Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Spicy Black Bean Cakes

Another win by Martha. My mom and I made these the other night for a light, late dinner and they were scrumptious. I went back for thirds! Spicy enough to taste, but not burn your mouth. The recipe actually made a dozen rather large patties, so the picture is misleading.

I think these would be good to throw into a tortilla with cheese, lettuce, salsa and sour cream for your vegetarian friends out there! (I'm looking at you, Suze and Olita!)

Spicy Black Bean Cakes

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 scallions, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, pressed
1 to 2 jalapeno chiles, finely chopped (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 cans (15.5 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 large sweet potato, peeled and coarsely grated (2 cups)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
Lime Sour Cream (see recipe, below)

Directions


Heat broiler. In a small skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook scallions until softened, 1 minute. Add garlic, jalapeno, and cumin; cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add beans to bowl; mash with a fork or a potato masher, leaving about 1/4 of the beans whole. Season generously with salt and pepper. Fold in sweet potato, egg, and breadcrumbs. Divide into 8 balls of equal size; flatten into patties.

Brush a baking sheet with remaining tablespoon oil; place patties on sheet, 1/2 inch apart. Broil 4 inches from heat until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. With a thin metal spatula, carefully turn cakes. Broil until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes more. Serve with Lime Sour Cream.

For the Lime Sour Cream: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream with 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice and 1 small minced jalapeno chile (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired) season with coarse salt.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I covet

I have coveted JCrew's blazer-type jackets for so long now, but the price tag always turns me to places like BP, Target or Forever 21. But after over a year of searching, I still have not found a nice, reasonably priced jacket anywhere!

Until now. When I stopped by the JCrew outlet on my way home last night and saw the gray version a whoppin' 60% off, I couldn't say no. (A detour purchase while attempting to shop for Christmas gifts!) It had to come home with me and call my closet its home.

It'll be perfect for work or to dress up a pair of jeans. I cannot wait to rock it.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Warmth

Awhile ago I saw this beautiful quilt on You Are My Fave and I can't stop thinking about it. Since we've been experiencing some crisp, cold weather, I think it would keep me quite warm. The colors, the simplicity and the craftsmanship - perfect for my bedroom.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

stephanie's happy list

Stephanie sent me a snow day edition of her happy list. It makes me want to curl up with a cup of hot cocoa and listen to Christmas carols. That's why I opted for a Holiday-themed photo, which I totally love. Look at those sweaters!

And look at this list! I'm realizing that I might have to pick up some cozy knit knee socks soon...
  1. Extra hot showers on cold (freezing!) days
  2. Starbucks red cups
  3. Working from home in my pajamas (Amen.)
  4. Sunshine on the snow
  5. My Hunter boots (Erika's note: I love these. One day I'll cave and get a pair. It rains a lot in Seattle, so it's totally warranted!)
  6. Cozy knit knee socks
  7. Polaroid and Diana pictures
  8. Freshly painted fingernails that only sort of look like a 5 year old did them
  9. Youngsters being pulled on sleds by their daddy’s (such great childhood memories)
  10. Homemade dinner and a bottle of wine with Erika (ok, that’s not really snow day edition, but it’s one thing that makes me very very happy) (Erika's note: Yay! I love dinner and wine with you too!)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

365 days

Today marks our 1 year anniversary! I can't even believe it's already been an entire year. How did this year go by so quickly?! So in honor of meeting my AMAZING boyfriend one year ago today, I present you a brief timeline of our relationship. (It was kind of fun to reminisce!)

November 23: First date. Joe chooses Cupcake Royale. OMG, cupcakes? Ding, ding, ding, ladies and gentlemen, we've found a winner. Oh, and I was completely entranced by his beautiful blue eyes. Slightly shaggy hair. And flannel shirt. He was lookin' good.

(Thanksgiving break throws us a loop in date-planning)

December 8: Third date. Joe makes me Swedish pancakes. Swedish pancakes? Grandma Pete would be so proud, even though no one beats her Swedish pancakes. Sorry, Joe. And Dad, for that matter.

