Almond Chocolate Chip Meringues

I love meringues a lot. Like eat them everyday a lot. These are some of the easiest and quickest cooking meringues I make, plus they have chocolate.

Ingredients

-3 egg whites

-1/4 cream of tartar

-1/4 tablespoon salt

-1 tsp real almond extract

-1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1) Preheat your oven to 325

2) in your kitchen aid with the whisk attachment combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Mix on high speed until foamy.

3)Gradually and slowly, beating on high speed, add sugar until throughly combined, scrape sides as needed with spatula. Once all sugar is combined add almond extract.

4) Stop when stiff peaks have formed. You’ll want them as stiff as possible. You should be able to flip the mixing bowl upside down without worry of the egg whites falling out or moving.

5)On a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat pipe a small amount of egg white mixture. You should have enough to make between 28 or 30.

6)Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until crisp and and JUST getting golden.

7)Cool completely on baking sheet before carefully removing and storing in ziplock bag.

These come out to just under two weight watchers points per cookie. I round up though to be on the safe side. 🙂

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Bedroom Dreaming

Bedroom Dreaming

Sometimes it’s nice to plan out things that aren’t going to happen anytime soon. By sometimes, I mean all the time. I’ve been wanting for a soothing bedroom for quite awhile, but it always gets pushed to the back of the to-do list. Not to mention the fact that I’m pretty broke thanks to house taxes. Oh well, I can dream for free right?

Please click on the image to go to polyvore for the sources.

Handmade Notebook

I go through notebooks more than any other adult I know. I am a total obsessive pen and paper writer. I’ll admit it, I buy really hisptery notebooks too. Which for the materials they are made of, are grossly overpriced. So I decided to give it a shot using only things I had in my house. 

Get some cardboard and some computer paper. I used the lid of the paper box. You could buy some new cardboard, but I could see a cereal box working very well. Make sure it’s nothing too thick. 

Fold the amount of paper you want in your notebook. I think mine used about 25 full sheets of paper, making 50 pages, 100 if you’re counting both sides. Fold your paper in half  evenly, using a bone folder or you nails to really get a nice clean crease.  Stack papers with fold open on top of each other. 

Cut and score your cardboard to fit your pages. 

Using paper clips get everything centered. Stitch down the middle using a longer straight stitch on your machine. GO SLOW GUYS. You don’t want to break a needle. 

Admire your wiggly stitch line. 

Ta-da! a basically free notebook. If you’re like me though you can’t leave something simple well enough alone. So I did a bit of decorative stitching down the front.

Make Do And Mend

Here’s an older article of mine while were having imac issues. all problems will be resolved by tonight and I’ll be able to access all the photos for the upcoming posts. In the meantime enjoy reading about one of my favorite sayings, Make do and mend.

illustration by clare owen.

“Waste management in the U.S. is in a state of anarchy with no effective federal plan in place to maximize recycling and minimize waste. America generates more waste every year, growing from a 247 million tons of non-hazardous waste in 1990, to 409 million tons in 2001,” According to Biocycle magazine, an Waste management industry magazine.  

We live in such a disposable culture. I’m sometimes shocked at how people can so wasteful, and I’m no recycle saint. Almost everything you buy in a store come pre package, wrapped in plastic, and single serve. Were buying 100’s of pairs of shoes, and throwing away clothes when they get the tiniest of defects. I knew a girl who would throw away clothing rather than having to lug it to the laundry mat to wash it.  Or a friend had a button that fell of a dress and was upset because she’d have to throw it away. Then was amazed when I pulled a sewing kit out of my bag and fixed it for her. “I could never mend anything, I’m not talented like that. ” She said to me later. 

I guess I was just lucky enough to grow up without a lot of money. Being one of six children, and having four kids young and living at home, my mother was thrifty, smart, and able to fix anything. We got almost all my clothes at yard sales and thrift stores before I was in middle school. Once washed mended and improvised by my mother, I was one of the best dressed, and cleanest kids I knew. I had countless dresses that my mom had made for me from scratch. People were always complementing my Mum on her well dressed children. When I got to middle school though, I started to become a consumer of goods. Embarrassed by home made dresses, and not willing to set foot in a thrift store. I wanted the mall, I wanted cheap clothing that wouldn’t make it through the year. I wanted shoes that lighted up when I stepped. I became disposable. 

