Kitchen Update – Phase 2

Before

This is not nearly as exciting as the first time around, but I finally got around to finishing the kitchen. Instead of dragging the process out over several weeks, I went with a quick Band-Aid – tackling almost all of it in one day while Graybeard was at a bachelor party. That’s not to say he wasn’t helpful, he begrudgingly helped take down the useless cupboard above the fridge when he got home, but only after lots of profanities and reminders that I agreed not to start another house project. But it wasn’t a new project, I was finishing an old project! He was not amused by this technicality. Continue reading

San PANcho

I don’t think I’ve ever physically or emotionally needed a vacation as much as I needed this year’s trip to Mexico. Perhaps it was the fact that we hadn’t been on a proper vacation in almost a year, or the stress over the last few months of buying a house, or the endless gray that is Seattle’s winter, but in the weeks leading up to it every ounce of my body and soul was on the edge of a complete breakdown. Thus, a last minute trip to San Pancho, Mexico was born. And it was so, so worth it.*

San Pancho (also called San Francisco, and wonderfully pronounced San PANcho by the locals) is a tiny town (population ~1,500)  about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta, and about a 10 minute drive from the more popular surf town, Sayulita. San Pancho is a quiet little town, filled with friendly people, delicious (cheap) food, and a beach that was far, far less crowded than Sayulita. We ate. We drank. I spent my birthday posted up on the beach where I read an entire book while Graybeard played in the ocean. It was awesome.* Continue reading

Kitchen Update – Phase 1

Before

I’m pretty sure the moment I opened a crowbar for Christmas and Captain Graybeard, Esquire saw the look in my eyes he knew what was coming next: the kitchen cupboards were coming down. I believe it was the first thing I said when I saw the kitchen and something I complained about every time I had to cook anything (so, daily). Aside from being ugly and outdated, the cupboards sat far too low to the counter effectively rendering the back portion of the counter useless. It was also impossible to set anything under the cupboards due to the height and there may or may not have been a incident where an entire Vitamix-worth of green smoothie was spilled down someone’s suit because the opening a cupboard door knocked it over. Also not entirely irrelevant, but I’ve been dreaming of open shelving in my someday kitchen for years now. So, after some overly dramatic stories about whether I would or would not die if the cupboards didn’t come down immediately, we celebrated Boxing Day with some light demolition. Continue reading

Heavy Rotation: 2014

Several years ago Graybeard and I started a tradition of building a new playlist each year on Grooveshark or Spotify or whatever streaming service is currently having its moment. With a few exceptions for songs that were released late in the prior year that we couldn’t stop listening to, the only thing added to this list are songs we come across during the year. For the most what we add are new releases, but here and there we discover songs or artists that slipped our radar. In no particular order, here are some tracks that we spent a considerable amount of time with in 2014:

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Chowdah

When we lived in the rental house our neighbor – the most generous man on earth – would occasionally bring us things. It started off fairly small, some homemade tortillas here, some smoked salmon from his fishing buddies there. And eventually it progressed to 20lbs of fresh, wild caught Alaskan cod. Figuring this was the time to explore fish recipes, I set out to find something new while Graybeard begged repeatedly for beer-battered fish sticks (which were ultimately delicious and a quick way to make room in the freezer). I had a grand plan to do a whole series of posts on fish recipes, but about two weeks in we discovered a recipe for New England Fish Chowder and never looked back. We’ve made this enough over the last few months that I no longer need to look at the recipe and never forget to pick up seafood stock when I’m at Whole Foods (which is apparently the only place that sells seafood stock in this city). So, here it is. My one and only fish recipe to share:

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