Not Martha

links: shopping

Fairytale Forest Print Skirt with Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, and Red Riding Hood in the Woods. This is a whimsical skirt depicting woods and fairy tale stories, from Made With Love By Hannah. Thanks to Ellen for pointing me to the shop over at this post.

Shoe clips, at Style on Trial. I’m looking specifically at the add-on boot chain things.

How can I give my boots better traction in snowy weather? | Ask MetaFilter. A female asking about a pair of Nine West boots.

· comments [4] · 02-25-2010 · categories:links · shopping ·

links: misc

Advice for snow chains? | Ask MetaFilter.

Help me watch The Wire. | Ask MetaFilter. Where to find a spoiler free reference and when to watch the prequels.

The last few links in the chain. | Ask MetaFilter. Oh my gosh, Chi-Chi’s restaurants are all gone?

Help me fight perspective! | Ask MetaFilter. With a link to the angular size calculator.

How to improve my posture? | Ask MetaFilter.

You Grow Girl™ – » Annatto Pod. Wow, she includes a link to a tutorial on using it to dye cloth or wool.

Cold Season Remedy: Homemade Cough Drops | The Kitchn.

Seattle Tall Poppy: Tips for Throwing a Party…Without Breaking the Bank. Can you keep a secret? I’ve never so much as thrown a dinner party. I’ve got to change that this year.

How do restaurants estimate how long you’ll have to wait to be seated? | Ask MetaFilter.

Authentic imitation. “The way that books used to be printed, the reader would have to cut open each page with a paper knife”, at Kottke.

· comments [8] · 02-24-2010 · categories:links · misc ·

links: beauty

How can I tie a necktie so that it doesn’t create the usual dimple just below the knot? | Ask MetaFilter.

Are nose piercings inherently trashy? | Ask MetaFilter.

· comments [4] · 02-23-2010 · categories:beauty · links ·

links: food

Secret Decoder Cookies · Edible Crafts. These are so incredibly cool!

best cocoa brownies | smitten kitchen.

Crispy Kale Recipe – baked — Recipes Steamy Kitchen. Take note of the tip on when to add salt.

Taste Test: Delivery Pepperoni Pizza | Slice Pizza Blog.

Strange utensil | Ask MetaFilter. There is such a thing as asparagus tongs?

Best vermouth for a classic martini? | Ask MetaFilter.

Print James Bond Walks Into a Bar… and orders a Vesper, a cocktail that hasn’t aged too well. Here, a remake. At Esquire.

Vesper (cocktail) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Very detailed history with substitutions to get an approximation of what the cocktail would have tasted like in 1953. Apparently a lot of ingredients have been reformulated over the years to be less bitter and more sweet. Is this why classic cocktails often don’t appeal to us? It’s not a shift in palette as a shift in the actual taste of the specific ingredients?

Raw to Sweet: How to Change the Intensity of Onions | The Kitchn.

Corn Starch Candy Molds, at Instructables. Via Craftzine.

Serious Eats asks Where’s the Love for Chestnuts? and gets some great answers in the comments. One commenter points us towards this story in the WSJ: Marron Made In Heaven, and another wrote this article on the blight that took out the chestnut trees that used to cover huge parts of the US: Long forgotten, chestnuts are coming back with a vengeance. My own father has always keenly loved chestnuts and has planted a few chestnut trees in his yard, he also gives talks about the current state of Chestnut trees in the US.

Confections of a (Closet) Master Baker: P.S., I Cake You. A message written out right in the cake itself, awesome, and a very clever technique. Sent by Maggi, thanks!!

quinoa FAIL. Help? | Ask MetaFilter. Plain quinoa topped with an over easy or poached egg is still my favorite breakfast, and my regular breakfast during the whole process of losing weight last year. I buy it bulk, and cook by simmering, covered, in 2x water for about 10 minutes or until translucent.

The Paupered Chef’s Guide to $3 Homemade Pizza Stones | Slice Pizza Blog.

· comments [5] · 02-22-2010 · categories:food · links ·

You guys I’m in Paris!

image uploaded from my iPhone to Flickr and on to this here blog

Here is the view from the apartment we’ve rented, complete with the
horn players who were playing when we arrived.

· comments [37] · 02-20-2010 · categories:uncategorized ·

links: technology

Cool Tools: Strobist. A photography instruction site recommendation.

