travel words

I Am... Our Visit to Cannon Beach

It's funny how when you live somewhere for a long time, you become just a little bit immune to the beauty. I guess it's sort of a defense mechanism, because if you spent all your time admiring the view, you don't really get much done. To remind myself of the beauty we live in, every day, I like to go somewhere close by, geographically, but far away atmospherically, if you know what I mean. What I'm trying to say, I guess, is that the Pacific Northwest is full of gorgeousness. Yes, it's usually overcast, and yes, sometimes (a lot of the time) there's rain, but there's a lush, deep, green earthiness to the PNW that you just don't find anywhere else. I love it when Mike and I drive along tiny two lane roads, in between tall pines, with the fog creeping low. Even better is when we break through the forest and see the sea in all of its majestic silver blue gray glory. The coastline here is rocky and ragged in some places, and smooth and expansive in others. There are tree filled cliffs and miles and miles of walkable beaches with sea stack rock formations. If you love storms, clouds, waves, or wind, you need to visit! Mike and I went on a little PNW adventure last month, hitting up Seattle before eventually making our way to the ever popular tiny town of Cannon Beach. Cannon Beach is home to the iconic Haystack Rock: a giant monolithic sea stack rock on the beach that, depending on time of day, is accessible during low tide. It also happens to be the rock in that 80s movie, The Goonies! We love Cannon Beach with its vast, sandy, flat beach. Where the water comes in, it makes this hard packed sand that's perfect for long walks while talking about anything and everything. It's just the right bit of windy, which makes it perfect for flying kites, and when you're tired out and hungry, you can have a little picnic and end with a beach bonfire. We brought a bunch of stuff with us from Seattle and I had the best time making a fancy, totally bad and bougie little picnic spot complete with a wooden pig cutting board, little enamel trays and mustard spoons. I was extra excited because we hit up Seawolf bakery for some of the most delicious sourdough I've ever had. We also brought along some Bota Box Mini Chardonnays for some wine with our charcuterie, which bumped up the luxury level just so. I love that it comes in a 100% recyclable kraft paper box. It was perfect for bringing down to the beach because it isn't glass. Even though no one says so, I always feel like glass is a big no-no on the beach. Since the wine was so light, we loaded up on bonus food items. We had: sourdough, red grapes, pear, fresh herbs, brie, salami, pate, nuts, olives, mustard (of course), and mini salami! I have to say, we were getting some jealous looks from passersby. I'm not sure if they were checking out our set up, the wine, or the mini salami. Maybe all three? After our picnic, we had a little bonfire, complete with marshmallows, that I roasted and squished between chocolate chip cookies, as well as more bread, toasted over the fire. We finished off the wine too ;) SO GOOD. As the sun went down, we got extra cozy with some blankets and chatted the night away. It almost felt like it was our own private little beach, with the stars shining down, the friendly shadow of Haystack Rock in the distance, and the crackling of the fire. Oh, and it was extra magical because the beach was showing off with bioluminescence! I was starring at the ocean when I noticed a shimmery blue neon glow. Mike and I got up immediately and walked toward the ocean and it was an intense iridescent cerulean. It doesn't happen all the time, and we felt extra lucky to see it in real life – it was my first time. I hope you guys get a chance to visit the Oregon Coast. It's truly a beauty, even when it isn't showing off. And when it is, watch out, you'll fall in love.

I partnered with Bota Box to create this post. Enjoy!

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entertaining meat free recipes seafood sunday brunch

I Am... Shrimp and Spring Vegetable Cauliflower Rice Paella Recipe

Give me all the carbs all the time, except when I'm feeling like it's spring and it's time to come out of hibernation. Don't get me wrong, I'll never give up rice for real, but sometimes a lighter meal is called for and in times like these, it's cauliflower rice to the rescue!

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link love words

I Am... Friday Finds: 5.19.17

The other day I had a HUGE craving for a ginger cookie. Mike and I had just finished an epic walk and were about to start grocery shopping so it felt like the perfect storm: I walked off the cookie before I ate it and we could buy a cookie at the store. We went to that familiar green signed chain that rhymes with Swole Dudes but all of their cookies were massive —I'm talking the size of my head massive— and I just couldn't do it. So, instead we bought our random selection of root vegetables and went on our merry way.

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noodles recipes

I Am... Mie Goreng/Indonesian Fried Noodle Recipe

I think I could eat some form of noodles every day of my life and I would be happy. Noodles are life and these Indonesian fried noodles, or mie goreng —which literally means noodles fried— is one of my favorite dishes. I grew up eating the instant noodle version and to me, mie goreng is comfort food, through and through. I feel like I ate instant mie goreng as an after school snack everyday in high school.

