Spring Salad with White Beans, Avocado, and Radishes + Saveur Nomination

I woke up this morning to find out that the Flourishing Foodie was nominated for Best Original Recipes in the Fifth Annual Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. Words can't even begin to describe how excited I am. It is such an honor to be nominated with so many fantastic friends, who continually inspire and amaze me with their creativity.  I would be so thrilled if you voted for the Flourishing Foodie. (The polls close April 9th). I have updated the site with a fancy new voting link on the right side bar, or you can follow the link here. I want to thank all of you for your support. xo

Mid last week, I told myself that I was going to plan ahead for this week's post. I was going to write a mouthwatering description of this spring-y bean salad. I was then going to wake up Wednesday morning and hit send (from Costa Rica!!!). Instead, I left everything to the last minute, like I do, and ended up arriving late to the airport and almost missing our flight. It's now 10pm, and I'm laying, rather siding off the bed, in my air conditioned hotel room, after one too many margaritas, on a pretty terrible internet connection, trying to piece together some thoughts. Life is pretty grand.

We arrived here last Saturday morning after a series of flights, lay-overs, and bus rides. So far, I've spotted some little monkeys out the window of our hotel. There are these tiny adorable bright green birds that flutter in the trees at night. We are going to see the sea turtles on the beach tomorrow morning at 6am, and I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to be as chipper as I am right now, because 6am is a crazy time to be awake on holidays. There is LOTS of delicious guacamole and plantain chips, and an endless supply of margaritas. Seriously, I am not kidding. I have this weird splotchy sun burn on my arms and legs where my sun screen had smeared away, and I TOTALLY PREDICTED THAT WOULD HAPPEN. My cousin is getting married tomorrow and I am going to have to apply an even lay of cover-up to my arms. There is no other way around it.

Lemon Tartlets with Olive Oil

In 2 days, 3 hours, and 15 minutes I will be sitting on the beach with a margarita in one hand and a bowl of guacamole and chips in the other. I've never been to Costa Rica, and I don't even know if they eat guacamole and chips, but it seems a little sexier than imagining a big ol' bowl of rice and beans. Last week I spent a ridiculous amount of money on two bathing suits (why do they always cost so much, when they are so little fabric???), a floral summery dress for my cousins wedding, two tank-tops, a cover-up, and a bottle of anti-frizz shampoo, not that I have frizzy hair or anything, it just seemed appropriate. In retrospect, I probably should have bought that $30 bottle of sunscreen sitting right beside that expensive bottle of shampoo, because often times, the good sunscreen is hard to find. Have I ever told you about that time I spent 6 months in South East Asia, where I developed a sun-sensitivity from my Malaria medication. I practically spent that whole 6 months in search of a sun screen that did not contain a skin whitening formula promising to dye my skin 2 shades lighter, which is generally the opposite affect that I am after. I'm not even sure these products had any Asian FDA-equivalent approval. So who really knows what you are purchasing when you buy a bottle of skin whitener? Is it bleach? Is it mayonnaise? I relied on big floppy sun hats and long sleeve shirts until I said screw-it, and went off my Malaria medication. I am looking forward to the day that sunscreen will be administered in pill form, because dang, that stuff is really messing with our environment.

Homemade Pickled Red Onions

Brent is out of town on business. He left on Sunday and is returning this Friday. The day he left, I tracked his flight the whole 2 hours and 5 minutes from Seattle to San Francisco, like a crazy person. I hugged him tight before he left and told him how much I loved him. I thought about all of those people who have loved ones missing on the Malaysian flight 370. I think about those people every day. It seems to be consuming me lately. I find myself watching the same stories on loop for like 5 hours a day. I pray that they are all safe and that we find them soon. Sometimes, when my mind starts to wander, I find myself trying to come up with theories that mostly involve plot lines from dramatic tv shows, because this is how I deal.

Whenever Brent leaves home for work, I find myself actively trying to keep busy. I plan more. I make an effort to leave the house more. I try to be more normal, more social. I also leave my dirty clothes all over the floor until the day before he arrives, when I gather the trail from my bed to the bathroom and jam them into the washing machine. I let the dog sleep on his side of the bed, and I eat cereal straight from the box for dinner. On paper, I've got it together, but I'm actually a real mess.

Crispy Coconut French Toast with Sour Cherries and Dark Chocolate

It seems as though every moment of my day, (when I'm not in the kitchen, skiing, or sipping on a delicious sour beer at my local pub) for the last few months, has been consumed with trying to find a house. I told myself that I was going to have a laid-back approach to the next chapter in my life, that I was going to give it time, not stress out, let things happen in a natural fashion. But, who are we kidding, I have gone into this with full force. Last weekend I lined up 5 open-houses. Brent was happy to partake in my adventures that day, and the sun was shining, and we both felt optimistic and happy about everything. We started out with a house that had a lot of potential, but then as we approached the for-sale sign, we realized that it, and the neighboring house that was also for sale, was too close to the busy 23rd street (which seems to be a theme here in the city). We took a peek anyways, just in case there was some sort of weird immediate connection, but the chipped paint, raggedy patio backing onto the busy street, and maze-like nature of the house, immediately turned us off of the whole thing. The neighbors house was in a similar state. A no-go.

Balsamic Roasted Beets, Sweet Orange, and Chévre Salad with Pumpkin Seeds

I had every intention of sharing a recipe for a bright pink beet pasta (which seemed like a really pretty thing). But then I got caught up in visiting with my father-in-law, we drank too many late night beers, ate too many honey roasted beer nuts, and became too obsessed with the TV show True Detective to really give a shit about beet pasta. Theoretically, beet pasta sounded like a pretty good idea, but then when I actually thought about the process, the staining of my counters and hands, trying to incorporate the beets into the dough, it all seemed like a whole lot of work for something I was pretty unsure about. I didn't have that much time last week to commit to something this artsy, so I abandoned the pasta idea and instead decided to make something much simpler, and a little more nourishing. It's a pretty manageable recipe for these shorter nights, when the sun sets at 6:00pm (but don't you worry, because daylight savings time is right around the corner!) and we find ourselves, one too many times, rummaging around that messy kitchen drawer (the one that accumulates pens, papers, lost keys) trying to find that $10 off pizza coupon (because you are pretty certain it is in there, but maybe you used it last week?). We all want to spend the least amount of time possible preparing dinner, so that we can get in our sweat pants, and eat on the couch with our faces glued to the TV, because we can't get enough of Detective Rust Cohle.