War Child

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This has nothing to do with Brooklyn or my house, but I wanted to take a minute to encourage anyone reading to go see the documentary film War Child, which made its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on Monday night. (Click here to see the remaining screening times.)

The film traces the life of Emmanuel Jal from his childhood as a child soldier in southern Sudan in the late 80s to his career as a rapper today. Emmanuel's life is a very powerful, touching story. I've had the pleasure to work with Emmanuel and director Karim Chrobog over the last few weeks and I was so impresed by these two young men and their work that I wanted to support them by encouraging all of you to see the film. If you're not in New York, check out the film's website for their upcoming festival schedule and news about distribution: www.warchildmovie.com.

Cupcakes Act 2

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I'm on my second round of cupcakes for the month of April (this time they are for Molly's birthday). I stuck with the recipe I used last time because it came out quite well and it made the perfect number of cupcakes for a small group, about 18. The recipe is the 'One Egg Cake' from the trustworthy tome, The Joy of Cooking. However, I've heard a rumor that Molly prefers chocolate icing, so she'll get a chocolate buttercream instead of vanilla.

Reason #548 to Love Brooklyn

Friday, April 25, 2008

Paul Simon. I am simply trembling with excitement to see this show tonight: Paul Simon, Gillian Welch, Amos Lee, Grizzly Bear, Olu Dara--oh yeah, and Josh Groban. And they're just down the street from my apartment!

Cork Creation

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Here's a smart way to put old wine corks to good use from Design*Sponge. These trivets and coasters are made of sliced-up corks stitched together with thread. I love the finished look of the variegated color of the corks. However, I can't imagine myself taking the time to actually cut up a bunch of bottle stoppers and sew them together.

Object of Desire: Script Lamp

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I love, love, love this orange desk lamp from CB2. You have to see it in person to see how great the color and finish are on this desk lamp, but trust me: it's handsome. And at $59.95 it's not such a bad deal (and yes, I know Ikea has $15 desk lamps that are a better deal).

Paper Art Project

Friday, April 11, 2008

Here's a cute idea for wall art from Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day (a blog I read and fantasize about what life would be like on the Left Coast). Looks like it wouldn't be too hard to execute, and the finished results look great.

A Clever Cup

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Here's a new riff on the ceramic disposable cup. It's pretty darn cute.

Cupcakes at Midnight

Friday, April 04, 2008

Sometimes being a big sister means frosting cupcakes at midnight when you desperately wish you were asleep in bed. My cupcakes aren't half as good looking as the strawberry birthday cake my mother baked on my sis's second birthday (see below), but I think they'll taste good. Tonight we're celebrating my sister's 26th birthday. It will be her first birthday as a New Yorker, and I feel so lucky to have her here in this fine city.

Keep Calm and Carry On

Thursday, April 03, 2008

In the past couple of months I have purchased a few new pieces of affordable art that now adorn my walls. One of the posters is this reproduction of a poster from WWII Britain that I purchased from Victoria of sfgirlbybay. Scanning her blog today, I saw that Victoria has posted pictures of her posters in various customers homes. I was tickled to see all the Calm posters in a rainbow of hues. I bought mine in January when I felt like I needed a daily reminder to do just as the poster says, "Keep Calm and Carry On." I think it's a very fine sentiment. If I were the kind of girl who got tattooed, this simple phrase would be a candidate for marking on my skin. For now, I'll just settle with seeing it in my hall every day.

Here's a link to Victoria's etsy shop where you can purchase your own Calm poster.

Simple Chinese Cooking

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

One of my goals for the new year was to have a dinner party every month. So far, I've kept to my promise (though in March it was an Easter brunch, not dinner). In February I made a Chinese feast for the Chinese New Year. I cooked several recipes from the book Simple Chinese Cooking by Kylie Wong. Based on my experiences with Wong's recipes, I couldn't recommend this book highly enough. The vegetable fried rice recipe with ginger is particularly good.

When I had set out to cook a Chinese meal I was a little nervous at the prospect of cooking a new cuisine (because really who actually cooks Chinese food, especially in New York). It really wasn't harder than any other kind of cooking. I did have to buy some staples of Chinese cooking like sesame oil, chili oil and rice wine vinegar, but the cooking itself was very straightforward. However, as a warning to all: The prep work for a Chinese meal is immense. I literally spent a whole day chopping, dicing and shredding, and I still wasn't ready when my guests arrived. (Dearest friends, thank you for your patience with the meal.)

I also used a recipe from the every reliable Every Day Food magazine (thank you, Martha). Specifically, I made these cold sesame noodles. A yummy recipe, but the noodles get a little soggy if you save them as leftovers.

A Clean Bargain

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A while back I wrote about Mrs. Meyers dish soap. I've always loved Mrs. Meyers because it smells so damn good. Last week I was at Whole Foods looking for my favorite dish washing liquid, but I couldn't find it anywhere in the store. I ended up purchasing this Lavender Floral and Mint soap from Seventh Generation instead. At about $3.50 for 25 oz. it was a much better bargain than the Mrs. Meyers soap. The Seventh Generation soap also smells terrific. Best of all, according to the packaging, "If every household in the U.S. replaced just one bottle of 25 oz. petroleum based dishwashing liquid with our [Seventh Generation's] 20 oz. vegetable based product, we could save 81,000 barrels of oil, enough to heat and cool 4,600 U.S. homes for a year!"

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