Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Weekend!

image from grey goose

Tonight I'm going to kick off the evening with a couple of my favorite ladies who I just don't see enough.  My grand plan is lemony fizzy cocktails and a two-dollar manicure.  Helloooo long weekend!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Costume Change

This morning I woke up and was feeling a little sassy, so I pulled out a dress I usually wear in the fall with opaque tights and boots.  Since it's spring I decided to just wear it bare-legged with some fun peeptoe ruffled pumps.  Fun, right?

I knew I was leggy, but didn't realize how short my dress was until I got to work and saw my boss's eyebrow raise.  But it was too late; I was already at work and there was nothing I could do about it.  It just so happened that this morning we had a ton of clients and consultants coming to the office.  I played it cool for the morning, but secretly I was so uncomfortable.  "Hi, I'm Monica - welcome to our office.  I'll be your go-go dancer today."  Ok it wasn't that bad, but it just didn't feel right.

So at lunch I ran home and changed into something a little more appropriate.  Whew.

sources: dress, shoes, earrings

Nothing like a belted black sheath dress and a pair purple snakeskin pumps to make me feel like myself again.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

If My Girlfriends Were Shoes: Allison Edition

I had a couple glasses of wine with Allison at an old haunt of mine on Saturday night.  Got to talking about shoes - one of my favorite subjects.  She reminds me of a pair of sexy boots, good for any occasion, and kick-ass in all weather.  Meet me at a Saturday afternoon book signing at Elliot Bay?  Lookin' hot.  Party that night in a short skirt?  Yep.  Still hot.  Whether she's ordering her dim sum in Mandarin Chinese or sipping her whiskey at the end of the bar, this woman can hold her own.  That's why we love her.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Burgers, Round Two

Last night was raid-the-fridge night again.  I had the GF buns in the freezer and some left over grilled chicken cubes from pizza night.  I made those into patties and topped them with some pesto, fresh basil leaves, and low fat mozzarella.  The salad fixins were tossed in a light bright red wine vinaigrette.  In Andrew's words, they were damn good.  We washed it all down with a vodka lemon fizz (vodka, triple sec, club soda, lemon squeeze).  They were little guys, but super duper filling.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gluten-Free Salmon Burgers

Remember in my last post I mentioned I did some baking on Sunday?  You didn't think I'd miss a chance to tell you in detail how pleasantly and deliciously surprised I was with the results, did you?  Of course not.  This story gets its very own post.

So it all started on Thursday with a fantastic sunny evening that turned into a grill night with two of our good friends.  I did sides and a dessert, Abby brought the salmon, and Alex came over with great wine and the most amazing chocolate macaroon that's ever passed my lips.  We feasted.

There was quite a bit of salmon left over, but it was on the dry side so it needed some attention before it could be reserved.  Salmon burgers were a perfect solution.  I've been craving a good burger lately anyway.

Most of you know I'm trying to be gluten-free these days, but I relapse all the time because bread is so delicious, and it's tough to find tasty alternatives.  Also, it's super inconvenient.  Sometimes it just makes more sense to go with the flow and suffer the consequences.  Not to mention, bunless burgers suck.

This brings me to the baking portion of this post.  I decided yesterday to take matters into my own hands and make some gluten-free buns for future summer grilling opportunities.  I have had a package of Bob's Red Mill gluten-free bread mix in my arsenal for a couple months.  It was time to bust it out.  I was unsure about the results because BRM is really heavy on the garbanzo bean flour, a flavor I really don't like.  However, the recipe called for quite a bit of eggs (or egg replacer), so even though the dough tasted grassy and bitter, the end result was actually really delicious.  I also kneaded in some extra sweet sorghum flour, which may or may not have had any effect at all.  Just thought I'd mention it.  here's what they looked like out of the oven:

They were so light and delicious, they were almost biscuity.  I was darn impressed, because I did not have high expectations for these bad boys.

While those were baking (rather than the recommended 60 min for the loaf, I did 10 min uncovered + 10 min covered with foil for the buns), I whipped up the salmon cakes.  My friend Kori had given me a package of gluten-free breadcrumbs, left over from her gluten-free cooking experiment, so I used that as well as an egg, which gave the salmon the right amount of moisture and texture.  It was already flavored from its first life as grilled salmon fillet, so I just added a little kosher salt and cooked them on the skillet in a little olive oil.

I topped them with some pesto, balsamic-caramelized red onions, and goat cheese.  My bf got dubliner cheese on his instead of goat cheese.  They were phenomenal.  I was halfway through wolfing my burger down when I realized I'd probably want to tell you about them.  Here's the pic I snapped with my phone:

As you can see, I'd been chowing pretty good by this point.  So amazing.  The best part?  It was done entirely with leftovers and condiments I already had in the fridge.  Boo-yow!

