Thursday, September 30

Weekend Wedding

We went to a lovely wedding on Saturday. The reception was at Union Station (we took engagement pics there a year or so ago!)

Congratulations to James and Christine!

Wednesday, September 29

This Morning's Links

My friend Suzanne's post about living apart from the people you love, about Christian community, and the presence of God in the flesh.

I've been seeing a lot of recipes for simple slow cooked beans lately, this one and this one being two of them. Don't have time for that before we leave for Asia, but perhaps it's something I can make while there since we'll be staying in some friends' apartment.

I want to watch these videos to learn how to knit.

How fun does this chalkboard globe look?

And, an article about preparing to conceive. Thanks to a recently pregnant friend, I'm thinking more about this, even though a certain member of my household still wants to wait.

Friday, September 24


We planted three tomato plants this year in our first (experimental) garden. Two of them were regular size tomatoes: beefsteak and Cherokee. They weren't spectacular producers, but considering that they don't really get enough sun and we didn't have a hot summer, we weren't disappointed.

The cherry tomato plant, however, even though it grew to a normal height, produced what you see above. Three cherry tomatoes. Pitiful.

Colin said the other day "do you think we can eat them all before they go bad?"

Thursday, September 23

Upcycled Ornaments

The past few nights, it's been cooler. I stepped out on our little porch the other night where Colin had turned on our strings of globe lights and I felt two steps closer to being in the Christmas spirit already. Inspired, I decided to slightly expand my repertoire of things in my shop. I started experimenting with paper ornaments and added this little family to the online offerings yesterday.

Wednesday, September 22

Morning Glory & Fairy Tale Vine

This morning glory just planted itself in our little garden. It got big really quickly, and since our garden struggles with sunlight issues, I didn't want this guy making any shade, so I moved it over to trellis up the porch swing. It surprises us almost every morning with new blooms!

This crazy squash vine keeps growing and growing. We kinda hoped to get some squash from it, but instead, it seems to want to impress us with its crazy length. It grows a few inches every day!

Tuesday, September 21

My Little Factory

Keeping myself busy the past week making things for my etsy shop and to build things up for the (probably two) holiday craft fairs. After doing this all day, any change of scenery (making dinner, a walk around the block or to get a few things at the grocery store) is a welcome break.

Monday, September 20

Fairy Tale Window

We rode our bikes to the gym this morning. It was a cool, misty morning and when we got back, Colin put on his cap to go outside for his morning alone time. He looked so cute with his cap, framed by our fairy tale squash vine that keeps growing and growing from our garden around the window.

Saturday, September 18

Chiles en Nogada: Success!

The Homesick Texan blog has inspired me since I found it (I think while searching for a good homemade flour tortilla recipe) while living in China. (She has an excellent flour tortilla recipe, by the way.)

I made this recipe Friday night, a few days late for Mexican Independence Day. Colin and I agreed: it was amazing. It required a little more trouble than I generally put into dinner, but I think it's fun to make new things every once in a while.

I used beef instead of pork, didn't add any lard, and topped with a little sliced tomato since our grocery store didn't have pomegranates. It was beautiful, and the sauce, which I thought tasted funny on its own, turned out to be super yummy when paired with the stuffed pepper.

The filling calls for interesting spices and chopped fruit, which is genius. Colin doesn't like raisins, but I chopped them up like the recipe said, and he didn't seem to notice. They just added a bit of yummy sweetness that is really unique.

I won't make this recipe often, but will come back to it occasionally for something special because, really, it is super yummy!

I'm thinking about applying for a booth in the Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Sale in LA. It's kinda expensive to apply and I'm not sure they'd like the things I make (or maybe there would be a lot of other applicants with the same kinds of things) but I think it would be fun and have been inspired to make some new things lately.

We are having a holiday fair at our church the Sunday before Thanksgiving that I'm making things for too. Since I still don't have a full time job, the past few days I've made it my job to start building inventory.

Anyone out there go to a Renegade Craft Fair before or something like it? What kinds of booths did you notice that were really great?

Thursday, September 16

Heavenly Donut

I'm going to try my best not to talk about food in every post, but I was up early on Tuesday, eating a donut leftover from a meeting that someone (sort of) forced me to take home. I had my beautiful multicolored journal on my lap and the light made my breakfast look so inspired that I had to take a picture.

Monday, September 13

Saturday: eat, hike, eat, eat

Saturday I met up with three friends in Pasadena. Pasadena is wonderful for many reasons, two of which are nearby hiking and yummy food. After eating a delicious breakfast at Aunty Em's (savory bread pudding made with focaccia bread, three cheeses, and roasted tomatoes!), we went on a hike up to a waterfall from Chantry Flat.

