Wednesday, July 10, 2013

MS MR - Think of You

MS MR just released a music video for their song "Think of You" off their new album Secondhand Rapture.

And they're coming to Philadelphia in September on their tour.

Image via.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mount Moriah - Lament

Now I can't even remember how I found this band, but maybe it will come to me in a few days.  Regardless, I love them.

They just released a new album earlier this year, which is great, but my favorite song by far is an older one.

Mount Moriah - Lament from Hueism Pictures on Vimeo.

Album cover via.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Things I want to cook this Spring

I'm going to be doing a lot of traveling over the summer, before heading off to business school this fall, so I'm hoping to get a fair amount of cooking in over the next month while I'm still home and operating out of a fully stocked kitchen.

As inspired by my friend Stephanie, I'm looking forward to many more Steph's salads this Spring.

We have a bunch of avocado in the house, so in addition to Avocado Toast, I'm looking forward to making either this Crunchy Creamy Cucumber Avocado Salad or this Avocado Cucumber Grapefruit Salad.  I'm also a sucker for slaw in the summer, perfect for BBQs, and this Indian Coleslaw looks delicious (although I'll have to substitute out the peanuts, due to my newly discovered peanut and hazelnut allergies, boo.)

On the topic of salads, this is my favorite salad of all time, the Sliced Spring Salad from Orangette:

While I don't have a kid in the house, I still love sweet potatoes, and am excited by all the possibilities in this post from Nicholas Day.  I also love that this Green Pea and Ham Soup calls for frozen peas!

As we start moving into summer, I'm excited for more Tomato Salads, or maybe a Spring Panzanella to hold me over in the meantime.

I also think this Asparagus and Tarragon Tart looks beautiful, and might just have to be my fancy-pants offering the next time I'm invited somewhere for dinner or brunch.

Finally, in this short window of asparagus season, I hope I make at least one Shaved Asparagus Pizza.

Happy Spring Cooking!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Lord Huron - The Stranger

Another song/band I discovered through the Sounds of Spring Kinfolk playlist, Lord Huron is an L.A. based indie folk band.

They're touring a bunch this summer too.

The Stranger:

Time to Run:

Image via.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Avocado Toast

I couldn't quite believe I hadn't posted this previously, because it's such a standby breakfast or snack for me, but I guess not.  I've been making this for years, I think originally inspired by my friend's then boyfriend's younger sister, but then I felt justified and oh so smart when The Wednesday Chef posted her version.

My sister and I also made this pasta for dinner last night with our friend Kristi, and it was delicious as always, but I didn't manage to grab a picture.  It's perfect if you have some over-ripe or about to go bad tomatoes lying around, and so easy and simple and delicious.

This is the perfect mix of crunchy, salty, fatty, piquant, and creamy.  It's also super adaptable.  The Wednesday Chef has more of a recipe, but she uses a couple of bowls, which I think are entirely unnecessary.

Avocado Toast

Toast a piece of bread.  (I like mine quite crisp.) Spread with dijon mustard.  Scoop out half an avocado and smash on top.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Notes: You can also add some mayonnaise or cream cheese along with the mustard, if you want a more creamy and filling snack.  You can squeeze some lemon juice on top if you have it handy, for added freshness.  If I'm eating this for lunch, I'll use the whole avocado on two pieces of toast.  I haven't tried adding sriracha, but I bet it would be delicious.  I usually use sourdough, since that's what I mostly have lying around, and it is delicious, but I think almost any kind of bread would be good.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Jurassic Crepe

We had some ham leftover from Easter, and so Megan made these crepes the next week, inspired by a version from Le Happy, a great little creperie here in Portland.  She served them alongside some sauteed asparagus, tossed with some toasted sesame oil.

They were delicious, although I would recommend oiling the baking sheet before assembling your crepes for baking, as we had a little trouble getting them off the pan.

I don't know which crepe recipe Meg used since she did it before I got home from work, but Alton Brown is usually pretty fool-proof.

