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Friday, February 27, 2015

Decluttering.

How One New Yorker Lives Comfortably In 90 Square Feet - House Calls - Curbed NY - Spotted on Max's Facebook. My favourite bit:
"I really like getting rid of things," says Mary Helen Rowell, as she stands in the middle of her minimally furnished West Village apartment. "It's my favorite thing."
MINE TOO, MARY HELEN. MINE TOO.

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My boss @kellyandrine brought in Girl Scout Cookies. My first Samoa in like 15 years! I may have enjoyed this more than Fat Duck.
My boss @kellyandrine brought in Girl Scout Cookies. My first Samoa in like 15 years! I may have enjoyed this more than Fat Duck.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

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I ate the #fatduck sweets! My favourite was the Queen of Hearts playing card tart.
I ate the #fatduck sweets! My favourite was the Queen of Hearts playing card tart.

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So full. We made it. Thanks @nessnomster and Dan for having us along! Unforgettable night. #fatduck
So full. We made it. Thanks @nessnomster and Dan for having us along! Unforgettable night. #fatduck

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We end with lollies... but we're all too full to eat them! #fatduck
We end with lollies... but we're all too full to eat them! #fatduck

Four hours in... and we're having whisky (gummies). How sophisticated. #fatduck
Four hours in... and we're having whisky (gummies). How sophisticated. #fatduck

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Scrambled egg-and-bacon ice cream (made with liquid nitrogen), French toast, and marmalade. As you do. #fatduck
Scrambled egg-and-bacon ice cream (made with liquid nitrogen), French toast, and marmalade. As you do. #fatduck

We got to contribute a piece to the massive jigsaw puzzle mural. #fatduck
We got to contribute a piece to the massive jigsaw puzzle mural. #fatduck

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

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We finish with breakfast!
We finish with breakfast!

The desserts have begun. Grapes! Jelly! Popping candy! Meringue! Cookie sand! We have all perked up. #fatduck
The desserts have begun. Grapes! Jelly! Popping candy! Meringue! Cookie sand! We have all perked up. #fatduck

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It doesn't look like much, but the Hot/Cold Tea was the most magical thing. The left half was cold, and the right half was hot!! #fatduck
It doesn't look like much, but the Hot/Cold Tea was the most magical thing. The left half was cold, and the right half was hot!! #fatduck

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We are nearly three hours in. This is the face of a very full man. #fatduck
We are nearly three hours in. This is the face of a very full man. #fatduck

...with a side of lamb consommé, mint, quinoa crackers, more lamb bits... #fatduck
...with a side of lamb consommé, mint, quinoa crackers, more lamb bits... #fatduck

Salt marsh lamb, cucumber, creamy stuff... (Will to live fading...) #fatduck
Salt marsh lamb, cucumber, creamy stuff... (Will to live fading...) #fatduck

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Salmon poached in liquorice gel, endives, grapefruit something, vanilla mayo, yum. (Not gonna lie - we're getting full.) #fatduck
Salmon poached in liquorice gel, endives, grapefruit something, vanilla mayo, yum. (Not gonna lie - we're getting full.) #fatduck

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It's the most famous dish, and the Snook was dubious about the iPod. But afterwards...
It's the most famous dish, and the Snook was dubious about the iPod. But afterwards... "I'll pay that." It worked. #fatduck

@nessnomster experiences the Sound of the Sea. #fatduck
@nessnomster experiences the Sound of the Sea. #fatduck

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Time to go to Wonderland... #fatduck
Time to go to Wonderland... #fatduck

Roast marron with kombu and mushrooms and seaweed and a bunch of stuff I forget because it was insanely TASTY. #fatduck
Roast marron with kombu and mushrooms and seaweed and a bunch of stuff I forget because it was insanely TASTY. #fatduck

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Yes! I can cross Snail Porridge off my bucket list. #fatduck
Yes! I can cross Snail Porridge off my bucket list. #fatduck

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The Gaytime was the overall favourite. #fatduck
The Gaytime was the overall favourite. #fatduck

