Friday, April 29, 2011

Fun facts to know and tell...


I haven't been following the royal wedding excitement very closely but have been looking forward to seeing all the photos and hearing the stories. I happened to wake up at 3:15am PST and watched about 15 minutes of the ceremony and saw the vows and
ring exchange.

This posting has some wonderful facts about Kate Middleton's wedding gown, veil, jewelry, shoes and bouquet.

Here are some of my favorite facts!

“The gown:
The lace appliqué for the bodice and skirt was hand-made by the Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton Court Palace.

Individual flowers have been hand-cut from lace and hand-engineered onto ivory silk tulle to create a unique and organic design, which incorporates the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock.

The veil:
The veil is held in place by a Cartier ‘halo’ tiara, lent to Miss Middleton by The Queen.  The ‘halo’ tiara was made by Cartier in 1936 and was purchased by The Duke of York (later King George VI) for his Duchess (later Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother) three weeks before he succeeded his brother as King. 

The flowers:
The bouquet contains stems from a myrtle planted at Osborne House, Isle of Wight, by Queen Victoria in 1845, and a sprig from a plant grown from the myrtle used in The Queen’s wedding bouquet of 1947.

But do click here...for lots more fun facts to know and tell! And please post (as comments) any links to fun wedding sites that you have come across.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rue Magazine

It's been out a while... but have you seen the latest issue of rue magazine? I love everything about this online magazine, the brainchild of 4 design bloggers, and just want to be sure that you know about it. As a graphic designer I am especially fond of the clean and simple look. It is packed with beautiful photos, ideas and inspiration. And they have a rue blog!

I've taken some screen shots of the latest issue (#4) to give you a quick peek. I'd love to hear what you think!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Great Easter Brunch Recipe

If you are looking for something yummy to make for Easter here! Although I make this recipe for Christmas morning it is delicious any time of year. And can make it ahead of time.

Photo from Cooking with Carrie blog. She features a similar recipe.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fun things to know and tell...

You should check out blarter...
a new blog for the online community of bloggers who barter

Monday, April 18, 2011

If you're lucky enough to be in Portland, Oregon
April 29-May 1

If you're lucky enough to be in Portland April 29-May 1 you will want to check out the 2011 Ceramic Showcase. This is the largest clay show in the US and will feature over 150 booths of diverse, spectacular art for the home, garden and office.

Friday, April 29, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday, April 30, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday, May 1, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Oregon Convention Center
777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
(Conveniently located right on TriMet MAX line)
Portland, Oregon

Admission is free

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lemon cubes

So back to the Limoncello for a moment.

After all of the zest was off of the lemons I juiced them and froze the juice in ice
cube trays. I store them in a ziplock bag (obviously in the freezer) and whenever
a recipe or cocktail calls for lemon juice I use these. I did the same with some of my
California oranges.

2 cubes equals the juice of 1 lemon.

Now onto the juicer. I love our little 12 oz Braun electric juicer. (I'd give you link but they don't make it anymore.) It's so small, easy to store, easy to use and easy to clean. Years ago when we were in Palm Springs on vacation with our kids we bought this little juicer for about $15 along with a huge bag of oranges. We made fresh squeezed orange juice in our little apartment all vacation long...and drank it by the pool.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The making of Limoncello..and the recipe!

My son and his girlfriend were visiting from Seattle and she offered to help me with the first part of making the Limoncello. We started by zesting 16 of the organic lemons that we brought home to Oregon from California. (They really need to be organic so that you are not extracting flavor and color from something that has been sprayed or chemically fertilized.) I only had one zester so she suggested we also use a potato peeler.  We think it worked well but we are wondering if possibly you get more flavor and color from the tiny thread like pieces of zest?

Lemon zest soaking in Everclear
Then we added the Everclear to the zest and let it sit for 4 days.

In Oregon you can only buy liquor in a state controlled liquor store.
They keep the Everclear in the back room.

Next the sugary syrup was blended in.  A week later it was ready to drink!

