29 July 2010

july 28

these are some photos from a day trip out to whidbey island. the northwest is full of so much beauty, sometimes i feel like i could go anywhere around here and i would land in a little heavenly spot. soon, we are going to take a long weekend and i can't wait to sleep in a tent (something to cross off my summer list), take deep breaths, build a fire and star gaze. i loved hearing all the beauty coming your way, thanks for sharing.

i finally updated my current inspiration links. i hope you'll take a look over on the sidebar, there is some good stuff going on. i have more photos from mini-trips to share with you soon. until then...

27 July 2010

meals outside

what is summer for, if not for meals outside? we've been sitting on our back patio for dinner and staying until the sun goes down. when the sun reaches a certain point on the horizon, a range of mountains appear perfectly back lit and in shadow. our alley is filled with golden and pink light.

what kind of beauty are you enjoying lately?

26 July 2010

july 26

no words today, just pictures of seattle construction.
it's monday, welcome back the week.

23 July 2010

summer table settings

i am looking forward to going into work today because i have a new project starting up and it involves an interview with this funny food writer and his wife, an all-star school librarian. sitting down with a recorder and interviewing someone is a first for me, so i am a bit excited, anxious, and nervous. i have a little relief because my new project includes an interview buddy, also by the name of anna. we're going to have a blast! and i'll let you know when we feature the interview.

speaking of feature, i was invited by sheri to participate in the stir's summer inspiration series, all about table settings. i had a lot of fun putting my setting together and i've really enjoyed reading about all the other table settings featured this july. go take a look, it is a great collection! (and thank you sheri)

we've got canning in the works this weekend. hope it's a good one for you.

21 July 2010


one sunny day i accompanied my roommate to a oaxacan festival called guelagetza, that is celebrated yearly. i loved the beautiful colored flags against the bright sun and it was a lot of fun watching people dance and play music, eating mole, and meeting new people.

a few things i'm enjoying lately:
summer in seattle through allison's lens
sauteed snap peas with the prfect mix of salt, butter and garlic
saveur magazine, especially their market issue
this photo. (i might have to play with patching two photos together)

19 July 2010

summer is rushing along

sometimes it is hard for me to come back to this space after the weekend. during the week it is a place of regeneration and inspiration, but then i take a few days away and forget how to come back. i find i just have to hold my breath and dive in.

today is a black and white sort of day. i am reflective and quiet and thinking about mid-summer. i get so nervous for summer to fly by without me taking full advantage of it. but i will, and i have. my party on friday was everything i hoped it would be. lots of ladies hanging out in my back patio with good drinks (the leland palmer and hard limeade) and good fresh food. this weekend we had a day trip and a big family gathering.

i have to share with you these words i read by my friend, shari. this is just how i've been thinking lately...
summer is rushing along like the creek that runs through the center of my village. i keep meaning to stop and photograph it. the creek, that is. if only we could photograph the rushing of time.

15 July 2010

menu planning

tomorrow night i'm having friends over for cocktail hour in my backyard. i've had a lot of fun planning the menu this week, but menu planning is always something i meet with mixed excitement and terror. i'm the type of person to get so pumped about researching an idea, that i end up finding a million ideas shooting off from my original one and feeling overwhelmed by all the options. for example, i decided to have my cocktail hour be simple, fresh and inspired by summer's seasonal bounty. i have a lot of ricotta in my fridge, so i figured i would make crostini spread with fresh ricotta, deviled eggs, fresh vegetables and homemade ice cream for dessert. simple, right?

while looking for a solid deviled eggs recipe, i found 4 spreads that i could use with the crostini, all completely unrelated to ricotta. then i thought ooh! i'll make that leek tart i just learned how to make. and i'll make pasta salad! and i really should bake something with that ice cream, shouldn't i? and then i realized none of those go together, i didn't have any vegetables in my supposedly simple spread, and i was thinking way too big for my budget. i ended up deciding on a vegetable platter with this dip to go with the crostini and deviled eggs.  to relinquish some control and decision-making pressure, i snuck out of work on my lunch hour to the wallingford farmer's market and let whatever was fresh and good looking dive into my bag to be used on the veggie platter or to be stewed and spooned over ice cream. i ended up finding beautiful thumbelina carrots, a round orange carrots that i've never before seen. i also got fresh rainier cherries and bright yellow string beans. shopping at the market was a great way to clear my mind and really stick to my plan. after all that fuss, i know my cocktail hour will be bright and beautiful, and that's all that really matters.

13 July 2010


i don't know if i've ever experienced strawberry season so thoroughly as i have these past few weeks. it all started with a pint we got in our csa. it was full of perfect little sweet strawberries that were so beautiful one day and then turned  mushy and moldy the next. with our second delivery of strawberries, i realized the best thing to do was to not try to savor and elongate the season, but to dive full force into it and use up the 'fleeting' strawberries in every way i could. here's a few examples...

two individual strawberry cobblers and one gluten-free strawberry crisp.
straw and cherries macerating in sugar, vanilla and balsamic vinegar
early-morning strawberry hulling for a fourth of july dessert
and right before time ran out, i sliced and layered strawberries on top of foil to freeze for a later day.

