02 February 2011

{snow days are a good day for catching up!}

It's true.  I haven't blogged for months {and I'm ashamed to say so...}!  :/  I guess it took a 'snow day' to set my priorities straight.  Well, that and the countless emails, texts, facebook messages and glares.  {juuuuust kidding.}  Either way, here I am: blogging!  But where should I start?  These last many months have been crazy.  Seriously.

In September I started a Masters program for my MBA.  I love(d) the challenge, focus, and of course meeting people!  Oh and I finally got a MacBook.  Joy!  And, my lovely little sis (that I spoke about HERE) moved to Paris.  Oui !!!

I met some more Army wives.  They are fantastic!  It's a nice feeling to be able to relate to those around you!  Also, Anthony took me to see AUTUMN!!  We had to drive a couple hours north, but it was worth it. :)

{Mister spontaneously took me on a two hour drive, so I could see some fall colors! It was SO worth it!!}

{I also made up this yummy pumpkin soup (with a dollop of plain yogurt).  The flavors brought 
some yummy comfort to the fall season!}

I spent Thanksgiving with some local friends as my husband had to travel home last minute.  Admittedly, it was a hard week.  But, I had fun with friends and enjoyed some yummy food!  Because Mister was going to be gone, we started decorating for Christmas early!  It made my heart so happy and so cozy! ;)

Christmas!  Need I say more?  I love the Christmas season!!  Our decorated house was so cozy.  And, this was going to be the first year Mister and I spent Christmas morning at our own place, with just the two of us!  BUT....gotta love the Army! He had to work on Christmas, so we ended up celebrating on the 24th.  So, I filled my home with Christmas cookies and delivered them to some of our neighbors that couldn't go home for the holiday either!  It was actually a lot of fun. So no complaints. :)

{My Christmas Cookies!! This was just a portion, since the recipe made a TON!}

This past month was a doozy.  School was going strong, life was on path and then bam! My dear Mister received Deployment orders. :/ Also, though I was doing well in school, I just made the decision last week to put further classes on hold. It's good.  I promise!  I can start them back up, but I need life to settle down a bit.  One thing that has helped with the stress is a Treadmill!!! Yes, we got one.  And it's awe-some! It was our Christmas and Anniversary gift!

{I feel so blessed to be married to my best friend!  3 years already, and yet at the 
same time, it feels like I've always been married to him.}

So here I am at the beginning of February, facing the mountain of another deployment, enjoying every moment I have with my Mister while I can, trying to keep our home cozy (even with the lit Christmas Tree all put away), continuing to dust like crazy - thanks to the never ending dusty wind that this city offers, reading a lot, and knitting even more.  And today...enjoying our first snow day!

You're all caught up and I'm sure suffering from an overload of information!!!

Cheers to 2011 and a better year of blogging!!


02 September 2010

{eat your veggies}

I love vegetables.  I've been off of meat completely since July (I know...shocker that I didn't quit earlier, since I've been talking about it since I was 10).  In doing so, I've had so much fun adding in new vegetables, and therefore new flavors and nutrients to the table. Trust takes a bit of creativity!! What has made me so happy is that Mister has been such a supporter.  He even requested that we stick to veggie dinners.  And then last week told me that, "he never knew being a vegetarian could be so flavorful".  What a compliment, considering he's a hardcore carnivore. {Don't worry people, he still gets meat at lunch and sometimes breakfast.  More than enough.} of my new favorite vegetables is bok choy {also known as Chinese white cabbage}. I've always intended to use it, but never got around to it...until now.  It's excellent in stir-fry, soups or even better - to preserve the cancer-risk-reducing nutrients, eat it raw!  I love steaming it lightly and drizzling vinegar/oil and pepper over the top.  The flavor is light and compliments most things.  But the best part of bok choy, is the high vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium, fiber and potassium nutrients.  Oh, and if you're not already convinced to try it: a cup of shredded bok choy has 1/2 of your daily needs for the high vitamins listed. 
Happy 9.02.10! ;) And happy eating!


