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July 8, 2010 / missallaneous

Brown paper packages..

..tied up with string

These are a few of my favourite things

Some of the things that make me happy at the moment:

* Alex Wong on SYTYCD7. I’ve watched this clip about a dozen times now and it’s still awesome every time. Really need to get around to watching this season! (Thanks for sharing this, Joe!)

* Peter Mayle. Over the last few months, I’ve read three of his books and have enjoyed every one. Favourite of the favourites? A Year in Provence.

* Band of Horses’ Infinite Arms… just makes me.. happy =)

*  Mimpi Murni. I’ve met Murni several times now at local street markets and what-not (and have spent an inordinate amount of money on her stuff, heh). But her work is amazing, and her pieces gorgeous, so it’s all okay! All her jewelry is beautifully handmade and she does this full time. I’m always more than happy to support artists who create unique, handmade items, but Mimpi Murni has stolen my heart with all things pretty and whimsy.

* Driving to work in the morning and hearing Kesha’s Tik Tok or Katy Perry’s California Gurls on the radio. Turn up volume and car dance happily to work. Oh, guilty pleasures. Very, very guilty.

*  Natalie Tran aka communitychannel. So. Hilarious. Her thoughts and observations are incredibly funny (albeit a little crude, so be warned) – I actually LOL. Foserious.

*  Apple cake. Still. I want to eat some now.

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June 27, 2010 / missallaneous

Applelicious

I’ve got a new favourite recipe.

Mission:

It’d been a while since I baked something so a craving for apple cake and a rare early day off work, lent itself to this:

(Smitten Kitchen’s) Mom’s Apple Cake

6 apples, Mom uses McIntosh apples (I used 6 Granny Smiths)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar

2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (about 175C). Grease a tube pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours (55 mins was perfect for me), or until a tester comes out clean.

Delicious apple cake, mm..

The combination and order of incorporating the ingredients seems a little unusual, but trust, it comes out goood. Wish I’d taken a picture of the results (the photo above is SK’s), but we ate it. Oops.

Results:

  • Craving satisfied.
  • Happy colleagues.
  • And, according to Nico, I’m now marriage-ready. Ha!

I love getting to bake, eat and share :)  There’s something absolutely satisfying about simply following directions and having the end result come out just as promised. Love it.

Plus, I love the look of the smooth batter that smells of butter and sugar… mmm…

Really should do this more.

February 4, 2010 / missallaneous

Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onions

Just thinking about this sauce takes me back to Rome.

The smells of a fresh, ripe, red tomatoes; the cacophony of Campo de’ Fiori early in the morning; the irritation of the Italian farmer waiting for me to pull out my Euros.

I gotta try this.

Just three ingredients.

In a single pot.

Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onions
Adapted from Marcela Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking

Serves 4 as a main course; makes enough sauce to lightly coat most of a pound of spaghetti

28 ounces (800 grams) whole peeled tomatoes from a can (San Marzano, if you can find them)*
5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter
1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and halved
Salt to taste

Put the tomatoes, onion and butter in a heavy saucepan (it fit just right in a 3-quart) over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer then lower the heat to keep the sauce at a slow, steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until droplets of fat float free of the tomatoes. Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, discard the onion, add salt to taste (you might find, as I did, that your tomatoes came salted and that you didn’t need to add more) and keep warm while you prepare your pasta.

Serve with spaghetti, with or without grated parmesan cheese to pass.

The flavor of the sauce is so delicate, fresh and sweet that it need(s) nothing at all.

http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/01/tomato-sauce-with-butter-and-onions/

I’m so drawn by it’s simplicity and its pared down nature. Can’t wait to give it a go.

August 9, 2008 / missallaneous

Congratulations, Shawstin!

Sniffles coexisted beside huge smiles today as we watched Shawna walk down the aisle, making her way to her tearing, beaming Austin.

I can think of no better reason to shed a few tears (okay, fine… a lot of tears!) than in celebrating the joining of two amazing individuals who are completely real to me in their ups and downs, but who are for that, incredibly beautiful. 

