Friday, 24 February 2006

baking weather

the weather has been cold, wet and nasty this week. we had a spontaneous hail storm the other day:


so it seemed like as good a time as any to stay indoors and bake. i found a recipe for lemon cupcakes with lemon cream and used the tulip baking molds for the first time.


i put too much batter in each mold so the bottoms (or tops, as it were) became too round to lay them flat. s kindly held one up so you can see the tulip shape on the front (which then became the back.)


the recipe was nice and lemony, and the overall effect was like eating super-sized madeleines. i would make them again, but maybe try a cream cheese frosting on top (although the lemon cream on the inside was nice.)


meanwhile, you might notice that i am taking more pictures with my camera phone. my beloved canon powershot G2 appears to have died right after we got back from york. i am going to see if it can be fixed. sob!

Wednesday, 22 February 2006

weekend in york

as a joint valentine's and birthday present, s took me to york for the weekend. we spent saturday walking around the town.

we walked along the city walls...








we also saw york minster from almost every angle (except inside).





and walked through the town. here are some of the things we saw along the way:




for those of you who are wondering, the name "shambles" comes from the saxon word meaning "street for butchers." read more about it here.

apparently, yorkshire folks still enjoy their meat.



whip-ma-whop-ma-gate, the shortest street in york with the longest name. read about it here

i liked the street names in york... this one made me think of lewis carroll, although i'm sure there's no connection.


the river ouse



the ruins of st. mary's in the museum gardens


sunday was "meet the parents" day. s grew up in yorkshire, so we arranged to meet his family for a pub lunch. unfortunately, i do not have any embarrassing stories to share with you. no "meet the fockers" moments. no awkward silences or nervous laughs. they were perfectly nice and we had a lovely afternoon with them. and i'm not just saying that because they brought me chocolate for my birthday :)

however, i don't feel that i know them well enough quite yet to post their pic on the www, so you'll just have to imagine what they look like. here's another b&s picture for your viewing pleasure instead.



Tuesday, 21 February 2006

brick lane bagels

i wandered over to brick lane last week. apparently, it is known to locals as "bangla town" and is famous for its curry restaurants. as much as i love curry, however, i go to brick lane for the bagels.

have you ever seen the seinfeld episode with the soup nazi? they find a hole-in-the-wall soup shop with amazing soup, but the man who runs it is prone to say, "no soup for you!" and refuse to serve them.

the brick lane bagel shop is a bit like that. the menu is virtually indecipherable (partly because they alternately spell it, "beigel" and "beighel") and the service is quick and efficient. which is to say that if you don't know exactly what you want, and if you don't order it without wasting words, they move onto the person behind you.

how NOT to order:

"hi, what's the special of the day?"

"ummm... i think i'll have..."

"what kind of bagels do you have?"

how to order:


yes, you read that right. SIX BAGELS FOR 90 PENCE. that is only one of the reasons i love this place. it is also open 24 hours (!) and the bagels are oh...sooo...goooooood.

so i'm savoring each and every one of them, but the good news is that when i run out, i can go back any hour of the day or night and get my fix.


(not bad for a photo from my mobile phone, huh?)

great british design quest

found this link on the BBC website:

great british design quest top 10

go vote for your favo(u)rite. what will it be?

the red phone box?

the concorde?

the underground map?

lara croft tomb raider?

in other design news, IDEO was at the davos world economic forum, talking about "building a culture of innovation."

click here for article

Monday, 20 February 2006

birthday in a box

i had a wonderful birthday, and realized (again) just how lucky i am to have a loving family and caring friends. my sister sent me a "birthday in a box," complete with balloons, glittery candles, mini uno party favors, and a spongebob squarepants happy birthday banner. true to family tradition, she used the sunday comics as filler for the box. would you guess that i just turned 33...?



she also splurged on the live aid and live 8 DVD sets. woo hoo!


and threw in a set of tulip-shaped silicone baking molds. how cool are they?! i can't wait to use them.


i used the candles on the (ahem... half-eaten) carrot cake that j brought over the night before my birthday. they're all there. i think it might be a fire hazard to light them all, though.









(any resemblance to the millennium dome is purely coincidental.)

pictures of our weekend in york are coming...

Thursday, 16 February 2006

happy birthday to me!

"Birthdays are good for you.

Statistics prove that the people who have the most live the longest."

-Larry Lorenzoni

Quote on card from S this morning.


Horoscope for the day:
Today is low-key. However, there's a happy emphasis on getting together with friends and travel. You'll be glad to help someone out with a problem. You have terrific ideas that need to be promoted to others patiently.

Or maybe my horoscope is this:
Let your daydreams have free rein, and you might actually see the ones closest to your heart come true. The stars emphasize wide-open horizons and limitless possibilities right now, so go for it.


thanks, everyone, for all the nice wishes! will post more soon...with pictures!

off to enjoy my day now!

xo, b

Wednesday, 15 February 2006

in the news

i have been enjoying the news this week.

i am all in favor of the full ban on smoking in the u.k. i am somewhat bemused by people who claim that banning smoking infringes on civil liberties. i choose not to smoke. my decision does not affect the breathing air, lingering-smoke-odor-on-clothes, or health of anyone around me. if someone chooses to smoke in public, their decision impacts me as well. how is their freedom to smoke greater than mine not to? i don't see it. bring on the ban...

i have also been following the story of dick cheney's hunting accident partly because i think it's funny, but mostly because i want to know what happens next. as far as i am concerned, this is just one more reason for gun control.

i am also watching the olympics in torino, albeit bittersweetly, and only when i can catch a bit on s's TV. i really wanted to work there... sob!

the one story that i don't understand at all is the cartoon fury. so i won't comment on it here.

as always, however, my favorite news comes from the daily show. true reporting genius.

a little "pick me up"

s made tiramisu for valentine's day. feast your eyes!

it was our first v-day as a couple. neither of us wanted to go overboard on the flowers and candles, but it seemed right to mark it as a special day. s made an italian steak dish for dinner, which we ate while watching the mighty boosh. i made him a framed photo collage. he made me a personalized card in iphoto. mellow. our style. not overly romantic, just enjoying being together and laughing at the surreal nuttiness that is the boosh.

fortunately, there is still some dessert left over. yum!



Thursday, 9 February 2006