Nobody Asked, But Here Are Ten Things You May Not Know About Me

I am totally capable of happily ignoring a ringing phone.

My favorite medicine in the world is ice. Seriously, is there anything an ice-filled baggie can’t fix?

I don’t like to fly because of my motion sickness, but I find the process fascinating, and if I’m on a flight with a “flight deck” channel I listen the entire time. When we went to Kauai I woke Scott up to tell him we were cleared by the tower to land. You’re welcome!

I only drink red wine because whites trigger my severe sulfite allergy and I start to wheeze. Champagne will send me to the ER.

I am an early riser no matter what time I go to bed, but I have a hard time getting out of the house in the morning. I spend a lot of time puttering.

I can barely use scissors at all. I blame being left handed so never learning correctly as a kid.

I carried a black men’s briefcase to elementary school.

I love pumpkin seeds so much I order them by the case from Eden Foods. Last time they sent me a cardboard shelf display too.

No matter what I’m doing I still get excited to check the mail at 2 pm. The best part of a trip is coming back to a huge stack. Magazines!

I have never been snowboarding but would like to learn. I have been surfing. In fact I used to own a wetsuit that I bought from consignment and the name inside was Adam Replogle, who grew up to be a really well known surfer. I could probably get some bucks for it on eBay but I accidentally left it hanging in a closet in a post-college apartment move.


What I Wore: Looking for a Uniform

Not just A uniform, but MY uniform.  Uniform dressing seems so appealing.  I wonder if there’s a way to do it that doesn’t scream “I always wear fitted black pants and a vibrantly patterned top with scarf” or “it’s jeans, cardigan and boots for me every day.”

I don’t know if this counts as a uniform or just the building blocks of an outfit, but I like a mini or shorts with a loose top.  The occasion: a weeknight evening women’s meeting in summer-into-fall weather.

This is a skirt I bought at least ten years ago at the Nordstrom anniversary sale.  It seemed fun and cute at the time but I have rarely worn it.  Usually when I do, it’s in the winter with dark tights and boots.  I think this skirt might look cute with short ankle boots.  I was searching around on Pinterest for ideas (I found a surprisingly large number of results when I searched for “houdstooth miniskirt”) and decided to pair it with the loose dark top.  (This top is Ralph Lauren, thrifted from the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop in Rancho Bernardo.)

The shoes are thrifted Stuart Weitzman and they have my current square heel shape (I have several pairs of thrifted Weitzmans with this type of heel.)

Necklace is from a Stella & Dot party (“trunk show.”)  I purposely forced myself to buy some brightly colored,  bold pieces to leap outside my comfort zone.


Magazine Recipe Review: Vegetarian Times Toasted Quinoa Tabbouleh

I have been reading Vegetarian Times for years and I appreciate that they are keeping up with what modern readers want to eat. This recipe for Toasted Quinoa Tabbouleh is a perfect example.

Why do I love this recipe?  On one hand, it’s a totally traditional rendering of Middle Eastern tabbouleh.  The flavors and ingredients are all there.  But on the other hand, instead of bulgur wheat, VT Executive Chef Ann Gentry reimagines this recipe using protein-packed quinoa instead.  Which makes it gluten-free.  It’s also vegan.

Finally, my family enjoyed it, and this is a recipe I would serve to omnivores without a second thought.  This would be great as a side dish year-round (but it’s especially nice on a hot day) or as part of a meal of mezes, which is how I served it this weekend.

Quinoa is one of those ingredients I always feel I should be using more but shy away from because I’m not sure exactly what to do with it.  The few times I’ve ventured into quinoa territory I’ve gotten bad textural results.  This recipe takes the brilliant step of TOASTING the quinoa first before cooking.  It’s an easy step but one that makes a big difference in achieving a bulgur-like texture.

IMG_0346I started with quinoa which I rinsed using a sieve.  The box says “no rinsing required!” but when Ann Gentry tells me to rinse, I rinse.  I used a sieve because the grains were too small for a  colander.

IMG_0347I pan toasted the quinoa for ten minutes.  It got nice and aromatic.  Toward the end a few of the grains popped and I wonder, if I’d continued, if I’d have ended up with some type of quinoa popcorn.  Another project for another day, I guess.

IMG_0349After pan toasting, you put the quinoa in boiling water.  Bring it back to a boil then simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.  At 20 minutes on the nose mine was good to go.  Fluff it with a fork and let it cool.

