Thursday, April 17, 2014

Strawberry red wine sangria

Guys, it's fucking strawberry season.

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The sun has been shining and Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever has been blasting! I could make a joke about how I'm free fallin, but I won't. Or maybe I just did! "Yer so bad." OK, I'll stop.

 WAAAAY too long ago Jennifer requested that I make a cocktail with red wine. Well, here it is Jennifer! A super red winey but springy cocktail. In the form of sangria. I love love love sangria. With red wine, it becomes the perfect spring cocktail. Not too summery, not too wintery. Just right. The day I made these it just happened to be like, 70 freakin degrees out. No joke! We threw our hands up in the air, forgot our chores, and drank on the deck. "Yer so bad." OhmygodI'msorry. (Hardcore Full Moon Fever fans, you know what I'm talkin bout! Best song eva.)

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Makes: 8 glasses
Hands on time: 20 mins
Total time: 20 mins + overnight

1 lb strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 cup sugar
1 bottle red wine
1/2 bottle champagne
Whole strawberries, for garnish

Stir together the strawberries and sugar, and stab the strawberries with a fork until the juices release. About 20 seconds. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Place strawberries in a large pitcher and fill with the red wine. Stir well and let sit overnight in the fridge.

Give a good stir, and add the champagne. Serve immediately with ice and strawberry garnish.

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Hope you like this Jennifer!

Happy spring people.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Vanilla honey

I'm going to admit something. Here goes. I've never been on a diet. Not really. Not a real one anyways. I've tried counting calories, working out, eating a lot of salad, but never ever ever have I been on a diet. I hate that word. It's pure evil to me. It just tells me what I can and cannot do, and I have always had a problem with authority. But....... after 32 years, I need to change something up. My "fat" jeans just keep becoming my "skinny" jeans.

This April I decided to not go on a diet, but work on balance. Balance my sugar and caffeine addiction with healthier foods and drinks, balance my couch time with movement, balance my work with play.

Here are my major goals for April:

Get moving: Just 20 minutes, 4 times a week.
Cut out sugar from my morning coffee, no soda, and no candy from the register at my work.
Read at bedtime rather than messing around on my phone.
Drink enough water

I am a total soda fiend. I have been since I was a kid. I am cutting that shit out. I love it, but god I hate it too. Surprisingly, this has been the easiest to get around. I am finding the bedtime phone time the hardest to let go of. Guess I'm more addicted to computers to sugar.

To balance, I am allowing myself as much honey as I want. YESSSSSS! I know, I know. This is not exactly the lowest in calories. But, balance friends..... not that evil diet remember?! First, I'll cut out the processed, refined sugar, then I'll work on not eating too much of a good thing.  Baby steps.

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I've fallen for raw honey in a great way. The benefits are extraordinary. We went through about a jar a week over the winter drinking Korean honey tea, which at this point is a wonderful jam like substance. Just as it should be. I intend to use it over the summer for iced tea. It will be incredible, and just as sweet and delicious as iced tea with refined sugar.

We made a big chili feast for the Game of Thrones premier, and of course, to us, that meant cornbread and honey HAD to be a side. The next day, we had a ton of cornbread leftover. It was screaming for some sweet honey on it. So, I infused some with vanilla.

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Makes: 1 cup
Hands on time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes

1 cup raw, unfiltered honey
1 vanilla bean, cut in half

In a small saucepan, warm the vanilla and honey over low heat. Stir often, to avoid letting the honey boil. Heat for about 10 minutes, or until the vanilla has infused the honey with as much vanilla flavor as you like. Take of heat and pour into a clean glass jar with the vanilla beans. Let cool, and serve with cornbread, yogurt, granola, tea, whatever you like with honey.

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Totally delicious.

If I reach my goals this month, Jerdy and I are going out for a lunch, with burgers, fries, and cherry coke. My hope is that I find it way too sweet, but if not, just one a month is success in my book right now.

