chipotle duck carnitas + habanero cream sauce

duckcarnitasduckcarnitas2duckcarnitas1duckcarnitas3One of my classic woe is me tales of living around the world is the utter lack of delicious Mexican restaurants easily available when a craving of enchiladas verdes or adobo pork carnitas should strike. We poor souls are left to fend for ourselves, but these duck carnitas almost makes up for being far away from Taqueria y Fonda (between 107 & 108 on Amsterdam, people!)…..almost.

This recipe is easy to do but a bit time consuming because you have to slow cook the duck breasts- you could do the duck part the night before or in a slow cooker while you’re at work, but I like it best for a relaxed Sunday meal.

Duck carnitas with habanero cream sauce (for 2):

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christopher plummer wears a bow tie.

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Christopher Plummer had pressing engagements and hardly a minute to properly tie his bow-tie like his mentor, Sir Elton John, taught him to all those years ago when he first graduated from university. Some might frown upon his blase manner, but he was late for a date with a lady- first drinks then dinner. She was charmed by the rough-hewn manner in which his bow-tie was tied and felt it added greatly to his already considerable sex appeal.cpwearsabowtie2

diy: correspondence

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In a world of texts and emails and instagram, sometimes real live paper invitations are a pleasure (anachronism?) to receive. No grown ass woman can be bothered on a regular basis but sometimes on occasions like Thanksgiving or P’s 30th it is fun to make it special and exercise your inner creative.

Supplies:
Watercolor paint/stamp/ink friendly blank cards and envelope
Watercolor paint
Stamps & ink
wax seal & sealing wax
optional: paper to line the envelope.

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a medicine cabinet full of nail polish.

Untitled-2My feet are tiny and they used to be cute (as cute as feet can be). After I started running pretty regularly this past year they became terribly ugly: blistered, calloused, black toenails, no toenails, or toenails that are growing back at an angle. Pedicures are a pointless, uphill battle (I haven’t yet tried shellack/gellish/biogel on my toes…does that work for anyone?). All I can do is schlup more and more nail polish on disguise my feet during sandal season (which is a lot of the time in South Africa). How do you keep your feet from becoming totally embarassing? Do blister band aids work for you? Shellack? Nylon socks? Two pairs of nylon socks?

diy: washi tape + wooden picnic utensils

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We’re going away for P’s birthday to the countryside with friends and I wanted to do a special dinner without having to schlep actual plates and utensils but still have a fancypants time- solution: washi tape + wooden utensils.

Method:

Cover the handle of your wooden utensils with washi tape. Flip over, and then using scissors trim the excess (this is better than taping them to the sides, they will not stick). I had some fabric tape so I tried that on the knives, too.

Voila!

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the cake trials of 2013: salted caramel buttercream

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A while ago I had the most delicious salted caramel buttercream cake at The Bachelor Farmer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I wanted to recreate it for P’s 30th and since caramel is infamously difficult to make I’ve done a couple trials, and come to a conclusion: buy your caramel from the baking aisle!