Saturday, July 28, 2012

foodagram. yup. i said it.

I have heard a few people say that pictures of food (specifically instagrams) are their least favorite pictures to look at. I think I speak for amateur foodies everywhere when I say seriously, get a life. Food involves so many colors and textures and intricate pieces that all have to work together to make it look as good as it tastes.  Here are some my recent documented food adventures:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

go world.

Are you excited about the 2012 London Olympic games starting tomorrow? If you are really really excited about it, you might be throwing an awesome party.  Really, if you think about it, we should absolutely be throwing a big party because this shindig only happens once every four years! We celebrate thanksgiving every year. Think about that & get inspired:  

  one // two & three // four 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I heard a tiny clip of this song on a Sam Adams commercial the other day and knew it was going to be a good listen when I got around to looking up the full version. It is in fact one of the sweetest songs I have ever heard. A note on the video: The amount of the times the girl appears in it will make you feel slightly awkward but when you find out that it is actually the girl he is singing about it becomes way less stalker(ish) & quite endearing. Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

exciting news: the violet online.


I have kind of exciting news to bring to you today. Do you ever read The Violet? It's a wonderful online magazine that was started by some pretty great gals. I followed Ashlee Gadd and Camilla Leila's blogs before they launched The Violet and have since added one more quarterly reading to my Google Reader. The magazine is filled with great articles on food, fashion, crafts, parties and travel.

Before they release every issue they pose a question to their readers and ask them to respond. For the summer issue, they asked readers to tell them about one of the coolest places they had ever visited. As you might know, I had recently visited the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and thought it was pretty swell. I am well aware that of all the places in the world, it may not rank high on the list but it would definitely receive an honorable mention (at least in the state of Florida). Anyway, The Violet thought it was pretty neat and sent me a friendly email letting me know it would be in the summer issue! Naturally, I was pretty excited.

If you have an hour to check out the summer issues, you should definitely do that (and pay a special eye to page 88).

Have an excellent Thursday.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

diy kitchen art.

Hey friends,

If you have fifteen minutes to spare and are looking for something to hang on a wall in your kitchen, might I suggest this little project.

You'll need:
-Modge Podge
-Any size canvas
-Solid color paper of your choice
-Acrylic pain

Cut out the paper you've chosen to fit your canvas. Apply a thin layer of modge podge to the canvas and place your paper on top. Seal the corners with the modge podge. Place the stickers in the lower right hand corner and and paint over them with the color you've chosen. After the paint dries completely, slowly peel off the stickers. There ya have it. Easy peee zeee.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

in the meantime, more twinkle lights.

Nora Ephron died a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t realize what an impact it made on me and just how truly great she really was until a few days later when I was watching my favorite movie, You’ve Got Mail (as I do several times a week). Since then I have been reading about Nora Ephron’s life; the way her words impacted others, the things she wrote that inspired many and the very specific way she defended the fanciful side of life.
In the movie Kathleen Kelly, the owner of the Shop Around the Corner tells Joe Fox that when you read a book as a child become it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does. If we were discussing movies that had this impact on our life, You’ve Got Mail would be that for me. Sometimes I wonder if Nora knew what she was doing when she set out to write You’ve Got Mail. Did she consider that little girls who were only nine years old when it came out would still be claiming it as their favorite movie fourteen years later? Surely she had an inkling.
There are things about this movie that have shaped the things I love most. It’s the enchanting way that Kathleen Kelly skips through the streets of New York thinking about bouquets of newly sharpened pencils. The way daisies are described as the friendliest flowers. The way the characters wonder about the insignificant things happening all around them; like the way the flour lingers in the air without ever touching the ground or how ordering a tall decaf cappuccino can give one a defining sense of self. And of course, the way New York is portrayed as a small town, like everyone knows each other, like they’re all friends and everyone is always welcome wherever they go.
What I love most about this movie though is the villain that doesn’t really exist. Joe Fox is the enemy but is also the person that Kathleen trusts. She can’t stand him but she defends him when he doesn’t come through for her and even better, her friends defend him too.  The ‘big bad Fox Books’ ultimately takes the win over the Shop Around the Corner but the victory of Kathleen Kelly and Joe Fox seeing each other for the first time in front of the garden at River Side Park remains the brightest spot.
There are things in this life that make us feel right at home even when we are far from it. So thank you Nora Ephron for creating something that will always seem familiar to me. Thank you for writing quirky characters like Kathleen Kelly, who was a lone reed, who worried about being brave, but who was ultimately the heroine of her own life. Thank you for living a truly inspiring life yourself and for letting us be a part of it through your love of the written word.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

apple tart.

The fourth of July is not complete without apples. Specifically apples baked with lots of sugar, flour and butter. Last year, Carolyn and I made a delicious apple pie inspired by our lady Ina. Unfortunately this year we had to celebrate this fun holiday in different states. Thus, no apple pie collaboration. Separately, however, this is what I came up with: an apple tart that slightly resembles a chrysanthemum.Check out the recipe [here]. I might suggest using a smidge less cream cheese and a few more apples. Serve it up with a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream. It will make your tummy smile...even if it isn't on the fourth of July.

Monday, July 2, 2012

banana bread with nutella swirl.

My favorite way to enjoy a banana has always been in bread form. My grandmother used to make it for us all the time. It's one of the things that I distinctly remember about visiting her when I was younger. She still makes it now and then and it's just as delicious as ever.

So what could be better than a slice of warm banana bread with a square of butter melting on top, you ask? Oh yes, you're right, banana bread with nutella swirl! 

Consider yourself warned. You will eat more than one piece. Find some people to share this  

Banana Bread with Nutella Swirl
Adapted from Sugar Plum

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups mashed ripe banana
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup Nutella

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together banana, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy and well combined - about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs until well combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in flour mixture until just combined. Divide 1/2 of of the batter into a medium bowl; stir in Nutella until combined.

Alternate spoonfuls of batter into loaf pan until all of the batter is used up. Swirl batter gently with a knife. Bake 1 hour or until well risen, deep golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into bread comes out with moist crumbs attached.