Archive: April, 2012



Pear & Goat Cheese Salad

Friday, April 27th, 2012

I often pair a main course with a side salad and am always looking for new recipes to avoid boredom for my belly. And then there’s times when I am in the mood for just a salad (not often, but still). This green salad does the job of being satisfying as a main course if you are in such a mood. It also seems super fancy even though it’s quite simple to prepare, so it’s a lovely choice for serving guests. The following recipe make 2 servings, and you can easily double, triple, or quadruple! it (dinner party anyone?) to make more.

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Ingredients:

1 ripe pear, halved and cored
2 tsp. plus 1 Tbs. fig jam, divided (I use Organic Adriatic Fig Spread because it’s really THE best)
1-2 oz. soft goat cheese, cut into 2 slices
1/2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for drizzling, divided
1Tbs. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. Dijon mustard
baby arugula leaves
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts
black pepper for seasoning

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Place pear halves on a baking sheet & spoon 1 tsp. fig jam into each pear half. Place goat cheese rounds on top of jam, and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
2. Bake for about 30 minutes.
3. Whisk 1 Tbs. jam, lemon juice, and mustard together in a bowl. Drizzle in 1/2 Tbs. olive oil while whisking. Season with pepper.
4. Toss arugula with dressing, reserving some dressing for drizzling pears.
5. Plate arugula and top with toasted walnuts and red onion.
6. Remove pears from oven with tongs and plate on center of bed of arugula.
7. Drizzle pears with reserved dressing & sprinkle black pepper over salad for seasoning.

(My photo above excludes the red onion because my local store was out, but it is an essential ingredient in my opinion to balance out the sweet taste of the fig jam.)

Life’s Challenges & The Happiness Project

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Let’s be frank here. Life isn’t always one giant ball of laughs. It’s isn’t always easy or filled with successes. There are days when you just. can’t. find. anything. to be happy about. I think as an artist I tend to feel a little more dramatically and deeply than the average person. I am generally pretty good at covering that up and internally talking myself through these challenges, so it may be something you never notice about me, but it’s certainly there.

Because of my personal philosophies on life, though, I believe these challenges and emotions are gifts. For one thing, we wouldn’t be able to know what joy is without pain. And everything that brings us pain can be a lesson for ourselves and the path we take in our lives. We don’t learn or grow without challenge. When it comes down to it, I really am all about growing and learning. I think that’s kind of the point of this whole experience of life. But it would certainly be nice to be able to genuinely smile through each difficulty, each disappointment, and each life lesson. Genuinely smile.

So as part of that journey, I am reading the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben. I am about halfway through the documentation of her happiness project and getting insights on what I need to do to start my own. I’ll write more about that as I figure out exactly what my journey will look like, but for now I just wanted to recommend this book.

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It’s a Small World Wedding Inspiration Shoot

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

I am super excited to have been a part of this styled shoot with some of San Diego’s most creative & innovative wedding vendors.  This shoot is also being published on the fabulous Green Wedding Shoes today so please check it out over there and leave me some comment love!

Chris from The Bee & Bobbin came up with the concept for the shoot, so I’ll let her description speak for itself: “Inspired by the mid-century modern art of Mary Blair, the artist who designed “It’s a Small World,” geometric shapes meet just the right touch of whimsy in a palette of whites, golds, and blush peach with just a pop of yellow that would make Jonathan Adler swoon. This wedding is geared toward a playful couple who love the art and architecture of the mid-century, but want to interpret those forms in a light and playful way.”

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Thanks to everyone who made this shoot possible–vendor credits listed below–and to Jen at Green Wedding Shoes for publishing it. I also want to say a special and huge thank you to my gorgeous friends Melissa & Roman who graciously modeled for the shoot and did a smash up job!

Concept, styling, & florals: The Bee and The Bobbin / Rentals & styling: Pow Wow Vintage Rentals / Venue: Hidden Valley Retreat and Spa / Cake: Hey There, Cupcake! / All paper items + clutch: Lucky to be in Love / Backdrop: Arboriform / Hair & Makeup: Dezi V / Bride’s attire: Lovey by Isha / Models: Melissa + Roman

Maddie’s San Diego, Otay Lake Senior Portraits

Monday, April 16th, 2012

As a water polo player and an avid swimmer, water is a huge part of Maddie’s life. So for her senior portrait session, we headed to south San Diego County and explored Otay Lake a bit. The pastel hues of Maddie’s outfit choice and the backdrop of the lake gorgeously played up Maddie’s coloring.

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This next set of photos are my absolute favorites: the beautiful light, Maddie’s perfect dress, oh and the fact that she was so willing to wade into the lake for some dramatic shots, all made for the perfect combination.

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Thank you so much Maddie for being such an adventurous model. I’ve enjoyed watching you grow into a young lady over the past couple of years, and I can’t believe you’ll be graduating in just a couple of months. I know you’ll  have an amazing experience at college and enliven the spirits of everyone around you, just like you have done in high school. Thank you also to Annie, Maddie’s mom, for helping with the session and for being so supportive of Maddie’s creativity.

Smoked Mozzarella & Sun-dried Tomato Paninis

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Sometimes when it’s warm outside you might just feel like relaxing outside instead of cooking in a hot kitchen. Well, that’s how I feel at least. And it’s times like that that I opt for a simple sandwich and salad for dinner that requires no stove or oven or even a lot of prep. The following panini recipe is a variation of a standard caprese sandwich (which is something I often enjoy as well). Note there aren’t exact numbers for the ingredients because you can pile them on (or not) as you please. This is a meal best enjoyed on a porch, by the pool, or lying in the grass.

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Ingredients:

For the sandwiches:
french baguette (I swear by Bread & Cie’s fresh bread & it’s pretty much the only bread that exists in my world)
smoked mozzarella, sliced
sun dried tomatoes, drained & coarsely chopped
basil leaves, torn into pieces

For the salad:
mixed greens
avocado, cut into chunks
grapefruit, white pith removed & cut into chunks
citrus dressing (I used Annie’s Naturals mango dressing but if you are feeling less lazy you can certainly whip up your own)

Directions:

1. Cut baguette into sandwich size portions, slice each portion down the middle, and shave off the top of the baguette so you have a flat top. This is easiest to do with a serrated bread knife.
2. Layer mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil inside bread halves.
3. Put assembled sandwiches inside a hot panini press or an indoor grill. (I use my George Foreman grill because I don’t really see the point in having an appliance for just sandwiches. This works great for me.) Grill until bread is golden-brown & cheese is melted.
4. Allow to cool slightly & slice each sandwich in half.
5. Meanwhile mix salad dressing and mixed greens together in a bowl. Plate, and top with avocado & grapefruit chunks.

Oh, also happy Friday the 13th!!!

 

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