Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Santogold's self titled album was released today. I predict that this album will be huge. It's the perfect spring/summer album.

The Enchanted Forest

If you grew up in the Baltimore in the 1980's, chances are your parents took you to The Enchanted Forest. It was this awesome amusement parks for kids with attractions based on nursery rhymes and fairy tales.

The park has since been turned into a shopping center, but there's still hope for The Enchanted Forest. Clark's Elioak Farm has been restoring all of the attractions for the past few years. It makes me so happy to know that someone is taking care of them. I remember feeling very sad when I read an article on the deterioration of The Enchanted Forest about 10 years ago in the Baltimore City Paper.

The Baltimore Sun wrote an article about the restoration of the attractions from the Enchanted Forest today. Read it here.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Forgot One

I cannot believe I forgot this cookbook! This cookbook is magical. Everything I've made from here has been unbelievable. Our friends were always making the best tasting food for us for dinner. Finally, we asked them their secret, and they showed us this book.

The recipes are so good, you'll find it difficult to dine out for Mexican ever again.

Favorite Cookbooks

Mark Bittman of the New York Times is asking people to review their favorite cookbooks over at his blog.

I am a fairly recent serious cookbook buyer. I got my first cookbook when I was 11 years old. I bought a copy of the Moosewood Cookbook when I decided to become a vegetarian at 14, and received a copy of Joy of Cooking when I got married.

I had always been more of a baker. I had some favorite dishes, but was mostly a pasta maker, until about 3 years ago, when I first started to get serious about cooking. My problem was that I never really knew what to make.

A subscription to Cooking Light changed alot about the way I cook. I think it was because the recipes were in magazine form, they seemed less intimidating somehow, and helped me to branch out and get pretty good at cooking things with meat in them. Having been a vegetarian for most of my early adult years, I never learned how to cook meat (or how to tell when it was done). Every month, I had a bunch of new recipes to try, and, aside from one dish, they were all pretty good.

Cook's Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen have also been an immense help to me in the kitchen. I love reading this magazine and their cookbooks on lazy Sunday afternoons. I enjoy learning about the process of preparing the food and experimenting to find the perfect recipe.

So, here's my list of my favorite cookbooks at this time. I'm sure my collection will continue to grow. If you have any recommendations, I'd appreciate them.

The Joy of Cooking is a wonderful reference cookbook. Have some beets and need to know how to cook them? That's in here. No kitchen should be without this one.

America's Best New Recipes is written by the folks at Cook's Illustrated. Want the perfect Macaroni and Cheese recipe? Look no farther. It's another "must" for the cookbook shelf.

I really love the original Moosewood Cookbook, but I like this one better. I had the joy of eating at this restaurant a long time ago, and I still rank it as one of my top 5 lunches ever. I haven't read a Moosewood Cookbook I didn't like.

Everyday Italian is one of my favorite shows on the Food Network. It's also one of my favorite cookbooks. This isn't the most low-fat cookbook you'll ever buy, but the ingredient list for recipes is usually short, and it's simple to cook this food.

I just bought this book, but I'm including it here because it has alot of recipes I've loved from the magazine. I like this magazine and cookbook because it offers alternatives to dishes like fettuccine afredo and spinach/artichoke dip which are lighter than their full fat counterparts, but still taste yummy.

I have to admit that I mostly bought this book for the cover and the title. But, the recipes in here are fantastic, and are not your run-of-the-mill baking recipes. The Chocolate Hazelnut Torte is exceptional and the peanut butter bars taste alot like Reese's. The pictures in this book are also beautiful and make you want to bake everything.

The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook is my go-to book for baked goods. I have received nothing but the highest compliments when making anything out of this book. I like it too because it includes recipes for mostly old fashioned desserts, like yellow cake with butter cream icing, coconut cake, and hummingbird cake.

Books currently on my wish list:

The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook
The Martha Stewart Baking Cookbook
More from Magnolia
How to Cook Everything
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
Anything by Dorie Greenspan
The Barefoot Contessa
Maida Heatter's Cakes
Maida Heatter's Cookies
Alice Waters The Art of Simple Food
Elizabeth Falkner's Demolition Desserts
The Gourmet Cookbook

Girls Rock!

I just watched the preview for Girls Rock, and I can't wait to see it.

I heard about Rock and Roll Camp for Girls a few years ago and thought it was a wonderful idea. A documentary has been made about this camp, and features some of my favorite women artists, the members of Sleater-Kinney and Peaches, who were teachers.