11 July 2010

a quick getaway

a few bits and pieces from my weekend. i went on a quick trip to the farmland, forest and rolling hills of rural olympia, wa. it was just the relaxing time i needed. there will be more pictures to come when i get my film developed.
this week i have a lot of projects going on and i'm working hard to stay organized - keeping lists and schedules for myself and enjoying the process. i will be rewarded with an end-of-the-week backyard happy hour i'm hosting on friday. i just whipped up some sweet cream ice cream in preparation. (by the way, to make sweet cream ice cream, you just make vanilla ice cream without the vanilla flavoring).

hope you have a good start to your week.

09 July 2010


fridays are for relaxing, good friends, good drinks, good food and good laughs. a couple fridays back, six of my favorite people trekked down to south seattle and filled a table full of amazing mexican food at huarachitos. have you ever had huaraches? they are homemade corn patties, with delicious vegetables on top. the deck of haurachitos was so colorful, with it's multi-colored umbrellas and vibrant plates. this friday i am meeting a special new friend for drinks and a photos walk. then i'm off on a mini trip to visit another friend. hopefully i will get a little reprise from this heat wave we are having. (90 degrees in seattle?!) it should all be very fun and relaxing.

hoping the same for you this weekend.

07 July 2010

young ones

a good friend is in town with her 2-year-old and i've been able to spend a few days with them. it is so much fun to be around little kids, and it is even more amazing to be around kids whose parents are your close friends. i have a feeling i might start knowing more little ones of close friends as time goes on. we played on the slide and waded in a wading pool and had lots of laughs.

adrienne and selah, come back soon!
*p.s. that blurry photo was accidentally with my bulb setting--it turned out pretty cool.

06 July 2010

the perfect summer salad

one of my favorite ways to get creative in the kitchen is with seasonal salads. in cooler months i pull together beets and oranges and cranberries and hazelnuts on top of hearty greens. for early summer and late spring, i reach towards colorful vegetables and tender greens to lighten up my dinner plate. there are a few important components to making a seasonal salad - greens, toppings, and dressing. here's my completely versatile and malleable recipe for a summer salad:

leafy greens
light, tender greens go crazy in early summer. there are so many types to choose from, so instead of narrowing it down, i try to throw in as much as possible for a lot of variety. i like a mixture of head lettuce (butter lettuce, green oak lettuce, red oak lettuce), leafy salad mix, and flavorful greens (mustard greens, spinach, arugula). our chard has been really beautiful in the garden, so i throw bits of those leaves in sometimes, too. wash and spin or pat dry all your lettuce, put your greens in a big salad bowl and tear or leave leafs whole, depending on preference.

this part is so fun! work by what's in season and what colors make you happy. i choose easter egg radishes because they are red, pink and purple, young carrots add a sweet crunch, and spring onions for extra flavor. add fresh herbs like basil, chives or even mint and - my favorite - edible flowers.
whereas in winter i grate carrots, in summer i cut them on a diagonal for maximum flavor and a big crunch. cut the radishes in half moons and chop any mixture of sweet onions, chives, green onions or garlic flowers. throw all these goods on top of the lettuce.

everyone has their favorite dressing and i usually tend towards a simple vinaigrette with mustard and honey. here is a shallot vinaigrette that i recently tried from olaiya land catering that was just perfect on top of a bed of lettuce. the recipe she gave is all approximate because dressing should be made to taste.

sherry vinegar (about 1/4 cup)
shallots, finely minced (about 2 tbs)
dijon mustard (about 1 tbs)
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
pinch sugar
best-quality extra virgin olive oil (about 1/2 cup)

mix all ingredients but the oil. add oil in thin stream, whisking until emulsified. taste and adjust seasoning
makes 1 cup

really, you can pull anything together and call it a salad. just harvest what is fresh in your garden and experiment with new things at the farmer's market, and remember to get creative!

01 July 2010


happy july! maybe i say this every month, but july sure came quick. i'm a little nervous to run head on into summer (could be because summer weather is slow coming this year), but i'm also excited for all our summer plans that seem to be coming together nicely.

instead of a july list this month, i am going to write a summer list. of course, later in the summer i'll have to update the list because there is always more to fit in.

this summer i want to...
harvest and eat everything i grow (well, i got a little lazy on the harvest in the end. brocolli went too long in the sun and came out bitter. there are still more potatoes in the ground)
sleep in a tent
go on a long car ride
swim (does going on a boat and putting my feet in water count?)
lay in a grassy field (greenlake, i love you)
read on my porch
have cocktails in our backyard
try new recipes
cook seasonal food simply
freeze surplus produce (blueberries, apricots, strawberries. check.)
bake strawberries, bake peaches, bake blackberries
can and pickle
pick huckleberries
go on bike rides
frequent the farmer's market
make ice cream and sorbet
tomatoes! (keep 'em coming!)

eat outside
enjoy friends
enjoy family
commute by bus, foot or bike more often
wear shorts and skirts and sandals
wear sunscreen
see the ocean
watch august sunsets

...wow, that could go on forever.
any plans for you this summer? leave them in the comments or leave a link to your post about it.

p.s. picture is of our edible flowers, i threw them in a delicious salad!