Not Martha

Happy Halloween

I’ve managed to come down with a cold for the best day of the year, and despite sleeping dangerously late into the day I’ve got some links. Cough, sniffle.

Salty Pie-Spiced Pumpkin Seeds at Hogwash

The 7 Types of Pet Costumes at Cute Overload

Kids Halloween Candy Code, via Neatorama

Vampire Cookies at Baking Bites

Melon Brains at Instructables

Bones of the Dead Cookies at Craftzine

Fish/Monster Lampshade at Craftzine

And if you’re similarly sick and stuck inside, some reading. These are free zombie novels by David Wellington written in blog format. Scott read these as they were released and enjoyed them. Also, the column width is perfect for reading on an iPhone. If you prefer paper all the books have been published. Start here with Monster Island.

· comments [7] · 10-31-2008 · categories:halloween ·

leaf shaped soup crackers

Scott had a rare day of working from home yesterday so I used some dough leftover from my earlier leaf shaped pie adventures to make simple crackers to go with our soup at lunch. These are just one layer of basic pie dough, egg wash, sprinkled with salt and poppy or sesame seeds. I made some smaller leaves from the dough scraps to float on top.

Almost better than oyster crackers.

· comments [10] · 10-29-2008 · categories:food ·

on the subject of gingerbread

I was craving gingerbread the other night so I made some in cupcake form. I didn’t have the light molasses that the recipe called for so I used dark instead and, well, the results were not so good. They were bad, there, just bad. It did make the house smell nice though.

Only slightly related – I’m looking for the best recipe for making the stiff gingerbread you use to make a house. Something that you can roll fairly thin but is very strong after baking, something that won’t puff too much while cooking. It doesn’t have to taste good, I won’t be eating the house, but something nice smelling would be great. Any good recipes you’d recommend?

· comments [34] · 10-29-2008 · categories:craft · food ·

links: Halloween

Yes We Carve, Barack O’ Lanterns

savory pumpkin puffs at Martha Stewart Online, I have a large pumpkin shaped cookie cutter and I’m looking forward to making these soon

chocolate covered witch hats at Baking Bites

best dog costume, at The Stranger

pumpkin farms in Seattle, go forth and get lost in a corn maze

how to roast a pumpkin at Food Chronicles

at Neatorama:

Zombie Wall Decals!!

24 Tales of Ghost Towns and Abandoned Cities

The Outbreak — An Interactive Zombie Movie

· comments [3] · 10-28-2008 · categories:halloween ·

10% off at

The kind people at are offering a discount for Not Martha readers! You get 10% off and free shipping on anything you buy in the ReUsable Bags & Bottles and Clean & Green shops. They have a whole bunch of new colors of RuMe reusable shopping bags, and I am a big fan of their various sponges. Just enter NotMartha10 (case sensitive) at check out.

· comments [2] · 10-28-2008 · categories:shopping ·

links: tech

a font with no name at Swiss Miss

Griffin Clarifi, protective case with built-in close-up lens for iPhone 3G. Macro photos are the one thing I really miss about my old cell phone.

What should I learn in order to do web development? at Ask Metafilter

iClooly Stand for the iPhone, and Simplifi iPod dock Uncrate

In space, no one can hear you scream like a child when the video game gets too scary at The Park Bench

Simple Solar Circuits at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

TouchType: Landscape email composition for the iPhone Mail and Firemail Turns iPhone Email On Its Side, at iSmashPhone

Speck Fitted Case for iPhone 3G, pretty and not too girly, at Outblush

· comments [0] · 10-27-2008 · categories:iphone · technology ·

links: misc

Ten Things Theaters Need to Do Right Now to Save Themselves at The Stranger

The Blind Cook: a Q&A at Chocolate & Zucchini

“A 246-foot-long Airship Ventures Zeppelin will be calling Moffett Field home and offering a rare opportunity for riders to experience what its like to cruise in an airship. $500 buys you a one-hour ride around the Bay Area at 1,200 feet.” at GirlHacker

How to survive a strangling? at Ask Metafilter

Advice on taking a permanent road trip. at Ask Metafilter

What is the origin of the phrase “[you] damn kids get off my lawn!” at Ask Metafilter

· comments [2] · 10-24-2008 · categories:misc ·

links: beauty and shopping

Freehands, winter gloves with fold back thumbs, made for iPhone users

Door Sixteen on her favorite mascara

rasp ring, for quick nail touch ups. I would accidentally scratch every expensive electronic thing within reach. At Outblush.