31 August 2010

{pretty, pretty pale pink, rhubarb drink}

One of my newest favorite chefs is Laura Calder.  I've tried a couple of her recipes and read through several more.  I love her French food, cooking techniques and ever familiar "comfort" recipes.  One that I just learned from her is Rhubarb Water. I don't have a daughter yet, but one day...this pretty, pretty pale drink will be served at one of her tea parties. 

This recipe is SUPER just takes some time.  And, though I originally followed the recipe to a T, I did end up diluting it even more, as I didn't like it so sweet. Here's what to do: 

what you need...
2lbs Rhubarb, largely cubed
water to cover Rhubarb, boiling (about 4 cups)
Half Lemon, juiced
3/4 C sugar (I used 1/4 Cup and even more water than the recipe called for.)

what to do...
Cube rhubarb and place is a heat proof bowl.  Poor boiling water over the rhubarb.  Let cool (when finally room temperature, move to fridge for over night). The boiling water releases the color from the rhubarb and scents it with a delicate flavor. The next day strain rhubarb and re-boil the rhubarb water (discard the rhubarb).  Add in sugar and lemon juice, boiling until fully combined.  Chill completely and serve.  After completely chilled, make sure the flavor is to your liking. 

*Add more lemon if you need or more water if it's too sweet.  For me...I liked just the essence of the rhubarb and definitely preferred it less sweet. 

This drink is PRETTY and YUMMY!

Happy sweet Tuesday lovelies!!!


23 August 2010

{congratulations, emily henderson!!!}

Who else was glued to the TV last night, waiting for the results of the next Design Star?! Or should I ask...who wasn't!?! Now, I don't claim to know anything about design; my area of love is food.  {That being said, I long to have a clue about it. } I love to be surrounded by beauty. Beauty in my home, beauty on a plate: it's all wonderful.  The Next Design Star, always "has me at hello".  And Emily Henderson {The Brass Petal}?! Well, she was on my radar almost immediately.  {Probably everyone is saying that now.  I get it.  But I don't care.  Let's just say when I found out she was a prop stylist and has done plenty of table-scapes...I became an immediate fan!}  Check out some of these gorgeous moments for insight to why I fell in love....

  Congratulations, Emily on your success and new show!!!  Your fantastic sense of style, hard work and amazing design sense is a true talent! 

This is the perfect example that design isn't just in the typical sense of the word....and all about a room/decor...but it also includes what's on a plate.  So make your dinner beautiful tonight! (Even if it's just yogurt...) :)

And to all the lovelies out there...keep up your passions!!  xoxo, Tal

20 August 2010

{fish tacos w/ spicy red cabbage + a cool white sauce}

This easy recipe delivers on taste!!!  In fact, Mister made me promise to make this again soon. Here's what I did....I used cod (but any hearty white fish could work). As I love bringing the flavors of all the dishes together, I pulled the spices from the red cabbage slaw below.  On each fillet, I sprinkled a bit of oregano, cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper and then dusted with a bit of flour. Then I put it in a hot, hot skillet with a bit of oil and cooked until golden and delicious.  As for the rest...

 white sauce:
1/2 C plain yogurt
1/2 C mayo
1 lime - juiced
1 jalapeño - minced
1 tsp capers - minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dill weed
1 tsp cayenne pepper

*Combine and refrigerate until needed.  Best if made in advance, as it will have time to 'firm up' in the fridge.
spicy red cabbage slaw:

1/4 red cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 2 limes {one and a half....if super juicy}
hot pepper sauce, to taste

*Combine and refrigerate until needed.

The fish tacos are perfectly piled, as such: white corn tortillas, some of the red cabbage, perfectly moist fish, white sauce and a bit of cilantro.  Miam. Miam. {Yum!}

As I mentioned before, I'm a firm believer in serving complimentary side dishes.  And particularly bringing similar flavors across the plate.  So, as for what to serve with these tacos..I made a cold mexican salad: diced tomato, avocado, red onion, cilantro and a bit of lime juice.  (It's great eaten as a fork or dipped up with chips.)