From there we just assembled the crepes on a baking tray, layering some dijon mustard in the bottom (optional), them some ham (trying to leave a well for the egg), and finally cracking an egg into the middle and then folding the sides up.  We topped with salt and pepper (and some dried oregano for the ones with mustard in the bottom), and then baked in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or so, just until the egg whites were set but the yolks were still runny.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Ane Brun - Do You Remember

Another new music find, courtesy of another excellent Spotify playlist.  This time, the Sounds of Spring playlist put out by the good people at Kinfolk magazine, which I highly suggest checking out if you haven't heard of it before.  It's a really beautiful lifestyle magazine and a wonderful source of inspiration.

But back to the main event, which is Ane Brun, a Norwegian singer/songwriter.  I couldn't love this song more.  I've been listening to it on repeat for the last month, with no signs of tiring.  I also just think she's lovely.

She's currently touring in Europe, but here's hoping she makes her way over to the US sometime soon.

Image via.

Monday, April 29, 2013

L.A. (part two)

For the rest of our time in L.A., we had lunch at Lucques, which was amazing.  It was one of the highlights of our trip.

Olives & Almonds:


Friday, April 26, 2013

Arizona wedding

I'm going to an old friend's wedding in Phoenix this weekend and wearing something like the outfit below.  I don't think I'll need either the sweater or scarf as a cover-up seeing as it's supposed to be 94 on Saturday, but this Oregon-girl can't imagine it not getting cold at night.

Arizona wedding

DKNY black top

Zara wedge heels

Cashmere shawl
$300 -

J crew hat

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bastille - Pompeii

I discovered this band through Dooce, another one, and am loving them.  Bastille are an English indie-rock band from London, originally a solo project formed by Dan Smith, but later expanded to a quartet.

I have been rocking out to both of these songs for the last week or so, and they're going on the permanent up-lifting playlist.



Image via.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Roasted Sausages with Red Grapes

This recipe is called Roasted Sausages with Red Grapes, but I like to think of it as Orangette wins again.  It seems a little random, but it's so good.  Especially with potato/celery root puree and roasted broccoli.  This is a bit of a winter-time meal, but maybe you can sneak it in one more time before the weather turns for good, or save it for next winter.  I made this with some German venison beer sausage from the my dad's deer last fall, but Orangette advises that you can make this with any mild flavored chicken or pork sausage.

To make the potato/celery root puree, it's just like mashed potatoes, but with the addition of celery root.  You just peel and chop the celery root, and add it to the boiling water with the potatoes.  Once tender, drain, mash, and add milk/butter/salt/pepper to taste.  We also tend to just roast broccoli at 425 for 10-15 minutes, with some olive oil, salt/pepper, and maybe coriander, like this recipe, only without shrimp.

Also, this recipe scales easily.  I think I usually make it with 6 sausages, or whatever comes in a pack, and then just eat leftovers for lunches, or depending on how many people you're feeding for dinner.

Roasted Sausages with Red Grapes, originally from Orangette:

2 sausages
1/2 lb red seedless grapes
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 475.  Brown the sausages on the stovetop, turning once, for about 4 minutes per side, or 8 total.  While the sausages are cooking, rinse and de-stem the grapes.
Once browned, place the sausages in a baking dish, dump the grapes on top, and sprinkle the olive oil over. Bake the dish for 25 minutes in your hot oven, turning the sausages once after about 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven, place the sausages aside, and dump the grapes and any juices into a small saucepan. Season with a pinch of salt and then cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the juices are syrupy.  Remove from heat, stir in the vinegar, and then pour over the sausages.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Butterscotch Budino & L.A. (part one)

My sister made this delicious butterscotch budino a couple weeks ago for Sunday night family dinner.  I flew in from S.F. that night, and so didn't help at all, but it was so good I thought I should post it anyway.  It's a pretty famous recipe, from Nancy Silverton of La Brea Bakery and Mozza fame, and it made the blog rounds a couple of years ago.  I think you can stumble upon the recipe relatively easily via google, but I linked to the James Beard Foundation version, because of anyone I think you can trust them to get it right.

