merry christmas

winter storm dion


there's no doubt that winter is here.  the whole country is freezing cold!  

i don't know how it is already december, the year has disappeared before my eyes.  and it wouldn't be december in dc without some interesting winter weather.  we had some lovely snow sunday morning that turned into lots of ice overnight, and by monday morning our yard had transformed into a surreal ice-scape.

i went outside to check out the all of the ice, and it was actually very beautiful.  the ice had evenly applied a shiny glistening layer of itself all over every branch and berry.  so i took some pics of course, and they are below.  the girls are loving crunching their paws through to the grass and then smelling whatever scents they release under their feet.

it's so humid here, i know the ice and snow won't last long and will soon turn into the dirty mush we always complain about.  but i'm glad this storm is providing some short lived beauty.

 when it started snowing on sunday, i tried out a macro technique i saw online to take snowflake pictures.  it didn't work, but i did get this picture of a frozen bee that i thought was interesting.   poor bee.
 ^^this is part of a huge tree that fell into our backyard and broke the fence.  that should be fun to clean up.^^
after the ice came the snow, and it just keeps coming.  it got me a snow day off of work and we've been playing outside lots today.  i even built a snow woman.
eric's in new zealand, so she's my new friend.  sad i know.  but he'll be back just in time for her to melt.  and just in time to help me clean up these huge pieces of tree that crashed into the yard yesterday.
our ice-scape has turned into a winter wonderland and we are loving it.
and in other wintery news, our tree is up!  we don't really do too much decorating, but the tree and the snow sure make it feel like christmas.

thanksgiving weekend


between it being our first thanksgiving as a married couple, and norah's first thanksgiving of her life, our meal was a little extra special this year.  with so much to be thankful for, we celebrated turkey day with our good friends aaron, rebecca, and baby norah.  
 eric prepared some delicious cornish game hens to go with the rest of the beautiful meal.  and like always (this is our 4th annual), we finished the day with a thanksgiving puzzle, coffee, and pies.
braided crust
braided crust puzzle
^^if there was any doubt as to why i bought this puzzle :)^^  it's one of my favorites with all of the little oddities that go unnoticed until you look closely.
we also had these two special guests for the weekend - cara's boys, cooper and brinkley.
i hope everyone out there had a nice weekend.  it wasn't long enough!

a diy quilt for norah


not much has been going on around here.  it got cold, and that means no one in this house wants to do anything.  it can get pretty depressing in the cold months, but i've found that one of the best ways to make it through is to learn as many new crafts as possible.

we also do a lot of movie watching.  hot chocolate and comedies are a great way to deal.
so you get the picture, it's been dark and cold a lot lately.  meanwhile, rebecca took norah to texas for what seemed like forever and we missed her cute little face so much that i decided to make her a baby blanket.  some pictures of the process are below.
about this project:
- the internet tutorial said this could be completed in an evening and that is a lie.
- eric got me a sewing machine for my bday and this is my first project
- as in my very first sewing project (other than the 15 napkins i made from a sheet in order to learn how to thread the machine, use the pedal, etc)

please do not judge - it's all i can do to sew in a semi straight line.  and i'm pretty sure i had the wrong foot on the whole time.  who knows, there are plenty of mistakes but someone told me the mistakes were good luck, so this is the luckiest blanket out there :)
and the practice napkins:
many a napkin does one sheet make.

5 pointz


it was sad to hear that 5 pointz was whitewashed a couple of days ago.  i know there are many new yorkers more upset than i am, but after seeing it for the first time in 2010, it was instantly a favorite nyc spot so it's really too bad that it won't be around anymore. 
5 pointz is/was a huge graffiti art center.  the outsides of the buildings served as exhibit spaces and the insides were studio spaces.  sad to see that it's being replaced with residential buildings. i think art like this be covered under historic preservation acts or something!  at least the new building will have dedicated sections featuring graffiti art.
some favorite details are below.

on the bright side, i'm glad i've gotten to see it before it was gone? :)

moroccan tagine


i don't post a lot of recipes on here, but when we make something that is too delicious not to share i feel obligated.  this is about the easiest meal you can make.

one of my favorite things about my visit to morocco a few years ago (some pics after the recipe) were the tagines. a tagine is a pottery dish with a conical lid that is filled with food and then cooked over fire for hours.  the tagine pot can be glazed or unglazed and can also be painted, some even very intricately that are used for decoration.

you can put anything in a tagine but typically it is meat and veggies or fish and veggies.  every time i use the tagine i cook chicken and veggies because it's always too good to try something new. maybe next time :)

if you don't have a tagine pot, i would imagine any stoneware that is has a lid to seal in moisture would work.  i'm also curious about doing this in a crockpot.  you basically just throw everything in the pot and put it in the oven.  done.

moroccan chicken tagine:
  • some chicken, bone in
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, cut into squares
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • a couple of saffron threads, if you have them
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon water
put everything except the water in a bowl and mix to cover with spices.  put the tablespoon of water into the tagine. place the veggies into the tagine and then layer the chicken on top.  i like to save a little bit of my spices to rub on the top of the chicken, but that is optional.  cover and bake at 200 or 250 degrees for a few hours.  try not to take the lid off until it's been cooking for quite a while.

**note: for me spices can be a very individual taste preference.  play with the proportions and ingredients to get the flavor you like.  i have done a million different combinations and even used spices from different regions of the world.  it's always good so i'm convinced the magic is in the pot.
delicious.  and with some mint tea to go with the meal (not pictured), i was transported to fez.  yum!
i've included a few pics of my trip below.  it's such a beautiful country, i can't wait to go back :)
 ^^some real tagine... mine will never taste as good.^^  and a guy making tagines and other moroccan pottery.
 a drum circle and a puppy makes for a very good night.
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