Saturday, February 26, 2011


Found a Mexican grocery close to our apartment and am so inspired to cook Mexican. Also I'm coming off the fast gradually and I want to make all the things I loooooove. So first up is Guacamole of course. I haven't had it really since Chiapas. Since guac became dinner most nights I needed some time off, but that craving was the first one to really hit me hard after I started eating again. 

Cumin makes all the difference in the best guacamole. 

3 avocados
1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
cayenne to taste

2 Roma tomatoes
1 small white onion

I made the chips from store bought corn tortillas, by frying them in vegetable oil, but as soon as I get my hands on some masa harina from Tehuitzingo grocery I'm making my own. 

This Tzotzil woman was an extra in the movie and her business in the scene was to make tortillas. The tortilla press which is next to her is an essential tool and I'm dying to get my hands on one. Maybe Tehuitzingo can help me out there too.

I got to Clintondale last night after a very successful shopping spree at Tehuitzingo. They had all the goodies I was looking for and more! The above picture is of dried Guajillo chiles, an important ingredient in Sopa Azteca which is next weekend's project. I also bought Epazote leaves that go in the soup. They really DO smell like gasoline. 

They even had the crappy candy we had at crafty on the moive. It made me a little sentimental. As difficult and challenging as the The Blue Eyes was, I know I will never do anything like it again. Anyway, so I also got masa harina so I can start making my own tortillas. Until I get a press I will just roll them out by hand. 

And until I make my own I got a nice stack of their tortillas to use. I fried some up today and added to my black bean soup. Turns out this one is a great freezer/defroster. One of the best soups I've made, I think!

The floor wood got delivered this week. It has to sit inside and acclimatize for 2 weeks before installation.

They are 12" yellow pine boards from Willliams lumber. We had a whole shipment of white pine from Ghent in the house for about a week until we realized it just wasn't floor grade. So when we got rid of those boards, we decided to upgrade to yellow pine, which is much harder and better for floors anyway. It has enough color in itself that we will probably get away with just a white wash and then a water based finish.

We had to go to tub school the other weekend. We bought this guy in the summer and were shocked that we got away so cheap. It's a whirlpool by American Standard and we LIKED that it was so simple and small. We are shower people and may indulge twice a year with the jets. So our former contractors prepped for this tub and built a deck. Turns out a drop in tub is never a good idea when you use it mainly for showers. Many leakage possibilities and when water hits the deck it's got nowhere to go. But the deck was built and the floor was laid. Between our plumber Scott, contractors Jake and Brian and James and I we figured out a solution finally. One can purchase a vinyl flange that turns a drop in tub into an alcove tub by creating a seal between the deck and the tub. Only thing is, when using this flange - the tub has to be butted up against the wall. So without moving the plumbing and adding tiles to the floor, Jake and Brian built out the back wall and created a thicker foot wall that will end where the tile ends on the other two walls. It may look a little unorthodox but it will work and we can stay with our little tub.

I picked up the marble for the vanity today too.

The tiles came from Lowes and the backsplash was ordered from Terra Tile and Marble on Route 9. I was impatient (of course) and just laid it out to get an idea. We are getting SO CLOSE!!!

I painted a yellow patch on the bedroom wall and Rosemary is sowing Roman shades. SOOOOOO CLOSE!!!

This coming week I am off to Cleveland on a commercial. We are driving out there and right now that feels a little sucky but I have made really sick trail mix and downloaded some David Sedaris so hopefully it will be an alright ride. And in an interesting turn of events I'm continuing my mid western tour and fly to Wisconsin the week after. Fave DP Lisa Rinzler is shooting a documentary and we are heading out there for some B roll. 

But in between the jobs I'm making a pit stop in Clintondale to make Sopa Azteca. Stay tuned.

Friday, February 18, 2011

All hearts day

We celebrated Valentine's Day or as we call it in Sweden - All Hearts Day, on Sunday.

We treated ourselves to pink Bellinis with peach schnapps instead of the nectar. More fun that way.

And lox bennies with rosemary red potatoes. We all know how to make Hollandaise and that you need to grow a few more limbs to make it. The potatoes were tossed in olive oil and rosemary and roasted in the oven for about 45 minutes.

Writing this is actually torture since I'm on day 5 of a fast and all I want i s FOOOOOOOD. But I feel like a million gazillion bucks, I jump out of bed in the morning ready to go. I really hope I won't go back to my old coffee habits because feeling like this rules!

In case you didn't know, I kinda like this guy and I'm so lucky he's my Valentine! Skål James - here's to another however many years we've been together!

And so for a progress report...

Our very handsome bathroom floor.

The rest of the bathroom is coming together. Jake and Brian put the vanity in place yesterday and built out the shelves on the wall. We utilized a strange little cavity that was there anyway. The marble is ordered for the top of the vanity and we are very close to dropping the tub in place. 

I love this bathroom I love this bathroom! 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Floors and walls

When we first moved in, this is what the pastry shop looked like. We kind of fell in love with the dark blue wallpaper and were always intending on keeping this room a little cavey like that.

Rosemary helped us narrow it down to one color - Ralph Lauren's Club Navy. James got started on painting this week and it looks amazing. Everything is only 1 coat so far but it's already just out of this world. There's something not real about it. Like who does this? You've only seen it in some extreme interior decorator magazine. Yikes! Subtle we are not.

Kevin came in and did our bathroom floor. There is grout mess covering the tiles still but this is a first glance. That also looks amazing. 

Everything is coming together. The vanity, this vanity:

will go in next. Since we now have radiant heat in this part of the house we don't have to mess with radiators, which makes this bathroom even bigger. We are taking bets on when we are taking our first shower in here. And it will be a wrestle match to the death to figure out WHO will get to take that first shower.

We are ordering the floor wood very soon. This weekend we are experimenting with stains and finishes.

We picked out 4 possible colors. The 5th square on the board is clean of stain, so that we could try whitewash and poly on a just board. The board on the right is stained only. The board on the left is stained and whitewashed. We used a small amount of white latex paint and diluted with lots of water. Then used a brush to put it on and wiped off immediately. This week James is finishing the boards with water soluble finish on one side and oil on the other. Hopefully we will be able to make a decision after that.

We made Skagen baked potoatos. We mixed sour cream, mayo, dill, lemon juice and chopped up shrimp (or whatever other seafood we have handy). Some salt and pepper. Then we put some extra shrimp on top and some roe and we have a loaded baked potato Swedish style.

For desert - kladd kaka. Sticky cake. Or just a BROWNIE. My sister is on the path of finding the perfect recipe for sticky cake and this one is a winner for sure. Here is the Swedish version. Great thing about it is that you make it all in one pot and reduce the mess greatly!

Melt 1 1/2 sticks of butter in a saucepan. Let it cool off slightly. Add 1 cup of sugar and mix together. Add 1/4 cup of cocoa, some vanilla extract, 2 eggs (one a a time) and 2/3 cup of flour. Butter and breadcrumb a baking pan.

Heat the oven to 350 and bake for about 20-30 minutes.