Roll Call

You guys, I am an adult. And as an adult, I know I should be able to make myself reasonably nourishing, moderately sophisticated meals on a regular basis.  There’s just a few problems with that. While I know that my idea of a healthy meal should look like this:

This is what grown ups eat.

My actual idea of a “good” dinner looks more like this:

Creamy goodness

And when I get home from work or class, what I usually have the energy for is this:

The little shapes make it taste better.

It’s quite a devolution isn’t it? From a balance of veggies and protein and vitamins to processed powder that once sat next to real cheese on an airplane. At 25, I feel slightly guilty anytime I eat Kraft Mac n Cheese (no matter how delicious), and know I shouldn’t make a habit of it. But I so rarely can convince myself that salad is “dinner,” when what I truly want is carbs and cheese.

So when I stumbled across this recipe, I decided this might be the solution to my dinner conundrum. These lasagna rollups satisfy my pasta and cheese craving (being cheese filled pasta), but they are also reasonably healthy and feature veggies in a prominent role. In addition, although they take a tiny bit of legwork to prepare, you can make a pretty big batch on Sunday evening and have dinner for several days.  They reheat like a dream!

Mmmm

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The Cake that Almost Was

Remember how I said you’d be privy to my triumphs and tragedies? I didn’t think tragedy was going to happen quite so soon. The events of the past two evenings combine to be what is, I think, my worst baking experience ever, and that includes the time cake overflowed and covered the bottom of my oven and started to smoke.

Today is my four-year anniversary at work, and I wanted to bring a cake with me to mark the occasion. I chose two fairly simple-looking recipes out of my Better Homes & Gardens cook book: Best Two-egg Cake, and Blender Chocolate Frosting. As per usual, mistake No. 1 was not leaving myself enough time for everything. Mistake No. 2 was not double-checking the recipe while I was measuring.

Cake for me?

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It’s the end of the world as we know it (so we’ll eat chocolate).

My husband and I are old people.  One of our favorite past times is snuggling up and watching Food Network. The crowning glory of food-based entertainment, of course, is the late great Good Eats.  Alton Brown is our personal food guru. Our hero. Our saint. At our wedding, we cut our cake to the Good Eats theme song.

So, of course I wanted my inaugural post on this blog to be an Alton recipe.  I also wanted it to be something fun, something indulgent, and something I could take to a thesis writing party (seriously, MFA-ers have the most fun).  So when I found Alton’s Chocapocalypse Cookie Recipe I thought “perfection!”

noms.

In my enthusiasm, there were a few things I forgot to take into account. Number one: Alton is very particular about how he measures his dry ingredients . . . by weight.  If you are on the fence about getting a food scale, I highly recommend it. They aren’t that expensive and they are useful for so many things. In baking, precision tends to be key, and using weight is a good way to be sure you’re doing it right. (Also, if you are like me and think a portion equals all-the-food-that-will-fit-on-my-plate, a food scale can help you get that under control.)  That being said, as I got ready to bake these cookies, I remembered that my own food scale is in a storage unit.  This resulted in a lot of Googling, calculating, eyeballing, and finally just saying “good enough!” when it came to the amount of dry ingredients (mainly just the flour and the brown sugar).  In my version of the recipe below, I put the volumes I came up with, so if you, too, find yourself without a food scale, you can still enjoy delicious, warm, gooey chocolate.

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Glittery Shoe Redo

I have a kitten. A kitten who likes to chew on everything except cat toys. One of the most upsetting victims was my pair of bone-colored peep toe heels. I couldn’t stand the thought of pitching them, so I wanted to try to hide their flaws.

I’ve seen dozens of tutorials out there on shoe redos, and one of my favorite old shoe fixes is to douse them in glitter. There are dozens of tutorials just on how to do that (spray adhesive then glitter, Mod Podge then glitter, Mod Podge and glitter mixed, etc.), and I tried two of them.

In the spirit of stash-busting, I used items I already had on hand: glitter, Mod Podge, a chewed up pair of shoes, and a remnant of ruffly ribbon.

I started by covering the heels with my glue (using a makeup sponge. I couldn’t find my brushes). Other people will tell you to tape off where you don’t want glitter to go, but remember, I was only using elements I already had, and patience wasn’t one of them.

Next comes the best part of any grade school art project: dumping glitter on top of glue. Yay! I made sure to do this over a covered surface so I could salvage the excess glitter.