Megan's version:

It's made up of a butterscotch pudding, then a salted caramel layer, and finally whipped cream on top.  Actually, I take that back, I did help!  After dinner I helped make the salted caramel and the whipped cream.  I just didn't help with the pudding.  Also, Megan skipped the rosemary-pine nut cookies, in order to make it more manageable, and while we didn't miss them that night, Megs and I had them when we went to Pizzeria Mozza in L.A., and they were delicious.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

MS MR - Hurricane

Another new song, courtesy of 94/7 fm Nation perks, Slice of New Music Heaven.  The band is called MS MR, and their album "Secondhand Rapture" comes out May 14th, although their EP from last year is the source of "Hurricane."

Described by Pitchfork as "the shadowy New York City MS MR take a little of the "Video Games" (Lana Del Rey) singer's drama, and pair it with Polica's gritty side, along with a stroke of All Saints poutiness."  Full disclosure, their original video (not below, but what you'll find if you search for it) gives me a headache, with the mass of constantly flickering images, and their official video below is weird.  However, go ahead and grab the audio from the 94/7 website, since it's no longer available in exchange for your email at MS MR's site.

Image via.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Style Spotlight: Mary Kate Steinmiller

Not to be mistaken for the other fashion-famous Mary Kate, I have long been a fan of Mary Kate Steinmiller and her street style.  She's the Fashion Market Editor at Teen Vogue and is featured often on The Sartorialist.  I love that you'll see her re-wear pieces, plus I think she does the perfect job of classic but with an edge or unexpected element.  If you want to peek into her closet, she's also been featured on The Coveteur.

{The Sartorialist}

{The Sartorialist}

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

He's My Brother, She's My Sister - Same Old Ground

I found this band through a great Spotify album, the Don't Mess with Texas: SXSW 2013 New Music Sampler (Spotify playlist below). It's perfect for me and a source of some good new stuff.

He's My Brother, She's My Sister is an L.A. band, originally formed by actual brother-sister duo Robert and Rachel Kolar, but now consists of five members.  I think it particularly resonates because my brother Danny will sometimes say, "She's my sister" in this funny voice, and I love it.  Their first full-length album came out back in October 2012, but they had an EP come out back in 2010.  They're also currently touring.

Photo via.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Warm Farro Salad

Orangette is pretty much fool-proof in my opinion, and this recipe was no exception.  I needed a quick dinner one night, and this was perfect.  I didn't have any escarole or radicchio in the house, but arugula substituted nicely.

I also made the Sauce Gribiche from her blog (the Chez Panisse, not Zuni Cafe version) to go over cold, blanched asparagus at my dear friend's baby shower in San Francisco, but didn't manage a grab a picture.  It was delicious (of course) and highly complimented, so while asparagus are still in season go out and do it!

Warm Farro Salad with Chickpeas, Feta, and Spicy Dressing (from Orangette):

I used the Trader Joe's 10-minute farro, and it was delicious.

1 cup farro
1/2 tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. fish sauce
3 Tbsp. lime juice
2-3 Tbsp. brown sugar
6-8 Tbsp. water, to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Thai chile, thinly sliced (or 1 tsp. sambal oelek)

Carrots, sliced into rounds
Feta, coarsely crumbled

Cook your farro.  Either soaking and boiling, or just boiling depending on type.  Drain and set aside.

Combine fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, water, garlic, and chile (or sambal) in a bowl.  Whisk well.  Taste and adjust as you like.

