Garden Take Two

I went to the farmers market and procured some new plants for this spring's garden.
Last year I didn't realize strawberry plants come back so I ripped it up oops
 so this year in it's place I bought a huckleberry bush.
But I didn't realize unitl I got home and read about it that it could grow to about 6' tall.
So I planted it but I think I'll be putting it in a large pot to help control its spreading.
But how awesome if it actually produces huckleberries!!

I got there as the market was closing so I didn't have much time to browse but I did get a
few lettuce plants, leeks and onions. She threw in a bunch of extra leek ones for free :)

I'll have to go back to get more soon. Last year I think I under-utilized my dirt and
I now know you don't have to plant some things very far away. Also I have another large pot
that has been sitting in our patio forever that I may claim and put a tomato plant in.

But look my thyme and green onions from last year survived. I tore up the thyme and tied up
some bundles to dry. Then I'll let Josh go at it with his mortar and pestle. I had a
hard time using thyme so I probably own't plant it again. But I'd love to plant some mint.

Other than that this weekend was very chill. It was sunny and I even wore short sleeves one afternoon.
Watched girly movies with Rachel and grabbed brunch another morning with another friend-
I scored a groupon for brunch plus bottomless mimosas!!! SCORE


Chai Chocolate Buns

I bought a pastry from this amazing french bakery downtown the other day, Bella Epicurean, it was a chocolate chai pastry and I haven't been able to get it out of my mind since. So I have spent the past few days pondering how to recreate it and I'm really happy with the result.

I made a dry chai mixture added some condensed milk for the cream portion and threw in handfuls of chocolate. YUMMM seriously so crazy crazy good!!!!!

Chocolate Chai buns

6 tbs butter; room temperature
4 tbs + 1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour

Chai mixture:
 1/2 cinnamon stick; ground
6 cloves; ground
1 tsp ground ginger
2 cardamom pods; ground
4 black peppercorns; ground
1 black tea bag
4 tbs sweet condensed milk
1 cup milk chocolate; chopped

1     beat the butter, sugar and salt together in a large bowl
2     steep yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm buttermilk
3     mix in yeast mixture and vanilla
4     then slowly mix in flour until it forms a dough
5     knead for a few minutes
6     oil a bowl and place it in a warm dry place to rise for 40 minute, covered
7     fold the dough over a few times, recover and let rise for another 40 minutes
8     then roll out the dough thinly
9     sprinkle the chocolate evenly over the dough
10   mix all the ground spices together and sprinkle over the dough, I only used about 1/2 of it,
       depends on how spicy you want it
11   then drizzle the sweet condensed milk evenly over the dough
12   roll the dough up longways, cut the dough into 8 even rolls
13   cover and let rise for another hour
14   preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
15   place the rolls in a greased 8x8 dish and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown
16   enjoy! Seriously you will love these!


Portland Visitor

My old college roomate, Kayla, moved to Portland recently and this weekend she made her first trip to Seattle. I haven't had alone time with her in years so it was a real treat. The weather was supposed to be terrible but we had a lot of bouts of sunshine and only a few sprinkles, score! We started off with dinner and drinks in Capitol hill, then Saturday we headed downtown ate our way through the market- we even went back to some places twice :)

Then we headed to the Olympic sculpture park where we pondered
the sculptures meanings and goofed around a little.

We headed up into the middle of downtown where we found a St. Patricks Day Parade!
Fact: I used to unicycle, I actually still can, so I loved seeing them
there were also Irish Setters, Irish dancers, bagpipes and a pirate ship?
We followed the parade in reverse as we made our way to the library

Which we then explored and oo'd at, without bothering to look at book :)

And as we headed home I screamed for her to u-turn because I saw a chair at my favorite antique store that was the exact one I was looking for. And because she's a good friend, without asking she did a sharp turn and obliged to my craziness.

That night we went to Ballard, perused the record stores, had some great BBQ and finished the night with gelato and 10 things I hate about you (filmed in Seattle)

Sunday we had brunch, duh, and then I ran her all over to the Fremont Troll, Gasworks Park, the Arboretum. And then since she's the best she drove us to one of our friend's birthday parties where we played soccer. Our friend Ryan loves soccer and there was a big turnout, we got in a really good game. It was a lot of fun, he even had halftime orange slices and capri suns!!! I may have gotten my jaw knocked out of place but it's mostly back now :)
Then we had ice cream cake!

Then sadly Kayla drove back home. But it I love that she's only 3 hours away now!


My own little terrariums

I know they're hipster and I know I'll probably kill them in a few days BUT I love them. I think they're so cute. They are their own little world wrapped in glass. I think they seem peaceful and fun.
 So I went on Etsy and
-bought some clippings of succulents (because they're cheaper),
-bought some of the cheapest glass jars I could find but also knew I'd reuse if I killed them
 (fingers crossed I don't)
-and then bought some succulent soil,
-and went rock picking

Then I assembled it all on sunnyish day and took tons of photos because I love them :)

step 1 put in a few rocks at the bottom

step 2 add some charcoal so that a fungus doesn't grow and kill them

step 3 fill your jar about 1/3 full of succlent dirt

step 4 add in your succulents

step 5 add some rocks or wood people to your terrarium tops :)

step 6 close it up and stare at it for hours

step 7 place them in your home where they will get indirect sunlight

seriously I'm so proud :)


Sister's Birthday!

Mallorie is 23 today!
She has her own nursing job
a new husband
and many other things I just can't imagine her old enough to do or have
but also I'm beyond proud of her.
She amazes me with her strength and determination
and I continue to learn and grow from having her in my life

She's the pretty lady on the left

Happy birthday sis! Love you!!!


Almost spring

Pretty lazy weekend. Did some farmer's
 market shopping, walks in the sunshine
enjoyed some good thai food

drug the couch around the apartment as the sun moved
 to stay all cozy while reading
window shopped downtown

and went to the theater to see Music Man with a friend,
 which then trickled over into a long lazy dinner
Ah and enjoyed the extra hour of sunshine


Pancake Waffie!

Waffie is something Joshua and his friend made up in the dining halls in college. You get a waffle, cut it up, pour syrup in a bowl, and dip your waffle bites in syrup using chopsticks.
haha that's it
I was skeptical for awhile, but they took me one day and now I'm a believer.  It's actually quite fun, your pancakes are never soggy, and you get as much syrup on every bite as you'd like.

So today I went for it with these pancakes- which are AMAZING!!!

Banana Cocoa Nib Pancakes:

1 egg
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
2-3 tbs milk
1 tbs butter; melted
few pinches lemon zest
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbs sugar
1/4 tsp salt
few tbs cocoa nibs
1 banana; sliced

1    whisk together the egg and yogurt in a medium bowl
2    mix in 2 tbs milk, melted butter, lemon zest, vanilla
3    in a small bowl mix together flours, sugar, powder, and salt
4    mix into wet ingredients, only until incorporated
(if it's still too dry mix in another tbs of milk)
5    melt a little butter in a skillet and plop in a 1/4 cup batter, about 3
      fit in a skillet without touching
6   push in a few banana slices into each pancake and sprinkle some cocoa nibs over each
7   cook 3 minutes over medium-low heat, flip and repeat 3 minutes on other side

adapted from recipe from smitten kitchen