Outfit Post

27.4.11

I actually wore this last week, but am now just getting around to posting it. I wore this to work and then afterwards went to an anniversary party for a local winery that just turned 40! Congrats to Adelsheim! It was a fun event with delicious wine including some past vintages of their Bryant Creek Vineyard.

This is what I wore:




Jean jacket, Rampage, thrifted
Floral dress, Hot & Delicious, purchased from Lulu Letty's Wardrobe Sale
Emerald Tights, Express
Platforms, Target (yes, Target and they are incredibly comfortable!)
Shades, Ralph Lauren

Dessert Date Night!

26.4.11

After dinner last night, Will and I went on our date night for dessert at Pix Patisserie. We normally have date night on Thursday, but this coming Thursday we are going to a fundraising event for Leia Tyrrell's recovery fund.  [She suffered a massive accident while racing in the Womens Cat 1/2 at Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic. (Can you see how I worry about Will?) If you cannot make it to the event, I encourage you to follow the link and make a donation to her recovery fund.]

Sorry to digress, but every little bit will help pay for her medical care. 

So, on our date we went to Pix Patisserie for dessert. They had a few gluten free options, which was awesome. I had a sherry with my dessert.


Will got coconut sorbet with chocolate chips


My dessert was the Conchord, which was chocolate meringue, chocolate ganache hidden by sticks of meringue. It was muy delicioso.


It was a lot of fun to have a relaxing date with my sweetheart, just chatting.

Tomato and Sausage Risotto and Artichoke

I am now on to week two of my gluten free diet and feeling pretty good besides two occasional episodes, which I think were dairy related. I only had one slip up last week when I was at a wine tasting anniversary party for a local winery and I nibbled on a few crostinis and sliders completely forgetting about my diet. I was actually reminded by a coworker about my diet, whoops! Last night, I actually made a dish that if it weren't gluten, which was bothering me, than surely something in this dish would upset my stomach because it has cheese, butter, wine, and tomatoes in it. And you know what? I felt pretty good after.

My momma sent me an Easter basket of goodies, including my favorite food: artichokes! My folks live in Northern California where it is peak artichoke season right now and every spring my mom sends them to me. 

As a side dish I made steamed artichoke (steamed with garlic, lemon juice and a bay leaf) with a balsamic mayo dipping sauce.






 This was actually my first time making risotto, other than the barley risotto I made and I think it turned out really well. I tried to remember to stir constantly and let all the liquid to be absorbed before adding more. This may be a new fav in our house.




Will wants me to hurry up and take this photo so we can dig in!

Tomato and Sausage Risotto serves 4
I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, but she adapted the recipe from Martha Stewart Everyday Food.


1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes in juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casing removed
1 small onion, finely chopped
Salt and Pepper
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bunch flat leaf spinach, washed well, stems removed,  and chopped (about 7 cups)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons butter




In a medium saucepan, combine tomatoes (with their juice) and 3 cups water. Bring just to a simmer; keep warm over low heat.


In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add sausage and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up sausage with a spoon, until sausage is opaque and onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes.


Add rice; cook, stirring until well coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring until absorbed, about 1 minute.


Add about 2 cups hot tomato mixture to rice; simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes. Continue adding tomato mixture, 1 cup at a time, waiting for one cup to be absorbed before adding the next, stirring occasionally, until rice is creamy and just tender, about 25 minutes total (you may not have to use all the liquid, in fact I had about a cup remaining).


Remove pan from heat. Stir in spinach, Parmesan, and butter; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately (risotto will thicken as it cools), and sprinkle with additional Parmesan, if desired.

Sisters in Paris, a trip itinerary

25.4.11

Next year my sister will be graduating high school. In celebration of her accomplishments and entering the adult world as a young woman we are going on a trip to France! Our trip is called Sisters in Paris as my mom, aunt, sister and I are all going together. I am so excited and over the last year have begun to research and bookmark places I want to visit. My aunt, who is a world traveler, will be mostly planning the itinerary and booking our lodging, but I have a few ideas of places I want to visit in Paris. I, also, have the honor of planning our wine excursion in Provence! So this post is the first in many where I will share with you the places I want to visit while in Paris and Provence!


I'm looking forward to munching on delicious macrons 
(yes, I know they're not gluten free) at Gerard Mulot


Sampling some delectable chocolates from Christian Constant 
(nothing I have in France will be gluten free).


Drooling over the most amazing wine shop and cave in all of Paris at Les Caves Auge.


