Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide : For the Nerd in Your Life



Here are a few things that most self proclaimed nerds would love, and even those who aren't. 


I personally love the vintage feel to the old star wars poster prints and have admired them for a while. My husband loves Star Wars and I think these would be a nice addition to any room without it being so obviously nerdy. 

Obviously the xbox one is big right now, so I had to include it.   And the new Hunger Games movie,  Catching Fire,  just came out (I am so excited to see it, I loved the books) - the Mocking-jay  pin is really cute. 

Growing up we used to watch the old Dr. Who.  I know some die hard watchers of the current version and this iphone case would probably be something they would love in their stocking.

What are your fav nerd-centric gifts? 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pear & Blue Cheese Salad (Courtesy of Food Network.com)

Today I am bringing you a post courtesy of Food Network.com

When we had cable I would watch the Food Network for hours on end…. that and HGTV were my binge channels,now I have to save my binge watching for days I go to my parent’s house.   Which is exactly where I’ll be on Thanksgiving next week.


Along with the usual fixings, turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, its always nice to have a refreshing salad to help balance out the heavy food. But Leah - Brussels sprouts are green and healthy, well thats true, but when you roast them with bacon, the health quotient does suffer slightly. So the perfect remedy for this is a salad! 
There is just something about Pears & Blue cheese that go together so well not to mention this salad is both gluten free and paleo/primal if you are eating dairy. 

This yummy salad is featured over on The Food Network.com site.   Some people don’t care for blue cheese but I love it, especially with a nice vinaigrette. 

Pear & Blue Cheese Salad

Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup nuts (walnutspecans, almonds, or cashews)
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 1 bunch arugula
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Belgian endive
  • 2 ripe pears, such as Anjou, Bartlett, or Comice
  • 2 ounces mild blue cheese (about 1/2 cup loosely packed crumbles) 
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts on a sheet pan in a single layer. Bake, shaking the pan occasionally, until the nuts are toasted and fragrant, about 7 to 10 minutes. Let the nuts cool, and then coarsely chop.
Trim the stems of the watercress and arugula. Wash and dry the leaves.
Meanwhile, whisk the vinegar and mustard together in a large salad bowl. Season with the 1/4 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a steady stream, to make a smooth, slightly thickdressing.
Halve the endive lengthwise, cut out core, then thinly slice crosswise and add all the lettuces to the bowl. Quarter and core the unpeeled pears and thinly slice; add to the salad. Scatter the cheese and nuts over the salad, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss the salad gently to evenly dress all the greens. Divide among 4 plates and serve immediately.

I personally like a really nice strong blue cheese flavor, but if you aren't a huge blue cheese fan like I am, then I would pick a more mild variety. 

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide : The Novice Chef

These are my favorite essentials for the Novice Chef.  The list really can go on and on 
(and on, I am addicted to kitchen stuff) but these nine items are a great place to start. 



    one/two/three
    four/five/six

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Start of the Holiday Season!

Now that halloween is over all the thanksgiving and christmas decorations are starting to show up in stores.

I am sooooo excited this year to decorate our house. I have what I hope is a super awesome idea for our front porch and just have to work out the logistics, if it works like I hope it will, expect a post.

In the meantime here are some things I am loving right now, realistically the list is pretty endless as far as holiday decor, but I have trimmed it down to 3, it is only early November after all.



1/2/3


The stag head is pretty awesome, I could probably find a place for it year round…. and technically the owl lights aren't christmasy but I feel like they are slightly wintery. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cannon Beach

My in laws are in town for a few more days and we opted to spend the day at Cannon Beach on Wednesday. It could not have been a more perfect day.




It was soooo foggy when we got there

The fog burned off and it turned into a gorgeous day

No visit would be compete without checking out Haystack rock

Can you believe its November?




Monday, November 11, 2013

Portland Preservation Society = my new fav hobby

Last week Erika and I spent our day making a whole bunch of stuff. The monthly meet up is next Wednesday and not only did we make things for that, but also to have on hand in our own homes.

Canning is a great activity - there is so much you can preserve - I have been checking out the following books and debating on which one to purchase.  





We made pickled eggs (both our husbands requested them),  chai concentrate (this is what I am bringing to the meet up, ) sriracha, and pickled radishes. 



I can't wait for December - I am making bacon jam for gifts (don't worry I'll post the recipe) and will likely make extras for that month's meet up.  For January I am leaning towards maybe quince and vanilla liqueur or a flavored vodka.

Have you tried canning/pickling? What are some of your favorite recipes? Do you have a favorite book or source for canning? 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Pear Cardamom Bread (Gluten Free & Paleo)



1 cup almond flour
¼ cup arrowroot flour  (it’s been debated on if it’s actually Paleo, but in this instance I am using a pretty small amount - you could also likely sub with tapioca starch if you prefer that)
¼ c coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cardamom (such a yummy fall spice)
pinch of salt (I like the Himalayan pink salt)
3 tbsp room temp grass-fed butter
3 eggs
5 dates (soaking before hand might help with the blending but I didn’t do that step)
1-2 moderately ripe pears (not mushy but not super firm either)  I used Comice

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Mix together all the dry ingredients.
Blend together all the wet ingredients, eggs, butter, dates, and ½ the pears. Mix the dry into the wet and once well-mixed fold in the pears.
 I like to let the mix sit for a couple minutes so the coconut flour has time to absorb all the liquid. This would be a good time to butter your loaf pan, after 5 minutes add the batter to the loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes or until set.
You might notice mine is a little darker then I usually like to bake things,  this is mainly because I got caught up watching Scandal and didn’t hear the timer beep. Whoops! 


Either way its delicious, gluten free, and paleo!