Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happy Eclipse Day!

Hello to all of my Twi-hards out there!

  Happy Eclipse day - and good morning to all of you that stayed up for the midnight show.  I've got my tickets for tomorrow night and am excited.  I have such a love/hate relationship with The Twilight Saga - tore through the books and got sucked into the magic brooding sparkly vampire teenage love story, but it can be a little bit cheeseball at times.  I liked New Moon way better than Twilight and I'm hoping this will exceed the last as well. 

PS: Totally Team Jacob, all the way. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

In the cards

I went on a mini crafting rampage on Sunday and made these fun girly cards.  Not sure what I'll use them for yet, but it distracted me from the hot hot hot! 

One of these things is not like the others....and it is this card.  I like it anyway, though.  And I used all materials I got in swaps - cute flowers, pretty buttons, fun paper and cool ribbon!
This one is for a baby shower I have coming up.  Its supposed to be a little onesie.  With some pizazz!

I liked this design so much I made two.  A pretty party dress, great for a girly birthday! 

Monday, June 28, 2010


I've just added some new soothing lavender eye pillows to my etsy shop.  I made one for myself and use it every day.  And I just realized the brilliance of sticking it in the freezer before using it - on a hot day its so cooling and calming all at once!  I love it.  You could put it in the microwave for a heating pad effect too - but just thinking about unnecessary heat makes me sweat. 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Brooklyn Food & Film Festival

Hello!  I hope everyone had a stellar weekend.  I spent a lovely Saturday with some dear old pals at the NYC Food Film Festival

Here is my lady Sasha enjoying a strawberry rhubarb Popsicle from People's Pops, thanks to The Cooking Channel.  I tried the Raspberry Basil variety - sounds strange but it was delish!
There were a ton of vendors to be had. 

And new friends to meet! 

It was great to spend time with some good old pals from CT - including Becca, Billy and Greg. 

There was a neato vendor called The Green Truck run on solar panels and vegetable oil!  I got a watermelon fresca there.  Basically just smooshed up watermelon in a cup but so refreshing!

Oh also when we were leaving there was some crazy crowd noises - we found a ton of people crowded under the Manhattan bridge watching the World Cup on a giant drive in screen!  It was cool.  I would like to see a movie there!

Oddly enough, we didn't really see any films at the festival - they had technical difficulties for most of the afternoon, and then we watched a few minutes of The Bread Maverick but it was just too hot to sit around and watch a movie about baking bread. 

Cool Giveaway at Felicity Lingle!

Head over here to my bloggy friend Felicity's site for a sweet giveaway - a pair of pretty earrings of your choice!  I think these are my favs, simple but would go with a lot and great to wear everyday!  Many more to check out - enter away!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Chocolate Chip Raisin Bran Muffins, Or, How to avoid the gym when you wake up early Saturday

Good Morning!  Woke up early and couldn't sleep in.  So, I got up and pulled on my shorts to get ready to go to the gym.  I was a little hungry, but not feeling the Raisin Bran in my cupboard.  (It was on sale).  So, I made these treats!

A great way to use up (most) of my cereal, and a fun weekend breakfast treat that I can freeze and eat during the week too!  I used this recipe from Eat Better America - a good site for healthified recipes of all sorts.  Made a few adjustments - my take is below.  Off to the gym  now, I guess...

Raisin Bran Muffins with Chocolate Chips

Prep Time:10 min
Start to Finish:40 min
makes:12 muffins

2 cups Raisin Bran cereal
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 400°F. Grease pan of 12 regular-size muffin cups, or line with paper baking cups.
2. Place cereal in resealable food-storage plastic bag; seal bag and crush with rolling pin or meat mallet (or crush in food processor). (I just put it in a bowl and smashed it with a pastry blender).  In medium bowl, stir cereal, buttermilk, raisins and vanilla until well mixed. Beat in oil and egg with fork until blended.
3. In another medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients until well mixed; stir into cereal mixture just until moistened. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
4. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. If baked in greased pan, let stand 5 minutes in pan, then remove from pan to cooling rack. If baked in paper baking cups, immediately remove from pan to cooling rack.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Going to the store in style

Just added to my etsy shop - check it out here.  What a nice bow to a productive day!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Aprons For All

Here is a cute little apron I whipped up for my nephew Dorian recently - I got to give it to him when I went to visit the family this past weekend.  He makes a stunning model, no?

