gifts for the entertainer

If you’re new here, welcome! I’m AmberLee, and Giverslog is my place to share recipes, gift ideas, pretty wrapping ideas, and whatever else is on my mind. I also own an online chocolate shop, The Ticket Kitchen. Stop by if you get a moment!
Are you ready for a peek at how my new stands turned out? I’m more than a little thrilled with them. It’s great fun transforming a set of thrifted candlesticks into bright summery treat stands for the next shindig. (See the first set I made right here).

Being able to take these apart to switch out plates is a big deal for me. Even though my kitchen now is roomier, much much roomier, than the apartment and condo kitchens I’ve somehow squeezed into through the years, space is still at a premium. Plus I like picking a melamine plate whenever I find one I like and being able to put it to use with the stands I already have.

Best of all, I figured out a new trick that will let you use any candlestick you fall in love with at the thrift store. Not just candlesticks that have a hole through the center.

The shopping is really the best part. (You can get glimpse here of the first set of these I put together.) But for this time around, here’s the list of what I picked up.

Supplies & equipment:
1. Set of thrifted candlesticks. I often find candlesticks at the thrift store that can be disassembled and have a hole all the way through the middle. To find out if a candlestick can do this, just pick one up at the thrift store and try to unscrew. But hole or no hole, any candlestick will work. On my last thrifting trip I fell in love with some sticks that did not have a hole through the middle, I discovered I could still make my stand interchangeable. Here’s my big trick. Are you ready for it? All you need to do is find a…
2. Cork that fits snugly into your candlestick. (You need this only if your candlestick does not have a hole all the way through the middle).
3. Drawer pull that lets you take out the screw. I picked up mine at Lowe’s this time around. Don’t you love the crystal knobs?
4. Allthread that fits your drawer pull. This just looks like a really long screw with no head or point. To make sure it fits my drawer pull, I try screwing it in right in the isles of Lowe’s.
5. Nuts and washers.
6. A few fun melamine plates. I picked up mine at Target.
7. Primer and paint, if you choose. I love Krylon.
6. A hack saw and drill. A wood bit works perfectly for drilling into melamine.


Here is a candlestick I took apart and found I could dissasemble and have two pieces with a hole all the way through the middle of each.

Yea for Krylon. So many possibilities with this stuff.

Now comes the easy part… Here is the how-to for putting it all together, whether your candlestick has a hole through the core or not.
1. Paint. If you’re planning to paint the candlestick, disassemble it, prime, and paint.
2. Drill. Tape the plate in the center and drill through your taped spot. Take it slow and easy, I’ve cracked a couple plates by being in too big of a rush.

3. Cut your allthread. If your candlestick has a hole through the center, use a hack saw to cut your all thread to the length you’ll need to go from the bottom of the candlestick to the top to screw into your drawer pull. Cut carefully so you don’t ruin the thread and are still able to screw a bolt or your drawer pull onto the end. If you are using a cork, cut a tiny piece of the allthread so it is just long enough to screw through the cork and into the allthread.
4. If your candlestick does not have a hole through the center, add a cork. Wedge in a cork where the candle would go. Make sure it is a super snug fit. Cut off any overhang. You want to make sure the plate will rest evenly against the top of the candlestick. Drill a small hole in the center of the cork where the drawer pull will screw in. Make the hole just smaller than the allthread, so it screws in snugly.

Here is a set I assembled by screwing an all thread through the center.

Here is a set I made by using a cork.
3. Assemble.
 Now you get to thread your whole creation together. If your candlestick has a hole down the middle, put the washer and screw at the bottom, then thread the allthread through your candlestick piece, then add the plate, and finally, screw on the drawer pull at the top. If you are using a cork, simply screw one end of the allthread into the drawer pull, then put the other end through the hole in the plate and screw it into the cork in the candlestick. That’s it. Now your stands are ready to party, or to fit neatly in your cupboard.Good luck! If you make a set, I’d love to hear how it goes.

