cookbook party

Yea! It's a cookbook party over here! OK, that might be over-hyping it a bit, but I have been feeling like jumping for joy lately with all the new cookbooks we've been getting in at the shop. As a serious cookbook fan, I always love this time of year, and have to stop myself from buying them all. I thought I'd share a peak at some of the recently released cookbooks I've had my eye on:

Side note: see if you can pick up on a theme in the design of these cookbook covers 


monday links

Happy Monday! How's your week looking? I'm heading to Florida at the end of this week. We'll be in Miami for a few days and then we're driving down to Key West. I'm excited- I've never been to the Keys! Any suggestions on what to see and do? So far I've got two things on the agenda: eat lots of Key Lime Pie and try to see a Manatee. Oh, and singing Kokomo, which I'm sure will be stuck in my head the whole time.

While researching Key West, I came across They Draw and Travel, which features fun maps illustrated by artists from around the world. I love the illustration style of this Key West map by Nate Padavick.

Are you sad the Olympics are officially over? I didn't watch them as much as I would have liked to. I definitely would have watched more events if David Attenborough had narrated the whole thing, like in this curling video. I wish he could narrate everything, all the time.

If you need a laugh this morning, look no further than Texts from Dog. I think this one might be my favorite. Or maybe this one. Aah, can't stop. This one.

[Top image via Tip Trips Florida, Key West map by Nate Padavick via They Draw and Travel, Olympics image via 2014-Olympic]


land's end

Psst... has anyone else noticed that Land's End is suddenly kinda... cool?! Maybe I'm just getting really old, but there's quite a few things I like in their latest catalog. It was shot in Palm Springs and they're rocking a bright, colorful, J.Crew kinda vibe. 

See what I mean? Don't get me wrong, there's still plenty of chinos and fleece to sort through, but there are some gems to be found. I've got my eye on this striped blouse, these slouchy seersucker pants, and maybe this longer-length skirt - which I think would look cute with these wedge sandals

And they haven't forgotten the men folk either. Their Canvas line seems aimed at a younger, hipper, more character-in-a-Wes-Anderson-movie kind of customer than their core line. Just look at those dapper models! They have some great plaids in interesting color combos- like this pretty teal madras and bright red flannel.  I bought my husband this plaid flannel for Christmas and it's become his new favorite shirt. 

Check out all my picks on my Pinterest page.

Their pricing is already pretty reasonable, but it's even better right now with their Friends and Family sale. Through Feb 25th, they're offering 25% off and free shipping with code FRIENDLY and pin 2025.

[All photos from Land's End]


monday links

I thought I'd switch things up a bit this Monday and share some fun links to get your week off to a good start. First up, the best 11 seconds you'll spend all day : watch the reaction after a penguin slips on the ice.

I am officially obsessed with the dressing from A Cup of Jo's Kale Caesar Salad. Making Caesar dressing with raw eggs makes me nervous, so I love that this one doesn't use any raw eggs or mayo. It's still creamy, but with a bright, salty bite to it. Tip: this recipe is easy to make, but does require you to dirty quite a few dishes, so go ahead and double or triple the recipe. It keeps for a couple weeks, and you'll have no problem using it. It's delicious with kale, lettuce, and as a dip for artichokes.

Big eyebrows are definitely making a comeback. Amelia from The Man Repeller recently grew her eyebrows out to look more "fashion-y" for Fashion Week. As someone with naturally wild eyebrows, this trend does sounds appealing to me, but it seems like it could be tricky to pull off. What do you think- are you in to big, bold brows?

Am I the only one that missed the memo that H&M is now selling their home collection online? Looks like I'm about six months late to this party, but they do have some cute new releases for spring. A lot of their stuff is a little too trendy for my taste, but they do have some cute accessories to brighten up your home on the cheap. I like this striped pillow, these pastel tea light holders, and these southwestern jacquard pillows.

And in case you're doing any shopping this President's Day, Refinery 29 has a full round-up of all the sales.

[From top: penguins from National Geographic, Caesar salad from A Cup of Jo, Arizona Muse eyebrows via Man Repeller, pillows from H&M]


valentine's day

Happy Valentine's Day! Hope you all find a Valentine as cute as this bunny (though I think that might be impossible)...

