Friday, February 29, 2008

a friday cocktail.

"i'll stick with gin. champagne is just
ginger ale that knows somebody."
~ hawkeye pierce, from M*A*S*H

so at the end of this first week (ok, it was a four day week, but I did post twice one day!) i think it’s time for a cocktail to celebrate a new found obsession in blogging, which contributes to my existing obsession of gathering and filing. also i wanna high-five myself for doing something for four days straight! really, these past 6 weeks were a challenge motivationally while i was all clouded by the gluten & i had doubts about whether i would come back to this page after my first day (as i expressed in my disclaimer during my first post!). big thanks & hugs to those quiet pushers out there who gave me the courage – i lift this cocktail to you, my lovelies.

SO, as i was looking for a mixture that spoke to me, i found this one from martha stewart - a blood-orange champagne cocktail – hello new friend! and it's fitting since i have been trying to incorporate new fruits & veggies into my life as of late and i actually tried a blood orange recently - in addition to fennel, citrines and parsnips (all are wonderful). holy YUM, a blood orange is juicy, tart and just the perfect shade of scarlet (i would very much like to have it as a nail polish someday) but ALAS it is a very simple concoction and guaranteed to posh up any girls night (like tonight!). cheers!


(Serves 10 to 12)
- 2 1/4 cups freshly squeezed or frozen blood-orange juice
- 2 750-ml bottles champagne, chilled


- Pour 3 tablespoons juice in each champagne flute.
- Fill flutes with champagne, and serve.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

farewell, hello

ok, so those of you who know me, know that i went gluten-free around the holidays…then, after a chance meeting with a dietitian, i was told that it would be “irresponsible” to go gluten-free without being tested for celiacs – SO! as advised i went back on the glute. i have been glutenized and therefore a little foggy & a lot cranky for about 6 weeks now. originally, it was suppose to be two weeks, but because of what i fear may be a sign of incompetence to come at my doctor’s office i have been 6 weeks delayed from how great i had been feeling.

i started this two-week endeavor, after a crying jag or two, and tried to spin it as “the farewell to food tour.” i was certain that with the physical sickness aside, this would be a glorious time of french bread & chocolate cake (i kinda have a thing for chocolate cake!). i also thought that i would get in all the things that were touchstones of my previous existence, that i sort of missed – olive garden tiramisu, filet o’fish from mcd’s, ranch dressing, pancakes, etc. i quickly learned that trying to swallow something that you know will wreck you tomorrow is harder than meets the eye – if only i had realized this about tequila shots in college!

anyway, as i sit here and hope for the end to this exercise in gluttony i have to say that i have been saving up gluten-free food over these past weeks and i know exactly what i’ll be eating when i get done with my testing. the one ingredient that i have been saving for my post-tox menu is quinoa (it’s a lot of fun to say: keeeeen-waaaa!). i am going to pair mine with swiss chard & baked chicken (picture & recipe to follow, once i get to make/eat it), but below is a recipe for quinoa salad w. salmon posted on gluten-free girl that i think everyone will enjoy (regardless of your gluten persuasion!).

i am always inspired by shauna james ahern of the blog gluten-free girl. i read her book during the holidays and found it SO helpful & SO inspiring in ways that go beyond food. she is funny, smart & gosh-darn wonderful, i hope i can get out to seattle one day and enjoy her husband's ("the chef" daniel ahern) creations at impromptu wine bar (gluten-free as well!). eat this, read this, BIG hearts.

Quinoa Salad with Smoked Salmon and Capers, from Stephan Pyles’ Southwestern Vegetarian

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of quinoa
2 teaspoons of salt
2 1/2 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
6 ounces of sliced smoked salmon
1/2 cup capers, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons of prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons of sliced fresh chives

In a saucepan, over medium-high heat, heat the oil and butter until the butter melts and begins to foam. Add the garlic and quinoa to the pan and toast until the quinoa begins to pop, about two to three minutes. Add the salt and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook for fifteen minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat, pour the mixture evenly onto a cookie sheet, and refrigerate for up to one day.

Once the quinoa has cooled, add the salmon, capers, horseradish, and chives, and toss to combine well. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

hazy shade of winter

my google search today tells me that spring can be defined as:

“the season of growth”

“the transition from winter into summer”

i would define spring as a feeling you get just before something gets good – you know, that calm willingness to tolerate mud puddles simply because you know that the lilacs are on their way. granted, spring is far from shining just yet, but still when i think about spring i do the excited dance - i think about flip flops, planting a garden (with swiss chard & heirloom tomatoes!) & listening to my favorite mix with the sunroof open, shades on. as i get excited for my own sanity to return after a very long & snowy maine winter, i wanted to share some of the things that are keeping me warm these days...cozy to be exact. this artist ,marisa haedike, is from LA - maybe that's why her prints are sunny!

“buttercup” print

by: creativethursday

i hope that springs comes in more like a lamb rather than a lion, but if it had to come in like a lion wouldn’t you like it to look like buttercup? i want to adopt him, i’ll be angelina 2.0 - with animals!

“love birds in orange hats”

by: creativethursday

BTW! if love looks like this, sign me up to sit on a branch! how cute are they with the snuggles?!?! BIG hearts.

i love a parade.

"winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart."
~ Victor Hugo

so, it's a messy wednesday in maine & as i sit here surrounded by my least favorite thing (snow!) - i am trying to get to my happy place with things that are cheery & filled with hints of spring. today i wanted to parade some new spring-ish items that have caught my eye lately (think: nautical novelties, nesting birds & short sleeves with an attitude!) but i am proving to be slow on the uptake of placing photos, credits & links - SO, i will wait to do it right! for now, the parade will have to wait, check in tomorrow for a semi-flashy blog full of technology...maybe ;)

in the meantime, my day was brightened by a call from a long lost friend who has opened a great cafe in my area. if you live in maine or more specifically in or around the lewiston/auburn area willy beans is the new place to be. it's coffee (with an education if you're less than versed on the bean lingo like i am) and heart healthy food that is big on flavor. i had the italian grilled cheese sandwich (also known to my stomach as YUM), which i could eat everyday for the rest of my life, but instead i think i'll just try and get through everything on their menu at least once because it is all under $7 an item - when was the last time that happened? plus they have free wi-fi, local artists on display & sweet treats - what could be better than supporting a local business and enjoying it at the same time?

willy beans
Open M-Th 7am-7pm | Friday 7am-9pm
Saturday 9am-9pm | Closed Sundays

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

take one...

the beginning, as julie andrews would say, "a very good place to start!" ok, then where do i start? i am 28 years old, wandering around with my head full of images, quotes, ideas, etc. i wanted a place to put these things, so this blog will serve as the un-lock-box for all things floating in my world that i want to share and at the same time keep filed away for myself to enjoy. i am afraid of commitment, i am excited by politics and the food network, i am gluten-free & i want to create - i cannot guarantee daily posts or inspirational rants, but this space will always be filled with the things that i heart today - most likely written in poor grammar, but rich in love & commas...for all to enjoy.

AND to start at the beginning, it is necessary to acknowledge the root of the inspiration that lead me here. it is the lovely, witty & ever-encouraging emilia or as you will come to know her auburn & ivory. luckily for me, i have known her for years and she is the number 1 thing i heart most days, even more so now that she has a blog. every morning, as i wait away the east coast hours for her to post miles away in the west, i sit and think about what i might find today and i am always amazed. i liken it to picking a mystery lollipop from the candy dish - you always hope that it will be a flavor you like, and for me everyday when i read auburn & ivory it is like getting grape - my FAVORITE.