December 12: Fifth date. Joe suggests bar games at the Duchess. Where is he getting this insider knowledge of my favorite things - cupcakes, Brouwer's (Date #2), Swedish pancakes, then DUCHESS?

The next 2 weeks: We hang out almost daily. He's a keeper.

December 31: First holiday together. Contributes to Joe's first appearance on the blog.

January 1: Sister gets into car accident. I am sad. Joe is there for comfort; helping me decipher what the docs are saying, having an open ear and still managing to put a smile on my face. This experience also made me realize how important he was to me.

January 9: I meet his brother and sister-in-law for sushi. Nervous as hell. I keep my Tourette's to a minimum and resist the “I work the corner of Aurora and 105th” joke when they ask about my job.

January 10: Dad meets Joe and he approves. (How could he not?) Maggie and Lily also approve.

Winter: Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, Choose Your Own Adventure birthday celebration, and so much more.

March 13: Mom meets Joe after months of asking to meet him. Smashing success. The Kobester is smitten... with my boyfriend!

March 27: First vacation together to Vancouver, BC. The constant downpour didn’t even get in the way of our fun.

April 24: Opening day of fishing with Joe, Dad and Kam. Joe catches the first fish, which was thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis big.

June 26: Joe is waiting at mile 19 on the marathon course. Couldn’t have been a better time. He gave me a boost of energy, which helped bring me to the end.

July: Joe basically sacrificed all of his weekends for me – three weddings and some Chelanigans. But I’m sure he had fun doing so!

August 1: I finally meet his parents in Port Angeles. They approve or so he says :)

August 28: We hit the wide open road to California and Oregon for a week. We drink enough wine to, well, I don’t know, but it was good. (And the highlight of our year, as we recently discussed!)

September 14: Joe is very proud of the stuffed cow he won me at the Puyallup.

Halloween: He's the Al to my Peg (Bundy).

November 23: I sit here and still can't believe that I was lucky enough to find him. He's literally everything I've ever dreamed of. I love you so much, Joe!

Monday, November 22, 2010

christina's happy list

I think Christina's response after putting together her list has been my favorite - she said that she can't help feeling happier. It's so true! When you put together a list of great things, it's like BOOM, smile. Even better, she sent it to Andy (the hubs) and asked for his in return; something to get him excited to come home!

P.S. We celebrated Christina's birthday this weekend and I felt like I was in college all over again. I can't remember the last time I stayed out so late and ordered late night pizza, but it was a blast! Post to come!
  1. Getting actual emails and letters from people I know—especially from a special someone when he’s out at sea (Erika's note: Her hubby, Andy, is finishing up his LAST Navy submarine patrol ever! Hip hip hooray!)
  2. Long phone conversations with faraway friends and family
  3. My friends at work and our ridiculous and random mid-day conversations, emails, distractions
  4. Warm drinks on cold days
  5. Flowers, whether they’re growing in my garden or delivered to my desk (Erika's note: Amen to that. Watching your desk fill up with flowers even makes my day!)
  6. Finding money in my pockets that I didn’t realize was there
  7. Anything chocolate, or peppermint-flavored, or both
  8. Watching the sun rise over Mt. Rainier / Seattle on a clear day
  9. Chick flicks and wine
  10. Food from home, including Texas barbeque, Mexican food, and my dad’s fajitas

Beautiful photo from Kathryn Bradley Photography

Friday, November 19, 2010

kathryn's happy list

Kathryn made my day today when she told me that she would be sending along her happy list. Can I get a what, what? As with others, she couldn't stop at just 10, so you have 3 bonus happy sentiments. I'm kind of in love with #12. And I have a weakness for cute dad things, so I like #11 too.

P.S. Don't you just love this photo of Kathryn and her hubby, Pat?!