2010 IGF Mobile Game Finalists | Touch Arcade. So glad to see two of my favorites on the list – Spider and Drop 7.

What is the best free blogging site? | Ask MetaFilter.

pommes frites: diy light experiments: reflective umbrella. Making a photo light bounce using inexpensive umbrellas. Via Craftzine.

The 10 Coolest Experiments from Google Labs – Network World. Via Action Hero.

Conversation with Metafilter Founder Matt Haughey « sood. On creating a community site.

The Missing Google Analytics Manual | FutureNow, Inc. Via Swissmiss on Twitter.

Please recommend a very simple online store. | Ask MetaFilter. Looking for something that it not Ebay or Etsy.

Public Radio App lets you resume ‘This American Life’ whenever you please — Engadget. This is excellent.

Craftzine.com blog : Turn Signal Bike Jackets. Fantastic use of adding lights to clothing.

A Whole Lotta Nothing: My personal feedback loops.

Giana Sisters Review | Touch Arcade. I’m not normally a fan of platformers but this games has been getting such enthusiastic mentions I might try it.

Design*Sponge » biz ladies: setting up your business to accept credit cards. I used to use Propay and Mal’s eCommerce. I wish I had gotten a chance to get to try out Square, it sounds so cool for using at shows.

A Whole Lotta Nothing: My recommended kid games for the iPhone.

· comments [1] · 02-18-2010 · categories:iphone · links · technology ·

links: craft

Poise.cc | From Old Coat to a New Bag. This is an amazing transformation, bravo.

Cool Tools: Fire Mountain Gems. “The McMaster Carr of the jewelry world.”

Rose Barrettes – the purl bee. Exceptional cuteness, via How About Orange.

DIY Fabric Poms | DIY Wedding Blog | Once Wed. Via lushlee.

angry chicken: bias tape tutorial (all by machine).

PlushYou!: Debbie Stoller’s new yarn. Yay Debbie!

Design Mom: valentines-for-classmates. I am swooningly in love with these! Many extra exclamation points here!

Suburban Bliss: Valentine’s Treats 2009. I love how simple and colorful and absolutely cheerful these are.

· comments [4] · 02-16-2010 · categories:craft · links ·

Sausage Balls

sausage balls on a plate

The other week I came across this recipe for Sausage Balls in a thread about Bisquick over at Ask Metafilter. The recipe goes like this: Mix together one pound of spicy sausage, on pound of finely shredded cheddar cheese and three cups of Bisquick. Form into quarter sized balls and cook on a baking sheet at 350 for 20 minutes. People insisted they were delicious and I was very curious about how they would turn out, so we made some.

sausage balls being formed from stiff dough

It took a while for the dough to come together, and it takes a bit of strength.

sauage balls finished baking

They puffed a bit while baking.

sausage balls, one shown broken in half

Inside you couldn’t really see the sausage.

They tasted ok, interesting for a breakfast item. But they weren’t the breakfast crack we’d been expecting. They had some heat from the spicy sausage, but the cheese flavor was pretty mild. We figure that if we’d used a really good extra sharp cheddar instead of simply sharp cheddar it might be more alluring. And they are fairly close to scones, so I might make a cheddar scone with breakfast sausage substituted for some of the butter instead. That said it was fun to pop little balls of cheesy bread into you mouth first thing in the morning.

a hard boiled egg surrounded by sausage mixture

We had so much dough left over we decided to make something like Scotch Eggs. I steamed some eggs for 11 minutes, which I find is just right to set the egg without overcooking it, then cooled and peeled them. We wrapped them in the mixture and baked for about 30 minutes. It turned out ok but ultimately didn’t work, as the cheese mixture puffs in the oven the egg settled to the bottom so it was more blanketed than wrapped at the end. Pretty good, but at this point we were full of sausage balls and couldn’t finish them. Overall? Probably won’t make again but it’s given me some ideas for cheese breakfast biscuit treats of some sort in the future.

(p.s. The pictures above were all taken with my S90 on a darkly overcast morning. Most of the pictures used only the light from the window. I had the camera set to automatic and I think they turned out really well, I didn’t lighten them in Photoshop.)

· comments [31] · 02-15-2010 · categories:food ·

Heart shaped foods for Valentine’s Day

various foods in the shape of hearts

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, how did that happen? We’re mostly focused on other things (travel! yay!) but it didn’t quite stop my desire for a day spent making heart shaped foods.

first column, top to bottom

Beet ravioli, at Epicurious. (via).

Calimyrna Fig Hearts at Martha Stewart, also see the whole gallery, wow.

