Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Geek or Chic? Twittering Plants

It's been a while since we've had a viable candidate for Geek or Chic around here, but my friend Q sent a great tip along today that fit the bill perfectly. This little gadget has a spoke the gets dug into your potted plants, recording their water levels and other vitals. With its uber-geeky component, it creates a Twitter identity for the plant and sends updates depending on its needs--"water me, please!" or "give me sunlight!" might be silly Tweets, but they're mighty useful when you're stuck in an office looking at a computer all day.

So, what do you say? Geek or chic?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Recipe Lust: Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Welcome to a new week, everyone. Today was the kind of Monday that felt like an entire week. Office tension made the day feel overly heavy, even if it was cut an hour short. It's days like these when I'm demanding to meet the person who decided we should work 5 days and get off 2. Really? The 4 to 3 ratio is so much more pleasant.

I digress. I came home wanting one of two things: a nap, or something like it. If an alcoholic cupcake is anything like a nap, which, in my mind it is in many ways (therapeutic on two counts!) then this is the recipe I'm turning to. I'm not sure how these Irish Car Bomb cupcakes would go over with whiskey haters like myself, so if I make these consider the whiskey nixed and the Bailey's doubled.

Happy Monday, everyone! To make your own Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes, click here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Design Porn: Post #200

Earlier this week, I found these beautiful images of Matthew Williamson's new rug collection, being sold through London-based The Rug Company. The patterns remind me of Moroccan and Persian rugs, but modernized and with a brighter, splashier color palette. I'm crazy about this one:

but these are pretty fantastic, too:

Check out the collection here, or click here for more of Williamson's work.

Have a great week, and if you go out, have a toast for eatmyword's 200th post :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

DIY Project -- Fanciful Modern Chandelier

I'm surprised that I somehow managed to miss this in last week's issue of Time Out New York, but I'm almost glad I did (this week's letters to the editors had some crucial clarification on the project!).

Either way, this funky chandelier made entirely out of splitters is a great project that likely costs peanuts (I mean, really, peanuts can even be kind of expensive these days. Is it an apt metaphor?). I'm going to go the extra mile to say that this project costs ramen. How about that? And it looks damn cool too. I'm envisioning it over a Eames chair in a comfy corner devoted to late-night reading, or the breakfast nook in my dream kitchen with tons of white and colorful accents. I think I've told you about it before?

Here's the finished product, and for the steps, click here. That letter to the editor asked about the light bulbs you'd want to use, and the important answer is eight-watters. They create that signature hazy glow. Love it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Budget Finds: Pretty Pink Disposable Cutlery

I can't believe it, but I'm starting to plan my first Passover Seder without the help of another cook in the kitchen. Since the holiday will fall on a Wednesday night this year, efficiency is going to be key--and plastic forks and knives would most definitely be in order if they weren't flimsy (or if I didn't have a dishwasher). If I were choosing, I'd pick there--and reuse them. Too pretty to throw away, and too stylish to resist, $18 doesn't seem so terrible.

Check them out here, along with all sorts of other great home goods like these below:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Link of the Day

If I titled this post, "On Mussels and Medicine," you'd probably think I'd made a typo. "Muscles and Medicine" makes a lot more sense, but this article here might change your mind. As a seafood lover, I tend to fight a few close friends who hate the thought of eating mussels and clams (especially razor clams, which I ate for the first time this weekend!). However, I'm pretty sure everyone will think this is a pretty nifty development, regardless of seafood preferences. Check it out and let me know your thoughts!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Good Enough To Eat... Again! Red's Mediterranean Salad

This weather has been crazy--hot, cold, hot, cold. Even if I only win 50% of the time, my mind refuses to give in to the cold weather on the less pleasant days. I'm still wearing a lighter coat, I've worn skirts and open-toed shoes, and I'm even making springy salads for lunch. The one I'm toting today was kind of a random stroke of frugal inspiration, so I figured I'd share it with you.

