Thursday, August 4, 2011

Up Next

To all those who are following this blog, I have an announcement..I am leaving for Jordan!  That being said, I decided it was only fitting to create a new beginning in the wake of a new journey.

You can visit me now at:  http://begintheworld.blogspot.com/  I will continue to post new and inspiring things as I encounter them, whether they are in Jordan, or otherwise!


love.
me

Monday, June 13, 2011

Leave Everything

This collection of stories and pictures will be traveling to another destination very soon, as will I.   In the meantime, enjoy what is archived here, and look forward to a new start.






"Travel, leave everything, copy the birds. Home is one of civilization's sadnesses."
Gustave Flaubert

{via here}

Friday, April 29, 2011

Desert Flower

Anxiously awaiting summer. 

{via here}

"Forks Over Knives"

This is important stuff.  Start watching.
  

Snack Break

I'm currently without the use of my nifty canon powershot, with its hi-def pictures and cheeky little zoom lens. I was really using my brain when I began packing for the big move to PA, and decided to pack everything as far in advance as possible, including all my books and electronic gadgets...and my camera battery charger.  It's now officially buried beneath an entire library of nursing textbooks.  Woops!  Being prepared is overrated.

Anywho, I have been reduced to using my cell phone camera.  I'm sure it's more advanced than I give it credit for, but I'm still pining for my automatic focus.

Snacks.  What else is there to say?  They get me through the day (and night).  Some people prefer a glass of wine or a cup of tea to calm themselves down or unwind.  I do it with food.  

My favorite pick-me-upper.  Vanilla yogurt.  Mixed berries (I buy the frozen ones from Trader Joe's).  Raw almonds. 


Alice Waters' Fennel Salad.  Easy, quick, refreshing, and simple to play around with if you're looking to be creative...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In the Meantime...

Sometimes, life can feel incredibly messy and frustrating for no good reason at all.  (Do you ever feel that way, or is it just me?)  While I get a grip and stop being such a grump, I thought I'd give you some visual stimulation (not THAT kind of visual stimulation...)











Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Happy Birthday, Lil' Sis.

To my Little Sister- Happy Birthday!  (hint: she's the wide-eyed cupcake monster in the middle.)

love. me.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Baking Fever

With baked goods on the brain (see previous post), I am excited to get my hands dirty this weekend with some kitchen action.  In the meantime, here are some ideas/recipes I'm hoping to try...



...My friend recently tried this Sally Lunn bread recipe..."SO good," was her response.

{via here and here and here}

Thursday, March 24, 2011

SugarBaby Released!

...earlier than expected!  I could care less that the imaginary countdown in my head was interrupted.  Bring on the sweet relief! 





Here's where you can order the book.
Here's Gesine's instructional blog with beautiful, big photos.

delicious.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

For Every Woman


Every woman deserves to hear these words in their lifetime...

{via middlechildcomplex}

(les Petits Mouchoirs)

Perhaps a French version of "The Big Chill?" Well that's that. Must see this soon...



"Little White Lies" (les Petits Mouchoirs)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sweets


It's a gloomy morning, and I am craving something sweet...then again, when am I not?

{via the beautiful photography blog "On My Way"}

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Aquatic Tea Party

My new obsession (yes, I'm a bit behind the times) is The Man Repeller. I honestly crack up...and at times double over...at the things this girl shamelessly puts out there. She basically says (and wears) everything the rest of woman-kind is afraid to.

One post in particular that got me to slap my knee as I pulled a loud, cackle-ish "HA!"...

{see here for original location}

Friday, March 4, 2011

Shoe Lust


Ah-Dorable.

I am not one to spend chunks of my paycheck on shoes...okay, maybe once upon a time. Well, all I can say is that once upon a time is gonna happen again real soon, because these cuties are just too good.

Oh, did you see these too?

Shoe lust is a dangerous thing.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What is a "Fighting Daisy?"


