Sunday, November 29, 2009


My Grandma's china ready to go the night before.

Thanksgiving was awesome. All of our food was delicious! It was the first time in our new apartment that we had all the burners on the stove full and the oven packed. Also, everything we made was vegetarian and most of it was dairy-free. We had just enough chairs and stools to seat everyone in our little place.

Stuffing (my first attempt and it was great!), mushroom gravy, a mountain of roasted garlic and chive mashed potatoes, squash soup with gruyere crostini.

Yams, cranberry-pear sauce, crackers and veggies.

Sweet onions, yams, green beans with crispy shallots, and white bean-quinoa loaf.

My plate totally loaded!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving preparations

I have the Thanksgiving menu all planned out and I have three days in a row off from work! I wasn't planning on making any decorations but Betsy said that it would be very out of character for me to not come up with something. I was able to create decorations for our table and the only thing I bought were a few white pumpkins. My dad brought me some twine when he visited and I almost sent it back with him because I don't really need more crap laying around my house. However, look what I came up with! My neighbor had a huge branch come down in a wind storm a couple weeks ago so I snagged from twigs from her curb, cut out some paper leaves, and wrapped little glass jars with the twine and put votives inside. I think it looks pretty good for my first "tablescape"!

If I feel like it after dinner I might make some pie crust dough and save it in the freezer for the week. I have never actually made a pie before so I hope it turns out well!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Kyle and I took a day-trip on the Megabus today to Milwaukee.

The city was unbelievably beautiful! So many great buildings. We spent a lot of time in the art museum just enjoying the light-filled space.

I went to the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design for a pre-college program and hadn't been back since. They had this bazaar gallery that was totally made for me, full of vintage kitchens!!

There was also a great city market that reminded us both of the North Market in Columbus. Kyle and I stuck to our respective usuals--Mediterranean food and Mexican food.

And surprisingly, in a town full of breweries, the only beer we consumed was Ethiopian.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Belly Shack

Last weekend I tried Belly Shack for the first time. I was really skeptical of it...Puerto Rican/Korean food? And nothing can replace the delicious Vella Cafe. However, it really surprised me! I had quinoa lettuce wraps with roasted portobello mushrooms and a crunchy apple slaw. I tried bites of the Asian meatball sandwich and the tofu plantian sandwich. They have soft-serve and I ordered the caramel with cinnamon. Seriously, the best soft-serve ever. The decor was cheesy...kind of Chipotle industrial but colder and darker. Anyway, the food was so much better than I expected and it is nice to have more reasonably priced food close to my house.

Tea-time and card games. It's starting to get cold!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Julius Shulman Film

The film Visual Acoustics, a documentary about mid-century architectural photographer Julius Shulman is opening this week in Chicago. I have a few days off for Thanksgiving and I definitely want to see the film in my time off.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


(photo via kenliu)

One of my favorite things to do at work is make beautiful foam. Steaming milk is so satisfying and the result is like a cloud. I always want frothy milk to top my coffee at home but don't know how to get the same results. On Apartment Therapy today there is a post about how to make foam at home. I wonder if it will work as well with soy milk? Basically all you do it shake up some milk in a jar with a lid, then remove the lid, and microwave the milk until it's warm.

(photo via the kitchn)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

assorted photos I have saved to my computer because they are beautiful.
(via the selby, apartment therapy, and other places?)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I found a girl carrying the moon on her back.

And then I made scones.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My First Thanksgiving

Kyle and I are going to host Thanksgiving at our apartment this year. I am so excited to plan the menu. I think Thanksgiving food can be kind of bland (turkey) or gross (candied yams), but I love mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, pie, etc. I am excited to make everything a little "fresher" than usual. Also, I am going to make a veggie loaf instead of a turkey. The idea of a tofu loaf really doesn't excite me so I wanted to come up with something that would be really delicious. I talked to one of my friends at work and she helped me come up with a quinoa white bean loaf. I am going to saute onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and mushrooms. For gravy I think I will something really rich like a red wine mushroom gravy. The loaf should be protein heavy and not too starchy to serve with potatoes. Another of my friends helped me further create the loaf recipe by telling me about an online Loaf Generator. I entered in ingredients for the protein, carbohydrate, liquid, etc. and here is the recipe that I will use this as a guideline for ratios the ingredients.

Thanksgiving loaf


1/2 cup pine nuts
2 TB olive oil
One onion, diced
One large garlic clove, minced
One large carrot, peeled and grated
Two celery ribs, diced
One cup mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
2 cups cooked white beans
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth, as needed
1 heaping TB flaxseed meal
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. salt


Preheat the oven to 350º. Spray a loaf pan or 8x8 square baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside (an 8x8 pan makes a crisper loaf).

Grind the pine nuts into a coarse meal using a food processor or spice/coffee grinder. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Sauté any vegetables you've chosen in the olive oil until soft. Add to the large mixing bowl along with all the remaining ingredients. Mix and mash together well, adding only as much liquid as needed to create a soft, moist loaf that holds together and is not runny (you may not need to add any liquid if the grains and protein are very moist). Add more binder/carbohydrate as needed if the loaf seems too wet.

Press mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until cooked through.

Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a plate or platter and slice. Serve with potatoes, vegetables, and vegetarian gravy, if desired.

Cold leftover slices of Thanksgiving loaf make a great sandwich filling.