Friday, December 28, 2007

Frosty Morning

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The afternoon snow softened the world around me a bit yesterday. The grime has been draped with a thin layer of white, everything appearing somewhat new again. It is a clever ruse, however, as I know the dirt and sand and salt are all lurking below, waiting, perhaps snickering at me, for the warmth to return so they can rear their ugly heads again. Cup of Joe in hand, it is time for some fun and shiny things!
Your Daily Cool Things:

Temperature Sensitive Wallpaper!

Holy Jumping Amphibians, Batman!!

Your Daily Wonderful Design:

David Turbridge

Your Daily Inspiring Words:

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"Again and again, the impossible problem is solved when we see that the problem is only a tough decision waiting to be made." Dr. Robert H. Schuller

Your Daily Wicked-Good Food:

Images by Me

Pannetone " French Toast "
Made from the traditional Italian Holiday Bread, this is simply scrumptious!

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Pannetone bread (I used the small, individual size, which cuts into perfect rounds. You may use the larger loaf and cut out the circles with a cookie cutter)

I egg and 1/4 cup cream per serving.

3 drops vanilla per serving

1 Tablespoon sugar per serving.

Butter to butter ramekins.

Sugar for crunchy glaze on top.

Butter the individual ramekins well with butter. Cut the round of bread to size, place it in the bottom of the ramekin. Gently beat egg and cream together, adding sugar and vanilla. Pierce the bread with a fork in several places so the bread will absorb the custard well. Pour the cream/egg mixture on top of the bread and let it sit for 10 minutes. Place the ramekins in a roasting pan filled with boiling water to just below the edge of the ramekins. this will aid in the setting of the custard and prevent over cooking. After about 10 minutes test the center of the custard by touching it gently. It should spring back just a bit. Remove the ramekins from the oven, discard the water bath and sprinkle sugar (I used casting sugar) on top, using about 1/2 teaspoon per serving. Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet and place in the oven under High Broil until the sugar caramelizes (this part is a bit tricky! Keep an eye on them during the broil to prevent burning). Serve warm.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Leaning toward the New One

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Rain is pounding away the snow now. All the grit and grime is on the surface. Things look rather bleak. I awoke to the sound of the falling rain and prayed for colder weather. Snow chants. Now it is the short sprint to the next Fun Time, New Year's Eve. A crispy clean and New Year is on the way. 2008 is sure to be an interesting one. Well at the very least it will for some lucky clod who garners the mandate to take the helm of this squirrel's nest of a country.

Well, look at that!!! AM news tells me we are expecting snow this afternoon. Damn, I am powerful!

Your Daily Cool Things:

Tobwabba Aborignal Art Gallery

"The art created by the Tobwabba Artists is contemporary coastal Aboriginal Art. It is the art of an Aboriginal group with an extensive and highly destructive contact history who are reclaiming their Aboriginality through the creation of their own modern, urban art form."

"Sony has developed a eco-friendly battery. The prototype battery is encased by a vegetable-based plastic, and generates it’s power from sugars. I can not stress enough that if you get your hands on one, you do not want to eat it.

The battery can generate enough electricity to power a pair of speakers and a mp3 player. It works by pouring a sugar solution into the battery and then enzymes go do their thing and break down the sugars and generate electricity. The battery test cell had an output of fifty milliwatts.

Sony plans to produce the batteries commercially sometime in the future." (source

Your Daily Wonderful Design:


"Wake up to the smell of...Animosity...

Connects via WiFi to your online bank account, and donates YOUR real money to an organization you HATE when you decide to snooze!" (source

Your Daily Inspiring Words:
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"Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart." Martin Luther King

Your Daily Wicked-Good Food:

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Simple Roasted Carrots

You're tired of all the sauces and stuffings and baking, right? This one is truly simple and yummy. Take a bag of carrots. Wash the carrots and put them in a roasting pan, baking pan, cookie sheet, whatever you have...drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, sprinkle 1 tsp sugar, add pepper to taste. Grate a fresh nutmeg over top, just a little for that special zing of flavor. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. I generally do a bunch of root veggies at once, adding squashes, beets, turnips and sometimes add shallots or garlic. Go simple. Go wild. Just roast em up!