Red's Mediterranean Salad

What You'll Need

1 cucumber, chopped....................................$0.80
2 small or medium tomatoes, chopped........$1.00
1 small red onion, finely chopped.................$0.75
juice of 1 lemon..............................................$0.25
about 5 ounces marinated feta, crumbled....$3.00

Total Cost...........................................$5.80
Cost Per Serving.................................$1.93

What To Do

1. Chop all vegetables to desired chunkiness and combine
2. Add in crumbled feta, as well as some of the oil and spices it has been marinated in
3. Squeeze in some juice, add salt and pepper to taste, and viola! You're done!

Optional: Add olives, parsley, basil, or whatever additional seasoning you may be craving!

By the way, this is a great way to get rid of extra stuff in your fridge! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Amazing (Foodie) Race!

Lately one of my favorite TV shows has been The Amazing Race, where a bunch of couples travel the world completing a series of challenging activities that explore the cultures of the exotic locales they explore. TWB and I joke that we'd be a great couple on the show, except for my complete and utter lack of physical ability, which would quickly frustrate him and drive us out of the running.


I recently stumbled upon a casting notice for a show very much like the Amazing Race that would use my finest talent--my constantly expanding appetite--as its main component.

The notice reads:

"Are you are a connoisseur, critic, chef, aficionado, restaurant owner or are just in a serious love affair with food?

The Food Network is currently casting foodies of all kinds in the New York area to be a part of a fun and exciting new TV series! The show focuses on two teams who race through many of NY’s culinary hot spots competing in challenges in the ultimate chowhound smack down against two Food Network chefs!

It’s an amazing “food-adventure” race!"

Oh. My. God.

Click here for more info, or just swoon at it and wish for a few months of vacation time, like me!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Budget Finds: $10 BBQ Ribs

Last summer, a friend and I embarked upon a grandiose mission: to unearth the best BBQ in NYC. I had a small side mission in mind--not only did I want the best tasting BBQ, but I wanted the most cost-efficient. Specifically, I wanted an A+ rack of baby back ribs at less than $20 that I could always rely on. Dallas BBQ is always there for me, but a little variety couldn't hurt.

The mission was successful in many ways, but cost efficiency proved difficult with the ribs. A brisket or pulled pork sandwich is easy to find for less than $15, but a rack? Not so much. Until now, at least. The former location of Dallas BBQ on University and 8th has shuffled a bit, reopening this week not as Dallas but simply as BBQ, and with a suspiciously similar logo. However, the prices will be even lower than at my staple favorite, with $10 buying you a rack of ribs and a side. Non-rib-lovers can rejoice, too--a mere $5 buys a quarter chicken with a side. Now that's what I call a budget find.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Link of the Day

I couldn't resist sharing this adorable little find that I stumbled upon while reading Serious Eats earlier this morning. Let me clarify a few things first, though. Both Beetlejuice and the Beatles hold very special places in my heart, even though they have nothing in common. I always have to resist the Mott's Apple Juice boxes because there's nothing more wonderful that a cold juice box slowly enjoyed from a teeny-tiny straw on a hot summer day. And as a kid, I hated apple juice, which means that I've had the kid-favorite obsession a little later in life.

With all that in mind, I introduce you to the best juice boxes ever:

In case you can't quite make it out, the flavors are: Apple McCartney, John Lemon, George Pearrison, and Mango Starr. John Lemon aside, these sound delish and feature the coolest design while hitting like a million soft spots all at once. Genius? I think so.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring is coming!

Spring is finally among us--even though it's still five days away in all technicality, the 50 degree weather and sunshine are clear indicators that we've finally survived another winter. I celebrated this weekend with a few key purchases for the upcoming season--two beautiful scarves from Madewell discounted from about $70 to the $15-20 range. What a steal! Worn over a bright cardigan (like kelly green, which I picked up on sale as well!) these scarves make a strong statement to dress up the most casual outfit.

Also note the dandelions--another steal at less than $2 a bunch at Trader Joe's. TGI-Spring.

