Tag Archives: bedroom
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Princess Mononoke came out in 1999. I remember seeing that it was playing at the cinema in Redon, France where I was living at the time but I paid it no mind. I was not a fan of anime. For many years I have regretted that decision. When I finally saw it, it was a badly reproduced and spottily subtitled version on a computer screen. Nevertheless, I was captivated. I will never forget the feeling I had as I watched it. I had no idea that a cartoon, for all intents and purposes, could be beautiful. And made with such an eye toward details. Every time I watch this, I eagerly await the scene where the wind blows across the tall grasses.
Of all the films by Hayao Miyazaki, this is hands-down my favorite. Spirited Away is a close second but it’s nothing compared to the beautiful, funny, sad epic that is Princess Mononoke. Although many of his films are totally fine for kids, I haven’t shown this one to my son yet. There is a lot of violence and a lot of really intense activity. I can’t wait till he is old enough because it’s so awesome. And he will absolutely love San, the fierce human child adopted by the great wolf gods of the great and ancient forest. Decked out in furs and war paint, riding a giant white wolf, she is not one to be trifled with.
The happy news is that in honor of Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, the local theater aired all his movies in the original 35mm and I got to make up for the regrettable decision I made fifteen years ago. It was totally worth the wait.
Post by Tracy Kaler.
Shopping for bedside lamps? Selecting lighting for your bedroom may seem like an easy task, but there’s a lot to think about, particularly if you often read in bed. Aesthetically, lamps should compliment the décor; choose a ceramic mid-century light for a retro bedroom, and pick a faceted crystal base for a more traditional feel. But regardless of style you’ll want your lamps to do their job, so here are a few tips to shed some light when shopping for bedside lamps.
Choose the right height
Most designers will agree that a bedside lamp’s height is most important for optimal use. As a rule, the bottom of the shade should just about align with your chin while sitting in bed. This, of course, is partially based on the correct height of your bedside table, which is ideal if it is even with your mattress.
Keep the shade light
Dark shades provide little light, and in a bedroom, will only darken your space. (Control natural light with window treatments as needed.) Stick with a white, ivory or other soft, neutral shade –– fabric and paper usually work best to provide the right amount of brightness, as well as a classic look.
To control the amount of light, a two-bulb lamp will work well. Your lamp can have one bulb for reading and one for overall ambient light. If a lamp has a single socket, try a three-way bulb so the amount of light will vary from dim to bright.
Think about the switch
When shopping for lamps, look at the control or switch. Will this be easy for you to turn on and off from bed? You might opt for a lamp with a switch on the cord, which may require less reaching as you drift off to sleep.
Post by Alison Hein.
Soft, fresh ricotta cheese is a wonderful, light additive to many dishes – traditional Italian fare such as pastas and pizzas, delicious desserts like cheesecakes and cannoli, or simply smeared across a slice of toasted semolina. It also works surprisingly well with simple scrambled eggs.
The origins of ricotta are, like most food history, a tad sketchy, but are believed to lie in the Sicilian region ofItaly. There is a lovely illustration (claimed to be the first) of ricotta-making in the medieval health guide Tacuinum Sanitatis. Ricotta was considered to be very healthful and to aid the digestive system.
Surprisingly, ricotta is not actually a cheese. The word derives from the Latin “recocta” (recooked), because it is produced from the whey (byproduct) of cheese-making. Originally made from sheeps’ milk only, today ricotta is also made using cows’ milk. If you cannot find fresh ricotta in your local Italian specialty shop, I urge you to try making your own as we’ve done on this blog in the past (http://www.charlesprogers.com/blogs/archives/6283). The mild flavor and texture of freshly made ricotta will enhance and enrich the flavors of your home-cooked meals.
To put an Italian spin on this recipe, I started with a ripe, red Roma tomato, sautéed in a touch of olive oil. Then, I added some dried oregano and parsley to the eggs before cooking, added the fresh ricotta near the end, and topped it all off with a handsome sprig of fresh, green basil.