Savoury ice creams: Waldorf Rocket, Salmon roll, and Golden Gaytime (chicken liver pate with fig and roast almond). #fatduck
Savoury ice creams: Waldorf Rocket, Salmon roll, and Golden Gaytime (chicken liver pate with fig and roast almond). #fatduck

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Aperitifs... with liquid nitrogen! #fatduck
Aperitifs... with liquid nitrogen! #fatduck

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It begins. And for the curious, photographs are encouraged! :) #fatduck
It begins. And for the curious, photographs are encouraged! :) #fatduck

Perusing the wine
Perusing the wine "list." @ The Fat Duck - Heston Blumenthal

WE'RE HERE! It's like Wonka's chocolate factory already. #fatduck
WE'RE HERE! It's like Wonka's chocolate factory already. #fatduck @ The Fat Duck - Heston Blumenthal

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And now an aperitif. (This is the classiest place we could find in the casino.)
And now an aperitif. (This is the classiest place we could find in the casino.) @ Atrium Bar

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Predinner beers.
Predinner beers. @ Belgian Beer Cafe Melbourne

We scrub up well.
We scrub up well. @ Alto Hotel

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Flipboard Reading on Flipboard

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The Melbourne Costco sells Ferris wheels!
The Melbourne Costco sells Ferris wheels! @ Costco Melbourne

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

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Tonight: cask wine and a Zooper Dooper. Tomorrow: the Fat Duck, one of the best restaurants in the world. #classy
Tonight: cask wine and a Zooper Dooper. Tomorrow: the Fat Duck, one of the best restaurants in the world. #classy

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Just your average Tuesday night in the Sydney CBD.
Just your average Tuesday night in the Sydney CBD.

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Flipboard Reading on Flipboard

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  • SydneySPH: Feed babies peanut products to prevent peanut #allergies. New research from @NEJM http://t.co/cCRCBIsZnt
  • nrrrdcore: I've got 99 problems and ruby gems always seem to account for at least 3 of them
  • CSSConf: The other way into CSSConf 2015 is through the stage door - our call for speakers is open now through March 23rd! http://t.co/80PPQHsvAc

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Monday, February 23, 2015

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  • LeenaVanD: BOOKIE TWITTER: I´m after a non-fiction book written by two writers that featured personal anecdotes by each? How did they express voice?
  • adamliaw: It's great that Prince Harry and Emma Watson are dating but I didn't realise Emma Watson was even on Tinder.

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I love this.

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

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Sunday roast. Lamb shoulder, carrots, and sprouts courtesy of the Snook; brown butter cornbread courtesy of me and my cast iron skillet!
Sunday roast. Lamb shoulder, carrots, and sprouts courtesy of the Snook; brown butter cornbread courtesy of me and my cast iron skillet!

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Caramelized Garlic Tart

Caramelized Garlic TartSo today was Zena's birthday tea party, and I volunteered to bring a savoury quiche of some sort. I settled on Martha's Caramelized Garlic Tart*. I used frozen puff pastry, but the rest was all from scratch. My tart pan isn't as big as the one specified, so I actually made two smaller tarts (keeping the more rustic one pictured for the Snook). It involved three full heads of garlic, and we used the metal bowl trick to peel them in less than a minute. For the cheese, I used a goat's chevre and then a normal gouda (since I couldn't easily find goat's gouda). I subbed in sour cream for the crème fraîche (because it's the same thing for twice the price, Martha). The tart was a massive hit! Everybody loved it and asked for the recipe, so here I am blogging it. Definitely a lovely and not-too-difficult one for a brunch or party.

* Unbeknownst to me, the recipe wasn't actually written by Martha. Instead it's by chef Yotam Ottolenghi, who also came up with the beautiful caramel macadamia cheesecake that Miss Fee made for the party. Clearly, I need this dude's cookbook.

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As @smark31 said:
As @smark31 said: "All show and no knickers." That's just wrong.

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A fittingly disturbing cake for a 40th birthday.
A fittingly disturbing cake for a 40th birthday.

