Tuesday, December 30, 2008

holiday entertaining, exhibit b

Smoky Black Bean & Rice Soup with Garlic Toasts
bowl and stemless wine glass, Target

This is a delicious, hearty winter soup that's pretty easy. It can be made vegetarian/vegan if you leave out the bacon or use a bacon substitute and use vegetable stock. (from Rachel Ray's Expresslane Meals)

2 tbsp. olive oil
3 bacon slices, chopped (optional)
1 bay leaf
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 15-oz. cans black beans
1 tbsp. ground coriander
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. hot sauce
coarse salt and coarse black pepper
1 15-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 qt. chicken/vegetable stock
1 cup white rice

Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, then add the bacon (if using) and cook for 3 to 4 minutes to render the fat. Add the bay leaf, onions, and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes to soften the veggies. Add the corn and 1 can of black beans and their juice. Drain the other can, then add half the can of beans. Mash the remaining beans in the can with a fork to make a paste out of them, then scrape them into the soup pot--this will make the soup thick. Season with the coriander, chili powder, ground chili, Worcestershire, and the hot sauce. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and stock, then cover the pot and raise the heat to bring the soup to a boil. Add the rice and cook uncovered over a rolling simmer until the rice is tender but has a little bite left to it, about 15 minutes. Adjust the seasonings and serve.

Monday, December 29, 2008

holiday entertaining, exhibit a

Matt's parents and grandpa came over last night for a little post-Christmas dinner, the first dinner they've had at our place. I was thrilled to have occasion to use all of my serving pieces (which Matt thinks are just unnecessary).

Peppercorn Beer Cheese Dip, Homemade Sweet & Sour Pickles, and Pretzel Turtles
lazy susan, my mother's

bowls and snack trays, thrifted

The dip in the center there is a delicious recipe I got from my mom. It's a peppercorn beer cheese dip. You'll need:

12 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese, cubed
1/2 - 1 cup beer (to your taste)
1 cup mayo (I used light with olive oil)
1/2 - 1 tsp. green peppercorns or freshly ground pepper to taste

Throw it all in a food processor or blender. Refrigerate 4 hours, then let sit 1/2 hour. Now you've got yourself a dip. I like it with pretzels. (originally from Gourmet Magazine)

I made the easiest "baked goods" ever. I put baked in quotes because they bake for only 5 minutes and I didn't have to measure or mix anything.

ring or small twist pretzels
Rolos and pecan halves OR mini peanut butter cups and cocktail peanuts

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place pretzels on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment. Set Rolo or p.b. cup in the center of the pretzel (it doesn't matter if it doesn't fit perfectly). Bake for 5 minutes. Press in nuts. Let sit overnight or until chocolate has fully hardened.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

more gifts

hoody, American Apparel
necklace, Mark Poulin (Seasons on St. Croix Gallery, Hudson, WI)

Lovely gifts from my parents (the necklace) and Matt's parents (the hoody).

Saturday, December 27, 2008

birthday gift #2 / top albums

So, Matt's 2nd birthday present to me came in the mail on Friday (I would have posted it yesterday, but when it rains our internet goes out-ugh). It was a Kickball album - "everything is a miracle, nothing is a miracle, everything is" - that I had been wanting. Not only is it a great album, but it also comes on beautiful white vinyl. I couldn't resist showing it off a bit. I'll brag about more gifts later.

This seems like a good time to list my favorite music from this year. The following are my favorite albums and bands in 2008, in no particular order. Click on a band's name to go to their MySpace profile. Happy listening!

Favorite Albums:
Ryland Bouchard - Seeds (A-Sides)
Cryptacize - Dig That Treasure
El Perro Del Mar - From the Valley to the Stars
LAKE - Oh, the Places We'll Go
Abe Vigoda - Skeleton
Lucky Dragons - Dream Island Laughing Language
High Places - High Places
Arch M - Mountain Tan Commercials
caUSE co-MOTION! - It's Time!
Evangelicals - The Evening Descends
Beach House - Devotion
The Dodos - Visiter

Other Bands I Liked:
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis
Ponies in the Surf
The Deirdres
Cats on Fire
Horse Shoes
A Smile and a Ribbon
The Bridal Shop
Hari and Aino
Still Corners

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

The wrapping paper I bought on sale last year wasn't cutting it, so I decided to cut designs into brown paper bags and layer them over newspaper. I think my favorite is the one with the checkerboard-type pattern. It gave me some good practice for future cut-paper projects.

For cut-paper inspiration, see:

Marcus Walters

Nikki McClure

Saelee Oh

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


A couple weeks ago, Matt and I had some artwork in a 50 x 50 show to support The Project Lodge in Madison. It's a show where anyone could put in work for less than $50, and 50% of the profit would go to the organization, 50% to the artist. We didn't sell anything, but we were mentioned on the Lodge's blog, here.

mine, untitled, far right

mine, untitled, far top left
Matt's, untitled, bottom 2nd from left

These are some pretty old pieces of mine. I have projects that I want to work on, but haven't made the time yet. Later, I'll post something more representative of what I want to do in the future.

We had a good time helping to set up for the show and it was nice that some of our friends stopped by the night of the show. By the way, these photos were snagged from The Project Lodge site. Thanks, guys.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Yesterday, we spent a good part of the afternoon thrifting at our favorite local consignment store, Carousel. I think this brooch makes my coat seem prettier and a bit more vintage.

circle brooch, $1

Ollie explores my new hatbox

hatbox, $4

I found myself suddenly wanting a hatbox this week and was fortunate enough to find this cute one. I was also fortunate enough to discover a reason to buy it: to hold my embroidery hoops and fabrics for projects.

Our main purpose for going to the store was to find new old frames for some sketches we had from artists at ComicCon back in 2006 and some postcards that Matt got for Christmas last year. We're finally getting them ready to hang.

frames, $1-$4 each
art (clockwise from top left): Anders Nilsen,
Jordan Crane (sketch and postcard),
Sammy Harkham, Souther Salazar

Monday, December 22, 2008

i'm ready!

Alright. It's my first blog post. My plans for Supper Seed are pretty flexible, but will probably include recipes/photos of meals I've made, restaurant photos/reviews, music I like, thrifting finds, and random musings.

I'll start with my birthday, which was on Saturday. I had a lovely day, starting with a gift from Matt, a beautiful box chain with a neat vintage whistle pendant. I guess more is coming in the mail. I have no idea what it could be, but I'm excited.

That evening, we braved thick snow to travel to Madison for dinner. We went to True Food at La Brioche bakery. The food was a bit underwhelming, but that's another post.

me with whistle necklace and Popeye arms??

Matt being antsy and therefore blurry/arty

Tomorrow we head to my parents' in Hudson for Christmas. Happy holidays!