Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On the Horizon

I leave tomorrow for the American Library Association conference in Washington, DC. A few things I am really looking forward to are:

1. Touring the children's section at the Library of Congress... my friend Ellen invited me. Ellen, by the way, was the first person to play Mary Poppins at Disney. I'll try to get some pictures so you can see just how Mary Poppins-y she looks. It's really amazing.

2. Attending a speech by Marlo Thomas. I love her. Even if she's not wearing an orange turtleneck sweater.

3. Staying with my bro, Elsworth, who is also a librarian (he's on the Caldecott Committee right now-- how cool is that?!), and his girlfriend, Lia. Fun times ahead!

Monday, June 21, 2010


1. Sometimes, things happen just at the right time. This morning, I was thinking of my friend Jenny while I was slicing some fennel for a salad. The mailman came shortly after, bringing me a lovely handmade card from none other than Jenny. The card features a particularly wonderful photo of me during our freshman year of college. I will not be sharing that photo here. Or anywhere. In the photo (which was taken 15 years ago, mind you), we are at the mall. Enough said.

2. This weekend, I went to my mom's house. We canned 53 jars of jam. Mainly strawberry, but also some strawberry-rhubarb and strawberry-blueberry.

3. I am starting to fall out of love with Ree Drummond/The Pioneer Woman. But don't tell anyone I said that.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ten on Ten: June

First things first, Tangram calendar::Cart of prize books for Summer Reading Program::To Do list::Prep for 'Tween Knitting Club::Snacks for hungry knitters (not the healthiest, I know)::First CSA share of the season!::Basil plants from our CSA farm::Supper made from fresh CSA veggies::The view from my seat at book club on the Memorial Union Terrace::Book Clubbers!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

We Be Jammin'

Monday evening was nice and cool... perfect for making strawberry jam!

I washed the jars and lids...

and got all of the equipment ready. That shallow, dark pan is perfect for keeping jars hot in an inch or two of water.

What do you think of my new magnet board above the stove? It's actually a vintage tray; I got the idea here. It's very handy for hanging recipes (that's the jam recipe on it in this picture) while cooking.

Recipes and other things, that is. All you jam makers out there know that a watch with a second hand is necessary for the process.

Three batches later:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New Favorite Recipe

Sometimes, at restaurants, I take the first bite of something and I think, "This is so good! I wish I could make something this delicious at home!" But I can't seem to create the same level of tastiness in my own kitchen, especially when it comes to curries and dishes like that... dishes that should be really flavorful.

Well, good news, folks. I tried a new recipe last week, and it is going straight to the top of the recipe file. My friend Shannon shared it with me... and I'm so glad she did! It's easy, cheap, super delicious, and it makes a ton. And you could easily vary the recipe by adding shredded chicken or steamed cauliflower (just to name two options). My first thought when I tried the finished product was, "This tastes like something you'd eat in a restaurant!" And that might be because the recipe is from a restaurant... the Great Dane, right here in Madison.

Great Dane Peanut Stew
1/2 cup olive oil
1 yellow onion
1/4 cup garlic
1/4-1/2 cup chopped ginger
1/2 T pepper
1/2 T red pepper flakes
2-3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 quart tomato juice
28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 cup plain peanut butter
1 bunch of cilantro
Saute onion, garlic, ginger, black pepper, red pepper flakes and squash in oil until squash begins to soften. Add tomato juice and diced tomatoes; simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a knife (about five minutes). Add cilantro (chopped) and peanut butter. Simmer for ten minutes. Serve with peas and white rice.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Things to Do While Waiting for the Guest of Honor to Arrive at a Baby Shower

1. Make falafel.

2. Play with Fisher Price Little People.

3. Put finishing touches on baby gifts.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Lovely Lavender

Before Karl and I left for our trip, I spent Mother's Day morning with my mom. We went out for a scrumptious bruch at Sardine, and then we did a little shopping.

My mom bought me a special treat at L'Occitane, where I would never buy something for myself. It's just too fancy. But my mom insisted; she had bought some lavender hand cream for herself at that shop, and she loved it, and she wanted me to have some. Never mind that it was Mother's Day (not Daughter's Day).

I saved the bag (with the lotion in it) to open until after we got home from Mexico. And it was so fun... opening the beautiful bag, unwrapping the tissue paper, unfolding the end of the pretty box... I almost wanted to wrap it back up just so I could unwrap it again.

And the lotion is divine. So luxurious and wonderful. And I'm very particular about hand cream, I'll have you know. A big thank you to my mom, who knows how to choose the perfect treat. XO

Thursday, June 3, 2010

In the Swim

You know what I love best about swimming? The feeling of having water rushing between my toes.