Friday, November 29, 2013

link love

Swan Lake | Ep. 10 | city.ballet

There's this docudrama produced and narrated by Sarah Jessica Parker about the New York City Ballet that's absolutely fascinating, called city.ballet. Each episode's about six minutes long, and they get better as they go along. You can catch all the episodes online here.

- gut bacteria might influence our brains

- peanut butter & marshmallow sandwich cookies
- hoosier mama's cranberry chess pie
- apple cinnamon beignets w/ apple caramel sauce

Cool Finds:
- toddler naps with his 2-month-old puppy every day
- ikea lets loose 100 cats into an empty store to see what happens
- cloud-shaped ice cream
- you don't know africa (until you play this game)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

happy thanksgiving!

this gorgeous turkey from Food52

Just checking in real quick to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. It's just me and my mom this holiday, so we'll be keeping things kinda small, with a kabocha squash risotto, this baked mushrooms, broken bread, and a roasted brussel sprout and apple salad. I'm also starting a pretty big DIY that I'm jumping in to kinda blindly, so we'll see how it turns out.

Hope your long weekend is full of family, friends, good food, and relaxation. Maybe some shopping, too, if you want to brave the crowds =]

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

gingery caramels

There are a couple (food-related) things that usually do not work out for me: 1. dough-y stuff and 2. caramel-y stuff. I don't know if it's the recipes I follow, or my own lack of skill, but there have been so many batches of caramel that have burnt, or seized, or what have you. It's a bit ridiculous.

But I decided to face the challenge once more, because I saw a box of ginger caramels one day at TJ Maxx (the Home Goods store seriously has the most awesome collection of things?!) and just had to make them myself.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

spiced oatmeal apple carrot cake

One of the hardest things for me about creating new(-ish) recipes is probably naming them. It's just like writing the subject line of a super important email to a stranger: it needs to adequately summarize your email, but be short and interesting enough that they don't just delete it without reading. It is an ordeal, let me tell you.

Friday, November 22, 2013

link love

Timelapse: Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
My family and I were going to road trip to NM last month to see this, but ended up not finding the time. But I feel like it's something that has got to happen eventually. Maybe next year?

Anyways, I hope you have a not-too-stressful weekend in preparation for Thanksgiving next week!

- surgeons discover quirky knee ligament all over again
- why your childhood is crucial to how you'll age
- the smarter you are, the stupider you are
- should brain scans count as evidence in court?
- i want to be a millenial when i retire (i want this now)
- the widow who created the champagne industry
- reinventing the condom

- persimmon, prosciutto, and brie grilled cheese
- applesauce carrot bread with pecan streusel
- cranberry pâte de fruits

cardboard rudolph
- typography cookies (custom gift tags for presents?)

Cool Finds:
- visit the Netherlands
- the man who invented the calendar by bj novak
- this floral workshop in the berkshires
- the invisible bike helmet (totally amazing!)
- 16 people on things they couldn't believe about america until they moved here
- famous photos reimagined as selfies
- punctuation tips
- this ridiculously awesome volvo commercial (you have to check this out)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

nutty quinoa granola

Granola is great for cleaning out your pantry, and as the end of the year draws near, maybe it's time for some pantry organization... It's healthy, easy to make, customizable, and is pretty enough for gifts. So really, what else are you looking for?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

sunrise muffins - orange pulp, dried cranberries, and nuts

It all started with Whole Foods. On the weekends, there's a dude squeezing oranges and selling fresh-squeezed OJ and it's just about the best tasting thing ever. But as most things are with Whole Foods, it's a little pricey, so my mom and I decided to make our own. Usually when I juice, I throw out the leftover pulp (I know, boo me), but this time there was so much orange pulp that it seemed a horrible waste to just get rid of it. Plus, it tastes pretty good by itself? Anyways, I decided to bake them into something, which gets us to these muffins.

Friday, November 15, 2013

two for today

chilling with ruby while cookies bake

shopping date with the parentals

Thursday, November 14, 2013

link love:thanksgiving

picture originally from my instagram

I love Thanksgiving, and not just because of all the food. It's like the (non-religious) spirit of Christmas, minus all the commercialism, with more gratitude, and a dash of history thrown in. I think it's pretty great. Here are some DIYs, recipes, and more to help you prepare, even though Thanksgiving is still two weeks away.

