Whenever I host a dinner party, I get caught up in the dinner menu, appetizers, and drinks. Dessert is usually the last thing on my mind. And after a full day of prepping, cooking, and hosting, I want to serve something easy. A scoop of ice cream is the easiest of desserts, but it’s also kinda boring. Solution: affogatos. An affogato is just a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a shot of hot espresso poured over. As the espresso melts the ice cream, it basically becomes a sweet and creamy latte. I topped mine with a sprinkle of cacao nibs for a little crunch. Yummm!
It’s Monday again and I’m mourning the loss of the weekend. And these Monday blues call for a little retail therapy. I’m clearly still on my black and white kick and highest up on my wish list is the Mansur Gavriel bucket bag. It’s been an understated it bag for the last few years, but now that it’s finally available online without a wait list I’m just about ready to take the plunge. Watch this space.
I have been on a major black and white kick lately. All my latest clothing purchases have been black or white. Maybe a little gray here and there. Some people might find it boring, but head-to-toe black and white just feels so effortlessly cool. A loose-fit white button down and a pair of black skinnies has been my go-to outfit. If I feel like a pop of color, I’ll throw on a pair of colorful flats or switch to a bright purse.
During my recent vacation in Portland, I made multiple trips to Roman Candle Baking Co. Everything I ate there was delicious, but their salmon toast was particularly memorable. So memorable that I had to create my own version of it at home. It’s a no-cook, no-fuss recipe that will have you eating in just a few minutes.
Start with a slice of rustic, grainy bread. I used walnut levain. Spread with unsalted butter and sprinkle on some capers. Add sliced avocado and smoked salmon.
In a bowl, toss arugula with a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt. Take a handful of the dressed arugula and place on top of the salmon. Finish with some freshly cracked black pepper over the plate and you’re done!
The best part of travelling is most definitely the food and it’s always the first thing I research when planning a trip. With Portland known for their coffee, beer, and artisinal anything, I made sure to try as much as possible during my few days there.
All the food and drinks were top notch (okay, maybe the doughnuts from Voodoo were overhyped), so I had to balance the overindulgence with some physical activity. Luckily Portland has its fair share of beautiful nature that distracted me from my ambitious food itinerary.
A small detour on the way back down Mt. Hood led us to some surprise roadside farms selling fresh produce and pick-it-yourself lavender. Can you even stand it?
It’s been a whirlwind August, but it’s finally time to be still and enjoy this last bit of summer. I spent the last couple weeks on back-to-back adventures in Alaska and Portland so staying at home is all I need right now.
What a wonderful and mysterious place Alaska is. I went with my parents and we spent time in Anchorage, Soldotna, Seward, and Homer – all beautiful. The long days, chilly summer weather, and hauntingly gorgeous scenery felt like such an escape from the normal day-to-day hustle.
A highlight of the trip was definitely fishing on the Kenai River with this guy, Jeff King. I loved fishing for salmon, but the true experience was in the quiet conversations with Jeff while floating on the river. He talked about his life in Alaska and we couldn’t help but express wonder over the modesty and clarity of it. He has life and happiness figured out and he casually stated that it’s just about knowing when you’ve got it. It’s simple, but I can’t stop thinking about what he said. And for that, I’m thankful.
Before my last dinner party, I took a few minutes to work on a few small details. I pulled out my calligraphy kit from a workshop I attended to make place cards and a menu. These little additions were the perfect finishing touches, making the dinner table seem so put together.
You guys. Cookies dripping with dulce de leche and covered with powdered sugar? These are alfajores and in this moment they are my favorite type of cookie. I followed CHOW’s recipe for the cookies and Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for the dulce de leche. The dulce de leche took over an hour to make, so while the cookie dough was chilling in the fridge, I put on some fun music and went to work. It’s not a hard recipe to follow – it just takes time and patience. But oh man was it worth it. With this recipe, you’ll have more than enough leftover after making the cookies. Perfect as an ice cream topping or you know, just eating it straight out of the jar.
While cleaning out and organizing my craft supplies (I have a lot, so after a few projects, everything tends to get jumbled) I found some leftover leather strips. I wasn’t about to throw out leather, so I decided on a quick DIY project. If you have the supplies on hand, this can be done in about 10 minutes.
- Leather hole punch
- Sharp scissors
- Split ring
- Eyelet and corresponding eyelet tool
- Letter stamps
First, take the leather and cut it to twice the desired length of the keychain. Be sure to consider the length of the name or word you’ll be imprinting. On one half of the leather strip and on a hard surface, begin hammering the letter stamps. If the imprint doesn’t take, very lightly dampen the leather, realign the letter, and try again.
Next, fold the leather strap with the right side facing out. Close to the edge of the overlapping ends, take your leather hole punch and cut through both layers. Make sure the size hole you choose will fit the eyelet.
While I was in New York last month, I saw the Birkenstock trend in full force. Everyone wearing them looked so cool. Birkenstocks have been on and off my wish list for the last couple years, but I didn’t want to fall into the trap of buying an ‘it’ item too late. At the height of my ‘need it’ phase, I texted Grace from New York asking for advice. I was standing in the SoHo Bloomingdales looking crazed with a floor sample of the Birkenstock Arizona sandal in one hand, my phone in the other hand, and a coffee in the crook of my arm. Grace was on the fence, telling me the styling can easily go from chic to crunchy (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in San Francisco). True. I ended up walking out of the store empty-handed. Yet again, I needed to think about it.
But yesterday, it happened. I finally caved and ordered a pair. A lot of people may tag this as part of the ugly 90s fashion revival, but it doesn’t matter. I like them and that’s what matters.