Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fish Provençal

"Provençal" [proh-vahn-SAHL] refers to a southeastern region of France, Provence. Trademarks Provençal cooking include garlic, tomatoes, olive oil (Food Lover's Companion 4th Ed). The only guides for this dish were my senses and desire to use my new Le Creuset Dutch oven. It may not be true Provençal but can we say it's inspired by the sweet comfort of those simple ingredients?

2 tilapia fillets
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
lots of tomatoes, quartered
dried basil
olive oil
sea salt
  1. In Dutch oven pot, cook onions in olive oil on medium heat until they just start turning translucent. Pour onions into another bowl.
  2. Add fish to pot, searing both sides. Sprinkle on basil and sea salt.
  3. Add back in onions, tomatoes, and green onions.
  4. Cover and put pot in 250F oven until fish flakes and tomatoes are smushy (not sure how long this took because we had company stop by in the middle of me cooking so the pot was in the oven for maybe 15 minutes and then I turned off the heat and it continued to stay in there for another 15 minutes? Really, not sure on the timing of this one).
  5. Serve in bowls. You should end up with a delicious broth to go with the fish and vegetables. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Banana "Ice Cream"

Over the Christmas holiday, we found the BEST deal. 40 lb box of perfect bananas for less than $4.00. Can't pass that up! So in addition to banana bread, peel and eat, and thinking of various banana recipes, we made banana "ice cream." It isn't traditional "ice cream" per-say... check it out!

1. Peel and slice in 1/2 inch thick circles. Freeze in Ziploc bag in a single layer.

2. Pulse in food processor until creamy texture (I added a little soy milk). Stir in toasted walnuts, Nutella, peanut butter, or any other mix-in (none photographed here).

3. Serve with desired other flavors.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Chamomile Coasters

Perfect for tea on a chilly winter day!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Noah's Holiday Photo Shoot - December 16, 2012

At almost 4 months old, this cutie patootie is already a heart stopper with his sparkling blue eyes and dimpled smile. Merry Christmas Kailey, Bryan, and Noah!

Check out the rest at 2012/12 {Noah-3mo}.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mushroom Stroganoff

On a chilly winter day, this dish will warm you up! It's creamy, hearty, and quick! 

Serves 4 (or 3 if you have really big helpings...).

8 oz dried fettuccine
8 oz sour cream
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large sweet onion, cut into thin wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups sliced baby portobello mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced

  1. Boil water to cook fettuccine according to package directions. Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables and heat oil in large skillet. In a medium bowl, stir together sour cream and flour. Then add in water, salt, and pepper. Set aside. If pasta is done, drain; keep warm. If pasta isn't done, keep an eye on it and continue to the next step.
  2. In your large skillet, cook onions in the hot oil on medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent, stirring frequently. Stir in mushrooms and garlic. Cook and stir for another 10 minutes, or until the caramelization of the mushrooms and onion make you drool. Pasta should be done by now - remove mushroom mixture from the skillet and add to the drained pasta; keep warm.
  3. Using the same skillet, stir in the sour cream mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly and then stir for another minute. Pour the sour cream mixture over your pasta mixture, stirring gently to coat. Sprinkle with green onions.

Fall Blend Waffle Stitch Infinity Scarf

This soft rich blend of bold colors is the perfect accessory to your fall and winter wardrobe. It's light weight enough to continue to wear indoors. Pair it with a color in the scarf or wake up a neutral gray, black, or white top.

circumference: 22 inches 
width: 6 inches

100% acrylic yarn
Machine wash cold on gentle or hand wash. Tumble dry low or lay flat to dry.

Available on Etsy!

Sweet Pea Pink Cream Rose Beanie

Fish & Couscous

Feel free to get as creative as your taste buds inspire with this fish and couscous dish. The only "requirements" are to make it tasty for the eyes and mouth! Initially, the plan was for the fish to go on top a bed of quinoa until we realized we were out of quinoa so plan B was to use couscous (a coarsely ground pasta made from semolina, a type of wheat). From start to finish, 30 minutes for a delicious meal!

Pan Fried Tilapia Over Couscous and Green Beans Topped with Pomegranate Arils and a Drizzle of Pear Balsamic Vinegar

2 tilapia fillets
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons butter

1 cup uncooked couscous
1 1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt (if you use vegetable stock instead of water, skip the salt)
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely shopped red, orange, yellow bell peppers

1 cup fresh or frozen string beans
handful of pomegranate arils
pear balsamic vinegar

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of butter in nonstick pan on medium heat for fish. In a small saucepan, boil 1 1/4 cup water, salt, 1 teaspoon of butter for couscous.
  2. Pat dry tilapia fillets and lightly coat with flour, paprika, and salt in a shallow dish. Add to pan. Cook both sides for a few minutes until fish is flaky.
  3. While you're waiting for the fish to cook and water to boil, finely chop up vegetables and prepare your pomegranate (best done in a large bowl full of water, the pithy stuff will float, the arils will sink, and the stains will be minimal).
  4. Once water is boiling, add couscous, cover, remove from heat and let sit undisturbed.
  5. If your fish is done by now, transfer to a plate, cover, and keep warm in the microwave or oven (don't turn it on, just to stay warm). Use the same pan to slightly cook your carrots and bell peppers for a few minutes, then transfer those into your saucepan with the finished couscous. Then add the green beans to the same pan, cover to steam for a few minutes on low-medium heat. 
  6. Plate it all together by layering with couscous first, then green beans, then fish, then pomegranate arils, then drizzled with pear balsamic vinegar.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Peach Shell Scarf

This soft peach shell stitch scarf is the perfect accessory to any spring, fall, or winter attire. It's short enough to double loop through and not have a lot dangling. If you're in the mood for some swinging ends, loop it in  one layer around your neck. Pair it with a white T and pin-striped slacks? Or maybe a navy top with rust-orange jeans? Get creative with your color combinations!

100% acrylic yarn
Machine wash cold, tumble dry low.

Available on Etsy!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Flying Zebras and Pink Polka Dots

With approximately 10 weeks to go before baby's due date, I figure it is time to kick things into gear.... Having a baby is a great reason to do something like spring cleaning (in with the new, out of the old/re-purpose the old?). You know, sort through what we actually wear versus what we think we wear; what we need versus what we didn't even know we had. A few storage bins, bulging donation bags, and handfuls of dark chocolate M&Ms later, I cleared out a decent amount of space. My dresser is now Baby Girl's dresser and changing table. Pink Post-Its mark what goes where for now. As a break (and to dust off my sewing machine - thank you husband for changing the light bulb and needle...), I made a baby blanket. It's about 2 yards of fabric (1 yard per side), 100% cotton (one side flannel cotton). Sewn inside-out then hemmed on the outside for a finishing touch, a pretty easy project that results in instant gratification!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Little Green Elf Sweater Jacket (0-3 months)

Look who Santa brought this year! Cozy up your little one in this baby green sweater jacket trimmed with a soft clouds. A large button is securely sewed on for easy fastening. Have a baby shower to attend? This would be the perfect gift! 

9.5 inch base width (19 inches around)

12 inches from yoke to bottom
7.5 inch yoke width
11 inches sleeve length

100% worsted acrylic yarn

Available on Etsy!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Baby Blue Cloud Trim Sweater (3-6 months)

This fuzzy baby blue sweater jacket is trimmed with a bulkier white yarn. I love the easy tie in the front and the snugly hood. The sweater jacket is all one piece (minus the trim crocheted on separately)! Now that I have a little one coming, I'm having a hard time deciding whether to list it on Etsy or keep it! List it now and if it doesn't sell, keep it? Win-win situation :o)

