Friday, March 26, 2010
After work I had to wait downtown for my mom to arrive on the Max and it was super sunny out, so I purchased these little red babies to rock until sundown.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
This week, my mom came to visit and something different than the past few years when I worked from home and then didn't work at all is that this time I was going to have to take off every morning and instead of us driving to our favorite coffee shop, she'd be on her own for breakfast. I didn't want her to have to depend on our standard staples (Luna Bars, almonds, and chocolate soy milk) and she loves all thing bread, so I decided to give her something unexpected. I bought a nice loaf of bread (I didn't have quite enough time to commit to that one) and decided to make MIL's Apple Butter.
I have a spot near and dear to my heart where my apple butter memories live. JJ and I went back for his Grandpa's funeral in Ohio and spent a week cleaning and doing what you need to do at the end of an era for a family home. We all met there each morning and had breakfast in the kitchen. It was the first time I'd ever tasted apple butter and I couldn't wait each morning to toast my english muffin and cover it in apple butter (I might have used some real butter on there too). I also had it for more than one afternoon snack during my time there. I remember sitting at the kitchen of a grandma I didn't even know and feeling as comfortable as if I was at my own grandma's home as I looked at her kitschy decor and nibbled my buttery muffin.
I was looking forward to chefing up this treat. I was going make a smaller batch and I didn't have all the spices so I knew that I'd be doing a little winging it. I used three apples that we already had (Fuji) and added Cardamom to the spice list and there was some Chinese All Spice in the spice cupboard (where did THAT come from?) so I threw some of that in too.
I used 60% of the apple quantity in the recipe and about 80% of the spice quantity, so I knew it would be a spicy batch. It was already yummy looking as I put the lid on the Crockpot. I chose to cook it on low overnight and I woke up a couple times during the night and as I walked downstairs, I was greeted with a wonderful aroma and I'd go lift the lid and give it a stir.
In the morning I smashed it all together with a potato smasher and put it in the fridge. I tried some that night on an english muffin (yum) and then had a brilliant realization. It was like squished apple pie. So instead of it's next taste being as a breakfasty treat, I heated some up and poured it over ice cream. OMG. It was amazing.
*Not my ice cream picture, but the pics I took of the apple butter over ice cream don't do justice to it's spicy, creamy deliciousness.
♥PLATE IT, ATE IT, GRADED IT.♥
scale: 0 (not at all) to 5 (very)
Cupboard to table time: 11 hours
Impressed Husband factor: 5 "Shannon, that apple butter is really delicious" (you know he's serious when he starts the sentence with my name!)
Impressed Mom factor: 5 "This is really, really good. I'm going to have to get the recipe from you"
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Also, in this wonderful life of mine, I got flowers at work last week. Delivered by the receptionist, sent by husband for no reason.
and today, my friend Joi had this waiting in my inbox..
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
YOU LOOK LIKE A REALLY FANCY MONKEY
AND YOU DANCE LIKE ONE TOO
Monday, March 22, 2010
It was gorgeous out there and we stopped for a restroom break and happened to encounter seemingly all of the birds on the island in the same place. It was amazing...
The sound as well as the motion of them all flying was simply breathtaking.
We headed back towards town and got stopped at one of the bridges and took full advantage of the time delay from the passing barge to have a super fun little photoshoot...
After one more stop to see our friends at Hawthorne Theatre, we made our way to a recommended new bar in the neighborhood, The Observatory. When I texted the recommenders (none other than the lovely Jens), we discovered they were on their way as well and we got to enjoy a lovely dinner with two of our favorite gals. We maximized every minute the sun was out and can't for the summer to start.
Friday, March 19, 2010
I also love that I didn't have anything to do after work on Tuesday and when I got home, it was warm enough and light enough to take my little tripod outside and pose under the grapevine :)
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
In our last two road trips, we've run across some awesome signage. So awesome, in fact, that we've turned around a couple times to take pictures of them. This is likely to be a blog theme that resurfaces. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that John and I have 2 big regrets in our life. 1) Once upon a time when we were traveling through the Midwest, we saw, but did not turn around to take a picture of, a sign that said "Garage Sale and Body Piercing." 2) While traveling through Oregon last fall, we saw, but did not turn around a take a picture of, a dead deer on the side of the road with a sign above it that said "Free Deer" with an arrow pointing down. that's funny, dude. So that brings us to now, where we are going to take the pictures of the funny signs and compile them into blog posts to share with y'all.
