Friday Things

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1. You probably heard that it was a little cold this week in some places. My little corner of Pittsburgh got down to -10 on Monday night/Tuesday morning. That resulted in ice on the inside of the windows, lots of time spent in sweats, and more static electricity than I’ve experienced in my life. We also had two Golden Retrievers that were all, “we don’t care what the temperature is, we want to play in the snow, so what if your eyelashes are frozen from sticking your head out the door, stop yelling for us to come in, because la,la,la,la… we can’t hear you.”

2. While we were in subzero temperatures, I saw on Instagram that if you throw boiling water into the air, poof! It vaporizes. I totally tried it and it worked! SO COOL. Then, I wanted to do it again and take a video of it, but my Chief Culinary Consultant talked me out of it, saying once was enough and I could get burned. Turns out, he knows what he’s talking about. Two hours later, I saw this post on Buzzfeed about all the people who got burned trying that trick. Yikes! It’s a good thing I have a grown-up looking out for me :)

3. Over the holidays, I was introduced to a new Pittsburgh-based company called Romeo Delivers. Their mission is to provide innovative ways to express romance, happiness, and love through custom-made products. They sent a package to my Chief Culinary Consultant based on their subscription service for men; each month, members receive a kit of unique, romantic gifts to personalize for the lady in their life. The packages include a mix of handcrafted and machine-made products ranging from textiles and paper goods to wood, glass and metal parts.

Romeo Delivers Christmas Box

The package my CCC received had an ornament covered in chalkboard paint with a package of chalk to customize it, wooden gift tags, sticky notes, and a gift-wrapping guide. I thought everything was so cute! Plus, I actually used the gift wrapping guide! A very cool concept.

If you’re interested in trying it out, Romeo Delivers is offering Brown Eyed Baker readers a $10 discount until February 5th by signing up here. That means you could try it out for a month for only $2!

4. My mom bought me a new pair of slippers for Christmas, thanks to all of your great recommendations!

new slippers!

She originally got me the L.L. Bean Wicked Good Moccasins, but Duke was a little too interested in all of the fur on the outside. They’re not cheap and I didn’t want him to ruin them, so I exchanged them for the Wicked Good Clogs. I love them! Highly recommend!

5. The last time I received a StitchFix shipment, I took pictures and documented everything that I received. I know a lot of you have had questions about StitchFix in general and my experience with them; is a review-style post something you would be interested in seeing?

6. A couple of nights ago, I made homemade peanut butter for the first time. For being the huge peanut butter lover that I am, I shocked myself at taking so long to do this! I LOVE it! It tastes so fresh, and… wait for it… peanutty :) Like, exponentially peanuttier than any store bought peanut butter I have tried. I don’t think there is any going back for me!

7. Can you believe that up until last week I didn’t own a set of stainless steel mixing bowls? I have a set of nesting glass mixing bowls and a set of nesting ceramic mixing bowls, but I had been growing increasingly nervous about using the glass bowls in a double-boiler situation after cracking one of my mom’s doing just that (oops, sorry Mom!). I bought this set from Chef’s catalog and oh my goodness, I am in love.

8. Last night, Jamie from My Baking Addiction posted a photo on Instagram of a bag of multi-colored marshmallows. Not just any marshmallows. Lucky Charms marshmallows. As in, a whole bag of just the marshmallows. As a kid, we weren’t allowed to buy the “fun” cereal, but by high school, I had spent enough time at other kids’ houses to know how awesome the little marshmallows in Lucky Charms were. Turns out, you can BUY these! My mind was blown. You can put them in your cereal, in your hot chocolate, or eat them by the handful. Jamie said you can get these at Nuts.com, which, doh! I order often from there, but I never actually bothered to look at all of the other things that they sell besides nuts (they sell a lot of awesome stuff!). I’ve been missing out!

