Monday, December 31, 2012

Web Wilderness / Branching Out

Whoa guys. That was a hell of a break there, huh? We can't believe how fast these past few weeks have flown by. We had such a wonderful Christmas with our family and friends. Well, I actually came down with this awful sinus/cold thing that totally laid me out for two and a half days. It was kind of a pathetic way to spend the beginning of the holidays, having Cooper take care of me as I lazed on the couch, breathing through my mouth. When I finally recovered, I more than made up for my time out of commission. Late nights were spent up in Benson, Josephine's, and O'Leaver's. On Christmas day night, Cooper actually got up and sang a few songs at O'Leaver's. It was a total surprise. Sometimes I feel so lucky to live in the town that I do. 

So if you're lucky, you're not at work today and gearing up for all of the fun tonight. We'll be bouncing around to a few parties at our friends' houses and then up to the Sweatshop to ring in the new year. Here we come 2013!! In case you're looking to kill  some time today here are some fun internet findings - 
  • I'm thinking about making these dark chocolate brownies to bring our parties tonight. I'm such a sucker for anything with raspberries in it. 
  • As 2012 winds down, let's take a look at what awesome shit you might have missed on the internet this year. I made it about halfway through this list (fuck it's long) and all of it's pretty great. 
  • OK now that you've watched all those clips, watch a preview for the most disgusting show to premier on television ever. Seriously, I want to watch it, but I don't think I could watch it for long. I couldn't even finish the preview. PS Oxygen production team: if this show doesn't get cancelled, invest in some goddamned interview rooms and cameras because those women do not look good in webcam. 
  • The ultimate infograph - Which Wes Anderson character are you? I'm Steve Zissou and I'm not sure how I feel about that. 
  • I need one of these motivational posters for my desk at work. 
  • It's no secret, we love Sex and the City. In fact, I spent the majority of Saturday re-watching some of my favorite episodes. Turns out, the show was just one giant segue. 
  • Lena Dunham gives some humblebrag advise on what she learned in 2012. 

And here are a few shots from Christmas. Bebop and our black Xmas tree, Bebop and his gift from Cooper's mother Sue (a big ass bone from Stoysich), and a shot of Krug on Christmas Eve.




Friday, December 21, 2012

Wind Down / Wound Up

It's here, people: the last weekend before Christmas. Or, if you're a believer, it's the last day of the world??? If it's the last day of the world I will be pretty pissed that I spent the night before the last day of the world snowed in. But at least I will have died at home, surrounded by my belongings and my dog. BUT, if you are all reading this, congratulations, the world probably hasn't ended - depending on what time zone you're in??? I don't know, it's all a little fuzzy to me. So just in case the world DOESN'T end, and you're looking for something to do this weekend, we've gathered some of the choicest events going on in Omaha this weekend to help you out. As the work week winds down, WO+SF and crew are getting wound up for the weekend. 

FRIDAY December 21
  • It's one of our squirrel friend's birthday's (HBD, J!), so we are celebrating by first having dinner at Sake Bombers, which I learned today is really just a part of Blue. Duh. I haven't had GOOD sushi in a long time and I'm definitely looking forward to this dinner. 
  • After din din we'll be heading down to see Ladyfinger at the Slowdown, supported by Back When, Everyday/Everynight, and Maps for Travelers.
  • If you feel like bumpin' and grindin' like there's no tomorrow (and if there really IS no tomorrow, why the fuck not?) head over to House of Loom for their Mayan End of the World Party.
SATURDAY December 22
  • Obviously we all know what day Christmas is on, myself included, but somehow it slipped away from me this year and I am still not prepared at all. I've been writing about needing to buy presents for three damn weeks now and I sort of still haven't really. Apparently I take after my father cuz I am going shopping with him this weekend. I suggest you all do the same before another storm hits the metro and you find yourself present-less. 
  • Maybe you're done your shopping but still need to do some cooking or baking or candy-making? I know I do as well. These recipes on Omaha.com for quick potato cookies and black pepper cookies really have me intrigued so I may try to whip up a batch at some point! 
  • It's the perfect weekend to go ice skating! I have never been to the Con Agra rink and I really would like to make it down there.
SUNDAY December 23
  • Another thing I've never done is seen Mannheim Steamroller which is another thing I'd like to really do at some point because I dig the way they jazz up my Christmas faves. Also, Chip Davis meat rub is the shit. Check 'em out at the Orpheum today. 
  • My fam are in town - my bro and my aunt so I'm thinking I'll be having some family fun times. I bought Apples to Apples specifically for the occasion. Hope you all get some time to spend with your loved ones as well!

 P.S.: Check out this still from the awesome Elf Yourself video I made:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Serving Yuletide Realness - An Extravaganza Eleganza

This past weekend we invited some of our squirrel friends over to stuff our faces with food and drinks and indulge ourselves in some much needed girl talk. We asked that everyone bring an appetizer or dessert item and there was no shortage of deliciousness. From  salmon bites to super rich peanut and chocolate dessert bars to Kerry's amazing baked brie, the table was soon piled full of dishes that I just wanted to stick my face directly in. As the night progressed our topics of conversation ranged from Ke$ha to Les Mis (like I said real girly stuff) to what we wanted for Christmas. It turned out to be one of those really nice, relaxing times where the laughs are genuine and conversations warm. 


