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26 Aug 15:30

8 Comics Illustrating What Life is Like For Introverts

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Being together with other introverts is hard, so sometimes it's best to just witness examples and experiences of the drive of introversion through the format of web comics. Bask in your cat cave, or blanket fortress at other's social aversions.

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Tagged: list , gifs , Awkward , Party , introverts
25 Aug 09:00

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24 Aug 09:02

Meyer Lemon Bar Brûlée

by joythebaker

Meyer Lemon Bar Brûlée

Here’s what happens when you add a blow torch to your kitchen arsenal:  you find an excuse to toast or brûlée everything in sight.  When you have fire from a portable gun, why wouldn’t you top everything in sugar and crisp it?  It’s foolish not to, frankly.

Can we make nachos with a kitchen torch?  There’s only one way to find out.  

Let’s focus on the matter at hand:  buttery shortbread crust, sweet and tangy Meyer lemon filling, topped with caramelized and crisp sugar.  Brûléed sugar, because we have actual torch fire in our hands.  

Classic lemon bars, with a small stroke of genius.  

This recipe was inspired by Christina of Dessert For Two.  I happen to believe in dessert for too many, but Christina is reasonable and disciplined where I am not.  Old habits (die hard).  

Meyer Lemon Bar Brûlée

We start with the crust.  

Crust is a scary word but this is a press-in shortbread so rest easy!

Softened shortbread and powdered sugar and Go!  

Meyer Lemon Bar Brûlée

Flour and salt are added to the fluffy butter and sugar mixture.  

That’s it!  That was too easy, right? 

Meyer Lemon Bar Brûlée

The crust goes away to bake in the oven while the filling is real-quick whisked together.  

I used Meyer lemons for this recipe because I LOVE how they smell, they’re slightly sweeter than regular lemons, and they were the same price as regular lemons at Whole Foods and I was like, wait a minute… Meyer lemons are more fancy and classy than regular lemons so why would I buy these boring old regular lemons when these Meyer lemons are looking mighty fine and wait… why am I spending 99cents per lemon anyway… I need a lemon tree that I won’t kill, GEEZ!

So that’s why we’re using Meyer lemons.  Cool story.  

Meyer Lemon Bar Brûlée

Eggs are whisked with the sugar.  

Yes, that’s a pie plate I’m using as a mixing bowl.  I was like… which bowl will I hate the least when I have to wash it?  This one!  Scalloped edges.  I dunno. 

Meyer Lemon Bar Brûlée

Lemon zest in with the sugar and eggs.  Lots of flavor in that zest. Don’t sleep on the zest.  

Flour, lemon juice, and a splash of vanilla extract to finish of the super easy filling.  

You’re right.  It smells delicious. 

Meyer Lemon Bar Brûlée

The filling is poured over the warm, baked shortbread crust.  

Meyer Lemon Bar Brûlée

Baked until fragrant and firm.  Golden brown around the edges.  

We’re almost at torch time!

Meyer Lemon Bar Brûlée

The lemon bars are cooled and sliced.  

It helps to run a knife along the sides of the pan to help the lemon bars out of the pan.  

I like to slice the bars before brûlée-ing them to avoid cracking the crisp sugar with slicing.  

Meyer Lemon Bar Brûlée

Sliced and sugar sprinkled.  A thin but aggressive layer of granulated sugar.  

Meyer Lemon Bar Brûlée

A wave of the magic wand kitchen torch will brown, caramelize and  if you’re not careful, quickly burn the bars.  A light touch.  It’s fire and sugar.  

I like to brûlée the bars just before serving to ensure that they’re freshly crisp, otherwise the sugar may tend to soften and weep.  

Now… what are we going to torch next!? 

Meyer Lemon Bar Brûlée
2015-08-23 21:00:09
Yields 9
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
For the Crust
  1. 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  2. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  3. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  4. big pinch of salt
For the Topping
  1. 2 large eggs
  2. 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/4 cup or sprinkling on top to brûlée
  3. 1 teaspoon fresh Meyer lemon zest
  4. 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  5. 1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8×8-inch baking pan, line with parchment paper (so that it over hangs slightly from the pan) and grease the parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. To make the crust, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add flour and salt. Beat on low speed until dough is incorporated. Dough may come together, but if it remains shaggy, that’s fine too.
  3. Dump the crust into the prepared pan, lightly coat fingers in flour, and use your fingertips to press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until just browned around the edges.
  4. You can make the filling while the crust is baking! In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until well combined and slightly thick. Add the flour, lemon juice, and zest and whisk until blended.
  5. Pour the filling over the still warm baked crust. Return to the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and no longer jiggling in the center.
  6. Allow to cool completely in the pan. Run a knife around the edges of the pan. Slice lemon bars into nine squares and remove from the parchment paper. Just before serving, generously sprinkle each lemon bar square with granulated sugar. Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar until amber or golden brown. Allow a few minutes for the sugar to harden and crisp before serving.
By Joy the Baker
Joy the Baker http://joythebaker.com/
19 Jun 18:00

This Chart Shows Which Cooking Oils to Use Based on Health Properties

by Melanie Pinola

It makes sense to have more than one oil for cooking in your kitchen, but which ones are best for you? This infographic from Information Is Beautiful grades oils by their fat content, smoke point, and flavor.

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17 Jun 15:00

How to Get Started with the Art of Pyrography (aka "Wood Burning")

by Timothy Dahl on Workshop, shared by Whitson Gordon to Lifehacker

Pyrography is an inexpensive and fun art that can really spice up your DIY projects. You just need a pyrography pen, clean piece of wood, and your imagination, to create one-of-a-kind items.

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17 Jun 00:00

The DIY Loft Bed Workspace

by Melanie Pinola

Bed-and-desk combos are great for students or anyone else short on space. Today’s featured workspace is an impressive DIY project combining a spacious place to work and room to nap or turn in for the night.

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19 Aug 20:00

ME3-ish Combat But No Old Friends In Next Mass Effect

by Alec Meer

I have no flupping idea what to expect from Mass Effect Not-4, aka Andromeda [official site], given all signs point to it being a clean break from the Shepard saga. But the reveal that combat will be similar to Mass Effect 3’s frantic shooty fare does start to make it a solid thing in my brain, rather than an entirely abstract concept with a few twinkly stars in it.
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21 Aug 13:00

Relationship Goals

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16 Aug 17:30

NBC Turning Action Comedy ‘RED’ into a TV Series

by Ethan Anderton

Red TV Series

The quality of television in the past few years has been most impressive, even outpacing film as the place to find the highest quality entertainment right now. And that means some filmmakers are bringing their own film properties to the small screen for a second chance at finding an audience.

The newest attempt to bring a movie to television is RED, the action comedy franchise starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren and more. NBC is developing an hour-long RED TV series, and we’ve got early details on the developing project.

Deadline has the news on the small screen adaptation of the film franchise that began in 2010 and had a sequel following a few years later in 2013. Franchise producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian and writers Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber are all on board the project set up at Lionsgate TV, inheriting the franchise from their sibling company Summit Entertainment.

