Archive | June, 2011

nuts! gnats!

29 Jun

We’ve all done it. Forgot to take out the trash, or had a tomato go bad sitting on the counter, and before you know it, your kitchen has gnats. They are irritating and difficult to get rid of. However, a friend showed me a great trick. Leave an open, empty wine bottle on the counter, and the gnats fly in and get stuck like environmentally friendly flypaper. Then just rinse and recycle the bottle! Thanks for the tip, Jen!


The Curbly blog recently published a DIY on the same idea using beer, but it’s more reusable.

Crocheted Ring

28 Jun

This lovely pattern was shared on the Etsy Knitters Team by Mette: Crazy Ruffle Ring. It’s a big, bold ring without the hard edges of metal and glass.


Trunk Seating from Recreate

23 Jun

Many of you know about my trunk obsession. This is brillant reuse of trunks…into chairs

Avec Eric

20 Jun

I realize I am way behind on recommending this show, but Georgia Public Broadcasting doesn’t air it.

I finally got around to watching Avec Eric on tonight. Avec Eric (French for “With Eric”) stars Eric Ripert, the Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Le Bernardin in New York. Much like the gorgeous Diary of a Foodie by Gourmet Magazine, the show features travel, food, and fabulous restaurants. Both are half hour TV shows that will inspire, enlighten, and make you drool.

Rethinking “The Minimalist” TV show: Sweet Potato Salad

13 Jun

As I have continued to watch Mark Bittman’s The Minimalist on the Cooking Channel, I like it more and more. Recent shows on desserts and healthy cooking have been great and have inspired a few of my cooking adventures. The dessert episode had a good recipe for sorbet, which morphed into my strawberry-mint daiquiri.

Tonight I worked off of Bittman’s Sweet Potato Salad recipe. I used his basic idea, but used the ingredients I had on hand. I roasted my sweet potatoes and onions with smoked paprika and cumin. I didn’t have bell pepper but added pickled banana peppers instead. It was delicious with a faux-jito (mint and lime juice muddled with sugar and doused with tonic water).  Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Salad with Faux-jito

The 2011 SAVEUR Best Food Blog Awards: The Winners

12 Jun

While I certainly haven’t had time to look through all of these, a few of my favorite blogs did jump out at me while perusing the 2011 Saveur Best Food Blog Awards including Smitten Kitchen (see previous post) and La Tartine Gourmande. yum.

Roasted Pepper Soup

11 Jun

One of my favorite Savannah restaurants is Cha Bella. While there on my last birthday, I had the soup special as an appetizer, roasted green pepper soup. It was a pureed soup with goat cheese. I loved it and decided to try my own version.

This time, I tried a nice mix of peppers– red and green bell peppers, cubanos, and poblano chilies.

Peppers!I sliced the peppers in half and removed the seeds and pith, placing the pepper halves skin-up on a baking sheet. I tucked two cloves of garlic under one of the peppers to roast as well. I broiled the peppers for 10 minutes then put everything in a covered bowl to continue cooking. Meanwhile, I began to caramelize some onions. After 15 minutes, I removed the peppers’ skin and pureed them in a blender with a little bit of parsley, lots of thyme, salt, and pepper, adding the caramelized onions at the end.

Next time I will roast the peppers in two stages: the thin walled poblanos and cubanos at ten minutes and the thicker-walled bell peppers longer. The bell peppers weren’t as fully cooked as the other peppers, and so instead of a smooth texture, I had a chunkier soup. The velvet texture is one of the appeals of the original. I’m sure the original also contained a small amount of cream or olive oil to add smoothness and richness.

To finish, I topped with soup with extra thyme and a chunk of goat cheese. I ate my soup with these amazing cream biscuits from Smitten Kitchen, topped with creamed honey.  Enjoy!

Roasted Pepper Soup with biscuits and honey


Last of the Strawberry Mojito-Daquiri

6 Jun

After a rough day, I decided to make strawberry sorbet. These are the very last strawberries of the season, and I had de-stemmed, cut, and frozen them yesterday. Into my food processor went one shot of spiced rum, half a shot of lime juice, generous amount of mint leaves, and a heaping tablespoon of sugar. I microwaved the strawberries for about a minute to loosen them from the container and added them to the processor.
This was my mistake that transformed my sorbet into a daquiri. I have made sorbet before with blueberries, and it blended up well with only a small squirt of lime or lemon juice. I had a little too much liquid in this batch. But it made a fabulous daquiri the tasted like a strawberry mojito! Enjoy!


Herb Garden

3 Jun

I have not had much time to craft recently, but I have started an herb garden. We have a small area in the backyard that gets overgrown with tall weeds. The previous downstairs tenant cut the weeds, laid black anti-weed fabric, and wood mulch on top.
Earlier in the spring, I pulled back the mulch and removed the fabric. I planted several kinds of herb seeds but only cilantro grew. That’s what I get for not going to the trouble to grow seedlings and transplant.
In the past few weeks I planted some potted herbs that were hanging around and were desperate for some fresh air (primarily oregano, I think the rosemary might be beyond help). I bought potted basil and chocolate mint at the farmer’s market last weekend. A good friend gave me oregano and lemon balm from her garden. Between all of these attempts, I have the nice beginnings of an herb garden for little effort.


Yarn-art Video

1 Jun

A very sweet story about a yarn art tree in New York neighborhood (from

%d bloggers like this: