Friday, August 29

link it up

Oh my amigos. I hope you've all been managing the dog days of summer better than I have. Back-to-back travel weeks always leave me weary, so I'm especially looking forward to a long weekend. Hoping to get a last beach trip in, maybe a date or two, and D is twisting my arm to visit the outlets. Enjoy yourself and be safe!

Bill Gates is the man.

Speaking of philanthropy, had a good email chain chat-ski with a few friends over this article, one of the few thoughtful pieces I've seen relating to ALS. Interesting perspective, but certainly not one I endorse wholeheartedly. 

I lift weights but do very little cardio, and really identify with this article. “Treating exercise as a means to be more, as opposed to viewing it as a never-ending struggle to be less, is absolutely a game changer.”

This is a total win. Best thing I read all week.

I'm a big fan of Khan Academy, and have signed up for a few classes in the spirit of continual learning. I appreciate hearing more from their founder about children (or really, anyone) and education.

Friday, August 15

link it up

On my way to ATL today, then straight on to Houston. I've avoided it all summer and hope I won't melt in Texan August. Anyone up to something awesome?

How good does this frozen custard place look? It's on my itinerary for Atlanta this weekend (along with drinks at Paper Planes, a dinner at Canoe, and touring CNN and the Coke Museum. If there's time, I'm trying to get to SweetWater and climb Stone Mountain too- busy weekend for me).

Stephen King's 10 favorite books. I've had a deep affinity for him ever since his public statement of JK Rowling-adoration and Twilight series-shaming. I've only read three of these so far.

Sad, sad news about Robin Williams. Aladdin and Hook are both in my top-ten favorite movies of all time, and Mrs. Doubtfire can't be too far behind. I liked this article about his most memorable food moments (invisible food-fight, anyone?)

How cool is this: professional photo editing for $5 a picture, less if you upload a bunch. This isn't just airbrushing- they can add in missing family members to a portrait, cut out your ex, remove awkward street signs or passerbys, and so on. I might use this in the future for a head shot or beloved family photo that could use some work.

Totally realistic captions for your alcoholic beverages...too good.

Thursday, August 14

DIY or buy [brandied cherries]

I'm going to call both for this one: DIY AND buy, no need to go either or. Why? Because a purchased brandied cherry (the good, Luxardo-soaked ones) taste completely different than the delicious homemade variety.

Cherries are pricey, but never more affordable than mid-to-late summer, so now's the time to try this DIY. I'm going to recommend you buy a cherry pitter- yes, it's a dreaded one-trick-pony, taking up precious drawer space and rarely seeing the light of day, but there is no fool-proof alternative. I cut all my cherries in half and then pitted, and my brother recommended this hack, but I found that the pit sometimes took a bunch of meat with it, like half the bottom of each fruit. Nuh uh. Get a cherry pitter (which I still don't year I suppose).

My recipe is below- it's an amalgamation of a few different recipes I found, and reflects both what I had on hand and what I wanted as the flavor profile. I made a very small batch, just 1 cup of cherries, because I want to try a few variations, mainly switching up the liquor (whiskey, dark rum, etc). The big difference between these and the Luxardo maraschinos? Well, mine were WAY less syrupy- the liquid mine were in had no notable viscosity, and was therefore a lot less sweet. In addition, my cherries weren't really masticated- they weren't as firm as fresh fruit, but sitting in the hot liquid for 20 minutes didn't do too much to cook them down. I think I'd like them a little more cooked next time, so perhaps I'll allow them to boil with the cherry juice, spices, and sugar before I let them cool and add the booze.

I'll be sharing a recipe I concocted for their inaugural tasting yesterday that is quite delicious soon.

Brandied Cherries

· 1/4 cup light brown sugar
· 1/4 cup cherry juice (puured and strained cherries)
· 1 stick cinnamon
· Pinch of salt, cardamom, nutmeg
· One thin 1in sq shaving fresh ginger
· ½ c brandy (try maraschino liquor, bourbon, or rum)
· 1 cup cherries

Over low heat, combine all ingredients except cherries and booze

When all sugar is dissolved, remove from heat, add cherries, and allow to sit 20 min (I let it cool because I don’t want to cook off ANY of the alcohol. I’d be less worried were I using Everclear or high-proof bourbon, but with 80 proof apple brandy, I need all the preservative qualities of the alcohol)

Add booze, stir to combine, and pour into canning jar. Set in cool dark place and agitate every few days for a month. Strain out spices, cinnamon stick, and ginger, and repack cherries with the juice. Refrigerate, devour.

Wednesday, August 13

life lately

It was a busy past week for me, what with a work trip to Chicago running straight into my dear friend K's wedding, which was an eventful and high energy weekend and an incredibly fun night. I've been too depressed since to do anything but drink cocktails with my homemade brandied cherries (recipe tomorrow), so I haven't had much to write. Instead, enjoy some pictures of me and my friends getting fancy.

Monday, August 4

pinned [inspired by The String Lights]

Seems I'm not the only one who is inspired to do something a bit more interesting with extra cording for hanging lights. Some of the images below are wonderful renditions of The String Lights (highly worth checking out- I can't get it out of my head!).

Joanna Laajisto
Sam Thies

Friday, August 1

link it up

Guess who comes to town today....D! Well, he thinks he comes today, but if I know anything about Friday traffic, I predict he'll be here at 1 am tomorrow, technically. We're in for a stormy weekend (drats, I was hoping to get some sun before K's wedding next weekend), but I'm looking forward to it nonetheless...movies and wine instead of pools and beers, perhaps?

Planning to open a hipster bar? Make sure you have your checklist on hand (laughing).

As someone who dislikes babies (there I said it), I have NO problem with this. (I don't dislike babies, I just dislike babies in inappropriate settings or inconsiderate parents. Plus it's awkward when they visit work and you just stare at them bc they can't do anything yet but squirm and cry but you're obligated to hover over them for prolonged periods of time and talk about how they're ohmygodsocute even though they look like potatoes)

This kitchen gadget has changed what I eat. Find it for $5 less on Amazon (but the images are better here) and see my creation here.

Ever loved a positive trait in a friend of significant other, only to discover later on that the negative side of said trait is unbearable? Where the ambition you love produces a workaholic, or a decisive and confident partner becomes domineering? It's called a "fatal attraction", and this article gets into it. Thank you D for the contribution, even though I'm positively sure I have no such negative traits.

I love Trader Joe's cilantro lime dressing, and like a homemade version even better. I'll share more details later, but I loosely followed this recipe to make a dressing last night and it was great. Poured it over a salad made from that kitchen tool above and it was a healthy and tasty dinner.