Friday, March 11, 2011

Tartine Bakery

I just watched this video. It spoke to me. Oh, it so spoke to me.

It makes me want to run into the kitchen right now and bake some bread.

If you love bread, you'll love this video. Or at least drool like I did.

Now, can someone please pass the butter...

Tartine Bread from 4SP Films on Vimeo.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

It's Valentines Day and nothing says, "I LOVE YOU!" quite like chocolate. Well, at least to me! This year, I decided to spread the chocolate love by baking N's co-workers some chocolate cookies that I found on Joy The Baker.  They're chocolate, they have wheat flour, and they're cute. What more could you ask for folks?!

I already heard from N that they are getting rave reviews, so my little baker's heart is pleased.

Have a Happy Valentines Day and don't forget the chocolate!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Brown Sugar...Sugar Cookies
from Joy The Baker

Makes:  about three dozen cookies

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp of vanilla extract (this is my own addition)

Note: You will need to chill the dough for about 2 hours before you bake the cookies. So hold off on preheating the oven until your ready to bake. I thought I might throw that in, just in case you're like me and occasionally don't read the recipe all the way through BEFORE  you get started baking.

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fit with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugars. Beat until well incorporated.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.  Add the egg and vanilla extract.  Beat on medium speed until mixture is glossy and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Stop mixer and add the dry ingredients all at once.  Mix on low speed until all of the flour is incorporated  Stop mixer and finish incorporating ingredients with a spatula.  Spoon batter out onto a sheet of waxed paper, and form loosely into a log.  Roll and seal cookie dough and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Once chilled, divide dough in half and place one half on a lightly floured counter surface.  Lightly flour a rolling pin and roll out dough to a 1/4-inch thickness.  Use a heart shaped (or whatever) cookie cutter to cut out cookies and place dough on prepared baking sheet.  Very lightly brush cookies with water and sprinkle with granulated or turbinado sugar.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove from the oven, allow to rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Roll and cut cookies, re-rolling the dough once or twice, until all cookies are cut and baked.
Cookies will last, in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to five days.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Hello All! Don't have a garden update today, but I will tell you that there were some casualties. We're expecting another freeze tomorrow, so I won't post an update on the garden until after this next freeze.

In the meantime, I wanted to fill you in on a fabulous new website that I've been using for a few weeks now. It's called Pinterest and it allows you to "pin" photos of things that you come across on other sites. Basically, you create mood boards to suit your various interests. For example, I have a style board, craft board, design board, food board (duh) and so on. When you create an account it automatically starts you off with some pre-set boards.

Here's the official definition from Pinterest:

What is Pinterest? Pinterest is a social catalog service. Think of it as a virtual pinboard — a place where you can post collections of things you love, and "follow" collections created by people with great taste.

Theses handy pinboards allow me to keep track of things that I find inspirational or just plain fun, all in one neat place. I can then go back and easily find something instead of trolling through the countless posts I may have starred or bookmarked on a blog. It's amazing and I luff it. I luff it.

The added bonus is that you can view other boards and see what folks find inspiring and re-pin onto your own board. Again, I luff it.

Feel free to check out the boards I've created at Pinterest.

Happy pinning!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Spring Garden

I have been dreaming of having my own garden for about two years now. I'm not exactly sure what particular thing triggered that desire, but I think it all started about the time I began to seriously look at the food that N and I ate (that was triggered by this book). N's grandparents also have, or have had, gardens and seeing them spurred on my curiosity and urge to try hand at growing food.

My first attempts came in the form of a container garden at our first apartment. Really all the "garden" consisted of was a homemade Topsy Turvy tomato planter and a few herbs. The tomatoes that year were not plentiful and now I know that it had to do with the direction our balcony faced. It got very little sun, which is um...crucial to plants. The two basil varieties I planted did fine, but the rosemary suffered from the dreaded powdery mildew. Again, most likely caused by a lack of sun.

I tried again last year at our second apartment and had much better luck with the tomato plants and herbs. We kept it simple with only tomatoes and basil. I think we may have tried rosemary again and it did fine. We even tried growing two different heirloom varieties, which did not do well. The plant itself did fine, but didn't produce much fruit. We learned what we liked and what we'd do different the following season.

Well, that season is upon us and here we are in our first home! Guess, what that means? 


Ok, so I'm not actually planting in our soil. N and I decided to build raised beds, because it would allow us to work with good soil (that we purchased) and we knew that raised beds had some added benefits. Don't ask me what those are, because I don't remember. I mean I do, but I don't want to go into that. Feel free to search the internet if you really want to know the nitty gritty. Besides, I like the look of raised beds. They're pretty :-)

So, last week I got started on planting the beds that N had so kindly built and placed in our yard. Thanks love! 

Here are some shots of the process:

N had originally laid down cardboard under the bed, but after taking a gardening class, I learned that it's good to extend it past the borders of your bed. The cardboard helps in smothering the grass under your bed, which will hopefully keep weeding down to nothing.

