Sunday, November 29, 2009

Time to eat

We're waiting to go to brunch with friends so things like heart-shaped eggs are about all I can think about right now :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Climb into Maine's waters

What do you think of when I say: surfing in Maine?

I'll go first:






An escape.

Now, your turn....

(Via Foster Huntington and Spencer Philips at A Restless Transplant)

Tagliattele with Young Garlic, Asparagus and Mushrooms

From the endlessly scrumptious, Sunday Suppers, comes this very simple, completely delicious pasta dish. I already have a bunch of asparagus that I was hoping to do something new with tonight so I'm going to make a mad dash to the grocery store to pick up the other missing ingredients after work tonight.


(Via Karen Mordechai and Sunday Suppers)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Staring at desserts

It's the end of the week...actually no, I have to work all day and night tomorrow, so while I'd like to think today was whisking me into a lovely weekend, it's not.

So I'll resort to staring at desserts.

It makes no sense, but that's my train of thought at the moment.

(Via eggbeater)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Time for soup

Last week Roni and I spent a leisurely two hour lunch huddled over warm bowls of pho and vermicelli. I don't know if pho is ever one of those things I could easily master after a try or two, but I have hope for my culinary skills with this Asian Coconut Noodle Soup recipe.

I'm adding this one to this upcoming weekend's list of dishes to try.

(Via Dana Treat)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Christmas wrapping

I just ordered a few sets of these holiday tags from bklynstitch, a Brooklyn-based graphic designer. Aren't they adorable? I think I'm going to copy her this Christmas, and wrap presents in brown paper, keeping it simple but very pretty.Link

Wrapped up for the fall

Today was a bit of an outlier being that it was in the high 60s, but generally we've been enjoying a rainy, crisp late fall. This is my favorite fashion season. Blazers, comfy sweaters and colorful scarves. It feels like a very imaginative period for dressing.

This cable cardigan from Calypso is just perfect for this time of year.

Anthropologie in London

I admit that there may be something a tad strange about yearning to visit a clothing store while abroad, but I've been there, done that.

While studying abroad in Dublin in 2002, my high school buddy, Bart, was also away for a semester in London. I couldn't resist a $5 flight (no joke!) from the great Emerald Isle to the country that invented cricket, the Rolling Stones and Topshop.

If you've been buying Vogue for as long as I have, and if you have a tendency to splurge on the UK and Parisian issues, then there's no way that by 2002 you could not have heard of Topshop. It's ten times better than H&M in quality and variety of clothing, but similar in price point.

After growing up a suburbs kid surrounded by preppy American chain stores like the Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch, Topshop was a dream come true. I felt like I now had access to clothing that resembled some of the pieces I saw in magazines, but could never afford.

One afternoon while Bart was off at class, I trotted off to Topshop and found myself among seemingly endless racks of dresses, pants, shirts and blazers, the likes of which I had never before seen in person. Restraint was more than difficult, if not nearly impossible!

In the end, I walked away with - and I slightly shudder to think - a white, faux fur zip-up jacket, black ankle boots and a jean skirt that was shorter in length on one side than the other (cringe...).

What was I thinking?!

I know, actually. I must have thought I was "so fashionable" at that time; even "edgy." In reality I probably looked a bit trampy! But the thing is, I wore that outfit non-stop while in London and after I returned to Dublin.

When I stumble upon that jacket now as I'm wading through old clothes, I smile, and remember that that outfit, in many ways, was my "coming-of-age" with fashion. I was breaking out of the tired, preppy mold I had dawned most of high school and experimenting. I may have made many questionable choices, but that was part of the experience.

With the opening of Anthropologie's first European store in London, I wouldn't put it past me to make the trek there the next time I have the chance to visit England.

Let's hope that this time I use a bit more modesty in my clothing choices ;)

(Via pia jane bijerk)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Apple Granola Crisp

We have Veterans' Day off tomorrow so I'm planning for some quality time with Roni. A trip to Pho 14 for vermicelli with grilled shrimp is definitely in order. And maybe a lazy walk to Georgetown for some shopping and then an afternoon beer.

Sounds like a great way to spend a middle-of-the-week day off, doesn't it?

At some point along the way, I'd really like to make this Breakfast Apple Granola Crisp recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I think it's fair to say that I could eat this for breakfast or dessert, but I must admit, I normally wouldn't think of a crisp for my first meal of the day. It seems almost decadent, but I'm sure I can get used to it! :)

Breakfast Apple Granola Crisp

3 pounds of whatever apples, or mix of apples, you like to bake with, peeled, cored and cut into medium chunks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup flour
2 cups oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, as you wish; I used unsweetened)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix apple chunks with lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and pinch of salt in a 9×13-inch baking dish until apples are evenly coated. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the honey. Stir in the flour, oats, almonds, coconut and another pinch of salt until clumps form. Sprinkle evenly over the apple mixture and bake in the oven for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until the apples are softened and bubbly. Should the granola brown before you wish it to, cover the baking dish carefully with foil for all but the last few minutes of baking time, when removing the foil will help the granola recrisp. Cool to room temperature and then stash in the fridge to eat with your morning yogurt.

(Images via Smitten Kitchen)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Off to see Cate Blanchett

I'm counting the hours at this point.

On Sunday afternoon, my husband and I are attending Cate Blanchett's performance in A Streetcar Named Desire at The Kennedy Center.

Peter Marks of The Washington Post said in his enthusiastic review , "This is the kind of evening you want to urge people to see, to remind them of theater's illuminating range, its ability to force you out of your resistant natural skepticism, to assess, reflect and feel."

I have not read the play so I'm in for a totally exciting and new theater experience. Can't wait.

The Elk in the Woods

I've had this long-held obsession with owning my own pub one day. I'd call it The Black Swan and serve Guinness, Troeg's, Dogfish Head, Dead Guy Ale and at least a dozen other craft brews on tap. But the real key would be the reclaimed wood floors and walls.

I suppose several trips to Ireland and a semester in Dublin sealed my fascination with all-wood pubs. There's just nothing like grabbing a seat at a corner booth at a century's-old bar, ordering a pint of Guinness and spending the rest of a gray afternoon indoors with a few friends.

While I'm not in the business of starting this pub any time soon, I think I've found my decorating inspiration -- The Elk in the Woods, a gastropub in Islington, London. They mix an array of materials among their decor, from an elk head to vintage wallpaper and a leather banquette. I love it all.

(Via Remodelista)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sex and the City Flashback

Sarah Jessica Parker, a la Carrie Bradshaw, popularized the flower-pin more than five years ago on Sex and the City. I was one of the thousands of copycats of this look, wearing a white jacket with a huge, pink flower pin that I bought at Michael's practically every day of my senior year of college.

Spotting this trend yet again at Emersonmade, it really hasn't gotten old (at least, to me). Wouldn't they be perfect Christmas gifts for my girlfriends?

(Via Cup of Jo)