· comments  · 04-30-2010 · categories:food · links ·
It’s been a busy few weekends around here, and I actually took some pictures. Above is a pretty show cupcake from Cupcake Camp three weekends ago. I turned up too late to eat cupcakes (apparently 5000 cupcakes were consumed in about half an hour!) but just in time to see the cupcake eating contest, the aftermath of which looked like this:
The next day I headed to spend some much needed outdoor time with Tea and Cookies and friends. Her chirashizushi pictured above was delicious and so very pretty. I am usually very sensitive to the flavor of fish in a dish, but I couldn’t detect that this had a fish stock base.
Two weeks ago Scott headed to Chicago for a gig with Kirby Krackle, but I barely had a chance to miss him.
On Friday I had dinner with Maggi at Via Tribunali where they really will bring you shears to cut your pizza if you ask about them.
We walked to Molly Moon’s for ice cream afterward and ran into Cakespy and her adorable pugs on their way home from work, the pugs hung out while we stood in line. I got salted licorice, it was good but very unusual.
The next morning I dropped off the cobbler in jars for the bake sale then headed out to get some product shots for the felt flower brooch. Later that day I went to attend a Seattle Food Bloggers event where Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, came to chat with us! I practically attacked her afterward to tell her about my summers in Oklahoma and she was nice enough not to call security on me. I also butted in to get a picture, which didn’t turn out!
But I feel better because she has one just like it on her site, we both forgot to adjust our cameras for the backlighting. After that I figured it would be too crazy to go back again and get her to sign my Pioneer Woman Cooks book. Ree pulled her own camera out of her bag and it was a huge Nikon that was covered with flour, which I thought was just awesome.
And last weekend we headed to a family wedding and some visiting in Pennsylvania and Ohio. After we had picked up our rental car and were on our way I got word that my felt flower brooch project had been published over at Holidash, so I used my iPhone to put up a post I’d prepared before we left to announce it. But, tragedy!, the image I had used for it was corrupted and was showing up half gray. And this is the part where I get to love living in the future: thanks to the iPhone I was able to borrow one of my own images from the Holidash site, upload it my site and republish my post with the new image. All from a rental car speeding down the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Neato.
This is my first ever time at Sonic, and my first ever cherry limeaid. It was yummy. As we were sitting at the drive-in we watched a horse drawn buggy come through the parking lot and pull into a small covered parking space meant for buggies just outside the Walmart. I realized it had been ages since the Amish were a part of my usual surroundings.
The wedding was in Hershey, PA and the menu reflected that. The beef entree was Cocoa Crusted Tenderloin with White Chocolate Mashed Potatoes. It sounds strange but was amazing. And yes, there was a chocolate fountain at dessert, I doubt they could have gone without one considering the location. It was fantastic to hang out with aunts, uncles and cousins and hear all the stories from weddings and gatherings past. My family is a bit crazy in the most wonderful way.
Somewhere along the Pennsylvania Turnpike we found a machine that churned out these unicorn souvenir pennies. I’ll keep this in my wallet just in case I encounter something IRL that requires a unicorn chaser.
Then we were off to Ohio to visit more family. We got to hold a very tiny brand new nephew, walk through the model home of the sort that Scott’s sister and brother in law just bought, be impressed enough with the reasonable price of houses in Ohio enough to briefly consider moving back, play tug of war with Simon (the very cute and well behaved dog you see above), and seek out a kids guitar as for a niece’s birthday present. It has these handy stickers to help in learning:
And I got to use my camera to help explain to a nephew how the sepia colored crayon got it’s name:
It’s been so much fun, but last night we arrived home to a house that is utterly disorganized. It’s time for some serious spring cleaning. But first some beer.
· comments  · 04-29-2010 · categories:mumbling ·
My current favorite lip gloss is Sephora’s Fresh Gloss. It looks shimmery pink in the tube but it goes on clear and glossy. But it’s not overly glossy, it’s more of an everyday glossy instead of a look at my lips! look at them! sort of glossy. I like it because it feels very moisturizing, goes on tingly and stays an admirably long time. The mint is meant to freshen your breath and while I don’t use it for that specific reason, hey, every bit helps. The tube is small and easy to keep in a purse, and it’s price doesn’t make me wince. (And now that I’ve declared I like it I’m certain it will immediately be discontinued forever and ever.)
