This is not helping my urge to travel

Monday, February 28, 2011

Oh Anthropologie, you've done it again

Once again, they've managed to make me long for exotic places and adorable clothes. I'll be honest, I wasn't that blown away with their last catalog, but their March issue (can you call it an issue or is that reserved solely for magazines?) is absolutely gorgeous and once again has me fantasizing about the day I win the lottery and and furnish both my home and wardrobe entirely in their merchandise.

Choco-Peanut-Marshmallow-Rice Krispie- Delight

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I've got to think up a better name for these. This recipe combines some of my favorite things; chocolate, peanut butter, and marshmallows. I was looking for a chocolatey rice krispie treat recipe but I could only find plain peanut butter rice krispie treats or scotcheroos, which are both delicious but not what I was going for. So I did what I normally do in these situations - I improvised.

I used the basic Kellogg's Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats recipe - which calls for 1/2 cup of peanut butter added to the regular recipe.

I then melted a package of semi-sweet chocolate chips with 1/2 cup of peanut butter and spread that over the rice krispie layer in the pan.

I refrigerated them until they had hardened completely and then proceeded to eat way too many for my own good. I couldn't help it, they're so tasty! This is  definitely a recipe that will be made again, and probably soon...

Spring Vacation Fashion Inspiration

Monday, February 21, 2011

Spring Vacation

I'm going on a mini family vacation in a few weeks and I can't wait to get out of the cold! Trends I'm inspired by for a laid back beach weekend:

  • Maxi dresses and skirts
  • Pleated and bow accented shorts
  • Nautical striped shirts
  • Pops of coral
  • Bright swim suits
  • White sundresses
  • Breezy cotton shirts
  • Turquoise jewelry
  • Espadrilles 
  • Embellished sandals
  • Big floppy straw hats 

Valentine's Week

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's a little late to recap Valentine's Day, but I've been celebrating things all week so I'll just lump them all together here. (Because this post is basically a chance for me to try out the Hipstamatic and 8mm aps I just downloaded for my iphone haha!)

Monday/Valentine's Day was very fun, Kacey had flowers sent to my work and then we went out to dinner at The Pasta Tree, an incredibly tasty Italian restaurant. There, I took many photos with my hipstamatic ap, and discovered that it does not make food look very appetizing. Monday was really nice, especially as this was the first Valentine's Day Kacey and I were able to spend together.

Yes, that is a giant piece of broccoli. The food was amazing, even if these pictures aren't.

Tuesday was Kacey's birthday which we kept pretty low key. We made dinner together and did more goofing around with that hipstamatic photo ap.

Yesterday I went to see one of my cousins who plays in a bluegrass band. She and the band were playing at a local bar right down the road from my apartment. If there's one thing I love about Wisconsin and missed when I was living elsewhere, it's the local street corner sports bars and pubs. There's just something about the dimly lit, super laid back, slightly grimy (at some places), sports bar-esque  venues that make them great places to relax with your friends. This particular establishment has every single inch of wall space covered in posters and beer signs. It's fantastic.

I'm not sure if this will work since it's my first time posting a video, but here's a short clip of my cousin's band (filmed with the 8mm video camera ap). This was my first time recording a video on my phone, so I apologize for the times when it goes slightly Blair Witch.

Please note the Green Bay Packer flags. Only you, Wisconsin (please never change). Also, the man who plays the washboard and spoons was hilarious! He kept jumping around and trying to get people from the audience to join him up in front. He even offered to let people play the wooden spoons but no one took him up on it.

All this, along with a budget theater showing of Harry Potter, has kept me quite busy this week! I'm definitely looking forward to the weekend to relax and get some sleep!