9. After Christmas, I treated myself to something that I had been lusting after for some time…

New Canon 85mm 1.2 lens

This Canon 85mm f/1.2 has officially replaced the 50mm 1.4 lens as my “portrait-style” lens. The photos I’ve taken with it so far are absolutely beautiful! It lets in a ton of light, produces a really sharp subject, along with a gorgeous bokeh (i.e. shallow depth of field, blurred background). I can’t wait to play around with it a little more!

10. TGIF! I wish you a great weekend with an abundance of relaxation time!

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45 Responses to “Friday Things”

  1. Ruth on January 10, 2014 at 12:53 am

    Yes! I would be very interested in review-style posts on your StitchFix shipments! I’ve never commented before, but I just had to let you know how much I love your blog! You are one of my first go-to spots when I need a great new recipe, everything I have made from your blog has been DELISH! I love how you try to keep away from pre-packaged foods, that is very convenient for me, since I live in Turkey and can’t get any of those pre-packaged foods anyway!

    Reply

  2. Alyssa @ My Sequined Life on January 10, 2014 at 1:36 am

    I have been hearing about homemade nut butters ALL over the place lately! I love that you can control to an extent the chunkiness vs. smoothness. Sometimes I feel like Goldilocks with my peanut butter :)

    Happy Friday!

    Reply

  3. Averie @ Averie Cooks on January 10, 2014 at 2:20 am

    CONGRATS on your very first batch of homemade PB. It’s so amazing, right, and you’ll never want storebought for just eating. For baking, I do use storebought. But in my cookbook I have over 30 different versions of homemade PB. Last week I m made some with bourbon and vanilla. I love adding a little booze to it :)

    And that 85mm 1.2 That lens is a DREAM to shoot with. I’ve rented it and it’s magical. At the time I bought my 50 mm 1.2, I bought it for food and it was a more practical choice for me since I don’t shoot many (any) portraints, but I want that 85 in my bag of tricks. Good for you!!

    Reply

  4. AJ on January 10, 2014 at 2:44 am

    Love the pics of the puppy dogs … such cuteness

    Would lofe to hear more about StitchFix even though they don’t ship to Australia …. I can live vicariously :-)

    Reply

  5. Mademoiselle C. on January 10, 2014 at 3:49 am

    You’ll never turn back after making homemade peanut butter. So easy, healthy and delicious!
    So jealous of your lens! I want! Can’t wait to see the pics you take with it.
    Mademoiselle C. xx
    http://www.creamstop.com

    Reply

  6. Pieliekamais on January 10, 2014 at 5:01 am

    “…Duke was a little too interested” :) ha ha ha, our friends had to put away their cowhide carpet when they puppy sat for us one time because SOMEONE was a little too interested in it :)
    Yep, definitely interested in a stitch fix review!

    Reply

  7. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent on January 10, 2014 at 6:11 am

    It was a lot colder here in Michigan and my poor dog didn’t want to go out for any longer than she needed to. Things are warming up today and I think she was excited to get the chance to do a safety check of the full yard :) Happy Friday!

    Reply

  8. Leighann on January 10, 2014 at 6:11 am

    Can you post the peanut butter recipe you used? I would also be interested in the StitchFix review.

    Reply

  9. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness on January 10, 2014 at 6:20 am

    Man, considering that peanut butter is it’s own food group in my household, I really need to get on making my own! And congrats on the new lens! It’s always so fun to experiment with different ones and see how they affect your photography!!

    Reply

  10. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on January 10, 2014 at 6:34 am

    Once you go Homemade Peanut Butter, the stuff at the store is not the same. So glad you finally made it, just amazing! You have to try using Trader Joe’s honey roasted peanuts for your next PB and add a pinch of maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. OH MY GOD!!!! It’s to die for!!!!

    Your Pups look like they are having so much fun in the snow!!

    Reply

  11. Jodi on January 10, 2014 at 7:44 am

    I want to try homemade peanut butter. I hope you have a post soon on how you did it! Also, I would also like to see your Stitch Fix summaries!