The Day After


Image by Me-Barn Series

Sometimes the day after Christmas feels sorta like when you come to a sudden stop in your car and everything slams and slides off the seat onto the floor. All that pre-holiday energy builds and builds and builds then POPS! Now I get to sit here and admire my tree before I haul it to the curb to meet a rather Chippy Death. Sad, that. Next year it will be a Live Tree to be planted apres winter. I hope you all made it through the holiday intact. Or, in tact. Whatever. If you didn't poke Aunt Gladys in the eyes and push her down the stairs, then I would say it was Ye Goode Thing. Now bend and stretch and reach for the sky and be rid of that pie and gravy and all that wine. You think I didn't see you sneak that extra glass of Syrah? Pshaw! I saw. But I can be bribed, you know. With Cool Things. Like this:

Your Daily Cool Things:

I have always admired animators, and if pressed for a secret dream job, I would confess, under duress of bamboo shoots below the quick of my nails, that I have wanted to work for Pixar since I saw the tensor lamp segment on Sesame Street.


Blooming Tea!!!

When I was a kid, my father would bring home gifts from his travels. One of my favorite presents was a clam from China, which when submerged in water would open and bloom with wonderful streamers and flowers. These teas remind me of that, and of him. I shall send for some of these toute-de-suite. How charming. And, well, cool!

Your Daily Wonderful Design:

Disappearing Car Door!

Now exactly HOW silly would you look with your raincoat hanging out the door, flapping along in the grit with this get up?

Speaking of automobiles, check out Design Warehouse, in Santa Fe:

Design Warehouse

"Inspired by the compact cars popular in Europe and Japan, the A9 may be the smallest car in the Automoblox line-up but it is certainly big on style. Featuring smaller three-spoke wheels, low-profile tires and generous roofline with plenty of headroom, your child is sure to get great mileage from this little gem."

Your Daily Inspiring Words:

Image by Me-Mixed Media

I Am That Which I Seek, by Jenifer Shapiro

I am that which I seek.
I am the seer, the known and unknown. The lover, the light, the bliss.
I am the unconditional one beyond judgment, scorn or criticism.
I am the whole Self, filled with the love of a thousand lives and the wisdom of the ages.
I am the water that shines, cleans, flows through and surrenders.
I am the earth that holds all of us upon it's glorious strength.
I am the wind that carries the voice of God - sometimes as a prophet, often as a whisper.
I am the light of my soul and the connection to all souls.
I am the truth, for I have already lived the lies and won my freedom from them long ago.
And while at times I may forget and scan the periphery for a sign of me,
When I am quiet, when I am free, I remember, I am that which I seek.

Your Daily Wicked-Good Food:

Raspberry Chantilly Cream

1 pint heavy whipping cream

1 pint fresh raspberries, or frozen (if using raspberries in syrup adjust the sugar)

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons water

Make a simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a pan and stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the raspberries and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool and then run through a sieve or strainer, pushing the pulp against the sides with a spoon to get out all the juicy goodness.

Whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Add the raspberry coulis and fold to mix well. Make sure to use pretty stemware for presentation.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Ever Close

Image by Me- Barn Series

Time keeps plodding along. Each second brings us closer to Christmas morning. I think I get most excited when I think of the little children I know waking up to the magic. I know the holiday has become a consumerist wave, out of control, but for the good moments, I do feel the joy and wonder I had as a child on Christmas morning. I imagine it for everyone. And I send it to you all.

Your Daily dose of Cool Things:

Little Pink Toolkit

Portions of the proceeds from the sale of this toolkit go to Breast Cancer Charity. Chances are you won't see the testosterone laden Craftsman kits do that, eh?

What's This? Chocolate Hedgehogs?

Okay, this hits the Major Die of Kyoot button for me. Though the thought of biting off one of their perty little heads is a bit, well, discomforting.

Your Daily Wonderful Design:

Retro Phones!!!

