Not Martha

links: food

twice-baked potatoes with kale | smitten kitchen.

The Food Lab: How to Make the Best Creamy Chicken Enchiladas | Serious Eats.

Sprinkle Bakes: Golden Gingerbread with Hard Sauce. So very very pretty and simple.

gingerbread biscotti | smitten kitchen.

Party Drinks: Easy and Elegant Smoky Sage Punch | Serious Eats. The smoky element is added by Lapsang Souchong tea, smart.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Cheddar Beer Sauce – Joy the Baker.

Gift Guide Spotlight: Gifts for the Geek Cook | Serious Eats.

Chicken Broth Taste Test – America’s Test Kitchen. One of the winners is the Better Than Bouillon base which is what I keep in my kitchen. I don’t cook very often so this is a great option as it keeps in the fridge for a very long time.

· comments [0] · 12-15-2014 · categories:food · links ·

A (Sort Of) Gift Guide

I love gift guides but, honestly, I find myself using them most often for the sources they draw from so please allow me to just go ahead and tell you about the spots I’m using for ideas this year:

Kickstarter at MoMA – That neat stuff that was on Kickstarter but you might have since lost track of? Here it is! Also see: the whole gifts section. (I’ve been eyeing that Bubble Necklace for a few years now. Not a hint. Ok, yes, it’s a hint.)

Good Gift Games at The Morning News – An annual curated list of tabletop games by Matthew Baldwin and one of those things I look forward to every year. I know the guy in person and can vouch that all these games have been well tested over rounds of beer with good people at good pubs. I’m going to throw my support on the Marrying Mr. Darcy: The Pride and Prejudice Card Game and also call up a past game that is a most-played in my house: Forbidden Island.

Cool Tools: Mark’s Picks and Under $10 – Have somebody on your list who is a Maker or very practical or just plain hard to shop for? Cool Tools will have a suggestion for that one thing that they might not already know about. Among the most well received gifts to family that I’ve given have come from past Cool Tools recommendations including a craft assistant setup for a model-making family member and guitar tuning devices for my part-time rock star husband. (If said giftee just likes knowing about neat things they might love the Cool Tools book, which I fully admit to becoming engrossed in myself, it’s huge like a coffee table book and packed with information like a catalog.)

Brit+Co Shop – Among the many awesome things in this shop I’m particularly in love with the Gold Leaf Valet Kit with Lovely Indeed, the customizable wood burnt Cheese Board with Design*Sponge and the wooden Pop-Out Ornament Cards. See also: the whole Tech (Bluetooth Camera Shutter Remote for an iPhone!) and Merrymaking Color Block Muddler!) selections. Full disclosure and blatant self promotion: this winter I have my own collaboration with Brit+Co for a set of mini gingerbread house mug topper cookie cutters which, as of me typing this, should be back in stock to purchase on Friday 12/12/14. Update: The DIY Kits have sold out, thanks to everybody who purchased one!

What are your favorite sources for the difficult to shop for?

· comments [6] · 12-8-2014 · categories:christmas · shopping ·

links: misc

Shapeways Blog – Target Opens Up Shapeways Shop With Customizable, Exclusive 3D Printed Gifts for Your Holiday.

The Stars Are Right | Neat Hobby. Possibly the truth behind what the series Cosmos with Neil Degrasse Tyson is getting to. Maybe. Dunno. But I’ll be ready.

Coming Soon – Butter Up. A knife that allows you to take refrigerator cold butter and get it spreadable with very little fuss. I know somebody for whom this will be the perfect gift.

‘Serial’ and White Reporter Privilege – The Awl.

Karl Stefanovic’s sexism experiment: Today presenter wears same suit for a year. Not one viewer noticed and all the while his female counterparts were being heavily judged on their outfits.

“That’s right, my little spider-egg-carriers, we are already on Take Level Meta and the podcast’s season hasn’t even finished. Life is truly a miracle.” Today In Tabs sums up how I feel about Serial.

I Tried a Bunch of Those Viral “Life Hacks” So You Don’t Have To— off the (meat)hook. I’m linking to this for one reason, which is to dispute the review of “Doritos as kindling”. At lady camp one of the tips we were given was that a small bag of Fritos was good for many things: 1. gluten-free food source, 2. kindling (oil in the chips is very flammable), 3. bag for reflecting sun (if needed for signaling to aircraft, and good luck). This past summer at a cookout in a public park we managed to prove #2 true, Fritos work as kindling in an otherwise damp-ish environment. Many hot dogs and veggie burgers were enjoyed.

How to fold the world’s best paper airplane, at Kottke.

Pamie » Barbie Fucks It Up Again.

· comments [5] · 12-3-2014 · categories:links · misc ·

links: food

Featherbed Eggs Will Get Your Family Out of Bed | The Feed.