For those who don’t know, the film franchise followed a group of CIA operatives who have been classified as RED (Retired Extremely Dangerous), but find themselves forced back into action when the agency that employed them sends an assassin after one of them.

Whereas the film version of RED got a little wild with some of the action sequences, aiming more for stylized gunfights and fighting blended with comedy, the TV adaptation will be a little more grounded in the real world. The story will focus on retired CIA operatives who have darkly hilarious struggles living a normal civilian life outside of the agency. But don’t worry, they still end up having to fight against the CIA, just like the movie.

As you’ve likely already assumed, the film cast will not be coming on board the TV series. This show will basically act as a television reboot of RED with a whole new cast. Though it would be cool if these RED agents existed in the same world as the film franchise to allow for cameos in the future. But I imagine that would be pretty difficult to make happen with such high profile talent from the movies.

The film version of RED was a fun adaptation of the comic book series of the same name by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, published by the DC Comics arm Homage, but the story does seem to lend itself better to television. Of course, with NBC at the reins, we’re not holding our breath for this to be something worth watching. If it was on FX our tune might change a little, but there’s not much greatness at the Peacock right now.

Anyone out there interested in a RED TV series?

The post NBC Turning Action Comedy ‘RED’ into a TV Series appeared first on /Film.

20 Aug 01:02

Super Onigiri

Onigiri are so cute! I make these little on-the-go rice balls all the time with leftover rice, and whatever fillings and seasonings are convenient and on hand. You can make them any shape you like, sometimes I'll use damp (lightly salted) hands, other times press them into a mold, for more precision shaping. I think the key is to avoid fussing, or trying to make them too perfect. I posted a photo of these super-onigiri to Instagram the other day - without the recipe. Apologies! I'll try to make good here. These are made with leftover sprouted brown rice and cooked mung beans. They're filled with a bit of avocado, and I made a quick almond-butter + miso slather that I hit with the broiler for a quick flash. I only did little nori strips as wrappers because I was eating them at home, but I'd do a full wrap if I'm taking them for lunch or travel. You can do either.

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19 Aug 07:47

Why I’m Glad I Worked Fast Food

by Evil HR Lady

This post brought to you by National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Evil HR Lady.

What do Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and I have in common? We both got our start in fast food–he started at McDonalds and I worked at Burger King. Do I wish I could have skipped the grease and crabby customers and gone straight into an office job? Well, 17-year-old me would have said yes, but 42-year-old me is happy for the experience I had there. Nothing teaches you about humans and what makes them tick than working in a restaurant.

Jeff and I (we’re on a first-name basis because I order so much of his stuff) aren’t the only ones who learned about business and people through asking “would you like fries with that?” According to the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), one in three Americans get their start in a restaurant. That’s a ton of people. And it’s not just about earning some money, it’s about learning how to work.

Why do I look back fondly on my time at Burger King? Well, for one I love fast food–and restaurant food in general–but it’s more than that. I learned a ton during my time. Turns out there’s even a  Food and Beverage Service Competency Model that describes what most of us learn from our time in a restaurant. I didn’t stay in the restaurant business, but the first 3 tiers of their model apply directly to me.

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Tier 1–Personal Effectiveness Competencies. 

I learned quickly that if I wanted the good shifts and to move from the back line to the front line, I should work quickly and carefully. By being dependable and always showing up on time, my boss trusted me with the coveted morning shift. Why would a bunch of teenagers on summer vacation want a morning shift? Because then our evenings were free! (Yes, I napped in the afternoon.)

When I moved onto other jobs, I had a solid foundation. I knew how to work. I knew how to interact with a manager. I knew to double check my own work in order to prevent errors. I knew how to handle customers. I gained great career skills in those early years in a restaurant. I took the opportunity to learn how to work, and that has paid off well in other jobs.

Tier 2–Academic Competencies. 

The way the drive thru was set up, the cash register wouldn’t calculate change for you. You had to learn to count change. Fortunately, I didn’t have a problem with that, so I got to work drive thru a lot. But, those that didn’t know how to count back change had to quickly learn.

What about communication skills? I had to interact with hundreds of people every day–some of whom were not the most pleasant people. The Burger King I worked at was right off the interstate on the way to Zion’s National Park, which meant busloads of tourists–many of whom did not speak much English. I learned to communicate through gestures, pictures, and smiling even when I was frustrated.

I also learned how to think and plan. In the mornings, it was frequently me and one other person. We had to organize and get all the opening work done while serving customers. It took planning and coordination and the ability to be flexible. These are things that our teachers want us to learn, but that the schools struggle to teach us. Working in a restaurant will teach you those things.

Tier 3–Workplace Competencies. 

People who eat breakfast every day at a fast food restaurant tend to be (in my experience) a difficult crowd. They were mostly retirees who expected us to have their order memorized and ready by the time they got to the counter except (and this important) on they day they changed their mind. I, as a 17-year-old cashier, was supposed to know that *today* was the day that Bill would want a sausage-egg-and cheese croissant instead of his normal bacon-egg-and cheese croissant.

I learned to handle these things with a smile and continued prompt service. In fact, I would apologize for my lack of clairvoyance in a way that kept the customer happy. This skill has served me in innumerable ways as an HR person and a writer. You’re in my office complaining about the fact that your boss is angry at you for (drum roll please) not doing your work? I’m not going to blow up at you and scream that you are an idiot, and you know why? Bill and his daily Burger King habit. These skills gained in a restaurant transferred directly to my career in HR.

Another transfer? OSHA regulations. I learned how to comply with government regulations from my very first job, and that has helped me through the paperwork necessary to keep a company in compliance.

Some of the most basic career skills are taught in the restaurant business–showing up on time, working hard, getting along with coworkers who you wouldn’t chose to be friends with, and many other things. All of which, I got at very young age.

Upward mobility was also part of the restaurant world. True, I quit my restaurant job when I left for college, but I came back the following summer. What did I find there? Well, two of the girls I had trained were the new shift managers. The restaurant manager was now managing two restaurants instead of one and a former shift manager was now working at a competitor as a restaurant manager.

I’m glad I got a chance to start out frying things and 20+ years later, I’m pretty sure I could make a whopper with cheese without any instructions, but that’s not the only skill I took with me. Most importantly, I learned how to work.

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12 Aug 09:38

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream Cake with Salted Caramel

by joythebaker

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream cake with Salted Caramel

I remember the first time I went to the grocery store by myself, for myself.  It was the day I realized I could buy cheese puffs, a candy bar, and a strawberry-kiwi Snapple… call it dinner, and no one would argue with me.  

Unbelievable.  

I’d experiment with different combinations of ridiculous dinner purchases just to make sure it was all possible.  Top Ramen and marshmallows and chocolate milk?  You’re going to let me get away with this, Mrs Cashier?  Amazing.  You mean I don’t have to buy broccoli and steam it and eat it cold?  I love you.  

Downside.  Be prepared to pay for your own weird food when you’re grown and making poor dinner decisions.

