What to Eat for Thanksgiving Lunch: Winter Squash Soup with Apples + Crème Fraîche

• 21 November 2018

For many years, I found myself spending hours in the kitchen on Thanksgiving morning (no complaints!), preparing a dinner that would take place around 4 or 5 pm, with no thought as to how I would nourish myself and my family for lunch. But, clearly we all need sustenance before 5 pm, even on Thanksgiving :) One year I got smart and created this turns out it makes for the perfect Thanksgiving Day lunch. Here's why:

- you can make it ahead of time (make it tonight!). Soup is often better the next day anyway.

- it's light enough to allow room in your stomach for an indulgent Thanksgiving meal, but substantial enough to energize you to keep plugging away on those pies. 

- this is the best squash soup recipe I've ever had, so it will only add to the festive foodie spirit on Thanksgiving. 

- it's a crowd pleaser for kids and adults alike

- the soup calls for a combination of my two favorite winter squashes--butternut and red kuri squash (a combination so naturally good that even in the French markets, you'll find these two squashes side-by-side...ha! :)

- your vegetarian guests will thank you when you save them a bowl to enjoy during Thanksgiving dinner; this way, they too can enjoy an elevated meal. 


Justin Hackworth's Fine Art Prints

• 13 June 2016

For years, Justin Hackworth has been the one to capture all the big moments in our family's life (here and here to name a few). I consider these images treasures and am so grateful to have taken the time to make our photo sessions together a priority.  Now that I don't live nearby, I love that I still have access to Justin's work online. I am a particular fan of the large size, as it makes the image even more compelling.  His style would be ideal on a wall like the ones shown below.

You can discover these fine art prints here and view more of Justin's wedding + portrait photography here.  I think any of Justin's prints would look fantastic on a gallery wall styled like the ones seen in this home tour (more images of this Australian home here).  Swoon!

images via Justin Hackworth and The Design Files


Mini Fruit Rouges Crisps with Pistachios

• 06 June 2016

For me, summertime is the season for camping, small trips to see family/cousins and for picking berries.  The activity is both practical and enjoyable for kids (who doesn't want homemade jam in their lunches next schoolyear I remind them) and adults alike.  We all get to munch while we pick, chat about this and that, and catch a few rays of sunshine (not to be taken for granted up here in the Pacific Northwest).  Also, since we live in the city, it involves a trip to either the suburbs or the country, which is always refreshing as long as you don't get stuck in traffic :).

This recipe is a personal favorite, as it encompasses so many things I love--mini desserts, fresh berries, slightly nutty flavor and a mix of warmth and coolness (if you serve with ice cream, which is a must in my book!).  If you don't have access to tayberries, like we do up here in Washington, feel free to substitute cherries, a more classic "fruit rouges".  Enjoy!


What Do You Like Best to Do?

• 17 May 2016

I subscribe to Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project newsletter, which is essentially a daily reminder to find and create happiness in our own lives (versus allowing it to just fall upon you).  I want to share with you a quote from one particular email.  It reminded me how important it is to take a personal inventory every now and again; and remember, amidst the chaos, disappointments, pain, etc. that we need to discover the things within ourselves that can bring us small bursts of joy (at least this was my interpretation).  It sounds so simple to do, but the application can actually be quite challenging.

"It is all a question of weeding out what you yourself like best to do, so that you can live most agreeably in a world full of an increasing number of disagreeable surprises."

--M.F.K. Fisher

I used this image here because I love to photograph landscapes, particularly in France.  The mix of chartreuse grass and gray limestone struck me as stunning in a natural, unpretentious way.  That evening, I hopped over some train tracks and slipped through a barbwire fence to snap this shot alongside my oldest daughter.  This is a moment I like to remember and represents a moment of joy for me!

p.s. another fantastic newsletter to subscribe to is Brené Brown's Courage Works.  About once a week, she sends out a pretty image and a poignant quote.  It's just the right amount :).


New Work by Jenny Vorwaller | In the Shop

• 22 August 2014

It always feels a bit like Christmas when one of my favorite artists restocks her online shop.  I literally feel my breath taken away when viewing so much beauty in one little space.  If I didn't already own four of Jenny Vorwaller's works, I certainly would not be able to restrain myself this time. Hopefully, that means you don't!

With the kids almost back in school, treat yourself to a piece of original art and revamp your space to celebrate the tranquility that September inevitably brings :)

New works here  |  Pretty iPhone cases here  |  Peek into Jenny's new Seattle studio here


Guava Pineapple Refresher

There are only three ingredients, but they are good ones!  One hundred percent guava juice is difficult to find, but not impossible!  I use the Ceres brand from South Africa, which oddly turns up at the most random of places (my local drug store?).  It's definitely worth seeking out.  Sometimes, you can even find it on sale for around $3.  When you do...stock up!

{click "Read More" to view the recipe}


A Morning at Volunteer Park Cafe

• 13 August 2014

With school starting back up in three weeks, I am starting to dream again of the occasional morning get away with friends.  Don't get me wrong...I am not wishing away a moment of summer; however, it is always fun to ponder a change of scenery.  

I often am asked what my favorite breakfast spots are here in Seattle, so it was a real pleasure to be asked to taste the new-ish menu at Volunteer Park Cafe.  My short list includes about five restaurants, all very different from each other, but tasty in their own way.  I was thrilled to confidently add this fantastic, local joint to my list of must-eats! If stepping away with a friend to enjoy a delicious breakfast in a setting that feels like one of Seattle's best kept secrets, take yourself to Volunteer Park Cafe.  Not only is this popular neighborhood joint a choice destination, but the allure of the beautiful park down the street cannot be ignored.  So indulge in a few extra pastries and then promptly walk them off at Volunteer Park afterwards.  Be sure to stop at the arboretum as well!  

This welcoming cafe is casual, cozy, communal and gourmet.  If skipping the hussle and bustle of downtown sounds appealing to you (and why wouldn't it?), this Capitol Hill joint is a must-stop.  
While I prefer eating here for breakfast or brunch, please note they do offer dinner services Tuesday through Saturday.  

Volunteer Park Cafe
1501 17th Avenue E
Seattle, WA 98112
t: 206.328.3155


Nautical-themed Pie Slice Boxes

• 04 August 2014

Late Summer is the perfect time to throw a nautical-themed gathering (shower, bbq, party, dinner, birthday, etc.) with the warm weather during the day and the cooler breezes at night settling in. However, let it be known that in our home, any day is appropriate for a get together involving anchors. My three-year-old is surprisingly obsessed with them and this new offering is to celebrate his love. Note that this set includes a color block spoon, because the color is amazing and because sometimes it's fun to eat with a spoon instead of a fork :)

This is a limited edition DELUXE set and will be offered until supplies run out.  View it here

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