Monday, May 31, 2010

ANZAC Biscuits

I have been on Brenda's case to have her teach us another new dessert recipe, so when we saw her recently in Nashville, she brought ANZAC biscuits (a.k.a. cookies).

ANZAC, or Australia New Zealand Army Corp, Day is April 25th and is a holiday in remembrance of those lost in the battle of Gallipoli, Turkey during WWI.  So, I figured this would be an appropriate post on our Memorial Day...

Brenda also shared this beautiful poem by Lt COL John McCrae that is often associated with days of remembrance.

In Flanders Fields
By – Lt Col John McCrae,

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row and row
That mark our place, and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below

We are the dead.  Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Field

Take up our quarrels with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields

Brenda photographed the baking of the cookies for me, and we got to enjoy the final product.  As soon as she opened the container of biscuits, the enticing sweet scent made me want to devour the whole batch.

If you are looking for a new dessert to try, give this one a whirl.  Hopefully Brenda will continue to share with us :)

ANZAC Biscuits
4oz Flour
6oz brown sugar
1 cup of coconut
1 cup rolled oats
3 ½ oz butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
½ tsp baking soda
2 tbsp boiling water

Mix together flour, sugar, coconut and rolled oats (not quick cooking) in a large bowl.

Melt butter and golden syrup while separately dissolving baking soda in boiling water. 

Add the soda water mixture to the butter and golden syrup.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in warm liquid until combined.

It’s best to allow the mixture to cool before rolling into golf ball size biscuits. 

Place on a greased tray (prefer butter greased) because they will spread and flatten as
they cook.
Gently flatten the balls a tad before putting into an oven pre heated to 350 F
Bake for 15-20 minutes.  

I check for even flattening of biscuits and golden brown color before removing from oven, cook a minute or two longer for this desired result. 

Let biscuits cool on tray before gently lifting off with a spatula to cool totally on wire.

Makes about 15 golf ball size biscuits.

Today, let us honor all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sweet Paul

Have you seen this new online magazine?  YUMMY, in every way.

Amazing!  Makes me want to go to a feel-good grocery store and cook all day long and have lots of pretty details ready to entertain good friends that evening.

Hmmm...can't wait till I know where we will be living so that I can maybe actually do this in the next two months or so.

Paul Street House Tour - Dining Room

Paul Street was originally a single family home.  While I am a fan of separate rooms, this was a little more separated than we would have liked due to the original configuration of the place.  

In the dining room, we painted Sherwin Williams Kestrel White (7516).  I adore this color and would absolutely use it again.

Dining Room Before -

In all its minty green glory...

Dining Room After -

Our favorite table, made by our dear friend, Randy Hitz, out of floor boards from the Springer Opera House in Columbus, GA.
Artwork assortment of the flag picture, a picture I took in Venice, the vintage post card that Tim and Sommer gave us of the St. Elmo house in Columbus, and the artwork that Brenda drew and had made into shirts symbolizing Kia Kaha, or a Māori phrase meaning Forever Strong.  
Another Ikea Regolit paper lantern (cheap solution to allow us to take down all the ugly pull chain fixtures) and the homemade burlap runner that I made with a scrap I had leftover from the Metal Bin Liners.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Paul Street House Tour - Entry/Hallway

When we moved into Paul Street, we did a lot of painting.  I had never moved into a place that was as filthy as this was.  During the first several days, we cleaned and painted non-stop before our goods arrived.  The challenge I see with this next move will we do these things while keeping our little munchkin occupied? 

Entryway - Before - 
We painted over the removable wallpaper that looked like faux stone with Sherwin Williams Gray Screen (7071).  There was no light, except for a random battery powered light bulb that someone stuck on the window frame...not exactly the 'look' we were hoping for.  We had to run all kinds of crazy adapters and cords to hang these Ikea paper lanterns, but it worked.  I found an antique icebox for a steal on eBay.  We drove to Rhode Island to pick it up, and it fit perfectly in the entryway.  It was great storage for all things Glory.

Entryway - After -

  The giant pine cone that Hallie carted back from California for me.  She's a beauty.  The movers better be careful with this girl!!
 looking upstairs...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Paul Street House Tour - Exterior

While living in the Boston area, we lived on the second and third floors of this 1870 Victorian home.  When we toured the house, the old tenants were moving out, it was a disaster, and we went through so quickly, we completely forgot that Sean had to duck in several places around the house.  Whoops.  Poor Sean has taken several very hard head smacks in the last 16 months.

