A tomato revelation

Hello, friends! It’s been too long. All the grand plans we had of taking the month of June to pack, completing a few outdoor projects at the new house in July, and then leisurely moving in went straight out the window. We had to move in to the house in the middle of June. Packing accelerated and the move was quick; all the outdoor projects started after we moved in. We’ve been knee-deep in planning the kitchen remodel, getting settled in the new place, spending time with friends and family, and work the last few months. The remodel hasn’t happened as quick as we’d like, it hasn’t happened at all actually. We’ve had a hard time finding a contractor due to the insane construction boom in Seattle. Right now, I’d be happy with a contractor and a start date! Though, truth be told, I’ll be even happier when it’s all done. But, we’re in our house! We were in the house with the whole summer ahead of us and it was glorious. IMG_4304Roux has a real yard to run around in and bunnies and birds to watch and to bark at. The cat is the cat–Milo has found his favorite spots and learned how to open the screen on the sliding glass doors. He’s a crafty little guy and full of mischief.  Continue reading

Little Rum, Little Love

Exploring vacant land options, looking at existing houses, and thinking about all of the what ifs, how-tos, and complications of all of it has been an all-encompassing distraction. This has been like planning the biggest, most expensive wedding ever–not good for work productivity or any other aspects of life outside of this crazy event. Thankfully, we had great architects who have helped us think through permits and building options, as well as explore the endless modifications to existing homes (and the realities of our budget). We also have two wonderful real estate agents, one of whom we’ve worked with through the buy and sale of the last two homes and been friends with for years. This process would be insane without all of them. And, much to our (or maybe, my) surprise, we fell in love with a house on a hill in West Seattle–it’s got a yard for the pup, a view that’s hard to beat, and pretty great mid-century style. So, we bought a house! What??!? Yes, we bought a house. It hasn’t really sunk in yet and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. It’s all crazy, and it’s all exciting, and now it feels like the whole process is taking forever. This house is near-perfect and needs a little work to get it there for us; there will still be decisions and dust in our future. The last year has been roller coaster of ‘we’re remodeling’, ‘we’re selling’, ‘we’re building’, ‘we’re buying’, and, in the end, back to ‘we’re remodeling.’ Phew, bonkers!

Now I’m going to take a little break from thinking about the house, enjoy the long, sunny (**Finally!**) Memorial day weekend, and enjoy a little cocktail.

IMG_4286editLittle Rum, Little Love
Tools & Extras: Cocktail shaker, coupe glass

3/4 oz. Fresh lemon Juice
1/2 oz. Ruby Red grapefruit juice
1/2 oz. Simple syrup
1/4 oz. Campari
1 1/2 oz. Dark Rum
1 oz. Amaro Amorino (the newest release from Letterpress–and it’s delicious!)
Few dashes of Angostura Bitters
Grapefruit twist & a Luxardo Maraschino cherry

Details:
* Add the first six ingredients to a cocktail shaker; fill with ice and shake for 30 seconds.
* Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Twist or press the grapefruit peel over the cocktail to express the oil from the peel on the drink.
* Wrap the peel around a cocktail pick with a delicious little cherry.
* Enjoy while planning your long weekend…

 

2017–a whole new year!

A few weeks ago, I was sitting on the sofa in our near-empty living room–the sunlight reflected off the wood floors and every little noise seemed amplified. It was quiet and early morning, one of the last mornings in a place that had been our home for over 5 years. Over Christmas and well into January, we’d lived amongst a maze of paint cans, tools, packing materials, and boxes. The craziness of the holidays and travel made this time all the more chaotic. We spent afternoons moving boxes to storage, packing up more boxes, and taking clothes that have merely been taking up space in my closet to Goodwill and a local charity, Mary’s Place. Then, we lived out of suitcases and moved Milo and Roux (and ourselves) into Angela’s place for a few weeks. All to get here: our lovely 1960 split-level ranch house sold after less than 7 days on the market, well over our asking price. Just a couple of weeks ago, I walked out of the door that I’ve walked in just about everyday of the last five and a half years knowing it was the last time, and this was now someone else’s home. I cried then, and I’m still a little sad, honestly; also, it’s super weird to be renting again…so very weird. Continue reading

Shortbread cookies with limoncello icing

December! In fact, it’s Christmas day…how’d this happen? This year just disappeared. I know I’ve said in previous post that the days, weeks, or months have flown by, been a blur, and this hasn’t more true than the last couple of months. But, people, it’s Christmas time!! Sweets, baking, family, friends, and a time to reflect on the year that was and the year that will be. Continue reading

A turkey walks into a bar…

Uh, it’s almost Thanksgiving! This month is almost over–and it’s a complete blur. The month started with a work trip and ends with a fun trip to spend time with our close friends, with the shock of the election in between. Everything else is a bit fuzzy and happened quickly. I haven’t posted much this month and my ‘Cookbook Sunday Dinner’ just went right out the window since I’ve been traveling or had other plans–like attending a party to celebrate the opening of a lovely new restaurant in Seattle owned by two of the nicest guys around. Tonight is the only Sunday I’m home, with only spending time with Skip and (eventually) actual work work to do. It’s a rainy, almost winter day, and being home is a wonderful place to be! Continue reading

Cookbook Sunday Dinner: Heritage, week 3

Happy almost the end of October, y’all!

For this week’s Cookbook Sunday dinner, I made a modified version of Sean Brock’s recipe for crispy fried farm eggs with fresh cheese, pickled mushrooms, watercress, and red-eye vinaigrette. Like the previous recipes, it’s a long one, with many steps and a delicious ending. Thankfully, many of the steps can be completed ahead of time, making the actual execution a little quicker than you might think on first glance. It looks like a doozy of recipe but the pickled mushrooms are done at least a week early; the farmer’s cheese can be done the day before; the eggs can be soft-boiled and peeled the day before, and stored in the refrigerator; and the dressing can be made the day before. Continue reading

Spicy, tomato goodness plus eggs!

The days are, sadly, getting shorter as autumn firmly settles in and winter isn’t far behind.  The evenings and mornings are chillier and the Seattle mist is becoming more frequent and more like rain. Life around here has been a little hectic, and it’s not likely to calm down anytime soon, especially with the holidays just around the corner. But, for now, it’s Saturday, the sun is shining, the Fall colors are beautiful, and tonight we get to have dinner with a friend we haven’t seen in a year–we don’t see him or his wife often enough because we’re on opposite sides of the country. So, tonight will be a treat.

Continue reading

Cookbook Sunday Dinner: Sweet Onion Gratin

If you’ve paid attention to the weather, you probably know that Seattle was bracing for the worst windstorm in history. The remnants of a typhoon were expected to bring hurricane-force winds and rain–we were hunkering down for a crazy storm, with expectations of power outages and downed trees. Then, well, the storm was a non-event; it moved a little more north and a little faster than expected. So, so much for the worst windstorm in history, at least this time. Growing up in Louisiana, I’ve been through enough storms that turned out to be exactly the opposite what was predicted, for better and worse, that I’ve learned to be cautious, take predictions for what they are, and don’t let one (or many) bad predictions give you a false sense of security. Continue reading