29 July 2008

My Tomatoe Woes

My mom has been growing tomatoes this summer, and I just can't stand it, because they look gorgeous and I bet they taste it too, but I hate tomatoes. I don't know why; it depresses me. I wish I liked them, but something in me just hates the taste. Maybe its the texture, I don't know. Either way, it sucks that I can't take advantage of them.

I mean seriously, I missing out on this:

Home Grown Tomatoes

Sigh, it looks good.

She's also growing Black Tomatoes, the seeds of which she received as a gift, and she (and my dad) don't really like them. My dad says its psychological for him--eating black tomatoes just seems weird? My mom says they just don't taste very tasty.

Black Tomatoes
They do look a little odd...

Fortunately, she's making tomato soup, and I really like tomato soup. I know, it doesn't make sense, but whatever. Cold tomato soup=yes!

In other news, I'm going to a Dodgers game tonight! That'll be fun...especially if I stuff my face with a hot-dog. Woohoo! And also, I saw Brideshead Revisited, which I didn't like. To be fair, I never read the book, but I thought the movie was really pretentious and ridiculous and the last 1/2 hour could have been made 3 times shorter. But it was gorgeous, aesthetically, and made me realize that I need a new 1920s/1930s haircut. And some clothes from Anthropologie!

Until next time...


27 July 2008

Ho Hum

Mom's Flowers
Summer is flying by

25 July 2008

Thin Mints and More Summer Parties

I swear this summer is going by all together way too fast. Fortunately, I feel that I have been using it the best to my advantage by seeing many movies and eating. I saw The Dark Knight twice, which was fantastic. I want everyone to go see it! I also saw Wall-e, which was also great! I really enjoyed it; the animation was spectacular, and it was just cute overall. I rented Persepolis as well, and I enjoyed it too. I think I've seen too many good movies, and therefore, I should see some god-awful ones to balance myself out. Next stop: The Love Guru. No, I can't do it. That's more than crossing the line.

Anyways, it was my friend's birthday (actually, I don't think her actual date of birth has come up yet...) but, point being, I made her delicious Thin Mints from 101 cookbooks. Seriously, these are the way to go. I have been (was?) a Girl Scout for 11 years, and have both sold and eaten my fair share of Thin Mints, but these take the cake. I really love how fluffy soft the actual cookie is. They are time consuming, however; the dipping-into-chocolate part takes a while and the cookies, at least for me, break in half all the time.

Thin Mints

Thin Mints' Prep
So, anyways (do I say anyways too much?), we ate the cookies and watched Jane Eyre. And then my friend busted out the birthday cake she made and decorated herself. Which was unbelievable. I see cake decorating in her future.

Birthday Cake 2

And it was tasty too! A nice white layer cake with a raspberry almond filling running through the center.

In other news, I have shot 4 rolls of 120 format color film from my Holga camera and I don't know what to do. I can develop my own black and white 120 film at home, but I have to take the color rolls to get developed some place that actually ACCEPTS this type of film. End result: pricey. I can't afford to spend $15 per roll! So, I modified my Holga camera so I could put 35mm film in it! Yes! Score! And, I covered it with this sticky paper that looks like wood, so now it's even more awesome.
Glamor shot:

Woody Holga!

12 July 2008

Sage & Lemon Iced Tea and Etsy Update!

Only recently have I discovered what a whiz my mom is at making iced tea. I've always known that her Apple Pies are more than sublimely ridiculously incredible, and that my dad is the King of All Pancakes, but this summer, after several scorching hot spells, I've begun to realize that her iced tea is definitely something I will miss when I'm in New York next year. I think that the special thing about it is the fact that she always puts a sprig of some plant from her garden into the mix. Usually, its Sage, but she also throws in some Mountain Mint, which together create a really refreshing, earthy combination. So without further ado:

Sage and Lemon Iced Tea

Sage & Lemon Iced Tea

When I asked my mom if I could post her recipe on this blog, she said "I have a recipe?" So, obviously, this "recipe" shouldn't be taken too seriously. Just throw some stuff in, you know, a couple leaves here or there, whatever! Also, we've only made it this way because my mom has all these herbs and plants in her garden, so if you have them, try this! If not, improvise!

