Sunday, March 21, 2010

All a girl needs for some fun is a big, rubber...

Spatula! (Get your mind out of the gutter, you cheek!) I scored a really awesome and BIG Le Creuset spatula/scraper in a fun olivey green at Home Goods yesterday. (A big THANKS to my friend Erin who incorporated a trip to Homegoods with a search for her new apartment. I don't go to Home Goods often, because they are not really accessible to me, but I like it because it's like the Marshall's or TJ Maxx home section (my favorite section of those stores) on steroids. Sure, you have to kind of ignore the sensory overload of the faux flowers and huge paper mache roosters, but you can find some good deals on essentials. I will definitely go there if I ever need table lamps; their selection in that department was fantastic. But, on to the subject at hand, my spatula.

The spatula is actually made of silicone with a wood handle. The head is detachable, too. I feel the spatula is really the unsung hero of the kitchen. What else can make sure you get that very last bit o' batter into your mouth...uh, I mean, pan? Or, the peanut butter out of the jar? This find was particularly exciting because it's added a new size to my collection:


I like my teeny one on the far left, from the Williams Sonoma Outlet, for getting the last bits out of jars. The two Pampered Chef ones are good all-rounders. I don't know why I have the black handled was kind of a cheap, Kmart purchase a long time ago, but I guess I figure you can never have too many. However, as you can see, the new one trumps them all in size. Can't wait to dive into some new recipes to try it out!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Commuter sentences: oh where oh where has my little bus gone?

So, since I'm technically still on a part time schedule, but because of procrastination have to work every day, I planned to go in late today. However, that doesn't mean that I planned on wasting time trying to catch the bus. Here's the chain of events:
--I check nextbus 5 min until my bus comes! Perfect! I hustle out the door to the stop.
-- I check again...27 min. "What the..."
--so, I check the X8 which stops 4 blocks or so from there: 8 min. Awesome. I walk there, sit down, take out my book.
--I check again...25 min. ARGH!!!
--so I check the D6, my original bus. 12 min. I walk there again and wait, wait...
--on the bus now...later than expected...such is life.

Commuter sentences: oh where oh where has my little bus gone?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Damn Those Australians and Their Licorice!!!*

That's all. Carry on.


*Actually, Australians are very nice people, and I'm sure it's not their intent to derail my nutritional program with the licorice, but there you have it.

Rainy Day Baking Fun

I am proud to say today was a much more successful day in my kitchen! I baked bread. I was suprised that although my food processor is 12 cups, they still only recommend making one loaf in it. Oh well. I credit the food processor with the wonderful wonderful resulting loaf. This greatly surpasses any bread I ever made kneading by hand. It truly makes breadmaking easy. It doesn't change the time greatly (can't make that yeast act any faster than it will), but it does make it a little less messy and made the bread turn out delish. Nice and soft and airy inside.



Cracking Up

Yesterday was not a proud day for Christine's kitchen. I thought I'd bake bread, using my new food processor, but clearly did not leave enough time to do so between laying around and the time I'd have to leave to meet Miss Emily for cocktails and a movie (Shutter Island--pretty good). So, instead, I decided to make crackers, something so Martha Stewart I've always wanted to do it. Well, the day started badly. As I reached for baking powder, a spice jar fell out of the cabinet and broke one of my bread dishes that was sitting in the sink:


I'm thinking of trying to repair it. We'll see. I'm sure it will sit on my counter for awhile.  Anyway, back to the crackers. I was using a recipe from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook but alas, did not follow the cardinal rule. I started before reading through the entire recipe. I put in too much of the salt and threw the butter in before mixing the dry ingredients. I used my food processor to cut in the butter and indeed, it made it super easy. The recipe is also easy: 2 c flour, 1 T sugar, 2 t salt, 2 T chilled butter, & 2/3 c milk. Basically, you mix everything up (only 1/2 t of salt), and then roll out, score, sprinkle w/ the rest of the salt, and bake at 425 for 6-8 min on one side and 5 on the other.


Rolling and cutting the crackers was also easy. You just score it slightly, to make them easier to break off later. I used a ravioli cutter for one sheet and a knife for the other. I should have made both sheets during the same round in the oven (mistake 3), but I didn't. 




Now here's the problem. First pan: too thickly rolled and on the airbake pan, probably needed longer in the oven. In contrast, second pan, nice thickness, but the dark pan helped burn my crackers. Sad.



That said, I liked my cracker baking experience. It was fairly easy and the crackers, even the burnt ones, were tasty. So, I'll take those little "learning moments" and apply them to future attempts!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Just so everyone knows...

I delete comments that are obviously spam, self-promotional, etc. Get yer own blog if you want to advertise the merits of cardboard packaging! Merci!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Food Processor Has Landed


Well, it's here! I didn't think it would be here, because the idea of Fedex is typically that you have to sign for it, but it is here. Not anything to do with the packaging done by Bed Bath and Beyond. Horrendous! I'd be embarrassed to say I packed it if I were them. But, the processor is here! Now, I am excited to take it for a spin.



How's that for "protection"?--the box was twice the size of the processor box.


Sure it takes up half my kitchen, but I'm psyched. It's out of the box...will be ready to try out tomorrow night!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Now Don't Y'all Pass Out...


Because I am posting a third time this evening. I got the duvet cover home and tested it poste haste. I himmed and hawed a bit (and emailed a pic to Mom), but ultimately decided to keep it. I washed it up and put it on the bed! My uncertainty was basically because the yellow seemed duller than it did in the store, but I still think it works and is a happy addition to my bedroom. I like the contrast of the yellow with the gray walls and black and white material.

Please Note: this pic (aside from the gratuitous placement of my new West Elm tray, purposely placed there after my earlier post) is NOT styled...hence the random pillow placement, wrinkly duvet cover, etc!)


Over a Barrel...a Crate and Barrel

Zee duvet... Looked good in the store. We'll see how it does at home. Dang you, Crate and Barrel and your mind control capabilities!


I've been very remiss in posting, so I thought I'd take advantage of my commute (via bus, don't worry!) to catch up. I've been on a bit of a spending spree lately. I'm still on part time. 'nuf said. Most of these purchases have been innocent enough on their own...I'll elaborate.

Mom came to visit the last week in February we went out to celebrate her birthday. Then I noticed the sign shown in the photo. West Elm downtown is closing! I didn't need a better excuse than that to buy the white lacquer tray I'd had in mind. Okay, that's all okay. I also got a haircut...which led to my purchase of a multitude of hair products and a dryer. Having free time is dangerous. For example, on my way to return something, I said, why not stroll through Crate & Barrel and browse? Why not indeed. In order to console myself among the Annapolitans buying pricey furniture. I bought a duvet cover that was on sale and I sort of fell in love with. I'm carrying it with me now, as it was not in stock...we'll see if it works.

Then on to kitchen appliances...I have purchased a 12 cup Kitchen Aid food processor as a result of a perfect storm of a lentil burger recipe, a Bed Bath & Beyond Coupon, a rebate, and a"cashback bonus." I did get a "deal" though that doesn't negate that there was cash exiting pocket stage left. Oh well, sometimes there are times like this. I won't worry unless it continues, in which case I'll have to request an intervention!