Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I can't say that I came up with this idea on my own. Casey and I share a mother in law, Sandi. She is a nutrition teacher, and she is always coming up with easy and fun cooking ideas to help promote better eating habits in school aged children. She made yogurt parfaits with her students, and it sounded so good I decided to do a grownup version for the kid in all of us.
Plain and/or Vanilla Low or Non-fat yogurt (you can squeeze a little
lemon juice and some agave syrup in to make it really zingy)
Granola (see recipe below)
The cool thing about making your own granola is you can put whatever you want in it! I personally hate slivered almonds (hey, we all have something) so for the nuts I used macadamias. You can add fiber filler like wheat germ or you can experiment with different types of grains, seeds, and dried fruit, too.
1 lb old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 macadamia nuts (chopped)
1/2 C un-sweetened coconut (shredded)
1/3 C canola oil
1/3 C honey
1/4 C light brown sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Pre-heat oven to 325F
- In large bowl combine oats, nuts, and coconut.
- In a small saucepan bring oil, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt to a bare simmer.
- Pour sugar syrup over dry ingredients and combine.
- Evenly pour out mix onto a shallow greased baking pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then mix, bake again for another 10 minutes. Keep checking to make sure it doesn't over-brown.
- Pour toasted granola onto foil to cool.
- Store cooled granola in an air-tight container. Will keep fresh for up to 2 weeks.
Some simple tips:
- For easy dispensing of sticky, viscous ingredients like honey or molasses first spray the inside of the measuring cup with non-stick cooking spray.
- Easily grease a baking pan by laying the pan on the door of the dishwasher before spraying (make sure the dishes aren't clean in there first). No oily residue on your counter!
- Put the newly made granola back into the original oats container and top with plastic wrap.
Monday, August 17, 2009
There's something about summer that makes me want to spend all my time outdoors. This isn't a new phenomenon either. While growing up, I spent a good amount of my summers on the water. Whether beach, lake, river or pool, nothing is better after a hard day of playing outdoors to shower outdoors. Not only are outdoor showers great to get all the dirt, sunscreen and muck off before heading inside it's completely invigorating and adds to that summertime feeling to shower en plein aire.
Since I'm traveling for a few weeks I asked my good friend and architect, Gina, if she would be interested in putting together a post for me. She mentioned outdoor showers, she's thinking of installing one at her on home in Nashville, and I completely fell for it. Thanks G!
Since seeing this first shower, they have been popping up on every trip I take. The one pictured here is at a game reserve in South Africa. The houses (there were 5 clustered together behind a fence) were laid out so none of the bathrooms had a view of any other - ultimate privacy. All you could see from each bathroom was the open savannah and the excited baboons and zebras checking you out taking a shower. I have to admit, this was not as relaxing as I had hoped!
On a trip to Little Corn Island in Nicaragua, my friend Ashley and I only had the option of an outdoor shower. You basically filled a cup of water from a barrel to rinse off. The view however made that one of my most enjoyable bathing experiences.
Now, I know a lot of these places sound exotic, but I plan on putting my very own outdoor shower in my Tennessee backyard. There may not be any zebras to gaze at, but maybe that means I will use the shower on a regular basis.
photos: john clark (1st); misha gravenor (2nd); gina (3rd and 4th); roger d'souza (5th).
Friday, August 14, 2009
makes 4 margs
1 cup. fresh squeezed lime juice
1 cup Triple Sec
1 cup Pomegranate juice
1 cup good tequila
Garnish with mint
Mix all ingredients in a pitcher or glass bottle. Serve over ice with a salted glass rim or blended with salt.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Recently I picked up Molly Wizenberg's new book, A Homemade Life. I first came across her via Orangette, her weekly blog and musings on food. She's a bit of a renaissance woman, with a degree in human biology, French and cultural anthropology. She writes for Bon Appetit, NPR, PBS, Seattle weekly among others. And if that isn't enough, she, alongside her husband (who she met via her blog) have just opened a new restaurant called Delancey in Seattle. Many meals in my home have been inspired by her recipes and antics, you can't help but love her.
I'm a 1/3 of the way through her book and have made 3 recipes so far, all with a great story. Each thing I made was exactly what I was hoping it would be. One in particular I want to share, hope she doesn't mind. You'll have to pick up the book to see the rest.
