Thursday, February 28, 2013

February in Instagram

Koi in the pond at the Japanese Tea Garden

Two of my favorite women in the whole world!

After two failed attempts to get a sourdough starter going in the summer (it got moldy), I spent a week getting it going and making pumpernickel.  It was good.  Not worth six months of effort. 

Magnets made from clear Christmas ornaments and sea glass from Rhode Island and Long Island.

Gave a talk on skin color and health at AAAS meeting - I love Boston!

A few extra days with friends and their adorable kids in Boston.

I finally got my library card so that I can spend my commutes listening to audiobooks instead of just hating my fellow drivers.  

Knitting and watching Jayhawk basketball are two of my favorite pastimes.

Hooray for friends visiting!!!

I own way too many spices and I don't even know how to use the more exotic ones.  I put some kala jeera and star anise in this Lagman Uzbek with chickpeas in place of lamb.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Moonpie Kingdom

Geoff's birthday was last week- happy birthday, honey!  We've both been swamped since the beginning of the year and so he wanted to spend his birthday relaxing at home, watching movies.  Quite a few people had recommended Moonrise Kingdom to us so that was up first.  Like most Wes Anderson films, Moonrise Kingdom is self-contained to the point of existing in an entirely different universe, unlike some of the others, it seems a bit like the characters know they are in a Wes Anderson film.  Regardless, it's worth checking out for the beautiful scenery and the charming young characters.

For Geoff's birthday treat, I decided to make "Moonpie Kingdom" peanut-butter moonpies.  For my birthday, I always want chocolate-filled chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, but Geoff likes his chocolate in moderation.  I never had a particular affection for prepackaged moonpies, but the idea - two cookies, filling, and chocolate can't go wrong. Geoff loves peanut butter so I decided to make cake mix peanut butter cookies like my grandfather used to make and fill them with a peanut butter and marshmallow filling.  I had thought of making my own marshmallows  but it was a weeknight and even I have my limits.  The sweetness of the filling needed some contrast so I used a 60% cacoa chip to coat everything.  I think these would be adorable in a mini-size as well.  And, if you are looking to make these even quicker Nilla wafers or mini Nilla wafers would be probably do nicely in place of the cookies.  Just give them some time to let the marshmallow soften then up.

Peanut Butter Moonpie Kingdoms
serves 8

16 New-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies
7 oz. Marshmallow Fluff
1/2 cup peanut butter
8 oz dark chocolate
1 tbsp. vegetable oil

1. Make up a half-batch of peanut butter cookies and cool completely.
2. Melt peanut butter in the microwave until flows easily.  Mix with marshmallow fluff.
3. Place a heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter fluff mixture on the bottoms of half of the cookies.  Top with a second cookie and refrigerate at least two hours to over night.
4. Melt dark chocolate with oil in a microwave-safe bowl.  Dip sandwiched cookies to coat.
5. Return moonpies to the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to set up.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Casablanca on a Bun

If I may state the utterly obvious, Casablanca is a FANTASTIC movie.  Most movies 70 years old tend to be slowly paced and a product of very different cultural norms.  Other than the tremendously stylish clothes and black and white film, Casablanca feels completely modern.  Moroccan food seemed to be on order, even though there seemed to be more drinks than food consumed throughout.  I'd had my eye on this recipe for kefta tagine from Leite's Culinaria for a while and I had broccoli and chard from my new CSA that went into these Moroccan-inspired vegetables from A Good Appetite. The lamb meatballs were nice, but I'm not a fan of cinnamon with meat. My favorite way to eat them were as a meatball sub dipped in au jus. The vegetables, however, were delicious, and I highly recommend them all on there own on top of couscous for a light dinner.  If you haven't seen Casablanca  recently, rent it again - it might be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm travelling for work today, but I wanted to leave behind something to let Geoff know I'm thinking of him.  Valentine's Day gets a bit tricky since it falls just after his birthday and not long after Christmas, so my good gift ideas have usually run dry by now!  So I've turned to the sentimental and hidden love notes for him to find.  

Some are obvious - "I like how you roll" taped to his steering wheel - while others are going to take a bit longer to find - "I think you're cool" is stuck to a frozen lasagna I made for him to eat while I'm gone.  Depending on what you already have in the house, you may want to buy your sweetie a few special treats like a fancy beer from a local microbrewery or some wasabi peanuts (okay, these might be specific to my guy).  

Want to show someone you think they are great today (or any time)? You can print out some love notes here.  Consider it my Valentine's Day gift to you.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

It's Ladies' Night!

Actually, it was ladies' weekend this past weekend thanks to a last minute cheap flight and the gorgeous and a need for South Texas margaritas. The weather has been in the upper 70s so we spent most of our weekend outside - farmer's market, Riverwalk, and of course Mexican food!

I've been wanting to try one of these BYOB painting classes and so I was really excited when Veronica suggested one.  Our class did "Starry Night over the Alamo" which was a bit of a challenge but lots of fun.

I'm really happy with how mine came out and now I have a bug to paint some more.  Now with my confidence up, maybe I can go it alone.

Sunday was particularly relaxing with brunch, a trip to the Japanese gardens, and DIY manicures before the Super Bowl!  I love these girls!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sweet and Simple Felt Mobile

Since my days of gluing paper doilies to construction paper hearts, Valentine's Day has always struck me as the most handmade of the holidays.  There is just something so sweet about a lopsided heart made of simple supplies.  Last year I made a knit Valentine's Day wreath, and this year I wanted to bring the love indoors.  Using some cheap craft felt, I cut out hearts in two sizes.  Some I layered and some I left plain to create a total of 32 hearts which I strung up on transparent thread.  The base of the mobile is actually a macrame hoop (although I didn't know that when I stumbled across it at the craft store).  I actually bought this for another project, but it makes a great base for a mobile.  An embroidery hoop would also work well. The biggest challenge was figuring out how to hang it.  That was solved by using loops of yarn to attach the hoop to the screws that hold the light cover in place.  This would be a fun project with kids and you could go upscale with gorgeous wool felt or really old school with paper, doilies, and glitter.  Definitely use glitter.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...