Not Martha

links: Thanksgiving-y food

delicious, delicious pies, all for your viewing pleasure with links to the recipes, at The Bedlam of Beefy

pie crust 102: all butter, really flaky pie dough at Smitten Kitchen

The Dry Brine for your turkey, at The Food Section

the best jarred chestnuts, via The Food Section

Thanksgiving Recipe: Deep-Fried Stuffing On a Stick at The Stranger

Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish Recipe at NPR

Pumpkin Curry at Chow

Make Your Own Digestifs at Chow, you’ll probably need these

· comments [9] · 11-25-2008 · categories:food · recipes ·

online shopping question – a thank you

Thanks so much to everybody who voted and gave personal experiences in my previous entry about shopping online and Paypal, and extra big thanks to those who have or build shops and weighed in with experiences.

I want to clarify one thing — there was a trick question in my poll. You do not have to create a Paypal account to use it to buy something with a credit card. You used to have to, and I’ve been finding that a lot of people do not know that the policy has changed. So go and buy things from small independent shops and don’t let Paypal stop you.

Thanks again!

· comments [3] · 11-24-2008 · categories:uncategorized ·

an online shopping question for you

I’m helping somebody update their online shop and we’re wondering if adding another payment option along with Paypal would be beneficial. If you have a moment I’d love it if you could answer the poll below, it’s just the one question. If you have something longer to add, examples or experiences that you need to vent, please feel free to leave them with the comments for this post.

My great thanks!

· comments [26] · 11-21-2008 · categories:misc ·

giveaway: boygirlparty goods from Chronicle Books

The kind people at Chronicle books are giving away a set of the boygirlparty goods designed by Susie Ghahremani. They include the Little Notes: Musical Notes (18 assorted greeting cards with sweet little envelopes), the Treetops Journal (various cute page designs), and Orchard Owl Sticky Notes (a cleverly designed pack of various sized sticky notes). I love Susie’s designs and I’m so happy to see that Chronicle Books loves them too.

And if you’re looking for Christmas presents might I suggest taking a look at the boygirlparty shop. There is an amazing array of things – magnets, necklaces, hand sewn bags and wallets, t-shirts and hoodies as well as prints and originals of Susie’s artwork.

If you’d like a chance to win please leave a comment with this entry. The usual Fine Print applies, a winner will be picked on Monday at 5 p.m. Good luck!

· comments [439] · 11-20-2008 · categories:shopping ·

what I want for Christmas: the Chelsea Buckle Tote at Delight

The other week I spotted this Chelsea Buckle Tote over at Delight.com and instantly knew it was the bag I’ve been searching for. Sadly, it was one of their daily deals and all colors other than gray had sold out. I stared longingly at the pictures for a little while then tried to forget about it. Later in the week Dooce posted an entry about the bag and I was all “why are the bag gods torturing me?”. But then! Dooce updated to say that Delight.com had brought it back due to demand and it’s available in the shop. Thank you bag gods! But, oh no, the Orange color is sold out. I wonder if I could pull off the Burgundy?

Dooce was also nice enough to point out that Holly at Decor8 recently posted a Delight discount code among her Daily Deals. The code for Delight expires soon but you have enough time to get some of your Christmas shopping done.

· comments [6] · 11-20-2008 · categories:shopping ·

Holiday Gift Ideas

I’ve assembled a list of stuff that has appeared on Not Martha over the last year or so in the hopes that it might help you with the great gift search for the holidays. If you’d like more informaiton about any given thing I’ve put at link to the [post] where it originally appeared.

jump to:

gadets and electronics

Garmin Nuvi

We were given one of these as a gift and we find it so outstandingly useful we don’t know why we didn’t get one for ourselves earlier. This on fits firmly in the “gift that keeps on giving” category. [post]

Canon Rebel XSi

I bought myself the Canon XSi after my point and shoot simply stopped working. I couldn’t be happier with it, and the price is very fair at $635. The model that is on step down (and the one I originally wanted), the Canon XS, is currently a why-didn’t-I-wait-for-it $475. [post]

Canon DSLR accessories

These came highly recommended by commenters (thank you!) and which I have on my own wish list. The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens came highly recommended as an inexpensive lens that is good for taking low light pictures in doors. The Crumpler 3 Million Dollar Home bag is recommended as able to hold a lot without looking conspicuously like a camera bag. I’m also eyeing the Crumpler 4 Million Dollar Home bag, which will hold a few extra lenses.

