12.9.14

have a rational weekend.

Give me truth.

The week seems to go by so quickly when it's full, and finally I am no longer able to complain that I have too much free time. My Google calendar looks slightly intimidating, but as of now, it is entirely clear on Sunday. Which in itself is actually more intimidating than the busiest of days.

Summer of ice cream sandwiches.
Cordella magazine.
Cabins and cottages.
Pro tips for life.
Making fun of Anthropologie furniture.
Everything you thought .. was wrong.
What your coffee order says about you.
This is way too cute.

6.9.14

yosemite.

Yosemite valley.

In the midst of my now busy schedule, these pictures from a week-long backpacking trip in Yosemite look beyond serene. In fact, it's so serene that words escape me. (Which is really an excuse for the fact that I feel incapable of writing coherent or literally decent sentences.)

I'll say a bit about backpacking, however. This was the first time for me, and I loved it. I loved being in the midst of nature without technology (it was the strangest thing coming back and looking at an iPhone screen), eating instant oatmeal and trail mix and peanut butter and various powdered things (which include dry hot chocolate powder), and carrying a thirty pound backpack up and down so many mountains (but maybe I didn't love that part so much). Perhaps the biggest thing about backpacking is that you have no choice—you have to keep going, since turning back is probably no easier than continuing onward.

Near the cathedral lakes.
Upper cathedral lake.
Upper cathedral lake.
Lower cathedral lake.
Lower cathedral lake. Cathedral peak.

17.8.14

sunday senses

Palm trees Goliath Ice cream Clouds in concave A succulent A window

eating / I don't know how it hasn't happened until now, but I just discovered in the past week how good ice cream was. I never really understood it when people talked about eating entire pints of it.. well, I understand now. Ice cream is good. It also tastes good eaten with chopsticks, but maybe that's just me.
listening / Still obsessed with Birdy. She has the most beautiful voice. Not About Angels is a good song. I cannot stop listening to XO by BeyoncĂ©. Other new favorites: Adieu by Coeur de Pirate, 9 Crimes by Damien Rice, and The Hill by Marketa Irglova (from the musical Once).
reading / Report on the Barnhouse Effect is a short story by Kurt Vonnegut and it makes me so happy. Which is funny because most of his other novels give you the feeling that everything is either meaningless or a joke. Despite its optimism, Barnhouse isn't lacking in Vonnegut's signature sarcasm. Thankfully, because that's what makes him one of my favorite authors. He also wrote EPICAC—a sadder story.
acquiring / I saw a dictionary of rhyming words at Target in the $1 section and picked it up without thinking twice. Not sure what I'll use it for, but.. it was only a dollar. Just in case I ever get into poetry.
doing / Packing for college. It makes me sneeze, but I love it. I finished most of it within a day, far exceeding my expected time limit of a week. I suppose it's nice, being someone with practically no personal belongings.

13.8.14

croissants

Croissants.

I haven't posted a recipe in the longest time and I'm at a loss for what to write about. Do I describe the food itself? Do I tell an inspiring story about myself and cleverly connect it to the food? Do croissants even need an introduction?

Considering how long the instructions are going to be, I don't think they do.

And considering that the most inspiring thing about myself that I can think of right now is that I'm trying to read Harry Potter in French and that Harry Potter (the English version, at least) makes me nostalgic, it's a good thing they don't need an introduction.

Croissants.

As for the croissants...

They go stale very quickly, so they're best eaten the day of, or at most the day after.
Therefore eat as many as you can when they come out of the oven. They won't be nearly as good tomorrow.

Croissants, before the oven.

Croissants.
Makes around 30

1 cup cold milk
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup + 2 tablespoons butter, frozen
1 egg, for brushing

Combine the milk and boiling water in a large bowl, then add the yeast and sugar and let sit for about 5 minutes, or until bubbly.  
Mix in the flour and salt, and knead until incorporated.   
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, cut up the frozen butter and shape into an approximately 8" x 5" rectangle. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into an approximately 16" x 10" rectangle.
Place the butter in the middle of the dough, and fold the dough in thirds over the butter, making sure to seal the dough around the butter. (If the butter leaks through, it may affect the flakiness of the dough. You can patch up holes in the dough by sprinkling flour and water over them.)
Roll the dough out lengthwise into a 15" x 10" rectangle (basically, the side that was longer after folding will continue to be the longer side. Fold into thirds. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Repeat this step (roll into a rectangle, fold into thirds, and refrigerate) three more times.

Cut the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8-12 hours, or overnight.

Roll out into a long rectangle (about 32" x 12") and cut into triangles.
Cut a small slit at the short end of the triangle, and roll up the croissant, pushing the sides out toward either side.
Place 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let rise for 2-3 hours, loosely covered. (You can also freeze the croissants at this point.)

To bake, preheat oven to 425°F. Brush croissants with a beaten egg.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown.
Let cool on a wire rack.

Croissants, dismembered. Croissants.

11.8.14

sunsets and hills

Grass. A tree. Sunset. Blue mountains.
Pictures taken by iPhone from a day I walked my dog.

8.8.14

have a wonderful weekend.

In my beginning is my end.

It's the middle of summer. Is is perhaps beginning to get a little old? Do I start to feel a craving for autumn weather? Or should we hold on to these last bits of summer as if it's the last we'll ever get? Lately, I've been seeing a lot of vacation pictures floating around the web, and it's seriously making me wish I was anywhere but here.

Pretty places I'd like to go:
    Germany
    Louisiana
    Yosemite
    Malibu
    Alaska
    Provence
An interview with Lorde.
Clever greeting cards.
Picnic spinner.
Amelia Earhart on marriage.
Skunks.
A beautiful cookbook.