Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Last week was such a week, except that after two days of getting no comments, I discovered that my pre-scheduled posts did not publish! I have tried daily since then including today, and nothing happens.
Has this happened to you before? Any idea what to do to fix it? Thanks, everyone!
Monday, June 29, 2009
I got a box of 50 hangers, and need more already. I will be getting more of these as soon as I get a chance!
Sunday, June 28, 2009
The new orchid is on the smaller side, and the flowers are fuchsia and white. Just beautiful. I want to hear all your orchid-growing tips and secrets!
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 pound flank steak or tri-tip, cut in thin strips on the bias
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (I had black bean sauce on hand, so I used that instead)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
3 scallions, chopped
1/4 orange, zested
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
In a resealable plastic bag combine the soy sauce and cornstarch and mix well. Add beef, cover, and let marinate for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
Whisk together the sherry, hoisin, honey, chili sauce, soy sauce, and orange juice until completely combined.
In large pan or wok, heat oil on high. Add the ginger and beef and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add sauce mixture and cook for another 2 minutes on medium heat until sauce thickens. Serve on warm platter, garnish with scallions, orange zest and sesame seeds.
I served it with edamame because Husband is carb-conscious; this would be delicious with rice!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Here is a little trick I learned recently, and have tested it out numerous times. Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
When we were settled in enough to be able to cook at home, we went to the market and got fresh produce. Here is the first salad I made in our new home using ingredients from the market!
Here is young garlic; it is wonderfully fragrant (if you like garlic, that is). :)
This is a baby greens mix I got the other day – love all the fresh flower blossoms in it! It looks so pretty that I don’t want to use it!
We also tried sundried tomato and chardonnay sausage and ground beef, and both were terrific.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Prevent clothes from slipping with the soft, velvety surface of these useful hangers. Chrome tone hooks complement their attractive design. Their lightweight and ultra-thin design - just 1/4" wide - holds heavy winter coats as easily as spaghetti-strapped gowns.
They were $39.99 for a box of 50, and I used a 20% off coupon that I got in the mail. I am excited to try them out!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
The basil came all the way to NY with us. It looked pretty good for being cooped up in a box for six days!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I get outside. FOUR blocks later, I am there! Can you believe it? Several bead shops are only F-O-U-R blocks away. What a treat! I didn’t realize just how close we live to them.
My life (at least in the near future) will never be the same again. In a good way.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Challenge #2 was the bathroom. We had this bright idea to stock up on face wash, sun block, tooth paste, etc. at Sam’s before moving to save money. Did we save money? Yes. Do we have space for 923487 tubes of tooth paste? No. Do not fret. It took some maneuvering and manipulating, but I made it all fit!
The next challenge? Clothes and shoes and purses. MY clothes, shoes and purses. Stay tuned – I am going to tackle that issue in the next day or two!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Husband modified this recipe just a bit, and it came out excellent.
16 ounces chickpeas (you can use canned or buy them dry and boil as directed)
6 ounces roasted red bell peppers
1 jalapeno, seeded, diced
1 tablespoon fresh chopped garlic
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons chopped onion
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Juice of 1 fresh lime or lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Toasted pita bread or veggies, for serving
Mix all ingredients, except olive oil and pita bread, in food processor until pureed; then slowly add in olive oil.
Let set up for 1 hour prior to serving.
Serve with toasted pita bread or vegetables. We enjoyed it with cucumber slices, as you can see in the picture!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
While I was working my way through every corner of the apartment, it occurred to me: I love getting rid of stuff! It almost makes me happier to get rid of stuff than to acquire it (notable exceptions: beads, shoes and purses). I know it sounds weird, but the more de-cluttered our apartment looked, the more liberated I felt, and it was easier to breathe!
I think I’d really enjoy de-cluttering people’s homes for a living. I’ll be doing what I love and getting paid for it – it’s the best of both worlds!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
While waiting at the checkout line at Trader Joe’s, I spotted a Ritter Sport milk chocolate bar with whole hazelnuts. Hey marketing genius who decided to put them there, I could just kiss you right now! I would have never tried them if I didn’t stand in that line and happen to stand right by them.
