Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Super Size

From VintageJeannie
Larger photos, courtesy of tutorial from blueorchidblog

Monday, December 14, 2009

the ballet

This weekend Christopher and I joined friends Robin and Karin to go on a fun, holiday-themed double date to view The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center in New York. I had not yet been to Lincoln Center, so I was super excited. What a beautiful space! I really enjoyed it, and the ballet was truly lovely. Highlights were the snowflakes, the talented child dancers, and the female soloists who shocked and astonished us with their talent and beauty. I also had the chance to see the New York City ballet perform at the Kennedy Center earlier this week. The ballet never fails to inspire me.

(1. Chris and me being silly as per usual; 2. We feign normalcy;
3. The lovely Robin&Karin, newlyweds extraordinaire)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

my bread

I have often maintained that the best poet is the baker who does the majestic and unpretentious work of kneading the dough, consigning it to the oven, baking it in golden colours and handing us our daily bread as a duty of fellowship.

- Pablo Neruda
Chilean poet and 1971 Nobel Laureate in Literature (1904-1973)

no need to knead

I have this problem. Whenever I approach something new and for the first time, it takes me a really long time to psych myself into it.

I've been wanting to bake my own bread for a while. Ever since I met HJ and heard that she always baked her own bread, I thought - this I must learn! But I have a fear of yeast. As a friendly nudge, HJ gave me a jar of yeast for Christmas. I'm almost certain that jar is still sitting in my parent's fridge in Temecula. I'm sorry! I was just too afraid.

Well, this past Sunday, in a bout of frustration due to being holed up in my apartment working when I would rather be shopping, reading the sunday paper, or running in the glorious cold, I decided, goshdarnit! I'm going to bake me some bread!

I turned to Mark Bittman, otherwise known as the Minimalist. I love all of his recipes and videos in the NYtimes Web site. A few years ago, he posted an article and recipe about "No Knead Bread," the simplest bread recipe ever! It uses a combination of flour, yeast, salt, and water along with a very long rising time (18 hours) to produce delicious homemade bread.

I gave it a shot--mixed the ingredients, let them sit in a covered bowl overnight, and placed the dough in the oven last night after work. In the middle of the baking time, I went to the oven to check it out and voila! It was working! The bread was rising into a perfect, beautiful loaf. My roomie and I were squealing and jumping up and down, "It's working, it's working!" After letting the loaf cool, we took our first bites into the perfectly crisp crust and soft chewy innards. Friends, please get thee to a grocery, pick up some whole wheat bread flour, yeast, and salt, and work this magic in your own kitchen. You will never go back to store bought bread again, I assure you!

Recipe: No-Knead Bread

(Photographs by Ruby Washington/The New York Times; above, Don Hogan Charles/The New York Times)

From top: 1. When dough is bubbly, it is ready to be worked. 2. Fold dough once or twice; do not knead. 3. Shape it into a ball and let it rise. 4. Wheat bran flies as Jim Lahey lifts dough and drops it into a hot pot. 5. After baking, the crusty result.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

*toot toot*

That's me, tooting my own horn. The results from the Folio Magazine Awards came in today. I sauntered into my office 20 minutes late. My editor came in and I thought I was about to be reprimanded. Instead he shook my hand and said, "Congratulations on winning a Silver Award for your article!" And then I congratulated him right back, since we co-wrote the piece :)

Consumer, Religious/Spiritual, Full Issue

Gold Winner:
Yoga + Joyful Living
Himalayan Institute
September/October 2008

Silver Winner:
June 2009

Bronze Winner:
Spirituality & Health
Spirituality & Health Media
March 2009

Consumer, Religious/Spiritual, Single Article

Gold Winner:
“A Theologian of Renewal”
December 2008

Silver Winner:
“The Meaning of 'Life'”
November 2008

Bronze Winner:
Elevated Existence
“Searching for Spirit”
Elevated Existence
September 2008

Sad thing is that we won second to a Yoga magazine and EnlightenNext. Sigh. Oh well, nobody else needs to know :)