Not Martha

Urban Craft Uprising next weekend here in Seattle

Urban Craft Uprising

Urban Craft Uprising, the DIY and crafts fair filled with awesome, is having it’s summer show next weekend. It’s July 7th and 8th from 11am to 5pm and it’s held at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. I’ll be shopping and hope to bump into you there!

· comments [2] · 06-29-2012 · categories:events · seattle · shopping ·

boozy popsicles for summer

I’ve been seeing a lot of boozy popsicles up on Pinterest and I’m all in. These are the ones that have caught my eye:

Grapefruit and Strawberry Greyhound from Endless Simmer.

Cherry Wheat Beer from Sweet Remedy.

Strawberry Peach Vodka Popsicles also from Endless Simmer.

Raspberry Limoncello from Everyday Food.

Tequila soaked watermelon wedges from Recipe Girl, and maybe add a stick like the ones below from A Pretty Life:

· comments [2] · 06-26-2012 · categories:drink · food ·

book I like: Sprinkle Bakes

Sprinkle Bakes cover

Summer hasn’t quite arrived here yet but this book has been brightening my overcast afternoons. I’ve been a devoted reader of the Sprinkle Bakes site for ages and am completely delighted by her book: Sprinkle Bakes: Dessert Recipes to Inspire Your Inner Artist. It’s filled with basic recipes and instructions to for incredibly charming and creative desserts. I am completely in love with everything inside.

meringue how-to photos

The instructions are all clearly photographed and explained so you can feel like a rock star while you’re working.

spiral slice cookies

The projects are all so cheerful and unexpected. She provides templates in the back of the book for those things which are a bit more complicated.

glittery mini cookie tree

mehndi hand cookies

These Mehndi Hand Cookies are amazing, right?

chocolate mousse beautifully presented

I am so very in love with these glittery snow apples. I’m going to make these the moment leaves start falling off the trees.

white and glittery candy apples

· comments [8] · 06-20-2012 · categories:books · food ·

links: beauty

6 Must-Know Lipstick Tricks | Say Yes to Hoboken.

Bikini Kill: DIY Wax Recipes for Hippie Hair Removal – GOOD.

Finding the right bra size and best fit | MetaFilter. So much information here.

The Beauty Department: Homemade Lip Stain.

Design Crush » NYX. This is the second recommendation I’ve seen from a friend for the NYX lipstick pencil, I’ll have to go try them out for myself soon.

· comments [6] · 06-18-2012 · categories:beauty · links ·

links: food

How to Make Rummy Bears and Other Drunken Gummies | Serious Eats: Sweets. Such great combinations going on here.

Snacks that are low in calories AND pack a ginormous flavor punch? | Ask MetaFilter.

The Serious Eats Guide to Gin | Serious Eats: Drinks. “Mother’s milk, mother’s ruin.” Call it what you like, I love gin.

Nut and Seed Energy Bars | Hogwash.

broccoli parmesan fritters | smitten kitchen.

Bacon Sundaes Coming to Burger King’s Limited-Time Summer Menu | A Hamburger Today. Wow.

· comments [4] · 06-14-2012 · categories:food · links ·

links: technology

Cool Tools: Codecademy. Short lessons for CSS, Javascript and HTML.

Cool Tools: How to Find Free and Cheap Ebooks.

A Whole Lotta Nothing: Great iOS software: Pillboxie. Gentle, effective reminders to take your pills.

Cool Tools: Grip Tape iPhone Backing.

My Photography Setup | Say Yes to Hoboken.

Don’t Fear the Internet, video introductions and instruction on building for the web. Via Swiss Miss.