This cake is made in that spirit.  I’m here to tell you that we can combine graham crackers, pecans, salted caramel, vanilla ice cream, AND toasted marshmallows and call it CAKE!  And then we get to eat it so… what more could you want? (A pony and Beyonce’s vacation wardrobe… but focus!!  We have marshmallows on our ice cream cake!)

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream cake with Salted Caramel

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream cake with Salted Caramel

We’re not going to need the oven for this recipe so let’s take a moment to celebrate that small victory!  

Here’s what we’ll need:  

•  graham crackers, for which to crumble

•  pecans, also for pulverizing

•  melted butter, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt

•  soft vanilla ice cream

•  salted caramel that we’re going to make from scratch because it’s delicious! 

• lots and lots of marshmallows, big and small.

We’ll also need a 9-inch springform pan and a kitchen torch to get things done done.  

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream cake with Salted Caramel

For the crust we combine graham cracker crumbs, pecans finely chopped, brown sugar, and salt.  

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream cake with Salted Caramel

Melted butter will act as our moisture and our glue.  Hardworking butter.  

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream cake with Salted Caramel

The moistened graham cracker mixture is pressed firmly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a springform  pan.  The crust goes from pressing straight to the freezer where the butter will harden and solidify the crust.  

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream cake with Salted Caramel

A few years ago I made Salted Caramel and drizzled it over cheesecake.  That was the day I decided that salted caramel should be drizzled whenever and wherever possible.  

In this iteration, salted caramel is drizzled over the frozen crust and returned to the freezer to chill.  

We’ll save a little caramel to drizzle over the toasted marshmallows… of course we will.  

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream cake with Salted Caramel

The crust and caramel rest in the freezer for about an hour.  Then it’s ice cream time.  

I used 3 quarts because I wanted a thick cake.  You could use 2 quarts of ice cream and also be a happy camper.  

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream cake with Salted Caramel

Scooped in and smoothed out. 

I used a spatula that was run under warm water to smooth the ice cream.  Just rinse the spatula periodically to keep from fighting the ice cream.  A fast hand is best.  Then, because ice cream is melting everywhere, the cake goes back to the freezer to rest and rechill.  

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream cake with Salted Caramel

Can we get to the marshmallows already!?  Geeeezzzz.

Once the cake has rechilled and hardened we top it with marshmallows large and small.  A kitchen torch, blazing, to brush up against the marshmallows and toast (ok… burn) them to perfection.  

And… you guessed it, back to the freezer for at least an hour, or overnight.  

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream cake with Salted Caramel

Slicing this cake is serious.  There’s no time to mess around.  It’s summer.  We’re melting right alongside our ice cream.  

I carefully ran the outside edge of the springform pan under warm water before releasing the spring.  Next… slicing.  I ran a large sharp knife under warm water (the warmth and moisture help with sticking) and quickly sliced the cake, rinsing the knife often.  

Hold your breath, show no fear, drizzle everything in sight with salted caramel,  serve quickly, lick your fingers and accept all accolades. You’ve earned them.  

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream Cake with salted caramel
2015-08-11 14:59:30
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For the Crust
  1. 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (from about 8 crackers), finely ground in a food processor
  2. 1/2 cup pecans, finely ground in a food processor
  3. 2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Salted Caramel
  1. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  2. 2 tablespoons water
  3. 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  4. 1/3 cup heavy cream
  5. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  6. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the Ice Cream and Marshmallow
  1. 3 quarts vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
  2. 12 large marshmallows
  3. 2 cups mini marshmallows
Instructions
  1. To make the crust, in a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, ground pecans, brown sugar, and salt. Add melted butter and toss until everything is lightly coated in butter and combined. Press into the bottom and just up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Place in the freezer while you make the caramel.
  2. To make the caramel, add sugar, water, and corn syrup to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring once or twice. Bring to a boil and allow to brown. Once sugar has browned to a medium amber color, remove from heat and immediately add heavy cream and butter. Mixture will boil and foam. Stir well. Add salt and stir well to incorporate. Caramel may seem thin… that’s ok. Place in a bowl.
  3. Remove the chilling crust from the freezer. Drizzle 1/3 cup of warm caramel over the crust and return to the freezer for 20 minutes or so.
  4. Once crust and caramel have chilled, remove from the freezer and spread the vanilla ice cream over the crust and caramel. Return to the freezer for 1 hour to rechill and firm.
  5. Remove from the freezer, top with marshmallows and use a kitchen torch to toast the marshmallows. Return to the freezer for at least 2 hours or until ready to serve.
  6. To serve, carefully run the sides of the cake under warm water for a few minutes and release the springform pan. Run a sharp knife under warm water and quickly slice the cake, cleaning the knife under warm water between slices. Show no fear. Serve immediately.
By Joy the Baker
Adapted from The Food Network
Adapted from The Food Network
Joy the Baker http://joythebaker.com/
11 Jun 17:34

Cool, Sleek Bathroom Remodeling Ideas You Need Now

by Cynthia Bowman

The hottest tech products like the Apple Watch or iPhone 6, the Tesla S sportscar or a Bang and Olufsen BeoVision TV all have something in common: the latest in innovative, modern design. Take the features that make them sexy, like minimalist fluid lines and the latest tech — and use them for your bathroom remodeling ideas.

According to Remodel Magazine’s annual report of cost versus value remodel projects, the bathroom remodel is one of the top projects that brings a good return on your financial investment. Getting your remodeling expenses back when you sell your home is important, but enjoying a design-forward bathroom is better.

The most valuable remodel projects have three important features. Keep them in mind when considering bathroom remodeling ideas:

1. Low Maintenance

Selecting finishes that are easy to keep looking clean and new not only saves you money and time in maintenance, but also extends the life of your remodel by looking new and fresh longer. Consider the following ideas for a low maintenance bathroom:

–Quartz counters instead of marble
–Quality faucets that are built to last a lifetime
–Glass shower doors treated with water anti-spotting agents

2. Energy Efficient

One of a home’s biggest selling points today is energy savings. Water shortages and rising utility bills make this a priority for home buyers. Energy efficiency is also big from the environmental standpoint.

When planning your bathroom remodel, these items maximize energy efficiency:

–Tankless water heaters
–Low flow toilets and faucets
–LED lighting instead of traditional incandescent
–Radiant floor heating
–Insulated windows

3. A light, bright bathroom

bathroom-remodel-light

All homeowners look for bright, open spaces. The brighter your bathroom, the larger it looks. And if you’re investing time and money into upgrading your bathroom, don’t let your design choices go unnoticed in a dark, shadowy room — lighting will showcase your bathroom remodel investment beautifully. Three ways to create a brighter bathroom:

–Add windows and skylights
–Use lighting for different purposes throughout the bathroom
–Choose finishes and surfaces that are reflective and light

When thinking about remodeling your bathroom, be sure to ask yourself if each item fits the three features above. Luckily, the latest high-design trends not only look beautiful but address these points. Here are our favorite bathroom remodeling ideas to incorporate now:

High-Tech Lighting

led-bath

The largest energy effiency you can add to your bathroom is through LED lighting. According to the US Department of Energy, LED lights use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting.

