Archive from January, 2011
27 Jan

Top-of-mind: Striped sequin cardigan from LOFT

ann-taylor-loft-Sequins-cardiganShiny! Check out this striped cardigan with sequins from Loft. I promise it’s cuter in real life. I know this because I own it. And I don’t wear it with a baggy shirt tucked into granny slacks. Just saying.

However, I have yet to figure out how to wash a sequined cardigan.

23 Jan

#15: Take a cooking class – 30 before 30 list

If you ever feel like quitting your job and going to culinary school … take a cooking class first. Me, I’ll be fine taking a few classes per year and saving cooking school for my midlife crisis.

I signed up for the “Provencal Sunday Supper” taught by the lovely chef Caitlin Koepsell at Sur La Tabla. What a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon! We wandered down to the Sur La Tabla in Portland’s Brewery Blocks and joined a group of about 14 to create a cozy French dinner.

The menu was:

  • Caramelized onion and chevre  flatbread with herbs de Provence (pizza!)
  • Tuna Nicoise salad with winter greens, seared tuna, fingerling potatoes, green beans and soft-boiled eggs
  • Lemon-scented chicken stew with fennel, olives, capers and tomatoes
  • Chile-garlic rouille (mayonnaise)
  • Lavender creme brulee

Our class was three hours, which was quite a bit longer than I expected, and included a full dinner and wine. While I didn’t learn an awful lot, taking the class was great fun and if anything, validated my cooking skills. For those looking for a prix fixe menu and something to do in Portland for an evening, $69 isn’t bad! Plus you get to work for your supper and you get 10% off anything in the store on the day of your class.

I plan to recreate this menu for a dinner party, which is #13 on my 30 before 30 list.

20 Jan
Posted in: food, Made It
By    1 Comment

Made it: Manhattan fish chowder

I love tilapia and I love soup, but I do not love dear Martha’s recipe for fish chowder. Boo hoo.

Granted, I did my own thing and left out the bacon but there was definitely something else missing.

Oh well, at least I learned something. Tomato-based or “red” chowder is called Manhattan chowder. Cream-based or “white” chowder is New England chowder.

Next time I’m trying this one from Epicurious.

17 Jan

Calling Don Draper (ahem, to my Mad Men office)

I’ve been craving a Mad Men style office for a couple of years now, but since Mr. Comma Happy is the one with the wood paneled office, I’ve been secretly planning a design coup to overhaul his space.

After a Mad Men watching marathon this weekend I finally put together my stash of photos and inspiration into a mood board. Here’s my inspiration:

mad men office

And here’s a modern take on a Mad Men inspired home office:

Sources and progress to follow in an upcoming post, but most things are from IKEA, Crate and Barrel, Overstock and Amazon.

10 Things Loved in December

This very well may transition into a “10 Things Loved” blog, although I do have a 2011 goal of more regular posting (don’t we all). Until then, here are 10 things that closed out my year with a smile.

10 Things Loved in December

1. DIY Christmas decorations – I wanted to do something new for the mantle this year, so I wrapped three frames in brown kraft paper, stuck a cranberry pick in each one, and then hung them with a black ribbon. Then I made a long garland of DIY tinsel with strips of black tissue paper and pages from an old economics book. I am really happy with how it turned out. 🙂

2. Bow making – Let the craftiness continue! I was googling and youtubing up a storm trying to find a bow making tutorial that I could actually follow. After I had my fill of Southern belles telling me how easy it is to “simply loop and twist and loop and twist” and “there, a perfect holiday boooooow” I found one that actually worked. I would share, but I can’t find it now.

3. Christmas at the coast – Spending Christmas at the beach is a gift unto itself.

4. “Long live vintage” handbags – I love Fossil’s line of vintage-style bags. I picked up a purse and lunch bag at 50 percent off.

5. Eureka Springs, Arkansas – Who knew this little Arkansas town would be so beautiful and inspiring. I’m in love, and I’ll be back next year!

6. Broder – Aebleskivers, please. Broder is a great Swedish restaurant in Portland that serves up a delicious breakfast, and they have many covetable items on their walls.

7. Seattle – Perhaps this is appearing on my list too frequently, but I enjoyed flying into Seattle at night and seeing the Space Needle and twinkling city lights.

8. Deep fried cheese curds – Heaven help me. I’ve been traveling a bit more for work and I stumbled upon deep fried cheese curds in Wisconsin. OMG, they are to die for, and I’m so glad we don’t have these on menus in Oregon. (And if we do, I don’t want to know about it!) P.S. –  Please don’t tell Tillamook Cheese that I’ve been cheating on them.

9. Just Dance game – I got this Nintendo Wii game for Christmas and it is a riot! Now I suppose I could eat deep fried cheese curds on a daily basis.

10. Eames rocker – Look who finally got an Eames molded plastic rocker? Me! I’m proud to say it’s a knockoff from Overstock, which I scored for $99. I know I’ll never spend $500 on a real Eames rocker, so I may as well enjoy the look.