Friday Scraps

{My good friends, Ben and Jerry}

. In love with this all white, serene space.

. How cute is this jam-packed Parisian loft?

. Bahaha!

. Oooh la la! Risque a la the 1800s.

. The funniest thing I’ve watched all week.

. Still available for your viewing pleasure. Just in case you forgot.

I’m so excited for this weekend. We’re saying goodbye to our dear Jen, who is off to Yale like the fancy pants she is, and then boyfriend and I are going camping in the wine country. With wine – that hardly needs to be said – and chocolate mint marshmallows! On skewers! Which we’ve recently purchased! Because we love camping! CAMPING!

Have a good one, young people.

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The African Queen

 Lately, we’ve been doing so much exploring and tromping around through the wilderness, I’ve been remembering the hikes and adventures from my trip to Africa a few years ago. Since The Poisonwood Bible is really, really long and a trip to actual Africa isn’t on the schedule for a while, I have to settle in for a viewing of the classic, The African Queen, and taking some wardrobe inspiration to boot.
Inspired by...The African Queen
Bogey and Hepburn’s romantic trip down the Ulanga river stirs up both a sense of adventure and a sense of style. Whether you love Rosie’s lacey look or Charlie’s rough and tumble captain’s uniform, both are a fresh and modern look for summer, on the serengeti or just the city where you live.
Shopping information here.

Chicken Rustica

I considered calling this post afternoon chicken, because that’s when I made it. In the afternoon, while the light streamed in from my tiny door onto my tiny stove. But then, I didn’t want you to be confused, see, because you can make this chicken anytime, not just in the afternoon. You could make it in the morning, if you felt like it. Personally, I don’t have the stomach for morning chicken, being more of an oatmeal girl, but who knows. If you are a morning chicken person, you just might like this chicken in the morning.

Light on chicken, a still life.

Chicken isn’t fancy. You already know this. And yet, as a bay area resident, I almost have a weird level of guilt in admitting that I periodically roast up a whole chicken or that it is my preferred protein to toss into salads. Instead of ahi tuna or mung-soaked tofu (Is that a thing? It sounds like a thing. I’m just making up pretentious food things now! Wheee!) or San Francisco bay lobster that I caught myself on my yacht – my hybrid yacht! – which runs only on ethanol and electricity, and love. Sweet hippie love.

Nope.

I bought this chicken at the grocery store. And then, I put it in a pan, and I put some salt and pepper on it, and then, for fun, some fresh rosemary, and then for even more fun, some parmesan, just to see what would happen. And what happened was a delicate cheese crunch, a burst of warm rosemary flavor, and a hint of pepper that played nicely with the moistness of the chicken and the flavor of the olive oil it was seared in. Easy, rustic ingredients that everyone has on hand.

After that, I cut it up and put it on some mixed greens and added some heirloom tomatoes (which I did not get at the farmer’s market) and a toss of balsamic and some avocado. And I ate it on my deck with some amazing goat cheese, which came from a goat whom I do not know personally, and made at a farm I’ve never heard of. Though, the farm is nearby, so we can pat ourselves on the back for eating local.

You guys, I am hanging my head in shame over all this. Everything but the cheese.

Except, I’m not. Because great food is for everyone. This is something that’s been bothering a bit, because while the Bay Area is full of passionate eaters and wonderful chefs, both in restaurants and in homes, there can be a level of pretention that is completely ridiculous about food. Is it vegan? Did it come from Whole Foods? Is it organic? Did you get it at (insert Ferry Building vendor here) because otherwise I will slightly judge this food and deem it unworthy of my consumption.

I don’t ever want anyone to think that this blog (i.e., me) comes from that place, but sometimes San Francisco people get lumped into one category. If you got that organic chicken at the grocery store, or if you killed that chicken in your backyard, you can still make something delicious out of it. If you don’t live within spitting’s distance of a farmer’s market every day of the year, you can still cook! And even if you’re not the greatest cook in the world, you can still try. You don’t have to live vicariously through food blogs and cookbooks or dream of when you are advanced enough to cook ahi, or think that you can’t cook amazing dishes because you live in Nebraska and not San Francisco. Just get some chicken, don’t feel bad about it, and fire up the stove.

You can do it. I know you can!

And you know what? In your honor, non-pretentious cook to fellow non-pretentious cook, I will rename this post Afternoon Chicken. Because that’s when I made it. It’s not fancy, but it’s good. And sometimes, good is great.

