Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Shining (a feel good version)

This makes me laugh every time I watch it.

I even went to Itunes to get that Peter Gabriel song because I can't get it out of my head. I originally found it on Cup of Jo, and it was so good that I had to repost I hope this makes your day!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Biscuit Sunday

I've tried for some time to find a good biscuit recipe. I like my biscuits buttery flaky and easy to make and I don't cook with shortening. This recipe has never failed me yet and is easy to experiment with. Try it out and let me know if you like it.

2.5 cups of all purpose flour (I like King Arthur)
2.5 teaspoons of baking powder
1 Tablespoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick) chilled and firm.
3/4 cup of milk
1 egg lightly beaten

Pre-heat the oven to 400 F. In a large bowl mix your dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Depending on my mood I use up to one cup of whole wheat flour in this mix, but the recipe is great with all white flour too. Cut the butter up into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Using your hands, break up the butter into pea sized pieces (similar to a pie crust method) and incorporate evenly into the dry mix. It should look like crumbs. Add the milk and stir with a fork, pulling the dough off of the sides of a bowl. The dough is pretty dry at this point. Add the egg and using your hands incorporate it evenly into the dough, pulling up all the dry bits from the bottom of the bowl.

Don't get overzealous in your kneading, just a few folds will do it. The less you worry the dough the better! Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter if you are so inclined, I just use an inverted juice glass. Remember to roll up the dough scraps and keep cutting out more rounds. Biscuits from the second pass will not rise as high as the first so try to be as efficient as possible in your first cutting.
Place them on an ungreased baking sheet and pop them in the oven. Bake until tall and lightly browned 15-20 minutes.

I have no recollection as to where I found this recipe, but props to whomever posted it first!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

While housebound I made this little movie on my shiny new macbook. Posting delays ensued, but finally here it is! Hope it's toasty where you are.

Grizzly Bear, 2 weeks

Sunday, February 14, 2010

all you need is love

I love this Gustav Klimt painting, perfect time to use it.

I'm honestly not a Valentine's Day person, I consider it a sham holiday. This year is different, it's cold and wintry and cuddling sounds pretty good right about now. I also happened to discover Reese's valentine hearts... they are enormous heart shaped peanut butter filled goodness about the size of a large saucer! So M and I will be getting close, eating left-over pork lo mein and watching New York I Love You.
Happy Valentimes!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snowmageddon '10

This was day 1, Saturday

I took these pictures from the second story window, I was too chicken to go outside. You can see how heavy the snow was, by how the tree branches are sagging under it's weight. M went out twice to shovel but since we only have one shovel what was I to do? I manned the teakettle and supplied a steaming cup of cafe press coffee to my shoveler. We watched Groundhog Day, the perfect snowed in movie, made chocolate chip cookies with almonds and coconut and went to an impromptu potluck next door.

Day 2, Sunday
We and all the other neighbors on the block spent hours digging out our cars. Then we bundled up and ventured outside, the sun was shining and reflecting off of the pristine snow. The streets weren't clear and a few crazy people decided to drive, but they were getting stuck all over the place. I wanted to go sledding but alas we just went for a two hour walk. Wyman Park Dell appeared to be the sledding spot for the neighborhood but many sidewalks were still piled high with snow and we had to fight to get there walking through 3 feet of snow at times, and against all common sense I suddenly threw myself into a snowdrift with a little "Wheee!" sound. It was cold but worth it, except M just thought I lost my footing and fell down.

Day 3
We walked to Charles Village Pub, a small joint for locals and JHU students, as driving still wasn't a very good idea. We had dinner and saw a weather update predicting more snow! We walked home and debated on whether to hit up the grocery, but as my feet were numb we decided against it.

It was really neat to see our neighbors shoveling their walks, digging out their cars, and walking from place to place. It really feels like a neighborhood. People don't move around much in winter and it has been pretty sleepy around here.

Day 4
We made an early trek to the supermarket around the corner, it was crowded with people and cars in the parking lot. Eggs and milk were nowhere to be found but we picked up some other necessities and took a rather circuitous route home due to alleys and streets blocked by mountains of snow. The weather forecast for tonight and tomorrow is pretty bleak, the prediction is 12-18 inches of more snow! It is falling as I type this in fat heavy snowflakes that are already clinging to the sidewalk and cars. I heard that this winter may break the total snow accumulation record for the region.
I'm starting to get cabin fever already.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

How does your garden grow?

I am going to have a garden this year, and I don't care what it takes. It is also February and a blizzard is headed this way. So it is quite easy to get inspired by projects that are unattainable.
I'm going to make it happen, I want heirloom tomatoes!
Scented Geraniums, particularly Rose of Attar if you must know...
Lilacs, Hostas, Gardenias and all of the fresh herbs I can eat.
I found a lovely online garden supply shop that will hold your order until the proper growing season for your region, Mountain Valley Growers.
This way I won't be able to back out.

To find more swoon-worthy garden photographs like the one above check out Studio G

I chatted up my new neighborhood friends and was strongly advised from putting edibles in the backyard due to the high heavy metal content of the soil, we're talking lead not White Snake. (sigh) maybe I can find some cool planter boxes instead for the tomatoes and herbs but I'm still going to go ahead with the decoratives.