Happy foodie friday lovelies and Bon Appétit ! ;)


19 August 2010

{zucchini and potato latkes}

Last week our pantry was dwindling...and when that happens, I generally pull out "breakfast for dinner!!".  Ha!  {I'm sure that I'm not alone in that department.} But, what was even worse was I had 3 eggs, no bread and a bunch of veggies.  I especially wanted to use up some zucchini that I had.  Knowing that Mister would want some level of carbs, I had remembered some potato and onion latkes that my dear Aunt {Linda Diamond} had made out one of our family gatherings.  Zucchini would add to the perfect paring. 

What you need:

1 large potato (1/2 lb), peeled
1 large zucchini (1/2 lb), ends trimmed
1/3 C diced onion
1 large egg
1 tsp kosher salt
Black pepper
2-4 Tbs Olive Oil

1. Shred potato and zucchini.  Add onion, egg and seasoning.  Mix well.  {The mixture will oxidize quickly and brown slightly.}
2. Heat 2 tbs of the olive oil, using low heat.  Spoon in the mixture, creating 3" pancake disks.  Cook 7-10 minutes, turn over for an additional 6 minutes (ish). 
3. Cooking slowly creates a crisp crust with a creamy inside.  
4. If you want some "extra" yumminess, add a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream.

The result was perfect! {And as Mister thought's pretty much the best compliment I could ask for!!}.

I LOVE it when you guys try these recipes.  So...if you do - please let me know!

Happy Thursday!


18 August 2010

{yarn + dye = this}

While in Idaho, I had the opportunity to learn how to dye yarn.  It was a fun experience!!!! And, I'm entirely excited to try it again.  A longtime friend knew that I would love to learn.  She gathered the products and walked me through the process. Here are the results of my first experiment...
Now I need to figure out what I want to make....{any ideas?!}

Thanks Jamie!!!


17 August 2010

{sweet treat tuesday: molasses spice cookies}

My go-to cookie is not Malasses Spice.  Nope.  Nada.  Non. But, after this may very well be at the top of my list.  Mister had a sweet tooth and as I was just about out of everything in my pantry, including chocolate chips, etc...I decided to pull out a newbie.  Now, for many of you this recipe is not new.  But, for me, it is!  {I love firsts...!} If you've never tried it, do yourself a favor and indulge, and if you have, don't forget about this simply, yummy treat. :) 
 you need...
1/2 C, plus 1/3 C sugar
2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp allspice*
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened {not a figure friendly cookie... :) }
1/3 C dark brown sugar*
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C molasses {dark or light, okay}

1. Set oven to 375 degrees (rack in middle).  Spread 1/2 C sugar in a shallow dish for coating - set aside. 
2. Whisk flour, baking soda, spices, pepper and salt together.  Set aside.
3. Beat butter, brown sugar and remaining 1/3 C sugar in a large bowl, until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).  Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla until combined.  Beat in the molasses until incorporated (make sure to scrape down sides of the bowl, as needed).

P.S. Dipping your hands in water when rolling dough, helps prevents stickiness and helps adhere the sugar.  So.......
4.Using wet hands, roll 2 tbsp of dough into balls, then roll in sugar and lay on parchment-lined baking sheets (about 2" apart). Bake until the edges are set and the tops are cracked but the centers are still soft (underdone).  The cookies harden as they cool. Bake approx 10-12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through.
5. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer.
*I found this recipe via here, but as usual made some changes.  I didn't have allspice, so just added some extra dashes of the ginger, cinnamon and cloves.  I also only had light brown sugar on hand.  

This cookie would be yummy with a glaze over top or with some orange essence/zest whipped in. 

In other news...
Besides the fact that I've been trying to find a job, (but seriously need to learn Spanish if I'm going to be a contender...) I've been knitting!  Here's a picture of my current project (I'm about half done), for a little baby who should be meeting this world in a couple of weeks.  It's a half blanket - perfect for a car seat. The photo doesn't do the color justice (color requested by the mum to be), but the pattern is displayed well!
Happiest of Tuesdays to you all!!


13 August 2010

{happy birthday, maman}

Maman ~

Happiest of Birthdays to you, my dear Mom!! You are an incredible hero, confident, friend, sounding board, teacher, inspiration, supporter, dreamer, lifeline and prayer support. I hope you have the most amazing day and the best year to come.

