Monthly Archives: May 2013
Post by Alison Hein.
Last Friday I was at my sister’s house, waiting for a washer and dryer delivery. You know the drill, right? An automated message the night before provides a 4-hour delivery window. You completely rearrange your next-day schedule, report for duty at the appropriate time, then twiddle your thumbs for three to four hours. Finally, your truck arrives.
I’m wise to this schtick, so I scouted for something to occupy my wait time. I poked around in Janet’s cabinets, shelves, and refrigerator. In search of?: a project with simple ingredients and a short, hot bake time. My quick inventory yielded the perfect answer – scones!
After searching for cinnamon for 20 minutes, I decided not to use any. Instead, I upped the amount of dark brown sugar to infuse the scones with a deep, caramel sweetness. I like to pre-score my scones before baking, to make them easy to separate without crumbling. A sugar and egg wash crisps the tops, and leaves behind a textured, crystallized taste with each bite.
18 minutes later, I took the bubbling hot scones from the oven, smeared them with lightly salted butter, and with the last of my cooling coffee, I indulged. Still only one hour into my wait time…
Don’t worry, Jan. I only ate one scone. Plenty left for you and your family to have a sleepy Saturday morning and a sugary breakfast in bed.
2¼ cups flour
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup (one half stick) cold butter
¾ cup milk
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 425°. In large bowl, mix together flour, 6 tablespoons dark brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into small pieces and cut into dry ingredients.
Combine milk, vinegar and one egg in separate small bowl. Mix well, then add all at once to dry ingredients, stirring until just mixed in.
Turn batter out onto lightly floured board. Divide into eight equal pieces and shape into balls. Press each ball into a flat round, and place scones on lightly greased cookie sheet. Cut crosses in the top of each scone, but do not cut all the way through.
Lightly beat remaining egg, and brush on top of scones. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar. Place in oven and bake for about 18 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm with butter.
Makes 8 scones.
Post by Mark T. Locker
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett; illustrated by Ronald Barrett.
My Grandpa bought me this book when I was a kid and I was fascinated with it on so many levels. I brought it home from the library for my own kid this week. I’m not sure if he will obsess over it the way I did, but he definitely loves it. Apparently a movie of this book was released a few years ago…I’m just going to pretend that never happened and keep my memories preserved in the print version.
If you haven’t read this before, I’ll give you a quick synopsis. One morning Grandpa comes over and makes pancakes for the kids. A mishap leads to a pancake landing on a child’s head. Inspired by the incident he tells them a story that night about the land of Chewandswallow. In that land, nobody has to cook their own food. Instead, the food comes in in the weather systems. It might rain orange juice in the morning, mashed potato clouds might roll in for lunch and a roast beef front may come through in the evening. All is well and good until the weather starts to go haywire. Overcooked broccoli three days in a row. Giant doughnuts rolling down Main Street. Apparently that’s a problem but I don’t see why.
It’s a fun, creative and unusual book from the author/illustrator couple who also brought us Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing (which is also great fun). Now go, read, and dream of hamburgers raining down.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Neil deGrasse Tyson or David Pogue? Sorry, David, but Neil has a rock star appeal you’d be hard-pressed to live up to. This question only makes sense if you are a regular watcher of the PBS show which makes science approachable to the masses, NOVA science NOW.
In our home, if we are all going to watch something together, we try to make it as pleasant as possible for we the grown-ups. Luckily for us, our kid likes some pretty fantastic programming. Most recently, we turned him on to this show. We watched an episode called, “How Smart are Animals?” which discusses, as you doubtless guessed, the intelligence of animals. We all love to watch it. It’s approachable enough that a 4 3/4-year-old enjoys it and takes something away from it. And, IT’s FASCINATING. Dolphins are SO smart! They can coordinate all new tricks together, like a new synchronous twirly flip without EVER having done it! Even dogs are apparently smart; it’s not just dog peoples’ bias. I like the older episodes because of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s aforementioned appeal. But David Pogue is actually quite entertaining. A little grating to me but he definitely gets the 4 3/4-year-old crowd.
They have a bunch available online and on Netflix. It’s entertaining and you get to feel good about yourself for watching it!
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
With summer just around the corner, now is a perfect time for a bedroom makeover. And if you’re looking for a fresh new style for your bedroom, consider going bohemian. Bohemian design is a fun and friendly look that exudes creativity and a carefree attitude; just don’t tell anyone how hard you worked to perfect it.
