Tag Archives: Kitchen

home : inspiration

5 Feb

 

As I mentioned earlier, one of my goals this year is to finish decorating our loft. It’s felt unfinished since we moved in. But last year was all about “project wedding” so our home took a backseat.The walls are mostly bare (despite being married to a beyond talented photographer who has tons of gorgeous photos), we don’t have a dining table (despite the fact I love to entertain…we have two stools at our kitchen island we eat at), our office looks like somebody ransacked it (it has become the place in our home we dump everything we don’t know what to do with) and our bedroom is pretty bare as well consisting of just the bed, a chair, a dresser and one piece of art. Clearly, it’s time to spruce the place up!

Our first project was the dining table but after going back and forth we’ve come to the conclusion we don’t really have space for one. Well, at least one that we would want. So we’ve decided to take out the existing marble counter on the island and put a much bigger wood top on it. One that has a huge lip around it so we can seat lots of people. Brilliant, huh? So now we are waiting patiently for the new wood top to be finished so we can have it installed. Patience is not a strong suit of mine. I’m already planning out dinner parties to throw the minute it is installed.

In the meantime I’ve been looking at pinterest for home inspiration ideas. When you look at my home board it is pretty clear what I like – neutral tones with bright pops of color & I’m a fan of ethnic rugs and prints. Luckily Brian likes most of my ideas expect he will NOT get behind my fabulous idea to paint the guest bathroom teal. Seriously, you would have thought I said “let’s have a baby!” with the look he gave me when I mentioned the color teal.

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Foto Maria Rosenlöf Styling Linda Wiktorsson-Lång*

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let’s eat!

7 Jan

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On Brian’s vision board this year he had the words “let’s eat!” next to a picture of a shirtless Kelly Slater and the words “get back in shape”. I found this all very confusing at first. Did they correlate in some way? Did he not realize the mixed messages he was giving the Universe? I thought I taught this boy how to vision board! When I asked Brian what it meant he explained that the “let’s eat!” symbolized wanting to get back in the kitchen with me. Well, then…how very sweet. He was right though…we used to do a decent amount of cooking together. Not every night but at least once a week we would pick a new recipe and it would always end up being quality “us” time. We’d break open a bottle of wine and talk, laugh and cook. We’ve kinda fallen in the bad habit of cooking totally boring meals during the week and on the weekends either going out or ordering in. He was right we had to get back into the kitchen together!

This Sunday was our first night back. Well, actually it started in the afternoon. We had to marinate, people! We chose a recipe we found in Sunset Magazine called “Grilled Cilantro Chicken with Pickled Tomato and Avocado Salsa”. We agreed upon it because I liked that it had the word “avocado” in the title and Brian liked it because of all the spicy ingredients. I swear, that boy likes to sweat when he eats. We spent the afternoon listening to the “Into The Wild” soundtrack, while the warm breeze swept through our house (seriously..is it really january?) and cooked. It was perfect. Sadly, there was no wine involved because I’m on a no “sugar, booze or gluten” kick but it was still heaven.

The dish turned out very spicy (surprise…surprise) but it was seriously good. Here’s the recipe. 

We’ve agreed to *try* and cook together every Sunday night. Knowing that life will probably get in the way some weekends but at least we are going to carve out some quality time in the kitchen together.

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Sunday night dinners at 425

6 Mar

Our weekends have been jam-packed recently. I feel like we haven’t had a moment to catch our breath. Between wedding planning, getting the new place together, family, friends and work we are booked solid every weekend until May. Is this what happens when you become an adult? I have to keep reminding myself that these are problems of abundance and not to get overwhelmed. I guess I am telling you all of this because I have to commend us for be able to put together a Sunday night dinner in 45 minutes flat. So what I did it in sweaty workout clothes! At least I took a two-minute shower and brushed my hair before my Dad and step-mama Pamela arrived!

I decided to go with a Mexican themed dinner this time around because we are a family who enjoys guacamole and margaritas. I followed a simple recipe for the meat and set up a taco bar with a bunch of different toppings- so easy! We also made fresh margaritas (translation, squeezed a million limes) because I HATE margarita mixers. They were delicious. It takes a bit of work but it’s totally worth it.

ignore my outfit

ignore my outfit

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Brian putting his roasted peppers in a bag!

