Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Listing a List of Lists #4

Food I'm Loving:

Jamie Oliver's Chicken in Milk.  Beautiful and very intriguing.

I have issues.  I bought blueberries 3 separate times in the past 2 weeks.  Haven't cracked open a single one yet to enjoy.  Bookmarked these for when they are on the brink: blueberry muffin skillet,  blueberry waffle cookies (oh wait, I need a damn waffle maker first)

Salted Caramel Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies.  WOW.

I made raspberry preserves so naturally I had to make these crazy good biscuits (again) meaning we should probably buy an at-home AED.  Or some butter futures.  Dairy futures maybe?  Is there such a thing?  There should be. 

Have several aging apples I need to use up.  Thank you SBA for posting an apple recipe in June!

These sound so refreshing.  Is there any possibility of residual gin on the container if I make these grown-up popsicles?  I do not support toddler alcoholism.  

Not sure why we don't think to buy it year round but summer is the start of this yummy beer at our house. 

Dangerous information to know about whipped cream.  Note to self: DEFINITELY buy an AED.

Or I can take that 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream I have in my fridge and make salted caramel sauce instead.  Plus I would be eating it all myself since I'm the only one who likes caramel in this house.  (wrings hands)

People with flat stomachs probably aren't making recipes like this which is probably why I'll never have one.  A flat stomach, not chocolate cake.  Obviously.

Can you even call this 'chili'?  Looks pretty good but I think calling it chili is a stretch.

Fried pickles are seriously my favorite thing right now.  I can't justify frying anything at home (but I'll gladly use 4 sticks of butter in a biscuit recipe) so instead we order them if they're on the menu anywhere.  The only place I've found them in Seattle is this movie theater that serves food for $9.50 (!!) a basket.  We're talking like 10 chips per person max.  

Just look at this Lobster BLT - holy mother of *&#^%@$!

I love egg salad!  This is looks like a delicious spin on the traditional recipe.  How about with a side of pickled grapes?!

Lemon confit.  How fancy schmancy.

Peonies are my fave.

Interesting to Me:

So lucky to live in Washington!  Not only are we headed in to one of the most beautiful times of year here: summer (yes, we DO have summers here - they just tell you it rains all the time so you won't move here too), but I saw this article - true!

How adorable is this produce bag out of an old t-shirt?  Hon - your "Octopy Wall Street" shirt with the holes in the armpits is in the (forgive the expression) cross-hairs.  Gross.

Faux calligraphy - how cute!

Gabe jokes I'm turning Amish because I hang a lot of my delicate clothes to dry and want to make my own detergent (but it's purely because I don't like looking at those fugly liquid laundry detergent dispensers).  Has anyone else tried doing this?

She's been pretend answering the phone lately yelling: "This is Gabe!"  

Just for Fun:

Update on the old laundry closet.  First, let's never mention that chevron wall I tried.  It was an epic fail!  I peeled the tape off the wall and hated it.  So I didn't take any pictures and painted over it.  Let's never speak of the chevron wall again, ok?

Second, I love how it turned out.  I removed all the ugly wire shelves, installed stainless shelving, painted, installed a drying rack, hung retractable laundry line, decluttered the whole thing and now it's my favorite part of the house!  Still not 100% done with it but I'm loving the results so far and I use the space all the time now.  

It's a small enough space so that the crazy burst of color isn't overwhelming

I wonder if people named Susan are offended by this term.

If there's one thing I've learned living in this tiny condo, it's that you shouldn't wait to change something if you hate it.  Even if you're not planning on living at your current home for long, it's worth it to make it a place you absolutely love.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

These are dangerously easy to make - like 5-10 minutes to put together and stick in the oven.  They are equally dangerous to have sitting on my kitchen counter.  I made 2 pans of these in the past week.  GAH.  The first batch was made w/ a mish-mash of fruit preserves in my fridge I needed to get rid of.  Which, getting a picture of those would've been like spotting Bigfoot - they were gone.  Does anyone remember/love Harry and the Hendersons?  Aww.

Strawberry and raspberry are tied for favorite, blackberry is a close second (only because those damn seeds get stuck in my teeth).

