Monday, August 31, 2009

monday finds

ring from Urban Outfitters

more to come....trouble posting :(

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

red velvet cake & icing, from scratch

Red Velvet Cake
Time: 90 minutes, plus cooling
from "The Confetti Cakes Cookbook"

• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 3½ cups cake flour
• ½ cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process)
• 1½ teaspoons salt
• 2 cups canola oil
• 2¼ cups granulated sugar
• 3 large eggs
• 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) red food coloring
• 1½ teaspoons vanilla
• 1¼ cup buttermilk
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 2½ teaspoons white vinegar.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place teaspoon of butter in each of 3 round 9-inch layer cake pans and place pans in oven for a few minutes until butter melts. Remove pans from oven, brush interior bottom and sides of each with butter and line bottoms with parchment.

2. Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.

3. Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.

4. Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.

5. Divide batter among pans, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, flip layers over and peel off parchment. Cool completely before frosting.

Yield: 3 cake layers.

Red Velvet Cake Icing
Time: 15 minutes
from “The Waldorf-Astoria Cookbook”

• 2 cups heavy cream, cold
• 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
• 12 ounces mascarpone
• ½ teaspoon vanilla
• 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted.

1. Softly whip cream by hand, in electric mixer or in food processor. Cover in bowl and refrigerate.

2. Blend cream cheese and mascarpone in food processor or electric mixer until smooth. Add vanilla, pulse briefly, and add confectioners’ sugar. Blend well.

3. Transfer cream cheese mixture to bowl; fold in whipped cream. Refrigerate until needed.

Yield: Icing for top and sides of 3-layer cake.

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R.I.P. Tedd Kennedy

Jackie wrote Ted a thank you letter - a token of gratitude for what he’d meant to all the Kennedys over the years.

The letter read:
"There have been 17 children besides your own - Bobby's, Pat's, Jack's and mine, for whom you have always been there. Every graduation, every big decision, every trouble, every sad and even every happy day. On you, the carefree youngest brother, fell a burden a hero would beg to be spared. Sick parents, lost children, desolate wives. You are a hero. Everyone is going to make it, because you are always there with your love. Jackie."

After hearing the letter read out loud, Kennedy took a long pause. His voice cracked as he said, "It's about as nice as you can get."


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Monday, August 24, 2009

chocolate oatmeal raisin cookies


Makes 32

* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
* 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
* 1 1/2 cups raisins
* 1 package (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
2. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture; beat until just combined. Add oats, raisins, and chocolate chips; beat until just combined.
3. Drop 32 heaping tablespoons of batter, about 1 1/2 inches apart, onto baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies have spread and are golden brown and soft to the touch, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on sheets; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

(via martha stewart)

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

mac screen grab

Macintosh Screen Capture

If you have Mac OSX, it's easy to use the built-in key commands for grabbing a screen.

  • Press Command (Apple)-Shift-4. The pointer turns into a bull's eye.
  • Select the area of the screen you wish to capture. The screen is captured and saved as a PDF file called Picture 1 on your hard drive.
  • If you hold down the Control key in addition to the Command (Apple)-Shirt-4 while clicking the bull's eye, the image is stored on the clipboard.

If you have Mac OSX, you can also use the Grab Utility. This allows you to capture windows that are open.

  • Open Grab (located in Applications/Utility).
  • Choose Capture > Timed Screen.
  • When the Timed Screen Grab dialog opens, click Start Timer.
  • Click the menu you want to capture and keep the mouse button pressed until the Timer Screen Grab dialog closes and the picture appears.

grabbed screen

  • Use the Grab preferences for option options such as showing the pointer.

pointer type

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Cucumber Appetizers


Peel several cucumbers, leaving a few thin stripes of peel.

Cut into one-inch slices and use a small spoon or melon-baller to scoop out some of the seeds, creating little cucumber cups.

Scoop a small spoonful of filling into each one and garnish.


-1 package of cream cheese, softened
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 teaspoon lemon juice

fresh herbs – you can use chives, parsley, dill, thyme, basil, oregano, marjoram… you don’t need all of these, use whichever you have on hand. a few sprigs in total.

Salt & pepper to taste

Mince herbs and mix everything together. Ideally this should chill overnight before using.

Scoop into cucumber cups and garnish with tiny sprigs of fresh herbs.

Other tasty filling ideas:

•Sour cream and smoked salmon with a dill sprig

•Goat cheese and mint leaf with a drizzle of honey

•Feta cheese with slices of dried fig

•Cream cheese and crumbled bacon

•Blue cheese crumbles and sunflower seeds

(via design*sponge)

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2 White Chicken Chilis

I'm thinking either of these sounds kind of amazing, especially w/ the Tahoe weather right now. (It snowed on top of the mountain today, & it's the beginning of Aug. What gives?)
1. White Chicken Chili Recipe (via
An Americanized tom kah soup (a spicy Thai soup with a coconut lime broth) into Tex-Mex.
  • 1 large chicken breast, sliced
  • 1 large red pepper, sliced
  • 1 large green pepper, sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced into wedges
  • 4-5 limes juiced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder (depending on taste)
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 can white beans
  • 3/4 c. frozen corn
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
- Marinate sliced chicken breast in 1/8 - 1/4 c. fresh squeezed lime juice (2-4 Tbs). Sprinkle with salt, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, preferably 2-3.
In a large bowl mix peppers with onions, 1-2 Tbs olive oil and 2 Tbs freshly squeezed lime juice. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt (not too much) and 1/4 tsp pepper.
- On burner, heat cast iron grill over high heat until smoking. Grill vegetables until charred and onions are clear. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Grill chicken until just cooked, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place frozen corn on a baking sheet under broiler until charred.
- In a soup pot, place chicken with quart of chicken stock, 1 cup of uncooked rice, cumin and chili powder. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until rice is cooked, approx. 30 minutes.
- Add coconut milk, white beans, grilled vegetables and corn. Add 1/4 c. fresh squeezed lime juice and 1 Tbs honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. White Chicken Chili Recipe (via grouprecipie)

A cheesy white chicken chili, loaded with flavor.

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 med onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 4oz cans chopped green chiles
  • 4 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 1.5 t dried oregano, crumbled
  • .25 t cayenne or crushed red pepper (depending on taste)
  • 3 16 oz cans, great northern beans, drained & rinsed
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups grated monterey jack cheese
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sour cream

  1. Heat oil in large heavy pot to med/high.
  2. Add onions & saute until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, chiles, chicken, cumin, oregano, and hot pepper.
  4. Saute 2 minutes.
  5. Add beans and chicken broth.
  6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 hours or more.
  7. Add 1 cup of grated cheese.
  8. Stir until thick and melted.
  9. Season with salt & pepper. Serve with remaining cheese and sour cream.
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