you think this is what its like to look at  newborn pictures of your toddler?) and there are many photos that haven’t been shared.


This is a photo of my dear friend CJ helping install the subfloor over the rigid foam insulation. This kid is awesome. He regularly drove an hour and half from home to help me with the build. There’s not enough words to express my gratitude.

We used self tapping screws to attach the subfloor directly to the trailer. Damn, that was a pain in the ass. My hands were so swollen and sore (pretty sure I was doing it wrong) that I had to ice my hands at the end of the day. I remember thinking that if every step was this hard, that I was in way over my head. Luckily, this part was probably the hardest on my body.


Tiny Tip

Tiny tip #2- downsize slowly and often

For many people, the thought of living in a tiny house is scary because they would have to go to extreme lengths to downsize. Admittedly downsizing was relatively easy because I did not have that much to begin with. When I decided to build my tiny house I hadn’t yet had a lifetime to accumulate nice things (also, I was broke) – most of my furniture was hand-me-downs, craiglist steals or found on the side of the road. It was easy to part with these things because they didn’t hold much monetary or sentimental value. Recognizing that others have very different situations, here are a few tips for downsizing

  1. Be ruthless: If it has holes, stains, damage, doesn’t fit, is broken, ugly, not used, it goes. Don’t hold on to things that you might fix or use someday, because odds are that if someday hasn’t already happened it’s not going to. Make a decision and stick to it. If you decide it’s going (whether it is going to be donated or it’s really at the end of it’s life), then actually get rid of it.
  2. Try life without it:  If you’re not sure of your decision to get rid of something box it up and hide it. Use the space under your bed, in your garage, the spare closet to “hide” things from yourself. If you go six months without reaching for it, then you don’t need it and it’s time to let it go.
  3. Perma-loan: A few sentimental or valuable things were given to friends on “perma-loan”. If in a few years, I realize that I can’t live without the antique blue velvet chair that I loaned to a friend, I’ll ask for it back. We might have to fist fight for it, but she knows that might happen and that I’ll definitely win lose (she’s feisty).
  4. Can it be replaced?: So much of what we have are things we purchase on impulse and are relatively inexpensive. While this may go against a zero waste philosophy, I say get rid of it (hopefully you will donate it) and if you regret it later, buy it again. The second time around, ask yourself why you got rid of it in the first place. Buy a replacement that addresses the issues of the item it’s replacing. Try to buy second hand first and if you must buy new make sure it meets your needs and is durable enough to last a lifetime.


Don’t expect that you’ll ever be done downsizing. It will take constant attention to keep your junk drawer stays in check. Getting rid of crap should be done often. Almost every time I do laundry, I go through all my drawers to tidy up and get rid of things I haven’t worn in a long time or that are damaged. I’m constantly spilling food down my front (slob) and frequently have to say goodbye to something that I can’t get the stain out of. When I first started this habit it took monumental efforts because I had a lot of clothes – most of which were ill fitting and cheap (we’ll save the fast fashion conversation for another day). As I’ve refined my wardrobe, this has gotten easier.

Tiny Tip Tuesday

I like blogs that have weekly series that I can look forward to. Also, I’m hoping if I publicly commit to posting a weekly tip, I’ll actually do it and will be less likely to neglect this space. Every Tuesday I’ll post a little tip about going zero waste,  sustainability or tiny house living. I want to create content for others to enjoy, so if you like a post and want to see similar ideas in the future let me know. If you don’t like the post and want to hear more about other topics, let me know.


tiny tip #1 – bring a reusable cup with you

For some this might be a no brainer.I agree, it is a no brainer! If you’re not already carrying your own mug for coffee, get your shit together and start bringing one. (Too harsh? too bad!) I’m always surprised when I go to other states and people hesitate to refill my own cup. One time at a Starbucks (Please support your local coffee shop instead of a chain!) in Staten Island -land of the orange- the barista made my drink in a disposable cup even though I had handed over my cup. When I pointed out that my reusable cup was right next to her, she said (cue Staten Island accent) “don’t worry, I’ll pour it in there after so it stays hot”. Ugh. Face meet palm.



