Life is often like Bilbo Baggins’ journey. It’s a bit unorganized. Messy. Riddled with detours. Humans can get hung up on the fact that the journey isn’t a straight and narrow path. Don’t.
Forward. Backward. Left. Right. It doesn’t matter. Your journey is your journey. Go live it. Don’t get obsessed with the “right” direction. It all works out in the end. Just ask Frodo.
Every great year starts with a ton of new books… so why not start off my weekly list that way:
Caitlin Moran’s How to Be a Woman was a bit of genius, but this book… jeez man. I feel like I know this woman. Or I want to be friends with her. I can’t recommend it enough.
P.S. SO MANY BRILLIANT SHERLOCK AND DOCTOR WHO REFERENCES!
2. One Up Makeup
Honestly, my eyes have been SO exhausted lately. It couldn’t possibly be from all the screen time, right?! And the list of free books is amazing. You can find that here. (P.S. Lots of Sherlock Holmes books are freebies…)
So I wrote this piece for Apartment Therapy this week about how to make your home look like it’s right out of the Shire. Turns out, not many of their readers want that look… which is a real bummer. But you might! And I think there is lots to love there.
I also wrote this:
1. Italian Christmas Cookies
If you’re not Italian, you may have never seen a pizzelle or ciambelle - but they are the heaven of my holidays.
Not a single Christmas is complete without them. Even better when I’m making them with family, which is the plan for my weekend. Sugar, flour, Anise, here I come.
2. Tights (with a dash of sparkle)
I would not consider myself a girly-girly by any definition, but I am a girl who likes to feel good and look good. I’m also highly practical. That’s why my tights and I are pretty much inseparable for the next few months. Add a bit of sparkle and I’m in. If you’re needing a confidence boost, go get a ridiculously flashy dress, put it on and throw on some tights. Then, strut confidently around the block. Then return the dress. It will be worth the effort, I promise.
3. Warm clothing
We got our first big snow of the year in Minnesota this week and I’m pleased to say I survived it without one wind burn or slip on the ice. Further proof that good boots are always worth it.
4. The Hobbit is here!
I decided not to do a Midnight premiere for this one. Although, we all know I love a midnight movie. Unfortunately, grown up life seems to be the theme of the week, so I am opting for a normal person weekend viewing. Although I’ve heard tweeters of middling reviews for Middle Earth, I’m choosing to have faith.
As always, I’m penning words for other places. This week:
Are you traveling this holiday season? Take a cue from The Lord of the Rings and make these lovely lembas. The magical bread baked in the elfen hearths of Middle Earth, were meant to sustain elves, hobbits and men for long journeys.
Just in time for the first Hobbit film coming to theaters, now you can bake lembas in your own kitchen.
If you want to go all out, snag a package of frozen banana leaves at the grocery store, defrost and dry them, and wrap around your lembas to keep them fresh for the midnight showing. (In other words… Maybe don’t wrap them in any old leaves… I’m not sure we have the same vegetation on normal earth as it does on Middle Earth.)
For this lembas recipe, you need:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a jelly roll pan or half-sheet pan with parchment paper and spray with butter spray.
Whisk together flour, 2 TBS sugar, baking powder, salt and one teaspoon of lemon zest and one teaspoon of orange zest. Cut butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. (You can do this in a food processor to save time)
Whisk together 1 egg, 1/2 cup half and half and yogurt.
Mix wet into dry slowly until a sticky dough forms. You may not need all of the wet ingredient mixture.
Press dough onto prepared sheet and form into a large rectangle, slightly less than an inch thick.
Whisk together remaining egg and milk, then brush pastries with egg wash.
Crumble sugar and citrus zest between your fingers until fully combined. Sprinkle over dough.
Run a knife through the dough to cut into 8 equally-sized rectangles.
Bake for 16 minutes at 400 degrees.
Cool completely before serving.
Emma Carew Grovum is a data journalist working at the Chronicle of Philanthropy in Washington, D.C. She previously worked as the Digital Editor for The Cooking Club of America and blogs at kitchendreamer.blogspot.com Emma loves Star Wars, pandas and all things Joss Whedon. Find her on twitter at @emmacarew.
I have been looking forward to it all week. It’s been a rough one, which is why I’ll be chill-axing. And DIY’ing a little too. Maybe I’ll even top it off with some Bond viewing… who knows. Which reminds me of my new favorite tumblr: hotoldmen.
Yup, just like it sounds.
There’s lots of good geekery to go around though, so let’s get to it.
Quirky fall tech wallpapers from imm
The unicorn one is a delight… if not a little creepy.
Martin Freeman = Perfect Bilbo
I love him. He’s adorable. He’s perfect. And yes, I think he’s kissable. Is it time for my next midnight premiere yet?
Make a Mini Marquee with Christmas Lights
This DIY is charming. Think of all the cool words you could spell! Or naughty words. Let’s go with naughty words - that’s just the kind of mood I’m in.
This isn’t all that important, but I bought this Doctor Who shirt and now I can’t stop compulsively checking the tracking information. Remember when I hadn’t seen even one episode? That seems like a weird, non-reality now.
My Apartment Therapy offerings this week: