15 Cities in Gingerbread

1. New York
Statue of Liberty
Brooklyn Bridge
Chrysler Building

2. Amsterdam
Row Houses

3. Austin
Downtown Austin

4. Boston
Fenway Park (see also)
Old Statehouse

5. Chicago
Chicago Theater

6. Cincinnati
Cincinnati Landmarks

7. Detroit
Downtown Detroit

8. London
Houses of Parliament
Tower Bridge

9. Los Angeles
Randy’s Donuts

10. Miami
Freedom Tower

11. Paris
Eiffel Tower
Notre Dame de Paris
Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoy

12. San Francisco
Downtown San Francisco
Transamerica Building
Painted Ladies

13. Seattle
Space Needle
(Someone please make a gingerbread Bridge Troll and post it on the Internet for all to enjoy. Megan, I’m looking at you.)

14. Sydney
Sydney Landmarks

15. Washington D.C.
Washington Memorial
White House (see also)
National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Is your city represented in gingerbread? Let’s do this thing, Internet. Leave any gingerbread city landmarks I missed in comments.

Solution: At-Home Salad Bar

I’m at the top of my ten-pound weight swing, which means salads for lunch until I get the house back in order. I love the ease of salad bars, and after searching for a fridge-sized box to keep everything at hand, I finally realized I could just use the crisper drawer.

My at-home salad bar has a head of arugula in a little bowl of water (It still had the roots on when I bought it. Fancy.), a bag of mixed greens, an avocado, a bowl of cherry tomatoes, some chopped jicama, and chopped carrots. Also, red peppers, which I don’t love, but they’re so good for me that I just sneak a few in. Instead of plastic wrap, I used little folded sandwich baggies to line the bowls of ingredients that needed it.

salad_ingredients

It increased my salad intake and consumption dramatically because it was so easy to pull the drawer out, throw my ingredients in a bowl, and pop everything right back into place. Clearly, I am a genius.

If you’re looking to improve your salad-making mojo, here are a few good links to explore:

-Oprah’s mix and match salad chart
-Metafilter thread on salad ingredients
-And a few salad ingredients to avoid from Six Wise.

Is this my first official post about what I had for lunch? I feel a stoning coming on.

Have a favorite salad combo? I’d love to hear about it in comments.

Little Luxuries, Warm Cookies

A while ago, Not Martha posted about freezing cookie dough balls, so you could have one or two warm cookies when you wanted something sweet.

I don’t like the chemical-laden cookie dough you can get at the store, and I tend to avoid making cookies, because I immediately stuff the whole batch in my face.

So last time I made a batch, I doubled it and popped these in the freezer. Man, nothing is better than a late-night treat of a warm cookie or two, especially when friends are over. Give it a try, it’s an easy thing that makes your life nicer.

Solution! Cheese Plate Jar

Since Hank came along, we entertain at home a lot more because we’d rather buy groceries for the week than fund a sitter for an evening.

This is our cheese plate jar, it’s where we keep snacks for impromptu hosting. We used to eat all the yummy snacks ourselves, and then have sliced fudgesicles and dry pasta curls when people came over. Now, once something goes in the jar, it’s for guests only.

You can stock it with all kinds of shelf-friendly snacks, but our favorites include:

  • Bars of Dagoba or Scharffenberger dark chocolate
  • Raw almonds, pecans, filberts
  • Roasted pistachios or pumpkin seeds
  • Dried apricots, cranberries, or mangoes
  • Crystalized ginger

If you happen to have some cheese in the fridge and a little drizzle of honey, you can make a killer cheese plate with that stash. If not, take three little dishes (we use sushi plates), and put out almonds, dried apricots, and chopped chocolate. You can put it together in five minutes with no cooking and no stress.

Look at you, so fancy.

Fun Thing for Saturday: Pear Pomegranate Guacamole

Last weekend Jordan, Paul, and baby Moses came up to the cabin. Jordan was excited because she was about to launch her awesome label shop, Stuck Labels, which went live last week. Go, Jordan!

We planned to cut down our Christmas tree that weekend, but then Jordan told a horrifying story of two friends whose houses exploded with bugs when they got their trees out in the woods instead of at a lot. I’m still in fetal position from the lice incident, so we stayed home and made pomegranate pear guacamole instead.

Friends, this guacamole will end you. Your eyes will roll up into your head, and you will die of deliciousness. I look forward to it every year, because the ingredients are only in season for about 60 seconds, so make it today! Instead of the chiles, try four big cloves of minced garlic.

Ordinarily, Bryan and I would strip and roll around in the unctuous guac, but Jordan was all, “That’s not sanitary.” And since she enlightened us about the exploding tree bugs, we decided she was probably right about this too.

Too bad though, because the photos would have been awesome.