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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Braised chicken legs with kale

The chicken was flavorful and fall off the bone tender.  Recipe here.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Banana Pancakes

Ed's back from his business trips - which means I'm no longer living off of wine and cheese, and I get to wake up on Sunday morning to homemade banana pancakes (yes, life is hard).

Ed pulled the banana pancake recipe from one of his cookbooks - however you can find a similar ones here or here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NARS (20% off)

NARS is currently having a 20% off sale (+ free shipping) - which makes me feel a little less guilty about indulging in something for myself during the holiday season.

(promo code: CORPTHANKS2011, 20% off purchase of $50.00+)

Some of my favorite NARS products...

the cult classic blush in Orgasm

sheer lipstick in Flamenco
(I'm actually wearing this right now - its sheer and therefore not too scary for day time use)
sheer lipstick in Falbala

duo eyeshadow in Brousse

lusting after...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fried Rice with Sweet Soy Sauce

I've been living off of wine, cheese, crackers, and nuts for the past two weeks (Ed is on a business trip) - therefore I had to dig into the archives for this recipe (Fried Rice with Sweet Soy Sauce).

I'm from Guam, which means I can make fried rice in my sleep and I scoff at the use of a recipe for it.  However, I was willing to lower myself to try Ed's new spin on the old standard.

The flavor of this dish is a little sweet, subtly complex thanks to mint/basil/shallots, and nicely spicy.  The daikon provided crunch, but really didn't add anything else to the dish.
All in all - it's a dish I'd eat again, but I still prefer my Guam style fried rice.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Instead of blogging I...

...visited my crafty sister and nephews in Las Vegas

(yes, my sister made those costumes)

...checked out Poquitos (w/my friend Mo) in Capitol Hill after a hair appointment

...had lunch with my favorite niece and BFF @ Grace Kitchen

(yes, she is the cutest baby ever)

...bought a couple new pieces of furniture for our condo's entryway (here and here)

(the challenge will be putting everything together before Ed returns
from his business trip)

...had lunch with a college friend (Joey) and high school friend (Maria) at Boulette's Larder in the SF Ferry Building

(best paella I've ever had)

... and reunited with high school friends and stuffed myself at a Guam style bbq (in the Bay Area)

(Lena, Maria, Claire, Kulia and me - I can't believe we're in our 30's)

(ribs, chicken, keleguin, lumpia, finadene, red rice, potato
salad, corn soup, fruit salad, pancit, and black tea ++++)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

(Monster) Chili Shrimp

Note to self: if Ed goes to the market to pick up shrimp (or, really, anything), he will most likely purchase the largest shrimp (squash, scallop, salmon fillet, etc) he can find.

Exhibit A: the shrimp on steroids pictured above.  To give you a little perspective, each one was about the size of a small to medium lobster tail (yes, that is a normal size dinner plate they're displayed on).  I didn't even know such shrimp existed.  I'm pretty sure they'd be shunned in nature for their grotesquely large appearance.

I expected the meat to be stringy/fibrous but, amazingly, the shrimp was tasty and tender - and quite possibly the best shrimp I ever had.

Moral of the story: sometimes bigger can be better.

(Chili Shrimp recipe here)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Drink your vegetables

I, admittedly, have been on a weird food kick lately.  Currently, I'm dipping my toe into the world of green smoothies.

Last night I tried out this recipe.  The taste brought to mind gazpacho (not bad).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

(Light) Crabcakes with spicy mustard sauce

I originally intended to make this dish for dinner on my husband's birthday, but he poo-pooed the idea and whipped up the decadent chicken dish I posted below.

I decided to use canned lump crab meat ($5/can * 3) instead of fresh ($30/lb), and was a little worried that it'd affect quality and taste - but I figured with all the ingredients in crab cakes, it'd most likely be fine.  I was right.

