Monday, August 24, 2015

monday morning mashup: travel edition

travel tips, advice and inspiration.... coming at you from paris! (don't be jelly!)

4. love these 36 hours travel guides
6. advice on what to pack and what not to pack here and here
8. my current blogger crush - timeless style and beautiful travel photos!
9. best all around travel sites for inspiration & recommendations here and here
10. rick steves travel books are the travel bible as far as i'm concerned! 

Monday, August 17, 2015

monday morning mashup

1. the mind-blowing amount of money we're all spending at starbucks
2. love these tips for the next time you have an overnight guest!
3. 7 days of great hair inspiration, one for every day of the week :)
5. food inspiration for your next game night
6. sephora has a beauty box you might just want to subscribe to...
8. love these elevated hostess gift ideas
10. where i'll be frolicking this weekend <insert smiley with hearts in eyes here>

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

life lately

summer nights at greenlake

'WAP' (wine at the park)

fresh berries at a pop-up market in black butte

wanted every single thing on the menu.

brother/sister love

relay for life in bellingham

RGB float. heaven in my mouth.

drinks at good bar

"international friendly"
yes we are wearing matching shirts
yes it's a manchester united jersey

scrabble is a serious game in our house.
if you can believe it.... we TIED!

iced coffees on the rooftop of terra plata

dinner party view

my fave spot in the grocery store... the mini cheese bins!

harry connick jr concert at chateau st michelle

this picture needs no explanation.

my hot date. and a ridiculously good slice of 
salted peanut butter chocolate cake from deru market

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

charred broccoli gaucamole

did you guys see the controversy in the news about adding peas to your guacamole? long story short is that the new york times posted a guacamole recipe that included peas. seems harmless to me. apparently not! america was outraged - even president obama commented on the matter! totally ridiculous in my opinion, especially since i'm currently obsessed with this charred broccoli guacamole i've been making once per week for the last month.

i first saw the recipe in a magazine while getting my hair done. i took a quick picture of the article - realizing later i only clipped a picture of the ingredients - not the directions. i couldn't find the recipe again online, so i just sort of winged it. 

easy dish, endless possibilities, and hello to more veggies! YUM.

recipe adapted from real simple

1 large bunch of broccoli, cut into florets
1 jalapeno, diced
2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3-6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (if desired)
kosher salt
tortilla chips for serving


1. heat grill to high.

2. place broccoli florets on grill pan, and grill for roughly 10-15 minutes until soft and charred. 
stir a couple times. remove from grill and cool.

3. meanwhile, mash avocados, jalapenos, onion, and cilantro (if using). 
add salt, pepper and lime juice to taste.

4. once charred broccoli is cooled, chop finely. 
add broccoli into gauc mixture. mix well.

5. serve with chips.

Monday, August 3, 2015

monday morning mashup

1. how to: pack a suitcase
3. love the idea of this hassle-free bug repellent
4. loving classic men's sneakers right now!
5. love getting inspired by this lifestyle and travel blog
6. reasons drinking wine can be good for your health
7. fun facts about the blue angels (hope you enjoyed seafair!)
8. this 10 second test will give you an idea of how long you'll live
9. fascinating story about a man who flies around the world for free
10. crushing on this new line of greeting cards at target (just bought 10!)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

grilled mexican corn

totally ridiculous question i've been wondering about.
is a ferris wheel a form of transportation?
i can see arguments on both sides...
on the one hand, you are being transported.... around and around.
but on the other hand, you aren't technically going anywhere.

deep thoughts. i know.

in other news... ben says this is his favorite thing he's eaten all summer long. outrageous claim? i don't think so. this corn was ridiculously good. i mean, of course it is, it's from my favorite cookbook, and has ingredients that would be hard not to love. it really took a classic corn on the cobb (which is already delicious) and takes it to a whole new level. like, 10 out of 10 in my book.

recipe via date night in

serves 2

2 ears fresh corn, husks removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus pinch
2 tablespoon mayo
2 tablespoon mexican crema or sour cream
i used sour cream
freshly grated zest of 1 lime
1 garlic clove minced
1/3 cup crumbled cotija cheese
i had to ask around to find this at the store.
the nice lady at PCC cut a huge wheel in half for me, 
so i didn't have to buy cotija to last a lifetime.
lime wedges, for serving


1. drizzle each eat of corn with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.

2. whisk together mayo, crema/sour cream, lime zest, garlic and salt in small bowl.

this can be made 1-3 days in advance and then refrigerated until ready to serve.

3. grill corn over high heat until charred in parts and tender throughout, about 10 minutes. 
rotating halfway through, or once charred on one side.

4. while the corn is warm, brush each ear generously with the lime crema mixture and then roll it on a large plate covered with cotija. serve the corn while still warm with plenty of lime wedges.

note: my cotija cheese didn't crumble as much as i thought it would, so i chopped it roughly.
just get the pieces small enough that they'll stick to your ear of corn!

messy but crazy good!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

cookbook critique: date night in

this post seems long overdue.
it's finally time that i actually admit that i'm obsessed with this cookbook 
(if you couldn't tell from my raving recipe reviews here, here, and here).

so i'd like to present to you my very first cookbook critique!

first up: date night in
by the crazy talented ashley rodriguez
who also write the blog not without salt

cookbooks are a dime a dozen. if you've browsed the shelves at your local bookstore you 
know there is a cookbook for everything. pasta, veggies, cocktails, low-carb, 30 minute meals, 
asian-inspired, the list goes on and on. and while most good cookbooks have a theme of 
some kind (in my opinion), not many do it as well as 'date night in'. 

the concept is this: entire meals planned for your next date night in... appetizer, cocktail, 
main dish, side dish and dessert made for two. the book is divided into seasons - fall, winter, 
spring and summer, and has full evenings planned. like 'somewhere in italy', 'by the fire', 
'dinner and a movie', and 'a winter BBQ'. each one of them with unique and inspired recipes, 
with tips for how to make things ahead of time.

i think i've made over 80% of the recipes in this book and haven't been disappointed once. 
that tells you everything right there. here are the pros and cons (in my opinion):

beautiful pictures
easy instructions
start to finish meal ideas (from cocktails through dessert)
95% of the recipes serve 2 people (which is great for young couples or empty nesters)
nothing lacks in depth or flavor
great everyday food (not too simple, not too sophisticated)
standard ingredients

definitely full fat, full flavor dishes (nothing healthy about this book!)
hard if you're looking for one specific thing (like a veggie dish) as everything is organized by full meal, not by course

my rating: 10 out of 10
(which is setting the bar pretty dang high!)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

green beans with smashed tomato vinaigrette

i love summer and i love summer meals. simple and usually taking place at the park. 
recently i was desperate to find a salad to add to my standard picnic fare (read: cheese, 
crackers, meets, nuts, blueberries, wine). i knew i needed to find something that transports 
easily and can be eaten cold or at room temp. this recipe was the perfect find.

the green beans definitely feel like a bit of a throwback - to those soft canned green beans i used to eat as a child. but there is something delicious about the beans, with a homemade smashed tomato dressing (which, by the way, would be great on any salad!) simple and a great addition to any picnic. 

(it shouldn't surprise you that i substituted basil for the mint, but i'm sure either would be delicious.)

recipe via date night in

3/4 pound green beans, trimmed
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup low-sodium chicken or veggie stock

vinaigrette ingredients
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or basil
1 scallion, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
flake salt, for finishing


1. combine green beans, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, 
and stock in large skillet over medium-high heat. bring mixture to a boil and then 
reduce to a simmer. cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until soft.

2. uncover and cook for 10 more minutes, over medium-low heat, 
stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced and coats beans.

3. meanwhile, in a medium bowl, add the tomatoes and squish them between your fingers
inside the bowl, or mash with a wooden spoon (being careful not to make a huge mess). 
the juice will help create the vinaigrette while they still remain in large pieces. 

4. whisk in the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, fresh herbs, and scallions. 
i placed my dressing in the fridge while my beans were still simmering.

5. toss the warm or room-temp green beans with the vinaigrette. 
can be served cold or at room temp. top with salt and pepper as desired.

ignore the tupperware.
i was planning this for a picnic at the park!

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