Archive for February, 2010

Thai-Style Pork Stew

Speaking of happiness…. throw this recipe (Thai Style Pork Stew) into your crock pot, put a bottle of wine in the fridge to chill and enjoy a fabulous, healthy meal 8 hours later. Happy.

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I’ve been hearing a lot about the Happiness Project. And while I consider myself a pretty happy person, it’s still on my list next time I get a Border’s coupon. Everyone can use a little more happy time, right? But then I ran into this article from an old(er) copy of New York magazine: 50 Steps to Simple Happiness. It’s full of quick, easy things one can do. I noticed a lot of them involve working out, which always makes me feel better. But there are others, like:

2. “Make your bed. Go figure, but outer order contributes to inner calm. Especially if you’re living in a small space—but even if you’re living in a gigantic loft. Start each day with a concrete, albeit tiny (and therefore manageable!), accomplishment.” —Gretchen Rubin, Author, The Happiness Project


12. If you see a parking cop working his or her way up the street, put a quarter into someone’s expired meter.


16. “Eat one ounce of dark chocolate a day. It’s the new superfood.” —Dr. Jeffrey Morrison, Integrative Medicine and Nutrition.
Check it out. We could all use a little more happiness, right?

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I didn’t like what I brought to work for lunch the other day. Fortunately, I have one of the Twin Cities best deli’s just one flight of stairs away from my desk. And fortunately (again) for me, they happened to be serving a new soup, Spicy Tomato with Fennel and Pepperocini. I love tomato soup. I love spicy food. I really love spicy tomato soup. So I ordered a cup, went back upstairs, and enjoyed a really amazing, fabulous cup of soup. So fabulous, that I told husband about it. And I thought about it all night. And the next morning, when I went down to Bewiched for breakfast (they have killer scones, as well) I noticed they were serving the Spicy Tomato soup. Again. Really?

This soup was spicy. Probably too spicy for some, perfect spicy for me. There were slices of the hot pepper among the thick pureed tomatoey goodness. There’s no dairy, so it’s low-fast as well. And so darn yummy!

Honestly, I wanted the recipe. But I know they wouldn’t share that. But could I get more soup? Well, yes. I bought two quarts. Yep, two quarts. We had one for dinner, the others in the freezer. For a later date. Probably tomorrow.

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Valentines dinner

We snuck out and had a nice dinner. No highchair and plenty if wine. Yummy.

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Under the Weather

back soon…

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It’s really cold out today. Really cold. About 1 degree above zero. I heard it was 10 below out in the suburbs, even. (Another reason to stay in the city?) So after I dropped off a very bundled daughter at school, and threw an Amy Butler book into the book return at the library, I stopped at the Birchwood Cafe for a warm, delicious muffin. I love the birchwood. They focus on local and organic ingredients, and even when I’m stuffing a butter-loaded muffin into my mouth I feel healthy. That’s okay, right? So anyway, as I waited for the nice young man to put my muffin in a bag, and I had finished sampling the caramel-pecan roll bites on the counter, I noticed the artwork surrounding me. It was beautiful. Simple and elegant and original. On my way out I read the quick bio of the artist, and I knew I recognized the name, but still don’t know from where. The artist is Berry Holz. The bio said something about being trained as an architect and I should have know that from the work. It’s structural while still being whimsy. I fell in love with a couple pieces, and am seriously thinking of buying one. It’s beautiful and peaceful and makes me smile, so why not?

You can see more of work here, or at the Birchwood.

But not until I get back there to buy my print, okay?

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Six Poppies Archival Print

My office (the day job) recently moved from the 5th floor to the 2nd floor. In the process, I lost a door, but gained a huge (HUGE) window and, best of all, a couple of walls to decorate. Keeping with our clean Ikea decor, I decided to order a couple of prints from Etsy and frame them with simple light wood frames. I asked Jen for a few recommendations and among the fabulous options, I came across Rachel Ann Austin’s work. I love it. I love her sense of proportion and color and her interpretation of the natural world. I ordered a couple prints of her Poppies. They’re colorful and fun and work perfectly with our new palette of tan, deep red and chocolate brown.

I also ordered one of her adorable journals. No idea what will end up in there, but it’s still cute!

Rachel has both an etsy shop and a blog so we can all be inspired by her work. Enjoy!

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I spent this past Saturday night with three wonderful friends, one who had a birthday to celebrate~ Instead of going out, we decided to stay in and had a lovely Thai dinner. There was seafood ceviche, shrimp and tofu spring rolls, Thai vegetables and a fabulous Coconut Shrimp Curry. I was asked to bring Dessert, and as luck would have it, the January issue had a recipe for Coconut Cake. How appropriate!

It called for coconut milk in the cake, along with shredded coconut and chocolate chunks. There’s also a quick glaze made with more coconut milk and coconut flakes. I thought it was pretty good, but surprisingly, a little dry. The recipe said it was similar to a coffee cake and it was, for it seemed a little casual for a birthday celebration. It would be great on a brunch buffet or for an afternoon tea. Either way, it was easy and came together very quickly. And it helped us celebrate a birthday!

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Artsy Clutch

I just finished my first Artsy Clutch from Amy Karol’s Bend the Rules Sewing book. It’s the cover project and it was really very simple. I like it well enough, but I think next time I will use a lighter cotton flannel. The clutch turned out pretty “fat.” The button in the photo is temporary. While it looks great, I really need a two-hole button so I can sew it on tight enough to act as a closure. The best part was choosing the fabric, since both sides are seen. I’m looking forward to playing around with colors and patterns as I make more!

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pARTy Cards!

Jen hosted another pARTy this past weekend and I made a few cards. I brought a box of old paper samples I found while cleaning out my office, and after a lot of digging I came across these stamps/stickers. They were perfect on these two cards.

I made a few more with other goodies I found in the box. I need to make more, there’s nothing better than saving $4 and sending a homemade card. And they’re easy to make. Do you make your own cards or buy handmade cards? I’d love to hear about what you’ve made or where you’ve found cool cards. Leave a comment and let me know.

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