Flip video recorder

We have a tiny Flip video recorder and it’s fabulous. It does on thing, take good web quality video, and it has the simplest of controls. It has a pop-out USB connector right on the side so you can plug it right into your computer or laptop to get the videos off easily. They come out in Quicktime format, perfect for YouTube. A more recent model, the Mino, is even tinier. [post]

Eton Emergency Radio

We have a hand crank emergency radio and I feel prepared for the next time the power goes out in our neighborhood and I have no idea what is going on or, more importantly, where I need to head to find a hot cup of coffee. [post]

pampering

Product Body bath goods

I was very lucky to get to try some Prodcut Body products out and think they are outstanding. Everything is natural and made fresh to order, the line was created to be safe to new moms and kids. Any one of these scrubs, lotions or bath goods would be very welcomed under my tree. [post]

Eau de Yosh perfume

Unfortunately alcohol based perfumes make my nose itch so I was very happy to receive a sample set of Yosh perfumes last Christmas. All of her perfumes are oil based and I’ve become a big fan. U4EAHHH! is my favorite and I’ll be buying a full sized bottle knowing I’ll be using all of it. [post]

Babyliss 1/2″ hair straightening iron

I know it seems a bit strange to include this is a possible gift, but I’m so in love with my tiny Babyliss hair straightening iron I just had to include it here. It’s perfect for just straightening my bangs each morning, it heats up quickly and I can get close to my scalp without any trouble. I consider it essential for the smaller jobs. [post]

guys

DB Clay wallets

DB Clay makes very cool wallets out of durable eco-friendly fabrics. I go to inspect the one we gave away on this site and I was very impressed with the quality, and fell in love with the pattern. [post]

Doane Paper notebooks and notepads

Doane Paper combines lines and grids so each page is good for sketches and notes, I find it insanely useful. It’s availble in full sized note pads and 3.5″x5.5″ notebooks, each come in packs of three. [post]

art

Matte Stephens

I was lucky enough to win a Matte Stephens print at on of The Lab events here in Seattle and I love it. I want one of the monster prints next. [post]

boygirlparty

boygirlparty has a whole array of goods with her characters on them. You can buy small prints, original artwork, and notepads that Susie has designed. Also take a look at the boygirlparty goods currently offered by Chronicle Books – notecards, sticky notes and a journal. [post]

food

Tiny Jar Pies

If you’re feeling ambitious these tiny pies baked in a jar were received as a unique treat, and so cute if you’ll allow me to say so. Also consider the cakes baked in a jar that inspired these pies. [post]

kitchen stuff

KitchenAid food processor

This KitchenAid food processor is one of the models recommended by Cook’s Illustrated magazine and I love having it. Chopping things? Making pie dough in mere seconds? All things I couldn’t do without anymore. And it’s easier to clean that I thought it might be. [post]

Simple Human no-touch soap dispenser

Wanna make somebody’s year? The Simple Human no-touch foam soap dispenser is giving somebody a bit of luxury every time they go to wash thier hands. Not to mention how useful this would be for all those times you have hands covered in butter or flour or raw meat juice of some kind and just need to get your hands clean. I don’t own this, but I really wish I did. [post]

OXO kitchen scale

I bought the OXO kitchen scale because of the little pull-out display. I love it and it makes me feel like an expert baker. Also, the whole thing fits neatly inside a gallon sized zip top platic bag, which allows you to keep it clean when you’re flinging flour around. I flirted seriously with the small-but-mighty Escali Primo digital scale, just look at all those colors. [post]