I wasn't sure whether this guy was proclaiming that we should worship his savior or if he was advertising himself to be a sexy Casanova. the Jesus fish license plate holder makes me think it's the former...
I laughed every time we passed this one. well done, guys.
God Bless America Oceanview indeed. Lov God probably stays at this hotel...
I wonder if Jesus is pissed that they posted his text message. I don't think I'd like it if someone did that to me.
oh dear. It kind of looks like that fish is smiling, but I believe those diagonal lines insinuate slicing by the knife above him. poor fish.
The original food group. genius.
We had a lovely night which ended with a stumble to the local hamburger shop, a drunken swim, and falling happily into our king size bed at 9:00. We woke up early to our lovely view of the sign pointing to the aquarium and decided to grab a quick morning outing to capture the sunrise and earn the free waffle breakfast that came with our room.
We headed north to Cannon Beach where we took a brief stop at the outlet stores and had a lovely lunch in Garibaldi (known in our car as Ghirardelli) where we learned about the local event of the day, the Crab Races! almost unable to finish our burger and beer fast enough, we headed over to witness this phenomenon. We didn't have time to stay for more than one race, but saw enough to know that it was certainly worthy of visiting next year. We continued our trek north to the wedding destination and hooked up with Nic and Kim and Tracy and Trevor to get ready for the big event. We had a couple drinks and put on our fancy gear. The ceremony was going to take place in the sand, so we made a group decision to save our heels for afterwards and rocked boots with our dresses.
The wedding was short and sweet and everyone looked great. Love was in the air :)
The fun continued as we changed into our heels and made our way to the reception and back and forth from the reception to Tray and Trevor's trunk bar.
There was much hugging....
and much dancing and singing....
We turned into ninjas....
After the reception, the Sensational Six of us went for a nightcap and then home to our hotel. John and I woke up early enough for a lovely morning beach walk...
When it was time, we said our (kind of hard) goodbyes and made our way back home. Unable to give up the coast without one more stop, JJ and I stopped at the Rogue pub in Astoria for a final pint and a delicious lunch.
We're so lucky to have such good people in our life and are super thankful to be included in this little family :)
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I think the fact that it's missing two of the little stones makes it endearing, like the scars of living a life with an unknown history. and no, I don't have one of those fancy solderers....
:) I admired it all day while I wore it with a purple summer-y dress with sweater over it and tights and boots to accommodate the blustery weather. Nana would have told me I looked smart..
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
John was listening intently to someone and looking handsome.
Jen and I were sexy.
I love our friends :)
More here. If you want her to come shoot your party, you should totally ask her about it. She's pretty awesome.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Macaroon is a fun word to say, and husband chanted "macaroon, macaroon, macaroon, I like to make macaroons!" or some variation each time he passed through the kitchen. This was a super easy recipe and a snap to make. I even multi-tasked by drinking a beer while I mixed my ingredients.
One thing I immediately wished I would have done was use mini-chocolate chips instead of regular sized ones. I eagerly awaited them to come out of the oven and give them a try. I had never had a macaroon before so I had no idea what to expect. They were yummy! I wished that I would have cooked them a little less. I cooked them for 19 minutes, but I think 17 would have been better.
I was all proud of my baking skills and patting myself on the back for my culinary mastery when my lovely friend Sarah showed up with these:
Hers had orange zest in them and were a little moister than mine and they had frosting! Last night I was quite certain that hers were way better but in a sober taste test this morning I've concluded that while her baking skills are superior to mine, the recipes are equal. Although next time I will definitely use the mini chocolate chips. ..and I might also try adding some craisins....
♥PLATE IT, ATE IT, GRADED IT.♥
scale: 0 (not at all) to 5 (very)
Cupboard to table time: 30 minutes for the first batch, 20 for the second
Impressed Husband factor: 5 (partially for the number of times we got to say "macaroon")
As good as Sarah's? no, but I will try again :)
Thursday, March 4, 2010
The socks aren't altered, of course, but remind me of the striped pair that I wore when I was cast as the Dodo bird in our 8th grade play.