Burg's French Toast
makes 6 to 8 slices
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
Canola or other flavorless oil for frying
6 to 8 slices of day old bread cut on the diagonal 3/4" thick
Pure maple syrup
Break the eggs into a wide, shallow bowl. Flat bottom works best here but a bowl will do. Whisk the eggs to break up the yolks. Add the milk, sugar, vanilla, salt and nutmeg and whisk to blend.
Place a heavy large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium high heat, and pour enough oil to completely coat the bottom of the skillet. By completely coat, she means, this isn't the breakfast where you are watching your calorie or fat consumption. This is what makes the french toast the best french toast ever. The only regret you might have with this recipe would be not following the instructions regarding the oil amount. Heat the oil until, when tested with a quick splash of water or egg batter, it sizzles. Then it's ready.
While the oil is heating put a few slices of bread into the egg mixture allowing them to rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. They should feel heavy and saturated but not to the point where they are falling apart. Once fully saturated, carefully place each piece in the skillet and cook 1 to 2 minutes before flipping. Flip when they have reached a golden brown. If the bread starts to burn before it turns golden, turn the heat down. You don't want smoking. Once each side is browned remove from skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
I like to serve my toast with fresh blueberries, thick cut smoked bacon, warm maple syrup (the real stuff) and a big iced coffee. I'm sure strawberries, peaches or bananas would be just as great as would chicken apple sausage.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
With that said, these pillow covers are just too good to keep a secret. Etsy shop Be Still has an array of pillows and napkins, each with subtle patterns and muted colors. They would work equally well in a rustic cabin as they would a modern loft. The faded colors and bleeding of patterns reminds me of that transition from summer to fall. Perfect for right now. Thanks to Coco+Kelly for the introduction to Be Still.
And from here on out, I promise to post more on interiors. I've had a bit of blogging A.D.D. this summer. Forgive me for getting off track.
Monday, August 3, 2009
PS. Don't you just love this buttery yellow sofa? You can find it here.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
This is where Brooklyn Rehab steps in. I came across the Etsy store some time ago but just recently found the garden pal. At 6 inches tall, he's perfect for the garden in the summer and will look just as cute inside during the winter months. Be sure to check out all of Brooklyn Rehab's etsy store.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
In the mean time, I thought I would share a few photos from my garden. It's been so rainy this summer, everything is fluorescent green. And I'm loving it.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Like all things homemade, they require a little trial and error. At least this is my experience. My first attempt was dry and cake like but had the right flavor. My second was more like a tortilla pancake. Too thick to even fold. I was in search of a thin and doughy tortilla. Something that would melt in my mouth. With a little tweaking I finally found something that more than works. My secret? I use leftover drippings from bacon in place of regular lard.
makes 12 six inch tortillas
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup lard (I like to use chilled bacon grease)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup warm water
Special equipment: pastry blender, six to ten inch long wooden dowel (found in hardware stores), rolling pin or tortilla press.
Stir together flour with salt in a bowl, then cut in lard with a pastry blender or your fingertips until the mixture resembles course meal. Drizzle vegetable oil over mixture and stir in warm water until dough forms. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes, dusting hands occasionally with flour if dough is sticky.
Form dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest 1 hour. Heat a dry well-seasoned cast-iron comal, regular griddle, or skillet over moderately low heat until hot. Cut dough into 12 equal pieces and form into balls.
Roll out ball of dough one at a time. Use just enough flour to keep tortilla from sticking to the press or dowel. Don't try the assembly line method here or you'll be re pressing each tortilla. Like most dough, the tortillas shrink up after pressed if allowed to sit. Keep the remaining dough covered with plastic wrap while working. Roll out each ball into a 6 to 7 inch round, maintaining an even thinness. Place pressed tortilla on skillet and cook 1 minute on each side or until tortilla begins to brown. As one tortilla is cooking press another.
Friday, July 24, 2009
One of my favorite tequilas is from Casa Noble Tequila Company. A tequila house that's been distilling tequila for over 200 years. And get this all their blue agave plants are 100% USDA organic. So far I have only tried the Crystal but am looking forward to sampling the reposado in the very near future.
