End of Summer

by Kelsi in , ,


 

School started again last week and just like that we slipped into the September groove. There is still sunshine but a definite chill in the air, and even an epic thunderstorm over the weekend to boot. The garden looks amazing in its lush overgrown state…

garden.JPG

The squash and potatoes have been harvested, new kale starts have been planted and we are enjoying the last days of the sungolds…

tetra squash.jpg

With cooler temps on the way I likely won’t get a chance to use it until next summer but I just picked up this beautiful little pool from local Seattle company Mylle

Mylle pool.png

And don’t knock it ‘til you try it, Spaghett is the late summer beverage we’ve been sharing with our next door neighbors. We’ve made a few tweaks to the recipe:

12 oz Miller High Life

2 oz Aperol

Juice of one lemon

Serve over ice.

spaghett.jpg

I implore you to go and make this one pot chicken from Jamie Oliver as soon as possible. Watch this video and yes it really is that easy. Make it even easier by subbing a handful of already peeled garlic cloves for the whole head of garlic.

And with the end of summer comes the changing light. As the sunrise creeps ever later, I’m looking forward to trying out the Casper Glow Light to make waking up in the dark a little less jarring…

Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 8.58.52 PM.png




 

Summer Ready

by Kelsi in , , , , , ,


 

School is out for the summer and we couldn’t be more ready for it. I’m thrilled to have a break from making school lunches and am looking forward to more leisurely mornings.

We had a real scorcher into the mid 90s this week and I’ve been grateful to have these bamboo roll up shades on our exterior west facing windows to cut the heat. They really do the job but I also love the diffused light they create inside the house too…

summer.jpg

Summer to me also means cobblers and crisps and this fantastic apple rhubarb cobbler from Alanna of The Bojon Gourmet is my current favorite. I mentioned Alanna’s book Alternative Baker and her miraculous gluten-free pie crust recipe last winter…

apple+rhubard+cobbler.jpg

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written anything here because I’ve been spending most of my free time reading (or sewing). A few months ago my son D got hit hard with the reading bug and on a family trip to Palm Springs he brought a book wherever we went. Waiting for his food at the restaurant, waiting for the rental car, sitting poolside. My husband and I exchanged knowing glances of “It’s happening.

D reading.JPG

I’ve been waiting for this day and as children often do, he is helping me to be my best self. His new love of reading has helped me make time for my own love of reading and I’m making it a priority and letting some of the less important things on my to-do list slide. Together we are in deep with Harry Potter and these illustrated versions are just beautiful…

Harry Potter.jpg
Hogwarts.jpg

D was also just gifted these super rad Gryffindor Vans from his very cool aunt and uncle…

vans harry potter.jpg

When I haven’t been reading, I’ve been sitting here practicing my newly acquired sewing skills (thanks to Drygoods Design)…

bernina.jpg

I can sit here working away for hours without eating or thinking about anything else. I’m so enjoying the process of learning something completely new and remembering how wonderful that feeling of “flow” is…

zipper pouch.jpg

I have a new full-length linen apron that I snagged from Amazon for $17 that I learned about from Aran via Remodelista

apron.jpg

Speaking of linen, one of the best things I’ve added to my summer wardrobe is this Everlane linen jumpsuit

Everlane linen jumpsuit.jpg

I wore it to a my brother-in-law’s 40th birthday dinner (pictured below with my stellar sister-in-laws)…

The Wives.JPG

Always a sucker for pen and paper, I have a new favorite pocket-sized notebook and pen for my endless list making…

Mnemosyne notebook.jpg

My friend Rita turned me on to Aria Code. Host Rhiannon Giddens is delightful and I’ve been “binge-listening” (is that a thing?) every chance I get…

rhiannon-giddens-aria-code.jpg

Alison Roman’s olive oil roasted chicken is on the menu for Father’s Day…

And our neighbors turned us on to the solo stove which is now on my summer wishlist…

solo stove bonfire.jpg

Happy summering!




