Friday Things

Einstein sunbathing

1. Someone spent a large amount of time soaking up some sunshine this week! It’s been so long since we’ve had bright rays of sun bursting through the windows, and Einstein wasted no time climbing up onto the stairs to bask in a perfect sun spot.

2. Last weekend my sister made a great big salad with kale, and I admittedly sort of poo-poo’d it before I tried it. Here’s the thing. I like lettuce and raw spinach, but I’ve only ever had bad experiences with other types of greens. I think because I’ve only tried them sautΓ©ed or steamed (which I haven’t liked). Turns out, I LOVED the salad. She made it with kale, golden raisins, dried cranberries, pine nuts, feta and a honey vinaigrette. Delicious! I haven’t quite jumped on kale train yet, but that salad was definitely a first step!

3. I’m always adding to the long list of blogs that I follow in my Google Reader, and thought I’d share some new ones that I’ve added over the last couple of weeks. If you haven’t checked them out yet, be sure to visit Gimme Some Oven, Oh, Ladycakes, Sally’s Baking Addiction, Top With Cinnamon, and Verses From My Kitchen for some fabulous recipes!

4. This kitchen island diagram was posted by The Wall Street Journal on Facebook a few days ago:

Kitchen Island

So many fun gadgets, but I would want more counter space! What’s on your dream island wish list?

5. We’re 10 days into Lent, and I’m happy to report that I’m still eating a peanut butter-free diet. Only 37 more days to go!

6. In the past week, I have seen two bloggers post about the chocolate truffle cookies from the Dahlia Bakery Cookbook. I think this is divine intervention telling me I need to buy that book ASAP.

7. My mom had some family over last weekend for a little engagement celebration for my Chief Culinary Consultant and me,Β and she ordered the most adorable cake! That fake ring totally fits around my wrist; look out, bracelet bling! πŸ˜‰

8. Note to self: When you’re trying to do some serious house hunting, turning into neighborhoods where there are estates with mansions will probably be counterproductive. Also, going to the Pittsburgh Auto Show and sitting in $90,000 cars will probably ensure that your next one will fall far below your expectations. I will say, though, that mansion-browsing and sitting in crazy expensive cars make for a pretty fun couple of days πŸ™‚

9. I have seen on more than one social media account references to “Harlem Shake”, including a news story about some kids getting suspended from school because of something related to it. I feel totally out of the loop; I have NO idea what it is (this, coming from the girl who didn’t see the Gangnam Style video for upwards of 4 months after it was released). In retrospect, I guess I could have easily Googled “Harlem Shake” in the amount of time it just took me to lament that I know nothing about it. Truthfully, it brings me a strange sort of joy to feel like the out-of-touch old lady who can’t understand why guys wear skinny jeans and have shaggy long hair. I’m totally ready for fuddy-duddy land.

10. TGIF! Here’s to finding a spot in the sun this weekend!

"No more pictures, please!"

“Seriously, no more pictures, please!”


54 Responses to “Friday Things”

  1. Sues on February 22, 2013 at 12:49 am

    Happy Friday!! But mansion hunting is so fun πŸ™‚


  2. teresa on February 22, 2013 at 3:39 am

    what a classy dog! I used to have a cat like that.
    Have a fun weekend


  3. Rachel on February 22, 2013 at 3:53 am

    Ha, I agree, I’m headed for fuddy duddy land too at the sprite age of 31. I still haven’t seen the Gangnam style video nor the Harlem Shake one because I think that if everyone in the whole world wants to watch it, for some reason, that is reason enough for me not to want to. Congrats on the engagement and Happy House Hunting!


  4. Mary Ann on February 22, 2013 at 4:43 am

    I’m totally with you on #9!


  5. Samantha on February 22, 2013 at 5:09 am

    Happy Friday! You’re mom is such a sweetheart, making you that cake. I’m a long time reader, and I was wondering. Will we ever get to see a picture of the Chief Culinary Consultant? I’ve always wondered what he or she looked like. Have a good weekend.


    • Elizabeth Kellett on February 22nd, 2013 at 9:27 am

      I agree!! Do you have any engagement photos?? So happy for you! Your blog is a regular part of my day!


      • Rachel on February 22nd, 2013 at 7:49 pm

        I agree!


