Holy Year!

One year ago, Max and I were hopping on an early flight to Seattle.  Me, to move back.  He, to move newly.  Every time I think about that day it makes me incredibly tired, but then makes me happy.  We arrived and then took a train with way too many suitcases to Seattle.  Picked up our U-haul and drove 20 miles north to pick up my car.  We then drove a few miles south to the storage facility.  We loaded up the U-haul with all of the junk stuff and made our way back to Queen Anne.  We unloaded the U-haul, had a drunken neighbor help us (despite our efforts to kindly say no thank you) and then had to drop the U-haul off.  After that, it was suggested we head to Costco to get a membership and some groceries.  Sure, why not!  The day had been so uneventful.  Making it back to the new place, we unpacked all of the boxes and went to bed.  HA!  There was no unpacking.  So begins the year! 

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My dear friends from school.  

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THE BEST BLONDIES I’VE EVER MADE.

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Tennis!

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Hikes!

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Sneaky visitors.

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Plenty of Mariners games

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Seattle Spring

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Weddings

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Birthdays

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Adventures

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Pancakes

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One of the most amazing experiences of my life.  WHALES.Image

La Push

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One of the least amazing experiences of my life.  BROKEN.

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Celebrations

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More celebrations!

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Ocean.

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Thanksgiving 

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Concerts

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Blurry surprises

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Dad feet

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Engagement!!!

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More Seahawks than I was expecting.

Which brings us here.  Seahawks are really everywhere.  Max and I will be watching the game from another city but I cannot imagine the madness here.  Hopefully the city behaves themselves.  Sure, I’m a Steelers fan through and through, but why not root for this place. 

And with that…the year starts again!  And what a year it will be.  

With love, 

Anne

 

 

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Basil Prosecco

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Cheers!  I made a delicious drink for you.  Not my own idea but it should have been considering I happen to love basil more than most green things.  Well, I delayed making it because Max and I are engaged, but we are definitely still celebrating!  It happened about one week ago and we are over the moon.  We popped regular champagne the night we got engaged, but since you can never have too much bubbly, I thought I’d try this basil concoction.  I feel like I don’t need to say this, but if you don’t like basil….you really won’t like this!  You can also pretend like you are drinking a juice full of kale and celery and lettuce…except way better!!!!

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Basil Prosecco

From The Novice Chef

Serves 4 

Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

10 fresh basil leaves

1 tsp fresh lemon juice 

1 bottle Prosecco

Basil or lemon twists for garnish

Directions

Over medium heat, stir sugar and water until the sugar has dissolved.  Chill immediately.

Blend the chilled simple syrup with basil leaves and lemon juice until smooth.

Strain basil mixture into champagne glasses/flutes.  Roughly 1 Tbsp per drink.  Straining is important to get rid of chunks of basil.  Reduce the “Do I have anything in my teeth” questions.  Portion out Prosecco over 4 glasses.  Drink up! 

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With love, 

Anne

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Whipped Feta Crostini

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Holy holidays! Always flying by, don’t you think? But you know what comes after the holidays? Award show season. For the one or two of you that may also share my excitement, well, are you excited, too?

I was pretty grateful to be home for the holidays. It was a white Christmas and a white everything else. I forget when it didn’t snow…

For Christmas, I made a super simple appetizer that you can make for any occasion. Or if you eat enough, it can be dinner :)

(Sorry for the weird format…it’s the phone)

Whipped Feta Crostini

    Ingredients

1 fresh baguette, sliced 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick
6 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, crushed
3 ounces whipped cream cheese
8 ounces feta

    Directions

Broil or toast bread slices until golden.
While toasting, beat cream cheese and feta together just until smooth.
On the stove top, toast pine nuts until golden. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!
Spread cheese on toast.
Top with two or three cherry tomato halves.
Sprinkle basil and pine nuts over all pieces of bread.

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With love,
Anne

Holiday Chocolate Chip Cookies starring Candy Cane Joe Joe’s

The fact that Thanksgiving was so late this year has me totally confused me with where we are in December.  I mean, I know Christmas is like 2 weeks away, but my goodness.  Max and I put up our tree embarrassingly early, but that’s just because we will be back in Illinois for the holidays.  It’s acceptable, right?  Maybe not.  I’m not going to bother worrying though.  I have seen like 8 million photos of Christmas trees on social media and they are all pretty beautiful.  Why don’t we keep them up all year again?

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Speaking of things we need all year.  Candy Cane Joe Joe’s.  Trader Joe’s sells these cookies called Joe Joe’s all year round (aka OREOS) but then they sell the candy cane type around the holidays.  Well, it’s the only time we get them and we are so addicted.  Oreos also come in the candy cane variety if you aren’t near a Trader Joe’s.  I haven’t even allowed myself to get the chocolate covered Joe Joe’s because I don’t want to know what kind of trouble I’d get into.  The fact is, these cookies are addicting.  Nothing fancy, just a take on the classic Oreo.  Even though these cookies are best left alone, I decide to throw them in a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  And the rest is history.

Hope you are having a happy holiday season.  Merry merry!ImageImage

Holiday Chocolate Chip Cookies starring Candy Cane Joe Joe’s

Makes ~2 dozen

Ingredients 

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cup Candy Cane Joe Joe’s, chunks

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

3/4 tsp baking soda

2 1/4 cups flour

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla, sugars, and melted butter until fully incorporated.  In a separate bowl, mix flour and baking soda.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth.  Stir in chocolate chips and Joe Joe’s chunks.  Portion out dough onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until golden.

