I scream for ice cream

Jun. 2nd, 2009 | 03:59 pm

It's possible I have Van Leeuwen ice cream on the brain.

I scream for ice cream!
{Left: My headline graphic in progress; Right: Van Leeuwen}

It's not a story on ice cream, so maybe I can get away with it! Aaaand stop for an ice cream cone on the way home... Damn!

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Springing into... something.

May. 23rd, 2009 | 01:08 pm
music: Sigur Rós - Andvari | Powered by Last.fm

I know I've been awfully quiet lately! It's been a fairly cranky season so far, with work being flung at me from all corners, Tim putting in massive amounts of overtime and last-minute travel, and no sign of a respite for either of us. I really hope we get to take a real vacation this summer, or I might go to pieces. The last time I took a week off to travel was our trip to California... in 2006. So, er, yeah. It's time.

Not that springtime in New York City hasn't been beautiful. One of my new favorite things is the smell of a spring night-time rainfall on cherry trees out in Red Hook; it's just so exquisitely fresh and briny and funky, it's like a tonic.

And the farmer's markets are beginning to really wake up with baby garlic shoots, ramps, fiddleheads, new asparagus, chard, rhubarb... mmm! The Brooklyn Kitchen's foodie book club has me reading a biography of Alice Waters, so I'm especially keyed up about seasonal foods right now.

This is less a recipe and more of a guideline. Choose whatever looks fresh and delicious! Between the farmer's market and the Food Coop, this is what happened:

2 fat garlic shoots, chopped into rounds
2 handfuls of shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1 thick bunch of asparagus, chopped into short pieces
2 chicken sausages, chopped into small rounds
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

Serves 2. Quantities easily adjustable. The most ridiculously simple cooking instructions ever: While pasta is cooking, saute all ingredients (except cheese) in olive oil till asparagus is tender and sausage is hot. Season to taste, toss over pasta, and sprinkle generously with grated Parmigiano. Goes splendidly with a light white wine (it was great with Gruner Veltliner).

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web CMS query

Apr. 1st, 2009 | 09:20 am

Just emerging briefly because I need some web-savvy advice.

This winter I redesigned an old client's website, (at howardbarash.com), but it's just bare bones, flat HTML/CSS. It's been ages since I've done any serious web work, so I kept it as simple as possible (luckily minimalism works well for photography portfolios!), and the client is largely very happy with the general layout.

The major part of the project that I haven't tackled yet (besides figuring out why my CSS is still a little bit buggy) is implementing some sort of (VERY SIMPLE!) content management system so that he can upload new artwork himself without having to enlist me each time. (And it would be nice not to have to edit flat HTML pages as though it were 1996 even if it IS me who's updating the site!) And I'm so out of the loop with this stuff that I'm not sure where to start looking.

This is pretty much what we want to be able to do from the back end:
- Upload art into designated category page (aka "new work" "past work" or "commercial work")
- Include a space to enter caption information with that artwork
- Allow moving old posts from one category to another (so that something can be moved from "new work" to "past work")
- Keep a simple database list of each post

No comments, no widgets or modules, no bloggy paraphernalia. (Or I'd just be looking at adapting Wordpress...) My client is not very computer savvy so it would be nice to find something that's clean and simple to use, without a lot of extra, distracting features. Though I don't know, maybe adapting Wordpress, or Textpattern, IS still the best plan?

Would hugely appreciate any advice! Thank you guys!

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Dark & Stormy February

Feb. 12th, 2009 | 12:40 am

Since I've been stewing at home trying to kick this cold, I've been playing with some citrusy hot toddy concoctions (rum is curative, right?). Have not reinvented the wheel or anything, but have found things that I like! For all you pirates with head colds out there...

(in a fair-sized mug)
2 jiggers Plantation rum*
1/2 lime, cut into wedges and squeezed
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
fill with boiling water

It's possible I was more enthusiastic with the rum than that, but then again, it was a fair-sized mug. Please adjust measurements to taste, esp as I am really guessing at what proportions I actually used. This, by the way, is essentially a really nice version of grog. Ahoy!

(again in a fair-sized mug)
1 jigger Plantation rum
1 slice lemon, lightly bruised into mug
Several slices of fresh ginger
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp dark brown sugar
fill with boiling water

Absolutely like a hot toddy version of a Dark & Stormy. For a more pronounced gingery flavor, I would add some fresh grated ginger. For a richer, denser flavor I would add at least another jigger of rum, and more sugar; at one jigger it's more like a light tisane.

* I like Barbados Plantation rum - the kind in the bottle with the raffia net. It's cheap, has a nice lightly fruity molassesy flavor, and takes really well to hot mixed drinks.

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February, you are ON NOTICE.

Feb. 9th, 2009 | 07:41 am


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Health Day

Feb. 3rd, 2009 | 02:13 pm
music: Glen Hansard - All The Way Down | Powered by Last.fm

Taking a sick day at home today, in part because I genuinely have been fighting off a cold and have consistently not gotten enough rest to really kick it. So far, having a quiet day really is working to get me feeling legitimately better and not just ambulatory! I'm also really enjoying the chance to sort through things here; so far have organized the recycling, gotten a load of laundry in, and sorted the backlogged mail. Next comes the monthly round of bills, and hopefully getting some wedding prints ordered.

(I may have also played some Little Big Planet. Shhh.)

In the interests of not completely playing hooky, I did bring the story I'm designing home with me, and hopefully I'll be able to kick it into more finished shape after I've tackled the bills.

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Happy Cows for 2009!

Jan. 28th, 2009 | 12:58 pm

happy new year!

I didn't really intend for my first post of the year to be during Chinese New Year, but at least I've squeaked in under the wire for January.

Epic January...Chinese New Year / Beer / Food / Little Big Planet / Cindy's Wedding / ObamapaloozaCollapse )

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Urban Dictionary meme

Dec. 18th, 2008 | 12:36 pm

Stolen from ikyoto and jlh.

Read more...Collapse )

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I seem to have mislaid November...

Dec. 7th, 2008 | 06:29 pm

These updates have grown far too infrequent, a sure sign that life has been both hectic and at least somewhat routine. There have been a lot of stressful things going on, but instead I'm going to talk about the good stuff.

Read more...Collapse )

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That music-poetry meme

Dec. 7th, 2008 | 04:24 pm

From pretty much everyone at this point...

let that iTunes shuffle...Collapse )

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