24 February 12 • MAV

Just about 2 weeks ago my creative accomplices and I stumbled upon a new-to-us-but-old-in-life camera. Now, we are all pretty settled with our preferred cameras and certainly don’t need another but this was one we just couldn’t pass up. We knew it would be well-loved and well-used and just a few weeks later it already is! Let’s be honest, we’re fighting over it.

Just a day after we made this purchase, I loaded the camera with a roll of 36-exposures and took photographs all day. A “test roll.” It was a Sunday. It was the Sunday you see here. I stayed home the entire day not leaving once. I love a good Sunday, don’t you?

Starting at the top with my early rising and coffee/sketching alone. I love a peaceful start to my Sunday and sometimes it’s so nice to be alone. I also needed some time alone on this Sunday to ponder a few last minute decisions (the sketches had to do with my Collection; I can’t wait for May 18th)!

And moving to the image just above: breakfast. On this particular Sunday we opted for skipping the usual pancakes or waffles and had just eggs, kale and toast. When you already have bread from your favorite bakery who needs pancakes or waffles? (Don’t tell the waffles I said that though, please?)

Then a bit of cooking/baking, phone calls and a bit of Sunday housework. Around 2 p.m. the cats always find their way into our dining room for some suntanning. Good thinking if you ask me! … especially for a Sunday.

And of course as the sun started to set I had to get in a few self-portraits. I love the details that age has given this old mirror. It’s always fun to see yourself on film … reminding you that you’re alive, that you’re real!

And the very last part of my ‘Sunday at home with camera’ included settling into the evening with two of our nearest and dearest for dinner and Downton Abby. (I just love Mary, Edith and Sybil, don’t you? Not to mention The Dowager Countess and the whole of the downstairs jumble. Amazing.)

I do love Sundays. It’s such a nice day of the week. I’m sure you’ll see more from this camera … if I can get my turn!

24 February 12 • SCB

Last month I brought home a copy of Tamar Adler’s An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace. I opened it up that evening and read it cover to cover, finishing it in the wee hours of the morning, finding myself both ravenously hungry and immensely satisfied. It is not a cookbook per se, nor a memoir, but instead a sort of celebration of food, of eating and of cooking (the best route to eating). The writing manages to be both entertaining and incredibly straightforward. I found the book simultaneously reassuring and inspiring.

I am someone who cooks because I love to eat, not necessarily because I love to cook. I am not preoccupied by searches for the perfect tool or the most exotic ingredients. I have only a cursory interest in the physics or mechanics of cooking. I like real, whole, unprocessed  food, but am otherwise not particularly concerned about the healthiness of ingredients. I want to eat well and within our budget, but don’t look forward to fixing dinner most nights. Still, I found comfort in Adler’s guidance and quite a bit of reassurance in her approach to cooking and eating. Just some of her advice that has lasted with me these past few weeks:

  • Shop weekly for vegetables, then devote a few hours to immediately prepping and cooking them—all of them.
  • Don’t underestimate a good egg.
  • Toast (properly topped) can be dinner.
  • Taste your food as it cooks.
  • A pot of beans is a powerful thing.
  • Keep lemon, brined and pickled things and fresh herbs on hand to brighten up simple foods (or mistakes, see below).
  • Perceived kitchen failures can often be saved.

Happy eating (and cooking)!

17 February 12 • MAV

It’s a special day here … 3191 Quarterly, Issue No. 6 is now officially released! … and we are celebrating the opening day of our new shop! We can’t tell you too much about the shop right now but we do hope you’ll stand by for more news soon. If you want to be the first to know you can sign up for our mailing list. Our first collections will go up on May 18, 2012. We can’t wait to share them with you. Meantime today, I wanted to show you a few of my favorite photographs of SCB’s from this special issue of Quarterly.

I just love these two images of Stephanie’s house. She’s as whimsical as she is practical. It’s a very rare combination and it’s so much a part of why I love her dearly.

I could live in this image. Enough said.

I can’t believe a place like this exists. It’s so gorgeous!! I don’t forge but I really want to after seeing this piece.

These photographs and this project are going to change my life! I can’t have plants because my cats get into them (rascals!) but I feel motivated to make some hangers and get green back into my life. I just love how Steph has styled the hangers too. And oh! I get to see them in her house myself very soon when I’m out in her neck of the woods. Can’t wait!

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Thank you to all who helped make this issue of Quarterly possible including Lynsey, RTS, Robert & Jennifer at our printer and of course the lovely Evan who ships every single copy. Cheers to all and cheers to you for supporting us in our endeavors. To celebrate our release Issue No. 6 is just $26 for opening weekend. The sale ends Sunday at midnight, EST. To receive the little discount use the code NEWQ6 upon check out after you have entered billing information into Paypal.

