Pumpkin is one way I’ve been reminding myself it is fall since being in LA.
Yesterday, I couldn’t resist a little dark chocolate, since I was still without my nut butter of choice, almond butter. The chocolate did top a little peanut butter though. I needed my nuts in some way or another.
I also drank some delicious Fair Trade coffee out of the Peerless Coffee mug V got me while visiting his family in the San Francisco. That was about as close to San Francisco I got for the Foodbuzz Festival. I may have needed some cheering up and energy. Afterwards I realized I have been coffee-less since the road trip. I guess I just don’t need it when not working or driving cross-country. Still, my body isn’t full adjusted to Pacific Time yet and I have a hard time waking up past 6. Of course V’s early call times might have something to do with it. We tend to fall asleep just after 10 o’clock most week nights…
I yoga’d a little before getting to business or as close to as it I’ve come these last few weeks. Waiting for things to happen is certainly nerve-wrecking , but I had the perfect afternoon lunch planned to distract myself a little…
with the lovely Lynn of The Actor’s Diet. For lunch, she picked out Sante La Brea, a cute and rustic place with a relaxing vibe and lots of vegan fare. The menu really catered anyone, and this is something I am already really appreciating about LA restaurants.
Although breakfast served all day was appealing (I’ll be sure to return for the organic vegan cornmeal pancakes with blueberries and banana), we both craved a sandwich. Whenever a sandwich is served panini style, I am all for it. I’ve been wanting a panini press for much too long so I had to get my fix somehow. We both went with the BLT with tempeh bacon and avocado. Yes, I’ve been eating these at home. Yes, I am still loving them.
Don’t get me wrong, this was good, just not the best BLTA I’ve ever had.
me, courtesy of Lynn and her wrap-up post.
The half sandwich, half salad combo was ideal though, because I really am a sucker for vegan desserts.
I’m not your typical cake lover, but when I saw the Jack-o-lantern cake on the menu (and waiter recommended), I was down. Pumpkin twice in one day is a little too heavenly to pass up. Pumpkin frosting, enough said. When the cake came, Lynn split it down the middle and we shared this beauty. The cake wasn’t exactly fluffy and I read the menu again realizing olive oil was the fat of choice in the cake part. The best layers were the two dark gingerbread-types spiced with allspice and nutmeg. It really hit the spot.
It was such a wonderful lunch with a new foodie LA friend. I also came home with a goodie bag I will share later! Check out her post for more photos of Sante La Brea. Oh, and a few words about vegan food satiety; I was full for so long, that I had to force myself to eat the veggie sushi I picked up from Whole Foods for dinner. It must have been the cake…
After parting ways, I ventured over to the LA outpost of one of my favorite NYC stores, Opening Ceremony. It was dangerous really. I fell in love with the Sunday’s Best rings, and many shoes and bags I can’t quite afford. I torture myself so. I will be doing some more today with a best friend who moved out here 6 months before I. Therefore, I must go and fuel myself for some LA adventures. Hopefully I can convince her to go to one of the restaurants/cafes on my LA vegan-friendly restaurant list. I promise I will share a more complete one soon.
-Are you a cake person? Do you prefer fluffy cakes or heartier desserts?
-Do you let yourself window-shop? Do you find it much too torturous? Who am I kidding, I definitely try things on sometimes too…
Ooh, la la…les chapeaux. I’ve loved hats as long as I can remember. As a child I was often topped off with something to keep the rays away.
Of course they weren’t usually quite as charming as this autumnal one placed on my head for a family calendar. Nevertheless, my love of hat wearing hasn’t faded and these days I always have one within reach. Most often, I go for the classic fedora. When I am dressing up but want to add a touch of androgyny, I wear my vintage grey Dobbs. My dark brown Stetson comes in a close second.
Yes, I am also a knit beanie wearer. My little sister has knit me a cream slouchy one that I have been wearing to death this fall, but there are black and grey ones as well.
To get you in the hat mood, here are a few inspiring street style looks.