Enjoy her list and have a fabulous weekend!
  1. Soy lattes on cold Seattle mornings (or anytime really!).
  2. Getting back from a photo session and eagerly downloading the images.
  3. When a package arrives for me at work, even though I know exactly what I ordered. (Erika's note: I'm usually just as excited when Kathryn gets a package at the office!)
  4. My tan lines that remind me of our recent trip to Hawaii (and finding little grains of sand while unpacking my suitcase!).
  5. When hubby warms up my side of the bed for me before I get in at night.
  6. Opening the office fridge to find ice cold Diet Pepsi (Costco delivery day is the best!).
  7. CHRISTMAS! My favorite time of the year…shopping for the perfect gifts, baking cookies, drinking Gl├╝hwein, decorating the tree and sneaking kisses by the fire.
  8. My new brown boots.
  9. Getting comments on my blog posts. (Erika's note: Please check out her blog. Unless, of course, you don't like looking at beautiful photos. In which case, you are a little weird.)
  10. Crossing things off my “life” list.
  11. My dad’s newfound discovery of Facebook messages (he now writes one to me every morning with the date in the subject line and some kind of motivational message…it’s very cute).
  12. Saturday afternoon cocktail hour at the Bradley residence...this includes us putting on sweats, making martinis and appetizers, and toasting to not having kids (not because we don’t want kids someday, but because we know this won’t be an activity we’ll have the luxury of enjoying once they come along!).
  13. My husband, my family and my friends—especially this time of year when I find myself reflecting on all the blessings in my life for which I am so grateful.

Beautiful photo by Moxie Images

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Soup it up.

Since Danielle put homemade soups on her happy list yesterday, I remembered that I have made SEVERAL homemade soups over the last month or so. Primarily because my man is very, very sick. It's gotten to the point that he can only have liquid soup because his throat is so swollen. Do me a favor? Send some healing vibes his way? I'm sure he'd appreciate it. Thanks.

At any rate, the soups I've made recently - all from the famous Martha Cookbook, Everyday Food: Great Food Fast.

  • Curried Carrot Soup, pictured above and my fave of all of them so far. It's divine. Not too curry-heavy and smooth as a baby's butt. (I just compared soup to a baby's butt. I hope that doesn't prevent you from trying this recipe.)
  • Asian Chicken Soup, also pictured above. It's good, not mind-blowing, but I'd definitely make it again because it was a cinch.
  • Creamy Parsnip Soup, this was my second fave. I'd never cooked with parsnips (basically white carrots that have a radish-like flavor), but I really liked them.
  • Creamy Corn Soup, the night of, this soup tasted like liquid buttery corn. Well, because that's basically all that's in it. So it was very tasty. However, the leftovers looked so much like baby food that it almost spoiled my appetite.
  • Chicken and wild rice soup, I substituted chicken breast for the chicken thighs (a bit more healthy), but I think it may have taken away from the flavor a bit. Next time, I'll follow the recipe. I did like the abundance of carrots and celery. They were very flavorful! (Note: I can't find the recipe on Martha's site, but I found it on someone's blog!)

So now that the weather is officially changing (snow in the forecast!), it's time to bust out the soup recipes and stay warm!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

danielle's happy list

They just keep rollin' in! Straight to y'all from the home of Elvis and Beale Street - Memphis, Tennessee! Danielle left the Pacific Northwest a couple years ago to discover the cure for cancer at the University of Tennessee (her program is based in Memphis, even though the school is in Knoxville). #7 is making me crave something warm for my tummy on this gray Seattle day. Miss you, Danielle!

  1. Leggings and boots!
  2. Being still long enough to watch leaves fall from the trees.
  3. Coffee :) (P.S. People in Memphis look at me funny when I order coffee, apparently its too complicated for them. Silly creatures.)
  4. Rainy days spent curled up with a blanket and a good book and my kitties cuddled next to me.
  5. My family, especially my little sister! (Last night I helped her with her homework over the phone, she's growing up so fast.)
  6. A long run on a brisk, sunny day.
  7. Homemade soup
  8. An experiment that goes the way I want it to! (Yes, I'm a nerd)
  9. "Book Club", which is just a fancy name for a night of cocktails with good friends.
  10. Getting compliments about all the weight I've lost! 20 lbs down! (Erika's note: Wowza, that's awesome! Congrats, D!)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

