Sunday, July 31, 2011

Roasting Coffee

Have you ever wanted to roast your own coffee? If you've ever tried the fresh-roasted kind, you know that it tastes and smells so good. My husband grew intrigued with the idea after learning that two of our friends have the same obscure hobby. So, to learn more about the process, we hosted a coffee roasting brunch on our balcony. It turns out there are several ways to do it.

First, you need to purchase your own raw beans. You can order them online from Sweet Maria's, for example. My husband tried roasting his own in a wok on our stovetop, which worked pretty well (instructions here).

One of our friends roasts his own using a heat gun (pictures 2 and 3).

Our other friend uses an old-school popcorn popper (fourth picture), which can be purchased on e-bay for about $20 (instructions here).

What do you think? Would you try it?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Everything Remotely Possible

Everything Remotely Possible. That is the name of the spreadsheet we made this weekend as a way of organizing our bid list--i.e., the list of 250 possible positions all over the world where we might be sent for my job. My husband named it before we started narrowing it down more precisely to positions that fit our timing and training limitations, but the name stuck and I like it. Now we are starting to research the countries themselves and imagining ourselves living at each one. The funny thing is, we don't have very much control over it. We list our preferences and that's it, it's out of our hands. For less than a month, the world is our oyster. And then we will be assigned one position off the list and it will start to sink in that this is really happening.

I'm embarrassed to admit that some of the cities I had to look up to find out which country they were in. I would have failed Carmen Sandiego (oh to be awesome like this kid). Where would you go if you could live anywhere for two years?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Eating with friends

I wanted to share with you an online magazine that I am very excited about. It is called Kinfolk Magazine: A Guide for Small Gatherings. The creative minds behind Hearblack--a blog I have been following for some time--are on the editorial staff.

Here is an excerpt from their manifesto:
We recognize that there is something about a table shared by friends, not just a wedding or once-a-year holiday extravaganza, that anchors our relationships and energizes us. We have come together to create Kinfolk as our collaborative way of advocating the natural approach to entertaining that we love.
Although their print magazine is already sold out, the beautiful electronic version is free for browsing on a computer or iPad. I am already impressed by the content, which includes stunning photography, insightful essays on entertaining, and ideas for parties both small and large at various times of the day. Some chapters include links to videos. The entire endeavor is extremely well-executed. My husband and I love cooking and spending time with friends, so we will be turning to this great resource for inspiration. Take a moment to check it out yourself!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Goals Realized

Here is the final project from my watercolor class. As you may recall, taking a watercolor class was one of my resolutions for 2011.

This project was literally inspired by the work of This Paper Ship.