Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dress for Fall

I love these fall dresses from Steven Alan. I'm picturing them with tights, a cardigan and these boots. Now I just need to pick one.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Blackboard Bistro

This weekend, I went to a newly opened restaurant in Seattle called Blackboard Bistro. It was cozy and quaint, and the food was comforting and delicious. The dish that drew me there was Frogmore stew, also known as a low country boil. It's a one-pot mix of seasoned corn, potatoes, shrimp and sausage, normally served up in coastal areas of Georgia and South Carolina. It's a dish I grew up with, so I was shocked and thrilled to find it on a menu in Seattle. I have to say, it hit the spot as did the beer-battered okra and the cherry upside-down cake with white chocolate ginger ice cream. The menu is ever-changing (since it's just written in chalk), so I'll have to go back again soon.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Land of Lamps

I know that Land of Nod is for people who are decorating nurseries and kids' rooms, but I'm loving their lighting lately. I think these pieces possess just the right balance of childlike charm and quirky grownup-ness. And who couldn't use an illuminated globe?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Key Lime Perfect

Key lime pie is one of those desserts associated with summer, but I could eat it year-round. And this is everything you'd ever want in a key lime pie. Perfectly tangy, creamy and smooth, a crunchy, buttery crust, absolutely delicious. This recipe might just be my new best friend.

Key Lime Pie
Recipe courtesy Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant and Food Network

Graham Cracker Crust:
1/3 of a 1-pound box graham crackers
5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar

3 egg yolks
2 teaspoons lime zest
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup freshly squeezed Key lime juice, or store bought

1 cup heavy or whipping cream chilled
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

For the graham cracker crust:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Break up the graham crackers; place in a food processor and process to crumbs. If you don't have a food processor, place the crackers in a large plastic bag; seal and then crush the crackers with a rolling pin. Add the melted butter and sugar and pulse or stir until combined. Press the mixture into the bottom and side of a pie pan, forming a neat border around the edge. Bake the crust until set and golden, 8 minutes. Set aside on a wire rack; leave the oven on.

For the filling:
Meanwhile, in an electric mixer with the wire whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and lime zest at high speed until very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the condensed milk and continue to beat until thick, 3 or 4 minutes longer. Lower the mixer speed and slowly add the lime juice, mixing just until combined, no longer. Pour the mixture into the crust. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the filling has just set. Cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate. Freeze for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

For the topping:
Whip the cream and the confectioners' sugar until nearly stiff. Cut the pie into wedges and serve very cold, topping each wedge with a large dollop of whipped cream.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Summer Slippin'


Just when I was getting used to sunshine and flip flops, it feels like summer is winding down. I guess there's always nostalgia.

By the way, thanks for all the encouragement about the move. Y'all are the best!

[photos: sean dreilinger; parkerkrhoyt; Joseph Quevedo Photography; Rich Frollini

Monday, August 23, 2010

One Hand in the Air for the Big City

So the big announcement I mentioned on Friday?

I'm moving to New York!

This idea has been floating around for a while, but all of a sudden, things started coming together rather quickly and perfectly. My husband and I both have jobs lined up in the city, and now we're looking for an apartment in Brooklyn. We plan on leaving Seattle and driving cross-country in early October. I'm a little scared at the prospect of a 3,000-mile move, but I'm mostly excited and eager for a change.

Before we came to Seattle, a little over three years ago, my husband and I lived in New York, except we weren't husband and wife then. It's the place where we met, fell in love and got engaged, the place where we formed our most meaningful friendships, and in many ways, the place that defined our faith and shaped who we are. It's a place that has always felt like home to both of us, and we can't wait to be back there!

We will certainly miss Seattle, and despite all the chaos that the next six weeks of packing, organizing and moving bring, I hope to visit all my favorite spots and people before we move on. So that's it. Prayers and happy thoughts are welcomed as we begin this big transition. Cue the Alicia Keys...

And a note to all you NYC bloggers, I hope this means we can be real-life friends!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Life's a Peach

I'm convinced these peaches in wine are the simplest, most delicious dessert in the world. The first time I went to Delancey, just about a year ago, these were on the menu, and I've thought about them fondly and just a tad obsessively ever since. This summer, I committed to making them before peach season was a distant memory. I'm so glad I did. For the last three days, I've headed straight to the refrigerator after work, desperate for a forkful of fruit and the sweet, peach-infused wine at the bottom of the glass. I call it happy juice.

