January 31, 2013

cheetah print

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cheetah-coat-detailCoat: ASOS. Shirt: BCBG. Jeans: J Brand. Belt: Borrowed from my husband. Boots: Cole Haan. Bag: B. Makowsky.

Nothing spices up the white button-down and jeans uniform quite like animal print. Although, how totally cat-lady crazy awesome would I look if I wore my leopard print scarf, sweater, belt and loafers with this jacket? JK JK…I think.

January 30, 2013

superbowl entertaining

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The Superbowl requires you to bring your entertaining “A” game, which is why I brought out Dungeness crab.

For the menu, I made a crab artichoke dip, mini crab cakes served up on a cake stand, vegetable platter for dipping and peppadew peppers stuffed with farmer’s cheese. Peppadews are perfectly tangy, with a sweet and spicy kick.

I am off to San Francisco this weekend for birthday celebrations and work next week. Allen is still distraught over the fact that I was in the city when the Giants won the World Series, and will be there this weekend for the Superbowl. What can I say, I’m sorry?

P.S. Taking a picture of the dead, but very alive looking crab, really creeped me out. I don’t know, there’s something about crabs you just can’t trust.

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Artichoke and Crab Dip
Serves a hungry crowd

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces fresh lump crabmeat, picked over, patted dry, coarsely shredded
11/2 cups thawed, chopped frozen artichoke hearts
8 ounces cream cheese
5 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, artichoke, mayonnaise, crabmeat, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Spread mixture into a 1 quart baking dish.

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove baked crab dip from the oven, and stir well. Serve hot.

 

Mini Crab Cakes
Makes 24

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 large egg
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
4 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Large pinch of cayenne pepper
6 ounces fresh lump crabmeat, picked over, patted dry, coarsely shredded
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pans
Fresh chives, cut into pieces

PREPARATION

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in medium bowl until smooth. Add 1/4 cup Parmesan and egg; beat to blend. Beat in sour cream, citrus peels, 4 teaspoons chopped chives, coarse salt, and cayenne pepper. Fold in crabmeat.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter 2 mini muffin pans. Toss panko, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and 2 tablespoons chopped chives in small bowl. Drizzle 1/4 cup melted butter over, tossing with fork until evenly moistened. Press 1 rounded tablespoon panko mixture into bottom of each muffin cup, forming crust. Spoon 1 generous tablespoon crab mixture into each cup. Sprinkle rounded teaspoon of panko mixture over each (some may be left over).

Bake crab cakes until golden on top and set, about 30 minutes. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Run knife around each cake and gently lift out of pan.

Arrange crab cakes on serving platter; sprinkle with chives.
Enjoy!

January 29, 2013

printed

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printed-detail Skirt: Anthropologie. T-shirt: Splendid. Booties: Matt Bernson. Jacket: J.Crew. Purse: L.A.M.B

I wore this little number to my very good friends engagement party last weekend, and I loved how effortless it felt. The rain is back in Portland, so this may be the last time you see bare leg until mid-July.

I bought this L.A.M.B purse what feels like decades ago, and it has since remained a classic in my closet. Maybe some day this can join it.

January 28, 2013

inspired by smith rock

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Agate bookends: Leif. Safi rug: West Elm. Print: Layla Grace. Cargo jeans: J Brand. Mug: Leif. Coffee maker: Crate & Barrel. Cuff: DANNIJO. Bag: Chloé. Smith Rock photographs are my own.

Feeling inspired by a recent visit to Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon. This collection pulls from the blues, greens and neutrals of the gorgeous high desert landscape.

January 25, 2013

green papaya salad & wok fried noodles

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I can’t tell you I didn’t cut my fingers julienning every vegetable and chopping every herb and nut under the sun, but I can tell you it was worth it. My boyfriend’s parents got me a Vietnamese Home Cooking cookbook by Charles Phan, Chef-Owner of San Francisco’s The Slanted Door, and I couldn’t wait to start experimenting. I really love Asian food, so naturally everything sounded amazing, but not necessarily simple. So, I chose a couple simple recipes to start…or so I thought (I won’t go into detail about how I bought the wrong kind of papaya, but that happened).

San Francisco is a ridiculously beautiful city, and if you have not had the chance to visit, go immediately. During my first trip to meet my boyfriend’s family, we met his mom in the city for lunch at The Slanted Door, and I have since been back multiple times. I’m not sure what it is exactly, maybe the view of the bay or the swanky dining room, but it always feels special.

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Green Papaya Salad with Rau Ram, Peanuts and Crispy Shallots & Mix-and-Match Wok-Fried Noodles
Serves 6

SALAD INGREDIENTS

2 cups canola oil
1 large green papaya (about 2 pounds), peeled, halved, seeded, and finely julienned with a mandoline or sharp knife (about 5 cups shredded)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh rau ram or a mixture of spearmint and cilantro (I used a mixture of spearmint and cilantro)
1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise into half moons (about 1 cup)
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pickled carrots
3/4 cup flavored fish sauce
2 tablespoons shallot oil or canola oil
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, finely chopped, for garnish
1/3 cup fried shallots, for garnish

NOODLE INGREDIENTS

16 ounces rice vermicelli or dried flat rice noodles, thin width (about 1/8-inch)
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 teaspoons fish sauce
3 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup fresh mung bean sprouts
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal

SALAD PREPARATION

In a large bowl, combine the papaya, rau ram, cucumber, celery and carrot. Pour the flavored fish sauce and oil over the top and toss to coat evenly.

Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the peanuts and shallots. Serve immediately.

NOODLE PREPARATION

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. If using vermicelli, add them to the pot and boil until just cooked but still firm, about 3 minutes. If using dried flat rice noodles (what I used), add them to the pot and boil until just cooked but still firm, 5 to 6 minutes. Do not overcook, because the noodles will finish cooking in the wok. Drain the noodles, rinse with cold water, and spread on a rimmed baking sheet; toss with 1 teaspoon of canola oil.

In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon fish sauce, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, cornstarch, salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon canola oil. Mix well and let stand 10 minutes.

Heat a wok over high heat; the metal will have a matte appearance and a drop or two of water flicked onto its surface should evaporate on contact. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil; when the oil is hot, add the beaten eggs, smearing them all over the bottom of the wok to coat (this helps prevent the noodles from sticking). When the egg is no longer wet, but has not yet begun to brown, add the noodles, bean sprouts, celery, and remaining fish sauce and soy sauces. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, lifting and tossing the ingredients so they are well incorporated.

Transfer to a warm platter and serve.
Enjoy!