Not Martha

daily photo: Mar. 2nd

string of pearls plant

Taken during a brief window of sunshine today. This is our third string of pearls plant. I cannot keep plants alive and killed our first two. This one Scott takes care of and I try to not even look at it too closely for fear it will deflate and shrivel under my very gaze. I love how the pods are a little translucent along the seam.

· comments [14] · 03-2-2011 · categories:dailyphoto · misc ·

daily photo: Mar. 1st

orange FLOR tiles, mostly out of focus

We finally installed our FLOR tiles so I used them to learn all about the A-Dep (depth of focus setting) setting on my camera. Last time I wrote about these we had samples and we liked one color, but a different texture that the color wasn’t available for. Happily we dithered long enough and FLOR updated their line to include the combination we really wanted, Feelin’ Groovy in Clementine. Now we need a low table and some lighting. At this pace we will be done sometime in October.

· comments [7] · 03-1-2011 · categories:dailyphoto · the home ·

daily photo: Feb. 28th

cookie dough scooped and ready to freeze

I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies from the NY Times recipe that everybody was going crazy over a few years ago, myself included. Despite weighing all the ingredients I appear to have halved the flour or doubled the butter or something because this batch spreads like crazy. Is there a way to add more flour to cookie dough once the chocolate chips are are mixed in? I’m assuming not since the new flour wouldn’t be coated in butter the way it’s supposed to, and there would be a lot of overmixing of the flour. Oh well, these are yummy but not very pretty. Here I’ve scooped them onto a cookie sheet to freeze individually so I can bake one or two at a time.

· comments [22] · 02-28-2011 · categories:dailyphoto · food · recipes ·

daily photo: Feb. 27th

pistachio chorizo cake with sesame seeds on top

Today was Cookbook Club, our focus was any recipe from David Lebovitz‘s books or website. We had a perfect mix (short ribs, celery root soup, artichoke tapenade, and a spread of desserts) and everything was superb. I made the Pistachio and Chorizo Cake which was easy and looks really impressive when you cut into it. Turns out the recipe is from another Paris food blogger, Clotilde Dusoulier who does Chocolate & Zucchini, it’s in her book also titled Chocolate & Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen (disclosure: that’s an Amazon Affiliate link). Right, I’m off to watch the Oscars.

· comments [4] · 02-27-2011 · categories:dailyphoto · food ·

daily photo: Feb. 26th

a bottle of $6 wine

This is a bottle inexpensive go to wine for nights like this one where I’m doing nothing much more complicated than baking the Pistachio and Chorizo Cake from David Lebovitz. (It’s cooling now and smells amazing.) But I’m not here to tell you about the cake, I’m here to tell you about this silly situation I find myself in at my local market that involves the buying of said wine. We’re lucky enough to live really close to a happy natural foods grocery that I end up in most every day picking up ingredients for one thing or another. We tend to buy wine one bottle at a time when we know we’ll want it with dinner and happily the market has a small but reliable selection. I don’t buy wine every day, but it seems that when I am buying wine I get the same checkout girl. Every single time. If I’m in for some emergency butter she’s nowhere to be seen, but if I have a cart full of groceries and a bottle of wine it’s hilariously inevitable that I’ll end up in her line. I’ve become hyper aware of this and it’s made my Raised Catholic Shame kick into overdrive. She’s lovely and friendly and I’m sure completely unaware of me, but still I cringe a bit when I find myself once again buying booze in her checkout aisle. I have not seen her in the store in weeks but tonight my haul of no-preservatives chorizo, unsalted pistachios, organic dried tomatoes and sesame seeds from the bulk aisle included some table wine and guess whose checkout line I found myself in?

Also seen in the frame are my iPhone and the trusty Jambox speaker that I’ve come to adore because it lets me hear things over the noise of washing dishes. It’s sturdy and has rubberized top and bottom surfaces, it’s wireless and connects to your music source with Bluetooth, and has a recharegable battery. I carry it around the kitchen with me and couldn’t like it more. We have Gray Hex but I sort of wanted the Red Dot, except our kitchen is filled with orange accents and I fear I’m not the sort that can pull together orange and red.

(disclosure: Just above are some Amazon Affiliate links, which means a small percentage is sent my way if you just happen to buy the speaker after checking it out. The money helps cover hosting costs for this here website. No pressure, you know.)

