Tuesday, June 30, 2009


chipotle pork cheeseburger with tomatillo, cilantro, and avocado
marinated grilled spring onions

I made this recipe from Epicurious last week and stayed pretty true to the original recipe. I did make a couple of changes, including using pepper Havarti from our farmer's market instead of Muenster. I also just mashed the avocado so it would stay on the bun better.

My only complaints are that it could have used a heartier bun and you need to grill this quite a bit longer than it claims. This could definitely be made with ground turkey or bison as well. Or if you're feeling adventurous, you could try using veggie crumbles.
All in all, a highly recommended recipe.

Monday, June 29, 2009

this weekend's finds

This weekend Matt and I were at his annual family reunion and we stopped by a nice little antique mall. Here are some of the things I picked up:

silk scarves, thrifted, $2.00 (left) and $6.00 (right)

hair clip, thrifted $6.00
locket pendant, thrifted, $4.00

During our almost weekly trip to the great vintage store, Good Style Shop, I picked up a pair of heels I'd been eyeing for months, plus a cute pair of wedges.

tie-up heels, vintage, $28

textured wedges, vintage, $15

Thursday, June 25, 2009

swanky anniversary dinner

Dinner at L'Etoile
first bite: flaky cracker with herbed goat cheese and hickory nut

amuse bouche: strawberry puree with muscat wine, buttermilk blue cheese,
edible flower, and toasted brioche

rolls with whipped butter

iced tea with strawberry-rhubarb puree and elderberry syrup

my entree: pan-seared Alaskan halibut with mashed potatoes, house-cured bacon, spring vegetables, and Pinot Noir-bacon sauce

Matt's entree: pan-seared pheasant and crispy pheasant confit with mashed potatoes, braised bok choi, and brandy jus

last course: hickory nut popcorn cluster, dark chocolate-covered applewood-smoked bacon, sugared rhubarb gel

Dessert at fresco
my dessert: honey-poached pears brulee with honey sauce and lemon whipped cream

Matt's dessert: dark chocolate soup with pound cake croutons and peanut butter mousse

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

arugula and strawberries

Tonight's dinner was a grilled chicken sandwich with roasted red peppers and arugula mayo on roasted garlic bread. Next time I think I'll include bacon too. The mayo would also be great on a veggie sandwich, with grilled zucchini, eggplant, and/or red onion.

I also made some oven fries, attempting to recreate the flavors in the amazing truffle fries at Dempsey's in Lawrence, Kansas. I sprayed the fries with some truffle oil (thanks, Mom!) and then tossed them in grated Parmesan and parsley.

grilled chicken sandwich with red peppers and arugula mayo
truffle and Parmesan oven fries

If you're looking for a way to use up a pile of arugula like we are (or even if you're not), check out the recipe for the mayo:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup (packed) coarsely chopped arugula leaves
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
from Epicurious.com

For dessert, we had one of my new favorite baked goods. Since it's strawberry season, I made these banana shortbread cookies to eat along with the fresh, local berries. The recipe is from Simply Organic: A Cookbook for Sustainable, Seasonal, and Local Ingredients.

banana shortbread cookie with ice cream and strawberries

Saturday, June 20, 2009

warm-weather finds

vintage, $20, altered to fit

60s rattan purse, Etsy, $12
sunglasses, Urban Outfitters

Ever since I went to Kansas and saw my friend Cass with an adorable rattan purse, I've been a woman obsessed. I was thrilled to find this one in near-perfect condition.

swimsuit, vintage, $17

Though it looks blueish, the swimsuit is actually a royal purple. It came with two different tops, but this is the one I prefer.

Friday, June 19, 2009

summer shopping trip

Matt and I spent a fun afternoon browsing through the three-story Columbus Antique Mall. It was a bit overwhelming, especially since we had just over an hour. They had eight separate rooms of booths, plus a second floor, and a third floor full of just furniture.

There were enough shelves of china and glass (my weakness) to fill several houses. It was probably good that we didn't have much time to look, because I'm sure I would have found many things to my liking.

You could find just about everything imaginable, including this stuffed chicken and a (very necessary) "Beatnick [sic] Cigarette Holder".

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

style and sustenance

I love a word play.

top with bow, Gap
high-waisted wool shorts, thrifted

Green Goddess Chicken Salad with Asparagus

I'm still working on finding tasty ways to use asparagus from our CSA box. Tonight's dinner was a really simple salad that I adapted from my favorite cookbook, Simply Organic.

Trim about 10 stalks of asparagus and cut them into 2-inch chunks. Cook the asparagus for 3 minutes in boiling water, then fish it out with tongs and drop into ice water. Put it in a bowl. Do the same thing with a couple of sliced chicken breasts (but boil as long as it takes to cook through, maybe 5 minutes). Toss the asparagus, chicken, and some sliced green onions in (here's where I made it even easier) Annie's Natural Goddess or Green Goddess Dressing. Put it on top of some greens. You're done! Eat it with some crusty bread.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

melanie bilenker

Hand, 2007

Dinner, 2008
Overstuffed Chair, 2006

From Melanie Bilenker's collection of beautiful jewelry created by placing her own hair into resin. If only I could afford one!
all photos from Melanie's website

Friday, June 12, 2009

spring vegetables

We've gotten our second CSA box and I'm really enjoying cooking with the fresh, local ingredients. Here are a couple of meals I've made this week:

This sandwich is one way we've taken advantage of asparagus season. The lemon aioli is very tasty.

California asparagus sandwich with roasted red peppers

Tonight we made a creamy potato soup that used up most of our many young onions. Also, we have quite a bit of spinach that we used to make our salad.

hot bacon spinach salad & scallion potato corn soup

It's been wonderful to use these veggies knowing what ground they've grown in, and that our money funded their growth directly. I like taking the middle man out of my food purchasing.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

recent record buys

Cause Co-Motion! - Because Because Because EP
Crystal Stilts - Self-Titled EP
Dear Nora - We'll Have a Time LP
Brilliant Colors - 7"
Sea Lions - Let's Groove 7"

Also: Sea Lions swag (poster, postcard, and Yay! Records pin) + doggy

Saturday, June 6, 2009

first csa meal

This week Matt and I picked up our first box of vegetables from our CSA (community-supported agriculture) share with Amazing Grace Farm. We got spinach, arugula, pok choi, radishes, asparagus, and baby onions. Here's the first meal I've made with the fresh ingredients.

asparagus pasta carbonara with salad of greens

Also, check out this great recipe for chicken satay stir fry with orange-scented jasmine rice. Be warned, there is a ton of peanut butter in the sauce. I cut the amount down to 2 tablespoons and it turned out great.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


These are some of the best. This weekend I decided that the grilled chicken sandwich at Pier 500 is my absolute favorite chicken sandwich.

herb-marinated chicken breast with bacon, Jack cheese, basil mayonnaise, and quick-pickled cucumbers

One of my top three favorite kinds of fries are these salt and vinegar fries from Pier 500. (These are another favorite.)

salt and vinegar fries with chipotle ketchup and basil mayonnaise

I was glad to get back and have these in Hudson while visiting my family. I hope next time I'll get a photo of my favorite nachos from San Pedro Cafe.