Monthly Archives: July 2011

little confession and a recipe

I am not a food blogger. In fact, I would be a terrible food blogger! I tried sooo hard to prepare the recipe I’m sharing today and take some shots along the way so I could have a nice, long, colorful blog post with lots of pretty photos, witty anecdotes, and helpful tips.

*ppppppbbbbbtttttttt*

I’m just way to impatient to do it. So instead, make this. Today. Get some fresh tomatoes and herbs from a local stand, grab a few avocados and some feta at the store, and enjoy this summer, delicious, slightly Mediterranean version of guacamole–the chunky version. Mmmmm.

I stuffed mine in a pita pocket, this stuff is also fantastic with pita or regular tortilla chips or on some toasted baguette slices (drizzle the slices with olive oil, sprinkle on salt and pepper, toast for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven and rub with a whole peeled garlic clove). So good.

Mediterranean Avocado Salsa

  • two ripe avocados, diced
  • 2-3 good tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced
  • 1/4 red onion, if you’re so inclined (I never am, but I know plenty of you actually like onions) *shudder*
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs (I used cilantro and basil, I’ve also used parsley and oregano), finely diced

Toss together and enjoy.

Doesn’t it look tasty, down to that stray tomato seed on the plate? Oh, and the other reason I’d be a terrible food blogger? My recipes are more guides–most of what prepare is pretty fluid and changes depending on what I have on hand. It’s all equally good, but a little harder to type out with instructions for others to follow. But seriously, try this. You won’t be sorry.

celebrating 9 happy years

I spent yesterday waist-deep in projects–laundry, painting that darn dresser that I’ll never be done with, cleaning, working more on Bailey’s headboard, and refereeing what seemed like about a billion disagreements (or maybe a few less). The gorgeous weather we’ve been enjoying has allowed me to open all the windows and say “Go outside and play!” many, many times, thank goodness!

After all that work yesterday, I’m taking it easy today, resting up for my hot date tonight with the love of my life, my sweet husband of almost 9 years. Officially our anniversary is next Wednesday, but we’re celebrating tonight and I thought I’d share a few wedding photos. Weren’t we cute??? :)

Where’d that skinny girl go? Oh, that’s right, I have three and a half kids. . .

I have to say, our wedding day was truly perfect with one very, very minor cosmetic issue (cue duh duh duh! music)

We were married in the LDS Mt. Timpanogos temple. Due to the nature of a temple wedding, no photographs are allowed during the actual ceremony, so LDS brides and grooms typically have all their photos taken outside the temple, and many of them showcase their temple’s unique architecture. Imagine my dismay when we arrived on the morning of our wedding when I saw the scaffolding around the steeple. Apparently Angel Moroni had not been grounded properly and was being damaged each time it was struck by lightning. Ooops. Lovely. The photo above would probably have been one of my favorites, except for the scaffolding. Of course, if I were getting married today, I’d probably have my hot pink patent leather pumps on with my wedding gown, but we can’t have everything.

Ryan really hates the fake “sling your tux jacket over your shoulder and stick your other hand in your pocket” posing. But I still think we look cute. That little smirk on Ryan’s face in the left photo? He had that for the next two weeks, I think.

What a fantastic nine years it has been! Nine apartments and one house, three point five children, five states, and countless memories, I’m so grateful to be married to my sweetie. Love you, Ryan! (even though you don’t read my blog!)

summer panzanella

Are you loving all the garden and farm-fresh produce available this summer? I think I’m eating a tomato all by myself every day, and I didn’t even grow any in my so-called garden this year. But I love the flavors and colors of all the fresh veggies I’m finding at the farmers’ market and the corner stands scattered around our town. Mmmmmmm.

We’re off to the pool today for a nice day in the sun–high of 89, whoohooo! But I wanted to share this simple but delish tomato-bread salad I’m bringing for my lunch.

