Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fr. Anzia

We've all had it. You may not want to admit it, but it's true.

At one time or another you've imbibed in a bit of Franzia, that lovely liquid flowing from a box. I am pretty certain everyone would recognize that ugly white box with the spigot. Maybe it sat in your refrigerator, right next to the glowing bottles of Boone's Farm (seriously, you know it's true).

Check out how one student redesigned the infamous Franzia box. I'd buy this and proudly display it for all to see. Wouldn't you?
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Recipe Wednesday: Black-Bottom Coconut Bars

When it gets really cold around here I need to be reminded that someday it will be warmer. Sometimes that someday seems so far away! April, where are you?

I think the coconut in this recipe can get me thinking of tropical weather. Far fetched? Yes. But sometimes a girl's gotta do whatever it takes to make it through the winter. This also includes tropical drinks at Jolly Bobs. Oh yes.

Chocolate Base

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus more more pan
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 375°. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang. Butter bottom and sides of foil.
Using a microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in microwave. Whisk in sugar and salt. Whisk in egg, then sugar and flour. Mix until smooth. Spread evenly in prepared pan.
Bake for 10-15 minutes. The sides should be beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Set aside to cool.

Coconut Topping

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 7 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut – reserve 1/2 cup for sprinkling on top
Whisk eggs with sugar and vanilla. Mix in flour and coconut.
Drop mounds of topping onto chocolate base. Spread and press into base with moistened fingers. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup coconut.
Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool completely in pan. Then, remove from pan using aluminum foil overhang. Peel off foil and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Makes 24 bars.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Music Monday: Neko Case - Look For Me (I'll Be Around)

Another oldie but goodie. I really wish she would have made an official video for this song.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tinctory

While perusing the interwebs one lovely evening, I came across a post about tinctory. I had to share.
Each piece is made entirely by hand, using just needle and thread and naturally-dyed silk. The dye plants used for the silk are either gathered or planted by the artist. The fabric designs are paired with antiqued sterling silver, vintage beads and semi-precious stones.

Amazing, no?
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You can find more info on the tinctory web site or blog.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Recipe Wednesday: Homemade Nutella

I bet you can't guess the next new recipe I'll be trying out??
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I've only recently started being more adventurous in the kitchen. I've always cooked and made some tasty meals, but usually they were really simple and the same few over and over again. Can a girl really eat a homemade veggie pizza or quesadilla every day? Well, yes. But what fun is that?

Oftentimes I would find a recipe I wanted to make but would decide to not do it because I didn't have the ingredient on hand and why would I want to buy an ingredient that I may end up wasting. I was also afraid it wouldn't turn out right. Oh, the stress!

Well I decided that if it doesn't turn out right, so what? I'll eat almost anything. And I give food to my friends. Or I freeze it. Or, more often than should happen, I eat it all in one sitting. Oops!

This homemade nutella, found on the beautiful Bon Vivant blog, is probably the next thing I'll make and eat within 15 minutes.  Maybe I'll share it...but probably not. And the pictures are so appropriate because my favorite way to eat Nutella is on a baguette. And then on a banana. And then straight off of the spoon. And then digging my finger into the almost empty jar to get every last niblet. Oh, I'm getting hungry.
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Grown-up Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (Nutella) (adapted from David Lebovitz and Su Good Sweets)
Makes about 14 ounces
10 oz/ 300 grams hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed
2 oz/ 60 grams cocoa nibs
1/2 to 2/3 cup/ 60-70 grams powdered sugar
7 teaspoons unrefined hazelnut oil
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
To toast the hazelnuts, preheat your oven to 300F and spread the nuts on one layer on a large baking sheet. Toast the nuts for about 15 minutes until golden brown, then rub their skins off with a clean cloth. Set aside.
Toast the cocoa nibs by placing them in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until they darken and are slightly shiny. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the nuts and cocoa nibs in a food processor and chop them until they liquefy. Your processor will sound as if it’s throwing a hissy fit and about to implode, but keep your finger on the pulse button until you get a thick, lovely dark chocolate hazelnut butter. The nuts and nibs will first gather into a ball before turning into butter. To help move things along, you may need to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl to ensure that everything is pulverized.
Add the sugar, oil and espresso powder and pulse again, scraping down as needed until everything is well incorporated into a lusciously thick sauce. There will still be chunks of nibs remaining which will give a slight crunch to each spoonful.
Store the spread in clean and dry airtight containers/jars and refrigerate. Bring the spread to room temperature before using.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Saloukee

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Saloukee (AKA Sarah Louise Kelly) creates sculptured art jewelery made in paper. Yes, paper. And they are perfect.
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Music Monday: Cat Power - Ramblin (Wo)man

It was a wild night in Wisconsin with our beloved Packers winning a very important game. I came home and needed to settle down my racing heart! Life was so much easier when I didn't really care about football. Oy.

This is my absolute favorite song. I love Cat Power's voice. And her covering Hank Williams is amazing. This will calm me down and leave me rested for my Monday.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pretty Petals: Spider Mums

I've been doing quite a bit of sketching lately to keep track of all of the ideas I have for printing/dyeing projects now that I'm finally getting my butt around to just trying projects even if I have no clue what I'm doing! My style is definitely simple but with bold colors. It might be obvious from the things I've posted here (for all of my three readers!).

I, like so many other people, have a thing for any flower/tree/branch/leaves that are printed on towels, paper, you name it! So today I've been working on some cool flower sketches. One of my friends ( Hi G!) is really great about always having flowers around her house. It's a habit that I would like to pick up since it's such a happy surprise when you walk into a room! One of the flowers she usually has is the spider mum. You can usually find them in a great chartreuse-ey (yes, I made up that word) color but they also come in a variety of other colors. They look cool...but they are a b&@tch to sketch! So I'm taking a break to post pretty pictures of them just for you.
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

in sync design


Say hello to these lovely pieces of jewelry made by in-sync design.

in-sync design is a collaboration between two Australian designers, Iris Saar Isaacs and Jane Barwick. Botanical and geometric drawings become jewellery that combine modern industrial processes with a handmade approach.





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Monday, January 3, 2011

Music Monday: Delorean - Stay Close

So it's back to work today. It's been a great few weeks with the holidays and not having to work a full week. But I'm gonna suck it up because, well, I have to!

Enjoy some cheerful music for your Monday!

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