(edit: Oops! They're daffodils. Why do I keep doing that?!)

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Foodie Scavenger Hunt!

It's no Friday afternoon porn, but I thought since we'd been shaking things up all week this would be a great week to bring all the craziness to a close. Now, by no means am I imploring you to go out and pursue the following opportunity. In its current shape, it doesn't exactly make sense.

See, this is a scavenger hunt for NYC foodies--the more food items you photograph yourself eating, the more points you get, and the person with the most points gets two tickets to Tom Collichio's "Toast to the Children" event. Sounds easy, until you add up the inevitable cost of both money and time that these tasks would take. However, it's a great list, and if anything, would make a fabulous checklist of foodie adventures to undertake throughout the city. Make it a mid-year resolution, maybe, or just a personal challenge--many of these just shouldn't be missed.

With that, happy weekend!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Budget Finds -- Skeleton Key Key Holder

There are lots of decor-centric websites out there that I love to look at with a "look-but-don't-touch" kind of mindset. Three Potato Four is sometimes one of those, but sometimes it ventures into my price range with the most dainty and beautiful pieces, often in the "I-look-super-old-but-still-super-stylish" kind of vein. I majorly covet these old typewriters (an instance of look-but-don't-touch, at something like $500 a piece), but while drooling over them this week I found something smaller both in size and price.

These skeleton key key holders are dainty and chic in that really effortless "it's just an old key" kind of way. (I've got to stop it with the little catch phrases today.) Part of the charm here probably has to do with my fixation on the vintage keys sold all over Moroccan souks, which, counter-intuitively, were somewhat expensive by local standards. Anyhow, it's only $16 right here, and I'm seriously tempted...

But like usual, I'll live vicariously through the beauty of these pictures, pinching my pennies (and maybe saving up for one of those typewriters!)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Homemade Hamentashen

I owe you guys. Due to a series of technological failures yesterday, the gorgeous recipe for homemade hamentashen didn't make it online as planned. You see, yesterday was Purim, the Jewish cross between St. Patrick's Day and Halloween, and the holiday that warrants triangular cookies that are like little bites of heaven (that is, if heaven were dense and buttery and filled with jam). However, today is Purim in Jerusalem (weird scheduling things all around!) so the timeliness isn't entirely lost here.

Homemade Hamentashen

What You Need

3 cups flour

1 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 cup (1 1/3 sticks) cold butter or

margarine, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large egg whites beaten with 2 tsp


Jam (for the filling)

What You Do

Place flour, sugar, baking powder, salt in a food processor fitted with steel blades and pulse two or three times. Add butter and pulse to form crumbs. Combine eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla. Pour mixture into processor and pulse until dough clumps together. Put dough onto lightly floured surface and form into 2 disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to three days.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, positioning the shelves in the lower and upper thirds. Line cookie sheets with parchment. Roll dough on a floured surface to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Using a three-inch cookie cutter, cut circles of dough and place on cookie sheets. Place about 1/2 tsp of filling in the center of each circle. Brush the perimeter of the circle with the egg white wash, and lift the dough, partially covering the filling to form a triangular shape. Brush the formed cookies with the egg wash and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. To ensure even baking, rotate the sheets back to front and top to bottom. Remove from the oven and let cool before eating.

Tune in tomorrow for a similarly belated budget finds--we'll be back on schedule shortly!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Delays in the System

Due to technical difficulties, Red will be posting late tonight. Please stand by and try again!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Recipe Lust -- Homemade Corn Dogs

Welcome to a new week, and a new feature here on Eat My Words!

Recipe Lust will bring you the latest recipe that I'm dying to try--usually found somewhere along the long list of food blogs that I read as an oh-so-tedious part of my job (seriously, my life is so tough). Generally weeded out for a short ingredient list, affordability, practicality, and comfort value, these are recipes that I may not have gotten to yet, but already trust are worthy of sharing.

