Sunday, February 27, 2011

Packing up

This will be a boring post, mostly just to get me motivated.
Today is the first day that I'm feeling better, that I've had a day off. So it's back to work on moving house. With both of us sick there for so long, nothing has really gotten done since before Valentine's day. Tonight we have a friend coming over, though, so I started to clean up a bit, and decided I might as well pack up a few things while I'm at it.
I think I'll start with books and DVDs, and maybe some of the frames and framed artwork. Maybe some legos and other knick knacks. I really need to take out the recycling and drop off some stuff at goodwill, but even though I have the truck now, I don't really want to take those trips by myself. I like the help.
I don't know where we're going to put all these boxes, because we barely have room for the empty boxes that are packed down.

We did get our bikes out of storage (Well, the bikes we use. We left the brown one for the time being, because I don't know if we'll have room for it in Austin yet.) They were both in okay shape, although the tires were all flat. I now realize that the red one is kind of a piece of junk, and the black one was a great find. It's got a nice glossy coat, and almost no nicks or scrapes, where there's not an inch on the red one that doesn't. The black one is lugged, and has some nice gold and red painted on details, where the red one just has decals, that are slowly peeling up and getting crisp, and no lugs. It's not a terrible bike, but it's not the prettiest, and we could do a lot better.
We're thinking to sell/give away the red one, and buy a new one. Mark wants a cream colored Fuji, with brightly colored brake cables. If we're getting a bike for me to use, I'd prefer a lady's style, so I can step through, but Mark thinks I should use the black one and he'll get a new one. I guess it depends on who finds a good deal first.

So far, I've packed up a few boxes of things (candles, frames, books, shoes), and threw away and put away quite a few other things. I hate that I don't have anywhere to put things that I've packed up! The empty boxes are also in the way of quite a few things that I'd like to pack up or clean up. When Mark gets home, I'll have him help me move the couch, and I'll see how many boxes I can just shove behind it.
I'm getting kind of sad about the fact that we spend SO much time this summer organizing and decorating, and as soon as we got everything the way we wanted it, we're packing it all up. Who knows how long it will take to get to that point in the new place.

I really need to get cracking on the job applications, but I'd rather pack.

Friday, February 18, 2011


When we visited Austin a few weeks ago, Betsy and Ashley and I sat and had some tea in the afternoon, and I had a lovely pistachio macarons to go with. Turns out Betsy wants macarons at her wedding, and although I'm sure there are those more qualified than I, it would still be fun to try!
I'm starting with this recipe, using almonds ground into flour with my blender. I used a little bit of imitation vanilla for flavor, but I think it would be fun to make some with green tea powder, or maybe some mint ones, and several kinds of fruit flavors. I still haven't decided what to fill the ones I'm making with. Maybe nutella, or jam. I don't really feel like whipping up something special for them.
Next time, or at least if I'm making them for the wedding, I'd like to have someone helping me, and a candy thermometer.

So far: first batch didn't really work. I think they were too dry. they looked great, but when I pryed them off the pan, the were hollow underneath, and they never got a 'foot' like they were supposed too. This was with added water, and a shorter baking time. Weird. I can still fill them, they taste fine, but they will just take a lot more filling, since they are concave instead of flat on the bottom.
With the remaining batter, I added some melted chocolate, and once piped out, I let them sit a bit longer than the first batch had. Once they baked, I opened the oven, and voila! they have perfect little feet, and smell amazing.
I turned off the oven, but left them in there, since they didn't bake as long as the recipe said to, but I don't want them to dry out like the first ones.
I'm going to have to buy some peanut butter to put in there, and maybe make some sort of minty ganache? hmm. I will probably do all this tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day Activities

I wouldn't really say it's snow, but it's white, and it's cold, and it's keeping us all inside. And it's given me the chance to do a project that I've seen a lot of places, but never had the opportunity to try before: ice decorations.

The idea is that you put berries or branches or something pretty in a container, and fill it with water, and let it freeze, and then hang it from a tree or something, to decorate outside. You can use a bunt pan to make a wreath one, but I just had these little cake pans, and some red berries I picked up on our walk yesterday.
I hung another one over the side of the balcony, and I think it will last longer, because it's not being blown around by the wind. It is just hanging on a thumbtack though, whereas this on is hung on a nail. I'm curious to see whether they melt or break first!