Thursday, December 24, 2009

I'm dreaming of salty caramel

For the past few years I have made salty caramel for my Grandma. It is a fun, edible holiday craft, but beware: this stuff is ADDICTIVE. The best recipe I've found is from the December 2008 issue of ReadyMade Magazine, although I'm sure Smitten Kitchen's version is also sublime.

Soft Caramels a la ReadyMade
Makes about 100 1" squares

2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
2 tbsps unsalted butter
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tsps ground sea salt
2 tsps vanilla extract
Candy thermometer
parchment paper

Step 1: Prepare an 11" x 7" pan with at least 1" sides with a sheet of parchment and set aside.
Step 2: Microwave or heat cream until warm and set aside - you do not want to use cold cream in step 4!
Step 3: In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, combine sugar and corn syrup; mix until there are no dry spots and use a pastry brush to push down any sugar crystals from the sides of the pan.
Step 4: WEARING AN OVEN MITT, cook the mixture over high heat until it starts to turn golden. Immediately whisk in butter, one tablespoon at a time. CAREFULLY whisk in cream, a few tablespoons at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition. The mixture will steam when you add the cream and the steam will burn you if it comes into contact with your skin! I know this from experience.
Step 5: Clip the candy thermometer to the side of the pan and cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture reaches precisely 248 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 6: Remove from heat and whisk in salt and vanilla.
Step 7: Pour caramel into prepared pan and let sit for several hours or overnight.
Step 8: Turn the sheet of caramel onto a cutting board and refrigerate for 15 minutes
Step 9: With a knife or rotary cutter, cut the caramel into 1" square pieces and individually wrap them in parchment paper.

PS: My husband gave me my Christmas present early... this adorable pillow from K studio! We named him William.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Snowmageddon + A Winner!

Congratulations to The Owl's Closet, the winner of the Sakura Review drawing!

How was your weekend, friends? In Northern Virginia we received close to 20 inches of snow!! Needless to say we stayed in most of the weekend sipping hot beverages, wrapping presents, and making caramel for my grandma. I took a roll of film on my mom's old SLR camera she let me borrow. I can't wait to develop it and see how the pictures turn out.

The roads are still not clear... so I get a snow day today!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

That Day

"That day I carried the dream around like a full glass of water, moving gracefully so I would not lose any of it."
Miranda July No One Belongs Here More Than You

I find Miranda July quite inspiring...

You should look her up if you aren't familiar. She is a filmmaker, writer, artist, no-brow philosopher.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Very Etsy Christmas

My philosophy this Christmas has been to try to support independent stores and artists as much as possible while still buying gifts that I think my relatives will use and enjoy. In the meantime I'm trying to stay within a reasonable price range... but this is the first Christmas that I haven't been on a student's budget!

I recently purchased an item from etsy seller La Brocanterie, and I was quite taken by her philosophy and collection of vintage objects. When I received the package in the mail it included a few extra surprises and such personal flair that I had to double check the package to make sure it didn't actually come from a friend. In any case, I would highly recommend stopping by her store for some last minute Christmas gifts if any of you are looking for something vintage -- for instance, this neat Kodak rangefinder camera available here.

PS: Don't forget about the giveaway!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I am excited to announce that Lime of Sight will be offering its first ever giveaway!!!

One lucky reader will receive a copy of Sakura Review, a DC-based literary journal featuring short fiction and poetry from writers across America and the delightful artwork and design of Joel and Ashley of This Paper Ship. Each copy also comes with a bookmark designed by This Paper Ship. Last night the editors revealed the inaugural issue with a launch party (which I epically failed at documenting).

Please comment below for your chance to win a copy. If you are not a regular blogger, you may comment by selecting "Anonymous" on the drop down bar, but be sure to sign your first name and last initial along with your e-mail. Let me know if you post about this giveaway on your blog or on Facebook and you will receive an extra entry in the drawing.

A winner will be randomly chosen on Monday, December 21st and notified by e-mail. Copies available for purchase via the Sakura Review website. Creative submissions for the second issue are currently being accepted.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Grown Up Christmas List

Dear Santa,

This Christmas I ask for peace,
I ask that neighborly love and mutual understanding may increase
And that violent extremism may decrease

I hope for breakthroughs in science
To eradicate the worst sicknesses in our society,
And to solve our energy problems without destroying our planet

I pray that we may be humble and do our part
That we may be brave when the opportunity comes
And that patience may persevere.

Fine Art Print by Jane Heller available for purchase here on etsy.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

In the holiday spirit

This weekend my husband and I embarked on our alternative Christmas tree adventure. The thought of having a fake tree bothers me, and the thought of cutting a tree down bothers my husband. Our compromise last year almost ended in the death of a beloved house plant (you may remember my post about it). So this year we settled on recreating the pine cone tree from country living. Their directions are rather vague, so if you decide to try this at home, here are some more details:

Supplies for a 2.5 foot tree

cone shaped foam base
wire cutters (+ pliers and gloves optional)
wooden floral pics
sheet moss
appx 70 cones of varying sizes**
pot or decorative stand

**We purchased our pine cones from Michaels, but a friend told me that you can also find them at Wild Oats. You could also use a florist. If you gather the cones yourself, be sure to bake them in the oven before using them. And please be careful: I would hate for you to poke an eye out with a piece of wire flying throught the air. Just be warned.


Start out with the largest pine cones and wrap a five inch wire tightly around the lower spokes (being careful not to break or damage them) leaving a few inches of wire with which to anchor the cone into the foam base. (I would suggest wearing gloves because my husband has all sorts of little cuts on his hand from this step). Insert the cones into the foam at an angle and repeat this process working around and up the foam base using progressively smaller and smaller pine cones. For the smaller cones, I was able to use wooden floral pics, but you could conceivably use wire the whole time. Last but not least, stick sheet moss in between any gaps in the cones so that the white foam base does not show through. Decorate as desired.

Now we have a great-smelling, festive tree to get us in the holiday spirit. I bought some twinkle lights as per The Owl's Closet's suggestion, but we bought the wrong size batteries so I don't have a picture of it yet.

What kind of decorations are you using this year? Any recommendations for holiday crafts?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

To do this weekend

I am definitely going to have to go for a walk in the woods this weekend to gather pine cones for a holiday craft. I am trying to decide between this pine cone "alternative christmas tree" from lindsey of Always Spinning and this garland from Twig and Thistle. Check Twig and Thistle's post for a step by step guide on how to make the garland. I may have to borrow my MILs hot glue gun for the tree!

My husband said no glitter this year... but I am getting the urge! Maybe some crazy tinsel, too!