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mains meat recipes soup

I Am... Kimchi Stew with Mochi and Egg Recipe

While Mike was editing these photos (I took them waaaaaaaaaay back), he asked me: Is this recipe just take kimchi stew out of the fridge and heat it up? I laughed and said, YES! Okay, it's not as easy as just taking a container out of the fridge, but making kimchi stew is one of my favorite things to do because it is, actually, incredibly easy, especially if you happen to have a bunch of leftover protein on hand. Essentially all it is, is: caramelized onions, a protein, kimchi, dashi, mirin, and some gochujang for spice.

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features round up salad

I Am... 10 Salads You’ll Actually Want to Eat!

It's spring time which means time for salad! Get in the mood for sunshine with these simple salads: Salmon, Fennel, and Cucumber Cold Noodle Salad A cold noodle salad filled with flaky ruby red salmon, impossibly sweet tomatoes, cucumbers, and crunchy fennel tossed in a toasted sesame, rice vinegar and lemon dressing. Miso Dijon Sesame Green Bean Salad Hearty enough to be eaten as a main, but still a salad because green beans! Tender, crispy beans, snap peas, and pan-roasted mushrooms tossed in a crushed sesame miso-mustard dressing. Papaya Pear Arugula Salad with Lime Mustard Dressing Fast, fresh, and so easy to throw togehter: arugula with cubes of sweet papaya, crips pears, toasted pecans, and a lime mustard vinaigrette. Vietnamese Quinoa Salad Full of fresh herbs and flavor, this quinoa salad is perfect for spring picnics! Grilled Romaine Salad Have you ever had grilled romaine? It's amazing. This salad has charred romaine, seaweed, soft boiled eggs, and the BEST Chinese black vinegar dressing. Peach and Corn Coleslaw Sweet corn and peaches with red cabbage, mint, and cilantro in a toasted sesame jalapeño vinaigrette. Blistered Shishito and Burrata Bread Salad This is one of my favorite salads ever because giant toasty bread cubes and BURRATA! Add to that blistered shishitos, sweet cherry tomatoes, and an addictive black vinegar soy dressing and you've got a plate of heaven. Cold Sesame Soba Salad YAAAASSSS to noodle salads. A giant bowl of noodles with all the vegetables and a slightly spicy, vinegary dressing. Miso Pasta Salad An umami-full pasta salad with chicken, peppers, cucumbers, green onions, and toasted sesame seeds. Ahi Tuna Poke Quinoa Bowl Technically not a salad, but who's going to say no to sesame soy dressed ahi tuna with quinoa, avocado, and edamame?! Happy salad days of Spring! xoxo steph

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recipes sweets

I Am... Brown Butter and Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

When I was little, my mom always had an emergency chocolate bar in her purse. I used to love digging through her purse to look for treats. Whenever I was bored at appointments or while running errands, I knew I could count on her to have something sweet hiding in the depths of her bottomless bag. She's always yell at me for going through her things, but I'd like to think of it as a gentle yell. But, to be honest, it probably wasn't. Who wants someone going through their things?!

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mains meat recipes sandwiches

I Am... Philly Cheesesteak Recipe

I feel like every city wants a food item to claim as their own. Chicago has pizza —but then again, so does New York— Boston has clam chowder, and Philadelphia has cheesesteaks. I don't know how a city gets to lay claim to a specific food item, but I do know that people will defend said food items with a fierceness that is usually reserved for first born children.

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meat recipes vietnamese

I Am... Sweet and Savory Garlic Shallot Grilled Chicken

A couple months after Mike and I got married, Mike's mom gave us a giant tub of marinated chicken. I was ecstatic! See, one night, at Mike's parents' place, we had some amazing grilled chicken. I was obsessed. It was sweet, savory, garlic-y, sticky, charred deliciousness. I wanted to learn how to make it myself so I asked her for the recipe. So, as moms do, she told me it was fish sauce, garlic, shallots, and sugar. I asked how much of everything and got: oh, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, until you feel like it tastes right.

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drinks recipes

I Am... Citrus Sage Tonic Recipe

The first time I had a gin and tonic was with Mike in Madrid. It sounds silly but I had never had occasion to order them before then, but then I found out that they were famous for them there. What I didn't expect was how strong they were. So strong they knocked me out and I had no recollection of that day beyond a hazy love for G&T. These sage and citrus tonics are just like my first memory of Madrid G&T, instant love!

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how to

I Am... How to Frost a Unicorn Sheet Cake

Right now the sun is setting AND it's rainy. It's kind of like a weather unicorn – the clouds are golden and pretty and there's a slight hint of pink in the sunset. Kind of sort of like this pink with a hint of gold cake. I made this the other day when I had the urgent need to frost something. I'm a fan of frosting sheet cakes because they're the easiest cakes to frost: no sides and no strange shapes.

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round up words

I Am... Cinco de Mayo Margarita Party!

Lately I've been making a lot of cocktails, both because Mike loves cocktails and because I've discovered that I love making them. I have a thing for following recipes and making cocktails is very satisfying because the recipes are very precise and you basically can't fail. For someone like me, a person who loves measuring things, cocktail making is very therapeutic.

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