Shawna and Austin, congratulations. I’m so incredibly happy that you found each other and that today you’ve promised to love, laugh, dance, cry, play, and serve together for your entire lives. 

Yaay! You did it! :) You’re MARRIED now!!

July 7, 2008 / missallaneous

Only in Seattle

This is why I love living in Seattle…

At Green Lake, latest word in poetry is … umbrellas

The Green Lake Poetess, Amy Allin, visited Green Lake after a yearlong hiatus, sharing poetry and umbrellas with Seattle residents on Sunday, July 6.

On Sunday it had been a full year since Amy Allin had come to Green Lake to talk with and read poetry to passers-by.

On Sunday it had been a full year since Amy Allin had come to Green Lake to talk with and read poetry to passers-by.


For those who missed the Green Lake Poetess after her yearlong hiatus, she was back Sunday with a bold new display.

To celebrate the anniversary of the end of her last public project — in which she set up a small wooden table along the northwest edge of Green Lake and read poetry to curious passers-by — the Poetess, also known as Amy Allin, 41, of Ballard, returned to her old haunt with a bevy of decorated umbrellas, each inscribed with a memorable verse.

“Umbrellas and Seattle sort of go together,” she said on the sunny and clear 68-degree day, standing barefoot underneath a big, black umbrella with black streamers.

The goal of this project, like the last one, was to engage the public with poetry in unexpected ways. The visual presence was calculated to intrigue lakeside strollers in the hope of persuading them to carry one of the poetry parasols around the lake. All were decorated with words of poets — from e.e. cummings to Jared Leising.

People were more reluctant to participate than she had hoped, but at least she piqued their curiosity, she said. She got the biggest rise out of passers-by when one of the umbrellas threatened to blow away and people scurried to help recover them.

Allin, a resident artist at Studio-Current on Capitol Hill, said she wants her work to combine poetry with visual and performance art to broaden its appeal.

“It’s the intersection of people and poetry, to find an interface that is fun and accessible,” she said. “People are afraid of it still.”

Just then, Clinton Bliss rounded the path in a tie-dye shirt and Rollerblades, wielding a ruby umbrella after circling the lake. Bliss, who met Allin a year and a half ago during her Poetess stint, had helped her decorate the umbrellas on Saturday night.

Bliss was in on the show, but it caught Sue Apperson as a pleasant surprise. On a walk with her husband, just enjoying the weather, she stopped at the art/poetry exhibit.

Besides her Studio-Current gig, Allin runs a monthly poetry reading at Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Center. Day to day, she works in a Ballard boatyard to pay the bills.

Allin has no plans to reinstitute her weekly poetry presence at the park, but she may do sporadic events. She comes to Green Lake because it’s less touristy than other parks and has a welcoming, safe and casual vibe, she said.

On Sunday, she said the most common thing she heard was, “This is why I live in this city — because things like this happen.”

Isaac Arnsdorf: 206-464-2397 or iarnsdorf@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

What do YOU love about Seattle? Share and maybe we’ll venture out to some of our favourite spots this summer :)

April 18, 2008 / missallaneous

Listen

There are two clips I listen to, sometimes, when I feel tired, uninspired, and kinda hopeless. I’ve listened to both of them over and over again and they’re still meaningful, still extraordinarily encouraging; they’ve become a proverbial, “Chin up, Missa”.

Crispin Thurlow is a brilliant Communications professor at UW and this lecture comes from a CHID class I took a couple of years ago on (Re)Thinking Diversity. Every time I listen to this lecture – it’s actually kinda like a sermon, really – I’m a little more aware of my brokenness, but also a little more hopeful.

Crispin Thurlow’s “sermon”

Sharon Cohn is a lawyer for International Justice Mission. She shared her story at Urbana ’06 and it always reminds me to push harder against the life I think I’m owed and kinda harasses me (in a good way) to reach again and again for what God wants for me and for the rest of the world – justice and compassion.

Sharon Cohn’s story

(There’s no direct link to this, unfortunately, but click on Testimony: International Justice Mission)

Now, I realise that re-listening to old lectures may be the dorkiest thing ever. So, I’m a dork :( You should still give them a go, though.