{ 31 comments }

If you’re new here, welcome! I’m AmberLee, and Giverslog is my place to share recipes, gift ideas, pretty wrapping ideas, and whatever else is on my mind. I also own an online chocolate shop, The Ticket Kitchen. Stop by if you get a moment!

A few months after discovering how to make this tiered cupcake stand, I walked into Pottery Barn and saw their awesome, summery, tiered stand and—being the incurable DIYer that I am—thought, I wonder if I could make that.

It is a serious condition sometimes. My husband claims he can’t take me anywhere without me wanting to try to build some part of something I saw when I get home.
I picked up the supplies a few months ago, when I was in Micheal’s with my half-off coupon, and have been waiting for an open Saturday to give it a shot. I ran across Lizard & Ladybug who had been thinking the same thing as me, and am glad I did. She made her stand with a length of conduit, and made it look so good that I returned the curtain rod I’d been planning to use.

This weekend I got to work and love the result. Though I have to admit, about half way through the process was wondering if I should have just shelled out for the Pottery Barn original. But hopefully I have a few tips that will make it simpler if you’re like me and love a good DIY.
supplies
tiered cake pans ($18 with my coupon)
drawer pull that lets you take out the screw (I found mine at Lowe’s, $3)
all thread that is compatible with your drawer pull (I try screwing it in right in the isles of Lowe’s, $2)
conduit ($3)
bolts and washers
melamine plate

hack saw, clamp, file (UPDATE: see below, you may not need these at all)
hammer and nail
drill
Don’t forget to use your coupon when you go to pick up your tiered pans. I used my JoAnne’s coupon at Michaels (you knew you could do that, right?)
I opted for a thicker length of conduit to keep things sturdier. I cut three lengths that were just over six inches long. If I did it again I think I’d cut them right at six inches.

The most challenging part was cutting the conduit. Cuts need to be perfectly straight in order to avoid a leaning stand.

UPDATE: Thanks to Layne and Nicole, I now know you can skip this part, entirely. You can pick up a pipe cutter for just a few bucks (thanks, Layne!), or you can have your conduit cut right in the plumbing section (thanks for letting me in on that little secret, Nicole! )

I started by using my hack saw to score a dotted line all the way around the conduit, to make sure it was even and matched up all the way around. Clamp the conduit, saw a couple times just to score the surface, open the clamp and rotate the conduit just a little. Repeat.

Then I used the same technique to slowly saw around the conduit, sawing little by little, opening the clamp and rotating as I went, until I had a nice even cut.

I then used my file to finish evening off the end. Hold the conduit close to the file to make the work quicker. Just don’t file away your fingers.
Now all the hard work is over. If you can get through this part you’re practically finished.

I marked the center of the top pan and used a hammer and nail to pierce a hole. I then lined it up with the other pans to find the spot to pierce the last two holes.
For the base, I used a melamine plate I had left over from my DIY cupcake stand. Lizard and Ladybug uses the smallest pan from the nesting set for the base, which turned out great. I just wanted to save that pan for actual baking. I think it will turn out the perfect sized personal birthday cake.

Drilling a hole in the center is not too tough. Just use a wood bit in your drill and take your time so you don’t crack the plate.

Finally, the only thing left to do is assemble everything.
That’s it. Now all it needs is some cupcakes or cups full of strawberries.
I think one of my favorite parts is the storage. Mine is now stored away inconspicuously in the cupboard above my fridge, waiting for our first summer shindig.

 

{ 23 comments }


Today help me welcome Stephanie of Stephmodo, a favorite of mine for all things kitchen and French (be sure to stop by her Etsy shop of French imports, you will be charmed). Stephanie put together this kitchen essentials list, perfect both for grads and seasoned cooks alike, and was so good to do it besides being 8 months pregnant (see her adorable maternity photoshoot here). I’ll let her take it from here. And thank you, Stephanie, for taking a moment from your preparations to bring us this list (friends, do you love those bowls?!)