    Reply

  12. Dana on January 10, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Your slippers are pretty! I have the coldest toes…I may have to get a pair.
    My pup goes out in the snow to do her business but gets distracted eating the snow and then her paws start freezing and she still hasn’t done the deed. I wish we had a fence and could just let her out…but I had to go out in it with her when it was -15!! So glad it’s warming up now. I love your comment about your CCC being the grown-up; it sounds like my super-safe hubby!
    Very envious of your new lens, too!

    Reply

  13. FoodCrafters on January 10, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Great lens! I heard the quality is great, but it’s very heavy and the autofocus is quite slow, which is fine if you shoot at home, but less to travel with. What do you think?

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 10th, 2014 at 10:01 am

      It is a heavy lens, which doesn’t particularly bother me since a couple of mine are on the heavy side. The autofocus IS slow, but I don’t use it very often. I bought this with the primary intent to use it at home, at family gatherings, etc. If you were looking for a lens to travel with, I would recommend the 35mm 1.4. I took this lens as my one and only when I went to NYC with my mom and sister a couple of years ago. It’s pretty light, took fabulous photos, is a quick focus and the 35mm length will get you some great shots.

      Reply

      • FoodCrafters on January 10th, 2014 at 11:27 am

        Thanks for the feedback. Yes, the 35 L series is absolutely fabulous, I had the chance to use it! For now I settled on the 50mm 1.4 for budgetary reasons, but hopefully the 35mm someday :)

        Reply

  14. Betsy on January 10, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Goldens LOVE them some snow, don’t they? It looks like Duke is laughing in the bottom right picture! He is just the cutest ever! My parents were known for their peanut brittle–making many batches at Christmas. Do I have their recipe???? NOOOOOO! I could just kick myself-what was I thinking? Note to all of you—-get those beloved recipes before it is to late. :(

    Reply

  15. Becca @ Crumbs on January 10, 2014 at 8:32 am

    So glad you didn’t burn yourself Michelle!! Hope you guys are managing to stay fairly warm over there

    Reply

  16. Kellie T on January 10, 2014 at 9:07 am

    I invested in a Vitamix blender last year and recently made my own peanut butter…what a revelation! It was sooooo good! I recently made some peanut butter out of honey roasted peanuts. So delish!! I gave some away to family members at Christmas. They loved it!

    Reply

  17. Andrea on January 10, 2014 at 9:23 am

    My mom bought me the softest Christmas slippers and I love them. Our pup did too…they no longer have pom-poms. :(

    Reply

  18. Sara on January 10, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Your pups look so happy! Love it!

    Reply

  19. Elizabeth B. on January 10, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Please please PLEASE do the Stich Fix post!! I keep debating about signing up and that’s exactly what I need – a solid review from someone that I read all the time/trust (as opposed to the stranger’s blogs I find when I google reviews).

    Reply

  20. Nicole on January 10, 2014 at 9:57 am

    I’ve been following your blog for over a year and always enjoy what you post, and I’ve even made several of your recipes. Yay for new slippers and your first time making homemade peanut butter. But clutch my pearls, I’m excited because I had no idea there was a company that sold cereal marshmallow bits. Thank you for sharing that website!

    Reply

  21. Beth B. on January 10, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Stainless steel mixing bowls are the best! Enjoy your new ones. And if you like homemade peanut butter you should definitely try this:

    http://www.crazyforcrust.com/2013/05/oreo-peanut-butter/

    It’s pretty amazing and slightly addicting!

    Reply

  22. Lauren on January 10, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Awwww I love waking up to photos of my baby nephews!! Thanks for starting my Friday off on the right “paw” :) Love ya!

    Reply

  23. Katie on January 10, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Thanks for the recommendation on the slippers! I used to buy L.L. Bean’s flip flop style slippers until they discontinued them, looking for a new style! :) Happy Friday!

    Reply

  24. Catherine Wilson on January 10, 2014 at 11:06 am

    What a perfect description of two Goldens in the snow! I think that this is the exact thing our two girls are thinking as we stand in the back door, freezing, trying to coax them inside. Calling, whistling, yelling, shaking bags of treats. All of a sudden the two who can hear a bag of bread move from across the house experience complete hearing loss.
    Your two boys are so handsome!