Making Butter

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

This past weekend I got my Laura Ingalls Wilder on and made homemade butter in my food processor. (By the way, did you know there was a Little House Cookbook? I didn't until yesterday. Where was this during my childhood? I loved the Little House books and would have had a blast with this.) The idea to make butter has been floating around in my head for a while but I didn't want to actually have to shake a container for hours to make it. When I discovered you could make it in a food processor, I decided I had to try.  I used a combination of several sites for inspiration/instructions and blindly felt my way through, probably ticking off my downstairs neighbors in the process. 

Basically, you need whipping cream (pasturized works better than ultra-pastureized) in whatever amount you want - the butter will end up being about half of the volume of the cream. Let it come to about 60 degrees or room temperature, it will make the churning go sooo much faster. (This was where I probably annoyed my neighbors. The first time I did this, I was too excited to let the cream warm up and it took about 10 minutes to turn to seize and turn to butter. The second time, when the cream was room temperature, took about 45 seconds.)

As you start blending, the liquid cream will pass through several stages of various whipped cream until suddenly chunks of butter will form, the food processor will start making a different noise, and the extra milk will gush out of the butter chunks so make sure the top is on tight!

You then need to drain the buttermilk out of the chunks of butter and wash it. If you don't, the buttermilk will cause the butter to spoil in only a few days. I used a piece of cheesecloth suspended over a strainer sitting in a bowl to catch the buttermilk (which I then used in a muffin recipe- yum!) I then lifted the butter in the cheesecloth and squeezed as much of the buttermilk as I could out of it.

To wash the butter, I put it into a bowl filled with cold water and kneeded it until the water was cloudy. Then I dumped it out and added more cold water until all the excess milk was squeezed out of the butter.

I had heard good things about adding honey to the butter to make it sweeter, so I put the butter back into the food processor and gave it another few rounds with some honey drizzled in. Then I took it out and formed it into a little pat.

And then I ate it on toast! It was delicious. As I said before, I used the leftover buttermilk in a muffin recipe for a little extra flavoring.

And now we come full circle, because remember that Little House Cookbook I mentioned in the beginning? Well I just got it from the library and I have a feeling that I'm going to be making up for lost time...perhaps more pioneer recipe testing to come?

Things I Love Monday

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

In all honesty, I've never been that into Valentine's Day, it being a Hallmark holiday and all (although I suppose any excuse to eat chocolate is fine by me). But I thought it might be fun to list some things I'm loving right now.

First of all, of course, is my adorable boyfriend (and the awesome photography of his friend, Michelle Magnoli.

Urban Outfiters/Anthropologie's new wedding store BHLDN. So many pretties!!!
Scandinavian style/decor/Knight Templar movies. Images from Skona hem and Stockholm Street Style. Long story short, Kacey and I super randomly decided to watch Arn: The Knight Templar on netflix one day when we were bored, and well I might just be a huge history geek, but it was the best epic half in Swedish movie I've ever seen. Don't ask, just go watch it. It's awesome. And now I'm obsessed with all things Scandinavian. 

Dr. Who - I just finished Season 3. I'm in love with David Tennant as the Doctor. 

This iphone case. I may or may not have been refusing to upgrade my Verizon phone for over a year and a half just in case they launched the iphone. And lo and behold they did. And now I have one and I love it! Muwahahaha! And I want this case for it. 

Other random things I'm loving right now:

  • It's actually going to be above 30 degrees this week
  • As stated before, the fact that it's perfectly acceptable to eat more chocolate this week
  • How yummy the recipes in Real Simple are (Rachel Ray, you're another story. You're on probation currently) And that I don't even have to buy the magazines anymore because my awesome friend Lindsay got me a subscription for my birthday/Christmas
I could keep going, but I'll cut it off there. Happy Valentine's Day!

Moving on Up

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I am so excited and bursting to tell people some super happy news that happened today. (No Lindsay, I'm not engaged) My boyfriend, Kacey, landed a full time job in his exact intended field! He's been going through the company's interviewing process for the past few weeks, and after 3 multiple hour interviews and meeting the entire department, he found out that he has the job! I can't say more until they iron out all the details, sign papers, and all the other legal mumbo jumbo, but I am so proud and happy for him that I may just burst. Yay Kacey!!!

