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Posts Tagged ‘nigella lawson’

New Books.

Can't wait to sew and cook my way through these.

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New Recipes
(Sweet Potato Crescent Rolls recipe from Land O’Lakes)

Delish! (And I've finally conquered my fear of yeast doughs).

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Cleaning out my childhood room.  Digging up old treasures.

Pretty Origami Papers.

Old toys, new life. (I loved that Happy Meal toy once - it's a mini-transformer!)

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A couple of bento.
(I finally convinced my parents to let me pack meals for them. The pear-ginger muffin is from Nigella Express).

Dad's lunch, Mom's snack.

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A new craft.
(From Megan Nicolay, via Threadbanger.  I’m SO sad that the hosts are all leaving that channel!)

Infinity t-shirt scarf (DIY'ed), vintage brooch (from my grandparents).

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LOTS of syllabus prep for my new job this Fall
(teaching Freshman Comp at Notre Dame).

I didn't end up using most of these.

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I’ve gone shopping a lot, too. Trying to update my wardrobe to be more teacher-appropriate. (My official hiring letter says that I’m an “Adjunct Assistant Professor” during the term of my appointment.  0.o  It’s just for the fall term, but the thought still kind of boggles my mind!)

Issue 1, and then the syllabus have taken up most of my time (and mental space) so far.  They’re done (finally!) but still, there’s SO much left to do (as always, the holiday seems way too short). I haven’t had much time for writing, hanging out with friends, re-learning to drive, or finishing the cleaning/repainting/redecorating of my room (it’s currently a complete disaster zone — not that it isn’t usually, but trust me, it’s much worse than usual at the moment).  Still, I’ve been so glad for the time to complete my own stuff (it’s the first summer I’ve had since junior high in which I haven’t had to report to some combination of work or class!).  I’ve been working my butt off morning to night, but the freedom to wake up at leisure, spend the whole day working on my projects, and take time off at a moment’s notice to fulfill family obligations or socialize without the constant fear of major ramifications is so precious. Who knows when I’ll have another summer like this?

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First, a birthday cake for my roommate M.

Nigella’s Honey Bee Cake, to be exact.

With Marzipan Bees and Roses.

Closeup of the bees.

(They’re staring at you).

I did not have a springform so I baked it in two tins and layered it with raspberry jam. Would’ve tasted better if I hadn’t let it dry out and burn a little (I baked it for the suggested time, and with foil for part of it, too!). :-/ Oh, well. People said it was good, anyway.

Second, a birthday gift.  A detachable bracelet set. (Also for M).

Tied together.

Bracelet #1.

Crystal, pearlescent beads, metal filigree, toggle clasp.

Bracelet #2.

Metallic ball beads, filigree bead caps, purple and clear iridescent glass, pearlescent beads.

Both bracelets are strung on clear elastic thread to make them stretchy and easy to put on and take off (the toggle on the one provides another option for closure, but is more for show).

Modeled after the general idea of this Forever 21 bracelet set. I may not like all of their clothes, but Forever 21 does have some lovely vintage-inspired jewelry this season (I don’t trust the quality or make of it, though; I generally don’t buy costume jewelry anyway, because I usually end up wondering whether I can make it myself . . ..) I was thinking about texture for this set.  The mixture of smooth, milky pearl colors with the sharp sparkle of crystal and the slightly more liquid gleam of intricate metallic filigree, the hardness of beads and metal juxtaposed against the soft white of the satin tie.  Texture is a lovely thing.  I’m glad it’s “in” at the moment.

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I have an alarmingly long to-do list for the next two weeks, but I haven’t been able to get very much work done since the weekend.  (Hence my being up at 2:00 AM listening to Pandora and blogging).  Thought I might as well post some photos of my Easter table, since I wrote about all that food in my last post.

Centerpiece / Flower arrangement #1
(daffodils I bought from the Farmer’s Market):

Flower arrangement #2
(on the side table; daffodils that someone gave my roommate on the same day that I bought mine- likely also from the Farmer’s Market):

Friends opening a bottle of wine in front of the full spread
(Yes, ED and MM, you’ve appeared on my blog, just as you predicted . . .):

Closeup of the spread
(S’s pretzel rods and veggies w/ guacamole are hidden behind the flowers, but can you guess what everything else is?):

I discovered during the course of the party that the spiced nuts I made (using Nigella Lawson’s recipe) taste REALLY GOOD when mixed with jellybeans. S is still quite skeptical, but I maintain she doesn’t know what she’s missing.

While shooting these images, I had some trouble focusing properly (the light in my apartment is quite uneven, so I was spending most of my energy thinking about metering and exposure, and shot the latter two photos, in particular, very quickly so as not to be rude by taking lots of fangirl photos of my own food instead of being hospitable to my guests…), but I was rather pleased by the soft warm cast my images acquired as a result of the fact that the sun was setting and I had the front door and the drapes on our front windows wide open (the front of our house faces pretty much due West, so we are privvy to absolutely spectacular sunsets with breathtaking afterglow, and really interesting effects when the sun rises on clear days – as we live directly across from several large buildings whose bricks turn orangey-gold as the sun comes up, and then reflect the red sky in their windows, so that they look like they are on fire).

I’ve really been enjoying the Spring weather this month. It’s rained miserably for the last two days, but the weekend was glorious, and I keep reminding myself that when it’s raining, at least it’s not snowing, and when it’s sunny, it really is sunny and golden. 🙂

All right, bedtime now. (My Pandora list has also reached a Regina Spektor song I dislike – so I want to finish this post and stop typing so I can go turn it off . . .)

[By the way, in case you were wondering, the visible foods in the last image are, starting at the top right: egg and cress on mini baguette slices, Nigella Lawson’s Union Square Cafe Nuts, roasted vegetable skewers, mini apple strudels from Meijer, roasted lamb and eggplant skewers, ED’s homemade hummus and pita chips, cracked pepper water crackers with herbed goat cheese and peppered smoked salmon, more egg and cress slices, dark chocolate eggs, Starburst jelly beans; beverages half-visible in the distance are “French berry” (strawberry) sparkling lemonade, fresh mint iced tea, and a bottle of red wine].

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