Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Big Caption.

This project is hilarious to me.  It's called The Big Caption.  And it's making me smile.  Hope y'all are having a great Memorial Day weekend!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Photographer I love: Jo Bradford

I absolutely love her series of 365 ways to say goodbye.  Simply gorgeous. [ flickr.]

Friday, May 28, 2010

New Orleans Cooking Experience: Bourbon Pecan Bread Pudding

Y'all this was really one of the simplest and most delicious things we made in our cooking class.  It's the perfect blow-them-away dish at a party with the lowest amount of stress.  Check it.

1 loaf French bread (day old -- usually for cheap at bakeries)
5 eggs
1 can condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup roasted pecans
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
pecans to sprinkle on top

Tear apart the bread into medium-large pieces.  Mix everything together and pour into a greased pan.  Cook at 350 for 45 min.
Then the finale is adding the bourbon sauce to it.
-1 stick butter
-1 cup brown sugar
-1/4 cup bourbon
Melt it all together over low/med heat and pour over the pudding.  Enjoy!

How amazing does that look?!

Best Breakfast.

I've been eating this for breakfast for the whole week.. and this is honestly one of the first breakfasts that has really held me over until a late lunch without starving.  

So simple:
Whole Wheat English muffin
Reduced Fat Peanut Butter

I think I've switched from being a morning cereal girl to this.  Goodbye Frosted Flakes (and a child's breakfast haha).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Summer White.

Lately I've been in love with summer whites.  I never really wear them, because I know me, and I know I'll spill anything not-white that I get my hands on all over myself.  It's just a fact.  But, since I am coming into adulthood.. I need to learn to not do this.  Easier said than done I think.. but I'm willing to give it a try.

I saw this dress.. and fell in love.. and bought it from Ideeli this morning -- Marc New York sale.  It's a summer white, and I adore the style of it.  Whatchy'all think about summer whites this year?  

And now I really want some new sandals to match.. how about these?!  All from Urban.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I wear my heart on my sleeve.

[craftie robot]

EKG of a heartattack [Artologica]

These items are so lovely -- I love the science of medicine as much as the art.. and these combine the two beautifully.  The EKG is even giving me inspiration for my next tattoo even.  I might even keep a journal of my medical journey in that lovely little moleskine... hmm..

Monday, May 24, 2010

Oh Summer..

It's so close I can taste it.  This is all I want to do all. summer. long.  Who's with me??

So far, there aren't any beach plans in the works for the summer.. but I am really really craving my toes in the sand, a good book in hand, and a cooler of beer next to me in the shade. 

picture via tumblr

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cooper is hilarious to me.

Everytime he hears a siren.. this is what happens.  It's a pathetically endearing howl.

Cooper Howls Like a Lady from Sarah M on Vimeo.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Blog Spotlight: My Favs.

I think it's been just about a year since I've started on blogger (and we don't need to mention the old xanga/livejournal days.. err).. but I've really fallen in love with doing this and sharing with all y'all my life, interest, blah blah blah... and I hope you have enjoyed it.

What I love also is discovering new blogs and new blogging friends -- who I know if I met in real life, I'm sure we'd just have a great time.

Of recent, here are a few I'd like to share with y'all in case you haven't checked them out already:

Little Blue Deer.  I love Shari's fabulous images.. and it always gives me daily inspiration that I constantly look forward to... like the picture below.  Don't you die for this living space?!  One day.. (sigh).
Life is Bananas.  Mayra is hilarious to me, and I feel like we're kindred spirits.  And she's got some handsome dogs.. which y'all know I'm a sucker for.

Then if you're not already following my wifey, Sesh in the City, that should be your next to click "follow".  She just finished her first year of grad school in the Big Apple and is chronicling her journey since she's left NC. 

And obv this is just the beginning.. I'm obsessed with a lot of blogs (and have more than I can read in one day on my Google Reader) but these are the ones that I'm absolutely in love with at the moment.  I love finding new amazing blogs, so please forward them my way and I'll add them!

