September 24, 2009

project: organize closet completed!

About two weeks ago I saw a photo posted by Amanda at Slow Like Honey on flickr of her closet to be organized. I too have been putting off organizing mine and thought,”This is ENOUGH! I NEED AN ORGANIZING CHALLENGE!!!”


-because I too needed to clean out my closet (duh)

-because I felt like I could be held accountable if someone else was doing it (it really helped that she set a deadline for me)

-because I’ve been wondering what the carpet in my closet looks like

-because I’ve been watching the Rachel Zoe Project and am dying to figure out what I can come up with in my closet. I have sooo many clothes and nothing to wear.

Over the past week I’ve been working on this project. I just looked at the before photos and CANNOT BELIEVE I lived in such chaos.  No wonder I felt like I didn’t have anything to wear. Why did I not do this sooner? Oh yeah..cuz I had a kid maybe.


the great closet organize of 2009



September 16, 2009

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

blueberry buckwheat pancakes

Did I ever tell you how  much I suck at making pancakes?  Or should I saw how i USED to suck at making pancakes.  I don’t know what my problem(s) were.  Perhaps over mixing?  Maybe my batter was too thick?  The pan was too buttery? I didn’t let the batter rest? I didn’t have the right heat?  Maybe I was just a wuss and psyched myself out. Yeah that sounds more like it 😉

Today I embraced my fear of making pancakes and tried this Blueberry Buckwheat Panackes recipe from Ellie Krieger.  I mixed all of the dry ingredients last night before bed and set them aside.  I sprung to my feet the second I heard Coop stirring this morning and whipped up the batter and brought him down and made pancakes.  He enjoys watching me run around in the kitchen.

Casey woke up earlier than normal to join us for breakfast.  I am sure he would have much rather slept- but when you have your wife slaving in the kitchen in the morning, you HAVE to.  He said “they were pretty good for being all healthy and buckwheaty”. I feel like I need to sneak some health in every chance I can.  If my boyz had their way, they would be eating nothing but meat, pasta, potatoes & bread.

The pancakes were very light and with the additions of blueberries & bananas—they were yummy. I really thought that they were gonna turn out like big thick hockey pucks!  So SCORE.  I DID IT.  I made light & fluffy pancakes.

I still have TONS of batter left and might make a batch tomorrow morning. We’ll see how that works out!  Hope you enjoy!

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

(recipe adapted from Ellie Krieger)

-3/4 cup buckwheat flour
-3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 cup buttermilk (i used a cup of plain yogurt)
-3/4 cup nonfat milk
-1 tablespoon honey (I used agave nectar)
-2 large eggs
-2 tablespoons canola oil
-2 cups blueberries, divided  (I used frozen-and defrosted them overnight in the fridge)
-1/2 cup real maple syrup

In a large bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat together the buttermilk, non-fat milk, honey, eggs, and oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing only enough to combine them. Stir in 1 cup of berries.

Preheat a large nonstick griddle or skillet over a medium flame. Ladle the batter onto the skillet with a 1/4-cup measure. Flip the pancake when it is golden brown on the bottom and bubbles are forming on top, about 1 1/2 minutes. Cook the other side until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Serve topped with more blueberries and the maple syrup.

September 13, 2009

new obsession: terrariums!

on display!

I’ve been wanting to make some for awhile.  I’ve seen TONS and TONS of images of them on the ‘net.  I made today “MAKE A TERRARIUM” day.  Why did I wait so long to do so?

I found a nice lil tutorial over here at designsponge.  It’s awesome!  I had no idea how easy it was to do.

It took a trip to Home Depot, a stop at IKEA for jar and a trip to Salvation Army to get another container.

Took me about an hour or so to complete all three of them.  I got kinda overboard and made another one while Cooper napped.

Take a look!


September 11, 2009

Heidi’s Sushi Bowl

and why don’t i share my lunch with you while I am at it:

sushi bowl!

Sushi Bowl.  Recipe from Heidi Swanson- Super Natural Foods

It will satisfy your sushi cravings!  I imagine eating on a rainy afternoon….or topping with some grilled salmon.  What a nice treat!  I bet the leftovers will be good too!

September 11, 2009

Jen’s Zucchini Bread

breakfast with jen

This morning, Cooper and I shared some lovely Zucchini Bread.  The recipe came from Jen Altman!!   Her pictures make me daydream and I get especially excited when I see a food recipe!  There’s something so Alice-In-Wonderland about her food photos.  I imagine eating a slice at a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party 🙂  Will it make me big?  Will it make me small?

