Tuesday, November 30, 2010


These caramels are SO good. Seriously.

** the bold texts are my edits to the recipe. You can trust me... I made this recipe twice in one day. (I went too far the first time and made something more like toffee. It's okay, I'm saving it to make toffee ice cream. Sweet!)

Fleur de Sel Caramels


1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon fleur de sel, more for sprinkling
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
2 bags semi-sweet chocolate chips


Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly oil parchment.

Bring cream, butter, and fleur de sel to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.

Boil sugar, corn syrup, and water in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a light golden caramel. (I had a hard time finding the "light golden caramel" color - I would say, be here for 10 minutes at the most, then move on.)

Carefully stir in cream mixture (mixture will bubble up) and simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248°F on thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes. (Time here will vary in accordance with how much time you spent on the last step. Trust the thermometer, and do not go by color --- this caramel is lighter than others I've made or bought.)

(Also, if you don't have a thermometer -or if, like me, you have one that is 10 degrees off, but you can't remember in which direction- you can see how soft/hard the caramel is by dropping a small ball into ice water and then eating it. YUM.)

Pour into baking pan and cool 2 hours. Cut into 1-inch pieces, then wrap each piece in a 4-inch square of wax paper, twisting 2 ends to close. (A pizza cutter works well. If you have a difficult time cutting it, place it in the oven at 200 degrees for just a few minutes.)

(Also, I dipped them in melted semi-sweet chocolate, then sprinkled with fleur de sel. To melt chocolate-- you can use a double boiler, but to avoid the risk of steam ruining the chocolate, use the microwave. Heat for about 15 seconds at a time, stirring in between. Stop heating when chips are soft, but have not completely lost shape. Stir until smooth. Reheat as needed.)

(I didn't count, but I think it made roughly 120 little squares.)

Monday, November 29, 2010

the impossible cool - again

because you can't skip the girls...

mitchell, kinski, bardot, hepburn, hepburn

T.S. Eliot

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."

[image of Zaira with The Solebury Club]

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Eating is a silly thing. In order to get food into your stomach you've got to push it through your face."

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

[Blondie comic strip]

Seasons of Wither, Aerosmith

"Crazy Frenchman Rides a Bike on Fire"

If your bike suddenly caught fire, do you think you'd stop, or pedal faster?

[via notcot]

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

just cute

bunnies are so soft and so precious.

[via ffffound]

Monday, November 22, 2010

the impossible cool.

springsteen, brando, davis, newman, cash. way too cool.


"I am an optimist. It doesn't seem too much use being anything else."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Enjoy the weekend!

"I love the way music inside a car makes you feel invisible; if you play the stereo at max volume, it's almost like the other people can't see into your vehicle. It tints your windows, somehow."

[Chuck Klosterman]

Lena Wolff

Pretty, don't you think? And she's currently working on "The Paper Quilt Project" which sounds super cool, if you ask me.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


so, this is a little late, but my sister, Janine, has a blog! YAY!

She started it when she and her husband set off for a 6 week tour of Australia (She's been back for a few weeks now - so this really is quite belated. oops.), and she writes about travel, and food, and fun fun fun!

(that's her)

Check it while the checkin's good!

(She's also a contributor to First Novels Club which she started with three of her writer friends -- They're doing a HARRY POTTER THEMED WEEK!)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Get Off of My Cloud, Rolling Stones


If I could spend money right now, I'd be all over these.

by Nadinoo

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Voyagers

These girls have the most wonderful and beautiful adventures! I'm in love.


"I do not seek - I find."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Because November needs soup

Tuscan Vegetable & Bread Soup

2 cans cannellini beans
8 cups vegetable stock
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk and some of its greens, chopped
2 yukon gold potatoes, chopped
1 leek, cleaned and chopped
1 head kale, ribs removed and sliced thinly
1/2 head savoy cabbage, sliced in thin ribbons
1 large zucchini, chopped
5-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 cups tomato puree
couple springs fresh rosemary
fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed red hot pepper
parmiagiano reggiano rind
1/2 loaf day old Italian bread, cubed

Saute potato, onion, carrot, leek and celery in some olive oil until relatively soft (about 8 minutes). Add garlic and saute a few minutes more. Add zucchini, kale, and cabbage, and saute for 2-3 minutes.

Add herbs and hot pepper flakes.

Cover with stock and add tomatoes. Add cheese rind.

Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Simmer on low to medium-low heat for about 40 minutes. Add beans and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

If you choose to add stale bread, add it at the very end. Allow to soak up some broth (about 5 minutes) and allow it to break down. Stir into soup.

To serve, add a piece of cheese rind to bottom of bowl and ladle in some broth and plenty of vegetables. Top with grated parmiagiano reggiano, if desired.

Douglas Adams

"Worrying is simply an acquired habit."

Friday, November 5, 2010

Weekend! Weekend! Weekend!

[via TheBedlamofBeefy]

water bottles, a comparison

This water bottle is an absolute dream. It's glass, so my drinks taste like drinks not like plastic or metal or...God only knows what else. Plus, I drop this puppy all the time (usually on the cement garage floor) and it's fine. Magic, really! and totally broke one of them today. (good thing I have two.)

However, it's pretty stinking heavy. Even empty, it weighs a ton. So I bought this....

BPA-free plastic water pouch. So light, so thin, so sleek. and SO plastic-y tasting. It's super awesome for trekking around the city, so YAY. But I might as well be drinking liquid plastic, so LAME.

I haven't tried it yet, but I'm hoping that adding a squeeze of lemon to my water will solve the taste issue, because it is just so unbelievably convenient.
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