March 30, 2011

My DIY: Braided Hex Nut Bracelet by Honestly WTF

via Honestly WTF
I think I first discovered Honestly WTF and their amazing DIY series over on Pinterest. I love that they make these great high-end accessories into accessible handmade accessories that anyone can make on their own. This was my first attempt at one of their DIYs and I think it was a complete success!

 And for under $5.00 to make, I know the cost per wear will definitely be worth the effort I put into it. I think I might have to try my hand at the Friendship Necklaces next or maybe the Woven Chain Bracelet!
Lily wanted in on this one!

March 27, 2011

Eats: Bagels

While living in Manhattan, N and I had a strong affinity for bagels. Countless weekends, we found ourselves around the corner at Murray's Bagels, indulging ourselves with warm, crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, bagels smothered in cream cheese. In our opinion, there's really nothing better than a New York bagel. 
Residing in Austin, our bagel appetites have been left less than satisfied for the past few years. So much so, that I finally had to take matters into my own hands. Literally. Having found a recipe for New York Style Bagels over on The Sophisticated Gourmet, I woke up early today and embarked on this new cooking adventure. 
The result, though no Murray's Bagel, was DELICIOUS...better than any bagel purchased in Austin! The process, a little labor intensive, but well worth the effort. The perfect way to start a Sunday morning, with some left over to give us a good breakfast for the beginning of the week. 

New York Style Bagels

2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1 ½ tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups of warm water (you may need ± ¼ cup more, I know I did)
3 ½ cups (500g) of bread flour or high gluten flour(will need extra for kneading)
1 ½ teaspoons of salt

Optional Toppings:
Caraway seeds, coarse salt, minced fresh garlic, minced fresh onion, poppy seeds, or sesame seeds.
1. In ½ cup of the warm water, pour in the sugar and yeast. Do not stir. Let it sit for five minutes, and then stir the yeast and sugar mixture, until it all dissolves in the water.
2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture.
3. Pour half of the remaining warm water into the well. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as needed. Depending on where you live, you may need to add anywhere from a couple tablespoons to about ¼ cup of water. You want to result in a moist and firm dough after you have mixed it.
4. On a floured countertop, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Try working in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough.
5. Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
6. Carefully divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round.
7. Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat the same step with the remaining dough.
8. After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on the cookie sheet, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425ºF.
9. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water.Once the bagels are in, it shouldn’t take too long for them to float to the top (a couple seconds). Let them sit there for 1 minute, and them flip them over to boil for another minute. Extend the boiling times to 2 minutes each, if you’d prefer a chewier bagel (results will give you a more New York Style bagel with this option).
10. If you want to top your bagels with stuff, do so as you take them out of the water. You will need to use an egg wash to get the toppings to stick before putting the bagels into the oven.
11. Once all the bagels have boiled (and have been topped with your choice of toppings), transfer them to a lightly oiled baking sheet.
12. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
13. Cool on a wire rack.

March 13, 2011

Classic Movie Inspiration: Red-Headed Woman

Three words: Red Headed Woman, and one starlet: Jean Harlow. That's all it took to pull me into this film. As a red headed woman myself, I couldn't resist watching this film for its title alone and I absolutely adore the opening scene where Harlow is getting her hair dyed red and states something to the effect of: "Gentlemen prefer blonds; well we'll see about that..."

photo via Dr Macro's
photo via Dr Macro's
Harlow is deceptively alluring in this part, the perfect seductress pushing her way into high society. All the 30s glamor in this film has me wanting all things silky, sparkly and shiny...

March 4, 2011

A-round and A-bout: I Spy Spring

As the weather gets warmer and warmer everyday, I've been spying signs that Spring is on its way everywhere I look...


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