· comments  · 04-28-2010 · categories:beauty ·
· comments  · 04-27-2010 · categories:links · shopping ·
I recently got done reading The Butcher and the Vegetarian by Tara Austen Weaver and I really, really enjoyed it. It was one of those books I stayed up late into the night reading, and couldn’t wait to pick it up again the next day.
Tara takes us through the time in her life when she, raised a vegetarian, is advised to take up eating meat to help solve some chronic health troubles. The stories of her trying to figure out how to buy and cook meat are both hilarious and filled with a thoughtful exploration of how to balance the personal and environmental ethics of eating meat. She gets very close to the subject, visiting ranches and farms that are gentle to both the land and the animals, going through some of Michael Pollen’s arguments and spending a day at Meathenge. She finds some very good food and people. Tara doesn’t take any more virtuous than thou stances, and approaches each question looking fairly at all sides. That makes it sound boring, I admit, but I assure you it’s not, the book takes a journey that moves along briskly. I love it when I find an author whose words ring very clear in my head, and Tara is one of those.
for the sake of full disclosure: I consider Tara a friend, which is awesome because she holds gatherings like this one. Her personal site is Tea & Cookies.
· comments  · 04-26-2010 · categories:books · food ·
Holidash asked me to create something for Mother’s Day and I came up with this felt dahlia flower brooch. It’s got a secret on the back, you’ll have to go see to find out what it is, and how to make one (or many) for your favorite mom.
update: I have put together a few notes on what I learned after making about a dozen of these and how flowers made by others turned out (wonderfully!).
Note, February 2014: The Holidash website shut down earlier this year so I’ve reposted the tutorial, all the links above go to it’s new location here on Not Martha.
· comments  · 04-23-2010 · categories:craft ·
I want you to know about these. They are tiny, bb-sized pearls of chocolate surrounding a crunchy center (shown below) and they taste amazing. The container I bought was labeled Valrhona Perles Craquant, but I’m finding spelling variations all over the place.
They most closely remind me of the crunchy biscuit cookies with a layer of chocolate that come from the UK. Or maybe those little Japanese chocolate mushroom snacks with the cookie stem? Something like those, but yummier.
They are perfect for throwing on top of some ice cream that wasn’t as good as the container promised. They would be great in ice cream. And according to what little I can find out about them they won’t melt in baked goods, something great has got to be created with that. Anybody know what they are supposed to be used for?
I found them at Whole Foods, in plastic containers branded Whole Foods like they were portioned out from bulk foods. These were found near the very fancy cheeses, just past the prepared foods and before the wines, it might be different in your store.
I initially used these as small candies to fit inside the Chocolate Easter Surprise Eggs and the Easter Surprise Eggs, but it was lucky we didn’t eat them all before I could get them into the actual eggs. If you find these buy them.
· comments  · 04-23-2010 · categories:food ·
· comments  · 04-22-2010 · categories:food · links ·
Today is our one year anniversary of being married, so last night Scott and I made ourselves look presentable, put on our wedding shoes and went to have dinner at Canlis.
How sweeet is this? They took the care not only to ask about what we were celebrating that night, but also to write a special message on our dessert plates. The long, thin candles that adorned the plates were anchored in a chunk of pineapple, I must keep that tip in mind.
Scott looked up the table of traditional and modern anniversary gifts and went with modern, a clock. Or in this case, a kitchen timer meant specifically for me to keep on my desk to help with all that toast burning I’ve been doing lately. It’s even red to match my office. Thank you sweetie, it’s perfect. And it’s already saved breakfast.
· comments  · 04-21-2010 · categories:mumbling ·
This is interesting! As a form of volcano relief Lonely Planet is offering a bunch of their city iPhone guides for free (they normally start around $16) through April 22nd (that’s in two days, so hurry!). This includes the Paris guide I used during our recent trip, and has an offline location aware map, which is fantastic to use while avoiding roaming charges. I’m not sure if all the city guides have them, but I would expect they do.