When I saw this adorable post, I knew we needed to have an eggnog bar. Eggnog isn't something that I typically buy during the holiday season, but when I saw three different flavors at our local grocery store I just couldn't help myself. It also didn't hurt that the store's liquor section had a sampling of some discounted spiced rum and whisky. 



We also used Kerry's Keurig machine to offer a little hot, but still spiked, drink option. 



I made a Beer & Cheddar dip whose tangy flavor was complimented well by pretzels. Kerry wowed the crowd with her Bloomin' Brie Bowl. I could easily eat one of those every single day. All in all the night was a definite success. 






Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WO + SF Gimme! Gimme! List

We need a break from all this Christmas brouhaha. While it's been fun cozying up at home, baking, making gifts and preparing for this snow that's coming today (which we're pretty excited about), we're getting pretty excited about New Year's Eve. You might be thinking about your new year resolutions, but we think you should focus more of your energy deciding on what to wear for the occasion. NYE is such a fun time to celebrate a year passing, a new beginning, and of course it's a great excuse to wear anything with lots and lots of sequins on it. Even if your NYE plans turn out to be a lame, at least you'll look great!

So this week we wanted to collect our favorite New Year's Eve looks which definitely aren't lacking in either style nor sass. What are your plans for the big night?

Wise Owl Picks - 
Sly Fox Picks - 

NYE Sparkle


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Xmas Baking - Chocolate Butterscotch Peanut Clusters

Candy making is a huge holiday tradition in my family. My grandma used to make huge batches of about a dozen different candies, and would make so much that she would start making them shortly after Thanksgiving. My grandma would then put the candy in tupperware and store them in the garage once it was cold enough. My grandma has six kids so she would send plates of candy to school for their teachers and work when they got older and with my grandpa to his office. She would take them to her holiday parties and cookie exchanges and of course, the family would snack on them through out the month of December.


When my grandma stopped making the Christmas candy, my mom and I took over the job. We narrowed the recipe selection down to our favorites, but still produce a fair amount of candy. These Chocolate Butterscotch Peanut Clusters are one of my favorites. They require just 4 ingredients, and are extremely easy to make.


  • Half a block of paraffin wax
  • One 12 oz bag of butterscotch chips
  • One 12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 24 oz of dry roasted salted peanuts

Step 1: Melt the butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, and paraffin wax over a double boiler. I cut the half of paraffin block down into 4 smaller squares because the wax takes longer to melt than the chocolate. Also, I do not own an actual double boiler so I just used a metal bowl that fit into one of my pots without touching the bottom and that worked just fine.


Just keep this over medium heat until the wax is fully melted, stirring occasionally.


Step 2: Mix in your peanuts.


Mix until the peanuts are completely coated with the chocolate mixture.


Step 4: Use a spoon to drop the mixture onto wax paper. You can make these as big or as small as you'd like! I made these a little on the large size and still made about 50 clusters. I then put these in the freezer and/or fridge to speed up the cooling and hardening process.


And that's all, folks! Seriously, soo easy, and only took me about 35 minutes to make a batch of 50!


Oliver kept me company in the kitchen and, despite the fact that chocolate is poison to him, still drooled all over the place.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Web Wilderness / Branching Out

As the countdown to Christmas continues, we've been spending most of our days indoors, creating new drink concoctions, baking homemade goodies and laughing with our friends and families. My Christmas gift came a little early this week when my parents generously bought me a nice new camera. I have a feeling from this moment forward you'll be seeing me out with said camera around my neck. Yay for the holidays!!

Here we have arrived again at the beginning of yet another work week. In case you're feeling a little sluggish today here are a few internet findings to get your brain moving - 

  • In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting we all must keep the affected families in our hearts during this incredibly difficult time which no parent should ever have to go through. That being said, it's time to seriously take a look at the state of our mental health care system. Here's a great read from a mother who lives every day caring for a child with special needs. 
  • Even though we've been focusing our time and energy on Christmas, New Year's Even is right around the corner. Here are 51 DIY projects to make your NYE party even better. 
  • As we wrap up 2012, let's take a look at the 25 best red carpet looks from this past year. If I could get married in that dress Emma Stone wore to the Golden Globes I would die a very happy woman
  • OMG Kate Spade and Keds are collaborating on a line of sneakers! Ever since I was a kid I've always loved Keds. In fact from age 5 on I refused to wear any other sneaker. Someone please buy me the pair with the blue tipped toes in February!
  • Another shoe related item - I may also need these shoes which are actually scented. Yeah I'm not ashamed to admit it, I got some smelly feet. 
  • Flavorwire put together this great list of gifts for pop culture icons. PS I totally bought that Bill Cunningham shirt Sunday night (!!). 
  • Ever think about what you would wear to interview with Anna Wintour? Here are what 13 other women wore. All I have to say is I would love to wear some Doc Martins in front of her now and see if I still got the job.  
  • Here are three easy nail art designs using scotch tape! I'm sure Anna would approve of any of these (not).
  • I recently bought a bunch of mason jars. I've been making new drink mixes and portioning them out in them, and we just used a few to serve eggnog in for our holiday party this past weekend. My next mason jar project? This
And yes, here's Bebop being all sorts of regal and shit - 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wind Down/Wound Up

