Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday

How can it be the end of September already? How? I'm happy to say I've worn sandals all week, and we ate dinner last night al fresco. Pretty typical of this time of year, here. Glorious.

My aunt and uncle came over for dinner last night and I made my favorite lasagne (excited that I was able to stock the freezer with leftovers from the meal!).

If you live in Seattle and haven't yet been, check out the Melrose Market! It's a really beautiful space that houses some of the city’s best independent food vendors, as well as shops and a restaurant and bar. The food at Sitka & Spruce (pictured in some of the photos above) couldn't be better. The flowers pictured above are at Marigold & Mint (also in the Melrose Market) - such a sweet little shop.

My friend Amber is featured seller right now at Etsy - her soaps and candles are wonderful.

Happy last day of September!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

flag football birthday party!

I don't know about you, but I often find it challenging to come up with birthday party ideas that are fun, reasonable to put on, and unique. Last weekend Abbott attended a flag football birthday party - genius idea for a fall birthday, right? The kids were asked to bring a light and a dark tshirt, to aid in setting up and identifying two distinct teams. We walked to a park a block or so from the birthday boy's home to play, and kids donned appropriately colored shirts based on team assignment (birthday boy's dad organized the teams). Every quarter the kids took a break for water or gatorade and a quick snack, and enjoyed cake at the end of the game. It was a really fun way to spend the afternoon!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday

I've had a peaceful start to the week. While making breakfast I listened to the sound of foghorns alongside Alexi and Cal's conversation over a game of chess. Abbott sat nearby, reading. A little while later, as I passed out bowls of oatmeal Abbott said nothing, but leaned his face over his bowl and inhaled the scent.

The fog disappeared later and it was around 80 degrees in the afternoon. I love that about September. I'm really going to miss having sandal tan lines and walking barefoot on the beach.

I bought tickets for Alexi and I to take a short vacation (somewhere warm!) alone next month - we've never gotten on a plane without the boys, and I'm a bit nervous about it and excited at the same time. We'll be celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary.

Take a look at this article about exercise and children.

Brian shared a great autumn mix.

Best wishes for your Tuesday!

Love,
Lecia

Monday, September 27, 2010

apple picking at Jones Creek Farms

We spent a fantastic day apple picking at Jones Creek Farms. The drive to get there was relaxing and scenic, and we had as much fun with the animals on the farm as we did sampling and picking apples. The farm staff were very warm and welcoming, and encouraged us to try as many varieties as we wished. With every single one Cal sampled he exclaimed, "mmmm!", though the rest of us chose favorites among the 120 varieties present (sunrise was my top choice). I'm looking forward to applesauce, apple cake and apple pie in the week to come.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday

Your sweet and thoughtful words have made this birthday weekend of mine as full and as perfect as I could imagine it being; thank you!

I hope you're enjoying your Sunday, whatever your plans may be. xoxo

Friday, September 24, 2010

September 24

I'm feeling incredibly blessed, loved, happy and thankful on this birthday of mine.

Have a wonderful day! xoxo

Thursday, September 23, 2010

officially

I was looking through a box of old pictures yesterday and came across one, taken in the fall, of the small grove of birch trees that grew in front of my childhood home. I really love birch trees, particularly in autumn. I wish my current home had a little or a big grove of them. Anyway, autumn, it's officially here folks. The fall equinox, according to wikipedia, is the moment in time when the sun can be observed to be vertically overhead. In 2010, this moment occurred at 03:09 on September 23 (UTC), and at 8:09pm September 22 where I live (PST).

Alexi had the day off yesterday after six straight days of work, so it was really great to have a chance to reconnect while the kids were at school. We had the best lunch out in recent memory, at Nettletown.

Did you happen to hear this story on NPR about the importance of touch?

Really love this photo (via Nikole).

I made plum crumble the other night, and am sure I'll make it again and again.

Happy Thursday to you! xo

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

note to self

Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases, and its toll on success and happiness is heavy. - Wayne Gretzky

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

green pancakes with lime butter

I don't know about you, but as the light and temperature start making an autumnal shift I find my tastes changing, too. I find myself wanting and making more savory things, replacing much of the sweetness that is on our table in summer. I recently discovered a savory pancake recipe I'm sure I'll make again and again.

