Most of you probably already know this, but Nick and I recently made a big life change. I took a travel nurse position in San Antonio, TX – quite a change from CO right?! My contract here is 13 weeks long, which means we are going to be able to enjoy what we’ve heard is the very best time of year in Texas- Sept through Nov. Being that we’ve just made this move, you can imagine how busy life has been! But, we have still been able to make time to explore the area and soak up this southern sunshine and heat.
Just last week, we took a quick day trip to Canyon Lake, which is extremely close to where we’re living. It’s a beautiful lake, and I can’t wait to get back there again. Here are a few pictures…
I can’t wait to go back and see what activities are available – I’d love to try SUP, or maybe even rent a pontoon boat on a sunny, hot day!
Chilly temperatures, warm blankets and cozy sweaters…don’t they just make you want to curl up on the couch with a nice cup of tea? Especially when you have a furry cuddle buddy, like Monkey.
It’s definitely the season for tea drinking, and I’ve gone through many tea phases…from strictly herbal “Zingers,” to black (Earl Grey, Constant Comment), to loose leaf teas. While I don’t really taste a difference with most loose leaf teas, they are a bit of a novelty – scooping out the tea leaves into the tea ball, smelling them, dunking the tea ball to really steep them – and that makes them fun.
On our recent visit to Chicago, my friend Stephanie recommended a stop at Tea Gschwendner, a specialty tea store with a huge selection. After looking around at all the different blends, I decided on a sampler tin (not sold online, but similar here). What better way to enjoy tea than to sample a few different aromatic varieties, a few leisurely sips at a time?
Since Steamboat’s summer has felt more like it belongs in Seattle, it was time to shake it up in the nail department. Anything to pull me out of my dreary weather slump, and remind me not to reach for the vampy dark colors just yet – it is just August, after all…
Enter American Apparel’s Neon Nail Lacquer in Neon Red. It’s a punchy, in-your-face bright (I mean, BRIGHT) polish – just the thing to remind you to go read a magazine by the pool. Oh, and bonus? It looks awesome paired with navy and white nautical stripes.
Though it’s called “Neon Red,” this shade straddles both bright pink and bright orange. Definitely not for the faint of heart.
I don’t know about you guys, but every week I feel like my shopping list gets weighed down with endless proteins. Chicken one night, beef one night, pork the next, then back to chicken, and maybe some turkey in there somewhere. It’s just too much!! Every once in awhile, I just feel like eating, well, meatless. Hence this Meatless Monday recipe! A few months back, I posted a piece about Flora’s Field Kitchen in San Jose del Cabo, and the cauliflower steak I had as my main dish. It was so good that it inspired me to recreate my own version. Without further ado, here’s how to proceed…
First, start with a good looking head of cauliflower. Prune all the leaves off (I don’t know what the technical term is for that.)
You’re going to want to make a cut on either side of the root of the cauliflower, and the florets that are not connected will fall away.
What you will end up with is one big steak, which you should then slice carefully into two 1-inch steaks. Slice carefully because cauliflower easily breaks away from the root!
Now you have two steaks and a bunch of florets. You can either save the florets for another dish later in the week, or roast them alongside the steaks. I chose to roast with the steaks since I’m always looking to cut time!
Next, put a few tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat (depending on your stove and burners, you might turn it higher). Wait for the olive oil to ripple and become fragrant, then place your steaks into the pan.
Allow the steaks to simmer and cook in the sauté pan for a few minutes, then flip.
Look at that beautiful brown! Nothing makes me squeal more while cooking than a nice caramelization. Eeek!
After sautéing the cauliflower steaks, transfer to a baking sheet along with the florets. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and pop those babies in! Let them cook about 15 minutes, then take them out and toss or turn them and put them in for another 15. Once you turn the cauliflower and put them back in for the last 15 minutes, you’ll want to start on the lovely curried béchamel sauce that will go so well over your veggie steak.
For your first dry ingredients, combine the flour and curry powder.
Gather the rest of your ingredients: butter, milk, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. I also like to add some cracked black pepper to the sauce, because I’m more partial to the taste.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium to medium high heat.
Once the butter is melted, add the curry powder and flour mixture.
Whisk it constantly until a golden brown roux takes shape.
After the roux starts to bubble, add the milk gradually, stirring constantly.
Look at that pretty béchamel! Keep stirring while adding a pinch of salt, nutmeg, and white pepper. This would be the time to also add cracked black pepper. Once all is combined, you have your curried béchamel. Now it’s time to plate!
Oooh this makes me hungry! Drizzle some of the béchamel over your steak, and add some slivered almonds and golden raisins for taste and crunch. This meal is great served with some couscous and a spinach salad.
Add a glass of rosé wine (Liquid Geography pictured here) and you have a sophisticated but light dinner for Meatless Monday. Kick the veggie lasagne to the curb and try this tonight! I promise you it will not disappoint!
Roasted Cauliflower Steaks
1 head cauliflower
1-2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste
salt and pepper
slivered almonds, to taste
golden raisins, to taste
Curried Bechamél Sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup milk, heated
pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of white pepper
black pepper, to taste
Recipe for Curried Bechamél Sauce adapted from RecipeLand.
Have you heard of JewelMint? If not, welcome to your new jewelry addiction. JewelMint is a designer collaborative, releasing new, on-trend designs frequently (prices start at $29.99/piece). It’s one of those monthly subscription service sites where all of the offerings are limited-edition and shipping is included, but you can skip a charge in the first five days of the month. I find it’s worth it to peruse their site every once in a while, because there’s always a mix of classic and edgy pieces – and actually, a lot of the earrings I wear on a regular basis are JewelMint.
One of my first and favorite pairs are the Rachel Earrings, curated by actress Rachel Bilson. I love that they’re reminiscent of safety pins (kinda punk rock), with a tribal/ropey texture, and the pretty amethyst-colored stones just set them off. They’re so unique!
The Rachel Earrings have been re-released by JewelMint for a limited time, and this time they’re available in a bunch of pretty colors, too (emerald, mint, crystal, and bright pink). But once they sell out, they’re gone (until they’re re-released again)!