22 October 2009

this is not a show

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I was looking forward to this new R.E.M. release, but after watching this trailer, I can hardly contain my excitement!

15 October 2009

A Quilt for Emilie

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Before I started work on my R.E.M. quilt, my original plan was to make quilts for Ari & Emilie. The R.E.M. quilt was just going to be something to get me started so I would know what I was doing and not mess up the quilts I wanted to make for my kids. I learned a lot from making my first quilt and did a few things differently this time around. The R.E.M. quilt turned out better than I expected, so that gave me a lot of confidence and excitement toward making more.

Emilie's quilt is now complete and I must say it was much easier making a quilt without using t-shirts. I used the same basic concept as my first quilt by essentially just cutting squares and sewing them together. I then made a solid colored backing and tied the quilt layers together. It came out beautifully! I think it is just the right size for her.
I was able to get it done rather quickly and she absolutely loves it. She already knows that I made it for her, and I hope it becomes special to her as she grows up.
I am planning on making Ari's quilt out of his Mario shirts when he outgrows them. Yes, he has that many! But I don't get a break. We have already bought the fabric for me to make a quilt for Valerie. Stay tuned...

12 October 2009

That's My Boy

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This picture looks really cool upside down and I felt the urge to post it.

I don't really know what else I can say, I'll just let the picture speak for itself.

05 October 2009

Our nutty squirrel

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Ever since we have lived in this neighborhood, we have enjoyed the squirrels that traipse merrily about outside. Thinking of these squirrels brings back a memory of the fearless squirrel that challenged Walter to a dual and would not back down. The squirrel won the showdown and Walter spent the rest of our walk without the same spring in his step he is known for.

The squirrels that take residence in the maple tree in our back yard are especially entertaining. A year or so ago, I snapped the picture posted above of the squirrel lounging on a tree branch. This summer, we decided to put a squirrel feeder on our tree as a token of appreciation for all the joy these squirrels have brought us the last few years.

Just a small token of thanks to our nutty squirrel.

02 October 2009

A Salty Boil

3 remarks
One of the best tips I could give anyone in terms of cooking pasta is to salt the water the pasta will be cooking in before adding the pasta. I felt compelled to write about this because I have had a number of pasta dishes lately that were quite bland and would have benefited greatly from properly seasoned pasta.

So, why add salt to the water in the first place? Salt should be added to the water because every element of a dish should be seasoned. The salt adds a slight saltiness to the pasta that enhances the flavor considerably. Cooking pasta in salted water means that the pasta will absorb some of the salt and therefore not taste bland. This can't be fixed later by salting the pasta after it is cooked or adding extra salt to the sauce; this would just result in a bland pasta with a salty exterior.

So, how much salt should be added to the water? As a general rule of thumb, and what I have also heard from Mario Batali; is that the pasta water should taste like the sea. I even go as far as to season my pasta water with sea salt, another tip from Mario. I hope this didn't come off as being too preachy; I just wanted to get that off my chest and stress the importance of properly seasoned food. The dishes I had would have been saved by simply adding some salt to the pasta water. Thanks for reading.


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