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…

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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…

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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

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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…

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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…

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I love this look below…

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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…

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I also picked up this cozy and crazy affordable sweater jacket

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

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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…

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Bees Knees

by Kelsi in


 

I am now posting a third mezcal cocktail of the summer. Paloma slushies, our house margarita and now this perfect little number, the Bees Knees. If it wasn't already obvious, Mezcal is my spirit of choice. 

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This one is fantastic year-round and ticks all the right boxes.

BEES KNEES

2 oz mezcal

1 oz honey syrup (recipe below)

Juice of one lemon

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

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HONEY SIMPLE SYRUP

1/2 cup medium hot (not boiling) water

1/2 cup honey

Whisk together until honey dissolves and then allow to cool before storing in the fridge. I like these swing top bottles for this.

 

 

 

Simple Pleasures

by Kelsi in , , , , , ,


 

We are enjoying a quiet long weekend at home before getting back into the regular swing of things with school starting this week. Like last year, I am taking the first part of September off to not only help ease us back into school life at home, but to spend two weeks recharging myself and gearing up for the new year ahead. To me September feels more like a time of renewal than January 1st does. 

I have a few house projects on my list, like repainting the hallway,  and lots of purging/organizing endeavors. But I'm also finding time just to think and work on an upcoming creative project that I'm really excited about.

I've finally started an Instagram account for the blog so you can also find me here.

The weather this weekend has been stellar. Comfortably warm but with a bit of a chill in the air that seemed to happen as soon as the calendar flipped to September 1. These are perfect conditions to spend time in the garden.

 

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I harvested the last of my cucumbers and my Row 7 potatoes which were a  huge winner. I'm devoting an entire bed to them next year. I also started moving plants around and cleaning out crops past their due and cutting back the blackberry vines that take over my front slope this time of year. 

I wrote about Floret Farm's book at the end of last summer and followed through and ordered Dahlia tubers from her in the spring. These giants are lighting up the front yard right now...

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I've been making watermelon juice that is even more refreshing than the gazpacho I've been downing the last two days. If you don't have a juicer, simply blend up the watermelon in a blender. Strain it through a fine mesh strainer and let it chill until it's good and cold. When you're ready to drink, squeeze half of a lime in your glass and a pinch of salt.

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It is summer in a glass...

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I have loved watching All or Nothing: Manchester City. LOVED. Go watch it.

I also just finished reading Attachments which was recommended by my mother-in-law (Hi Pierr!). It is such a perfect summer read - great dialogue, smart and incredibly funny. I couldn't stop reading and read it all in one go...

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My hair is the longest it's ever been and after a summer of playing in both the surf and sun the ends are bit fried. I love Weleda products and just discovered this rosemary hair oil. I've been putting it on my ends (and even my scalp) before bed and washing it out in my morning shower. It has made a world of difference. You can also find it here...

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I've also been using this wonderful salt scalp scrub shampoo (say that three times fast) the last two months. You use it just once a week though I really want to use it daily I look forward to it that much...

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Also in need of a little TLC after the summer heat and constant sunscreen, my skin needs a little decongesting and I super love this new Squalane + Glycolic Renewal Facial from Biossance...

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I'm looking forward to testing out their new deodorant...

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I bought a few of these air-purifiers recommended by Wirecutter this spring during allergy season and the difference was immediate. After one night, we all woke up with cleared sinuses. Fast forward to last month when Seattle was hit hard from wildfire smoke. We were so grateful to have these in our house. I also bought one for my studio...

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I'm really liking these twin-line flossers. They are also helpful for teaching my six year old how to floss...

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And I have a new pair of favorite jeans. These relaxed boyfriend ones from Everlane remind me of my old 501s from high school. I have the vintage sky blue wash below...

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But I have my eye on the washed black ones as well...

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Best Gazpacho

by Kelsi in


 
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It is that time of year. The tomatoes in my garden are overflowing. The best thing to do with a bumper crop of tomatoes? Make the Best Gazpacho from the NY Times. Spectacularly easy and so refreshing. Just make sure you plan ahead so it can chill until very cold...

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BEST GAZPACHO (adapted slightly from the NYT)

About 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks

1 long, light green pepper, such as Anaheim, cored, seeded and cut into chunks

1 cucumber, about 8 inches, peeled and cut into chunks

1 small mild onion (white or red), cut into chunks

1 clove garlic

2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, more to taste

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients except olive oil into a high speed blender. Blend on high until very smooth, about two minutes. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. The mixture will become smooth and emulsified, like a salad dressing. 

Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, pushing all the liquid through with a spatula. Discard the solids. Transfer to a large glass pitcher and chill until very cold, at least 6 hours or overnight.

Before serving, adjust the seasonings with salt and vinegar. Serve in glasses with a drizzle of olive oil.

 

Summer, Summer, Summertime

by Kelsi in , , ,


 

We are deep in summer mode over here. And it seems like the days are blitzing by faster than ever.

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My husband has been traveling non-stop and luckily we were able to tag along on one of his recent work trips to Maui of all beautiful places. We rented a very simple VRBO in a great location and played in the ocean from 7:30am on. 

I packed all the essentials...

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My suitcase was nearly identical to the one I took on our little trip to the beach last May. It's worth mentioning Suntegrity face sunscreen (I use the light shade) yet again. It is THE best and kept me well protected even while spending the entire day in the surf and the sun. Also these GoToob containers are new to me but they are fantastic. Easy to fill, easy to clean and spill-proof...

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Back home we are in the middle of a heatwave and I've been on the hunt for a great linen dress. I just ordered this one which has great potential...