Enjoy these fluffy eggs on their own, or serve them with spicy Italian sausage and a big hunk of toasted semolina for the full experience of an amazing breakfast in bed, Italian style.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small Roma tomato
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried parsley
¼ cup fresh ricotta cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
Heat olive oil in small, heavy pan over medium low heat. Chop tomato into small pieces and add to pan. Cook until tomato is warm and softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Break eggs into small bowl and whisk well with oregano and parsley. Add egg mixture to heated pan and allow to cook slowly and gently. Stir and lift frequently with wooden spoon to avoid sticking. Toward the end of cooking, add ricotta cheese and fold into the eggs, just to melt slightly and heat through. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve immediately.
Makes 1 serving.
Post by Alison Hein.
When I travel, I like to shop for souvenirs for friends and family back home. I search the culinary shops, seeking regional specialties, unusual items that cannot be found locally. InBermuda, that means spicy gale force pepper jam (amazing spread atop some whipped cream cheese and served with wheat crackers), tangy sherry pepper sauce (the not-to-do-without condiment for traditional fish chowder), and, of course, the inimitable rich, dark rum cake.
Serving ware and kitchen gifts are also at the top of my list. When I locate a linen towel or cutting board that includes a printed recipe, my joy is doubled. On a recent visit toBermuda, I picked up a tiny little cutting board for my daughter-in-law, Lesley. Upon receipt, she politely declined saying, “Oh, I love that little board…but you got me the same one last time!” Oops!
So, I kept it for myself. Morning Glories are prolific in Bermuda, and this sweet little board is adorned with frilly watercolor flowers created byBermudaartist Carole Holding. The muffin recipe is rich with carrots, fruits, and nuts. Be careful not to overfill the muffin pans – the dense batter will run over and cause the muffins to join together.
Enjoy the delightfully tantalizing aroma of warm tropical fruit as your muffins bake. When finished, plop one or two on your tiny serving platter, and be transported to the lush isle ofBermudafor an artistic breakfast in bed.
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon salt
1¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups peeled, grated carrot (about 4 to 5 medium carrots)
1 apple, peeled and grated
4 ounces fresh pineapple, finely chopped
½ cup coconut
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with paper or foil liners and set aside.
Sift together flour, baking soda, ginger and salt into large bowl. Stir in brown sugar. In separate bowl, beat together eggs, oil and vanilla. Mix egg mixture with dry ingredients until smooth. Add grated carrot, apple, pineapple, coconut, raisins and walnuts.
Spoon batter into lined muffin tin and bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in muffins comes out clean and tops are lightly golden. Let cool on a rack at least 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 12 to 14 muffins.
Note: You can purchase spicy pepper jam from the Bermuda Jam Factory at bermudajamfactory.com; chopping boards and other original artwork from caroleholding.com.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
The Neverending Story. Classic fantasy film of the 80s. Kid alone in an attic reading a large, mysterious tome. In the story, a young man on a mission to save his world from annihilation. From the Nothing. Unwilling to go to class, he hides out in some weird darkened room full of old stuff and reads.And what an exciting book young Bastian has discovered. The magical world of Fantasia is exciting and scary! Luck Dragons! Pink furry ears and an eerie pink, scaly back. Giant rock eaters! Big naked Sphinxes with lazer beam eyes! And the most exciting/terrifying thing of all? Bastian is PART of the story! The characters feel his woes. His belief or lack thereof is all that stands between their world and obliteration.
We finally broke down and watched this with our so-close-to-six-we-should-just-call-him-six-year-old. I think the biggest worry was watching that poor horsey get sucked down into the Swamps of Sadness. Poor sad, drowned horsey! Well that didn’t seem to bother him in the least. I guess we had nothing to worry about, or we waited just the right amount of time. I’d forgotten how much I liked most of the movie. The funny pointy-eared old man and his wife. With their telescope, watching him try to best the Sphinx. And how Bastian gets to scare the pants of the bullies by chasing them down on the luck dragon.
Everyone is always crazy about retro stuff, especially stuff from the 80s. So if you are feeling ironic or whimsical, or if you have a kid or you don’t have a kid, The Neverending Story is still a fun and fantasy-filled adventure well worth revisiting.