recipes

eating this: super easy go-to brownies

03.09.12

My dad has been making this brownie recipe my whole life. As long as they don’t overcook, they’re just gooey and buttery enough that I can’t remember ever bothering with another recipe ever.

Unless it’s this mix, which I like to keep on hand for days when we stay home and do a bunch of vicodin.

Super Easy Go-to Brownies

4 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 sticks of unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 ⅓ cup flour

Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt the chocolate and butter in a pan. In a mixing bowl, beat together the remaining ingredients.

Once the chocolate and butter are completely melted, pour the mixture into the mixing bowl. Beat until mixed. Pour batter into a sprayed glass pyrex. Cook for 20-23 minutes. I check at 20 with a toothpick. If the toothpick is drenched in brownie, I’ll put it in for another minute. If it’s only slightly drenched, take them out!

uncategorized

how we covered an unused door… part 2.

03.08.12

What’s that? You don’t have huge oversized fawns hanging in your house? How weird!

So it’s probably not the first thing I’d hang in our office, basically taking up the entire wall, but look how it is underneath!

This tapestry from Urban Outfitters was our cheapest and easiest option for now but it’s not really working for me. No idea why you wouldn’t want a wall sized photograph of fawns. We’re trying to figure out our options for covering the door and we don’t want to spend much doing it. 

chalkboard. We could buy a large piece of plywood and paint it with chalkboard paint. But then we have to buy some kind of huge frame and yada yada.

a memo board. We could buy Homasote and cover in fabric… Gideon thinks this is too girly.

vintage american flag. Since Photoshop doesn’t make things to size for me, I have no idea if and where you can buy a huge vintage flag, but I’m guessing ebay.

oversized antiqued mirror. I found this tutorial on how to do it with mirror panels, which given the size would probably be the easiest way to handle DIYing this bad boy.

UGH!

See how we covered the door in our living room.

recipes

eating this: spaghetti al limone

03.07.12

Have you been to Supper in the East Village in NYC? Well then, have you tried their lemon pasta? It’s incredible. We’ve been missing it and dreaming of a future trip to New York for some. A few weeks ago, I tried making a meyer lemon pasta and maybe the meyer lemons in our fridge were too old and bitter or maybe I just screwed it up, but it was SOUR. And gross.

Then I found this recipe from Made by Michelle. It totally satisfied our craving!

It looks like just a simple pasta dish and makes me appreciate the subtle elegance of Supper’s version even more. We ate it straight up, and roasted some brussels sprouts and broccolini for our side.

We tossed the vegetables (individually) in oil, kosher salt, cracked pepper, and greek seasoning. Roasted them at 400° for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Really doesn’t look like much, huh? I was a little worried it came out too creamy. It probably did, but it was delicious regardless.

Spaghetti al Limone
Salt
1 pound fresh spaghetti
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
¼ cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest and ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves.

Bring salted water to boil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Add the pasta, stirring frequently, until al dente. Reserve 1 ¾ cups cooking water, drain pasta into colander and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the empty Dutch oven over medium heat until simmering. Add shallot and ½ teaspoon salt; cook until shallot is softened, about 2 minutes. Whisk in 1 ½ cups of the reserved pasta cooking water and cream into pot; bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat, return pasta and stir until coated. Stir in remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, cheese, and ½ teaspoon pepper. I used a ton more pepper (as I tend to do).

Cover and let pasta stand for 2 minutes, tossing frequestly and adjusting consistency with remaining ¼ cup reserved pasta water if necessary. It wasn’t for me. Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

uncategorized

how we covered an unused door… part 1.

03.06.12

One of the many quirks of our house was the doorway going from the main room to the second bedroom, which we use for an office.

We really didn’t have another option of where to set up our living room besides putting the sofa right in front of the door. Therefore, we had the pleasure of having to tackle covering up a large door (with gnarly molding). Twice!

Our door in the living room sat awkwardly behind our small-scale sofa. We spent weeks brainstorming and finally decided to get a large scale stretched canvas (70x. We removed the molding and stored it in the garage (we rent.)

Had we used an unstretched canvas like this, I think we would have had an easier time driving it home.


via

Yuck. We hung the canvas and left it white for months before finding the time to do a collaborative painting.

It only took us a day to throw the painting together. I did the sky, my boyfriend Gideon did the iceberg.

And the door is gone! Well, the first door we had to worry about.