I had been craving something sweet, but didn’t want to buy anything big. I opened it the second we got in the car, and it was gone within
minutes femtoseconds. It was GOOD. V-e-r-y good. And they say Snapple is made from the best stuff on earth…If you’ve never tried one, you’re missing out (if you like hazelnuts and milk chocolate, that is).
It has done serious damage to my workout progress and set me back a day or five, but it was well worth it!
Monday, June 15, 2009
They taste a little like sugar snap peas, so if you don’t like those, chances are you won’t like the shoots either. I just love sugar snap peas, so it was no surprise I found them delectable.
I substituted them for alfalfa or clover sprouts in wraps. I also added them to our salad along with goat cheese, baby greens, tomatoes, mushrooms, pine nuts and homemade balsamic vinaigrette-type dressing. So good! I saw two advantages to using pea shoots over sprouts: they have more flavor than sprouts, and are easier to rinse. One criticism of sprouts is that you that you can’t easily wash them. I don’t even wash mine even though I know I should. These pea shoots are big and leafy enough that I was able to thoroughly wash them before using! I will definitely buy them again!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
In preparation for the move we cleaned out our storage unit a few days ago. You won’t believe how many vases I found packed away in boxes! Decorative vases, mind you – not the kind you’d use for flowers. That’ll require a separate inventory count altogether.
There was a red vase; a blue vase; a blue-red-tan vase; a clear vase; a white and clear vase; a brown vase; two taupe vases; a turquoise vase; a greenish beige vase. That’s nine vases, and I didn’t even count a set of three white bud vases that I left wrapped up, and another glass vase that broke when we were packing! I am not even talking about a number of vases that we have in the apartment.
I bought all these vases a little over two years ago to decorate two rooms in our townhouse. To say that I went overboard would be an understatement. We dropped off nearly all these vases at Good Will, and now they have enough vases to start a No Durham Household Left without a Vase Program.
P.S. I really want this Pandora Vase from Crate and Barrel!
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Imagine our delight when we showed up at the grocery store and found out that Breyers ice cream was Buy 1, Get 1 Free!
We got Coffee and Cookies and Cream. What’s your favorite flavor?
Friday, June 12, 2009
White jewelry is great especially in the summer. My favorite white components are pearls – Biwa stick, rice and keshi in particular! Let’s take a look a few jaC Jewelry pieces featuring these lovely natural creations.
This Silver Dream Bracelet - Lampwork Beads, White Keshi Pearls and Sterling Silver Bracelet is absolutely beautiful! It has all my favorite components: keshi pearls, lampwork beads and Bali sterling silver beads!
These White Lily - Biwa and Rice Pearl and Silver Earrings (Strings) featuring stunning Biwa stick pearls are delicate and unique. The White Lily collection was born last summer, and I have not stopped wearing my two very own White Lily pieces since then – a pair of earrings similar to these and a lariat. Love them!
Finally, we have this beautiful Copper Leaf Bracelet - Sterling, White Biwa Stick and Copper Coin Pearl Bracelet that features Biwa stick pearls and copper coin pearls. So natural and pretty!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
What you’ll need is a martini shaker, a big ripe juicy peach and a Potato Press. If you don’t have a Potato Press, get creative – I’m sure you’ll come up with something to extract the juice (a citrus juicer?). It is important that your peach is ripe, or you will have a hard time extracting the juice, and the martini won’t be sweet.
Ingredients (makes 1 martini)
2 shots vodka
1 shot triple sec
juice of 1 large fresh peach
1 or 2 fresh peach slices
Slice a large peach in half and remove the pit. Cut one or two thin slices and set them aside. Load the remaining peach into a Potato Press and squeeze the juice. Discard the peach pulp.
Combine vodka, triple sec and peach juice in a martini shaker. Add ice cubes until the shaker is ¾ full.
Shake for 30 seconds to a minute, pour into martini glasses, add peach slices and serve!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Let me tell you, the ice cream produced on this farm is most delicious! Here is Husband modeling a Cookies and Cream cone for you. (He was giving me looks because I was taking my time taking these pictures, and he just wanted to get on with it and eat his ice cream. I don’t blame him.)We discovered all kinds of dairy goodness at the Maple View Farm Country Store, including fresh butter, milk and cheese! Without even thinking about it, we bought a healthy portion (1 lb to be precise) of butter. We worried it would melt on the way home, but it didn’t.
