Friday, November 2, 2012


I had a nice conversation with my friend Rob yesterday about spirituality, and I want to share it here so I don't lose it (just a warning, not all of it is genius):

Rob: I just heard a great quote:
“If God is the frontier of what we have yet to understand in the universe to you, then God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance.” - Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Erin: I think it’s too early for me to fully comprehend that. (this was at like 8:15 in the morning)

Rob: You should read it later then. Have you heard of that scientist? He’s one of my heroes.

Erin: No, I have no idea who that is. Why is he one of your heroes?
I think it’s just taking me a while, it gets better every time I re-read it. I’m not sure I completely get the comparison though.

Rob: He’s a brilliant scientist and a big advocate of science education. Which is important I think, as I think our society is getting more and more ignorant and stupid. In fact, he said that the quickest growing segment of the home-schooled population is from parents who don’t want their children being taught evolution. That’s frightening to me.

Erin: Oh yeah, that doesn’t surprise me. So I forget, are you not religious/spiritual at all?

Rob: Not really. I subscribe to what I call the “Church of I Don’t Know”….there may or may not be a God, but if there is one I doubt that humans can understand it at all. More than likely, what I think would happen when you die is that you just go to sleep. That sounds fine to me. :)

Erin: Ooh. That does not sound fine to me. I hope there’s an afterlife.

Rob: Do you think you need to “worship” to get to that afterlife?

Erin: Not really.

Rob: I think it’s more important to just be good. :)

Erin: I think so too. I guess I haven’t decided how I think we get to that afterlife. I just assume we all go there. I don’t think I distinguish between good and bad people. Check this out!

Rob: That’s interesting. :)

Erin: Gives me hope :)

Rob: That’s good. :)
So you think you’d go to the same afterlife as say, Hitler?

Erin: Well, he’d be nice there. That’s what the afterlife does.

Rob: Hmm. Interesting. :)

Erin: And he would feel very bad about what he’d done, and he would do something extra good there, like…take care of all the kids who died before their parents or something.

Rob: That’s a good plan. I’d approve of that. :)

I think I might have ended up figuring out what sort of afterlife I believe in. I didn't realize it until this conversation. :) It's kind of a nice feeling.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Red-and-Yellow White Bread

This is my latest loaf of bread. I posted a picture on Facebook and one of my friends asked for the recipe, so I thought I'd put it on here so I can link it to Pinterest as well! I'll actually contribute something semi-original to Pinterest! Well, the recipe isn't mine, but the blog post will be, so I figure that's semi-original.

Sidenote: also, seriously, watched the first episode of Homeland last night and I'm obsessed. I can't stop thinking about it. Mark said the second episode would be my reward when I get my homework done. :)

On to bread-making! So the recipe came from page 614 of The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins. Here's a picture of how it came out:

It looks so pretty! And it tastes good too, luckily. Be warned, it takes about...two hours and 45 minutes to make. I didn't realize that when I started it at 8 pm on Thursday night, so I ended up getting it into the pan and then putting it in the fridge to finish the process later. I didn't end up remembering it until late Saturday night, so I took it out of the fridge and then it was too cold to rise, so I left it out overnight and finally baked it Sunday morning. It seems to have turned out fine, I don't think all that waiting hurt it any. I felt it was okay to do that because of this little blurb from page 615 of the cookbook called "Bread Shouldn't Knead You." (yes, this cookbook is very clever):

"We used to think of bread baking as an all-day chore. Not that it took all our time, but we thought we had to be there with it. Then we discovered bread needed time, but it didn't really need us. Bread making will fall into your schedule. You can mix the dough in the morning, go play tennis or run errands," (sidenote: I want these authors' lives) "come home to punch it down, shape it, and leave it to rise again. If the rise is going too fast, put the dough in the refrigerator to slow it down. Cold doesn't kill yeast - heat does. When you are ready for the bread, just take it out of the refrigerator to continue its rise."

So I felt okay leaving it in the fridge like that. I learn something new every time! Okay, and what we've all been waiting for:

(straight from the cookbook)

We've added egg yolks for a richer flavor and spiked the taste with a bit of cayenne. They both add color, too, to this sandwich bread, perfect for slicing and toasting.

