Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lack of Photos

Some of my readers (cough R cough) have noticed my decided lack of personal photos lately. R, I seriously have to change the batteries almost every other time I use the durn thing! It's such a pain, I keep avoiding it.

I will work on getting over that, but that's my main source of laziness.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Some Food Stuff

So today in Theory, the lovely girl who sits behind me had a present for me: Cranberry Marmalade! I told her I'd have to bring her some applesauce. Isn't that the sweetest thing? She said she felt like such a goof having it in her bag, and that it was a lame gift. In case you couldn't tell, we've bonded over food. She told me that I should bring her on my honeymoon to King Arthur Flour-land. So I'm currently making a batch of rolls to spread delicious marmalade upon. I have to report back, after all!

Update: verdict? OMG delicious.

Speaking of cranberries, this recipe for pickled cranberries sound intriguing. Just look at how pretty they are!

Also, tasty looking Chicken and Dumplings

Also a few ideas for wedding stuff.

Honey in a cute little jar as a favor! Love it!

Absolutely beautiful calligraphy on those envelopes. Must use...

And a cute looking Scarf Pattern.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reference Materials

For the dress, I've been using the images from the following pattern (which I can't find for free, and having trouble finding for less than $50)

I am using this 40s pattern drafting book, and the last place that I found this book has gone down.

I WANT to make the following slip (and probably will if I have extra silk at the end):


With Thanksgiving coming up, everyone is posting the most delicious food recipes including myself!

I'll post what I've making to be involved with Thanksgiving for 22 people at a relative's house, and then post the links to what's had me drooling. All of the actual recipes will be at the bottom of the post.

A new recipe for Bourbon/Maple Pecan Pie.

I'm also making a pumpkin pie that my grandmother got out of the newspaper years ago (and still uses the bit of newsprint!). Note, I will be halving this recipe, as it makes two pies.

I will be making two batches of the rolls that my grandma always makes. They're remarkably similar to Parker House Rolls (by which I mean it's probably lifted), but they're called 60-Minute Rolls and came in a little booklet accompanying my grandmother's KitchenAid mixer. These rolls are absolutely delicious, and it wouldn't be a holiday without them. As a side note, when I called my grandma to get this recipe, she spent so long worrying about whether or not I was able to take it all down, if she went too fast, and to make sure to check the bottoms of the rolls as "sometimes the top gets golden but the bottom is all burned".

And Mister will be in charge of making some tasty tasty mashed potatoes with cheese and sage. We'll be doubling this recipe, and not using all of the liquid that it mentions as it gets a bit soupy that way.

Bourbon Maple Pecan Pie

One pie crust
One egg white, beaten [edit: I'm omitting this]
One pound Pecans
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup melted butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup real maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter or salted pecans)

Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Soak the pecans in the bourbon, stirring periodically. (I usually soak them for a couple hours, if I have the time)
Press pie crust into a pie pan. Coat the crust with a thin layer of the egg whites. This keeps the crust nice and flaky.
Beat the butter, sugar, and eggs together until they get a bit fluffy, it will still be pretty liquidy, but the mixture will be about 75% more volume.
Blend in the vanilla, salt, and maple syrup.
Leaving 1/4 inch from the top of the crust, put the pecans in the pie pan then add the syrup mixture over the pecans.
Cook for 45-60 minutes, keeping an eye on the pie. I’ve had widely varying cooking times with this pie. When most of the top is brown, and it seems pretty gelatinous, it is done. Be careful not to overcook and burn it.

Pumpkin Pie with Streudel Topping

-- 2 6-oz. graham cracker crusts (or use this recipex2)
-- 2 15-oz cans pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
-- 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
-- 2 eggs
-- 2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-- 1 tsp. ginger (powdered)
-- 1 tsp. nutmeg
-- 1 tsp. salt
-- 1/2 c. brown sugar
-- 4 Tbs. flour
-- 4 Tbs. butter (or solid fat of choice)
-- 1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 425F.

Combine pumpkin, milk, egg, 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Mix well. Pour into crust.

Bake 15 mins. Remove pie and reduce heat to 350F.

Combine sugar, flour, 1 tsp. cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in walnuts. Sprinkle over pie.

Bake 40 mins or until a knife comes clean when inserted into the middle.

Parker House Rolls disguised as 60-Minute Rolls

-- 4-5c. flour
-- 3 Tbs. sugar
-- 2 packets active dry yeast (2 1/3 tsp. yeast per packet)
-- 1 c. milk
-- 1/2 c. water
-- 1/4 c. butter

Combine 3 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast in bowl of mixer. Combine milk, water and butter in saucepan. Heat liquids over low heat until war,. ~130F. The butter does not even have to melt through.