    Reply

  25. jen on January 10, 2014 at 11:35 am

    stitchfix! stitchfix! share, please!

    Reply

  26. Zainab on January 10, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Oooooh homemade peanut butter. I’ve been saying i wanted to try. How long would it last in the fridge? Not that it might last that long in my house lol

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 11th, 2014 at 9:21 pm

      Hi Zainab, I’ve seen anywhere from two to four weeks. You could make small batches more often if you prefer to stick to the two weeks.

      Reply

      • zainab on January 12th, 2014 at 5:06 am

        thanks :)

        Reply

  27. Food, Faith, and Other Fabulous Finds on January 10, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    I love reading other bloggers stitchfix reveals, so please share yours!

    Reply

  28. Kerry @ Kerry Cooks on January 10, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Duke is getting so BIG!

    Just wait until you make homemade cinnamon maple almond butter… or chocolate peanut butter… or homemade nutella. OMG

    Reply

  29. Jackie on January 10, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    It was 29 below in Fargo the other day with up to 60 below wind chills. Of course they still made us come to work and our dogs are the exact same way, they want to play out in the snow as long as they can. Which now, after 60 below wind chills, is more like a skating rink!

    Reply

  30. Sue Mathes on January 10, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    I just want you to know that I love, love, love, your site. Whenever I go to my email I can’t wait to see if there is anything from you. Fridays are my fav for many reasons, but mainly for the dog pics and the weeks round up. I’m about to try the Panattone recipes and can’t wait. My forms and citrus got here yesterday from King Arthur. Butter waiting anxiously on the counter : )
    Thank you for all the time you invest in acquiring and passing your knowledge on to us!

    Reply

  31. Janice on January 10, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Those exhausted “puppies”…I just love ‘em!
    NUTS.COM?!?! What a great site! Thank you– you always have something in your blog that peaks my interest … Besides those gosh darn cute pups!!

    Reply

  32. Maralyn Woods on January 10, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Thank so much for the heads-up and link to Nuts.com. Oh, my gosh! I found Jordan almonds, orange and lemon peels, unsalted cashews – all at a great price. Thanks again.

    Reply

  33. Alison on January 10, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Wise thinking to return the moccasins! I have a 9 month old Golden and he’s ruined two pairs of them. Such a shame because they’re amazing slippers. Your dogs are so sweet together – it makes me want a second Golden now that mine is out of the tough puppy stage.

    Reply

  34. Alexandra on January 10, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    I would love to see StitchFix summaries!

    Reply

  35. Auntiepatch on January 10, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    More pictures of Duke and Einstein! I’m in doggy heaven!

    Reply

  36. wendyworldly on January 10, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Oh BEB, too funny about the stainless steel bowls…I am 60 and after breaking one of the Pyrex mixing bowls I’ve had since my 20s, I finally bought some stainless ones at Costco in Sydney recently. One of these days I’m going to get myself a KitchenAid mixer! I love your website!

    Reply

  37. Elena on January 10, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    In MN on Monday it felt like -66. The entire state had school cancelled!

    Reply

  38. Steph in Lex on January 10, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    We had ice on the inside of our windows, as well! It *only* got down to -3 degrees here, with wind chills of about -20.
    Glad I wasn’t the only one whose parents refused to buy Lucky Charms and the like! Of course, it’s left me with an abiding love for cereals like Wheat Chex and Grape Nuts–the stuff that most people seem to only want to eat if they drown it in sugar first. :) But that love has already been passed down to my two-year-old, who asks for Wheat Chex every morning (and sometimes noon and night as well!).
    The picture of Duke on the bottom right, I believe, is in the dictionary under “basking.”

    Reply

  39. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on January 10, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    Have a great weekend!!!

    Reply

  40. Joyce @ MustardSeeds+Hope on January 12, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    Stay warm!!

    Reply

  41. Laura Dembowski on January 25, 2014 at 8:47 am

    I wanted to try that boiling water thing but chickened out. Looks like I’ll get another chance this week. This winter can end any time.

    Reply

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