Monday, December 20, 2010

double double

Tribune Tower

Days away from the holidays.
Looking out these windows will surely show these heavily trafficked streets.
Full of last-minute shoppers rushing from door to door to check off everyone on the list.
Holiday procrastination.

Lucky for us, we finished all of our shopping weeks ago, and for the most part have already handed off all the gifts. We did this as a way to save space; and since we don't have a tree, they can adorn their recipient's tree instead.

Michigan Ave. has been packed. Well, it is always packed, but now more than ever. We took a walk downtown on Sunday and were shoulder to shoulder with shoppers. I guess it's just a friendly (okay, not so friendly at all times) reminder that we live in a big city. We forget on our quaint northside that there is a hustling bustling downtown area.

I will apologize in advance if my posting becomes reduced to non-existent during this holiday season. We get serious about celebrating and lavishing time with family and friends. This is not to say that we will forget about our online friends and followers. We promise to be back with vengeance in the new year. :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

saturday skillet

Our Saturday Skillet: Potato Pancakes

Proud to say that we started the day with a breakfast that I will definitely be making again -- potato pancakes. While I like pancakes, it is one breakfast food I could do without (unless there are chocolate chips in them). I also am not a huge fan of potatoes when they are mashed. It's a consistency thing, and I am a consistency person. (It's the absolute only way I could be considered a picky eater. And it doesn't count because I still do eat things that don't totally do it for me with their consistency (i.e. oatmeal, refried beans, squash...etc.)

So anyway ... I didn't think that potato pancakes would be my thing, but goodness gracious -- they are delicious. They are a combo between hash browns and pancakes--and certainly contain all the carbs you need for the day. Coupled with pure maple syrup, apple sauce and good company = an excellent start to the weekend.

We cheated and bought a box so they were not homemade, and I will have to admit I was thoroughly impressed with the flavor. Anyway, enough about pancakes. It's on to dinner now.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

gingerbread cookies, not men

Today was a day for baking. Not sure if it was the blizzard, the strong winds or just my strong desire for something sweet. I also needed an excuse to get my mind off things.

Just last weekend I was marveling over all of the cookie cutters I have. None of which have a holiday theme, but it doesn't matter. Just because they don't stand out as "holiday cookies" doesn't mean they don't taste the same.

I realized last weekend that I have hardly used any of my cookie cutters. It was time to make some dinosaur, flower, cat, star, etc., etc. cookies.

My main dilemma with baking is this: It's just pm and me. While I love to make cakes, breads, cookies, pies and other sweets, as just two people it's hard to finish everything. Or, the problem is that we do finish everything and then feel gluttonous. I need to come up with a better system. Make a half batch (nearly impossible to yield the same results), freeze the dough (not recommended) or give some away (best option.).

This is a continued theme that goes beyond baking. We have a hard time getting through a loaf of bread, gallon of milk or block of cheese without having to throw some out. In most cases, rather than throw items out (minus the milk), we freeze things. Our freezer is on system overload right now though. Anyway, what tips do you have for saving and sharing?
Here's the recipe for the gingerbread cookies we made:
1/2 c shortening
1/2 c sugar
1 t baking powder
1 t ground ginger
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t clove
1/2 c molasses
1 egg
1 t vinegar
2 1/2 c flour
Preheat oven to 375. Bake 5-6 mins, until edges are brown. [Note: Do not overcook, or forget about cookies in oven. I burnt a round. :( ]

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My eyes are peeled.


'Tis the time for holiday deals, and lucky for us in a couple of short weeks the deals with be even sweeter. Every year around this time, pm and I get really excited about the prospect of buying new furniture for a very reduced price. Unfortunately, every year the prospects remain unattainable. We just don't have the livable space for a new couch, a dining room table...etc., etc.

This doesn't mean that we don't still look. Because we do, and we will.

In fact, sometimes I like to flip through the Crate & Barrel catalogue (among others) and dream about the things that would be nice to have even if we'll never have them. I used to play that same game as a kid. You page through a catalogue and have to choose your favorite thing on each page.

Anyway....I think we need to get married again. This way we can add all the things we didn't add to our registry the first time. For our first nuptials we had to ask for boring things (towels, plates, glasses, sheets... etc) because we did not have anything. Everything we owned fit into my Honda Civic, which included mostly clothes and one floor lamp. Now that we have all the things we need, I'd like to ask for all the things we want. First we need to get some more square footage. :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

sweet torture

I have a horrible sweet tooth. It's no secret. I've said if before and I will certainly say it again.

What is not helping my sweet tooth dilemma is the amount of sweets that are becoming available, but . . . not for eating. 'Tis the season when we get more mail about sales, holiday products and catalogues. The pages are all loaded with delectable holiday treats. There are so many treat options in print that it's making me feel increasingly guilty about not getting into the holiday spirit and baking.

I did make some banana bread over the weekend. Only ten more frozen bananas in the freezer to work with. I could use a good banana cookie recipe ... and if it applies to the holidays even better.

Monday, December 6, 2010


DIY snowflakes
Yes, success. Christmas shopping is complete. Almost all the gifts are wrapped and stored away. Wish we could say they were resting under the Christmas tree, but small apartment living isn't very conducive for having a tree. Instead, we've got some eucalyptus branches to give off some of that delightful 'piney' smell.

We put up some DIY snowflakes (photos to come soon) and are starting to ease our ways into the season. The snow this weekend actually makes it feel a lot more like winter is here. This is both a good and bad thing. It sure was pretty on Saturday, not so much today.

I've been dreaming of Christmas cookies, and am a little stumped as to where to begin. I know that one of these days coming up I'll get to making a few batches. If for nothing else it will keep the temperatures livable in here with having the oven on. Oh the joys of winter!

Thursday, December 2, 2010



Delicate. Fragile. Endearing. Subtle. Dreamy. Wistful.

This photo brings all of these words to mind for me. It also makes me think about lately I just haven't had the energy to write. It could be the lack of sunshine or the fact that I am not one for just slapping together a post without giving it some thought.

Quality is better than quantity.

The only thing that differs in the blogosphere is that your fans/followers expect a certain amount of product. I know in the past few months I haven't been giving it everything that I could. I am a little distracted & I will reveal my distractions soon enough. The multiple distractions in our lives in the past two months have required a lot more time and effort than I had originally intended. All good things though.

If only the race to the finish line was in sight. I sometimes wonder if we ever get a glimpse of the finish line in life. Every year about this time I start to reflect on the past year. This year, bar-none has gone by faster than any other year I have lived. I thought by now things would have slowed down a little. Boy, was I wrong. I have started to accept that once one thing slows down another one begins. If for nothing else, one can never grow bored. It also, as of late, also seems that one can never rest to catch their breath.

This brings me back to the photo above. I find it quite tranquil. It's simple, yet you cannot stop looking into the distance (the first exposure). And this, is what we all do day after day... look ahead to the distance to see what lies ahead.

If you are still following our lamentably sporadic posts, what do you do to stay focused on the future without being overwhelmed? :)