Easter brunch

Easter Brunch 2016

We enjoyed a delicious Easter brunch at home, complete with what has become our traditional Easter menu of frittata (we made this one with cilantro, roasted poblano pepper, bell pepper, and onion) and savory swirls (we made this batch with store-bought biscuit dough and used this to flavor the Upton’s Chorizo Seitan), as well as roasted asparagus with lemon zest, breakfast potatoes, and the cutest little petit fours we picked up at a local market here in town. The Lenten Rose/Hellebore in my yard is doing very well and I was delighted to be able to cut and bring in several blooms to enjoy in vases in our house. It was sunny and not too cold out, so we enjoyed a bit of time outside in our patio chairs listening to the birds sing. Wishing you all a very happy Easter Sunday!

Easter Brunch 2016b

Easter Brunch 2016a

Hellebores

by Valerie | 03.27.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden, Holidaze, Recipes | No Comments »

Melody’s face

Hello

I recently, to my delight, discovered this Instagram account: momosface. It is, quite simply and quite wonderfully, a photo of a dog’s (Momo’s) face every day; the photo’s are wonderful, the dog is adorable, and being a dog lover myself I can’t help but smile every time I take a look at these. I also can’t help but feel I missed the opportunity to do the same with my dog, Melody; although, over the years, I have taken several of her perfectly adorable face like these pictured here.

Melody

M

Princess Puppy Pants

Melody

Melody

by Valerie | 03.21.16 | For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

Pi/pie, green, & spring

💗

Last Monday, 3/14, was Pi Day and we celebrated by ordering a pizza pie for dinner and enjoying an apple pie for dessert. We remembered to wear our green for St. Patrick’s Day last Thursday too; even Melody had some green in her collar, so we all avoided getting pinched. We made these Blue Apron meals at home (you can view photos here) over the last week: Crispy Brown Butter Gnocchi with Meyer Lemon & Brussels Sprouts, Baked Jerk Tofu & Smashed Plantains with Garlic-Ginger Collard Greens, Roasted Broccoli & Fregola Sarda Salad with Hard-Boiled Eggs & Tahini Dressing (we did fried eggs in place of the hard-boiled eggs), and Mushroom & Poblano Pepper Quesadillas with Monterey Jack Cheese & Avocado-Radish Salsa (we substituted zucchini for the mushrooms, due to allergy). And, as of yesterday, it is officially spring; I really enjoyed our walks with Melody over the weekend, seeing daffodil and crocus blooms, little green shoots coming up from the ground for tulips and lilies, etc., buds on the trees, the sky was such a beautiful shade of blue, and coming across this sweet little sidewalk chalk message pictured above. We picked up some cheery yellow daffodils and white tulips for the house, along with a beautiful purple arrangement I took home from a work event filled with stock, waxflower, and lovely, pale purple roses.

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes... Happy first day of spring!

event flowers

by Valerie | 03.21.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze, Princess Puppy Pants, Recipes | No Comments »

spring forward

tulips

We’ve had unseasonably warm weather here recently and even pulled out the grill for the first time this year for dinner last night, but as we set our clocks ahead an hour for the time change today, we woke up to cooler temperatures and rain outside – which made it a perfect day to make this for lunch. Now seems like a good time for a rainy Sunday nap on the couch, or for watching a good movie under a warm blanket, or both! With St. Patrick’s Day coming up this Thursday, I couldn’t resist picking up this sweet little Oxalis plant, some Bells of Ireland, and a big bunch of tulips. The crocus and snowdrops are blooming in our neighborhood and the buds on my lilac bushes in the backyard are getting bigger every day – there are signs of spring everywhere.

bells of Ireland

oxalis

by Valerie | 03.13.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Recipes | No Comments »

day dreaming

day dreaming #apartmenttherapy

I unfortunately caught what I’m 99% sure is a really nasty cold and have been out of commission for most of the week; I still haven’t gotten over it completely, but am finally feeling better which is a relief. In my sick-with-a-cold, Nyquil, Mucinex, Sudafed (or some combination thereof) haze, there was much sleeping for as many hours as possible and at all hours of the day/night – which I’m sure, thankfully, has helped to lead me down this road to recovery. And through it all I could always count on Melody to be there by my side, sleeping on her pillow close by too – only she looks much cuter than me (you should have seen me when the sinus drainage had gotten to the point where I decided to just shove some Kleenex up one side of my nose to block the flow…sexy, I know). Here’s to good dogs and day dreaming…

sleepy Sunday

by Valerie | 03.04.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

outside/inside

snow day

Outside: Winter Storm Petros is blowing through the area and has been doing so since yesterday morning. The world is a lovely blanket of white and the snow is still falling…

Inside: We stopped at the grocery store on the way home yesterday to pick up fresh bread, soup, beer, chocolate cake, and some lovely mini daffodils. It may be winter outside, but I’ve got a little spring inside where it’s warm and cozy. Speaking of cozy, look at this little little sweetie all curled up by my feet. Also, I can’t get enough of this blanket!