I have always loved these phones. My grandmother had a phone table with a comfy chair and a lamp and a honkin' phone like this in black. My Dad had one at his house, too, and it was a party line. I still remember telling the operator who I wanted to connect to. And, no, I am not ancient. I am a well preserved 48. I have references to prove it too, should you need them.

Making Sense of Macel Duchamp

I suppose this fits under the category of design for two reasons. First, the site is exquistely designed. My first impression was that this was some seriously sexy flash design work. Flash design on websites can be an utter mess of over-done. I found this to be really well put together. Second, well, Duchamp himself is a bastion of design goodness, too. So consider yourself twice blessed with this one, m'kay?

Your Daily Inspiring Words:

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"This is the true joy of Life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one - the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” - George Bernard Shaw in Man and Superman

Your Daily Wicked-Good Food:

Image by Me

Spiced Nut Treat

preheat oven to 375 degrees

1 12 oz bag of walnuts or walnut pieces
1 12 oz bag of pecans (go with the whole ones here. You will be glad you did)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 stick of butter (organic, please)
2 cups of light brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Garam Masala to taste (I usually use about 2-3 tablespoons) I use my own mix, but I have found that The Spice Hunter brand to be quite good. You may also add cayenne if you prefer a more spicy nut. Ahem.

Make sure you use a large pan for this, or do it in two batches.

Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the brown sugar and stir frequently as it bubbles and begins to melt the sugar. Be sure to not let this burn or it will be bitter. Add the spices. Then add the cider and stir until the mix becomes glossy, about a minute or two. Add the nuts and toss, being sure to coat them well. Turn out the nutz onto a well oiled cookie sheet or baking pan and put thm into the oven for about 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5 mins or so. They may SEEM soft but they will harden as the sugar cools and get more crispy. Be careful not to over cook these, or they will get nasty and bitter.

I packaged mine in small cellophane bags with a shiny twist tie. Each bag held about a half cup of goodies. Just enough for someone to snarf up without feeling TOO guilty.

Finally, a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday to all of my readers! I wish you only the best for the New Year. Yes, all of you.

Image and sculptures by Me

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Winter Wonderland

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We have had over 26 inches of snow here in New England! Having already burned through our snow removal budget for the YEAR(!!), I have written the government and suggested that ALL teenagers must clear the walks and driveways until we see the ground. I think we would see a marked improvement in a number of areas. I supplied charts and graphs. And photographs. You know, to support my idea. See, that way I can sit here with my coffee and let go of the bottle of Aleve that has been my best friend for two weeks. I think we need a break from one another.

I think one would need more pain killers to carry THIS
to the table this year.

Your Daily Dose of Cool Things:

Skinny LaMinx

Art for Change:

Cheque de la Realidad

Your Daily dose of Wonderful Design:

(images courtesy of
Eden Bio by Eduoard Francois

Designed by a French architect, this design for a social housing development surrounded by organic gardens is simply amazing!
Your Daily Dose of Inspiring Words:

(Portrait of May Sarton by Polly Thayer 1936 currently residing in the MFA Boston)
I would like to believe when I die that I have given myself away like a tree that sows seed every spring and never counts the loss, because it is not loss, it is adding to future life. It is the tree's way of being. Strongly rooted perhaps, but spilling out its treasure on the wind. - May Sarton

Your Daily Dose of Wicked-Good Food:

I *totally* rocked a number of people's worlds with these this week. I now have the perfect treat for bribing folks to do my will. Mwaaa haaaaa haaaa!

Image by Me

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large bowl stir together 1 14 oz package of flaked coconut, 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, and pinch of salt. Whip 1 large egg white until soft peaks, then fold into coconut mixture.

Mound tablespoon-ful of batter onto cookie sheets and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly golden brown around edges. Let cool completely.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Creative Ways to get your political message across...

I don't generally post about my political convictions. But, these two stories hit my Cool Thing button like nobody's business!