Despite the occasional hiccup, I bring a reusable cup with me almost everywhere I go. I carry a mug in the winter for hot drinks. In the summer I carry a tumbler for iced coffees, water, lemonade at the farmers market and boozey cocktails on the beach. I upgraded from plastic to metal – plastic leech toxins (ew!) into your drinks (especially hot drinks) and are not nearly as durable. Also, plastic holds on the taste of whatever you put in there. So if you usually use your plastic cup for coffee but use it for water in a pinch, be prepared for your water to have notes of coffee. Stanley Stainless Steel Classic Mug (18 oz)

This past winter, I lost my beloved coffee tankard. Seriously, a tankard – it was a giant mug that was metal on the inside and super well insulated. I could write a love song about this mug. But alas, despite many weeks of wishing and returning to the last know location, the mug remains at large. I have to get something else before the cold weather returns.I’ll take my time picking out something just right, making do with what I have for now. I hope you’ll do the same.


It’s tempting to rush out and buy new things to help you along your zero waste journey. I would encourage you to slow down, look at what you already have and make do for a while. Mindless and rushed purchases will lead to products that are not quite as helpful as you might have hoped. But one cheap and easy option I’d like to suggest (if you have nothing else already at home!) is the Cuppow! which can be used to turn any wide mouth mason jar into a to go cup.

A few things to think about

  1. Does it have a lid that seals tight? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tossed my mug in my bag and later realized there was still a few drops of coffee in there – Coffee stains aren’t a good look.
  2. Does it fit in your car cup holder? I unfortunately don’t have the luxury of public transportation to many of the places I need to go. As a road warrior, I need a cup of coffee whenever I head into battle. The previously mentioned tankard had one downside-It didn’t fit in the cup holder.
  3. It is durable? You don’t want to invest something that will crack, grow mold, hold onto odors/tastes, shatter  etc. It’s nice to have something that will last for years and you can toss in your bag without a second thought.

Zero Waste Vacation

Or rather an attempt at a zero waste vacation. 

My best friends and I are in Florida enjoying the abundance of sunshine, sand and cocktails while channeling our inner basic bitch for Sarah’s bachelorette party – #grinchmanwedding #bridetribe. After a few days at the beach, two of us will embark on a four day road trip back to Vermont which will include an abundance of off key sing-a-longs and junk food. 

Even when on vacation, I work hard to reduce the amount of waste I produce. But I also don’t stress nearly as much as I normally do. Planning in advance makes it easier and packing reusables helps. Plus, most of the reusables are super cute. 

In my carry on I have a metal container for snacks/leftovers, a spork (I can’t believe that made it through TSA!) to avoid plastic utensils, a metal straw, 2 small and 1 larger cloth bags, a reusable tumbler for hot and cold beverages and 2 cloth napkins. When my friends saw how small my bag was, they couldn’t believe I fit all my clothes and all these extras in my bag. Um, I actually packed almost all my summer clothes. Tiny house=tiny wardrobe! 

Less 2 hours into the trip, I’ve already used the tumbler for coffee, the spork and cloth napkin for breakfast and the metal container for leftovers. I avoided a styrofoam to go container by asking for my meal on a paper plate. Unfortunately, the plate was too dirty for recycling and there was no place to compost at the airport. 

But I didn’t want to embarrass my friends by stinking up the plane with a greasy plate! I already embarrass them enough by telling everyone I meet pirate jokes.

Bonus: found glee gum, packaged only in cardboard, at the airport. I don’t normally chew gum but it helps my ear pop on the plane. 

Little Lou, Local Celebrity

The local news station featured Little Lou in a segment recently and they did a fantastic job! The story was short and sweet but really touched on  all the hard work and love that myself, Seth and all my friends and family poured into this project. Also, the focus on the zero waste philosophy was much appreciated.