It's a Saltwater Sandal kind of party.
It's a Saltwater Sandal kind of party.

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I've had a lot of sugar.
I've had a lot of sugar.

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

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Blocking. (Did I mention how annoyed I am they killed the Intarsia category at the Show?)
Blocking. (Did I mention how annoyed I am they killed the Intarsia category at the Show?)

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It's Korean New Year too. Saehae bok mani badeuseyo!
It's Korean New Year too. Saehae bok mani badeuseyo!

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Flipboard Reading on Flipboard

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Drool.

Poutine Poppers (Cheese-Stuffed Potato Bites With Brown Gravy) - I'm going to a lunchtime potluck tomorrow and I'm so, so tempted to bring these. But yeah, deep-frying in someone else's house is probably more trouble than it's worth. So I'll just sit here and drool.

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THOSE KNOBS.

A Gorgeous Vintage 1956 Kitchen With Original GE Appliances That Has Gone Untouched for Half a Century - I am kicking myself that we didn't go with cabinet hardware like that. Those knobs! So cool! Funnily enough, the place my dad and stepmom bought had a very retro kitchen which they've slowly been replacing (much to my consternation). It had a toaster and a blender BUILT INTO THE COUNTERTOP, as well as this fabulous "NuTone Transistor Intercom AM-FM Radio" in the wall.

Radio

I wish "futuristic" still meant "lots of funky buttons and knobs". Today's sleek button-less minimalism is sexy, but it doesn't really make you feel like you're living the Buck Rogers in the 25th century dream, does it?

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How to break e-commerce

So when you buy something from a website, how do you know the order has been submitted? Because they email you right away, right? Well, what happens when they don't?

I ordered my Dad something from Cabela's for his birthday a few weeks ago. It's a hunting/fishing shop, and I remembered that he always used to get their print catalogues. So I placed the order, being sure to click the "gift" option. When it directed me to the confirmation screen, I saw these words: "This order will ship as a gift. An email Confirmation will not be sent. Pricing will not be shown on the invoice." Naturally I assumed they were talking about not sending an email confirmation to the recipient, right? Obviously that's what the invoice part was talking about, and that's the way Amazon and every other site does it. So I went about my day, and within a couple days started to get worried that I'd never received an email as the sender. Since I purchased as a guest (not bothering to create an account), I didn't have a way to log in and see my orders. I checked my online banking but the charge hadn't gone through. Crap. Did something screw up and they'd never gotten the order?

Luckily I'd printed the confirmation page, so I at least had something to contact customer support. Their online chat was at least quick and painless. It turns out that they actually do have a method for guests to check order status. That was unexpected but helpful. I could see that the order was indeed placed and was just waiting on the manufacturer to ship. Here's how the conversation ended:

CSR: You're welcome. Is there anything else we can do for you today?
Me: Nope - that was it. I do have a suggestion though that you email people who make gift orders
I found it very odd that I didn't get any email confirmation or anything like that
given that every other ecommerce site does it!
CSR: Did you happen to mark gift on the order?
Me:I did
I understand not emailing the recipient
but it would be handy as the purchaser to have a record
CSR: That would be the reason for no emails. We do not send them so we do not spoil the supprise.
Me: But... I bought it for someone else?
Do you have a lot of people sharing email addresses who order gifts?
CSR: I do apologize. Most of our gift marked packages are to the same household who both use the same email address.

That's weird, right? I didn't realise there were still people who shared the same email address. I guess the Cabela's demographic is right in the middle of that Venn diagram. But man, it does make it confusing for the rest of us who live in 2015. To me this is a textbook example of bad user experience, in that I expected the site to work like every other e-commerce site on the Internet. If Cabela's ever want to expand beyond their traditional user base, I think they need to put a little more work into explaining the oddities of their processes.

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Sleater-Kinney - A New Wave

This just made my week.

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I'm Kris Howard, a thirtyish Hoosier living in Sydney, Australia. I'm the TV Development Director at Mi9, working with my team on cool stuff like 9jumpin. I knit and sew and have crazy adventures. This is my weblog and personal site.

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