Friday, January 28, 2011

spice wrangling

I've finally gotten started getting all my spices into their new magnetic canisters. I'm quite pleased thus far, and it certainly beats the sticky, honey-covered cardboard box that they used to call home. I bought some labels and, after what felt like hours cursing at my printer, printed them up last night. Futura makes all the difference.

There they are! Well, a fraction of my spices anyway. I think I might need about 20 more of these canisters to house the full collection. (What the heck do you use marjoram for, anyway?)

Let's take a step back and see what it looks like from afar.

Yup. Looks like a fridge with a whole bunch of spices on its side.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hello, handsome.

I look forward to all of the meals that you will be cooking for me. Welcome home.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Meet Jack Rose

Not the guitarist. Not the gangster. I'm talking booze. 
To celebrate the arrival of my new martini glasses, we decided to have a cocktail night. Until recently, I've had a strange disdain of martini glasses. I think it is because the martini is my parents' drink of choice and I don't think I've ever seen them drink out of a stemmed martini glass. And I have seen them drink a whole hell of a lot of martinis. They always drink out of a lowball glass, or more usually a French Picardie tumbler. That's just how they roll.

{This is where I'm compelled to say, "A martini is gin and vermouth. Not vodka."} 

So I've just ignored martini glasses over the years. I don't know what brought about the switchover, but here I am with my sparkly new set of CB2 stemware and a desire to create some cocktails. 

The inaugural cocktail was the lovely Jack Rose, a drink popular in the 1920s (adapted from the recipe featured on

Makes one cocktail

1 1/2 ounces Calvados
1 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce grenadine syrup
Shake it all up in a shaker with ice. Pour into lovely CB2 cocktail glasses.

Here's the crazy part of this otherwise very straightforward recipe. I got a bee in my bonnet to make the grenadine from scratch. Seems silly when you can just buy the stuff at the liquor store (and even sillier when you realize that I had I bottle in my possession)... but here's the thing: that crap that you buy in the store is composed almost exclusively of high fructose corn syrup and artificial food coloring. Sick. I just hate HFCS, and grenadine is traditionally a pomegranate syrup. I wanted actual pomegranate juice in my grenadine! So here's what I did (also adapted from a recipe featured on

Homemade Grenadine
1 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice (I used Pom... just make sure it is 100% pomegranate juice)
1/2 cup sugar

Simmer and stir for about 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. That should make enough for about 8 drinks. So easy, and so much better then the alternative!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Flea market friend

I've been on the lookout for a cheap and interesting cabinet for our downstairs bathroom. I love this bathroom but it is sadly lacking storage. I've been haunting the local flea markets in search of just the right thing but so far I've come up empty-handed.

But I did find this fellow. I'm not sure that Tyler approves.

He is a doorstop!

I think he's cute. But I want to paint him, because the weird splotchy black & white look he's got going isn't doing it for me. What would be a fun color? I could just do white or black, but I was thinking he might look nice in something a little more bold? Like yellow? Red? Thoughts?

Monday, January 10, 2011

As it turns out

Santa does read blogs. Well, at least my sister-in-law does. And she got me these fabulous Push Me Pull You mugs for Christmas. Thank you, Heather!

Fresh whipped cream + coffee = yum

The reason for the fresh whipped cream is my tarte Tatin which I made for our belated New Year's Eve dinner party with friends last night. It turned out delicious and this is another big win from Alice Waters' The Art of Simple Food.

Spring goods

It is only about two weeks into winter, and I am already wishing it were spring. The endless stream of spring preview catalogs aren't helping matters much.

Some things from West Elm that I love:
This is actually a set of 4 plates with different patterns, but I just love the bee:


Sunday, January 9, 2011


Yesterday I picked up some pretty root vegetables to roast up for a belated New Year's Eve celebration tonight. Aren't they lovely?
I also need to get on the ball with the dessert that I'm preparing: a tarte tatin. I have not ever made one before, but I've wanted to for quite some time. I'm using the recipe from Alice Waters' The Art of Simple Food.

Around the house I have been shamelessly ignoring my to-do list, and working on other less intimidating projects. I've cleaned out my closet, for instance. My closet now looks great, but our bedroom is full of several large items that I removed from my closet. What the heck do I do with my wedding dress? It seems sad to put it in the basement. Anyway, most of my tasks have been like this: tidying up one area really messes up another.

My other task that I've been working on is dealing with my spices. For the past three months they have been sitting on my kitchen floor in a cardboard box. Not ideal, although they've actual kept my toddler and her friends entertained for short periods of time (and you just can't put a price on that.) But seeing as how some honey or agave or some other very sticky substance seeped onto the bottom of the box, something needed to be done. I got a few of these magnetic spice canisters in my stocking:
courtesy of

I'm going to stock up on quite a few more of these and they will soon reside on the side of our fridge. I'll post pics in the (hopefully) near future.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I snoozed and I lost.


The most fabulous Stendig calendar has been gracing our kitchen for several years now. Generally garnering comments along the lines of "nice calendar" and "you must like to know what the date is." (Har, har, people. Yup, it is a big calendar.)
So yeah, it is pretty much a staple, and we can not be without it. I procrastinated purchasing our 2011 calendar until 2011 rolled around and instead of getting to pay less money, I get to pay more. Dammit! I mean, aren't most calendars on sale by now?

I normally buy it from Unica Home which I realize now is the most reasonably price retailer. They sold out, I guess, so we get to pay almost 20 bucks in shipping. Ouch! Well, at least we will know, in no uncertain terms, what the date is.
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