With love,

Anne

Spicy Pumpkin Soup (and an apology)

Oh dear.  I’m so sorry for being gone for….a long time.  You see, I sort of became tired of blogging all the time.  Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging and trying new recipes to report to you, but sometimes I just like to make breakfast burritos for dinner.  No photos.  Just me and my 5 minute dinner that never gets old.  I mean, I haven’t done that every night since October 8th (oh wow) but you get the point.  Except I made this soup over the weekend and I thought you might enjoy it.  I kind of thought it would be disgusting but when it turned out, I thought, time to get grubbin’.

So I’ll be around from time to time, but just not in the same capacity I once was…

Thanks to those who wondered what the heck was going on…and thanks for reading!  Enjoy :)

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Spicy Pumpkin Soup 

Serves 4-6

Ingredients 

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 Tbsp minced garlic

1 jalapeño, seeded and diced

Olive oil

1 (29 oz) can of pumpkin puree

6 cups vegetable stock

1 cup coconut milk

2 Tbsp cumin

1 Tbsp dried oregano

1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

Cilantro for serving

Sriracha for serving

Directions

Generously pour a Tbsp or two of olive oil in a large pot.  On medium-high heat, sauté your garlic, onions and jalapeño for 3 minutes, or until soft.  Add vegetable broth, coconut milk, and pumpkin puree to the pot.  You will have to stir until all the clumps of pumpkin have incorporated with the broth.  Toss all of your spices into the pot and stir well.   Serve with a good amount of fresh cilantro.  Drizzle Sriracha if more spice is needed.

If you have an immersion blender you should use it, if not, you can use a blender to blend any onion chunks, etc.  I didn’t blend it at all and still enjoyed it!

Enjoy with a grilled cheese.

With love,

Anne

On the Bright Side

Well hello!  I had a wonderful trip back home and now I don’t know where to begin with this week!  It’s going to be a busy one.  But let me just reflect on some fun times before I’m sitting in the doctor’s office waving my 99% healed elbow in everyone’s face. 

Pumpkins!  October is the best! Image

My niece, Lucy, is growing up too fast! Image

My mom thought this was a beautiful leaf.  And it sure is!  “Don’t get me in the picture!”

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Max and I got caught in a major thunderstorm after stopping by a brewery.

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We were trapped.

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Until the lightning and thunder stopped and we decided it was safe enough to run.  In the pouring rain.  Nothing worse than wet, rainy jeans. 

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We celebrated with my brother and his fiancé Elise, post rain shower.  

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I really didn’t take many photos while I was home.  I enjoyed the majority of it without capturing it.  Mostly all the food I had been missing so much!  It’s sooooo nice to be back in Seattle though!  It’s incredible when you step off the plane and notice the difference in fresh air.  Here’s to a nice, rainy day with no plans to run in it anytime soon…

I’ll be back when I’m back.  

With love, 

Anne

 

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On the Bright Side

I’m not doing a very good job of posting recipes, you guys!  That’s because I’m not in my kitchen.  I’m at home and enjoying every bit of it for a short while.  Even though I’m enjoying it, I’m missing sweet Seattle always.  I’ll be back and cooking shortly.  See ya from the best coast! 

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With love, 

Anne

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On the Bright Side

It has been another wonderful week.

Max and I took a stroll on what may have been the last summer day to the sculpture park. They have a partial house, mostly a roof, that is a new addition to the park. I captured what turned into my very favorite photo while Max was on the chimney. Don’t worry, it’s not as high as a house…and you are allowed to walk on it! Definitely cool. And weird. But what do I know about a true arteest (sculptooour)!?

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These legs stand on their own! Toes curling for dear life and all! I’m so proud :) Image

Perfection.

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This baby, however, does not stand on his own but holds a small gun. Welcome to Queen Anne, folks! Enjoy your stay in our neighborhood!

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Hope you are having a great week! Thanks for reading, you guys. I love ya.

With love,

Anne

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Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Muffins

Good morning!  Let’s start the week with muffins, okay?  Image

I saw this recipe the other day and could hardly wait another second before whipping up a batch.  ImageImage

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Muffins

Slightly adapted from Heather Christo

Makes 12

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 large eggs

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 1/4 cups flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup buttermilk

Topping: 3 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, mixed in a small bowl

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tins.  

Cream together the sugar and butter until fluffy.  Add vanilla and eggs.

Add the pumpkin puree and mix well.  Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add them to the wet mixture. 

Finally, add the buttermilk and mix until everything is smooth and combined. 

Scoop the batter evenly.  Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar topping generously on the tops of the muffins.  

Bake muffins for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when you test the inside.  

Let cool for a few minutes before eating with a cold glass of milk!Image

With love, 

Anne

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One-Pan Pasta

Martha, Martha, Martha.  You genius, you. Image

 

If you’re anything like me, you look for recipes online.  Well, this recipe has seriously been EVERYWHERE on the Internet.  I have seen it on so many blogs that I just had to finally try it out!  Martha Stewart knows her stuff, so I assumed it must work out okay.  I was certainly skeptical because this is, as the title says, all cooked in one pan and it’s ready to eat.  Wait…don’t you usually drain a lot of water?  Nope nope nope.  Believe me.  Martha Stewart figured this one out!  Of course I take ZERO credit for this dish, but I want to show you how simple it is! Image

One-Pan Pasta 

From Martha Stewart

Serves 4

Ingredients 

12 oz linguine

12 oz grape tomatoes, cut in half

1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (I may have used a Tbsp—if you want lots of spice!)

4 sprigs basil, plus more for garnish

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

4 1/2 cups water

Parmesan cheese for serving

Directions

Combine pasta, tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, red pepper flakes, oil, pinch of salt and pepper, and water into a large, straight-sided skillet.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Boil mixture, stir continuously, and turn pasta over with tongs so it is evenly cooked.  Once pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes, remove from heat.  Water should be nearly all evaporated. 
Add more basil and cheese once served.  

With love, 

Anne 

 

 

 

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