Anyways- It’s a perfect way to get a dose of vegetables in a child.  And he didn’t know the difference. It was especially nice after I BATTLED last night feeding him veggies. Apparently Cooper thinks he’s on a carbs-only diet…..

It’s also a great way to fuel a sleepy adult in the morning…or a pick-me-up afternoon treat.

Thanks Jen!  We enjoyed it so!

September 6, 2009

Spiced Rubbed Salmon with Chickpea Salad

tonight's dinner

So tonight might be the night we officially say goodbye to summer round these parts.  As we sat down to eat, a cool breeze hit us and leaves fell all over the back deck.  At one point I contemplated getting a sweater, but I decided to savor this one last time eating outside at night.

Although, this is the Bay Area and we are known for our Indian Summers…so maybe this might be a lil premature. Either way, autumn is coming and I am super excited to start hibernating and make some comfort food!


To celebrate a beautiful day, I made a Sweet & Spicy Rubbed Salmon with a Chickpea Spinach Salad with a Cumin Dressing.

The orange dressing was PERFECT on top of the salmon.

adding the orange dressing on top

I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate!  Soo healthy, refreshing & tasty. I am looking forward to leftovers tomorrow!  I bet it will taste even better.

about to grill

Salmon with Sweet & Spice Rub

(recipe Ellie Krieger- The Food You Crave)

-Cooking spray
-2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
-1 tablespoon chili powder
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/8 teaspoon salt
-1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
– 6- 5 ounce salmon fillets, skin & bones removed
– 1 tablespoon olive oil


Coat your grill with cooking spray and preaheat over medium heat.  While the grill is heating, combine the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin salt & pepper.  Brush each salmon filet with 1/2 teaspoon of oil then rub each fillet evenly with the spice mixture.

Grill salmon, flesh side down, until charred, 4 to 5 minutes.  Flip the salmon and cook for 5-6 minutes for medium doneness.  Transfer to platter and serve immediately.

Chickpea Spinach Salad with Cumin Dressing

(Recipe Ellie Krieger- The Food You Crave)

-1 15 oz. cans chickpeas drained & rinsed
-2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
-1/4 cup diced red onions
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-2 tablespoons lemon juice
-1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
-3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
-Pinch cayenne pepper
-Salt &  Pepper to taste
-3 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt
-1 tablespoon orange juice
-1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
-1/4 teaspoon honey
-2 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves
-1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint


In a medium bowl, combine the chickpeas, parsley, & onion. In a seperate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, lemon zest, cumin, cayenne salt & pepper.  Pour the dressing over the chickpea mixture and toss to coat evenly. In another small bowl, stir together the yogurt, orange juice, orange zest, and honey.

Serve the chickpea salad over a bed of spinach leaves. Top with the yogurt sauce and garnish with mint.

September 5, 2009

current faves:

Every time I visit my dear friends up in Oregon, I always come back with great ideas, good organizing tips as well as cool new products to try.

My friend Jessica let me in on her lil secret.  Martha Stewart’s Lunch Cube.

I couldn’t find a link for one at Macy’s, but this is the brand that makes it.


inside lunch cube

lunch cube

It’s GENIUS. Look how it fits my items. And look how easy it packs up!

This will come in handy when Cooper and I are out and about and he’s at the sandwich eating stage.  I am really looking forward to it!  I bought one for myself for work.  At $4.99 each at Macy’s how can you beat that?

I spied these beautiful products over at my friend Erin’s house….and immediately fell in love with the packaging!  After doing dishes with the Dish Soap, I was convinced I NEEDED some.

J.R. Watkins Apothecary Home Care Dish Soap & Hand Soap

making kitchen prettie!

Imagine the scent of a lemon cake filling up your sink as you work on the dishes!

smells sooo good

It makes dish washing tolerable. That’s for sure! Now I don’t have ugly bottles sitting on my sink counter.

I just picked up this book from Amazon, and I am soooooo excited to work in the kitchen with it!

Super Natural Cooking, by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks

sooo excited to use this

I’ve been wanting to expand my horizons in the kitchen- add more greens and more GOOD-FOR-YOU food. This will do just the trick!

Speaking of Healthy…..

I am also in love with Pop Chips.  The BBQ flavor is sooo tasty & there’s hardly any guilt to eating them!

Dear pop chips

And the other night I spent almost 4 hours working on a spreadsheet of my staples/favorites at Trader Joes.  I am happy to report that it made grocery shopping yesterday much easier!

It pays to have a game plan when you go grocery shopping.  It’s my new favorite.

About to errand

I also got some Butternut Squash from my neighbor.  It’s one of my favorite foods she grows!


butternut squash

How about you?  What are your current faves?  Let’s share!