Then we realized we only have a little over two weeks until the big move. We are definitely NOT going to use all that butter by then. Just what are we going to do with all this butter?! Maybe what we need is adult supervision, as we are incapable of making forward-looking decisions when we go shopping…
Monday, June 8, 2009
Two adorable toys for our kitten arrived recently, and they are terrific! Actually, we don’t yet have the kitty – I will announce her arrival as soon as she is here, but her adoption is in the works. :)
Back to the toys. Casbah Kitten, a fully cat-run business, offers a plethora of toys stuffed with all-natural catnip grown by the cats’ parents. I couldn’t resist this bright and cheery Ladybug pair and the cute Fatberd Cat Toy, the Goldfinch.
I will give you a full report, complete with pictures, as soon as the kitten gets here and starts playing with the toys! I am sure our little fur ball to be named later will love them.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
It will be a long while until the next sale, and it is unlikely to be as big as this one. Visit my shop and save – you may find something you can’t live without!
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
Yini of redrubyonfire was kind enough to make this Blinkie for me! Thank you so much, Yini. Clicking on the button will bring you straight to my Etsy shop. I can use it on others’ blogs and websites.
Yini makes banners, avatars, digital graphics, logos, business cards and tags. If you’re looking for any of those, check out her shop!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
What you’ll need is a martini shaker and a can of Lychee fruit in syrup as shown in the first picture. You can find it at Asian markets.
2 shots vodka
1 shot triple sec
8 tablespoons lychee syrup (adjust to taste - the sweeter you like your martinis, the more syrup you should add)
3 canned lychee fruits
Combine all ingredients except the canned fruits in a martini shaker. Add ice cubes until the shaker is ¾ full.
Shake for 30 seconds to a minute, pour into martini glasses, add canned fruit and serve!
To add a little color, you can add a little pomegranate or cranberry juice.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
A few weeks ago we went to see an air show in Beaufort, SC! The highlight of the show were the Blue Angels – an incredible group of six Navy pilots who performed choreographed maneuvers during an hour-long flight demonstration. They were really something!
These pictures don’t capture the full experience; you have to go see them for yourself! To learn more about the Blue Angels and view the 2009 season schedule, please click here. Bring a hat and plenty of sun block!
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Husband gave me this fantastic Hampton Forge 7-piece barware set for my Birthday, and I have been anxious to share it with you! Truth be told, I have never used the set myself, so I cannot share the experience first-hand. I do, however, attest that it results in the most delicious martinis! So far, Husband has made two kinds for me: lychee and pomegranate martinis and both have been delicious! As a result, I give this set two thumbs up! A peach martini is next on my list.
Without giving too much away, I will tell you that a post containing a recipe for one of the aforementioned beverages is in the works; it will appear right here on my blog later this week…
Monday, June 1, 2009
Did you hear - jaC is moving! That’s right, ever since I finished grad school over a month ago, we have been
impatiently waiting to pack up our bags and move to The Big City! Movers will be here soon to pack up all our possessions and transport them 500 miles north. The only thing I I do not trust them to take is over 120 finished jaC Jewelry pieces. Instead, I'd love to send them to as many of my wonderful customers as possible! I am having a sale that is the biggest yet! Are you ready for the deals? Here they are:
Get 10% off when you buy 1 item; 15% off on 2 items; 20% off on 3 items; 25% off on 4 items or more!
The discount does not apply to the Clearance and Supplies sections. This is the first sale of its kind, and there is no telling when I will hold another one, so you definitely want to take advantage of these prices! Now is a great time to pick up new summer pieces for yourself or purchase a few gifts for your friends and loved ones.
Simply complete your purchase in my shop, pay via PayPal, and I will refund the discount amount right back to you! Or let me know which pieces you'd like to purchase, and I will adjust the price for you.
The sale starts today and will end on Sunday, June 7. All pieces are one-of-a-kind, so don’t let your favorites get away!