Well folks, the holidays are in full effect and we're sure you all are extremely busy hopping from holiday party to holiday party, shopping for gifts for your loved ones, and doing your traditional holiday baking and crafts. We're hosting a girl party on Saturday with some ornament making, egg nog and hot beverage bar, and game playing. Hopefully you all are participating in some merry-making as well this weekend! And if you need a little help finding something to do we've composed a list of some fun things going on in Omaha this weekend! As the work week winds down, WO+SF and crew are getting wound up for the weekend.

FRIDAY December 14
  • Tonight is Omahype's 3rd annual Holiday Rock-n-Shop event at the Slowdown and this is where we are planning on starting our night off at. It's a cool way to be entertained by local bands whilst shopping for Christmas gifts sold by local vendors.
  • After shopping, we plan on heading over to Barley Street Tavern to see the weirdest musical act you'll ever see: Plack Blague, who is opening for Yuppies, along with Astral Menace. Wanna see a dude in a studded banana hammock? Get yoruself to Barley Street.
  • The quintessential Christmas film, It's a Wonderful Life, is showing at Film Streams through December 27th.
  • Did you guys know that Beauty and the Beast the musical was coming to Omaha? I didn't, and this is totally like my 2nd favorite Disney movie. It's only here through Sunday so if you want to go you might want to try to snag some seats soon!
SATURDAY December 15
  • We are so wishing that "Beehive: A 60's Rock 'N Roll Musical" was showing sometime after the New Year. We just don't think we'll have time to make it, but it sounds like sooo much fun. 60's girl group music is my JAM. Hopefully some of you can attend this musical at the Waiting Room!
  • Go bump and grind to another Goo at House of Loom.
  • The Hobbit is one of the big movies that I'd actually be willing to try to attempt to see at midnight or on opening weekend. I was big into LOTR when the came out and will still watch them when they come on TBS. Check this out at a theater near you.
  • If you're looking to see some music, check out Omaha.com's comprehensive list of bands playing in the area, they even have it narrowed down by genre for you!
SUNDAY December 16
  • You know, to be honest, I didn't find a lot going on on Sunday. Remember when I said that I was going to get my Christmas shopping down LAST weekend? Yeah, I never did that. So I may have to use this Sunday to do that, or start making our family's traditional candy recipes to bring to our Christmas Eve get together. Might I suggest you all do the same?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Xmas Baking - Salted Caramels

Christmas is a time of indulgence, especially of the sugary kinds. In an effort to keep my holiday budget under control, I decided this year I'm giving homemade gifts. There are all kinds of awesome DIY ideas out there, so why not put them to good use??

Most people focus their holiday baking skills on cookies and fudge, but we decided to be a little rebellious and make caramels. Neither Kerry nor I had made caramels before but when I found this salted caramel recipe, I knew I had to try it out.

To our surprise, it actually ended up being pretty easy. We're looking forward to sending out these little pieces of deliciousness out to our friends who don't live in town, just as a reminder of how sweet we are on them. 

What You'll Need to Make DIY Salted Caramels:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling on top. 
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
Equipment
  • 8" square baking pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Candy thermometer (or a deep-fat thermometer)
  • Wax paper for wrapping or paper candy cups
Directions
First you'll want to prepare your 8x8 pan by placing the parchment paper inside of the pan and making sure the paper covers the sides of the pan. Lightly oil the pan. Then Bring the cream, butter and sea salt to a boil in a small saucepan; remove from heat and set aside.



Boil the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan; then cook without stirring until the mixture reaches 248°F, the firm-ball stage. This happened pretty fast on Kerry's gas range. 



Next, carefully stir in the cream mixture—the mixture will bubble up. Simmer, stirring frequently for about 15 minutes. The temperature should not go higher than 250°F. We didn't have a problem with this though, it didn't even get close once we put the cream mixture in and turned down the heat. Pour the mixture into the baking pan and cool 2 hours. 





Finally, cut into 1-inch pieces, then wrap each piece in a 4-inch square of wax paper, folding ends or twisting to close like taffy.

Et Voila!! You have homemade salted caramels!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WO + SF Gimme! Gimme! List

With Christmas just around the corner and our own holiday party this weekend we thought we'd dedicate this week's coveted Gimme! Gimme! List to those delicious holiday treats that just scream holiday spirit. Everyone has those tried and true recipes that they make year after year. This week we've picked out some new treats we'd like to try, but of course we'll still be making our usual favorites as well. Do you have any dishes that you like to make around this time of year?

Wise Owl Picks - 
christmas yummies



Sly Fox Picks - 

Holiday Spirits