Shiny! 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.