Send-Off Scones

Scones
Eating Well
 published a scone recipe more than 10 years ago that my mom has always used when baking the scrumptious confections.  They’re absolutely delicious, relatively healthy, and just happen to be a favorite of one of my childhood friends who is heading off to England to get her MFA.  So naturally, we had to bring them to a little send-off breakfast that we shared over Labor Day weekend.  We modify the recipe slightly, but only to make things easier (who has whole wheat pastry flour lying around the house?).

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp. butter
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cup flour (if you have whole wheat pastry flour do half that, half regular)
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup raisins
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup low-fat yogurt
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Recipe:
1) Preheat oven to 425 F
2) Heat the butter in a small saucepan over low heat until it begins to brown, about 2 min. Be careful not to burn it!  Skim any foam off the top and pour the butter into a small bowl.
3) Stir together oats, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
4) Add the raisins to your dry mix, and make a well in the center of the bow.
5) Combine the butter, egg, yogurt, and oil in another bowl, then add them to the dry ingredients (only stir until everything has just moistened)
6) Lightly flour a cutting board or clean counter and gently knead the dough a couple of times, making it into a ball.
7) Gently press your dough ball into an 8-inch circle and cut it into wedges
8) Place each wedge onto a lightly oiled baking sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes (just until firm to the touch, you don’t want to dry them out!)
9) Let them cool before serving of course!

Scone Dough
Scone Wheel
Scone

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Homemade Hangover Remedy

Ginger Apple Seltzer

Labor day has come and gone, and so many of us kissed summer goodbye with one last wild weekend.  And the hangover that followed.  Be prepared for your first weekend back in the city by making sure you have the ingredients for a quick hangover fix.  Not only is this beverage tasty and easy to make in your foggy state, but it’ll kick your hangover’s ass.  No need for mimosa’s and bloody’s…because we know they only hold off the inevitable.  This ginger-carbonation combination soothes your stomach while rehydrating you.  And adding either mint or apple slices makes your drink extra refreshing.  Ginger also has an added bonus of reducing inflammation, so this sparkling beverage has you covered whether you have a tension headache from a long night of not sleeping, or are just plain dehydrated.

Ingredients:
Fresh ginger (peeled and sliced)
Apple slices OR a few mint sprigs
Seltzer water

Recipe:
1) Peel and slice your ginger (you need about 3 thin ginger slices per glass)
2) Rinse and slice your apple (or rinse off your mint)
3) Pour yourself a glass of seltzer and drop your ingredients in
4) Let it sit for 30 seconds or so, then sip away!

Note: If you want to have this all prepped and ready the night before you go out, use a pitcher of flat water and add a handful of ginger slices.  The ginger effervesces when it hits the water, and ultimately reduces some of the carbonation from the seltzer, so leaving it overnight would likely result in your beverage going completely flat.

MaterialsChopped IngredientsFizzingFinal Product

DIY Doloris Petunia

I discovered Doloris Petunia while reading Cupcakes & Cashmere.  The particularly sparkly statement necklaces featured on C&C are inspirational, but a little too over the top for me.  Not to mention pricey.  But they did prompt me to visit her site, where I found some fun pieces featuring colorful, matte stones.  But again, a bit too much going on, at way too high of a price point. So I decided it would be fun to DIY some jewelry a la Doloris Petunia (Tom Binns also makes some pretty awesome stuff that has a similar feel).

Materials:
1) Nail polish (here, and here)
2) Tooth Picks
3) Earrings (like these, or these, or just do an Etsy search for “rhinestone drop earrings”)

Nail Polish SelectionChoosing ColorsI tested out a couple of color palettes on a piece of poster board to see which I liked best.
Mid-PaintDip a toothpick into your first color of polish and dab it onto a rhinestone.  I did a bigger dot of paint on top that I then spread to the edges using the tip of the toothpick.  Splurge and use a new toothpick per color, per earring for precision’s sake.  There are no photos of me actually painting.  Sorry but I only have two hands.
Finished product!Final product! Let them dry for a half hour or so before wearing.

Hanging on a Star

We have a hallway in our apartment that leads to a back staircase in the building.  It’s a short hallway with an industrial-looking light fixture, and it has always been pretty boring.  One of my roommates added a curtain on an extra tension rod a few months ago, and that was good for a while.  It hid shoes and looked cute.  But the rod has since fallen, and we can’t get it to stay up anymore.

boring, empty hallway

boring, empty hallway

And so, after one of our lovely mothers donated some cool star-shaped wall hooks, we decided to spruce up the hallway. (It should be noted that she gave us these hooks a solid 6 months ago and we fiiiinally got our acts together).  We measured the width of the wall and did a bit of math to determine spacing.  After marking the spots, I hammered some nails into the wall to hang our star hooks.

hallway with fun star hooks!

