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Dust, must, ink and sweat


Relishing Caldwell’s Carnegie Library

I can still remember the smell of the first library I ever visited. Caldwell’s Carnegie Library was built in 1913 by an undocumented architect. It’s brick facade and deep portico entrance is still iconic in Caldwell, as the building sits stately on the main street that goes out of town. My sole memory of this library is the children’s section in the basement. I remember making my way down the concrete steps to the outdoor, separate entrance on the side of the building. The offices and adult sections were on the main floor, and honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been through the main entrance of the building. It was traded in the mid 70’s for the new building, and I was still so young, that the children’s section was all that was important at the time. My great-aunt gave me my first libary card, and would take me and my sister there after school for readings and puppet shows. The deal was that we never left with fewer than 3 books each. Read more

Design Love: Business Card-palooza at the IFBC

As a graphic designer, it’s in my nature to be drawn to good design, and I feel that business cards can be little works of art if done right. So in addition to meeting some fabulous people at the IFBC in Portland, I also collected a slew of creative cards that I’ll file away as inspiration for future designs. I especially love the ones with the photos on the back. Those may have to go up collage-style on my bulletin board in my office.

Tip of the weekend: don’t dismiss that badge hanging around your neck at your next conference. It most likely is a plastic sleeve, so store your own cards behind your badge so they’re close at hand. It took all of ten minutes for me to tire of diving into my bag to get a card, and this convenient trick made networking much more streamlined.

Sweet Little Bite of Mexico

Simple, elegant. I wanted a sweet treat to serve at a casual tequila tasting party, and these little cookies are a one-bite surprise of bittersweet cocoa, cinnamon, and ancho chile.

Once a month, our group of friends gets together for a wine tasting party. At least that’s how it started. After two years of blind tasting everything from a Chenin Blanc to a Ruby Port, things got repetitive, so this August we decided to try another juice: one from the Agave plant—tequila! So, since I try to always pair appropriate foods with whatever we are drinking that month, and I was having a major chocolate craving, these shortbread cookies were born.

I don’t eat gluten, so I adapted a common shortbread recipe to this gluten-free option, only by substituting my favorite GF flour: Namaste Perfect Flour Blend Mix (Couer d’Alene, Idaho) for standard all-purpose flour. The addition of ancho chile seemed natural for that Mexican kick, and since this cookie is only slightly sweet, a nice accompaniment is a fresh raspberry chutney, which adds layers of jammy and tangy flavors that enhance the spices in the cookies. (Recipes follow). Read more