Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Paris On My Mind

For the past couple of weeks, I've been focused on my upcoming trip to Paris: packing, itinerary, and getting things organized at home. I've also been thinking about my plan to eat my weight in cheese, chocolate, and bread while I'm there. I can't wait!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bee Happy -- With Recipe!

I bought The Herbal Kitchen by Kami McBride a few months ago, and I've been having a great time experimenting with the recipes. I went through a pesto phase for a while but I didn't tell you about it because I'll be darned if I can figure out a way to draw pesto -- or pasta, for that matter -- without it looking like a Rorschach Test.

The whole book is great. I struck gold, though, with her recipe for Cinnamon-Ginger Honey. It's so simple to make and keeps for up to a year -- but trust me, you will go through it much more quickly. It's yummy. Try it on buttered toast, oatmeal (if you use the recipe I posted here, I recommend omitting the brown sugar), or as a sweetener for tea. Dissolve a teaspoon in hot water to make a warming, tummy-settling drink.

You will need a clean and sterilized glass jar with a lid.

Cinnamon-Ginger Honey

1 cup honey
2 tbsp. powdered cinnamon
1 tbsp powdered ginger

1. Bring water to a boil in a double boiler (if, like me, you don't have one, just put a heatproof bowl over a pot of water once it's hot), and reduce to a simmer. Pour honey into the jar and place in the top of the double boiler. Let the honey warm for 15-20 minutes or until it reaches a consistency where it can be easily stirred. You don't have to stand over it, but stay close enough to keep an eye on it.

2. Carefully remove the jar of honey from the pot and stir in the spices. Allow to cool, then cap the jar. Stick the flavored honey in the cabinet for two weeks before using. Keeps up to a year.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Dancing Dishes, Glassware, and Cutlery

Dancing. It's not just for food anymore.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Still Life With Kitchen Ant

There has been a minor ant problem in my kitchen almost all winter. At first I just saw the occasional bug, so I did what I usually do: I talked to it and asked it to leave. The Army Dude was skeptical that this system would work and started suggesting I call the Big Blue Bug guys. I said "Dude. It's one ant. Isn't that kind of like bringing in an armored tank to hunt wabbits?" I thought the military simile would impress him, but no.

He was correct about my system not working, however. Pretty soon, I was seeing more of the little critters. I put out an ant trap which was soon known as the Ant Party Tent. The ants mocked me by hanging out under it.

I have resorted to killing the ants, which I hate to do. They seem to be confining their activities to the sink area, and there's only a few of them, so I'm trying not to get too freaked out about it. The Army Dude stopped commenting on the ants every time he came over once he learned that they are a problem throughout the town, so it's not due to substandard maintenance on my part. So that's something.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Good Nutrition

March is National Nutrition Month. Does this mean I have to read the nutrition facts label on everything I eat? Good heavens, I hope not.

What say I try to remember to take my vitamins every day and we leave it at that?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Kitchen Visiting

I have a friend whose kitchen is a very interesting place. It's quite small and doesn't appear to have much storage, yet all kinds of pots, pans, and serving dishes appear from somewhere and yummy foods go into them.

Whenever I'm in her kitchen, I end up trying interesting foods -- maybe something from the bodega down the street, maybe a cheese I've never heard of. If I sit there for a while, inevitably someone will pop in. I've run into people I haven't seen in ages and also made new friends that way.

But on this particular day, the scene was different -- and, I thought, kind of funny. On her counter, in no particular order:

  • A fur and leather hat on an antique hat block, in the midst of being repaired
  • A toolbox with assorted sewing supplies as well as some finger puppets in various stages of completion
  • Bits of fleece and felt
  • Two finger puppet tableaux in shadow boxes
  • Various glues to complete the projects

Makes perfect sense to me. That's why she's one of my favorite peeps.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Breakfast With Betty

It's the most important meal of the day!

Yes, that is exactly what it looks like: beef soup with hotdogs. Waking up to that would put me in a bad mood for the whole day.

The well-buttered English muffins and yellow color scheme are not cheering me up at all.

Lamb chops and kidneys? Really, Betty? For breakfast? I don't think even the British -- who are known for greasy breakfasts as well as excellent muffins full of nooks and crannies -- eat like that first thing in the morning. Here's hoping Penny Dreadful, our Girl On The Street in London, stops by to weigh in on this.

Ah, now that's more like it. What's more All-American than processed breakfast foods made in Battle Creek, Michigan? They're Grrrreeeeaaaat! Let's see what Betty suggests for stir-ins and toppers.

Jello and mini-marshmallows. Why did I not see that coming?