Any suggestions for taking baby steps toward balance? Any April goals? I'd love to hear them!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Classic beef and bean chili

Dudes. GAME OF THRONES! I totally nerded out on it on Sunday. We made a slow cooked batch of chili and watched the last 4 episodes of season 3 before the premier started. I am so pumped for this season. If you've read A Storm of Swords, you know what I'm talkin bout!

This chili was absolutely the shit. It made the night just that much better.

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Serves: 10
Hands on time: 30 mins
Total time: 3.5 hours + overnight

12 oz dry red beans
36 oz water
2 lb boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/2inch pieces
2 Tbp olive or canola oil, divided
1 large poblano chile, seeded and finely diced
1 serrano chile, finely diced (leave seeds in)
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
1 red anaheim chile, seeded and finely diced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and finely diced
12 cloves of garlic, minced
4 Tbsp ancho chile powder, divided
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp coriander
42 oz canned diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
3 cups beef broth
2 tsp salt
3 tsp pepper

Optional (but not really) for garnish:
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream
sliced radish

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Place dry red beans in the water and let soak overnight on the counter.

Take beef out of the fridge and bring to room temperature. Place beans in a large soup pot and set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Season beef with salt and pepper and place half in the skillet. Brown the meat, about 5 minutes, and transfer to the pot with the beans. Repeat with remaining beef.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in the skillet. Add the chiles, peppers, and garlic. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1Tbsp chile powder, cumin, and coriander. Cook until dry, about 2 minutes, scraping browned bits.

Transfer to soup pot with the beef and beans. Add all of the remaining ingredients through salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on medium-low until beans are soft and meat is very tender, about 2.5 hours. Take the lid off of the pot, and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until chili thickens. Take off heat, and serve with cheese, sour cream, cilantro, radish, and a large serving of cornbread with butter and honey.

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The smoked paprika is really the shining star! This is absolutely my new go-to chili recipe. So homey and perfect for Sunday supper with some wine and some good R rated HBO.

Who is your fave GOT character?! Tyrion? Arya? Joffrey (NOOOOOOOO!)?

Have a good Wednesday guys,


Sunday, April 6, 2014

7 recipes to try this spring

Guys, I am so happy spring is in the air. The signs of life, the layered clothes, the ability to stay awake after work because it's still light out. Most of all though, the natural good mood that spring comes along with. Actually WANTING to do stuff! Oh man, I'm so ready for that feeling.

Each spring I get a bit obsessed with the abundance of new produce that comes my way. Last year, it was rhubarb. This year, it's gonna be radishes. I can already tell. I've fallen in love with those spicy little crunchies.

Here are some recipes to get you into that spring mood!

Brighten up your pasta with arugula pistachio pesto

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Old fashioned rhubarb soda float. SO GOOD!

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Rhubarb iced tea. This stuff seriously knocked my socks off. A yearly tradition around these parts I think.

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Herby, limey marinated mozzerella

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Vegan dijon and edamame potato salad

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Homemade moscow mule. Nectar of the gods

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Grow your own black bean sprouts

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These little spermy lookin things were AWESOME! Perfect for salads or just a snack.

We've got a nephew waiting to show up, and are planning a little weekend with him once he is born. Many spring walks with Mrs. Roll, and happy hours after work I'm sure. And radishes. Lots of radishes.

What are you planning this spring?


Monday, March 31, 2014


It's beginning to look a lot like Spring-mas.....
Everywhere you go.....

Well, Seattle logged it's wettest March on record. It rained SO MUCH! But, I'm looking forward to April flowers rather than April showers. (please please please Seattle).

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I saw this adorable couple a few weeks back. Walking in the rain together. Holding hands. With umbrellas. On Valentine's day. Loved it.

Selfie #8million

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Jared and I spent a weekend at the beach house where we were married. We soaked in the hot tub, drinking champagne. I WANT TO GO BACK!

The view from the back yard. I love Washington.

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The petals started to show up all over the sidewalk a few weeks ago. They were freakin awesome against the rainy cement.

Tried drying my own herbs. Why haven't I been doing this always!?

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Never too old for some Lolita style!