Weekend Recap

This weekend reminded me of all the reasons I will not be taking a class this summer.  I love to play outside!!  Saturday morning I woke up refreshed, did some housework, and then met my friend Allison for a run on the BGT.  From there, I went to Lake Union to meet Abby for an hour of kayaking to work on getting some tanned, toned arms and core for sleeveless summer tops.  We had a nice little tour around Portage Bay, and then decided to head over to the Arboretum.  To get there, we had to navigate through the cut that separates Lake Union from Lake Washington.  Because it's such a high traffic narrow passage, there was some serious wave action.  We paddled like maniacs to get through it was fast as we could.  Not that I was worried, but we didn't capsize.  On the other side of the cut we took a much needed breather before exploring.

Abby enjoying her victory

the view from my seat

It was in the 70s all day, and I enjoyed every second of it.  After kayaking we headed over to a bbq where I met some great people, had delicious eats, and fantastic cocktails.  Helloooo summer.

Yesterday was a little more low key.  I did some baking, cleaning, working out, and then topped the evening off with a little happy hour down on one of the lakeside patios.  We sat there with our wine and cheese, watching the sun slip down behind the hills.

on the cheese plate: St Andre, Port Salut, Dubliner

Seattle is such a fantastic city - it offers a rich lifestyle on a shoestring budget.  Doesn't get much better than this.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Learning to Fly

Dream interpreters often say that if you fly in your dream, it is a signal your psyche is embarking on a change.  I’ve always been fascinated by dreams and their interpretations because I believe dreams are a window into a person’s own subconscious fears and desires.  I’m not big on universal symbols, such as a house representing self or a dog representing loyalty, but I do believe that the emotions and roles a person plays in her dreams tell a lot about how she actually feels about something, versus what she thinks people expect her to feel.  I, for one, have often found that things I insist don’t bother me will rear their ugly faces in my dreams.  Fears I claim I’ve conquered come out in full force in the dramas played out behind my eyelids at night.  Sometimes they are tragic, usually they err on absurd, and nearly always I wake up with a new perspective on what my waking feelings on certain issues really are.

Last night I dreamed I had become a person I wasn’t proud of.  In this dream, I treated a rival character in a way that shocked me, even in my dream state.  She had something I wished I had and probably felt she didn’t deserve.  In this dream, I lashed out at her and I behaved the way a person does when she doesn’t yet know who she is, when she’s insecure with her place in the world.  I was spiteful, petty, self-righteous, and let my jealous heart triumph over my better judgment.  The tantrum I threw in her face as an attempt to tear her down was unsuccessful, and really only resulted in alienating any possible camaraderie between us.  The people I had expected to be my allies looked at me with disbelief and disappointment, and in that moment of the dream I realized I didn’t want to be that person.  I didn’t want to be the person with selfish ugly intentions.  I didn’t want to feel the weight that comes with treating people that way.

I walked to the edge of the second floor deck where I had this epiphany, and looked down on a barren concrete parking lot.  I wanted to leave and not look back.  Start over.  Be someone else.  The sun was setting, and as I stood there feeling truly defeated, my best friend came up behind me and offered to drive me home.  It was the olive branch I needed to regain confidence in my character.

There was no staircase to get down from the place we stood, and I confided in my friend I knew how to fly.  I wasn’t entirely sure I was ready to fly, but I’d done it before and that moment was the test.  She took my hand and climbed onto the handrail of the deck.  We stood there for a moment, and then with sheer will, I lifted us into the air and slowly down to the pavement.   I’d flown.  It wasn’t a leap off a building or a jump up into the sky; I’d done it slowly, determined, out of a will to change, to move forward.

I woke this morning with a different perspective.  I’m going to pay more attention to making sure I’m the person I want to be.  I’m going to take an active role.  I’m not going to complain why things don’t happen;   I’m just going to get it done.  I’m not going to say, “That’s someone else’s responsibility,” just to let another week go by while it sits on the to-do list.  I’m going to be positive and grateful for the good things in my life.  I’m going to work to turn around the things I don’t like so much.  I’m done waiting for someone else to fix it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Little Inspiration

I haven't had much time for my creative outlets lately.  I've been doing a lot of other great stuff, but I know I can't do it all, so my sewing machine has gone untouched for a while and that's ok.

However, I am still collecting inspiration wherever I can.  I work for an architecture / interior design firm and in my research today I decided to explore a little further into the world of Kyle Bunting.  Hide rugs, folks.  So much texture!  His stuff is really great and truly inspiring.

I took a few screenshots from his website to give you a flavor of what's got me in a tizzy.

Pretty fantastic stuff, huh?  I think I'd be more inclined to hang it on the wall than use it as a rug, just because I wouldn't want anyone stepping on it.

Rain on Me

Yesterday was a little gloomy, weather-wise, but it also reminded me of how beautiful Seattle can be in the rain.  You just have to look at it right.  When I woke yesterday morning and looked out the window, the rain was lightly coming down.  I can see Lake Washington from my kitchen window, and the gray skies made the color of the lake a deep smoky blue, with just a hint of aqua.  My outfit yesterday was sort of a tribute to the beauty of Seattle, even in inclement weather.