Wednesday, February 27, 2013

tea + cornbread

The thing about moving halfway across the country is that you inevitably leave things behind. Your loft apartment with the beautiful skylights, your favorite Ethiopian restaurant down the block, your best friends with whom you play trivia every Wednesday night (and lose), and of course, family. My sister's birthday was last month and it broke my heart that I couldn't be there to celebrate (and I'm sure it broke hers too because dang, I make a mighty fine lemon cake).

Lately, I am especially missing my momma. The last few weeks have brought some potentially wonderful - but very scary - opportunities into my life. Change, while I always welcome it with open arms, still totally freaks me out. I wish my momma was here to give me a hug and tell me not to worry.

To try and cheer myself up, I thought about what my momma and I would be doing if she were here in San Francisco, or if I was at her house in Madison. The answer is the same: we'd be having tea and cornbread (and probably watching House Hunters). 

So that's precisely what I did. Irish tea with lots of cream and sugar and warm cornbread with extra butter.

I feel much better now. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

nikki in the woods, by the bay

This was my first attempt at portraiture and I could not have asked for a better model. Nikki is a good sport, to say the least. She is the kind of person who unabashedly laughs and smiles as you make her pose in front of a bunch of awkward teenagers playing a of capture the flag, who continues to follow you "just a little bit farther, I promise" into the scary critter-infested woods, and who happily jumps around in the freezing cold ocean while tourists and crab fisherman gawk. 

She also happens to be a gorgeous girl, a fiercely talented dancer, and all-around sweetheart. Oh yes, and I am lucky enough to call her my sister (in-law). Hey Nikki, thanks for trusting me to take your portrait :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

peanut butter surprise cookies

Let me start by saying I don't understand why these are called peanut butter surprise cookies. I mean, I think it's pretty obvious what's inside. Is there anyone out these who has not seen a reese's peanut butter cup? Who, upon first bite, would be shocked to find a salty peanut butter filling? I suppose it's possible. If so, this one is for you.

Anyway, my husband is obsessed with peanut butter cookies and these are by far his favorite. They are soft, rich, and crazy addictive. While the recipe is not at all sophisticated or the slightest bit gourmet, I assure you these cookies are delicious. And a perfect Friday afternoon treat, if you ask me.

Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

Recipe from Everyday Baking // Martha Stewart


1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
4 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar for rolling dough
36 mini peanut butter cups chilled and unwrapped

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using an electric mixer, cream peanut butter and butter in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar; beat until combined, scraping down bowl as needed. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until incorporated.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture in two batches.
  3. Scoop off dough by the tablespoon; roll into balls. Place granulated sugar on a plate; roll balls in sugar, coating completely. Place 2 inches apart on a nonstick insulated baking sheet.
  4. Bake until cookies begin to puff up slightly, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven. Press one peanut butter cup in center of each cookie. Return to oven; continue baking until cookies are golden brown and chocolate has begun to melt, about 6 minutes more. Let cool at least 10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring cookies to rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

my forever valentine


always lets me steal the pickle off his plate
will spend a whole afternoon watching pbs cooking shows with me
pretends to be interested in my daily findings on celebitchy (and doesn't judge me for reading it)
takes me seriously when fall to the floor and complain about feeling discombobulated
encourages me, believes in me, and laughs with me every single day
inspires me to become a better artist, partner, and person

i love him
my forever valentine.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

snow days

With all this talk of snow and storms and whatnot, I'm feeling a little left out. Truth be told, I love a good blizzard. That warm nighttime glow of a city under a fresh coat of snow? Yes, I miss that very much.

In fact, when I was a kid I lived for the ever-elusive snow day (there are snow plows aplenty in Wisconsin; it takes a serious storm to shut down the University and surrounding schools). Each time it snowed, I would wake up at the crack of dawn to watch the school closings scroll across the bottom of the tv screen, desperately hoping that maybe this would be the day -- that rare opportunity to waste a day eating Frosted Flakes and watching cheesy soap operas (anyone remember Passions?). Oh, what joy! Indeed, snow days are the best days. 

But now I live in California, where dreams of snow days go to die. So now, I'll just be looking at these photos from my last trip home to Wisconsin and thinking of winters past...

Friday, February 8, 2013

a sunday smile

I cannot, cannot, cannot get enough of this. It is perfection.

That is all.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

the hill, the afternoon

around Pacific Heights...

'Nature' is what we see—
The Hill—the Afternoon—
Squirrel—Eclipse—the Bumble bee—
Nay—Nature is Heaven—
Nature is what we hear—
The Bobolink—the Sea—
Thunder—the Cricket—
Nay—Nature is Harmony—
Nature is what we know—
Yet have no art to say—
So impotent Our Wisdom is
To her Simplicity.

- Emily Dickinson -

Friday, February 1, 2013


Scenes from around the apartment yesterday...

^ I cut into what I thought was a regular navel orange and was pleasantly surprised to find pink flesh. Who knew that the discovery of a rogue cara cara orange could be so thrilling?

^ Nap time in a warm and inviting bed after a (mostly) sleepless night. After attending the Local Natives show in Oakland last night, I was wired until about 4am. I just could not stop giggling about what I overheard on the looong bus ride home:

"Man, did you see her? Her teeth are so yellow, cars slow down when she walks down the street."

Aw, snap.

^ Warm afternoon light and fresh flowers from the one I love.

It's all about the little things.