{favorites list} Things I’m Loving Right Now

These are some of the things I’m currently enamored with. 

santorini

Reminiscing about my summer trip to London, Bruges, Greece, and Turkey

Bacon waffles at the Naked Pig in Santa Rosa

Buying these magnetic closure onesies and sending them to my friends’ new babies – it’s become my go-to baby gift (tip: check the clearance page first so you can afford to send two!)

Bookmarking crazy, over-the-top swimming pools on Pinterest as I make plans to re-do my own pool and backyard

Traveling with my new(ish) Sony RX100 III camera – the photos are about 95% of the quality of my DSLR, but it weighs soooo much less and fits in my pocket

Figuring out a trick to get a walk-in table at State Bird Provisions (the bottom line: go on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday around 8 and you should only have to wait 30 minutes or so)

This Mondrian-inspired water tower in New York

Getting my calcium from these tasty dark chocolates every day

Finding ways to use the best of the summer produce we’re getting in California right now – like blueberries and heirloom tomatoes

These photos of El Seed’s “caligraffiti” street art

The popovers you get when you sit down for dinner at Wayfare Tavern – and the coconut cream cake they serve for dessert

These super-safe swim vests for little kids – they work wonders

L’oreal’s Voluminous Million Lashes mascara – cheap, waterproof, and looks so terrific all day long

Anticipating my upcoming visit to Peter Luger – my favorite restaurant in the whole world!

What are you loving lately? 

August 25, 2015   No Comments

{recipe} Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies

Not to sound like Seinfeld here, but… what’s the deal with all those blueberry items you get that have like 2.5 blueberries total? Pancakes, muffins, you name it… nary a blueberry in sight. And when you do find them, they’re all clumped together. It’s like looking for the bacon in a salad.

Not so with these cookies: they are packed so full of fresh blueberries, you will need an extra napkin when you bite into one, to handle all of the juicy bits.

blueberry oatmeal cookies

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August 17, 2015   No Comments

{itineraries} 3 Days in London – Off the Beaten Path (With or Without Kids!)

Having been to London quite a few times, on a recent trip I decided to try some activities and itineraries that are decidedly off the beaten path. It was so much fun to avoid the crowds of Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace and get into some spaces and places that were less clogged by tourists yet even more enjoyable.

london off the beaten path cutty

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August 14, 2015   No Comments

{recipe} Mediterranean Summer Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes, Figs, and Feta

I apologize for the long delay between posts – I was traveling for about a month, and since coming back, have been scrambling madly to get caught up on everything I left behind. Part of my travels took me to Greece and Turkey, so I have Mediterranean flavors on my mind and on my palate.

Mediterranean Summer Salad

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August 12, 2015   No Comments

{recipe} Kung Pao Chicken & Broccoli

For the past couple of years, I have noticed that this recipe has become a pretty regular weeknight go-to, especially when I’m pressed for time. It is quick to put together and cooks up in less than 10 minutes, and it’s just what I want from homemade Chinese comfort food: a little sweet, a little spicy, a little salty, with a rich brown sauce. Throw some rice on the stove or into the rice cooker, and you’re good to go.

kung pao chicken

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June 26, 2015   No Comments

{10 Second Vacation} Quito, Ecuador (Plus a Few Side Trips)

We hit up Quito, the charming capital of Ecuador, last summer before heading to Machu Picchu. It totally exceeded expectations. Everywhere you look, there’s a beautiful view. It’s a lively small city with a lovely colonial center. The people are friendly and there is lots to do. Not only that, it’s a really cheap town – we rented a lovely 2 bedroom apartment for around 70 bucks. A far cry from paying $200 a night for a decent hotel room as you do in many places. Plus, Quito can be a jumping-off point for so many other adventures, like a visit to the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon, or the beach.

quito ecuador

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June 25, 2015   No Comments

{hacks} 10 MORE of the Most Amazing Food and Life Hacks You Need to Know Right Now

I know what you’re thinking: after my last 13 Amazing Food and Life Hacks, how could I POSSIBLY have any more incredibly useful and fabulous life hacks for you? Well it has taken me awhile but here are some more. Read on for TEN MORE of the most life-changing, wonderful, great food and life hacks.

1. Does your room have an unpleasant smell? Tape a dryer sheet directly over your face.

life hacks

2. If you have been saving old Pringles cans so you can clean them out and store spaghetti in them, just throw them away instead. 

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June 16, 2015   3 Comments

{recipe} Three Cheese Souffles

“Souffle” is one of those culinary terms that often has people running for the hills – they have been led to believe that making souffles is hard or even impossible. But here is a secret: many souffles are simple to make and essentially foolproof. These delicious three cheese souffles have a light parmesan crust, a healthy amount of gruyere in the souffle mix, and a slice of crusty goat cheese on top. And they only take about 15 minutes to prep and 20 minutes to bake.

cheese souffles

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June 15, 2015   No Comments

{recipe} Make This: Asparagus Panzanella with Buttermilk Dressing from 101 Cookbooks

Whenever I am in need of vegetarian inspiration, I turn to my friend Heidi’s gorgeous site 101 Cookbooks. This recipe for asparagus panzanella s so good, so easy, and so quick that I know it will become a weekend lunch staple for years to come.

asparagus panzanella

The recipe is deceptively simple: you toast torn bread in some butter and salt, blanch asparagus, and make an easy buttermilk dressing by shaking together just a few ingredients. But the combination is fabulous. I think it would be great with some toasted almonds or hazelnuts sprinkled on top, and will try that next time.

Alongside a roasted chicken, it makes a pretty perfect meal – and you can make all the components in advance and just toss them together right before serving. This is one you don’t want to miss! You can find the recipe at 101 Cookbooks.

P.S. You can pre-order Heidi’s forthcoming book, Near and Far, which is coming out in September – or read this fun post about how she put the cookbook together.

June 9, 2015   No Comments

{recipe} Salty-Sweet Caramel Popcorn

I had a major popcorn craving the other day. I was in a big supermarket and couldn’t find regular popcorn to buy; only microwave. In a HUGE store. That is a travesty because microwave popcorn has nothing on fresh-popped kernels from the stovetop. At any rate after hitting up a fancier store I bought some organic popcorn and set to work on handling that craving, and decided just to target all possible cravings in one go. Popcorn, check. Salt, check. Sugar, check.

caramel popcorn recipe

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May 31, 2015   No Comments