The grey beanie doesn’t just have to be grunge. The trench with pushed up sleeves, the coral lips, and wrapped scarf…it all fits together wonderfully.
This look could have gone in my chunky knit post. The red sweater and brown wide-brimmed fedora combination is the perfect fall look.
It doesn’t hurt that she is wearing my beloved stripes layered under a sweater, beautiful skinny tan belt, and tweed blazer. The lipstick mark on the coffee cup…oh yeah, this is about hats. I just adore this whole shot.
Please do yourself a favor and get a hat for these colder months. Get one that you love and have a hard time taking off. You won’t regret it. When it starts getting warmer again or you find yourself heading somewhere tropical, get a Panama hat. I wore this one all summer while working in the sun.
These are the types of inspiring people who keep me coming back to the blogosphere. Thank you all.
Do you have a favorite hat? Do you shy away from them/ feel as though you aren’t a hat person? Sometimes it really depends on the hat with the face shape. Some look best with wider brims or others look better with a shorter brimmed Trilby, etc. Check out local vintage stores for authentic hats, but even places like Urban Outfitters have some pretty legit ones.
I shall be back tomorrow with some more food orientated photos and words. The changes I mentioned in the last post are not set in stone, but when I have made a decision, I will be sure to share the news on here.
Hope everyone had a lovely weekend and a great start to the week!
Heading to the Detroit Farmer’s Market always worries me. I am used to local, seasonal markets and the inner city market tends to be full of vendors selling “Idaho Potatoes” and berries still in their plastic grocery store packages. It really takes some investigating to find the actual local organic produce, and honestly, it is scarce. I feel better heading to Whole Foods, knowing that I will come home with a full bounty of organic fruit and vegetables. The smaller suburban markets (and maybe Ann Arbor, I have yet to go) are the ones with more local farm vendors, but I still try to give the Detroit Market a chance every once in a while.
I don’t think it is bell pepper season anymore…but pumpkins and squash, yes please.
Our loot was butternut squash, brussel sprouts, beets, and some of these little guys:
V is a California boy with a Texan family history. He picked up some Aloe to make our little garden complete.
Before venturing into pie or galette making, I decided to make an upside down apple cake. As I am not much of a fluffy cake lover, I went with a more dense cake with grapeseed oil and walnuts. V raved about it and I woke up to about 2/3 of it missing this morning. The recipe was from a favorite site, La Tartine Gourmande (check out her stunning photography as well). I made the following changes: three flax eggs instead of eggs, grapeseed oil instead of olive, whole wheat pastry flour instead of gluten-free flours, and coconut milk yogurt instead of dairy yogurt. I tasted some this morning and loved the crispy crust-like edges and soft walnut studded interior.
Pumpkin Pie pancakes were made again.
There is also some cookie cravings going on in this loft. I usually make small batches of cookies and forget that I no longer live alone and should probably make more for two stomachs. First, I must make a trek for some vanilla after finishing it off this morning…
-Do you find that you seem to go through vanilla, cinnamon, or other baking ingredients much quicker than the average person?
-Are you a fluffy cake person? Do you prefer other desserts?
So, I don’t know if you’ve realized, but I have a minor admiration for all things striped. These are about half of my striped tops and tunics.
It is hard for me to stay away from striped scarves, tea towels, sheets, etc.
Here are a few striped looks I fancy.
Some striped finds:
This LNA striped collared shirtdress (with leggings or tights for the cooler months).
West Elm’s striped sheet set (alright, ours aren’t so different).
A gray and white striped tray for treats.
In honor of my love for stripes, here are my morning oats on stripes.
Just another bowl of pumpkin Scottish oats with chia seeds, banana, pumpkin butter, and raw almond butter. It was so satisfying before a day of farmer’s marketing and baking.
-Do you have any aesthetically pleasing obsessions?
This morning, I woke up and opened our bedroom sliding door to feel the crisp air of the fall. I walked downstairs, grabbed a big cozy knit sweater to wrap myself in and walked to the stove to start my morning oats. One of my favorite parts of this season is warming myself up in a chunky knit.
