July 14, 2007



On occasion I'll take a look at some of the amazing food blogs I've stumbled apon over the years. Though I'm certainly not a foodie, I totally recognize there's a hugely creative and compelling world of food out there. I also appreciate the visuals of great food, like this beautiful image from kuidaore of stunningly decorated cookies. The color, the crafting of the decoration, the overall aesthetic are absolutely lovely. The only problem is that I don't think I could actually eat one of these because I'd feel so guilty. Such beauty, gone in an instant!

February 09, 2007

shins love.


I don't write about music much because truthfully there are far better critics out there than I. What do I know about music beyond what I like? And who am I when it comes to music? But enough of the caveats. Sometimes you have to share your opinion just because you have a strong one. And I do when it comes to the new shins album, wincing the night away, which we just bought off of iTunes. It is, in a word, breathtaking. And smart, lovely, complex and wonderful. I love it so much, so there you are, for what it's worth.

August 26, 2006

clafouti on my own.

My neighbor is a marvelous cook. I am not. It's laziness more than skill, I tell myself. Regardless of what's really true, I just don't spend much time in the kitchen. But thanks to my wonderful neighbor, I'm learning a couple of recipes that I hope to master. That way I don't have to be a total dork every time we're invited to a potluck or dinner party, and we show up with a store bought bagette or bottle of wine.


One of my favorite desserts in all the world is clafouti. And luckily, my neighbor knows how to make a mean one. So a couple of weeks, she kindly shadowed me on my first attempt at making one myself and happily, it turned out great. Inspired by my first successful clafouti creation, I'm winging it on my own today. What I love about clafouti is that you can use all sorts of fruit to create a wide variety of iterations from the original recipe. Today it's fresh peaches (and also eggs) from the farmer's market and raspberries picked from my garden yesterday. I'm hopeful that my use of the freshest ingredients will ensure that the eggy, creamy, fruity delight will be as successful the second time around.

To try this lovely, sublime dessert yourself, here's my neighbor's recipe for clafouti:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter to grease the pan
1/2 cup of sugar, + a handful to dust the pan
4 eggs
1/3 cup of flour
3/4 cup of heavy cream
3/4 cup 1% milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
confection sugar for the top
sliced, peeled fruit: peaches, pears, apples and/or berries: raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries etc.

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2" deep 9 x 5" pie pan with the butter and then dust with enough sugar to cover the entire pan. Lay the fruit in the pan in some decorative way that will impress your friends. Then set aside the pan while you prepare the egg batter. Beat the eggs until they are foamy. Add the 1/2 cup sugar and continue to beat until the batter is thick and foamy. Add the flour while you are still beating the batter, adding smaller amounts at a time to ensure that the flour is totally mixed into the batter without clumps. Once the batter has the flour mixed in and is thick and creamy, add the cream, milk, vanilla and salt and mix thoroughly. Then pour the batter over the fruit in the pan slowly. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. If all goes well and it comes out browned and custardy like it's supposed to, then sprinkle the confectioners sugar on the top and let cool. Serve cold with fresh whipped cream if you want to experience clafouti as a total fat extravaganza.

That's it. So delicious, so easy and so fun. Yum, yum.


August 10, 2006

remember the old songs.


I love new music but sometimes the old favorites are the best. You just forget about them for a while, but then you resurrect them and omg. I have always loved the music of Joan Armatrading but haven't listened to it in forever. Rosie, Drop the Pilot, Willow. And of course, Love and Affection: "sing me a love song but this time with a little dedication." Perfect. Her lyrics are smart and fresh, the musical arrangements surprising and unpredictable, which all adds up to her music still being very relevant and wonderful, some 30 years later.

July 22, 2006

lazy summer soundtrack.

It's unseasonable hot these days. We broke the record yesterday at 104 degrees. Ick. This heat makes me dozy. And the perfect song of the moment for a dozing, hot, summer day is "put your records on" by Corinne Bailey Rae. Love it and the album too. Ahh. I've got the album on and it's feeling like it might be time to sit back and relax a little more.

July 10, 2006

summer tunes.


I'm getting to take a nice long vacation this summer. The first extended vacation in too many years to say (because I'm embarrassed and it makes me look like a loser). But now I am taking a real one and it's totally wonderful. It's been hot here, really hot, like a real summer. Like the ones I remember from when I was a teenager. Long weeks of no school streching out ahead. Hot sun, listening to the radio, swimming, hanging out.

Memory is a funny thing. I've been listening to some music of my youth on this vacation. I got a compilation cd of the band WAR and I can't stop listening to it. It is SO good. I remember it as a kind of soundtrack to my childhood summer vacations and now, with this long vacation before me, it's what I'm gravitating to. Plus how can you beat songs like Low Rider, Why Can't We Be Friends and Summer. "'Cause it's summer, summer time is here, yes it's summer, my time of the year". I swear if these songs were "new" today, people would flip. I certainly am. Enough that they're becoming the soundtrack to this summer vacation too. "Take a little trip, take a little trip and see..."


