Archive for March, 2011

MXYPLYZYK and the Art of Sale Shopping

I love finding new home furnishing stores in the city. This past weekend I finally stumbled across MXYPLYZYK, which is totally my new fave. I had been wanting to check out the store for a while, but had not been in the neighborhood. When I serendipitously happened by it this weekend, I knew I had to stop in. At first glance around the well-curated space you’d think that everything in the store would be super expensive. However, there are some great inexpensive gems to be had. Lots of cool Mid-Century stuff, mixed in with vintage, modern, and eclectic whatnots. After a quick perusal, I discovered a super cute owl pitcher.

If you know me well, you know that I adore owls–especially of the ceramic variety. So when I first saw this owl pitcher, I knew I had to have it. Until I saw the price tag–$45. Not bad, but did I really need a $45 pitcher? So I decided to look around some more, and lo and behold, I discovered one in the sale section for 5 bucks. I couldn’t believe it, and it was only there because of a small chip on the top of the pitcher. Better still, the chipped piece was still attached. Clearly it was meant to be.

So I took my new owl pitcher home (carefully), and used Gorilla Glue to reattach the broken piece. Growing up my mother always told me never to pay full price for anything, and for the most part I try to stick to that motto. Or at least haggle if it’s a thrift store. So, important lesson to be learned–always check the sale section!

Though I love the idea of using this as a water pitcher, I felt like a vase was more appropriate. I popped some flowers in, and voila! Good as new.

What’s your favorite bargain that you’ve picked up recently?

Figure Friendly Yogurt Cheese

Yogurt cheese is one of the easiest, yummiest DIY cooking projects you can do. It’s virtually effortless and requires no cooking skills in the least bit. Come to think of it, it doesn’t even require proper cooking equipment. All you need is some yogurt and a kitchen towel (or cheese cloth, if you want to get all fancy). If this hasn’t convinced you already, consider this: aside from being easy to make, yogurt cheese is also extremely figure friendly.

See for yourself how simple it is, after the jump.

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Chalk it Up to a New Paint Job

I have this really weird wall in my kitchen that has an awkward bend to it. I don’t understand the internal constructs of my building enough to know what would necessitate such a bend, but it’s there, and it’s ugly. When we first moved in, I hung a mirror on it but it always looked funny. It didn’t hang flat due to the curvature of the wall, and it just felt like wasted space. So I decided to change that. Recently, I painted the wall with chalkboard paint, making it both functional and attractive.

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Hand Squeezed Limoncello Part II

As promised, I have an update on the Limoncello process. It has been two weeks since I started and now I’m on to step two. All I have to do now is wait another 6 weeks. Ahhh! I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to hold out, but I’m hoping my patience will pay off. Full disclosure: I did take a little taste today, and I cant believe it’s going to get better than it already is.

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Peanutella!

 

It’s been a crazy week, and I feel like I haven’t been able to get into the kitchen as much as I wanted to. Add the fact that I’m trying to maintain some sort of diet, and you’ve got the answer to the lack of cooking projects in the last few weeks.

Which is why it’s weird that I’m going to segue into making something chocolate-y, and filled with peanut goodness. But we all need to indulge a little sometimes, right? Well, the truth is, I don’t plan to eat it all on my own. I’m headed upstate next weekend to visit a friend for brunch and was trying to think of the perfect brunch gift for a fantastic chef. I thought this was unique, and it’s been on my list of to-do Handjobs, so I figured why not?

This recipe is super simple and absolutely fabulous. I first found it on the fantastic blog Smitten Kitchen, and then later saw a version of it in the DIY Cooking Hand Book, so I felt it was a sign that it needed to happen. Peanutella is a lot like Nutella (yum), but it’s made with peanuts instead of hazelnuts. So it’s sort of like a chocolate peanut butter spread. I know, pretty amazing. Click through to find out how it’s done.

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Thanks!

Typewriter thank you

Thanks to the wonderful folks at Apartment Therapy, I was recently featured on their blog for my bedroom update. So as you can imagine, over the last couple of days I’ve seen an incredible abundance of new readers, subscribers, and comments—which makes me super happy. So I would just like to take a moment to say welcome and thank you to all the new readers!

In addition, Apartment Therapy has asked me if I would be willing to do a house tour of our apartment (!!!). I know, crazy, right? I may lose sleep over it for the next couple of days (and run on Martha Stewart’s 4-hour-a-night sleep cycle) but I think it will all be worth it. I’ll provide you with links and more details as they become available. So look forward to that!

As always, I love input from readers, so if you have any suggestions or ideas for projects, shoot me an e-mail me at handjobsforthehome@gmail.com

Much love.

D.I.Y. Cooking Handbook

Illustration by Andrew Rae

Today, a dear friend forwarded me a New York Times article titled D.I.Y. Cooking Handbook. He said he thought of me when he read it and he couldn’t have been more right. It was exactly what I love to do, and got me really excited to get into the kitchen and start crafting up food recipes.

I will be honest–at first I was skeptical. I was thinking it was going to be a bunch of overly complex cooking projects with crazy, hard to find ingredients, which is not my style. However, I was quite pleased to discover it was the exact opposite. Many of the things in this little handbook are simple to create, and totally useful. Lots were actually already on my to-do list, but I also found many new projects to add.

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