So in honor of one of my favorite seasonal trends, I wanted to show you a few streetstyle shots I found and love. Enjoy.
sources: jakandjil.com, carolinesmode.com, vogue.com
What are your favorite fall clothing pieces? Do you go with the classics or like to mix it up with something unexpected?
I wouldn’t say I go with the trends but more with what I feel like fits my personality. I don’t necessarily agree with magazines advice for each size, because I obviously wouldn’t be wearing oversized pieces since I am so petite. Really, I think it is best to go with what you are comfortable in and makes you feel good.
Tell me what you think about fashion-related posts. I want to keep them short and sweet but may add a couple here and there when inspired.
Hope everyone is having a wonderful start to the week!
It seems like there is a lot of catching up to do these days. I don’t just mean within the blog world, but also getting back to things I love. I have a pile of unread magazine issues that I am beginning to tackle. It is quite overwhelming.
This morning, I made scottish oats (always make these over steel-cut oats when I want to eat sooner rather than later) my usual way. Miss Mandiee asked me about my cooking method and it is really similar to the method of preparing my steel-cut oats.
First, I add one cup water and a sprinkling of salt to a small saucepan and cover it to boil on medium high heat. Once boiling, I add 1/4 cup scottish oats and lower the heat to very very low. Then I add in 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or another plant milk like coconut) and cover it for five minutes. Scottish oats take 20 minutes to cook compared to the thirty minutes it takes to prepare steel-cut. I add in thin slices of banana, chia seeds (1 Tablespoon), cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon), and a splash of vanilla extract throughout the twenty minutes. If I feel the oats thicken too much, I add up to 1/4 cup more of water. In the last five minutes of cooking on low heat, I chop the fruit of choice. Today I added 1/4 cup of pumpkin instead of water to my scottish oats and then added some stevia in the last few minutes of cooking. I then poured it into my bowl and topped it with strawberries, a chopped fig, and some raw almond butter. Honestly, oats really are the breakfast that keep me satisfied all morning. On days I go without for fun meals like pancakes and waffles, I become hungry much sooner. At least we can have a little excitement with all the add-ins to our morning bowl (cup, plate, mug) of oats.
I promise I don’t only eat bowls of oatmeal.
Falafel is one of my favorite foods, and I used an epicurious recipe earlier in the week to prepare a lot of mini falafel.
Although they may have baked a little too long, they were still delicious. In the last few days, I have eaten them both in wraps and topped on salads.
The shot above may give you a (big) hint to the movie that took over my man’s life all summer.
I made stuffed peppers utilizing a few leftovers, particularly butternut squash and whole wheat couscous.
One of my favorite blog ladies, miss Ashley at edible perspective has a great looking recipe here for stuffed peppers. I followed her method for the peppers and then stuffed them with cumin, coriander, cayenne spiced scallion couscous, red onion, butternut squash, and tomato paste.
Surprisingly, V doesn’t love peppers and I ate these alone. Even garnishing them with avocado, his favorite food, couldn’t get him to eat one. He did eat these though.
Kale chips are quite addicting and he has been known to eat a whole bunch himself with little to no help from myself. Notice the charming item in the background of that photo? Yes, that is movie “blood” on our table. We eat on a kitchen island in our apartment but the only place with light after 7 p.m. (other than the roof deck) is the table against the window that has been covered with all our work items.
Rather charming, eh? Really, “blood” is one of the main reasons I say our jobs are far from glamorous. Although I love working with clothing, covering them with blood is one of my least favorite parts. I just did three days as an additional costumer on a horror film and there was a little too much time spent in an incinerator room around “bloody body part” props for my liking.
Getting back to some savory eats…
Last night I made Kathy’s Smoky, Sticky, Sweet BBQ Sauce. This stuff was good, finger-lickin’ good. Although the sun had gone by the time we ate, I managed to shoot one photo of the covered tempeh.
On the side, we had Kathy’s Quick Sweet Potato Mash, switching in our chives for the onion. The cayenne added a lovely kick we both enjoyed. There was a simple salad consumed as well.
