how to throw a kickin’ resource party. | Design For Mankind. This is a great way to get to know what people need so you can all help each other out.
Felicia Day » Random Things I’m Enjoying. Instagram, Liege waffles, a sunscreen advising father on pale skin protection, iPhone games, sci-fi and costume dramas. I want her to be my best friend..
Private room in Seattle? | Ask MetaFilter.
How do you hire a private investigator? via How do you hire a private investigator? | Ask MetaFilter.
It Gets Better: E.M. Forster | Slog. A passage from E.M. Forster’s biography where he says the same thing as the It Gets Better project, only 100 years ago.
Flavorless chewing gum? | Ask MetaFilter.
Is This the Real Thing? Coca-Cola’s Secret Formula Discovered by This American Life – TIME NewsFeed.
· comments  · 02-17-2011 · categories:links · misc ·
· comments  · 02-16-2011 · categories:links · the home ·
Black*Eiffel: Great Idea for your Inspiration Board. These tiny clothing hanger shaped paper clips hang from a pushpin, adorable and brilliant.
swissmiss | Nasty Clamps. These heavy duty clams hold a camera or an extra flash anywhere you can put it.
Twig & Thistle » Style Me Pretty Magazine!.
defective yeti — Games: Mr. Jack Pocket. And a round up of board or card games that two people can play.
A book to make the miles fly by… | Ask MetaFilter. Seeking book recommendations that are engrossing enough work out on a treadmill while reading.
Nectar and Elixir- bike seat clamp / bottle openers by Swarm — Kickstarter. This is smart, and it will become a very good gift for all the drinky bicyclists in the PNW. Via @mathowie on Twitter.
· comments  · 02-15-2011 · categories:links · shopping ·
Yesterday Scott and I set out in search of a banana split. Since we were hungry and Po Dogs* was nearby we stopped for a hot dog first. And suddenly our day turned into A Quest for Phallic Foods. While eating we discussed other phallic foods and up with categories for processed (sausage, corn dogs), natural (asparagus, cucumbers) and sweet (twinkies, eclairs). There are many more foods but my attempts to force them into a cohesive meal failed.
When we ordered the banana split (I won’t identify the location, see the rest of the sentence for the reason) it came with banana chunks, ice cream and toppings layered in a cup. In a cup! That, my friends, is not a split. I didn’t take a photograph though I do wish I could have captured the look on our faces as we first saw the cup. Apparently The Quest for Phallic Foods will continue.
Here is to wishing for you that the people in your life are unfazed by a not entirely successful quest, and that you have so much fun questing that you hardly even notice.
* The Dub-T Dog (nacho cheese sauce, crushed potato chips, ketchup and mustard, like a drunk-hungry late night trip to the 7-Eleven) is delicious. As is the Texas Dog. However, given a choice of only one hot dog I go fairly traditional and order the Chicago Dog (celery salt FTW).
· comments  · 02-14-2011 · categories:mumbling ·
· comments  · 02-14-2011 · categories:food · links ·
· comments  · 02-12-2011 · categories:holidays · links ·
· comments  · 02-11-2011 · categories:links · technology ·
· comments  · 02-10-2011 · categories:holidays · links ·
Last weekend we headed out for a little weekend adventure on nearby Guemes Island. It’s a tiny place with only a few hundred residents. In the winter there is nothing to do there except walk on the beach and stare into a fire, which was exactly what we hoped for.
We started with brunch in our own neighborhood. Our usual place had a very long wait so we wandered over to Lottie’s Lounge where we found amazing food.
I got the cheesy grits. They are made with heavy cream and cream cheese. Uh huh. Yum. There is some healthy spinach hiding underneath, I promise. They also offer the cheesy grits as a side. If you are there for brunch and don’t try the cheesy grits I will challenge you to a duel.
Then it was off to the island. The Guemes Island Resort is the only place to stay on the island save renting a vacation home. The resort is a small collection of cabins on the water and has been a resort since the 1940s, they keep the spirit of the small getaway really well. It felt welcoming but intimate, well loved and well kept. Like a secret, or perhaps a Catskills resort that you just assume everybody already knows about.
In the summer there is clamming, crabbing, boating, bonfires and exploring the island by bicycle. In the winter there is pretty much just walking along the beach and gazing at the view until it’s dark and time to go inside and make a fire. (Until one ventures out in pajamas and Wellies with flashlights to gaze up at the breathtaking view of the stars through the break in the clouds.)
