Entries from August 2010

Vegetable Stuffed Potatoes and My New Favorite Beer

August 31, 2010

StuffedPotato2

Southampton

Jeremy and I got back late on Sunday evening from a long weekend in the pacific northwest helping a dear friend celebrate her marriage. When Monday evening rolled around and we had seemingly no food in our house and I was out the door for a meeting when I quickly took inventory and started crafting a dinner plan in my head. This is what I came up with.

Vegetable Stuffed Potatoes
4 medium-sized potatoes (we used red, but you can use whatever you like)
1 onion
1 summer squash
1 green bell pepper
1 cup of grated cheese (we used Raw Sharp Cheddar)
Taco Seasoning
Fresh Chives
(ingredients in green are local)

Serves 4 (or 2 with enough for next-day leftovers)

I instructed Jeremy to bake 4 potatoes by scrubbing and stabbing the potatoes with a fork, salt and peppering the skins with a little bit of olive oil and to bake in tin foil at 400F for about an hour. I went off to a meeting and by the time I got home they were done. You can also do this ahead of time and refrigerate until you’re ready to use.

When I got back I took the one good summer squash, onion and green bell pepper I had on hand and diced and sauteed them in a little more olive oil and sprinkled with taco seasoning. Yes, taco seasoning. I added about a 1/4 c of water to make sure it coated the veggies nicely and wasn’t too powdery. The water burns off in the pan and you’re left with perfectly seasoned vegetables.

Sidenote: I’m kind of notorious for under-seasoning my food. It’s just not something I’m good at yet. So lately, I’ve been letting my favorite grocery store, Native Roots, do the work for me. They sell little spice mixes (just enough for one or two meals, which is perfect) that they’ve mixed themselves.

Meanwhile, while I’m cooking the veggies (just until tender), Jeremy is cutting the potatoes in half and scooping out the insides into a medium sized bowl. After the veggies are done cooking I dumped them in the same bowl and mashed everything together. I add about half my cheese to the mix as well.

Then I lined up all the halves (you should have 8) into a baking dish (8×8 should be fine). I sprinkled the rest of the cheese on top and baked under the broiler for about 10 minutes – just enough time for the cheese to melt and get a little bubbly. I garnished the dish with some fresh chives and a little more salt and pepper.

Note: this dish could easily be made vegan by leaving out the cheese or using a substitute.

About the beer.
I’m usually a red wine drinker (shiraz and syrah are my favorites right now) but in the summertime it’s just too hot to enjoy a glass of wine. So I’ve appropriately switched to beer for the season. This Southampton beer is delicious – if I were fancy I would describe the flavors with eloquence, but I’m not fancy. So I won’t.

Do Fun Stuff!

August 30, 2010

My friend Ryan over at Pacing the Panic Room has been working hard on creating a kids album for parents called Do Fun Stuff!

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And get this, 100% of the proceeds go to further the study and research of Smith Magens Syndrome. Ryan’s and his wife, Cole, are parents to the Littlest Buddy – an adorable boy who is affected (but not defined by) SMS.

I first found Ryan when his maternity series for his wife was plastered all over the internet – he’s a fantastic photographer and recently has been making some pretty amazing videos with a Canon 7D. So after you’re done buying Do Fun Stuff! watch this video he made for the Littlest Buddy.

Edmund and Tenzing

August 27, 2010

EdmundTenzing

Earlier this week when I got scared about my upcoming Everest Base Camp trek you guys really pulled through and made me feel a whole lot less scared. I can’t thank you enough. Blog reader Caitlin sent me a link to this post featuring Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, the first to summit Everest, knowing I’d appreciate the design aspect of it. And boy did I! Not only did these photos above blow my mind with their Sartorialist timelessness but they got me all sorts of excited about the trek.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Yard work.

August 26, 2010

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QuiltMedium

QuiltWide

When I first decided to quit my job and work from home I tried not to glamorize the idea of working from home too much. I didn’t want to create this unrealistic fantasy but I couldn’t help my mind from going there. Then the reality (the reality of actually working and managing myself) settled in along with 105 degree weather and I was started to feel a little overwhelmed.

But then just when I needed it a cold front came in. The fantasy came true when I worked in 70 degree weather, next to my veggie garden, on a tattered quilt that’s been in my family forever.

Maybe next year my fantasy will involve landscaping that includes a hammock and a fire pit.

Prepping for Everest: I’m Scared

August 25, 2010

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Our big trip to Nepal to trek to Everest Base Camp is coming up fast. Up until now it’s been all about the logistics – booking flights, gathering gear and making vaccination appointments.

Now that all of that is about done I’m left worrying about the unknown. You want specifics? Here’s everything I’m worried about:
• Getting sick. Specifically throwing up and getting diarrhea.
• Pooping in a hole. And the whole toilet paper situation.
• Dealing with my period during the trek. Which I will be.
• High altitude sickness.
• Getting hit by some sort of falling rock.
• Breaking any bones.
• Our plane crashing. Not the big planes that get us to Kathmandu but the little plane that’s taking us to our trailhead. The plane that lands on the most dangerous landing strip in the world.

Yesterday morning my dad sent me an email with a link to an article saying a plane from Kathmandu to Lukla crashed, killing all 18 passengers. My heart sunk. This is the exact kind of plane and route we’ll be taking in a matter of weeks. I’m scared and I don’t want to die. And my heart goes out to the family of those who passed. After learning about that, Jeremy and I went to the vaccination clinic to learn about all the other things that could kill us. And now I feel so silly that up until now my fears were mostly preoccupied with the toilet situation.

So now I’m trying to find the courage I need to turn off True Blood (or MadMen or Keeping up with the Kardashians), get off my couch and go on an adventure. I’m not very tough but I can be brave. I will be brave.

So I need to know…

How do you conquer your fears? What do you do to be brave?

Usually, I think of the story I’ll have to tell. The best stories always involve some sort of risk. But today I had to pull out the big guns and call my dad for reassurance.

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