  6. J @ semplicemente ... J on February 22, 2013 at 5:14 am

    My Dante is adorable just like Einstein (love when you post pics of him) but I can never get great pics of him.
    I am on business for travel but saw a call for the students to make a video to make the Harlem Shake followed by my daughter’s tweet saying that she couldn’t make it. Upset of course … πŸ˜‰ … I’d thought best to check it out … I am so glad she couldn’t make it. Dumb song, dumb and inappropriate moves. You are not missing anything.


  7. Andrea Jones on February 22, 2013 at 6:02 am

    Love your Friday things this week!
    Amen to finding a spot of sun to soak up!


  8. Dana on February 22, 2013 at 7:26 am

    You should totally get The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook. I checked it out from the library and made the dog treats. My Ruby loves them and I think Einstein would be a fan, too… πŸ™‚
    I love knowing the blogs you follow. I have a few that I follow consistently (Gimmee Some Oven and Sally’s Baking Addiction for sure!) but it seems like a lot of them are hit and miss.


  9. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on February 22, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Einstein is so cute and I don’t blame him for wanting to soak up the sun!!! I’m with you on the green train. I love spinach, romaine lettuce, but I haven’t gotten into Kale or any of the other greens. To me they taste bitter or something?

    Have a great weekend!


  10. Heather @ Sugar Dish Me on February 22, 2013 at 7:47 am

    I only know what the Harlem Shake is because I have a 12-year-old. Some of them are terrible. Some are pretty hilarious. I will NEVER understand dudes in skinny jeans, though. No.


  11. Kristina on February 22, 2013 at 8:07 am

    I have no idea what the Harlem Shake is either! I still have not watched the video for Gangnam Style – I don’t think I’ve even listened to the whole song.
    Thanks for the heads-up on the cookbook! I love reading bakery cookbooks so I’ll have to give that one a look!


  12. MarΓ­lia Fernandes on February 22, 2013 at 8:08 am

    IΒ΄m ready for fuddy-duddy land too

    Have a nice weekend!


  13. Cori on February 22, 2013 at 8:10 am

    It took me months to hear gangnam, and even longer to see the video. And I have no intention of figuring out what the harlem shake is even though I probably could guess what’s going on just by the name lol. “Sad” thing is, I’m only 23 and in the “old lady who knows nothing” loop.
    Have a great weekend!


  14. Marla on February 22, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Unfortunately (IMO), I think you’ll be seeing a lot more of Gangnam/Harlem Shake type silliness because Billboard just incorporated you tube into their determination of what makes the top 100. Don’t get me wrong, silliness isn’t a bad thing but when it displaces real music, well, that make me unhappy. How’s that for fuddy duddy!? BUT I’m 60 so I’m more legit than you young wannabe fuddy duddies. πŸ™‚ (TOTALLY kidding!)


  15. Melanie on February 22, 2013 at 8:47 am

    I think its so cute when dogs bask in the sun in the house. My golden would always start panting after awhile and then look up at me, as if to say ‘what should I do now?’
    My dream kitchen island would have LOTS of counter space for bread making and large projects, definitely a deep sink, and lots of drawers underneath (one being a designated long/deep spice drawer).
    I had no clue what the harlem shake was either so I googled it. I bet my hubby already knew. He seems to know everything.
    Have a great weekend!!!


  16. Rebecca on February 22, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Your blog is so great! I especially love seeing and reading about Einstein. He is so sweet-looking. Have a great weekend! Let’s see that cake decoration *bling* on your wrist, little bride!! πŸ™‚


  17. Katie on February 22, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Love your blog. I was especially touched by your pictures of Einstein in the sun. We should ‘listen’ to our animals and enjoy those moments of joy. Keep up the great work.


  18. Maria on February 22, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Hi Einstein! I wish Caleb could play with you! He loves golden retrievers. I make a similar kale salad and love it:)


  19. Susan Sunde on February 22, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Einstein is so beautiful!


  20. Courtney on February 22, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Can Einstein be any cuter? I just want to snuggle up with him!
    As for Kale. Not so much.


  21. AndreaL on February 22, 2013 at 10:05 am

    LOL – I just googled Harlem Shake the other day after seeing that same article about the PA kids getting suspended.
    My foxhound Ruby loves sunning herself. Although its usually in the summer…on her back on the hot patio. Silly kid.
    Did your sister do anything special to the kale or was it raw? I had a bad eating experience with some kale and would love to try again if it’s done right.


    • Michelle on February 25th, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      Hi Andrea, The kale was raw (she dressed the salad with a honey lime vinaigrette). She said that she bought it where the bags of spinach are – it was pre-washed and ready to wash.


