Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Funny

Sorry I've been MIA the last few days, readers. Wednesday was hubby's birthday and the day job is all kinds of hectic right now. The good news is the weekend is almost here - hooray!

We'll be doing some indoor skydiving, hitting some golf balls at the driving range, and visiting our favorite Irish restaurant. What will you be up to? Whatever it is, here's hoping it's fantastic!

Whee! Riding this coaster straight into the weekend!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lost Sock Board

Good morning, readers! It's guilty secret sharing time!

The topic for the day: the scoop on socks.

I'll admit it. I'm terrible when it comes to loading the wash machine with full sets of socks so I always end up with mismatched items at the end of the cycle. Even worse, I toss the mismatched socks into our sock drawers and what's out of sight then becomes out of mind... so our socks stay mismatched for weeks.

Enter: missing sock boards! They're small enough to fit somewhere in or near the laundry room so our stuff doesn't just get tucked away, destined to be forgotten. How's that for organization?

I'm not a huge fan of the color scheme, but that can be customized. You can read the full tutorial at Just Us Four.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Tart Recipe

Instead of doing the outdoor activities we had planned for Saturday, we stayed inside all day due to a horrible, unexpected downpour that lasted for hours. (This is Seattle, after all.)  I was bored so I pulled an old cookbook off the shelf and flipped through it. Several hours later, I ended up with two delicious, fresh-baked desserts, the first of which I'm going to share with you today.

Dark Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Tart
  • 1/3 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup of light corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp of flour
  • 2 large eggs, 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp good quality bourbon
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups of pecan halves
  • 1/3 cup of dark chocolate chips
  • Pillsbury pre-made pie dough crust
  • Whipped cream for garnish
Roll out the pie crust and line a 10 inch, greased tart pan with it. Arrange pecans over the crust.  Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

In a bowl, whisk together the sugars, corn syrup, flour, salt, whole eggs, egg yolk, bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate and melted butter.  Once mixed, pour over pecans and pie crust. Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until mixture is puffed, brown and bubbling. Serve with heaping dollops of whipped cream. 

This dessert goes down well with a small glass of bourbon after dinner, but it's versatile and could also be served as a brunch accompaniment or an afternoon snack with coffee. There's three great reasons to eat more pie! 

I laid the pecans carefully on top of the crust in a circular pattern. 
Fresh out of the oven. Not bad! The whole house smelled wonderful.
My first sampling of the finished product... followed by a second, and maybe third sampling? Baking is dangerous!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mixology Monday: Pisco Sour

While Mike and I were out having fun on Friday, we came across a bar that offered a cocktail called Pisco Sour.  I'd never heard of pisco before so of course, I had to try it.

After chatting with our bartender, we learned that pisco is a type of single-variety grape brandy from South America that tastes surprisingly similar to tequila. Though it's origins are much debated (Chile. vs Peru),  if you mix it with a little bit of lemon juice, sugar and whipped egg whites, it makes for one incredibly smooth cocktail!

You can make one by pouring the first 4 ingredients below into a cocktail shaker. Whisk or shake for 1 to 2 minutes. Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass and sprinkle the bitters over the top. Serve immediately and enjoy!

- 1 cup of pisco
- 1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 1 egg white
- several ice cubes
- dash of angostura bitters

My first pisco sour!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Truth in Advertising

In lieu of a Friday Funny, I bring you something equally awesome.

If you've ever wondered why your restaurant chain burgers (McDonalds, in this case) never look the same in real life as they do in advertising photos, read on!

Apparently, there is such a thing as a "food stylist," and they operate much like a fashion stylist does, with food as their medium.  Check out the exclusive tour of a McDonalds photo shoot in Canada, where a stylist and photographer work together to turn ordinary burger bits into drool-worthy, print creations.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Practice of Kindness

Have you heard this story yet?  Karen Klein is a 68-year-old middle school bus monitor in New York who was verbally assaulted and brutally threatened by a group of young bus riders. The incident was caught on video and is making it's way around the web. It sounds horrifying, doesn't it?

But that's not why I'm sharing the story.