1. Martha’s melamine bowl set (those colors…)
2. Wusthof Mincing Knife (perfect for cutting pizza, quesadillas or pb&j–my husband has a few things to say about this too)
3. Vintage Cast Iron Dutch Oven and Skillet (both found at an antique shop, although ebay is a good source too; we use these all the time.  I love the way they sear fish on the grill, roast chickens, and roast vegetables)
4. Microplane Zester (great for lemons or parmesan–best zester ever)
5. OXO Salad Spinner (say goodbye to wilty lettuce forever–I also use it as a crisper)
6. Zyliss Garlic Press (there is no other garlic press worth having around)

{ 0 comments }

I spent yesterday gathering advice for planting my expanded herb garden. I’ve resolved never to have homemade pizza again without fresh basil sprinkled on top! Yesterday I spoke with two amazing women, a friend who runs her own nursery here and my amazing Idaho S-I-L. (The one who taught me to make this salsa.) I thought you might like to hear their thoughts. But first, you have to see what my S-I-L gave me last year:

Seriously the best birthday gift ever. This is an herb garden she started from seeds for me. I almost cried I was so happy. I have managed to keep much of it alive since, so I feel ready to expand. So here, from Laura (my local California girl) and Cherie (my Idaho girl) are a few tips for growing your own herb garden.

1. Do it. It is so much cheaper than fresh herbs from the grocery store, and you will have basil for your pasta and Tai food, mint for your lemon aid, rosemary for your potatoes, thyme for your chicken dinner, and you will generally be a happier and better fed person.
2. Don’t start with cilantro
. It’s trickier than other herbs and may get you frustrated if you’re not a diligent grower and harvester. (UPDATE: though I just got a comment from Sherry who makes it sound easy. Thoughts, anyone?)
3. Pick a sunny spot with good drainage
. Most basic herbs love the sun and don’t want to be too wet. Just a few like partial shade, like cilantro (which we’ve already decided is high maintenance), lemon balm, and mint. If you want to plant in a container, you can plant each herb separately or put them all together in one big bowl. Or plant them in pots according to the recipes you like to use them for, a Tai pot, an Italian pot, a chicken dinner pot. Use a soilless potting mix that will drain well.
4. Speaking of mint, plant it alone
, in its own pot. It will take over all the other herbs and take over your whole yard if you let it.
5. Pick a spot near the kitchen if possible, so you can step right outside and snip off a sprig without having to hike across the yard.
6. You can start from seeds, but start with at least a few from plants for instant gratification. Big woody plants especially are good to just buy as plants (rosemary, thyme, marjoram, oregano). Be sure to water them before you transplant. Grassy herbs grow quickly from seeds (chives, parsley) and my S-I-L recommends starting these and other seedlings right in the pot or the outside spot where they’ll be living permanently, if weather allows.  The grassy herbs especially are delicate and don’t like being transplanted. UPDATE: The most helpful article I found for planting from seeds was this one.
7. Plant some perennials. I’d never realized how many herbs will come back year after year. Try sage, thyme, lemon thyme, chives, oregano, fennel, marjoram and mint. A few of these will get too mature and woody after a couple years. Sage and thyme especially you may want to replant every few years.
8. Try a few annuals.
You have to go with basil for sure. Big-leafed sweet basil or genovese basil are good all-purpose basils. Plant them when it’s hot outside, when you plant your tomatoes. My S-I-L also likes lemon balm and dill.
9. Don’t over water. Water every few days when the top few centimeters of soil is dry. Don’t over fertilize. Once a month should be enough. If the soil is too fertile, the plants will produce too much foliage and won’t have the intense flavor that a good herb should have.
10. Once the plants are taller and established, throw some mulch down over the soil. It will keep weeds from growing and keep the soil moist. Leave a bare spot of soil right around the stem to avoid a slug problem.
11. Harvest often. Harvesting promotes growth. It keeps plants in their growing cycle instead of letting them mature and finish their life. So stop by your garden before dinner each night and snip away. (Never tear.) You can harvest up to a third of the foliage. And if you see a flower, clip or pinch it off. Once an herb flowers it’s trying to finish its life cycle.
12. If you want to try to keep your plants through the winter, you have some options. Rosemary can thrive by a sunny window. You will lose basil, thyme, and sage after a frost, but you can also try variegated basil, which doesn’t flower like other basils so it can be brought in during the winter near a sunny window and last for months.
13. Eat it! In order to use fresh herbs instead of dried, double or triple the amount called for because fresh herbs aren’t’ as concentrated. Try to add them near the end of the recipe. If you harvest herbs and can’t use them right away, chop them up, put them in ice cube trays, cover them with a little boiling water and freeze them to use in soups once the weather turns cold.