Besides savings energy, LED lighting adds a beautiful design element. They can be programmed to change colors and can be used safely near water. Because they’re easy to install in any bathroom, they are perfect for DIY projects. Besides task lighting, some innovative ways to use LEDs include:

–To add color to water in a tub or sink
–As a color wash effect on a wall
–To back light wall mirrors
–To light counters or shelves

Metallica

bathroom-remodel-tiles-3

The latest design trends in Europe translated the latest in consumer electronics like the gold Iphone 6 into beautiful, metallic tile. Metallic wall tiles lend a bathroom a fashion-forward look while adding the illusion of more space to a bathroom, thanks to the tile’s eye-catching and reflective qualities.

Another way to add the metallic element to your bathroom is by painting the walls with metallic paints from Ralph Lauren or Benjamin Moore.

Add Bold Flooring To Your Bathroom Ideas List

bathroom-remodel-floors-5

The trend for color in the bathroom remains neutral or white in order to showcase elements like a beautiful free-standing tub or a wall of gorgeous metallic tile. But a bathroom needs a graphic dose of pattern somewhere and bold flooring is the latest.

If you’re not ready for a bold floor, add a large, graphic floor rug in your bathroom. You can also read more about bathroom tile ideas here.

Sexy, Ergonomic Design

bathroom-remodel-curves

The fluid and seamless curvy design of computers and electronics today is also coming to your bathroom. Boxy angles are out, while beautiful curvy shapes are becoming more available in the bathroom product market. You don’t have to add curves to the entire bathroom — pick two or three elements for balance. Some good bathroom remodeling ideas to go ergonomic are:

–Add curve to one bathroom wall
–Choose faucets or fixtures that are a bit more rounded and refined
–Hang wall decor that highlights circles and curves

One of the top requested design elements in bathrooms today is a free-standing tub. If you have the space for one, choose a tub that cocoons you in its curves.

A Floating Vanity

floating-cab

To make a bathroom appear larger, skip wall-to-wall cabinets and open up the space. A good way to do this is by building a bathroom counter or vanity that appears to float.

Another way to get the look is by skipping the traditional cabinet vanity base and using a sofa table with open shelving below. Make sure the table is a minimum of 16” deep to fit your sink(s).

Integrated Sinks

bathroom-remodel8

Integrated sinks are built into, and of the same material, as the bathroom counter. They create a minimalist and seamless look that’s low maintenance, since there’s no seams that dirt or water can get under.

You can also create an integrated-sink look by choosing an undermount sink in the same color as your countertop.

Bathe as One With Nature

bathroom-remodel1

The hottest bathroom remodeling idea is an indoor/outdoor bathroom. Don’t worry about privacy, the latest bathroom tech includes electric privacy glass — glass that instantly switches from clear to frosted at a flick of a switch. Window manufacturers have also designed windows and skylights with built in shades between the glass panels that can open and close electronically.

Ways to add the indoor/outdoor look to your bathroom include:

–An outdoor shower with a glass door for access from the bathroom
–A large glass wall or window in front of a tub or shower with a beautiful garden outside
–Skylights that bring the view of the sky into the bathroom
–A wall of plants in the bathroom that bring the outdoors in
–A zen shower with low maintenance succulent garden and river rock bedding surroundings

The post Cool, Sleek Bathroom Remodeling Ideas You Need Now appeared first on Freshome.com.

10 Jun 15:54

Exceptional Faucet Designs From The World of 3D Printing

by Ada Teicu

3D faucets  from DVX by American Standard

You haven’t seen faucet design until you’ve seen these modern 3D printed faucets from DXV by American Standard. The shockingly beautiful 3D printed faucets are “the first ready-for-market working faucets to be printed in metal.” Proudly displaying unique designs, these amazing 3D printed faucets reinvent the way we use water. Their exceptional design adds value to our sensory experience every time we do an apparently mundane task like washing our hands.

Visionaries of American Standard say that “the incredibly high strength of the alloy enables fine structures of concealed waterways that converge at the top, shortly before reaching the aerator. This construction creates the impression that water appears magically out of the faucet.”

3D faucets  from DVX by American Standard (1)

One of the new 3D printed faucets was adorned with an intricate latticework that confers a sculptural design edge. The second design has its waterways separated into four thin sections, making it appear more traditional, but stealing the light nonetheless. These two new faucet designs that offer a new perspective on how water reaches you are complemented by a third design. This one shapes focuses on “designing the experience of water.”

This is how they imagined water flowing organically: “The water is presented to the user as a stream bouncing on rocks in a riverbed. To achieve this poetic effect, the design team used Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) technology to adjust each of the 19 waterways to achieve the proper effect. The rest of the faucet is extremely pure and simple not to distract from the play of the water.”

3D faucets  from DVX by American Standard (2)

The actual printing of a faucet takes about 24 hours and you can learn here how that is done through selective laser sintering. After having been printed, each faucet is hand-polished to get a “feel that mimics texture found on silver pieces after years of being hand buffed and polished.” Their estimated retail price will be somewhere between $12,000 – $20,000.

Let’s see how that price drops over the next years, as with any evolving technology. Keep your fingers crossed for 3D printing, everyone, and let’s see how 3D printing is disrupting mainstream manufacturing processes.

3D faucets  from DVX by American Standard (3) 3D faucets  from DVX by American Standard (4) 3D faucets  from DVX by American Standard (5) 3D faucets  from DVX by American Standard (6) 3D faucets  from DVX by American Standard (7) 3D faucets  from DVX by American Standard (8) 3D faucets  from DVX by American Standard (9) 3D faucets  from DVX by American Standard (10) 3D faucets  from DVX by American Standard (11) 3D faucets  from DVX by American Standard (12) 3D faucets  from DVX by American Standard (13) 3D faucets  from DVX by American Standard (14) 3D faucets  from DVX by American Standard (15) 3D faucets  from DVX by American Standard (16) 3D faucets  from DVX by American Standard (17)

 

The post Exceptional Faucet Designs From The World of 3D Printing appeared first on Freshome.com.

06 Aug 09:07

Watermelon Wedge with Kale, Jalapeño, and Avocado

by joythebaker

Watermelon Wedge Salad

“I’m not so sure about watermelon and green salad.”  

I hear you.  I hear you, fan of donuts and caramels and watermelon margaritas.  Watermelon and greens?  Suspicious.  I totally get it.  

Just imagine this watermelon as a crisp, slightly sweet, juicy and delicious plate upon which you eat your salad from.  Except it’s an edible plate.  A plate that you’re going to eat.  Because actually it’s just fruit and it really is delicious with a slightly spicy kale salad.  

Its August.  We’re melting.  But we’re not going down without a fight.  Watermelon and greens to the rescue. 

Watermelon Wedge Salad

It starts with a wedge of watermelon.  

By wedge I mean, giant watermelon round.  The center of a seedless watermelon, about 1 1/2 inches thick, sliced through and placed on a platter.  