4-5 Earl Grey Tea Bags
2 cups of cold water
1-2 Tsp. Sugar (to taste)
A couple sprigs of Sage
A pinch of salt
Water and Ice (a lot, but be careful not to dilute it too much)
1/2 Lemon, sliced
A few sprigs of Mountain Mint or any other type of Mint leaves
Agave Nectar (quite optional)

In a plastic carafe, throw in your tea bags (unwrapped and de-tagged). Then bring the cold water to a rolling boil. I've heard several times how important it is that the water be cold and also, as many a tea-aficionado has preached, that the water be at a full rolling boil. Add the water to the tea bags and let them steep for 10-15 minutes. As they are steeping, stir the carafe a few times and taste the tea; no one likes bitter iced-tea, so be careful not to over-steep. Remove the tea bags (and put them into the compost heap if you like!) and then add the sugar. We never really measure out the sugar, just add a spoonful and taste the tea as you go. It's always better to keep your hot tea a little on the unsweetened side, so guests can add as much sugar or agave nectar as they want later on. Then, while the water is still hot, add the Sage and keep it in the carafe. Then (this is the part I really like), add a pinch of salt; just a tad, so it enhances the sweetness just a bit.

Now, add a bunch of water and ice. Always add the water first, because you don't want your carafe to explode or anything. Throw in the lemon slices (and keep a couple for garnish if you so please) and the Mountain Mint. Add some agave nectar or honey for yourself, and enjoy!

Magpie and Raven
G.K. ChestertonUne Nymphe de la Sauge

In other news, I've update the shop! Added are three new illustrations: and an illustration of Magpie and Raven, two wolves I met in Colorado on a wolf preservation, a portrait of G.K. Chesterton, and another floral floral nymph Check it out!!

09 July 2008

Thanks Maida, but my cookies were lame

I've been doing nothing lately...which is perfect! But, I lie; I actually have been doing some things (updating this blog is obviously not one of them--oops). In the mornings I ride my bike over to Caltech to work for my dad for a few hours doing tedious work with the scanning machine and File Maker Pro. And then I return to my home, sweaty and stinky because my deodorant doesn't work (it's that Tom's of Maine kind that they sell at Trader Joe's...the one that doesn't have aluminum in it so it's supposed to be better for you, I guess by making sure that you still smell bad even after applying it amply), and then I play the Sims 2 because I am the biggest nerd/loser/dork to walk the earth.

Additionally, two days ago my friend and her friend (bad grammar?) came over and we baked cookies! I busted out the Maida Heater, because we thought that we had gotten a recipe for basic chocolate chip cookies from there, but I'm still not convinced that it was the same one. Anyways, I was unhappy with the results, because they were really thin, chewy, and just left a lot to be desired for. They lacked...everything. We didn't even put nuts in them. Sub-par, most definitely, but still tasty because they're cookies and have butter in them.

Perhaps I should have read this article from the New York Times before making said chocolate chip cookies. Ever so informative!

And last but not least, I had had this recipe bookmarked for a while, my chocolate radar all a-buzz. So I made it one night for some friends, and of course I was careful not to over beat the batter and sift it and yadda yadda, but the dough was too crumbly for my inexperienced hands to manage! The whole step with rolling the dough into a log was tricky enough, but then cutting the log after it had chilled for a little more than an hour was also tough. I would begin to cut, and then the dough would just collapse into a crumbly, chocolately, delicious mess. However, end result=TASTY! I can't deny chocolate...
2008-07-09 057.jpg

Anyways, all is well. I want to make some veggie burgers soon. Also, I'm working on my photography portfolio website (soon to come, to be sure!) And I've been drawing, so keep checking the shop. Until we meet again...