kimber's happy list

The return of the HAPPY LISTS. When I saw Kimber's in my inbox today, I lit up. They are just so much fun to read and really put me in a good mood. I especially love her #6!
  1. Crisp, bright, fall days and the cozy sweaters that go with them. (Erika's note: If you remember, I dubbed Kimber as Queen of Fall, well essentially.)
  2. Tea. Peppermint tea is my new favorite - it's so soothing. And pretty much any of the Ceylon Tea Company teas, they are incredibly smooth tasty compared to other teas.
  3. Fleece. Blankets, socks, pants, jackets. You name it - if it touches your body, you can't go wrong with fleece! (Though, I'm not quite sure about fleece underwear)
  4. Leavenworth Oktoberfest with friends - And any outing with friends where we can admire leaves and drink good beer.
  5. Laughing so hard that my eyes tear up or until my stomach aches.
  6. Movie theatre popcorn with lots of butter and salt in the middle and on the top. Once I even popped into Majestic Bay theatre to buy some when I wasn't seeing a movie. They didn't seem weirded out, so I figure I'm not the only one :)
  7. Having a good, long talk with my family about almost anything
  8. Being out on the Olympic Peninsula, especially at Second Beach or Chito Beach.
  9. The realization that the book you are in the middle of reading is SO GOOD and that you still have half of it left to enjoy.
  10. Baking goodies. And then eating them! (P.S. Kimber, can I have another one of your madeleine cookies? Please??)

Monday, November 15, 2010

An adventure

On our day off last week, a few of us adventured to Bainbridge Island and had a merry ol' time. Mads does a good job of capturing the full day of fun. (She also knows how to stand like a pigeon quite well.)

Friday, November 12, 2010

TGIF

Happy Friday, everyone!

But more importantly, Happy Birthday, Kamron! I can't believe my adorable little nephew is already 8 years old. The picture above is old, but I just think it's so adorable and shows how he's always trying to be like grandpa. This time with the white beard. Err, really blonde beard? Yes, very, very blonde.

I remember the day Richelle went into labor 8 years ago. I was in Chemistry class and when I got back to the house, everyone was telling me left and right, that I needed to call my parents. Why, I asked. BECAUSE YOUR SISTER IS HAVING A BABY!

What?! She was still 1 month away from her due date. Two seconds later, I get a hold of my dad who says he's 10 minutes away. We fly down to Portland (while I "try" to write my chemistry lab report that is due the next day, which was one of my worst grades ever, but TOTALLY worth it) and before we arrive, we get the call. We didn't make it. Noooo!

Our bouncy baby boy (p.s. why do they call them bouncy babies?) was already here. He turned on Turbo speed and was out in a flash. Though, I'm sure Richelle might disagree that it didn't feel like a flash. But it was really only a matter of hours. Not enough time for us to make it to Portland from Seattle!

So tonight we'll be celebrating with sushi (Kam's fave food. I know, what 8 year old's fave food is SUSHI? More reason to love him) and ice cream cake. Can't wait for the party to start!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

dad's happy list

What perfect timing for my Dad to send me his happy list! Do you know why? Because it's Veteran's Day and he is a proud Veteran. (Thanks for your service, Dad!) At his school, he often speaks at the Vet's assembly. He's the rather dapper-looking man in the middle.

It's such a great list! And I'm taking #9 as a hint :)
  1. Waking up and realizing it is Saturday.
  2. A double shot in the dark. No cream or sugar!!! (Erika's note: This is brewed coffee with TWO shots of espresso!)
  3. Being up early enough to see the sunrise. (So NOT like his daughter)
  4. Twelve-year old Scotch or a great Cabernet. (Really hard to choose)
  5. The smell of “salt air” as I approach the home.
  6. Having to “Stomp on the hatch covers” to keep the fish in the hold.
  7. The Jazz weekend dinner at Orvieto, Italy.
  8. Kam spending time with us.
  9. An unexpected phone call from either of my girls. (Need more of them)
  10. A quiet dinner and wine with Koby. (Erika's note: Oooh, how cute Dad!)