{ 20 comments }

If you’re new here, welcome! I’m AmberLee, and Giverslog is my place to share recipes, gift ideas, pretty wrapping ideas, and whatever else is on my mind. And if you have a moment, stop by my chocolate shop, The Ticket Kitchen. In the meantime, happy thrifting!

UPDATE: Find a simple trick I discovered to make a single-layer cake stand out of any candlestick right here.

At long last, here is the much-requested thrifted cake stand tutorial. This was a gift I made for my S-I-L for Christmas, and I’ve been wanting to make one for myself ever since. Of course, in my world, finishing a craft without a deadline is impossible. So I used last week’s tea party as the day by which it had to happen.

Because my S-I-L is quite the party hostess, I thought I’d like to come up with a version where the plates could be switched out.  You know, like the wristwatch you had in middle school with the interchangeable wrist bands (there are a few of those I’d still like to own). So keep your eyes open for more pretty plates, because you can switch out plates as your parties demand. Any plate with a hole drilled in the middle will do. Or add a tier by using a longer allthread and a few more candlestick segments. It’s all occasion!

So then, if you’re up for a little shopping and assembling, let’s get started.

Shop. First, let’s go shopping, the very fun kind of shopping. This is a good excuse to stop by your favorite thrift stores, flea markets, and houseware shops. Go in search of pieces that will make your heart go pitter pat. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A drawer pull you think is pretty. For me, this was a good excuse to stop by Anthropologie.
  • An allthread to match, so it will screw into the drawer pull. Pick these up at any hardware store.
  • A bolt and washer that fits, for screwing on at the bottom.
  • Paint, if you so choose.
  • A drill and bit for drilling a hole in the plates (more on this below).
  • A candlestick (or pieces of multiple candlesticks) with a hole through the center. Some have a visible hole, others need to be unscrewed and have the center dowel removed. When in doubt, try unscrewing.
  • A set of plates, melamine or ceramic will do.

I believe the drawer pull cost me $8. Everything else combined totaled a whopping $4.88.
Make sure your allthread and drawer pull are the same width. If your drawer pull has a rod like mine, you should be able to unscrew so the allthread can screw directly into the pull. It took a little torque but we got ours out. Pick up two allthreads if you’re going to want to change between two and three tiers with your cake stand. You’ll need an allthread for each different height.

Remember the hollow candlesticks I picked up for this tutorial? I’ve had no problem finding several every time I thrift. And especially if you’re planning to paint, you can use as many pieces from as many candlesticks as you like.
Paint. Time to get busy. If you’re planning to paint the candlestick, disasemble it and paint.

Drill. Next you’ll need to drill a hole right through the center of the plate. Both times I’ve sent Brent out to the workshop to take care of this for me. Though I do like the chance to use a power tool every now and then. His advice is to use a wood bit for drilling through melamine and a ceramic bit for ceramic. He also suggests picking up an extra plate. That way if one plate cracks a bit, you have a second chance. You can drill a few extra holes in your broken plate and get a little practice. He taped the plate right in the center, then drilled through there.