Rebecca started out the hike with a challenge to put her sunscreen on and take her shirt off at the same time.

After hiking, we went to Euro Pane, where we had their famous egg salad sandwich, goat cheese and roasted pepper sandwich, and amazing desserts. I just recently discovered macarons and I'm in love. The sea salt caramel macaron at Euro Pane is amazing!

As if we hadn't eaten enough, we then went to get gelato at Bulgarini. I had determined that I was already full and was not going to get any gelato, but after walking in and trying a sample of the intriguing yogurt gelato with fruity olive oil poured on top, I sure did buy some. It was delicious, as was the pistachio and goats milk with cocoa nibs. (A small consists of three tiny scoops, so I got three flavors.)

I tease my Korean American friends that they plan vacations/dates/whatever around food. When Colin and I went to San Diego, I asked for recommendations for things to do. All my Korean American friends suggested were places to eat. They plan things to do around where to eat. This means they know the best places! I lived in Pasadena for more than a month and never went to any of these places, but I'm glad to know them now. And glad we were able to work off some of the food through hiking!

Friday, September 10

Somewhat Embarrassing Fridge Picture

I was originally going to just take a picture of the pickles I made (inspired by this post), but then I decided to just go for a picture of the whole fridge. There's not much space for anything else to go in at the moment. You can see I've already resorted to stacking things. (I can blame that partly on a fridge that's not exactly designed for storing much.)

Colin usually gets excited when there is a lot of food in the fridge (probably because it means that I won't make a case for going out to dinner), but I get more excited about clearing things out and using things up. Anyhow, this is the state of our fridge tonight. Pickles ready tomorrow!

Thursday, September 9

Homegrown Tomato Meal #2 : Tomato Pie!

When I went to Kerby Lane upon my arrival in Austin a few weeks ago, I had their Tomato Pie that's only available from their special summer tomato menu. It was amazing. AMAZING! We also had the best waiter ever.

Tonight, I made a version of a tomato pie from this recipe. I was searching for the actual Kerbey Lane recipe, but couldn't find it. This one looked yummy and won out since I had a lot of fresh corn that Colin bought over the weekend.

I made a few changes to the recipe: subbed half wheat flour for the crust, used half feta and half mozzarella for the cheese (because that's what I had and the Kerbey Lane recipe uses feta) and used caramelized onions instead of chives.

It wasn't as delicious as Kerbey Lane's, but it was still a winner! (There's a weird growth on the pie in the first's just me compensating for my lack of skills when it comes to making a beautiful pie crust.)

Wednesday, September 8

Cold Brew Coffee

I first had cold brew coffee at Flip Happy Crepes in Austin more than a year ago. It was so good I thought they had put sugar in it, but it was just regular coffee without the acidity. I didn't know it was so easy to make at home until recently. I found these articles and started making my own. It's really easy and tastes yummy.

I put about six coffee scoops of ground coffee in a mason jar then fill it with water, put the lid on, shake, and let it sit from 12-24 hours on the counter top.

Then I pour it through a filter into another jar. (I found this nifty red thing at a thrift store for 49 cents, but I think you could just pour it through a normal coffee pot filter in your machine.)

To make iced coffee, I pour a little of the coffee concentrate in a glass, add some ice, milk, and usually a little honey, then stir.

It makes the most delicious iced coffee! In the mornings, though, I like hot coffee, so I pour some of the cold brew coffee concentrate in a mug, then pour in some milk (or if I don't want a latte, add some water instead) and microwave it. It is much easier for me than making hot coffee.

I make some new cold brew every few days, when I'm about to run out. The concentrate keeps for about a week in the fridge. I don't measure out how many parts milk or water to how many parts coffee concentrate, but it's about one to one, or sometimes a little less coffee and a little more dilution, depending on your taste. You can also buy some kind of contraption that is supposed to make this easier, but this process is so easy, I'm not thinking I need to go out and buy something else.

Friday, September 3

Homegrown Tomato Meal #1

I was intrigued by this recipe on the Dinner: A Love Story blog and couldn't wait to try it. Luckily, we still had three green tomatoes on one of our three tomato plants when I got back from Texas. I used two little almost ripe red ones that were in need of rescue to have on the side.

Mmmm! The first bites weren't as glorious as I had hoped for, but Colin and I agreed that it got better as we ate it. Don't know what that means, but the tangy yumminess of the green tomatoes and the caramelized onions with fresh mozzarella had us halfway through. The pizza crust in the recipe is not as fluffy as my normal one (and I used wheat flour, which makes it rise less), but I think I like the sturdiness of it. Success!