· comments [1] · 06-12-2012 · categories:links · technology ·

A Highly Unscientific Blind Tasting of Pilsners

a can of Churchkey beer

Here in Seattle we have easy access to one of the most hipster-y beers out there. It’s called Churchkey and it’s made in steel cans with a seam and completely flat tops and you have to open it with, guess what, a churchkey. The box and cans are so very pretty. So very Don Draper putting the playhouse together. A while back Scott brought home a six pack of the beer and I remember liking it a lot. Last week he told me about somebody who found the beer just eh. And so we hatched a blind taste testing plan.

six different beers lined up

the contenders

We got six different beers for the test, three low brow and three middle-ish (?) brow: Budweiser, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Rainier, Churchkey, Red Hook Pilsner and Laguinitas Pils.

the process

I labeled two sets of cups with numbers then we each poured a bit of each beer into the cups in a random order for the other person. I printed out forms where we could keep notes and guess which beer we thought each was. Then we sipped and evaluated.

paper showing the secret results

the unsurprising results

We could both tell which one was the Churchkey beer, it had a distinct metallic tang. Not bad, but very easy to pick out of the bunch. We both also identified the Budweiser as the least exciting beer in the bunch. I also got the PBR correct, probably due to some deep familiarity.

the surprising results

We both thought that Rainier was a more expensive beer. I guessed that Rainier was actually the Laguinitas, Scott though it was the Red Hook. Each of us also put one of the more expensive beers under the less expensive category.

the most important question

Which beers did we actually finish after the tasting was done? The PBR and the Rainier. I have no explanation for it. It’s like the opposite of that champagne blind tasting where everybody liked the less expensive bottles best but went back for more Cristal afterwards.

the Churchkey beer box with a churchkey opener

I like the Churchkey beer, it’s novel and good and just plain fun to hold and open. These days the box comes with a churchkey opener of it’s own, but we don’t remember that being included in the first box we got. It makes me wonder if so few people own churchkey openers that the beer company had to include them. I’d love to know for sure. We have enough beer left over to host a larger blind tasting, who wants in?

update: I hear from Justin, one of the creators of Churchkey beer, that the six packs have always included an opener, which settles the debate between Scott and I over whether we initially had a six pack or just a few cans. A beer loving friend gifted us a couple of cans to start with. I win, thanks Justin!

· comments [26] · 06-7-2012 · categories:food ·

Savory Sweet Life cookbook

Huge congratulations to Alice on the release of her cookbook Savory Sweet Life!

cover of Savory Sweet Life

I love the way the chapters are divided by occasion, but not necessarily special occasions. “Lunch Between Friends”, “Snow Day”, “Block Party” and “Summer Fun in the Sun” are all chapters.

contents page

The recipes are droolworthy but not intimidating, it’s all crowd pleasing food made extra special. There are useful tips for preparation, storing and variations. The photos are bright and clear and not only make me excited to make the food but also to get to the part where you get to share it with people you love. And there are lots of recipes you can prepare ahead of time (including two breakfast casseroles that you assemble the night before, I adore those) so you get more time to spend with people.

strawberry spinach salad

This is a salad I’ll be making tonight.

gingerbread waffles

These waffles were inspired by a now-closed restaurant here in Seattle called the Jitterbug which was a block away from the first house Scott and I lived in when we moved here. We miss those waffles too so extra thanks for this recipe Alice!

daiquiri popsicles

· comments [2] · 06-6-2012 · categories:books · food ·

links: food

Blue Ridge Baker: The Chocolate Chip Cookies. A combination of the NY Times cookies of lore and a Cook’s Illustrated version. Via Best of Metafilter which points us towards this excellent comment.

Turkey Melon | David Lebovitz. Wowsers.

How to Read a Homebrew Recipe | Serious Eats: Drinks.

How-To: Cupcakewurst blog. How interesting!

An Edible Cookbook at Design Mom. The pages of the cookbook are the fresh pasta layers in this lasagna, how lovely!

Game of Thrones Cake Pops at Not Your Momma’s Cookie. Warning: spoilers if you have not finished the first book or the first season of the tv show. Though, it was the best way for a spoiler to be delivered.

Home Slice: ‘Pizza Within a Pizza’ | Slice Pizza Blog. Toppings baked into the crust found in a recipe book from 1978, this lady was way ahead of her time.

Joy the Baker – Strawberry Ice. “You know that scene in Bridesmaids when Kristen Wiig is going to the Parisian wedding shower, with the giant cookie, and she’s super pissed at how amazing the Strawberry Lemonade is? This is that. Exactly.”