 

recipes

eating this: mussels à la marinière

03.05.12

This batch of mussels was particularly beardy. Not cool, the process of de-bearding is pretty foul. I think. While we debearded and scrubbed like crazy, we were a little uneasy about how gross the batch was, chucking them at the littlest sign of too gross. But our meal turned out perfect.

Moules à la Marinière

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Served 2

1 cup dry white vermouth
½ cup minced shallots or green onions
8 italian parsley sprigs (I only use Italian!)
½ bay leaf (oops. I used a full one)
¼ teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper
6 tablespoons of butter
2 pounds scrubbed, soaked, and de-bearded; if necessary (!!!!); mussels
½ cup roughly chopped parsley
*optional – a pinch of saffron

Bring all of the ingredients but the last two to a boil in a kettle (I just used a large stock pot). I added a pinch of saffron to the broth to please my boyfriends tastes. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes to evaporate the alcohol and to reduce its volume a tiny bit.

Add the mussels to the pot. Cover and boil over high heat. Frequently grasp the kettle with both hands with your thumbs clamped to the cover, and toss the mussels in the kettle and an up and down jerky motion so the mussels will change levels and cook evenly. In about 5 minutes, the shells will swing open and the mussels are ready.

With a slotted spoon, pour the mussels into bowls. Allow the cooking liquid to settle for a moment so any sand will sink to the bottom. Then ladle the liquid over the mussels, sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.

Pommes Frites 

Because I am usually lazy, especially on a weeknight, I skipped making my own fries and went with this frozen bag of Ore Ida Extra Crispy. Came perfectly crispy out of the oven and I sprinkled with a bunch of kosher salt. A little too easy peasy.

uncategorized

the items we ALWAYS have in stock

03.02.12

1. Savon de Marseille Handsoap – Instant bathroom makeover.

2. Extra Long Matches – Nothing looks nicer displayed next to a fireplace that is never used.

3. Ikea’s Tekla Dish Towels – $0.49. Come on. Every time we’re at Ikea, I impulsively buy at least 20. I use them as dishtowels (they’re not the most absorbent or soft when washed), but they’re basically disposable! I also keep a ton of new ones on hand to use as cloth napkins for dinner parties.

4. West Elm’s Mercury Glass Votive Holders – In love with these. They look good scattered everywhere or in a bundle on the table. Target also had $0.99 versions around the holidays, which they don’t seem to anymore. I got 6 and went back for more the same week.

5. Widemouth Ball Jars – I drink water all day long out of them. And you can buy at the grocery store. Easy.

6. Cavender’s Greek Seasoning –  My boyfriend turned me onto it, it adds the perfect hint of flavor to pastas, meats, and brussel sprouts.

7. Caldrea Dish Soap – For some reason, they seem to have stopped making my favorite fragrance, Olive Oil! They’re all nice, but the Olive Oil smells insanely good and makes you actually enjoy doing dishes. For a minute or so.

8. Chock Full O Nuts Coffee – Not only is it my go-store brand for coffee, but it totally indulges me in my hoarding. I keep the empty canisters and spray paint them white for makeshift vases. You can never have enough coffee canister vases. Right? Right.

9. Martha Wrap – Parchment paper and tin foil in one?! So genius.

uncategorized

making this: the ikea rast campaign hack

03.01.12

Mainly the reason I started this blog, I tend to look at inspirational DIYs and hacks and try to copy them, this was one of the first cases of me just knowing what I wanted to make and doing it. And people on the internet liked it as much as I did!

After scouring flea markets and craigslist for campaign furniture, I gave up. It is so pretty! Am I the only person that can’t find the pieces in person? So I made my own from the Ikea Rast tiny little dresser.

So here is the step-by-step (well, somewhat.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I picked up one of these guys for $35, not really positive of what I was going to do with it. So I scoured the internet for the best deals and most attractive brass hardware. Not the easiest thing. I bought three of these corner pieces, which conveniently came in 4 pack. Then purchased the pulls in polished brass. A long time was spent debating paint colors, but I ended up choosing a blue-ish slate color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I assembled the body of the dresser, and kept the drawer fronts on their own while I patched up the original knob holes.

After patching the holes, I drilled the holes for the corner pieces and pulls. (Sorry! No photos of these steps) A lot of pencil markings. Then painted each drawer front before actually attaching the hardware.

Once the drawer fronts were done, I assembled the drawers and VOILA!

hey – see my rast on Apartment Therapy and Little Green Notebook!

*** AND IF YOU WANT TO SEE HOW THE HARDWARE GOES ON – i’ve done a little follow up update post here!