a friend showed me how to make a much unhealthier version of this years ago. it was good! it used pillsbury sugar cookie dough (most of the unhealthy part) and canned fruits (some fresh). it also used a ton of sugar in the cream cheese. i found this recipe and i dont think i will be looking back. the lemon is mild but you can adjust to taste. i used neufchatel cream cheese to save on some calories.

lemon berry tart

cookie crust

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 large egg


1/2 cup lemon curd
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 pint raspberries
2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
1/2 pint blueberries

preheat oven to 400 degrees

[1] in a small bowl mix together the flour, butter, brown sugar and egg until dough forms. press dough firmly and evenly against bottom and side of an ungreased 9 inch tart pan.

[2] bake for 15 minutes or until light golden brown. completely cool, about 45 minutes.

[3] in a small bowl beat lemon curd and cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. spread over crust. refrigerate at least one hour or until slightly firm. just before serving arrange fruits onto lemon mixture.



Jungle Green

it seemed to take forever. it seemed to be rushed. i keep finding imperfections. but the house is ours! not technically because we have a mortgage but ya know. im anxious because things aren't all in their places and we aren't completely unpacked yet but it is coming along.  we spent all of last weekend driving from furniture store to furniture store trying to find a bedroom suite for the master. i decided to defer our current bed to one of the guest rooms which unfortunately we have to sleep in--read on. so, after about 5 hours of non-stop furniture snooping we gave up and drove to the charlotte ikea in search of the hemnes chests and the lillesand bed. they had the chests, no nightstands, and no bed :( NO BED TIL DECEMBER! ok, so i want this bed i luuuv this bed. reminds me of beds in my grandmothers house (those were the real things though. of which my sister still has 3 and offered. unfortunately they are too small.) enough with beds back to chests. we bought both chests and they fit in the kia. yea!! not assembled. my husband is so handy. and look mr. trevor wants to help too! i think the ikea furniture was a pretty good deal considering it is solid pine. it should hold up for a good six months. i kid, i kid.



cephalopods freak me out in reality. the way they move is gross. to me at least. it may be facisinating to some. they impertinently make my skin crawl. but when i saw this i just couldn't resist! look at it. it's not alive--it won't hurt me. you want it? it's on modcloth and ruche. go get and make people's skin crawl.

Red Orange

the Fall season started this past saturday! i LOVE Fall! Temperate weather, chunky sweaters, leather boots & snuggly scarfs. ok ok more about that in another post. i was supposed to be posting recipes at last check but building a house has been making a b*%$# postal! while the house isn't quite finished it should be by next week. finally! here are some recipes that i was mindful of to take a few pics of soooo....

salmon salad with black beans & avocado
4 salmon filets
2 tablespoons olive oil
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 chipotle chilie in adobo sauce, finely diced
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cups mixed greens
1 cup roasted red peppers, drained & cut into strips
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1 avocado, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 cup tortilla chips, lightly crushed

 preheat broiler or grill

[1] brush salmon filets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. grill or broil until opaque and cooked through.  flake into bite sized chunks when cooled.

[2] while salmon cooks combine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, chilies, and salt & pepper in a food processor. pulse to blend. then pour oil slowly through feed tube while processor is running and whirl until blended.

[3] place mixed greens into a large salad bowl.  add salmon chucks, black beans, red peppers, and avocado. toss gently with dressing and top with tortilla chips.

endless summer tomato cobbler
8 tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
1 tablespoon cornstarch
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup all purpose flower
1 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons butter cut into small pieces
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
cooking spray

preheat oven to 375 degrees

[1] place tomato wedges into a large bowl, sprinkle with cornstarch and season generously with salt and pepper. gently toss to combine. set aside.

[2] combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and pepper to taste in bowl of a large food processor or electric mixer. add butter; pulse until mixture resembles crumbs. add eggs, buttermilk, cheese; pulse until just combined.