Dancing Through Life

Monday, February 7, 2011

I just discovered this series of photos via Design Crush and I'm in love. Photographer Jordan Matter's "Dancers Among Us" is so much fun, especially for someone like me who has a bit of dance experience. You can view the whole gallery of dancers in NYC doing normal day to day things, but looking spectacular doing so! It makes me want to throw on my old ballet slippers and go dancing around the city.

Digging for Fossil

Friday, February 4, 2011

Can I just say how much I love Fossil's spring collection? It has everything that I love: stripes, lace, and cute trench coats. I'd like one of everything please! We're still buried under snow here, but this makes me want spring and warmer weather now!

Creme and Crepes

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I went out to eat with my parents this weekend at one of our favorite local places. It's an old mill built in the 1800s that has been converted into independent and antique shops, a winery, and one of my favorite lunch stops:

They have the best cream of broccoli soup I've ever had - and I don't even like cream of broccoli soup! But I get it every time and it's delicious. Paired with some hot cherry cider, it was a perfect way to combat cold winter weather we're having. 

But the real reason I love this little restaurant so much?


We take a break from our usual programming for snowpocalypse news

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Peoples of the internet, I have been WRONGED.

Living in Wisconsin means you have to deal with snow, that's life. To make things a little easier for us, my apartment complex offers a snow plowing service after major snowfalls. They plow the main lot and the spaces if your car isn't there. If it is, well obviously they don't plow your car.

The past few times it's snowed, I've gotten into my car at the beginning of the day, spent all day at work, and came home to find the lot had been plowed except for 1 spot on the far left by the tree line. Because I'm usually getting back around 5:30 or 6, everyone is there before me. And every single time, someone else was parked in my spot, leaving me to park in the one unplowed, messy one. Let me point out that my apartment complex isn't big. There are 4 units and about 5 of us living here at a time. There are 5 cars in the lot. Because I like to look for the good in people, I always assumed that maybe someone had a visitor, or people had to move cars around, or some such event happened that would coincidentally leave me the one unplowed spot. Oh how wrong I was.

Today, due to the impending BLIZZARDOMGSNOWMAGEDDONOFDOOM that is supposedly coming and was due to hit oh 2 hours ago we were sent home from work early. So when I pulled into the lot, imagine my surprise when there was only one car in the entire lot. PARKED IN MY SPOT. With the unplowed spot next to it.  People, this was a crime of intent! This person was too lazy to move their car when the plow came, and instead of paying the consequences and having to walk in the snowy spot (the way I did when I was too lazy to move my car, because -silly me- I thought it would be unfair to make others park there when it was my fault it wasn't plowed) they decided move their car one spot over to the nice plowed spot. MY SPOT.

So now they can just walk on up to the building without getting their feet dirty knowing that I'll have to sink into the snow in my work clothes because they didn't want to move their car. But now I have proof that they are stealing it! Oh the ideas of revenge...I'll write them a nasty note. I'll park in their spot after mine isn't plowed! I'll egg their car!

I suppose the next step is probably to first determine which one of my evil, treacherous neighbors is doing this to me. I bet is was the lady across the hall who always says hi. I bet she thinks if she's super nice, I'll never suspect her. But I do! It was her! It....oh, she just pulled in and parked. Ok lady, you're in the clear for now. I know, it was the people below me! They probably think I'm too loud so this is how they get back at me. Except that they aren't home. And they always take in my trash can from the curb, so I really hope it's not them. But aha! By process of elimination that leave the little old lady downstairs! .......Oh..... Crap.

I can't egg an old lady's car. I can't tell her not to park in a nice plowed spot. What if she slipped and fell? She's like 70. I guess that leaves me parking in an unplowed spot. But at least I know. The mystery has been solved. I'm like Nancy Drew! Or the Babysitters Club! Better invest in some better boots...
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