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And while most of my yard is looking a bit toasty and dried out, my tomatoes and my Row 7 cucumbers are going gangbusters...

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Since I was solo for dinner tonight I happily ate the entire batch of this smashed cucumber salad straight out of the mixing bowl standing at the kitchen counter...

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And washed it down with a cold beer. This gluten-free blonde ale from local Ghostfish Brewing Company is really hitting the spot on these hot days...

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My sister-in-law just welcomed her third baby girl a week ago. We stopped by over the weekend to drop off food in exchange for some serious brand new tiny baby holding. I made this great turkey meat loaf from Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook It's All Easy that I mentioned here. (I like the Mary's free-range ground turkey for this which you can find locally at Metropolitan Market.) If you don't have the book, Pamela Salzman posted the recipe here...

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I also made a double batch of this simple carrot salad (without the sunflower seeds and avocados). It is so simple and refreshing. And for a treat I made these peanut butter and jelly crumble bars (also from Pamela Salzman). I personally enjoy them straight from the freezer.

As the summer days continue to fly by, I am finding that no matter how pared down the schedule and how free and purposely unscheduled the days are, there is never enough time. Most of my days are filled with the household tasks that our lives are made of without room for much else. Books I've started are languishing on the nightstand. I have a list of things I'd love to work on. Number one on that list is revisiting my Spanish language study. And also doing a little Pilates matwork in the cool basement. I'd even love to just watch a show or two (I'm looking at you Killing Eve). But alas, by the time the chores are done, my son is in bed and I've prepped what needs to be prepped for the next day it is already bedtime.

Maybe there will be some extra time in the near future. And maybe not.

Right now my task is to be fully here. And as I type this, I'm sitting contentedly on the sofa in the dark with all the windows open, a lukewarm breeze coming through and I spy Venus out in the distance hanging high above in a perfectly clear sky.

 

 

 

Paloma Slushies

by Kelsi in


 

It is Father's Day and 82 degrees. We are celebrating the day with ice cold paloma slushies courtesy of Julia Turshen's Small Victories. Truly, if I could only keep one cookbook in my collection, it would be this one. If you don't already have it, consider adding it to yours.

I have a feeling that this is going to be our 2018 summer cocktail...

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PALOMA SLUSHIES  (adapted slightly from Julia Turshen's Small Victories)

serves 2

Juice of 2 limes

2 Tbsp honey

1/2 cup grapefruit juice (this is a great one)

1/2 cup mezcal (or tequila)

1/4 tsp kosher salt

2 cups (360 g) ice cubes

Put the lime juice, honey, grapefruit juice, mezcal, salt and ice in a high speed blender; blend until the ice its totally blitzed and the mixture is very smooth.

Pour into two glasses and serve immediately.

 

 

 

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.

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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. 

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 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...

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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...

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

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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. 

 

Sick Day

by Kelsi in , , ,


 

My son is sick today so I have an unexpected day off. I am grateful for the day at home and a few extra hours to do laundry, tidy-up and pay the bills. Luckily I also happened to have all the ingredients to make this way delicious savory oatmeal from David Tanis for lunch. I know what I'm making for breakfast tomorrow...

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The new Cuyana catalog arrived today and now I want (ahem) these three things, starting with this seersucker flounce top...

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This beautiful travel bag...

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And this seersucker dress with pockets(!)...

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Also going on the wishlist is another pair of Annie Costello Brown earrings. Maybe this pair? Or these?! Too hard to decide.

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I recently bought the pair I've been wanting for the last few years and can't stop wearing them. They elevate any outfit. By the way the pants that I am wearing below are these fantastic wide leg ones from Everlane. I just ordered them in white too...

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Something else that looks gorgeous with these earrings is my new dress from Doen. I bought it to wear to a California wedding this fall but plan to wear it every chance I get before then...

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I also took some time today to sit in the sunshine and read a bit of the third Maisie Dobbs book. One of my clients turned me onto the series and now I am addicted. I love historical fiction and these are great fun to read.

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It's the weekend...

by Kelsi in , , ,


 

Finally, some sunshine is arriving in Seattle which is welcome news for us sun-starved Seattleites. It has been a bit bleak the last few weeks...

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I'm going to celebrate by wearing my new Clare V x TOMS leopard espadrilles (seen below). See the whole collection here...

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I likely won't wear them this week but I took advantage of Loeffler Randall's Friends + Family sale last week and finally pulled the trigger on these silver beauties that I have been eyeing the last six months. They are so soft and even more gorgeous in person...

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I've really been enjoying this adaptogenic take on a thai iced tea. Thrive Market has the best price on Sun Potion products by the way. And if you're not making your own, this Aroy-D coconut milk is my favorite one...

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Every time a DWR catalog arrives I linger on the LOLL lounge chairs. Some day I'd love to have a pair of these on the patio...

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I've been wanting to make these beautiful pancakes from Heidi Swanson and I think tomorrow is the day...

  Image from 101 Cookbooks

Image from 101 Cookbooks

Last week I finally watched Franca: Chaos and Creation and loved every minute of it. I might queue it up again this weekend...

  Photograph by Francesco Carrozzini via  Departures

Photograph by Francesco Carrozzini via Departures

I also am watching this tonight once the kiddo is in bed...

It is likely that I will be mixing up a margarita to enjoy in the sunshine at some point this weekend, but tonight I am drinking a glass of my favorite "house wine" that I've been buying locally at PCC (I have Olaiya to thank for the recommendation). And since I'm solo for dinner tonight (and my husband hates mushrooms) I'm looking forward to making this pea and mushroom sauté from Pamela Salzman that I will devour in peace.

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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.

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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.