You'll notice in this second picture that the cardboard is no longer extending past the bed. Well, it turns out that we have a gradual slope that forced us to dig into the ground about 2 1/2 inches on one side in order to level the bed. Leveling is important, in particular on a slope. Ours is very gradual, but we didn't want to take any chances. Now, I'm waiting on some mulch so I can lay cardboard around the beds. The mulch will cover the cardboard and add an extra barrier against grass that may try to grow into the garden.

I then filled our 4x6 ft. bed with some great soil that I purchased a local nursery. They make their own soil! How friggin' cool is that? Anyhow, that took about 15 bags which I filled myself at the nursery thankyouverymuch.

After filling the bed with soil, I sectioned it off into square foot plots. We are using the square foot gardening method in our raised beds. It will allow us to grow more food in a smaller space, plus other added benefits. You can read about those guessed it, the internet! I am so dang helpful!

Once, that part was done I was ready to plant. Isn't it pretty!

Here are some of the plants up close and personal:

Spanish Lavender

Dino Kale

Onions (Red and White)



Pansy (for decorative purposes)

Swiss Chard

So there you have it, our first garden!

But now here's the rub. I planted this garden last week and then this massive storm that's sweeping over most of the U.S. hits and well...this is what the garden currently looks like

I've checked on the plants daily, but I can't tell right now what's going to make it and what may not. N says it's all part of gardening. It's unpredictable.

Once we get above freezing and the temps stay there, we'll be able to properly assess the garden. I'll keep you posted! In the meantime, send good thoughts to our garden!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I had big plans

I had big plans today to make Pioneer Woman's recipe for Cinnamon Rolls and write a fabulous post about how delicious they turned out all ooey, gooey and blah blah blah.

Well, it didn't happen. I did make the cinnamon rolls thanks to the help of this recipe. The original makes like a gazillion cinnamon rolls that, while much appreciated, I should not be left alone with. Bad things would happen. Bad things.

I'm not quite sure if I just messed up somewhere along the way, or I just didn't care for the finished product, but I thought they were ok.  I KNOW! Blasphemy.

I, like countless others out there, love the Pioneer Woman, so typing that hurts. I'm hoping that it's not true and will give them a second shot on another day. I think I may not have used enough sugar and cinnamon, because while the bread was great, I felt they were lacking flavor. That may have something to do with the small batch version and me not being clear on some of the measurements.

Anyhoo, I also have another recipe that I'd like to try in comparison. It's the Ultimate Cinnamon Bun recipe from Cook's Country. Like P-Dubs recipe, they look amazing. 

For now, I'll just eat what I made, so nothing goes to waste. Good thing I made a cream cheese glaze!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Creative Life

I have a new blog. That would be this space. I've hesitated starting this new blog now for about a week for a host of different reasons. I think number one on the list being that I'm not quite sure whether the name suits me. Boheme Latina.

Obviously, for those of you that know me the second half suits me without me even trying. I am Latina by birth and no one can argue with that, but it's the boheme part that makes me stop to think.  I mean I absolutely love the word. There is just something about it, much like the words meaning, that I am drawn to over and over. A quick google search pops up this definition from Wikipedia:

Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, involving musical, artistic or literary pursuits, with few permanent ties. Bohemians can be wanderers, adventurers, or vagabonds.

I don't know that that is THE definition of "boheme", but it's a good example of what I envision. 

So what's the problem with that you may ask? Well, I don't know that I completely "live up" to that definition. Bohemianism somehow seems to embody this lifestyle of a gypsy, with no real ties to a place or to people. Um, I have a mortgage and bills. Not very boheme if you ask me.  However, I can't deny that there is a part of me (and I think my husband would agree) that is a wanderer and a free spirit. Who constantly dreams of far off places and people filled with amazing stories and adventures. 

I suppose the hesitation lies in the fact that maybe my lifestyle doesn't necessarily mirror the definition of boheme,  so can I even use that term  and somehow pretend? 

This reminds me of a conversation I had with my sister-in-law who has a new roommate who she referred to as a "rich hippy". I looked at her quizzically because ,I didn't know there was such a thing, Apparently her new roomy is a well-off individual who has decided to follow a so-called hippy lifestyle while still indulging in the finer things in a $500 blender. But you know what? WE ALL DO THINGS LIKE THAT.

So, all that to say that I don't want to say I'm one thing and then live a completely different lifestyle. Oy. I'm having an existential crisis over a blog name. That is sooooo me. 

I guess the point is that I identify on some level with the term and I need to be ok with that. There is not a hard and fast checklist that says I have to do this and that to use the term boheme. And, there is nothing wrong with identifying with the term. I am who I am. So there! (as I stick out my tongue at  who knows what).

What finally got me to write this rant was this quote from Joseph Chilton Pearce:

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”

I struggle with calling myself creative, much like I struggled with the word boheme, because I don't see myself as an artist per say. But I am creative in my own way. I cook, I decorate, I knit, I sew. Among other things. But, isn't it funny how we don't always associate those things with creativity? I think it also has to do with the fact that I've stepped away from the more traditional arts, but now find myself coming back to them slowly. I guess I just don't want to sound dumb or complete ignorant in the face of so many talented folks out there. But who cares! Read this post to see how this rant of mine also got started.

So, here I am. A new blog. A new space that hopefully embodies more of who I am. 

This should be interesting!

P.S. Here's a different spin on the above quote:



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