Available on Etsy!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

There is much to be thankful for everyday. Good health. Loving family. Plenty of laughter. Food to nourish the body and delight the senses. This Thanksgiving, we were thankful to enjoy a weekend in my Minnesota hometown. We slept in and woke up to peaceful flurries dusting the evergreens. We watched squirrels bicker over fallen bird seed, leaving tracks in the snow. 
Top: A feast of turkey, sushi, sticky rice, snow crab, noodles, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, and egg rolls.
Bottom Left: The Uncles-to-be listening for Baby Girl.
Bottom Right: Post-Thanksgiving attempt at yoga. (Photography by Dad) 
Gotta have a fireplace. Freshly fallen snow. (Phone Photos by Me)

SURPRISE Baby Shower - on the four year anniversary of our engagement!
The excited extended family. Raspberry cupcakes with pink cream cheese frosting. (Photography by Dad)
This Baby Girl has the cutest handmade onesies (get creative with iron-ons, fabric paint/markers, stencils, and your imagination!) from all her future "Aunties" and "Uncles!" (Phone Photos by Me)

Thank you Stella for throwing such a thoughtful shower! (Photography by Dad)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Eric & Owen's Photo Shoot - 11/12/2012

We started the chilly desert morning by waking up the snapdragons and tickling the grass. We ended indoors with crayons and blocks and whispers while Owen took a quick nap. These two cuties are full of smiles. The twinkle in their eyes turn any frown upside down!

Check out the rest of today's shoot at: 2012/11 {Eric & Owen}

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rachel's 20 Month Old Holiday Photo Shoot - 11/10/2012

The holidays are quickly approaching and this baby girl is all decked out! 
Love those curls Rachel!

Check out the full album at: 2012/11 {Rachel}

Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Life List

I love writing lists. Grocery lists. To-do lists. Alphabetical lists. Pros and cons lists. Ranking lists. There I go, listing. Even as a child, I wrote lists. What's there to do on a to-do list as a child you may ask? It didn't have to be a to-do list. I listed out all the types of horses I remembered reading in the encyclopedia. I listed all the colors I could dream of. My poor brothers were roped into this listing game I created. We'd list and list until we could think of no more and then compare our lists. Yes, I'm also the type of person who will write something on a list I already completed to smile in satisfaction from crossing it off. 

Below is my life list. It isn't a "35 Things to Do Before I'm 35" because deadlines make me go into crazy-must-get-this-done mode. There isn't an expectation to cross everything off. There isn't rhyme or reason to the order. It's a list of my wishes, my hopes, my dreams. It's a list of experiences. It's a list to look back on and think, "oh yeah! I want to get on that" or maybe even "oh dear, what was I thinking?!"

  1. Get married. (June 12, 2010)
  2. Be a Mom. (working on this one...crossing off in February 2013!)
  3. Breastfeed. (will get to this one, see #2)
  4. Take a week long trip with my closest girl friends.
  5. Start a blog. (Edible Thoughts born on June 2, 2011)
  6. Visit Alaska before it melts.
  7. Nurture a flower and vegetable garden. (My husband is really the one with the green thumb but I help... Started May 2010)
  8. Have an art studio.
  9. Own a baby grand piano. (Mom and Dad, you're still holding on to my piano until we get a bigger house right?)
  10. Go to graduate school and study something I'm passionate about. (2009-Completed Master of Public Health in Nutrition from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and passed exam as a Registered Dietitian)
  11. To live in the same city as a sibling, a cousin, and/or a close girl friend; or at least be within driving distance (3 hours max including traffic).
  12. Be an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
  13. Try glassblowing. (October 2011-Made Christmas ornaments)
  14. Successfully host a multi-course home-cooked meal for at least 6 people.
  15. Hang up my paintings for an art show.
  16. Eat my way through Italy.
  17. Explore Turkey.
  18. Take a ceramics class.
  19. Perfect the art of traditional Taiwanese boba.
  20. Own a sewing machine. (January 2012).
  21. Inspire a stranger.
  22. Take a spontaneous road trip.
  23. Design and build a home with my husband.
  24. Write a story telling cookbook.
  25. Own/Share a beach house.
  26. See family in Taiwan at least once every 5 years (last trip was May 2010).
  27. Spend a long weekend on Mackinac Island, Michigan.
  28. Study food anthropology.
  29. Attend an organized personal growth retreat (Elevate Mastermind).
  30. Be a small business owner (actually I never dreamed I would do this but now that is has happened, I'm enjoying the ride and definitely think it makes the list!). (Etsy shop opened May 1, 2012).
This is a list to start, stay tuned for updates! What's on your Life List? 

