January 30, 2008

Decorating!

Searching for new furnishings for my (somewhat) new house is my newest hobby. Pretty things below!

3x5' Rug, $28. From Urban Outfitters.
Please note how the yellow border on the rug matches precisely with my blog banner yellow. This girl knows what she likes! But sadly, that couch is not mine.

Maggie had the great idea to take our rickety sliding closet doors off the tracks and replace them with pretty curtains. When I found these curtain tie-backs, I knew it was meant to be:

Branch Curtain Tie Backs, $14. From Urban Outfitters.

Flat Flower Vase, $12. From Target. I'm just all about yellow this year.

Turn-of-the-Century Rug, $168. From Anthropologie.
Couldn't afford this one yet, and don't really need it.
But isn't it beautiful? Love!



[images from Target, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie].

January 28, 2008

Photo Expeditions


My dad bought me my first serious camera when I was in third grade. I would fly to visit him one weekend a month, and he would take me on what we called "photo expeditions."

We would take our cameras and go some place. Any place. It was usually a pretty casual walk somewhere at a nearby park. We rarely picked any specific subject (sometimes it was "shadows"), but we would just stroll side-by-side and take pictures of whatever we could find.

We crept along for an hour or two, snapping away. We did that in parks around St. Louis, Minnesota, cross-country (through Kansas, Colorado, Nevada), in Japan, in Costa Rica, New Orleans and on.

I'm a lucky kid.

I loved those photo expeditions. And so I keep doing them. I don't think I've ever done anything with any of the photos – I'm not even sure any were that great. It was just about the experience.

These pictures are from my walk with Scott around Newark a couple weeks ago.

Just wanted to share.

Thanks Dad : )

The Sunday Soup: Lentil Soup

Another great soup! Cheap, healthy, and super easy. Especially easy because Scott cooked this one entirely without me (while I sat on the floor in the kitchen and finally built my IKEA cabinets). He did a mighty fine job. And he took this beautiful picture of turmeric, salt, chili pepper, cumin, ground red pepper, and black pepper:


...but at least I found the recipe and started this whole Sunday Soup thing, so I still get some blogging rights.

Lentil-Tomato Soup
Cooking Light via The Kitchen Sink

1 T. olive oil
2 c. chopped onion
1 t. ground turmeric
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. chili powder
1 t. ground red pepper
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 1/3 c. water
2 1/3 c. dried lentils
1/3 c. chopped fresh cilantro
3 cans chicken broth (low sodium, or replace 1 can with just water)
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

• Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat
• Add the onion; sauté for 3 minutes or until tender
• Add the turmeric and the next 6 ingredients (turmeric through garlic)
• Sauté for 1 minute
• Add water and next 4 ingredients (water through diced tomatoes)
• Bring to a boil
• Reduce heat; simmer 1 hour
• Reserve 2 cups lentil mixture
• Place half of remaining mixture in blender (or use immersion blender)
• Blend until smooth
• Pour pureed soup into a large bowl
• Repeat procedure with other half of remaining mixture
• Stir in reserved 2 cups lentil mixture


Scott also made glorious homemade croutons (not as healthy as the rest of the soup, but definitely delicious). He topped his soup with sour cream, and I did mine with plain nonfat yogurt. Soooo good!

January 24, 2008

Song of the Week: Yael Naim.



New Soul by Yael Naim. And all music by Yael Naim.

I love when she paints on the painting : )

Thank you Apple, for putting this song in your new MacBook Air commercial for all of us to enjoy.

January 23, 2008

Karaoke.

The pros and cons of karaoke in one photograph:

[Aloha Tokyo last Saturday Night w. Scott, Marielle, Ben & Grant]

The Sunday Soup #4


I won't fidget with the truth. I'm posting this on Wednesday. And we made the soup on Monday. But I'm going to just admit to all that, and still call it The Sunday Soup.

This week we made Emeril's Favorite Tortilla Soup. And I dare say, we slightly modified the recipe to our taste (I know, I know, modify Emeril?). So I'm giving you the link if you want the pure recipe.

It was absolutely fantastic and very easy!

Tortilla Soup

(based off Emeril's)

2 T. olive oil
1 c. chopped onions
2 t. chopped garlic
1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. ground coriander
1 T. tomato paste
5 c. chicken stock
1 c. water
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces (raw)
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1.5 T. fresh lime juice
sour cream

• Heat oil on medium, in stock pot
• Add the onions, garlic, peppers, cumin, and coriander for 5 minutes
• Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute
• Add the chicken stock and water, bring to a simmer
• Simmer for 20 minutes
• Add the raw chicken and simmer for 5 minutes
• Add the cilantro and lime juice, and stir well
• Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm


And don't forget the tortilla strips. They are a total necessity.
Sorry to you health nuts out there.


