Sunday, October 25, 2009


I know this is TMI (too much information) but I must complain so cover your eyes...wait, skip to next paragraph if you are delicate.  In fact, get over yourself if you are delicate because you miss out on the finer things of life like that.  So anyway, autumn, with its brilliant colors and beckoning metamorphosis, still leaves me mourning the loss of the warm temperatures because I like nothing more than to write while wearing only The Emperor's New Clothes - pants actually.  I was born naked - what can I tell you?  During the sweltering days of summer, I've grown accustomed to writing while wearing only glasses, a wife beater t-shirt, pantalones, and my Emperor's new pants  and Why am I telling you this? Because I always complain when the season changes and you'll be happy to know that I'm finished now. 

Aren't those pumpkins fantabulous?  In a few days you are going to miss that punctured, withering gourd you called a  jack-o-lantern so here ya go > Plan B: paint something pretty on your pumpkin and keep your grubby knife out of it.  These are from And while you're 
at it, I hope you did something awesome with that scare crow because he's going to hang around 'till Thanks giving.  I like this MJ one... I miss you, Mikey.

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This time of year there is an abundance of Pomegranates in the market.  As a child growing up in NJ, I was sure these were called Indian Apples and I looooved them.  As an adult I think they are beautiful little stain makers, more trouble than they're worth unless they come in a bottle labeled Pom.  If I were feeling adventurous and wanting to get at 
those little seeds efficiently I would do it this way  and then I would certainly reward myself with a Pomegranate martini like this one Oprah shared.  I am certainly no lush but I do enjoy a pretty drink when the moon is full and I don't want some dressed up sugary thing.  The tart pomegranate will do nicely, it's got that Boom-boom-Pow that I like.

Almost everywhere I look, people are having babies. Old people, too!   I will not drink from their well (in case there's something in their water) for all the yarn in the knit store but I will knit their little sunshine's something fun because it drives me a lil crazy to see babies without hats on when the weather is cold.  I found wonderful things like the flower hat from the Spring 2007 Knit It magazine , hair from Knitty and mohawks.  See for yourself. 

Once upon a time, in NJ, I used to enjoy the fall farmers market for the variety of foods, crafts and the hot, cooked foods.  A particular staple was the Sausage, green pepper and onion hero's.  There was nothing very special about them but do your own on a George Foreman grill and add Grey Poupon country style Dijon mustard and I will be on my way!  Quick, easy and kinda unhealthy.  Make a friend - burn some calories (^_~).  

Before you go, you gotta see this gadget: it's a Walnut Cable Wrap.  It's a handsome way to wrap your headphone cables when you're at the gym ... you do go to the gym, right?  If you're eating you really should go to the gym.  I discovered this blog while on Twitter, it's the Gadget Lab at and it's fantastic.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Vintage posters are so fantastic, don't you think?  And isn't there something so enjoyable about traditions and holidays, even the controversial ones.  Where I live, Halloween is a controversial one and is slowly being migrated to simply Harvest time by the old folks (anyone too old to enjoy a good Halloween party).  When I lived in a big city (Washington, DC) there were fantastic parades of people in the most creative costumes and it was truly fun.  A friend of mine who lives in NY shared a video last year of a group of people who got together and dressed as Michael Jackson's Thriller dancers and did the dance from the video.  It was great!  I'm naive enough to think that Halloween is just a time for fun anymore and  I want to share some fun that I've enjoyed participating in during this time of year.  
Follow this blog - we'll make beautiful, delicious fun together. Comments are always welcome,  just leave one where this article ends. Thanks so much =)
In our neighborhood, we played a little game that can easily be translated to the work place if you like and adjust the goodies to suit adults.  My little guy calls it "Ding-dong Ditching with candy" but if it has an official name it would be "Boo". Boo is a ghost you deliver
 to your friends along with seasonal goodies without revealing yourself and the recipient does the same to 2-3 others.  In a neighborhood, we get it started with 5 bags of goodies like popcorn, Sweet tart Bones and Skulls, Halloween colors M&M's, a plastic spider ring, you get the idea and this is a nifty poem to add to bag.  The official rules are here.  I got caught once by a neighborhood brat, er, child who insisted I admit it was me who rang her door bell while her mother stood there smirking and saying nothing.  I skipped them the following year.  Sorry, I'm not smarter than a 5th grader.  