Inspired by Molly Mahar

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Masquerade Mask & Caramel Apples

A few weeks ago I had a predicament. Halloween was creeping up and a mask that fit comfortably over glasses was nowhere to be found. This past week, inspiration was found -with some yarn and a crochet hook, a mask was made. My basic pattern was inspired by Priscilla's Crochet's Masquerade Mask. My deviations are the following: H hook; Round 2 were hdc's instead of dc's; Round 3 was slst all around except for the sides where I did a 3ch slst back into the same hdc for the temples of my glasses to go through; and at the end I used the tail to stitch together the middle for a more prominent nose flare and to fit my glasses so I could see out better. Then I sewed on sequins and accessorized with glittery bird clips (Christmas ornaments actually).
Happy Halloween!
Caramel Apples

Monday, October 29, 2012

Deep Breath. Big Smile.

I debated for months whether to blog on this HUGE news. I thought about what I would write. I thought about why I enjoy what I enjoy from other blogs. I laugh at the stories behind recipes. I get the "I totally know where you're coming from" feeling even though I've never met the blogger. That's what I want. I want that connection. But I'm nervous. I'm anxious about what bumps and hiccups will come along the way. I feel vulnerable because it's so personal. Is this something I really want to share with readers around the world? Over the past few months, it has become hard to blog at all when holding on to such a big secret that seeps into everything I do and say everyday without giving it away. I thought and I thought and I thought. Then, I came to the realization that if this blog is a journal of inspiration food, beauty, and life as I state in my "About Me" section, how am I not to share the news? The truth is, this news has EVERYTHING to do with inspiration, food, beauty, and life. We are embarking on a new adventure. There are many stories to tell and many more to come. So here we go. 

Ready? Deep breath. Big smile.

My husband and I are expecting a baby girl come February 2013! We are extremely excited for this new addition to the family. Our parents and siblings look forward to meeting their first granddaughter/niece. 

And now that the secret it out, I can and will share more freely!

Mommy & Me
Me, Mom, Grandma. Looking forward to adding another girl to this photo! (not sure who took the photo? Dad?)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cranberry Muffins with Streusel Topping

This easy recipe from start to finish (including cleaning up) takes less than an hour. It's perfect for a quiet Sunday morning, to take to a brunch potluck, or to enjoy as an afternoon snack!

Prep: 15 minutes        Bake: 18 minutes        Oven: 400F        Yield: 12 muffins

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 beaten extra-large egg
3/4 cup soy milk
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 cup dried cranberries (feel free to get creative and use dried blueberries or nuts too)

  1. Line twelve muffin cups with paper bake cups; set aside. 
  2. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients for muffins. Make a well in the center of the mixture and set aside.
  3. In a 1 cup Pyrex, measure oil and soy milk together, then add beaten egg. Add mixture all at once to flour mixture well and stir just until moistened. Desired: lumpy batter. Over mixing can lead to a tough muffin with peaks and tunnels. Fold in cranberries.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full. Sprinkle Streusel topping over muffin batter in cups. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. While muffins are baking, clean up the kitchen!
  5. Cool in muffin cups on wire rack for 5 minutes before removing. 

Streusel Topping:
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons rolled oats

  1. In a shallow bowl, mix together flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Using a fork, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in rolled oats. Evenly divide up over muffin batter in cups before baking.

Slightly adapted from Better Homes and Garden Cook Book 75th Anniversary Edition.