Marshmallows On Sweet Potatoes? Thanksgiving’s Traditions Exposed : NPR. I cannot handle marshmallows on sweet potatoes (why!?) and now I know who to blame: it’s the Cracker Jack company, I never would have seen that coming.

The Best Scotch to Buy on a Budget | Serious Eats.

Recipes and How To’s | Momofuku Milk Bar. Right. That pumpkin pie cake? That is my next project food.

Recipe Review: Momofuku Bagel Bombs | testerfoodblog. Cream cheese in the center, what?!

Christmas Tree Cakes | Time To Cook. Great instructions on how to anchor these in the oven.

Cookies Too Beautiful to Eat by Pastry Chef Amber Spiegel | Colossal.

· comments [1] · 11-26-2014 · categories:food · links ·

Tiny Gingerbread House decorations

Here are the decorations I’ve collected to decorate the tiny gingerbread houses that decorate mugs which I’ll be making this year. The houses are so small that decorations to be sprinkled on are all you need. I tend to keep an eye out for holiday worthy sprinkles and decorations all year long, so some of these might have had me contemplating the holidays in the middle of July.

Crushed candy canes – Easy, colorful and festive. Also, candy canes are easy to find at the corner store or, say, in the lobby of your bank so you don’t need to make a special trip to find sprinkles. (If you use the pre-crushed sort I promise I won’t tell.)

Nonpareils – Tiny and crunchy and if you get one of those containers with sections for six different colors you can create your own color mix.

Sugar pearls – These are like giant nonpareils, I found these at a discount store.

Itty bitty edible gold foil starsItty bitty edible gold stars! These are amazingly cute. I’ve found these sold by Wilton in the baking aisles of Michael’s and Joann stores as well as specialty cooking shops.

Gold dragée – I want more gold in my holidays so I was thrilled when I found these. Unlike their silver counterparts these are safe to eat since they’re made using edible metallic dust.

Oversized sprinkles – Colorful like twinkle lights. These are from Wilton and they make me very happy.

The next three options are great for creating a simple snowy roof:

White nonpareils – I like the details of a sweet covering of precious little snowy white balls.

Sanding sugar – The larger sugar crystals sparkle nicely.

Edible glitter – I bought this at a specialty cake supply store where the owner assured me that the edible glitter is the best for reflecting the sparkle from twinkle lights. I’ve done a terrible job at conveying that in this photo.

The last row are all from a decoration set that came in one container.

Holly leaves and berries – Sweetly festive.

Tiny snowflakes – You can place these individually if you want, or just sprinkle them on and let randomness do it’s job.

Tiny candy canes – Much to my dismay they don’t actually taste of peppermint, but all is forgiven because they are terribly cute.

Don’t forget! This winter I’ve collaborated with Brit+Co on a DIY kit which includes cookie cutters for my tiny gingerbread houses! It makes creating the gingerbread houses very easy. Go have a peek!

· comments [11] · 11-24-2014 · categories:holidays ·

Seattle’s First Annual Nog Ball

Last year Maggi, Jameson and I created the Nog Crawl and this year it’s evolved into the Nog Ball! It’s gonna be fun, if you’re in Seattle you should definitely get tickets for this!

As you may know, here at Sun Liquor we make a special batch of hand-made aged Eggnog every year. It has gained in popularity since our first batch in 2006, and now we are bottling and making it available to the public for the first time! With the help of some wonderful friends we made during last years Nog Crawl, we have decided to host Seattle’s First Annual Nog Ball.

The event will be held in our production facility on Pike Street and all proceeds for this event will be donated to Wellspring Family Services a local charity that help families in crisis take the next step forward, tap into their own resilience and strength, and build community.

We will offer guests a taste of this years batch of Aged Eggnog as well as tastings from our partners:

2bar Spirits
Caffe Vita
Hilliards Beer
Off the Rez
Snoqualmie Ice Cream
Snowdrift Cider Co.
Standard Brewing
Top Pot Doughnuts
Vinum Importing’s For a Song Wine
& more to be announced!

· comments [0] · 11-20-2014 · categories:events ·

Holiday Mug Kit collaboration with Brit+Co

I’m so utterly thrilled to announce this collaboration with Brit+Co to create a DIY kit for my tiny gingerbread houses that sit on the edge of a mug!

The kit includes two cookie cutters that are 3D printed (!!!) and each kit comes with a mug, a pen for decorating or personalizing the mug and recipes for gingerbread and royal icing. May I suggest that the kit would make a wonderful holiday gift? Even if just for yourself?

They’ve created a complete DIY tutorial for baking and assembling the house.

I couldn’t be more pleased, go have a look!

· comments [14] · 11-17-2014 · categories:christmas · food · holidays ·

links: food

Cauliflower Cake From ‘Plenty More’ | Serious Eats. This is unexpectedly gorgeous.

