Cocktailing

20131027-205409.jpgRachel had mentioned having trouble finding Chartreuse since Washington State privatized their liquor distribution. Now that restaurants and bars buy from large distributors that ordinary lushes don’t have access to, it’s been difficult to find a store that will stock less popular stuff. But we’re not ones to take a shortage lying down.

When I was over at their house for dinner Sam suggested a side-by-side taste test between Chartreuse and a less fancy replacement suggested to him by the fearless staff at the now shuttered Vessel*. The color difference and herbal intensity were striking when tasting them straight. Sam made us two versions of the Perfect Seattle to try them incorporated into a cocktail. The knockoff makes a perfectly delicious drink but misses the sit up and take notice bite of true Chartreuse. A totally reasonable swap out for an ordinary night or someone looking for something less bracing. I’ll be hunting down a bottle of the real stuff for when I want something special.

The Perfect Seattle Adapted from The Leary Traveller, Ballard

1 oz whiskey

1/4 oz Chartreuse

Dash of orange bitters

Combine over ice and stir. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with orange rind. Makes one.

*Edited after corrections from Sam. Giving Vessel proper credit!

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In the Kitchen: West African Peanut Soup

Recipe: West African Peanut Soup from Cookie + Kate

Soundtrack: Leaked copy of Reflektor by Arcade Fire

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Warm and filling

Holy moly, what a week was last week. Highlights: two concerts, a leaked Arcade Fire album, beautiful fog, some movement on going full time. Lowlights: chillier temperatures, driving all over town, not enough down time. When I got home on Friday I was super ready to curl up with something warm and a nice glass of red. I’d been meaning to try this recipe for a while. I swapped out the collards for kale because I had some to use up. It really hit the spot. Catching up on Scandal was just a bonus at that point.

House Hunters: We did it!

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The next chapter feels awesome

 

We got a house! After three weeks of searching, endless apartment visits, and about a million and one text messages between Kat and I, we have a home. A home we’re both really excited about in a neighborhood we love at a price we can afford. Everything worked out.

I’ll share more photos once we’ve actually moved and settled in a bit. But for now I will just say patio! Two bathrooms! Walk-in closets! Giant windows! Dining area! Great landlord! One block from a Carnegie library! Across the street from Green Lake! 

I’m so excited to settle in and get reacquainted with all of my belongings that have been in boxes in my parents’ basement for the last year. I’m excited for my books to emerge from their cardboard purgatory. I’m excited to cook in my dutch oven again. I’m excited for all my clothes to finally be in one place. I’m excited beyond belief to finally hang up all the things I lovingly lugged around Europe knowing they would one day be in my home.

House Hunters: An Update

Stress is the name of the game lately. Job in the morning, job in the afternoon, meetings, deadlines, activist commitments, house hunting, a random Russia report back presentation, remembering to pick up a card or send that LinkedIn request or grab half and half because my work stash went dry a week ago.

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Looking at house #6. We’re looking at four more in the next four days.

I got a wonderful, 12 hour respite following last night’s Ginger Baker show at Jazz Alley. The concert was amazing, Ginger is incredible, and it was super fun to be fancy at Jazz Alley (even if my drink was weak and overpriced). So much deep pocket action you couldn’t but feel the distractions melt away. I finally slept soundly after a few nights of tossing and turning. This morning I was calm, cool, and collected, joking around with my co-workers and getting some work done.

And just like that, I get a series of emails and phone calls that require 18 million immediate decisions and my cortisol levels go nuts again. This gogogo will stop at some point but dear, sweet Lord, not soon enough. In the meantime, please allow me to complain. In return I promise to try and exercise and eat my vegetables. At least we can stay in control of some self care.

Stand with Grocery Workers!

grocery workers

Puget Sound area grocery workers are going on strike Monday night. Workers at QFC, Safeway, Albertsons, and Fred Meyer are walking out for better pay, increased job safety, and a voice on the job. I’m proud to support them.