Place a few handfuls of baby kale on top of the watermelon.  Go ahead and add the thinly sliced shallots and thinly sliced jalapeños.  Oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper right on top of the salad and lightly toss it together.  I used my clean hands.  Watermelon as salad plate and bowl.    

Watermelon Wedge Salad

Feta and avocado slices for salt and creaminess and the salad is sliced into big wedges.  

Crisp and sweet watermelon balances the salty and spicy cheese and jalapeños.  Avocados because they’re delicious always.  

Watermelon Wedge Salad

Are you with me?  Sweet meets savory and spice in our salad!

Wait… come to think of it, we’ve been down this road before.  Last summer we tossed together spinach, snap peas, and sesame with our watermelon.  My summer craving brain is consistent.   

Watermelon Wedge Salad with arugula, jalapeño, and avocado
2015-08-05 23:21:22
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large round watermelon slice, about 1 1/2-inch thickness
  2. 2 heaping cups baby kale, arugula, or spinach
  3. 2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots
  4. 1 tablespoons thinly sliced jalapeños
  5. 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  6. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  7. salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  8. 1/2 hass avocado, peeled and sliced
  9. heaping 1/3 cup crumbled she's milk feta cheese
Instructions
  1. Place watermelon slice on a platter.
  2. Top with greens, shallots, and jalapeños.
  3. Sprinkle with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Lightly toss the salad on top of the watermelon slice.
  4. Top with feta and avocado. Slice into wedges and enjoy!
By Joy the Baker
Joy the Baker http://joythebaker.com/
06 Jun 14:00

Build a Portable Outdoor Kitchen 

by Melanie Pinola

This DIY portable outdoor kitchen will make cooking outdoors even more fun. Although it’s not cheap to make, it doesn’t cost thousands of dollars like other outdoor kitchens do.

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04 Jun 18:00

The Graphic Shows the Best and Worst Sleeping Positions for Common Pains

by Melanie Pinola

Your preferred sleep position and pillow greatly influence your posture and chronic pain. If you have neck, shoulder, back, or other pains—or want to avoid them—consider this infographic’s sleep position recommendations.

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22 Jul 08:58

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Pasta

by joythebaker

Roasted Tomato and Garlic PastaI spend a good amount of time in everybody’s way in the produce section at the grocery store. I’m known to stand and stare for a few too many minutes at the piles of gorgeous fresh tomatoes and heaps of garlic heads. I can feel everyone buzzing around me, mostly annoyed, reaching across me for a ripe avocado or an extra full basket of cherry tomatoes. It’s ok and… I’m sorry. It’s just that I’m waiting for the tomatoes to tell me what to do with them. the answer is usually (and most successfully) ROAST! Even in summer. Tomatoes are bossy and they know what they (and I) like. Roasted Tomato and Garlic Pasta Thank you summer time vines!   These tomatoes are gorgeous.  Tremendous, really.   I slice most in half, large and small, and place them cut side up on a rimmed roasting pan.  Cut side up ensures that all the juicy tomato goodness stays in the tomato and doesn’t completely bleed onto the pan.   Salt and pepper, generously.  Olive oil, generously.  Heat, high.  

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Pasta

While the oven is ablaze, I wrap whole cloves of garlic, drizzled in olive oil, in parchment paper and roast until butter-soft and spreadable.  

•  How To Roast Garlic

Now it’s just time to boil the pasta, pick the fresh basil, and grate the salty cheese! 

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Pasta

The making of a good bowl of pasta is mostly instinct.  The measurements need not be exact.  Add olive oil, roasted tomatoes, even a squeeze of lemon as your taste dictates.  Don’t let anyone be the boss of your pasta bowl.  

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Pasta
2015-07-21 21:52:25
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
What You'll Need
  1. 4 large red tomatoes, halved
  2. 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  3. 2 heads garlic, skin on and tops cut off
  4. sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  5. 1 pound pasta, boiled and drained
  6. olive oil
  7. 1 handful fresh basil leaves, torn
  8. coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place tomatoes, cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle well with salt and pepper. Roast until tomatoes are browned and wrinkled, about 30 minutes.
  2. Roast the garlic heads at the same time! Place garlic, cut side up on a a large piece of parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap parchment and tie with kitchen twine. Place in a small round pan and roast with the tomatoes, about 30 minutes or until completely browned and softened.
  3. Boil the pasta while the tomatoes and garlic roast.
  4. Assembling the pasta is simple. Toss cooked pasta with tomatoes, soft garlic pressed from the head, olive oil, salt and pepper. Top with fresh basil and cheese. Enjoy!
By Joy the Baker
Joy the Baker http://joythebaker.com/
02 Jul 09:50

The 7 Rules of Compliment Club

by joythebaker

Compliment Club

COM•PLI•MENT // noun // a polite expression of praise or admiration.  

COMPLIMENT CLUB, it would follow, is a group of people whom actively, enthusiastically, sincerely, and frequently offer words of praise to the people around them.  My maj Tracy and I came up with Compliment Club as a way of encouraging each other to send good vibes into the world.  It’s not an exclusive club… you should totally hop on in! 

Let’s talk about compliments.  You’ve likely gotten them when you’re wearing a flattering dress, when your hair is flipping the right way at the right time on the right day, when you’ve made an impression on someone… BOOM!  Sometimes they drop a compliment in your lap.  It feels great!  It feels like you’ve been seen and appreciated for your hard work to be a good human.  Right?  

Well… giving is more important that getting.  I think it was Socrates that said that.  Definitely Socrates.  

There are some guidelines for offering compliments.  We can’t just go throwing them around willy-nilly.  Here are the rules of Compliment Club.  Join.  Follow them.  Let’s be better together.  (I sincerely mean that… don’t look at me like I’m crazy.)  

•  First rule of Compliment Club (yes… we can talk about Compliment Club): Look for the positive in other people.  This is imperative.  You can’t offer a sincere compliment if you aren’t looking for the beauty in the people around you.  Naturally, sometimes seeing the light in people is easier than others. In gridlock traffic?  Hard…. very hard to see the good in people.  Behind the lady writing a check in the express lane at the grocery store?  Challenging…. extremely challenging to see the beauty in that situation.  

It’s ok.  Not every moment is the right time for a sincere compliment.  But!  If you’re regularly looking for the good in people, those moments of frustration will likely (hopefully) have less of a tinge.  

•  The second rule of Compliment Club:  Be genuine.  Mean what you say.

Stay away from hyperbole.  Hyperbole is saying things like “oh my gosh you’re the best person in the world.”  An exaggeration.  I mean… they’re probably great, but literally the best person in the world?  Is that accurate?  

I’m guilty of hyperbole.  I think it’s the way of the Internet these days… exaggerating to make things sound like the best, the biggest, the coolest thing EVER.  Hyperbole has no place in a genuine compliment.  It actually makes the compliment rather empty.  

Root yourself in the compliment.  Stand tall in it.  I think we use hyperbole to separate ourselves from the genuine words we really want to say.

•  The third rule of Compliment Club:  Be Specific.  Specifics go a long way.  

People want to be seen and noticed for their efforts in the world.  See them.  Comment on them specifically.  

•  The fourth rule of Compliment Club:  Be heartfelt is how things make you FEEL.  Throw some emotional language into your genuine compliment.  Make yourself vulnerable.  

Here’s one, ” When you stood in line for an hour and bought me every single treat available at Tartine, you made me feel really special. I see so much kindness in you and I really appreciate you.”  

(That was a good day.)  

•  The fifth rule of Compliment Club:  Chill on the back-handed compliments.  Don’t do it.  Rude.  

•  The sixth rule of Compliment Club:  Just go for it!  There’s no time to waste and sometimes the window to offer someone some kindness is short.  

I saw the most lovely old lady walking her dog this afternoon.  I admired her but hesitated.  No compliment.  I lost my chance.  

I suppose the lesson is:  don’t worry about embarrassing yourself.  Life is short.  Say it and mean it! 

•  The seventh rule of Compliment Club:  Don’t expect anything in return.  Everyone absorbs a compliment differently.   Some people feel embarrassed.  Others might want to refute you.  Some with thank you.  Some might back away slowly.  Have no expectations.  Just put your kind words out in the world, let them linger in the air, soak in… and your job is done!  Besides, expecting a compliment in return would make you a jerk and jerks don’t deserve compliments anyway.  

Ultimately, Compliment Club is not about being flashy, outgoing, or overly extroverted… it’s about genuinely liking people, seeing their good, and reflecting their light back to them.  Totally easy.  Go on, have at it! 

02 Jul 01:57

17 Ways to Conquer Soul-Crushing Negativity

by Angel Chernoff

17 Ways to Conquer Soul-Crushing Negativity
by Scott Sind

When we are aware of our weaknesses or negative tendencies, we open the opportunity to work on them.

Ever had one of those moments when all you wanted to do was crawl back in bed, put a pillow over your head and shut out the world for a few hours?  For a few days?

For the rest of the year?

I’m willing to bet that you have wanted to throw in the towel at some point.  And it’s okay if you have.  It’s a perfectly normal response, actually.

Human beings have an elaborate, built-in defense mechanism designed to keep us safe.  The only problem is that the system doesn’t do a very good job of threat assessment.  All dangers are equal, whether the threat is a hungry lion or the empty judgments of others.  Our minds and bodies react the same way to both—we retreat back into our cave, where the soft glow of the fire keeps us safe and warm.

You’ve said it before: “It just won’t work.” “Why am I even trying this?” “I don’t know what I’m doing.” “This is stupid.”  Deep down you know you’re trying to rationalize your way out of doing something that’s scary, whether it’s looking for a new job, starting a business, writing a book, or calling up your estranged sibling.  And every time you rationalize, you sink further into the depths where the pressure of negativity will ultimately crush you.

A few years ago I wrote a novel.  Sometimes it was easy, when the words flowed onto the page and I saw the story clearly in my head.  Other times it was as if my fingers were made of lead and the story disappeared behind layers of thick fog.  On those days I felt like giving up—like I was never going to finish, and even if I did, the book would be terrible.

So I quit writing.  My manuscript sat there, untouched, for over a year, and I agonized over it daily because I had sunk so deeply into the rationalization that I wasn’t cut out to be a writer.  Every day that I didn’t write I died a little bit inside.  I knew that I should be creating, giving the characters life and using words to paint the pictures I saw in my head onto the page.

A little over a year into my creative isolation, I had an epiphany.  I started thinking about my book, and my life as a writer, differently.  I discovered little tricks to coax the writer within me out long enough to put words on the page.  At first these were fleeting moments—maybe ten minutes here and there.  But soon, and without much effort, I was spending more and more time working on my novel, enjoying the process, and even laughing off those moments when I couldn’t produce any words.

The very things that had previously driven me into isolation—fear and insecurity—actually propelled me forward now.  I’d learned, through various techniques and mindset shifts, to prevent myself from sinking completely into the depths of negativity.  The result?  I’m now more focused and better able to climb over obstacles and wade through the challenges that come my way.  I’m happy to share these tips with you so you can accomplish more, and live an abundant, more confident life.

1.  Frame your questions in a positive light.

“What if I fail?”

“What will people think of me if I’m wrong?”

These kinds of questions bait us into negative thinking.  By framing our decision-making this way, we’ve (more…)

01 Jul 09:19

Costa Rican Breakfast

by joythebaker

Costa Rican Breakfast

There’s something people don’t tell you about Costa Rica:  time slows (almost) all the way dooowwwnn.  It’s magic.  Like time gets stripped away leaving luxuriously long mornings followed by, luxuriously lazy afternoons, followed by impeccable… truly impeccable sunsets.

It’s like island life.  But not an island.  It’s beach life.  The sun stays high and the air is just mellow.  Completely mellow.  

I visited Costa Rica last year and still wonder about the paradise-heavy time warp.  Why does that happen in Costa Rica and not on any given Wednesday in my New Orleans life?  

Here’s hoping the Costa Rican time warp can be a state of mind no matter what my longitude and latitude.

I suppose it starts with breakfast.  Shall we?   

Ps.  When I returned from Costa Rica last year I made this Banana y Leche con Cafe and I don’t regret it one bit.  

Costa Rican Breakfast

This breakfast is best after an early rise, a few hours on the beach spent trying desperately to both surf poorly and not drown, and some quality time in the morning sun.  

This breakfast is also quite delicious if enjoyed after sleeping in, barely shuffling out of bed.  

It’s all about assembly.  Fluffy white rice on a plate.  Leftover rice microwaved to warm is perfectly acceptable.  Don’t stress it.  

Costa Rican Breakfast

Black beans on top of the rice.  

I like to season the rice and beans with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.  Both rice and beans can be, what I refer to as a… taste suck.  Their flavors are so base that they need a good dose of salt, pepper and other flare to bring them forth.  

Hot Smoked Paprika is a secret weapon in the kitchen.  I should write a whole blog post about it.  

Costa Rican Breakfast

Scrambled eggs, fresh tomato salsa, and sliced avocado.  

This breakfast isn’t specific to Costa Rica.  It’s also not rocket science.  What it is, is…. supremely delicious and what I enjoyed most late mornings in Costa Rica.  

Costa Rican Breakfast

Should we talk about frying plantains?  You could.  You can.  You should.  You’re full of great ideas so YES! 

Plantains are like bananas.  They’re larger, a bit more dense, sweet, with a savory quality.  They’re peeled, sliced and pan fried in a bit of olive oil.  A sweet and welcome addition to the savory flavors of the breakfast.  Also… you’ll want them all the time, so prepare yourself.  