Breville electric kettle

I use my kettle at least twice a day so I wanted one that would look great sitting on the counter. This Breville one has a simple design, a nice grippy handle, and a pleasant little ding when it’s ready. The large top opening makes it very easy to fill. I’m very pleased with it. [post]

Baker’s Edge brownie pan

I think this Baker’s Edge pan is the neatest thing I’ve seen for a long time. It’s squared off squiggle chamber allows you to cook brownies so that each piece has at least two edges. It’s brilliantly designed. While you can make lasagna in it (it’s easy to cut and put out in portions!) they do have a lasagna sized pan coming out in March. [post]

dutch oven

I love my dutch oven, a four-quart sized one, and am just hoping somebody will buy me a larger one next. The pot cooks better than I expected, and cleans up easier than I expected. It’s true love. Next I’m eyeing the Mario Batali 6 quart pot, it even has a stainless steel handle so you don’t have to worry when you put it in a hot oven. [post]

Riedel O tumblers

We’ve got a set of these Reidel O stemless wine glasses and use them often. They are Ridel quality at a significantly lower price and, we’ve tried this, can make an inexpensive wine taste better. [post]

Vacu Vin rapid ice chillers

These Vacu Vin rapid ice chillers are simply gel packs that you keep in your freezer and when you have a bottle of wine, a beer, some champagne you need to cool down quickly you just slide it over the bottle. It seems cheezy but it works really well. We use ours often enough that I’m considering buying the far better looking Vacu Vin Rapid Ice Cooling Carafe. [post]

cook books

Gluten-Free Girl

I know a startling number of people who have celiac and I recommend the book Gluten-free Girl to all of them. This book is Shauna’s story of how she came to be diagnosed, and there are lots of delicous recipes throughout the book. [post]

Delicious Days

I’ve been reading the Delicious Days site for a long time, and her book is filled with gorgeous photographs of the food and the inspiration for the recipes, it’s fantastic. [post]

stuff for the home

Apartment Therapy Presents

This book of apartment interiors is full of inspiration, and great ideas to steal. [post]

Grobal Baby

The Grobal Baby is a cute little self watering pot that comes in cheerful colors. The box comes with soil and plant food as well. [post]

reusable shopping bags

reusable shopping bags

I’m a huge fan of reusable bags that fold up really small, I carry a handful with me and keep a bundle in my car and I’m never caught needing to use a plastic bag, it’s fantastic. I’ve tried out a few and here a short summary. My favorites are the Envirosax becuase they fold up the smallest, but I have heard some complaints about their quality. My next favorite are the RuMe bags because they are very large and sturdy.

Envirosax: fold up nice and small, don’t drag on ground when held as a tote (I’m 5’2″ and they come close to dragging, so beware), come in patterns and solid colors, able to be hiked over your shoulder using one arm (again, I’m short so this might not be the case for taller people).

RuMe: Fold up to size only slightly larger than Envirosax, very sturdy construction, almost hit ground when I hold them as a tote, patterns and solid colors, able to be hiked over your shoulder using one arm. These come in a smaller size I find perfect for holding knitting projects and books from the library.

Baggu: Made of ripstop nylon it folds into a tidy flat, square pouch that is not attached to the bag. Lots of great solid colors and nice big stripes, but the handle is too short to hike over your shoulder using one arm. There is no danger of it dragging on the ground when I’m holding at a tote though, so if you’re short you might take a close look at this one.

