23 February 2009

A picture I'm working on:

What do you think of this picture? Too much black? Too little contrast? I can't quite figure out what it needs...?

18 February 2009

Ode to Elizabeth

Maybe you've wondered before what a person who does Merchandise Display for their job does when they are at home? Did you even know that was a spcific job, the setting up and display of products to make them both interesting and shopable? Why did you gravitate towards that little plate? Why did you pick up that vase? There is a special someone who devotes their day to displaying that product. I found this basket of yarn in my display-friend's house. It wasn't just her storage for craft supplies. It was on top of her mantel, with the knitting needles sticking out just so and a lovely pin attached and faced-out. Her whole house was full of these treasures. A crocheted table cloth perfectly hanging over the fridge, some lemons arranged in a unique design, little antique boxes full of shells. This is my Ode to Elizabeth.

14 February 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

13 February 2009

Black History Month

For February I will be blogging over at The Shelf Life about Black Literature for Black History Month. Come on over and you might learn something new!

09 February 2009

Dress for the Occasion

I did something really scary tonight. And I survived. I gave an introduction in a large room to a crowd of 500 people. The scariest part about it was that I didn't know I was going to do it until the last minute. I could not even dress for the occasion (though luckily I felt well-dressed enough that I didn't have the urge to run home just to change)! We hosted Jonah Lehrer at Town Hall Seattle and the Executive Director was out for a funeral. It was on me to introduce Jonah. As I said, it was very very scary and I survived. In fact, I think I did an awesome job!!

By the way, this photo is a representation of what the crowd of people looked like to me. Going on and on for miles.

03 February 2009

Rustic Soup

Make this soup. Then eat it. Make this soup, then eat it.
There is nothing more to say.

It is rich in flavor and so simple and so cozy. I had a salad and warmed sourdough bread with it. That's it. Oh, and I put grated parmesan cheese on top. It didn't even need the bay leaf, the savory and rich leek-butter flavor stood on its own. Tonight, I didn't work late, I wasn't busy with other plans, I wasn't in the mood to eat out. I simply wanted to use the leeks in my fridge and have a nice, easy, home-cooked dinner. I am very pleased.

Rustic Potato Leek Soup
adapted from The New Best Recipe

4-5 pounds leeks (I used leeks and white onion)
6 tbs butter (3/4 stick)
1 tbs flour
5 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf (I didn't have this, so added a bit of thyme instead. No loss.)
1 3/4 pounds red potatoes (about 5 medium) peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
Salt and ground black pepper

1. Cut off roots and touch dark green part of leeks, leaving white portion and some light green. Slice leeks in half lengthwise and chop into 1-inch pieces.

2. Heat butter in large stockpot over medium-low heat until foaming. Stir in leeks, increase heat to medium, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are tender but not mushy, 15 to 20 minutes do not brown the leeks. Sprinkle the flour over the leeks and stir to coat evenly. Cook until flour dissolves, about 2 minutes.

3. Increase heat to high whisking constantly, gradually add the broth. Add the bay leaf (or thyme, or nothing) and potatoes, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered until the potatoes are almost tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and let stand, covered, until the potatoes are tender and the flavors meld, 10 to 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaf (if used) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. (The soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for a day or two).

Serves 6 to 8

I also thought this was a great recipe for the way it treated the potatoes. They weren't grainy or mushy at all.