Like their page on facebook for updates on the strike and to leave messages of solidarity. And because they know ordinary need to grocery shop strike organizers compiled a handy list of union grocery store alternatives so you don’t have to cross picket lines.

Weekend Brunch: Brussels Sprout Hash

Recipe: Adapted from Braised Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta via Shutterbean
Soundtrack: The North Borders by Bonobo

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Sweet Saturday morning

What a supremely lazy morning. It’s 12:25 and I’m still in my pajamas. We’ve technically moved to the afternoon and I give exactly zero cares.

Brussels sprouts seem to have gotten a bad rep somewhere along the line but they are hands down one of my favorite things about fall. (Also! Beaujolais season! Which I remembered is nearly here!) Because we’re friends and my Pinterest privacy settings are low I will tell you I have an entire board devoted to them. They are that good.

For this hash I just sauteed onion, brussels, and some diced Canadian bacon in some olive oil and topped with two fried eggs. Simple. Straightforward. Delicious.

(And yes, I totally broke the yoke while cracking these eggs into the pan. We’re all human.)

In the Kitchen: Ladies’ Night

Recipe: Thai Chicken Soup from Bon Appetit
Soundtrack: Red Hot + Fela

Some of my favorite ladies came over for dinner Monday night to catch up but also help hatch a project we’ve been talking about for a while now. We all know each other through varying stripes of activism but have become good friends and rely on each other to help navigate the mixed up world of work, grad school, dating, and trying to get ahead that is your 20s.

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Mise-ing it up

Jessi cooked up this amazing 30 min soup from Bon Appetit. It’s surprisingly light for the healthy amount of coconut milk included. Pairing it with a Riesling was delicious and inspired. A great soup for fall and a pleasant twist on the chicken noodle soup I typically gravitate towards when it starts to get chilly.

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This new project is a product of our real conversations. If we’re having conversations about how to reconcile your politics with your relationships, someone else is probably thinking about it too. So we discuss a field guide to feminist relationships. Or, as I like to think of them, relationships for communicative, emotionally responsive adults. This may be a writing project for just us but I secretly hope it grows in a way that lets us include as many experiences and contributors as possible. Stay tuned!

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A toast to our new project

House Hunters

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Our plea

We didn’t get the Fremont house. And it’s bumming me out. House hunting is just the pits. It’s enough to make me want to buy a house just so I never have to do this again. Not that I can afford a house. Or that owning a house is easy. Really, I would prefer that the perfect apartment show up on my door step with a large bunch of dahlias and a bottle of bourbon. That would be ideal. Killer apartment, please note I’m a Bulleit fan.

The Seattle housing market is nuts. In my “good student” mind it shouldn’t be so challenging for two young women with stable jobs, good rental history, and excellent references to find an apartment. But it is. And people are duking it out over not that nice places! We spent two minutes inside an apartment by SU before knowing it was too cramped, tiny, dirty, dated and oddly laid out for us to live in. And yet, several people had checkbooks out ready to hand insane sums of cash over to the building owner.

As activists, we talk a lot about wage stagnation, gentrification, and people being priced out of the city. While we’re not there quite yet, I’m feeling the pinch. I do know that I’m willing to eat a whole lot of plain brown rice for hardwood floors. I know I need natural light. I could survive without a yard but I need a decent sized kitchen. I’m an extrovert but my home, my personal space, is where the very important work of recharging happens. I need to feel like I can stretch out and make it mine. After several years of sacrificing my space due to finances, relationships, and other goals I want a home with the least amount of compromises possible.

I feel like a big, giant whiner because I demand all these pretty things and then lament that I seemingly can’t afford them. But, oof, I want them. And the hunt, the mad sprint to see it first, the application decision that needs to be made NOW, the waiting, and then the heartbreak of not getting it just wears on you. There is a lovely space out there for us. But damn if it isn’t making us work at it.