Out and About: Stoneburner

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Siiri and I wanted to start the long weekend early. We had bought tickets to a show at the Tractor and were debating where to meet up for a drink beforehand. My brother Mike worked at Stoneburner before he moved to Chicago. Despite the big, open windows of summer, the bar felt better suited to fall and winter. A good whiskey list tends to have that effect on me.

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The bar has a slight Baz Lurhmann quality to it

Side note: I’m really terrible at saying no to good alcohol. I had this master plan where I was going to have one drink then go to the show and be in bed at a reasonable hour so I could whip through my last few to dos before the long weekend. My bill was supposed to be less than $15. But delicious drinks are delicious. And sometimes bartenders convince you to do things you want to do anyway. And then Manhattan. I have yet to regret making the choice to order a Manhattan.

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Improved Yorktown Cocktail: Rye, Applejack, Green Chartreuse, Bitters

Stoneburner is open for lunch, brunch, and dinner in the heart of Ballard Avenue.

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Trader Wino: Blackstone Cab Sauv

Good Lord, it’s come to this. Last night I posted a bit of a lushy comment on facebook, “I really need to keep better track of the wine I’ve tried and liked at Trader Joe’s.” It was meant to get a few laughs but the lovely Carrie joked I should make it into a blog feature. My mom will be so proud!

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Blackstone Cabernet Sauvignon, $7

I picked this up to bring to a low key potluck after a long week. It’s a busy time of year at work and my boss is taking all of next week off for Thanksgiving so we were finishing things right up until 5pm. I was super looking forward to kicking up my feet and relaxing with friends.

Right out of the bottle the first glass was delicious. A little jam-y but not sweet, it went well with the crackers and brie laid out as an appetizer. Nick made skillet beans for dinner and the wine complimented the coziness of such a simple meal well. I’d love to try it with a kale and sausage stew or some extra dark chocolate for dessert.

Bottom line: A- Will buy again. A dependable everyday wine to pair with a warm meal.

PS. I love you and I made you a spreadsheetCin cin!

What I Learned From Two Weeks Without Internet

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The Comcast Lady kept calling it “Military Feminist” which lolz…no.

1. Apparently people still read. I picked up a book I’d put down over a year ago and have been sucked back in.

2. It’s totally possible to use 15% of your monthly data in one evening. Also, Netflix on a tiny screen is no way to live.

3. Life does go on without your weekly jolt of Olivia Pope. My withdrawal symptoms and likely weekend binge watch may suggest otherwise but the sun still rose. I think. I never actually see it.

4. Kat and I are both shockingly efficient when not tethered to the internet. We cook, we arrange furniture, we buy all the house things at Target. Perhaps having one or two media-free evenings a week isn’t the worst idea in the world…

5. It’s mega stressful to try to wedge all your activist responsibilities into your workday. Especially when those responsibilities involve planning a day-long educational event for people from two states. (This is why I went to bed at 9:30pm on Saturday night.)

6. The internet is a big, mostly beautiful place that will warm your ever loving heart.

In the Kitchen: Tacos with MB

Recipe: Tacos by MB featuring Cook’s Country Pico de Gallo

Soundtrack: The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse by the Besnard Lakes

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Extra avocado because duh

The world needs more tacos. The world also needs more people that will cook for me on a Friday night and then put me in front of cartoons on Netflix.

We were supposed to eat tacos and then go see DJ Vadim at the Nectar. But the pull of the couch on a rainy night is strong among the late 20s set and so Bob’s Burgers won out.

Weekend Brunch: Hash Four Ways

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Same base, different toppings

We had some house guests Sunday morning. One is a regular (hi, Reubs!*) and one from California. While everyone hung out, woke up with a cup of coffee, and nursed a political hangover from debating theory all day Saturday, I pulled together a quick hash based on odds and ends in the fridge. When folks began announcing their different toppings preferences (I’m sorry, is this a democracy? Fineeeee.) I immediately remembered the venn diagram approach from Dinner A Love Story. It’s my favorite way to tailor to people’s requests without losing the grace that inspired me to cook for them in the first place.