Can cookies and candies be sexy?  I say they can be.  Check these out... sexy, right?  What?  C'mon, they're gorgeous!  I made these by adding orange food coloring to a sugar cookie recipe but this time I'll try it with a decadent orange butter cookie recipe.  Be sure to add orange food coloring and if you eat more than one of these, that will
make two of us.  You know that you dip these in melted white and dark chocolate which you melt in double boiler, right? And just look at these caramel apples!  The stems are small candied pretzel sticks tied with ribbon and the butts, uh, dippers are a variety with pumpkin seeds, Halloween nonpareils  which you may call sprinkles and dripping chocolate wound around the caramel apple.  Sssssexy!  Try this with a variety of apples, why should that Granny Smith have all the fun?

Pumpkin Soup sounds wonderful to me and I wouldn't even alter it in general like I do everything else for flavor impact.  Then I saw this Thai Curried Pumpkin Soup recipe which made me change my mind.  It has 5 ingredients, recipe is right under picture but does not look like a recipe so look closely.  You're going to love that - it uses Thai curry and you can choose which variety, all is good here.

Pumpkin Ravioli is a fun dish to prepare with children, hint: keeps them busy for a long
 time.  Have you ever used the round wonton wrappers?  They are much thinner than a traditional ravioli dough and for that reason alone seem like a delicacy.  I first discovered them in a Bon Apetite magazine recipe for Goat Cheese Ravioli with Tomato Pancetta butter and they curled my toes back then even though my original purpose was to try a Pancetta dish for a party thinking every one loves bacon so this would be a winner.  I did not even want to share this dish!  This recipe though is for Pumpkin Ravioli and it is simple and fun and tasty and fun for your Bambinos to "help" you with. 

Just to be different one year, I searched for a different thing to do with the vast amounts of pumpkin seeds we always have left over from carving more than out share of  jack-o-lanterns.  I found this what we've called Roasted Pumpkin Pie Seeds recipe and they were a hit with my little sugar junkies.  This time I'm going to mix the traditional ones with the sweet ones to see if they go well together.   I'll let them try it first cause I'm like that, hehehe.

You need something beautiful and festive for your table, don't you?  I know, that's why I'm showing you this little joy. After removing the stem and tracing the bottom of a cancle, hollow out the stem area of a mini pumpkin and pop in your candle.  Wrap with a little bitter sweet garland and lovely, to behold and to be smell.  Wait...  If you burn that candle unattended and your little garland catches fire - just remove the garland, pumpkin head!
Remember that your comments are always welcome.  Do you have a Seasonal tradition to share?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Taste Life

"We write to taste life twice, 
in the moment and in retrospection."~Anais Nin  

There are some foods I can almost taste when I think of them.  You too, right?  I'd love to know what yours are.  I will share a couple of mine, don't blame me if you smell them or get hungry.  Let's talk of Cilantro: the perfume of it is irresistible to me and every chance I get, I crush it between my fingers in to savor it the way this woman does in the John William Waterhouse painting.  It looks like she goes too far but I know exactly what she's after: she wants to fill her senses completely with the incredible scent in order to 
recall it's fragrance in her mind.  (My son says she looks likes she's making out with the rose, hehehe.) 

This time, things worth repeating...

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I want to hear what your favorite movie is.  My new favorite is Gran Torino with/ by Clint Eastwood where he is an opinionated son of a gun.  I like The Sweetest Thing with Cameron Diaz for laughter and love.  Another favorite "justice" movie I like is Tombstone with Val Kilmer offering to be your Huckleberry.  By the way, my DVD is missing and even though I know I can replace this easily - if you have it, I would like it returned with popcorn and some San Pelligrino water because you've had it for a long time.  Whoever you are. 

Apples and Cranberries are at the height of their deliciousness right now.  I mention it because a favorite drink for me once was hot apple cider this time of year and I my mind was drawn to the hot toddy thing and Sangria's.  I found this little something which appeals to the olfactory senses as well as is pleasing to the eyes.  Omit the brandy and share some with your little ones, it will quiet them for a moment.  You may want to take it easy on the sugar here, taste first then add.  I never require the amounts of sugar listed.  You're probably sweet enough, also =)  

Cilantro, Lime, and Chile in any dish simply rocks my culinary world.  Guess I'm easy.  Last night we enjoyed a Cilantro Lime Chile Shrimp with a rice noodle and braised Bok choy which
 is an Asian bitter green.  I enjoy this so much that I want to have it again and again but I translate it into variations in order that I may remain living at home.  Some discoveries are the Shrimp Taco
 version, the Chile Lime Cilantro Fajita a la slow cooker, and the clever Beef and Bean Empanada with Cilantro-Lime dip, it's a little sneaky but it satisfies the need.

