Thursday, March 25, 2010

meet our muses.

Along with my love of magazines, I love getting ideas from catalogues.
I can only really afford to shop in J. Crew's sale section (sorry, but $79 for jeans cutoffs? Two words: thrift store.) But I do get lots of ideas (and accessories on sale!) from their store and catalogue.
I love to use both home and clothes catalogues for ideas, then try to recreate those ideas with things I already own.

A few of my favorites:
and where would we be without...
Get on and request a few catalogues, and let me know what ideas you come up with!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I could be your state and I could be your nation/

There aren't many artists whose new albums I buy the day they are released. But Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward are an exception. Yes, I practically ran to Borders today to get the new She & Him CD. It was so worth the wait.
Hello, Volume Two.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Animal. Vegetable. Miracle.

In Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver recounts her family's adventures in eating locally for one year. Kingsolver is a novelist, which kind of made this book a page-turner for me. (How will they be able to use all those zucchini?) Seriously, I highly recommend this entirely entertaining story of one family returning to the roots of traditional American food life (take that, Monsanto!).
Let's be honest, after I finished reading this, for about three days I tried to figure out how I could live on a farm. In the absence of being able to grow all my own vegetables, however, I decided to finally sign up for a local CSA.
CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture) allow you to basically buy a small share in a farm and get local produce delivered to you every week. It took me awhile to track down one in downtown Chicago, but I'm so glad I did. Fresh Picks delivers local, organic food to your door every week. Unlike a lot of CSAs, you can opt to choose which vegetables and fruit you would like to get or you can sign up for a box of whatever is in season that week (that onion weighed about 3 pounds and lasted us over a week!). They also carry dairy and meat products, and some prepared foods.
Did you know spinach could be that big? I didn't.
Those are sunchokes. Luckily, with a little internet research, I was able to make sunchoke soup. If you've actually heard of these and want the recipe, let me know! :)
While it requires a little bit of flexibility to cook with whatever vegetables show up on your doorstep each week, I've enjoyed trying new recipes and getting creative with substituting (in-season cabbage for not-so-in-season red peppers).

Roasted beets...surprisingly good.

Here is a recipe we tried and really enjoyed this week. It is from one of my new favorite cookboooks The Gorgeously Green Diet by Sophie Uliano.

Quinoa Gado Gado (serves 4)
(I used brown rice instead of quinoa, and arugula and dandelion greens in place of spinach and bell peppers. The mix of cooked rice and raw veg was surprisingly good, and I always love peanut sauce!)

4 cups cooked quinoa or brown basmati rice
3 cups baby spinach
1 cup finely shredded red cabbage
1 cup finely shredded Napa cabbage
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 T. peanut oil
1 8-oz. package tempeh, sliced
1 T. virgin coconut oil
1 cup minced onion
1 T. minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups smooth natural peanut butter
2 T. cider vinegar
2 T. tamari or soy sauce
1 T. raw honey
1 T. lemon juice
2 cups hot water
2 T. unsweetened shredded coconut

Arrange quinoa on platter and top with spinach, cabbage, carrots and bell pepper. Heat the peanut oil and fry tempeh slices for 4 minutes on each side.
In medium saucepan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add onion and ginger and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except the shredded coconut, and whisk until well blended. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, adding a little more water to thin out if neccessary.
Pour the sauce over the vegetables and tempeh and sprinkle with the shredded coconut.

If you're interested in eating local, Barbara Kingsolver has some good resources on her website for finding CSAs and farmers markets in your area.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thanks, Martha, for making us less disgusting.

I think this video just made my day.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

spring, is that you?

These crocuses were not here they're all over Chicago! In honor of spring finally coming to the city, we did a little spring-ifying of the apartment last night.

Wintery living room....

And spring...

We seriously changed only the couch cover and the flowers...doesn't it look different?
(more spring decorating to come...)

Next up...clearing the courtyard and planting actual flowers. Having a place to plant in the city is pretty rare, so I'm going to take full advantage of it. I took this picture after clearing three large bags of leaves and grossness...I'll let you know what it looks like in a few months!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

let the reader be introduced to lady carbury.

Oh, the drama, romance, intrigue..and lots of gambling... Plus that girl with the funny voice and Mr. Darcy.
I've found that whichever BBC miniseries or classic book I'm in the middle of is my new favorite.

Trollope is no exception.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

right on target.

Is it just me, or does Target just keep getting better and better? Last weekend: John Paul Gaultier; this weekend: Liberty of London.
All these springy patterns make me ready to get rid of winter and decorate for spring!
(that's my desk Before)
(and After)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

print media is (still) in print.

While there are many downsides to the sad demise of print media (oh, Domino, we all miss you!), I have found a few benefits. One is that magazine subscriptions are increasingly more affordable. $6-15 dollars for 12 issues of ideas, gorgeous photos, and delicious recipes...yes please!

When Domino went under, I had saved about 4 copies of the magazine and kind of regretted throwing out the rest. I don't exactly have the space to store all the magazines I subscribe to now, so I was excited when I found this idea (in a magazine!) for keeping the best ideas.
Mid-month, when next months issues start coming in the mail, I take all the old ones and go through them for photos/ideas to save, articles to read, and recipes I want to try. Then I put them in sheet protectors and into a 3-ring binder. (This is also a great excuse for me to buy school supplies even when I'm not in school. :)
Currently I have a notebook for home ideas and one for fashion ideas. I'm working on one for recipes I want to try before copying them onto recipe cards.
I also have 2 composition notebooks for pictures I've cut out that are too small for the 3-ring binders.
I like these because they are like small inspiration boards.

While I know the $6 magazine subscription probably can't last long, I'd like to think I'm doing my small part to keep print media in print.
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