17 February 12 • SCB

I am so excited to share 3191 Quarterly, Issue No. 6 with you. You can find the issue in our brand new shop. Not to be a tease, but we can’t tell you about all the plans for the shop just yet. I’ll just say we have some great things planned! We will have more details in May (sign up for our mailing list for the latest news).

Today is all about the official release of Issue No. 6. Below, you’ll find just a few of my favorite photos of MAV’s from this issue.

Once again, we are featuring everyday photos in our At Home section. Now that I have had a chance to spend some time chez MAV, these photos are all the more special to me. Her home is a total visual treat.

This is one of my favorite spreads in Issue No. 6. MAV goes on to document her journey to London and Stockholm. This piece really kicked my wanderlust into high gear.

We have already had a subscriber write us to tell us that she tried MAV’s Chocolate Stout Cake recipe. Look at that layer of cream cheese frosting! I am so excited to make it for my husband’s birthday next month (using his homebrew!).

I adore these colorful pages and the sweet faces found within (that crown!). I am going to become an Aunt this year, and hope I can a learn a thing or two from Aunt MAV.

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I am so grateful to everyone involved in the production of Quarterly—our entire team, my family, our subscribers, and all of you who visit here and share and support what we do. Thank you!!

To celebrate our release Issue No. 6 is just $26 for opening weekend. The sale ends Sunday at midnight, EST. To receive the little discount use the code NEWQ6 upon check out after you have entered billing information into Paypal.

10 February 12 • MAV

Never underestimate the power of a chocolate chip cookie. It’s just about the only sweet that most people can agree on next to ice cream. I count myself as included in the many legions of chocolate chip cookie lovers in the world. When in a bakery it’s most definitely the cookie I go for unless of course there is a peanut butter chocolate chip and then I might get both!

Now, this coming week marks our 3rd year anniversary here at 3191 Miles Apart (see our first post here, speaking of hearts) and it also marks Valentine’s Day. Although I don’t go wild for V-Day itself I do love me some hearts. I like to draw hearts on notes I write to people I love—I like to doodle hearts in meetings or on my calendar. I just think hearts put people in a jolly mood.

So, seeing as I believe in chocolate chip cookies and I believe in hearts you can see how this whole post has come to life. In celebration of our anniversary and love day I wanted to give you my favorite two chocolate chipper recipes (as of right now) and also give you some hearts! So here it goes …

Chocolate Chip Cookies Two Ways

The key to chocolate chippers, for me, comes down to two things: I want the batch itself to be small (there are only two of us in this household after all) and I want the cookies to keep their texture and flavor for a few days (I like to keep a cookie jar for a few days after). Both of these recipes are a bit on the cakey or doughy side; the doughs themselves are stiff. They are not what you’d refer to as chewy and they don’t spread out to be huge, flat chocolate chippers like you might see in a bakery. They are just small yummy cookies with, for me, just the right flavor, crunch and just the right amount of sweet.

Traditional Chippers
makes about two dozen

1-1/2 C all purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 C unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C natural sugar
1 t vanilla
1 egg
1-1/2 C dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Prepare your cookie sheet (either with parchment paper or just grease it up well). Sift flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Beat butter and sugars in a bowl until light and creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well scraping down the sides as needed. Slowly stir in dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips. Place spoonfuls on your cookie sheet (tamp them down with a fork if you like) and bake for 12–15 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes and then remove cookies and let them completely cool on rack.

Whole Grain Chippers
makes just over one dozen

3/4 C rolled oats
1 C whole wheat flour (or spelt)
1/3 C unsweetened coconut
1/2 t baking soda
1/8 t salt
1/2 C canola oil
scant 1/3 C natural sugar
scant 1/3 C brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
3/4 C dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Prepare your cookie sheet (either with parchment paper or just grease it up well). Whisk together oats, flour, coconut, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a large bowl beat together oil and sugars well. Add egg, mix well. Add vanilla, mix well. Dump dry ingredients into wet and mix with as few strokes of the wooden spoon as you can. Fold in chocolate. Place spoonfuls on your cookie sheet and bake for 10–12 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheet.

Note: To make the hearts I tripled the recipe and spread it out flat in a jelly roll pan. I baked it for about 15–20 minutes and let it cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. Then I lifted out the parchment paper carefully (there were two of us) and cut out my hearts. Make sure to cut the hearts while the dough is warm.