8.17.2011

{almost} wordless wednesday

i give you: chipmunk bum in gutter.
he was hanging out in the gutter, eating some seeds or nuts or something when our ferocious pup ran up to sniff him.
he turned to run up the gutter & got stuck. like this. 

linked up here

8.15.2011

black gold: cold press iced coffee

i'm putting my coffee snob hat back on today to teach you about a little secret: cold press iced coffee. iced coffee gets a bad name for itself, with its watered down wimpy taste, but not cold press. it's magical, smooth and delicious. black gold. cold press coffee is brewed cold for a long period of time so it's never hot and never needs ice. this is the way caribou makes their iced coffee and it's a trade secret i've never forgotten!

the cast of characters: 
(will make one gallon)
6 oz coffee
1 gallon cold water
metal filter
giant spoon
plastic wrap
2 (1) gallon pitchers

the process:
first tip: make this at night. it's going to brew for 12 hours so if you start at night it will be ready in the morning (and NOT the middle of the night)

weigh out your coffee. i use my trusty postal scale. add a jar or bowl and then zero out the scale. 

you'll need six ounces of coffee. aren't those beans just beautiful? 

set your grinder to coarse and grind up your beans. same grind you would use for french press. (french press...cold press...get it?) 

you'll end up with big beautiful coarse pieces of coffee. dump the coffee into your one gallon pitcher. 

fill the pitcher with water. you want to make sure the water goes all the way to the one gallon line, so the coffee will come to the very top of the pitcher. stir the grounds & the water to mix well. 

cover the mixture & set it out on your counter for 12-16 hours.
less than 12 hours and the coffee won't have its full flavor.
more than 16 and it will start to taste bitter.
this does not need to be refrigerated but shouldn't be left in the sun. 

wait patiently for 12-16 hours. 
if you're smarter than me you'll make this at night and spend most of that time happily asleep. i was not so smart, so i had to strain my coffee at 2:00am. i'm sorry for the terrible pictures!

after 12 hours, a lot of the coffee will have floated to the top. use a giant spoon and remove as much of it as you can. once you touch the mound of grinds with the spoon, they will start to settle back to the bottom, so you only have one shot to get as much as you can!

pour the rest of your sludgy mixture through a metal coffee filter into your second one gallon pitcher. 

(a strainer lined with a paper filter will work but the end result won't be nearly as delicious. if your coffee maker didn't come with one of these guys in it, go out and spend the $3. you won't be sorry.)
this part is tricky to photograph and do all at the same time and since this was 2:00 am my usual photographer was fast asleep! i also didn't yet own two one gallon pitchers so there was a lot of container shuffling. basically a giant mess. 

here it is in all its glory! cold press iced coffee. store it in an airtight container (caribou uses this one and we do too!) in your fridge & enjoy! 

cold press iced coffee tastes best when enjoyed black. drunk from a mason jar. with a green straw.
also delicious: half & half and a little bit of white chocolate syrup. 


linked up here & here!

8.12.2011

InstaFriday: week 3

 agh! it's been over a month! no excuses...let's just jump right in to the pictures!
(these actually span more than a week)

i was doing laundry & the lid of the detergent jar slid off into my nose.
wasn't broken but it hurt like the dickens.
and i had this nice bruise!

just a little visitor in our backyard. usually they're in a group of four or more. 

the tower of embroidery floss. we bought it just like this from a little old lady at a garage sale.
organized by DMC number!
 last week a few unfortunate things happened
1. faerie fest was rained out by a giant storm that blew up right in the middle of the parade. there were screaming little girls in fairy costumes & much mayhem. highly unfortunate & probably turned a lot of little girls of to faeries...for life! (fairy? faerie? what's the difference?)
2. as i was packing all my soaking wet stuff up and standing in the rain, another vendor backed into my parked car. luckily she had insurance, because she managed to do $2800 in damage!
3. my phone decided to freak out & needed to be factory reset. mostly fine because it was backed up but i lost all the pictures i had taken since my last back up- the pictures of the faeries and of my smashed up car.
4. i had to drive said car, with it's mirror duct taped on (all classy like) down to illinois to help my grandma move out of her house. i love that house. i've always loved that house and i wanted it to be mine one day. but since papa died last year it's been too much for her. her new apartment in the spiffy little retirement complex will be great for her. (and i've decided i want to move into a place like that asap, but that's a post for another day). my trip home was wonderful, but very bittersweet.


209 beverly road.
i've spent every Christmas Eve of my life in this house.
many summer days.
countless sleepovers where it was too hot to sleep because my grandparents kept the house at 82 degrees.
it has a laundry shoot and an intercom system.
neil armstrong once sat on the couch discussing flight plans with papa.
(we now own that couch. kinda awesome)
there were hatboxes with fantastic old hats in the upstairs bedroom & toys that belonged to my mom in the basement.

it was so strange to see everything empty!
this is the "den" where we sat on the blue leather "davenport" and watched tv.
there were two tv's- a big one so nana could watch her old movies or painting shows (bob ross anyone?) and a little one for papa to have sports or news on all the time.
in that back corner was the stereo and all of papa's music collection. everything from 45's to CDs.


here's the living room.
the Christmas tree was always in the corner near that window. every year after Christmas Eve dinner we sat on the floor, cheeks red from the crazy high temperatures in the house, and opened gifts one by one. but only after all the dishes were done! papa made us wait until every dinner dish was finished before we could open even one gift! by the time i was a teenager we convinced him to start presents right after dinner if we all helped with the dishes.
nana took all her naps on that gold couch and after she woke up we played countless games of "tiles"
(rummikub to the rest of the world) 

at nana's new apartment i found pictures on the fridge i had never seen before, including this one and a few too embarrassing to post in public! she must have unearthed a box of old photos while packing! 

nana has this on her dresser in her new apartment. aren't they the cutest?
he was a pilot & she was a stewardess. 
one of the beautiful lakes on my drive back up from illinois. i really do love where we live.
even if i miss target. a lot.

this past weekend some of my best friends came up for the weekend.
we started things out by going to the white stag for dinner.
they basically only serve steak & baked potatoes. it's amazing.

this baby here is described in the menu as one pound of pleasure.and it was.

we rented a boat from the resort brandon works at and spent all day saturday out on the water! the lakes are all connected, we live on the largest inland chain of lakes in the world (who knew?!) and we were blessed with a beautiful day to explore them!
we ate, we drank, we swam, we tanned (okay i burned a little).
 all in all a wonderful day with wonderful friends!

just some of the vintage sheet goodness i found on my hunt the other day. one wonderful thing about the woods is that vintage is plentiful & nobody really cares that it's old! 

speaking of vintage...our goodwill just bags up the jewelry & sells it for $3 a bag.
this was my most recent score. total $9!
there was some other stuff in the bag but it was too hideous to photograph & will likely go straight back to goodwill with my next donation!
some of the animal themed gift for our new niece or nephew. (and also a fuzzy dog elbow. or knee?)  looks like that little one is making an early arrival so i'm crocheting like crazy!

linked:
life rearranged