Keep em coming, people! I love your lists!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

karen's happy list

Rad x 3! I got my third happy list from the one and only Karen, representin' the 252 (Greenville, NC)! And Little Miss KarKar couldn't stop at 10. I love it! I told her that when I read it, I was nodding my head and saying "uh-huh" because it all seemed so, well so Karen! I guess I know her well :)
  1. cards, both giving and receiving
  2. boys that wear boat shoes, tailored shorts, and polo t-shirts
  3. fancy grocery stores (what up Whole Foods!)
  4. the mountains and mountain cabins
  5. Starbucks red cups
  6. curling up in a comfy chair at a non-generic coffee shop with a great friend and a long conversation or a good book/ magazine
  7. tea, soup, and rainy days
  8. exploring new places or new neighborhoods
  9. everything about my incredible Seattle friends and traditional trips
  10. college football game day (especially in Husky Stadium)
  11. sorority recruitment (if you remember, she's now working with Greek life at East Carolina University)
  12. class...and research...amazingly enough I really miss class
  13. snow!
  14. the fair (Do the Puyallup)
  15. summer camp
  16. home... (Home misses you too, KarKar!)
P.S. Karen got an extra picture in the post because I couldn't decide on just one. The first one is so darn cute and the second one screams Karen because she's the biggest Husky fan I know (well, maybe tied with Straube). In college, I would try my best to sit by her so she can give me the 411 on all the players and weird calls. If only I had a nickel for every time I asked her, "What just happened?!"...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

autumn's happy list

Autumn sent me her happy list, which in turn made me happy. And guess what I'm going to try soon? #2. And maybe the last show on #10. (P.S. I sooo already a Gleek.)

A little mathematical formula about Autumn: Autumn + RyRy + boat of any kind = Bliss. I can't wait to visit them in the South Pacific when they sail around the world. Wouldn't you love to sail around the world?

But, I digress. Autumn's happy list:

  1. Anything that has to do with NannyFamilyBoy. I may sneak over to his home and actually steal him someday. Even when he was crazy I still “wuved” him, actually I think I like him so much because he is a little odd.
  2. Starbucks salted caramel hot chocolate (with non-fat milk, only 2 pumps of chocolate and extra salt). I am that annoying coffee order girl, sorry, but it’s just so good that way!
  3. Polaroids.
  4. Making lists and crossing things off of them! So gratifying.
  5. Mountains. Driving through them on the way East, watching the Olympics come out on a gorgeous day, fly-fishing in them, ogling Mt. Rainier on my commute on 99, they are so peaceful and remind me of home.
  6. This song. And banjoes.
  7. Leavenworth. I just can’t get enough of the town. Probably because it is beautiful in the fall, winter, spring and summer and has brought joy to my life from when I was little (annual ice cream cone stop after a week at Camp Fire Camp) to now (Tom 2K6-9). (Erika’s note: Speaking of Leavenworth, did you hear that the nutcracker lady was Conan’s first guest?)
  8. Sailing and boats. Everyone is invited to the South Pacific with Ry Ry and I someday.
  9. I have officially jumped on the legging train. So comfy. So cozy.
  10. My not-so-secret-anymore addiction to TV shows. If you are not watching Community you should be. Same with Glee, Deadwood, Dexter, HIMYM, Mad Men and don’t even get me started on VMars.

Monday, November 8, 2010

maddie's happy list

Maddie made me happy by sharing her happy list with me (since I requested it here and others should also share). I really like it! Number 5 made me especially excited for Sunriver this year! And #7 made me hungry. I guess leftover candy corn will have to satisfy the sweet tooth for now.