Food :
roasted carrot soup
ultra-crispy potatoes
- inside-out sweet potatoes
- baked mushrooms, broken bread
- winter squash butter

25 ways to make pie
chocolate-dipped pistachio shortbread
cranberry upside-down cake
- vegan chocolate-dipped molasses cookies

- apple orange hot toddy
- the perfect fall sangria

- DIY Thanksiving placemat
- simple fall wreath
- rosemary wreath place cards

- Individual wedge-shaped pie boxes

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

wish list: entertaining in gold with target

Target's website is the absolute worst, but they've got some great stuff if you can deal with it. I'm especially loving Nate Berkus' line, and apparently Threshold? Here are some of my faves for entertaining.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

college care package: winter edition

I don't usually put so many bought goods in a care package. but my brother's a special case. But he got a pretty good spread of stuff, if I do say so myself.

Here's what went in:

  • granola x3
  • hot cocoa (french vanilla & milk chocolate)
  • fruit strips (apricot, strawberry, & wild berry)
  • homemade dark chocolate peanut butter swirl cookies
  • persimmons
  • shout wipes (from the $1 bin at Target)
  • hand warmers (also $1. we may have bought too many...)

Monday, November 11, 2013

dark chocolate peanut butter swirl cookies

My mom and I are putting together another care package for my brother, so I baked up some cookies to send along. We also found out that he has no cookie sheets (and I'm guessing any other baking pans?) where he lives, which just blew my mind. Like, whoa. But I guess I was just fantastically lucky living in a dorm with a fully stocked kitchen on each floor.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

wish list: anthropologie

Because it's only November, this isn't a Christmas wish list. This is a I-wish-I-had-more-money-or-maybe-a-rich-boyfriend/husband-or-a-job-I-suppose wish list. Anthropologie is really good at breaking my heart, and I was having the best (or worst, depending on how you look at it) luck on Friday, because everything I tried on looked absolutely fantastic. Time to wait until these go on sale. Or maybe I'll discover I have a great-great-aunt-once-removed who willed her considerable fortune to me. That'll be the day.

And then some other fun finds, as I was browsing their website.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

winter veggie tacos

I love tacos. Well, more accurately, I love tortillas, and everything that you can do with them. Like tacos.

I usually just sauté together whatever's in the fridge with some garlic and cumin, maybe some oregano, and stuff it into a tortilla with avocado, cheese, and cilantro. It really couldn't be easier, so I'm not giving you a recipe. This time, I had brussel sprouts, zucchini, kale, and roasted beets.

Also, we buy this weird brand of tortillas because Mission brand has really high sodium. But the brand we get tastes horrible plain, which I guess is the trade-off? But it's probably a good thing, otherwise I'd be finishing off a pack of tortillas a day. But the tortillas taste just fine with good-tasting stuff in it, so these tacos are great. And probably healthy.  Dunno, it's vegetables.

We also only buy burrito-sized tortillas, so I cut them into quarters and make two-bite tacos. Finger foods are infinitely more fun. It's been scientifically proved. Also, sometimes I like to pretend I'm a serial killer (or a surgeon, I suppose) when I'm chopping beets. I swear I'm not crazy.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

two for today

A couple instagram snaps from breakfasts the past few days.

belgian waffles with persimmon, cinnamon yogurt, and maple syrup

soft-boiled egg, raspberries, and toast

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

happy birthday, mommy!