I like it so much I spent a lot of time considering not telling you about it.
They have a wood fired heated Dutchtub on the grounds, shown above, that you can rent by the day all to yourselves. Dutchtubs are awesome and they regularly defy scale in photographs. The one above would easily accommodate four people even if it possibly looks like it could be a photo of a cereal bowl left on a rocky beach.
The resort has a little camp store that sells well curated beer, wine, food, soap, Slow Loris stuff and a few vacation essentials (flip-flops, sunglasses). Between Anderson’s (see below) and this I am confident to suggest that should somebody, say, decide they could not bear the thought of going back to the grind and instead they, say, immediately took the ferry to Guemes they would have everything needed to be fed and comfortable even if they were to “accidentally” break their car in a way that might take, say, a week or more to repair.
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· comments  · 02-9-2011 · categories:travel ·
angry chicken: coming soon-new Built by Wendy book. Angry Chicken gives us a peek at the next book which is allabout jackets, I think I could really get into that one. I’m petite so my jacket choices are often limited.
Quilted Purselete at make something. I like the shape of this bag.
WHOLE CLOTH QUILT : NYC SUBWAY MAP at make something. Love.
clothes hanger ribbon holder | Flickr. Clever way to keep a bunch of ribbon untangled.
Birthday Candles – The Crafts Dept. DIY festive personalized candles.
Crafty Art Selections by Garth Johnson @Craftzine.com blog. Must get myself there! Luckily it runs through July 9th so I have plenty of time.
· comments  · 02-8-2011 · categories:craft · links ·
It’s been so gloomy around here that last weekend Scott and I headed out to get tropical drinks at a Caribbean restaurant (Island Soul) in our neighborhood. Scott got a very respectable caipirinha and I got something that was neon blue and came with fruit on a sword. It inspired me to look up coconut recipes in How to Cook Everything and happily there was a recipe for Double Coconut Chicken Breasts. In his recipe Mark Bittman warns “ground coconut makes a flavorful and crunchy crust, but it burns easily, so be careful” so I changed the recipe to how we usually cook chicken breasts which uses a lower temperature than normal. It’s a technique I learned from How to Cook Moist and Tender Chicken Breasts over at The Kitchn. This is a nice, lazy and nearly foolproof method.
Pretty Easy Double Coconut Chicken Breasts
- 1 cup (or just go ahead and use the whole can) canned coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric, or a few strands of saffron if you’re the sort to have a well stocked spice cabinet
- about 1 1/2 cups dried unsweetened coconut
- 2 (or 4) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- minced parsley for garnish
- vegetable oil, salt and pepper
- If you’re serving this with rice hopefully you’ve already started cooking it, the chicken takes 20 minutes. If you have not started rice see the notes below.
- Warm the coconut milk and stir in the tumeric or saffron. Turn off the heat and let it cool. After a while the sauce turns a pretty yellow color, like magic. Or much needed sunlight.
- Whirl the coconut around in a food processor to break it down into the size of crumbs. (We used Bob’s Red Mill shredded coconut and I suspect it was small enough already. We’ll skip this step next time.) Put the coconut on a plate, ready for dredging.
- Heat oil or a combination of oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat.
- Dredge the chicken breasts in the coconut and place in the skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Just let them get golden brown on both sides and then quickly cover the pan with a heavy lid and turn the heat to low. Let cook on low for 10 minutes.
- While you’re waiting right now is a good time to prepare your salad.
- After 10 minutes turn off the heat under the chicken or move the pan while keeping the lid on. Let the chicken sit for another 10 minutes. (If you’re cooking very thick chicken breasts you might consider checking for doneness, if they are still pink inside keep the pan over low heat for the next 10 minutes instead.)
- Heat some oil in a small pan and cook the minced shallot over medium heat, 3 or 4 minutes stirring occasionally until it softens. Add the coconut milk, turn the heat up and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and stir frequently until the sauce has thickened up a bit. Add a pinch of salt.
- At this point your chicken breasts, sauce and rice will hopefully be ready all at the same time. Flood the plate with the pretty sauce, garnish with parsley. And you’re done. Neon blue drink optional.
Notes: If you’ve forgotten to start the rice beforehand (every time!) I’ve taken a tip from an old Splendid Table program (the segment of which I cannot find) that mentions boiling it like pasta. Mine doesn’t not come out fluffy, rather it comes out looking wet and wrecked, but at least it’s cooked quickly.
