Last night I used testing out the vanilla bean buttercream recipe (verdict – yum, and surprisingly white) as an excuse to get to scrape my first vanilla bean and also to make cupcake towers:
Very clever – a lockable lid for your pint of ice cream. Must remember this.
Cooking For Engineers has found another great KitchenAid mixer Friday deal on Amazon — Classic White Mixer for $105 after you apply the $25 rebate (which is shown on that page). There are more deals on the more powerful models as well, take a look at the Cooking For Engineers Deals Blog.
Also on Cooking For Engineers a very helpful guide to microwave safe containers.
Update on the mattress post – Elizabeth wrote to tell me the June 2005 Consumer Reports has a section on mattresses. In it they say the stuff about the same mattresses beind sold under different names for different prices turns out to be untrue. The Consumer Reports web site has a (free for everybody) section on the anatomy of a mattress.
Furbish put together some good links about how to buy a new mattress, and I have a couple I’ve been saving up: Slate on how to cut through the marketing gimmicks of Sealy, Serta, and the rest, and Ask Metafilter has many threads on this, including lots of talk about memory foam mattresses. The basics as far as I remember – coil count doesn’t necessarily matter, the same mattress will be sold under a different name in different shops, don’t buy a pillow top, and box springs are unnecessary except as a matter of preference.
This month’s Is My Blog Burning was themed Has my blog jelled? and there is a nice round up here. Seeing as how I’m in a marshmallow phase I especially liked these elegant s’mores made by The Domestic Goddess. She includes recipes for the marshmallow and graham crackers. Also I noted this fruit terrine by Cook Sister made using a vegetarian gelatin alternative.
It’s nice to go through a neato cell phone finder only to come up with one result which just happens to be the phone you got recently. If you do use this cell phone tool here is a tip – keep the maximum price (at the top) all the way up as it doesn’t seem to reflect whatever special deals or rebates companies might be running. Once you settle on a phone compare plans and options carefully, we found we got a better deal through the carrier than through Amazon since we wanted fewer minutes, however if we had wanted more I think Amazon would have saved us some money.
Good stuff about lawn care – organic lawn care for the cheap and lazy via girlhacker, and getting rid of weeds at Ask Metafilter. In both places they talk about something I didn’t know – don’t cut your grass too short, longer grass provides better protection against weeds.
Assembling a Katamari Damacy cake, recipes used are noted in the last picture.
The Knitty surprises are up and one is full of knitting patterns for Blythe dolls.
A list of Washington farmers markets, with links to individual web sites.
The guide to what freezes, what doesn’t and why, like Real Simple but from a newspaper!
I don’t have an ice cream maker but when I do I’m going to definitely try the recipe for the Barefoot Contessa’s caramel chocolate pecan ice cream because, well, look at how much The Amateur Gourmet likes it.
Things I’ve been all Fan Girl over lately. Serenity, missed getting into a screening by thismuch. Whatever Kevin Smith has been up to lately. Waiting patiently for Dreamfall, while watching closely for Ragnar Tornquist to drop hints. Family Guy is back! I was really pleased to find that Julia Sweeney keeps a blog (warning: Flash, gotta click to get to it) and that she’ll be putting out some of her latest stuff on cd soon Every time I read about her show I’m gripped with the desire to buy plane tickets to LA, quick! I’m still processing the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie, I’ve been a fan of Douglas Adams since I stumbled across one of his books accidentally shelved in the childrens section of my hometown library where I worked as a page. Lastly, I am completely devastated to find Ira Glass is getting married.