Tortilla Strips

2 c. vegetable oil, for frying
6 stale corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
2 T. Essence (mixture of spices – find recipe here)

• Heat the oil in a heavy pot or electric fryer to 350 degrees F
• Add the tortilla strips in batches
• Fry until golden and crisp, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes
• Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels
• Season with the Essence


Garnish each serving with the fried tortilla strips and sour cream.

Serves 6.

January 17, 2008

Pear Light

Pear Light by Nick Foley. I want, but it doesn't seem to be for sale.

January 16, 2008

Design Police: Beware

[Please read this post first]. So I didn't even know what Word Art (tm!) was, and Marielle was kind enough to demonstrate for me:


I'm partial to the "nom nom nom." Especially that vertical type. Sexy and oh-so-legible.

Thanks, ML.

And please never do that again.

January 15, 2008

Design Police

Yessssssss! Bring bad design to justice. Design-Police.org has free downloadable visual enforcement kits. Design snobbery always makes me giggle. Thanks to Scott for finding this one and sending it my way.

January 14, 2008

Knitware


Knitware by Alyssa Ettinger Design. Fabulous.


[PS Anybody out there? Did I lose you because of that month long hiatus? I'm back, I promise!]

January 13, 2008

Matt Stuart Shoots People





This guy makes me want to be a photographer – I want to carry my camera with me and have it ready wherever I go. Every photograph makes me smile.

And I wish I could say the title of this post is original, but I stole it from his website. A clever guy, this Matt Stuart.

[images from mattstuart.com]

January 12, 2008

Eyescapes


Rankin Photography
.
What a gorgeous way to capture and present eyes.

[image from here]

January 11, 2008

Song of the Week: Rilo Kiley

I do realize I'm way behind the times on this album, as it was released last August (shame on me!), but I like it enough that I'm willing to make my blog a little un-hip.

Rilo Kiley's latest album, Under the Blacklight. Have a listen.

Silver Lining:



I'm also a fan of "The Moneymaker," but I decided not to post that video directly on here (the content may be questionable for some).

Anybody else have new favorites? I could use some new tunes.

January 10, 2008

My Stepbrother is Cool.


...and weird, but definitely in the good way.
Maybe I'm weirder for blogging about him.

He makes music. And does lots of things.

January 7, 2008

Designerly Dishes


This ceramic dishware has been in my "totally bloggable" bookmarks folder for months now, and it's about darn time I post it, because I think it's brilliant. They just make sense, and they even stack well!

And yes, I have a "totally bloggable" bookmarks folder.

[image from gnr8.biz]

January 6, 2008

The Sunday Soup #3


Broccoli Soup
from the kitchen of Mom

3 T. butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 c. carrot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. celery, chopped
2 T. flour
6 c. chicken stock
1 large head broccoli, stem peeled – cut into small pieces
1/2 c. heavy cream
Pinch or cayenne pepper

• Prepare vegetables
• In stock pot, melt butter
• Sauté onion, carrot, garlic, and celery until translucent*
• Whisk in flour
• Gradually whisk in chicken stock, cooking over medium heat
• Add broccoli and bring to a simmer
• Cook 8-10 minutes until broccoli is tender
• Use a handy dandy immersion blender from awesome roomie
• [or carefully ladle into blender / food processor and blend]
• Process until finely chopped
• Stir in cream and cayenne
• Heat gently, but do not boil
• Serve with oyster crackers

*Note from the mom: sautéing onions, carrots, garlic and celery creates a basic mirepoix, which is the basic beginning to most soups. Just be careful not to brown your mirepoix! Heaven forbid you brown the mirepoix. I actually don't know what happens if you brown the mirepoix, but just to be safe, don't.

Yum yum.

January 5, 2008

Juno

Loved the movie. Despite a few kind of awkward lines, the story was fantastic and upbeat. Watch the trailer:



It's about a 16 year-old girl who gets pregnant. Teen pregnancy isn't the end of the world or the end of her life, as so many movies, tv shows, and people make it seem (in fact, this movie actually pokes fun at those negative nancies, as you can see in the trailer).

Juno explores her options, and the movie keeps you guessing right up until the end. The end is just right. I could go on, but I don't wanna spoil it for you.

And it's set in Minnesota, which I like because I used to live there : )


Also, the soundtrack is the perfect dose of new music that I've been in dire need of. The song Anyone Else But You by The Moldy Peaches takes the cake:

I kiss you on the brain in the shadow of a train
I kiss you all starry eyed, my body's swinging side to side
I don't know what anyone can see in anyone else
But you


.............................

Oh, and how could I almost forget – our very favorite bloggable line of the movie:

Juno: I'm pregnant
Leah: What? Honest to blog?

January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Hope you had a lovely time bringing in 2008 as well!



Maggie and I hosted our first party at our new home in Baltimore. I dare say it was one of my favorite New Years Eve's ever. I'm so happy.

Friends, fireworks + my honey : )

Thanks to everybody who helped & traveled so far to join us!