Do you remember the first time you saw The American Museum of Natural History's squid and the whale? Or felt dwarfed by dinosaur bones? Or watched the cosmic connections at the planetarium? That place is magical, especially at the holidays. Take their tree - it's comprised of handcrafted origami ornaments. It lives in the first-floor Grand Gallery by the 77th Street exit and pays tribute to some of the Museum's "biggest and best" displays, with ornaments such as a whale, dinosaur, and space shuttle. Inspired? I posted how to fold a frog below. I learned how to do at a Whole Foods Market in Union Square. You have to eat family style in their upstairs cafe, and my dining neighbors were having frog races. I persuaded them to teach me the folds. The critters always remind me of this short storyby Mark Twain. Ah, New York. I love you. Especially at Christmas!
It's officially December. Let the Christmas crafts begin! For this pinecone garland, I used a bag of pinecones, a ball of twine, and scissors. Measure the desired length of your garland and cut your twine. I made mine about 5 feet. Tie your twine around the top of the first pinecone. I just used a single knot. Space out a few inches, then add your next. Repeat until you finish your garland, then hang with tape or tacks. Enjoy!
I'm from one of those families where everyone wants "just a sliver" at the dessert table. Variety is the spice of life, after all. Make that the pumpkin spice of Thanksgiving. To accommodate the fruit lovers, tonight I baked a few single serving pies (served in ramekin dishes and baked at 400 degrees for 15 minutes each). The prep couldn't be easier. I popped into Whole Foods, bought ready-to-bake crusts, and rolled them out to be the bases and lattice. Then I chopped up a bosc pear, honeycrisp apple, and used whole cherries (but drained the syrup). I finished each pie with leaf prints.
Thanksgiving is a holiday deeply rooted in tradition. There's something comforting about the familiar. The sounds and smells of home, the recipes that have comprised the celebration for years. And yet...why not add something new to the mix? Here's a simple roasted veggie salad that would make a perfect seasonal side.
Ingredients 3 medium sized beets (try a mix of red and golden beets) a small drizzle of olive oil, for roasting the beets 1 ripe pear, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled (or more) a few handfuls of salad greens of your choice (I vote kale. But I'm biased.) 1/4-1/2 cup cooked quinoa (optional, for a heartier salad) 1-2 tablespoons walnut oil drizzle of balsamic vinegar drizzle of honey salt & pepper Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Roast the beets by drizzling them with a bit of olive oil, some salt and pepper, and wrapping them in foil. Depending on the size and freshness of your beets, they should take from 40 minutes to 1 hour to roast in the oven. Check occasionally, when they are fork-tender they are done. Set them aside to cool… as soon as they’re cool enough to touch, run them under the faucet and slide off the skins with your hands. Chop into roughly 1/2 inch cubes and set them aside to cool completely. (To save time, I suggest doing this up to one day ahead of time and popping them in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the salad). (optional step) Take the already-cooked quinoa and toast it a little, by tossing it in a small hot skillet for a couple of minutes. Drizzle a little walnut oil and some salt on it, and remove from the heat and set aside. Assemble all salad ingredients on a platter. Drizzle with a liberal amount of walnut oil, a bit of balsamic vinegar, a little honey, and some salt and pepper (or for a cleaner look, toss the balsamic only with the red beets, before assembling the salad).
When it comes to living, I've hit a wall. Literally. Since college, I've lived in apartments, with neighbors beside, below, and above me. I don't mind small living. It's cozy. However, I am craving outdoor space and a bit of distance from my neighbors. Take a look at this little house in Little Rock. It's based on a plan from the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, which has a series of cottages that are less than 900 square feet. This is the Whidbey plan, which has two bedrooms and a loft, plus hidden storage throughout. See more of the home here. Now I just need to find some land...preferably with a mountain view!