If you would like to check out the HGTV episode of Tiny House, Big Living it is available streaming on Amazon.



In response…

Buzz Feed recently posted an article filled with a bunch of questions for tiny house hunters.

Dear “Tiny House Hunters” People: Please Answer These Questions

Well I’m not a tiny house hunter, but I am a tiny house dweller. Surely that makes me qualified to answered some of these questions.


1. What actually qualifies, in your mind, as a “tiny house”?

Anything smaller than 500 square feet.

2. Have you ever seen a studio apartment in Manhattan, and if so, would you consider that to fall under those criteria?

Nope. It’s a tiny apartment.

3. Was your realtor a little annoyed because they knew their commission wouldn’t be as much?

Why would they agree to take on a client if they were going to annoyed?

4. Are there tiny house fixer-uppers and short sales, or is that just for bigger houses?

There’s a lot of tiny houses in varying states of completeness on websites like Tiny House Listing. Tiny houses tend to be less expensive than “normal” houses so I’m guessing the instance of short sales is lower. Many tiny houses, particularly ones of wheels, are not eligible for bank financing which would also lower the instance of short sales.

5. Be honest — how much did you really know about yurts before starting your tiny house hunt?

Before: Yurts are cute.

6. Be honest — how much do you really know about yurts even after getting a tiny house?

After: Yurts are cute and not very warm.

7. If you had a larger family, would you still want to do the tiny house thing?

Probably not a tiny house on wheels but probably not a big house.

8. If so…why? (I’m looking at you, family with four kids.)

I mean I’m wondering why anyone would even want that many kids in the first place. I’ll stick with being an “aunt” for now. 

9. What does the rest of your family think about your decision to live in a tiny house?

My parents supported me because I was going to do what I want to matter what. Now they’re super proud. Generally, my family is on board. I’ve got a family filled with badass women (and men) who encourage me to be a badass woman and chase all my dreams.

10. If you want a pet, does it need to be a tiny pet, like a hamster or something?

Hamster are tiny – their cages, not so much. Definitely not the right choice for a tiny house. Henry the hedgehog used to live with me in a tiny apartment but his cage was too big. He has a new loving home now. But hot damn, he was cute.


11. How frequently do you plan on moving your house around, if at all?

Occasionally. When new adventures arise or my leases run out.

12. How do you choose which friend’s place to park your house at until you can buy your own plot of land?

Whichever friend says yes!

13. Do your friends actually want you to come and stay on their property for an undetermined period of time, or are they just being nice?

Probably a little bit of both. 

14. Is it tough to get someone to come and install cable and wifi?

I’m a wifi (electric and water too) parasite. I mooch off the main house. Do people actually still have cable? 

15. What does it take to disaster-proof a tiny house (as in, prepare for earthquakes, tornadoes, etc.)?

Construction is similar to a regular house. My rafters are connected with hurricane ties to stand up to strong winds (at home and on the road). Luckily, I don’t have to worry about many natural disasters where I live.

But when the floods come, I can move my house out of the way! 

16. How do you decide which possessions of yours to get rid of if there’s not a lot of storage?

For the year prior to moving in, I hid clothes and household items under the bed or in the hall closet. This way, I was able to see how it felt to be without them. If I found myself digging under the bed or in the closet for an item, it came to the tiny house. If I forgot about it, it was donated. And my friends got to take pretty much whatever they wanted. 

17. Do you have to be a really neat person to live in such a small space?

Nah. I go from one extreme to another – really tidy or a total pig. It all depends on your tolerance for mess and clutter.

18. Like, can you just take your shoes off and throw them on the floor like most people, or do you have to put everything in a very specific place?

I kick them off and leave them in the middle of the floor. Then I have a temper tantrum when I trip over them most other people. 

19. Do you ever get claustrophobic?

Yeah and then I go outside. I’m not trapped inside my house with no means of escape. I get claustrophobic if I’m inside for too long no matter how big the inside is.

20. Do people even come over at all? Like, can they fit?

Little Lou has hosted as many as five friends at one time! And that’s pretty much all the friends I have. 

