scenes from the weekend

this weekend i... gave myself a fun manicure (essie ballet slippers + a cut above). drank a cafe au lait from stumptown that was made with love. enjoyed a perfect and delicious dinner at navarre. convinced drew to order a slice of red velvet cake, then ate all the frosting off of it when he wasn't looking. had a good cry at the end of the descendants. baked these peanut butter cookies with jill for her naked lady party. said goodbye to some unwanted clothes and came home with two "new" shirts!



listening to beach house is always more satisfying when the weather is nice. and it's supposed to be sunny and 50 today! despite a seemingly endless amount of schoolwork to tear through, i'm looking forward to this weekend. a fun date planned with drew for saturday night and a naked lady party (that's a clothing swap, to clarify for my adult relatives) on sunday. happy friday!


the perks of being a blogger

after being on the library waiting list for months, i gave up on getting to read this book anytime soon. then, it magically showed up at our apartment. the perks of being a blogger. and having a boyfriend who reads your recent posts. who has amazon prime free two-day shipping. let's see what else magically appears if i post it up here on my little corner of the internet... does amazon carry cats? i think penny needs a feline friend.



though there are so many wonderful dining options in portland, i find myself always going back to the same few places. when i love a restaurant, i find it hard to branch out for fear that others won't measure up. but then, there's navarre, a place i've always wanted to try (and was happily rewarded for doing so).

it's a tiny space, dimly lit and cozy. the food is exquisite, with a rotating menu and the option of small or large plates so you can taste multiple items. the wine list is extensive, also offering the choice of different amounts (glass, 1/3 bottle, 1/2 bottle, whole bottle) to maximize tasting options. 

the first time jill and i visited, we ordered a spanish red wine, buttery mushrooms, braised kale, and a cheese plate. the next time, a french red wine, farro with parsley and lemon, salt cod and parsnip fritters with chanterelles, baby clams in a white wine broth, and radishes with salted french butter. i'm officially hooked.

navarre 10 northeast 28th avenue portland, or 97232



while drew was recently away for a conference, i pretty much blasted tennis for all 11 days (he's not really a fan so i keep it to a minimum at home). their new album, young and old, will be released on valentine's day*. it's different from the beachy, laid-back vibe of their debut album that i fell in love with (see below), but i'm still so excited. happy weekend!


*cough, cough



just realized that the next three books on my list to read all have one thing in common: attractive covers. though i wouldn't condone judging a book solely by its cover, i'm a sucker for interesting fonts and graphics. a nice bonus when good fiction is matched with such aesthetically pleasing covers!

images via 1, 2, 3


(almost) vegan blueberry muffins

i've been craving blueberry muffins non-stop lately, so i decided to whip some up with what i had on hand. the recipe i followed was vegan, but i had one egg that was about to expire, hence the almost vegan part. they are perfect for breakfast with some plain greek yogurt (again, not vegan).

(almost) vegan blueberry muffins adapted from this recipe (makes 12) 

1 cup almond milk 
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract 
1 egg
1 3/4 cups brown rice flour 
11/2 tsp baking soda 
1 tsp ground cinnamon 
1/4 tsp salt 
1/2 cup turbinado sugar 
11/2 cups frozen blueberries
    preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a large muffin tin with paper liners. in one bowl, mix wet ingredients until incorporated. in another larger bowl, mix dry ingredients until incorporated. add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined. gently stir in blueberries until combined and spoon the mixture into the paper liners, almost to the top. bake for about 18-20 minutes and allow to cool completely before eating.


    shrimp tacos (with an asian twist)

    i was in charge of making christmas eve dinner this year. since my grandparents started spending winters in florida, it's just my mom, dad, sister and i. we've also never been very traditional, so i decided to make a light and refreshing meal: shrimp tacos and pomegranate margaritas

    shrimp tacos (with an asian twist)

    for the shrimp:
    1 lb wild-caught shrimp, peeled and deveined 
    1 tbsp sesame oil 
    2 tbsp chili powder 
    1 tsp salt 
    juice of 1/2 a lime
      for the cabbage slaw: 
      1 lb. shredded red and green cabbage 
      juice of 2 limes 
      2 tbsp sesame oil 
      1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
        1 white onion, diced 
        frozen pineapple chunks, defrosted 
        large handful cilantro, chopped 
        1 avocado, sliced 
        crumbled cotija cheese 
        12 corn tortillas

        place shrimp, oil, salt, lime and chili powder in a bowl and toss to coat evenly. place shrimp in a large non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat and stir until they turn pink and firm. combine cabbage, lime juice, sesame oil and tamari in a large bowl and stir until all ingredients are incorporated. warm tortillas in a lightly greased pan on medium heat, about 1 minute on each side. serve all ingredients in separate bowls so people can choose which toppings they want based on their preference.


        getting back at it

        after a brief month-long hiatus, i am making my grand return to yoga. jill and i are buying passes for an unlimited week of yoga today and challenging ourselves to go for all seven days. hopefully by the end of it, i will be reminded of how wonderful it makes me feel and not neglect it again for so long.

        video via ashely


        massaged kale salad

        i made this salad to try to beat my current strep-turned-flu/cold/sinus infection (maybe it's time to stop washing my hands fifty times a day so i can build up my immune system), with the hope that consuming an absurd amount of greens would heal me. i had no problem wolfing it down, as it's incredibly delicious. and as a bonus, many of the ingredients are thought to have cleansing and detoxing qualities, so it will help ease the effects of that holiday gluttony we all took part in recently!

        massaged kale salad

        1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed 
        2 tbsp tamari 
        2 tbsp apple cider vinegar 
        1 tbsp fresh lemon juice  
        4 tbsp sesame oil 
        1 tsp garlic powder 
        1 tsp nutritional yeast 
        pinch of cayenne 
        toasted sesame seeds
          roll kale leaves up and cut them into ribbons and place in a large bowl. mix all other ingredients separately, then pour mixture over kale ribbons. massage the dressing into the kale vigorously (sounds weird, i know) until it starts to wilt in your hands and turns dark green, about 3-5 minutes. eat alone or top with baked tofu.



          i love these two so much. our new year's eve was pretty relaxed. just some drinks at our friends' apartment and then we dragged our jet lagged selves to bed promptly after midnight.

          i could list a million resolutions that i've had floating around in my head (like be more consistent with my yoga practice or try a new recipe every week) but i have one big goal in mind for 2012: don't be afraid. i've been so worried about what's going to happen after i get my master's. am i going to get a job in my field? are we staying in portland? if not, where are we moving next? should i follow my heart and go back to school again for culinary or nutrition? it's draining to fret about the future and the unknown, so in 2012 i'm not going to be afraid. i'm just going to do the best that i can.