Flip and Tumble: You scrunch it back into it’s attached container, which is a lot of fun and faster than folding up the others. Otherwise I find the handle to be too long, it drags if I hold it as a tote, and the single handle doesn’t distribute weight as well and bites into my shoulder. They have a new Loopt bag which I have not tried out yet but looks like it’s a bit shorter and has two handles.

posts: Envirosax, RuMe, Flip and Tumble, Baggu, Envirosax

for knitters and crafters

Martha’s Vineyard Fiber Farm CSA

Know a knitter who has everything? I suggest buying her a share in a some actual fleecy animals. Martha’s Vineyard Fiber Farm is a Yarn CSA and shareholders get to follow along with the animals, it’s really cool. [post]

Felt Flower kit

These needle felting kits by Made By Moxie have everything you need to make a flower pin and include enough wool to make quite a few. The foam included is eco-foam so when you’re done with it you just dissolve it in a bowl of warm water. Also take a look at the Mega Kit of Ultimate Felting Enjoyment. [post]

craft books

Stitched In Time

This is Alicia’s book, I don’t own it yet but I adore her website Posie Gets Cozy and have really loved reading about the process of writing the book. [post]

Bead Simple

A book with clear instructions on how to get started beading, and detailed instructions for a whole bunch of great projects. [post]

Complete Embellishing

A book with projects for adding decoration to clothing and things in your home, with a really great eye. [post]

Plush You!

Full of fantastic creatures for you to make, complete instructions. [post]

The Boss of You

Lauren and Emira have put together a step by step and encouraging book for women who want to start, or already own, their own businesses. Personal experiences, real life interviews and examples throughout. I’ve been reading their advice since they first started their Raised Eyebrow Web Studio. [post]

Craft, Inc.

Clear directions on how to take that thing you make and start a business, lots of real life interviews and encouragement. [post]

cards

Eloise R. Designs

It’s not too late to get a set of adorable Eloise R. Designs Christmas cards, or stock up for the upcoming year. Take a look at some of the collections and you might never be at loss for a card again. [post]

sewing books

Simple Sewing

I love the Lotta Jandotter line of goods and this book is full of simple but stylish projects for you and your home. Also take a look at Lotta Prints, which shows you how to print patterns on fabric and surfaces in your home. [post]

Bend-the-Rules Sewing

A book full of great projects that encourage you to not be so worried about folling strict rules or patterns, I love everything in this book. [post]

Sew U and Sew U Home Stretch

Built By Wendy brings two books to the person who wants to make their own clothes. These are thick books that talk you through the process of making your own patterns to your own measurments. Sew U Home Stretch teaches you how to work with stretchy knit fabrics.

Amy Butler In Stitches and Little Stitches

Amy Butler’s Little Stitches book full of projects for children, very clearn instructions and patterns tucked into a pocket in the inside cover. In Stitches is full of projects for yourself and your home, simple clear instructions and pattern storage in the inside cover. [post and another]

other places to browse

Here are a few of the first places I look when I need inspiration:

Delight.com has offerings for everybody and collects fantastic sets of items.

Chronicle Books always has dozens of books I need rightnowrightnow. They also carry a bunch of fabulous gift items.

Mighty Goods, Might Junior and Mighty Haus are three shopping sites I find essential, and they all have fantastic gift lists up for the holidays.

in defense of gift cards

Each year stories come out about the evils of gift cards and etiquette stories telling us they are tacky. Me? I love getting gift cards. I just cannot find any fault with somebody admitting they have no idea what I might want and therefore giving me a gift that I get to pick out myself. I especially love getting gift cards for a store I don’t have to drive so gift cards for Amazon.com are ideal.

· comments [19] · 11-18-2008 · categories:christmas · shopping · things I think are neat ·

second meeting of the Grassroots Business Association

The second meeting of the Grassroots Business Association is this Thursday, November 20th at 7 p.m. at Vermillion in Capitol Hill here in Seattle. We had a great time at the last meeting and I was thrilled to meet everybody and make new connections. If you have a small business or are thinking about starting one please join us. Vermillion has food and drinks and is a very friendly space.

· comments [2] · 11-17-2008 · categories:events · seattle ·

Urban Craft Uprising is seeking volunteers

The big Urban Craft Uprising event here in Seattle is coming up on December 6th and 7th and they are looking for volunteers to help them out with the show. All the details can be found here. If you’re interested email moxie AT urbancraftuprising DOT com.