Assemble. Now you get to thread your whole creation together. Likely the allthread will be too long, so you’ll need to cut it off. If you want to alternate between two and three tiers, make sure you get an allthread that will be the right length for each. Finally, thread the washer on and screw the bolt on the bottom.
And there you have it. A pretty tiered cupcake stand, and an excuse to have everyone over for a party. Once the party’s over, just disassemble and store it flat until the next shindig.

{ 110 comments }


How was your weekend? I hope it was a good one. We had a nice, 3-day weekend. It was ideal, minus one incident.

Do you ever have one of those moments when you are sure you don’t deserve the people around you? I had one. My baby drifted off to sleep in the car on Friday, and I decided to let him stay there while I loaded the trunk for our weekend trip. We were in the garage, and I hadn’t thought about how we’d already started seeing mosquitoes this year. Oh, it was terrible. Three hours later I found myself holding my cooing baby, smiling adoringly up at me, from his face full of spots. I hate to even think of it. It didn’t help that the moment I discovered it was when we pulled up to my S-I-L’s house after we had been listening to Little Women in the car, the part about scarlet fever. Ahh. I was already considering my fragile place in the universe.

The advice nurse was on the phone with me for some time, answering an arsenal of questions about mosquito-carried diseases—I made her read me everything she had—and helping me devise the best method of treatment. I felt horrible. Plus, all weekend while we were watching the Olympics, when a proactive commercial came on I had to endure the jokes. Lesson relearned: I’m glad my family loves me despite myself. And I’m glad for patient advice nurses.

I did find some reading time, which was so nice. I dove into Tender at the Bone, a lend from a good friend. It’s the bio of Ruth Reichl, NY Times food critic and Editor in Chief at Gourmet (before it put out its final issues). All kinds of lessons learned here: I want to make a lemon soufflé for someone on their birthday. I want to earn the respect of my butcher so he saves all the best cuts for me. And I promise you I am making fried oysters this week (I made mussels for the first time two weeks ago and am feeling fearless).

The rest of the weekend was great too. We watched my little sister dance beautifully (any SYTYCD fans? She was taking class from Jaymz).  We enjoyed Grandma’s home cooking. And Brent and the kids got to spend a day in the snow, which I realize isn’t a rare treat for some of you right now, but for us here in Cali it’s good fun.

And to top off all that, my honey got me the perfect thing. Instead of a box full of chocolates he gave me a Le Creuset full of chocolates. Oh he is good. Plus my amazing aunt sent a few more hotpads she crocheted. They look so pretty in my kitchen.

{ 17 comments }

Merry Christmas

12.28.09

I know I am late but I didn’t want to miss the chance to wish you a merry Christmas and happy holidays. I hope this past week was great for you.

I’ve enjoyed some quiet time catching up on many of your blogs. I loved what Marta writes about having a human Christmas. I find it true that a satisfying Christmas is something that comes with practice at being satisfied. Finally I’ve learned to be open all December long, to be ready for magic moments as they drop in. Some moments you can stage but so many drop in unannounced. And sometimes the unexpected ones are so sweet you feel like it’s hardly fair, that you’re hardly equipped to take it all in. Did I tell you we had snow this December? It’s rare here, the kind of rare that happens once every eight t0 ten years. For the first time ever my kids got to wake up to that magical surprise of snow on the ground. This has got to be one of the best ways to spoil a kid during the Christmas season, second to adoring grandparents.

I had that reflective moment before going to bed Christmas Eve. Just thinking of all the waiting and anticipating going on under my own roof and under other roofs. And in review of the season, I made a few notes for next year:
1. No handmade cards next year. I need a year off. Will you please remind me this come October?
2. It turns out both my husband and daughter are pretty good at gift making. I’d forgotten how great that is to work together to make someone a surprise. I liked it. Yes, I think there’ll be more of this next year if we can manage.
3. I really didn’t mind that things got a little hectic when we found last-minute Christmas service to do. I thought I disliked any kind of hectic, but this was good hectic. I’m not sure I knew there was such a thing.

