Sunday, September 30, 2007

Marshmallow Bunny Apocalypse

I know it's not that time of year, but I have always been disgusted by/inexplicably drawn to the bizarre marshmallow treats sold around Easter. They are brightly colored, coated in sugar and not exactly the tastiest candy around. While sitting at work, unsuccessfully trying to block out the soft rock music my co-working is blasting off his computer, I came upon a fascinating website called, Marshmallow Bunny Apocalypse. As its title implies, BUNNYOCALYPSE is a gallery of episodes detailing the on-going Marshmallow Bunny Apocalypse. New episodes are posted around the Easter season (when Marshmallow Peeps are available.)

The internet is such a fabulous place to waste an afternoon.

If only it had a cure for soft rock. I'll keep looking...


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Mini Beans in silver

While perusing the displays at Tiffany&Co, reluctant boyfriend in tow, I was drawn to the simplest of designs, the Tiffany silver Bean. My astute boyfriend displayed surprising confusion as to the significance of the Bean. Sadly, I had no good explanation at the time aside from girly exclamations such as, "Well, I like it!" or "...because it's pretty!" Determined to come up with a better comeback, I did a little research.

The Tiffany bean was designed by Elsa Peretti, known for the fluid lines, sensual forms and graceful timelessnes of her pieces. Just as Chanel never forgot she was a peasant, Peretti still wanted to remember the simple things in life. Her beans are ordinary in shape, yet extraordinary in their craftmanship. They are beautiful to look at and beautiful to touch. Cliché yet classy in that subdued simple-yet-elegant sort of way.

Yep, I want one.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mac and Cheese

As seen through the eyes of a proper Bostonian...

There are few culinary creations more satisifying than good old-fashioned comfort food. With the weather getting cooler by the week we turn now to an American classic: mac&cheese.

A long-term favorite has always been the Publick House version made with orrechetti pasta in a five cheese sauce. Numerous additions such as tomatoes, asparagus or bacon only increase the appeal of this dish. When done correctly, the mac&cheese has a crispy broiled top and a creamy, delicious center. The orrechetti arrive perfectly cooked, with the heartiness of the pasta pairing well with the creamy cheesy sauce. And of course, the Publick House has an excellent selection of beers to wash it all down. The only drawback to dining here are the increasingly longer lines and the occasional fluke in mac&cheese preparation (which seems to occur more on nights when the place is overrun with local beer afficionados.)

Another spot for some great mac&cheese is Zon's in Jamaica Plain. The farfalle with farm house cheddar and fontina arrives hot, gooey and very rich. It is a perfect dish for a winter night, but probably a little heavy for the warmer months.

For a quick bite, Soul Fire BBQ in Allston makes some great fried mac&cheese balls. Dip these delicious munchies into any number of BBQ sauces (or just plain ketchup!) If you can make it past the concept, these munches are fabulous and worth every greasy penny!

Possibily the best mac&cheese I have had to date was at
Picco's in the South End. The penne with cheddar, gruyere and taleggio cheese baked to order and topped with Parmigiano Reggiano looks as good as it tastes. Add in the wild mushrooms and this dish is to DIE for.

There are still a few places left try out. I have heard good things about the mac&cheese at the Alchemist and I'd also like to try out some recipes of my own...if I ever get the recipe *just* right, I'll let you know!


Publick House
1648 Beacon St
Brookline, MA 02445
(617) 277-2880

2 Perkin's Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 524-9667

Soul Fire BBQ
182 Harvard Avenue
Allston, MA
(617) 787-3003

505 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 927-0066

The Alchemist Lounge
435 S. Huntington Avenue
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 477-5741


A successful day at the South End Market! And by 'successful' I mean it didn't rain and I remembered to bring a sweater. The weather was cool, bright and sunny -- perfect market weather. Friends and family stopped by to say hello and I even sold something at the end of the day!

