This was once a Target table runner on the end rack for something ridiculously cheap, like $2.17. Like as cheap as the price of Henry Hub natural gas right now (hey, this is Houston after all- please permit the energy joke or two).

While I have no need for a cheap table runner made out of something like PVC, I loved the NYC graphic design and thought, THIS has potential!

Now a tote bag for my sister.


I’m making wedding decorations for a friend’s wedding, which is in July. Here’s one prototype of a ribbon wand to wave to herald the new couple.

Coconut bread

Here’s the perfect recipe for leftover coconut milk and/or bananas. In this case, I used cream of coconut from a pina colada party, so I used 3/4 cup of sugar instead of a full cup. Not bad. I only had one browning banana, so the recipe was not as moist as I suspect.

A new season of yarn-making activities has arrived! True, it’s now October and still feeling like 80 degrees outside, but this means FALL in Houston.

Party time!

And, since I only post in spurts, here’s a pic of some decorations I made for my dear friend Iris’ birthday, celebrated at Moon Tower Inn, one of my favorite Houston hangouts.


I’m not vegetarian. However, there’s something so crafty about making meatless food taste…meat-y, don’t you think?

I had a rare afternoon in the kitchen, so I decided to try my hand at black bean burgers, and I’m so pleased with the end result of spending-all-day-winging-it that I decided to share. Feed your favorite vegetarian!

This was definitely a mashups of recipes, including this one from the Washington Post, this one from a food blog and random things I learned about cooking with black beans (if you can ponder it, you can certainly almost always Google it.)

So maybe I should start with the things I did that were not by the book:
1. I used dried black beans. (I used six ounces of dried beans, which I would not recommend because it takes a long, long time, and makes a whole, whole lot, and I’m certain a can would have been much faster and more to scale.)
2. I used lentils. SECRET REVEAL: I cooked lentils a while back, froze the extra in quart bags in the freezer and I’m experimenting with them. This time, I dumped one of the frozen bags in with the beans in the last 20 or so minutes of cooking.
3. Good bread crumbs. I used a leftover challah, another recent baking experiment I’ll likely share soon. Use a lot of bread crumbs.
4. What food processor? I do own a few spatulas, so I used my arms. Too bad they don’t look like Michelle Obama’s limbs, but they did its task.

So, I guess a recipe would go like this: chop 1/4 of a red onion, a few cloves of garlic, shallots, then mix together with (cooked) black beans and lentils. I didn’t measure – I ended up with a lot. Add breadcrumbs until the texture is dry and coarse, but sticks together. When you season, season LIBERALLY, then do it some more.
(Black beans seem to suck up all of the seasoning and spit it into a black bean hole, because every time I try to taste cumin, I have to add more. Finally, I just pulled out the siracha. Bingo!)

What I used to season: cumin, black pepper, red pepper, squirts of lemon juice, Cajun mustard, siracha. Next time, I’m using more garlic. (Beer is pictured for moral support.)

Shape into slightly flattened balls, about the size of clementine oranges, to get them ready to cook. Since I’m an apartment dweller, I pan-fried the patties on my stove. The recipe is so wholesomely healthy, I thought it would be OK to use a bit of cooking oil to help fry them. I didn’t want to use egg yolk, as I had seen in some recipes, since it’s nearly impossible to cook the patties all around the edges, but I browned them well on each side.

How I served them (not shown because I was too hungry): open faced, with a morsel of sharp cheddar on top and some sauteed arugula with garlic garnished on top. Sometimes, I am not afraid to say that I am my favorite cook. 🙂 SO GOOD.

As aforementioned, this recipe turned out to be enormous, so I’m freezing about 10 patties and saving some for later this week.

Gift received!

Best friend receives a congratulatory basket of flowers. My friend is a lifelong avid fan of candy – the sugary, sweet, all-artificial kind. So I wanted to meet her wishes: taffy-centered flowers and candy sticks made this arrangement of sweet posies.

Unfortunately, some of these ingredients were purchased at Michael’s, a day before this WSJ article was published about their latest debit-card scam targeting Michael’s shoppers. Lovely.

Fortunately, Eunice received the candy basket without harm today. First words: “I love it!”