Costa Rican Breakfast
2015-06-30 17:01:32
Serves 2
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
What You'll Need
  1. 3 cups warm white rice
  2. 1 cup black beans, drained and heated through
  3. 4 large eggs, scrambled
  4. 1 ripe Haas avocado, pitted and sliced
  5. 1/2 fresh tomato salsa
  6. 1 plantain, peeled, sliced, and fried in a bit of olive oil
  7. sliced pickled jalapeños
  8. salt, pepper, and hot smoked paprika to taste
Instructions
  1. This breakfast is more about assembly than anything. Gather together your ingredients: fluff the rice, warm the black beans, season and scramble the eggs, slice the avocado, potion out salsa, and fry the plantains.
  2. Divide the rice between two shallow bowls or plates. Top each portion of rice with black beans. Season with salt, pepper, and smoky paprika. It's all about building layers of flavor. Top the beans salsa followed by scrambled eggs. Top with avocado slices, pickled jalapeños, and fried plantains. Again season with salt, pepper, and hot smoked paprika. Enjoy immediately!
By Joy the Bkaer
Joy the Baker http://joythebaker.com/
28 Jun 13:00

Now This is a Customer Service WIN

24 Jun 21:30

Learn How to Bulk Up Your Chicken Legs with These Exercises

by Patrick Allan

If you feel self-conscious about having really skinny legs, you need to do some training to bulk them up. This infographic features 19 exercises you can do to take your legs up a few sizes.

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24 Jun 09:08

Sweet Plum Sorbet

by joythebaker

Sweet Plum Sorbet

I always wanted a ponytail.  A ponytail I could position extra high on my head with hair long enough to cascade down to my shoulders, cheerleader-style, youthful, bouncy.  The kind of hair, that you can flip around to express various emotions, from bitchy to bored to flirty.  

I don’t have ponytail hair.  Never did.  

What I’ve always had is a fine, curly, frizzy, perfectly acceptable, head of hair that I’m completely grateful for.  It’s just not ponytail hair.  It’s not hair I can whip around to express my enthusiasm for life.  

That’s how hair works, right?  

Summer fruit, all of the gorgeous peaches, apricots, strawberries, and plums… they’re like a gorgeous, shiny, lustrous, perfectly bouncy, high ponytail.  Showing off, effortless… a little enviable even.  

Luckily, no matter what hair grows from our head, high ponytail or not… it’s our time.  It’s Summer and the markets are bursting with sweet fruit flavors.  Let’s get at em!

Sweet Plum Sorbet

Plums are perfect just as they are.  Deep purple skin.  Tart with just a hint of snap when you bite through.   Sweet insides.  Sour as you reach the pit.  They’re exactly right.    

Sweet Plum Sorbet

These plums are golden on the inside, but the deep purple skin is dark enough to tint the finished sorbet a lovely shade of fuchsia.  

Sweet Plum Sorbet

Pitted and sliced plums are boiled in a mixture of sugar and water.

Boiled to softened.  Boiled to almost jam.   

Sweet Plum Sorbet

The plums will fall apart.  The skins will separate from the fruit flesh and tint the sugar water a lovely purple.  

Sweet Plum Sorbet

A blender gets us one step closer to sorbet.  

The cooked fruit and sugar mixture is blended completely.  Skins and all.  No need to strain.  Everything is everything.  

The mixture will be hot (it was boiling fruit) when it goes into the blender.  You may need to blend in two batches.  Don’t be cavalier.   

Sweet Plum Sorbet

The blended plum will need some quality chilling time in the refrigerator.  Literal chilling… not just relaxing.  

It helps if the mixture is completely cold before it’s churned into a bright pink sorbet.  

Sweet Plum Sorbet

Smooth and glossy, soft and sweet.  This sorbet is perfectly scoop able, bright, and sweet.  The high proportion of sugar makes this sorbet creamy smooth and not icy.  I also love the little bits of skin.

Top with chopped salted pistachios and even a bit of chopped dark chocolate to balance the plum sorbet sweetness.

It’s Summer!  Ponytail or no… what a good life it is!  

Sweet Plum Sorbet
2015-06-22 17:10:05
Serves 6
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Prep Time
12 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
12 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups water
  2. 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  3. just over 1 pound of ripe plums (I used 9 medium purple plums), sliced into chunks, pits discarded
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  6. 1 tablespoon vodka (optional)
  7. 1/2 cup coarsely chopped, shelled salted pistachios
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, stir together water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add the sliced plum, a pinch of salt and stir. Allow to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the plums begin to soften and breakdown. You might even find that the skins separate from the flesh of the fruit. The sugar water will be tinted purple. That's exactly right.
  3. Once the fruit is softened, remove from heat and transfer to a blender. You may need to do this in two batches but I managed it in one. Add the fruit and liquid to the blender, make sure the lid is secure, place a clean towel over the lid and blend until smooth.
  4. The mixture will still be hot. Place in the refrigerator (in the blender... why not?) until chilled through. Leaving it overnight to chill is best.
  5. When ready to churn, remove from the refrigerator and stir in the lime juice and vodka (if using). Follow your ice cream machine instructions to churn to a thick, soft, sorbet. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and allow to rest in the freezer for at least 4 hours before scooping and serving.
  6. Top with shelled, salted pistachios just before serving. Enjoy!
By Joy the Baker
Joy the Baker http://joythebaker.com/
07 May 21:30

When You Shouldn't Eat Stinky Cheese

by Patrick Allan

Most of the best cheeses have their own type of stink, but that can make it hard to tell if they’ve spoiled or not. The trick lies in the type of smell they give off.

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19 Jun 00:07

Red Lentil Dumplings

I thought I'd jot off a quick post for those of you who like to see what I pack to eat when I travel. I have one more day in Hong Kong before flying back to San Francisco, and I'll be sad to leave. This trip has been far too quick - Hong Kong is an amazing city, and the people couldn't be more kind, friendly, or generous. Lots of pictures and a bit of video to come. In the meantime, I made these little dumplings for the flight. They're protein-packed pureed red lentils, flared out with deeply roasted cherry tomatoes, and a simple smoked paprika and garlic oil. I meant to finish them with a simple basil oil, but didn't want to miss my flight. More soon! -h

Red Lentil Dumplings
Red Lentil Dumplings
Red Lentil Dumplings
Red Lentil Dumplings

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15 Jun 10:07

Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake

by joythebaker

Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake with maple

Because it’s Monday.  Because it’s just about summertime.  Because we like fruit with our breakfast.  Because we’re grown and we can do what we want…  we get to drink lots of coffee and eat lots of cake for breakfast.  

Blueberries, oats, and pure maple syrup make anything breakfast so… CAKE it is!  

Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake with maple

I’ve been experimenting a lot with gluten-free baking lately.  I’m sure you’ve noticed.  It’s possible you have a question mark in your mind about it.  Well… I want to learn how to bake without wheat.  Baking is such a science and I know how wheat flour interacts with leavening and liquid.  Gluten-free flours are a whole different science.  I want to know that I can still make fluffy cakes and flakey biscuits in the absence of wheat.  So far I’ve had some major fails and happy triumphs.  This is one of the triumphs.  

Eventually I’m going to try making my own gluten-free flour blend to use in my kitchen but I’m still getting my footing.  Right now I use King Arthur Flour’s Gluten-Free Flour and I’m going to give Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef’s All-Purpose Flour Blend.  They know what’s what!  

If you’re hoping for more gluten-FULL coffee cake recipes, here’s your jam: 

•  Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Brown Butter Glaze.  A recipe from my cookbook Homemade Decadence.  

