all the Spring Vegetables covered in a Creamy Lemon Goat Cheese Sauce

I keep having to remind myself over and over again that we bought a house. It still doesn't seem real. A couple of days ago I took a shower in our new house for the first time. It felt mildly strange. Like I was taking a shower in someone else's bathroom. The house smells of other people. There are dings in the wall, spills in the oven. I'm not sure who put them there, and angers me that someone could be so careless with our home. For the past 6 years, our house was a rental unit, and you can tell that it hasn't been loved. The gardens haven't been kept, and the softwood floors have a lot of scratches. Clearly, someone who cares about a place would not let those things happen. It's is a few blocks away from our current apartment, that we will be renting until the end of May. Our apartment feels like the luxurious hotel that we go to after a long day at work (the house). For the past 2 weeks we've been slowly moving our stuff, load by load. All of the food, kitchen-related items, props, laptop, camera, and iron are at the new house. My bed, clothes, studio lights and desktop computer with lightroom are still at the apartment. It makes for a messy work day. I had great intentions to paint the WHOLE house before we moved in. At the time, the idea just seemed to make a lot of sense, and besides, then we wouldn't have to worry about getting paint all over everything, because lets be real, I paint like a 4 year old. Living between two houses, and more importantly, buying a house is on the list of top 20 life stressors that can trigger anxiety and sadness, says Richard Zwolinski from Therapy Soup. To deal with this stress, I've been eating an inordinate amount of chocolate and binge watching New Girl.

That time I went to Costa Rica and ate nothing but guacamole

So it turns out that the people of Costa Rica love avocados, and my prediction of guacamole for breakfast, lunch, and dinner was correct. I was staying at a resort (for my cousins wedding) which isn't a real indicator of what people eat in Costa Rica, but I did manage to leave the resort a few times, and when I asked a local what he typically eats in a day he replied 'In Costa Rica we like to eat all of our meals with a side of avocado'.

I was pretty obsessed with guacamole when I was there, probably because there were bowls strategically placed around the resort with salsa verde, guacamole, and chips. I added avocado to everything (just like the Costa Ricans do), and then I left Costa Rica and returned home with not only a splotchy tan, but also food poisoning. For the past week, I have not been able to look at an avocado without giving it the dirty eye. I am sure it wasn't the guacamole that ruined my insides, but sometimes you develop these arbitrary associations when you get ill. It's usually the last thing that you've eaten that forms the negative association, regardless of whether it was really the culprit. Good news!  I seem to be on the mend now, actually yesterday was my first 'normal' day, and funny enough, I woke up craving guacamole. Yesterday for lunch, I shoveled this delicious guacamole with a pineapple (recipe below) into my mouth standing in the kitchen, trying to type an email from my phone. I added in some pineapple, which gives it a subtle sweetness that is incredible. The pineapple and the garlic create this wonderful flavor combination, and then with a dash of lime and salt, it all really comes together.

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.