Picking up some pretty vintage dresses from one of the best vintage clothing shops at Fripes Star.



Purusing the many open aired markets, like this one: Place de la Reunion market, for delicious, 
seasonal fare to prepare in our apartment.


Sharing tips and stories with other world travelers at a supper club courtesy of Hidden Kitchens.


Stay tuned for more musings and please feel free to share any tips and recommendations for 
Paris and Provence.


Photo credits: one, two, three, four, five, six

Another Rainy Monday in Portland, a playlist


Hello folks! After such gorgeous weather on Friday and Saturday we are back to our rainy days here in Portland. I made this little playlist to welcome back the rain and to get me through the day. I hope you enjoy it too!


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Some Favs this Week:

23.4.11

Here's a round up some of my favorite links this week:


1. Loved this awesome repurposed drum into a coffee table. Seen on Apartment Therapy.


2. The architecture and detail of this dress is amazing. Caroline dress, JCrew.


3. Can't wait to try out this Asparagus and Pancetta Hash recipe from Smitten Kitchen
 for Easter brunch tomorrow!

4. A great post on yoga visualization and relaxation on The Veda House. I'm hoping to incorporate some of these techniques, as well as commentator's techniques into my daily practice next week!

5. I received a great response and recommendations from some friends on my new gluten free diet. I'm looking forward to testing some recipes from Gluten Free Girl.

6. Have you checked out Cute Roulette? It really is unbelievably cute, 
guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

7. Cute style write up on Ines de la Fressange and her new book about "How to Become a Real Parisian" in NY Times. I especially lover her comment on "a great French wine would be nothing without the taste of the oak barrel or a touch of dust." Can't wait to get my hands on the book!


8. For all my vino friends out there, be sure to check out WTSO. They are having a wine specials marathon next week! It's kind of addicting and their prices are ridiculously amazing on wines -I bought some delicious Premiere Cru White Burgundy for an unheard of price!


Rainbow Chard, Mushroom and Quinoa Salad with a Fried Egg

20.4.11

Yesterday marks day two of my gluten free diet, and also my first road block. However, I'm not surprised as the item in question is dairy. I've had, for some time, an idea that I was lactose intolerant. Mostly cheese is the culprit. Yes, I know...cheese, in all of it's glory and splendor is my demise. It really is sad that someone so in love with food and beverage has so many physical problems with it. On week two I might have to completely eliminate dairy as well to see if that is also the source of my problems.

Any who, enough about my dietary issues and on to the meal. This dish is a staple in our household, heck we practically have it once a week, and before you ask, yes it is adapted from Power Foods. What's not to love? It's healthy, gluten free, omit the cheese and it's vegan (and maybe more stomach-able for me), and best of all it is scrumptious. 

                                             
I love chard and I love cremini mushrooms and they are quite the pair in this dish. The rainbow chard may steal the show in the dish, but you still get some great woodsy flavor from the cremini mushrooms. It's a versatile dish that can be served as a side dish or a main entree. I often make this as a stand alone meal sans fried egg, but really wanted a little extra protein so I made the perfect fried egg courtesy of some advice on Shutterbean I had seen a year ago.

And a word of advice: if you don't already have one I highly recommend investing (super cheap) in a mushroom brush. They have gentle bristles which dust off the dirt on your mushrooms. If they're organic or foraged, then it's not really necessary to wash them, besides mushrooms are like a sponge so they retain all that moisture and can end up soggy when you cook them.

Rainbow Chard, Mushroom and Quinoa Salad with a Fried Egg, serves 2 (4 as a side)
Adapted from Power Foods, Whole Living

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb Rainbow Chard, stems and leaves cut into 1/2 pieces (about 10 1/2 cups), rinsed well
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 ounce shaved parmesan (optional)
2 eggs (optional)


In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil, add quinoa and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook quinoa until tender and liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Meanwhile heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook chard (stems and leaves), stirring occasionally, until wilted and tender, about 8 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and season with pepper. Add red pepper flakes and toss. Transfer to a platter.

Add remaining tablespoon oil and the garlic to the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until garlic is fragrant. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until they start to release their juices, about 3 minutes.  Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and season with pepper. Cook stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender, 5 minutes. Stir in quinoa and thyme. Remove from heat.

To serve, divide chard among plates and top with quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese (optional) and top with fried egg (optional).


