Not Martha

Today I went to a supermarket alone and bought: a box of twinkies, a six pack of snickers bars, a bag of string (mozarella) cheese, frozen jalepeno poppers, frozen perogies, and frozen pork appetizers. Standing in the checkout line I realized my cart looked an awful lot like it was the prop for an after school special about bulimia. But here is what I’m actually planning — County Fair Fried Food Day. I didn’t make it the Puyallup fair, and the report I hear on NPR from the LA county fair reported a lack of fried Twinkies, which I’ve always wanted to try. I’m already planning to fry some mac and cheese, why not use the large amount of oil wisely and eat things that are delicious and terrible for me all day long? I bought in bulk because I anticipate failures. I’ll report back. Now I’m off to research deep fry batter recipes and if the Snickers should be frozen before being coated and plunged into hot oil.

updated: Wow, not only does Wikipedia have an entry for deep frying they also have entries for deep fried Twinkies and deep fried Mars bars.

· comments [0] · 09-30-2006 · categories:food · recipes ·

I secretly adore tacky novelty foods. I get quite excited about the fact that pizza delivery chains consistently come up with new things to do with the crust, and when they are in a dry spell they use the pizza dough to create a dessert concoction. I read with interest when the Taco Bell chain included grill presses in all their stores in order to make grilled burritos, and then came up with the Crunchwrap thing which I think is a fabulous way to use all the same ingredients and just make them into a differnt shape. I love the holiday variations on candies and cookie dough in a tube. I admire the various frozen things we can put into toasters. I think my absolute favorite toy food remains the instant oatmeal I had from a few years back. It contained pressed sugar treasure chests which would dissolve in the hot water revealing tiny sugar keys, gold coins and jewels. It tasted terrible, but I was so enchanted by it. I think the equivalent these days involved dinosaurs coming out of eggs.

Do I eat these things? Rarely, this stuff is really bad for you. I mostly stick with a policy of look but don’t touch.

But when I saw this today over at Boing Boing I just had to share:

It’s even chocolate chip pancakes. Oh goodness how I adore the idea that somebody first thought up this, and then managed to get it made. I’m swooning with the excitement of utter ridiculousness. I mean I know about pigs in a blanket, but this has a whole corn dog hybrid thing going on. Bravo.

There is so much more at the Junk Food Blog, and at Strange New Products.

· comments [0] · 09-29-2006 · categories:food ·

White whole wheat pizza dough, at 101 Cookbooks.

The Spirit World on jiggers, ponies, and a mini angled measure cup.

Seattle Livejournal on the best Autumn spots.

Chicken and dumpling stew at My Aim Is True.

Sunshine jar, gathers solar power during the day, glows at night, nice. at Popgadget.

Halloween countdowns! I-Mockery on Halloween candy, and X-Entertainment on everything.

Fried Mac and Cheese, first I saw it on an episode of Good Eats (recipe), the next morning Shelterrific taunts me, and now it is something I will eat this week.

· comments [0] · 09-28-2006 · categories:drink · halloween · links ·

I finally got a chance to visit the Daiso store in the Alderwood mall which I first read about on Ahn-Minh’s site back in May. It was great, stuffed full of cute household goods, so much so that I had to go around slowly so that I wouldn’t sprain my eyes. I was mostly taken with the baking section, but then I found this fabulous acrylic slubby yarn. Just my luck though, they only had one ball. I’ll have to make something small, like one mitten. The store here is much smaller than the store they opened at the Aberdeen Centre in Richmond, BC, about 1/5th of the size, and I will definitely visit that store next time I’m in Vancouver.

· comments [0] · 09-27-2006 · categories:shopping ·

Yesterday I found something I’ve been seeking for a long time – a warm, snuggly, soft, fuzzy sweater that is acrylic. You heard me. See, my skin is so sensitive to animal fibers that even the softest Merino feels like thousands of little needles. A regular wool sweater over a shirt will dig and scratch, and even cashmere against my skin in unbearable. It sucks. I’ve avoided animal fibers for so long that even I started to think I was exaggerating. So while I’ve been out shopping lately I’ve been trying on soft sweaters. The merino/cashmere/alpaca will feel wonderfully soft against my fingertips, but when I slip my arm through it’s all getitoff!getitoff!. I long for those warm, fluffy sweaters you see in magazines, but for me it’s been heavy, drafty cotton. I can find plenty of non-animal fiber versions of lighter weight sweaters, and of course there is always the eternally casual fleece. (We won’t even go over chenille, I just cannot take myself to that place.)

But then, yesterday at a department store I found a cardigan that is soft! even against my bare arms! I’m sure it’ll pill terribly, or not be as soft once it’s washed. In order to fight the very strong Go And Get One In Every Color urge I’m doing my best to expose the sweater’s flaws by wearing it in quickly (a change for me, I tend to let new purchases sit wrapped up in their shopping bags on my shelf for a week or so before I start to use them). But until those flaws show up I have a snuggly sweater just like everybody else. Now, if they’ll just make a turtleneck version I’ll be set for Autumn.