1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
5 to 6 tablespoons milk
1. Stir the yeast, warm water, and sugar together in a small bowl. Set the mixture aside until the yeast starts foaming, 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Combine the flour, salt, and cayenne in a large bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture, butter, egg yolks, and enough of the milk to form a mass of sticky dough. Let it stand for ten minutes.
3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle it lightly with more flour as you work.
4. Lightly oil a large bowl and turn the dough in it to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl loosely with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
5. Oil a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan.
6. Punch the dough down and shape it into a loaf. Press it into the prepared pan. Cover it loosely and let the dough rise until it nearly fills the pan, 45 to 60 minutes.
7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
8. Bake the bread until it is golden and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped with your finger, 35 to 40 minutes.
9. Remove the bread from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack.
1 loaf

So, my experience was that I used all 6 tablespoons of milk. I used almond milk, which seemed to work fine. I actually haven't made any bread with regular milk yet though, so maybe I'm just used to the way it comes out with almond milk. Either way, it works fine. I've eaten four loaves of bread made with almond milk so far and enjoyed every one. I also didn't let the butter cool to room temperature, so it might end up being even better if you did that. I can't think of any other specific tips, so if you have any questions, please ask! And enjoy!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Food and Love

So...I want to tell you guys about the night I got engaged. :) When I took these pictures I didn't know it was going to be the night I got engaged but I was excited to use them in this post.
It was our two-year anniversary and Mark surprised me (or tried to surprise me, but I was pretty sure about where we were going - and very happy to see when I was right!) by taking me to Chez Panisse! Any foodie in the Bay area (and many places beyond) would understand my excitement.

Okay, so here's dinner, in order:

Cherry tomatoes. All by themselves. The food here is so simple. Oh, and it's prix fixe.

Summer squash tart with dried cured olives and mesclun

A white wine the (server? sommelier? we weren't really sure!) wanted us to try and we really liked it

Pacific grouper with new potatoes, green beans, and sauce bourride

Mark's expression while eating fish, which he doesn't even normally like (this is a good expression, although it might look like he's in pain)

Grilled Wolfe Ranch quail marinated in juniper with polenta, Little Gems braised with pancetta and roasted porcini mushrooms

My view of the kitchen. This one's going on Flickr!

Very happy. And full.

Cloud 8. Cloud 9 comes later :)

Cloud 8 1/2 was when we got to tour the kitchen! Too bad the quail chef's face is blurry

There were some ladies having dinner in the kitchen. They were friends of Alice's I guess, and there were no tables available, so they got special treatment :)

They were all so nice!

I guess I forgot to take a picture of dessert. It went too fast. This is coffee (specially blended for Chez Panisse by Blue Bottle) with cherries and mini biscotti)

Here's cloud 9! This picture was taken about 2 minutes after he proposed on Indian Rock, by a bunch of high schoolers who were very excited for us. :)

He put pink sapphires on the sides because pink is my favorite color :) (and yes, I painted my nails after the fact)

Hand over my heart, which this ring is connected to :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Food sites I want to remember
The pick-up sites for this CSA are not convenient for us, but what is convenient is that I can just order whenever, I don't have to subscribe to a monthly service. So I figure if I ever know I'm going to have some free time on their next delivery day and I can drive to go pick stuff up, I can order.
Our company is so bad at ordering food. Someone always forgets to pay ahead of time and then the admin person designated for pick-up ends up having to put it on their credit card, or someone forgets to order in time, or someone couldn't figure out where to go...this place would just be so much easier.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What's becoming the daily website update

These all come from Fab sales.
Totally looking into a Father's Day present from that one.
This stuff is totally cute.
I love me some witty stationery.
I'm kind of excited about the knee highs.

Okay I should probably stop now. :)

Monday, April 9, 2012


I just discovered two new websites.

Yes, I just applied. Hopefully I'll become a TaskRabbit soon!

So cool! Next place I go, I'm looking into this. Well, if I'm going to one of the places they have something for. Note it, future travelers. I already sent it to my friend Sarah for her honeymoon fun.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The day I tried to overwhelm Connor with awesomeness. It sort of worked.