Heart shaped cherry tomatoes at Eye Candy, (via).

second column, top to bottom

Papa John’s heart shaped pizza, at Serious Eats.

Heart Shaped dumpling, at Chow.

Heart cookie cutters for the edge of a cup (inspiration for my gingerbread houses), at Kitchen Critic.

third column, top to bottom

Cinnamon Heart Lollipops at Women’s Day, (via).

Heart Shaped Whoopie Pies at Annie’s Eats, (via).

· comments [7] · 02-13-2010 · categories:holidays ·

links: the home

Postcards from Penguin: One Hundred Book Covers in One Box. Oh boy do I want these to frame all together. Via Anh-Minh.

take a seat… – Oh Joy!. I’m looking at the coat hooks here to use in our upcoming (we’ll get to it, I swear) bathroom redo.

Design*Sponge » going places: modern world map + prints.

Potentially Amazing Technology: Is Spray-On Liquid Glass About to Make Everything Greener? : TreeHugger. I hope this gets made really soon so I can spray it on my floors and walls so I won’t have to worry about scratching them. (Kidding. But I hate the the surfaces in my home can be damaged by the act of living.) Via Shelterrific.

How To Swap a Two-Prong for a Three-Prong Outlet | Apartment Therapy Unplggd.

· comments [3] · 02-12-2010 · categories:links · the home ·

links: food

got milk? Magic Straws, Chocolate Straws, Chocolate Candy, Milk Chocolate. Cocoa beads inside the straw! Via Vivacious Blueprint on Twitter.

Design*Sponge » small measures with ashley: infused sugars.

Thin Mint Cupcake Recipe from Trophy Cupcakes | Kelley Moore Creative Media. Via Seattle Tall Poppy on Twitter.

Perfect Popcorn Recipe | Simply Recipes. A method that gets all the kernels to pop at around the same time, neato.

How To Make Homemade Chicken Stock, Home Hacks | The Kitchn.

Your Bisquick recipe? | Ask MetaFilter. I’m going to make those sausage balls.

Kitchen Mysteries: What Makes Puff Pastry Puff? | The Kitchn. Love the puff pastry cups shown here.

How to Peel Celery Root | The Kitchn.

Boing! The Pogo Stick | The Pegu Blog. Optional garnish is a rock candy stick, awesome. Via Liqurious.

57 Varieties, Revealed. Via Kottke.

chocolate soufflé cupcakes with mint cream | smitten kitchen.

Chocolate Puddle Cookies Recipe – 101 Cookbooks.

· comments [11] · 02-11-2010 · categories:food · links ·

Academy Award Cookies

cookies arranged to look like Oscars statues, standing up in a slotted base

These Academy Award cookies from Bakerella are genius. She uses slotted bases to hold up the statue. Recipes and complete instructions here.

cookies arranged to look like Oscars statues, standing up in a slotted base

(Photos by Bakerella.)

· comments [8] · 02-10-2010 · categories:food ·

Teva Montecito boots

Teva Montecito boots

A few weeks ago I bought some Teva Montecito boots and I like them! I am a scardy cat when it comes to breaking in new shoes. I haaate it. I always go through a I Never Should Have Bought These What Was I Thinking phase. And the The Other Size Would Have Better phase. And the Why Didn’t I See Those Similar Shoes From Another Company Before I Bought These phase. I went through all those with these boots but the other day I realized that they are the most comfortable shoes I own right now. I’m not aware of them when I’m wearing them. So, thank you to everybody who wrote to let me know that they love these as well, I’m glad you did.

To break these in I decided to wear them to the Alt Summit. I was being bold here, I wore them to the airport and risked regretting that half way down a hallway. They were wonderful though, and half way through a day of sessions I found myself returning to my hotel room to change out of my “comfy” shoes and back into the boots.

They have not given me blisters, everything gives me blisters, and I’ve been wearing them as much as I can to determine if they are worthy of packing into some luggage for a long trip. I was a bit worried that the toe area was going to be too small but trusted a review left at Zappos, and sure enough the area across the toes stretched to accommodate the room I needed. The recycled cork soles seem almost bouncy and easy on my feet when I’m walking, and whatever they make the interior soles of is soft enough that it hasn’t bothered my picky feet. I usually require a certain amount of arch support but the moderate support here hasn’t affected me at all. Compared to some other boots I tried on the these soles are nice and grippy. I’ve worn them in rain and they have shown no signs of being affected (they are waterproof). They keep my feet warm when I’m outdoors, but not too warm when I’m indoors.