Brian putting his roasted peppers in a bag!

How many limes does it take to make 4 fresh margaritas? Too many!

How many limes does it take to make 4 fresh margaritas? Too many!

my truly amazing homemade guacamole :)

my truly amazing homemade guacamole 🙂

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tacos! tacos! tacos!

my dad and pamela:)

my dad and pamela:)

goose and I:)

goose and I:)

Sunday night dinners, getting Kate back in the kitchen and bringing families together:)

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sunday night dinner at 425

25 Feb

As far as weekends go this was a pretty great one. Firstly, I found a wedding dress!!!! I am crazy in love with it. CRAY-ZAY. The minute I put it on I knew that it was the dress I wanted to marry Brian in. I couldn’t stop smiling and I did not want to take it off. All good signs, right? SO happy the hunt for the perfect dress is over.

After finding my dress, I headed to a yoga/ heart opening/ intention setting workshop by Mary Beth LaRue and Jacki Carr with my girlfriends Katie and Erin. What fun! I hadn’t met either Mary Beth or Jacki before and they are both phenomenal woman- so full of life and passion. I left feeling high!

After the workshop I took Brian to Animal for his birthday. That boy loves loves loves meat so I knew that he would love this restaurant. Oh, and he did. It was such a perfect night. We talked about our wedding a bit, possible honeymoon locations (Bali! Thailand!), what Brian wants for the next year- we just had a great date.

Sunday morning I took a long walk (after the dinner I ate at Animal it was a MUST) on the beach with my girlfriend Melissa before hitting the market for all the ingredients to make my first Sunday night dinner at 425. When deciding what the menu would be, I had to take into account that my brother isn’t known for his adventurous taste buds. He basically survives on orange chicken and pizza. Did I mention he’s seventeen? So I decided to make spaghetti and meatballs- because who doesn’t love that dish, right?

It was a complete success! I think Brian and Nik were very pleased with the results! I thought it was delicious as well but I was even more delighted to have my two favorite boys under one roof for an evening. My heart melts when I see them getting closer. Corny, huh?

The evening was a perfect way to end a pretty perfect weekend.

oscars - check / recipe - check / white wine - check

oscars – check / recipe – check / white wine – check

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making little meatballs!

making little meatballs!

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in they go!

in they go!

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happy customers 🙂

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ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic (4 smashed, 1 minced)
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, crushed by hand
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 small piece parmesan rind (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 pound 93% lean ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for topping
1 slice stale whole-wheat bread, crust trimmed, bread chopped
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
12 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti

directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the smashed garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with their juice, 2 cups water, 1/4cup basil, the parmesan rind, if using, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 8 minutes. Discard the parmesan rind, if used.

Chop the remaining 1/4cup basil, then mix with the turkey, parsley, bread, ricotta, parmesan, egg white, minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a bowl using your hands. Form into 4 large or 12 small meatballs; add to the sauce and simmer, turning, until cooked through, 6 minutes for small meatballs and 12 minutes for large.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water as the label directs. Drain and return to the pot. Toss with some of the sauce, then divide among bowls. Top the spaghetti with the meatballs, the remaining sauce and more parsley and parmesan.

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Let’s do this 2013.

4 Jan

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This is the kinda post that will make some of you think I am insane, but I’m ok with it. Here goes…I am a firm believer in the power of vision boards! I’ve been making them for the past few years and I swear they are life changing. There’s something very powerful about setting clear intentions and seeing the images and words that correspond with them every day. It keeps you focused. It keeps you challenged. It also keeps the universe aware of what you are wanting to co-create.

Last year, Brian and I spent New Year’s Day watching movies, vision boarding and drinking champagne. It was pure bliss. We loved it so much, in fact, that we decided to do it again this year. After sleeping in until 10 am, we moved to the living room to do just that all day. Minus the hour walk we took on the beach. It was a perfect way to reboot for the New Year.