After spending a few hours under the tent of a very friendly etsy-er named Katy, drinking lavender flavored lemonade, munching on pastries from Flour Bakery and catching up on my leisure reading, we all went out for dinner at one adorable little Italian restaurant/ice cream shop in the South End (see more recent blog on Mac&Cheese.) A fine way to end a very fine day!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Rather inappropriate e-cards

One of the many talents my good friend possesses is the uncanny ability to seek out entertaining websites. Generally they are about food or shopping (or both) and on the rare occasion they border on strange yet amusing. Looking for yet another way to waste time at the computer? Check out the website featured here (for which I won't even provide a link, it's too inappropriate!)

Love the outfits on these guys. Very French.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

a few of my favorite things...

...can be found on!

gamiworks makes all sorts of things based on the brilliant Japanese chiyogami (old-paper.) On offer are adorable magnets, coasters, jewelry and other accesories coming in an array of bright colors and graphic patterns.

I have also been pretty obsessed with Daughter of Luxury. She has been living in Korea (but will be returning to Canada soon!) and has bought all sorts of amazing beads while abroad. She turns these beads into gorgeous earrings, necklaces and bracelets.

And for something really unique, check out Jennifer Morris Beads. She makes her beads free form out of polymer clay, mixing in 24K gold leaf and sometimes fine silver. You'll also see vintage Swarovski crystals embeded in her gorgeous designs. It looks like she'll be stocking up her shop with some new goodies soon!


A chocolate Devil's Food cake

The Problem: Guests arriving in approximately 1.5 hours. It is Friday at the end of a long, hard week and the last thing you want to do is prepare dessert for all 6-8 people. What's wrong with buying a pre-made pie at the grocery store?'re just too much of a foodie for that kind of cop-out...

The Goal: Mix, bake, frost and garnish a (guest-worthy) cake in approximately 1.5 hours.

The Solution: Dig into an old edition of The Best Recipe cookbook from America's Test Kitchen and follow the Devil's Food Chocolate Cake recipe with some minor alterations.

8.00pm Dig out old edition of The Best Recipe cookbook.

8.05pm Boil 1 cup of water and gather ingredients.

8.15pm Mix cocoa with water, mix in brown sugar, yogurt and vanilla.

8.20pm Beat a stick of butter with even more sugar then add in two eggs.

8.25pm Whisk flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Add (quickly) the dry ingredients to the butter and the cocoa. Cooks Illustrated says to add each component in a third at a time. Assume this is a bunch of B.S.

8.30pm Grease pans and pour in batter. Pop pans into pre-heated oven.

8.35pm Melt *another* stick of butter along with 8 oz of bittersweet baking chocolate over low heat. Let cool on stove.

8.40pm Make up quick and easy simple syrup and blend with a cup of frozen raspberries.

8.45pm Toast sliced almonds.

Wait for cake to bake...check cake after 25 minutes. Cake is not done. Wait for cake to bake some more. Check again and again...

9.15pm Cake that according to Cook's Illustrated should have taken only 25 minutes to bake is now nearly done. Let cake cool on stovetop.

9.20pm First guests arrive.

9.25pm Get boyfriend to pour drinks and distract guests while attempting to flip cake out of "non-stick" baking pan. Consider how much easier this would be with a springform mold.

9.30pm. Let cake sit in hopes that it will cool. Grimace at chunk of cake that is still stuck to baking pan that should have been "non-stick."

9.35pm. Pour chocolate butter frosting over still *very* warm cake. Sprinkle on sliced almonds and shove the entire thing into fridge. Hope it will set more quickly this way.

10pm. All guests have arrived and are sipping bubbly. Boyfriend mentions actually serving the dessert.

10.05pm. Cake is sliced, served with (very) yummy raspberry sauce and ice cream. It is all very well received.

10.15pm. Everyone sits around in sugar coma, happy.

11.50pm. Say good night to guests. Leave all dishes for boyfriend to clean up tomorrow.

12.15am. Go to bed.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fried Chicken

It's getting to be that time of year: apple picking, foliage trips and the school semester starting up again. Of course, this doesn't mean you can't still make time for the occasional picnic lunch while the weather is still warm. Here's a great recipe for fried chicken that I like (mostly because it's easy and also because it tastes really really good!)