Meanwhile, prepare a simple and traditional dressing.  I remembered to use my Temecula Olive Oil Company olive oil.  This recipe uses lots of lemons.

IMG_0351 IMG_0355It’s also a very garlicky recipe.  I might use a little less next time.

When the quinoa cools, toss it with diced tomatoes, scallions, diced Persian cucumbers (which I’ve  blogged about before when I made Israeli salad, and are definitely worth seeking out for this recipe), a lot of chopped parsley, and chopped fresh mint.

Et voila.

IMG_0357Serve room temperature or chilled. This is the type of recipe that tends to get better as it sits and the flavors meld so I’m  glad I made enough for lunchtime leftovers.


The Big Thing…

eva jumpingDid we have something going on this summer?  Oh, yeah, just a little shindig called EVA’S BAT MITZVAH. It was Labor Day weekend and it really was an entire weekend extravaganza.  Eva was thrilled.  This picture pretty much sums it up.

The short school week immediately following the bat mitzvah was a time of sleep.  Recovery.  Laundry.  Always so much laundry. (Why?  How? I don’t understand all the laundry.  Always.)

The last centerpieces are wilting, but I hate to throw them out.  One more day….then back to real life.

Seizure Dog

Mo’s superhero alter ego has an Arthritis Foundation-approved pill organizer and discount card at Target pharmacy. He already has an old guy name; there is something about “Mo Grossman” written on a prescription bottle that cracks me up.

Luckily he seems to be doing well. Like most dogs, he lives in the moment which is a great thing.  Also he’s on phenobartbitol whose primary side effect is lethargy, which makes it much easier to get good pictures of him.

Nobody knows what tomorrow holds so maybe we could all benefit from a bit of that living in the moment philosophy.




A lot of bloggers do “WIW” (What I Wore) or “FOTD” (Face of the Day) posts.

So here’s mine from Monday. The occasion: Jane’s first day back at Hillcrest.

Her mood was NOT celebratory. I got a call at 9:30 am to pick her up from the nurse’s office with a stomachache.

Got her home, she ate a sandwich, and asked to go back to school.

The girl clearly has inherited by nervous stomach, unfortunately.

Anyway, you can see a little bit of nerves in her picture. Now that she’s been in school three days, she is her usual self assured self. She just got a classroom job: store manager with an employee. Perfect Jane.

I can’t promise many more WIWs or FOTDs, though I did just go to a Stella and Dot jewelry party and have some new swag to show off so never say never.

What I Wore: Madewell chambray button down shirt; Da Nang shorts; Lands End driving moccasins.

Face of the Day: Dr Jart black label BB cream; Bare Minerals mineral foundation; Perfektion cheek gel; Smiths rosebud salve

A Simpler Time

Did any other ’80s or ’90s brides have this book?

IMG_0843I stumbled upon my copy the other day and was struck by how simple life used to be, even when I was planning a wedding (to remember)!

This book was my bible.  I was superstitious about it:  “If I do what the book says, everything will be okay.”

Funny….now that I’m planning a bat mitzvah, I have this to-do list from “Mitzvah Marketplace” and I know that “If I do the list, everything will be okay.”

What’s interesting is how simple it all was.

IMG_0847When Beverly Clark lays it all out so neatly, with satisfying check-boxes next to each task, she makes it seem totally do-able.

I still remember how great it felt to completely cross out all the items that didn’t apply to us.  (Hey, I just eliminated half the to-do list without lifting anything other than a pen!)

IMG_0845Beverly Clark had quantity punch recipes, sample invitation wording, monogram information, charts of the meanings of different flowers, and this guide to diamond engagement ring shapes.

IMG_0848My calendar of bridal to-dos was very do-able.  With planning this bat mitzvah I feel like I’m doing something every single day.  Did I really do this little to plan our wedding?

Even the month of the actual wedding my schedule looks so….empty.

IMG_0849Everyone told me to save the book and my lists to use for holiday cards in the future.  (Actually several people told me to put them in a file card box but that seems over the top crazy.  Did people really used to do that?  I think they did!)

I did use my book with my handwritten lists for my baby shower a few years later.

IMG_0851 IMG_0850Now it’s all ipads and Excel spreadsheets and I am feeling very nostalgic for hand-writing notes to myself, coffee stains and all.