Perfect Fried Egg c/o Shutterbean

Butter a hot pan and drop egg in immediately. Add a bit of water to the pan and cover. Cook for about a minute. Remove and season with salt and pepper.




Hair style is the final tip-off whether or not a woman really knows herself. -Hubert de Givenchy

19.4.11

If any one is reading this that knows me then you're aware I needed a haircut and I needed it bad. Well, if you don't know me allow me to enlighten you with a photo of me a month ago when I started my blog up again.
Hi, I need a haircut
Yesterday I went to see my hairstylist, Marissa at Tiger Tiger Salon in Portland and she did an awesome job as always. I've been going to Marissa for about three years now and love her, she always does an amazing job and I love chatting it up with her. I guess this post is kind of a shout out to her.

I am a huge fan of the movie, Breathless, which is a huge influence on my short hair. Here are some photos of Jean Seberg in Breathless and some other ladies with great pixie style!
Source
Source
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After my haircut I feel 5 pounds lighter and 10 times cuter! Here I am rockin' my overdue pixie cut:

Coho and Zucchini en Papillote with Millet [partial fail]

18.4.11

I may sound like a total mom when I tell you this, but it will give you a frame of reference on how controlling and organized I am when cooking: Before I go grocery shopping I research what is on sale at the grocery store that I want to make and then I build my weekly plan of dinners around that. It takes a little bit of time because I also research recipes I want to try if they're new to me.

Sometimes I find some crazy deals at our local store, New Seasons, or some of the co-ops in the area. One time I actually found fresh Albacore Tuna steaks at $4/lb. This is crazy good deal so I proceeded to buy six steaks both for my brother and I to split. Today was something like that when I saw New Seasons had Coho steaks for $6.99/lb. Not wanting to use any of the salmon recipes in my repertoire I decided on this new one.


I, unfortunately, forgot the shallot for this dish so I sent Will to the store to pick one up, amongst other things. While waiting for Will to return I relaxed and sipped on a delicious pinot. Of course living in the Pacific Northwest, and working in the wine industry, I had to have pinot with this dish, so I cracked open a bottle of 2006 Archery Summit Red Hills Estate from my cellar.


The original recipe is for one and also had no carbohydrate so I adapted a little for two and included some millet (gluten free), which has as much protein and nutritional value as wheat. Also the recipe calls for skinless fillets of salmon, but the steaks were on sale so I had to increase temp and cook time slightly.

Also, I forgot about the millet so that was a partial fail. It was overcooked and had the consistency of grits so I left it out. Other than that the salmon was lovely. The zucchini was really flavorful, in the future I would increase the amount of zucchini the recipe called for, maybe even sub another summer squash.

Coho and Zucchini en Papillote, serves 2
Adapted from Martha Stewart


Ingredients
2 small zucchinis, halved length wise and thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
4 lemon slices
1 tablespoon lemon juice
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 Coho Salmon Steaks, seasoned with salt and pepper and olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut and fold two large pieces (15x16) of parchment paper in half. [it might help to roll up the parchment paper to make it easier when folding it into a pocket in a later step] Unfold paper and place on a baking sheet.

On one side of crease, mound zucchini and top with shallots, butter, dill and lemon wedges. Season with salt and pepper (I used volcanic salt from Will's sister, which was delicious, but any coarse salt will do.) and top with Coho steak.

To close, fold parchment over salmon; making small overlapping pleats all the way around zucchini and salmon, creating a semi-circular packet. Place baking sheet in oven and bake until salmon is opaque, 
18 to 20 minutes.

Place packets on plates and cut open to serve, or lift out with a spatula onto plates (optional).

*There are bones so remember to carefully remove before eating



You might have noticed a questionable looking dessert item in the picture of my previous post. Well, it was a Carrot Cake bar with frosting and it was gluten free. I had it for dessert and it was delicious!

Gluten Free is the Way to Be?

For the last eight years, I have struggled with gastrointestinal issues. It started my first couple years of college and seemed like my body rejected almost everything I ate. I would get sharp pains, stomach cramps, amongst other issues; needless to say it wasn't pretty. At that time, my doctor diagnosed me with Acid Reflux. After that I became very conscience of what I ate: no fatty foods, minimal dairy. Some things I couldn't give up so I tried to minimize my intake of acidic foods like tomatoes, onions, carbonated beverages and caffeine. My symptoms never went away and if anything, they've worsened over the years. Sometimes I am so bloated that I physically look like I'm pregnant (I keep saying to myself I should have Will take photos of me because it's so ridiculous). Last year, my doctor diagnosed me with IBS and I've been following that diet, which is pretty similar, and pretty much cuts out all dairy. I really feel no change except that it is so much worse.