Having been a teenage girl who always wanted to play keyboards in a band, I can totally relate to this movie.

It's playing now in Baltimore at the Rotunda theater.

Sheep and Wool 2008

Next weekend is the Sheep and Wool Festival at the Howard County Fairgrounds. I will be there on Saturday trying not to buy all the yarn.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Monday night, residents of Phoenix, Arizona noticed these red lights in the night sky. This was similar to an incident in 1997.

Does anyone else remember that episode of Unsolved Mysteries in which an entire episode was devoted to UFO sightings?


Friday, April 18, 2008

The Oriole Bird

I love the Oriole Bird. He's the best mascot.

Cookie Monster

My friend Roopa sent me this great article from McSweeney's this morning.

I love Cookie Monster.

p.s. I still have "C is for Cookie" on vinyl.

Document Day

Each spring, there is that one perfect day, when you can drive down the road with the windows all the way down for the first time after winter.

Each year on that day, I listen to R.E.M.'s Document while driving down the road. I don't know why I chose this album years ago to initiate spring, it just seemed right to me.

That day was Wednesday! Happy belated Document Day!

Flag Pin

The other night at the democratic debate, some woman asked Barack Obama why he doesn't wear a flag pin.

I personally could care less if he wears a flag pin in his lapel or not. Since when does wearing this stupid flag pin mean that you're the biggest patriot in the room? Who cares if he chooses not to wear one?

This outward display of patriotism is old and tired. Flag pins, flag stickers on cars (most of which are displayed improperly, might I add), ribbons everywhere. What ever happened to proudly displaying your flag in front of your house on the 4th of July. Remember when that used to be enough?

It's fine with me if someone wants to vote for another candidate, just don't vote against a candidate simply because he believes patriotism is about more than wearing a stupid piece of enameled metal made in China.

For additional information regarding the woman who asked this question of Obama at the debate, please refer to this article.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Found: Oceanic Flight 815

I went to Fantasy of Flight this weekend in Lakeland, Florida, and found the remnants of Oceanic Flight 815 outside of their sheet metal shop. Ok, so it wasn't the actual plane, but it sure looks like it. Could this be a Widmore Industries conspiracy?

Fantasy of Flight was really cool. They have dozens of planes, in flying condition, unlike this one.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Chick Flicks

I've always been a fan of cheesy movies and tv shows. I don't know what it is about them, but I find them comforting. I feel the same way about "Boy Meets World" and "Caroline in the City" as described by Starlee Kine in this episode of This American Life. They're really bad shows, but somehow, some of us liked them anyway.

There was an article in the New York Times about chick flicks, and it made me want to list some of my favorites. I could watch these movies over and over again (and I have). Here's a short list:

Before Sunrise
Before Sunset
Untamed Heart
Benny and Joon
Pretty Woman
Dirty Dancing
Steel Magnolias
Sleepless in Seattle
When Harry Met Sally
Sense and Sensibility
Shakespeare in Love

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I Know It's Early

But the Orioles have been playing great baseball!

Maybe this is our year after all.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

On a Wall

My first "Woman in Corner" is currently on display at the Columbia Art Center. I had to post a picture of it because the painting is also in a corner, and I think that's hilarious. Check it out if you're in the area!


I finished "Woman in Corner 2" last week. It's different from the first one because I worked from the cover of a pulp novel, and not a collage I'd made. But, I think this one came out alright. You can see how off I was in my face proportions by looking at the previously posted pictures. I could definitely benefit from a portrait class of some kind!

Overall, I'm really happy working on this series. It's the first time I've ever thought about paintings I'd like to include together. I also have my cupcake series, but those are just for fun and love of baked goods.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Years ago, Smithsonian Magazine wrote an article on Andy Goldsworthy. I think I was about 15 years old. Since then, I've been a huge fan of his work. He uses leaves, twigs, icicles, and other objects he finds to create temporary works of art. Sometimes, his art is an event of sorts, with people gathering to throw dirt into the air to capture it by photograph.

Andy Goldsworthy's creations are typically simpler than the larger environmental artworks of Christo and Jeanne-Claude or Spiral Jetty.

I love the idea of temporary, environmental art. Typically, one can only see Goldsworthy's work in person if you're in the right place at the right time.

There are currently some of his latest works on display at the Yorkshire Sculpture Garden (similar to the picture above). My lucky cousin and his wife are visiting soon.

If you haven't seen his work in his many books, I suggest taking a moment to seek them out, and ponder the concept of environmental art.

You can read a more recent article about Andy Goldsworthy