March 18, 2008 / missallaneous

Solitary

I was in Cafe Allegro today trying to write, and sitting facing me in the next table was an old man. It seemed he’d been there all morning, just drinking his coffee and reading the paper. At some point as the day wore on, though, he pulled out what looked like a home-made board game. There was a board with a simple grid, and maybe a dozen markers — half in black and the other half in gold.

Until then, this scene was nothing out of the ordinary. Then, he started playing the game by himself – both sides of the game. Rolling the dice and moving a black marker… rolling the dice and moving a gold one.

My heart crumbled a little realizing how lonely we can be in this world. Here is a man sitting in a coffee shop because maybe, he has no where else to be, and no one else to be with.

Alone, he plays both sides of a game made for two.

March 9, 2008 / missallaneous

Roma Day

Thursday was a beautiful Roma-themed day :)

Hanging out with Via della Lungaretta roommate and my absolute favouritest museum buddy, Katie*, we had a gloriously nostalgic walk down via di memoria…

We went to the SAM to see the exhibition of Roman Art from the Louvre and Lorenzo Ghiberti’s absolutely a-mah-zing “gates of paradise”, all the way from the baptistry in Florence. Have to admit, I was uber disappointed to find that only 3 of the 10 panels were on display (the Adam & Eve, David & Goliath, and Cain & Abel panels, Alicia). First, we thought the SAM was ripping us off. Then, we realised that only five of them had been restored at all, and that the rest were still being cleaned and beautified in Firenze. Sigh…

So to mollify ourselves, we decided to complete our Roma Day by doing what we always did after a satisfying but exhausting day at a museum: Gelato!

Nocciola (Hazulnut) + Tiramisu gelato = YUMM. It’s amazing how tastes take you right back to such specific places in our lives.

I can’t believe that I was in Roma a whole year ago. Crazy…. but mm, what a good day :)

(* Here’s where I tried to upload a photo with Katie and I, but I couldn’t resize it and it was waay too big. So just imagine.)

**EDIT: It just came to my attention that this post sounds more disappointed in the exhibit than excited. Which is not true! Well, I was a little disappointed, but only because the 3 panels I saw were so incredible I was just dying to see more. So you MUST go to the SAM if you can – before the baptistry doors leave!! You won’t regret it… it’s pretty breathtaking :)

February 26, 2008 / missallaneous

Sasquatch

Drop whatever you’re doing between May 24th and 26th. Come to the Sasquatch Music Festival with ME!

Just look at this line-up.. it’s incredible!!

http://sasquatchfestival.com/2008/

Drooooool…

Let’s do it. You know you want to!

February 9, 2008 / missallaneous

The Vagina Monologues… and Dick’s.

Last night, Rachel, Christen, and I watched the ASUW Women’s Action Commission production of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues. I honestly can’t believe I’d never watched it before! Ticket sale profits went towards Seattle’s Home Alive in lieu of V-Day and their campaign towards ending violence against women.

It was… a little uncomfortable (especially at first). Then really moving at many a point, and then – this was totally unexpected for me – it was strangely empowering. It was great to watch these women embody complete confidence… they were unabashedly uninhibited about who they are, their bodies, and the beauty with which they’ve been created.

Walking home, we talked about a slew of things I would never have spoken about otherwise: periods, vaginas, orgasm, the tragedies of girls tortured by genital mutilation, and the pain of Japanese comfort women. We wondered why we’d never been able to talk about these “unspeakable” topics, and why they’re so associated with guilt and shame. Hélène Cixous would theorise that it’s due to the entirely phallocentric culture we live in that’s based on a “history of reason, of which it is at once the effect, the support, and one of the privileged alibies” (The Laugh of the Medusa) – and it’s probably true. But it’s more than that too, isn’t it?

I just know that I’m really glad I watched the Vagina Monologues with those girls last night. It was facscinating. It was fun :)

Then, we were hungry… So I decided that it would be wildly appropriate for us to eat at Dick’s.

dicks.gif

Heh heh… I love it. Midnight cravings for a cheeseburger, fries, and a chocolate milkshake… satisfied for under $5.

I love Dick’s. And vaginas too, now :)