 

Snow Dayz

by Kelsi in , , , ,


 

We are coming off of a long week of epic snow here in Seattle…

snow at dusk.jpg

School closures allowed for some good sledding runs in the backyard…

backyard sled.jpg

There was also boredom (my son’s). So I made him read “Let Children Get Bored Again” in the NYTimes. Kidding, but it is a great article that you should read. It’s a good reminder for us adults too…

And in a throwback to my childhood, we made Shrinky Dinks. While my son was busy drawing characters from Zelda, I traced a favorite photo of him…

shrinky+dink.jpg

I made the soccatas from Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook The Clean Plate for breakfast and they are super easy and so satisfying, especially on a cold winter morning…

Clean+soccata.jpg

I harvested the remaining kale from the garden that I planted back in August, just in case it didn’t survive the heavy snowfall…

february+kale.jpg

Which reminded me to make a Row 7 seed order. I ordered two pounds of the Upstate Abundance Potatoes that were a hit last summer and a packet of these new absolutely beautiful Tetra Squash

Row 7 Tetra Squash.jpg

I had my eye on that classic Filson briefcase to carry my laptop but my husband just gifted me his AER Commuter Bag that I love…

AER+coummuter.jpg

Brandi Carlile’s 2007 album The Story may be the last cd I ever bought before everything went digital. I used to listen to that title track over and over when I was alone. I would crank it up so loud, her powerful voice overwhelming everything. I have now watched and listened to her recent grammy performance over and over which brings tears to my eyes every time and I can only think “what a badass.” Thank god for artists and thank god for music…

Brandi Carlile.png
 

From my wishlist...

by Kelsi in , ,


 

I’m looking for a new bag to haul my laptop and this classic Filson Dryden Briefcase is everything I want…

Screen Shot 2019-01-25 at 5.01.45 PM.png

It might need a Salt strap, part of “the new mom uniform of Park Slope”…

Photo from    The NYT

Photo from The NYT

I can’t stop looking at these Nike Cortez SEs. I think that metallic gold would add enough pizzazz to carry my wardrobe through the gray winter…

nike cortez.jpg

And thinking ahead to spring, I’d like to order this sweet Tilit jumpsuit

tilitnyc jumpsuit.jpg

We don’t have plans to travel to the sun until May but I need a new one piece swimsuit and this classic one from Andie Swim looks great…

andie swim tulum.jpg

And while way out of my budget, I have a sweet spot for this Rothko-inspired Ko rug from DWR…

dwr rug.jpg
 

On a Sunday

by Kelsi in , ,


 

We are coming off of a restorative long holiday weekend at home. After a quiet Thanksgiving, we haven’t left our house since. Lots of time for reading, movies, baking and of course getting started on handwriting exhaustive Santa wishlists (my son).

fireside puzzle.jpg

We are finishing the rest of our leftovers this evening for dinner. I love using these Kohler silicone mats as trivets. They also roll up so storing is a breeze…

leftovers.jpg

And a different type of silicone mat, this one has been great for doing crafts this weekend - painting, Perler beads and even Legos…

silicon mat.jpg

I’ve also done a fair share of online shopping, some gifts but mostly taking advantage of the sales to stock up on my usual staples like these Uniqlo cashmere sweaters. They are my most favorite and I wear one almost daily. They wear and wash well and you can’t beat the price. They do run a bit small and I like to size up in this style (for reference I’m usually a small but order these in a large)…

uniqlo cashmere.jpg

I also added the Alternative Baker (from Alanna of The Bojon Gourmet) to my cookbook library this week and it is already indispensable. I’ll have more to say later in the week but it completely changes the game on making gluten-free pastry dough and pie. OMG.

alternative baker.jpg

And some words of wisdom to take with you into the week…

This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.
— Dalai Lama
From    here   .

From here.

 

Saturday

by Kelsi in , , ,


 

I am wrapping up the last of my two-week break and head back to the studio on Monday. It has been such a gift to have an extended period of time to slow down and recharge. I did cross off several things on my to-do list but also was deliberate about not trying to accomplish too much. I took a few naps while my son was at school, I took long walks with a friend and had an indulgent lunch at Le Pichet with champagne. I am profoundly grateful and happy to be here and am ready to get back at it on Monday…

Le Pichet

Le Pichet

Today we all slept in and have been enjoying a lazy day at home. I’ve been cleaning out the kitchen drawers and re-organizing my pantry…

pantry.jpg

I also hope to get to my closet this evening and transfer some summer stuff over to these under bed storage cases I picked up at Ikea last week…

ikea stuk storage.jpg

The weather has cooled and we’ve had some long overdue rain showers and the last of my summer crops are reflecting the change. I’ve harvested the last of my lettuce - this one was stellar. I hope to find more of that variety next year. We’ve been eating it all week tossed with this fantastic tahini ranch dressing

salad tahini ranch.jpg

Last night there was no lettuce and I was solo for dinner and lacking motivation. I ate a bowl of potato chips and a glass of wine for dinner. Keeping it real. By the way, these chips are so good. And doesn’t Heath Ceramics make everything look amazing - even potato chips?! I picked up these little black bowls a few weeks ago when we were in San Francisco…

