Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

seen better days

You know it's been a bad week when having a toddler poop on your leg isn't the worst of it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

can't stop painting

I don't really like painting. But I love how much the color on the wall can affect the entire way a room feels. And I like that for under $100 and in a day or two, you can make that happen.

The new mantle in the dining room. Benjamin Moore "burnt caramel". Go for the good stuff and buy Aura, it's low VOC and top of the line which means even a saturated color like this goes on in two coats.

The rest of the walls in the dining room are now light gray (cape hatteras sand) with two of the frames painted out in "shenandoah taupe". Please excuse the boring picture, but we haven't decided where to re-hang the art.

Also new this week, bedding from Garnet Hill. I've been eyeing this duvet cover for several months and when it finally went on sale, I snatched it up. Been thinking about painting an orange rectangle over the bed to frame out the art (maybe new art too?) I already bought a gallon of a lighter shade orange than the dining room but didn't end up using it. Thoughts?

Friday, October 23, 2009

pumpkin painting party

Since the little ones can't carve, we had friends over for painting and stickers.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

they're called ultimate for a reason

My dad came into town for dinner tonight. He was on his way to pick up a friend at the airport. Knowing this, I did a little pre-planning over the weekend so I could get dinner on the table quickly. Lentil soup (his favorite) is quick when you have already made stock. Buttermilk biscuits take only moments to mix and not long to bake.

I also made up a batch of Ina's Ultimate Ginger Cookies and put the dough in the fridge last night. It's hard to pick a favorite cookie of all time. But I think for me, these are it. Follow the directions and bake for exactly 13 minutes, you want them to be chewy.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

the life of a chocolate cake

I know 5 people who share today as their birthday. But only 1 of them came over for dinner and a cake. Not just any cake though, this is by far the best chocolate cake I have ever eaten. It's become the cake that everyone asks for and I like that tradition.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

etsy finds

Did you see what happened to my purse?

I took the kids to the petting zoo recently and while the stroller was unattended, it was attacked by squirrels. The last piece of peanut butter sandwich was in a plastic bag, in my purse which was folded in half with the straps around it and then shoved into the stroller pocket. I've seen those rabid creatures before, but I was not expecting this! I'm on the hunt for a new purse. I'm thinking it might be time for something a little more grown up.

Olivia by neikodesigns $265

Tie Bow Bag in Black by TheLeatherStore $99

The Market Bag in Gunmetal by moop $93
Pleated Hoodie Market Bag in Brown by Kinies $38
Thela Tote in Honey Gold Tan by StudioOneDesigns $120

Classic Messenger Tweed Ruffle by cipolla $80

Everyday Zipper Tote by JiJis $104

Thursday, October 8, 2009

i'm not laughing at you

Have you seen this site yet? It had me laughing so hard.


Like everyone else, it seems, this fall weather has put me in the mood for warm food. An absolute staple in our household is roasted vegetables. It's unbelievably simple, and once you have the method down, you'll find you want to roast everything.

Roasting is best done around 400 degrees. Simply cut the vegetables, drizzle a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables to coat, then spread them out on a baking sheet and throw in the oven. Generally half an hour is good, I like to stir once to make sure everything is browning nicely.

Monday, October 5, 2009

quince jelly part two

I managed to squeeze in some jelly time while the girls napped today. I'm going to be honest with you here, I'm not convinced yet that the effort was worth the outcome. This is in part because I got sidetracked at the end, and slightly over cooked the jelly so it's thicker than I would have preferred. Regardless, just under 8 pounds of quince turned into only 3 1/2 half-pints of jelly. It took about 3 active hours, but you'll need to set aside an entire day, because pressing the juice needs several hours.

My recipe came from Simply Recipes and was, I thought, very straight forward. My quince yielded significantly less juice than expected even though I felt I was following the method.
Maybe I needed more water. The flavor is lovely, but quite subtle. In my various searches for information on quince, I read the apt description of quince smelling like a mix between a pear and an apple only more floral and with a hint of vanilla. It tastes that way too.

What surprised me most is the coloring. When fresh, quince are a bright yellow-green on the outside and white inside. As you boil it, the flesh changes to a lovely pinky-peach hue. Then, as the juice is boiled with sugar, it turns into the most amazing orange-red that practically glows.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

quince jelly

Anyone out there have experience making quince jelly? I'm about half way through the process, but had to leave it for the weekend. Would love recommendations if you have them.