The Phrase “Make do and Mend”, comes from WW2 when things were rationed as to support troops. Stories from that era are inspiring as far as improvising and working with what you’ve got. The following story accounts that time. “We had to make do and mend — that was the order of the day, and everything we had got in the wardrobe was kept there, we never threw anything away. I can remember when I was expecting my first baby I was wondering how I could get a christening gown for her and I thought of my wedding dress, but I couldn’t bare to put the scissors into it. A few weeks later I went and had another look at it and thought as there was a war on I would have to use it. I got it out and cut a great big piece out of it to make the christening gown, which turned out quite well, and when my little girl was four years old she was in a maypole dancing troupe and she needed a white dress, so I went back to the wedding dress and cut a bit more out of it and made her the little white dress. It was like that with other things like summer dresses.

You see during the war most ladies wore skirts and blouses because a skirt only took about a yard of material, and if you bought a dress you would have to pay a lot more money for that. Sometimes you would cut the top from a summer dress and use that as a top, but the majority of them had knitted jumpers and the wool was very important.

When the war started I had got a big bag of wool because I had always been a knitter. I looked at it one day, and thought I would knit the children a jumper, and you would be surprised how nice the jumper looked just but using up oddments of wool. People used to comment on it. Now that’s how we went on.

Men’s shirts during the war and before the war were made of linen or cotton, they had loose collars, some had two collars and some had three, and after a time the collar would begin to fray and when all the collars had frayed we used to throw the shirt away We couldn’t do that in the war, the shirt had got to be worn until it was threadbare. I used to unpick the collar, and I cut the tail off the shirt and was able to reface the collars and then they were like new again. With turnups on the trousers when they frayed, where they hit the boot, we would cut off the bottom of the trousers and turned it up slightly so that the frayed part was on the inside, the same with the cuffs on the shirts. It was amazing what we could do with what we had got and how we made do.” – Winifred Barber *

It’s not even until recently I took a step back and realized the extent of my clothing, how little of it I actually wore, and how much I “gave up” on clothing that was ripped or stained. Thats the day I started thrifting and sewing again. Looking for vintage that could stand the test of time, and sewing that occasional button back on. The idea of making do and

 wasting less has started traveling to other parts of my life. My boyfriend and I recently moved in together and made a pact to make as little impact on our environment as we possibly could. We’ve started shopping local, using our own bags, and buying nothing prepackaged. I know we lucky enough to have farmers markets, and the Findlay Market, which helps a lot. Plus our city of Cincinnati has a new recycling system where you can process almost anything. But it’s all new and baby steps for me. I think thats whats important though, just think if we all took baby-steps towards saving the world? 

I have this challenge for my readers, rework a piece of clothing that you’ve given up hope on. Something you’ve torn, stained, or even go so far to say “ruined”. If you don’t know how to fix something, try googling it. If you’re reading this blog right now, you’re luckier than 25 percent of people in the US that don’t have internet access. Use everything you have, and make do readers. Every little step people take will start to add up. 

I “ruined” my favorite dress yesterday. A piece of blue clothing made it’s way into my load of lights. It came out covered in blue stain marks, my favorite nude dress was ruined. I moped and moped. It being one of the only “new” pieces of clothing I had gotten myself recently. I then realized I was determined to fix it. I mean you can ruin something already “ruined” right? 

I had some leftover black RIT dye sitting in my cupboard, I set to work dyeing it.

Although still wearable, the blue kind of ruins the whole nude trend.

getting the dye ready on the stove

Heres the finished product, taken with photobooth (my apologies)

Not too shabby, kind of goes along the inky tiedye trend thats popping up if I do say so myself. 

-Paige

*WW2 People’s War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The archive can be found at bbc.co.uk/ww2peoplesw

ar

I’m Going To Make Him A Vegan Sauce He Can’t Refuse.

This is a recipe is from an older and sadly dead blog, I figured I’d share it since it’s super delish! Also, I made and wrote this in the middle of a snowstorm, so don’t feel too thrown off by the weather talk

The recent weather has lead to many things, mostly which have involved cleaning, movies, and the cuddles. By movies, I more specifically mean 

The Godfather

trilogy

. Brian, always ready and willing to try anything related to his favorite cinema, mentioned the loose 

recipe

 that 

Clemenza

 was trying to teach Mikey, in case he needed to feed, “20 guys someday”.

Heh

, come over here, kid, learn something. You never know, you might have to cook for 20 guys someday. You see, you start out with a little bit of oil. Then you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, tomato paste, you fry it; ya make sure it doesn’t stick. You get it to a boil; you shove in all your sausage and your meatballs; 

heh

…? And a little bit o’ wine. An’ a little bit o’ sugar, and that’s my trick.”

Brian pulled out the 

iPhone

 and searched for the exact 

recipe

 for awhile and came up with something fairly precise. It was basically my own Mother’s 

recipe

, plus 

red wine

 and minus the bay leaf. He was pretty set on making it, because, well 

Brian

 is stubborn. We only really had one problem, the one where I don’t eat meat. So 

veggi

izing

 something that I grew up with, and 

Brian

 had high

expectations

 of might have been a little tricky.