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I thought I would take a few moments to share some of my resolutions with you. The new year always feels like a fresh start and a new beginning and always puts me in a positive, excited head space.

I really want to get back into cooking and baking this year, especially with the new fabulous kitchen we will have in our new fabulous home. It would be a travesty if I didn’t, actually. I learned during the 365 til 30 project that being in the kitchen calms me. It’s also one of my favorite activities to do with Brian. One of them…

I want to start volunteering again. I didn’t realize how much volunteering affected my life for the better until I stopped doing it. I now know that when I am not giving back in some way, I find myself not as connected to the bigger picture and overly obsessing about my own life. I put volunteer as a big sister on my goal list for this year for the year when I turned 30 but haven’t gotten the ball rolling on it yet. It’s been six months. I have no excuse.

Have a fabulous happy wedding. I’m three months into this whole wedding planning thing and I can already see how it can become overwhelming and exhausting. I keep hearing horror stories from other couples about how you end up fighting all the time during the planning process and I do not want that to be our reality for the next ten months. I told Brian on our beach walk that I want not only to enjoy every single millisecond of our big day but I want to enjoy all the moments leading up to it.

Live a more healthy and balanced life. Lately, I have been feeling like I haven’t been making the best decisions for my health. Not just physical health but mental health. I haven’t been making time for yoga. I haven’t been meditating regularly. I haven’t been eating as cleanly as I could, and, with the holidays and vacationing I have been eating more sugar and imbibing more alcohol. So, as cliché as this sounds coming out of my mouth early January, I have decided to take a month-long break from sugar, gluten, alcohol and maybe caffeine, although I truly can’t imagine giving that one up…how would I get out of bed in the morning??? Lastly I am committing to myself that I will get to yoga three times a week and make time for meditation each day.

writing…writing…writing. Simply put, I plan on doing LOTS more of it this year. I want to finish my book and I want to get it published. I would love to have a few of my articles published in magazines. Oh, and I would die for a regular column. But most importantly I want to write every day. Even if it’s just in my journal.

Side note…did you notice the new heading on the blog just reads 365 til…?! I dropped the 30! Partly because I am already 30 and partly because the blog is so much more than that now. It’s 365 til everything in my life.

These are just a few of the things on my list (Frank) What are some of your resolutions?! Let’s keep each other motivated this year!

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Guest post by Ink Lemonade

10 Jul

I thought it would be fun to have some of my favorite bloggers guest post this week (don’t I deserve a tiny break after the last year? I’m exhausted!) This is the first time I have opened  up 365 til 30 to guest bloggers and I am so excited. Today’s post is from the adorable Christine of Ink Lemonade. I have a slight blog crush on her- not only is she talented, but she also happens to have the cutest baby (I think I am suffering from baby envy!). Enjoy her inventive cooking ideas!

Hi everyone!  I’m Christine from Ink Lemonade and I’m so thrilled to be guest blogging today!  The week Kate asked me to write a post, I was stuck with a fridge full of fresh herbs that were wilting by the day.  It happens all too often.  After using a few sprigs, the rest are destined for either the garbage can or a not-so-glamorous life of garnishing.  I didn’t want to freeze or dry them or hide them in other dishes either, so I searched the web for ways to save this batch from its usual demise, highlighting the herbs in all their fresh herbal glory.  There were three winning recipes and they’re so easy and fast, I should really never have an excuse for throwing out herbs again.  The beauty is that they all call for pantry staples so you can whip them up in minutes at the first sign of wilting.  And they’re totally customizable to whatever have on hand.  Don’t have dill?  Don’t like tarragon?  Just leave them out or swap for something else.  Enjoy!
Recipes:
Herb Vinaigrette
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons very finely minced shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon regular or light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  •   Ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley or chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme , tarragon, marjoram, or oregano
Directions
  • 1. Combine vinegar, shallot, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper to taste in small nonreactive bowl. Whisk until mixture is milky in appearance and no lumps of mayonnaise remain.
  • 2. Place oil in small measuring cup so that it is easy to pour. Whisking constantly, very slowly drizzle oil into vinegar mixture. If pools of oil are gathering on surface as you whisk, stop addition of oil and whisk mixture well to combine, then resume whisking in oil in slow stream. Vinaigrette should be glossy and lightly thickened, with no pools of oil on its surface. Add herbs just before use.
Barley Salad with Herbs
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups pearl barley (not quick-cooking)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots (about 1 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped fresh herbs
Directions
Bring barley and 3 cups water to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until barley is tender, about 40 minutes. Drain if necessary. Meanwhile, place shallot in a large bowl, and whisk in mustard, oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir in barley and herbs. Serve warm.
Pistachio Mixed Herb Pesto
Ingredients 
  • 1/2 to 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups packed flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 3/4 cup roasted pistachios
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
Directions
Into a blender with the motor running, add the garlic and pulse until finely chopped. Add all of the herbs, cheese, pistachios, salt, and pepper to the blender, and blend until finely chopped. With the blender running, add the olive oil in a steady stream until the mixture becomes creamy and emulsified.

