28 June 2010

If I didn't already have four of these . . .

. . . I would get this one.

A Chalkboard Wall?!!!

Cool idea, I think. I wonder if they used blackboard paint. This is so fun and creative. Where better to write grocery lists, take notes on phone calls, sketch out garden plans, or just plain doodle?

(Side note: "doodle" is probably one of my favorite words ever.)

HT: Style Files

26 June 2010

Mrs. Tittlemouse

The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse is one of the cutest Beatrix Potter stories in existence. I love all of Beatrix Potter's work, but this one makes me smile every time.

On the right, you'll notice that Mrs. T has taken up permanent residence on my blog. I'm a good bit like her. Small, detail-oriented, in love with her home and delighted to share it with others. (Unfortunately, also annoyed at the daily interruptions to her little schedule. Guilty as charged.)

Cookies without an oven: perfect for summer.

No-bake cookies rock my world. They take only ten minutes to make, plus some "chill time," and the flavor payoff is enormous: quite frankly, they're addictive. Each one delivers a pure shot of chewy chocolatey deliciousness. They're not the prettiest cookies in the world, but who cares? I'll take rich chocolate bliss over a dry, sugary showpiece any day.

All that to say, if you've never made no-bake cookies, for the love of goodness scoot on over to the kitchen and try this recipe. It uses less sugar than other versions I've seen, which means that the rest of the ingredients get to shine through. Drool.

My No-Bake Cookies
(makes 25-30)

1/4 cup butter
1 1/3 cups brown sugar (or a mixture of white and brown sugars)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (or almond/cashew/whatever butter)
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon espresso powder (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups rolled oats (use quick oats for less "chew," but I happen to like the larger grains of rolled oats)

1. Combine all except oats in saucepan; melt together over medium-low heat, then increase heat and bring to boil. Let boil 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Add oats and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let mixture cool for a few minutes.
3. Line baking sheet with plastic wrap. Drop "dough" onto prepared sheet, using about two tablespoons per cookie. Place sheet in freezer for 45-60 minutes.
4. After cookies are fully set, remove to plate or serving platter. Keep chilled in refrigerator until ready to serve. Refrigerate any leftovers (I doubt you'll have many).

23 June 2010

Free Shakespeare this weekend . . . ya'll come.

Twelfth Night. Two performances. A talented young cast. Guaranteed laughs. In short, great theater for free (excepting the canned good).

Come now, how can you say no?

22 June 2010

Let us pancake.

Granted, "to pancake" is not an OED-approved verb. But so few other breakfast food names have homophonic verbs (toast, waffle), I've coined a new one to keep them company.

In fact, I might add to the list while I'm at it. We plan to omelet tomorrow morning. Jared and Luke are big fans of sconing. She really oatmealed the place up.

Anyway . . . pancakes. We like them on weekends, particularly Sunday breakfasts. Fresh fruit, butter, and honey? Nothing better. As for recipes, here are three recommendations.

First, this homemade whole-grain pancake mix from King Arthur Flour is awesome. Just make a batch (it's super easy), pop it in the freezer, and on Sunday morning all you have to do is add buttermilk and an egg. I always use a bit less milk than called for: start with 3/4 cup and add a little more if you need to.

Second, try these oatmeal pancakes from Orangette for some seriously rib-sticking breakfast material. They're golden, thick, and utterly delicious. Also need a bit of advance thought to soak the oats overnight.

Finally, since both previous options require you to do work ahead of time, here's a very nice last-minute oh-we-should-have-pancakes-this-morning recipe.

Basic Whole Wheat Pancakes
serves 2-3, depending on how hungry you are

3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup unbleached white flour
2 tablespoons oat bran (optional, but good)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup yogurt or sour cream
2/3 cup milk (more as needed)
2 tablespoons oil or melted butter
1 egg

Stir together dry ingredients in medium bowl.
Whisk together remaining ingredients in separate bowl.
Add to dry ingredients, and whisk gently, just until combined. Add a little more milk if it seems too thick.
Let batter sit 10 minutes. Preheat griddle to 350 degrees.
Pour batter onto hot griddle by 1/4 cupfuls if you like little pancakes, by 1/3 cupfuls if you prefer larger ones (I do).

Great with fried apples, sliced bananas, blueberry compote . . .

