a quiet fancy

A punderful blog on fashion, food, and politics- the perfect triumvirate of all things tasty and tasteless

highlight post- the fancy pancake

This is a cop-out post after a day of still being sick and having too much work to do. I’ll try to make up for it this weekend. My mom and stepdad will be in town and we are going to try a couple of the restaurants we have been holding off on. I hope to find at least one dish that I can try to recreate. (I’m still working on making my own recipes. Tonight I utterly failed at mac and cheese, which is kind of a double failure. How do you even do that?)

Have you had the David Eyre’s pancake yet? I found this recipe on Food 52 last summer, and ever since it has been a Sunday morning regular. I’ve never actually made it, but I’ve watched Adam do it–why switch up the routine when he’s clearly the best?

From Food 52 (ha, obviously.)

Adam usually cuts the butter significantly (by like over 1/2), which makes the pancake a little more eggy. But that way it leaves your belly feeling much happier.

Do try this if you can. It only takes 5 minutes to prepare, and a short wait in the oven. The recipe says it serves 2-4, but we eat a full one each (I know!), which is why cutting the butter is completely necessary.

Recipe adapted, or weirdly tweaked, from Food 52, and originally The Essential New York Times Cookbook.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (we use low fat milk, and it’s still delicious)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter (if you eat like a pig (figuratively speaking) like we do, cut this to 2 tbsp or less)
  • 2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
  • Juice of a half a lemon (which we have never done…oops!)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Combine flour, milk, eggs, and nutmeg, beating lightly until batter is slightly lumpy.

2. Melt the butter in an oven-safe skillet. Once hot, pour in the batter. Bake the mixture in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the pancake is golden brown.

3. Sprinkle with sugar and return to the oven for a minute or so. Sprinkle with lemon if you like following directions. At this point, you can add toppings like fruit, or jelly as Food 52 suggests.

My goal for next time is to replace the sugar with canned peaches and make it a morning pie.  Mmm, mmm.

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Fashion Month II

So, I promised a couple sequels to Fashion Month coverage and I never forget.

And now that I’ve scared you over the Internet, let’s just hop to it.

 

Rag & Bone

I love how NW this collection feels. I’d love to bundle up in these sweater dresses, slide on my (plastic) leather gloves, and go walk in the woods.

Marchesa

Okay, I think these first two are the two most memorable collections from New York and for completely different reasons. Marchesa is always full of tulle an all things feminine, but what I love about this collection is that it is actually very dark and Gothic. It’s art.

Jil Sander

Okay, I hate pink, so it’s really strange to me how much I loved this show. It’s so pink and pastel at first, but towards the end the show explodes into the black dresses we have come to expect out of the runways. But at the end of this show, it wasn’t expected. And it was all just beautiful.

Valentino

Neither of these are good examples, but this collection had me longing for Downton Abbey to return–about a year too early. And what I loved most, apart from every single piece’s beauty? The return of flats. And thank goodness for that.

Happy Wednesday all! (If you have any suggestions for formatting or posts, please leave a comment. I could use some input.)

 

 

proud cynic

Did you read Nicholas Kristof’s raging op-ed last Wednesday against the cynical reactions to Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 campaign?

I’ve been speechless about it since, speechless and so disappointed.

I adore Kristof for his reporting on stories we wouldn’t hear about otherwise. What his cultish critics call an air of “chivalry” I call caring. He is dedicated to the people in his articles, and his hopeful attitude for change in even the darkest areas of the world is admirable if not inspiring. (Did you know he is a native Oregonian?) Kristof is also a great Twitter pal (isn’t it weird how by following people on Twitter makes you feel like you actually know them?), and will often highlight criticisms of his work in tweets. Kristof is a real reporter who usually goes to great strides to provide contextual analysis, an argument, and also the other side to the story.

And that is what confused me so much about his op-ed last Wednesday.

Kristof ends his article saying, “But if I were a Congolese villager, I would welcome these uncertain efforts over the sneering scorn of do-nothing armchair cynics”, a phrase I hope he regrets. The irony of this nickname is that its converse is the do-nothing armchair supporters of the Kony campaign who are bravely fighting a villain through “likes” and shares over Facebook and Twitter. They continue raging on despite the backlash, continuing to flaunt their ignorant goodness by simply ignoring the facts. If you support what IC has done, fine, but use it as a gateway to real information-gathering and discourse towards change.