On stand mixer, attach dough hook and bowl, and set to speed 2. Gradually add the liquid to dry ingredients. Mix 1 minute longer. Continue on speed 2, adding remaining flour 1/2 c. at a time until dough sticks to hook -- about 5-7 minutes.

Mix 10 minutes longer until dough is smooth and elastic.

Turn dough out into a greased bowl with a greased top. Let rise 15 minutes at 100F. (Note from grandma: she puts it in the oven on warm, but her oven's always warm because it has a pilot light so maybe your oven doesn't have a pilot...)

Turn dough out onto floured board and divide in half. Shape each half of the dough. (Note from grandma: I always make what looks like a crescent roll. I have a long end and short end and I roll them up. But the page has a lot of ways to shape it. I'll send you one because maybe you want it a different shape. I always do it a crescent, because I like the easy one. But I'll send you one.) After shaping, let rise again 15 minutes. (Note from grandma: I put the rolls on the sheet they'll bake on, and put it back in the oven to rise until it doubles. Put a little grease on the sheet before putting the rolls there. I put a sheet of foil over the top. When it doubles it's ready to bake.)

Bake rolls at 425F for 12 minutes or until done (Note from grandma: make sure to check the bottom of the rolls. And I bake them with the foil on, just so they don't get too dark on top. But make sure you check the bottom of the rolls, as sometimes it'll get too dark.)

When rolls are done, remove from tray and cool on a wire rack. (Note from grandma: I put a little butter or margarine on the top when they're done.)

Mashed Potatoes with Sage and White Cheddar Cheese

-- 4 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 1/2 cubes
-- 1/4 c. butter
-- 2 Tbs. + 1 tsp. minced fresh sage
-- 3/4 c. whipping cream
-- 3/4 cup whole milk
-- ~9 oz. coarsely grated sharp white cheddar cheese

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbs. sage; stir unti butter begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add cream and milk; bring to simmer.

Drain potatoes; return to pot. Stir over medium heat until excess moisture evaporates. Add cream mixture; mash potatoes. Stir in 1 3/4 c. cheese. Season potatoes with salt and pepper. Transfer to buttered 8- to 10- cup baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 c. cheese and 1 tsp. sage. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover with plastic. Chill.)

Preheat oven to 375F. Bake potatoes uncovered until heated through and golden brown, about 45 minutes.

N.B. I'm pretty sure Mister just makes super cheesy potatoes without baking them.

Oat and Linseed Sourdough Bread

Nutmeg/Maple Cream Pie

creamy Maple Apple Pie

Potatoes Romanoff

Saturday, November 19, 2011


R, you must have been pulling your hair out with my lack of pictures, the number of times you've yelled at me for it! (Oh I still forgot to photograph blanket shawl, but I will do that later.)

A while back now, I made a whole bunch of turmeric-colored pasta. So tasty! (Although the turmeric was kinda funny...) But it turned out that stereotypical 70s mustard yellow color, which I love! And yes, that is a trombone slide used as a drying rack.

That first night I served it with olive oil and cheese.

The second time (after I froze the pasta), I cooked the pasta with frozen peas, fried up some sausage and served it all with feta on top. Super tasty!

And me being crazy! I have a lot of cleaning to do today (note my lack of doing it right now :-P), I haven't showered yet, and mysteriously wound up watching a whole bunch of youtube videos from an Indonesian Muslim girl on wrapping hajibs in pretty styles. (That girl is beautiful omg) Since I'm too lazy to pin it in place, I just wrapped the ends of this turban underneath itself and it's been holding out for about 3 hours. I have to say, my head is warm! (Considering my hands, feet and nose are cold, I like this.) I've always been super jealous of those girls that wear headcoverings, mostly because I'm really lazy about my hair. Black girls, Muslim girls and Christians "dressing plain" often wear head coverings, and I've always felt super selfconscious whenever wearing just a bandana even. I don't see myself wearing this outside of the house, but it's fun to play with.

Also on the line of turbans, check out this amazing pic:

That is who I want to be when I grow up! Her name is Beatrix Ost and the pic is from Advanced Style.


Is it weird that I prefer when my honey crystallizes? It's currently in a quart glass jar, as it had started both crystallizing and eating through the carton it came in a while back. But in a non-disintegrating container, I prefer it crystallized as it makes it that much easier to scoop a spoonful out for tea without getting honey absolutely everywhere.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Just Me!