First up today, home made corn dogs. When I think of corn dogs I think of the county fair, twisting rides, and funnel cake. It was a soft spot for me growing up, and my mom decided to buy frozen corn dogs for a short while to fill that spot. The frozen kind were alright, but these look downright delish.

Find the recipe here, and if you get to it before me, let me know how it goes!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Food Porn

In a week light on food coverage, I thought I'd leave you with some super scrumptious food porn. This new blog, Scanwiches, is full of food porn, so scroll down to check out some of my favorites and click here to find your own!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The ANTM House Next Door!

I realize I've done my fair share of TV discussion this week, although the topic doesn't generally fall privy to the pages of this little blog. However, as I watched the premiere of America's Next Top Model last night, something interesting happened. Here's the recap:

Tyra: You gorgeous goddesses are going to be living on the Upper East Side!

Catty Models scream at the top of their lungs, annoyingly.

Shots in all the obvious places around the city: Times Square, Empire State Building, NY Public Library...

...and then, a more surprising shot: one from just around the corner from Red's apt!

Key in hand, the models enter the one house Red had been passing on her walk to work every day, the house Red had noticed had strange activity and a regular film crew but no actors' trailers...

The mysterious house around the corner, it seems, was the ANTM house this season! And since I'm still excited about it, you get to hear all about it today. Check out the Google street view for a glimpse of the house, above.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Budget Finds -- Orla Kiely for Target

Not all that long ago I shared with you a special line of home goods being launched by H&M sometime later this year. It seems that this would be a new trend in the making--designer inspired or created home goods at major (non home goods specific) stores--seeing as that Target is following suit. Some of my favorite finds, below, will be hitting shelves quite soon (they may be available at some stores already).

See more here--almost everything is under our $25 budget!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Perpetual Kid

Yes, yes. It's nice when things are nice and pretty and wrapped with a bow. And it's also nice when things coordinate just so and come together to form the most perfect, most put-together look. But sometimes it's nice to break out and have a little fun. Any room without its humorous, quirky touches is a room without personality--or simply a room with too boring or too fancy a personality for my taste.

That's why I'm loving this site I recently discovered, called Perpetual Kid. It's filled with all sorts of cheeky (sometimes plain silly) accessories for the kitchen and home--and most of them are quite budget-friendly, too.

This cheese board, for instance, is one of my favorites. I like to host regular wine and cheese parties, and though the wine is usually enough to get us all laughing, I think this would really start the party on a pretty entertaining note. At $18, it's not too pricey either.

Doing dishes wouldn't be as much of a chore if I had one of these--blowing bubbles is one of life's most underrated pleasures and I'd be happy to bring more bubbles into my everyday routine. Not so sure how my floors would feel after a week of this, but hey! It's a fun a thought.

Since I generally like to leave you with three items of choice, I'll round out my list of fun finds with these super cute S+P shakers. There's a big kitsch and nostalgia factor here, which I think makes them more than worth the $8.49. I'm constructing an entire breakfast nook in my head around these little guys--bright walls, mod chairs, and a bunch of cool prints in frames on a single, perfectly cluttered wall. Love it.

Anyway, find all these cute things and more over at Perpetual Kid by clicking this little link. Enjoy!

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Girls No Longer Next Door

There's a reason I'm very late with the blogging today. I'll tell you, but please promise not to laugh at me?



You see, it's only recently that I've become a fan of perching in front of the TV for extended amounts of time. To justify, it's generally the backdrop while I work from home, but still. Before this recent spurt of tv-overload, there were only one or two shows that I was constantly devoted to. And one of them, I hate to say, died yesterday.

To be fair, the show will go on, but it just won't be the same. See, the star characters are all leaving, and some obnoxious ugly twins are taking over. I'm sad to see them go, and it was important to give them my full attention on their way out. No working while watching this time. Since sleep and work necessitated that I watch on tivo, that is what I did instead of blog today. Can you forgive me for that?

That said, I'm making my official teary-eyed goodbyes. Girls Next Door, you will be missed.

But Kendra, a new show?? This should be entertaining! I can't wait.