Since the video footage leaked, the school has launched an investigation and the kids responsible are under fire from the school district. (Rightfully so).  What's more, an anonymous fund was set-up online on Karen's behalf and so far, kind strangers have donated over $150,000! The initial hope was to raise enough money to send Karen on a nice, long vacation, but it appears those expectations have been exceeded by a landslide.

It just goes to show that for all the evil, terrible things out there in the world, kindness still exists. Thank God!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Manicure Masterpieces

Today is all about nails! Check out these inspiring manicures from Incredible Things.  I love the Calvin & Hobbes theme!

Unlikely Mediums in Art

You may recall my post from a few weeks ago regarding beautiful knife art displays. Today's post promises something equally unexpected.

Artist Marcus Levine creates striking pieces of artwork using nails! Even more amazing is the fact that he doesn't use sketches, drafts or mapping before he begins a project so the end result is always a surprise.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Stately Sandwiches

Artist Kelly Pratt has come up with a brilliant way to display her love of sandwiches and photography in a project she's calling "Stately Sandwiches." It's a photographic collection of the most popular sandwiches from each of the 50 states and includes delicious pairings like The Flutternutter (peanut butter and marshmallow spread), The Reuben (pastrami and sauerkraut) and The Hot Brown (turkey, cheese sauce and bacon).

What's the most famous sandwich in your state? They all look so delicious! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Globes Galore

Lately, I've had a major sense of wanderlust which may explain why I'm so drawn to these amazing repurposed globe projects.  Aren't they fascinating? I love it when something ordinary takes on a new, inspirational form.

1.  Clock - Dishfunctional Designs
2.  Night Lights/Art - Positive Ponderings
3.  Disco Ball - Six Axle
4.  Grill -
5.  Bowl - Rose of Sharon Blog
6.  Kitchen Light - The Inspired Room

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mixology Monday: The Double Bind

We tried a new restaurant over the weekend called The Sexton and oh boy, was it amazing. We didn't have a full-on meal, but the snacks (think: bacon macaroni and cheese) were incredible and the drinks even better.

I tried something called The Double Bind, which is a mix of equal parts bourbon, sage and cider shrub (a drinking vinegar), ginger beer and a dash of Angostura bitters. Heavenly!

The lights in their old canning jars look like fireflies at night.
They also have bicycles hanging from the trees on their back patio. Feels very southern.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Funny

A friend sent this to me yesterday. It's the funniest "To Do" list I've read in a long time. Happy Friday everyone!

To Do List

1. Make vanilla pudding. Put in mayo jar. Eat in public.
2. Hire two private investigators. Get them to follow each other.
3. Wear a shirt that says "Life." Hand out lemons on a street corner.
4. Get into a crowded elevator and say "I bet you're all wondering why I gathered you here today."
5. Major in philosophy. Ask people WHY they would like fries with that.
6. Run into a store, ask what year it is. When somebody answers, yell "It worked!" and run out cheering.
7. Become a doctor. Change last name to Acula.
8. Change name to Simon. Speak in third person.
9. Buy a parrot. Teach the parrot to say "Help! I've been turned into a parrot!"
10. Follow joggers around in the car. Blast "Eye of the Tiger."

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Amazing Ryan Berkley

Ryan Berkley is an incredibly talented illustrator whose work very much reminds me of something out of The Wind in the Willows.  Each print comes with its own story too. Aren't these characters great? My sister Katie is in love with this stuff and I can see why. These portraits really bring me back to my childhood. It's hard not to smile!

We're lucky enough to have Ryan's artwork on display here in Seattle at the Assemble Gallery in Greenwood. If you're ever in the area, you should definitely check it out. The shop is small, but it packs a mean punch of talent.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Patriotic Kabobs

Aren't these the cutest dessert kabobs? They're easy to make too! Just take your favorite pound cake recipe (or a similarly dense cake), a star-shaped cookie cutter, and your favorite fruits and put 'em all together on a kabob stick. These are perfect for the 4th of July!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mixology Monday: Tequila Over Sorbet

I love this idea from Real Simple for making instant margaritas out of something typically reserved for dessert. Just pour your favorite tequila over lime sorbet and viola!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Funny

This little hamster is quite the actor, isn't he? I wish I had a pet who could pull this off. Too cute! Happy Friday everyone.