Archive | July, 2011

Concrete Seahorses

28 Jul

Taken years ago in a different July, in Holy Cross in the Lower Ninth Ward.


I’m Excited About: Figs, Cat Illustrations, Beaucoup Zippers

25 Jul

1. Our neighbors gave us some figs off his tree for the second time this summer. Last time, we ate them out of hand. This time, I might look through some recipes to see if I find something interesting.

2. Cat drawing next to a cat cartoon. My niece did the drawing, which I loved so much I swiped it from my mom’s house when I was visiting. I also love the New Yorker cartoon. The illustration is what does it for me, but in case you want to know, the caption reads, “It’s a lot easier than a mechanical bull.”

3. A fistful of zippers! 150 to be exact. That’s a lot of zippered bags! Can’t wait to dig in and sew- I’ve been working my day job so much in the last week.

Zippered Bags

21 Jul

I’ve been having so much fun sewing up these lined, zippered pouches. The tutorial on Design Sponge made it relatively easy, and now I think I’ve got the hang of making them.

I love making something that is so nicely finished, and I love choosing fabrics to put together. It’s also great to have something to do with smaller pieces of fabric I have left over.

Sushi fabric is the little secret inside!

It’s hard to show in a picture, but I did some metallic red stitching on one side of this one. I love anything sparkly. I also wanted to show the bottom seams, which make the bags more structured.

This one is super 80s in a good way to me. That’s Peter Max fabric on the inside!

I named this one Picnic. It’s a little bigger than the other two- I used a 9″ zipper instead of a 7″ one. AND I ordered 150 zippers off eBay in assorted bright colors. I can’t wait to see what I get and to be able to choose from a big pile when I’m putting more bags together.



Dense Chocolate Cake With Whipped Cream and Raspberries

19 Jul

“Dense chocolate cake”- that’s what I googled on Sunday when I had a hankering to bake. I found Nigella Lawson’s recipe for dense chocolate loaf cake and gave it a go.

I’ve been wanting to use some of my frozen raspberries with chocolate cake, and this one seemed so rich it didn’t really need frosting…but who can say no to some whipped cream? Not me, man.*

Adam asked me if it’s supposed to be so gooey. It is very, very moist. Almost like it’s underdone. But I’m into that. And he isn’t much of a dessert person, but he said it’s incredible. So there ya go.

*Kitty Mabel never turns down whipped cream, either.

I’m Excited About: a Teenaged Cat, Pizza Delicious, Ray Davies

18 Jul

1. A little stray teenaged cat. I put food out for a brown tabby stray we call Notty, and yesterday was the second time I’ve seen this younger cat. He’s super playful, hopping all around the roof outside my kitchen window.

He hasn’t seemed particularly hungry, so like Notty, I suspect others in the neighborhood are feeding him. I’ve gotta make sure little Teenager has been neutered…and I only say “he” by default. I’d hate for him to be a her and show up pregnant one day!

2. Pizza Delicious for dinner last night! Hate the name, LOVE the pies. Adam finally saw the light and agreed with me that it’s the best pizza in town, so I imagine we’ll have it more often.

3. Ray Davies at Voodoo Fest! I found out this week that he’s in the lineup, and I’m too excited for words!! The Kinks are one of my all-time favorite bands. There may be others I’m happy to see, but I’m going for Ray!

It’s too much to hope he’ll do Sitting On My Sofa, but ya never know.

Vietnamese Bun

15 Jul

I am by no means a Vietnamese food expert, but it is one of my favorite cuisines. Adam isn’t as crazy about it as I am, so it was high time I resumed making some dishes at home so I can get my fix more often.

Bun is one of my favorites, with rice noodles and peanuts on top of lettuce, shredded carrot, and chopped cilantro. (No mung bean sprouts for me, thanks.) And the yummy nuoc cham sauce poured on, and maybe a protein.

This is my first time trying to buy a chili paste I picked out at the Asian market instead of buying a Western version, so it’s not just ground chilies. It has garlic and tamarind and I don’t remember what else, but it still worked great.

For the nuoc cham, you’re supposed to customize your recipe to your own taste, but here’s a starting point:

2 small cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp. ground chili paste

1 fresh thai bird chili, minced (optional)

1/4 c. fish sauce

2/3 c. hot water

2 TB lime juice with pulp

1/4 c.  sugar

Mix it all up and adjust to taste! I got my recipe from the book The Best Of Vietnamese and Thai Cooking by Mai Pham. I tend to decrease the sugar and increase the lime.

I must say that mine was a bit strong for my taste this time, maybe because of the brand of fish sauce I chose, but I’ll just add some water next time. I also customized my bun by putting a full cup of the sauce over everything. I just love that stuff, but the lesson is to taste it before you douse your food in it.

Bun with shrimp, lots of peanuts and some fried shallots.

Dessert of quickly-melting vanilla ice cream with ginger simple syrup and a piece of candied ginger. Very yum.

Building With Green Glass Exterior

13 Jul

Exteriors of glass panels in beautiful colors is a building treatment that no one seems to use anymore, but I love it so.

I mean, obviously, age is a little rough on it.

But look how the glass reflects the light and whatever is around it. Hi! That’s me taking a picture in the bottom right!

And it’s so pretty when it reflects the clouds in the sky.

This one is down the street from me, so I get to look at it all the time. There was another one on my street, with yellow and orange glass, if I remember right. But they fixed that one up and the glass is gone.

I wish I could find more online images of this kind of exterior, but when I search, I mostly find skyscrapers and things.

This craft tutorial from kootut murut of painting the insides of glass jars reminds me of my beloved glass exterior buildings. Maybe it’s those colors she used. But I have lots of tester-sized paints needing a purpose in life, so this may be their destiny.