· comments [0] · 11-17-2008 · categories:craft · events · seattle ·

bake local – Stone-Buhr flour from the PNW

Stone-Buhr Northwest-Grown All-Purpose Flour

If you want to feel extra-cozy-good about your baked goods this holiday season and you happen to live in the Pacific Northwest you should keep an eye out for Stone-Buhr Northwest-Grown All-Purpose Flour. All of the wheat is grown by Northwest family farmers, milled in Spokane, Washington and certified sustainable by the Food Alliance. And, as somebody told me, “they can damn near trace every 5lb bag back to the farmer.” A five pound bag is $3.99, the low price is because less fuel is needed to get the product to you. Neat huh? You have my permission to let your smug Prius-driving cousin know this.

You can find the flour at QFC, HagGen Foods and even some WalMarts, and online at Chef Tools.

Little bit of trivia, the company was originally local to Seattle: “Charles E. Young opened the Young-Stone Buhr Milling Co in 1914, then located in the Fremont neighborhood in Seattle, WA.”

A few local chefs have created recipes to help promote the flour which I’ve been given permission (thank you!) to include here. Below the fold you’ll find a Holiday Tart from Leslie Mackey of the Macrina Bakery and a bunch of lovely cookies from Thierry Rautureau of Rovers. Also, Orangette recommended seeking the flour, she talked about it in her entry on the big, famous, NY Times chocolate chip cookies.

[Read more →]

· comments [13] · 11-14-2008 · categories:food · recipes · seattle ·

books: Stitched In Time and Delicious Days

Two books I’m very excited to see out:

Stitched in Time: Memory-Keeping Projects to Sew and Share by Alicia Paulson of Posie Gets Cozy. It’s been so great to read about the process of making the book on her site and I’m so happy it’s here. I don’t have this book yet but I cannot wait. Congratulations Alicia!

Delicious Days by Nicole Stich, whose website Delicious Days you most likely already know well for it’s incredible recipes. I have this book and the pages are filled with images that are nostalgic, inspirational and (I as a bumbling cook need this) instructional. Tonight I’m hoping to make the Basil Gnocchi with Pine Nut Butter. Yum. Congratulations Nicole!

· comments [5] · 11-13-2008 · categories:books · craft · food ·

giveaway: Doane Paper notebooks

Doane Paper has come out with a small notebook sized offering and to celebrate they’re giving away three notebook packages (of three notebooks each) to Not Martha readers. Thanks Doane Paper!

If you’d like to enter just leave a comment with this entry. The fine print applies. I’ll be picking a winner on Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. PST. Winners have been notified, thanks so much to everybody who entered!

I love Doane Paper, for those that aren’t familiar with it yet it is, simply put, grid+lines. It combines (slightly darker) lines over a very small grid so you can use it to keep notes and sketch out diagrams on the same piece of paper. You can read my previous thoughts, including some examples of what I’ve been using the paper for. I find it very useful for knitting charts and webpage layouts.

I’m very excited to hear about the notebook format as it is small enough (3.5″x5.5″) to keep one in my bag, and on in my knitting bag to capture those moments of genius that might be lost of the only thing nearby to sketch on is the margin of a free weekly paper. The original is a regular writing pad size, bound at the top with perforated pages so you can tear them off cleanly. You can buy either in packs of three, the notebooks are $9.50, and the writing pads are $9.95.

If you’d like to try it out Doane Paper offers free downloads (bottom of the home page) of either a PDF or JPG format that you can print out at home. Super nice eh?

· comments [653] · 11-12-2008 · categories:shopping ·

links: tech

clip joint DIY iPhone dock, at iSmashPhone

Botanicalls DIY Plant Twitter Kit at ThinkGeek

Karl Swedberg on How to Take Advantage of JQuery and other JavaScript libraries for your design at Swiss Miss

four track audio recorder for the iPhone at Wired

life-changing iPhone earbud cable wrapping tip at Ten Reasons Why

A DIY iPhone / iPod touch Hand Grip Accessory for the playing of hte games, at Touch Arcade

· comments [4] · 11-11-2008 · categories:iphone · technology ·

links: food

cabbage and mushroom galeete at Smitten Kitchen

on aperitifs, at Seattle Weekly

Thai Green Curry Chicken at Posie Gets Cozy

quinoa, a good set of cooking instructions, at the NY Times. I like regular quinoa but simply cannot stand red quinoa.