Since this is such a photo heavy post, I will show one last meal. Today I made a spinach salad topped with bbq tempeh, our tomatoes, avocado, mung sprouts, leftover butternut squash, and radishes from our neighbors garden.
This is a perfect example of a meal featuring local greens and veggies that will make me miss summer produce so much.
Oh, and one last shot of something I am getting back to…
My fashionable self has definitely gone to the wayside and a few new purchases have been made to make up for the lack of shopping for myself in the last few months. Shoes are definitely one of my fetishes and I apologize if you are not into feet. Wedges are ideal for days I want the height but don’t want the discomfort from wearing heels. I am limited to flat closed toe shoes when on set, so I tend to stray from my flat boots and vans when not working. Yesterday I hit up the mall in these and was felt 100% myself. I got a nice new blazer (by one of my favorite simple lines, T by Alexander Wang) to dress up jeans and my favorite skinny cargos.
Tomorrow I hope to be back after some baking therapy, now that I got in some good ole’ retail therapy.
I must say that I ate pretty well while in Philadelphia over the weekend.
The first night, after a ten hour drive, we went to a restaurant near our hotel called Fork. From the rainy cobbled sidewalk, I saw the restaurant and commented on the curbside appeal before venturing inside. The decor was simple and chic, yet rustic with an open view of the chef’s preparing the dishes. I wasn’t quite in the mood for such a haute dining experience but I was surprised to find some things that were easy and comforting. The waiter suggested the special soup which was a purée of English Peas. It was scrumptious paired with a fresh multigrain dinner roll. On the side I also ordered the sautéed Broccoli Rabe. This was too bitter and after both my parents tasted it, they could sense that the garlic was burned, and sent it back. This is something I am not fond of doing in restaurants, especially ones with well-respected chef’s with probably much more intellectual palettes than myself. The Broccoli Rabe returned to the table with less overcooked garlic, but was still too bitter to enjoy fully. I continued to make my way through the soup and roll (and wine to celebrate) with a few forkfuls of the side fitting its way in there at times. I wish there were photos to share but this was after a 10 hour drive, I was simply too tired to photograph and over excited to see my younger sister for the first time since the holidays.
The next morning we went out in search of flowers and stumbled upon a restaurant I knew I would enjoy fully. FARMiCiA was just what I was in the mood for with a bright sunny atmosphere and an emphasis on food crafted from local, organic, and artisanal producers.
Although the menu was extensive, I was craving oats (not on the online menu for some reason….) since it was still pretty early and I knew I had a full day and night ahead of me and I wanted to start off on a good start. The bowl came with a side of berries and I asked for a side of peanut butter in addition for some healthy fats. Most mainstream restaurants don’t offer soy/almond/hemp milk so I made sure to tell them to cook the oats in water instead of dairy milk.
This bowl of oats was then doused with peanut butter and filled me up for hours until we finally met up with my younger sister for lunch. We ventured over to Reading Terminal and I was so impressed by the huge array of stands with local produce, baked goods, juices, and ethnic cuisines.
I picked up a few of the local magazines to read up about local eats and going ons in the Philadelphia area. Jillian told me about Basic 4, a vegetarian cafe that I couldn’t wait to see and maybe grab something for a later time. Unfortunately, it is closed on Saturday’s but after reading the menu, I could tell that it was just the place for me. If I had more time in the city I know I would have gone back for any of the vegan eats.
Walking around Philadelphia, I fell in love with a few stores. One is Vagabond, a clothing store my sister loves. It has a great compilation of vintage, local designers, and some of my favorite contemporary designers. I freelanced for a high-end showroom a few times post college graduation and found a few of those organic designers in Vagabond (blog). Humanoid, a dutch company (sold here) and Organic by John Patrick are two clothing companies I am so attracted to and knew after seeing the pieces in the store that it appealed to my style. They also carried some lower priced lines like Jeffrey Campbell and local hand-knitted slouchy sweaters that I would crave in the winter months. I went out empty-handed but that store would be very dangerous if I ever live in Philadelphia.