This favorite knit pattern, which is knit on the diagonal and shown on the right, has been around for as long as I can remember.  It's easy, mindless hand work.  This little gem can even been done in much larger scale and created to be a pet blanket or for baby.  Something fun and out of the box is to use an acrylic  yarn and knit the dishcloth.  Most knitters only envision this in cotton but acrylic, that cheapy-do yarn is great because it doesn't hold on to the water or the bacteria so there is less if any odor and germs over time.  I've done this in the outrageous looking discount scary yarn and found that in this small scale, it is not nearly as atrocious.  Have you tried tawashiYou owe it to yourself to check it out.  Fun acrylic scrubbie patterns from Japan translated to English knit and crochet patterns such as this knit spiral tawashi shown here on left. Crochet version here.

And once, while attending some girly party of Bunko or the like, the host served popcorn.  It was a somewhat classy evening so I thought for a moment: Popcorn? As the evening wore on, ladies hovered over the popcorn like it was a cute guy whispering sweet nothings only to them.  It looked like ordinary popcorn and, being a little bit of a snob of course, I thought "it's just popcorn, what's the big deal?"  Well, I had some and it was more than "just popcorn" in was the kind of thing which makes you beg "what's in this?!"  For several seconds my taste buds were dancing with wonderment and gaiety. Yes, gaiety.  This stuff was delightful.  It turns out, it was White Chocolate Popcorn and this is the recipe.  

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fall - Autumn

Autumn, which is the time of year here in Colorado*, is so vibrantly colored.  It seems to be hinting with  its magnificent splendor that it's almost time to turn on the heat!  This is fine by me, am really in the mood for some major cuddling that one simply can not commit to in the throws of summer, that hit and run season.  *Having international friends and followers makes me want to point that out.

Gourd vase by Allure Event Consulting is a lovely collaboration of fall Chrysanthemums and the autumn harvest.  I see the gourds at the Market and wonder what I can do with them. Remove a portion from the top, keeping throat in tact, shake out any seeds, slice thin piece from bottom to make them stand and add water to your instant vase for your fall flowers.

Follow this blog - we'll make beautiful, delicious fun together. Comments are always welcome,  just leave one where this article ends. Thanks.

While window shopping online for some unique fall decor, I came across this bit of fall fabulocity: Etsy April Hiler Designs  $22 USD 6" Autumn Pomander/Kissing Ball.  Ms. April had other intentions for this fantastic pomander but I thought it would be gorgeous to float above my kitchen table because it seems that at my house, my boys are frequently taking over the table and anything else would have to be moved so often that it would suffer mysterious damages and potential fatality at the hands of the infamous "I don't know" and his little wrecking crew of "wasn't me".  

One son of mine grew a sunflower forest this summer.  It was incredible and from his height it must have been ethereal and the stuff memories are made of.  Now though it's just scraggly and withered but to keep the fun going a little the cut down stalks can be used for a fall display.  I would suggest the decor because of my femininity but the lad could not be less interested so for him and you if you have them, the sunflower seed heads are a food source that you can leave outside for the squirrels and birds. Attaching like they do here a screw eye to the backside of a seed head and then inserting a cup hook into your deck or other wood post or part. Be sure to use pliers to close the cup hooks as much as possible for the safety of the critters.  I place the sunflower seed heads in my bird bath, I don't keep water in it because of the whole mosquito infection scare.  I've done this for years and have not had any ill side effects, I was concerned about rodents.  They need to eat too but the invitation is not for them.


Sunflower seeds are the incredibly arranged gift of the sunflower and an anti-inflammatory with cardiovascular benefits while loaded with Vitamin E.  Once upon a time, and perhaps still today, Native Americans used sunflower seeds to make pudding, gravy, bread and coffee. When combined with dried fruits, the seeds also make a sweet and nutty snack.

mini recipe:

2 cups raw sunflower seeds, 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, 1 cup pine nuts, 1 cup raisins, 1 cup sweetened, dried cranberries (Craisins)

Measure the ingredients into a paper bag, fold over the top of the bag and shake to mix. Store the mixture in an airtight plastic container. Makes 6 cups.

Nature in all it's fascinating glory begs to be mimicked just as my yarn stash begs to be used.  I found this is a lovely crochet hat pattern for what appears to mimic the beautiful sunflower.  It will fit a child and has instructions for infant sizes.  In this basic form  it's certainly  nice but even more so if you attach a beautiful faux flower to one side.