Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Why Miso?

While lying in bed last a couple nights ago I read the words "Why miso?" in my Real Simple magazine. I don't know that I've ever tried miso--not intentionally anyway--but the article describes it as having an "umami-rich flavor."

So, now I'm intrigued because I've recently learned that many of my favorite flavors are umami.  (I mean, I already knew these were my favorite foods, but I just recently learned they fall under this particular flavor category...) Like Parmesan cheese, aged & blue-veined cheeses, almonds and other tree nuts, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce.  All favorites of mine. 
I could eat Parmesan and balsamic vinegar on anything. Or by themselves. Two of my very favorite flavors.
So, what is umami, you ask?  In Japanese umami means savory and delicious taste; we've translated it to almost be one of the basic taste sensations like salty, bitter, sweet, or sour.  Who knew, right?! Check out more umami information and foods here.

So, now I need to know how to cook with miso... One of my favorite food writers, Mark Bittman of the NY Times gives me a starting point; what else have you got?  Do you love umami-flavored foods as much as I do?!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hints for the Easter Bunny

Hints for the Easter Bunny, or alternately titled: candy substitutes and things I wouldn't mind my children finding on Easter morning:

adorable Maileg "Little Sister" mouse with tutu and "sleeping box" from My Sweet Muffin

wind-up bunny rabbit from KD's Treehouse in Columbia, SC

rad recycling craft stickers from Box Play- these are binoculars! available at KD's Treehouse
pirate shrinky-dinks from My Sweet Muffin (they also have fairy tales Shrinkables)

Poppy Drops temporary tattoo earrings, available at KD's Treehouse; see all my favorite toddler-tattoos here
a Box Play camera sticker (fits on a macaroni & cheese box) from KD's Treehouse
this sweet little book, Jojo's First Word Book via Cool Mom Picks

Hape people, transport, and book set- my 1 year old is obsessed with hers! at KD's Treehouse
a harmonica- simple, classic, cheap; our 3 year old's favorite toy (idea borrowed from You Are My Fave blog)

Obviously, I'm a little biased, but KD's Treehouse is by far my favorite place to grab creative and unique gifts, toys, and clothing locally, (and it's all eco-friendly to boot!)

What are you wishing the Easter bunny to bring your kiddos?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Friday, April 4, 2014

Columbia Open Studios- You Should Go

preview party art

James and I went to last  night's Columbia Open Studios Preview Party.  I fell in love with a couple things that I cannot afford. 

We have Birdie's 1st birthday party and a play to attend this weekend, so not sure how much time we'll have to actually see some of the open studios, but here's my priority list if we can work it in:

Studio Carlisle: this one gives you a ton of bang for your buck.  Five artists' works are housed here; I actually own a painting by Page Morris, see below.  She, plus Julia Moore and Kevin Smith are generous donors to the St. Lawrence Place Angels Tea silent auction, so patronize them if you can!  All of their work is gorgeous.

Page Morris collage/painting

One Eared Cow Glass: I have not been here in ages, and I think Jones would love seeing the craftsman at work.  They have some really affordable art pieces for sale every day; unique gift ideas!  Maybe I'll look for a Mother's Day gift...

Nora Floyd & Ruth Bayard of A Checkered Past: My mother has been a long-time fan of the jewelry these ladies create, often from re-purposed vintage items. 

mom's necklaces from A Checkered Past

Viridian Gallery & Studio: Another spot where you can see four or more featured artists' works, including long-time St. Lawrence Place supporter, Nini Ward.  She is an extremely generous woman and talented artist.

Which ever artists' studio into which you may venture, you're sure to glimpse some of the amazing talent that Columbia has to offer.  Print off a guide with maps here, or grab this week's Free Times.  Go, enjoy!