my buddy & me

a little spring for this winter day #apartmenttherapy

by Valerie | 02.25.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

Putting the Val in Valentine’s Day, part II

Valentine4

He gave me the most beautiful box of chocolates from Compartés for Valentine’s Day this year, along with two dozen Bellevue roses, and one of my gifts to him was this really adorable photo of our dog, Melody, framed by Framebridge and pictured below – I still can’t look at it with making all kinds of oh-my-gosh-that’s-so-cute sounds. Melody’s looking extra cute with her conversation heart Valentine collar, we’ll be enjoying some Honeymoon Sandwiches today next to our fireplace (we woke up to a temperature of -1, feels like -10), and listening to some fun tunes like this. Looking forward to trying this double chocolate stout from Rogue later! Hope you’re having a fantastic Valentine’s Day weekend! You can view more photos from our holiday weekend here.

Valentine1

Valentine7

Valentine6

Valentine2

Valentine8

by Valerie | 02.13.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

Putting the Val in Valentine’s Day

getting ready for our movie night in with the drive in by Compartes (milk chocolate + popcorn) #comparteschocolatier #compartes #abigailmurraystudio

This Sunday is Valentine’s Day and, as always, I am looking forward to this wonderful holiday that celebrates love and all things love! I’m a holiday person in general; I love them all – Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, etc. But a holiday that celebrates love and often involves flowers and chocolate and declarations of love in many forms…now that is something special! Of course, you don’t need a holiday to celebrate love or to buy yourself or a loved one chocolate or flowers, but it certainly can’t hurt. And, speaking of chocolate…we recently discovered our love for Compartés – it is REALLY good chocolate, it comes in lots of really interesting flavor combinations, and…bonus…the packaging is beautiful; if you believe that you eat with your eyes first, this certainly fits the bill. We’ve found it locally at Plum Market, but you can also buy it online. Here are some other fun Valentine’s Day treats:

by Valerie | 02.08.16 | For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

weekend haps

There was a big game on yesterday, which I did watch portions of; but my favorite part of Super Bowl Sunday has always been the commercials and the Puppy Bowl. Here’s one of my personal favorite commercials from this year’s big game (see above or follow this link). What were your favorites?

And in our kitchen last week, we made Tuscan Ribollita Soup with Soft-Boiled Eggs & Lacinato Kale, Creamy Lemon Linguine with Caramelized Onion, Chard & Walnuts (one of our favorites so far!), Shrimp & Pineapple Fried Rice with Toasted Cashews & Sambal Oelek, and Goat Cheese & Kale Quiches with Butter Lettuce & Chive Salad. For Super Bowl Sunday, it was guacamole and chips, oven-baked fries, and chili dogs!

Wednesday night dinner at home - cooking & listening to Italian hip hop. Tuscan Ribollita Soup #blueapron

Creamy Lemon Linguine with Caramelized Onion, Chard & Walnuts http://dlink.blueapron.com/SPBc/KmkHUqUxEq #blueapron

Shrimp & Pineapple Fried Rice with Toasted Cashews & Sambal Oelek http://dlink.blueapron.com/SPBc/W3lLVhQ5Aq #blueapron

Goat Cheese & Kale Quiches with Butter Lettuce & Chive Salad #blueapron

by Valerie | 02.08.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Recipes | No Comments »

home cooked

Cod & Potato Brandade with Watermelon Radish Salad & Garlic Toasts http://dlink.blueapron.com/SPBc/Xffipdiupq #blueapron

Tomorrow we’ll receive our third Blue Apron shipment in the mail and we’re still really enjoying it – I still feel a bit like a kid opening presents on Christmas morning every time we get a box; as I mentioned here, it’s been fun to try new recipes at home, new ingredients (like watermelon radish), and we’ve enjoyed having all the groceries needed for the meals shipped right to our door too. Another thing I have personally loved about it is that we are spending the time it takes to make the meals together in the kitchen, listening to music (sometimes there’s dancing!), talking, laughing, and enjoying a beer or a glass of wine. Week one brought us: Butternut Squash & Poblano Chili with Toasted Pepitas & Charred Lime, Apple & Parmesan Cheese Panzanella Salad with Smashed Purple Potatoes (we altered the recipe and used Parmesan in place of blue cheese), and Cacciatore-Style Baked Eggs with Lacinato Kale & Parmesan-Garlic Toasts. Week two brought us: White Pizza with Baked Eggs & Arugula-Brussels Sprout SaladCod & Potato Brandade with Watermelon Radish Salad & Garlic Toasts (pictured above and below), and Chicken Meatballs & Creamy Polenta with Tomato Sugo & Lacinato Kale. I’m looking forward to more culinary adventures and fun in the kitchen! Want to see more photos of our food? Take a peek here!

Cod & Potato Brandade with Watermelon Radish Salad & Garlic Toasts http://dlink.blueapron.com/SPBc/Xffipdiupq #blueapron

Cod & Potato Brandade with Watermelon Radish Salad & Garlic Toasts #blueapron

by Valerie | 01.29.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Recipes | No Comments »

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