hollow spy coins! at Product Dose

LED Flickr Candles at Crate and Barrel

bullet ice cube trays, at Uncrate

Does anyone make a comfortable headband for women? at Ask Metafilter

Sugar Cubes Shaped Like Cinder Blocks at Neatorama

Tiltall Tripod at Cool Tools

· comments [6] · 10-23-2008 · categories:beauty · iphone · shopping ·

iPhone apps

Since getting my iPhone I have downloaded a lot of applications. Here are the ones I find I use regularly:

Stitcher Radio – This streams radio and podcasts straight to your phone, no need to download it in iTunes. The downside is that in order to comply with copyright the controls available to you are restricted. Still, it’s nice to have when you’ve listened to everything in your iPod, and it’s an easy way to get the NPR top of the hour news updates.

Pandora – I don’t listen to a lot of music and as a result when I do want to find some I’m overwhelmed. Pandora lets you plug in an artist (or artists) you like and it will play songs by that person and similar artists that other Pandora listeners liked. You can vote songs up or down as you go along. Like Stitcher, in order to comply with copyright the controls are limited and occasionally a song will just stop playing, but for somebody like me who just doesn’t have all that much mental space to devote to music it’s perfectly great.

Stanza – A nice ebook reader. The controls are simple and the free library is huge. Right now I’m reading Grimm’s Fairytales. I have to remember to load more books next time I find myself without a signal, rare but it happens.

Twitterrific – Easy to use Twitter thingy. Free and paid version.

Instapaper – Installing this on the iPhone was a little tricky, but the developer was a charming mixture of apologetic/exasperated/detailed. Simply, when you find an article in Safari you’d like to save for later you hit the Instapaper bookmark and it saves it in a text format which you download to the Instapaper app. It’s not perfect, but it is a space to keep things I want to read later on without filling up my Safari bookmarks. Also, it’s fun to rediscover that thing I wanted to read.

Jott – It takes recorded messages and sends them back to you as text. Easy way to save that thought you want to remember without having to type. Good for when you’re walking.

Toy Bot Diaries – This is an adorable little game and, like the reviews state, was the first time I played a game and forgot I was holding an iPhone. This is the first episode, $3.99, also has a free version.

TentsManiak Lite – A basic deduction game that I was glad to have while sitting in a waiting room where I couldn’t get a signal. Free version.

Cubicman Lite – It plays like Bloxorz. Free version.

Labyrinth LE – This is a metal ball in a wooden maze but the controls are superb, you get the illusion of real weight. Free version.

The two sites I use to keep up with iPhone news are iSmashPhone and Touch Arcade.

· comments [8] · 10-22-2008 · categories:iphone · technology · things I think are neat ·

links: Halloween

Mighty Haus Halloween Decor Guide and Mighty Goods A Handmade Halloween, in particular the knitted zombie hat

Martha Stewart Crafts Paper-Mache Treat Balls Kit

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories a dark detecting circuit for your jack-o’-lantern and a round up of halloween projects

The books Extreme Pumpkins and Extreme Pumpkins II from the Extreme Pumpkins site

Defective Yeti’s Halloween Gaming Guide

Craftzine has a bunch of good stuff, some that has caught my eye: Make a Gilded Lace Crown, Fishbowl Pumpkin, Halloween Cocktails, Spooky Tree Face Pattern, and the Knit Monster Head

And because I am a fan of Kevin Smith, a simple costume idea for the very bold: Zach and Miri masks (note: Not Safe For Work, or kids, you can spot some bits of bits).

· comments [5] · 10-21-2008 · categories:halloween ·

savory and sweet Autumn leaf pies

Last week I saw these Aut-yum Leaves cookies in FamilyFun magazine:

They rang a distant tinny bell in the back of my head that meant I’d seen something similar before and I found these in the Martha Stewart Living Halloween book, Savory Autumn Leaf Pies:

In searching I also found these Savory Autumn Leaf Pies that are in the Vegan Lunch Box book:

It was suddenly imperative that I make some stuffed Autumn leaves myself so I headed to Cookies in Ballard, a store specializing in cookies cutters, sanding sugars and baking supplies. They had three different 5″ maple leaf cookie cutters for me to choose from, as well as the Fox Run set of 5. Gosh I love Cookies. That night I made Autumn Leaf cookies stuffed with a cinnamon sugar mixture:

And on Sunday I made the Martha Stewart Savory Autumn Leaf Pies, they were served next to a bowl of potato leek soup. It was the perfect meal after a day spent lost in a corn maze:

These are absolutely perfect served along side a bowl of soup. I have a feeling a lot more Autumn leaf shaped dough will be consumed in this house in the upcoming months. You can find a very similar recipe for Autumn Leaf Pies at The Pepper Mill, it’s slightly changed from the recipe in the book. I’ll post the original recipe here when I have the chance to type it out.

