superbowl snacks

Are you planning to watch the Superbowl this Sunday? I'm not much of a football fan- I've had many people try to explain the rules to me, but I just don't care enough to try to figure out what's going on. 3rd down? Who cares. I'll tell you what I am of fan of though: snacks! Football is a great excuse to eat all those unhealthy foods that only seem like a good idea after you've had a brewski or two.

We've hosted quite a few Superbowl parties over the years, but this year, I've decided to drop the pretense of "watching the game" and just invite a few friends over to watch the Puppy Bowl and eat snacks (OK, we might watch the half-time show). Here are the guilty-pleasure Superbowl snacks I'll be making:

Buffalo wings! I have a not-so-secret love of chicken wings and have tried many recipes for making them at home. Serious Eats' recipe for Oven-fried Buffalo Wings requires a few steps and some planning in advance, but is still way easier than trying to deep fry them on the stove. Oven frying is a great way to make wings for a crowd, and they turn out super delicious. Serious Eats has really done their homework on this one, you can read all about the extensive R&D behind this recipe here.

Nacho Cheese! I'm telling you, these Serious Eats dudes are really serious about their eats. Their ingenious Cheese Sauce recipe is so simple and delicious I want to make it every day (except I might have a heart attack). This recipe doesn't require you to make a bechamel, or use any fancy equipment- if you can melt cheese and stir, you can make it. And it's made with real cheese and only four ingredients, so you can feel a little better about eating it (at least better than eating that weird nacho cheese that comes in a jar). Pro-tip: don't use pre-shredded cheese, the extra starch it's coated with will mess things up.

What are your favorite guilty-pleasure snacks? Any good recipes?

[Top photo from Blisstree, center and bottom photo from Serious Eats]


palette picks: papaya sherbet

Santa brought me this Komono watch for Christmas and I'm obsessed with the color. At first, I was worried it wouldn't be versatile enough to wear frequently, but I've been wearing it everyday and loving how it looks with everything in my closet.  I've dubbed this color Papaya Sherbet- its just like a light, milky take on the tropical fruit. It's a pale, pinky orange, but still retains some intensity despite being a pastel.

I recently saw this color featured as one of the new colors at Paper Source (they're calling it coral), so it looks like I'm not the only one who loves it.

Read on for some of my favorite colors to pair with Papaya Sherbet:


cane chair fix

Design*Sponge just featured the most amazing fix for a broken cane-seat chair. I love the look of cane and always see great deals on beautiful chairs with broken cane, but I never buy them because I know it can be expensive and complicated to fix. It never occurred to me to just MAKE MY OWN CANE OUT OF YARN! and colorful yarn at that. Mind = blown. 

Check out the genius DIY here

[photo by JoĆ«lle Fabbri  via Design*Sponge]


louis ck one

Oh, Internet. Just when I think you can't possibly come up with another ridiculous tumblr page, someone had to go and make this:

As an awkward seventh grader, I begged my parents for months for a bottle of ck one, convinced it would make me as cool as Kate Moss (spoiler alert: it didn't). Do you think this version will give me the comedic powers of Louis C.K.??

Check out the full ad campaign tumblr page here

[photos from the louis ck one tumblr]


the kitchen diaries

I love the way Nigel Slater writes about food. One of his early cookbooks, Appetite, was the first cookbook I ever read cover to cover. His writing is casual and comforting, like a good friend hanging out with you in the kitchen, nibbling on cheese and offering recipe suggestions. The tagline for Appetite is, "So what do you want to eat today?". For each recipe, Nigel offers a full page of possible substitutions to suit your tastes and what you happen to have in the fridge. 

I recently picked up a copy of Slater's The Kitchen Diaries. It was originally published back in 2005, but it was reprinted last year due to popular demand. The Kitchen Diaries is Nigel's account of a year of shopping, cooking, and eating in his kitchen. It is a collection of his notes about the weather, what he ate when feeling too lazy to cook, as well as proper recipes. His idea behind keeping the diary was an attempt to eat seasonally and document when food is at its best. As he puts it: "learning to eat with the ebb and flow of the seasons is the single thing that has made my eating more enjoyable". 

I decided to start this January and read The Kitchen Diaries in semi-real time, month-by-month throughout this year. Of course, he is in London, so his seasons are bound to be a bit different from mine (especially if our 70 degree weather keeps up), but I think it will still be interesting to follow along with what he ate each month. 

January features a few delicious recipes I can't wait to try:

Onion Soup without Tears - featuring the genius idea of roasting halved onions before chopping them
Double Ginger Cake - looks amazing, but I have to track down some golden syrup, or maybe I can substitute molasses or honey? This is one problem with cookbooks from the UK.
- Sausages with Salami and Lentils - if it ever gets cold enough here to need comfort food, I think this extra meaty casserole should do the trick

Nigel recently released the follow-up to Kitchen Diaries called Notes from the Larder, which I'm looking forward to reading next.

[top photo by me, second and third photos from The Kitchen Diaries, photographed by Jonathan Lovekin]


places to go in 2014

The NY Times just released their list of the 52 places to go in 2014. Cape Town, South Africa took the top spot this year. Three places in California made the list: the Mendocino Coast, Downtown LA, and Lake Tahoe (remember when everyone freaked out that Oakland was included in the 2012 list?).

Where would you go if you had your pick? Would you like to hike an active volcano in Indonesia? Explore one of the world's largest caves in Vietnam? Hang out with snow monkeys in Japan? Or would you prefer a more relaxed vacation spent on the luxurious beaches of the Seychelles?

Personally, I'm dying to visit the Arctic Circle to see the northern lights. They're supposed to be especially dramatic this year! I'd love to see them from Iceland (another spot featured on the list).

Where would you love to travel? Check out their recommendations and some amazing photos here.

 [All images from The New York Times. Top photo by Justin Mott, center by Michael Poliza, and bottom by Tim Graham]


steven alan stripes

Yipes stripes! West Elm just released a collaboration with Steven Alan filled with fantastic stripes! I'm a big fan of Steven Alan's clothing line, and I think he translated his aesthetic beautifully into this collection for the home. The collection features handcrafted bedding, rugs, and pottery. You can check out the full collection at West Elm, but here's a peek at what's on my wish list:

I'll gladly take the whole bed, but I've especially got my eye on that blue duvet cover.  Variegated stripes in multiple shades of blue! Be still my heart!

OK, so I may already own one striped duvet, but why not make it three? I certainly don't have one in this gorgeous shade of coral.

I have a hunch one of these silk pillows might be a good match for my favorite chair.

I love the effect of the mis-matched stripes they created in this Wool Dhurrie by weaving two separate panels and then stitching them together. Plus, you can't beat that warm and cheerful mustard color. 

Bonus: West Elm is currently offering 20% off all bedding. 

[All images from West Elm]


new year's cards

Happy New Year! Can you believe it's 2014?! Was your holiday season as hectic as mine? If you didn't quite get all your holiday cards sent out this year, don't fret, it's not too late to send New Year's cards. It's OK if your card didn't arrive by the first, a new year's card can be a nice way to send a thank you, or let someone know how happy you were to see them during the holidays.  Plus, any mail received in January that isn't a credit card statement is sure to be appreciated.
Here are some of my favorite cards for the new year: