Request for Advice: Cookie Cutters

Posted in Food, House and Home by Sarah on April 29, 2011

I just found a recipe for making your own crackers.   Excellent idea! – I thought – I’ll do that this weekend!  Then I realized the directions involve the use of cookie cutters.  Alas, I have none.  Cue the Debbie Downer music.

Off I went to find some cookie cutters and boy have I gotten some silly results, including Williams Sonoma’s Star Wars cookie cutters.  Seriously.

If someone offers you a Death Star cookie, do you take it?

I thought I’d have more success asking some of my favorite cookie-baking friends:  do you all have cookie cutters that you love or use with special frequency?   It could be a brand you’ve found success with or a particular go-to shape, I’m open!

By the way, if you are interested in making your own crackers, please visit “Oh She Glows” here for the basic recipe and lots of fun suggestions for variations, including sea salt and vinegar, smoked paprika, and garlic, chive & onion.  Yum!  (CHOMP!)

Our Technology Age

Posted in Life, Technology by Meredith on April 28, 2011

This is a little thought bubble that I’m having as I sit here.  Andy and I are planning a wedding 3,000 miles away.  To get there, we use a lot of planes, trains, automobiles, and these days we do it all with the help of internet tools like yelp, etsy, weddingchannel, google docs, you name it!  And guess what!  We are even doing our pre-marital counseling over Skype!  That’s right!  Pastor Tom is conducting our first counseling session tomorrow morning at 7am (PDT) over skype!  How amazing is that?!  We live in an age where planning a  wedding and preparing for marriage can be done mostly from the comfort of our own homes.  Crazy!  My mind is just a little blown by this so I wanted to get it out there in the universe.  Any thoughts?

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Posted in Entertainment by Elizabeth on April 12, 2011

Balzac and the Little Chinese SeamstressBalzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This books is a quick read that is certainly an indulgence for literature lovers. It offers a brief glimpse into the world of reeducation in revolutionary China but is much more about the coming of age of two boys through literature.

View all my reviews

Turbot with Harissa Sauce

Posted in Food, Recipes by Elizabeth on April 4, 2011

I’m not very good at spicy food. I’d like to be better, but I cannot help that I am unaccustomed to the heat having grown up eating food that was seasoned mostly with the most mild of mild heats (ground black pepper anyone?). I think there are a number of Forneys out there who share my experience. This is not to say, however, that I dislike spicy food. I love it actually. It is frustrating when you take a bite of something that you really enjoy and then BAM, the heat hits, your tongue is tingling, your lips crave water, your palette is ruined, and you’ve barely started dinner.

I have a solution for my unaccustomed mouth. For a few years now I have been working on eating hotter and hotter food on a regular basis (starting at just about mild).

As a part of this schooling, I made this turbot with harissa sauce. If you haven’t had harissa, be advised that it contains hot peppers, like serrano, seeds and all. A North African spice, also usually has cumin, lemon juice, garlic, and coriander. I picked up a premade container of it at my local store. A dish as tasty as this one does nothing but encourage spicy food eating behavior.

Turbot with Harissa Sauce

  • 1 part harissa
  • 2 parts plain greek yogurt
  • juice of a lemon
  • cumin
  • salt
  • turbot filets

Combine the harissa, yogurt, lemon, cumin, and salt and mix until blended. Spread the sauce over the top of the filets and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. After ten minutes, scrape off the sauce, reserving it for later. Over medium-high heat, sear the fish on either side, about 2-3 minutes each side. Transfer the fish to an oven safe baking dish. Redress the fish with the harissa sauce and bake for 5-6 minutes, until the fish is white and flaky. Serve.

I found couscous and cumin seasoned sauteed leeks and kidney beans to be a great compliment to the fish. The crisp leeks pair well with the fish while the beans serve as a spice absorber for those moments when my mouth has just about had enough. Enjoy!

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