I use a food processor which takes maybe 5 minutes from start to putting the pan in the oven.  I should probably rethink using that method and cut the butter in by hand to avoid the temptation of making these so often.  But they just go down so smoothly as a dessert w/ (decaf) coffee or as an indulgent bfast.  Definitely sub in whatever fruit preserves you have on hand.  

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
adapted from this Pioneer Woman recipe
8" or 9" square pan
makes 16 small bars
* If you are using fruit preserves out of your fridge, you may want to take the jar out and let it come to room temp or microwave for 30 seconds so it's a little easier to spread 

1/2 c cold butter, diced (yes, that's one stick)
1 c rolled oats (not quick cooking!)
3/4 c AP flour
1/3 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 to 1 c strawberry preserves (or whatever flavor tickles your fancy)

cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray your pan with cooking spray or grease.  

Throw everything in a food processor and pulse a few times until blended, maybe for 10-15 seconds max.  There will be large, pea-sized pieces of butter, calm down, it'll all be ok!  The mixture is going to look very loose but I promise everything they'll turn out great.  If it makes you feel better, pulse a few more times until it's a little more blended.  

Scoop out 1/2 the mixture and layer on the bottom of the pan.  Distribute the preserves as evenly as possible on top of flour/butter mixture.  Sprinkle the rest of the flour mixture as evenly as possible on top of the preserves and bake for 40 minutes. 

The texture..I can't.  I just can't.

The first time I made these I was really freaked out it would be pulling a pan full of loose flour out of the oven but the butter and preserves are going to pull everything together.  As stated above, you can always nuke the jar in the microwave (sans lid people) for 30 seconds to loosen them up before spreading.  

Monday, June 2, 2014

Listing a List of Lists #3

I've been so lazy lately!  Recipe is in the works and coming, maybe later this week.  No promises.

Nom nom nom.

Food I'm Loving:

Lemon Thyme Cake - wow.

If this cake isn't the cutest idea to have at your next bbq..Not sure the whipped cream would stay on, but still - such a unique presentation.

On a tofu kick recently.  This Tofu Chickpea stir-fry looks super yum.

Tell me this chopped salad doesn't look good.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies. Daaaaaaaaang!

Turkey Sloppy Joes - totally making this.  

And speaking of delish things between a bun: Epic Meatloaf Sliders. I'll take 2.

Drunken Mussels look so good.  Does cooking shellfish intimidate anyone but me?

For your upcoming trip to LA (Allen & Jeanine!).  We have Cactus here too and their guacamole is so addictive. 

Muffin top, get it?  Love this gift from Allen & Jeanine

Recipe was a Blueberry Coconut Flour Chia Seed Muffin (top) - very delish.

Interesting to Me:

PLEEEEEASE pray I remember to do this when Kuen starts turning into a crazy (ier?) person and has to apologize for misbehaving.

I could spend days browsing this Huff Post site.

As if I needed one, but another reason I love Michelle Obama.

Who's excited for summer blockbuster season?  *hand shoots up, waving uncontrollably*  Hello dude from Parks & Rec.  

Since I can't find time to actually read and finish any of the books I start, I'm listening to audio books on the drive home from work.  Currently listening to this suuuuuuuper fascinating book right now.  Not in to parenting books at all but it's so interesting to see how behaviors in developing humans shape how we act.

Favorite TED Talk currently: Brene Brown on shame.  I was doing the ugly cry.  The first one on vulnerability is also very powerful.  She's a great speaker.

Just for Fun: 

I'm remodeling our laundry closet.  I was inspired by Tien's chevron laundry closet makeover but a lite version - like no 3 color pallet like she did.  Even though Home Depot is literally 1 minute down the road I can't bring myself to buy more paint so I'm using old stuff I have already.  I grew up in a household where we couldn't open a new box of cereal until we finished the old one so this mentality permeates all corners of my life.  I worked through the project contemplating the depths of my own IQ since messed up twice on the taping.  Seriously, brain? The mission was painting some damn stripes on the wall.  Sheesh.

"I think I can, I think I can.."
I'll do a before/after shot when it's presentable, which, if you don't see any photos, you'll know why (so pls have the decency to NOT ask).