Time for a Picnic

Spring really gets me in the mood to do everything outdoors (if my new-found allergies will let me).. especially picnics.  One thing that I really (really really) want to do asap is sit out in a gorgeous park with Cooper.. some wine in tote.. and read in the shade on a gorgeous day.  Who's with me?

These pictures really get me in the mood:

[the burch jerks]

[The Jewels of New York]

[The Kitchn]

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Orleans Cooking Experience: Boo's Seafood Gumbo

One thing that we made in our Cajun cooking class -- that I didn't think I'd like -- was this amazing gumbo.  I've never been much for seafood.. but I guess it's because I've 1. never really tried much 2. when I did it wasn't prepared well (or was too "fishy" for my ignorant palette).  Well this was cooked to perfection.

Below, Boo is snapping off the legs from the body of the blue crabs so that when you put them into the stock, the flavor of the crab meat will steep out of it.  Well let's get started with the recipe.

The Holy Trinity --> 3 large onions (chopped), 6 celery stalks (chopped), and 1 bell pepper
6 garlic "toes" (cloves)
2 bay leaves
2 lbs fresh shrimp (peeled and deveined)
6 gumbo (blue) crabs --> snapped apart
1 lb fresh (and I mean fresh out of the bayou fresh) crab meat
The Trifecta --> Cayenne, Worcester sauce, and salt
The Amen --> a bunch of parsley and green onions, chopped
Lemon juice from 1 lemon

1.  Make your roux.
2.  When the roux is a very dark brown, add the garlic and the Holy Trinity.  Cook for 30 minutes.  Add one quart water (or stock), seasonings, cayenne and Worcester sauce (about 5 bloody Mary's worth).  Add the gumbo crabs and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
3.  Add the shrimp and cook for 1o minutes.

4.  Turn off the fire.  Add the crab meat and the Amen.  Let stand for 30 minutes.
5.  Serve with rice, potato salad, and hot French bread.

Some tips she gave us if we wanted to use this for another kind of gumbo:
-For a seafood gumbo, cook the stock for 1 hour, then add the seafood about 5 minutes before
-For a chicken/sausage gumbo -- cook the meat in the stock for the 1 hour.
-Brown the meat (chicken/sausage/fish) first before adding it to the stock.  Catfish works really well in the gumbo.
-The shrimp heads you cut off to use can be frozen and later used to make a seafood stock.

How good does this look?!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Happy Hour

One thing I love to do is entertain.  Love it.  However, my current abode is tiny and doesn't allow for barely another guest with Coop and I.  

That's all about to change when I move down to NOLA.  My place is so much bigger than an apartment I've ever had on my own.. and it has a cute little backyard (although I haven't seen all of it because the landlord was in the midst of renovating it).  

Regardless, I'm having people over and y'all are invited.  I love these amazing cocktail accessories -- I'm definitely adding these to my wishlist.

 [Sur La Table]

[Sur La Table]

New Arcadia from [Vivre]

Bottle Opener [UO ]

[Pottery Barn]

 [Pottery Barn]

Monday, May 17, 2010

New Orleans Cooking Experience: Making a Roux

One of the things we did while we were down there was take an authentic New Orleans cooking class -- and it was absolutely delicious.  The most important thing we learned, which can (and usually is) the base for a lot of meals there is the roux.  She suggests that you "be in the mood to cook" when you start a roux, because once you start.. you have to see it through the color changes and constantly watch it.. then you can set it aside and use it as the basis for everything else.

Preparation is key.

Bell Peppers*
1.5 cups of flour
1 cup oil (virgin olive oil, or veggie is fine)
warm water

*Onions, celery, and bell peppers make up what she calls the Holy Trinity of cajun cooking.

