Friday, December 2, 2011

pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin

I made these pumpkin muffins the night before Thanksgiving.  Even though at 10pm I decided that it was to late to make the apple pie I promised to bring (that would wait till the morning), I thought "there's plenty of time for muffins!  And they can be breakfast!  Now I have to make them!"

Muffins are actually really easy to make, and this recipe from Smitten Kitchen made such lovely fluffy, light muffins... I think I need to make them again...

Pumpkin Muffins
Adapted from the American club, in Kohler, Wisconsin via Gourmet Magazine
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15 ounce can)
1/3 cup vegetable oil*
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar**
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1) Put oven in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Put liners in muffin cups.
2) Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined.
3) Stir together cinnamon and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in another bowl.
4) Divide batter among muffin cups (each should be about three-fourths full), then sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake until puffed and golden brown and wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
5) Cool in pan on a rack five minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to rack and cool to warm or room temperature.

Friday, November 4, 2011

glass art

Wow, talk about fail! I thought I posted this ages ago and I only realized that I didn't because I was trying to find the photos again!

I saw the Dale Chihuly exhibit up in Boston last spring, but didn't take these photos of the exhibit, these were found online.  I really like Chihuly's work, back in the day he totally redefined glass as art, but out of all of his work I find his "baskets" the most inspiring.  Working and living in the Pacific Northwest, he fell in love with Pendleton trading blankets and Native American basketry (who can blame him?), and took inspiration in creating a series of glass baskets.

Cool right?

For more on the baskets go here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

window shopping: rings

Found these rings online the other week. 
I think I'm drawn to them because of the work I've been doing with stained glass. 
All these geometric shapes!

Find them here at mociun.

Friday, September 30, 2011

food: cornbread

This Sunday I decided to do something different - cook the recipe on the back of the cornmeal bag.

You see, I had this new cornmeal from Whole Foods (Arrowhead Mills Organic Yellow Corn Meal) and fresh jalapenos from my Mom's garden and some cheddar that needed using up, so it was perfect!

It turned out so good, moist, a bit fiery but not too much, and just made us want to keep going back for more.  I tried to get a good photo of it, but by the time I realized I should get an image, we just had a line of cornbread left.

Jalapeño Cornbread

1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp. oil (they say vegetable but I used olive oil)
1 cup white flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
3 tbsp. butter or oil (I used olive oil)
1 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2-4 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 400F.  Prepare an 8" square pan using oil or butter (I used butter).

Sauté the chopped onion in the oil until just limp, about five minutes.  Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl, blending well.  Separately beat together the eggs, milk and 3 tbsp. oil or butter.

Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients beating until just moistened.  Stir in the onions, 1 cup of the cheese and the jalapeños.  Pour into the prepared pan and top with the remaining cheese.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until crusty brown.

Try not to eat it in one day.  Maybe.

Friday, September 23, 2011

inspire: block prints

 I really like these block-printed designs on linen.
I think it's the simple geometric designs and bold colors that draw me in.  I am definitely going through a phase for geometry at the moment if you can't tell from my work.

These must be really fun to make.  Which reminds me... Mom in October we need to tackle those fish!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

shop: sky scarves

I love these scarves, called Come Darkness. Such beautiful skies captured to wear.

Found here via here.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Very interesting article about Cher and Gregg Allman, read the article here. For some reason I was oblivious that they were ever married, I mean, Cher and an Allman? It's interesting to me the shuffle game that musicians play with their spouses and love interests. Sometimes you end up with the most unexpected combinations.

Sometimes they work, sometimes they fail miserably.

They married 3 days after her divorce to Sonny Bono was finalized. Cher filed for divorce from Allman 9-10 days after they wed, but stayed married for 4 years. Need I say more?

article from The Selvedge Yard via Miss Moss

Thursday, August 18, 2011

life: lil

My friend Vicky sent this to me yesterday. She knew I could totally appreciate the whole cat-who-thinks-she's-human. I mean, come on, look what I'm dealing with...

What I imagine she is thinking: "Drinking out of glasses is so great.... now if only I could fit my head in a bit further...."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

new things

check out our new blog local.tourist.philly!

... it's carrying the torch from Steven's last local tourist blog, local.tourist.london

we will try update it at least once a week

read the ever-evolving list of activities we want to do, from museums and parks, to restaurants and random activities!

Monday, August 15, 2011

clothes: fall chic

I pulled these clothes choices from J.Crew and Anthropologie. Most of them are J.Crew (i.e. all the model ones.

I'm loving blue/green combinations, as well as more vibrant hues combined with neutrals. I like the subtle 40s/50s influences as well, such as the sleeveless dress in the bottom right.