Growing up Italian you learn to love a few certain foods above most others; tomatoes, garlic, olives [and their oils], cheese, sausage, pasta, meatballs, and I’m sorry to say veal. I knew I wanted something that tasted like sausage, something with a kick. I managed to find 

Light Life’s Gimme Lean Ground 

Beef

Style

 meat 

substitute

 for around 2.50 at 

Kroger’s

, which was cheaper than the

Morningstar

 Grill 

Starters

, and already claimed to taste like sausage, so we gave it a go. The rest of the 

ingredients

 were already Vegged out so it was pretty easy past that point. We ended up getting;

-1 tube of veggie sausage substitute

-2 large cans of whole tomatoes

-3 small cans of tomato paste

-1/2 carton of sliced white mushrooms

-1 sweet 

onion

-a 

generous

 helping of olive oil

-4-6 cloves of chopped garlic

– oregano

– basil

– salt and pepper

– a decent red wine [Note: I recommend a good Cabernet. We got a double-bottle of Livingston Cabernet Sauvignon for $5.99. It was a pretty decent red wine for that price and it gives the pasta a nice, full-bodied flavor. We went through the whole bottle by the end of the evening. -Brian]

– some sugar

Heat the pot that you want your sauce to be in to a high heat with the olive oil. Once it’s hot add your garlic, mushrooms, and chopped 

onion

. Right before your 

onions

 are done [they should be clear once they’re cooked] start adding your fake meats. I just clipped the end off of the sausage tube, and squeezed the “meat” into the pan. It’s a lot sticker than ground beef so you kind of have to chop it up with a wooden spoon and keep it moving around the bottom of the pan so it 

doesn’t

 stick. If it does start sticking though, add a little bit more oil, or a splash of red wine [from the cup which you should be drinking right now, you know, for the whole experience.]. Now you want to make sure to season the “meat” pretty 

thoroughly

 with salt, pepper, basil, and oregano. Continue cooking everything in the pan until the “sausage” is crumbly and crisp. Add both of your cans of whole 

tomato’s

, and stir everything together. Add your wine, which is to

taste

, but I added about a cup and a half to mine [which is what a full wine glass and a splash from the bottle is]. Add more salt and pepper, and 1-2 tablespoons of both your basil and oregano. Mix in your tomato paste, making sure it gets distributed evenly. Then add about a fourth cup sugar. Keep stirring until it looks pretty uniform, turn the heat to low and cover your sauce. I let it sit, occasionally stirring for about ten minutes or longer.

By now you should have already started boiling your noodles, Brian and I like whole wheat 

penne

 for this, it’s good, and pretty healthy. Make sure to throw some olive oil on the noodles when they’re in the strainer so they 

don’t

 stick together.

Throw together a salad with a 

vinaigrette

, make some garlic bread, and turn on the godfather. Makes for a great 

snow day

, and your house will smell great, like my Moms.

Relections On A Studded Belt

My Mother is in town this week. She brings one or two things normally every time she comes to visit me, stuff she’s purged from her household. In fact sometimes my boyfriend and I joke that our house is where my Mom’s stuff goes to die. This trip I got the chair that I used in high school at my computer desk. I always liked the shape but didn’t think too much of it besides that, you know because I was worried about scoring Taking Back Sunday tickets or something. Now that I’m older, and some would argue wiser, I realize that this chair is pretty awesome. So awesome in fact that it’s likely the Arne Jacobson 3117 chair. They were, and still are, manufactured by the Fritz Hansen company of Denmark. Note the FH emblem, and made in Denmark mark.

Needless to stay I was more than a bit stoked. Not only is it a piece of design history, these chairs have a hefty pricetag, ranging from the 1,500 to 2,000 dollars USD. So it’s pretty safe to say I would never own this had I to buy it myself.

But I’m still kicking myself, because I’m sure it’s not worth that much.

Here enters the studded belt I wore through most of my high school experience. Much like many teenagers of the early 2000’s I was enamored with studded belts, hoodies, cut off jeans, eyeliner, and some questionable music tastes. I am paying the price for that now.

Check out the huge chips near the base of the seat. My modern furniture heart is breaking. If I could go back in time and set every one of those belts on fire I would.

 All the while screaming to my past self,

That aside, it’s still a great chair.

 Does anyone know if I should even attempt to fix the chip? I’m worried that will completely kill any value it might have left. I’m not really planning on selling it though, so I’m tempted to leave it as is.