More Christmas goodies

24 12 2008

Candied orange peels for my grandmother:


With a bonus score via the process of 5 cups of orange simple syrup.  I have a suspicion this will make fantastic sangria.  Any other ideas?

A bunch of salted caramels and pecan fudge:


For random gift giving and/or munching.  I have this wacky idea that I want to take a package of goodies to my local fire house but I’m not sure if that’s ok in this day and age…

And I made a felt rose pomander for my mom using this tutorial by Betz White, but I sadly forgot to take a picture before I wrapped it.

Happy Holidays everyone!!


99 things meme

22 12 2008

Swiped from Ms. Nikki Shell here.

Things you’ve already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven’t done and don’t want to – leave in plain font

1. started your own blog

2. slept under the stars

3. played in a band (assuming high school counts) : )

Read the rest of this entry »

Busy crafting for Christmas

21 12 2008

I’m not a big buyer of gifts in general.  I’ll buy something for someone if I happen upon something that is just perfect, but if not, you’ll probably get something crafted.  Not a bad thing, I must say.

Here is some delicious sugar scrub I made for folks this year; really great for winter skin:


I use old jars that I save throughout the year (which reminds me, I should see if my mom will give me some of her stash – the woman has an entire kitchen cabinet bank filled with them!) and the recipe is sort of ad hoc depending on how the consistency is coming together, but it’s basically:

1 cup sugar (divided)

juice of 1 lemon

1 Tbs good olive oil

sprig of rosemary

Combine 1/2 cup of the sugar with the lemon juice and the olive oil and then add in the rest of the sugar until you have a thick-like-peanutbutter goop.  Place the sprig in a jar, spoon in the sugar scrub, and give or enjoy!

I make this for myself occasionally and once tried chopping up the rosemary.  It smelled divine, but the bits of chopped rosemary drove me crazy when they would get all over the tub.

I’ve also been busy practicing my hand sewing and made a bunch of squeaky toys for my little dog friends.  It’s safe to put a pic up since they don’t read my blog:


The backstitch, whipstitch, and the blanket stitch and I are now friends.

Really good salumi

21 12 2008

There is a wonderful newish shop in the ferry building here in SF that makes all their own salumi, Boccalone Salumeria.  Their tag line is Tasty Salted Pig Parts, which I really love, because, if you’re going to eat pig, you should not remove yourself from the knowledge that it is an animal.  And it should be damn tasty.


That, my friends, is some delicious sliced orange & wild fennel salame.  My only beef with it (ha) is that as a harder cured meat, this one really shouldn’t be sliced at home for best enjoyment.  Unless you have a mini meat slicer at home…if you do – invite me over; I’ll bring a selection of salumi.

Making an entry…way

20 12 2008

We have a weird entry way into our apartment – actually, the layout of the whole place is weird, but we love it anyway – and have been thinking about wallpapering the 3 small walls that sort of disconnect this space from the living and kitchen areas.  Wallpaper seems really weird and old fashioned but we’re running with the feeling anyway.

Color-wise, we’re thinking a dark red to go with/contrast with a white kitchen and the soft gray we have in the living room.  I think that I also want to put floor-to-ceiling shelves along the wall of the front door as a sort of library area for our books, and also to help act as a sound buffer from all the loud mouths talking on their cell phones in our building lobby (jerks).

But in looking around, I have discovered a veeeerrry dangerous site, Apartment Therapy, which I’m sure I’ve found before, but it’s bookmarked now; there’s no forgetting this time.

They had an online shopping guide for wallpaper, and now I’m in love with these 2 prints:


From Cavern.


And from Flavor Paper.

I’m not sure why I’m so obsessed with mustard colored things right now…

I want it

17 12 2008

Cold brew coffee via the Toddy.


(pic from their website – I can only dream that it would come with a tulip)

A little taste of Philly

15 12 2008

The hubby is from outside of Philly and occasionally craves things that, before him, weren’t even in my life.  One of the newest additions to this list (white American cheese, Philly Cheesesteaks and fried ravioli are already on there) is soft pretzels.


Tonight, he made some!  And I’m really proud of him.  These were a fun chemistry experiment to learn about (they’re boiled in water with a large dose of baking soda), are delicious, and he’s not a big cooker.  Using the recipe here by Alton Brown and my Kitchen Aid standing mixer, my Philly man has crossed a new culinary boundary.  And I can’t wait to see what’s next.