•  Pear Crumble Coffee Cake.  You might not be in the mood for pears, but I think strawberries would also be mega! 

•  Coffee Coffee Cake Muffins.  I mean… let’s make our cake taste like coffee! 

•  Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins.  These really are THE BEST! 

Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake with maple

There’s a real happiness in creaming butter and sugar and adding eggs.  It’s a sign of a right future.  

For extra flavoring, vanilla extract and a good dose of maple syrup.  

Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake with maple

I use a hand mixer to cream the sugar and beat in the eggs and flavoring.  When it comes to stirring in the dry ingredients, I like to use a spatula.  It helps me be more gentle with the batter and doing things by hand helps me get into the bottom edges of the bowl to ensure everything is evenly mixed.  

Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake with maple

Fresh blueberries because it’s summer and we can! 

Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake with maple

The batter will be smooth and rather thick.  Not pourable.  Definitely spoonable.  Stud the top with blueberries before the crumble goes to topping.  

I added oats to my topping.  Gluten-free.  Last minute baker’s decision.  

Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake with maple

Just begging for the oven.  

Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake with maple

Golden brown with bubbling blueberries.  I mean… what a world.  It’s a good one. 

Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake with maple

Because enough doesn’t always seems like enough, I served this breakfast cake warm with a hearty drizzle of maple syrup.  Make it rain.  Make it rain maple syrup.  

This coffee cake, though gluten-free, is light and fluffy.  It’s spongy and moist and studded with fruit.  Basically, it’s exactly what you want it to be.  This recipe is adapted from this recipe here… if you’re interested in an alternate topping.  

Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake
2015-06-14 14:59:39
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
For the Cake
  1. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  2. 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 cup granulated sugar
  8. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  9. 1 heaping tablespoon lemon zest
  10. 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  11. 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus 3 tablespoons more for topping
  12. 2 large eggs
  13. 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  14. 1 cup fresh blueberries
For the Topping
  1. 1/2 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
  2. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  3. 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  4. 3 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  7. pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or you could use a large bowl and a set of hand beaters) beat together sugar, butter, and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract and maple syrup.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one egg at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition.
  5. Stop the mixer and remove the bowl from the stand. Add the dry ingredients, all at once, to the butter mixture. Use a rubber spatula to fold a few strokes. Add the buttermilk and fold until just combined. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl well to evenly mix the batter.
  6. Add the blueberries (reserving a small handful for topping) and fold to combine.
  7. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle on the remaining blueberries
  8. To make the crumble, in a small bowl combine all of the ingredients and use your fingers to break up the bitter bits into the mixture. Some of the butter will be the size of small peas, others the size of oat flakes.
  9. Sprinkle the topping over the cake and place in the oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes before serving.
  10. Drizzle with maple syrup before serving.
  11. Cake will last, well wrapped at room temperature, for 3 days.
By Joy the Baker
Adapted from Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef
Joy the Baker http://joythebaker.com/
12 Jun 10:36

Mango and Jalapeño Guacamole

by joythebaker

Mango and Jalapeño Guacamole

Sure, you could make this irresistible guacamole for a backyard barbecue, or a block party, a brunch party maybe… any event that would take you out of your pajamas, off of your couch, and into the presence of other people (gasp.) OR… you could make a giant bowl of this guacamole, keep your pajamas on and settle in for a good, old-fashioned Netflix binge.  I mean.  To me, the choice is clear.

Choose your own adventure.  I will often choose pajamas and privacy, especially where guacamole is involved. 

Mango and Jalapeño Guacamole

It’s easy!

Ripe avocados are pitted and scooped into a big enough bowl.  Diced red onions plus finely diced jalapeño into the avocado.  

Lots of lime to keep things tart, green, and to prevent scurvy.  

Salt and pepper too because, always. 

Mango and Jalapeño Guacamole

Cilantro for that particular guacamole punch.  

And mango instead of tomatoes today!  The sweetness and juiciness is a wonderful compliment to the creamy avocado and savory onions.  

Mango and Jalapeño Guacamole

I also added a splash of tequila to the guacamole.  The fragrance alone is a nice complement.  The slight bite is welcome.  

Now… guacamole is a very personal endeavor.  It’s like making an omelet.  Everyone is very particular, as they should be.  

Maybe you like your guacamole more onion-y, with way more spice, with no cilantro or all the cilantro, or without the tequila.  The recipe below is an outline, feel free to adjust as your taste permits.

Have fun!   Also… let me know what you’re Neflix binge selection is. I’m curious.   

Mango and Jalapeño Guacamole
2015-06-11 22:24:34
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 ripe Haas avocados, sliced in half, pit removed and scooped from peel
  2. 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  3. most of a jalapeño, seeds removed and finely diced
  4. juice of 3 limes
  5. small handful coarsely chopped cilantro
  6. 1/2 cup diced, ripe mango
  7. salt and pepper
  8. splash of tequila (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, mash together avocado, onion, jalapeño, and lime juice. Leave the avocado mixture as chunky as you'd like.
  2. Stir in cilantro, mango, salt and pepper, and tequila (if using). Taste and adjust seasoning as you'd like. Maybe you'd like to add more lime, salt, or pepper.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
By Joy the Baker
Joy the Baker http://joythebaker.com/
03 Jun 01:39

Caramelized Fennel on Herbed Polenta

Like many of you, I'm a fan of Sarah Britton. Her site My New Roots is a beautiful blend of inspired cooking and nutritional insight, punctuated with genuine positivity. I'm sitting here with her eagerly-awaited first cookbook - a substantial hardback filled with her signature plant-based recipes and vibrant photos. I've had the manuscript for months, and expressed my enthusiasm with a quote on the inside cover. I could have written a lot more if I'd been allowed to edge in on Sara Forte or Deborah Madison's endorsement space ;) Here's what I wrote, "My New Roots is beautiful proof that eating with nutrition in mind need not be a compromise. This is an unabashedly enthusiastic riff on the food-as-medicine approach to cooking and eating. Sarah's playful and encouraging voice is infectious; you get the sense that she is waiting on the other side of each recipe to give you a high five." I think the high five is the key, and part of what I love so much about Sarah's work. At a time when many food choices work against us, Sarah wants your food and cooking to work for you. And she works hard at communicating the hows and whys - riding that line of inspiration and coaching, with the just the right amount of nutritional context. There are a lot of great recipes in her book, but I cherry-picked this gem to highlight. It is a creamy, herb-flecked polenta spiked with Pecorino, and topped with caramelized slabs of pan-seared fennel.

Herbed Polenta RecipeHerbed Polenta RecipeHerbed Polenta RecipeHerbed Polenta Recipe

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05 May 17:00

Diced, Chopped, Minced, & More: A Visual Guide to Six Basic Knife Cuts

by Susannah Chen on Skillet, shared by Whitson Gordon to Lifehacker

If you’ve ever wondered about the difference is between “chopped”, “diced”, “minced”, and other cuts in a recipe, you aren’t alone. Knife cuts can be so confusing that we’ve compiled a visual guide to some of the most common.

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