What is Bohemian Style?
The original bohemians lived in the Czech province of Bohemia, which was a center for political, cultural and religious discord. Residents of Bohemia were characterized by their artistic lifestyle, unconventional and outspoken political views, and laid-back attitudes. Today, the term bohemian (“boho” or “boho-chic” for short) is used to describe a casual, creative style for both apparel and interior design.
How To Make Your Bedroom Boho-Chic
Bohemian design is limited only by your creativity. Described as a little eclectic, a little modern, but always vintage, Bohemian design can be the perfect way to create a stress-free haven in your bedroom. Since the bohemian style varies widely, the best way to get a sense of bohemian design is to look at examples. As always, Houzz has an excellent gallery of bohemian bedrooms. There are also a number of other websites dedicated to the look.
Once you have a general sense for the different ways other people have succeeded in designing a boho-chic bedroom, it’s time to connect with your inner artist and get to work. First, you need to decide on a color scheme. While bohemian design can accommodate just about any color palate, it should include a mix of neutral colors like brown and terracotta accented with jewel tones and gold.
Next, you’ll want to think about patterns and textures. Bohemian design is anything but flat, and you’ll use a lot of different patterns, textures, and styles to achieve the look. You don’t really need to plan out the patterns and textures you’ll use ahead of time, just know that more is better when it comes to bohemian design.
On that note: accessorize excessively. Artwork, pictures, thickly framed mirrors, decorative cushions, frilly throw pillows, heavy rustic rugs, eclectic light fixtures, textured window treatments, and airy canopies or baldachins are all part of the bohemian style. Flea markets and vintage stores are both great places to find accessories for your bohemian bedroom.
Finally, and most importantly: have fun. Bohemian is all about being carefree and whimsical. It’s about doing what makes you happy — a hodgepodge of everything that’s you. Don’t worry if you think you’re overdoing it, or whether a piece of furniture you like will “work” in your bohemian room. If you like it, chances are it will.
Ryan Saghian over at Haute Design Network came up with a boho-chic recipe that can serve as a useful guide if you’re still wondering how to create the look in your own space.
So what do you think: Is boho-chic for you? What do you think the most important elements of bohemian design are? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Post by Alison Hein.
If you order breakfast in Japan, don’t expect to see any eggs, bacon or hash browns. Traditional asagohan consists of soup and rice, usually served with broiled fish, and flanked by multiple side dishes, such as vegetables, pickles and fruit.
When I kindly asked my good friend Chiharu (I said pretty please!) to make breakfast for me, she came up with the following amazing menu:
Chiharu’s Traditional Japanese Breakfast Menu
Shaved Bermuda Onion with Bonito Flakes and Ponzu Sauce
Spicy Chinese Daikon and Refreshing Japanese Cucumber Pickles
Seasoned Seaweed with Soy Sauce
Just-Picked Bermuda Strawberries
The showcase of this fabulous meal was Chiharu’s Broiled Salmon Teriyaki. As simple as it is succulent, Chiharu broils the fish until almost cooked through, then coats it with homemade teriyaki sauce for the final minute or so. “Don’t add the teriyaki sauce too soon,” she advises, “or the sauce will burn and ruin the fish.”
Chiharu deftly pulled the fish out from under the broiler, removed the skin, added a few lemon slices and topped it with a sprinkling of yuzu shichimi, or “seven spices.” Like an artist, she sauced, plated, arranged and served a dazzling, traditional breakfast. Maybe next time I’ll tell you about Chiharu’s dessert menu. J
Broiled Salmon Teriyaki
2 pieces thin-cut salmon filet with skin on, about ¼ to ⅓ of a pound each
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
Lemon slices, for garnish
Yuzu shichimi (optional – available in Asian specialty stores)
Preheat broiler. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Wash and dry salmon, and remove any remaining bones. Place salmon on foil, skin side down. Broil fish about 4 inches from heat for about 5 to 7 minutes until almost cooked. Remove salmon from broiler and pour teriyaki sauce evenly over the filets. Return to broiler and cook for another minute or so until fish is cooked through. Transfer salmon to plates, removing skin if you like, and garnish with lemon slices. Sprinkle with yuzu shichimi.
Makes 2 servings.
Chiharu’s Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
1 cup sake
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
2 tablespoons sugar
Add all ingredients to a heavy saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until sauce is thickened and has a glassy look. Cool, transfer to bottle and store in a cool, dry place.
Makes about 2 cups.