Thursday, December 23, 2010

Make 1,000 lovely things -- Homemade bows

Check out these beauties:

They are large and in charge and they match the gift wrap just right. I made one for my sister-in-law, own mother, and boyfriend's mother, weee!

For detailed instructions and inspiration, look here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Make 1,000 lovely things -- Slideshow for my dad's 60th birthday

My dad has turned 60 years old and in his honor, and with my mom's help, I put together a "Life and Times of Papa T" slideshow. I think it had the intended effect -- it made my mom cry and the dog pee on the living room carpet.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Number 76: Meet an alpaca.

This is Snooki. Snooki likes eating, being fed, and getting the food bin stuck on her head.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Number 92: Go on a serious hike.

Appalachian Trail, Mary's Rock, Shenandoah National Park. Done.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Make 1,000 lovely things -- Blueberry pie with freshly-picked blueberries

This morning I went to a farm in Maryland to pick my own blueberries. Then I made a pie.

The recipe comes from America's Test Kitchen. Instead of their full-proof pie dough (which uses vodka and which I should have used since it's FULL-PROOF), I tried their basic pie dough recipe. Let me tell you, handling that pie crust was the most stressful part of my week. And it came out a little rough around the edges. Still, delicious mission accomplished.

Pick blueberries at your co-worker's farm POD

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pig roast = life goals

A blog post caught my eye recently and got me thinking. It was titled "How to Roast a Pig on a Spit". Believe it. My world was turned upside down as I realized that I needed to reexamine my original Mighty Life List immediately. Here is the updated list [some of these have already been accomplished, go me!]:

1. Participate in a pig roast. Obviously. 
3. Cook Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon.
4. Read major works of Russian literature in Russian. I'm looking at you, Crime and Punishment.
5. Learn to ski.
6. Go to a World Cup game. Possibly make do with a DC United game.
7. Buy a super expensive bottle of champagne. Like those rappers.
8. Own a dog. One to whom I can say, "You cut to the core of me, Baxter" or name Cosmo.
9. Live in another country.
10. Go on a cruise. Maybe to Alaska so that I can see Russia.
11. Visit the Acropolis in Athens.
12. Sign up for a ballet class.
13. Learn some ballroom dances.
14. Watch the sun set behind the Great Pyramids in Giza.
15. Watch the sun rise at Stonehenge.
16. Go to a kabuki play in Japan. Eat sushi.
17. Make cheese.
18. Brew beer.
19. Grow basil or a tomato plant.
20. Publish something. Even if it's nerdy tax stuff.
21. Buy an original piece of art.
22. Take a painting class.
23. Take a golfing class.
24. Own a business. [A nerdy tax accounting business?]
25. Teach a course.
26. Become fluent in French.
27. Know basic Spanish.
28. Take a course at Oxford.
29. Learn what all of the buttons and settings do on my SLR digital camera.
30. See an opera at the Met.
31. Spend a day at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.
32. Spend a day at the Louvre in Paris.
33. Go to Oktoberfest in Munich.
34. Go to Carnaval in Brazil.
35. Become a better swimmer.
36. Go to a petting zoo in Australia.
37. Have afternoon tea at the Ritz.
38. Learn to play guitar.
39. Learn to play the drums.
40. Learn to make my mom's favorite recipes.
41. Take a special someone to Russia with me.
42. Own a summer home. Or start with becoming a homeowner.
43. Participate in a tea ceremony in Kyoto.
44.Wait by the stage door after a concert and meet one of my favorite bands.
45. Go to a taping of the Daily Show. 
46. Go skinny dipping.
47. Take a road trip across the U.S. 
48. Make my own strawberry jam.
49. Make a quilt.
50. Ride in a helicopter.
51. Have tapas in Barcelona.
52. Go to a wine festival.
53. Own a pair of authentic cowboy boots.
54. Make a pie from scratch.
55. Make a pizza from scratch.
56. Bake bread.
57. Commission a portrait.
58. Go mushroom hunting.
59. Get my wisdom teeth pulled.
60. Cook in a Le Creuset dutch oven.
61. Learn to drive a standard.
62. Organize a book club.
63. Resurrect the Finer Things Club.
64. Learn to play a few Christmas Carols on the piano. Host a Christmas sweater party.
65. Go sailing.
66. Read Les Miserables.
67. Make more traditions with friends and family.
68. Try hot buttered rum.
69. Letterpress something.
70. Get my master's degree.
71. Be admitted to practice in front of the Tax Court.
72. Work in a winery. 
73. Host a fancy pants dinner party.
74. Go to the Stanley Cup finals.
75. Take a cooking class in France.
76. Meet an alpaca.
77. Spend a night on a train.
78. See a drag queen show.
79. See all of Frank Lloyd Wright's houses that are open to the public. (1/??)
80. Fire a gun.
81. Really learn wine.
82. Give a heartfelt, touching, and witty toast in public.
83. Spend a week on a farm. 
84. Host a Thanksgiving dinner wherein I cook the turkey.
85. Pick out a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch.
86. See a drive-in movie.
87. Have a Wikipedia entry.
88. Go to Vegas.
89. Buy a stock on my own.
90. Participate in CSA, community-supported agriculture.
91. Walk the Golden Gate Bridge.
92. Go on a serious hike.
94. Try 1,000 new things.
95. Learn how to eat a crab.
96. Cover my fridge with magnets from places I have visited.
97. Be able to parallel park with confidence.
98. Order the tasting menu at a fancy pants restaurant.
99. Wear a dirndl.
100. Read every book I own.
 photo from Serious Eats, "How to Roast a Pig on a Spit"

Monday, June 21, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

We Are Scientists present ... the rules of wine

We Are Scientists present ... the rules of wine

There are two basic types, or "varietals", of wine: red and yellow. Not surprisingly, there are different words for red and yellow wine in different countries. The French call them "bordeaux" and "sancerre", respectively. The Australians say "shiraz" and "chardonnay"; Italians, "nero d'avolo" and "pinot grigio." Germans, refreshingly, call everything "riesling". 