Disclosure: The link to How To Cook Everything above is an affiliate link with Amazon, should you happen to buy the book after clicking on that link a small percentage comes to me. It’s not much but it helps me cover my hosting costs.
· comments  · 02-7-2011 · categories:food · recipes ·
Passports & Visas, Design Mom. Gabrielle is documenting how she went about moving her large family to live in France for a year, it’s very helpful and inspiring.
Central Park Nature, a detailed map of the park, via Kottke.
Sprizee :: A simple girl replete with complications: Exploring Paris. A collection of great advice and guides on Paris, including my own set of posts. (Thanks!)
Secret of Paris by Prêt à Voyager and Secret of Paris by Little Brown Pen over at Jordan Ferney | Oh Happy Day! While Jordan is settling into her apartment in Paris she’s gathered people to give their favorite Paris secrets.
Back in the States : All & Sundry. This is a note to myself to rent the cabin Sundry Mourning recommends here. At least, in March when it’s open again.
Top 10 Private Islands – Sunset.com. “Patos Island is the San Juan you haven’t heard of—probably because the only way to get there is to charter a boat to its unnamed beaches and seven campsites ($12/night). Walk the 1.5-mile forested loop trail, check out the tidepools, pick blackberries, or just relax on a bluff.” This? Sounds perfect. Wonder if they have glamping.
Winter Vacation in the Pacific Northwest | Ask MetaFilter. I’m using this for day trip ideas.
Recommendations for All-Inclusive Caribbean Resorts? | Ask MetaFilter.
· comments  · 02-5-2011 · categories:links · travel ·
Hey look, I’m a featured source on the Pulse News Reader today. Thanks Pulse! Pulse is a free news reading application for iPhone, iPad and Android devices which you can fill with what you want to read the most in a nice and tidy format. I’ve been playing with it and it’s easy to get it set up and running, it took me seconds to find Lifehacker, Apartment Therapy, Simply Recipes, Make and a bunch of my other favorite sites. It’s pretty nifty. I even like their tag line “Bringing you good news”.
· comments  · 02-4-2011 · categories:misc ·
The Designer Pad – The Brick House Project. A renovated and furnished home where they set a $100 limit on each thing. Via A Whole Lotta Nothing.
swissmiss | Coffee Filters.
Cool Tools: Umbrella Patch. Handy kit for fixing a hole in drywall.
Cool Tools: Method Foaming Soap Dispenser. Reusing foaming soap dispensers is easy, we reused one for about five years before we had to replace it (with a prettier Muji version).
Luggage Racks As Pot Racks | Apartment Therapy The Kitchn.
Large Wooden Ampersand by Hindsvik on Etsy. Oh yes. Via Making It Lovley.
Shane Powers for West Elm – The Crafts Dept. We saw some of these terrariums last time we were in Portland (the nearest West Elm store) and I loved them.
Adventures in Renovating a Brooklyn Limestone: Junk Drawer Overhaul: Chargers Made Lovely. We need to do this, our chargers live on our kitchen counter as well.
· comments  · 02-4-2011 · categories:links · the home ·
CakeSpy – Holey Grail: Why Do Doughnuts Have Holes?.
Vertical Layer Rose Cake – i am baker. I love the frosting rose pattern on this cake, and the vertical layers are very appealing.
BraveTart: Rainbow Sprinkles. Instructions on how to make your own sprinkles. I’m dying with joy. Via Edible Crafts.
otchipotchi: white chocolate leaves. A quick how-to on creating chocolate leaves by painting actual leaves. Via Craftzine.
Seattle Magazine | Blogs/Eat and Drink | Food News: The Pantry, a Delancey Off-Shoot, Opening in Spring. Butchery classes by the guy at Rainshadow Meats? Is a certain friend of mine out there listening to this?
Time Bomb Ice · Edible Crafts | CraftGossip.com.
Mini Pretzels – 20 oz. bag sold by King Nut. Whenever I get an airplane snack of those itty bitty pretzels I think they’d be great in Chex Mix but can never find them later. This company sells them to the airlines and to us, itty bitty pretzel Chex Mix is on the menu for next holiday season.
7-Layer Dip Showdown | Serious Eats.
Homebrewing Basics: All About Hops | Serious Eats.
Judy in Her Natural Habitat: Caramel Corn.
Breakfast Polenta: Two Ways — Joy the Baker. Yum, both ways.
· comments  · 02-3-2011 · categories:food · links ·