Wealthy in Time

Tim Ferriss, who wrote The 4-Hour Workweek, has a great eponymous blog subtitled “Experiments in Lifestyle Design” – which is a fantastic way of saying that you aren’t locked into your life. When it’s time to change, change.



Mr. Ferriss posted video of Rolf Potts, who wrote Vagabonding about long-term travel, giving a speech about principles of travel that also apply to life at home. His primary idea is to think of wealth as time – time to do exactly what you want, time to spend with loved ones, time to enjoy yourself. I’ve always thought of having financial wealth as a tool for creating time and options, and his point just skips the middleman. Wealth = time. I recommend watching the video, it’s worth five minutes of your day.

I’m particularly struck by this thought right now, I think, because I’m about to graduate from grad school and trying to decide what I want to do with myself. There’s a world of possibilities and huge change is intrinsic to every option. It’s just one of those times in life, which seem to come along every few years for me, when a huge upheaval is circumstantially necessary – and I’m actually feeling pretty ready for it.

For me, wealth and time means being able to spend time with people I love doing something I love – which is, many times, having people over and cooking for them. It doesn’t have to be a huge deal, and (while I know I spend lots of money and time on special little ridiculous tablescapes becauase I enjoy it so much) all you need is some food on a plate and people you like to have a great evening. Simplicity works and baggage just weighs you down; not only in design, but in the rest of life.


In this vein, my father’s book Payback Time is coming out tomorrow, and the entire point of the book is that we can all create enough wealth for ourselves that we don’t have to depend on anyone else and can do whatever we like with our time.

I’m devoting BB&B this week to a series of menus based on Payback Time, from an elaborate dinner to appetizers for someone who would rather spend their precious time doing something other than cooking. Investing is usually a solitary activity, but talking about ideas with other people can not only make it a lot more fun, it can generate ideas you might not have ever come across. At it’s heart, this blog is about doing what you love, and I hope these ideas will inspire you to find the time (and wealth) to do what you love.

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Raspberry-Lime Skinny Margaritas


I’ve been trying to invent a margarita that doesn’t have any real sugar and actually tastes good. It’s been so tough, guys: I’ve been working on it and working on it . . . and working, and working some more because you really never know when a little tweak will make a drink far better and the only way to know is to taste every single test cocktail multiple times. Quality control is serious here at BB&B. Don’t let anyone ever tell you throwing parties isn’t terribly hard work.

Lime juice is stultifyingly sour, and there’s no way around needing a sweetener if this drink is going to taste good. I used Splenda as the sweetener, but please use Stevia or Equal or whatever your sugar substitute of choice is – or if you want a little real stuff, go for the honey or agave syrup. Whatever you like best.


Furthermore, if you’re a regular follower you know that I like cocktails stiff and tart. I used 2 teaspoons of Splenda in mine, and it made for a tart drink but still very quaffable. If you prefer sweeter cocktails, start with 3 teaspoons and keep adding until it tastes ridiculously yummy to you.

Raspberry-Lime Skinny Margaritas

  • 4 raspberries
  • 2-5 teaspoons Splenda
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 2 ounces (1 shot glass) good silver tequila
  • 4 ounces (2 shot glasses) sparkling water

Place raspberries in a sturdy-bottomed glass and add the Splenda. Muddle together with a muddler or the back of a spoon.


Add lime juice, tequila and sparkling water and mix thoroughly. Pour into a pretty glass, if you like that sort of thing, and enjoy.

Brainstorming Dinner Party Decor

My dad will be visiting next week to do press for his new book, Payback Time, which is coming out March 2 (click here to pre-order on Amazon – sorry to plug it, but I’m excited!).

We’re going to have some wonderful family friends over for dinner, and I’m brainstorming my table design. I’m not really sure what I want, exactly. I don’t want it to look girly, but I do want it to look pretty, and I feel in the mood to spice up the table with a print by wrapping vases.

Snippet and Ink

Snippet and Ink

Like these vases, I’m almost feeling a simple and elegant black and white theme, on a white tablecloth with fluffy white flowers and black placecards. It’s a sophisticated color scheme and it won’t compete with the food. A little cold, though?

I have lovely ice blue- and pewter-colored placemats that go really well with my dark wood dining table. I could design around them, with silver candlesticks and maybe chocolate or bronze wrapping on the vases, fluffy white flowers, white napkins with chocolate placecards tucked into them. It would be a color scheme similar to this inspiration board, though less embellished wedding and more birds nest with blue eggs and white accents.

Snippet and Ink

Snippet and Ink

I love that lightish bronze color of the birds nest.

I’m going to see what wrapping paper is on offer at the paper store and go from there . . .

Truffle Boxes from Etsy

A while ago I mentioned making truffles for your guests as a dessert or party favor, and using the box in which you place them as a placecard holder.

It can be hard to find any little boxes at all, though, much less cute ones, so I found some pretty boxes from Etsy sellers on which you could either write a name or perch a placecard (click on the photo to go to the Etsy shop).







Breathable Chocolate



A scientist has invented an inhaler that places small particles of chocolate on your tastebuds when you breathe it in – apparently giving you the taste of chocolate for one calorie. It’s called Le Whif. My favorite part is this chick who looks like she’s nonchalantly sucking on her extremely normal inhaler. “Oh no, I’m not smoking. I’m just inhaling the taste of chocolate from my Le Whif.” Were they trying make it sound French and therefore extra klassy (with a k)?

Would this really satisfy a chocolate craving, or would it seem like an empty pleasure? I adore the taste of chocolate, but so much of the pleasure is from the texture, the presentation, the mix of flavors, and the melting – my God, the melting!

On the other hand, I’m off sweets right now (New Year’s resolution) and I wouldn’t mind a taste of chocolate that’s guilt-free. Wouldn’t mind that at all. AT. ALL.

Buttermilk Oatmeal Farls

A farl, according to Merriam-Webster, is an oatmeal or wheat flour thin triangular cake from Scotland. Torrey posted this recipe and I made it for a healthy breakfast when my dad was visiting. There’s nothing sweet in the recipe, so honestly I wasn’t expecting a lot, but I knew if Torrey liked it it had to be good so I ventured forth.

Aside: I have discovered that I LOVE BUTTERMILK. That is all.


The farls came out thick, soft, crispy on the outside, and with a lovely flavor that really doesn’t need anything changed. The buttermilk did its work well! These would be perfect for simple and healthy breakfast entertaining. Just cut into triangles and put out all sorts of garnishes: butter, jam, soft cheeses, yogurt, honey, maple syrup, nutella, marmalade, clotted cream, some fruits.

I served them with butter and jam, and later, ate them with a soft Brie-like cheese and cured meats. Then I left town for a week, and when I came back they were still moist! Amazing. I dipped a piece in greek yogurt for a tangy snack. In other words, I highly recommend with anything you can think of.

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Rosemary and Thyme, Garlic and Lemon



I keep thinking about the garlic-lemon aioli that I made for Christmas Eve dinner. It was SO yummy that I desperately want an excuse to make it again for another dinner party, and I found one in these heavenly rosemary-thyme oven fries. Wouldn’t they be tasty dipped into garlic-lemon aioli? I love all those herbs and spices together.

The flavors in both components are strong, so serve them with salmon cooked simply with salt and pepper, your favorite vegetable and a nice bread. Or, to make the menu gluten-free, just leave the bread out. It’s a casual family-style dinner, but you won’t be able to make it ahead. To make up for that, prepare dessert earlier with something easy, like cookies.

Rosemary and Thyme, Garlic and Lemon Menu

Main Courses:


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