  22. Frenchroast on February 22, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I love kale! I use it instead of spinach, b/c I prefer the flavor and texture. It’s good in soups, too. It freezes well, too–my grocery store sells kale in huge bunches, and I can never use it all at one go, so it gets chopped and put into the freezer.


  23. Courtney Leigh on February 22, 2013 at 10:23 am

    #4 – BUILT IN STEAMER!! I want it so, so bad. Why does boiling a pot of water and plopping a steamer with veggies on it seem like that big of deal? I don’t know, but it does.

    #9 – Oh thank god, someone else is completely out of the loop and kinda okay being there. I keep thinking about googling the Harlem Shake, but I’ve yet to do it.


  24. Carmel on February 22, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Just love your pup! Have had 3 Goldens in the last 30 years and still miss them so. Now, I have Lulu, my Newfoundland. Lulu asked me to send Einstein a puppy kiss from her, since she misses Sidney, her Golden brother. <3

    By the way, I love your site and recipes. Keep up the great work! πŸ˜‰


  25. Dee on February 22, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Last year was tough for us — we lost our 13 year old Golden and a month later we lost our 10 year old Bernese Mountain Dog. Everytime I see another dog it makes me smile and brings a tear to my eye. Einstein is gorgeous and the pictures are perfect of him soaking up the sun – you captured how content he is. Enjoy your weekend!


    • Michelle on February 25th, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      Aw, Dee, I am so, so sorry for your losses. I can’t even imagine. Big hugs to you.


  26. Mari @ Oh, Sweet & Savory on February 22, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Happy Friday! Thanks for the blog recommndations – I’m always on the lookout for some more good ones!


  27. Mags on February 22, 2013 at 11:07 am

    I’m with you on the counter space. My wish list would include:
    More Counter Space
    A really great 3 bowl sink – at least one seriously deep bowl.
    And a long area for a jumbo appliance garage along the back of the counter; I like specialized cooking gadgets if they really add to the convenience and end result.
    And where’s the spice/seasonings rack?
    I love the trash drawer but what about a recycling drawer too? 3 bins at least. And a space for compost garbage?
    Pantry space – I like sales for stocking up so that I don’t have to make a special run – I’d especially like a small fridge area for flours – rather than guest beverages if I had to choose.
    I am concerned about the glass top for the control panel – I’d prefer that it be vertical rather than using valuable counter space.
    Motorized elevation on work space = brilliant but I’d like some shorter areas not just taller ones but then it depends upon ones height, doesn’t it?
    I always want sufficient space flanking my cooktop surface – this one simply doesn’t have enough and I can see inadvertently elbowing something to the floor.
    But wouldn’t it be fun to follow your recipes (as well as inserting my changes and additions) without having to grab a recipe notebook.


  28. Mags on February 22, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Oops, I almost forgot – where’s the pullout drawer for feeding Einstein and storing his food? He’s a coverboy and certainly deserves a special drawer in this kitchen.


  29. Mary Ann on February 22, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Am going to go look the blogs up that you recommended… Einstein looks so happy in his sunbeam!


  30. Jess on February 22, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Your dog is simply adorable! πŸ™‚
    I’d love for you to join me at my Blog Hop! πŸ™‚


  31. kim alden on February 22, 2013 at 11:35 am

    I think you would love the Dahlia Bakery cookbook, it is by Tom Douglas and his head baker. Tom owns quite a few well known restaurants in Seattle and a bakery. I have the book and it is wonderful.


  32. Kim on February 22, 2013 at 11:36 am

    I love Einstein!!!! And the Oakmont Bakery!! Thanks for making me smile this cloudy Friday πŸ™‚


  33. Always Wright on February 22, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Einstein is so adorable! I know he and Buddy would be good friends! Love the bling cake! Happy weekend!


  34. Kelly J on February 22, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Hmmm. I had never even heard of Harlem Shake until I read about it here. How lame am I?;) Love love love your blog and your recipes and your doggie. Blessings on your engagement, too! <3


  35. sally @ sallys baking addiction on February 22, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Michelle! This is so sweet. Thank you so much for linking to my website! I just learned about what the Harlem Shake is yesterday morning. I feel so out of the loop. The only thing I can keep up on is cookies and photography. lol! Not the real world!


