The best thing about being a contributor for the Town Dish is getting invited to really cool things. Recently I went to tasting at the Lucky Well. Okay so it’s a bbq restaurant and it was a bbq tasting but lucky for me I have friends who are self proclaimed bbq experts. The restaurant is so fun and beautiful and I got to hang out in the kitchen — which felt like home. Check out my article here.

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Back in May we bought a house. And now there is a list and the list goes on and on. As far as lists go, it’s a good one — one that we won’t mind working on. Just as long as we have a kitchen — which we don’t have at the moment.

 

 

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1) demo of our kitchen. Layers and layers of flooring, crazy paneling and flowery wallpaper  2) salvaged red pine from the kitchen  3) buck-o-tools  4) kitchen demo  5) wallpaper, paneling and a view into the peachy/orange dining room with a vintage Lightolire sputnik chandelier  6) living room the color of the sun  7) very green 2nd floor hallway with big beautiful windows  8) stairway and first floor hallway with wall-to-wall 1970s carpeting  9/10) 2nd floor bathroom/tub  11/12) third floor that reminds us of a treehouse  13) third floor bathroom

Here it is — our house of many bright colors, huge beautiful windows and a jungle of a garden. Right after closing we ripped out part of the kitchen and removed all of the rugs and began planning. Almost 3 months later, the walls are fixed and painted white, the floors refinished, the kitchen is empty except for the appliances sitting in the middle of the room, the kitchen cabinets are assembled waiting in the dining room to be installed, the mudroom is just about finished, we have a clean working bathroom and we are slowly unpacking.

We are thinking of painting our sunroom floors like this and eventually opening the ceiling and painting it like this room. Looking at this kitchen island or this one and these lights. This hanging chair would be perfect for our backyard as would this outdoor shower and this slack line.

 

Since just buying our house we have been up to our elbows in renovations so trips to the beach this summer have been that more fantastic. What’s more fantastic is that my favorite spots at the Jersey Shore are open for the season and I got to write about them for the Town Dish — check it out.

This year I want to eat blueberry pie everyday so I can be reminded of our trip to Maine. So I remember to create moments like these everyday — just one moment everyday — of innocence, freedom, peace, happiness, fun.

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Blueberry pie
As I write this, it’s the first week of 2013 — windy and cold. We are eating blueberry pie and ice cream and reminiscing about our trip to Maine that we took last summer. My friend made the best blueberry pie while we were there. I had asked her for the recipe — she said, “oh that’s easy, it’s just on the back of the pie crust box.” I couldn’t find a recipe on any of the pie crust boxes but I did find a pretty good one in one of my cookbooks. My pies weren’t nearly as good or as pretty — maybe because I am not the best baker or because we had to use frozen blueberries and not the freshly-picked-day-before blueberries! They were still delicious and for a small moment brought us back to the cabin on the lake with good friends. Here’s to blueberry pie, good friends and a happy new year!

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I am thinking that this might be good blueberry pie recipe as well as this one.
Next time, I will make the crust!

This is for my friends in the Pacific Northwest and to those many weekends we spent having brunch at the Longshoreman’s Daughter — when life seemed to be one long road trip.

 
 

 

The words “are we there yet” have an entirely different meaning when you are on a “let’s see where the day takes us today” road trip. It can be unsettling at first — a different feeling from the everyday schedules that we lock ourselves into. At the beginning of the trip, the kids would ask, “where are we staying tonight” and we would always answer, “we’ll see what town seems good”. After a few days, they would just ask if the hotel had a pool.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We started off in Seattle visiting some of our closest friends. We drank coffee at Lighthouse Roasters and ate at Red Mill Burgers. We went to our favorite market and of course on our drive out of town the mountain was out. We headed south to Portland – had coffee at the original Stumptown and got really great sandwiches at the most beautiful market next door to Stumptown. Along the way south to San Fransisco, we played on the Oregon Dunes, stopped in the cutest little coastal town and had a fun dinner at the cutest restaurant. We finally made it to the Redwoods where we discovered that our kids LOVE a good tourist trap where we hung out with Paul Bunyan and spent a fair amount of time hiking in the woods. We drove into San Fransisco with enough time to spend a couple days with good friends. We went to the amazing California Academy of Sciences, we window shopped here and here, had more good coffee, some ice cream that really hit the spot and because we are such awesome parents we made sure we stayed at a hotel with a pool.

photo credits: The following photos were taken by Tim: obey photo, union gas station photo, cowboy welcome photo, stella jumping off of tree stump, stella at California Academy of Sciences.

 

Longshoreman’s Daughter

The longshoreman’s daughter closed several years back. I don’t know if it was the atmosphere, the company, the food or the combination of all three but it was our favorite brunch spot in Seattle. They had a really great black beans and eggs dish on the menu — I don’t really remember anything else about it except that it was good and it was served in a big bowl. Regardless, black beans and eggs will always remind me of the Pacific Northwest. This is our version that has black beans, eggs, roasted potatoes and salsa. The black beans are so easy to make and can really be used a lot of different ways. Sometimes we will add them to omelets with cheese and avocado or to rice with sour cream, cheese, salsa and avocado.

Click here for the recipe!