For a single portion, assemble salad with 1/2 cup farro, a handful of arugula, and 1 carrot (sliced).  Top with feta and then drizzle a tablespoon or so of dressing.  Toss, taste for balance and seasoning, adjust if necessary, and eat!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Southern California Bound

My sister and I are headed to L.A. and then Palm Springs for a long weekend, and this is what I'm looking forward to wearing.  Lots of J. Crew, as always it seems.  My sister, mom, and Steph all chipped in to buy me those old J. Crew glitter sandals off eBay for my birthday this year, and I cannot wait to wear them in the sunshine of southern California!


Print dress

J Crew j crew

Stretch skinny jeans

J Crew j crew

Old navy bikini

J.crew sandals

J Crew j crew

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ivan & Alyosha - Running for Cover

I found this band through dooce, who posts new music every so often.  They're great.  Their album "All the Times We Had" just came out in March, review here.

They've been touring, and I just missed them here in Portland - always such a bummer.  They are continuing to tour though, so hopefully you can catch them.

Running for Cover:

And another:
Easy to Love:

Picture via.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Reading (or Listening to) Lately

I am a huge fan of the Multnomah County Library system; however, some new and in demand books take forever to get, even after placing a hold on them.  Understandably so, seeing as there are a lot of people who use the library's hold system, but still.  So when I knew I wanted to read "Gone Girl," I placed a hold on both the normal hard copy as well as the audio book on CDs to listen to in the car.  The audio book was available about a month before the hard copy, so I've been listening to it on my daily commute.

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

While this book is well written, and was entertaining to listen to, it reminded me that I don't really like the mystery genre.  I'm hesitant to say too much to prevent spoiling it for people who haven't read it yet, but the people are messed up.  There are a lot of plot twists, so much so that I think it would have been better for me to have read it, instead of listening to it in the car, because I would often hit some plot twist just as I pulled up in front of my house, and would have to sit there to get to a decent stopping point.  I felt like it was worth the read if only to be able to join the conversation, but I found it kind of disturbing and discouraging.

Where'd You Go Bernadette - Maria Semple

I really enjoyed this book.  It is written in a very interesting style, as a compilation of "primary" sources, with explanation/narration between, so I had a lot of fun thinking through the events and piecing together the story.    It's an easy read and really funny.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

MIKA - Lola

While I haven't been as excited by her blog recently, Kelly Framel of The Glamouri posted a playlist the other day, and there's some good stuff there, including this song, "Lola."

MIKA is a British singer-songwriter.  His third album "The Origin of Love" came out in the US back in October 2012.  He is currently touring in the US.

The video below is the studio version, but there's a decent video of him performing it live here.

Album cover via.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Amos Lee - Some Days Are Diamonds

I have been a big Amos Lee fan for a long time now.  I've seen him in concert multiple times, including the Oregon Zoo and a bunch of different venues in S.F. from college.  He does an amazing Michael McDonald impression sometimes, and he just generally has great banter between songs.  He just recorded a cover of John Denver's "Some Days Are Diamonds" for the forthcoming "The Music is You: A Tribute to John Denver," out April 2nd.

Other artists contributing to The Music Is You include Dave Matthews, My Morning Jacket, and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes. Pre-order now at Amazon and iTunes.

Here are some of my other favorite Amos Lee songs.  I generally like his earlier stuff better (Amos Lee, Supply and Demand, and Last Days at the Lodge) and haven't been as wowed by his more recent releases.


Street Corner Preacher:

Album cover via.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Not to get overly personal in this space, but my grandpa just passed away a few days ago after battling Alzheimer's, and today's my birthday, and both of those things together are enough that I just don't have a blog post in me this week.  I'll be back in this space once I have something to share.

Thank you to all my wonderful friends and family who have been so supportive through this tough time for me and my family.  

{Birthday/Consolation/Book Club Flowers}

{Picture of my grandpa Sonny and me at his wedding in 1990}

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Emeli Sande - Next to Me

This song is super repetitive but catchy.

She actually just finished up a tour in the US, and is now headed out on tour through Europe.