· comments [13] · 02-26-2011 · categories:dailyphoto · misc ·

daily photo: Feb 24th

teeny tiny Lincoln Log cabin

Seattle got snow last night and though we don’t have cabin fever yet I thought it was a great time to open my latest impulse purchase, itty bitty Lincoln Logs. I found these at the drugstore and they came as a set of four canisters meant as party favors, each one holding the bits needed to make one teensy weensy log cabin. That there is a quarter in the picture for some scale. I was hoping to take one outside and put it on a little mound of snow to grab a picture, but the slightest movements caused the cabin to fall apart. I’m going to open all the canisters and see if I can build a really tall mini Lincoln Log tower to knock down.

· comments [9] · 02-24-2011 · categories:dailyphoto · misc ·

daily photo: Feb. 22nd

five eyeshadow compacts

I’ve decided it’s time I learned how to use eyeshadow properly. On my last trip to the drug store I found these Rimmel palettes on sale for under $3 each and decided to grab a range of colors to see if I could find which ones work best on me. I remain skeptical that color will make a big difference but I’ve recently started using concealer under my eyes (pale skin + a very visible blue vein = help!) and figure I might as well take on eyeshadow while I’m at it. I’ll report back about undereye concealer, I still have little idea how to make it work. In the mean time I’ll point you towards the concealer reviews at Musings of a Muse, she’s dedicated to the search. She’s also a geek girl, within minutes of first browsing her site I knew it was love.

Related note: I suck at putting on eyeliner and have instead taken to using an angled flat brush (I have #266 from MAC) to smudge black eyeshadow (I use Carbon black eyeshadow, also from MAC) into the lash line on my upper lids. If you’re similarly frustrated by eyeliner I recommend trying this out. I’m too pale (daughter of a redhead) to put eyeliner on my lower lashes without looking rather strange, but I’m going to try the smoky eye technique that Busywork linked to recently so see how it works out. A few of the Rimmel palettes I bought are made for smoky eyes so I might do one eye in browns and one eye in blues to see how they compare. That reminds me, the other week I decided to compare my former (discontinued) favorite foundation to my current favorite foundation (Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse). Then I forgot my face was half and half and went grocery shopping. Let’s hope I don’t do the same with the sample eyes, I suspect it would be far more noticeable.

One last note on eye makeup, a friend of mine who knows her stuff reports that her favorite eyeshadow primer is Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I have not tried it yet but I plan on making the investment soon (eyeshadow on these lids of mine is prone to extreme creasing, I can use all the help I can get). Thanks Sarah!

· comments [44] · 02-22-2011 · categories:beauty · dailyphoto ·

daily photo: Feb. 21st

I’ve decided to start a daily photo project. I always like these on other sites and I could use the reason to use my camera more often (and hopefully learn more about how to use it without needing to take a few hundred photographs in order to get one I will use). Mostly, though, I need to rediscover a rhythm while using my new-ish laptop. I got it earlier this year and find myself dragging my heels on learning how to most efficiently use the shiny new software. I’ll do my best to make the photos pretty, but no promises. Ok, here we go.

chip in the edge of my Bonmac cone coffee dripper

Scott and I long ago gave up on making good coffee using a coffee maker and instead have been using a cone-over-the-mug setup for years. Recently we decided to upgrade from a plastic cone to a ceramic one. It only took me four days to chip it. I am the reason we cannot have nice things.

I am a fan of the cone dripper (aka pour over method) and highly recommend you try it sometime. I find that it’s easier to make good coffee, and it’s very convenient if you just want one cup. It’s also easier to wash than a coffee maker or a french press, which I highly appreciate as a lazy person. The one above is made by Bonmac and I bought it at Sweet Maria’s, who reports that “this humble Melitta-type cone beat all our other drippers in 2 different double-blind pour-over brewing tests”. Yay! And in a moment of synchronicity Ugly Green Chair pointed me towards this Cilio Porcelain coffee cone which does not have any branding on it, available over at Amazon*. Both of the coffee cones above hold a #2 filter, I prefer the brown paper ones, or a mesh filter.

* That link to Amazon is an affiliate link, meaning that should you choose to buy it I get a small percentage which I use to help cover my hosting costs. No pressure.

· comments [26] · 02-21-2011 · categories:dailyphoto · food ·