On the fly hash

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium high heat. Once they’ve sweated out a bit and picked up a little color, add slivered brussels sprouts and cook until tender. If you eat animals, push the vegetable mixture to the sides of the pan to make a hole in the middle. Add chopped, pre-cooked sausage and saute until warm and golden. Serve topped with a fried egg (Kat), avocado (Jessica), both (Liz), or nothing (Reuben).

*This greetings will be increasingly less friendly the longer you hold out on the Buffalo mac-n-cheese.

Settling In

This week was lots of juggling as I tried to shoehorn unpacking into my regular life. Kat and I didn’t cook dinner at home until Wednesday because of these meeting or that commitment or whatever. I was super looking forward to the long weekend: Kat was headed to Portland with Reuben and I had a long to do list and few commitments.

My mom gallantly volunteered her shopping skills to helping me conquer Northgate mall and I single handedly spiked consumer output on Saturday. The house is coming together and our trip to IKEA next weekend will help solidify it even more (you might even get photos finally!).

Sunday evening I properly anointed the kitchen by roasting a chicken. I’ve been rereading Apartment Therapy, a book and website I highly recommend, this week. It’s thoughtful approach to caring for your home as a reflection of caring for yourself really resonates with me. Seemingly mundane routines like cleaning and cooking regularly at home mark a sustained commitment to building a warm, welcoming space that actually supports your life. Building a relationship with my kitchen by using it to feed people I care about is such a pleasure.

Monday was blissfully lazy. I slept in, made Amy’s sweet potato hash for breakfast, and talked wedding with Sparky while I finished my laundry. In what I hope becomes a regular practice I walked the lake by myself distraction free. No Facebook checking, no phone calls, not even any music. Just fall leaves and people watching.

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Looking southwest towards Fremont

House Hunters: Move Day!

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The move crew

We moved! And check out those beautiful people above that schlepped our stuff, took doors off hinges, reassembled bed frames (Siiri Sampson, people!), organized our kitchen, put up a shower curtain so we could be clean in a timely manner, and generally gave up a perfectly nice Sunday so we could be better situated. And to my incredible parents who housed me and feed me with only modest financial contributions on my part for the better part of the last year. Thanks guys, your help means so much to us!

I promise I will post pictures as soon as the most prominent feature of my living room is not a collaborative post-modern interpretation of declining empire rendered in cardboard.

*Edited after a phone call from my dad demanding proper internet acknowledgement! My parents are the best!

Bridesmaiding

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My initial favorite

So I’ve never been a bridesmaid (THANKS A LOT, RACHEL) but any job that requires shopping for a new dress, throwing a party for a friend, and having people pay attention to you sounds pretty awesome. I am qualified for that position.

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Meghan getting all sexy in this ridiculously tight number

You may recall that Sparky is, technically, legally married. Heck, we even had a grand old time keeping it under wraps and then whisking them off to get married in a giant rainstorm. In the spirit of extending the celebration and spreading the love, Sparky and Seth are having a ceremony and reception for broader friends and family in March. Which means Meghan and I (as co-Maids of Honor) get new dresses! Score!

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The winner!

As is the curse of hippie friends, I also managed to make it to my late 20s without ever entering a bridal boutique. I will admit I was a little nervous. I’d heard horror stories about everything from pushy, body shaming sales people to poorly made, expensive items to crazy, mandatory timelines. Shoe-horning this experience into a weekend of moving seemed like a recipe for frustration and anxiety.

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Sparky is getting married!

We had a blast. Our sales person was friendly, super knowledgable, and just all-around helpful. There were tons of dresses to try on and they were all well constructed and not heinously expensive. So maybe the secret hack to the wedding industry is go with your best friend and go out for drinks afterward? Pretty sure that’s my hack to life…