Since the book came out a few months ago I've been cooking a lot from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty. Many of the recipes have appeared in his New Vegetarian column in the Guardian's Weekend magazine, and there are also many new highly original vegetarian dishes. (And the photography in the book is amazing - that alone makes it worth owning. I've even seen my kids flipping through it dreamily.) One of my favorites from the book, so far, is the green pancakes with lime butter. These are great for a weekend brunch served with a side of greens. I modify the recipe to account for my children's aversion to anything too spicy, but left notes about what I omitted so that you may add them in if you like.

There will be extra lime butter. Use it on a baked sweet potato (Ottolenghi's suggestion).

Green pancakes with lime butter
adapted slightly from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty

Serves 3-4
1 cup spinach, washed
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 egg
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
150 ml milk
6 medium scallions, finely sliced
(2 fresh green chillies, thinly sliced - I left these out to make the dish more kid-friendly)
1 egg white
olive oil for frying

Lime butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
grated zest of 1 lime
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp chopped coriander
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
(1/4 tsp chilli flakes - I also left these out)

Start with the lime butter. Put the butter in a medium bowl and beat it with a wooden spoon until it turns soft and creamy. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Tip onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a sausage shape. Twist the ends of the film to seal the flavored butter. Chill until firm.

Wilt the spinach in a pan with a splash of water. Drain in a colander. When cool, squeeze hard with your hands to remove as much water as possible. Chop and set aside.

For the pancake batter, put the flour, baking powder, egg, melted butter, salt, cumin and milk in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the scallions, chillies if using, and spinach and mix with a fork. Whisk the egg white to soft peaks and gently fold into the batter.

Pour a small amount of olive oil into a heavy frying pan and place on medium heat. For each pancake, ladle 2 tablespoons of batter into the pan and press down gently. These pancakes will be relatively small. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden-green. Transfer to a paper towel and keep warm. Continue making pancakes until the batter is used up.

To serve, pile up three warm pancakes per person and place a slice of lime butter on top to melt.

Monday, September 20, 2010

get out and grab it

Last evening Alexi got home from the hospital barely in time for dinner. The day had been at times quite rainy, but ended gloriously sunny and warm. We went on an after-dinner walk as we usually do. One couple we ran into smiled at us and one of them said, 'sometimes you just have to get out and grab it'. Yes.

I wish you moments of 'getting out and grabbing it' amidst the busyness and scheduled times of your week.

xoxo Lecia

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday

Up early, made breakfast for Alexi before he had to go in to work (he's on call for the weekend). From where I sit I can just see the edge of the sunrise. It's cloudy, but only in patches. The house is quiet and there's no need to do anything for at least the next hour.

I'm re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird in honor of its fiftieth anniversary - are you? Think I'll read for a while as I sip my coffee, then make a second round of breakfast for the boys before hockey. Later today, we're attending our first dog birthday party :)

Thanks for all your nice comments this week. I hope your weekend is a good one! xoxo

Friday, September 17, 2010

a bit of personal random

I:

am finding the sound of rain grating right now, but I don't always find it so.

am thinking about breaking down and reading Twilight.

love room service.

am my own worst enemy.

have never smoked a cigarette.

was on my high school's yearbook staff (bet that doesn't surprise you).

get regular compliments about my posture.

used to play the viola and the guitar, and kind of wish I still did.

got my first cell phone as a 'family package' with Alexi right before we got married ten years ago, so we could talk to each other more often.

hate playing sports without a net separating me from my opponent.

wouldn't dream of going to bed without all the dishes being done, the house generally picked up, the messages on the answering machine listened to, and the mail sorted appropriately.

Hope to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in person with my sister (and our families) someday.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

the grass is always greener, or something

When I picked Cal up at school yesterday he had a stack of paintings of home he'd done during the day. 'Oh dear', I thought to myself. 'I didn't realize he gets so homesick.' Back at home, he sat down and made a picture of school that included a smiling self-portrait, playing basketball. In the rain. I'm guessing he's just processing it all, getting used to being in kindergarten.

We do what we can to make the transition happen as smoothly as possible for all of us. Change is good, and change is also hard.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday

Week two of school, homework has started for Abbott and Cal's kindergarten days are now full day. (Speaking of homework, turns out the location where the learning takes place should be varied.) The kids seem happy overall, but came home exhausted, hungry and emotional yesterday. I feel great, physically, as I was able to go on long runs the past couple of days while they were at school.

Really loving the dreamlike photography of lieke romeijn (via Jen).

Happy Wednesday!