heath potato chips.jpg

I also bought a few new things during my break starting with this killer lipstick from Kosas. I don’t swipe it on but rather press it on with my finger (even a bit on my cheeks) so it looks more like a stain. Don’t let the bright color scare you off, it creates a beautiful flush and is incredibly flattering…

kosas violet fury.jpg

I love this look below…

fall outerwear.jpg

I couldn’t find a similar track jacket but happily settled for this classic Adidas one that I’ll wear both at the studio and under my oversized tweed jacket…

adidas SST track jacket.jpg

I also picked up this cozy and crazy affordable sweater jacket

uniqlo hooded knitted coat.jpg

And this one too but in the dark green (I had to size down on this one)…

uniqlo ribbed knitted coat.jpg

The last thing I need is yet another pair of boots, but if you need a great everyday pair I think these look pretty great…

everlane day boot.jpg
 

A Birthday

by Kelsi in , , , ,


 

My sweet boy turned 6 earlier this month. I can hardly believe he has less than a month left of Kindergarten. It has been such a wonderful year of growth not just for him but for us as parents too.

birthday pancakes.jpg

We always host a birthday party for him at home, which is certainly a celebration of him but also a chance to get together with our extended family and a few close friends. It is always a full house and there is always lots of good food.

This year, I wanted to make The Birthday Cake from Christina Tosi at Momofuku Milk Bar. It looks like a process, and it is, but an incredibly fun one. I so enjoyed putting it together. And the technique of using a cake ring to cut the layers, acetate to build up the side frame and the freezer to set it is genius. I want to make all my layer cakes this way. It's fun and they look incredible. 

birthday cake.jpg
birthday cake 2.JPG

 If your'e not familiar with the Momofuku birthday cake you should watch this video clip of Christina Tosi on Chef's Table and you can find the actual recipe on Bon Appetit...

Also inspired by Christina Tosi, I made a version of her Haute Dogs. However, I used Julia Turshen's foolproof and truly all-purpose yeasted dough recipe from her cookbook Small Victories. I've mentioned her cookbook here at least a few times as it is such a great one. In the cookbook she uses the dough recipe to make 12 raspberry jam buns. I used it to make 12 hot dog rolls (in fact I tripled the recipe to make 36) instead. I also used my stand mixer to initially mix the dough, then kneaded it for a few minutes as instructed. Then I put all three batches into a cambro, covered it with a towel and let it rise for about an hour until doubled in size. I punched it down, covered the bowl with the lid and stuck it in the fridge overnight until I was ready to make them the following morning.

I slathered a mustard butter on each roll and added this red onion jam before rolling them up and baking them. I piled them high on a sheetpan to serve and they were devoured by kids and adults alike.

I also made this great onion dip from Alison Roman served with classic ridged potato chips, a simple and bright cabbage slaw and a quadruple batch of these long time favorite salted brown butter crispy treats from Smitten Kitchen (though I more than double the Maldon sea salt it calls for).

For the adults I found these perfect mini cans of sparking Italian white and rosé at Trader Joe's. They are fantastic for a party, not too sweet and only $4 for a 4/pack...

simpler wines.jpg

I also love hanging lots of paper streamers all over the house. It instantly makes the room feel happy and celebratory. I love the ones from the Oh Happy Day shop...

streamers 2.jpg

In fact I love them so much that the ones in the dining room are still up...

streamers.jpg

Lastly (and again related to Christina Tosi) I can't forget to mention these Confetti Cookies...

Photograph: Gabriele Stabile and Mark Ibold

Photograph: Gabriele Stabile and Mark Ibold

I made them to bring to my son's school on his actual birthday to share with his class. Three things in particular make these incredible. They are inspired by the technique of the snickerdoodle with the addition of cream of tartar. They have an incredibly long creaming process (a Milk Bar signature) about 10 minutes total. And the addition of milk powder which Tosi says adds chewiness as well as a depth of flavor. Full of sugar, dairy, gluten and artificially colored sprinkles! But for a special treat, I'd have a hard time passing up one of these. 

 

From My Wishlist...

by Kelsi in , , ,


 

I am on a bit of a spending hiatus. Overall I am quite conscious about what I buy, but it feels like I've added quite a bit to my closet and the skincare arsenal lately. So I'm taking a break to enjoy and use what I already have. I feel overwhelmed when I have a bit too much stuff and besides, my savings would greatly appreciate the break. (This is also a good time to re-mention YNAB - go check it out.)

Even though I'm not currently buying, it doesn't stop me from looking and adding beautiful things to my wishlist.

I have long wanted a pair of these Hoffman armchairs at the dining room table...

