June 29, 2015

Triple Berry Crumble on the Grill

I've declared my house an 'oven free zone' for the rest of the summer. Slightly dramatic, I know. Maybe I'll allow some light simmering on the stovetop at night, but NO ONE will dare turn on the stove until this baby makes his debut early Sept (you hear me baby, early Sept).

When I first moved to the Pacific Northwest, I thought that I was finished with balmy summer days - like we get back East. I envisioned the PNW to be cool and breezy, comfortable, and rainy at times. But as the years progress, so do the temperatures. For example, last winter I went skiing once, and not because I got pregnant, but because we just didn't have the snow. This summer, it has been HOT, and each year it just keeps getting progressively hotter, and guys, global warming terrifies me to no end. When I sit down and think of the future, my baby, global warming. I just can't. So then I try to distract myself with dessert, which isn't the best coping strategy, but I just can't stress myself right now. I really don't need this baby feeling my anxiety. Last week I was talking to the guy at Home Depot about this current weather situation, and he said 'look on the bright side, pretty soon we'll be able to grow bananas'. Slightly reassuring?

June 24, 2015

The Sprouted Kitchen's Popeye Protein Bowl

If I had the option, I'd almost always choose to eat my meals out of a bowl. Unless we're taking about pizza, and then I'd choose to eat it off the wooden paddle straight from the oven, with a slightly charred bubbly crust, melty stringy cheese, the kind that pulls for a mile until you eventually take all of the cheese from the pizza and everyone looks at you with disbelief and sadness - like you're the biggest jerk in the world.

For the longest time I've tried to serve our meals (bowl and spoon type meals) out of the kitchen bowls that came with our dinnerware set we received as a wedding gift. These bowls are absolutely perfect for cereal, and that's about it. They're too large for ice cream. They're too small for soup. They're too small for salad. They really only have one function, and that is to complete the dinnerware set. Back when I received them, I didn't have the kind of experience it takes to pick out the perfect all-purpose bowl. Because when it comes down to it, picking a bowl that is practical for all situations is a pretty personal decision, one that takes experience. And some would argue, impossible.

June 17, 2015

Argentinian Alfajores with Dulce De Leche

Oh booyyy do I have a recipe for you. Have you heard of alfajores? They are little soft lemon cookies sandwiched together with dulce de leche. Think macarons, but a little more dense. Last month, or maybe the month before, the kind people from Try The World sent me one of their food boxes. How it works - you sign up, pay a price, and receive a curated box full of delicious treats from a new country bi-monthly. I received a box from Argentina. It was full of tasty things like dulce de leche, shortbread cookies, chimichurri sauce, and more. The box came with a recipe for these alfajores, and I was super excited to try them.

June 10, 2015

Cream Cheese and Macerated Strawberry Toast

I'm back! After a little two week vacation with my family, mostly just relaxing and eating here in Seattle, I am feeling rested, inspired, and excited about making some delicious food. It's so important for me to pick up on cues and realize when I am lacking creativity, forcing myself to be inspired, and just plain burned out. When I find myself spending at least two hours staring at my computer trying to come up with a recipe to make, I know that I am just not that into it mentally, because let's be real, there are like a thousand deliciously tasting things that I could blog about. The two week break, spent eating out in Seattle, was such a great way to get inspired. There are so many amazing places to try.


June 8, 2015

Introduction to my edible garden

Here's a little update on my backyard edible garden project. I had every intention on building thousands of planter boxes, hanging raspberry vines from the roof, using every workable space for this garden, but it turns out that I actually want a bit of space in my backyard to lounge and sip margaritas lemonade in the sun.  So, with that being said, I have tried to utilize the sunniest parts of our yard, mixing edibles with perennials.

When I started this project, I had a blank canvas to work with. We Brent took out the old rotting droopy cherry tree and pulled a few ugly bushes, so we were left with nothing except two hydrangeas and a patch of grass. A few weeks ago, we went to the Big Tree Nursery, and bought a 14 ft Japanese Red Maple, and three 12 ft Vine Maples - to plant on the east side of the backyard, giving us some privacy from the neighbors. I used the west side of the yard for my peas and tomatoes, and will probably wait for the trees until I do any more planning.

(The image above, is of a potted mint I planted four years ago. It dies back in the winter and then returns every year in the summer. I've placed it on my raised patio that gets full sun, and it seems to thrive there. I often forget to water it for weeks, and it still seems to do well. It is a very low maintenance herb.)


May 21, 2015

Chocolate Dipped Caramel S'mores

Last week, in between helping Brent with our bathroom extension/remodel, rearranging the furniture once again, and trying to figure out how to navigate my new iphone, I managed to squeeze in some time to work on a recipe that for a few weeks now, I've been trying to create/perfect/not screw up in a major way. I've made a list of recipes that I want to make before the baby gets here (because when he arrives, it's going to be nothing but takeout pad thai and pizza for weeks), and this one tops the list.


May 12, 2015

Plantain Chips and Guacamole

I love plantain chips and guacamole SO MUCH that often times I'm not even interested in eating guacamole with plain old tortilla chips. I know, right? It's a seriously obsessive commitment to plantains. Behind our old apartment in Fremont there is this Mexican restaurant - El Camino. I'm sure I've talked about this place before. El Camino is notorious for providing deliciously spicy food, comedic service, a vibrant atmosphere, and margaritas that will knock you off your feet. Just ask my sister. We have this rule when we go to El Camino, one margarita is plenty. Two, and you'll wake up with a headache. Three, and you'll be puking for sure. I remember a few particular evenings when I learned this the hard way.

May 4, 2015

Cauliflower, Potato, and Green Pea Daal

Let's talk about food, and what a pregnant lady with a food blog craves in the first 3 months of pregnancy. I found out that I was pregnant the first week of January, 2 weeks before I had planned ski trip with my family. There was no way to cancel though, considering my sister was flying across the country to visit, and we had already booked a chalet for the week. If it were any other circumstance, I would have happily declined because a) skiing seems dangerous for a pregnant lady b) the whole point of ski trips is to drink wine and go in the hot tub, which are both no-no's while pregnant. Up until that point though, I felt fine, which was a relief. Nothing out of the ordinary, no weird symptoms, cravings etc. I thought that I was in clear, I was so naive.


April 27, 2015

Chili Glazed Tofu with Miso Ramen

When I was asked to participate in Erin's Virtual Baby Shower, I immediately thought to myself, hecks yes. I think Erin is such a super fantastic person, thoughtful, and caring. Her blog, Naturally Ella, has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember. Her recipes are vegetarian, healthy, and very approachable, and I often turn to her site for inspiration. Her simple and honest approach to cooking is something to be admired. A few fellow bloggers and myself, came up with a list of extra quick vegetarian meals to celebrate the soon-to-be arrival of Erin's baby. It's such an appropriate theme for Erin's party, and even better, she will have a list of vegetarian meals that she'll be able to easily recreate once the baby is here.

April 20, 2015

Coconut Cake

I just want to say thank you all for your wonderfully positive comments regarding our big news. It was amazing to hear so many kind words. As scary as it was, sharing our fertility story has lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders. I felt like I'd been keeping this big secret for so long, and while writing that post last week, everything just sort of poured out.

Things have been going pretty smooth so far. A few aches and pains here and there. Occasional headaches, backaches etc. Most things I can deal with, except for these crazy hormones. Let me tell you about my most dramatic pregnancy day yet. Last Tues I had a 9:30 am appointment with my GP regarding this super annoying inner ear issue that I've developed - probably pregnancy related.