Relaxing weekend, here I come.

It's been a bit crazy around here. Last week friends visited, work piled up, and life just seemed to have caught up with me.
I'm famously bad at relaxing. But I'm improving. So this weekend I plan to do as much relaxing as I can fit into two days. My favorite mug will be put to good use, filled with tea and sipped slowly. And if things get too slow, there is always a movie theater nearby. I'm looking forward to seeing this inspiring movie, or maybe this funny one. Have you seen either of these movies? I'd love to hear your thoughts...
Leave a comment bellow and lets make this blog about conversation and sharing. It gets lonely here on the internet all by myself.
Happy weekend!


WHAT'S FOR DINNER: Spring Vegetable Risotto

Spring had technically arrived, but the warm days are taking their sweet time getting here. While we wait, let's eat!
The spring semester is coming to a close, I have a big project that is in full-on construction and my stress levels have been on the high side lately. Oh, I also have a trunk show coming up at the end of April which I have to make a ton of bags for. No biggie...
So after a long day of teaching and stressing, I'm happy to sit down to this lovely meal. It's hearty enough to work during the still chilly nights in March, but the flavors are bright with spring. I'm also fairly certain that throwing a poached on anything makes it delicious! Pair it with a not-oaky (that's a technical term) chardonnay, good company, of course, and goodbye stress.
*I know risotto has a reputation for being a bit of a pain to make. This one is pretty simple so go for it. Get the recipe here.


IN SEARCH OF - A more glamorous life

These days traveling is much less glamorous than it used to be. You get herded into your seat and, if your lucky, a bag a stale pretzels may come your way at some point during flight. So whenever we travel we like to bring a little bit of glamour with us. I pack a cheese plate! Mid flight when hunger strikes, I lay out my french linen tea towel and mini cheese board, order some wine (or champagne) and instantly my mood brightens. It's great to observe the flight attendant's reaction when he sees us sipping our wine and enjoying our little picnic at 3,000 feet. 
Would you do it? I highly recommend you give it a shot on your next trip!

1. mini cheese boards (set of 4) - $64
2. french linen tea towel (set of 2) - $50
3. cheese selection - varies
4. saucisson - 8.99
5. bubbly (or wine) from on board selection
6. baguette


Trillium this weekend!

Trillium Brewing Company opened it's doors yesterday! It was so exciting to see the space complete and filled with people. My favorite features are the beautiful wood bar top and the reclaimed windows that give you a peak into the production floor and the up-lit row of stacked wine barrels that are used in the beer making process. Look for the glow of the lights off the lovely ipe wood entry wall as you walk down congress street. Inside you will find some very friendly beer enthusiasts and growlers of very special beer!
Stop by this weekend and see the lovely space for yourself...and of course buy some beer!
Have a great weekend.


IN CONSTRUCTION: house to home

It's been three short months since this project began it's transformation from idea to reality. There has been demo and framing and lots of progress. I just love construction photos. They feel so raw and in some ways irreparable. It's hard to imagine that in just as much time it will look completely different...and trust me, it will! Can you see it? 


Food Memory

I grew up eating salted cod. There are hundreds of ways to prepare this traditionally Portuguese fish, but there is one dish that is especially dear to my heart. My mom made this dish when I was growing up and still makes it for me when I visit. Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa is a simple three ingredient recipe; salted cod, onions and potatoes. It's such a simple combination, but there is something about the caramelized onions and the cod when they combine that is divine.
Last night I thought I would try my hand at this favorite recipe. It turned out pretty great. Not quite as good as my mom's but pretty close.
Would you give this recipe a try? Don't be intimidated by salt cod. It's just a matter of soaking it for the right amount of time before it's ready to go. It's very simple to make and a really rewarding meal.
Do you love food as much as I do? Check out my Pinterest Food Board  and see what else I've been cooking!

Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa
(adapted from Savoring Spain and Portugal)

1 lb salt cod, soaked
1.5 lb boiling potatoes peeled
6 Tbs olive oil
2 yellow onions thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic minced
.5 c chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
20 cured black olives
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled sliced

Soak the cod in cold water to cover for 24 to 36 hours, changing the water occasionally, drain.

Drain the cod and place in a saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a gentle simmer over med heat and poach 10-15 min. Drain, let cool and break up with your fingers removing skin and bones.

At the same time boil potatoes in water to cover for 20-25 minutes. Drain and slice 1/4 inch thick.

In a frying pan over med heat warm 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add onions and saute on low heat until caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl. In the same pan, warm 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Saute potatoes until golden 5 minutes total.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Oil a large gratin dish and lay half the potatoes in the bottom, top with half the cod and then half the onions. Sprinkle with pepper and parsley. Repeat the layers then drizzle top with a bit of oil.

Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Garnish with olives, hard-boiled eggs and parsley.
Serve and enjoy!


A day in Napa

We had a wonderful few days away. The weather was perfect and the wine was tasty.
Oh Napa, I heart you.


Away we go!

We are off to Napa Valley on Saturday to find some sunshine, enjoy time with friends, and of course, drink wine. The picture above is from a trip we took in 2009. For me it captures what Napa is like this time of year. The mornings start brisk and foggy and lead to days bursting with sunshine and warmth.
I hope you have some lovely plans made for your weekend. It may not be sunny in Boston but there is always a cozy restaurant to tuck into, or a morning cup of coffee to warm these lingering winter days. Enjoy the weekend!


NEW WORK: Leather Zipper Clutch

It's been a while since inspiration has moved me to work on a new bag. But yesterday it did just that! I dusted off my sewing machine and went to work. The result: Leather Zipper Clutches! I'm in love with the two-tone version in the photo above.
It all started with a leather jacket I found hiding in my mom's vintage clothing stash in the attic and a tunic that needed a new life. I fell in love with the subtle details of the leather and the pattern of the tunic.
These are just prototypes for now so you won't find them in the shop just yet. I always test out a new bag before it gets the stamp of approval for production. Luckily I'm off to Napa Valley next week! Perfect time to take these beauties out for a spin.
Ok, I'd love to know. Which is your favorite?


SNAPSHOT: February

February, unlike January, flew by. Don't you think? 
Here are a few highlights...

saying goodbye to my car, student work
art, structure


Have a great weekend!

If you are looking to take a road trip this weekend, I have a recommendation!
Head west to North Adams, MA where you will find modern art by a great little bed and breakfast where you can rest after an inspired day. I took this trip last year and wrote about it here. But currently at MassMoCA there is a very special work by Xu Bing that should not be missed. That's a photo of it above, but trust me when I say it does not do it justice.
So get in your car and go!

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