friday links

Happy Friday!

What's yours?

A Massachusetts native came up with "Mensch on a Bench" after he and his son were shopping
in Bloomingdales son asked if he could have the "Elf on a Shelf" and he replied "no, we're Jewish". Confused, son asked what do we have, and Dad being quick-witted said we have "a Mensch on a, um, a, bench!"  And so began the creation.  So very clever.  And so popular that they are already sold out for 2013, taking orders only for 2014.

I was asked to try out the Fruttare Fruit Bars.
I only wish I had found these this summer.
They are so good.  Fruit and milk frozen treats, almost like a fruit-cremesicle.
I loved the banana and peach.
But they have a whole line of other flavors: strawberry, coconut, lime, mango, lime.

So this happened this week, and it was quite good!

My dear friend, Meagan Micozzi of Scarletta Bakes has her first cookbook out: The New Southwest.
I am so proud of you girl!
If you love southwest cooking, then you'll love this with southwest flavors in a modern twist.
The New Southwest by Meagan Micozzi: "...when Meagan Micozzi relocated to the desert of Arizona, she literally felt like a fish out of water. Finding comfort and inspiration in local foods, flavors and ingredients, Micozzi soon had a new mission: interview native home cooks, research recipes, and then perfect techniques until she had them just right. She launched the Scarletta Bakes blog in 2011 to document her adventures in the kitchen. Since then, thousands of readers have sought out the blog for its innovative approach to southwestern food...."

If you can believe it, my friends are still surfing!
I think we all get together just to "be & watch the beauty of the surf" (a surf thing), but yesterday the swell was decent and the sun was bright.
I didn't go in, don't have a winter wetsuit...yet.  Hope to get one soon.
But isn't this photo stunning?
It was a good day.

Do you need a few ideas for holiday gifts?
Why not make homemade candy?
Candy has a better shelf life than a cake, cookie or bread. And who doesn't love a creative. homemade candy all wrapped up in a nice pretty box?  I know I would love it.
Here are a few ideas:

Espresso Buttercreams

cookie butter-cream cheese trufles

My favorite: white chocolate-mint Nestle Crunch Bars

coconut-cream truffles

homemade peanut butter cups
dark chocolate peanut butter cups

ginger-peanut chews
ginger peanut caramel chews

Around the web:

Polenta pizza (looks so easy)
DIY mini fondant figures
sweet potato & bacon tots w/ creamy mustard sauce
can turmeric ease arthritis?
a review of Lay's Chocolate covered potato chips
how the flu escapes immunity
I really, really, really want these long fingerless gloves from Ibex.
DIY homemade bacon (yes it's that easy!)
Attention espresso lovers! coffee may help perk up your blood vessels!  
5 obvious things you must do to be healthy
LOVE this -----> map of the modern writer's mind
a very easy gingerbread cookie recipe
newest fragrance love: Turquatic by MAC. Get the rollerball!
how to make 8 grilled cheese sandwiches at once
gingerbread-almond butter
the differences between men & women (funny!)
vegan baking guide
wonderful! how to temper chocolate
the no sleep podcast: for those who LOVE horror stories
top neurologist says grains are bad for your brain (agree/disagree?)
science of cake baking: 6 common baking pitfalls to avoid
roasted cinnamon-date bars
ugly christmas sweater cookie kit
how to make kanafeh (sweet cheese pastry)
waffle maker hash browns
DIY novelty print cotton dress (so cute!)
watch a crab climb out of its shell
nut consumption linked to reduced death rate
have kids on a time out?  use this DIY "relax bottle/time out timer"
canadians rescue a shark choking on a moose
how to de-seed a pomegranate in 3-seconds
DIY homemade white chocolate
how to take panoramic photos
Gabriella Miller (2003 - 2013) talks about the need for constant awareness of childhood cancer

landfill dogs.org 
   These are not just cute pictures of dogs. These are dogs who have been homeless for at least two weeks, and now face euthanasia if they do not find a home. Each week for 18 months (late 2012–early 2014) I bring one dog from the county animal shelter and photograph him/her at the local landfill.

   The landfill site is used for two reasons. First, this is where the dogs will end up if they do not find a home. Their bodies will be buried deep in the landfill among our trash. These photographs offer the last opportunity for the dogs to find homes.

   The second reason for the landfill location is because the county animal shelter falls under the same management as the landfill. This government structure reflects a societal value: homeless cats and dogs are just another waste stream. However, this landscape offers a metaphor of hope. It is a place of trash that has been transformed into a place of beauty. I hope the viewer also sees the beauty in these homeless, unloved creatures.

   As part of this photographic process, each dog receives a car ride, a walk, treats, and about 2 hours of much-needed individual attention. My goal is to offer an individual face to the souls that are lost because of animal overpopulation, and give these animals one last chance. This project will continue for one year, so that we can see the landscape change while the constant stream of dogs remains the same.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


  1. Perky Glitter Balls. Love it. I posted one of these recently on my site for your superhero name and got a kick out of everyone's replies!

    Great links as always! And congrats to Meagan! I have her book also and it's simply stunning. The photography alone is just a dream!

  2. I want to make all of your candies! Especially the PB cups. Gingerbread almond butter? That looks just awesome. I want those pops!

  3. That elf thing is adorable! I can't believe people are still surfing. It's practically too cold for me to go outside let alone surf!

  4. Dawn, the photography sounds so moving and such a wonderful act of kindness. is it working? i can only hope. To be honest, I'm not sure i can look. I cry easily. How do you do it? i would want to bring each one home.

  5. This "top neurologist" thing sparked my interest so I checked him out and it should be clarified that he doesn't actually practice medicine (he does have his medical degree, but doesn't see patients), he just holds an administrative position, which pretty much tells me that he's not actually a good doctor. So to say he's a "top" anything is ridiculous. He's also never been published in any peer-reviewed journals that are indexed by Pubmed, which tells me that he's never published anything of any credence. So I would take just about any of the nonsense he's spouting with a large grain of salt. :)

    1. J make sure to say this to the Puffington Post.
      You make an excellent argument

  6. Haha, love the Mensch on a Bench! I need to find those Fruttare!!! The look so yummy. I also need those cookie butter cream cheese truffles. Holy cow those look good :)


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