Monday, July 20, 2009
As the video begins, it has everything to me that embodies the South. In fact, it easily could have been filmed outside the front door of the house I grew up in. The grey-blue skies just before dusk, grassy fields at the end of summer and a soulful voice singing the woes of a life without. All remind me of the South. Then the dancing begins. There is nothing Southern about these moves. It could only be that of a Swede. Jenny Wilson to be exact.
If you need instant gratification, watch the Youtube version above. If you're really interested, you can watch the widescreen version that you will have to download if you're not on a mac. I highly recommend the latter, because the colors are more than gorgeous.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Emily has her first ever give away, and a great one at that. A pair of Current Elliot jeans. If you are interested in entering, because the chances of me actually winning are rare, head over here. While you are there, be sure to check out the rest of her lovely blog.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Pour 1 jigger Pimm’s (I use Pimms No. 1) over ice cubes in a tall glass. Fill it with lemon soda or ginger ale and garnish the glass with a thin slice of cucumber, a slice of lemon, and a sprig of mint.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Little did anyone expect this little weekend getaway would spark a relationship. A relationship so perfect, everyone said, why didn't we think of that, even with 1200 miles separating the two. I was even in denial for a little while. Not because I didn't want it to happen. I didn't want it to not happen. Not soon enough, everything became real and Meggan picked up her world in Atlanta and moved to Denver. Finally I could uncross my fingers.
What began as a weekend trip, transformed into Meggan and Beau traveling the world to fulfill their dreams. As the name, The World Effect, implies, they want to see what effect the world will have on their lives. In turn they will do everything possible to make a positive effect on the world we live in. Impressive to say the least. Let them be your inspiration for the week, month or however long you decide. They are out there making something cool happen instead of waiting for it to come to them.
Recently, I Skyped with Meggan and Beau to check in on how their trip is going. They agreed to answer 7 questions for me.
We have a trip score card we update regularly on the right side of our blog but here's the latest
Countries - 21
Travel Days - 125
Boats - 17
Trains - 12
Buses - 52
Airplanes - 29
2. What is the most unusual thing you have attempted to eat?
Guinea Pig in Peru. I (Meggan) picked out a live one at the market and it was promptly cooked for dinner. Probably won't do that one again. No, it wasn't like chicken.
3. What is your favorite place so far?
The 4 day hike to Machu Picchu and climbing the last 50 steps to a thick layer of fog. At first, the fog was disappointing because we wanted to see everything. Once it lifted we had the most incredible view. So surreal. The clouds, fog and mist only added to the drama.
4. You take incredible photos. Each time I look at your blog, I'm continually impressed. What kind of camera do you use?
We have 2 camera bodies: Canon 40D and a 50D (because we don't share well when it comes down to who gets to shoot, we both love photography). We have 4 lenses: an all around 17-85mm, a telephoto 70-300mm, a wide 10-22mm, and a macro 100mm. We also lug around a manfrotto tripod. Our video camera is a sony HD handycam.
5. You packed light, a rolling backpack and a small day pack for an entire year. What are a few things you can't live without?
For simply living, we would have to say sunscreen, bug spray, and bottled water. For non essentials, we use our laptop and cameras everyday.
6. On a trip like this, you take the minimum. I know you both paired down your bags. Now that you've been traveling for over 100 days, are there things you can live without?
Beau would say his solar power charger. I would say maybe I could have done with less clothes, but I have worn everything I brought.
7. What's next?
We have been in Africa since early June, mostly in a tent. We are heading north and planning to visit Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Egypt through the beginning of August. Then on to a new continent.
photos: the World Effect LLC.
Monday, July 13, 2009
The wedding was held at the Hyder House, a seemingly unassuming place from street side. As are most places in San Miguel. Once inside the massive wood doors and beyond the story and a half stucco walls, a series of three different houses were unveiled, all with elaborately decorated rooms full of antiques. The wedding was a fiesta of a wedding and a perfect place for Meggan and Beau to celebrate a new beginning together. A new beginning in more ways than one. For those of you who aren't familiar, the two quit their jobs just prior to the wedding and are now traveling for the next year to begin a business together. Inspiring to say the least.
If you are interested in seeing more photos of the wedding, be sure to check out the photographer's blog. Meggan and Beau also have some photo's up on their blog, the World Effect. Check back later this week for my interview with the World Effect to really get the details on what they have been up to post wedding.