The other morning I bumped into a friend on my morning walk. She said “I have a challenge for you, can you find me a boho skirt that’s not $200?” Of course I love a challenge, and went right home to do some research. I found an almost identical Spell & Gypsy skirt she wanted for $22 here (runs small size up). Also on her wish list was affordable cotton tee’s. I went to Everlane and found organic cotton tee’s (size down) for $13. Everlane is running an entire site wide sale, 25% off all inventory (ends today)! Shop the sale here. Also affordable is this puff sleeve tee, and white cotton tunic dress from H&M (below). All perfect for at home lounging. Hope everyone stays safe, and has a great weekend!
The shoes that are getting the most traction in my house are my ever so comfy Birkenstocks. I switch between my shearling clogs and my Arizona sandals. When I was browsing at Goop I came across these dusty rose Boston clogs (more sizing here & here) and Arizona sandals. If you prefer the white ones that Gwyneth Paltrow is wearing below you can find them here. Also new in the Birk world are the Birkenstock 1774’s that just launched at Matches Fashion (here). Each pair has a tone on tone sole. If the soft foot bed is your thing Nordstrom has several fun colors here.
The other night I grilled sweet potatoes for the first time and they were so good! They were part of the kids kitchen takeover. They made Cafe Gratitude inspired I am Mucho bowls. The bowls consisted of cilantro rice, cuban beans, grilled portobello mushrooms, sautéed kale, guacamole, creamy salsa, and grilled sweet potatoes.
Music is a must for me in the kitchen. Thought you might enjoy a link to my most recent playlist. Julesee Spotify playlist.
salt & pepper to taste
Let your grill heat to medium heat. While the grill is heating up cut your potatoes on a diagonal about a 1/4 inch-thick pieces. Coat the sweet potato slices with olive oil. Once the grill is hot lay the sweet potato pieces down onto the grill grates. Cover the grill and cook until each side gets some grill marks (and the potatoes begin to soften), between 3-6 minutes for each side, depending on how hot your grill is. Once your sweet potatoes are done drizzle with olive, salt & pepper, and sprinkle with cilantro. You can also sprinkle with cumin for a little extra flavor.
Anything that takes me from morning to night is a GO during quarantine! Case in point this quilted Ulla Johnson jacket. I have been wearing a similar quilted version from Ellies & Ivy that I got on my trip to Copenhagen last year. Some more affordable options include this, this, and this by Natalie Martin. For a belted utility look try this & Other stories or this H&M jacket. Mother just got in several new Natalie Martin dresses check them out here, and FRWD is running a 20% off the entire site shop it here.
Sunday evening I pulled a lasagne I had made out of the freezer and made my classic meatballs to go along with it. Everyone loved it so I thought I would share the recipe with you.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds lean ground beef (ground turkey or chicken)
1 cup ricotta cheese or full fat greek yogurt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup bread crumbs or panko
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups classic tomato sauce
Add ground beef, ricotta, eggs, breadcrumbs, parsley, oregano, salt, and red pepper flakes into a large mixing bowl. Mix the ingredients together with your hands until everything is well incorporated.
Roll the mixture into round meatballs about 2 inches, making sure to pack the meat firmly. Heat a pan with oil to medium high heat. Place your meatballs in the pan to brown. Make sure you rotate them so they brown evenly. Be careful to not overcook, and be gentle with turning the meatballs so they don’t break. Heat your sauce in a separate sauce pan. Once your meatballs are browned, put them in the pan with the sauce and continue to heat on medium low until the meatballs are cooked through.
Yesterday when I went to the mailbox there was a cheerful J. Crew spring catalog waiting for me. It reminded me of when I was in high school, and I would get so excited for the J. Crew catalogs to arrive. I would spend hours looking at catalog circling my choices. Below are some new arrival highlights. Take advantage of J. Crew‘s sale, 40% off full priced items, and 50% off sale.
Last Friday afternoon the girls and I made pretzel bread challah together. It’s a fun activity for both adults and kids.
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
3 cups bread flour (you can also do half whole wheat)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 quarts water
½ cup baking soda
Add yeast, water and sugar and let sit for 10 minutes. Put dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add oil and yeast, water, and sugar combo and mix (use your dough hook attachment). Add more flour if needed. Knead well. Dough should be slightly tacky, but firm. Oil a bowl, and place the dough ball in the bowl and cover with a damp towel for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, knead the dough by hand until the dough is elastic and satiny. Place dough back in the bowl for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, slowly add the baking soda (if you don’t add it slowly it will overflow).