Speaking of happy, I've got some exciting news ... a big life change* is in the works. Of course, I'm going to make you wait until Monday to find out what it is (it's more fun that way, right?). Maybe I'll celebrate this weekend with another batch of peaches. You should do the same.

*Given the amount of wine consumed in the last three days, you can all rest assured, I'm not pregnant.

Chilled Peaches in White Wine
Recipe courtesy of Molly Wizenberg
Adapted from A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes, by David Tanis

8 ripe peaches (white or yellow, or a mixture), washed well and rubbed dry
4 tablespoons sugar, or more to taste
1 bottle (750 ml) dry white wine (I used a sauvignon blanc)

Slice the peaches thinly (about 16 slices per peach). Combine the peaches and sugar, and toss gently to mix. Add the wine, and toss gently again. Taste, and adjust sugar as needed. Cover, and refrigerate for several hours - or up to a few days, if you want.

Serve the peaches cold, in a glass or shallow bowl, with a small ladleful of their liquid. Eat the peaches with a fork and then drink the liquid left in the glass.

Yields about 8 servings.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Candy Shop

I've noticed a lot of candy-themed clothing lately. Not only are these items colorful and girly, but the idea of wearing something called a sugar-coated shirtdress, a gumdrop necklace or a tutti frutti skirt makes me as happy as a kid in a ... well, you know.

[sugar-coated shirtdress; flavor burst dress; gumdrop necklace; saltwater taffy calista shirtdress; licorice lanes skirt; chocolate box cardigan; tutti frutti esti skirt; sweet shoppe dress]

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Street Art

I'm blown away by this 3D street art. The murals were created by German artists Marion Ruthardt and Gregor Vosika for a Nike campaign in Russia. Honestly, I would get a little freaked out upon approaching that rickety bridge.

[spotted on: my modern met]

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Block Head

These building blocks are so simple and beautiful. The set includes 10 different woods in their natural state sealed with pure walnut oil. They'd be perfect for all those little carpenters and arborists in the making.

[spotted on: zucchero, zucchero]

Monday, August 16, 2010

Purple Pops

It was a hot one this weekend, so I made a batch of popsicles in my new favorite flavor. The blend of blackberries and yogurt makes for a refreshing and perfectly tart taste. Plus, they leave your tongue the most fabulous shade of purple.

Blackberry, Honey, and Yogurt Pops
Recipe courtesy of People's Pops and Bon Appetit

2/3 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
3 6-ounce containers fresh blackberries (3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups)
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt (preferably organic)
5 teaspoons honey
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Bring 2/3 cup water and sugar to boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Transfer simple syrup to small bowl and chill until cold, about 1 hour. Place blackberries in processor; puree until smooth. Pour blackberry puree into strainer set over medium bowl. Using rubber spatula, press on solids to extract as much puree as possible. Discard seeds in strainer. Measure 2 cups blackberry puree and place in another medium bowl for pops (reserve any remaining puree for another use). Add chilled simple syrup, yogurt, honey, and lemon juice to puree; whisk to blend.

Divide mixture among 10 molds (each about 1/3- to 1/2-cup capacity). Top with mold cover, if available, and insert stick into each. (If cover is not available, cover top of mold with plastic wrap, pulling taut; freeze until partially frozen, then insert stick into center of plastic wrap and into pop mixture in each.) Freeze pops until firm, at least 8 hours or overnight. Dip bottom of mold into hot water 10 to 15 seconds to loosen pops. Remove pops from molds and serve.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Office on Wheels

Some days, I wish heading into work meant parking a mobile office wherever I wanted. I'd take it to a dog park to watch puppies play, by the waterfront for an ocean breeze, or I'd park it right alongside this truck.

Any exciting weekend plans? Hopefully, I'll be outside enjoying the sunshine.

[spotted on: Sunset]

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Artisan Ice Cream Truck

My obsession with Seattle's food trucks continues, but this time, it's all about dessert. Parfait specializes in organic, small-batch ice cream. They offer about six flavors at a time, and there's always a vegan sorbet on the menu. I can attest to the deliciousness of their decadent chocolate and butter toffee crunch, and their hand-rolled cones are practically works of art. I'll be chasing that adorable truck around town for the remainder of summer.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bow Boots

Okay, so I'm a little obsessed with these boots from Anthropologie. Yummy brown leather, practical with a touch of femininity... I think boot lust is one of the first signs of fall.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Kitchen Revision

Changing out towels is my main method for sprucing up the kitchen. I love these from Lekker Home.


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