Step Inside Michael Laiskonis’s Dessert Laboratory | Serious Eats. His secret weapon ingredient? Xanthan gum.

Bring Home A Taste Of Paris The Easy Way With French Bistro Brisket : NPR. The recipe calls for an entire bottle of wine, I plan on making this very soon.

Bon Appétempt: Video: Beet and Goat Cheese Terrine. It’s so pretty!

Imbibe Unfiltered: David Chang Hates on Fancy Beer. I love discussing hop varieties, neckbeard or not.

30 Bags of Chips Means No One is a Winner — Medium. Via mathowie.

Sodium Citrate Will Turn A Block Of Cheese Into The Creamiest Nacho Sauce Ever. Get Some. at Huffington Post.

How To Make A Faux Cheddar In One Hour : NPR From the Found Recipes series.

· comments [3] · 11-13-2014 · categories:food · links ·

Relaxing puzzle games for tablets

These are the games for iPad that I find particularly relaxing and keep around to replay after enough time has passed that I’ve forgotten how to solve most levels.

Monument Valley
This is a stunningly beautiful and simple game that plays with Escher style geometry and has a slightly spooky story. For iOS, Google Play and Kindle Fire.

Doggins
This is a short and exceedingly sweet game about what a dog dreams about. An especially stylish version of a point and click style adventure. For iOS, Google Play and Kindle Fire.

Find the Line
In this game you slide a few lines until they compose a picture and watching the lines dance through their patterns, which work as hints, is beautiful and mesmerizing. One downside: while the game is free the distributor has put video ads between each level and you cannot pay to make the ads go away. Bummer. Just in iOS.

Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake
A cartoonish and funny puzzle game with a surprising amount of levels. I thoroughly loved this game and the levels are satisfyingly tricky while the story is well developed. For iOS, Google Play, Amazon Apps and Steam.

See also the previously mentioned: Tiny Thief and Little Inferno.

· comments [8] · 11-6-2014 · categories:technology ·

Tiny Cheeses

Lately tiny cheeses have been making me happy as an inexpensive and low commitment indulgence. My friend Leslie introduced me to the concept of tiny cheese, which are the smaller odd bits and ends of cheese left over when a grocery store has portioned out and packaged chunks off of a larger wheel. There is usually a small basket of cheese ends tucked in the display case, most for $1 or $2. These tiny cheeses had always been there in grocery stores but for some reason I had never noticed them, so thank you Leslie! Just in case you overlook them too consider this a gentle nudge to have a peek next time you pass them. This past summer the tiny cheeses have provided me with timely moments of fresh mozzarella, queso fresco to accompany a few grilled peppers for dinner, parmesan when I only needed a small portion as I’d be leaving on a trip in a few days. You get the idea, tiny cheeses are great.

This small collection of cheese cost me under $7 and include:

· comments [12] · 10-28-2014 · categories:uncategorized ·

links: technology

The Very Worst Video Game Ever Made – Gamefilter. Desert Bus is released for iPhone and iPad and Android. Yessss!

The Eye-Fi mobi card is the real deal | A Whole Lotta Nothing.

New study says more adult women play video games than teenage boys · Newswire · The A.V. Club. “Before anyone pins this on Kim Kardashian: Hollywood or whatever, the study also says the average adult woman has played games for 13 years”.

· comments [2] · 10-22-2014 · categories:links · technology ·

links: misc

Behind the Scenes at America’s Largest Contiguous Hop Farm | Serious Eats. I had this same learning experience when I attended Hop Academy two years ago.

The Amazing, Original Green Building Is Soon to Be Vacated by the Original Timber Company | Slog. You can see this building while driving on I-5 and it’s amazing even from a distance.

The Heron and the Snake | BirdNote. This was a very unusual Bird Note, and basically the audio version of that Never Give Up frog vs. heron poster.

Part 1: I cheated on my girlfriend of 8 months. At Do You Think You’re Pretty? the blog of Emily V. Gordon who I hereby nominate as the best councilor for us all. Between telling this guy what he needs to hear I also love this: “No love, no matter how great or small, benefits from being overly romanticized. It makes us forget that we’re actually just two people who decided they dug each other.”

Everyone In Hollywood Has This Hairstyle at Refinery 29. Next time I head to get my haircut I’m just going to pull a bunch of these images as examples for what I want.

XOXO 2014:

A tiny gathering of artists has become the most interesting weekend in tech | The Verge.

The narrative lottery at XOXO – Boing Boing.

The XOXO Festival and the fierce urgency of nice — The Message — Medium.

· comments [2] · 10-9-2014 · categories:links · misc ·

links: food

The Glorious Vegetables of Italy by Domenica Marchetti – A Book Review – Adri Barr Crocetti. She includes the recipe for Carrot-Ricotta Ravioli with Herbed Butter which looks amazing.