The crab-cakes were flavorful, meaty, and had the perfect amount of "filler" ingredients (this being the bare minimum).  A simple arugula salad provided the perfect accompaniment.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chicken With Vin Jaune and Mushrooms

This recipe, for Chicken with Vin Jaune and Mushrooms, is not diet friendly.

"Why" do you ask?  "How can chicken and mushrooms be bad for me"?

Well - there's 14 tablespoons of butter in this dish.  Divide that by 4 servings, and you just consumed 3.5 Tbl of butter (yumm?).

But I must admit, every bite of this dish was heaven - and just knowing that I was indulging in something so decadent made it taste even better.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Etsy Love

my latest Etsy purchase
"Glacier Park Painting" by Marissa Vogl

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Baked eggs over sauteed mushrooms and spinach

Sorry for the lack of posts lately - I haven't been super inspired to blog, which I am blaming on: (1) being crafted out from my Montana crafting extravaganza, (2) being on the Zone diet (too lazy to cook).

However, I did manage to muster up a little enthusiasm for the yummy baked egg dish pictured above.  I mean, who can resist a breakfast dish with wine it it?!

Note: I would recommend you bake the dish in your actual oven and not a toaster oven, like I did.  The egg whites took forever to set, and the yolks were a little over-done on the out-side, and under-done on the inside.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chicken lettuce cups

After reading the reviews on the recipe for these chicken lettuce cups - I knew I was going to need to get a little creative to kick the flavor up a notch.  Therefore I: added a couple teaspoons of red pepper flakes to the ground chicken, used milder/saltier green olives (I can't remember the variety, but I grabbed them from the antipasti bar), and substituted ricotta salata cheese for the mozzarella.

The end result was incredibly tasty.  Just ask Ed.  He inhaled six of these babies.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Step into the Zone

About a week ago, my sister and I decided to go on the Zone diet together.  She wants to lose the last of her baby weight, and I want to shed the 6lbs I gained thanks to my trip to Montana (What?!  Light beer doesn't have zero calories?!  I consumed about 400 - 500 extra calories a day, thanks to light beer and junk food, for almost 10 days).  We've successfully followed the Zone plan before, and kept the weight off for years, so it was easy to decide what diet plan to turn to.
The Zone diet is all about portion control and a balance of carbs to protein to fat - so basically any dish can be a "Zone" meal.  Case in point, the Fajita Turkey Burger pictured above (note: I took a pic of Ed's "non-Zone" burger).  1 burger + 1/2 pita + 1.5 Tbl guacamole + tomatoes/onions/lettuce = a 3 block Zone meal.  Yumm!  We're both eating 11 - 13 Zone blocks/day.
Christie and I have been texting each other pictures and/or descriptions of each of our meals and snacks.  Obsessive, I know, but it keeps us honest.

I have this bad habit of drinking my carbs at night instead of eating them (4 oz of wine or 1 oz of vodka = 1 Zone carb block).  I tell myself, "Come on Calina, you can have a cup of strawberries instead of that glass of wine!  Or 6 cups of lettuce!"

The wine always wins.  Nuts.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Warm Seattle Fall Day

Murgh - I bought the J.Crew blouse, pictured in the set below (click for details) two + weeks ago (i.e. not on sale).  Sigh.

Oh well, I love the blouse - it's the perfect length for pairing with my corduroy jeggings!

What I threw on today (a warm Seattle fall day):

Warm Seattle Fall Day

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hive & Honey at Piperlime

The lust-worthy clothing at usually runs on the $$$ side - however, I recently stumbled upon a chic and reasonably priced line they carry: Hive & Honey.

I pulled the trigger on the suede trim blazer (pictured above) and was pretty pleased with the quality and fit (purchased my normal size, M).

A few other nice options in the Hive & Honey line:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Simple Salmon Chirashi

It's nice being married to a foodie.

Case in point: the other night, while I spent quality time on the couch with my Kindle, my husband whipped up Salmon Chirashi (pictured above) for dinner.