My cat has been a total jerk lately, meowing all damn night or starting up early in the morning, jumping up on surfaces he's not supposed to be on, continuing the meowing all pretty much we're exhausted and we kind of hate him right now. Mark said he's trying to tell himself it's training for having children. Luckily I've already been thinking that about Connor for a couple years now.
Earlier today I thought I'd try to kill him with kindness. We think he's been meowing his ass off because I let him go outside by himself a few times and now he's had a taste of freedom. I'm not going to let him do that anymore for several reasons (this meowing thing being one of them) so I thought I'd try to make the indoors more interesting. I made a trip to Pet Club and bought him:

omg it's so good

organic cat grass, which he buried his face in for about ten minutes and then promptly threw up:

didn't see that coming, did you?

(bet you've never seen a picture of cat barf in a blog before, have you? sorry. it's not so bad. it's all part of the entertainment value you get here at Discovery.)

omg it's so beautiful

a new scratcher, which, as you can see in this picture, he ignored for a while, and...(this is the big reveal)

Hex Bugs! Trust me, get one or two of these for your cat. It will be his new favorite toy. Mark got a couple for free from work a while ago but Connor ran the batteries down and I went to CVS once to see if they had them (they're those tiny little weird circular ones) and they didn't and I think we've since lost them. So I just went out and got some more. I found them at Toys 'R' Us. They're kind of expensive for cat toys but luckily they were having a buy one, get one half off sale. They also apparently sell the batteries, so now I know. Now that I look at the Toys 'R' Us website, they're two dollars cheaper there, so get them online, dudes. I paid $8.99 for ones that are $6.99 on the website. Here's another picture of Connor and his enjoyment if you aren't sold yet:

Whatever, it might not look like much, but he's having the time of his life, trust me. It wasn't fun for me when the damn thing got stuck between the bookshelf and the wall though. I thought it was a goner for a few minutes and I was just going to have to listen to it buzz until it died. I'm not gonna lie, I had a few moments of small panic before I told myself to calm down, this was not a crisis. I was able to flick it out with a drumstick, believe it or not. Like a real one, not one made out of chicken.

Speaking of chicken, I'm hungry. Where's Mark with my damn dinner?

I knew it...


Monday, February 27, 2012


I have an older entry here that was for stores I wanted to remember, and I said at the time I would just add on to it when I found new ones, but then I realized if I actually want anybody else to find out about new stores I discover, I better just write new entries about them, because nobody's going to go back to an old entry just to check.

So here's one I just got an email about:

The item I am currently most interested in remembering is this:

It's their Washing-Up Bowl. It's soft, for fancy dishes, apparently. I guess it can be dangerous for them to hit against a regular sink. So someday, when I have fancy dishes and silver and stuff, I'll wash them in this. :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012


As maybe some of you know, my lovely boyfriend creates some super cool vinyl toys. He is relatively new to the scene and is finally trying to sell some stuff. He also makes other art, like canvases and picture frames. We were at his first vending event during the first weekend of February, and that particular event doesn't get a ton of traffic, so he has some leftovers. Therefore, he started a couple of online shops! I told him I would help promote them, so I'm telling all nine of my followers about them :) Here's the first one:

So if you're on Etsy, put him in your circle! Show him some love! And here's his second one:

As you can see, the stuff he has up right now are sort of Valentine's themed (that was the theme of the event we were at) but they're cute any time of the year, I think. 
If you know someone who might like this stuff, be sure to tell them! And he'll be adding more later, and usually his style is very different than this, so check back. He is a talented guy. :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pop pop!

No, that is not a reference to Community...;)

I made scones last night! I was a little creative with them, and I just love it when I can do that. I'm usually too nervous to make up dishes on my own, so even just fudging things a little makes me excited. I started with this:

I wish I could take credit for the fluffy nature of these scones, but I'm sure it was all the mix. One of my goals is to learn how to work with dough so as to create light and fluffy things - cookies, scones, brownies, etc.

Then I looked at this:

I've never made anything out of this cookbook but that is another goal. Looking at this recipe, I discovered I had both lemons and blueberries. Yay!  So I mostly followed the recipe on the back of the mix box and just added the lemon zest and blueberries from this recipe, as well as the sugar I sprinkled on top. It's from this cookbook, if you're curious:

If you're interested, let me know and I can send you the full recipe, I know you can't see it in that first picture. And here is the finished result! (I know it's not the prettiest picture)

And the best part is that since the blueberries were fresh, they just pop in your mouth. :)