Thursday, July 25, 2013

Haphazard Caprese Salad With Gold Tomatoes


It's way too hot to cook. Turning on the stove or oven makes the entire house unbearable, and who really wants to eat anything hot or heavy anyway? (That's a rhetorical question, Nick has been baking and braising as much as ever. I don't get it.)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Rigatoni al Filo di Fumo Recipe (Inspired by Topo Gigio's)


I've eaten the Rigatoni al Filo di Fumo at Topo Gigio probably once a month, on average, since I was eight years old. It was my favorite pasta then, and my tastes didn't change much as I matured (though the Farfalle ai Due Salmone and the black linguine with seafood tomato sauce are strong contenders).

But I don't live in Chicago anymore, so I can't get it. But is it possible to make something similar at home? Yes. Yes it is.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How to Peel Tomatoes Using the Freezer (No Boiling Required)


I posted earlier about how to peel tomatoes by boiling them for a fraction of a minute and then peeling the skins right off. It's easy, but in the middle of the summer it can be pretty annoying to have to boil a big pot of water. But there's another, more summer-friendly way to peel tomatoes using the freezer. No boiling required.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fantasy Shopping League: Check Out This Amazing Fish Bag from Atelier Iwakiri

When it comes to this fish bag from Atelier Iwakiri, my abiding fear of fish and sea creatures is in conflict with my deep-seated love of handbags that look like things.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Wild Asparagus Risotto Recipe


At the market the other day I saw one of my favorite vendors with her usual massive piles of green and white asparagus. (I find myself very firmly on Team Green Asparagus.) But she also had these weird little bundles of "wild asparagus," which I would not initially have recognized as asparagus at all. They have tiny, delicate stalks and big bushy heads, and they kind of looked like a different plant entirely. But they're not, they're wild asparagus.

So I got some to play with. I ate a couple raw, and they had a flavor like a very light, young asparagus. (Which seems obvious, but sometimes you just have to put something in your mouth to believe it.) I've also been in the mood to make a risotto recently, so I made wild asparagus risotto.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Useless Cooking Tools: The Egg Cuber

Do you love eggs but hate that they're just so egg-shaped? Are you terrified they'll roll off the table and under the couch and who knows what will happen then? If you love protein but can't handle the excitement of an egg without corners, maybe you need an Egg Cuber.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Tutorial: How to Make an 18th Century Wig (In Pink, Because Why Not a Pouf in Pink?)


This article previously appeared on Your Wardobe Unlockd.

In previous articles we've covered basic wig care and styling techniques and how to actually put the wig on your head and keep it there. I don't know about you, but that's enough of the basics for me. I think we're ready to jump in and style a whole wig. 
We're going to start Marie Antoinette's signature towering coiffure, the pouf. And just for fun, we're going to make it pink. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Food Blog Screw Ups: FML Edition Starring Tea Eggs


Sometimes at the end of the day all the creating and photographing and documenting comes to naught. In this FML Edition of Food Blog Screw-Ups, I submit the above photo which was supposed to illustrate a post on tea eggs. I love tea eggs! They're so salty and delicious and pretty. But the above photo illustrates the importance of attention to detail, because it's really freaking gross, no?

Friday, June 28, 2013

How to Peel Tomatoes (for sauces and stews and ketchup and things like that)


OK, one does not normally need to peel a tomato. The peels are soft and harmless and removing them often seems kind of finicky, like peeling a grape. (Who peels grapes? I mean, honestly.) But when making a tomato sauce for people one wants to impress or for finicky people who for some reason are super opposed to the tomato peel, like my husband Nick, one might on occasion want to get rid of it.

So here's how to peel tomatoes:

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Baked Egg in an Avocado


Oops. I've got some unattractive shadows going on in that picture. I was hungry and rushed through my photoshoot so I could eat the star.

This is an egg baked in an avocado.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I Will Acquire All the Succulents


This is probably not the best idea I've ever had, but I've started assembling what will probably turn into a massive collection of succulents. I dunno, they're just cute. Succulents are supposedly hardy, but I recently killed a spider plant, which are supposed to be immortal, and accidentally burned up my "Easy Care" snake plant by leaning it up against the radiator.

I guess what I'm saying is, "Good luck, wall of succulents."

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Morning Cocktails: White Wine Spritzer


The white wine spritzer always sounded like such an old-timey joke cocktail. But like many old-timey cocktails, they're kind of awesome. Especially since they're pretty much perfect for morning or early afternoon drinking during the summer.