Remove the dough from the bowl and gently degas it. Form the dough into a challah or any shape you want. Drop the challah into the boiling soda water, and let sit for 30 seconds, turning it once to guarantee both sides covered. Drain the excess water from the dough and place it on a baking pan lined with parchment paper or silpat. Brush with oil or melted butter, sprinkle with kosher salt and bake. Bake the bread for 22 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once.
1/3 cup chopped mint (you can add basil too if you have)
2-3 cups of shredded cabbage slaw mix
1/3 cup chopped peanuts
1 block of firm tofu drained and cut into strips about 1/2 inch thick *you can use any protein you like.
Once the noodles are drained I add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and sesame oil to the noodles to add extra flavor.
Fill a large bowl with warm water. Dip one wrapper into the hot water for 1 second to soften. Lay wrapper flat. In a row across the center, place tofu, rice noodle, mint, slaw mix, and peanuts leaving about 2 inches uncovered on each side. Fold uncovered sides inward, then tightly roll the wrapper to form a roll.
I switch between a peanut dipping sauce and a simple soy dipping sauce (3 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp sesame oil, and 1 tsp chili paste) depending on how much time I have.
Peanut Dipping Sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or canola whatever you have)
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar (or sweetener of choice)
2 garlic cloves
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 tablespoon lime
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoon soy sauce
Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Add curry paste, sugar, and garlic. Cook stirring constantly until fragrant about 1 min. Add coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Whisk in peanut butter until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in peanuts, lime juice, fish sauce, and soy sauce. Cool to room temperature.
Since many of us are cooking a lot more then we once were I compiled a list of my must-have kitchen essentials.
Kuhn Rikon Pressure Cooker Amazon, $169.95. This is a good size for a family of 4. A lot of people are intimidated by the pressure cooker but once you learn how to use it it’s so easy. Dinner is ready in 20 mins!
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstances.” Viktor Frankl
I like connecting with friends and learning what rituals people have adapted to make their time at home more enjoyable. What is your ritual? For me it’s having tea in the morning with my husband (english in the early am and green in the late am), long walks listening to a book, cooking, blogging, organizing, talking with my family and friends, evening pool time with the kids, and playing Words with Friends. Whatever it may be we are all having mixed emotions about what’s going on in the world and doing our best to make the most of the situation.
Now onto these amazing healthy no bake brownies that my daughter created the other day. It’s a fun project to do with the kids.
No Bake Brownie Cookies
For the Cookies
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons dark chocolate chunks or chips
For the Glaze
1/4 dark chocolate
1 teaspoon coconut oil
flakey salt to taste (for sprinkling on top of the cookies)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In the food processor or blender, grind oats to a flour like consistency. Add salt, flax, and cocoa powder and mix to combine. Add the almond butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup mix to combine. Lastly, add chocolate and pulse to combine. The batter should resemble a textured cookie like batter consistency. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the dough and form into cookie shapes by rolling into balls and lightly pressing them down (see above picture). Chill in the freezer while you make the glaze. Combine glaze chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl and melt until smooth. Take your cookies out of the freezer and dip each cookie halfway into the glaze, sprinkle with flaky salt, and set it on the cookie tray to dry. Put the cookies in the freezer to set for 1 hour.
Just like Sylvana Ward I’ve been wearing my fleece jacket around the house and on my morning walks to stay cozy warm. Her cute Anine Bing just so happens to be on sale here along with the Sierra pullover here and here. I have been rotating between my Patagonia Synchilla and my Donni leaopard pullover (also on sale). Also on the radar is this new Alo Stadium Zip hoodie that arrived at Nordstorm.
Sunday night I made Ga Nuong chicken (see Banh Mi post for chicken marinade), asian slaw, and udon noodles. It was a really simple dinner that everyone loved. Below is my asian slaw recipe.
Purple or green cabbage thinly sliced 6 cups
1 cup chopped kale
3 pealed and thinly sliced carrots
1/3 cup cilantro
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons peanut oil (or substitute another oil if you don’t have)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon of sugar (I don’t love a sweet dressing so I leave it out)
2 teaspoons chili paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Combine cabbage, kale, carrots, and cilantro in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix together all your dressing ingredients. Simply add the dressing to your slaw and toss to coat.
For a simple no fuss asian noodle dish just boil your udon (or any noodle you have in the pantry) noodles and drain. Then add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.