July 23, 2015

Pound Cake with Summer Fruit and Whipped Cream


I know that lately it may seem like there's been a lot of baby talk around these parts, and I swore that I wouldn't be that person, but guys, it is consuming me right now. Sometimes a girl just needs to talk about it. I think I might have told you in my last post that my baby is big. I mean really big. Three weeks ago during a monthly check-up I told the doctor that the baby felt big. I felt as though I was hitting the various pregnancy milestones 3 - 4 weeks earlier than to be expected. She measured my uterus and told me that she also thought that I was a little big, but no big deal. I had an ultrasound scheduled that afternoon, so she suggested that we measure the baby and check his size. We found out THAT HE IS IN THE 99th PERCENTILE!!!!! And then the panic kicked in. Did I make him fat? Will I be able to deliver a baby that big? What do I do?  I met with my doctor this week who told me that I am measuring 36 weeks when in fact I am 32 weeks. The babies head is large and he has a big pudgy stomach. Personally, I think that sounds really cute.
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July 13, 2015

Simple Caprese Salad + the EDYN garden monitor and how it changed my life

Brent and I were sitting around at the beginning of the summer, him sipping a cold beer and me drinking a glass of lemonade.  We were having a conversation about our gardens discussing what trees to plant, curious as to what our current soil nutrient levels were, and whether we should install an underground watering system. He suggested that I send our soil off to the City of Seattle to get tested for nutrient levels and pH. I thought that was a fantastic idea, but in actual fact, I never sent the soil away. He also suggested that we install an underground watering system, but all I could imagine was my gardens destroyed in the process. I tried to convince him that we needed to dig out the old cherry tree in our backyard and plant some smaller Japanese maples. He had grown fond of the cherry tree so he disagreed. We were getting nowhere with this conversion, but yet we both agreed it would be awesome to have some sort of gardening system that would tell us nutrient, water, light, and moisture levels. I suggested that him, being a software engineer, should develop such a thing. And then we both forgot about it like we do. A few months later, I discovered a kick-starter campaign for just the thing I was talking about. I got excited!
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July 6, 2015

Cheesy Potato, Corn, and Zucchini Galette


This weekend was hot. I mean really really hot. Cold showers and ice water were not cutting it, so, as a last resort, I drove to Target to buy a kiddie pool, but they were all sold out. I tried to buy an AC, but they were all sold out. I settled on a fan, a large watermelon, and a sprinkler. I sat in my lawn chair, set the sprinkler 5 feet from the chair, and on a small table I placed my giant watermelon and one spoon. This is what I did for 4 days. Occasionally I got up enough energy to accompany Brent to Home Depot just for AC, because I'll let you know right now, I hate going to Home Depot.

This summer Brent and I have been on a mad dash trying to finish up the bathroom, the deck, and finally get our house painted. Today we passed the permit inspection, so this means that our carpenter can now shingle the exterior, and we can get our lives back. I was really into the whole fixing up your house thing, until I got pregnant, and now huge, and can barely contribute anything to the projects. I mostly sit around, go for the occasional walk and make meals, which honestly, doesn't sound too bad. But real talk, I can not wait to get my body back. I am so excited to go for a run, workout at the intensity that I'm used to and have a maybe four glasses of wine. But most of all, I am so excited to hold this tiny baby in my arms and not my uterus.
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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?
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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.
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