Mom’s oven-fried chicken

6-8 pieces of chicken thighs
1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (I use Panko crumbs)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Place thighs in a large bowl and pour the mustard and oil and mix until well coated. Add salt and pepper to the pieces.

3. Dip the chicken in the bread crumbs and place on an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

Note: You can let the chicken marinate in the mustard, oil and salt and pepper for 30 minutes if you have the time. It'll still taste good w/o marinating.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

So what do I do with this?

An analogy:

Nearing the end of graduate school is kind of like slowly inching towards the end of a diving board (and by 'end' I mean within the next millenium.) Your toes wiggle forward at seemingly negligible gain. On occasion, fear or plain common sense makes you jump back several feet towards solid ground. The entire time you are on this board, you wonder, is it really worth it?

Eventually you know you'll have to make the dive...

...let's just hope there's water at the bottom.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

that's N.E.E.T!

For those of us on the periphery of the alternative/indie world, discovering gems like N.E.E.T. Magazine often involves longish road trips to and from the Cape. Why longish trips? Well, better to chat up your indie-aware friends on the latest places to browse, shop and share! Why the Cape? Well, that's another story entirely...

N.E.E.T. Magazine is filled with all sorts of interesting and funky (occasionally bizarre) clothing, jewelry, home goods and just about anything else the editor feels like picking out. Flip through the online magazine to find something that peaks your interest!

Happy browsing!!!


p.s. Hilariously enough NEET is also a government classification, a term first used in the UK that has now spread to other countries (so says Wikipedia.)

NEET = "Not currently engaged in Employment, Education or Training"

In the UK, the classification comprises people aged between 16 and 18 who do not participate in society and who are beyond the scope of labor welfare. In Japan, the classification comprises people aged between 15 and 34 who are unemployed, unmarried, not enrolled in school or engaged in housework, and not seeking work or the technical training needed for work. The ‘NEET group’ is not a uniform set of individuals but consists of those who will be NEET for a short time while essentially testing out a variety of opportunities, and those who have major/multiple issues and are at long term risk of remaining disengaged. in other words, graduate students?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

SOEM this Sunday!!!

The South End Market this weekend will be particularly exciting because on Sunday from 10am-4pm I'll be there with my very own table! I've made several new necklaces and earrings to show off in addition to the items already posted on my etsy and mintd shops. I haven't been writing much lately (graduate school obligations get in the way far too often,) but that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking of (all 5 of) you who read this blog!!!

In any case, if any of you are in the Boston area this coming Sunday, September 16th, stop by the SOEM and say hello! I'll be there with my book, drinking lemonade and people-watching. :)


The Sowa Open Market is open every Sunday through October 28th. From 10am -4pm. The Market is located at 540 Harrison Ave in Boston's South End. Parking and Admission are both free!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Daisuke and the 5-toed sock

When it comes to playing ball, those Sox players don't kid around -- not even when it comes to, well, their socks. Popularized by our new Japanese pitchers, the 5-toed sock has allegedly been worn by more than one Sox player (including Mike Lowell, Alex Cora and Doug Mirabelli who claim to wear them regularly.) Although the clubhouse has it's own supply of classic red sox, the 5-toed socks are custom made and shipped to their main distributor (Matsuzaka.)

Why wear these odd-looking (and potentially uncomfortable) socks on your feet? Apparently it helps with grip. The socks are covered with tiny rubbery beads to improve balance and traction. “At first they feel kind of weird,” Mirabelli said. “They got some sticky things on the bottom, like little kids would have on the bottom of their socks. But you get used to them.”

Of course, not everyone is so into the new-toe-fangled fad. Jason Varitek has never worn the 5-toed socks and sees no reason to start now. “I don’t know why,” Varitek said with a shrug. “I just don’t like the toes separated.”

Not quite ready to have all 5 toes separated? Japanese tabi style, or split-toed socks might be the next best thing. In Tokyo and other cities, the tabi socks are becoming increasing popular. You can even wear them with flip-flops! Now there's a fashion statement...