Teva Montecito boots, showing the overlap area at the top of the calf

There is an elastic cord that wraps around the back of the boot and attaches to a button on the other side. On the way around the boot they hold down the zipper pulls so they don’t jingle when I walk. The cords also pass over this feature at the top that I like, there are two, um flaps? parts? that overlap and allow the top of the boot to open up a bit wider if needed and will avoid having a wider calf being hugged too tightly. I tried on two sizes, 7.5 and 8, and can tell you that the calf circumference of the size 8 was noticeably larger.

The things I don’t quite love as much are the non-removable soles. I would like having the option to slip in my heat moldable Sole insoles. Despite the fact that the toe box stretched quite well these boots are still slim fitting and if you’re used to wearing Keens and Danskos I suspect these would feel restrictive.

I also tried on some Lassen boots which where a bit sturdier, or stompier. The soles were a wee bit slippery but the construction felt strong, and they were comfortable enough that I wold have been happy with those. In the comment on this previous post CZL and Suswhit highly recommended trying out a pair of Merrell boots. The only Merrells I had found at that point were knee-high but I found the mid-height Merrell Tetra Launch boots at REI (link there is to Amazon, they are currently showing unavailable on REI’s site but they were available in the store). They looked very nice, though I didn’t stop to try them on, and I really liked the faux button detail. And note that in CZL’s comment she says they are so waterproof she’s walked through puddles and been fine. The styling on the Merrell’s is a bit less crunchy than my Montecitos, the soles are black and the heel looks a bit higher, maybe (upon comparing specs the heel is comparable, if not shorter than!). They seem well worth a look if you’re shopping for boots.

· comments [21] · 02-9-2010 · categories:shopping ·

Cortona Cafe

Cortona Cafe

Here are some pictures of the Cortona Cafe on a happy Saturday morning spent knitting with friends. These were taken with the S90 set on automatic (as I have not read through the manual yet).

Cortona Cafe

I love the menu wall.

Cortona Cafe

They have a guitar you can use if you’d like.

Cortona Cafe

Cortona Cafe

Cortona Cafe

Cortona Cafe

Cortona Cafe

On auto the pictures seem a bit dark to me. (And perhaps that means they are true to life whereas I’m used to seeing photos online being cheerily bright – ?) I’ll just have to learn how to use the camera properly I suppose.

· comments [20] · 02-8-2010 · categories:misc ·

Woe!

Petrie sofa from Crate and Barrel, sob

Please allow me to be dramatic for a moment. I just found out that the Petrie sofa from Crate & Barrel is no longer available (sort of) and I’m upset. It was perfect, soft fabric, just firm enough, deep enough. Scott and I sat in a lot of sofas and it was clearly the winner for us both. People, I love this sofa and we’ve been saving up to buy one for two years. Just last week we talked about finally getting to place the order for it. We were excited, a milestone! We would finally ditch our futon and sit on actual furniture like real adults! (We can pretend to be real adults.)

Today I was cutting through the store and decided to visit the couch (I do this a lot, I’m embarrassed to admit that) and found a “Limited Stock” sign hanging on it. I asked about this and was told that the company that makes the fabric (the nice, soft, not scratchy at all fabric) is no longer manufacturing it, I think they might be going out of business. So now the Petrie is only being sold in the natural and brown fabric, and only what they have left in stock (we only really wanted gray, with my clumsiness white would last about ten minutes in our house, oh look I just dropped pizza sauce on the futon* and I just don’t get excited over brown). They are looking for a replacement fabric, so there is a faint glimmer of hope, but with my luck the replacement fabric will be something durable but scratchy. It looks like I’m stuck sitting on this futon (which I bought in 1998 (!!!) when I had my very first solo apartment in Cleveland, that’s like two thousand internet years ago) until I find new couch love.

Kena non-flip flop, sob

While I’m wallowing let me also mention how sad I was to discover that Teva is no longer making the Kena style flip flops. These had the squishy rubber flip flop sole but didn’t have straps that went between the toes and were the answer to my prayers. I showed restraint in not buying dozens of pairs and now I wish I hadn’t shown said restraint. I have one pair and I’ll have to make sure I use them well. In the mean time EileenSideways on Twitter has encouraged me to try the Olowahu style. As a fellow nothing-between-the-toes person she says she can tolerate them. I trust you Eileen.

Ok, my pointless pity party is over.

* Not kidding about the pizza sauce. Ok, so maybe I should be eating in the dining room instead.

· comments [56] · 02-7-2010 · categories:mumbling ·