inspired by: porch parties

porchparty!

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Tonight I’m hanging out at a coffee shop in Pasadena with a glass of rosĂ© and a million party ideas. I don’t have wifi since I moved, so I’ve been listening to records while making lists of things that would look beautiful in my new space: lots of plants, a teak coffee table, a big turkish rug. My mom is visiting from Indiana in a few weeks, and we strategically booked her trip around the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Have any of you been? It is amazing.

One of the things I’m most excited for at my new place is nights on the porch. Nights where you turn on the string lights and park yourself in a comfy chair with a cocktail are just the best. Right now it’s just cold enough for a blanket, but come summer, I could sleep outside it’s so comfortable.

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blood orange & roasted fennel salad with tangerine vinaigrette

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There’s a lot to love in California, but the fruit and veggies have always been near the top of my list. One of the first things I noticed when I moved here was that the food actually TASTES different–brighter and more flavorful, like they’ve got the volume turned up. It might be cause I spend my day-to-day marketing produce, but in my world there’s a lot of excitement around a new fruit or veggie season. I have a little party every time fig season rolls around or when the farmers markets start flooding with tomatoes. Right now we’re having a full on citrus celebration, complete with blood oranges and giant sumo tangerines.

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My cousin and his sweet fiancĂ© had me over for dinner last weekend and I brought this salad. We’re all from smack dab in the middle of the midwest and can definitely appreciate the weather and food here in LA. I love that winter has its own fruit and veggie stars, rather than the produce department taking a back burner till springtime.

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blood orange & roasted fennel salad with tangerine vinaigrette
makes two small or one meal sized salad

for the salad
1 fennel bulb, sliced
1 blood orange
1/3 cup pistachios
arugula and spinach
olive oil, for drizzling

for the vinaigrette
1 medium size tangerine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 450. Remove the stalks from the fennel and slice the bulb into half inch slices. Lay out on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and roast for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, add a peeled and sectioned tangerine, olive oil, mustard, and balsamic vinegar into a blender. Blend on high until smooth. Toss salad greens with a sectioned blood orange, pistachios, roasted fennel, and dressing.

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You guys! I have exciting news…

moving

Yep, like RIGHT NOW. I spent all day moving things from my little studio in LA to a bungalow in Pasadena. I have THE best friends who helped me carry all of my furniture up and down A LOT of stairs. I’m on idea overload right now with ways to decorate my new space. I’ll have more room now, plus a big front porch and a yard for dinner parties and a garden.

I’d say my style is mid century modern meets botanical, and I’m trying to organize my design ideas in my notebook and on pinterest (check out my bungalow board). I’m spending more time perusing blogs for inspiration, too. I’ve always been a big fan of apartment therapy, and I’m really loving the jungalow and the free people blog right now (especially this post about cleaning!). So I’d love to know: what are your favorite websites for home inspiration? Leave a comment below!

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How are we doing with getting back to the real world? I finding it hard to get back into a routine, so I’m changing my routine all together. I made some homemade hazelnut milk for my coffee and smoothies (recipe below!), which left me extra energized and wondering how else I can spice up my mornings. I through it out to my instagram & facebook friends: how do you make your mornings better? I got some great ideas from you and had to share.

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Buy an old school alarm clock. I waste a lot of time on social media in bed at night and between snooze alarms. I’m now deeming my bed a facebook free zone (that goes for you too, instagram and email). I just ordered this cute green clock for my night stand.

Up your grain game. My friend Ramya does her oatmeal SO RIGHT and mixes in ghee, berries, greek yogurt, walnuts, chia seeds, and a splash of almond milk. I’m also into my friend Mariann’s idea of switching out oatmeal for rice in the morning. I’m pretty obsessed with the sorrel pesto rice bowl topped with a poached egg from swirl and think it’s about time I made it in my kitchen.

Mix up your coffee making method. My work schedule is far from consistent. Some weeks I’ll take my weekend on Tuesday and Wednesday and then be setting up for an event at 4 AM on Saturday. My one constant is coffee. I always make a big french press in the morning, but I recently picked up a moka from a thrift store (suggested by Betsy) and really like Rachel’s suggestion of trying out a chemex.

Go on an exercise date. I’m about 2,000 times more likely to get up and work out if someone is meeting me…and if we’re getting lattes after. I’ve been going to soul cycle or running with friends, making sure to schedule green smoothies or fancy coffee afterwards.

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simple homemade hazelnut milk

2 cups raw hazelnuts
3 cups water
optional: raw dates, honey, stevia, or agave to sweeten

Soak the hazelnuts overnight. Rinse and place into a blender with fresh water. Blend at high speed for about 2 minutes. Place a nut bag or cheesecloth over a jar or small bowl to strain. I pour a little at a time and usually squeeze out the cheesecloth and replace about half way through. To sweeten, put your strained hazelnut milk back into the blender and mix in your sweetener. Milk keeps in a jar in the refrigerator for about three days.

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Who’s down for eating more green things? I know you are, because it’s the first week of January and we’ve got at least, like, two more days of sticking to our healthy resolutions. I was an overachiever and got my green eating on about 45 minutes before 2015 even started. Yep, I spent my New Year’s Eve in my pajamas, making pizza out of vegetables. Don’t worry, there was champagne! I haven’t completely abandoned my youth.

I relived my NYE experience this week, just with much less champagne and no shiny “2015″ hat on my head. This pizza crust is also a little different in color, because the grocery store ran out of regular ol’ white cauliflower. I actually asked the produce guy if they had white and not green cauliflower for the sake of it’s pizza crust-like color qualities. He informed me that no, they only had the green variety and assured me that they all taste the same. I figured green works for this juice cleans-y time of year and rolled with it.

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Let’s talk about TOPPPPPPINNNNGGGGSS! The amount of extra letters in that word are directly correlated to my excitement about things to put on top of a pizza crust. There are a ba-jillion things you can put on here, which is pretty much what we did on New Year’s Eve. We had not one but TWO types of pesto, caramelized onions, various cheeses including one truffle situation, heirloom tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and the ever classic pizza sauce. At home I do the single lady’s version, which involves fewer toppings plus a tupperware of cauliflower “dough” for tomorrow night’s dinner. Also, let’s note that this quinoa pesto from Trader Joe’s is just begging for a DIY version experiment in my kitchen. Noted.

P.S. This pizza crust is gluten and dairy free, if that’s like, what you’re into.

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cauliflower pizza crust
makes 4 small or 2 hungry single lady crusts
recipe from beard & bonnet

2 cups ground cauliflower florets
3/4 cup almond meal/flour
3 eggs
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
toppings (!!)

Preheat oven to 450 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Chop up a small head of cauliflower and pulse in a blender or food processor. Mix in eggs, almond meal, spices, and nutritional yeast and divide into four sections. Scoop onto parchment paper and pat down to create circles. Bake crust for 15-20 minutes and then remove and add your toppings. Pop back in the oven for 10-15 more minutes. While you’re popping things, pop open some champagne and have yourself a pizza party!

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