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5 Jun

Considering I am a little over 30 days away from 30 (Duh duh duhhhhh! Geesh, I sincerely hope the world doesn’t implode on July 8th) I have decided to write love letters (or hate letters in some cases) to each of my goals as a way to reflect on this crazy year.

So here I go…

Dear Learn How To Cook,

I only put you on the list because I realized that, sadly, I couldn’t eat at the Whole Foods prepared section for the rest of my life. That, and I thought it would be nice to be able to cook dinner for my future kids- those little imaginary bundles of joy deserve a mom who makes homemade dinners, right? So for those two reasons, I put “learn how to cook” on my “365 til 30” list and tried to forget about my earlier bad experiences attempting you – hey, people can change, right?

After fearing you for so long, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to tackle you at first. How does one learn to cook? Should I teach myself a new recipe each week? Learn a whole book of recipes a la Julie and Julia? Maybe take cooking classes? I was stuck….but then I had an idea! What if I asked people in my life to teach me their favorite dishes- they would most likely be patient with me as well!!

I have to give myself a pat on the back for this brilliant idea because not only did I learn how to cook this year, but I formed surprising new bonds and strengthened old friendships and connections in the process.

Learning how to cook brought me closer to everyone in my life.

I fell in love with the process of gathering in the kitchen to cook with friends…conversation, laughter and good wine flowing in the process. I also fell in love with that warm feeling I got in my heart when I prepared a meal for somebody else…there is something so nurturing about it. In addition to that warm feeling I got in my heart, my ego also wanted to scream with delight…I. Made. This. For. You! Aren’t you in awe as well??! Where is my applause?!

Some of my favorite memories this year happened attempting to master you. I laughed A LOT, cried once (ok maybe twice), got over my aversion to handling raw chicken, learned the famous chicken & dumplings dish my pops ate as a kid, learned the art of cooking with ski googles and almost chopped my finger off only once. I’d say this whole adventure in the kitchen was a success!
So thanks, cooking. Thanks for making my life come alive. Thanks for helping me see what I want my kitchen to look like moving into my 30’s. Now I know that I want to be the kind of woman who has her friends over for Sunday night dinners, makes breakfast in bed for Brian, whips up delicious soups on rainy afternoons and bakes pies with her kids.

You helped me become a better woman.

I have decided that I will be keeping you on my goal list for next year because I plan on doing lots and lots more of you during my 30th year. This is only the beginning for us.
Love, Kate


A trip down memory lane…

-learning Aunt Paule’s famous Kugle recipe

– Learning Mary’s Peach Pie

– Learning Pamela and my Dad’s lemon squares

– the night I handled raw chicken and almost killed people by serving a raw bird-

– learning how to make pizza from scratch

Moroccan chicken with Alex-

the night I realized I was comfortable in the kitchen-

– The night I tried to go all Julia Child-

-the night I wore ski goggles to cook-

– learning my grandma’s chicken & dumplings

 – learning Aunt Michelle’s apple cake-

Many more to come….

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“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”

Harriet Van Horne

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