How to make your own pasta from scratch

how to make your own pasta from scratch // a thousand threads
All of the best food words come from Julia. I think of her every time I grab for a bottle of wine or get my hands all up in a pretty plated dish. She talks me through my most favorite moments in the kitchen, and she talks me through my least… but the words I find myself repeating most are, “…nothing is too much trouble if it turns out the way it should.”

One of the most memorable meals we’ve ever had was made so in part by handmade pasta so perfect it needed nothing more than a bit of butter to blow our minds. We’ve talked about that meal at least once a week since, and we’ve dreamed about perfecting our own technique.

Handmade pasta is like handmade bread… it simply can’t be beat. The undertaking can feel daunting, and I’m not going to say it’s easy (anything that involves kneading probably shouldn’t be called easy) but it’s nowhere near the complicated process you’d think. And the reward is beyond compare…

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Saffron leek soup

saffron leek soup // a thousand threads
We all have our little pleasures. Manicures, lunches out, fancy espresso… they’re the things that make the day to day just that much better (or more bearable). And it’s for exactly that reason that we’re willing to spend a good chunk of our hard-earned money on them.

For Mark and I, hands down, our little pleasure is food. When we’re able (and probably even when we’re not) the answer to where our money goes first is almost always food. Things like paper towels and cleaning supplies will drive me up a wall every time I have to replenish, but a nice bottle of wine, a creamy chunk of cheese, fresh herbs and spices… those, I can always justify.

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52 self portraits // 4 + Links

52 self portraits // a thousand threads
This is a pretty accurate depiction of the last week… wrapped up in every scarf, hat, and blanket we have in an effort to escape the cold that somehow manages to seep in no matter the number on the thermostat.

Beyond the cold, we’ve been riding the roller coaster of emotions that is selling/buying a house… with some not so good news. The house we fell in love with (despite ourselves, since they wouldn’t take a contingent offer and here we are with a house…) sold out from under us. We weren’t worried, since it had been on the market for over a year and the agent had assured us she’d be in contact if there were any offers…

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Jack White’s guacamole

jack white's guacamole // a thousand threads
Much to Jack White’s apparent dismay, the details of his tour rider leaked out last week — but since we love a man who loves good guac, we thought they were sort of charming.

After hearing the story on NPR, we mixed up a batch — a little skeptical about the lack of garlic, but excited nonetheless. And we almost ate the whole thing standing over the bowl. All the while musing over whether the crew treats it like a contest at each stop, keeping track of who can make it best.

(As it turns out, they do.)

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Hot milk punch

hot milk punch // a thousand threads
It sounds harsh, but lately I’ve been feeling stiff and uninspired – paralyzed even.

It’s cold, the house is on the market, work is all maybes and what ifs, and every next step seems to be waiting for something else to get out of the way. Mostly I’m impatient. Which, I suppose, is a good feeling, since I know there are good things to come.

But my skin is dry and I can’t help itching for spring… waiting, for me, has never been the best part.

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52 self portraits // 3 + Links

52 self portraits // a thousand threads
There was a moment there last week where I thought we might be on the verge of spring… warm air, a forecast free from snow.

I was even fooled, for at least a second, into stepping outside without a coat.

But so much for all of that. It looks like Phil was right again, so today we’re spending the day inside, cuddled up under all the blankets we have. Not such a bad way to spend a Valentines weekend…

But then, that’s next week’s portrait.

For now — that fleeting moment of hope.

52 self portraits // a thousand threads

How to write a super fast first book draft.

Owl warning.

40 facts for the 40th of Blood on the Tracks.

Caramelized crepes.

Social — in politics — is a great way to get people hooked on email.


This pretty apartment. (Those floors.)

Naming your business.



Potato chip cookies

potato chip cookies // a thousand threads
Sunday morning, Mark and I woke up early to poke and prod our already-staged home into submission – a process that, naturally, involved making cookies… otherwise known as small delicious “buy our house, please” bribes.

I’m assuming the open house went well… muddy tracks implied that someone must’ve come. But since it might’ve come off as creepy to leer at potential buyers from the corner, judging their reluctance to consume a few extra calories as a personal slight against our home and the whole of our world view, we went to the gym.

… partially because we hadn’t been all week and partially because cookie dough is my kryptonite. Also, apparently, fully-baked cookies, of which I’ve had five a day since these were baked.

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Salted chocolate raspberry stout doughnuts with DuClaw

salted chocolate raspberry stout doughnuts // a thousand threads
I’m always a little torn on Valentines Day. Should we celebrate, is it a greeting card holiday, blah, blah, blah.

Any reason to go out for a romantic dinner, though, is one I can’t generally bring myself to be down on… or stay in for a romantic dinner. Or stay in for doughnuts and beer… because let’s just be honest, the gloomiest gloom of winter is upon us and all I really want is doughnuts and beer. (We’ve covered this.)

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52 self portraits // 2 + Friday link love

52 self portraits // a thousand threads52 self portraits // a thousand threads
I’m willing to bet now that these photos — taken on our way to visit that not so superb owl (depending on how you look at it) — commemorate the very last moment that I was awake and not working this week… even at the Super Bowl itself, where this loser spent most of the evening enveloped in research on sequestration and the upcoming president’s budget.

This week has been so very busy that now that Friday has come and the budget work is gone, I feel like I might just fade into a light coma for the weekend… someone can deliver me doughnuts and beer and I’ll commune with the spirit of Homer Simpson.

Now if only I had a toasty warm beach…

Anyone else itching hard for a vacation? I know I keep talking about it, but it’s that time of year.

Reading blogs vs. making a living off of a blog.

Mexican avocados.

This gorgeous midcentury renovation.

We have way too many chairs already, and still I want more.


12 Twitter marketing secrets.

These sound suspiciously healthy, but delicious.


Shaved brussels sprout salad with currants and bacon vinaigrette

shaved brussels sprout salad with currants and bacon vinaigrette // a thousand threads
Say what you want about brussels sprouts, everything — and I mean everything — is better with bacon.

Not that I’m not a fan of the sprouts, but it never hurts to do a little doctoring up. And let’s be honest… green veggies have never been my thing.

I want them to be my thing. I really do. In fact until I was at least 20 years old I thought I loved the sprouts…

I mean, my grandma’s sprouts were delicious. Nevermind that they were smothered in butter and cheese.

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