Monday, February 28, 2011


Last night, Stephanie had Kimber and me over to enjoy some delicious Potato-Leek Pizza, drink red wine, ooh and ahh about all the pretty (and not so pretty) dresses, critique and imagine our own acceptance speeches and applaud when our guesses were right. The best part: we all were in our PJ's. Perfect Oscars-watching party.

Here are the conclusions I have come to since last night:
  • Natalie Portman is still gorgeous.
  • It's doubtful that James Franco was not under the influence of some sort. He's co-hosting the Oscars, you'd think he'd have some boundaries.
  • Poor Anne Hathaway didn't have a chance at hosting because of the aforementioned conclusion. But I still really like her.
  • Mila Kunis' dress was one of my faves. Maybe if it was a little less low cut?
  • Colin Firth is as adorable as ever. He might even be a replacement of Joel McHale on the list.
  • Pioneer Woman rocks at pizza too. Potato-leek pizza with bacon too? Umm, hello. So good.
  • On second thought, I guess the maker has something to do with how amazing PDubs food tastes, so props to Stephanie for making dinner so delicious!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Zuppa Toscana

I've never been a huge fan of Olive Garden, but there is one item on their menu that brings me back time and time again: Zuppa Toscana. (Well, to be honest, I don't think I've gone since Josh worked there in college, maybe?) The name translates to Tuscan Soup. Tuscany is a region in Italy that has incredible food and wine. Even better than Lazio, where I studied abroad in Italy.

But I digress. The soup is delish. And the recipe can feed an army, but I guess that makes it more authentic, right? The full "all-you-can-eat" soup, salad and breadsticks Olive Garden experience. I ate all I could eat last night and then again for lunch. And to be honest, probably again for dinner tonight. Yum, life is good.

Zuppa Toscana

1 lb. Turkey sausage (or regular if you want the authentic Olive Garden version)
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup white wine to deglaze the pan
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 russett potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
2 cups fresh kale, chopped (We used more because I didn't know when I'd actually cook the rest of it and I hate letting things go bad!)
3 cups chicken broth
2.5 cups water
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper

Place a large stockpot or Dutch oven on the stove over medium heat. Crumble the sausage into the pan and cook until well browned. Remove the cooked sausage from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl; set aside. Add the chopped onion to the pan and sauté until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook for a minute more, just until fragrant. Add the wine to the pot and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Add the potatoes, kale, chicken broth and water to the pot. Return the sausage to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer on medium-low. Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender and cooked through. Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

recipe from Annie's Eats

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wedding dress

Last night, Maddie and I went wedding dress shopping at I Do Bridal with Autumn (again, we can't get enough) and it was so much fun. They had the dress she tried on in Bend, and once again we were swooning over how beautiful she looked. But then, when she came out in The Dress, it was like the clouds parted, the sun shone right down on her and you could hear Miley Cyrus singing (we can't get enough Miley jokes). Basically, it was perfect. It was Autumn. Every little detail about it. She's going to look stunning on her wedding day.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sunriver 2K11

Sunriver was a blast because...

We went skiing/boarding (as I posted yesterday)

We went wedding dress shopping. Why? Because AUTUMN IS ENGAGED! (Yay!) She looked gorgeous in so many of the dresses, but we may have found a winner. It looks like this. (Ok, not really, but it's very pretty.)

We went on snow walks while linking arms.

More snow walks.

We hung out in the Sunriver mall area.

And may have spent way too much time at Goody's eating candy, drinking Green River sodas, Cherry Coke floats and malts.

Goody's was hoppin'. Maddie said that it would make Amelia (her sister) happy. The glory days of Sunriver in the 90s will return after all. (Apparently the popularity of Sunriver has dwindled over the years, but we think it's making a comeback!)

We drank really good beer at Deschutes Brewery. My fave was called Giraffe on Ice Skates. Yum.

We went to the Owl's Nest Pub to hang out with old people. There aren't too many young people chillin' there.

We laughed. And Kimber made Karen's hair look awesome. Look at her!

We smiled.

And quite possibly the best part, we danced. 7 20-something girls with 4 senior citizens. Mostly the 7 girls. It was a blast, especially when they played Shakira.

Overall, amazing trip. I'd like to go back. Now. Ladies?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sunriver teaser

It was radicawesoool. That's radical, awesome and cool, all in one. Details to come, but I will tell you this: these ladies are amazing and I love them very much.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Sunriver weekend 2k11 commences at 6:30 tonight. Get your snow boots, suits and game faces on. (Photo from Sunriver last year to be recreated this year.)

Have a wonderful long weekend, friends!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What do you do?

Recently, I was thinking about all the weird little preferences we all have. So I thought I'd ask what yours are and share mine.