When George Clooney was arrested this weekend, many of my Facebook friends (who rely on Yahoo’s homepage or Perez Hilton for their news), began to rally behind the people of the Nuba Mt. of Sudan for a minute. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE George Clooney, but we can’t rely on him for advocacy. He’s a gateway for discourse, and frankly, I think it’s his duty as a smart, respected celebrity.

But don’t make these people our heroes. Don’t forget whose stories these are. Kristof is not a Congolese villager, and he is not likely to be affected by the ills and distractions of Kony 2012. For once, he seems to forget the people at the heart of the campaign. Don’t they deserve a more cynical approach?

Here are some alternatives to Invisible Children. Although donations are good (when going to reputable organizations), they are not the only way to produce change:

UNICEF
Save the Children
Child Soldiers International

Monday Roundup

We have both been sick all weekend. On the bright side, it meant little thesis for me, but that’s a problem also.  So here’ a quick Monday round-up all my quiet little fancies from the weekend.

Let’s start with food this time:

Guinness pudding from Closet Cooking.  Okay, I know it’s past St. Patrick’s Day, but shouldn’t Guinness be celebrated year round? It’s delicious.

Purple Cabbage Pesto pasta from The Yellow House:

“Snowballs”, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Russian Tea Cakes, or whatever you want to call them from Lottie + Doof.  My favorite!

Rosemary Turkey Meatloaf from Food 52. (This would be a good food for a “Delicious foods that fool you by looking pretty gross” post…I’ll bookmark that one for later.)

Lemonade drumsticks that I may not wait for summer to make, from The Noble Pig (whose blog writer owns a vineyard and tasting room nearby that I can’t wait to visit. I’m a fan!) :

Okay, I hate pink, but just look at these pretty rose martinis from This Is Glamorous.  So romantic.

In the news:

The ongoing crisis in Syria, which I fear is losing attention fast.  Don’t let it.

The tragic ending for a young girl in Morocco because of a very dangerous law gives absolution to a man who commits rape if he marries his victim.

*More reactions to the value-add teacher assessments. What do you think?

*Health care op-ed by Paul Krugman. Very powerful, as always.

Fashioning:

Mikkat Market: Have you online window shopped for hours on Mikkat Market yet? I check back here weekly for their unique, affordable pieces (I don’t actually shop very often. Just browse like a maniac. If I were to actually shop though, it would be here.)

Happy Monday!

pasta with pangritata

You know those days you don’t eat anything because you are too lazy? Then 5 o’clock rolls around and you are on the verge of collapse and literally have no kcals left in your system from your midnight snack last night to make dinner?

Well, I never have those days.

But I think everyone can understand the need for a quick, easy, starchy dinner dish that you can overeat and not be able to rationalize later on (health-conscious eating is for suckers).

My go-to is pasta, and this one is easy.  Have you seen any of the twitter recipes? Normally it’s hard to write a recipe in 140 characters or less, but I’ll give it a try, because this recipe is so simple:

saute 2 chx sausg 2 cup kale 2clv grlic cook pasta saute 1/2 cup breadcrmbs + pnch rosmry, top pasta w/ saute + b.crmb mxtr, + chz

Boo-yah! And with ten (10!) left over.

But in case you don’t like weird, made-up puzzles, here’s the overly descriptive recipe:

Easy pasta dinner with chicken sausage, greens, and pangritata  :

Adam made this.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
2 links chicken sausage
2 cups of kale
2 cloves garlic
pasta for 2 (I realize this is unprofessional, but I really think this dish works with any pasta, from macaroni to spaghetti. Shoot, maybe even lasagna, but that would be hard to work)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
pinch rosemary
Parmesan
wine (optional)

The short, but magical journey:

1.  Saute 2 links of chicken sausage (I use the Al Fresco chipotle chorizo flavor, which is amazing and just a tad spicy), 2 cups of either kale, spinach, or arugula (Or twist things up. Just add a veggie, for the pretty colors if not for your health), and 2 cloves of garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil.  Add more olive oil if your sauteed goods begin to burn (things happen). (*You can set these aside if your pasta is taking a while to cook, but try to keep them warm.)