Monday, June 24, 2013

How to Cook Rice on the Stove


A rice cooker is a great tool to have around if you have the space and like using one, but in my experience it's not at all necessary. We cook rice almost every day, and have on occasion gone years without one. I picked one up back at Christmas, but it's broken now so I'm back to cooking rice on the stove. It's really easy, though, so here's how to cook rice on the stove:

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Antipasti: Octopus Salad With Garlic


Hooray for summer! If anyone needs me, I'm just going to be eating octopus and sitting in front of my fan for the next four months.

Friday, May 24, 2013

What Cocktail Should Go in Cynthia Rowley's Bracelet Flask?

I don't normally carry a flask (there's not much need for a flask when one's travels normally take one from one cocktail venue to another), but I'm kind of into this flask bracelet from Cynthia Rowley. It's pretty big and chunky, and I'm sure my mother's fancy lady friends would give me some serious fancy lady side-eye if they saw me wearing a flask as a bracelet, but it combines two of my favorite things in the world: Jewelry and cocktails. (If they could find a way to fit a baby cow in there, it'd be perfect.)

So what kind of cocktail should go in a bracelet flask?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fashion from History: This Lady Has a Bird on Her Head


As long as we're talking about historical fashion, I would like to point out that this Han Dynasty tomb figurine lady has a bird on her head. Go you, stylin'  tomb figurine lady.

This lady is on display at the Guimet Museum in Paris.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

10 Attractive Male Authors Who I Think Would Probably Not Have Sex With Me, And Why

Today I read Bookgasm’s list of 10 Female Authors One of Their Contributors Would Be Willing To Have Sex With. Obviously I thought it was a brilliant idea for a column. But as I set about stealing it, I realized something uncomfortable: I’m pretty sure none of the attractive male authors I was looking at would be willing to have sex with me. Bummer, right?

So instead I’ve collected a list of 10 physically attractive male authors who I am pretty sure would not have sex with me, and why:

Bret Easton Ellis would not have sex with me because I order Prosecco at, like, every meal.

Michael Chabon would not have sex with me because I keep writing “lay” when I should be writing “lie.”

Gary Shteyngart would not have sex with me because I root for Cobra Kai. 

Vladimir Nabokov would not have sex with me because he is dead.

Colum McCann would not have sex with me because he wouldn’t be able to watch the Daily Show because I would keep repeating the funny things Jon Stewart says.  

David Means would not have sex with me because I keep telling people he’s from Williamsburg.

Jonathan Franzen would not have sex with me because I call jean shorts “jorts.”  

Jonathan Safran Foer would not have sex with me because I haven’t cleaned under the couch cushions in like three months.

Junot Díaz would not have sex with me because I would tell him all the Game of Thrones spoilers.

Nathan Englander would not have sex with me because I still tell hanging chad jokes. 

(Photos via Wikimedia)

18th Century Underwear

It's been awhile since I posted anything, but I thought I'd put up some images of my 18th century-ish underwear. I posted about the stays earlier, but here's the full set from the bottom up:

Monday, February 4, 2013

Gan Bian Dou Jiao (Dry-Fried Green Beans)


Dry-fried string beans, Gan bian dou jiao (or gan bian si ji dou), is genuinely in the running for my single favorite dish in the entire world. I'm not ever actually going to commit to having a single favorite dish, but if I had to, this might be it.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Wigs: The Big Pink Pouf


For my latest wig article over on Your Wardrobe Unlockd, I decided to make a big 18th century-inspired pouf. And just for fun, I made it pink.

The exclusive publication rights to the step-by-step case study expire in six months, so I'll post all the info here then. But if you have any specific requests for types of wigs you'd like to see done, let me know in the comments.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 Oscar Nominations for Achievement in Costume Design

Snow White2 The Best Costume Design Oscar nominees for 2013 are Jacqueline Durran for Anna Karenina, Paco Delgado for Les Misérables, Joanna Johnston for Lincoln, Eiko Ishioka for Mirror Mirror, and Colleen Atwood for Snow White and the Huntsman.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New 18th Century Stays


I finally got around to making up this pair of 18th century stays. I had some white linen lying around, and that seemed like a good thing to use. Then I learned how often I prick myself while hand-sewing bias binding around tabs, and realized that white was probably a terrible idea because there are errant blood spots in more than a few places. Oh well, it's underwear. Nobody will see it. (Except the Internet, clearly.)