I managed to snap pics of a couple of those homemade gifts I had help with before they got wrapped. Do you like them?

I’ll try to keep this week short and sweet, though that’s hard for me because I always have so much I want to share with you. I do have a giveaway and a crazy fun shop to introduce you to. So if you don’t mind I’ll share that this week because I can’t wait for next.

In the meantime, thanks for being here, and Happy Holidays.

{ 8 comments }

Okay, all of these books (and one film) make me giddy. Tell me I’m not the only one. And while we’re on the topic, do you have any other food or crafting books you’d love to get or give?

crafting documentary between the folds

Have you heard about this? Between the Folds, a documentary all about origami.

3922278122_97cefbd265_o
So excited about this one.

cover
Isn’t this fun?

tossedandfound7
Who doesn’t get inspired (exhausted, but totally inspired) thinking about projects like these?

One Yard Wonders book
My kind of sewing book.

handStitcheddFelt2
Love these sweet little felt projects.

51Ih4gFfW7L._SS400_
New and fun.

238144
For the Cath Kidson fans, get it here.

973862_095_b
I really need this one.

974006_066_b
The bible of French home cooking, only recently translated. I’m getting goosebumps.

9085630
I’m a vegetable lover, so I had to throw this in.
jamies-america-large
Three hoorays (or ye-haw’s) for Jamie Oliver.

9100756
A whole book about sandwiches. I’m happy.

afternoon tea book
From the makers of Frankie Magazine.

cookbookcover_lores

Such a great concept. Read more here.
mastering_knife_skills
I want to get the skills! Recommended here.

{ 7 comments }

Notes on Cooking

10.27.09

I am in love with this book. The instant I first saw it’s cover, with its sweet little understated title, I knew it would be good. And it is, wow, it is. You know how delicious it was when you were a kid or teenager and you were allowed to be part of some really adult conversation? Like the cool aunt who tells you how life really is? It feels like that. Like you’re sitting down with a master chef, who, for some reason, has decided to spill everything about how the kitchen really works and satisfy all your curiosities.

Notes On Cooking Cover

The book reminds me of all the reasons I love to cook. And if you know anyone who gets passionate about cooking at any time in their life, they will feel the same. Read some of the advice, you’ll see what I mean:

“If it’s in the title, leave it alone”
“The cook’s first job is to delight”
“Feed others as they wish to be fed”
“Preside happily over accidents”
“Cook for the kitchen you’re in”
“Use koser or sea salt”
“Fish should not smell”
“Think regionally”
“Add fresh woody herbs at the beginning; fresh leafy herbs at the end”
“When the cook has done his job, there should be no need for salt and pepper on the table”
“Chicken is the test of a cook’s versatility”
“First aroma and appearance, then temperature, then texture, then flavor”

So, do you have any stellar notes on cooking?

{ 47 comments }

CLOTH NAPKINS

09.04.09

homemade cloth napkinsMy parents are in town for the week (ahhh, so nice). With a couple extra baby holders in the house, I felt brave enough to take on a sewing project, a set of cloth napkins.

I found some fun fabric at a small local place a friend just introduced me to and matched it with some fabric grandma gave me from her days of sewing in the ‘ 60s. The first napkin set went well. I suffered no sewing disasters, which I’m prone to having. So I really got saucy and tried mitered corners on the second set. Here’s one of my better corners, ready to sew.

mitered cornerI like this as a possible housewarming gift. I’m thinking if I ever get a yudu or a gocco, screenprinting a set may be more my style. Or just picking up one of the beautiful sets would suit me too.

cloth napkins screenprintedscreenprinted napkins by olofsdaughter’s

cloth napkin-woodblock-lake_cloth napkins in pretty colors, hand dyed napkin, woodblock napkins

{ 4 comments }

My honey loves me. Look what he got me for my birthday, my very own Le Cruset. Is it possible to fall in love with cookware? I think I’ve fallen. My 6-yr-old picked out the color. She did well, don’t you think? This gift makes me believe that some day I will again have enough control over my life to calmly prepare dinner, Paella! Chicken Vesuvio! Chicken Cacciatore! Carnitas! Or maybe a little Dutch Apple Crisp for dessert. Mmmm.

