I went out for soufflés the other night with some girlfriends at Rise No 1 (in Dallas). As you leave this particular restaurant the hostess hands you a little card with a quote written on it that she pulls out of an old fashioned bingo cage. Mine was totally irrelevant to my life right now, but my friends said this, "No army can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come." -Victor Hugo. She could tell I liked it a lot so she gave it to me. I'm a bit of an idealist... and lately I have seen some people fighting ideas that I think have great merit. This quote gave me hope.
Entries in Food (59)
I'm a huge fan of the donut. HUGE. I have a favorite donut joint in every city I visit. I have a pinterest board just for donuts. I often fantasize about opening a food truck with my best friends and serving only the prettiest, yummiest donuts. It would be called.... Donuts.
While in Portland a few weeks ago I went to Blue Star. It wasn't my first time having their donuts, I remembered the last time I went to Portland I tried a couple of donuts. They were great. But all donuts are great. This last time was my first time trying the Blueberry Bourbon Basil Donut. It was amazing! I have thought about it at least twice a day since I had it... and dreamt about it once. I finally hunted down the glaze recipe tonight and plan on trying to make my own this weekend. Wish me luck... or else everyone at my house is going to be very un-happy. When mama isn't happy, NO ONE IS HAPPY! ;)
Also the winner of the Winter Water Factory $100 gift card giveaway is Meg! - "I love summer rompers & the tanks, all of the patterns are so cute but I especially love the high seas one :) Thanks for the great giveaway, fingers crossed!" Meg - please send me your contact information (erinjane85 (at) gmail (dot) com) so that we can get you your gift card!
Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway! We are so excited to be partnering with more fun, creative companies like Winter Water Factory! Be on the look out for more giveaways like these!
One of our favorite places to eat in Dallas is Chicken Scratch. We like to take any visitors we get there to try their amazing chicken and waffles. It is always a nice place to go with kids too because it has a little outdoor play area where kids can climb on tires, and hang on monkey bars and throw gravel at each other. The play area isn't terribly big but it is enough space to let your kid act like a kid and not worry too much about them getting hurt or getting in anyone's way. Right next door is The Foundry where you can get strong drinks. The Foundry and Chicken Scratch open up to the same seating area with large couches, a stage, and huge picnic tables. In the summer they have large fans blowing and big umbrellas up to keep you cool, in the winter - wear a coat. This is a place I highly recommend trying if you are ever in Dallas. Happy Friday!
I LOVE Thanksgiving! Who am I kidding? I love every holiday!! If you know me you know I am an over celebrater (sorry, not sorry). This Thanksgiving we will be dining with friends and their little ones, and I am really excited about it. I have such fond memories of Thanksgiving as a child - we lived far from family so we always celebrated with our family friends. We would eat till we couldn't sit up straight anymore and then that night all of the kids went out to a movie. When we got home there were millions of pies to eat! It was the best day ever.
This year we are planning on taking a couple of pies to share, a favorite main dish, my mom's famous baked brie cheese and, of course, green bean casserole (upon Conor's request). I am super excited to order a pie from Emporium Pies to share with our friends. If you live in the Dallas area you should check this little pie shop out! It is so cute and the pies are amazing! I thought about making one myself but I thought the novelty of one of their pies would make the day a little more fun (at least for me! Less cooking/dishes = happy mama!) Hope everyone has a great holiday!!
Just sharing an old project on the blog this morning! While I am taking all of this time to "slow down" I'm realizing that blogging is a fun creative outlet that I really let go of recently. So today I am taking the time to post some images from a past styling project that I got to work on with some friends out in Hawaii. My friend Katie runs a little shop on Etsy called Pretty Swell - selling little fabric garlands and cake toppers. We got together with photographer Tiffany Garfield one afternoon and styled a mini shoot in Katie's living room. I love projects like this! It is so fun to get together with friends and dream up a scenario and set the stage. It is even more fun when the props include fresh strawberries, lilikoi cake and Izze drinks!
I just returned from a 2 week trip to Portland. I was there visiting my family and doing some work for Verily Magazine. It was a great break from the heat here in Dallas. I love going to Portland to visit friends and family but one of the things I love most about Portland is all of the great places to eat! I think Portland sort of has the corner on great restaurant! Have you seen the latest issue of Bon Appetite? Well, the country's #5 hottest restaurant according to BA is Ava Genes - I wanted to go - but it was a dinner spot and getting there with Henry just wasn't logistical possible while I was there. So, my sister, mom, all the kids and I did the next best thing and went to Roman Candle Bakery for brunch. It's right next door and owned and operated by the same people (the same geniuses behind Stumptown). It was great and pretty kid friendly. I highly recommend it.
I'm going to try to post more about my travels to Portland but for now I am playing catch up on work and getting the house back in order. While I was gone Conor swapped our nursery and our office and carpeted our "new" nursery. So the house looks a little like a bomb went off! I've been waiting to make the switch for months though so I can't complain!
While in San Diego a couple of weeks ago we ate at one of my favorite restuarants - Eclipse Chocolate. I love this place! Practically every dish is infused with chocolate or carmel or something sweet. They even put vanilla bean in their water... it is delicious! We met up with some friends from Hawaii who so kindly took these sweet family pictures! You can check out more here. I love the idea of having simple mornings like this frozen in time. These are the times that I want to remember. Thanks Amy Elizabeth!