Image via.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Steph's salad

My lovely friend Steph had a similar salad the other day at Higgins, a really excellent restaurant here in Portland.  We recreated it for dinner the other night, along with some Shepherd's Pie, but I foolishly forgot to take a picture.  It was so good though that I made it again the other night, with some substitutions (namely romaine instead of cabbage, because I was craving it).

Sometimes I forget how depressing winter can be, and barring a trip to find some sunshine, eating citrus fruit is a great way to bring some brightness into your life, which I was reminded of after reading this.

Also, this is amazing - The Various Varieties of Vegetables.

Steph's Salad
one head of napa cabbage, washed and chopped (or romaine)
2 citrus fruits, supremed (video here) (grapefruit, orange, blood orange)
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup slivered almonds
one avocado, diced
Lemon-Mustard Vinaigrette to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large salad bowl.  Toss to coat with vinaigrette.  You can also supreme the citrus over your salad bowl to take advantage of the citrus juice.

Lemon-Mustard Vinaigrette
juice of one lemon (and zest if you want it really lemony)
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
splash of white wine vinegar
4 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and taste for more salt/pepper/acid/oil.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Music from Nashville

Just in the last few weeks I've gotten hooked on the TV show Nashville, starring Connie Britton, also known as Tami Taylor, and Hayden Panettiere.  I think a large part of my engagement with the show has been the really excellent original music they have recorded, although my initial interest was driven by the highly entertaining recaps written over at Go Fug Yourself.

ABC has also recorded and posted really great videos featuring the songwriters behind some of the songs on the show.  While the songs themselves are great, I really appreciated getting a behind the scenes insight into the songwriters' process and the songwriting community in Nashville itself.

Below are some of my favorites from this first season.

Fade Into You:

No One Will Ever Love You:

Monday, February 25, 2013

Asian-style Vegetable Mujadara

I started cooking last week intending to make something like this vegetable barley soup, but somewhere along the way it morphed into an Asian-seasoned and vegetable laden version of this mujadara.  So much so, that when my sister got home and asked what I had cooked my only response was, I don't really know.

It all took a left turn when I decided to use coconut oil instead of olive oil to saute the onions, and the smell of the coconut oil reminded me of Asian flavors and that we had some leftover lotus root in the fridge from the bibimbap Megan had made.  So instead of continuing on with an english vegetable barley soup, I thought I would just make an asian vegetable barley soup.  However, I don't know that there are any asian dishes that use barley, so it morphed into what was intended to be an asian vegetable rice soup, but then I added lentils to the pot after adding the rice and before I knew it, I had something more similar to mujadara.

Asian-style Vegetable Mujadara, adapted from here and here:

1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 spicy pepper, de-seeded and chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. salt
juice of 1/2 lemon
2/3 cup brown rice
2/3 cup green lentils
4 cups broth (or water)
5 leaves kale, de-ribbed and chopped
Lotus Root, to serve

Saute onion, parsnip, and celery in coconut oil in a medium saucepan for just a minute or two, and then added ground spices to fry a little in the oil.  Saute for about 5 minutes until softened and just starting to brown, stirring often to keep from sticking.  Squeeze in lemon juice to de-glaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom.  Add the rice and lentils, to let toast a little before stirring to mix thoroughly and adding stock (or water).  Bring to a boil, and then cover, lower heat, and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep bottom from sticking.  (This dish is done once the rice is cooked through.)  If at any point it gets too dry, add some more water and give a good stir.  Check at 30 minutes for rice doneness.  If not done add some more water and cook for another 5-10 minutes, checking until the rice is cooked to your preference.  Once rice is cooked, stir in kale and cook for just a minute or two, until the kale wilts.  Serve with lotus root, if you happen to have some on hand.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fashion Inspiration - Bright Winter Coats

As all the street style photos from NYFW have been trickling in, I've been so impressed with how much a bright winter coat livens up an outfit.  I usually tend to gravitate towards neutral colors for outerwear, with the mindset that it makes them more versatile, but maybe I just need to go for it with a bold color.

{Via Brooklyn Blonde}

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...