Next day: My assessment is that the Mod Podge then glitter method isn’t sufficient. There were a lot of gaps, and I could tell that most of the glitter wasn’t going to stick. So I tried a second layer using a different method: mixing the glue and glitter together to make a glitter paint. This worked so much better, was faster, and left less glitter all over the place.

Bad lighting!

So, now to cover up those bite marks on the back of the shoe.

In my first attempt, I gathered two pieces of the ribbon into a ruffle, then glued that to the back of the heel. It looked cute from the side, but from the back, well…

Tacky!

Second attempt with the ribbon: Gathered it into a pinwheel. I wasn’t feeling this either (no picture, it didn’t last long enough).

So naturally Plan C is more glitter!  But not more gold glitter. For the back of the shoe, I went with silver. This time I took the time to tape off the area I wanted to cover.

The glitter is still drying (I didn’t decide on plan C until this morning!), but I’ll update with a photo when they’re done.

Sparkly!

For now I know I extended the life of my shoes, I used up some items in my craft stash, and I have two ribbon pinwheels that will have to make an appearance in some other post (headband? Purse embellishment? We’ll see!).

Update: two tone sparkles and no more bite marks! Check ’em out:

Ooooh shiny!

Hello Hello!

Welcome to our little blog!

I’m Katrina, and I’m the bay half of lace and lemons.  I grew up in the burgh with Amy, but I’ve been out in the San Francisco Bay area for about a year and a half, working towards an MFA in poetry.

I’m married to a wonderful guy (1 year, 7 months!) and when I’m not poet-ing, I tutor reading and history.

I have to admit, I’m not nearly as crafty as Amy, partly due to lack of skills and partly due to laziness, but I’m learning!  What I do enjoy doing a lot is baking.

loooove baking.

This is partly because I really like being “girl who brings cookies to gatherings” and partly because I am “girl who loves to eat cookies.”  So you can expect to see lots of decadent baking recipes.  I’ve also been working on becoming a better cook (I do okay, but not on the regular) and trying to incorporate some healthy recipes into my life (what? healthy??).  So I’ll be using this blog to test out lots of food how-tos.

I also like to cross stitch. I’ve been doing stamped cross stitching for a few years, but I recently took the leap into counted cross stitch, with reasonably pleasant results.

 

Pleasant!

I have a few projects I’m working on, and I plan on doing a general cross-stitching tutorial at some point.

Some other interests I hope to explore on lace and lemons include finding more interesting ways to use my wardrobe, hair and makeup tips and tricks, and maybe delving into more general craftiness.  You’ll also probably notice my devotion to pop culture, sarcasm, and boots. I really love boots.

A general word about updates: Right now, we plan on updating Monday-Friday.  Monday, because we usually have pretty severe “case of the Mondays” symptoms, will be something simple, maybe a link to a blog or song or article we find interesting.  You’ll hear from Amy Tuesdays and Thursdays and from me on Wednesdays and Fridays.  We’ll generally update on whatever it is we’re working on that day/week, but we might occasionally pull off a theme week or something (holidays, weddings, you never know.)

That’s about it, dear readers! Regular updates start tomorrow!

 

Laissez le bon blog rouler!

Thanks for stopping by lace and lemons!  If you’re new here, take a moment to read ‘About Us’.

Did you read it? Ok, good. Hello, I’m Amy, the eastern side of this duo! It’s appropriate that my first post falls on Mardi Gras – not just because of the extravagant costumes, the parades and the snappy French phrases, but because the day encourages – nay, demands – the consumption of rich and fatty foods!

I like to bribe people for attention, so every couple weeks I bake something laden with butter and sugar and bring it to the office (where I write obituaries. Cheery, no?). I spend my down time browsing cookbooks (including a swell 1965 ‘Souvenir Edition’ of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook) and sewing/crafting books, and buying supplies for crafts that often don’t happen. I’ve dabbled in a lot of hobbies (sewing, cross stitching, candle-making, upcycling, baking – remember, indecision is a good thing!), so you’ll see a good blend of endeavors on this blog.

Refashioned!

On lace and lemons, I plan to spend some time stash-busting, refashioning & updating my wardrobe, and winging my way through recipes. I’ve been cooking for myself for over three years, but the simplest things still sometimes go terribly, terribly wrong. I’m also getting married in May and was ambitious (read: crazy) enough to bring in some big DIY elements, so those will be making appearances soon!

Triumph or tragedy, you will be privy to it all. Enjoy!