· comments [0] · 09-22-2006 · categories:shopping ·

The Plush You show here in Seattle at Schmancy (and Fancy and Pants) will be opening Oct. 6th. This year Plush You will also hold two workshops on Sept. 30th — first is Make Your Own Wee Soft Toy workshop and the second is making Pet Jewelry, for you and your pet. The workshops are each $10, and they are sponsored by Stitches, another favorite shop of mine. Read more about the workshops and how to sign up here. Also see more about Plush You.

Also of upcoming interest — there will be a book signing for Sew Subversive at Stitches on Monday, Sept. 25th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

· comments [0] · 09-21-2006 · categories:books · craft · events · sewing ·

My two year old el-cheapo toaster recently died so I set out to get a new one. While I really wanted the $60 or $70 tangerine Kitchenaid toaster my cheap, er, frugal side won out and I decided to buy in the $20 – $30 range. The first one had a little metal piece inside so that when the toast popped up it would catch, fold over, and be thoroughly stuck inside the toaster. The second one sported spooky blue lit buttons that looked silly. I finally settled on this basic brushed metal and black one made by Oster ($30, $25 if you can find it at Sears). I bet it would have been a little easier to find if I’d know about Wize earlier. It collects sites with user reviews as well as expert reviews, in this case Cooks’ Illustrated. I mean, I do look at user reviews but Epinions has become so cluttered, and I suspect a lot of the reviews on Amazon are written by bitchy morons*, so mostly I don’t find it’s worth the trouble digging for reviews myself. Wize seems to do a lot of the work for me, neato.

* Not yours, dear reader, yours are of course reasoned and very helpful product reviews which I thank you for.

· comments [0] · 09-20-2006 · categories:shopping ·

I like the idea of MiYO flooring — 16 inch vinyl tiles you can mix and match which are installed in a similar way to Flor. MiYO stands for Make It Your Own. I would like use these for my entryway. I would use Flor but we’ll be tracking in a lot of water so I need something with a layer that will protect the floor itself, and MiYO has that (as long as you don’t poke a hole in the liner). However, they styles they have right now just won’t work for my house. Hopefully they’ll add more colors. I’m looking for more options in the brown range, if you’re listening. via Apartment Therapy LA.

· comments [0] · 09-19-2006 · categories:the home ·

This article at SmartMoney on the best time to buy anything is quite helpful. via Product Dose.

Really nice window films. Unfortunately, I lost where I found that link.

I like these bins from Sprout Home which nicely reuse plastic shopping bags.

at Ask Metafilter:

What’s the deal with fang holes in my shirts? I had a similar problem and I assumed it had something to do with my granite kitchen countertop tugging at fabric when I would do dishes, later I found some sharp corners on the facing of a zipper of a hoodie I wore often. I’m still not sure what caused mine.

Seeking sexy, comfortable sheets.

Seeking advice from those who have been married a long time.

Help me choose an index fund.

Can you recommend a great adventure game?

· comments [0] · 09-18-2006 · categories:links ·

This weekend was spent doing errands and clearing out the blackberry behind our house. It’s a big, old bush, and most of it is not on our property. But by cutting out what has grown on our side of the line we can at least reclaim another parking space. We’ve undovered two, maybe three, bicycle frames and a (hopefully empty) trash can. It’s like we found a long lost neighborhood dump. Wonderful.

Otherwise the cooler temperatures are making me very happy, and I’ve already begun work on a Halloween dessert.

· comments [0] · 09-18-2006 · categories:mumbling ·

This has already made the rounds, but just in case you have not seen it yet – this free pattern for a Princess Leia hat is Halloween perfection.

· comments [0] · 09-14-2006 · categories:halloween · knitting ·

This is interesting – What’s the deal with whole wheat white flour?

Question about make ahead and freeze meals, sans canned soups.

Luscious looking mac and cheese recipe at Shelterrific.

I really like the winner of the Craftster Little Tiny Challenge, the tiny fast food looks familiar (Martha Stewart Weddings 2003) and the little soda cup is smart.

· comments [0] · 09-14-2006 · categories:food · recipes ·

The new Knitty is out, and it’s great, as usual. I particularily like the simply well designed cardigan Serrano, and the double duty of Sugar on Snow. Also take a look at the ways to bind off and the Knitter’s Guide to the Movies.

· comments [0] · 09-13-2006 · categories:knitting ·

Craft posted information about the upcoming Mastercraft sale in Seattle. It’s Saturday, September 16th and October 14th at Stitches, 711 East Pike Street; and Sunday, September 17th and October 15th at Fuel Coffee, 610 19th Ave. E.

· comments [0] · 09-13-2006 · categories:craft · events · seattle ·

We’ve decided to ad an over-the-sink pot rack to our kitchen storage. I was at the Sur La Table website and spotted a low ceiling pot rack which I thought might work just fine. And then I saw the price — $936. Wha? I can find it in different finishes that would work in our kitchen in for as low as $670, but that’s still about $620 more than I can spend on this thing. Maybe I’ll just use those ceiling hooks meant for garages. (No, not really.) (Well, maybe.)

update: A bit of further digging turns up much more reasonably priced options. Thanks to everbody who emailed with links.

· comments [0] · 09-12-2006 · categories:the home ·