But overall, these lists always make me smile. Enjoy!
  1. Singing in the car. Do you think that if we put all of the world's leaders together in a big suburban and turned a little Rhianna on that all the problems might get solved? I do. Did I just start a political movement?
  2. Friends who will kill your spiders for you. On multiple occasions, too. (Erika's note: This bad ass she's referring to may or may not be yours truly.)
  3. Succulents in tiny pots. I just want to pinch them!
  4. Surprisingly warm and sunny fall days.
  5. Memories of suits and boots - a yearly wintertime, snowy hot tub excursion.
  6. Holding baby animals. Pass the kittens, please.
  7. Our quest for the perfect cinnamon roll with my soul sister (which reminds me, we need to do this again soon). (Erika's note: Full story to come.)
  8. The feeling after finishing a fantastic run.
  9. Visiting my favorite hair guru, Steven Barrett.
  10. Hamachi nigiri. With a little wasabi. My favorite.

Friday, November 5, 2010

TGIF

Happy Friday, all! Can you believe it's already November? I'm still adjusting. I'm not sure how 2010 is flying by so quickly!

So I realized that I never posted pictures from Halloween! My apologies. So for your Friday entertainment, below are some pictures and a couple links that have caught my eye around the web lately.

This is making headlines, but I LOVE how this mom sticks up for her son.

Cute baby in costume alert.

That's all. TGIF!

Peg and Al Bundy. (Look at the similarity!)

It's like opposites attract. Crass Peg and Polite Ballerina.

Medusa, Ballerina, God's Gift to Men (recognize it? it's my costume from last year!) and Peg.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

happy


another little list of things that make me happy. (Previous lists here, here and here.)
  1. You. I'd be lying if I said I didn't care if people read my blog. Yes, it's cathartic at times and a nice, little creative outlet, but I also do it to entertain all of you on your lunch breaks or 4pm lulls at work.
  2. Funny first date stories. (You know who you are. Keep it comin'.)
  3. White truffle mac and cheese at 9 million in unmarked bills. It will blow. your. MIND. And I'm having it tonight!
  4. My nephew who is turning 8 years old in a few days!
  5. My sister. She has one of the most positive outlooks on life these days and it's contagious.
  6. The Canlis menu hunt. And the adventures it creates. (Not familiar with the hunt? Go here.)
  7. When the upcoming winter season is predicted to have record snowfall. Here I come, hot cocoa and curling up in blankets.
  8. Letterpress paper goods.
  9. Big scarves. (like above and it also relates to #7)
  10. When YOU send me happy lists. Will you please email me your happy list so I can post it? Pretty please with a cherry on top? Or you can leave some things that make you happy in the comment section. I'll take either.

pic/via

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dad meet Buckhunter. Buckhunter meet Dad.

Last Friday, my Dad and I went on a date. For Christmas 2008, I gave him an "experience gift" which meant that I would take him to dinner and a Jazz Alley show. He really likes jazz. It's taken a looong time to get this on the calendar, but we finally found a date. So we did dinner at a Brewery, then headed to Jazz Alley to enjoy the music of the Soul Queen of New Orleans, Irma Thomas. Great voice, but she also was a hoot. I like it when performers bring a little sass to their act.

After the concert, we decided to get a drink somewhere. It didn't take long to decide that we'd head to my local watering hole, 4bs, to have a beer and play one of my fave games - Buck Hunter! Some of you may know, but my Dad is an AVID sportsman. We're talking hunting, fishing, crabbing, you name it. He'll score. (Evidence of his skill here. Isn't that fish GIANT?) But anyway, we went on three safari treks and I'm proud to announce that I kicked his butt!

Now I think my Dad is in negotiations with my mother about purchasing his very own Buck Hunter for his new and improved shop. Or should I call it man cave? I'd support this as long as the man cave allows lady hunters!
pic/via

Monday, November 1, 2010

Road Trip: Polaroid Edition

Remember all the obsessive posts about our road trip? Well, now you can see (part of) the trip through the lens of a Polaroid camera.

Someone I know has a scanner and has so graciously offered (or was politely asked while I was fluttering my eyelashes) to scan all of my Polaroids. He finished a set, but there are still more to come in future posts. Not all road trip, but all of my Polaroid fun!

But for now, enjoy a few from Road Trip 2k10. Oh, how I wish I had a time machine right now.


The last one is from the rad cabin we stayed at.

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