Thursday, November 17, 2011

Inspiration from The Purl Bee

I just picked up knitting (literally, two days ago) and I am excited to one day be able to make something more than a simple scarf. The Purl Bee blog, of the Soho fabric store, has so many beautiful fabric projects! I love to sew and have a hard time coming up with things to make; you can only sew so many pillow cases and curtains for your apartment! Lots of great holiday decorations and gift ideas.

Twisted felt garland Who doesn't love garland? And this one reminds me of candycanes!

Thanksgiving Linen Napkins We don't use paper napkins in our house
and I love the simplicity of these.

Hooded towel My mom had these when I was young, but adding the
sweet floral makes is extra cozy and precious.

Dopp Kit I have a fear of sewing zippers but I need
a new makeup bag and this one looks pretty easy!

Felt flower wreath This one is amazing!! I would like to figure out how to make it actually in the round and not attached to a flat piece of fabric, hmm...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


We are moving into a new apartment and I have gotten excited about re-organizing and re-purposing furniture. I have been planning in my head for weeks about what will go where and searching through inspiration online like crazy. Moving is a pain but it nice to sort through things and donate unused things that just clutter up our space.

I love the simple color palette of this room and the plants.

I have handfuls of vintage hankies and,
if my husband lets me, I want to frame them like this!

Simple, but full of warm textures.

Perfect, old furniture has so much character.
Rooms like this remind me to slowly fill my space,
instead of running to IKEA.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sweet dreams

Summer, finally.

Oak Street Beach

Miko's Italian Ice

Free concerts in Millennium Park.
I saw Iron and Wine this week and the crowd was insane.

First CSA produce box. Last night we had kale chips, white cheddar polenta with sauteed green garlic, shiitakes, and spinach topped with a fried egg.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Costal Michigan (part 1)

Saugatuck, MI

At Uncommon Grounds Cafe. Sitting next to the roaster is a great feeling.

General Store down the road from our condo in Holland, MI

View of the lake from Mount Pisgah sand dune

Happy after running up the stairs on the sand dune

Hiking around Mount Pisgah

Lakeside home

Scrap metal ship

Coastal Michigan (part 2)

We stumbled upon a beach beach in Tunnel Park

...and the sun was out for about 10 minutes.

New Holland Brew Pub

South Haven, MI

South Beach in South Haven

Beautiful market in Saugatuck / South Haven

Michigan groceries: variety pack of New Holland beer, Saugatuck Brewing Beer (only 2 made it home with us), Knickerbocker Gin from New Holland, Blackberry Cider, 3-berry jam, honey straws, potato-chive bread, and spring produce.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Savory Baklava

My favorite thing about having a smart phone is being able to look up recipes while I am out; no more aimlessly buying things at the grocery and then realizing all I can make are tacos when I get home! After work I entered a few things into an app, I wanted to make a main dish vegetarian casserole. This recipe was the first that came up from the search and I was sold! The grocery store didn't have parsnips which the original recipe calls for and I added a couple of things (surprise!). Also, the explanation of how to assemble the dish was kind of complicated, so I just made mine up along the way. The vegetables were sweet and caramelized from the roasting and the flakey phyllo dough was the perfect wrapper for them.

Adapted slightly from

Roasted Winter Vegetable Baklava

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (2 ounces), toasted
  • 1/4 cup fine dry plain bread crumbs, toasted
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, reserving fronds, bulbs halved and sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 pound carrots (3 medium), sliced diagonally 1/3 inch thick
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 whole cloves garlic
  • 1/4-1/2 pound fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2/3 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup chopped dill
  • 8 (17-by 12-inch) phyllo sheets, thawed if frozen


Preheat oven to 425°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.

Slice potatoes 1/4 inch thick. Divide all vegetables (except spinach) between 2 large 4-sided sheet pans and toss each pan of vegetables with 3 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Roast vegetables, stirring and switching position of pans halfway through, until softened and golden brown in spots, 30 to 35 minutes. Leave oven on with 1 rack in middle.

Add 1/3 cup vegetable stock to each pan of vegetables and stir and scrape up brown bits from bottom. Chop 1/4 cup fennel fronds. Combine all vegetables in 1 pan and toss with fennel fronds and dill.

Brush baking dish with some of remaining olive oil. Cover stack of phyllo sheets with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel. Keeping remaining phyllo covered and working quickly, place 1 sheet in bottom of baking dish letting the phyllo overhang the sides of the dish, then gently brush with some oil (butter is better here!) and sprinkle with pine nuts and breadcrumbs. Place another phyllo sheet on top and repeat brushing and sprinkling. Top with a third sheet and brush with oil.

Spoon vegetables and spinach into phyllo shell. Fold overhang toward center over filling (it will not completely cover the vegetables) and brush edge with butter. Brush remaining 2 sheets of phyllo with butter and arrange on top of filling.

Bake in middle of oven until phyllo is deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

In other news, our beer is totally dead! The yeast never got going properly and we had no idea what to do to make them happy. We are going to order a few more ingredient kits and give it another try. Kyle and I had a little moment of mourning last week when we realized if our beer had worked, it would have been ready on that very day. At least there are plenty of delicious brews we can drown our sorrows in while we work on the next batch.

Friday, February 4, 2011