Hoffman Chair.jpeg

This perfect Clare V clutch in cuoio vachetta leather that I bet ages beautifully...

clare v maude.png

Also from Clare V this green bandana...

clare v le freak bandana.jpg

These sweet little stud earrings...

heart huggie earring.jpg

These rose gold black diamond huggies...

rose gold black diamond.jpg

And THESE, holy cow. They are out of my price range but I love these something terrible...

black diamond dangle earring.jpg

I'd buy this dress if I were traveling to Italy this summer...

sezane cassandra dress.jpg

And once I get through all of my current favorite facial masks, this one from REN is the next one I'd love to try...

REN wake wonderful.jpg

Also from REN, this body serum...

REN body serum.jpg

And my robe could use an upgrade. This waffle one from Coyuchi is the one I have my eye on...

coyuchi robe.jpg
 

House Margarita

by Kelsi in , , ,


 

It is spring break this week and while most people we know made a mass exodus out of Seattle in search of sunshine (who can blame them) we are having a rather stellar staycation at home. Both my husband and I took the week off. I've been catching up on reading and when I haven't been reading I've been cooking and baking.

Another bright spot has been a visit from dear friends who live in Lake Tahoe that we haven't seen in a few years. When we get together it's like no time has passed. The company and conversation is always easy and there is always laughter. We also drank a few rounds of my "house margarita" which includes my most favorite spirit, mezcal. Yes, yes, and yes.

house margarita.jpg

A PERFECT MARGARITA

1 oz tequila

1 oz mezcal (I like Vida)

1 tablespoon agave syrup

Juice of 1 lime

Shake and pour over ice (I like these big cube molds for this)

*A note if making these for a crowd - I learned this tip from Julia Turshen. Simply quadruple this recipe (or more if you have a big crowd) and just whisk it all together in a big pitcher. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve and then pour over ice.

 

 

Super Sunday

by Kelsi in , , ,


 

After weeks of downpours and darkness, the sun made an unexpected appearance today! I always feel a burst of energy when the sunlight streams though the windows (we all probably do). I opened up the windows to let some fresh air in and went about ticking things off my to-do list before the football game this afternoon.

First, breakfast...

Every Sunday I make sourdough waffles (or today my son requested pancakes) with a special family recipe. They are spectacular. The sourdough starter has been in my husband's family since 1973. Yup, 45 YEARS. You can read more about sourdough here and if you want to make your own to "feed" and keep alive, this is a good place to start.

Last night I was clicking away on Food52 and read this genius recipe about how to achieve fluffy pancakes. They key is to separate the eggs. You don't have to whip the whites or do anything extra. You just add the whites last after you've mixed everything else together. I decided to try the technique this morning and yup, they were the fluffiest pancakes we've made yet. So if you have a favorite pancake recipe, give it a try... 

 

sourdough pancakes.jpg

Next task, the closet... (can you see the sun?!)

closet cleanout.jpg

After doing a full-on-whole-house-Marie-Kondo-purge three years ago, every 6 months or so I pull everything out of closet once again. I try everything on and cull whatever I no longer love or wear. I refold it all and happily put everything back in its place. I really enjoy this process and it never feels like an overwhelming task...

organized sweaters.JPG

Going through my denim, I have a few current favorites and they are almost all Everlane. Everlane has really knocked it out of the park with their denim line. It is not only affordable, but the fabric is a premium heavyweight Japanese denim, the cuts are smart and they are ethically made. They also come in regular and ankle length. I love these high-waisted ones  and have them in both the mid-blue wash and black. I also have the modern boyfriend in not only several washes (mid-blue, light and white) but also in a few sizes as well. My regular size is a true boyfriend jean with a nice slouch. But I also sized down one size, which makes them a little less slouchy and a perfect everyday straight leg...

denim 2.jpg

I also love these from AGOLDE (I ordered one size down from my regular size)...

agolde jamie hi rise.jpg

A few other new additions that I love - this bra from Thirdlove...

thirdlove balconette.jpg

Some new workout/teaching gear from Outdoor Voices. I LOVE these 3/4 leggings and this bra (the wide straps and scoop back are especially great)...

outdoor voices 3:4.jpg

I picked up a shorter pair as well...

outdoor voices kneecap legging.jpg

I also love this new bra from Lululemon...

lululemon toomey bra.jpeg

Last thing before gametime, breaking down the recycling. Not a very glamorous task but thanks to my friend Omar I have a new smart little tool for opening up packages and breaking down boxes.

slice package opener.jpg

Further proof that good design makes even the smallest, seemingly mundane tasks enjoyable.

Game time!