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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fall Lust List

Even though its been pretty chilly and gray in Seattle, I'm not yet ready to admit its time to break out the wool cardigans and tweed skirts (it's still August for goodness sakes!)

Luckily, all the lovely fall shoes and handbags that have come out recently look just as nice paired with bare legs, short skirts, and sleeveless tops as they will with fall clothing - so, in my mind, there's no harm in coming up with a fall handbag/accessory lust list (below - click the pic for details).

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Blueberry Mania!

I LOVE having a friend who is just as crafty and obsessive, or even more so, than I am.

Yes, my buddy and Fellow blogger Leigh convinced me it's way cooler if you can say you actually harvested the fruit in your jam.  So - on Saturday we headed up to Arlington with her hubby and kids (otherwise known as Leigh's free laborers) and spent a couple hours picking blueberries.

Our Haul (6 lbs for me 7lbs for Leigh): 

What those berries have become:

(note: I used low fat cream cheese, for the topping I used: 2 c blueberries, 1/2 c sugar, 
1 1/2 tbl cornstarch,1/4 tsp lemon peel, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 
1/2 c water, 1 tbl lemon juice, bring dry ingredients to a boil and add berries/lemon juice)

Blueberry Jam
(9c crushed berries and 6c sugar.  Bring up to a slow boil
and cook to the gelling point.  Made 10 1/2 pint jars)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gap Give and Get

I must admit that I've been pretty disappointed with Banana Republic's wonky sizing lately (I thought I had it down to a science, but yesterday the delivery man brought me a box full of blouses that were WAY to big) - but it definitely hasn't stopped me from perusing the BR/Gap/and Old Navy websites for the items I want to snag as soon as its Gap Give and Get time.

Starting tomorrow, you can get 30% off your online or in store order (using the coupon I linked to above), and Gap will donate 5% of what you spend to one of a handful of charities.  The deal runs through August 29, 2010.

If you're overwhelmed by the savings and need a place to start, check out my BR recommendations below:

P.S.  If your a fan of DSW, they're currently having a killer deal - up to $45.00 off (a purchase of $149), plus 20% off, plus free shipping.  Check out the details on See Chloe Shop

Monday, August 23, 2010

(Kinda) Red Velvet Cupcakes & Crewcuts

Ed's grandson, Manny's, b-day was on Friday - so we had 4 outta' 5 grand kids over this past weekend for a little Pacific Science Center and cupcake decorating fun.

I rolled out of bed around 9AM on Sunday, and whipped up a batch of Red Velvet Cupcakes (pictured above, the recipe is pretty wonderful but they turned out more terracotta than red since I ran outta' red food coloring).  I frosted half and put the rest out with the remaining frosting, various sprinkles, and toppings.

Manny decorating his cupcakes

Manny modeling the Crewcuts outfit we got him for his b-day

(in background) full-zip fleece hoodie

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Creamy Spinach-Mushroom Enchiladas & Jam-Filled Butter Cookies

I've never really been a stress eater, thank-god, but when I got home last night I felt an undeniable urge to crack open a package of cream cheese and indulge in 1 ounce of the stuff (yes, I measured it out).  Afterwards...I felt a sense of relief and inner peace.

I'm a little bit disturbed.

Anyhoo - since I already had the cream cheese open, I decided to try my hand at making the delicious Creamy Spinach-Mushroom Enchilada dish pictured above.  Although it sounds quite decadent, its yet another Cooking Light recipe, and is chock full of "good for you" stuff.

I snuck a little kale in it, since it was languishing in the fridge, and decided to broil it in a casserole dish instead of a skillet.  It turned out super flavorful and drool worthy.

I also whipped up a batch of Jam-Filled Butter Cookies, to satisfy my after dinner sweet tooth and current obsession with jam.  Yes - I did use the delicious strawberry jam I canned last year...and it was wonderful.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

More Food: Grilled Peppers and Lentil Salad & Ladopsomo Bread

Yes - yes - I realize my blog posts of late have been dominated by food (I "heart" food), and I swear I'll rectify that situation sometime next week.

But, for now, I have yet another food post (yipee!).  This time: Grilled Peppers and Lentil Salad

I didn't have any tomatoes, nor did I have "fennel pollen" (whatever that is), but that didn't stop me.

And - I think the salad turned out perfectly well minus the tomatoes and with a dash of fennel salt.

If you want an easy to pack lunch salad with tons of fiber and protein (but no meat), this is the recipe for you.

P.S.  I just realized I also took a pic of the Ladopsomo Bread (light, fluffy, Greek fry-bread) I ate the salad with.  Ed made it for the Greek Salad Sandwiches we had the night before.  

