Category Archives: Linkages

Here’s a little Friday funny for you. Alex likes to look through my WordPress stats – number of views I’ve had, popular posts, etc. It must be an engineer thing because I just am not that interested in the numbers, but my brainy husband finds it entertaining. Recently he gathered together 10 of the most popular/unusual search engine terms that have landed people at my humble blogging home, and I thought I’d share them with you for giggles, but also to point you to some useful information that may have been buried in the archives. (That, and you can chuckle at how my writing style has evolved. Or not).

Reference Post: In which I Best the Pelmet Box

New kitchen windowI’m pretty amused that this is the number one search term. First, because I don’t claim to be a home decorating genius. And second, because the method I used is sort of anti-climactic in its super low-tech-ness. But, as they say, sometimes genius is in the ordinary. (Actually, I think the quote goes “Genius is the capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees one.” Admittedly, I did try a couple failed solutions before arriving at the winning technique.)

Super glue.

As I described in the original post, the pelmet I made was crafted around a foam core board that I covered with batting and fabric, using heavy duty staples. The wall space around my kitchen window is limited, so I bought some small, metal L-brackets from the decking section of Home Depot and screwed them into the wall. After several failed attempts, I slathered both the fabric and the bracket with superglue, and used clamps to hold everything in place for 24+ hours. It has never yet failed me. Knock on wood.

Which would be easy to do if my pelmet box were legitimately made of wood. But it’s not. It should go without saying that this technique probably won’t work on a wooden pelmet box. I am hopeful that you would use a sturdier bracket to secure your wooden pelmet.

Reference post: A (P)interesting Thing to Do with Pie Crust
This search term leads me to a follow-up question: Are we making pie crust and then finding ourselves to lazy/impatient to bake a pie? I mean, because the obvious answer to this inquiry would be…make a pie…right?

In all likelihood, after creating a pie, we find ourselves with a bit of scrap dough that seems such a shame to throw away, especially when it could be made into something delicious. In my post, I described a method for making a sort of breakfast pizza with the scraps. You could fill it with lots of things, really.

Alternatively, you could make hand pies! Sort of like empanadas. When I make a big batch of meat in the slow cooker, and we’re on our third day of eating barbecue-flavored beef, you just have to mix it up a little. Roll out leftover pie dough fairly thin. Cut circles with a biscuit cutter or the top of a drinking glass turned upside down. Add a spoonful of (cooked) meat (or other filling) to the center of one circle. Lay on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Line the edges of the dough with a bit of egg wash to act as glue, then lay a second circle on top, using the tines of a fork to press the pieces together all the way around. Brush the tops with egg wash to help it brown nicely in the oven. Bake at the same temperature you would for your pie, but you’ll probably only need to bake about 20-30 minutes–until the tops are a nice golden color. This is a decadent way to make your leftovers seem new and exciting and my current favorite way to “create stuff with pie crust” (which was a close runner-up in search term frequency).

And one more thought, you can update your soup with a pie crust lid! Put your soup in an oven-proof bowl. Roll out pie crust dough. Run some egg wash around the outside edge of your bowl. Place the dough on top, pressing it to the outer lip of the bowl. Brush the top with more egg wash and bake until golden brown.

Reference post: (2013) January Cure Re-cap, Week 3
So. You’ve probably seen some of those photos on pinterest where people tuck their dog crates under end tables in their living room. These, of course, would be for smaller dogs. A great dane’s crate might fit under the dining room table, you know, if you didn’t want to eat dinner there anymore. You may also have seen photos where people seem to design their house around their furry friends, giving them cozy nooks under the stairs Harry Potter-style, or entire drawers in the kitchen that house food bowls that can be closed out of sight when finished.

Dog crates area in living room "before" shotWe do not have any of these things. Nero’s and Rogue’s crates are both size “large,” and they are decidedly not hidden. Whoever searched for this probably landed on my blog, thought “omg this is definitely how not to hide a dog crate,” and moved on. But it was too late and so my post just keeps getting bumped up in Google’s search algorithms while the rest of the world laughs maniacally at my definition of hidden.

But here’s the thing. Don’t force it. Yeah, it’d be nice if we had a finished basement (or any basement, at all) that could be the dogs’ domain. But we don’t. Their crates occupy a corner of our living room, near the back door. When they’re especially tired, they like to go in to lie down, and having easy access is comforting to them and to me.

Instead, I think of it as like the “kids’ corner.” Some houses may have brightly colored plastic furniture, and storage baskets for stray toys. Ours is dog crates. Of course, the black metal grating can seem kind of out-of-place with the rest of our decor, so I covered the top with a blanket, add some decorative baskets to store things like towels (for wiping muddy paws), leashes, gloves, flashlights, and poopie bags. I also added an inexpensive boot tray where Alex and I keep our outdoor shoes in easy reach without cluttering the floor. Wouldn’t want Rogue to trip when she rockets out the door to chase a squirrel…

Reference Post: A Fancy for Fancy Meat and others…
This goes back to a really old post in which I made Jamie Oliver’s ground beef Wellington (which also contains a link to Matambre). I’ll have you know that I have yet to make either of these recipes again. Both are definitely something you should save for a weekend or holiday meal when you have more time to linger in the kitchen, maybe while listening to some Latin music.

If rolled meats aren’t what you had in mind, perhaps you’d like to try a Chicken Cordon Bleu or Chicken Florentine. If you’re too tired to pound out a chicken breast flat, use the America’s Test Kitchen tip of slicing horizontally into the thickest part of the meat to create a little pocket to stuff your ingredients inside.