I found this news at David Lebovitz, who is offering his suggestions on 10 Things to Do If You’re Stuck in Paris. If you are stuck in Paris you have both my sympathy and my envy.
· comments  · 04-20-2010 · categories:iphone · links · travel ·
To celebrate the release of Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything App for the iPhone Culinate would like to give away a version to five of you lucky, lucky readers. Quoting from their web page: “Everything you love about the cookbook: 2,000 recipes and recipe variations; 400 how-to illustrations; hundreds of menu ideas; and Mark Bittman’s straightforward cooking advice for simple good food.” It has every single recipe from the book, how cool is that? I use the How to Cook Everything book regularly so I’m very excited that I’ll have it available on my iPhone, especially when I’m standing in the store wondering what to make for dinner.
Just a note: If you don’t want to wait to see if you’ve won, the app is currently $1.99 at a special price, I don’t know how much it will cost later on. update: Also, the kind people at Culinate tell me that there will be a future app just for the How to Cook Everything Vegetarian book. They also report they are working on an iPad specific version of the HTCE app.
If you’d like to win a free app, please leave a comment with this post. If you’d like something to mention in the comment I’d love to know if you have a favorite Bittman recipe, either from HTCE or from his The Minimalist column in the NY Times. Obviously you’ll need to have an iPhone or iPod touch to take advantage of this one. The usual fine print applies. You’ll be chosen by the Random Number Generator, and I’ll get in touch if you’ve been chosen.
You have between right now and Wednesday, April 21st at noon, PST to enter. Good luck! Comments are closed and the randomly chosen winners will be contacted shortly, thank you!
· comments  · 04-19-2010 · categories:food · iphone · technology ·
For the Seattle Bake Sale for Share Our Strength last weekend I made blueberry cobbler baked in half-pint jars. I found the jars to be fantastic for bake sale purposes and would work splendidly for picnics as well. I think using larger jars (pint sized) for bigger portions would work out just as well.
Since the jars themselves they looked strange (like I was selling jam, maybe?) I created labels printed on cardstock and cut to fit nicely between the layers of the screw on lids. On the back of the labels I put suggestions on other things to do with the jars, things we use them for are storing seeds from annuals, shaking vinegrette dressing and sipping bourbon from them.
Click for the recipe for cobbler baked in jars, including tips on dividing into two dozen portions.
· comments  · 04-19-2010 · categories:food ·
This is my new favorite breakfast, an over easy egg on top of some hot cracked emmer cereal. This came from Bluebird Grain Farms here in Washington, and I’ve been seeing their name a lot. Thanks to their presence at my nearby natural market I’ve gotten hooked on farro (rhymes with tomorrow). According to Bluebird Grain Farms it’s called farro in Italy and they call it Emmer farro. When cooked in it’s whole berry form it’s yummy and satisfying to chew, and I really like it in the cold salads offered by our market (Scott and I call them “hippie salads”, but in a loving way).
I’m going to have to try some of the recipes on the Bluebird Grain Farms site. Especially Bluebird Grains Emmer Salad Caramelized Onion & Fennel and Emmer Farro Salad with Fresh Garden Vegetables.
See also: Alterna-grains from Small Farms at Chow, which offers this tip: “Fun Fact: An easy way to incorporate more hearty whole grains like wheat berries or oats into your diet is to soak them overnight. They cook in just as few minutes as opposed to an hour.”
· comments  · 04-16-2010 · categories:food ·
On Saturday, April 17th I’ll be participating in a Seattle bake sale for Share Our Strength. Seattle food bloggers are donating baked goods to raise money and we’ll be selling them from Metropolitan Market (100 Mercer Street) between 10 a.m. and noon.
I’ll be making something yummy that will come baked in jars. (Hint: they aren’t the pies baked in a jar that I did a few years back.) I did a test run last night and ate three today (breakfast, lunch and dessert!). I’m a bit giddy with how much fun this has been.
And? I’m not even that good a baker. Just go and check out the list of people baking for you.The spread at this bake sale will be epic. Hope to see you there.
· comments  · 04-15-2010 · categories:events · seattle ·
· comments  · 04-14-2010 · categories:craft · links ·