caesar salad is one of my favorite salads to order at a restaurant in addition to caprese or something with walnuts and goat cheese. we often make salads for lunch but can you believe we’ve never made caesar salad at home? it’s incredibly easy, almost as simple as breakfast cereal (pour cereal into bowl, generously top with cold milk).
many grocery stores offer pre-cooked chicken but michael likes buying boneless chicken thighs, seasoning them with salt and pepper, and throwing them on the grill. the chicken ends up with beautiful grill marks and a smoky, summery scent. plus you can freeze any extra chicken for future salads.
- hearts of romaine, cleaned and chopped into small pieces
- cherry tomatoes
- croutons (homemade or store-bought)
- grilled chicken
- shaved parmesan
- caesar dressing
- restaurants usually mix the dressing into the salad prior to serving. you can follow their lead or pour the dressing yourself (my preferred method).
- in a salad bowl, layer the lettuce with tomatoes and pieces of chicken. add a handful of croutons and shaved parmesan.
- serve with caesar dressing.
last year i began watching all of my favorite 80’s movies partly out of boredom and partly out of curiosity. i wanted to see if my affection for these films remained the same as an adult. i came to the conclusion that ferris bueller is kind of a jerk and teenage mutant ninja turtles is terrible (though i loved it as a kid).
but i still harbored warm feelings for adventures in babysitting. chris parker (played by elisabeth shue) is a sweet girl-next-door who deserves an honorable frat boy. plus her trademark wardrobe of a long camel coat and bright pink sweater wouldn’t be out of place today.
the whole plot is cheesy with its chop shop crooks and her tween charges, but it makes you smile. it makes you root for her. and it definitely makes you envious of her perfect hair.
collage by me. images via amazon, j.crew, boden, madewell, and net-a-porter.
the picks | cubs hat | j.crew sweater | paige jeans | boden jacket | vans shoes
when michael and i were dating, he said i had to try this vietnamese noodle dish called bun. he described it as noodles with pork, herbs, and spring rolls. to his surprise, i told him the dish wasn’t strictly vietnamese; my mom makes the same kind of dish and she’s from laos. basically a cold noodle bowl is a deconstructed spring roll without the wrapper, and the peanut sauce is the best part.
last year we began making noodle bowls at home. you can use any kind of grilled meat you like (or even tofu). my mom creates egg rolls by hand, but we buy frozen egg rolls from the asian supermarket because we go through her stash quickly. the frozen ones are tasty, too— just make sure the oil isn’t super hot when you fry them.
have you ever eaten a cold noodle bowl? what do you put in yours?
- vietnamese rice noodles (also called bun or rice vermicelli)
- shredded lettuce, cucumber, and carrot
- small bunches of cilantro, mint, and basil, chopped
- bean sprouts
- thai chili peppers
- fish sauce
- brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- grilled meat (we used pork cutlets)
- peanut sauce (see recipe for instructions)
- we always make noodle bowls with egg rolls on top!
- i make peanut sauce on the stove and let it cool; the recipe doesn’t require heat.
- view the full recipe here.
stop the press: i’m gonna be a mama! before christmas, we found out that we were expecting a little one, and we felt excited and terrified all at once. our lives will never be the same. there will be more love, more messes, more giggles, and more adventure, and we can’t wait.
tomorrow i’ll enter my second trimester (14 weeks); so far, so good. i haven’t had morning sickness but i’ve been eating a lot more than usual. i felt super duper tired in january (hence my sporadic blogging). my energy is finally starting to come back and i’m cooking dinner, staying up past 8:30, and doodling again.
the little one is due in august, and we’re grateful for the well-wishes and prayers from our family and friends. i can’t lie: i’m personally thankful that i still fit into my madewell dresses. fingers crossed these a-lines will continue to agree with me. and i am totally going to thrift the best stuff for the baby, just you wait.
p.s. an extra special thanks and hugs to kelsey and eric (of words of williams) who sent the smallest and cutest moccasin boots ever.
in one of my favorite seinfeld episodes, jerry laments, ”what is this obsession people have with books? they put them in their houses like trophies. what do you need it for after you read it?”
michael and i have owned these bookcases forever (meaning at least six years). when we lived in an apartment, they stood against a wall in the bedroom. when we moved into our house, we lined them up at the end of our living room. we painted the walls dark just for the bookcases. but i never put a chair near them.
over thanksgiving, i began our book nook project by updating some of the decor on our bookcases and adding a comfortable place for reading. what a difference a chair makes— i actually sit by the window and read (or check instagram).
i prefer two styles of bookcases: the eclectically cluttered or the extremely sparse. our shelves are quite busy, and i don’t mind. i arrange the books in color families with matching objects. we also display drawings, a few photographs, and pugs, lots of pugs!
the green bins on the bottom hide my husband’s comic books and corral board games that we don’t break out enough. one day i’d love to replace the chair with a chaise so i can relax and read or relax and nap, whichever happens first.
texas cannot make up its mind. i’ve spend the last two weeks covering my plants because it’s below freezing at night and then uncovering them later because it’s warm and pleasant during the day. this afternoon i covered all the plants again! sophie was curious but wary; she stayed indoors (pugs don’t got time for that).
when the weather gets cold, michael and i like hearty, hot soups for lunch. we made chowder last week from one of our real simple cookbooks. the only difference between our chowder and the magazine’s chowder is the bacon— you can never go wrong with bacon. enjoy!
- 2 leeks, white parts chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- 3-4 large gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 18-24 large frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 cups of frozen sweet corn
- 3 cups of milk
- 1 small bottle of clam juice
- chopped parsley to garnish
- all-purpose flour
- kosher salt and pepper for seasoning
- sprinkle the chowder with chopped crispy bacon.
- use raw shrimp instead of cooked ones. when the shrimp are pink and opaque, they’re done!
- view the full recipe here.
my handbags range from obnoxiously big (the pendleton tote) to decently sized (a minkoff bag) to quite small. today i celebrate the little guys— they’re the ones that run with you to the grocery store, gas station, or dinner party with your most important belongings like a license, lipstick, phone, or handful of quarters.
i searched high and low for the cutest of the cute, the quaintest of the quaint. the fox is my favorite but i like the triangles on the herschel wallet, too. are you keen on pint-sized purses?
collage by me. images via need supply, amazon, fossil, and nordstrom.
the picks | star clutch | geometric wallet | fox purse | book clutch