Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mad for Plaid

There's nothing better than pulling out the plaid when cooler weather rolls around. I'm loving Madewell's selection of tops, scarves, and one gorgeous coat.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Getaways, Giveaways, and Goodness

I'm back after a wonderful visit with the parents, a weekend adventure in Vancouver, and incredible meals at Dahlia, Quinn's, and Art just to name a few. Perfect weather, amazing food, and great company.

Congrats go out to The Blonde Duck of A Duck in Her Pond. She's the winner of last week's QuietAnimals giveaway!

And in other good news, I got a job! It seems like a great fit and not scouring job websites feels really good after two and a half months of searching. I start next week.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Headed North

I'm headed to Vancouver tonight with the parents and husband. I hope to return with lots of pictures and a really awesome Canadian accent. Have a wonderful weekend!

Enter that giveaway if you haven't already.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Homemade Ice Cream Experiments: Lemon Buttermilk Sherbet

My dad's birthday was yesterday, but he and my mom just arrived in Seattle, so we're celebrating today. He's not much of a sweet tooth, so I decided to make a lemon buttermilk (two tastes he likes) sherbet. The tart and tangy flavor is so unusual. It's growing on me with every bite. If you need a little added sweetness, like me and my mom, creamy caramel sauce does the trick.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Lemon-Buttermilk Sherbet
Recipe courtesy of The Perfect Scoop
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
1 lemon, preferably unsprayed
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

In a medium, non-reactive saucepan, mix the water and sugar. Grate the zest of the lemon directly into the saucepan. Heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let stand until the syrup reaches room temperature. Then chill thoroughly in the refrigerator. Whisk the buttermilk into the syrup, then whisk in the lemon juice. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday Giveaway!

Updated: The Blonde Duck of A Duck in Her Pond is the winner!

Happy Fall! Today, I've got a giveaway for you from Etsy shop QuietAnimals. Atlanta-based seller Jeanette makes the most darling pottery, some of which features these sweet little animals. Currently, she has a menagerie of rabbits, hedgehogs, birds, mice, owls, and squirrels. These small dishes would be the perfect place to keep your rings, rest a spoon, or serve up a handful of candy.

Check out QuietAnimals, then leave a comment below before midnight on Sunday, September 27th. You could win one small dish featuring the animal of your choice. One lucky recipient will be chosen at random.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Stylish Storage

Hope you all had lovely weekends! I spent my Saturday cleaning the apartment since my parents will be visiting this week. A good chunk of time was devoted to the jumbled mess of jewelry in my nightstand drawer, which has me hunting for a more organized solution. I really like the look and the price of this weathered jewelry cabinet from Urban Outfitters, and Pottery Barn Teen (don't laugh) has several cute options, including this jewelry tower lined with cheery green fabric. And though it's not completely practical, I love the idea of housing jewelry in a drawer filled with mismatched teacups and saucers à la Martha Stewart. Where do you keep your valuables?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Perfect Pound Cake

Pound cake is one of those desserts that is great by itself or all dressed up. I like it toasted and buttered for breakfast, buried in fruit and whipped cream for dessert, and in slivers and crumbs for midnight snacks. This basic recipe from Paula Deen is easy and tasty, and nothing beats that crunchy crust.

Grandmother Paul's Sour Cream Pound Cake

Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen

1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter
3 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine and cream the butter, sugar, and add the sour cream. Sift the baking soda and flour together. Add the sifted flour to the creamed mixture alternating with eggs, beating each egg one at a time. Add the vanilla and pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. (I opted for two loaf pans, which brought the cooking time down to an hour.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Feeling Rosy

These rosette dresses from Anthropologie are currently at the top of my look, but don't touch list. (I'm trying to hold back on the shopping lately.) They are like day and night versions of the same fancy floral look, and get this, both have pockets.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Harbor Holiday

I wanted to share some pictures from my weekend visit to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. It was perfect weather, making for a beautiful ferry ride over. We visited a few local farms, ate some great food, and got up close and personal with one of my favorite creatures, the alpaca. Thankfully, there was no spitting. If you're in the Northwest, the San Juan Islands are a beautiful little getaway.

And in other news, Vivi of Hiving Out is the winner of the ring from PlumeDesigns. Congrats! Stay tuned for another giveaway next week!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Happy Weekend!

I'm off to the San Juan Islands for a mini vacation. Have a lovely weekend and don't forget to enter this week's giveaway!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Stick a Pin in It

For the last few weeks, I've been drawn to a display of these plants at Whole Foods, so I finally decided to bring one home with me. It's called a pincushion plant, and isn't it just the friendliest little guy you've ever seen? I think it would make a great housewarming gift.

I really hope I don't kill him.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Old-Fashioned Love

How charming are these photos of married couple, Stacie and Geoff? I just adore their style.

[Photos: Sloan Photographers]

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday Giveaway!

Update: Vivi of Hiving Out is the winner!

I've got a giveaway for you from PlumeDesigns. This lovely Etsy shop is filled with vintage-inspired jewelry. Peacock feathers, ruffles, roses, pastels -- what's not to like?

Check out PlumeDesigns and leave a comment below before midnight on Sunday, September 13th. You could win the sweet, little ring pictured above. One lucky recipient will be chosen at random.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cupcakes and Cameras

A trio of cupcakes and a brand new camera were the highlights of my holiday weekend. How did you spend your time?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Good Times, Noodle Salad

I'll be bidding farewell to summer this weekend with pulled pork, pasta salad, watermelon, and potentially, an adventure involving the ice cream maker. So this is about pasta, not noodle, salad, but Jack Nicholson's voice got stuck in my head, and I couldn't resist.

If you're hosting or attending a barbecue this weekend, this pasta salad would be an easy and welcome addition. It's light, fresh, and most importantly, summery. Enjoy the holiday weekend!

String Bean, Arugula, and Pasta Salad
Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart Living

4 ounces green beans, trimmed
4 ounces yellow wax beans, trimmed
Coarse salt
1 pound curved, dried pasta, such as conchiglie, orecchiette, or other medium curved shapes
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 ounce pine nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (1/4 cup)
1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, 1/2 ounce finely grated (1/2 cup), 1 ounce shaved with a vegetable peeler (1/2 cup)
1 ounce (1 1/2 cups) baby arugula

Prepare an ice-water bath. Cook green and wax beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beans to ice-water bath until cool, reserving water in pot. Drain beans, and cut into 2-inch-long pieces. Add pasta to the reserved boiling water, and cook until al dente. Drain and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Transfer chilled pasta to a large serving dish. Whisk lemon zest and juice and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Season with pepper. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified. Drizzle over pasta, and toss until well coated. Add beans, pine nuts, and grated Parmesan. Toss until evenly distributed. Just before serving, fold in arugula, and top with shaved Parmesan. Serves 8.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

PS(22) I Love You

You may have already heard of the PS22 chorus. The New York City elementary school choir has garnered millions of views on YouTube and hit the talk show circuit, but I can't get enough of them. Something about those sweet, little voices singing my favorite pop songs is just irresistible.

My other favorites:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cozy Couch

There's a chill in the air on this gray, drizzly day in Seattle, so I whipped up some wonton soup (Trader Joe's style) and spent some time looking for all things warm and cozy. My favorite find so far? These throw pillows from Crate and Barrel. The texture is unbelievable, and the plum shade just signals fall for me. I don't think summer is over quite yet, but my couch and I will be ready when it is.


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