June 20, 2006

observing the everyday

Everyday is supposed to be a common, not so special thing, but I totally disagree. For me, everyday is where the magic of life is. It's the small things that add up to a rich life in my mind. But it's easy to not notice them too because there are so many, and we just get used to them, day in and day out.


Happily though, I've noticed that there are more people documenting the everyday-ness of their lives and sharing it with the world. Maybe it's not that people are doing it more, but rather that they can share it more, thanks to the wonders of technology. Regardless, one of the things that I love about blogs specifically, is access to these everyday documentation projects that people give themselves. A while ago I discovered this blog that document's the artist Tom Judd's project of doing one drawing every day for a year. I found it cool to see the narrative of one person's day to day life through the filter of his own hand drawn imagery.

Another interesting project, discovered thanks to a link on Karin's style blog, was the one that fiftyRx3 gave herself. Her goal was to have 50% of her clothing be sustainable (as defined by reused, environmentally friendly production practices or made from recycled stuff) and documented (with callouts to explain the sustainability aspects of the outfit) for one year. Additionally, she is doing a monthly recycled clothing project which she also features on her blog. I really like her fashion style too, so beyond the great ethics of her project, it's also fun to see how she puts her look together day to day.

On the same "everyday observation" theme, a while ago I blogged about this the project that Tucker Shaw gave himself a couple of years ago and documented in the book everything I ate: a year in the life of my mouth. He photographed every meal he ate, every day, 365 days straight. I've seen the book and it's both wonderful and weird. Wow. It's a really strange way to come to "know" someone through all the food they eat for a year. I guess it's proof that every day is full of lot's of small things that add up to a whole life. It's just a matter of what you want to focus on.


June 10, 2006

new tunes from Canada.

Thanks to Jacob I now know about The Russian Futurists from Canada. Love them! Especially the first song on the album Our Thickness called "Paul Simon". They remind me of XTC with a little more bounce. Very fresh and fun.

May 28, 2006


My sweet husband brought me the new Paul Simon cd yesterday as a suprise. And it was a very pleasant one, indeed. I'm an old Paul Simon listener. His music just winds through my life from Simon and Garfunkel days to Still Crazy After All These Years to Graceland and Rhythm of the Saints. I just like him. I like his voice and the stories in his lyrics and his musicality. Like Peter Gabriel, he knows how to blend music styles and feature musicians I would otherwise not be exposed to, in a way that is still signature and very accessable. His music has helped broaden the musical world to me. I love music, but I don't have the time to explore other genres and traditions and musicians as much as I would like. Pathetic I know, but there you have it.

Anyway, his new, aptly named cd, Surprise is all that and more. I love it. Mr. Simon has paired up with Brian Eno to create a fresh and joyful sound. It makes me happy. I love it when I put a cd in and it's good the first time through and on every track. My favorite song, after listening to it for all of 2 times, is Outrageous, which asks "who's gonna love you when your looks are gone?". Well I still love Paul Simon and well, he's not exactly as cute as he used to be...but then again, neither am I.

March 10, 2006

musical adventures

Like a birdie on a wire, I have to wax rhapsodic about this new customized, music station called Pandora. It's flipping incredible! Pandora falls in this amazing, new, "you are totally special", category of service that has come to be because of the web, open source mentality and cool algorithms that I'll never understand. You go to the site, (which is free if you agree to receive advertisement or for a paltry $35 bucks a year subscription you ban the ads and just enjoy the music) type in a song or artist you like and then they start streaming songs they think you might like, based on your choice. You can create different "stations" based on different types of music you want to capture plus create a favorites list of all the new songs you discover. You can also purchase a song directly from this site to iTunes if you become so enamored by it that you have to own it, NOW. It's just too fantastic for words. It's like you have a personal dj, constantly feeding you new delights to try. The quality of my life just ratcheted up a notch. And there aren't many things you can say that about too often! Definitely check Pandora out!

February 21, 2006

new song love

I am really liking the album Colour the Small One by Sia, especially the song Breathe Me (Four Tet Remix). I'm doing the "play it over and over again until I'm sick of it" thing, which must mean I do really like it.

December 26, 2005

Feist sings

Let it Die by Feist is so sweet. Fresh and sparkly. Sometimes loopy and lighthearted, sometimes sophisticated and jazzy. It's a great surprise. I had heard the song Mushaboom earlier this year but never knew who did it. Then I heard it again today on the radio, looked it up on the stations play list, sampled it on iTunes, liked most of the songs on the album, so I bought the whole thing. I've been listening to it all afternoon and well, I love it. Especially the songs Inside Out, Secret Heart, One Evening and of course, Mushaboom. Yep, I love it.

September 07, 2005

a million ways


Today was kind of a rough day so I moved furniture which I do when I need to feel like I have some control over life. I find interior decorating to be a great antidote to those random feelings of the blues; either that or funny dancing. For a great example of funny dancing check out okgo's a million ways dance video . It makes me happy that things like this are made.