Do you break your spaghetti noodles in half before boiling or not? I go back and forth. I was about to the other night when Joe jumped over my counter from across the room, yelling, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” (or just gasped a little when he was standing beside me – either way, I got the point)

Do you accept Facebook friend requests of people you don’t know/remember, but have dozens of friends in common? I also go back and forth on this.

Do you celebrate big on Christmas eve or Christmas day? I’m totally an eve gal, myself.

Do you hit the gas pedal on yellow lights or start to slow? Guiltily, I totally hit the gas pedal. Except for the red light camera intersections I know of on 45th and Market.

Do you tip 15 or 20%? I tip 20% usually. I’m a sucker. My quick stint as a hostess and server made me realize how important tipping is.

Do you wear socks to bed or not? I definitely do not, unless it’s impossible to fall asleep due to frozen toes.

Do you use keyboard shortcuts or always your mouse? Umm, shortcuts all the way!

Do you run/walk around Green Lake clockwise or counterclockwise? I usually go clockwise, but have been known to switch it up at times. I know, I’m cah-razy!

Do you sleep on the left, right or in the middle of your bed (assuming directions when looking at the bed)? I’m on the right. And sometimes end up diagonally.

That’s all for now.

Can you think of any other simple/odd preferences that we all choose between?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day

For Valentine's Day, we kept it low-key because 1) that's more like us and 2) he needed to focus on his JOB INTERVIEW yesterday. Hence, the suit he looks so snazzy in.

So we made one of our fave recipes, Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa (it's delicious and actually pretty healthy), drank some champagne, and then went out for late night cocktails at a tiny little French bar called Sambar. It was the perfect combination of relaxed and festive.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

21 things I'd like to tell my 17 year-old self

Baby Erika & Josh

I recently came across a post that someone wrote about what she'd tell her 17 year-old self. I liked it, so I thought I'd create my own. What would your list say?
  1. Run. I wish you would have started running earlier in life. You’ll really enjoy it.
  2. The distance won’t have much of an effect on your amazing high school friendships. Some are there to stay. You are lucky.
  3. You'll also find many amazing friends in college.
  4. Feel free to have crushes and all that jazz, but don’t worry about that too much. You’ll meet the one when you’re 26. (I know, seems like forever away, but maybe you can try meeting him earlier? He lives right off the Burke. Literally only 2 minutes away from you in college. Go find him and tell him Future Erika told you too. I'm sure that won't freak him out, will it?)
  5. Work less. Take a day off in the summer more often. Shoot, take a week off.
  6. Take more pictures. Especially Polaroids when they are still cheap.
  7. Don’t sweat the small stuff. In the long run, it's usually not that big of a deal.
  8. Shhh, but Josh likes men. He can’t be your “back-up”, but he’s one helluva a friend.
  9. Explore Skagit Valley and surrounding areas more. Hikes, drives, rivers and lakes.
  10. Drive a bit slower on the back roads. Just because they are straight and stretch on for eternity, it’s just not safe. Listen to your parents on this one.
  11. Don't worry so much about what other people say.
  12. Learn how to make Swedish flatbread, cinnamon rolls and other treats with your Grandma Pete.
  13. You don’t tan. Just accept it. Embrace the pale.
  14. Samish Island is a utopia. Soak it up while you’re there.
  15. Write more. You actually enjoy it and will later do it for a living.
  16. On that note, medicine is not for you. You'll have a little crisis about not going into medicine your freshmen year of college, but it's for the best. You'll enjoy college more without it.
  17. Talk to more people outside your circle of friends.
  18. Cook more. Give your mom a break more often because it's pretty fun.
  19. Don't cut your hair short after every dance season. Long hair suits you better. Seriously.
  20. Trust your intuition.
  21. There's no need to be self-conscious, but I understand if you still are. Aren't most 17 year-olds?

Friday, February 11, 2011

A splash of orange

If you've been to my place, then you know that I like decorating with peachy oranges. I just love how bright and happy the color is. In my continuous scouring of design blogs, I always come across rooms that are filled with orangey goodness. I save all of my favorites (orange or otherwise) in a folder on my computer named: Future home inspiration. At least I'll have ideas in the hopper when that home-buying day comes!

(If you remember, I once shared some of the kitchens I envy.)

(If you know the picture sources, please let me know. I realized that I don't actually save the links with the pictures. So don't sue me. I'm not taking any credit for these pretty rooms :) Probably a lot from belle maison 23)

Thursday, February 10, 2011


For Dip-a-Palooza, we scoured the web for a winning dip. There were cheesey dips, gooey dips, chunky dips and ewww-ey dips. There are so many dip recipes out there, it was completely overwhelming! The pressure of DAP was getting to me.