The year was 2001, I was at the height of my collegiate running career when onto the scene walked Liam Patrick O’Sullivan. Let me paint you a picture here: tall, Irish (obviously), privately educated, endurance and adventure athlete. Sure, there was the skinniness and red hair too, but gosh, that’s just the way I liked them then. He was older, at least 2 years. Seeing him on campus made me burst into nervous giggles and elevated my pulse straight into my target heart rate. I NEVER played it cool. NEVER. I carried my heart around like a puppy with a toy in its mouth and that beggy look in its eyes. I followed him home from a party one night and awkwardly made him give me a piggy back ride. It was awkward because I was as tall as him and probably weighed more. Patterns in his daily activities started to emerge, including his panache for weekend breakfasts in the student cafeteria. Suddenly, I could not get enough of the weekend waffle bar at the cafeteria clear on the other side of campus from where I lived. After a couple months of waffle/Liam stalking I found myself in a group of runners from my university talking between the men and women’s races at a cross-country meet. I was proudly sporting my blue and white uniform (it was the standard short top and underwear like bottom) when Liam Patrick O’sullivan seized the opportunity to tell me I looked pregnant.... I guess the waffles had finally caught up to me. Weirdly, my love for that narcissistic skinny mountain goat did not dwindle and my mind began plotting out how I could accidentally run into him while he was guiding on Mt Rainier that summer.
To this day when I see a waffle iron and all the fixins, i can;t help but pour one on for Liam Patrick O’Sullivan.
Recipe: Old Fashioned Raised waffles (like the Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie might make) I prefer to make these the night before and in the morning pretend like a waffle fairy left me the gift of a work free-amazing breakfast! (Recipe adapted from Vegan Brunch) Yields 6 Belgian style waffles -
2 cups warm milk (non-dairy for vegan waffles)
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
¼ granulated sugar
1/3 cup oil (I use canola, but any flavorless oil will work)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup warm water (not over 105 degrees F)
¾ teaspoon salt
Cooking spray for waffle iron
Method: 1. In a large glass, plastic, or ceramic mixing bowl, pour in milk and sprinkle yeast over milk. Let sit for 5 minutes in order for yeast to dissolve. 2. After 5 minutes stir in sugar, oil, and vanilla. Stir in flour until batter is relatively smooth, though a few lumps are okay. Add water to activate the yeast and stir just until incorporated. For the third step, you can choose your own adventure! (First option) 3. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and let batter rise in a warm spot for an hour. (Second option) 3. Uncovered, let batter rise at room temperature for 30 minutes and then place bowl in refrigerator to let batter sit overnight. 4. Preheat waffle iron to a higher setting than usual. These particular waffles are amazing with a more crispy exterior. Cook waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Serve waffles immediately, or freeze, up to a month, and toast as needed.
*This new series is a fun little project between my sister and I. All posts are written by either my sister or myself and art is done by me. We love how food can conjure the most vivid memories. We thought it would be fun to share a sneak peek into our lives with a recipe to accompany it. We are not going to say who is writing each post but some will probably be pretty obvious... like the one above... definitley my sister! Oh how I adore her!
This last Saturday was such a treat. Just a simple day spent with my family eating out, exploring our city, cleaning up our little house and meeting friends at the park. It's been quiet on the blog lately because the last month has not been such a treat. Well, not that it hasn't been sweet - it's just been chaotic and busy...
After accepting the art director position at Verily I quickly realized I had a lot to learn! and there is a lot more that goes in to directing a magazine than I previously thought! I've had to learn so much about communication. Working on a team with 5 other women forces you to learn everyone else's communication styles in order to work harmoniously together. It also forces you to be way more direct than you ever (EVER) wanted to be. I find myself writing 2 sentence emails with no punctuation and pushing send with out thinking twice about it. Before, in my freelance career, I used to vacillate over every word, every use of punctuation.. wondering if the recipient would get the wrong idea, wondering if they would think I was angry or not understand that I actually was angry but trying to be polite! ha! Now? I just write the damn thing and push send! No time for second guessing!
I've also had to learn how to manage people. I have a graphic designer who helps me layout the magazine and I just recently hired an intern to help me run the visual content on the Verily website (the website I've been re-designing for the past month, you'll see it soon!) I've never been anyone's boss or mentor before so this is a totally new ball game for me. I'm finding that I enjoy it a lot more than I thought I would. The girls I work with are incredible! But this is not to say that learning how to MANAGE has not been CA-RAZY!
Aside from my busy new job - Conor recently quit his job which moved us to Texas in the first place and accepted a new position at a new company. We are staying in Dallas which is good but him changing jobs was scary and hectic. In the end it turns out it is so much better for our family. Conor is so much happier at his new job and it makes all the difference in our home. We now have a nanny working for us 5 mornings a week (who by the way is the reason I can wake up in the morning, god bless her!) And all of this is why we are now able to spend Saturdays lazily brunching at places like Odd Fellows and exploring Dallas - a city that we have lived in for 6 months and until this past week I saw very little of. We weren't spending much time together because Conor's job forced him to work 24/7 and any free time he had to watch Henry I spent working on my freelance projects. I think we are glad those days are behind us.
I hope to be blogging more moving forward but I am finding that a lot of my energy is going in to staying organized for work and taking care of my two boys. I mean just take a look at that tired daddy (up above) and that happy lime munching baby and tell me you wouldn't want to skip everything else in life to hang out with them too!? And then there is this gem of a photo (below) that I somehow snapped accidentally. I know it is blurry but it reminds me of something I would pull out of an old Polaroid land camera... the colors, the sun spots... that tiny little face peeking over his daddy's shoulder! It's everything.
We decided that we wanted to find the best pizza place in Dallas. Every weekend we have been going to a new pizza place and trying it out. So far I think our favorite place is Serious. The pictures above were taken at Eno's which was pretty good too but we liked Eno's more for the ambiance than the pizza. Pizza is also a pretty affordable date night for families trying to save money - you know, pay the bills, buy diapers, save for your kid's college?! We usually order one pizza for the three of us to share and an appetizer. We don't drink so water is just fine for us. Our bill has been less than $20 every weekend! What's your favorite pizza date?