Sunday, January 30, 2011

blog #442 >> Homemade Sauerkraut

Usually, I'm not a sauerkraut fan. I used to think I didn't like it, but that was before I tried homemade sauerkraut or my sister's baked sauerkraut dish... and now I LOVE it! I'm so excited to finally be trying this recipe for myself. I have to say it sounds too incredibly easy. And I'll just have to wait and see how it turns out in a couple of weeks. I got the recipe here from my friends Dave and Trina. But I did make a few modifications, because I'm incapable of cooking anything without: I just made 1/3 of a batch using 1 cabbage instead of 3 to test the recipe. And I used a brine of 4 cups boiling water to 3 T. pickling salt. And I also used a piece of cheese cloth to help keep it all weighted down.
I hope it turns out well!

blog #441 >> Lemon Curd

As I was strolling down the produce aisle, I made a remarkable discovery. Lemons were really cheap! I mean incredibly cheap! They must have been on sale and in season, and tempted by their lovely yellowish color, I decided on the spot that this was the perfect week to make lemon curd. I was thinking about canning it, but apparently it's only good for a few months if it's canned, before it turns brown. And it's good for up to a year if it's frozen. So this was one time that I decided to freeze something instead of canning it. Here's the recipe I used and the link to the batch I made last year. (I made a triple batch. One batch makes a little more than one pint, three batches yielded four. I also used super fine sugar, omitted the lemon zest, used 1/2 the amount of butter, and I used regular butter, not unsalted.) It turns out sooo good! I love homemade lemon curd! It's quite a bit more tart that store bought, which is extra good if you're eating it on something sweet like scones or shortbread. I can't wait to have some with tea!

Obviously, I used a LOT of lemons, and eggs.

blog #440 >> 美しい本を編む

For my birthday this year, I drove to Seattle with my sister Carrie and my friend Trina to visit the wonders of Daiso the 100 yen store and Uwajimaya the Asian grocery store. (Their seafood section is like an aquarium!) I got so many amazing things! And as usual I forgot to take a single picture! I even got a bag of hot roasted chestnuts from a cart right outside the door! Among other things, I got grass jelly, litchi vinegar, some interesting candies, a rice-ball maker, tin foil with elephants on it, decorative tape, bath salts, a bento box set, ingredients to make red bean mochi, and a few craft books. This one is my favorite from Kinokuniya inside Uwajimaya. All their craft books where so delightful! I had a really hard time picking one out. I hope I can figure out how to make some of these things. Diagrams are helpful, but I can't read Japanese at all!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

blog #439 >> Homemade Ricotta Cheese

At last! I've successfully made homemade ricotta cheese thanks to my handy new digital kitchen thermometer. I can't wait for dinner to come out of the oven. See recipe and complete instructions here at Serious Eats.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

blog #438 >> Cool Things!

I know, two posts in one day! I feel like I need to make up for being a lazy blogger lately. This is a collection of cool things I've found on Google Reader recently. If you want to see more of these cool things you should follow me, I share lots cool things!

These are a few of the mind bogglingly awesome dioramas done by Lori Nix. See more of them at her website here.

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Remarkable photos from Olivier Grunewald of blue lava from inside the sulfur mine Kawah Ijen, in Indonesia. See more here.

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Here are some very cute children who are very puzzled by outdated technology. They're adorable, but they make me feel so old. "What's this? I don't know... A carpet?" (Don't worry it's subtitled in English.)

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This is so extraordinary! I would totally buy stock in this company if I could! It's a 3D printer called Thing-O-Matic! It can print just about anything from a chess set to a coat hanger in 30 minutes. I am so impressed with this, it makes me want to go back to school and major in 3D modeling software. What would be even cooler is if you could throw the plastic back into another machine and then reuse it. They need to start working on that. Buy your very own here for only $1225.

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And this is the house of my dreams found on Retro Renovations. Unfortunately, it's on the wrong side of town and about 1/2 million more than I can afford. But it's absolutely stunning with a huge backyard.

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Now I'm not really one for staying out all night drinking, but this looks like a cocktail lounge that even I would enjoy. Anyplace that has a phone booth for an entrance has to be pretty remarkable inside. Found at SuperPunch and you can read a full review here and see their official website here.

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Not that I need another waffle iron, but if mine ever breaks down... I'm getting one of these!
Found here at Happy Things!

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While moving on to other delicious things to eat. I can't wait to try these Earl Grey Cupcakes. Trina made me some for my birthday and I'm sure they're going to be as fantastic as I think they will be! Cooked up by The Food Librarian see recipe here.

I also want to try her recipe for homemade mochi...mmmm... it all sounds so good!


blog #437 >> Simple Pleasures

That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.
~ Henry David Thoreau (Walden)

Recently, I was reading over my Google Reader posts and found this quote posted by Chiot's Run. I find this is an important thing for me to remember right now, since material riches have been sparse, it makes me happy to focus on the simple pleasures that fill life with joy.

Such as... ...the smell of a freshly baking pie in the oven... ...long walks on foggy mornings... ...listening to the sound of the rain on the roof at night... ...digging in the dirt and watching things grow... ...the cozy aroma of a wood fire... ...looking at little distant fuzzy objects in the sky with my telescope... ...soaking in the tub after a long day of work... ...jumping in mud puddles... ...reading a good book while drinking a hot cup of tea...

What are some of your simple pleasures?