· comments [42] · 10-20-2008 · categories:food · halloween ·

announcing the Grassroots Business Association

If you’re thinking about starting a business and live in Seattle this might interest you. A new organization is forming to help small business owners. Our first event is next week and you’re invited, hope to see you there.

We would like to invite you to a special event…

Meet and Greet for the Grassroots Business Association.

Wednesday, Oct. 22nd, 6 p.m.

1508 11th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
Vermillion offers both food and drinks.

What again?:
Thinking of starting a small business? Already got one and looking for some comradeship? Come and meet the founding members of the Grassroots Business Association and let us know what it is you would like to learn about building a small business. We are just starting to form this organization so your input will help shape our organization!

· comments [3] · 10-18-2008 · categories:events · seattle ·

two pears in love

I was setting the table last night and looked over to see this little scene on our buffet.

· comments [10] · 10-17-2008 · categories:mumbling ·

Christopher Kimball

I got the chance to see Christopher Kimball speak at a small event at our public television station, KCTS, this week. He was touring to promote a new book, The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book, and the new show Cook’s Country TV. One of the things that made this a little more special than a book tour event is that they passed out three samples of dark chocolate and gave us the forms that America’s Test Kitchen taste testers get. Apparently I like Scharfenberger better than Ghirardelli. I kept some notes:

– He said the vodka pie dough recipe was the best recipe the magazine had ever produced.

– They really are focused on what readers are cooking at home. He read a letter from somebody describing how she tried to tenderize a tough pork loin using boots, then by running over it with her car. He said their most accessed and reviewed recipe is green bean casserole.

– He told us about the time he managed to burn rice krispies while making them on The Today Show. After that was a segment on how to make apple dumplings and he moved over to the other part of the counter only to discover that there was no food set out, so he just had to describe how to make them. The Today Show told him it was one of the best food segments they had ever done. Sadly, I couldn’t find it on YouTube.

– That is his own farmhouse on the logo and in the pictures for Cook’s Country TV. He rennovated it and after buying it discovered all the wood on the lower floor as rotten so it had to be raised and a new foundation poured before it could be used.

– During a tasting of bottled lemon juice he went on and on about how terrible one of the choices was, it was too sweet and he said it tasted like lemon aid. Turns out? That one was a freshly squeezed lemon.

– They film America’s Test Kitchen over three weeks They produce six segments a day, including taste testings so they managed to get about 2 and a half shows on film in a day. They start planning in November for an April shoot.

– They like to play practical jokes. One involved an animatronic rat under a producers desk, for another they replaced somebody’s finished osso bucco with a prop shrunken head for her to discover on camera. One played on him involved hiding chili pepper under some butter and replacing his nearby glass of water with vodka for a one two punch.

– The best way to cook an inexpensive steak is to cook in in a 250 degree oven until the interior is 180 degrees, then finish it in a skillet.

– Once while visiting a friend at The Food Network he was told he wasn’t Food Network material, which he took as a compliment.

– As he was signing books he added a stamp for Two Pigs Farm where Cook’s Country TV is filmed, you can rent the guest houses.

– He has a iPhone 3G.

– And yes, he was wearing a bowtie.

· comments [21] · 10-17-2008 · categories:food ·

links: food

Bacon Cinnamon Rolls, link from Ellen, thanks!

Trying out molecular gastronomy on my picky son, at Slate

Boiled Kale with a Fried Egg and Toast, at Orangette. I have recently discovered how much I like kale, I’m completely surprised by this.

Swiss Chard and Red Pepper Gratin at the NY Times seen over at CrazyAuntPurl

cranberry-walnut chicken salad at Smitten Kitchen

The Bolognese Sauce, thank you Cinnamon!, over at Gapers Block

Oh! My! God! Doughnuts! at Joy The Baker

· comments [8] · 10-16-2008 · categories:food · recipes ·