Amada was the restaurant my father chose for a late lunch. Since my parents just came back from Spain, tapas was just what they were up for. My sister and I also love tapas but for me it can be hard as a veggie. Spanish menus tend to be pretty meat and cheese heavy and this was no exception. I can’t complain though, because the Ensalada Verde was a great tower of a salad with greens, avocado, asparagus, favas, and green beans. The avocado coated the lettuce and it was well dressed with a lime vinaigrette.
I also munched on some olives, Habas a las Catalana (warm fava & lima bean salad), and Patatas Bravas (spicy potatoes sans cheese topping) that were delicious.
The rest of the plates ordered by the rest of my family were just as beautiful and supposedly very tasty. Here is one dish my mother, father, and sister raved about, the Albóndigas (lamb meatballs & shaved manchego).
We all decided to finish off our meals with coffee or espresso because the Fashion Show wasn’t until 8 p.m.
As I wrote about earlier, my dinner consisted of a vegan banana chocolate chip cupcake. Saturday was quite a culinary filled day in Philadelphia and I was so happy to find another city in the U.S. with so much that I adore.
-I am overwhelmingly behind in blog reading after missing a few days. I promise to start reading and commenting more soon.
-We went to my aunt’s house today where she has some chickens. It has been quite a while since I have eaten an egg but after seeing her wonderful chickens and their amazing lives, I am tempted. If I eat one in the morning before our long drive back to the midwest, I decided that I will not be upset with myself knowing that these chickens are ALWAYS cage free and roaming around her property. It is a hard thing for me because not only does my family (mostly my father) feel I should eat them, but I also know that after a weekend with limited protein sources, I am really needing some.
-How do you feel about this? Are you a vegan or not into eating chickens who aren’t free range? I am weird about labels but when at a restaurant, telling them I am vegan just makes it easier since I do eat an entirely plant-based diet. I don’t buy eggs at grocery stores and can’t remember the last time I had one, but I did once love them and always want to eat what I want without feeling restricted. Aren’t they beauties?
Here are some pieces that I’ve been loving. Although a few may be out of reach, it is always fun to wish, right? I noticed that I am gravitating towards grey and green clothing and silver and gunmetal jewelry right now. I hope you enjoy.
Anthropologie Changing Spots Headband, Manu Hex Necklace, Made Her Think Skyline Ring, Thread Social Silk Tulip Mini Skirt, 3.1 Phillip Lim Polka-dot silk-satin bra, Sephora by O.P.I. Dark Room, Unearthen Small Silver Watch, Billykirk Olive Heather English Walker, Alexander Wang Croc Print Dress, Helmut Lang Powder Print Dress, Proenza Schouler Suede Lace-up Bootie, Opening Ceremony Knit Turban, Eugenia Kim Athena Woven Headband.
There have been times in the past where I have kept right up to date with all that is going on in the fashion world. My younger sister, the budding fashion designer, is a great resource, letting me know what check out on style.com when I am in need of a little runway recap. She is really on top of her game and I have definitely fallen behind, almost entirely missing the recent Spring 2009 Runway Collections. Cathy Horyn’s New York Times Runway Reviews are another fabulous resource I resort to often. She is not afraid to bash the usual favorite fashion houses. A few weeks ago she wrote on two of my ultimate favorites, Dries Van Noten and Jil Sander. In order to read up on the New York Times website, I recommend getting a free online account. Be sure to check out T Magazine, the style guide. The videos are just too good to be true and feature some of my favorite men: the actor Matthew Goode, Lanvin’s designer Alber Elbaz, and Third Rock From the Sun’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I am also always a fan of Tara Parke-Pope’s Well blog and Mark Bittman’s Bitten blog.
But no worries, I will be sure to write up a fashion post sometime in the near future.
Looking through my iphoto earlier, a little nostalgia came to surface when I saw that this rather silly photo taken of me exactly two years ago from today. Oh how I miss living in the Netherlands…
As you see, I am an avid water drinker, especially while at the bar between glasses of wine. The little light weight in me knows how to make it through a night of drinking.