Vanilla Poached Quince at Chocolate & Zucchini

How To Improve No-Knead Bread, includes the Cook’s Illustrated updated recipe

french herbed at popcorn at Everybody Likes Sandwiches

how to cook beans, thank goodness for detailed and clear instructions, every time I look this up I get “just simmer them, it’s easy” instructions which I just call not helpful seeing as I can mess up the cooking of anything. via Eating Well Anywhere.

Great Pumpkin Pasta at Posie Gets Cozy

· comments [8] · 11-10-2008 · categories:food · recipes ·

Sassy magazine

Sassy magaine

In the course of cleaning out their attic my parents found all my old Sassy magazines. I don’t have all the early issues, but I do have the last few years. Gosh I loved these, they were a huge part of making my teen years less horrible and making me feel like maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t the deranged one but that everybody else was. This is reminding me, I have to read How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time whose title says it all.

I also found the supplemental issue of Dirt.

Dirt magazine

And two issues of Siren.

Siren magazine

I’m having a whole lot of trouble finding any information about Siren since there have been other magazines with the same name. The editor in chief of Siren is Missy Miller and the two issues I have are from 1998 though the magazine launched in 1997. I alway remembered them because of this timeline in one of the issues:

Dec. 6, 1994 — Already capable of finding jobs, putting on lipstick, and finding lovers, Susan and Missy decide that women’s magazines have become redundant. They consider strating one called Belle, Boy Toy, or Egg. Time passes…

Nov. 11, 1995 — At Dave’s post-post-birthday party and too many martinis, drab girl mags are brought up again. Missy and Dave decide to start one called Jane…Not for Dick.

Jan. 15, 1996 — Jane Magazine is registered in California.

June 12, 1996 — Name is stolen by Jane pratt for her new Disney/ABC/Fairchild magazine which goes by the same name. (Granted it is her given name. Hmmm… there’s an idea…

Missy Magazine… yeah, right.)

Over the next five months — Missy becomes obsessed with renaming the magazine. her friends become embarrassed by her. Abandoned and bummed she narrows down her list: Cake, It Girl, Kitty, Page, Wink, Meow, Sugar, Fig, Twist, Boy Toy, and Snarf Girl. (If you happen to live any of these names better than Siren we don’t want to hear about it.)

Nov. 12 1996 — Missy asks her only remaining friend to drive to Vermont with her and help her make the final decision. After an abundance of maple syrup, cheese, and jalepeno preserves, they choose Siren.

Nov. 14, 1996 — Siren is registered as an official business.

Nov. 15, 1996 — Makes new cards reading “Hello, My name is…” Once again, the idea is foiled by the hugeness of Jane’s PR strategy using the same campaign plastered all over the whole world! [The timeline continues, but that's the bit I remember.]

Anybody else remember this magazine?

· comments [61] · 11-6-2008 · categories:mumbling ·

Obama!

Yay Obama! Yay America!

I’m so proud of Seattle today. A whole bunch of things I didn’t expect to be voted for passed and it looks like Seattle voters were really thinking about the future worth of our city. We voted for more light rail expansion, for preserving the Pike Place Market and for expanding and improving our parks. Statewide we also did good, death with dignity passed, and it’s almost being reported that Gregoire was re-elected. My fingers are crossed for Burner.

Last night here there was partying in the streets, happy people all over the place, and in my nieghborhood. We opened our doors to listen to our neighbors shouting thanks to one another. This is all so cool.

· comments [20] · 11-5-2008 · categories:mumbling ·