Monday, November 30, 2009

New Pretties

M.A.C.

My favorite Black Friday purchase was this M.A.C. eyeshadow compact. You can select your own shades to make your own custom compact. Lovely!

M.A.C. appeals to that side of me that loves playing dress up, doing my hair and putting on make-up. *sigh*

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie*

Cookie

Lorna Yee recently posted on her blog, The Cookbook Chronicles about The Perfect Chocolate Cookie.

Now that is a pretty bold statement and I felt that I needed to test out this claim. I gathered the necessary ingredients (all of which I was able to find at my local grocery store) and began baking.

Cookie Dough

I did alter the recipe by adding one step to Lorna's directions. After making the dough, I chilled it in the fridge for about 2-3 hours before baking the cookies.

Scott and I both declared these cookies to be the best Chocolate Chip Cookies we have ever had. They are so delightful and yes, perfect!

Cookie Perfection

"The Cookbook Chronicles" Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie
makes 34-36 3″ cookies

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup demerara sugar
1 3/4 cups packed, dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup + 1 tbsp bread flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (not table salt!), plus either fleur de sel for sprinkling over top
18 oz. 70% bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat well after each addition.

2. Add the vanilla extract, the flours, the baking soda, baking powder, and salt. On low speed, beat the mixture until the dry ingredients are well-incorporated, about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped chocolate.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or a Silpat. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll it until it forms a sphere between your palms. Place the dough on the baking sheet (8 cookies per sheet), giving them room to spread. Dust the tops of each ball of dough with a little demerara sugar, and a tiny bit of fleur de sel or vanilla salt.

4. Bake in a 350 degree oven on the middle rack for 12-13 minutes. (Do not bake these on the bottom rack in the oven–the high proportion of brown sugar will cause the bottoms to darken too much.) At this time, the cookies should have taken on a golden brown color all around the edge, but still look very soft in the center–like hot cookie dough. Remove the tray from the oven, and allow the cookies to cool directly on the tray for 10 minutes before eating.

*Title blatantly stolen from The Cookbook Chronicles.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Duck Eggs

E is for a Bowl of Eggs

I've been taking food photos each week that correspond to a letter in the alphabet. This week's letter was E. I thought and thought on foods that started with E. I got Eel, endive, eggs, and escargot.

I quickly ruled out escargot as I have not idea how to make that at home and really that is something best saved for a fancy restaurant. Then I considered Eel but to be honest, I got wigged out thinking about touching an eel. I like eel in my sushi but it's all cut up and presentable.

E is for Purple Endive

So I was left with endive and eggs which are great foods. I did consider that chicken eggs are a bit boring. Then I lit upon the idea of Duck Eggs! I asked my twitter friends where I could obtain such eggs and ran out to PCC to pick up a dozen.

After taking photos, I was left with the eggs which looked beautiful but scared me with their slight strangeness. I checked Chow.com for some suggestions on what to do with the eggs. People said to just fry them up as you would chicken eggs or to use them in baking. So this morning for breakfast Scott and I enjoyed them with some bacon and toast. OMG! These things were so rich and amazing! I'm hooked on duck eggs and think that everyone should try one of these. YUM!
E is for Eggs

Friday, November 27, 2009

Quilting Itch

Pieces from Above

Yesterday we headed over to my parent's house for a wonderful feast of turkey goodness. While there we watch "UP" and "State of Play" and I was able to satisfy my quilting itch. I paper pieced my hexagon quilt pieces through both movies and now have a satisfying stack of pieces.

Pieces

I've done 19 hexagons and am working to have 19 squares in all fabric colors with 19 triangles in other fabrics. It's a lot of work but work I really enjoy. The best part is that my Dad recognized what I was doing. His family is quite crafty and I bet he saw his Mother or Grandmother doing paper piecing as a child. That or he knows everything which is true, the man knows everything. It's a bit scary but once you accept that he knows everything, he becomes a great resource!

Paper Pieces

Thursday, November 26, 2009

So Very Thankful



Happy Thanksgiving! Today I have so many things to be thankful for.

I am thankful for

* a wonderful Scott
* a vivacious cat
* my good health
* the best family ever
* a fun and enjoyable job
* a wonderful home
* living in the best city I could think to live in
* all of my friends
* my best friend who always sets me straight when I get on the crazy road
* and today, this day of thankful-ness, I am so thankful for all the great food I am about to consume!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bummer!

