• Cooking,  Darn Good Ideas

    Cheap Nonstick Pans, yes or no?

    This is the kind of useful thing America’s Test Kitchen usually keeps behind a paywall or buried in Cook’s Illustrated: whether it’s ok to buy a cheap nonstick pan. The answer is yes, and definitely get rid of your old one as soon as it starts peeling.

    They do point out that if you have an expensive one, it probably has a lifetime warranty, which would make the price worth it. I wish I had thought of that when I got rid of my toxically peeling All Clad two months ago.

    But you can read the results for yourself right here on their all new internet hang out—the cleverly named Feed. I love the layout and how much content they’ve packed in, including lots of the esoteric that is usually just in Cook’s Illustrated.

  • Darn Good Ideas,  Good design

    a Magpie’s Trip to the Beach

    These work so well. Spacious photos of trinkets gathered on beachcombing wandering in Maine.

    I’m always picking up rocks that glinted just so in the sun, coral that aged like wood, or shell fragments that “would make a great necklace.” Then I abandon them by the stairs back to the parking lot, because I know I’ll never do anything with them.



    Speaking of beaches, I will post a few more photos of aforementioned trip to Michigan, if only to document that the water there does look exactly like the Caribbean.

    Seen on Chance’s Discoveries.



  • Cooking,  Darn Good Ideas

    Serious Fudgesicle Love

    I do not have nostalgic feelings for fudgesicles because I was sheltered from sweets as a child and never encountered them.

    When Joe buys them, they look a little gray-fudge, usually frozen over, and taste like brown ice.

    But Joe loves them. And Smitten Kitchen posted a homemade recipe (which I saw on Cup of Jo because I can’t keep up with Smitten’s mad recipe making, and get overwhelmed, and only check once a month). And I have these popsicle molds from Ikea that have been waiting, begging, to be called into service.

    They’re delicious. Fudgy to the max. And take about ten minutes to make (we froze them overnight).



  • Darn Good Ideas,  Pregnancy

    a Non-Alcoholic Beer Tasting

    Wow, a non-alcoholic beer tasting! Great idea and I appreciate Ashley and Aron trying the (mostly crummy) options for us.

    I haven’t tried their winner, Clausthaler, but it was a specifically requested non-alco option at our market last summer.

    Clausthaler got high marks from both of us: the smell is slightly sweet–like honey–and the first taste is fruity, but the finish had more hops. In other words, this one actually had range!

  • Darn Good Ideas

    You Could Order

    I was visiting Starbucks.com to find out how much caffeine is in my occasional order of a chai tea latte (100mg, babysafe), and was reminded that one can order a Caffè Misto (coffee with lots of steamed milk) or espresso con panna (espresso topped with fresh whipped cream). Both chic options if you’re tired of old brewed coffee, don’t you think?

    Photos from Starbucks.com