My soon to be sister-in-law has also had as much gastrointestinal issues as I and she recently saw a doctor who ran tests on her which answered all her questions and even told her that she was intolerant of a lot of foods. Her experience has influenced me to go gluten free and seek out a doctor to test me for allergens, over-all gastroinestinal health and Celiac Disease. People that have CD are often misdiagnosed for years before finally being properly diagnosed. I hope that I don't have CD because there are so many things that I love and would miss giving up, like beer. With CD you cannot slip up because it damages your body and takes that much longer to repair itself, it can also lead to some autoimmune disorders.

This week I have decided to start my new diet with no gluten. I will really miss beer, so if any of you have any good gluten-free beer recommendations please let me know. If I don't have CD and find that I am just gluten intolerant I will be relieved because I am still planning to eliminate gluten from my diet, but wouldn't mind an occasional beer or croissant. After reading my blog you can understand how giving up certain foods is painful for me, but am looking forward to a happier and healthier me.

Here's my stash for the next week. I will be documenting my experience and blogging some recipes from Whole Living, Simply Recipes, and Gluten Free Girl over the coming weeks.
I've never had gluten free bread, guess I'll find out.
As a treat I am hoping to go to Mississippi Pizza with Will on our date night to mau down on some gluten free pizza and beer and maybe see a concert or movie afterwards.

Stay tuned for my progress and some yummy gluten free recipes. Wish me luck!

Candy Claws in Dreamland

13.4.11

Check out these beautiful nature vignettes! They are like an amazing dream sequence. Candy Claws did the soundtrack for them and they are on Pitchfork for only one week.



Episode 1, please visit to see next four episodes

Oh Charcuterie, how I love thee!

12.4.11

It's taking me a while to get this post up, but I wanted to share with you one of my guilty pleasures...charcuterie! After our recent event at the winery my coworker Matt and I went to celebrate with our friend, Mary, her new job. We had cocktails, wine and appetizers at Jory at the Allison Inn and Spa. Jory is a really nice restaurant with great staff, an awesome wine list, and thanks to their new chef, Sunny, a menu that is unparalleled. Our real motivation for going is that our work had recently hosted a comparative staff tasting at the Allison and at lunch we had the charcuterie plate and hands down, was the best I'd ever had.

While waiting for our friend Mary to finish up at work Matt and I ordered some cocktails and Jory's amazing truffle fries. To start I had a delicious bourbon cocktail with Bulleit Bourbon, ginger, lemon juice and a brown sugar syrup and let me tell you, it was mighty tasty.
mmmm...reaching for my delicious cocktail.
mmmm...truffle fries!
I had brought a 2007 Bergstrom Cumberland Reserve from my own personal collection, and also ordered a bottle of 2006 Lumos Temperance Hill Vineyard because we're all suckers for that vineyard.
2006 Lumos Temperance Hill Vineyard
Once Mary had arrived we ordered what we had really come for....charcuterie! We also ordered a cheese plate and side of sauteed kale. To start they rolled out their cheese cart, and yes, they have a designated cheese cart! I wish I had taken pictures of it because it was so awesome. It was like a kitchen cart with a marble top, one the marble top was plates of cheese and a glass dome that rolled up. Take my word for it, it was totally awesome. It's such a great program that they have table side cheese service served by a certified fromager. I can't remember all of our cheeses, but I know that we did get a tartufo (truffle) cheese from Italy, River's Edge Saint Olga, served with their accompaniment platter.

Jory makes all of their charcuterie and, my, is it quite the spread! We had duck prosciutto, rilletts, terrine, salami, and mortadella all accompanies by assorted pickled vegetables, crostini and stone ground mustard. It is by far the best charcuterie plate...I'm just dreaming about it now. Half way through hanging out and gorging on cured meats Mary ordered a bottle of the 2007 Broadley Estate Vineyard, another one of my favorite vineyards in the Willamette Valley.


While at dinner, Matt and I got the great idea to try to partner with Jory's chef, Sunny, and feature their charcuterie in my private tastings at the winery. I'm so thrilled to be working on this and already have a meeting planned with Sunny and the Allison's concierge, Denise, next week! I hope they are as excited about the partnership as I am.

I am just counting the days until I can go back and savor some more meat treats!