Meatloaf (Minus 460 Calories and 30 Grams of Fat) | The Feed.

Party Punch: Hibiscus Rum Cooler | Serious Eats: Drinks.

Maintaining a Kitchen Aid Mixer | Artisan Bread Baking. The nitty gritty of getting the insides clean, this ain’t pretty. Via Juniper Moon Fiber Farm blog.

seven spoons – Sugar Buns. These look so delicious. Via Liz Stanley on Pinterest.

DIY Project: How to Make the Golden Nuggets Candy from the Gold Rush BBQ | These are simple and really amazing.

Imbibe Unfiltered: Homemade Rhubarb Bitters.

· comments [4] · 06-5-2012 · categories:food · links ·

links: travel

Posie Gets Cozy: Things to Do in Portland, Oregon.

OnTheWay ― A better way to get there. Help for planning road trips. Via 101 Cookbooks.

Favorite Places as a London Local? | Ask MetaFilter.

· comments [2] · 06-4-2012 · categories:links · travel ·

Cornmeal Ham and Cheese Waffles

waffles with an over easy egg

The other week friends, new waffle makers, the concept of a waffle party and Twitter collided and resulted in a waffle brunch. The star of the gathering turned out to be cornmeal ham and cheese waffles which was a collaborative and mostly improvised effort. It was the best sort of effort. Ladies, high fives.

I went home and solidified my own recipe, and so did K over at Eat More Cake as did Tea from Tea and Cookies (she actually couldn’t make it that day but the power of the ham and cheese waffle was just too much to ignore). The Waffles of Insane Greatness recipe variation found at Orangette was a starting point, and K’s recipe results in a large batch. K also had the genius idea to swap oil for melted butter in the recipe and having made many batches I can tell you it is a must. Tea’s recipe involves a sourdough starter (if you have this let me just say to you: lucky!) and I’ve outright stolen her idea of including some course ground corn meal for polenta to add some crunch. (Also I happened to have just that thing in my house which never ever happens to me.)

a peek inside my waffle maker

My recipe below will make a small batch, just enough to fill my stovetop waffle maker twice and (if I don’t botch the first go) we have breakfast for two people and four waffles to freeze. People, I have decided I always want to have cornmeal ham and cheese waffles in my freezer as a potential toaster breakfast option.

Cornmeal Ham and Cheese Waffles

A collaboration by K, M, Q and M and eaten by me (Megan) that was originally based on the A Great Make-the-Morning-of Waffle from Orangette which is a variation on the Waffle of Insane Greatness. Whew.

This batter will make between 6 and 8 waffles (or two goes in my waffle maker). It’s very easy to mix by hand and doesn’t require that you pull out a Kitchenaid mixer. You do, however, need to let the batter rest for half a hour. This is just enough time to wash the measuring cups, set out plates and cook bacon so I call it a win.

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • optional: 1 tablespoon coarse ground polenta
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk*
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk*
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup grated cheese (I did a combination of parmesan and medium cheddar)
  • 1/2 cup thin sliced ham that has been diced

In a medium bowl mix the dry ingredients. Add the milk and/or buttermilk*, melted butter and egg. (The cheese and ham will be added later on.) Whisk until everything is blended and all the lumps have gone away. Cover and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Wash the mixing cups, set the table, cook bacon or sausages and preheat your waffle iron to medium or medium high.

Add the grated cheese and ham to the waffle batter. Cook waffles until they are golden. If possible plop them onto a cooling rack right out of the waffle iron so they have a moment to crisp up.

* Since I find it wasteful to buy both whole milk and buttermilk that I’m unlikely to use up I have instead been using Joy the Baker’s buttermilk substitute and squeezing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into a measuring cup and adding whole milk to make for a total of one cup of liquid. Joy also offers options for yogurt and milk, and cream of tartar and milk so none of us have excuses for not making breakfast foods that require buttermilk.

· comments [21] · 06-1-2012 · categories:food ·