As for now, I’m just proud of myself that we made our first trip to the grocery store (with 3 kids!) When I realized the baby was falling asleep and the kids had just been fed, we dropped everything we were doing and raced to the  store before that perfect window closed. I actually thought we had the perfect window earlier in the day, and made it as far as the grocery store parking lot when my 4-year-old had an accident and the baby woke up and everything came crashing in. Ah well. Patience.

le cruset dutch oven 2While we’re on the topic of cooware, has anyone had any experience with the new Saucepan CTX non-stick? I’m told you don’t have to replace it after a few years like traditional nonstick, that you can use metal utensils on it, that it’s PFOA-free, and that it’s bulletproof. Just kidding about the last one. But I wouldn’t be surprised. It sounds pretty amazing.

CTX saucepan permanant nonstick cookware

{ 5 comments }

LOBSTER-READY

08.04.09

wedding gift lobster stockpotThe Cuisinart Classic Stockpot,(favored by Cooks Illustrated),
shellfish cutlery from Bjorklund,
and handprinted lobster towel from fawn&forest.

All that’s missing is lobster.

{ 0 comments }

ITALIAN BRUNCH

07.24.09

I have to share with you two things from my home that make me very happy and that are Italian (coincidence? I think not.)

The Silver Spoon Italian Cookbook

The Silver Spoon Italian Cookbook2The first thing that makes me happy: My Silver Spoon Italian Cookbook
It is big and beautiful, and best of all, authentic. The book is considered a culinary bible in Italy. Over 50 years ago Domus magazine sent a team of chefs gallivanting across Italy collecting recipes to represent the country. Quite the undertaking. Fifty-five years later came the second undertaking, translating it into English. After the labor of updating measurements and methods and ingredients, it was released in English in 2005, and it is a beautiful thing. It is an incredible 1263 pages of color photos, beautifully laid out text, and something I really appreciate: a solid index. It’s hard not to feel authentic when it is spread open on my counter. Though I have yet to tackle the chapters on eel and wild boar. Only then, I suppose, can I claim true authenticity.

wedding gift italian brunch glassesThe second thing that makes me happy: My set of Italian Brunch Glasses
We received these as a wedding gift, two sets of 8. Which I love, because I don’t have to limit my number of guests because I don’t have enough glasses. They make all my drinks look so pretty. I have done a little research, and it turns out Italian brunch isn’t exactly an time-honored authentic Italian ritual. But any excuse to have Crostata with Raspberry Jam or Frittata with Asparagus, Tomato, and Fontina is good enough for me.

{ 0 comments }

We recently came across the ice princess popsicle mold and had to give it to a little princess at her birthday. It’s made by Worldwide Fred, a company that has really made an art of ice molds (a few favorites below, but don’t miss cool jewels and cool jazz). We’ve also been experimenting with homemade popsicles lately, ever since my kids found out the popsicle was invented by a kid, and are thinking of taking some to friends as goodies. So then, these molds make great gifts, but if you want to keep one for yourself, you can make your own great gifts.
alphabet ice trayAlphabet and letter trays available from Sillycone.
ice cream sandwich moldsReally adorable ice cream sandwich molds by Tovolo.
(See more by Tovolo on their site.)
push up popsicle moldA push-up popsicle mold by Lekueto eliminate some of the mess during freezing (it has a lid) and eating (just push up as you eat, photo via here.)
And here are a few other favorites:

summer hostess gifts ice molds party popsicles1: Sailboat Pop Mold by Cuisipro
2: Fossiliced tray by Fred
3: Ice Kebob by Fred
4: Ice Princess Tray with straws by Fred
5: Rocket Popsicle Molds by Tovolo

{ 1 comment }