Day 3 (3/365.2) Disaster!

I decided to take Rigby to the oil change place today since it has been some time since his oil was changed.

I drove up to the place and got in line. They checked my brake lights and noticed they weren't working so good. They changed the oil, vacuumed the car and told me that they could only get one light to work, that the wiring was "funky".

I then remembered why I hadn't taken my car in to have it's oil changed, because there always seems to be "something" that happens.

So I take my car and stop by the gas station on the way home. I open my trunk to get something out and notice my brake light thing-y isn't connected correctly and my trunk isn't closing so good. Double GRRRR! I went right back to the oil change place and they notice that they broke the light. They did get it back on fairly well but I also have in writing that they will pay for the repair of the brake light thingy.

Of course this means I still need to figure out why I don't have the best brake lights so I've sent an appointment request into the mechanic (they schedule online!) and will drive Scott's car for now because I think brake lights are important!

Cars are a pain in my rear-end!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wedding Madness

Day 197 (197/366): Wink!

I've gone insane. I think about my wedding all the time. I yap about it non-stop. I swear people are going to be so excited when I'm finally married and shut up about it.

But I am being efficient in-between my yapping. I give myself weekly tasks to get done. This week is booking the rehearsal dinner location, booking the ceremony musicians and starting our registry.

So much to do and I'm having a great time doing it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Silent Night

December 3, 2007

Every year at Christmas, my parent's church ends the midnight Christmas Eve service by quietly singing, "Silent Night". I love that moment. I love it so much that I wish I could end every night by hearing that song quietly sang as the day quietly ends.


Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth "

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Yarn Candy

Yellow Yarn

Sundara Santa Fe Yarn in Cactus Flower...just lovely!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Interweave Winter Knits Preview


The Interweave Winter Knits preview is up! I received my copy last night and I have to say I'm a bit disappointed.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pinky Plushness

Ringbearer Pillow Close-up

I recently ordered the cutest Ring Bearer Pillow from a shop on Etsy. It was inexpensive, quickly delivered and awesomely cute.

Now to hope that the 4-year-old ring bearer holds the pillow the right side up during his walk down the aisle. Heck, let's hope he can walk down the aisle! He might end up banshee screaming and hurtling himself down the aisle. Either way, he'll still be adorable and so will the pillow.

Ringbearer Pillow

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Winter White


1. Possibilities, 2. The One, 3. Stack, 4. Lapful, 5. Skirtful, 6. Gift, 7. Beginning, 8. Knitting, 9. Growth, 10. Oops, 11. Atropos, 12. The Fates

After reading this poem and seeing these photos on Twist Collective, it's all I can do to not rush out and buy all the winter white yarn I can find.

*sigh* I am in love with these photos, absolutely in love.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Color Week

Red Kitchenaid

There are certain things that I just love about Flickr. For instance, how groups such as "Color Week" are created.

Of course I've jumped on the bandwagon. Today's color is Red.

Red Hymnal

I'll be posting my Color Week photos all week here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

C is for Chestnuts & Coffee Beans

Chestnuts A-rolling

I spent way too long thinking about my C food photos this week. I drove to three different stores to gather Chestnuts for one of the shots and while I like how it turned out, I much prefer how the coffee bean shot turned out more. Typical, the prop I grabbed last minute is the one I like more.

C is for Coffee

You can see the whole Food: A-Z Group here

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Books, Books, Books

Books

One of my responsibilities at work is book signings with cookbook authors and I LOVE IT! I've now had the chance to meet Alton Brown, Martha Stewart and this past week, Thomas Keller.

I flew out to the book signing and was met with an excited and early crowd. I arrived around 1 p.m. for the 3 p.m. book signing and people were already lined up. Now that is excitement I can get behind.

I am dearly in love with all of the store staff that I was able to work with. They are a fantastic bunch of people. Additionally Chef Keller was so great to work with and made sure that all of his fans got signed books.

I have to say that Chef Keller has one of the most beautiful signatures I've ever seen but then again how could you expect anything less from someone who creates the most beautiful food.

Thomas Keller Autograph

I'm anxious to get cooking from this beautiful book. The food photography is inspirational and the recipes look wonderful. Some of them do present a bit of complexity but it looks worth it. I love cooking so even the complex recipes sing to me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sick Day

Pure Sweetness

I stayed home sick from work today. My ear has been bothering me and the cough is annoying and it's wearing me out. So I stayed home and I've sat on the couch knitting and surfing wedding websites.