And if what you had in mind was more about how to make the food on your plate look good (including the meat), consider browsing my mini-series in which I worked my way through Louis Eguaras’s ways to make a plate look better. (But don’t laugh too hard – these were written in my novice days of food plating. The tips are good, even if my own photos say otherwise).

DIY Christmas bunting flag5) “WHAT TO DO WITH OLD CHRISTMAS CARDS”
Reference Post: What to do with Your Old Christmas Cards
This is one craft project that I am particularly proud of, and one of my collaborations with my friend, Carrie, the decorating genius behind Dream Green DIY and Carrie Waller Creative. We cut up our old Christmas cards and glued them to twine to make a bunting flag banner! Speaking of, it’s almost time for me to pull mine out of storage to adorn our house with holiday memories! In the post, I also describe a simple way to use old cards to make ornaments using canning rings–something that I will be adding to a adorn a lot of gifts this year since I find myself in possession of a population of reproducing canning rings.

Reference Post: umm…?
I…I mean…I’m sorry? Maybe if you sent more Christmas cards, you’d receive more? I don’t know how to respond, really.

Reference Post: The Not-so-Secret Formula for Soup
Base flavors. Aromatics. Liquid. Garnish. Read through the post for more details.

93c7d42cd67611e19297123138203b9f_78) “HOW TO MAKE A TOMATO SOUND SEXY?”
Reference Post: The Sexiest Tomato Cream Sauce You’ll Likely Ever Make
If you want to make a tomato sound sexy, call it a love apple. If you want to make a tomato taste sexy, make this sauce.

Reference Post: ???
I couldn’t find anything I have ever written containing these five words in concert. Sounds like you may have bigger things to fry than fried chicken (one of my early video appearances!), or than the fried eggs I made on the grill after the 2012 derecho, or than arancini.

Maybe consider making a batch of these cookies, going to your  neighbor’s house, and starting with “hello.”

Reference Post: Magical Tales of Carrots and Ginger
When I was young, my mom told me that if I ate a lot of carrots, I’d have excellent vision. I interpreted this to mean that eating lots of carrots, would allow me to see in the dark. Meaning, I’d be able to read a book under the covers of my bed without the aid of a flashlight. What a rebellious child I was!

As it turns out, the most magical property of carrots that I have discovered thus far is its uncanny ability to pair well with ginger. Whether it’s a soup or a cake, be sure to make this a flavor combination for your arsenal. (Not sure if that knowledge will help you in this game though).

And there you have it. Curious search terms that call forth some posts from the archives for your reviewing pleasure. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Weird Search Terms


Yummy Links

Happy Mother’s Day to all those new and experienced moms out there!

Here’s my momma and me at my wedding.

Mom and Me

Copyright Adam Barnes 2011

Isn’t she stunning?

My momma

And here’s the groovy silk scarf I made for her for Mother’s Day! Surprise, Mom! Hope you like it!

Silk Scarf Painting

And here are a few links to things that caught my attention this week, including a couple mom-themed things:

– In honor of moms and grandmas cooking worldwide, this project is inspiring and yummy.

– Add some chicken, and this paleo creamy crockpot cashew curry looks promising.

Some humbling thoughts about marriage. Especially fitting if you are a fan of The Office and have been tearing up as woefully as I every episode as the series finale approaches, especially along the Jim/Pam storyline. And, well, I suppose it’s also fitting if you are recently (or about-to-be) married.

– So you’ve heard of people talking to their plants. How about plants talking to other plants? Apparently basil is a plant plant whisperer.

– Here’s a nice tutorial for homemade bath salts. An easy way to pamper mom (or yourself).

– I had a blast at my town’s recent arts&crafts festival, and am feeling so inspired by this painter!

Cheers! Have a great week.

In Which I Discover a Weakness in Myself + Yummy Links

I have been out of commission for almost a week now, thanks to a vicious case of food poisoning. Yuck. I wasn’t able to identify the offending foodstuff, but I do know I hope to never ever feel that way again.

Naturally, being limited in my diet has put me in a zombie-like state, dreaming of all the springtime foods I should be eating right now. Rhubarb and asparagus are growing arms and legs in my crisper drawers and putting on a little parade and twirling batons that haunts me when I try to go to sleep. Alas, I have only been able to comfortably digest buttered noodles (often in chicken broth), an entire sleeve of saltine crackers, and rice. And with caloric intake severely reduced, I’ll be working my way back to my normal appetite slowly. Boo.

If I’m ever stranded on a desert island, with no viable source of food, I’ll be a goner. Well, I guess anybody in that scenario would be. But I’ll be first. So. Weak. Without. Food…

I can say that I now have a pretty solid working knowledge of the daytime TV schedule on non-cable TV thanks to the long hours I’ve logged on the couch with two patient pups by my side.

Anyway, here’s a list of links that caught my attention recently to keep you busy while I try to clean up the house and get our lives back in order.

The latest from Michael Pollan: “…the most important front in the fight to reform the food system today is in your kitchen.”

– Seven, chemical-free (and mostly DIY) acne treatments, and why they’re better.

– I ordered this beautiful book by Jessi Bloom and have been daydreaming about chickens in my backyard.

– Speaking of chickens, I adore this blog.

– Now that the weather is warming up, stay hydrated by making your own electrolyte water.

– Do you know table manners in other cultures? Here’s a snazzy game to help you out.

– Ever wanted to cure your own bacon?

Oh, and hey, I’m working on a project and want to know your favorite summer cocktail. Leave a comment and tell me about it!