[bunny card from Dear Hancock]


kale and white bean soup

Now that cold, rainy weather has finally arrived in the Bay Area, I've been craving warm, hearty meals. I thought I'd share the recipe for one of my winter standbys: Kale and White Bean Soup with Sausage. This soup is my favorite kind of winter meal: its got protein, vegetables, and starch all in one big, comforting bowl. It's satisfying, but still relatively healthy (kale definitely cancels out sausage, right??).

I've made this soup many times, and along the way have made some tweaks to make it easy and pretty quick. Of course there's no substitute for simmering a broth from scratch all afternoon, but most of us rarely have the time for that. Adding the sausage at the beginning of cooking adds a big punch of flavor to this soup without hours of simmering. Feel free to experiment with different kinds of sausage to suit your tastes. I like to use fresh sausage, and my current favorite is lamb and rosemary. You can also switch up the greens if you'd like, swiss chard is a great substitute for the kale.

Though I prefer this soup with the sausage, it is still delicious and plenty hearty without it. If you want to make a vegetarian version, I'd use all vegetable stock instead of the stock/water mix, double the beans, and be sure to use the cheese rind for the extra flavor it will add. 


Kale and White Bean Soup with Sausage
based on a recipe from Gourmet Magazine, February 2002

Serves 4-6. 

- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 lb fresh or smoked sausage, sliced crosswise 1/4" thick
- 6 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2" pieces
- 2 garlic cloves
- 32 oz (1 quart) chicken (or vegetable) broth
- 32 oz (4 cups) water
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 bay leaf (not California)
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh Rosemary (omit if using Rosemary sausage)
- 1 (3- by 2- inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (optional)
- 1  15 oz can white beans such as Cannellini or Great Northern
- 1 large bunch kale (preferably dino/lacinato), stems and large center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped

Warm oil in an 8-quart pot over moderately low heat. Cook onions and sausage, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and sausage is lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add carrots and garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add broth, water, bay leaf, rosemary, cheese rind, salt and pepper and simmer 20-30 minutes,  until broth is fragrant and delicious. If broth is not flavorful enough at this point, try adding a pinch of salt, or a little bouillon (a cube of Rapunzel is my soup secret weapon) and continue to cook a little longer. Add beans and kale, cooking an additional 5-10 minutes until kale is tender. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Best served with cheesy garlic bread.

Soup will keep for several days, and the flavors will continue to develop the second and third day.

[photo by Lisa Hubbard for Gourmet Feb 2002 via Epicurious]


valentine's cards

Are you ready for Valentine's Day next week? I have mixed feelings about it myself. Of course I love the red and pink everywhere, and I'll never question an excuse to eat candy, but the whole thing can get a bit cheesy. I'm not so into mediocre prix fixe dinners and forced romance. I'd much rather get flowers on random Tuesday than on the day my husband was pressured into buying a $45 bouquet of roses because he's supposed to. Plus, even though it's been an unbelievably long time since I've been a single lady, I can't help but feel like Valentine's Day is a conspiracy to make single people feel bad. I much prefer the little kid's version of Valentine's: eat sweets all day and exchange silly cards with your friends. 

Here's a few of my favorite cards to give, whether you're celebrating Valentine's this year, or even better, Galentine's Day

Embrace the cheese of Valentine's Day with some vintage puns! Laughing Elephant sells three different styles of assorted Vintage Valentines. They've got that great old-fashioned quality of being both charming and totally bizarre at the same time - send them to all your friends!

Flash-back to elementary school with these adorable Valentines from eeBoo. Technically I guess these are made for children, but with those ridiculously cute animals and die-cut hearts, I certainly wouldn't mind receiving one in the mail. Throw in a box of conversation hearts and you're good to go. 

More cute animals that want to wish you a Happy Valentine's day! Make sure it's a day chock-full of puns with these hand-printed cards from Red Bat Press.

[top Valentine is for sale on ebay- where there are a ton of rad vintage valentines!]


summer 1927

This month, my book club is reading Bill Bryson's latest book: One Summer: America, 1927. I'm only about half-way through, but so far it's been fascinating. That summer, Charles Lindberg made the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic from New York to Paris, Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs, and Al Jolson's "The Jazz Singer" was released as the first "talking picture". If you're a fan of the show Boardwalk Empire, you may already be familiar with the flappers, gangsters and bootleggers of the era (season 4 was supposed to take place in 1924), but as I've been reading, I've found myself wondering what everyday life looked like for most Americans. A little internet sleuthing turned up a treasure trove of great photos.

Read on for lots of fun photos from 1927: