Simple Syrup: Three Ways

SIMPLE SYRUP

Last weekend Madde from The Collegiate Vegan and I went all out for the Oscars. ALL. OUT. We decided to try our hand at simple syrup because it’s a big, bad world out there and we’re looking to conquer it.

Simple syrup makes easy things taste fancy. It’s the red lipstick of the beverage world. Oh, you’re wearing a sweatshirt and jeans you haven’t washed in, truly, weeks? Just crank up the red lipstick game and those look like the finest sweatpants around.

Honey-Thyme Simple Syrup

from Set the Table
1/2 C honey
1/2 C water
5 or 6 thyme sprigs

Mix honey and water in a pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add the thyme, remove from heat, and let it sit on the stove for as long as you want, depending now how strongly thyme-y you want it to be. You can let it steep for as long as 24 hours. Strain the thyme out and store it in the refrigerator if you don’t use it all.

Mint Simple Syrup

1/2 C sugar
1/2 C water
1 bunch of mint leaves

Combine everything in a pot and simmer for five minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let it sit on the stove to cool for an hour. Strain out mint leaves and refrigerate what you don’t use.

Earl Grey Simple Syrup

1/2 C sugar
1/2 C water
2 Earl Grey tea bags

Cover and bring water to a boil. Turn off the heat and steep the tea bag for 5 minutes. Add sugar and turn heat to medium until sugar melts. Remove from heat and let it cool on the stove for an hour. Take out the tea bag and refrigerate what you don’t use.

You can use simple syrup from all kinds of awesome things. I mixed the Earl Grey simple syrup with seltzer water for a delicious and slightly sweet afternoon bubbly drink.

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Thursday Tidbits 2/26/2015

tidbits

{image via Two Loves Studio}

This quick pickled cucumber salad looks so easy and so awesome. It’s, what, 4 ingredients? And probably takes 5 minutes? Thanks, Shutterbean.

Easy dinners everyone should be able to make.

Turns out Christina Aguilera is EXCELLENT at impressions.

The rise of the reactress. An interesting look at the female roles in the Best Picture nominees this year.

How Eddie Redmayne did it. I promise I’ll stop talking about the Oscars after this week. I really will.

Happy Thursday, everyone.

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Resolution #1: Throw A Fancy Cocktail Party

One of the 2015 Resolutions I was most excited about was “Throw a fancy cocktail party.” I finally live in my first big girl apartment and I bought my first cocktail shaker, so the time could not be better. And the Oscars were coming up.

The dearest Madde from The Collegiate Vegan, who just so happens to be the mostly delightfully creative person on the planet when it comes to parties, hopped on the train as soon as the idea was born. We planned a menu around the eight Best Picture nominees and went a little crazy with it. Check out her post which includes the full menu, including an INSANE buffalo wing popcorn recipe to go with American Sniper.

Like, best-popcorn-experience-of-my-life insane.

We simmered, we muddled, we made simple syrup, we made it happen. (more…)

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Cross Country Ski Weekend in Maine

“How do you feel about a weekend of cross-country skiing?”
“Yeah. Cool, let’s do it.”
“It’s a ski-in-ski-out sort of thing.”
     Whatever that means.
“Sounds great.”

Apparently, ski-in-ski-out means that you drive up to Maine, ski 8 miles into the deep woods where there is no cell service and no road, stay the night, and ski 8 miles back the next day.

And apparently, as it turns out, that’s hard.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. (more…)

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The Unexpected Value of a Spending Freeze

 unexpected

When you’re a little kid with a $5 weekly allowance, each one of those dollars is a big deal.

You spend that money with intention because you have so little of it.

But as we grow older, things change. You spend $5 on a coffee, $20 on dinner, $50 on a night out. It feels like nothing, until you decide to stop spending it.

I learned I was throwing money at problems. I mean, that sounds dramatic. But it was happening. I bought something at the first shadow of a desire, just because I could. It’s exciting to have money to spend, so I spent it.

When you can’t spend money, you think a lot more about what you’re buying – what it means – and whether or not you actually want it. (more…)

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Thursday Tidbits 2/19/2014

tidbits

Mayor Walsh urges Bostonians to stop jumping out of windows and into snow. So if you’re wondering how Boston’s doing…

All New York Review posts about movies nominated for the Academy Award. There goes my afternoon. Spending the morning doing a little Oscars viewing party planning.

Dana Carvey’s impression of the Beatles talking about Kanye West. If nothing but for Bill Hader’s most adorable giggle fit.

LOVE this trick for choosing wine.

How to Start Cooking: 8 Steps to Loving Your Kitchen Life. Such a helpful post by the wonderful Xandra from Fashionably Light.

Happy Thursday, everyone.

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Spending Freeze: Lessons Halfway

SPENDING

{image via Kelly in the City}

At the end of January, I decided to get my ish together financially and start saving some money. I want to travel this year, and it turns out traveling requires money. I’m halfway through February, and I’m doing it. I cut out afternoon coffee breaks. I plan my spending meticulously. I sulked around the Whole Foods prepared foods section more than a handful of times. Here are a few things I’m learning: (more…)

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Thursday Tidbits 2/12/2015

tidbits{images via @kvtes}

Even though I’m pretty heartbroken that Jon Stewart is leaving The Daily Show (#Stewart2016), the open spot could be a super cool opportunity for someone to step into some big shoes.

Oscar films for every personality. The Buzzfeed quiz of the New York Times.

A lovely post about the world behind music composition in The Theory of Everything.

A modern guide to the love letter.

Perhaps the greatest moment of the Grammys on Sunday. Already sad that awards season is almost over.

I’m writing for an essay contest – join me? Let’s write together. That’s a cool thing to do.

Happy Thursday, everyone.

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How to Stay Informed During Your Coffee Break // DD Perks

 how to (5){image via Fourbarrel}

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Dunkin’ Brands. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

My goal, most mornings, is to do something I love.

Immediately.

I move between an early morning run, a leisurely breakfast, a good read, and Bible study. Either way, I’m waking up PUMPED and ready to go. The morning is also the best time to get informed so you can talk about more than the weather during the morning commute.  (more…)

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