One-Pot Wonders: Cold Soba Noodles With Kale, Avocado, and Miso-Sesame Dressing | Serious Eats.

The Food Lab: The Road To Better Risotto | Serious Eats. I’m not unhappy with my recent risotto experience but it’s worth trying this to compare. Because science.

The Food Lab: Use the Oven to Make the Best Darned Italian American Red Sauce You’ve Ever Tasted | Serious Eats. See also: Quick and Easy Italian-American Red Sauce in 40 Minutes or Less | Serious Eats : Recipes.

BBC News – Wasabi: Why invest in ‘the hardest plant to grow’? This might explain how I recently came across fresh wasabi at the Granville Market in Vancouver, BC.

I’m looking for real life food mysteries. Where would I find them? | Ask MetaFilter. The answers here point to lots of great stuff to read.

· comments [2] · 10-7-2014 · categories:food · links ·

links: travel

Hitchhiker’s Guide | The Planning Committee. What it looks like from the tallest peak in Wales, I’m adding this to my list of stuff to do when we go back.

Chef Jonathon Sawyer’s Guide to Eating in Cleveland | Serious Eats. I grew up in Cleveland but it’s changed so much that next time we return for a visit it’ll be like discovering a new city.

Anthony Bourdain How to Travel – Anthony Bourdain on How to Fly – Esquire. Via Kottke.

Italy 2014 – August 25th to September 4th. At Other Hand, some great suggestions for markets, gelato and lesser known spots to visit.

DIG IT | Getting Lost Inside The Elizabethan Hedge Labyrinth Out At VanDusen Gardens : Scout Magazine. I’m going to make it to this Vancouver, BC hedge maze soon.

· comments [4] · 10-1-2014 · categories:links · travel ·

Good Raincoats That Come In Petite Sizes

I have a few basic requirements for a rain coat – something that doesn’t scream “I also hike in this”, something that will survive being repeatedly crammed in a bag, and something that fits my petite frame. I also have a few more personal requirements: no wool (I’m allergic) and no extraneous buckles/straps/flaps that I will only manage to catch on everything. This combination of things were surprisingly difficult to find for a while and at one point I ordered ten possible coats online and tried them on one after another at home. Some were too fussy, too heavy, too narrow in the hips and some were terribly tight up under the arms (what’s up with that Michael Kors?). At the time I overlooked the coat I’m about to tell you about because honestly, the photos online make it look more shiny and flimsy than it is in person and they never seem to have it in the stores to check out in person.

The Eddie Bauer Girl on the Go® Trench Coat and Girl On The Go® Insulated Trench Coat filled the raincoat shaped hole in my life. I brought the insulated version with me on a trip to the UK in Oct. and Nov. of last year and I was never cold or wet, the coat could be crammed into my suitcase and emerge looking just fine and I like to think I didn’t stick out too much as a tourist.

The petite size manages to give me some shape and, miraculously, still fits over my not insignificant hips when I’m wearing my bulkiest sweater. I have both the regular and insulted version of the coat. The insulated liner has full sleeves, buttons out when you don’t need it and is surprisingly warm — in fact I was too warm when descending to Tube stations in London. (So, this could be a downside if you live in a city with a subway.) The only difference between the regular and insulated versions is that the waist is cut in a bit tighter in the regular version and it’s more flattering. Which is why I kept both versions. Because vanity. These coats are perfect for the Seattle climate and they both get a lot of use throughout the year so I have no regrets. I have the coat in black but the putty color, shown above, was tempting.

Things that are not so great:

  • it is all synthetic fabrics so it does make scratchy/swishy noises when you move, it doesn’t bother me (crinkle noises are insignificant when rain is pelting the side of your head) but I’ve known a few people for whom this is a peeve so I’ll mention it
  • the hood detaches but it doesn’t tuck into the collar so you just have to keep track of it

Things that are great:

  • interior chest pocket that will hold an iPhone, the pocket sits low enough so that it hits, thankfully, underneath my boob
  • hood cinches down
  • no velcro
  • zips from the bottom as well as the top
  • snaps shut as well for those times when you’re just popping out to grab the mail and don’t want to fuss with zippers
  • can be balled up and shoved in a bag and won’t wrinkle
  • without the insulated liner the coat is surprisingly lightweight so it’s not too much trouble to carry with you shoved in your bag for the day
  • the petite size fits a petite (but not necessarily skinny) frame well with room for a warm sweater

I will also point to the MacKenzie Trench Coat, shown above right. It’s a little less sporty looking with a matte fabric and empire waist and comes in a nice dark gray. Ultimately I valued the longer length of the Girl On The Go coat but nearly fell for the MacKenzie.

Both of these coats are on sale right now so if you’re looking for a raincoat I can recommend giving them a try.

· comments [21] · 09-25-2014 · categories:uncategorized ·