Je t'aime, maman ! 

{Image via HERE}

12 August 2010

{pretty, pretty}

I'm pretty much not an outdoorsy girl.  Most can attest to that. But...lead me to this pretty tent, and my heart would be happy outside!
Cheers to this lovely Thursday! {The weekend is almost here... :)}


{image via HERE}

11 August 2010

{craving of the day}

I love switching up our bedding.  I LOVE it {and do it several times a be fully honest}. Today, I want to switch over to this organic pin-tucked bedding by West Elm

Maybe if I close my eyes hard enough, a queen-size duvet will magically arrive at our house...


{P.S. They have new power prints, full + queen duvets starting at $59 right now!!!}

{lusciously lush}

Have you heard of LUSH?  I had heard about it while living in Seattle, but never took the time to check it out. {blast!} Luckily, during our recent trip to Scottsdale, my maman {mom} and two younger sisters and I were shopping.  My sisters wandered in and knew that I would be swooning.  What's not to love? 1) products, products, products and 2) all-natural/organic = PERFECTION.  Yes, Lush: Fresh  Handmade Cosmetics.  {Can you hear my heart singing?!}

Some of our favorite products included a luscious hand {or foot} treatment:

{lemony flutter}
{ocean salt}
{dream cream}

They carry everything from a-z in skin care, including bath bombs, soaps, lotions, hair care, facial brilliant!

Though there is no local store where I live {:(} they have their products online.  Yippee!  I did hear that you have to be careful when ordering products may melt, but hey - stick them into the fridge and make them solid again.  Just be aware if you decide to order. 

Let me know if you're currently a LUSH user and what you think of their products!!

Happy Wednesday lovelies! 


10 August 2010

{sweet treat tuesday: summer fruit tart}

Yes - I told you that I was back...and with it comes some good recipes!!!  I just made this the other night and Mister was swooning with delight.  {I know something is good when he takes a bite of something and without any effort says a quiet "yummmmm".} to my ears!

{This -obvious- photo is from the cookbook....though I have some personal pictures below, we got so excited to eat it and failed to take a photo of the end result!!!  Trust looked THIS good!}
I love this tart because it's so much like the essence of summer {to me at least}.  What do I mean?! It's a free-form tart...meaning, no pie dish or tart dish is needed.  And the's perfect against the fruity center.  This recipe came from one of my favorite cookbooks - The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, Heavy-Duty Revised Edition  All credit for this can only go to them...and they deserve it!

2 tbls sour cream
2 tbls ice water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fine-ground cornmeal (it makes a difference!!)
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
7 tbls unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (chilled)

3 cups mixed berries - or pitted stone fruit, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2-3 tbls sugar
2 tbls unsalted butter, cubed into small pieces
1 tbls water

1. For the dough: stir the sour cream and water together in a small liquid measuring cup and refrigerate until needed.  Process the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a processor until combined. (I used a blender, as i don't have a food processor). :( Scatter half of the butter pieces over the top and process, using short pulses.  Scatter remaining butter and continue to incorporate.  Continue to pulse, while pouring the sour cream mixture through the feed tube, until dough just comes together.  Turn dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch disk.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

2. When ready to roll and bake the tart, preheat oven to 400 degrees (adjust oven rack to middle position).  Roll the dough between 2 large sheets of parchment paper (NOT WAX PAPER!!!).  Roll out into a 13-inch round.  Slide the dough, still between the parchment paper, onto a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm...about 20 minutes. 

3. For the filling: discard the top sheet of parchment and pile the fruit in the center.  Leave a 2 to 3 inch border.  {I used frozen fruit that I defrosted it first.}

Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of the sugar over the fruit (depending on how tart the fruit tastes) and dot with the butter. 

4. Fold the edges of the dough over the fruit.  Brust the top of the tart with water and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar {I used raw sugar}. ...This below picture is pre-water/sugar.

5. Bake until the crust is golden brown and crisp and the fruit is bubbling, about 40 minutes.  Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let tart cook for 10 minutes.  Slide tart off the baking sheet and cool on the rack until warm or room temp, before serving.  Add a some homemade whipping cream and your heart will be ever so happy!!