We can't believe our time on Paul Street is already coming to an end.  Boston has been such a fun filled adventure for us, and we are so grateful that we had this time together in such a vibrant city.

this is the side of the house that faces the street...I wish the entryway would face the street instead of the driveway!

I looked up James J. Peck, but can't figure out who he was...
come on in!
leaded entryway window

Slade Drive - House Tour - Living Room

When we first moved into our house, our living room was better known as the ballroom.  We really had no furniture to live in this room.  Slowly, over time, we filled out the room.  I wanted to change the paint color from the khaki that was originally there to a color that made our khaki couch stand out instead of disappear into the walls.  Looking back, I would have toned this down a few shades :)

Before -

After -

I really miss having a split leaf philodendron to cut leaves from.  These last FOREVER!
The buffet, made by Randy, served as a wonderful place for desserts!

This concludes the Slade Drive Tour...Paul Street is up next :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Congratulations, Sean.

Sean graduates with a Masters in English today from Boston College.  I couldn't be more proud of him. 

I figured it was only appropriate for his card to be in Gaelic (We're so proud of you), being that he focused on Irish Studies.

We couldn't feel more blessed that we had the opportunity to be here for the last year and a half.  It has been fantasy world.  Boston, we will miss you.

Tomorrow morning, the packers arrive.  It is going to be a crazy and fun next month. 

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Other Wes Moore

Sean and I had the privilege of being able to attend a book signing for The Other Wes Moore on Monday night.  Sean and Wes were classmates during the year that Sean attended Valley Forge Military College.  Sean has always had the utmost respect for Wes and has been predicting, since he first knew him, that Wes would do great things.  Clearly, he has, and no doubt, will continue to.

You may have seen Wes on Oprah recently or The View...he has been getting a lot of great press for his interesting story.  You can read more about the book here.  He has crafted an intriguing story, but even more interesting is the psychology behind why each man got to where they are today. 

Here is a quick summary:
"Two kids with the same name, liv­ing in the same city. One grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, dec­o­rated com­bat vet­eran, White House Fel­low, and busi­ness leader. The other is serv­ing a life sen­tence in prison for felony mur­der. Here is the story of two boys and the jour­ney of a generation."

Wes is engaging, polished and very sincere.  He has such a presence, and is one of those people that moves you to want to be better and do better.

Wes mentioned that he feels like everyone has potential, but not everyone is given opportunity to use that potential.  This sentiment has been stuck in my head all week.  I have always felt like I need to figure out a way to give back.  I haven't seemed to 'find my way' on this yet.  Hearing Wes speak really  inspired me to delve more deeply into what I can do to help "elevate" others, as he would say.

His book is very thought provoking and definitely worth checking out.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Spice Jars

For a long time, I have wanted to have pretty and matching spice jars.  After being inspired by Emersonmade's picture perfect pantry, I decided to take the leap.  My parents gave me the jars for Mother's Day...from China Fair, of course.  We decided that we should finish this effort up before moving, so without further ado...

We are so happy with our uniform little bottles.  It makes us want to cook more :)  So much better than our mess of a cabinet before...


If you are interested, here is the process I went through.  First,  we washed all the bottles and worked to get the price tag goop off.

Next, I ordered weatherproof labels from Online Label.   I was worried that if I used regular labels, as soon as Sean and I, the messy cooks that we are, touched the labels with our grimy hands, the ink would run.  I ordered 8.5 x 11 labels so that I could make them whatever shape I wanted and then just cut them myself.

Then, I designed the labels in PowerPoint.  I know, I know, I REALLY need to learn how to use Illustrator.  It is definitely one of my goals for the year.  If you are interested in the labels, I would be happy to share them with you.

I printed and then cut them all out.

Sean came up with this template to help me place the labels in the same spot on the bottle every time.  Stroke of genius by my husband.  I was so proud of him :)

He used Post Its to make this, and it was so handy that the template had the base. 

After all the bottles were labeled, I started transferring all the spices.

I spilled a little. :)

Then, I tried to take a cue from my friend Allie and her mom, who alphabetize their spices.  This will take some self discipline, and probably won't last, but in theory, I LOVE the idea. :)

Doing this project gave me an appreciation of the beauty of spices.  I love that you can see so much of the spices now instead of being covered up by large labels.

After the move, we would like to get some sort of 'stepped' piece to display them...maybe something like this one from Container Store....
Some inspiration for the project...
Apartment Therapy Chicago - Spice Racks and Organizational Systems

Eclectic (Yet Coordinated) Spice Jar Sets