To make this, you’ll need:

  • loaf of crusty bread, cut into 1″ chunks (about 6 cups)
  • 2 pounds fresh tomatoes, cored and seeded, cut into 1 inch dice
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and seeded, thinly sliced
  • lots of good olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • fresh black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, diced or crushed through garlic press
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • chopped fresh herbs (traditional panzanella calls for basil, I only had cilantro on hand, so I used that. Parsley would work, too)
  • 1 shallot or 1/2  red onion, thinly sliced (optional)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spread the bread chunks into an even layer and drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden brown, stirring halfway through. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, place the tomatoes in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let sit at least 10 minutes and let the tomatoes release their juices. Reserve juice. Combine the garlic, red wine vinegar, 6 tablespoons olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper and whisk together, adding the tomato juice at the end. Toss dressing with the bread chunks and let sit 10 minutes as bread soaks up dressing. Combine tomatoes, cucumber, shallot or onion (if using) and a handful of chopped herbs with the bread chunks/dressing mixture and serve immediately.

The flavors in this are incredible! I had found a loaf of sun-dried tomato and herb bread at the local Thursday evening farmers’ market that I used for this recipe, and it was perfect. I let the tomatoes sit and release their juices for quite a while–probably closer to 30 minutes as I prepared everything else. I used what I had so far to mix up the dressing, then splashed the final bit of juice into the salad as I tossed it. The vinegar gives a nice acidity and the vegetables flavors really shine.

Fair warning–the bread chunks are fairly big.

But they need to be to hold up to the dressing–instead of getting super soggy, they just get delightfully flavored and soft while still maintaining a bit of crunch. You’ve got to try this!

 

 

too many projects

So remember the dresser I’m working on? And my daughter’s, ahem, unattractive bedroom reveal? Both of those projects have been at a bit of a standstill with the HEAT we’ve been experiencing lately, but with the cooling weather the past few days, my goal is to get the first coat of actual paint onto the dresser tomorrow. I just need to sand down the primer coat and slap on some glossy white.

I’ve been working on a headboard for Bailey’s room, as well. This is what I have so far–taken showing the back side of the headboard, of course! Somehow I managed to get one shot without any of my helpers in it–I’m not sure how that happened!

Curious? Stay tuned! I’m off to the hardware store today to get more screws and chat with someone about how best to attach this to the wall. Then it will be getting a coat or two of primer and paint before the big reveal!

On top of those projects, I’ve also realized that it’s high time I start working on my baby boy’s room! We’ve never been in our own home when we brought a baby home from the hospital before, and I already have the paint all ready for his nursery walls (whoohooo!). I’ve been going around and around trying to decide what direction to go with decor, however. Ryan is a big sports guy, so I always assumed that we’d just do a sports themed nursery and call it good. But have you seen the sport nursery bedding on the market right now? Doesn’t really mesh with my design style of bright and airy. So I’m thinking of using colors and fabrics I love and simply incorporating some sports decor.

What I have for the baby’s room:

  • crib and mattress
  • hand-me-down glider that is super comfortable
  • changing pad with one white terry cloth cover

And that’s it! The crib and mattress will be fine (white crib). I’m scouring craigslist looking for another dresser to redo, though I’ve got to get the ones I have done before I can start anything new! That will be used as the changing table/storage. And I’d love to redo the glider, as well. It is oak with a very 80s off-white/peach/taupe cushion that screams grandma. And while I love that we have it, it’s gotta change! I’d love to recover the cushion in this

 

but it’s shirting fabric, so super lightweight and I know it wouldn’t hold up. My other option at the moment is trying to do a dropcloth slipcover a la Miss Mustard Seed, but I’m not sure the dropcloth fabric is soft enough for what I want. Perhaps I’ll use this pinstripe as the reverse of the crib bumper.

For the main fabric, I’m a bit stuck, though. Here’s the color scheme I’m going for

And here are the fabrics I’m considering:

Of those four, which do you like? Is the first too girly? Will I get bored with a geometric? I’m just not sure . . .

You can check out my entire baby BOY board on Pinterest–I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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