Mommy's birthday nineteen years ago, with me and my little brother

I can never remember how old my parents are, but thank goodness for the Chinese zodiac, because I can remember their signs. Usually I'd go all out and make a three-layer cake, but my family and I are working on eating healthier, especially cutting down added sugar, so that's unfortunately a no-go for cake. Then I thought of baked apples, but we didn't have any apples, and so that too was a no-go.

everything but the allspice

But what we did have a lot of was persimmons. Most recipes I found tend to use Hachiya persimmons, the pointier ones that you eat with a spoon when super squishy, because they're a lot sweeter. Ours weren't ripe yet, and they tend to be stringy and astringent, so I didn't want to go that route. But I did find a recipe which uses Fuyu persimmons, the flat crunchy ones, and only a little added honey, so I decided to go with baked persimmons.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

restaurant review: modo mio

We don't usually go out to eat unless it's a special occasion, but it's my mom's birthday tomorrow, so we went out for dinner this past weekend to celebrate. I always complain about how there aren't that many good places to eat in and around where I live in southern California, but I think that's because I'm so used to being able to walk out the front door of my dorm and have a handful of great food choices right there, and now I have to drive to get anywhere. But there are definitely good places to eat here in Orange County; you just have to be willing to drive a little bit.

image from modo mio

Modo Mio Cucina Rustica is one of those good food places. The short story is that it's good quality food for a decent price in a fantastic location, so if you're ever in the area, you should definitely stop by to check them out.

Monday, November 4, 2013

beets and beet greens

For some reason, I tend to completely forget that beets exist in this world, and then I'm endlessly delighted once more when I rediscover them. It's a pretty great cycle, though, to be honest.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

i forgot NaBloPoMo was a thing

image found via Tumblr

NaBloPoMo stands for National Blog Posting Month (or something), and for some reason, most people who take on the challenge of blogging every day for a month tend to do it in November. I, clearly, didn't realize this was a thing, since I started my own "blog every day for a month" challenge in the middle of October. But now that I'm not alone, it'll be interesting to see how others deal with all this blogging.

Another month-long writing project happening in November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where participants pledge to write a 50,000-word by the end of the month. Props to all those doing this, too; I took a creative writing class once in college, and had the hardest time figuring out how to write a story longer than a page. It was the absolute worst.

So to all those writing and blogging a ton this month, good luck, and see you on the flip side.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

pomegranate oatmeal with dried blueberries and toasted nuts

Oatmeal tends to be put on hold when the warmer months come along, but I pull it out of hibernation the minute it starts getting cold. Which, in California, is around November. I'm sure everyone has their own method of making oatmeal, so this is less of a recipe and more of a toppings suggestion instead, to move you away from the butter and brown sugar and raisins that are traditionally thrown into the mix. So instead: pomegranate seeds, dried blueberries, and nuts.

I peeled this pomegranate the night before as an after-dinner snack, but it was a little too sour to eat by itself. So it got saved for the next morning to get rescued with a little maple syrup, along with some dried blueberries I found in the pantry, and some toasted nuts we always keep on hand just for this purpose of sprinkling on top of cereals, salads, etc. Being the lazy lazy person that I am, I also make my oatmeal in the microwave. It's a one-bowl process that couldn't be easier, and perfect for the coming months. I hope you enjoy.

Friday, November 1, 2013

link love + happy friday

3-year-old contemplates the effects of his diet on the toilet
Wow, this video made me crack up so hard. And it reminded me of that show Bill Cosby used to host, Kids Say the Darnedest Things. That was a funny show. So was The Cosby Show. I just like Bill Cosby.

Hope the Halloween candy hangover isn't that bad, but if it is, you'll have the whole weekend to sleep it off. And if you've got too much Halloween candy, we've got you covered right here.

Have a smashin' weekend, and hello, November!

- why children hide by covering their eyes
- math proves bacon is a miracle food
- carrot dating - the new dating app that let's you bribe your partner into giving you a chance
- (ignoring all opinions on standardized testing) American education isn't mediocre, it's deeply unequal
- how popcorn took over movie theaters
- interesting stuff about why first-borns are smarter (but it's not really quantifiable)

- finally, a use for all those kale stems you've been throwing out: kale stem pesto
- if you've got extra apples, this slab pie looks fantastic
- I may need to invest in a donut pan after seeing these french toast donuts
- 15 ways to use up Halloween candy

Cool Finds:
- which state matches your personality?
- this home in the Yucatan
- xkcd: 20th century headlines rewritten to get more clicks.  definitely spot on.
- in case you're not on instagram enough already, here's a cool person to follow
- who knew walnuts could be set on fire and used as candles?