Mrs. Roll. Looking adorable and starving as always. Don't be fooled. This chick gets whatever she freakin wants with those big brown eyes.

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Been getting creative with the sign at work! I had never heard of cream chip beef. I looked it up on the interwebs and almost vomited when I saw the photos. No joke. Who eats this stuff?!

Saw the Black Lips on Friday night. I have a new man crush on the singer. Sorry Jerdy, I just can't help myself around totally bad ass dudes. If you ever have a chance to see these guys, GO!

JellyBones around the web:
My Sriracha honey popcorn was featured on Beekeeping Daily. Can't find the exact link now, but I swear it was there!

Links I'm digging:
This little mini photographer. Can't wait to see where he goes next.
General Tso meets cauliflower. FREAKIN GENIUS!
An "everything green" salad that sounds incredible
These Wes Anderson inspired color palettes
Ginger tea latte. Nuff said.

Have you made any of my recipes? Let me know! I'd love to hear how they turned out. Cheers to April, and spring.


P.S. Follow me here if you want on Instagram.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Coffee granola with chocolate and cashews

In this little apartment of ours, granola is necessity. As important as toothpaste or contact solution. Together, Jerdy and I go through 2 of those milk carton boxes of granola a week. I eat 1/4 cup with yogurt every morning, and Jerdy eats THE REST! Wow. Needless to say, it's about time I learned to make my own.

On a whole separate note, I am a coffee LUV-ER!  Love that shit. I used to work at a local coffee roaster, where I learned to be a massive coffee snob. I can admit it. What can I say, I like what I like. Granola with yogurt is absolutely nothing to me without my morning cup. I'm seriously worthless without it.

And a star is born:

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Coffee granola with chocolate and cashews
Inspired by offbeatandinspired
Makes 5 cups
Hands on time: 10 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup cashews, chopped
2 Tbsp hot cocoa powder
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 cup strongly brewed coffee
Sea salt

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Start by brewing some coffee. I swear by a french press, but any strongly brewed coffee will work.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees f. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients besides the coffee and salt. Slowly add the coffee, making your granola stick together, but not sopping wet. You may not need the full cup here.

Spread evenly on your lined cookie sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring a few times during baking.

When finished, remove from oven and season with sea salt to taste. Let cool completely.

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This stuff did NOT last long enough! I am sensing a homemade granola obsession in my future. We got some strawberries in our CSA bin today that would have just been killer on this. So, now I know, to always make a quadruple batch of granola. Live and learn!


Saturday, March 22, 2014

World's best rye old fashioned

Did you know that my hubby makes the world's best old fashioned? It's a total fact. I haven't come across a better one yet.  I've tried replicating it, but for some reason just can't make it the same amazing cocktail. I'm really not sure what his secret is. Husband luuuuuuv. That must be it.

The old fashioned is now my drink of choice. My taste has been changing over the years a lot, now that I'm a refined older woman of THIRTY-FREAKIN-TWO! Ask anyone, I'm hella classy. Thanks Mad Men for teaching me to be a lady.

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This may not be the classic way to make this nectar of the gods, but it's the best.  Be forewarned, there are 4 shots in this baby!  One cocktail is plenty, unless you need two, or maybe even three.

World's best old fashioned:
Serves: 1
Hands on time: 5 minutes
Total time: 5 minutes

1 maraschino cherry
1 sugar cube
1 thin slice of orange
6 dashes of angostura bitters
4 shots of really good rye whiskey (yes, 4!)
Ice, preferably large cubes

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Start with the cherry, orange, and sugar cube in an old fashioned glass or low ball glass. Shake the bitters onto the sugar cube. Muddle everything together, avoiding the pith of the orange. Add rye, and stir. Add ice and enjoy.

As I stated above, these are not for the light weights! These are mega strong, even for a no mixer cocktail. A lot of people don't add ice, which is probably more classy, but hey, give me a break, there are 4 shots of booze in these!

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Alright, there you have it.  The best in the world.  The gold winner of old fashioneds. At 10AM. Get your drink on friends!

Happy Saturday,

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