  36. Bee on February 22, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    I love your picture of Einstein!


  37. Sue Q on February 22, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Einstein is adorable!!! Our 2 dogs love the sun also…they lay on the hardwood floors in the living room…just basking away in the warm sunshine. These days in Minnesota you need to take all the advantage you can of the sun πŸ™‚


  38. Marcie @ Flavor The Moments on February 22, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Have you ever tried baby kale? It’s pre-washed and spinach like, just a little more “sturdy”, if you will. I love the stuff. I made a salad with it this week and added bacon, dried cranberries, red onion, and feta cheese. Anything with bacon, right?I’m always on the lookout for new blogs, so thanks for throwing those out there! I found Sally’s Baking Addiction a few weeks ago and have made two recipes since that are to die for. Regretfully, I’m out of the loop, too. No idea what Harlem Shake is!


    • Michelle on February 26th, 2013 at 5:09 pm

      Hi Marcie, I actually asked my sister and said this kale was pre-washed in a bag where the bagged spinach was, so I’m pretty sure I had baby kale!


  39. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel on February 22, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Awww he makes me want a golden so bad. Such sweet dogs.


  40. nikki on February 22, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Beautiful pictures of Einstein! πŸ™‚


  41. Lorry on February 23, 2013 at 12:00 am

    You should check out Edgewood. My daughter lives there. Tight little neighborhood


  42. Patricia on February 23, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Einstein is sooooooooo adorable! These pics made my day πŸ˜€


  43. Tracey on February 23, 2013 at 11:17 am

    The chocolate truffle cookies really are amazing – I won’t tell you how quickly my husband and I polished off the 10 I made πŸ™‚ Love that bling on the cake for your engagement party! Oh and I have no idea what the Harlem Shake is either, you’re not alone.


  44. Jennifer Akridge on February 23, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    I love kale raw and cooked. I have a lovely recipe with it in a bean soup. I also like it sauteed in olive oil and then a splash of blackberry balsamic vinegar. We also use it as lettuce on a sandwich. Here is the soup recipe:
    Skillet 30-Minute Kale, White Bean and Sausage Soup from Serious Eats
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    Β½ cup chopped shallots (about 1 large shallot)
    1 jalapeno, seeded and finely hopped (about 2 tablespoons) or 1 teaspoons dried red chile flakes (optional)
    1 sprig fresh thyme
    2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 teaspoon dried basil
    Β½ pound chicken, turkey, or pork Italian sausage, removed from the casing
    2 cups homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken broth
    Β½ bunch kale, stems removed and leaves cut into ribbons (about 4 cups)
    1 (15-oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed
    1 tablespoon freshly squeezed juice from 1 lime or lemon
    Fresh picked parsley leaves, for garnish

    Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shallots, jalapeno (if using), and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the thyme, garlic, and dried herbs and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it loses its pink color, about 4 minutes.
    Add the broth, kale, and beans and raise the heat to bring to a simmer. Fold in the kale until it starts to wilt. Using a potato masher, smash some of the beans to thicken the broth. Cover and allow to cook until thickened, 6 to 8 minutes longer. Remove the thyme stems and discard. Stir in the lime or lemon juice, season to taste with salt and pepper, ladle into bowls, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.
    Congratulations on your engagement.


  45. Tracy on February 23, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Aww, I heart Einstein pictures! Riley says hello too. πŸ™‚ He looks so happy in his warm spot. And I am totally ready for fuddy-duddy land too, so I’ll meet you there and we can bake and take up old lady hobbies together. πŸ˜‰


  46. Lauralli on February 23, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    3 words: MAKE KALE CHIPS! You might change your mind about it!


  47. Laura Dembowski on February 24, 2013 at 8:14 am

    I often find myself perched on the stairs in the rare event the sun decides to grace us with its presence in the middle of winter. I love kale chips. They are one of my favorite side dishes and even my dad likes them. I have spent a lot of time perfecting the recipe and think you might enjoy them. Here’s the link if you want to look:


  48. Gabriela on March 22, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    I should tell you that I admire all your work, you are an inspiration to me. Seeing all the amazing things you cook made me want to get into cooking myself, I translate some of your dishes and desserts to my mom in spanish just so we can cook it together, thank you so much for this, you are incredible.
    ps. I have a golden retriever as well, their snow noses are SO cute during winter πŸ™‚


    • Michelle on March 28th, 2013 at 12:25 am

      Hi Gabriela, Thank you so much for the sweet words. I love that you translate the recipes so you can bake with your mom! Hugs to both of you!


Leave a Comment

(Your comment may need to be approved before it will appear on the site. Thanks for your patience! If it is your first time commenting you may want to review the Comment Guidelines.)