It’s a simple addition but it adds some color and texture to an otherwise bland hallway.

aren't they awesome!?

aren’t they awesome!?

Plus, they’re perfect for hanging our plethora of scarves!  Interestingly enough we thought we’d have no trouble fitting all of our colorful wraps on 7 hooks.  We were wrong. Bulky winter scarves had to be relegated to the mitten bin.

we have way too many scarves

we have way too many scarves

If you’re looking to add some hooks to your decor, Anthropologie always has fun options.

Blister in the Sun

Another weird post from yours truly…but one that’s actually quite helpful.  We’re still a couple of weeks away from fall weather, but that doesn’t mean we’re weeks away from fall shopping.  And with fall shopping comes breaking in fall shoes…and blisters.  Stay ahead of the game this year with a couple of tricks that I learned during my ballet days.

1) Break in your shoes early (duh).  I wear them for a few minutes at home to identify potential rubbing points, then throw on a pair of thick socks and walk around my apartment for a while.
2) Tape your sore spots.  Once you’ve tested your shoes a bit and know where your skin might rub, use some tape to eliminate the friction.  I use 3M Transpore tape because it rips easily (both across and if you want to split the tape to wrap around a pinky toe).  But electrical tape does the trick as well.  Vaseline also helps to eliminate friction, or even ChapStick will do in a pinch (just apply to the area that’s rubbing).
3) If you’re going to be walking around a ton doing fall sightseeing, you might want to use some blister powder.  2Toms blister shield is designed for runners (also great for breaking in new soccer cleats), but if you dust your feet with it you’ll be good to go.
4) In the unfortunate case you forget to take any precaution when breaking in new shoes and feel like tiny unicorns are stabbing your feet, put a dab of Orajel on top of your blisters.  It’s meant for numbing toothaches, but does wonders for blisters  (I just use regular strength or even baby Orajel).

Birthday Traditions

a lovely card from one of my best friends

an awesome card I discovered sitting on my desk yesterday morning (favorite part? no standing only dancing)

My family has always had a tradition of decorating the kitchen table with confetti and candy on someone’s birthday morning.  There are usually balloons and streamers as well, along with a few small trinkets wrapped up in tissue.  It was hands down the best part of my birthday every year growing up.  This year is actually the first year I didn’t celebrate any part of my birthday at home…but naturally my mom came down to Boston last weekend with birthday table necessities in tow (she likes them just as much as I do).  And lucky for me my wonderful roommates decorated the table for me to find yesterday morning.  It looks like 24 is starting off on the perfect foot.  Thanks to everyone who made me feel so loved!

my Boston birthday table!

my Boston birthday table!

a dainty ring from my roommate, featuring my favorite animal!

a dainty ring from my roommate, featuring my favorite animal!

gifts from my parents: a hand-blown ornament, an Irish blessing, and my favorite hand lotion

gifts from my parents: a hand-blown ornament, an Irish blessing, and my favorite hand lotion

happy birthday balloons!

happy birthday balloons! (and a push pop, of course)

hilarious card from one of my roommates, she knows me too well

hilarious card from one of my roommates, she knows me too well!

my dad and I always played with push puppets when I was young, this one is hilarious

my dad and I always played with push puppets when I was young, this one is adorable

Marvelous Mules

No I’m not talking about the animal, and no I’m not talking about the shoes (in fact I don’t find either of the aforementioned to be marvelous). I’m talking about the cocktail.  Ginger beer and booze with a hint of lime. Ginger beer tends to be synonymous with a Dark and Stormy in Boston, but to my knowledge Mules and Stormies are basically just variations on one another.  Moscow Mules (made with vodka) are likely the most common form of the cocktail, but if you like ginger beer (I love it), you won’t be disappointed with any one of the spins seen below.

Number 1 is made with Bourbon, a Kentucky Mule from Sarcastic Cooking.  2 is a Prickly Pear Mezcal Mule from The Boys Club.  And 3 will be a favorite of New Englanders, featuring fresh blueberries.  It’s Sugar and Charm’s Blueberry Moscow Mule.  We finish out the lineup with a gin variation: a Cockney Mule from Boston’s own Trade.  Trade’s cockney mule is probably my favorite drink in Boston (side note: their entire menu is fantastic).  Though if you happen to be looking for a traditional Moscow Mule in a tin mug, the Langham Hotel’s Bond has you covered.