July 21, 2010

Simple Things

Carrots. I don't know how -- but they manage to make it in our grocery cart every week. Without fail. I don't love them or hate them - they're just always there. (Like the all-too-familiar characters on my bus.) Carrots are pennies, they give you an excuse to eat orange food that's not processed, and they're good for your eyes. (Or is it nails? Can't keep it straight.) If I don't find a way to cook with them, they get chomped while checking email, reading a magazine, or tossed in a salad. They're not fussy, and I like that. I'm not too fussy either -- so we make a good match that way.

Potatoes and I, on the other hand, have a much different relationship. A few of you may recall a potato thrashing I had a few months back. Well, dear friends, I've come around. Potatoes, the humble tubers that they are, have surprised me as of late -- crusted with paprika at Portage Bay Cafe, wedged and roasted, or smashed with buttermilk in Zuni Cafe fashion. These things are stunners. The potatoes are what I really wanted to talk about.

These lowly vegetables have done more than give me physical sustenance. These things keep me grounded. Their simplicity remind me of the "less is more" mantra that older sisters tell you about makeup and mothers tell you about life. Nothing gives my mind a break better than slicing carrots or scrubbing potatoes. Call me crazy, but these simple things are what I consider real riches.

Classic Roasted Potatoes
(this isn't so much a recipe as it is a method)

Potatoes (I prefer baby reds or fingerlings)
olive oil
sea salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Clean the potatoes (peel if you like) and cut them into the shape you prefer. I like to wedge mine. In the pan you'll be roasting the potatoes, toss them with enough olive oil to lightly coat and add salt/pepper to your liking. Roast in oven until your preferred doneness is reached. (To move this process along more quickly, I sometimes boil the potatoes for 5-10 minutes before wedging and roasting.) Regarding 'doneness' - the picture above is what I consider the 'bruised and blistered doneness' -- you may not want to take them that far.

July 10, 2010

In With The New

You see these jeans down below? It's finally warm enough here where I can put them where they belong. Deep into the grooves of my closet. Besides for work, they are not to be taken out until September. Strict orders.

Since I'm out with the old, I guess it follows suit to be in with the new - so I've decided to jazz up some lemonade to celebrate summer. I don't use a specific ratio, as it's best to adjust to your liking and taste. Some may want a more boozy lemonade, some may want a more lemony lemonade. It's up to you. (Sorry for the measurers out there, it's just not my thing.)

Jazzy Lemonade
white wine
mint water*

Think of this as summer's everyday answer to the mimosa. It feels best right alongside a stack of magazines, (or in my case - a Kindle filled with magazine content), freshly painted toenails, and sunshine on your shoulders... you get the picture. So, raise a glass to summer!

*mint leaves steeped in a very small amount hot water, then chilled. I like to include this as it dilutes the insane sweetness of store-bought lemonades. If you make your own and adjust the sugar to your liking, this step isn't as necessary.

July 6, 2010

To California

This 4th of July weekend my boyfriend and I took a trip to California. Although our fair, cloud-protected Seattle skin would be soon shocked by California sunshine, we decided to pack our bags anyway. All the more reason. We stayed at a beautiful resort in San Jose, ate pulled pork and drank sangria (see above). This, followed by swimming outside under the stars with palm trees around you, is exactly how life should be. Exactly.

Feeling pampered and refreshed, we decided to venture up to San Francisco. We visited Alamo Park, the Painted Ladies (see above), the 'Full House' house, Baker Beach (unknowingly a nude beach), Haight Ashbury, and Fisherman's Wharf.

It wasn't all play in California, as we stopped in to check out major universities and corporations: Stanford University, UC-Berkeley (frozen yogurt there, see above), Yahoo!, Facebook, YouTube, Apple, Intel, Oracle, Adobe, Google. California has it all - beaches, bakeries, bikes, businesses, and blue skies. This fair skin hasn't seen the last of it.