[3] spread tomato mixer in the bottom of a large baking dish coated with cooking spray. top with dollops of dough, spreading lightly, but leaving gaps for steam to escape. bake for 45 mins until bubbly and golden.

zucchini & squash bread

10 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 yellow squash
2 zucchini
1 cup pistachios, shelled & coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons fennel seeds (fennel is disgusting i would omit this if you dont like licorice)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
[1] generously butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. sprinkle with flour, tapping out excess. whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl.

[2] coarsely grate squash and zucchini on the large holes of a box grater onto a large piece of cheesecloth; gather edges and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

[3] spread the pistachios in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; toast until fragrant and lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. transfer to a plate to cool.

[4] using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. add the eggs one at a time, mixing until combined after each addition. Beat in vanilla. add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. use a flexible spatula to fold in the squash, pistachios, and fennel seeds. spoon batter into prepared loaf pan.

[5] bake 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. continue baking until loaf is golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes. let cool on a wire rack 10 minutes before unmolding onto rack to cool completely
the bread should be served with the cobble. but i think it make a lovely breakfast bread! enjoy!



braised chicken with button mushrooms and creamy parmesan polenta

i tried the coffee rubbed steak and had an epic fail. coffee rubbed steak doesn't sear well. the coffee caramelized and smoke was every where. i also added too much cumin to the rub and tried to experiment by adding cocoa to the rub which probably contributed to the smoke. next time i will stick to the recipe, grill the steak and not mistake my tablespoon for a teaspoon.  so i thought i'd post a tried and true recipe. this is easy enough and i adore the mushrooms.

4  boneless, skinless chicken breasts
coarse salt and pepper to taste
2   tablespoons olive oil
8   ounces whole button mushrooms
2   teaspoons garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1 3/4   cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped (can use dried)
2   cups cut green beans

Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat.

Add the chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, then transfer to a plate.

Add the mushrooms, garlic and another dash of salt to the skillet,
cover and cook over medium heat until the mushrooms release their juices,
about 2-3 minutes. Remove the lid and cook another 3 minutes.

Pour in the wine and cook, stirring until evaporated, 1 minute.

Add the broth and parsley and cook over medium-high heat
until the mushrooms are tender and the liquid has reduced, 8-10 minutes.

Return the chicken to the skillet, cover, and simmer over
low heat until the chicken is cooked through, 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the frozen beans according to package directions.

Serve the chicken topped with the mushrooms and a drizzle of the sauce.

Garnish with additional fresh parsley if desired. Serve beans on the side.
The polenta is fairly easy just mix 1 1/2 cups milk and equal parts water with one cup of cornmeal.
Heat and stir continuously for about 7-10 minutes and reduce heat to simmer.

I added Parmesan cheese for flavor.


Banana Mania

ok--i've been slacking here and need to get my blog together. there have been a few things i have been meaning to cook for a while and like this blog have some how gotten forgotten. i think that if i fuse the two forgotten things they will be remembered and i will do them. maybe. i've been meaning to try my hand at chocolate braised short ribs and coffee rubbed steak for some time now. i will do this. as well as some vegatarian dishes, squid salads, experimentations with gourmet salts and some homemade gelato. i like to eat. so in the coming weeks get ready cause i'm about to get to cooking!


Atomic Orange

drew's deep blue astral and my light blue stohlquist
ok those aren't very orange but we will wear them regardless! i have been wanting to kayak for some time. it seems like a fun way to get my abs working. we paddled a canoe a while back but i really wanted to try my hand at the kayak thing. we haven't invested in actual boats yet because i am not sure if i will really like it. we did however invest in what i think are expensive life vests. so i can partially like it. i think i will enjoy this though. tomorrow morning i will conquer lake pinnacle!


Anchors Away

Sail Away with me bracelet

ok, that is not a crayon name. i actually received this bracelet a few weeks ago but forgot to put it up.  the nautical thing may be a trend but i think this bracelet is timeless. it really dresses up a t-shirt and jeans. this is my second purchase from Anne and i have been happy with every single one! Visit her shop for more unique goodies.



