I love Etsy. I love everything about it. Last year I bought my younger sister a Golden Snitch necklace that is also a locket. She wore it to the premiere of the final film.
My friend Elisabeth sent this to me today: an iPod docking station in the guise of Jane Austen’s best novel, Pride and Prejudice. Love it!
I got a package from my momma yesterday and it was simply TEEMING with goodies! As the oldest, I often get to be the first recipient of my mom’s cast-offs. So far it’s been working out wonderfully: she has fabulous taste in jewelry and every few years her jewelry boxes literally overfloweth and I am the beneficiary.
This week, I received in the mail the by-products of her preparations for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. I got four cookbooks, after-dinner drink glasses, glass-handled pâté knives and forks, an array of spices include of an unheard-of amount of saffron (threads AND powder), and some Christmas decorations. I was giddy upon receiving and am still riding the waves – planning recipes with my new spices, rifling through the cookbook trying to identify gems.
Thank you, Momma, for getting me into the holiday spirit!
Another possible appetizer for Thanksgiving or my man’s December birthday celebration: Crab and asparagus mini quiches! And because if I double or triple this the crab meat will make the cost quite high, I’m considering making just asparagus and Gruyere quiches. Also, I think I may vary the ingredients and make one tray of asparagus-Gruyere, one Fontina-Artichoke, and one Sundried Tomato-Olive-Feta. The possibilities are endless! This recipe will yield 12 muffin-sized quiches. It will work out best if you preheat the oven to 450 and broil the asparagus first, then set aside and reduce the oven heat to 35o to bake the crusts and then the quiches.
-o- Crab and Asparagus Mini Quiches -o-
Check out the source recipe by Stefani Pollack, posted on PaulaDeen.com. There are step-by-step pictures (which I do not have yet)!
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1 cup flour
3 tbsps. cold water
1/4 tsp. white or black pepper
pinch of salt
1/3 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
4 tsps. flour
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream
pinch of ground mustard
1/2 cup cooked crab meat
2 pre-baked pie crusts (method below)
1/2 lb. roasted asparagus (method below)
Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper/foil liners.
Add flour and cubed butter to a mixing bowl and mix with your hands until crumbly.
Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is sticky but not yet formed into a solid mass. Careful not to over mix.
Press an even amount of batter into each lined muffin cup. Form the batter halfway up the sides of each cup.
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside for filling.
Preheat the oven to 450. Spread tinfoil on a baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil and salt.
Trim the tough ends off of the asparagus spears. Wash and dry, then spread on the baking sheet. Toss with the oil and salt until well-coated (add more if needed). Broil at 450 for 15 minutes until asparagus is cooked through and crisp.
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix the cheese and flour in a small bowl. Set aside. (You will have the pre-baked crusts, roasted asparagus, and dry mixture set aside at this point).
In a larger bowl, mix/beat the eggs, cream and mustard until well-mixed.
Spread the Gruyere mixture evenly over the bottom of each crust. Spoon the crab meat into each quiche, distributing equally. Pour egg mixture over each cup, filling them no more than 3/4 full (discard extra mixture if necessary).
Chop asparagus spears into 1-inch pieces. Spread the pieces on top of each quiche (2-3 pieces per quiche).
Bake for 30 minutes.
Before serving, remove from muffin tin and place on towel or paper towels to dry any extra oil. Serve warm.
… walk into a bar.
Finally, Halloween photos!
I love to paint pottery. The first time I went was on a Saturday afternoon with my friends Amanda and Ryan and my new boyfriend Brian. I was hesitant; Amanda raved about it, but it sounded boring to me. I’m impatient and really not at all artistic, and sitting and painting a plate sounded like something I was glad I’d moved on from in elementary school.
I was partially right: my first experience was less than satisfying. Ten minutes into it, I was finished with my ridiculous frog with a wide-open mouth for which I had no intended purpose while the rest of my friends had barely finished conceiving their elaborate ideas. So my frog ended up having super weird eyes with several layers of paint, racing stripes and a creepy mustache… but it was fun! And since then I’ve gotten much better. I even made the Wall of Fame once or twice and in 2008 I painted a salad bowl for my mother which only recently met with a tile floor in a fatal collision. It commemorated our song from when I was a little girl and had a very colorful polka-dotted exterior.
Point: it’s way fun and I recommend trying it out! There are at least a few different places in D.C. There’s a Color Me Mine in Adams Morgan, an All Fired Up in Bethesda and in Cleveland Park, and Clay Cafe Studios in Falls Church.
My apartment has plenty of painted stuff at this point: a lovely vase, mugs and a spoon rest, a pencil cup and a toothbrush holder. But, for gifts! I plan to paint some little dishes for salt or olives or nuts for my trendy aunts and maybe coasters or something for my sister’s house. We’ll see!
A week from today, All Fired Up in Cleveland Park is having a “Black Tuesday” 15% off sale on all of their holiday items. I plan to be there for a few hours in the evening, painting gifts, eating falafel and drinking wine. Join me after work! You just pick a piece (they range from $12-$30 depending on whether you want to paint a mug or a large pitcher), and then check out all the cool stuff they have there you can use. They have all different colors of paint, puff paint, stencils, art books with ideas, tiles with examples of different techniques, and the best part: the staff is super sweet and very helpful. They will show you how to do anything you are thinking of. So, check it out! It’s fun and as long as you’re not messy you can bring beer or wine and a snack. Hope to see you there!
Artist Ray Villafane carved two pumpkins, one a record holder, into this fantastic zombie scene. They are still sitting in the New York City Botanical Garden, but will soon begin to rot – that’s when the undead will really come alive. Check out Ivo Vermeulen’s photos of the project and the finished product at the U.K. Daily Mail.