21. When is the last time you threw a dinner party, and how did that work?

I haven’t had a big group over for dinner but I plan to host summer bbq’s on the lawn. If your house is small – or big- go outside!

22. Is it awkward when you have guests over and someone needs to fart in such a small space?

Meh. Farts are funny.

23. Is it even more awkward if someone needs to poop?

Nah. Pooping in the composting toilet is less awkward because it’s filled with sawdust instead of water. No embarrassing splash when you drop the kids at the pool.

24. And can everyone hear you peeing?

see above.

25. Is there soundproofing…at all?

Well everything is basically one big room. So not really. But  the insulation, Roxul, actually acts as a sound barrier.

26. Can you have ~overnight visitors~ without things getting uncomfortable?

Yup. They sleep on the couch, share my bed with me or I sleep on a camping pad and they sleep in my bed. I’m pretty much the best friend ever.

Oh Wait…is this a sex question? Right, it probably is.

It’s not uncomfortable. And I live alone so I can enjoy activities-monopoly is a favorite-with overnight guests in any room in the house without worrying about being busted by roommates. 

27. How often do you hit your head on the ceiling when you wake up?

Never. I can sit straight up in my bed.

28. Are there tiny bed frames for sale somewhere or do you just have to put your mattress directly on the floor?

You could probably find one but it seems like a waste of space to me if you have a lofted bedroom. 

29. Why do you seem to expect that a full-sized kitchen will fit into your 150 sq. foot house?

Because you can do it. The kitchen in my tiny house is bigger than the kitchen in my last apartment. But you’ll have to sacrifice space somewhere else – like the living room.

30. Oh, and do you end up having to order a lot of takeout because the kitchens are so small?

Nope. I love cooking and hardly order take out. In fact, I order less take out now than when I lived in an apartment in the city because there is no delivery options at my new home.

31. Are you hoping to put in tiny granite countertops, at least?

Granite looks nice and you can afford to splurge when you have such a small area to cover. However, nothing beats free. If your house is on wheels, you need to be mindful of weight and granite is heavy.

32. Do you have to take out the trash all the time so it doesn’t start to stink up the whole house?

Nope. I compost all of my food scraps. With most of  my veggies scraps, I save them in the freezer until I have enough to make a pot of stock then I compost the scraps. I keep the compost bin in the fridge so it doesn’t stink up the house.

I produce so little trash, that I’ve only had to take my trash out twice in the past 5 months. and I used grocery store bags as trash bags!

33. What’s up with those bathrooms that are just a toilet, shower, and sink combined into the same 10 square feet?

It’s called a wet bath and saves a lot of space since you don’t need a tub or a shower stall. But they’re also a pain in the butt. It’s hard to keep your toilet paper dry when the whole bathroom is a shower.

34. Why do you always ask if a bathtub will fit in your tiny house? IT WON’T.

Lies. I have a bathtub. It’s a horse trough that we put a drain in. You just have to be creative!

35. Do you ever have a hard time maneuvering in the shower and just give up trying to get fully clean?

No. I’m not a dirt bag.

36. Is it hard to get up the ladder to the loft/sleeping area after having a few drinks?

Yeah but it’s hard to get up any stairs after a few drinks.

37. How many times have you fallen off the ladder/loft?

almost once. making the bed in the loft is hard work.

38. If there are two people and one wants to sleep while the other wants to stay awake, how do you choose if the light stays on or goes off?

Rock, paper, scissors

39. Do you ever get into fights because of noise/light issues like this?

Nope. I like the people who spend the night at my house and tend not to fight with them.

40. Is there even enough space to have a fight?

Fight? Like wrestle? Yes. Argue? Yes.

41. And do you feel silly when you complain about not having enough space for something and then remember that, like…you chose to live in a tiny house?

Yeah but everyone complains sometimes. I feel the most silly when I loose something in the tiny house. It’s 240 square feet-how the hell do I still loose my keys all the time?!