1.  Cut up all the vegetables, the amount and size are a personal preference.
2.  Oil and flour portions are in favor of the flour.  Use a heavy bottomed pot (aluminum or cast iron).  Mix oil and flour together on a medium-high fire.  Stir constantly with a flat wooden spoon (a roux spoon).  In about 10 minutes the mixture will start to brown.
--> The ideal color of a roux is a very deep dark brown (like the color of the bayou after a big rain)
3.  When you're nearing that color, turn the fire down b/c you don't want to burn the roux.

3.  When you think the color is almost right, add the onions --> this will help darken the color even more.
4.  After a few minutes, add the other veggies and stir often for another 15 minutes or so. 
5.  Gradually add warm water until the pot is 1/2 full.  Let this simmer on a low fire for at least 30 minutes.  Season with salt and cayenne.  

**If you're using this for seafood, simmer for an hour before adding seafood.

Below is our wonderful instructor, Boo.  She was hilarious, and had amazing stories of growing up in Bogalusa, LA.  I even tried (and loved) the seafood dishes she prepared for us!  Those are coming up.

And of course, one of the best things about the cooking class was that there was no shortage of wine/beer for us, and were able to help in any capacity as we liked.. which usually was just sitting back and smelling how amazing everything was over wine.  Loves it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

New Orleans Bike Rides

As some of you may know, I'm an avid bike rider around Durham.. and have been for the past 2 years.  Honestly, I didn't want to bike to work.. ever.  But, after getting over that initial hump, I absolutely love it.  It really does help clear my mind after a particularly crappy day at work (and those are quite often) and it's great exercise that I don't have to really commit to (getting myself to the gym some days is an effort!).. so all around positives.

In New Orleans, biking is a lot different than the biking here.  There are no, and I mean not even one, hill there.. and Durham, is well.. a killer glutes workout on the multiple uphill climbs between the 2 miles I travel each morning.  I never understood people who bought "cruiser" bikes or the fixed gears all the hipsters around here use.  But, down in NOLA, a cruiser is the perfect kind of bike.  We spent one day biking around my new neighborhood, and from the Marigny (where we were staying) it was an easy bike through the French Quarter (a little hectic albeit) but so quick.. and then before you knew it we were through the CBD and into the Garden District.

This is absolutely superb, especially since I already have a friend in Marigny, and I'm sure to have others there and in the CBD.. so easy access is key.

Here are a few that I have my sights on... and believe I'ma put a wicker basket on the front.  My current bike will be used for the heavier haul days when I have a ton of work/books/etc to get done at school.  

Electra Bikes
 Cadillac Bikes (who knew?!)

 Ladies Nirve Bikes

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'm in LOVE!

..with New Orleans!  Absolutely adore it.  I could not ask for more from a city.. and I very well may never leave.  It's been a while since I've been back on the blog, and obv I have lots to update on.. but the biggest news is:

I found an apartment, and move down there in just about 1.5 months.. and it's in the Lower Garden District.  For those of you who aren't familiar, NOLA has a ton of great neighborhoods, all with very distinct feels.  The LGD is full of homes at every turn like this (below) -- a Southern girl's dream.. and everything is so walkable.

For those of you planning on visiting (and please, please DO!), I have a gorgeous 2BR with ample space for my study/guest bedroom (ahem), and all the amenities I need (laundry, dishwasher).  Superb neighbors, cute backyard.. and enough room for me to hone some gardening skills beyond succulents and herbs.  I cannot be more excited for this move.. although it's a little bittersweet moving away from the Carolinas where I have so many of the people I love.

Pictures are coming of the place -- the landlord still had a few things to install and fix before I move in (like central air -- thank God!), and then I'll have about a month until it's officially time to start medical school.  I met a handful of classmates, and they're all normal (!!) and really fun.  I can just tell we'll get into some shenanigans down there.. and of course, study our asses off.

Monday, May 3, 2010


this is the highlight of my work conference.  I'll update prob tomorrow morning when I have a chance and can chill out.  In the meantime, I hope everyone had a great weekend and as a good of a Monday as I did!

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