2.  Cook your pasta according to your instincts.  Package instructions are for newbs.

3.  To make the pangritata, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in your skillet (either after the veggies and sausage, or in a separate one while they cook).  Add a 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs (okay, that’s a lot, but I end up adding more pangritata to my pasta constantly.  So yummy.) and saute in the oil until golden brown, about 2 minutes.  Set aside and sprinkle in crumbled rosemary.

4. To assemble your dish, top pasta with sauteed goods, and pangritata on top.  Mix together and top with some parm.  Enjoy this with wine. (I added this to the ingredients with careful consideration, because it’s delicious.)

-Okay, to tell you the truth I really don’t measure.  So proceed with caution.

(But this should be about right.)

Ulyana Sergeenko

As I was reading Honestly WTF yesterday morning, I found out I had missed over half of Ulyana Sergeenko’s fall collection! You may have already seen it. Probably, because it’s amazing. I didn’t think you could even get more amazing than her last collection, but she did it. I love things that feel old, and this feels both that and refreshing to me after this season when there wasn’t much that I fell head over heels for (I mean, not as much as usual, and mostly because everyone used my beloved cows).

Here’s a preview of a couple favorites (but what is favorite when it’s all perfect? (actually, there’s a pair of what look like overalls that makes me a little uncomfortable, but the model isn’t wearing a shirt underneath them, so maybe that’s why) ):

(Oh yeah, and brought to you by Russian Vogue.  Cool, huh?)

(Wish I had seen this yesterday to include the last one in my moss green post.)

Yesterday I read an article I wanted to share, but I warn you, don’t read it if you love animals but aren’t already a vegetarian or planning to become one:  New York Times: Mark Bittman, “The Human Cost of Animal Suffering”

I cried. Really. In the library. But it was partly because of thesis (just kidding).

Happy Th(ank God it’s almost Friday)ursday!

mossy sleeves for trees

The title of this post is a love poem for green.

Today, there was snow on the ground from last night and the sun came out for a little while and filled my heart with love songs. But the sun is supposed to go into hiding again for another week here, and probably another month or so after that. I really do love the rain, but about this time every year, it starts to weigh on me again. We really are tuned for light.

One thing we Oregonians can be thankful for is the green we are lucky enough to have all year round. And last Friday I decided to go on a hike through the forest near my school and enjoy all that green.

I thought I’d share some of these colors with you, especially if you haven’t been to the NW. I’m pretty sure these hues are unique to this climate.

But wait, isn’t this a fashion, food, and current events blog? Well, I thought it might be nice to put some of my pictures together with this season’s fashions, mostly from the runway. As I was searching for pictures, I realized just how few colors there are on the runway this season. It didn’t seem that way to me at first, but I think that has something to do with how much red there was. The fact that designers even used red made it harder for me to realize that most other clothes were neutrals or pastels. Hmmm…thoughts…

Rochas (pre-fall)

Marchesa

(I love how the black and gold layers almost seem green.)

Kenzo

Oscar de la Renta

Maison Scotch from Scotch & Soda

Kenzo

Lindsey Wixson in Muse Magazine, by Will Davidson

Boy. By Band of Outsiders spring ad campaign with pretty, pretty Michelle Williams.

I can’t wait until it’s a little sunny, but I guess for all this it’s maybe worth it.

And for the heck of it, here’s a picture of Tabitha sitting on the computer and watching The Daily Show. (She seems to like Jon Stewart; I have evidence of this happening more than once.):

School is evil

No, not really. School is the best. But here I am, up at 3:30, and still only 3.61 (yeah, I’m counting to the second decimal) pages into my thesis. I’ll quit for the night at 4.00.

So, I promised a blog on teachers. I’ve been thinking about teachers a lot. So much I’m starting to really consider becoming one. And I’m going to make a vow now that I will never make a student write a paper over 3.50 pages (just kidding, make ’em sweat).

The value-added assessment of teachers that has been taking root in New York has me thinking twice about this field, though. And isn’t that awful? (At this point I should brag about how smart and fantastic I am that you should want me teaching your kids, but it really wouldn’t be true.) That this system might scare away the young people with a passion for teaching, kids, and social justice. And those aren’t three separate variables (ooo, thesis nomenclature). Teachers should be the heart of social justice. Higher test scores may come out of social justice, but they definitely will not cause it.