So Mister is off to NYC to hang out/pick up his little sister who will be spending a few days with us. (She has class on Saturday, but not Friday or all next week.) With Mister gone this means several things: One, I keep forgetting to eat and I'm too cheap to go out with just myself. Two, I need to clean the ENTIRE house as it's a complete and utter hole, as my mother would say. Well, and three, I need to study for the two tests that I have tomorrow, but who cares about that? Not me! :-P

Now one of the things that super majorly needed cleaning was our bathroom. Lordy, I wouldn't allow a homeless man to see the inside of that bathroom, it was that dirty. Add to this the fact that Mister trimmed his beard over the sink this morning after I left and I know this without him telling me (read: he left his beard all over the sink). That, and I never actually clean the tub (disgusting I know), and it was getting pretty bad and there was mildew on my curtain! That was a clear sign that I need to attack that.

I know that there are cleaners that can use that massive amount of white vinegar that I have, so I looked into it a bit, and most of them seemed to involve either straight vinegar, or vinegar, water and an essential oil. As my bathroom needs it that badly, I just used straight vinegar in a rinsed out spray bottle. I sprayed vinegar on the shower curtains, let it sit for 5-10 minutes and rinsed with hot water. On the one curtain that was all it needed (although I should probably take a sponge to both of them as they feel a bit slimey... ick). On the other, there were a few spots and the entire hem still needed some work. I discovered that the problem with the hem was there was a factory fold an inch from the bottom that I hadn't noticed when I first put the curtain up. So I unfolded it and sprayed. Rinsed with hot water again et voilà, it's beautiful. (We have clear plastic curtains to let the light in, so it's quite obvious when they're dirty.)

Tackling the bottom of the tub was a different story. What I wound up doing (and it worked beautifully) was this: spraying the tub with vinegar. Using a wet sponge, apply baking soda and scrub a bit. In the worst spots, it didn't even require any scrubbing. It just wiped off. The color of that rinse... ick. But hot water makes it all go away and now it's beautiful as well!

One of the few nice things about Mister being away is I can blast Gloria Estefan while cleaning. :-P A surprising side effect of that is wondering if the keyboard solo is actually my (fairly energetic) ring tone!


Update: I've also now made 1 quart, 1 jelly jar and half of a jelly jar of applesauce. Super productive on the non-studying front!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Aha... sorta

Advance 9423

Now to actually find the PATTERN, not just the image on the envelope!

Friday, November 11, 2011


That is EXACTLY the dress shape I want for my wedding dress! Ideally it'd also have straps or perhaps little cap sleeves and different detailing, but basically that.

Why can't I find it? I've seen it... but those that I've seen in it I can't take the dress and pull it apart (which is what I want to ask the woman in that picture to do... I don't think she would).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The A to Z Guide to Me

Stolen from Crunchy Chicken!

Age: 24 but I honestly have to think about it.

Bed size: Queen. I love the thought of having all the room of a King, but I can't imagine living in apartments with one.

Chore I hate: dishes. And laundry. Although I love sweeping.

Dogs: None, although I pet every single one I walk by.

Essential start to my day: I really love going to my local cafe with Mister, but I often prefer to sleep in.

Favorite color: I often say red, but I love them all.

Gold or silver: Silver. Those who can wear gold I respect, but it isn't me.

Height: 5'6"

Instruments I play: where to start... oboe, clarinet, piano, voice, saxes, trombone decently. I can also hack out trumpet, horn, tuba, flute, bassoon (want want want!) and have proper hand position for drumsticks.

Job title: студентка or, studientka for those who can't read cyrillic.

Kids: none currently

Live: Somerville, MA (and I've had 7 apartments in 4 years)

Mother's name: Susan, often goes by Sue

Nicknames: Teegs is the only one related to my name. Lately, I've heard 'Little Goose' from Mister more often than not.

Overnight hospital stays: I think I did once when I was a kid with asthma, but other than that I don't think I've ever.

Pet Peeve: Oh man, where to start? I hate baby strollers, misuse of foreign and non-foreign words ('wala' indeed!), people breaking traffic laws, people stopping in the crosswalk, car horns, Mister not answering his phone... I hate a lot of things.

Quote from a movie: honestly, I quote overmuch. Although a nice quote that I like, from "Once On This Island" (musical) is: "Our lives become the stories we weave."

Right or left handed: right handed, left eye dominant

Siblings: blood related: one sister. One almost-step sister, one almost-step brother, one ex-step sister and one ex-step brother.

Time I wake up: When I'm forced to. 7am for school.

Underwear: Always. I also am a huge fan of appropriate undergarments of all varieties (*cough cough wear a godsdamned slip cough).

Vegetable I hate: Many. But tomato is probably the one I encounter the most.

What makes me run late: sleeping. Or trying to leave the same time as Mister.