The flavors in this dish were divine: briny seaweed and soy, creamy and mild avocado, nutty sesame, and a sinus clearing kick courtesy of wasabi.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Creamy stovetop corn with poblano chiles

This dish is, hands down, the best corn dish I've ever had (yes, it even beats out the scrumptious roasted corn w/chipotle lime butter at the Waterfront Seafood Grill).

Thank you New York Times - I will forever be grateful for Ed discovering this recipe for creamy stovetop corn in your pages.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A quick cabin tour (part 2)

The mini tour of our Montana cabin continued.  Please ignore the clutter - DIY'ing and crafting in progress.

Downstairs bathroom before

Getting better!
(thanks to all my hard labor painting)

Living room before

Getting better!
(we still need a wood burning stove)

Kitchen before

A billion times better

My lovely new hammock

And my lovely new boat

Check out my friend Leigh's Montana snaps here.

Friday, September 9, 2011

DIY upholstered headboard

During my 10 day crafting extravaganza at our Montana cabin, I managed to whip out a DIY upholstered headboard for a queen size bed in one of our guest bedrooms.  This project took me less than 45-minutes to complete.

4x8 plywood cut down to 4x5 ($6.00 at Lowes, the cutting is free - just ask)
Twin sized foam mattress topper ($9.99 at Walmart)
1 1/2 - 2 yrds upholstery fabric (I used Waverly Small Talk Mint Julep, $14.98/yrd)
3M spray adhesive
Hardware to attach the frame to the bed ($.10 for each nut/bolt) & drill


Spray the back of your mattress topper with adhesive, and attach it to the plywood (textured side down). You may want to let the foam hang 1 inch over the edges of the headboard, in order to soften them.

Cut an approx 10" strip from your fabric, and set aside.  Now, align your fabric on top of the foam, making sure your fabric is long enough to cover the area of the headboard that will be exposed (above your mattress) and that, if applicable, your fabric's pattern is facing the right direction.  If your fabric isn't wide enough to cover the headboard with the pattern facing the right-way (I ran into this problem), get creative.  Stitch strips of fabric along the outside edges to widen, or break your fabric up into thirds and stitch. 

Once your fabric is aligned, start stapling the top edge to the back of your headboard.  Once you have a few staples in, pull the fabric tight and place a few staples along the bottom edge of the fabric (into the front of the plywood).  Continue stapling until the fabric is secure.  Save the corners for last.

To finish off your headboard you'll need to attach the strip of fabric you set aside earlier to the exposed sides of the plywood (near the bottom).  Make sure your fabric is wide enough to cover the area that will be visible, cut to size, and staple.

Attach your headboard to your bed frame.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A quick cabin tour (part one)

Now that our cabin finally has stuff (i.e. furniture, light fixtures, art, crafts, junk) in it - I thought I'd give you a little "before" and "now" tour of a couple rooms. (note: these are not "after" pics since we're far from done...)

Entryway area before

and now

Downstairs bedroom before

and now

 Deck before

and now
 (Maureen enjoying the sunshine - grill not shown)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chalkboard headboard

First, please ignore the wonky wall in the background.  I was hoping we could get the bedrooms in our cabin painted before our guests came over for Labor Day weekend, but our handyman barely had time to finish and prime the drywall (did I mention we had to re-plumb the whole place and had big gaping holes in the several walls?)

Anyhoo, I did manage to finish my chalkboard headboard project (inspiration here).  Instead of breaking out the saw and trying to shape a piece of plywood, I decided to buy a cheapo headboard (my fingers thank me). 

I taped off the area I wanted to cover with chalkboard paint, applied a coat of primer, then two coats of chalkboard paint.  After letting it dry for three days, I conditioned the chalkboard with the side of a piece of chalk, erased, and then set out a box of colored chalk for my friend Leigh's kids.

I definitely think I either need to (1) cut a couple inches off the headboards' legs or (2) paint the legs white....but that's a project for another time.