I've been temporarily away from this blog due to a schedule overload. In the meantime, I thought I'd update you on some of what my time away has consisted of...anybody up for a particularly memorable road trip to Hyannis, MA? I promise you, it's well worth the drive...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Women in Menswear

Who ever said a woman can't wear men's clothes? Tomboys, unite.

{image via the sartorialist}

Monday, February 14, 2011

What Day?


I am not a big fan of Valentine's Day, whether I am single or not. Of course, I have no problem with doing a little something special today...but why not something special EVERY day?! Love is not a one-day-gig.

In other news, I'll be on hiatus for the next couple weeks. Life gets hectic at times, so I'll be paying more attention to certain projects and less to others. Here's one project that is pretty close to my heart at this moment. To keep you occupied in the meantime, some extra reading/watching material...

Garance Dore and her public ladies restroom debacle...one for all!

Adele's Tiny Desk Concert.

Next knitting project, perhaps? (and my most recent project.)

Watch this documentary. Waaaay better than "So You Think You Can Dance."

Love this backsplash for a purple splash of spring. God knows we all need it.

and Happy Birthday to Miss Oregon...she is 2 years old today!

See you all in a couple weeks :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How To Taste Chocolate

Tcho chocolate has these cute little taster sets. Who knew that 8 tiny squares of chocolate could go such a long way in satisfying your craving?

Along with your sampler, you also get an instruction card for "How to Taste Chocolate." Follow these six simple rules to becoming a chocolate connoisseur:

1. Look for a consistent color and shiny finish on your chocolate; this signifies well-crafted chocolate.

2. Listen for a clean, bright snap when you break your chocolate; this is an indicator of good tempering.

3. Smell is a significant determinant to taste; gently rub a piece then inhale deeply and note the aromas.

4. Taste by placing the chocolate on your tongue without biting into it; let it soften to release the flavors.

5. Feel the chocolate's texture in your mouth; it should melt evenly and feel smooth and silky.

6. Aftertaste, or the "finish," can sometimes be very different from the initial flavor you tasted; as the chocolate melts on your tongue, notice how it changes.

Thanks, Tcho.

Maybe your next event could be a chocolate tasting?!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Dancers Among Us


see Jordan Matter's entire series, "Dancers Among Us" here. Cannot. Get. Enough.
Happy Friday.

{via here}

Monday, January 31, 2011

"Minimalist" Recipes

The famous "Minimalist" (i.e. Mark Bittman) has listed 25 of his favorite Minimalist recipes. Quite a bit of these are a little too meaty for me, but I'm sure some of you out there could appreciate them :)

A few that caught my eye...and may warrant a second trip to the grocery store this week...

Mexican Chocolate Tofu Pudding


Spaghetti with Fried Eggs




Fennel and Celery Salad



are you drooling yet?

{images via here, here and here}

Friday, January 28, 2011

Moviestars and Bicycles

I'm a big fan of old, classic movies. Particularly during the holidays, I just can't seem to get enough of the singing and dancing that used to be a staple of american film.

But bicycles? Who knew?



Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gesine's Winter-Worthy Carrot Cake

Cakes are hard work. I will admit that when the going gets tough, and I'm craving baked goods, I usually go for making cookies or brownies- something that will not require me to utilize my horrendous icing skills. However, after reading Gesine's book, my mouth was salivating thinking about this recipe, along with all the other family recipes she so generously gives away to us common folk.

This is her legendary carrot cake. I was home this past weekend at my parents' house in PA. A fresh layer of powder was glistening on the tree limbs outside, and the bitter weather kept me housebound. What else is a girl to do but bake??

My arms were practically falling off after using my mom's ancient hand grater to "finely grate" an entire pound of carrots. (Afterwards, it was officially broken. woops.) However, it was well worth it. The cake only lasted through the weekend between myself, my mom, dad and the last piece polished off with my friend Nicole. EXTREMELY moist, fluffy, light, scrumptious. amazing.







cream cheese icing. the best.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

sugarbaby


As many of you already may have noticed, I have a particular penchant for sugary, baked goods. I just barely manage to supplement my addiction with a steady running schedule that keeps me from being two tons too large.

