I love my apartment, but it’s been sorely lacking in one department for quite some time: Plant life. When you have a kitty that eats every green thing in sight, your flower and fern options are kind of limited. 

So instead, I’ve decided to stick with succulents and air plants. 

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After biking to lunch at the Sandwich Spot on Sunday (amazing by the way), I dragged Kelly into the Sloat Garden Center off Chestnut to pick out a few adorable little cacti. 

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I’ve really had a thing for blue lately, so I picked out a blue pot to store my new little friends. 

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I’ve actually been growing the tall succulent for a while. I have no idea what kind it is — my boss gave it to me, and it’s taken off recently. (My favorite thing about succulents is their amazing ability to regenerate). 

IMG_3413An easy, Sunday evening DIY. I’m hoping to tackle a terrarium before the end of the month, too — stay tuned! 

xo

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brussel salad

 My food processor has changed my life.

I really wanted to make this brussels Caesar style salad last night. Pre food processor, this would’ve taken me a million years. Grating the cheese, shaving the brussels sprouts, etc.

Post food processor, a grand total of 15 minutes.

I’m not exaggerating. This includes making the dressing. Accompanied by a sandwich with some leftover roast chicken from the weekend (recipe for that coming soon), it was the perfect, quick weeknight meal.

Faux Caesar brussels sprouts salad:
As many brussels sprouts as you want, shaved. You can do this with a mandolin, but I used an attachment on my food processor to slice this thinly in about 5 minutes. I know raw brussels sprouts sounds kind of weird at first, but trust me, they’re delicious.

1/2 red onion, chopped finely

Shaved parmesan

Faux Caesar dressing:
1/4 cup greek yogurt, 1 crushed garlic clove, a sprinkle of Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, juice from one lemon, olive oil, a tablespoon of parmesan

Combine all of the ingredients until the brussels sprouts are coated well with dressing. That’s it! Really. And it’s delicious/healthy.

When I went up to Portland this Christmas, I knew that I’d be making a trip to the Schoolhouse Electric showroom. After interviewing the founder several months ago, I feel head over heels for this amazing company and its quirky style. 

Kelly and I decided to devote an especially chilly afternoon to shopping (Yay for no sales tax in Oregon!) and swung by the cozy Schoolhouse showroom first. Although Brian wasn’t there, Scott, the assistant manager was incredibly kind and welcoming, and gave us behind the scenes tour of the factory above the showroom. 

The showroom itself is stunning. Highly highly recommend next time you’re in Portland. Have you ever visited a store, and just wanted to live there? Or just steal everything for your own apartment? That’s what Schoolhouse is like for me. The attention to detail is impeccable. 

Check out Schoolhouse Electric’s stock of lighting, bedding, and accessories here. Rather than babble on any more, I’ll move on and let you enjoy the quick snapshots I took of their showroom below.

xo

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I love the way people write about food.
Especially in recipes.

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The word choice in recipes is so perfectly descriptive — maybe because food captures so many of our 5 senses. It makes it a bit easier to find just the right way to say something. I’ve collected a few of my favorites from several food blogs I love. Bon appétit!

twist the peel to express its oils

scrape the fond from the bottom

slice whisper thin

sauté until tender

fold in the vegetables

zest and supreme oranges

followed by a generous heap

drizzle half the cream

save some of the plumped up blossoms

bake until very deeply golden

until you get a touch of browning

sprinkle with scallions

spike with a bit of lemon juice

most will be little nubs

it should hiss and sputter

dollop each with cumin yogurt

12 Photos of Christmas

(I know, I know. It’s the second week of January. But better late than never, right?)

xo

1. Yearly Scrabble game at Mom’s IMG_3366

2. Prosciutto wrapped pear + grape saladIMG_3368

3. Mom’s antipasti plateIMG_3347

4. Our stockings that we’ve all had since we were babies. IMG_3383

5. Standard. IMG_3359

6. Seth playing with his food (pre-cooking, of course). IMG_3363

7. Isn’t my sister beautiful?IMG_3360

8. Post-present mess at Dad’s. IMG_3391

9. Miso warming up by the fireplace. IMG_3388

10. Salad + our favorite photo of Papa. He looked so much like Seth! IMG_3394

11. Potato gratin waiting to be served. IMG_3399

12. Beef tenderloin, my dad’s traditional Christmas meal, right out of the oven. IMG_3398

Last Friday, the weather was gross. It was that unfortunate type of drizzle that never fully develops into rain. And it was bitterly cold, too.

Not too much fun to be outdoors in that, so for me, it was the perfect excuse to stay in. Kelly and I put National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on (an all time favorite) and I whipped up a pumpkin black bean soup that I’ve been wanting to make. 

soup2It was surprisingly easy, and unsurprisingly delicious. 

punkin ingredientsIngredients are simple: 1 can pumpkin, 1 can of black beans, 1 can of tomatoes, vegetable broth (I used my homemade broth for extra flavor), 1 yellow onion, 3 cloves garlic, red pepper flakes, cumin and chili powder. 

onion:garlicChop up the onion and the garlic, and sauteé them in olive oil til golden brown. I add the red pepper flakes here too. 

In the meantime, coarsely blend the black beans and tomatoes in a food processor. Pour the mixture into the pot, and add 2 to 3 cups (depending on how soupy you like your soup!) of broth, the full can of pumpkin, 2 tsp cumin, and 2 tsp chili powder (to taste — I ended up adding more later on). 

soupprocessIt should end up a little bit like this. Bring it to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Then add salt to taste, and half a cup of vinegar (either red wine or apple cider) to cut the sweetness a bit (trust me, this step makes a huge difference). 

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I had some pumpkin seeds on hand (I love them in salads), so I toasted some to top the soup. 

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I suggest adding avocado, feta and Tapatío too! 

xo