Let me know if you try this...and if so, take a photo, so I can post it! 

Happiest of Tuesdays to you. :)


{P.S. Tart dough differs from pie dough.  It should have a crisp texture...not flaky. Definitely use this dough recipe for free standing tarts.  It's sturdy enough to hold up to the juices, etc.}

08 August 2010

{home knit home}

I'm home.  :)  And though I'm happy to be back in my routine {which I haven't truly gotten back to...} I'm longingly remembering my recent trip to Scottsdale.  Our whole family joined for a perfect little vacation.  I love my family.  Seriously.

Through all of my adventures this summer, I still managed to find time to knit. {My newest obsession...}I'm knitting through my entire home. A great place to start: the kitchen!  These washcloths are so scrumptious to the touch.  Made from organic cotton, they are a perfect compliment to a sink full of suds. 

I've had a couple of friends request, let the knitting continue!  :)

First though, I must get reading through all of your blogs!!  My blog reader is full to the brim of new wonderful posts....How shall I ever get through them?! I also have some fun new recipes to share this week.  


19 July 2010

{la la la, life and all of that}

What a summer! Since the end of May I have been all around. I spent a long while with my family and dear, dear friends in Boise and also took a little tour to Portland, Seattle and Northern Idaho...seeing friends and family along the way.  Including lots of green!!! (Which is more than I can say about the current desert I'm living in.)

{driving into my little hometown in North ID.  it had been 3 years since I saw this view!}

It was incredible.....and.....the perfect distraction for me, as Mister was away training.  But, after two months apart (yes, two months) we headed for an away vacay to Florida. 


It was amazing!!  We stayed in a friend's beach house.  So yes, you guessed it: beach time every day, great food and of course golf for Mister.  A great little second honeymoon.

I guess it wouldn't be a post from me, if I didn't include some food.  Well, near the beach a little place claimed to have the best hotdogs.  Mister pretty much craved them the moment we saw the stand.  Me.  Well, if you truly know me, you know I NEVER crave hotdogs and really didn't want to test the company on their proclamation (nor would I have any authority on the subject) .  But, being that I wanted to make him happy...we made our way over.  AND....luckily, they had VEGGIE DOGS! (Yay!)

{happiness for mister...}

{happiness for me....veggie dog!}

{my favorite view this summer...}

Anyway - my bad for not bringing my computer and therefore, not keeping in touch.  

It is quite nice being back home though (even if I'm still getting used to Texas).  I mean in actuality, I finished all of our moving boxes, arranged all of our furniture, hung the last of the pictures and then jetted to Idaho 2 days later.  It's sort of fun being able to enjoy our new place.  But, I'm not getting too comfortable, because in a week, it's more family fun in Arizona.  Let's just say that coming from the Northwest, this has been a HOT, HOT, HOT summer: daily living in Texas (eek!), vacation in Florida (ugh!) and then on to Arizona (yikes!).  I'm seemingly getting used to the heat (not!), but hey...I've never been so tan. ;)

Can't wait to check out everyone's booming blogs.


08 June 2010

{vacation projects}

I'm still on the longest vacation ever!  When all is said and done, I'll have spent 5 weeks home with my parents and sisters.  It's been fun thus far...and the great thing about coming home for a visit is that I still have SO many friends in the area.  I've been here 2 weeks now and still haven't see everyone.  Every day seems scheduled, but with that said, I've still managed to do one of my favorite things.....knit! 
In typical "me" fashion, I pretty much started 3 new knitting projects at the same time.  Never mind the fact that I brought one with me (not pictured) that I still need to finish.  Oh!  And a very good friend of mine, who's local, called me up and invited me to come dye yarn with her.  So, more knitting ahead! 

Of course, I've also spent some time in the kitchen.  Though I must admit, my mom is a rock star in that area, so I'm definitely letting her work her magic.  One of the yummies, we had last week was this sweet blueberry treat (I'll provide the recipe in an upcoming post!).

I hope you are all enjoying June or at least taking time to enjoy today!



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