One of my favorite (and most recent) reads is Gesine Bullock-Prado's book My Life From Scratch. I managed to craft a carrot cake from her recipe...located within the book...and also the recipe of famous sister Sandra Bullock's wedding cake. Pre divorce from idiot husband. (Do not fret, Gesine! My loyalty and star-worthy following belongs to you first and foremost.)

She is now coming out with a SWEET cookbook titled, Sugarbaby. Here are a couple book trailers, one from her original book Confections of a Closet Master Baker (now titled, My Life From Scratch) and Sugarbaby. enjoy and don't forget to treat yourself.

New Confections of a Closet Master Baker Trailer from Raymond Prado on Vimeo.




Sugar Baby Book Trailer from Raymond Prado on Vimeo.

(Gesine also has a swell blog: Confections of a (Closet) Master Baker and a website!)

{image via here}

Winter Wonderland


My dad is away on business in Steamboat Springs, Colorado for the week. He sent me this picture from his phone- isn't it gorgeous?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chocolate Bouchons!

Here is my take on the Chocolate Bouchon recipe I found after a mad search for something that would allow me to use my prized Valrhona Equatoriale (55%)...not to exaggerate or anything, but this is damn fine chocolate, and I wasn't about to waste it on just any recipe. I needed something rare and rich. I came upon a great re-make of the chocolate bouchon recipe from, where else, Bouchon Bakery! I put my faith in this blogger's take on the soft, moist chocolate cakes. However, I almost had a small coronary when I realized that I didn't have enough butter (24tablespoons) since my Christmas cookie baking spree wreaked havoc on my once-growing supply. After a moment of panic, I pulled out my oversized jar of olive oil and measured out the rest, mixed it with my 10 tbspns of melted butter, and said a few Hail Marys. It worked.



The Recipe:
Bouchon Bakery uses 2-ounce fleximolds and serves smaller bouchons. 3-ounce (2-inch to 2-1/2-inch diameter) timbale molds or silicon muffin molds can be used for larger cakes. I don't have silicon molds, though, so I just used my cupcake tins.

Recipe Makes 12 servings of the smaller bouchons or 16 brownies using muffin molds.

Ingredients:
Butter and flour for the timbale molds
3-1/2 ounces (3/4 cup) all purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1-1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
24 tablespoons (12 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and slightly warm **I only had 10 tblspns of butter available, so I substituted with pure olive oil. However, if you've got the butter, use it!
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, such as Valrhona Equatoriale (55%) chopped into pieces the size of chocolate chips
Confectioners’ sugar

Directions:
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 12 timbale molds. Set aside.

2) Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in another large bowl if using a handheld mixer, mix together the eggs and sugar on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until very pale in color. Mix in the vanilla. On low speed, add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then 1/3 of the butter, and continue alternating with the remaining flour and butter. Add the chocolate and mix to combine. (The batter can be refrigerated for up to a day.)



3) Put the timbale molds on a baking sheet. Place the batter in a pastry bag without a tip, or with a large plain tip, and fill each mold about 2/3 full. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes (30 to 32 minutes for the muffin pans). When the tops look shiny and set (like a brownie), test one cake with a wooden skewer or toothpick. It should come out clean but not dry (there may be some melted chocolate from the chopped chocolate). Transfer the bouchons to a cooling rack. After a couple of minutes, invert the timbale molds and let the bouchons cool upside down in the molds; then lift off the molds. (The bouchons are best eaten the day they are baked.)

4) To serve: Invert the bouchons and dust them with confectioners’ sugar. Serve with ice cream if desired.

[Recipe via Bouchon by Thomas Keller]


The Result: moist, chocolate-y bouchons. I used my special stash of earth-friendly cupcake holders, since they were intended (mostly) for care packages destined for Dallas and Boston and I didn't want them to arrive as anything but in fanciful order.


enjoy!