Kato really enjoyed having me at home and has been sweetly sleeping on the couch next to me. I like Kato best when he's sleeping so peacefully and not begging for food. Unfortunately he's woken up and is now obsessively stalking me for his dinner which isn't due for another hour.

Kato Asleep

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pink Pills

My ear has been hurting and I think I may have an ear infection. I went to the doctor and she said that I have an ear trauma but probably not an ear infection. She did however prescribe antibiotics to me just in case the pain didn't go away. Well the pain has not gone away and I still can't hear out of my darn ear so after talking to her nurse, I started taking the pink pills tonight.

Fingers crossed this works and I can start hearing again! I feel like everyone is whispering around me and Scott is getting sick of telling me to turn the TV sound down.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Huckleberry Treats

Huckleberry

While in LA, Scott and I discovered the most fantastic cafe in Santa Monica named, Huckleberry.

Huckleberry Treat

It was a delightful little place packed full of treats and the very best coffee I've had in a long time. The nonfat vanilla latte was creamy and delicious.

Heart Cookie

I ordered a whole wheat sugar cookie and yum! It wasn't grity or crunchy, just smooth and sweet. Scott got a cinnamon doughnut which renewed my vow to make homemade ones soon.

Wheat+Coffee

And best of all, the lighting was amazing in the cafe. Just amazing.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

At The Pier

At the pier

This past weekend, Scott and I headed down to LA to visit some friends. We stopped by the Santa Monica pier so I could satisfy my Ferris Wheel picture taking urge. It feels pretty satisfied now.

Ferris Wheel

I enjoyed walking around Santa Monica with Scott in the sunshine. It was a nice break from all the rain that Seattle has been getting.

We also enjoyed meeting our friend's new baby. She's absolutely adorable!

Scott and I in LA

Monday, November 09, 2009

Kool Koolhaas

Finished Koolhaas

Last weekend I visited Churchmouse Yarns with some friends and grabbed some Plucky Cashmere yarn. This past weekend, I finished my Koolhaas hat with it. I love this pattern and this yarn and together they are a true delight.

Plucky Koolhaas

I don't think I had this yarn long enough to even place it in my Raverly stash. I knew that I wanted to knit it up right away. Then I remembered that I wanted to make Koolhaas and this yarn was the perfect gauge for the pattern.

I found the pattern to be pretty easy to pick up and stick with. This is definately a pattern that goes faster if you can cable without a needle. Me, I can not but I still managed just fine.

Folded Koolhaas

And now that I'm back in Rainy Seattle from Sunny LA, I sense that I'll be wearing this hat a lot.

I still have a bit of Plucky Cashmere left over so now I'm searching for a baby hat pattern and thinking about downsizing the Koolhaas pattern for a little one. But you know, maybe someone on Raverly has already done that....off to go check!

Leftover Plucky

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Portland Food Advice


Scott and I often find ourselves in Portland visiting family. On our last trip, we discovered Pine State Biscuits and I fell in love at first bite.

Reggie


I mean how could you not when you are presented with a biscuit topped with fried chicken, cheese, bacon and covered in gravy?

Pine State Grit Sampler


Or when your Dad orders the grit sampler and allows you one small bite of the most perfect food you've ever eaten?

This place was worth the wait and made my taste buds swoon! I can't wait to go back for more.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Manos Cotton


Photo by Wine Me Up

A few weeks ago I was checking out my Flickr contact's photos when I stopped at the one above. Right away, I needed to know what that pattern was and what that yarn was. Luckily Meg answered me back and before I knew it, I was shopping at WEBS and some Malabrigo Cotton of my very own came to live with me.

Malabrigo Cotton


I can't wait to make washclothes out of this. It sounds silly but I love hand knitted wash clothes, they feel so good on my skin.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Food A-Z project

B is for Beans

I recently joined the Food A-Z project and I'm having so much fun photographing food.

A is for Apple

These are probably my favorites from the few that I've shot. You can see my entire set here. The collection is small but quickly growing. I'd love suggestions for what food to shoot next!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Scrumptious! Delicious! Yummy!

Sundara Yarn

I got some new yarn in the mail over the weekend. It's part of the Sundara Santa Fe collection and I love it!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Silly People being silly

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way.”


Pablo Neruda (via kari-shma)

I really do, I love you that much and more.

I also blog over on Tumblr, check me out here and the above quote is one of my favorite re-blogs from this past week.
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