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Who do I see fading away?

April 21, 2014

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I am fascinated by the illustrations of Coles Phillips (1880-1927).  Phillips was an American illustrator who came to prominence in the early years of the 20th century.  His illustrations – many on the covers of Life, Good Housekeeping,and the Saturday Evening Post – gained popularity through his technique of leaving much to the imagination.

Labeled “fade-away” illustrations, his work often depicts young women whose clothing blend into the surroundings.  In his biography, The Making of an Illustrator, his widow explains,

His arrangements of the masses, small and large, were to him much more exciting than the color or the idea, or whether the girl was pretty.  Pure design, in other words, was his real love, and the fact that he made his reputation as a painter of pretty girls was more an accident than anything else.”

An illustrated biography can be found here.

 

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What am I sappy cat blogging?

April 18, 2014

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Cmdr. Samuel Vimes attempts to send back his new brother, Hobbes.

Hobbes in a box

Good thing Zappos returns are free.

Just kidding – they get along great. It is just that boxes are irresistible.

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What is watermelon Wednesday about?

April 17, 2014

food art melon7I posted my watermelon cake and cookies earlier this month.

Here is some more watermelon food art that I like.

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What am I cooking?

April 16, 2014

cadbury egg toast

Here is a charming, Spring recipe I found on Serious Eats (one of my favorite recipe sites.)  It combines pound cake with those delectable Cadbury cream eggs to make the recipe we used to call “egg-with-a-hole-in-the-middle” when I was a kid, albeit this is a tooth-rattlingly sweet version – Genius!

While it’s inspired by the look of “egg in hole toast”, a morning delicacy made by griddling a slice of bread with a hole cut to fit an egg, this treat is all sweet. It’s made with thick slices of pound cake instead of bread, and Cadbury creme egg halves instead of, well, actual eggs. When heated on a griddle with plenty of butter, the fondant-filled eggs get nice and melty in the middle, making for an extra sweet surprise in the middle of your cake slice.

Recipe note: in terms of your pound cake, you want fairly thick, at least 1-inch slices. You also want slices which you can cut a circle into and still have a bit of cake remaining on each side. If the “walls” of the cake are too thin after you’ve cut the circle, it may fall apart. The chilling process in step 1 will help the cake firm up so that it is less likely to crumble once heated.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cadbury Creme Eggs
  • 4 thick slices of pound cake
  • plenty of butter, for the pan
  1. Unwrap the Cadbury Creme Eggs. Place them on a dish and put them in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes along with the pound cake.This chilling period will help the elements of the recipe remain firm and easier to handle in the next steps
  2. Remove everything from the fridge. Using a sharp knife, cut the eggs in half along the “seam”. Try to make it as clean a cut as possible. Since you chilled the eggs, they should slice cleanly, with the insides somewhat solid. Place the four egg halves to the side for the moment.
  3. Delicately slice a hole in the center of the pound cake, as close to the size of the creme egg as you can without being larger than the size of the egg. You want it to fit in very snugly. Remove the hole cutout and enjoy it as a snack before proceeding. Repeat with the remaining slices.
  4. Heat up your frying pan with a fat dollop of butter in the middle. Let the butter get nice and hot over medium heat. Using a spatula, transfer one or two of the pound cake slices, sans egg, to the pan (as many as will fit comfortably). Let them fry for about 30 seconds, or until lightly toasty on the bottom, then flip the slices.
  5. Now, place the egg half in the holes in the cake, facing yolk side up. Heat for 30 more seconds in the pan, and then turn off the heat.
  6. Place a lid or plate on top of the pan (which is no longer being heated) to capture the heat. Let the residual heat melt the eggs inside. Check them after 3 to 5 minutes. Once they’re nice and melty, you’re ready to serve. If they’re not melty enough, put the pan back on a low heat setting and monitor until the eggs have melted enough for your liking.
  7. Using a spatula, transfer the finished slices from the pan to serving plates. Enjoy the Easter magic.

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What is tattoo Tuesday about?

April 15, 2014

eclipse tattoo

The tattoo this week is about the lunar eclipse.  A lunar eclipse is a fascinating sight.  This time, however, I missed it because this is what I woke up to.

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I hope the daffodils survive.   I was at the beach on Sunday – brought a book and a lawn chair and sat in the sun – temps in the upper 70s at least.  The temperature of the lake?  That is another matter entirely.  It won’t warm up until much later. Too often we go from winter directly into summer (and back again) here is the Connecticut Western Reserve.

I will try to catch another lunar eclipse later in the year.  This information is from NASA:

For people in the United States, an extraordinary series of lunar eclipses is about to begin.

The action starts on April 15th when the full Moon passes through the amber shadow of Earth, producing a midnight eclipse visible across North America. So begins a lunar eclipse tetrad—a series of 4 consecutive total eclipses occurring at approximately six month intervals.  The total eclipse of April 15, 2014, will be followed by another on Oct. 8, 2014, and another on April 4, 2015, and another on Sept. 28 2015.

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What am I star-gazing?

April 15, 2014

I got my camera.  I got my tripod.  I am took some wonderful photos of the astronomical events that have taken place recently that were visible in my home town.

For example, the lunar eclipse:

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The opposition of Mars:

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The Perseid meteor shower:

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The Geminid Meteor Shower:

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You get the idea.

 

 

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Where am I hanging out?

April 14, 2014

I was searching for something else entirely when I came across these photographs of the building of the Empire State Building.  The post was about corporate negligence about safety issues.  That aside, I think the photos are interesting and beautiful.  These is something so lovely about fine grained, black and white photos with high contrast.  These are attributed to sociologist and photographer,  Lewis Wickes Hines.

Empire State Building Being Built in 1930

No such thing as OSHA back then! Amazingly, it is believed only 5 people died during the construction and one of them was hit by a truck. Interesting photos taken during construction of the Empire State Building.















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