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  1. Links for Later

    I’ve been saving the tabs on this browser for the better part of December, so in an effort to clear the slate before the new year, I thought I’d do a quick link post.

    Food-Related
    Fresh Corn & Avocado Salad: I made this one for our Boxing Day get-together, and it was really nice and super easy. I used verjuice for the Champagne vinegar and squeezed a bit of lime over the avos to keep them from turning brown before we ate.

    Beef & Cabbage Stir-Fry: for future reference (via Kris)

    Black Eyed Peas & Greens: Probably isn’t going to happen as a New Year’s tradition this year, but I’m curious to try the recipe.

    Homemade Peppermint Patties: Seems do-able and sounds good.

    Quick Bread in a Bottle: I made these jars for my in-laws for Christmas this year. I admit I haven’t actually tried the recipe yet, so I hope it’s good. Just ran out of time. I found milk bottles at Spotlight. Hansldesigned the fold-out directions with detachable recipe card. (Email me if you want to use it.)

    Bread Jar Gifts Bread Jar Recipe
    Real Whipped Cream on the Go at Freeze Happy: Put whipped cream dollops on wax paper and freeze to use later on desserts or in coffee. But the real reason I’ve saved this link is the hilarious aside at the bottom about make-shift piping bags and the kitty-poo-like results they produce.

    Alinea Mosaic: I first heard about the restaurant Alinea when the owner was interviewed on one of my NPR podcasts about this time last year. Since then, I’ve been intrigued by molecular gastronomy. This has also been fueled by the chemists on Top Chef. From what I can tell the Mosaic sight has a forum about a book they must have released, but the topics are fascinating. They are surprisingly transparent with their techniques and recipes. See also: All Things Alinea Flickr Pool for some mouth-watering photos

    Posted in Cooking.

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  2. Cute, Crafty, or Otherwise

    Retro Renovation: “your daily dose of mid century renovation resources… design inspiration… fun finds… and a growing community of people all interested in restoring, preserving and cherishing their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s homes.”

    Tonic Living: Amazingly beautiful retro fabrics. Love, love, love.

    2009 Christmas Candy Box: A downloadable template for a cute little gift box. Check out the ’08 & ’07 editions as well.

    Posted in Inspired.

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  3. For the Locals

    Sublime, Photography & Coffeehouse: One Saturday we were traveling from the Rocklea markets to the Moggill Markets and passed this place in Graceville. They just opened a little coffee stand out behind their studio. It’s a really lovely place, good coffee, and relaxing spot to read the paper.

    Posted in Exploring.

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  4. Tales of Christmas

    It was hard for me to get into the Christmas spirit again this year. It’s just too hot to feel like going through all the trappings of the season.

    Instead of hauling out the tree, I ended up buying a couple bunches of arborvitae branches, and put them in a vase with some red pom-pon looking dries flowers. Decorations = complete! All the gift bags from America fit underneath.

    Christmas Loot Christmas Table
    A couple days before Christmas I raided the 50%-off holiday bins at Spotlight, Australia’s equivalent for Michael’s. I came home with some placemats and “peace” candles.

    Table Candles
    I didn’t feel like doing our traditional Christmas Eve dinner, because it was too hot to have the oven on all day. So we opted for a fresh broccoli salad and risotto with mushrooms and peas.

    Christmas Dinner
    It was lovely. Gift highlights include a sparkley ring and earrings, lots of goodies from Anthropologie from the US givers, and the parasol of my dreams. ♥

    Posted in Cooking.

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  5. Scampers

    We’ve found a stray kitten. Well, it found us. It was at the end of the driveway behind a bin last night mewing in the rain. He’s maybe three months old, not too scrawny, but has fleas a-plenty. He had a couple cuts on his rear that we wiped clean, and then we reluctantly put him back in case he has a home to get back to.

    But this morning, he was outside the kitchen door waiting for a hand-out. We left for the day, and he was still there when we got home tonight.

    We’ll get him a flea treatment and call the shelters and put up signs at the local shops tomorrow. However, I’m happy to take him into our home if no one responds. He really has a sweet disposition, and we’d been talking about going to the shelters after Christmas to adopt anyway.

    Scampers

    Get Kitten Toysat Amazon.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  6. Christmas Birthdays

    My love spoiled me completely though, so I can’t complain. Woke up Christmas morning to a birthday card with tickets for us to see James Taylor in April. I cried. Couldn’t be more thrilled!

    ** Get Carole King & James Taylor at Amazon.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  7. What’s Cooking?

    Seeing as I’m not exactly a cake fan, I didn’t really think about making a cake forlthe Husband”s birthday last week until I came across this recipe for Gary Rhodes’s Guinness chocolate cake. A cake with beer in it? Sounds manly, right? I had a piece and didn’t actually mind it. It’s really rich. (I chopped up a 100g bar of 70% dark chocolate and stirred it in just before pouring into the pan.)

    I topped it with a yummy Irish Cream Cheese frosting:
    4 oz softened cream cheese
    1/2 cup softened butter
    1 cup sifted powdered sugar
    2 Tbsp Irish cream
    Blend cream cheese & butter together with a mixer. Gradually add powdered sugar and finally Irish cream. Lick beaters.

    More Recipe Goodness
    Gourmet‘s Favorite Cookies: 1948-2008: via Kris. I don’t love making cookies given that I only have one cookiesheet that fits in my abnormally narrow oven, but a few of these have almost tempted me. Speculaas, Dutch Caramel Cashews, and Lemon Thins remind me of Grandma.

    Greek Almond Tea Cakes I think we’re going to make these for my birthday treat this week.

    Buy The Gourmet Cookie Book: The Single Best Recipe from Each Year 1941-2009 at Amazon.

    Posted in Cooking.

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