If you know Ed - you also already realize making the bread was somewhat complicated and took forever (4+ hrs...we didn't eat dinner until 9:30PM).  You also probably know it was utterly delicious.  If you make it with whole wheat flour, as he did, you won't feel as guilty indulging...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer Canning Fun

2 flats of fresh picked organic berries for $20.00
(I "heart" the Sunday farmer's market at Pike's Place)

Yesterday was a scorcher in Seattle (90+ degrees) - a perfect day to walk to the market and lug 3lbs of peppers and 2 flats of berries home, and then stand at the stove for 3hrs canning (yay boiling steamy water!).

Or not...but I did it anyway.  I like to take action as soon as inspiration hits, otherwise I forget all about it.

9c crushed berries (blueberry/blackberry) + 6c of sugar
bring to a boil and cook to the gelling point.  Ladle into jars and process
15 minutes in a boiling water canner.

Habanero, Banana, & Jalapeno Peppers
(Pickle in 6c vinegar, 3 garlic cloves, and 2c water.  Bring to a boil, then ladle
over peppers packed into jars.  Process 10 min in a boiling water canner)

Finished product (every jar sealed!  Sorry the pic is so dark, the shades
were drawn and the air conditioning was cranking)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Vegetable Beauty

Yes, vegetables can be "good looking" - as evidenced by the lovely (and healthy salad above).

If you'd like to take a crack at making this delicious Tuna, Arugula, and Egg Salad  (from the August 2010 edition of Cooking Light), check out the recipe here.

Note: I omitted the pita chips from the recipe...mainly (1) to save calories and (2) they made no sense.  Pita chips with salad?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Back in Business

After a week of eating the delicious detox meals I prepared - the hubby was more than ready to get back in the kitchen.

On the menu - Chicken Tacos and Caramel Cake (I can't find the recipe online right now, but I think the recipe is from the most recent edition of Food & Wine).

The caramel cake was delicious!  The cake itself was light, moist, and not too sweet - and the frosting was gooey and decadent.

I may have to go on another detox diet just to recover from all that sugar!

The new gadget Ed HAD to purchase for cake making

Caramel Cake

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I'm in a weird place right now - not yet ready to admit that summer is slowly winding down (although its 60 degrees and gray out right now), yet lusting over all of the new fall fashion offerings that keep on popping up (yay fall?). 

Since I'm really not willing to pack up my bikini and pull out the wool cardigans, especially now that I'm down 5lbs from the Goop detox diet, I've decided to focus my shopping cravings on dresses for work.  With a little layering they're seasonless, easy to throw on in the morning, and usually pretty darn comfy compared to slacks.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Detox Day 4 & 5

Aside from my cravings for cookies, diet coke, and wine - detoxing this week has been pretty easy, even more so now that the end is in site (somewhere there's a magnum with my name on it).

On days 2 & 3 I was feeling exhausted, most likely from the lack of caffeine and too few calories, but now that I've made it over that hump I feel pretty energetic.  Not "light" and "glowy" like some detoxers report, but I can make it past 7PM without crashing.

Anyhoo - pictured above is the Steamed Salmon with Greens from day 4.  In my opinion, it's the best dish on the detox.

Even if you aren't detoxing, it'd make a great light dinner (and an easy to pack lunch).

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Detox Day 3

The Goop detox diet has been surprisingly easy so far (yes - Mo, Ed, and I are still "master of our domains" - in the detox sense), but I'm expecting to hit a wall and have uncontrollable ice cream cravings any minute now.

Or maybe coffee cravings.


I switched up yesterday's menu a bit - and had the miso soup for lunch instead of the teriyaki chicken, pumpkin/almond seeds for a snack, and then made Raw Sweet Corn and Cashew Chowder for dinner (pic above).  It was quick and easy to make (all you need to do is chop a tiny bit and blend).

Tonight we're having the steamed salmon instead of miso soup for dinner (the hubby needs some protein, miso soup can wait until tomorrow).

I'm still not sure if I feel any physical benefit from the detox (I've actually been really tired, probably from the low calories), but mentally - I feel great about going three days without sugary treats, coffee, and alcohol.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Detox Diet - Day 1

I'm feeling pretty optimistic, even though I haven't had coffee and drank a protein smoothie for breakfast.  On the menu for today: coconut water, salad with carrot/ginger/miso dressing, pumpkin seeds, and arugula/broccoli soup for dinner.  Yumm.

My current good mood may also be due to the fact I'm still full from the decadent dinner the hubby & I had last night at 94 Stewart.  I picked up a $55.00 Groupon for the restaurant last week (for $25.00) - and we decided our "last dinner" before detox week was reason enough to use it.

Hushpuppies w/Crab

Foie Gras

Duck breast w/Blackberry Jus & Fingerling Potatoes

Mushroom Ragu