The finished product in the new Limoncello decanter with the
lovely tiny glasses...a gift from my in-laws in Santa Barbara.

This is a very special little drink to share on special occasions. Last week we enjoyed our first serving of Limoncello when my husband's college roommate came to Portland with his son to tour Lewis and Clark college. This coming weekend we will be enjoying more when my son, his girlfriend and her mom (from NYC) will be visiting.

Enough chit chat...Here is the recipe!  
If you are a Limoncello aficionado please share your tips!

Liquore di Limoni

10-16 washed lemons...preferably hand picked organic
One liter of EVERCLEAR GRAIN ALCOHOL (151 proof)(mine was 190 proof)
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 cups of water

Zest the lemons being very careful to avoid the white piths. Put the zest into a large glass jar with a tight fitting lid and add the alcohol (one liter)...there should be enough to cover the zest. Set aside for 4 days. Once a day mildly shake the container to agitate the mixture. When the zest turns pale and the alcohol has a deep yellow color, strain thru a sieve and store in another glass container. Discard the zest.

Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat (do not boil). Stir until sugar dissolves and syrup is clear, about 5 to 6 minutes. Allow cooling.

Pour syrup into the lemon-infused alcohol (mixture will turn cloudy) and sample it. Adjust flavor to your palette by either diluting it with water or adding more alcohol...(usually not necessary) then pour the liquor into 2 clean dry 750ml bottles using a funnel. Close with corks and set aside for a week to mellow.

It is best to store in the freezer and serve very cold. It is excellent to serve on sorbet or ice cream. Sometimes it is goo to add it to a glass of Prosecco for a special treat.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Invite Sal Kahn into your kitchen

A lot of homework happens in the kitchen. I used to love to have my children, who are now recent college graduates, spend time at the kitchen table working on their schoolwork. It was always fun to try to help them when they would get stuck, but there came a point when the questions became too complex. It would have been great to have the help of Sal Kahn!

A clip from the Kahn Academy lesson on Scientific Notation

For all of you parents and students out there, I think you should know about Sal Kahn, the Kahn Academy and the over 2100 free, high quality tutorials that he offers on youtube. And the fact that he makes learning fun.

His mantra...“Watch. Practice. Learn almost—anything for free!”

His videos are not just for school related endeavours. I am going to France this summer and I see that the Kahn Academy has quite a few videos on the French Revolution which will be helpful to watch before the trip.

I'm curious to know if you have heard of Sal Kahn, and if you have ever used his videos.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Today, while I was out and about and away from my kitchen, the car in front of me had a bumper sticker on the back that simply I wrote it down to look it up later.

I copied this from their website:

“The Bags 4 Kids Foundation collects donations to assist and support the mental well being and comfort for children during stressful transitions from police stations, children’s services offices and Foster care agencies.

When children are removed from their homes, they travel with trash bags in hand...if they have anything at all. Sadly, the majority have nothing. When children must face this crisis alone, Bags4Kids is there to comfort and aid in this frightening transition.  
Bags4Kids collects new and gently used back packs, duffle bags, tote and diaper bags, and fills them with various items that will bring comfort to children during transitional times in their lives.”

Don't you think this is a great and unique cause?

Monday, April 4, 2011

California Gold

Fresh organic lemons and navel oranges (California Gold) from Santa Barbara, California

So...lately I have been spending a lot of time away from my kitchen! My husband, who is a college professor, and I recently took a Spring Break road trip down to California to visit our daughter, our parents and other family and friends. It was so much fun and it's always refreshing to have a break from our Portland rain. (And I have to add that we are so proud of our daughter who graduated from college last May with a degree in Psychology and found a fantastic job related to her degree.)

So...back to the citrus.

One of the million things that I love about California is the fact that just about everyone has citrus trees of some kind in their yard! While we were there we were given bags of fresh organic oranges and lemons...or as I like to call them...California Gold.  If you follow my blog I think you might know what I will be doing with the lemons! Yes, this week I will be making the Limoncello that I told you about...and posting the recipe.

Lemons soon to be Limoncello!