Your Daily Cool Things:

Panties for Peace

Strike Bike

Your Daily Wonderful Design:
I do lots of graphic work, and I really appreciate open source resources like this one. Sure, I could sit there and go blind creating my own backgrounds, and I *do* that, often. But, this week, with all the snow shoveling and a burgeoning headache for most of the days, it was much easier to just gank this stuff from Squidfingers. Shout out to Travis Beckham, a big Santa's Helper for me this week.


Holiday Table Happenings:

Finer things. Delicately handblown and heat-tempered strong in clear chem lab beaker glass. Modern heirlooms shape up in light-as-a-feather styles. Collect a mix.

• Handblown, heat-tempered beaker glass
• Each holds a standard taper candle, sold separately
• Hand wash

Lumiere Candlesticks

Your Daily Inspiring Words:

Challenges come so we can grow and be prepared for things we are not equipped to handle now. When we face our challenges with faith, prepared to learn, willing to make changes, and if necessary, to let go, we are demanding our power be turned on. Iyanla Vanzant

Your Daily Wicked-Good Food:

Curried Squash Soup

Medium sized squash (I prefer Hubbard) 2 pounds or so should suffice

2 medium onions

3 cups broth (I use organic veggie broth)

1 can Lite coconut milk

1 orange

1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

Olive oil for cooking (about 1/4 cup)

salt and pepper

Curry Powder

Bake or steam the squash until tender. Scoop out the flesh and place in a blender or food processor to cool. Dice the onions and saute until translucent and tender.

Add the onions to the squash in the blender and add the grated ginger, the juice of the orange and the broth. Process until smooth. You may have to halve the mixture to accommodate the space of your blender/processor. Add the coconut milk and process again, adding curry powder, salt and pepper to taste. This soup is best at just above room temperature, not too hot.

Monday, December 17, 2007

'Tis the Season

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After spending much of the past few days shoveling snow and slipping about on ice, sitting down with a warm laptop and a mug of hot chocolate is just what I need. The wind is blowing and the snow is crisp and white. No escaping it now. We are headfirst into winter!

Your Daily Dose of Cool Things:

This is a great season for nifty Bling sites.


And Nifty Giftie things, too!

Three Potato Four

Your Daily Dose of Wonderful Design:

I am a huge fan of the American Crafts Movement, and of George Nakashima.

George Nakashima (1905-1990) was a woodworker, born in Spokane, Washington. He attended the University of Washington and received his Masters in Architecture from M.I.T. During WWII, he was placed in an internment camp where he learned woodworking from a Japanese carpenter. In 1943 he opened up a woodworking shop and studio in New Hope, Pennsylvania and employed some of the world’s finest craftsmen. Today the Nakashima Studio is operated by his daughter, Mira Nakashima-Yarnall. His work can be found in the late Nelson Rockefeller’s home, the interior of Columbia University, and the International Paper Corporation, among others. (
More Here
And Here

Your Daily Inspiring Words:

"Connection...a word, a way of being, the path I walk with others, and myself. With no agenda, no plan, no goal. Connect to that feeling. Connect to that intention. Connect to that hug, that smile, that embrace. Connect to those words. Connect to my heart, and head, and wholeness. Connect to my father. Connect to my mother. Connect to the pain, and anguish and forgiveness. Connect to the peace and sparks of joy. Connect to the past and future. Connect to the present. Connect to the love. Connect to myself. Connect to the truth. My mantra for who knows how long? A lifetime perhaps. Connect. One word that defines a path, the Fearless Path for me, right here, right now, with you. May we all connect at the deepest level our soul allows and feel it, really feel it and know that it is real."-Rhonda Britten

Your Daily Does of Wicked-Good Food:

Edamame: It does not get any more simple than this.

Most grocery stores carry frozen edamame. If you are unable to find any there, try your health food store (Whole Foods, Trader Joes etc). Bring em home. Open the bag. Steam for 10 minutes. Place the whole bag in a big bowl and sprinkle with salt, preferably sea salt or Kosher salt. Lots of salt. Then bring the pod to your mouth and squeeze the little beans out. See? so. so very good. And good FOR you, too!