21 June 2010

He thunders wondrously

"God thunders wondrously with his voice;
he does great things that we cannot comprehend.
For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’
likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour.
He seals up the hand of every man,
that all men whom he made may know it.
Then the beasts go into their lairs,
and remain in their dens.
From its chamber comes the whirlwind,
and cold from the scattering winds.
By the breath of God ice is given,
and the broad waters are frozen fast.
He loads the thick cloud with moisture;
the clouds scatter his lightning.
They turn around and around by his guidance,
to accomplish all that he commands them
on the face of the habitable world."
-Job 37

Photo Credit: andrewlee1967 on Flickr

17 June 2010

It's a long time till my birthday. Sigh.

If anyone were to feel inclined, however, I'd be happy to find this on my doorstep.

Yay British Victorian lit. :)

15 June 2010

A Scarf-tastic Giveaway

La Purse, the gorgeous fashion boutique from which I ordered my wedding party pashminas, is having a three-scarf giveaway. Awesome? Yes. Go enter.

14 June 2010

I know this is random, but . . .

...that's how I think. Randomly.

This morning I opened a new pack of sponges (I think I've already explained how much joy this brings me?) and noticed that they were purple and orange. Purple and orange, thought I. The two unrhymable colors. Funny.

But then I considered it a wee bit more, and I couldn't think of a rhyme (either an English word or a widely accepted import) for magenta, aqua, burgundy, or chartreuse either. Hum. What am I missing? Is my vocabulary just flabby or are these truly unrhymable?

Anyway, that was my linguistic pondering for the day.

In other news: I have 43 students signed up for the fall. Have I gone mad?!

11 June 2010

He knows me.

"What do you think it was, then?" asked Eustace.

"I think you've seen Aslan," said Edmund.

"Aslan!" said Eustace. "I've heard that name mentioned several times since we joined the Dawn Treader . . . But who is Aslan? Do you know him?"

"Well-- he knows me," said Edmund.

10 June 2010

rest in God, in him alone

"The contrast between being and becoming marks the difference between the Creator and the creature. Every creature is continually becoming. It is changeable, constantly striving, seeks rest and satisfaction, and finds rest in God, in him alone, for only he is pure being and no becoming."
-Herman Bavinck

Dresses. Want.

I suppose only my lady readers will find this interesting.

The Florence dress from Scarfu . . .
The browsing the stacks dress from Ruche . . .The picnic society dress from Scarfu . . .
And the mini pleat dress from Banana Republic.

Yes, I have a thing for knee-length dresses with a defined waist. How perceptive you are. (I leave the flowing maxi dresses to the tall people: on me, they look ridiculous, like I wrapped a bedsheet around myself and sailed out the door. I prefer not to feel as if I'm hiding behind my clothes.)

08 June 2010

Student gems

With original content and grammar intact.
-"Being a martyr is very encouraging to your fellow rebels, like Braveheart."
-"In order to be the most productive and successful people that we are capable of being; we must be willing to ignore the opinions of others."
-"The human mind is a mostly logical structure."
-"Worst case scenario is that they go to jail, but if they can lie, and possibly save themselves, they really have nothing to lose."
-"So then we worried that whenever he left and returned the process of her getting used to him would repeat itself."
-"Unbeknown to Fergus, the subject upon which his summons depended upon was that of his education."
-"She thought about that for a second, and realized how corny it sounded, like something out of a chick flick."
-"Ultimately, Jane‘s lifetime of being tyrannized ironically gives her an indomitable sense of self-worth."

05 June 2010

Well, this is cute.

This ad campaign would certainly work for me. (That is, if J. Crew weren't so absurdly overpriced.)

HT: Snippet & Ink

04 June 2010

Too lovely not to share

For your daily dose of lush gardens, stately architecture, and-- overall-- beauty in a Celtic vein, you will please redirect yourself to this post at Brabourne Farm.

02 June 2010


Twenty minutes later the barber swung her round to face the mirror, and she flinched at the full extent of the damage that had been wrought. Her hair was not curly, and now it lay in lank lifeless blocks on both sides of her suddenly pale face. It was ugly as sin--she had known it would be ugly as sin. Her face's chief charm had been a Madonna-like simplicity. Now that was gone and she was--well, frightfully mediocre--not stagy; only ridiculous, like a Greenwich Villager who had left her spectacles at home.
-from "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" by F.S. Fitzgerald

Well, I've just done the same thing as Bernice . . . but fortunately, I don't regret it a bit. (Bernice's reason for doing it was to impress her trendy friends. My reasons? Less to fuss with, and a layered bob fits my round German head.)