Apartment Therapy

While I was sick in bed last week, Apartment Therapy started running our series – they’ve been banging them out! Post 1-8 are up already if you’d like to see. Sometimes I forget how much work we’ve put into this place until I see those before pictures. I’m so thankful that the shag green carpet in the bathroom is a distant memory!

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Sick as a dog

Oy friends! Sorry for disappearing on you! I’ve been sick as a dog the past couple of weeks – it was hard to get out of bed, let alone get any work done in front of a computer screen. I’m finally starting to feel better this week and have missed this space. Here are some pictures of mainly what Dug has been up.

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Photo Oct 10, 11 42 17 AM

Photo Oct 13, 11 22 08 AMDecided to dust off my knitting needles (does that even collect dust?!)

Photo Oct 13, 2 52 16 PMA newborn’s head is roughly the size of a squash right?

Photo Oct 12, 9 56 05 PMFirst knitting project complete

Photo Oct 13, 9 47 35 PMOur friends took us to Juniper Ivy – anyone fans of top chef? It’s Richard Blais’s restaurant. What a treat!

Photo Oct 23, 6 52 59 PMHanging out with Grandma

Dug the Sushi

Photo Oct 08, 11 25 18 AMWe were up at my parent’s earlier this week and I decided to take the down time to start Dug’s Halloween custom. heh heh. We actually haven’t found a dog parade or party to go to yet but hey, never hurts to plan ahead right? Dug is such a good sport, letting me mess with him to fulfill the dog-in-costume shaped hole in my heart. Hopefully we will be participate in some kind of Halloween festivity later this month as a family because I have plans to make a Kikkoman t-shirt for Aaron :) Happy October Everyone! (ps After I added the grains of rice on his costume, he looked more like a sheep with a piece of salmon strapped on his back, don’t ya think?)

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Outtakes and a tiny sneak peek

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If you remember from a whiiillle back, I mentioned that we were selected for Apartment Therapy’s renovation diary series. Then a few things happened in the spring and the house had to take a backseat to life. Well, this past weekend, we finally started shooting our “big reveal” post which is to say, we are so close to finishing up this project! I can’t wait to share the actual series with you all when it gets posted but in the meantime I can share some outtakes (aka Dug getting in the shot or more accurately, us trying to get him to pose in the shot) from this weekend … and a few tiny sneak peek if you’d like to see. (if you like to see some before and demo shots click here, here and here.)

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Volcan Valley Apple Farm

09-28-14 Apple Picking 032This past Sunday we went apple picking with our good friends Mark and Christine who are expecting! These days I see a lot of apple orchard feeds on blogs and ig but it’s such a novelty for me, the city dweller! We made our way up to Julian’s Volcan Valley Apple Farm (about an hour outside of SD) which had 5 varieties of apples to choose from. As we were walking up and down the rows of apple trees, we discovered Golden Delicious apples which none of us has ever heard of before and it was …wait for it .. delicious! It didn’t taste like an apple to me and it made me a believer. We walked away with four bags of mainly Golden Delicious apples that day.

BUT FIRST, we stopped by Julian Pie Company because Christine has had their apple pie and said it was to die for … she’s also pregnant so she’s the boss. The pies were indeed amazing. Now, I actually don’t like pie fillings, just the pie crust and Julian Pie’s pie crust is so good – sturdy yet flaky. After we fed ourselves with enough pie to last the rest of fall, we went to work at the orchard.

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Eat your veggies

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09-18-14 Juicing 025Recently we watched the much talked about “Forks over Knives” on netflix – a documentary that promotes the benefits of a whole food plant diet. While we probably won’t be making such a drastic change to our diet anytime soon, we do think there is truth to benefits from eating more veggies. I’ve recently started juicing – it helps that Aaron can bring home tons of cucumbers from the farm and I usually add kale, apple, celery and spinach to the concoction. I have to say we polish the juice off pretty quickly and are usually fighting over the last glass. Since my mom’s cancer diagnosis three years ago, we’ve been paying more attention to the food we put into our body. It’s something that I think about a lot and hope to be more mindful as I cook meals for my family. Here are some pictures of veggies in the kitchen. Wishing everyone a good weekend, filled with healthy food.

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09-18-14 Juicing 012White Bean Kale Soup from Epicurious

09-18-14 Juicing 019Summer Succotash over Zucchini Fritter both from Smitten Kitchen

Story of Passion Fruit Panna Cotta

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Can I tell you a story about Panna Cotta? Once upon a time, Aaron and I were visiting New York – or I should say eating our way through New York. One night we ended up at Mario Batali’s Babbo near Washington Square. Aaron still swears that we saw him hanging out in the alleyway next to the restaurant but I’m not convinced – that’s not the point of the story! Everything that night was delicious, from Squid Ink Pasta to Lamb Brain Ravioli but the one thing that blew our minds was the Saffron Panna Cotta. It was the most heavenly Panna Cotta I’ve ever had. Not too creamy, not too sweet and just the right amount of lightness. Ever since then we’ve been trying to replicated to no success. Sometimes it wouldn’t set right, sometimes it’s too creamy, the whole thing just seemed impossible. A couple of months ago, I was making my way through one of Ina Garten’s cookbooks and I came across her Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries. There was a little blurb in the cookbook about how she loved the Panna Cotta at Babbo and this recipe was inspired by it. I loved the recipe because it felt almost fool proof. I’ve done this a few times now and each time it has set beautifully. Now there is a whole other story about passion fruits but I’ll spare you. Long story short, we got ourselves some fresh passion fruits and decided to make Passion Fruit Panna Cotta. The recipe is as follows and is adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe. If you decide to give this a try, let me know how it goes!

Ingredients:

3/4 packet (1.5 teaspoon) unflavored gelatin powder

1 1/2 tablespoon cold water

1 1/2 heavy cream

1 cup plain whole milk yogurt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup sugar

3/4 cup fresh passion fruit juice

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Cut each fruit in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Then push it through it through a fine sieve. We found that each passion fruit gave varying amount of juice. We used about 10 total.

In a bowl, combine the cold water and gelatin. Let it set for 10 min, it should result in a gummy texture.

In another bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup of the cream, all of the yogurt and vanilla extract. Heat the remaining 3/4 cup of cream and all the sugar in a saucepan. Bring it to a simmer and remove from heat. Then add the gelatin to the hot cream and stir. Pour the hot cream gelatin mixture into the cold cream yogurt mixture. Once everything is combine, stir in passion fruit juice. Pour into 4 (6-8oz) ramekins and refrigerate until cold. Then wrap with plastic and refrigerate overnight.

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This final picture was actually taken just 5 hours after we put it in the refrigerator because we were impatient, that’s why it looks a little runny. We had the rest the following night and it was set beautifully. The trick to getting it out of the ramekins is to dip the bottom of the ramekin into a bowl of hot water. Then flip it over on a plate and it should slip out.

We also made a simple syrup with the left over passion fruit juice. Cut up some fruit and bon appetit!

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