All of these pics were totally stolen from Creative Loafing because my phone takes awful pictures.

Finally, getting back into the grind of things. Not fun. Some of it is fun but I miss people cleaning my room daily and doing my laundry. On the bright side I got to see Young the Giant and Flaming Lips Saturday night. Q magazines says The Lips are one of the "50 bands to see before dying". Yes, I must agree with this statement. "yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah". Get it? No? According to Wayne Coyne you don't need too. Just sing along even if you don't know the fucking words. Make something up and sing it fucking loud! All the confetti, balloons, laser and projection screens. You really have to experience it.

Hubby and I sitting during Young the Giant performance. 



While I was in Germany I attempted to keep up this blog with no success and alas I deleted my previous post.  I've always wanted to travel overseas and was really excited to take this trip. Before Drew proposed to me I had gotten pretty far in the Peace Corps selection process. I was probably going to be placed in Morocco. After being in Germany for a month I am certain that I would have bitched, moaned and complained the entire time I would have spent in the Corps. But I would have gotten over it. I could live in Germany I would just prefer not to. The trip was great I am am very thankful that I got the opportunity. My only complaint is that all of Europe seems to look the same. I know I only saw three countries but really--the same. Here are some highlights or lowlights whichever you prefer.


antique brass

egg drop soup is delicious. i've always wondered "how do they make that".  i mean, is the yellow stuff watered down egg yolk (yes, i actually used to think that)? so, i was really excited when i saw on my relish menu for this week was an asian noolde bowl with egg drop soup! i lost the recipe. i forget to save them to my favorites and then *poof* just like that they are gone! i do remember most of the ingredients so here is a recollective run down

asian noodle bowl with shrimp and scallops
-rice noodles about 8 oz for 2 people boil and remove set aside
-shiitake mushrooms 1/4 cup i used dried
-asparagus 1 lb snapped into 2 inch pieces
-2 carrots diced combine these and saute in about 1 tblspn olive oil for 2 mins
-shrimp about 4-5 oz and scallops about 2-3 oz add these
now the hard part to remember...the sauce. goes something like this
-brown sugar 2 or 3 tblspn
-soy sauce 1/4 cup
-sriracha 1 or 2 tblspns
-minced garlic 1 tblspn
if you are daring use my measurements or mix to taste. for those who prefer to stay safe go buy stir-fry sauce. add this to the mix cook through
serve over rice noodles top with fresh cilantro

egg drop soup
- 2 cans of chicken broth or one box boil this
-cornstarch 1tblspn (i found i needed more) and 1 tblspn water to mix add this
- soy sauce 1 tblspn add this
-1 tsp minced ginger add this
-1 or 2 eggs scrambled NOT COOKED reduce heat stir soup add eggs while stirring this will make eggs feather
- green onions put in after cooking while still hot



i love quirky jewelry. i love organic jewelry as well. i've never been much of a platinum and diamonds kind of girl. my latest purchase from ruche is the "spoonful of sugar" necklace. i LOVE this necklace.  well, to start with the name is just too adorable and the piece itself begs for a few squints and double takes. i like to think of my jewelry as a conversation piece. an understated conversation piece. not some huge flashy piece of plastic or diamond encrusted platinum. i prefer to keep it simple.


a word about my post titles

i am horrible at titling things. my creative outlet ends there. it begins long before though. somewhere at the very beginning of main street and all the way over to 1st and 3rd. it looms at 7th avenue and takes a sharp left before coming to a screeching halt at...title. oh, the dreaded title. it is what grabs, you, my audiences' attention. captivates you and makes you want to read further. so here i am sitting on some little back alley. pondering. crayola! yes. i will title my blog post with crayola crayon names. in alphabetical order of course. this will save me much headache and with over 100 colors can go on for quite some time. so when you read my post and wonder why the title is "aquamarine", "lapis lazuli" or "fuzzy wuzzy" you will know why.