Back view, and front - it attaches with Velcro so little hands can put it on themselves, no tying required!  I used a good tutorial (free) from Sew Liberated.

No tying at the neck, either - by using elastic inside a fabric tube (scrunchie style) the little guy can slip it over his head and get to helping in the kitchen! 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Easy Treats!

Here is another Father's Day treat for you - you can use it for anytime though, and it makes a great favor/gifty type thing.  My sister Bessie came up with idea and it is a good one!

This is Bess. 

So, all we did was get a jar or pretzel rods - we got ones that were about 4 inches long.  We melted chocolate chips in one bowl and white chocolate chips in another, and dipped away!  Then, we topped them with nuts, heath bars, coconut - even chopped up craisins! 

They were good, looked festive, and simple to make!  Try it - be creative with your toppings, too!  I make up fun names like "Lunchlady", "Queen of Hearts" and "The Golden Girls."   This would be a good project for kids too. 

Have fun!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Etsy Craft Party!

Hello Friends!  I made my way to the Etsy Craft Party on Friday night at the Etsy HQ in Dumbo, Brooklyn.  It was a lot of fun! 

I was a little nervous to go because I didn't know anyone, and I tend to be shy in that kind of situation, but people were super friendly and it was fun to see the Etsy labs!  I'm glad I went. 

Oh and there was lots of fun crafting!  I made a party hat - which worked out well, since I had to attend a birthday party for my friend Daryl that same evening.  Here he is modeling it above.  They also had bunting making, glass painting, silk screening for totebags, and lots of good snacks and drinks too. 

Thanks Etsy, for the great evening!  It really inspired me to keep up my crafting, and it felt nice to feel like part of community.  I'll be back for Monday craft nights! 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fathers Day Weekend!

Hope everyone had a good father's day!  Here is me with my Dad.  (Not from this weekend, though).  Just got back this morning, but will have more to post about the festivities later this week! 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Get your craft on! You won't leave hungry!

picture via Bakerella

I'm so excited for the Etsy Craft Party tonight!  I even made the delicious treats above to bring along.  So if you were on the fence, I hope this tips you my way.  Yay for community crafting!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Lavender Obsession

My latest obsession...LAVENDER. 
Not the color, the plant, and its lovely lovely scent.  I wish I had smell o vision on this blog. 

I ordered a whole pound of lavender from ebay here for such a good deal!  And now, I think I may be addicted. 
I put together a little eye pillow with fabric scraps, a scoop of lavender and some rice and it is just so relaxing!  I love it.  Hope to have some more in my shop soon.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Magic Garden

I got a late start on my plantings but I wanted to share with you what I have so far.  I just started a couple of weeks ago, and wow my tomato plant is going crazy.  I got nervous that it wouldn't take and basically dumped all of the seeds...and now its a bit overcrowded.  Need to transplant some of them, asap, once I get some new pots.  SOON! 

Basil is doing pretty well too!  I love basil so much, pesto is my absolute favorite thing to eat in the world so I can't WAIT until I can make some of my own!  Especially since I got a new cuisinart this year, it will be a breeze! 

On the not so successful side, are my other herbs - rosemary, chives, and dill.  Not so hot.  Maybe they'll perk up soon?  If not its ok, though - basil and tom are my favs anyway. 

Gardening is like magic!  Yay summer!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Baking Binge Continues

Seems like I've  been bitten by the baking bug this weekend!  Today I decided to whip up some lemon poppyseed cookies - I found the recipe in the month's Everyday Food and they were great!  Thanks Martha.  Super easy, and I had most of the ingredients on hand - I was wondering what to do with the 2 egg yolks I had in my freezer. 

Try for yourself - perfect with a cup of tea, on a rainy day like today.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
From Everyday Food, June 2010

1/2 cup all purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda.  In a small bowl, mix together sugar, egg yolks, poppy seeds, oil, vanilla and lemon zest.  Stir egg mixture into flour mixture - dough will be dry.

2. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls, two inches apart, onto two parchment lined baking sheets.  Bake until golden brown, 10-14 minutes, rotating halfway through.  Transfer cookies onto wire racks to cool.  Store in an airtight container up to five days.  Makes 24.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bread Baking Bonanza!

What's a fun thing to do on an 80 degree day?  Bake bread of course!

I've had a craving for homemade bread for a few days and finally decided to tackle it myself.  It was my first attempt, I do believe, at making a real homemade yeast bread, not a quick or sweet type one.  I used this recipe from the New York Times, highly recommended by family and the blogosphere, and man o man it was easy peasy! 

Seriously folks, anyone can make this stuff.  Toss the few ingredients in a bowl, stir, let sit for a couple hours, and bake - and you're done!   Try it, you'll like it, I promise.  

(Thanks Dad for recommending that recipe 100 years ago!  I finally tried it out!)   

Simple Crusty Bread

Published: November 21, 2007, NY Times.  Adapted from “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day,” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007)

Time: About 45 minutes plus about 3 hours’ resting and rising
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough

1. In a large bowl or plastic container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose. Cover, but not with an airtight lid. Let dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).
(Em's note - I went out and about and came back after 5 hrs and it was picture perfect!)

2. Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and cut off a grapefruit-size piece with serrated knife. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it.

3. Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes.

4. Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Slide onto stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Yield: 4 loaves. (I used these same measurements and made only 2 loaves - if you made 4 they would be pretty small I think.)

Variation: If not using stone, stretch rounded dough into oval and place in a greased, nonstick loaf pan. Let rest 40 minutes if fresh, an extra hour if refrigerated. Heat oven to 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Place pan on middle rack.  (I did this method since I don't have a stone - I used 1 loaf pan, and 1 round layer cake pan, since I didn't have 2 loaf pans.  Well, I used to, but the other 2 seems to have disappeared....that's another story.  Anyway, these pans worked out just fine.)

Happy baking!  Go have a sandwich. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Kiss From A Rose

This lovely lady greeted me on my way to work.  Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Don't be crabby

These are my cousin Nicky's new pals: Terantula-man, Thomas,and Weebit-Sam.  He named them himself.  Love it!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Etsy Craft Party!

Cool Thing To Do Alert!

In celebrate of Etsy's Anniversary, and in conjunction with Readymade (my fav mag) and Meetup, next Friday June 18th is worldwide Etsy Craft Party Day! 

What is it?  Per etsy: "A global initiative to energize your local community, make art together, and throw a party in your neck of the woods. We want to celebrate crafting together on June 18, 2010 (which just happens to be Etsy's birthday) with as many celebrations across the globe as possible."

I personally have signed up to go to Etsy Labs in Brooklyn!  There will be tote bag decorating, glass painting, and party hat making - or you can bring your own crafts to work on. 

If you live elsewhere, there are meetups all over the country, and the world even with diverse and fun crafts at each!  Check here to find out where the closest one is.  You can even organize your own if there isn't one nearby. 

It sounds like fun, even if I'm a little scared that I don't know anyone that is going.  I'm hoping to meet some new crafty friends in person though - is anyone going to the Brooklyn event?  Or another? 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fish's Eddy

On my epic walk from Central Park to the Soho on Saturday, Julie introduced me to the coolest store!  We strolled around Fish's Eddy (near the flatiron building) and I fell in love with their cute plates, cups and housewares. 

I came home with this cool set of summer plates.  Yes, I did have to lug them all the way downtown (they were heavy!).  But so worth it! 

Also: if you're reading this, T.R. Knight (we passed you on the street), I hope this explains why there was a sweaty girl hauling dinnerware on her head on a lovely June evening near Washington Square Park.  It doesn't really, though, does it.   

Monday, June 7, 2010

Weekend Delights

Ah!  So much fun was had this weekend!  I felt sooooo New Yorky at an ultimately awesome picnic in Central park on Saturday. 

There was a pinata, even! And some SERIOUS hula hooping.

Look at those Julies go!

I did finally get to Pop-bar, which I'd written about here - it was amazing.

And ended with a delightful BBQ in Staten Island.  Thanks Matt! 

Not too much craftiness...other than the fabulous tortellini salad plus amazing brownie/cookies Julie and I made for the BBQ.  I did make that flowered dress I'm wearing, though last summer!  That counts, right?