July 2014 archive

Jalapeno Water


I have a hard time remembering to drink as much water as I should. Especially with the summer heat and the amount of coffee I consume, it’s important to avoid getting dehydrated. I make different flavor infusions which taste so good I actually look forward to my eight glasses a day.


After trying the usual combinations (various blends of cucumber, lemon, lime, and strawberries), I was in the mood for something different. I wanted something with a kick but also a fresh, clean flavor (I save the Indian spices for warm winter drinks). Jalapeno it is!

PicMonkey Collage

Slice some cucumber and cut a jalapeno into chunks. You can adjust the level of spice by how many seeds you leave in (more seeds make a spicier infusion). I added a few berries, tied the cheesecloth into a pouch and chilled in a pitcher of filtered water. I’ve been drinking it by itself, but you could probably add some spirits or even use the water to brew tea.

Just a little sweet and a touch spicy.

Just a little sweet and a touch spicy.

The Best $5 I’ve Ever Spent

procrastinate  I’ve always loved this Jessica Hische quote because it is exactly what brought me to my life as a small business owner. Bogged down with the left brained requirements of my science degree, I found myself drawn to creative procrastination. Any chance I got, I substituted metal stamping, sewing, and glass etching for gram stains, probability distributions, and repeated measures ANOVA tests. I found the work I should be doing, and I honored that.


IMG_5697 Which brings me to the $5. While making my usual silverware rounds at an antique auction, I came across an old binder that had creamy thick papers sticking out. Inside was a huge collection of architectural drawings. I had my eye on reproductions at Restoration Hardware, but $695 reproduction prints didn’t suit my budget or my common sense. The auction was almost over when they brought the old binder up for bidding. By then most had gone home and the auctioneer was obviously ready to wind things down for the night. He thumbed through one or two papers and said, ‘Alright, we have some old drawings here.” Then he started the bidding at $15, quickly working his way down to $5. No one else showed any interest, so I won the entire binder of antique sketches for a measly five bucks.

Most are of a brewery in the Caribbean, built in the nineteenth century. The brewery drawings are square and industrial. But mixed between the pages of these work sketches were the most beautiful scrolling columns and classical reliefs. Perhaps the daydreams of a skilled architect taking a break from the cast iron factory designs he made his living on?

I safely archived all of his finished works. It was his daydreams I chose to have framed.

Here is our new living room the day we moved in: photo(1)And here it is this morning:

living room, after

IMG_5696Still so much to do (paint the walls, hang curtains, add crown molding, etc, etc etc). Curtains will go a long way towards enjoying them more (kicking myself for not upgrading the glass to non-glare museum grade). But I rarely walk through the room without stopping to look at his sketches.
PicMonkey Collage

Minted Watermelon Sorbet with Basil


I have long been a fan of the belief that you can eat anything you want as long as you make it yourself (from Michael Pollen’s book, Food Rules). It is unlikely that you’ll go through the trouble of baking a cake every time your sweet tooth calls out, so when you do, you can really enjoy it without guilt. For the holiday weekend I wanted to make something special for the kids to enjoy (and the adults too!). Above is every ingredient we used except for a bit of water. We mixed everything up this morning and it froze while we ran errands all day. By the time we got home, there was a delicious frozen treat for the kids and the makings of a delicious frozen drink for Ryan and I.

Ingredients :

– 3/4 cup of water

– Seedless watermelon, cut into chunks

– Juice of one lime

– 5 or 6 mint leaves, minced

-3 or 4 basil leaves, minced

PicMonkey CollageInstructions:

– Boil sugar and water over medium heat, stirring until dissolved. Simmer 3 minutes then chill in refrigerator.

– Puree the remaining ingredients

– Pass the purée through a sieve to remove any pulp or seeds

– Pour the purée into a shallow metal pan and freeze, stirring occasionally.


The finished sorbet can be served as-is for an icy treat, or spiked with rum for a tasty watermelon mojito (courtesy of some great Instagram inspiration from Erin_D). It was a sweet finish to a relaxing Fourth of July weekend.Save