X-rays I've had: teeth

Yummy food I make: "Um, everything?" <-- was what la Crunch said, and I'm leaving it.

Zoo animal: big cats. Although I also like deer, and geese, and ducks, and SAND CATS OMG SAND CATS.

Writing Styles?

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Huh. Nevah hoida him.

After entering in a total of 20 blog posts I apparently write like:

Cory Doctorow 8
David Foster Wallace 3
Chuck Palahniuk 3
William Gibson 2
James Joyce 1
Dan Brown 1
Stephen King 1
Neil Gaiman 1

Friday, November 4, 2011


Caffeine, light of my life, fire of my... tummy. Loins is a little inappropriate there... :-P

I have an addictive personality, and easily get caught up in such delicious substances as coffee. Earlier this week, we were drinking two cups of coffee a day, and I haven't had any for the past three or four days -- I am well aware of this let me tell you!

But Sunday, I had a mini anxiety attack at Whole Foods (could happen to anyone the assholes in that store with all their obnoxious children), and Mister and I talked about it afterwards. We both agreed that I did not use to have anxiety problems as often as I do now, and that within the past three or four years is when I started drinking coffee, and more so within the past year.

Have I missed it these past three or four days? Yes and no. Yes in that I love drinking the beverage, love going to the cafe, love the whole atmosphere. Yes in that I've had a low-grade headache for most of these days. No in that I'm not spending money. No in that I like telling my body what's what, and every now and again cut coffee out of my life.

Do I want coffee right now? Yes -- it's cold out and in, it's a comforting drink, and I often hang out with Mister while drinking it.

But it is and was an addiction: the number of times I've been like "oh man I really want to go grab a coffee", how the thought of drinking coffee fills my head at odd times and with no provocation, how I used to not be able to finish my coffee and now I drink it faster than Mister.

Granted, I feel pretty good about frequenting the coffee shop that I do -- they buy fair-trade and GOOD coffee (Intelligentsia), they buy all of their snackies from local shops and farmers, their milk is hormone free, etc. etc. It's also staffed by lesbians which makes me laugh (except for a handful of gay men -- one of whom appears to have a thing for Mister :-P). (Side note there, apparently quite a few men have things for Mister, which I think he should try to get free drinks out of, as he fills a particular stereotype: the Bear. Too bad for them he's not gay...)

But yeah, so coffee is a strange, convoluted issue with me. But man I want a cup right now!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

And Some Food Links

And because food never looks as tempting without a picture, I'm also including the pictures to remind myself to make and eat these recipes!

Apple Celery Root Gratin

Sugar Cookies with a Spiced Sweet Potato Filling

Hot Cocoa Blocks

Maple-Bacon Breakfast Buns

Hot Chocolate Mix

Canape Pumpernickle Bread

Easter Strata

Easter Pie

Coffeecake Pancakes

Today is Fashion Day?

Apparently I'm on a fashion kick today. And the problem with browsing blogs is once you start, it's hard to stop. So let's catalogue some helpful info that I'm digging up!

Bra Care from the newly discovered and quite awesome Thin and Curvy blog. This poor girl is a perfect hourglass, and as anyone who's looked at clothing knows, nothing is designed for that. If it fits the waist, you can't get it over your hips, if it fits the bust it's huge in the waist. Etc. This blog reviews clothing designers, manufacturers and goes over general helpful outfitting skills.

A bra-sizing calculator because after my readings today, I fear that I'm in the Wrong Bra yet again. I have the whole "bra rides up the back" problem, and although my boobs aren't large enough for it to be as big of a problem (ha) for me as it is for the blogiste, properly fitting clothing is important.

BiuBiu is a Polish-based clothing manufacturer that sells clothing specifically designed for curvy gals. Apparently they do have a bias towards stretch fabrics, but they have great customer service (as learned from Thin and Curvy). As a side note, apparently Poland is the Land of Curvy People as a good bra manufacturer is located there as well, Ewa Michalak, or Effuniak.

7 Tips for How to Pack for Vacation from Trashy Diva's blog.


To round up Fashion Day, I am feeling particularly trend-setting today. Blankets as a fashion accessory! No, not Snuggies, but honest-to-god blankets. :-P

With just knitted tights, jeans, boots, long underwear and a sweater on, I was quite chilly at the computer. I threw my new owl mitts on, and thought about what to do. I thought about another sweater, but they still aren't as warm as I'd like. I realized I wanted a cozy blanket. I took my 4-5' square polarfleece blanket, folded it into a triangle, draped it over my shoulders, crossed the ends, and belted it from the front (leaving the back draped, as without this it restricts movement). Fab! I am warm, cozy, and quite mobile.