Entries from December 2011

The Mean Machine

December 22, 2011

DadBoat1

DadJeremyBoat2

When I was little my dad was a fishing guide. That means people would pay him money to take them fishing because he knew where the good catches were. (In fact, he can go back to lakes he fished decades ago and remember the best places to find fish.) Maybe that’s where I got my live what you love work and life philosophy.

My dad recently got this tiny 2-person boat that he calls The Mean Machine for the new lake house. Watching him drive it around on the little lake him and my mom now live on makes me laugh – every single time. When he’s in a boat (no matter how small) on a lake (even if it’s more like a pond) he’s completely in his element – he’s content to fish by himself but I think he’s happiest when he’s sharing the experience with someone else.

It makes me wonder – do I have a Mean Machine? Where am I most in my element? I think my happy place might be on the other side of the world or at least 12,000 ft. above sea level. What about you? Where is your happy place?

Whiskey

December 21, 2011

Whiskey

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Jeremy and I popped into Shop Good the other day to tackle our Christmas shopping and I stumbled upon a line of Portland General Store products. I opened little sample bottles of various colognes and fell in love with Whiskey. I love the idea of having a signature scent and at the same time I love the way men smell – I’m always attracted to masculine, woodsy colognes.

Here’s the Whiskey description:
Bring out that inner Brando with this elegant and charismatic fragrance, updated from a classic 1920s recipe. Power and masculinity are obvious in the deep wood and amber, and an unexpected hint of spice and floral complexity reveals itself over the hours.

Sounds nice, right? The downside – I have to promise Jeremy I haven’t been macking on any rustic old men when he goes in for a kiss and smells my new cologne. Instead I tell him I’ve only been bringing out my inner Brando and making out with him in my mind. All. Day. Long.

Spinach and Mushroom Muffins (+ A Giveaway)

December 20, 2011

WellFedSpinachMuffins

The best part of designing a cookbook was having access to all the amazing recipes. Like these savory Meat and Spinach Muffins – easily made vegetarian with mushrooms instead of sausage. My photos just don’t do them justice (I blame the sun setting at 5:00PM and lack of natural light) but I promise – they’re super tasty. Melissa, the author of Well Fed, has not only encouraged me to experiment with veggie-ing up her recipes she’s also given me permission to share the recipe with you. The recipe below is modified from Melissa’s original.

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Mushroom and Spinach Muffins
Prep: 15 min
Cool: 15 min
Bake: 40 min

Ingredients:
2 bags of fresh spinach, washed, dried and chopped (you can use 3 16oz bags of frozen chopped spinach too)
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large package of mushroom, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 tablespoons raisins
3 large eggs (note: I used 4 smallish eggs – but next time I’ll try with just 3)
* as a commitment to eat as local as possible I highlight locally sourced ingredients in green

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

This is crucial step! (If using frozen spinach): Squeeze the excess water from the defrosted spinach. Here’s my trick for removing excess water: Place all the spinach in a colander or wire sieve and press out the water with the bottom of a bowl that fits inside the colander, then squeeze individual handfuls of spinach to wring out the remaining water. You should have about 4 cups of spinach when you’re finished with the squeezing process.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes. Add coconut oil and allow it to melt. Toss the onion in the pan and sauté, stirring with a wooden spoon, until it’s crisp-tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the chopped mushrooms into the pan. Cook until they release their liquid – you may need to drain the liquid in a strainer and return mushrooms back to the pan. Add the garlic, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, curry powder and raisins and cook until the mushrooms are browned. Stir in the spinach until it’s combined. Set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.

Scramble the eggs in a small bowl with a fork, and when the mushroom/spinach mixture is cool, add them to the mix; blend well. The easiest way to combine everything is to mix with your hands. Dig in!

Place muffin papers in a 12-count muffin pan; they prevent sticking. Pack the batter into a 1/2-cup measurer, then transfer it to the muffin pan, using your hands to pack the spinach tightly into the muffin paper. It should be slightly mounded on top – the muffins puff a bit when they bake, then slightly deflate when cool. Remove the muffins from the pan and store covered, in the refrigerator.

My muffins came out more like miniature quiche but they were still super tasty. And the curry + raisin combination is just one example of “You Know How You Could Do That?” variations that Melissa offers with almost all of her recipes.

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Mel is generously offering a Jeremy & Kathleen reader a signed (by both Melissa and myself) copy of Well Fed plus a homemade spice blend by the author herself!

Enter to win by liking Melissa on Facebook or following her on Twitter and commenting below with your email address (so I can get a hold of you if you win). A winner will be picked by random on this Friday, December 23rd at 12PM CST – you have until then to enter.

Confession: I Like My Pimple

December 16, 2011

PimpleConfession

Before you’re all “Say what!?” and unsubscribe from my blog hear me out. I’ve been blessed with really great skin. I know this and fully appreciate it. Don’t worry – I’ve been cursed with a few things to make up for it. Like huge bags (not just dark circles but bags that could double as a small purse) under my eyes until I’ve been awake for no less than 4 hours. And I’ve inherited varicose veins (the huge bulging kind) that have been protruding from my calves since I was 12. I could think of a few more things to hate myself about but this post isn’t about that.

This post is about embracing and actually liking my beauty flaws and faux pas.

Like the occasional pimple. I regard these painful blemishes as beauty marks – a monthly gift to be embraced and worn with pride – not covered up or Photoshopped away. I kind of like it. And have you ever shown up to work or a dinner party and found that you and your best friend have the exact same pimple in the exact same place? I love it when that happens – it’s our hormones’ way of saying “matchy-matchy, same-same!”

Do you have any beauty confessions – flaws that society (or infomercials) have deemed unacceptable that you like? (Curly hair might be one of them.)

Vintage Patchwork Wedding Invitations

December 15, 2011

Okay, I know I said I was done designing wedding invitations. And I am – but I still have a couple more custom suites to share with you guys. Carly, a super sweet not crazy bride, and long time blog reader asked me to design her wedding invitations when she got engaged to her man, Travis. She wanted something that was quirky and Anthropologie-ish with a little bit of modern elegance. Here’s what I came up with:

PatchworkInviteSTD

PatchworkWeddingInvitation

PatchworkInviteRSVP

PatchworkRSVP

I love that each piece isn’t super matchy-matchy but still cohesive with gold and dove gray running through each design – it reminded me of an old patchwork quilt when I was done with it. These invitations were printed digitally on a silky cream cover weight stock. Carly and Travis used kraft paper envelopes with a custom-made return address banner stamp I designed to match.

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