Study these rules while listening to WAS' new album, Barbara.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Last Station

Watching The Last Station made me realize that I know nothing about Lev Tolstoy (other than that his original title for "War and Peace" was "War What Is It Good For?" and his mistress made him change it). So I did some light internet research, no big deal:
  • Christian anarchist and pacifist. War What Is It Good For, indeed.
  • Wealthy. Member of Russian nobility.
  • On the eve of his wedding to Sofya he gave her his diaries detailing his extensive sexual history.
  • Love your neighbor and God. Don't look to the Church or state for guidance.
  • No meat, tobacco, or alcohol. Chastity.
  • No Shakespeare.
  • Excommunicated by the Russian Orthodox Church.
  • Abandoned his wealth and family at the age of 82.
The Last Station is really good if you are into the serious acting/Oscar contender/subtly humorous/time period-detailed/OMG is that Captain von Trapp as Tolstoy? brand of films. Here's a preview:

Monday, February 15, 2010

Soda-free in 2010!

Not having had a Diet Coke since circa December 17, this NYT article on a soda tax caught my eye.

Is soda the new tobacco? In their critics’ eyes, producers of sugar-sweetened drinks are acting a lot like the tobacco industry of old: marketing heavily to children, claiming their products are healthy or at worst benign, and lobbying to prevent change. The industry says there are critical differences: in moderate quantities soda isn’t harmful, nor is it addictive.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Inaugural Le Creuset Chili POD

At the beginning of the year I had resolved to write more and take more frequent photos and do more cooking.  And look at how well I've done so far.

Last night, in preparation for the snOMG blizzard of 2010, I went to the Whole Foods. The produce isles were picked clean. I was able to snatch for myself the very last yam and also gather the ingredients to make some chili.

Behold, the inaugural chili of my new Le Creuset dutch oven:

This one has:

1. Onions and garlic.
2. Ground beef. I really should have drained the fat after browning, piggy.
3. Tomato paste.
4. Pinto beans. The last kind of canned bean left at the store last night. I had a can of kidney beans in my cupboard, due to expire in about a year, but they were gelatinous when I opened the can today. Gross.
5. Mushrooms. If it were socially acceptable, I would wear sweatpants and flip flops every day. I would also add mushrooms to every meal. On occasion I've also been known to add celery and/or red and yellow bell peppers to my chili.
6. Several splashes of Spaten beer. I couldn't really taste it in the chili.
7. Cilantro. Don't be afraid to use a lot of cilantro.
8. 2-Alarm Chili spices kit. I am not cheating, I just haven't gotten around to investing in bottles of all of the spices. I use: ground chili peppers, red pepper, paprika, cumin/oregano, salt, and some of the superfluous onion/garlic flakes.

Happy snOMG!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Fan letter to Richard Armitage

Dear Mr. Armitage,

This weekend I watched "North & South" for the first time. Netflix suggested this mini-series to me, and I went ahead and took its suggestion, watching all four hours in one sitting.

You, sir, are a panty-dropper, excuse my francais. 

It's not that I am in love with you -- I don't know you at all -- but holy Dickens am I in love with the character that you created on screen. Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy has got nothing on your John Thornton. Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy jumping into the lake has got nothing on your John Thornton. Your John Thornton is stern yet sensual, contemplative and charismatic, a little proud at first, but more open-minded later. DREAMY. I'll admit that this description sounds like it could also apply to Mr. Darcy. But trust me, I prefer you and am shamelessly letting my affections be known.

A little about me. I am a British person, stuck in a Russian person's body who now lives in America. I love tea, Mr. Bean, and the Tate Modern museum.  I am twelve years your junior, and am systematically working my way through "Robin Hood", where you play Guy of Gisborne, a baddie. As a side note, I am having difficulty understanding what demographic this show is geared towards. Teenage boys? Medieval history buffs? Women in their twenties, I hope? After some light internet stalking I have learned that you at one point had a live-in girlfriend who may or may not have been a theatre actress who may or may not still be living with you. One of your recent projects has been a show called "Spooks" in England, which for some reason has been renamed "MI-5" in the U.S. and is a "24"/Jack Bauer type of situation where you arrive on the show as an agent who has spent the last 8 years in a Russian prison and your allegiance may or may not have turned. Very Jack Bauer meets Tony Almeida. I plan to watch it after I finish "Robin Hood".    

In conclusion, thank you for being such an accomplished actor, though truth me told I cannot tell for sure as I am blinded by your breathtaking beauty. Good day, Mr. Armitage.