Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2 things 2 play with

1. Harmony. Go play.

2. I resisted QR codes for a long time, since they're mostly used for advertising and I found them a bit intrusive. But, give it a minute folks, because the art crowd will snatch these up and make them into tiny secret scavenger hunts. Go download a QR reader. Get the free one. Then scan this:

from postsecret.com
Then go make more. Because the last thing we need is more bar codes. I think.

Monday, May 30, 2011

It is finished...and we are still together!

It is complete. I mean, it's been complete for some time now, but I've been lazy about photographing it. (Perhaps that is because the man in the sweater is the family photographer. Perhaps it's just been a busy spring.)

I am happy to report that the sweater fit him, after assembling all the pieces on to the huge circular needle, except for the arms. No, even though I added three inches when making the arms, they were too short. Never you fear, dear readers, because I added a trusty cuff to match the neckline, and ta-da! They are now long enough to be cozy.

Because this is designed to be cozy. It's less of a sweater and more of a jacket. And you can't have a jacket with too-short sleeves. (Well you can, I think, but you won't wear it.)

Also: the part you have been waiting for: I wrote of the sweater curse in a previous post, and am happy to report that, thus far, we are still married and even like each other (knock on wood).

So there it is.

Lastly, in case you need to make the man in your life this sweater (or you are the man in your life and you need to make yourself this sweater), it's called Scarlow, and was created by King Bee.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Chocolate Marquise on Meringue (with tequila carmel and spiced almonds)

Yes. Oh yes.

The May 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Emma of CookCraftGrow and Jenny of Purple House Dirt. They chose to challenge everyone to make a Chocolate Marquise. The inspiration for this recipe comes from a dessert they prepared at a restaurant in Seattle.

Apparently no one makes marquise anymore, so these two lovely (and local) ladies are trying to keep the dessert alive. And to that, I say: yes.

This recipe is fancy, indulgent, and fantastically sweet, rich, and spicy. The textures are incredible. Think frozen french silk...but so so so much better.  And the caramel is worth making just to have on ice cream, so sweet, and so alcoholic (in a good way). 

But, let me digress for just a minute. The spiced nuts? You whip an egg white and add the spices. Then you "toss" the nuts in, spread them on a baking sheet, and bake.  Everyone else's nuts came out looking normal...and mine made this huge nut cookie.  I made them twice, and both times: nut cookie. Or, make that: burned nut cookie. I did my best to extract some un-burned nuts from the cookie to use as garnish, and they taste great, but what gives?  (And, really, when you look through the recipe, do you think that the NUTS are going to be the hard part? No. So there it is.)

For those who are clicking on the link to the recipe (see "Yes," above), I used the half batch provided by our resident physicist and baker Audax. I also followed the ingredients exactly as they are, as I always want to see/taste/create the original before I start doctoring flavors and themes.  Not so for my fellow daring bakers who are all over changing things up by adding compote or changing the alcohol and/or spice mix. Call me a purist, but I do this at restaurants too: I must first order the meal the way the chef intended...and then work to doctor it (extra hollandaise, fruit instead of potatoes, etc.) on my second ordering. 

PS. This recipe is cumbersome, but don't let it intimidate you: all of the components can be made ahead of time (except the meringue) and kept for awhile in the fridge (caramel) or freezer (marquise).  We've been sawing off chunks of this baby every night after dinner...and we're not ever going to get tired of it.  So! When you have an extra few hours the day before a big party, whip this up and amaze your guests.

PPS. Pictures are pending. It's a long, sordid story.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

having a love affair

with stargazer lilies.
mostly because my kitchen smells like spring.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Toy Society Drop Number 4: An ugly thing goes to Fremont (where it should fit in nicely)

When Joe and I moved to Seattle, some (gasp) eight years ago, we bought a Seattle city guidebook, a Frommers or Foders or Lonely Planet to show us around the city we had chosen as our home.  Having spent the previous four years in Anchorage, Alaska, we were thrilled to find the prices in Seattle incredibly affordable (Fresh produce year round! Dinner out for under $40!) and the city fabulously full of equal parts foody, outdoorsy, eco-aware, and non-conformist.

The part I remember about the guidebook: It broke Seattle down into neighborhoods, which is actually how Seattlites see/live/visit/talk about the city. (Portlandites may be fond of their double-letttered ordinals, but we've got 'hoods so distinct as to be mini-cities on their own.)  The part I remember about the guidebook: The page on Fremont.  The title was, and I kid you not: Fun, Funky Fremont.

Since then I can neither visit nor speak about this hippie/anything-goes spot perched atop the ship canal to Lake Union like an escaped Macaw without hearing (in my head) those three alliterative words.

For those of you who aren't from around here: Fremont is both fun and funky, but that's a little simplisticly put. Fremont very much has a live-and-let live attitude, and it's filled with hippies and artists and hipsters and vegans and all things West Coast. It is home to my favorite parade of the year--which is opened with hundreds of naked bicyclists festooned in full body paint peddling their way down Fremont Avenue.  It is home to the very iconic troll, who winks beneath the SR-99 bridge while clutching a VW bug, among a number of other public art installations.

Having said all that. I made what can only be described as something sort of ugly. One might call it a doll, but that would be a bit generous.  And last weekend, on my way to the Fremont Sunday market (a raucous and motley collection of "antiques," screenprinted t-shirts, and bongs being hawked alongside mini-donuts and falafel), I snatched the opportunity to re-home said ugly almost-doll.

This is my fourth Toy Society drop, dropped on the intersection of Fremont and 38th, on Sunday morning around 11 am-ish. When we returned, some time later, the almost-doll was gone. May he/she have found a loving home where he/she can be appreciated for all that she/he is and can be. Godspeed.