Saturday, November 28, 2009


I just started ripping my multnomah out. I just didn't like the combination of pattern and yarn.I'm trying an entrelac scarf, we'll see how far I get with that.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Food Friday: Thanksgiving

I've been in and out of town the past couple weeks, first two trips to Philadelphia and now I'm in West Virginia for Thanksgiving. In all this time the most ambitious thing I've made has been a simple pasta with onion, garlic and mushrooms with a little balsamic vinegar.

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, but there was no room for me in the kitchen. There are a few things I am planning to make when I get back home. One of these recipes is one I received as an email from the Splendid Table back in October. I can find it online, so I've posted it below.

EMERIL'S BLACK BEAN CAKES (From Splendid Table's Weeknight Kitchen)

Recipe from Emeril 20-40-60: Fresh Food Fast, by Emeril Lagasse, HarperStudio, New York, 2009. Courtesy Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.

4 servings

Prep Time: 16 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total: 24 minutes

Talk about "knock your socks off!" These bean cakes end up crispy and crusty on the outside, but oh so tender and creamy on the inside. A true study in contrasts, this dish is elevated to notches unknown when served garnished with your favorite guacamole, salsa, and sour cream.

  • 7 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion (5 to 6 ounces), cut into small dice
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Emeril's Original Essence or Creole Seasoning (recipe follows)
  • Two 15.5-ounce cans black beans, drained and quickly rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. When it is hot, add the onion and cook until soft and lightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

2. Place the flour in a shallow bowl or plate, and stir in the Essence (or Creole seasoning). Set aside.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, mash the black beans well with the back of a fork – the mixture should be relatively smooth, with no whole beans remaining. Stir in the cooled onion mixture, cilantro, egg, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, and hot sauce and mix well. Divide the mixture into 8 evenly sized patties (about 1/3 cup each).

4. Heat the remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, dust the patties in the seasoned flour mixture and carefully transfer them to the hot skillet (the cakes will be delicate). Cook the cakes until golden brown on both sides and heated through, about 2 minutes per side.

5. If necessary, season with more salt. Garnish with chopped cilantro, and serve immediately.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Philadelphia One Day Late

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Web Wednesday: Brat Pack!

This is the best thing ever for a Wednesday morning!

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Music Monday: Current Obsessions

In October I happened to use up all my free hours on Pandora; you get forty free hours per month and then must start paying. This is what being home on the computer all day will do to you. I didn't want to pay for this so I started looking for alternatives. I began with NPR and didn't go much farther after that because I already had plenty of options. And now that it is halfway through November I've barely touched Pandora because I'm too busy listening to the morning news online and then streaming a great alternative radio station out of Minnesota called the Current. It is a music station sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio and I've discovered a few great new songs.

Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson - Relator

I didn't really pay attention to SJ's album that she put out a few years ago, but I really like this song. It's super catchy.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Home

Sweet, catchy song. I never saw this video before, but it makes me want to take off to west Texas.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Crafterday: What next?

Since finishing a secret gift project (well "finishing" doesn't include the many ends to weave in) I really don't know what to start next. I do have a sock on the needles and a shawl that I may rip out because I'm not so fond of it. I am trying to decide what my next big project should be. With the stash running low due to purchasing constraints, I've narrowed myself down to two sweater patterns.

The treeline striped cardigan and whisper stripe pullover. I wasn't sure about the whisper stripe pullover at first, but I saw a version on ravelry that was gorgeous and if I narrow the neck and shoulders a bit I should be able to make it work.

I've included pictures of each of the swatches below. I'm just not sure about the colors, is a blue and purple striped cardigan too loud? Will I wear a black mohair sweater? Speaking of loud, I have some hot pink mohair in the stash, but not enough for this sweater. So what should I do? Keep working on socks until I have some better inspiration?

Treeline Striped Cardigan

Whisper Stripe Pullover

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Food Friday: Pumpkin Bread with Apples

I've been trying different pumpkin bread recipes because I haven't been able to find one I like the best. The other night I tried this one from an old Gourmet magazine. I took out the cranberries and added peeled, chopped up apple. I also added more cinnamon and probably could have added even more. Well there always is next time.Yum!

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: the highline

Monday, November 09, 2009

Music Monday: Lists

When I was hanging out with two friends this past weekend we wandered into a record store. As we browsed we began to share some of our favorite artists and albums. I quite seriously suggested that we make lists for each other of musicians to check out. This never happened, but it got me thinking what music I would recommend to others.

Punch Brothers/Chris Thile/any of the other PB
Rilo Kiley/Jenny Lewis
Surfjan Stevens
Elizabeth and the Catapult
The Very Best
Avett Brothers
Neko Case
Vienna Teng/Alex Wong
Ben Sollee
Crooked Still
Arcade Fire
Magnetic Fields

See Live (all of the above, plus):
Andrew Bird
A Hawk and a Hacksaw

This is just a starter list. I'm a bit of a music rut, so I'd gladly take some new suggestions!

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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Crafterday: New Sweater!

The kool aid yarn has not been dyed yet, but I finally have some pictures of my finished sweater.I can use the self-timer on my camera!

I used the featherweight cardigan pattern and modified the front band to finish it in a feather and fan pattern. If you ravel, the notes are here. This yarn is not the best (I got it for free back when I was in design school and have no clue what it is), but it does make for a nice cozy sweater. It may even become my house sweater when it starts to get really cold.Closeup of the front band feather and fan

It's a great pattern and maybe I'll re-knit it in the recommended malabrigo lace-weight when I have a yarn budget again. Though from now until Christmas I may just be doing gift knitting.
And I forgot, hello somcak!

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Friday, November 06, 2009

Food Friday: Fall Dinner

In the fall I crave heartier meals and I got a craving for meatloaf a few weeks ago. I wanted to keep it a bit healthier so I made a turkey meatloaf. I added some cajun seasoning for extra flavor and roasted some fall vegetables in olive oil (sweet potato, parsnip, carrots and brussels sprouts) at the same time the meatloaf was cooking. It was a great filling meal and it will make for a few easy meals this week.
Out of the oven!
Quick picture of my plate, it was soon gone!

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, November 02, 2009

Music Monday: Rainy Saturday

Last Saturday it poured and poured all day and was generally the kind of day where I want to stay inside all day in my pajamas. But I braved the storm, went out and was very happy with my decision (once I was inside that is). I headed over to City Winery to see Elizabeth and the Catapult, a band I have been putting off seeing for far too long. I should have seen them in Pittsburgh when they came through with Jeff Taylor last July, but I couldn't bring myself to go down to Lawrenceville by myself again. While I won't rush out to City Winery again*, I will rush to see again. I love their fun, quirky music and Elizabeth Ziman has a great voice and stage presence.

After that I headed over to the Rockwood Music Hall to see Jeff Taylor who had just performed with EATC. He, like Ziman, also has a really great voice, distinctive with a great depth to it. His music all has a very creative use of rhythm mostly expressed through hand-clapping.

I can't stress how much I enjoy seeing shows at the Rockwood, it is a great space and I have loved everything I've seen there. It is also a funny contrast from my experience at Carnegie Hall a few weeks ago, instead of sitting several stories above the musicians, I am literally backing into them before they make their way onstage.

And because Taylor was at the EATC show and Ziman was at the Rockwood I got to enjoy this song twice in one night. I was a very lucky girl.

*it's a weird space, part restaurant, part listening room in one open space which really should be two different rooms.

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