Monthly Archives: January 2011

Lola Thomasina

 

There’s only one word to explain Lola Thomaina’s photography. Whimsical.

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Burns and Birthdays

This Friday a group of friends and I got together to celebrate Robert Burns, the Scottish poet. My good friend, Lauren, first celebrated the poet while she was visiting Scotland and this celebration was all her creation. When celebrating Burns, you eat haggis. Haggis is traditionally sheeps heart, liver, and lungs minced and cooked with onions, oatmeal, and spices and then cooked in the sheeps stomach.


(Haggis in the making! Photo courtesy: Lauren)

The haggis was complete with mashed potatoes and mashed turnips. The haggis was, interesting. I will say that every person in the room gave it a chance . Mixed with the potatoes, it wasn’t too shabby! I was pretty nervous at first but next time a Burns celebration rolls around I will gladly accept! We sat around and ate haggis, listened to Scottish Folk records, and drank whiskey (another Scottish tradition, and a very good one at that).


(The uncooked haggis. Photo courtesy: Lauren)

Today was my dad’s 53rd birthday today (Happy Birthday Dad!) so it was a full house, just the way I like it.


(Rachel, my sister, made this amazing GLUTEN FREE peanut butter and chocolate cake. It was amazing! Everyone enjoyed it so much that we started picking at the frosting before we served the cake. Go check out her Flickr to see what other delicious sweets she bakes!)

Having a full house means having a full kitchen. Everyone in my family is very very particular about what they do in the kitchen. My mom and sister are more on the baking side, and my dad and I are more the cooks. So while my sister and my mom are baking, my dad and I are more or less just staring and trying to figure out what is going on, and why there are so many dishes in the sink. The baking in attempt today, macaroon round number 2!

We were very nervous about the macaroons, but this time we followed Martha’s recipe to a T. We popped them in the oven for 5 minutes, rotated them, put them in for another 5 minutes and…

SUCCESS! These little babies were so perfect,airy, and delicious. This time around they were gluten free as well which made me the happiest camper in the room. All these tasty treats surrounding me and I could devour them all! Whoopie!

Weekends like this really make me appreciate the friends and family that I have. I love them all so much and I love that they all love food and celebrating as much as I do.

To leave off on a readers note, have you ever celebrated Robert Burns? And if not, would you consider celebrating and making haggis?

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FFFFOUND FRIDAY 1.28.11

Can you tell what I’m really digging this week? (Yes, I said digging) Neutrals, food, menswear, cooking tools, and bikes.

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Spicy Shrimp Soup

I am currently on a huge seafood kick. Shrimp, tuna, crab, give me it all! I went out and bought a large bag of frozen shrimp and have been trying to find different ways to use it. I already used it in a stir fry, nice and easy. The next time I used the shrimp, I boiled up a batch and threw it in to salads for lunch during the week. This time I wanted to try a nice spicy soup.

My soup creations are always very quick, easy, and usually only use one pot. Since for this recipe I used shrimp that I had previously cooked, this soup was ready in less then 20 minutes.

Spicy Shrimp Soup

1/2 pound of cooked shrimp
2 oz of rice noodles
20 oz of chicken stock
2 cups of water
Salt
Cayenne pepper
1 tbsp sriracha (You can limit this to your preference, I like a good kick to my soups)
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
3 green onions
3 large carrots
1 bunch of broccoli

In a large pot, put in chicken stock, water, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, soy sauce, fish sauce, green onions, carrots, and broccoli. Bring to a boil. When boiling, throw in your rice noodles and your shrimp. Since the shrimp is pre cooked and the rice noodles are quick to cook, this will only need to sit for about 10 minutes.

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Calendar Days

No, I’m not talking about the Rocket Summer album (however, it was a favorite of mine in 2005). I’m talking about how I keep track of the year. Every year, for about maybe ten years now, I’ve had the same calendar. Every year, without fail, my mom presents my sister and I with the same calendar. The Hello Kitty wall calendar. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love this calendar! But every year I forget to flip it over every month and when its actually May my calendar is on April.

This year I decided to get a calendar that never needed to be flipped and was still large enough for me to see the dates. I searched for all of December 2010 so that I could be ready for the new year, but it never happened. Then last week I stumbled upon this calendar by Crispin Finn. It is exactly what I was looking for. Large, colorful, well designed, screen printed, and personal.

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Thank you, Tumblr.

It’s back to Tumblr I go! I’ve had a Tumblr for about a year now. I started it to save all the images on line that I couldn’t save on my computer. Since starting my new job eight months ago, I just stopped using it. Why?! Tumblr is one of the best things out there to save all of those lovely photos and share them with others. Why would I give up such a lovely gift from the internet? Thank you for tumblr, sweet sweet Internet. I will slowly be moving all of my saved filed in my “Inspiration” folder over to my new tumblr. Prepared to be bombed with photos of pugs, sweet treats, color palattes, interior design, and pretty girls.

Follow my Tumblr here!

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Mashed “Potatoes”

Breakfast this morning was a quick and simple. I was working form home again (yes, more snow) but I had a handful of things that neeeded to be tended to. My favorite thing on a cold, snowy morning is a cup of half coffee and half hot chocolate. I usually like to do this with espresso, but all that I had around the house was coffee. If only I had an espresso machine! Wouldn’t that be amazing? With my half and half I had a piece of Udi’s toast, and a banana that I dipped in my favorite peant butter, Better’n Butter. Better’n Peanut Butter has a lot less fat and calories then regular peanut butter. I got in to this peanut butter when I was doing Weight Watchers back in college, and now I’m just hooked! I think it tastes ten times better then regular peanut butter too.

For lunch I made mashed “potatoes”. Sometimes, all that I really want is a huge bowl of warm vegetables. Some days I think I could be a vegetarian, but then my craving for chicken or steak kicks in. One of my favorite vegetables is cauliflower. It’s light and tasty and you can add any flavorings to it and it will be perfect. This is another staple of mine that I got in to in college while on Weight Watchers. When I really wanted mashed potatoes, I would make this dish. It was a little trick I liked to play on myself, and I was always more then satisfied with it. I could eat heaps and mounds of this!

Mashed “Potatoes”

1 whole head of cauliflower
1/2 a cup of margarine or butter
1 tablespoon of dill
Salt to taste

Cut up head of cauliflower and boil in a large pot of water until the cauliflower is cooked enough to mash up.  Drain the water. Mash cauliflower with a fork or a potato masher. Stir in margarine till melted, then your dill and your salt.

Quick, simple, and delicious!

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