I think I've reached the point in my life where I can appreciate the subtle pop of color. Of course, I will always love blacks and browns and creams, but sometimes color is fun, especially when there's so much color in nature during our northeast autumn!

explore: race st pier

Went to check out the Race St Pier park with just opened this summer. There are lots of unused piers in Philly and never enough green spaces, so this was a pretty cool idea to implement! It's really peaceful looking out on the water from this vantage point, actually better than the view from Penn's Landing, I guess the pier juts out a bit further.

Here's a panoramic photo I pieced together of the water and greenway :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

crafts: plant dye

I was just watching old episodes of the BBC program Edible Garden, when I saw this and immediately thought "I need to do this. Now."

In this snippet the presenter, Alys Fowler, makes leaf prints with a friend. She says this is an old Japanese technique.

They first went out to find strong colored leaves and flowers.

They say that fleshy leaves in strong colors and shapes have the best effect.

Then get a natural fiber fabric, place the leaves in your preferred arrangement, fold the fabric over (or place another piece of fabric over), and hammer with a mallet until it looks like the color has been absorbed.

Then open the fabric and peel/rub off the excess leaf.
And you are left with beautiful patterns.

Vibrant colors and perfect patterns.

It even works with flower petals, look at those delicately preserved violets!

When the prints are totally dry, iron the material to fix the plant dye.

Are you ready to go find leaves?

*all photos taken from episode 5, originally broadcast May 5, 2010

Monday, July 25, 2011

holiday: adventures 3

And the adventures continue...

The longer I stay in England the more I feel I will miss my friends and the country itself so much when I go, but I also know that the longer I stay away from home, the more I will miss my friends and the USA. I'm definitely stuck in one of those ironically nice conundrums.

After playing with Mr. Tubby I came back and made peach raspberry pie for my dessert-needing friends. By the time it was out it was about 10pm. Late night pie.

I went to Cat's flat to watch Badlands. I had been looking forward to seeing it very much and it lived up to the anticipation for me :)

The view from her windows.

On Wednesday I met up with Zoe (my one-day famous theatre director friend), to see her friend Morgan in an all-men cast of Midsummer Night's Dream. She had directed this company in previous summers so was interested in how they would be without her...

Unfortuntately the English summer rose to its reputation and started pissing it down, so after sitting under umbrellas (did I mention it was outdoor theatre?) for awhile and getting ourselves suitably soaked they came on and said the show would have to end :( So while we waited for Morgan and the guys to pack up the whole stage etc we went and got drinks as big as our heads. Literally. You needed both those handles.

Secretly we both enjoyed catching up more rather than watching the theatre, but shh don't tell anyone.

Now that I've been typing I think I actually saw this slug on Monday night after seeing Tree of Life again with Vicky. This picture is almost life size...

It was raining so much last week. We put out buckets.

Thursday night we went to see Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Very funny. And on the way we passed this cool art installation outside the National Gallery. It's supposed to bring art and nature together. This one was done after Van Gogh's paintings.

Then Friday night I went to see Dom's band (California Gypsies) play near Tottenham Court Rd. They're really good, check them out :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

holiday: adventures 2

This week there were: more adventures with kids, plays, lovely friend time, museums, galleries, tubby baby, tiled pubs, and fancy dress parties.

Starting out Tuesday with a new group, we did things a bit backwards this time, and had time to add some new adventures, like Thomas Struth at the Whitechapel Gallery, and more time to explore the Tate Modern.

some bathroom graffiti at Whitechapel

very cool sculptures at the Tate, these were long rectangles of wood that the artist had cut back by following the natural knotting of the wood to uncover the branch roots again.

Taking photos of Japanese Bauhaus photography, who knew?

knees from the above

A Modigliani that brought tears to my eyes. I like his still sadness.

One of Robert's favorite photographers, John Heartfeld, who was a photomonteur for A/Z before and during the Nazi regime; he used sature to expose the deceptions of politics. This type of photo montage literally required cutting negatives, much more hands-on than today's photoshop world.

the cross becoming a swastika
his images are powerful

lying on the turbine hall floor to get a great group shot

walking down the southbank, this time the end destination for dinner was Covent Garden. The kids went off to get food and, like last time, I was invited to dinner and the theatre afterwards, where we sat up among the clouds and spent most of the time making airplane and heights jokes. It was great.

Mr tubby, aka Phoenix, aka MASSIVE! He's grown so much.... in a week? On Thursday I spent about 45 minutes dancing with him, he is quite particular about how he dances. By the end of the time I felt like I had been in the gym for a couple of hours, talk about a sack of flour! But I'm going to help out again today :)

Very cool tiles near Liverpool St, can you see where the tiles end and the painting starts?

Cat double phoning it!

And last night's fancy dress party at Zoe's, her flatmate is going away traveling with a friend... for a year! so you had to dress like a thing or person he may encounter on the journey. There was border control at the door, so Zoe and I had to make a border control hat of course.


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