Read more about the 5-toed sock and the Boston Sox at

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A microwave popcorn habit

An article in the New York Times caught my eye today. It was about a man who had overdosed on microwave popcorn (in a manner of speaking.) Apparently, prolonged exposure to diacetyl vapor produced from heated synthetic butter can lead to swelling and scarring of the small airways of the lungs. The severe form of the disease is called bronchiolitis obliterans or "popcorn workers' lung," and can be fatal.

Granted, the man in question had a serious microwave popcorn addiction (popping on average twice a day for more than 10 years...)

Doctor: "This is a very weird question, but bear with me. But are you around a lot of popcorn?’ ”

Patient (jaw dropping): "How could you possibly know that about me? I am MR. Popcorn. I LOVE popcorn."

So the next time you feel the urge to pop up some microwave popcorn, consider the health implications of this seemingly innocuous snack...

...and whatever you do, don't inhale.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007


One of the more hilarious things I've listened to is an interview of Gene Simmons (from Kiss) by Terry Gross on NPR. You can also read the transcript (although this is not quite as funny as the audio.)

Here are a couple of snippets:
(...keep in mind that Gene Simmons speaks here without a sense of humor, something Terry Gross discovered during her interview with him in February, 2002...)

Terry Gross: Did you pattern your makeup on comic book heroes?

Gene Simmons: makeup came as a result of a lot of things, all things Americana. Godzilla, horror movies, science fiction...uh, Black Bolt, which was an Inhumans Marvel comic book, and science fiction certainly. So it's comic books, sort of, all things sort of American pop culture. The rest of the guys in the band had different notions. Paul put on the red lips and the star over his eye as a kind of a exaggeration of what he thought a rock star was, because he always wanted to be a rock star. I was never interested in being a rock star. I always wanted to be Boris Karloff. And Ace -- who's the spaceman in the group, you know -- has delusions of grandeur, and perhaps gravity doesn't quite affect him in the same way, which is to say that he doesn't have good equilibrium, which is a big word, come to think of it. Just like "gymnasium." This is NPR. That's why we're using big words.

At one point Terry asks Gene Simmons why he has had over 4,000 exploits with women. He replies very matter-of-factly, "...The first, "man" -- and women -- if man was predisposed to be monogamous, and we all lived in caves at that point, there were one or two alpha males, and the rest were females. Either way, if we were monogamous, within one or two generations, we would all be cross-eyed and retarded. Get it?"

Got it. We don't all want to end up retarded. This is about species 'evolution'...which is a big word too.


Sunday, September 2, 2007

Threadless T-Shirts

Tired of wearing the same old GAP t-shirt everyone else seems to own? Why not spend your money on something more unique, funky and creative? Threadless T-Shirts is a community-centered online apparel store run by skinnyCorp of Chicago, Illinois since 2000. Members of the Threadless community submit t-shirt designs online, which are then put to a public vote. A small percentage of submitted designs are then selected to be printed and sold through the online store.

Prints often have a limited run so if you see something you like it might not be there in a few weeks. Check back often for new and fresh designs! (These aren't yo' momma's Urban Outfitters knockoffs...)


chandeliers and an Antoinette couch

One of the drawbacks of being a graduate student is the constant need for thrift when it comes to all aspects of life. We seek out cheap (or free) beer, the half-priced appetizers at Happy Hour and shop in the discount section of every store (or at least we should!) So when the mood strikes and I feel like getting a chandelier for my apartment, I won't be going to Neena's. There are, however, some attractive alternatives. Right now I'm quite taken with the idea of a wall decal. It takes up no space, requires no fixture installation, and can fill up a bare wall rather creatively.

Another possibility is this cut out version from Urban Outfitters. It's mod and functional at the same time!

Of course the things I'd really like to buy,

a. wouldn't fit in my apartment and

b. I can't really afford...

...but it doesn't hurt to look! I'm not as fascinated by French decor as some of my friends (check out Chic and Charming!) but if I had plenty of money to spend, I might consider this pretty Marie Antoinette-inspired couch!Well, until the day I can afford something not off the discount rack, I'll just have to satisfy my shopping cravings with some serious window shopping (and maybe a wall decal.)