Posts filed in: July 2012

Summer Eats and Heats

comments: 101

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Oh, they were good. Thank you again, so much, for all of the wonderful recommendations. It was hard to know where to start because they all looked so good! But I wound up tossing some cabbage and carrots with a lot of fresh lime juice, some chopped cilantro, and a glug of olive oil (and sea salt and pepper); adding three minced (seeds removed) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to mayonnaise (along with some minced raw garlic, more lime juice, and more salt and papper); making this grilled corn salad; and then these homemade tortillas. Andy grilled some tilapia (in a fish grilling basket) rubbed with a bit of olive oil and a little Mexican spice blend (it was already in a bottle in my spice rack, from Penzey's).

Man, it was good. I think the homemade tortillas were the best part. I highly recommend the whole menu!!!

On Sunday morning, Andy went back to work after being off sick for about a week. I had finished several projects I'd been working on and was amazed to find myself with a whole day alone and nothing to do. I was both excited and confused. I was so excited that I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do (confused). Unfortunately, I hadn't slept at all the night before because it was so hot in our room, so everytime I sat down to think about what I wanted to do, I fell asleep (including during the fourth set of Murray-Federer — I know! — I slept through the entire set! I woke up to Andy Murray crying, which got me really choked up. I had been rooting for him [even though my new favorite player is Tsonga]). Then I made pancakes for myself to cheer myself up.

Swedish Pancakes

4 eggs
1 c. flour
1 T. sugar
1 t. salt
1 c. milk
a little bloop of vegetable oil

Whisk eggs, flour, sugar, and salt together into a smooth paste. Slowly whisk in milk until just combined, then add a bit of oil (just to keep them from sticking) and stir again. Ladle or pour the batter onto the griddle over medium heat, and tip pan to swirl batter into a thin circle. Flip when edges look dry.

That worked. Then I fell back asleep while crocheting on the couch. It got warmer and warmer outside. Unfamiliar with this unusual meterological phenomenon, I failed to register its effect on my already floppy hold on the day. I rode my bike to the grocery store and almost passed out. I think it was 83 degrees (but 83 and hilly?). No, feel free to laugh, seriously. I was in first gear, going about 1 mph. Wearing a dress. People were passing me and I'm pretty sure they were laughing. I would've laughed if I could've breathed. When I got home I stumbled into the kitchen and made an enormous pitcher of raspberry iced tea and drank almost all of it, along with another gallon of water (and limes — I really love limes). Then (somehow) I made a version of this superfood salad (but I made the quinoa with vegetable stock, used the leftover corn salad, and skipped the vinaigrette [didn't need it]). Then I went upstairs and laid directly under the ceiling fan. Outside I could hear neighbors in every direction having barbecues and speaking in normal tones, and not about the weather. I assumed they were also wearing actual clothes out there. HOW??? In bewildered awe of them, I fell asleep during Inspector Lewis. When Andy got home he said I looked flattened, like the cats, trying to expose as much surface area of my body as possible to the overhead fan breeze. My contacts had turned into dried up little shards of plastic. I think my hair had dreadlocked itself. I was a hot mess.

I'm not sure if it's because I slept nine or ten hours last night or if it's because it's currently only 59 degrees, but I seem to have recovered all my faculties today (so far). It was really only one of our first hot days here all summer (it did get up to 88), and that was enough for me. I honestly don't know how anyone survives temperatures in the 90s and 100s.

Summer Scene

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THANK YOU ever so much for all the suggestions yesterday! I am thrilled to get books and read and make fish tacos this weekend. Thank you for taking the time to get me going! I really appreciate it.

It's just so nice out here this morning. I feel like I could just absorb summer right through my skin. Sunshine and birdsong. Taking it slow today. Andy off today. I love this.

Finally Outside

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We had really nice and strangely quiet little Fourth of July yesterday — Andy's fighting off some sort of hanging-on virus, I was really tired, and the pets were pretty stressed about the constant fireworks. Our sweet neighborhood friends Katie and Tim invited us for a little BBQ at their house across the street, and that was just perfect.

I feel like I'm starting to get back in the swing of things. I could use some help, though: Do you have a good 1) fish taco recipe and/or 2) spy-thriller-type book recommendation?

(I added the vanilla buttermilk cake recipe here! This was delicious, but definitely best the first or maybe second day. Eat it fast!)

July

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Thank you for all of your incredibly sweet comments about the new office. You guys always say the nicest things, honestly. Thank you. I will update yesterday's post with some details about where stuff comes from. And if you were wondering where that room is, it's the one on the other side of the French doors in my craft room. I know, I'm really spoiled. Andy had a huge computer in there for a long time, but my stuff, like yarn and bolts of felt and plastic boxes full of ornament kit supplies and all manner of random unattractive junk, including a broken dresser filled with fabric I didn't even want and other things we didn't know what to do with just kept making their way in there and piling up. It was like a sand dune. We would sort of balance things on top of other things until they slid off. He recently upgraded to a laptop, still uses the desk for his stuff (but doesn't actually have to sit at it to use the computer anymore), got rid of a ton of old stuff that was just taking up space for no reason, and now this is sort of a combo office/Posie storage annex. Greta (new assistant) has gotten all of the ornament kit stuff organized in the big white cabinets and down in the basement, and she is completely taking over the assembly of the ornament kits this year. What I will say about craft stuff is that it just takes up SO much space. But I think we're all really happy with the new office, even Andy (thanks babe!!!). The room hadn't really been overhauled in the past ten years, so it was way past time. I don't think I had any photos of the old version. Every time I went through it (a thousand times a day) I basically shieled my eyes from it, so I doubt I ever would have stopped to take a picture of it because it's hard to take a picture when you're running and have your eyes closed.

I made a good shrimp thing last night, I think. I sauteed two cloves of garlic (minced) in a tablespoon of butter, added the tomatoes from a can of stewed whole tomatoes (not the juice, just the tomatoes), added a teaspoon of sugar and some salt and pepper, and broke the tomatoes up with a spoon. Let them simmer and reduce for about five minutes or so, then added a bunch of peeled and deveined raw shrimp. Let those cook for a few minutes until they were pink. By this time the pasta was almost done (oh yeah — forgot to say, I started some thin spaghetti boiling at some point). I added about a half a cup of heavy cream to the tomatoes, simmered a bit more. Added a big handful of chopped fresh basil and parsely from the garden, and then spooned it all over the thin spaghetti. Anyway, it's not the prettiest picture of it, but I have to say that although I don't normally wing it when I am making dinner, this time it actually worked and was really good.

Just remembered about the vanilla cake recipe. Okay. Tomorrow.

New

comments: 149

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Oh, what a week. But how can I complain when we have this pretty new office to play in?

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There are still a lot of empty drawers and shelves and baskets (just put the daisies in there until I figure out what to put in them) that have to be moved into, but it's been so hectic with other things around here that I'm still not quite finished with that. Think I'll just lie on the carpet.

***Here's the skinny on the goods:

Glass cabinets and desk: Hemnes collection from Ikea
White cabinets: Home Depot (ten years ago)
Baskets in and on top of cabinets: Target
Wicker chair and cushion: Ikea
Desk chair: Antique, from Stars in Portland
Rug: Overstock.com
Calico curtains: CountryCurtains.com
Gingham curtains: Retro Barn Country Linens
Pillow: I made it myself from this pattern!
Ceiling light fixture: Rejuvenation
Lamps on desk: Target
Bag on door: Etsy.com
File cabinet: Ikea

About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Photography

Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.