The budget woes of the last few years have stricken everyone, but it’s the younger generations that are being hit the hardest. And when cuts are made to education, it is the children in the lowest income neighborhoods that are hurt the worst, those whose schools were suffering long before 2007.

The first priority of our schools must be to provide a place of safety and care for students. That means reinstating afterschool where it has been cut and adding mentor programs for children whose parents work long hours or cannot be there for them. It means guaranteeing that children have someone caring for their needs outside of the classroom. It means providing healthy breakfast and lunch for those students whose families cannot afford to provide necessities. It means making sure that teachers make sure to put a student’s well-being before test scores, ensuring that someone is aware of their relationship with their family and peers. Teachers are not only educators, but they are also daytime caretakers. They must be observant of everything a child is going through, from physical to emotional health. The escalation of violence we have seen in schools in the last few years shows just how sidetracked schools have become. Why do people not see these troubled kids slipping through the cracks, alone and desperate?

Though no one really wants to admit it, we must put our students first and their “education” second. Learning goes hand in hand with stability and care. Teaching to the test gets the process backwards. The teacher’s job should be make learning engaging and safe. And to make this happen, teachers must care about more than their own test score.

(I am not, by the way, advocating that teachers not be assessed. But there has to be a better, less fallible way.)

I fear for the teachers in New York who have achieved the first step of the social justice process, but it’s the kids who are losing good teachers that I am really scared for.

Girlfriend’s sick…

Image

I envy anyone who has sun or ocean right now. Spring break is two weeks away, and promises showers here in Portland.

…and not able to blog today. (Plus, she has outdone herself on procrastination and now faces due dates.)  Check back Tuesday for a blog on teachers that will blow up your mind.

For Wednesday, I promise the fashion post you all (all five of you) have been waiting for (but didn’t know it).

One hour lost is…

another hour gained. No? You’re right, that doesn’t make sense. But if you are under the influence of daylight savings, don’t forget to set your clock forward an hour. I’m only saying this because no one on the internet is talking about it. Normally people warn us more. Sunday at 2, it will be 3. Plan accordingly.

Okay, I know you are like “Big D.” But here in Portland it is almost always dark, and the extra hour of daytime makes us almost even with normal places.

I had a really good idea for a fashion blog tonight, but I think I’ve been a little heavy on fashion lately. If you are reading this for fashion, Monday I have the blog entry for you.

I want to start with something simple: the egg in a hole.

The egg in a hole is the greatest breakfast food in the world. It’s simple, but understated. You may assume that it is too simple for you if you are a real foodie, but trust me, it takes some finesse to make an egg in a hole.

The fancy egg in a hole from Food 52, which I will try tomorrow morning:

 

Grilled cheese egg in a hole from A Cozy Kitchen: we tried this minus the prosciutto (which is regrettable. I love prosciutto a lot, but I just can’t.  Piggies are the coolest). But this was delicious. We ate it for dinner:

(Also, you need to check out A Cozy Kitchen. It’s my favorite individual food blog, both for the delicious recipes and perfectly witty writing)

 

The original, straight-from-you-pantry, egg in a hole from The Pioneer Woman:

 

My take (excluding the picture, because it can’t be as pretty as any one of these):

Ingredients:

1 slice (1/4-1/2 in.) fresh French Bread, sliced (or any other kind of bread, that is not a baguette)

Butter, enough to coat each side of bread

1 egg

A teaspoon of olive oil

Salt and pepper

Instructions:

1. Cut a whole, about 3 inches in diameter, in bread (you can use a glass or cookie-cutter, but I cut it out like the pseudo-artist I am).

2. Butter the bread, including the hole you cut out (it’s the best part).

3. Oil your pan or skillet (I use a non-stick skillet, but you’re taking your health in your hands whenever you use non-sticks, so your choice), heat it for one minute.

4. Put both parts of bread on a skillet for 30 seconds, leaving the centered out part open.

5. Crack the egg into the emptied hole, heat until the white is set but the yolk is still runny.

6. Once the egg in the hole is set, flip the thing! Also flip the circled hole.

7. After about a minute, transfer the bread and hole to a plate. Season with a little salt and pepper.

I recommend pairing this with some turkey bacon and a mimosa (I’ve never had a mimosa). Tada!

For tomorrow: teachers and how much I love them.