So I thought to myself, what if we chose a dip from each of my cooking idols? PDubs and Martha. (I also like Giada, don't worry Carol!) Joe would bring one and I would bring the other. I present you the dip showdown.

Ding. ding. ding. [They enter the ring]

PDubs steps into the ring with one of my fave ingredients: black olives. Add artichokes, cream cheese, parm and a whole lot of other no-so-good-for-you ingredients, then serve it warm, you have one tough dip.

Enter Martha. A LOT of grilled sweet onions, cream cheese, sour cream and chives and you've got a force to be reckoned with.

Jabs are thrown. Blocks are made and then, BAM! PDubs wins. Very little contest. Though, I admit, I think if I was fair, I would have tackled a much more challenging Martha recipe, but I was going for ease.

In other DAP news, the results of the dip-making contest. Drum roll, please?

Mr. Holden Tenenbaum took the crown with a chocolate chip pecan cheesecake dip! (Delish!) The first to ever win a second time and first to beat the dessert dip curse. I think congrats are in order. It was a fight not easily won because Stephanie's queso rocked my world too (Also a PDubs recipe). I now count queso at night instead of sheep. No, really, I do.

(For full recap post, including a picture of the coveted plaque, go

Martha & PDubs

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The list

Maddie (via Stacy, come on, where's your blog Stacy?) inspired me to answer this simple question:

In dream land; you get 3 boyfriends (or girlfriends), who are they? Oh, and boyfriends and husbands should presumably be on the list.

She said Jason, Leo and JT. All very great options.

My choices would be:

Jakey. Always been a fan. Well, maybe not in Bubble Boy, but for awhile. I personally think there's a little resemblance between him and my main squeeze, no?

#2 was difficult to choose. I was going between Matt Damon and others, but I think I've settled on Joel McHale. Not only is he a UW grad/UW Rose Bowl Football team alumni, he's funny.

But I wouldn't trade any of them for this blue-eyed dream boat. Not a single one. (hehe, look at that goofy smile.)

P.S. When I asked Joe about who he'd choose, he refused to answer. He said that he'd only have one on his list. Angelina. Ok, just kidding. Me :) Makes me feel a little wrong posting this, but I think he's holding out.

Who would be on your list?


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dreaming of summer

As I look outside my office window, I can't help but get excited for summer and all of the fun it brings! The sun is out in full force today and there are several sailboats floating aimlessly on the lake. What I would give to be laying out on one of them right now...

(Polaroid from Chelanigans 2K10)

Monday, February 7, 2011

182 square feet

This guy designed his home in only 182 square feet. That's what I love about Seattleites, we are resourceful, yet stylish. Well, sometimes. Two beds, full kitchen, bathroom, TV area and more. Can you imagine? Makes me think more about how I utilize my own space.

(Thanks to Jeneralizing for sharing!)

pic/Seattle Times

Friday, February 4, 2011


Even though it's expected to be rainy all weekend (ahem, Spring come soon), I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend. Aside from DAP, I don't have a whole lot going on. Perhaps a run, a nap, some experimental cooking? Oh, the possibilities. Don't you just love weekends that aren't super booked?

Have a lovely weekend, friends!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I covet

I covet these JCrew shoes. The color is neutral, but with a bit more kick and sass. Wouldn't they be perfect with tights in the winter and dresses in the summer?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dip-a-Palooza VII

DAP teaser courtesy of Holden

The time is almost here, my friends. The most competitive dip-making contest known to man.

Dip-a-Palooza VII on Superbowl Sunday. (Last year's DAP post)

It's epic. Imagine the best dip you've ever had in your entire life, then multiply that by 100. The options can be overwhelming and stomach needs occasional timeouts, but you must try every dip to uphold the democracy of the voting system. (Or at least that's what I tell myself when stepping on the scale the next day.) Can't wait to see what deliciousness this year brings!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pepper spray

Thanks to this dude and other recent attacks on women runners, I don't quite feel comfortable running at night. Granted, I never run alone in the dark, but even if there are two of us, there's an element of scaredy cat in me.

So I bought some pepper spray. The packaging suggests that you test it out so you don't have a faulty product, so I did and it appeared to work perfectly.

Fast forward one day.

I'm driving to Green Lake to meet Autumn for a run. I bring along my new, potentially life-saving device. I made sure that the spray nozzle was locked just to be safe, then set it back down on my seat.

Driving along. Rub my itchy eye. AHHHHHHHHH!

Turns out that even the residue left on the bottle can get on your hands and then transferred to your eye. It's a painful lesson to learn, but now I know it works VERY WELL.


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