Saturday, July 31, 2010

Market Day Review: Egh.

This afternoon I headed to Market Day with Sarah. I have been excited to check it out all summer. I was expecting great things based on the photos and vendors featured on their twitter feed.

I was disappointed in the selection. There was booth after booth of jewelry made from old buttons. Sure, there were cool things too. I got a card and this hilarious t-shirt (which may offend my Mom. I hope it doesn't). Sarah got a purse and a t shirt.

There was some good stuff, just not as much as I was expecting. Perhaps that's because I've been to the amazing Renegade Craft Fair in Wicker Park. I was hoping for coolness on that level (sure, that level of coolness was assisted by the presence of Mary-Claire and wigs, but it was wicked awesome in it's own right).

Farmer's Market Finds

This morning John & I headed to the Downtown Farmer's Market. There is a lot of local produce available at the stands now, and I was excited to stock up. I picked up a chicken, peaches, sage and tomatoes.
I got the tomatoes at an organic heirloom tomato stand. They had varieties I had never seen before, including these teeny tiny currant sized tomatoes. They explode with tomato flavor. I'll be snacking on them all day.
After we stocked up on produce (John got a yellow cucumber that I should have taken a picture of) I was drawn to some garden art. It's my second garden art purchase of the year, and I fear I am descending into gazing ball and whirligig territory.

I'm headed to Market Day later. I'm hoping to find some cute jewelry and a bag for my camera. If I find anything good I'll let you know.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Missed Maker Monday

I made lots of progress on Hawkeye sock #2. I have been really busy lately. So busy that my knitting sits there more days than I touch it. I'm sure I'll be busy with knitting once fall gets here.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Kathleen

Today was a busy day. I picked up Conor and Ellie at 9 and we headed to Baby Boomers for pancakes. There was a half hour wait for food, so we placed our order and went for a walk. Luckily there is a lot to check out in the East Village.
We had perfect timing. We got back to the counter as our pancakes arrived. We each ordered one. They are pretty big pancakes. We couldn't finish them.

After breakfast we got to work on baking a birthday cake for Kathleen. While it baked Ellie created some art and Conor played video games with Stimmel.

Ellie helped me frost and decorate the cake. She's a natural. She's better at piping words than I am.
I think it turned out great. I'm sure she will love it.

I had a great time with Conor and Ellie today. I'm looking forward to cooking with them again soon.
And now I will take a nap.

Poolish Baguettes: Bread of the Week 30

This week I made Poolish Baguettes. I haven't had much luck with baguettes, so I was hesitant to try this one.

They turned out beautifully. The flavor is great, and the crust was nice and crunchy. This was John's favorite bread so far.

I had some left over a few days after I made the bread. I sliced the rest of it to make some delicious bruschetta. I love the mixture of tomatoes and basil. They taste like summer.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dinner with Ivy and Hot Toddy

Last night I met Ivy and Hot Toddy on the roof of Tally's for dinner and drinks.
Ivy and Hot Toddy used to work together, and we decided that the three of us should start hanging out together.
We have a date for the first Sunday of the fair. I know we'll have a wonderful time.

I think I would have a good time anywhere with the two of them.

A Maker Mondayless Week

You may have notice that I didn't have a Maker Monday post this week. That's because I haven't really been knitting lately. I still have my Hawkeye socks OTN, and I know I will finish them eventually. I've just been too busy to relax on the couch. It's incredibly frustrating. This weekend I am staying in at night in order to catch up on knitting.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pizza Napoletana: Bread of the Week 29

This week I made Pizza Napolentana from the Bread Bakers Apprentice. I had some difficulty shaping the dough, and I will probably will use the Cook's Illustrated suggestions instead of Peter Reinhart's directions the next time I make it.

For toppings I opted for homemade tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil from the garden. It was delicious.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Date Night

Last Friday John and I had a date night. We took a break from the routine of Friday night sushi or TV and pizza post run (for me) or ride (for him). I do feel a little bit silly for typing that we had a date night. Our regular Fridays are actually pretty great dates, we just like to step it up a notch every couple of months.
Last week was a great date night. It was the best date I've ever been on. We started the evening at Cafe Di Scala for an amazing meal. The service is great, the ambiance is cozy, and the food makes you wish that you could eat there every single day.
After dinner we went to the sculpture garden and took a photo walk. I had a lot of fun taking photos of Nomad, my favorite sculpture in the park. I'm looking forward to Mary-Claire's next visit so I can do a photo walk with her. I love using her camera to take photos.
It was a great night. I'm looking forward to taking photos of the sculpture garden at night in the snow this winter.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Flooding and Biking

It has been a rainy summer so far. The rivers are up around Des Moines. When the rivers are up the trails are under water. A couple of weeks ago John, Foster, and I decided to bike to the tap even though my favorite way (the Bill Riley Trail through Waterworks Park) was under water. Normally I would avoid biking through downtown and on busy roads on the south side, but I had really cool new UNI bike socks and I wanted to try them out.

See! They say GO PANTHERS! on them. Wouldn't you want to ride?

It was a fun ride. We rode slow so we could catch up. When we got to the tap we split a couple of pitchers of Boulevard and some salted nut rolls (my official candy of riding bikes).

Foster tried on my sunglasses and proved that he can pull of any type of sunglasses.

It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. I hope it cools down enough to get out again this weekend.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Maker Monday: week 28

Last winter I made a pair of mittens out of very soft yarn. I had the pair for about a month before I lost one of the mittens. This week, after breaking a needle working on socks and losing a needle working on a different pair of socks, I decided to see if making a replacement mitten would go better. I was lucky to find another skein of the mitten yarn in my stash. This pattern is very simple, which is perfect for watching the Tour.

I stopped in Coralville yesterday where I picked up some replacement needles at Crazy Girl. I'm hoping to have better luck with socks this week.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Panettone: Bread of the Week 28

It's Christmas in July this week. I made Panettone, an Italian Christmas bread. It's the first bread I've made with the wild yeast starter I've been cultivating. It is studded with dried fruit and slivered almonds.

I filled up both of my muffin tins with rolls of panettone. I had enough dough left over to make a small loaf with a 3 cup pyrex bowl. It makes for a cute loaf.

I'm particularly excited about panettone because it will keep for up to two weeks. I am used to bread that is best eaten within two days of baking and I am looking forward to not rushing through a loaf.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Maker Monday: week 27

I am working on Hawkeye Socks and a Christmas present. I was hoping to have a sock done so I could post photos, but I broke a needle last night and had to stop. I had already lost two of the needles, so I need to buy another pack before I can knit again.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Pane Siciliano: Bread of the Week 27

This week I made Pane Siciliano. It was crusty and chewy and wonderful. It made three loaves, so the neighbors on both sides of my house got loaves this week. I was also able to share with some of my knitting friends.

In addition to being tasty, I love how this loaf looks. The dough is rolled into a baguette, and then twisted around to make an S shape. I think it looks beautiful.