Another Amsterdam photo where I am in one of my favorite seasonal hats. The expression on my sister’s face is priceless. This was when my family came to visit me for Thanksgiving.
When it was finally time to say goodbye to my parents, my mother almost got stuck on the train with me as she gave me one last hug. She had a few tears streaming down her cheeks and it was a beautiful moment in my life. She didn’t want to leave me!
Some other things that I have been of interest recently from the foodie world:
I have been eating a lot of these ravioli, the Spinach Florentine and Garlic & Roasted Veggies version to be more specific. One other vegan variety I have yet to try is the Mediterranean Garlic & Herb. One day I will make the Sweet Potato Ravioli with Tofu Ricotta from one of my favorite new blogs, Method.
Part of me is waiting until I graduate to venture into new food areas such as baking bread, even if it can be as simple as this.
There has always been a soft spot in my heart for Williams-Sonoma. It was one of the catalogs I never wanted my mother throw out growing up, and I would read through it creating a mental checklist of all the items I hoped to someday possess. Fall is the perfect time to head over to the store and I did on Thursday. A panini press will be on my Christmas list this year. After reading about the love for Pumpkin butter on multiple blogs, I had to buy my own. Although I was planning on heading over to Trader Joe’s for a less costly one, I couldn’t help but snatch this up the second I saw it. The Pecan Pumpkin butter was fabulous mixed with some greek yogurt, kashi golean, and almond butter for breakfast. Next I will try it with oats or simply as a spread on my favorite hearty ezekiel english muffins.
Another Williams-Sonoma food item I aim to recreate myself is the Apple Orange Cranberry Relish. It can’t be too difficult, right?
Sunday is dedicated to apple picking (and studies) and probably apple chips.
I must admit I always felt that Cook’s Illustrated looked a little too old fashioned for my taste, however. recipes like the Creamy Creamless Tomato Soup make me want to get a subscription immediately, or maybe just an online one.
Tomorrow I have a personal training appointment and I told the trainer that I like to be sore after I worked out muscles I’ve been accidentally avoiding working out. It shall be interesting to see how tough she is on me. With running races out of the picture recently, I am a little antsy with my workouts. If the plan she makes me is of interest to anyone, I will be sure to post it. The core is probably one of my favorite areas to work out (apart from running) and I could definitely add new moves into my current strength regimen. I am also hoping to go to a heated yoga class tomorrow afternoon for a relaxing Saturday cardio session and some time off of the elliptical. This is only if I am not already completely fatigued from personal training. We shall see. I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!
*Sorry for not including new photos, I cannot find my camera charger. I think it may be in storage. Oh, no!
I wanted to head over to Anthropologie this afternoon for a sale scrummage but I never got around to it. My roommates were heading over to a grocery store near the closest Target so I knew I must tag a long. Target is one of those places where you never plan on purchasing much, but you always do. A few things I bought were a waffle maker, JR Watkins Aloe & Green Tea Hand Soap (now eco-friendly), three adorable recycled notebooks, a new 10″ pan, and two products from the Boots Botanics line, a toner and the Perfecting Day Lotion with SPF 15.
After the store, I was tremendously hungry and didn’t think I could wait to make an elaborate dinner with my produce from the farmer’s market. Instead, I had a corn, cherry tomato, cucumber, avocado, and green onion salad with a balsamic vinaigrette
I grilled a Portobello mushroom and sandwiched it in The Baker 7-Grain Sourdough Whole Wheat Bread with basil, vegan mozzarella, and sun dried tomatoes. Here is a small photograph of it, although it doesn’t do any justice to the actual delicious-ness of this sandwich combo. Truly tasty.
For dessert I had half a pear with two squares of an Organic Chocolove Dark Chocolate bar. The meal was incredibly tasty and I will be eating the salad again tomorrow for lunch, since I made extra. Tomorrow morning I will be making waffles for myself and my roomies. I will be searching for some vegan recipes tonight, but if anyone has any yummy ideas, let me know. I also will soon be investing in a new camera for some better food photography and would love some outside opinions from the foodie world.