 

CHICKEN RUSTICA AKA AFTERNOON CHICKEN

Ingredients:

. 1 lb. chicken breast

. 3 tablespoons EVOO

. 3 tablespoons grated parmesan

. A few sprigs of rosemary, to taste

. S&P, preferably sea salt, if you have it, because the flavor is more dense than regular table salt

Instructions:

1. Heat EVOO over medium heat, until the skillet is coated and swirls in the pan.

2. Lay the chicken in the pan and season liberally with salt, pepper, parm and a sprig of rosemary

3. When the chicken begins to turn white, flip it over and season the other side.

4. Continue flipping and turning, until the chicken is cooked all the way through. The outsides should be brown and nicely crisped, but not burned. Adjust heat accordingly. I like to cook on medium high and watch it carefully, for a really nice sear, but if you’re multi-tasking, turn it down so it doesn’t burn.

Puppy Time Suck

As you know, I’m not one to post random videos or weird links, just for the sake of it. I’d prefer to share with you interesting, important things, like how to cook brussels sprouts, say. Or cinnamon buns. Or what to wear on a picnic. Life changing stuff, I know.

But I just had to share This. With a capital T. It will mesmerize you and ensure you get nothing done for the rest of the day. NOTHING, I tell you! You’ve been warned.

Thanks to our Jo, for the tip.

PUUUUUUUUUUUUPPPPPPPPPPIESSSSSSSSS.

Friday Scraps

{Runyon Canyon}

. These super soft t-shirts will jazz up your summer wardrobe with bright colors. Caution: shirts are brighter than they appear.

. It’s peony season and the flower shops are so tempting right now.

. This fabulous music video cracked me up – we loved trying to guess the rockstar!

. Can’t wait to bake up a batch of these tonight! Yum.

It’s Friday! Whew – what a week. This weekend is all about baking, spending time in nature, and being with good friends. What are you up to?

Glamour Camping Tip

For those who are more about glamping than camping, I thought this campfire tip was hilarious and brilliant:

To waterproof matches, dip them in nail polish!

I can just imagine my friends rummaging through our camping box and coming out, confused, with matches the color of Sugar Daddy or High Maintenance, my go-to red. Next week is our first camping trip of the season – I might try it!

Check out 25 more genius camping tips and how to stay adorable in nature.

Happy Summer! Let’s bust out those tents and hiking boots!

Royally Obsessed

Kate Middleton officially bumped Audrey Hepburn from the top of my style icon list about a year ago. I know, I know. But Audrey looks good in leggings while I do not, and Kate doesn’t wear leggings. At least, in public. Problem solved.

Her classic, modest, feminine sensibility is almost a lost art in these days of spray tans and super short shorts. I love that she rocks a boat neckline, modifies designer dresses to add sleeves or lower a hemline, and even better, that’s she’s bringing back accessories formerly associated with grandmas, like big flouncy hats and brooches. Brooches, people. Kate and Michelle should get it together and host a sassy lady brooch convention. I would attend, wouldn’t you? You would. I know you would. Everyone secretly loves a brooch.

What was once a mild appreciation for her nice outfits turned to full-blown awe because the woman just never misses. I frequently leave the house is ensembles that are lovely. I even more frequently leave the house in ensembles that are slightly head scratching, even to me. Why did I pair those pearl earrings with that t-shirt and those shoes? To quote Shakespeare in Love, “I don’t know. It’s a mystery!”

To help myself, and yourself, in stopping the sartorial sadness, a list of rules for achieving that perfect Kate style:

1. One thing at a time. Kate very rarely dresses to more than one trend at at time. If she’s going for lace, she’ll pair it with nude shoes and understate accessories. With a big sparkly brooch, a simple dress and swept back hair. She understands the power of focusing on one thing and letting the rest of her outfit recede. Note: fascinators are not trends to the Brits. They are a way of life. They don’t count on trend-watch. NEXT!

2. Pick a color and stick with it. If her dress is cream, so is her hat. If her dress is black, so are her shoes. If her dress is patterned, her accessories are neutral. Don’t go crazy with the mis-matching.

3. Keep it simple. Kate’s not one to wear ten bracelets or big chunky shoes in the name of fashion. She sticks to classic lines, simple drop earrings, and her heirloom statement engagement ring. You can wear whatever you want, of course, but you can also very easily look like a hooker. Tread lightly. Preferably in your nude heels.

4. Don’t let accessories take over. Kate often holds a very small clutch, which is easy for her, because she’s got wranglers and cars where she can stash her OK magazines and cherry chapstick classic literature and tastefully chosen designer lipstick. But there is a lesson to be learned, and it’s that her clothes and accessories never outshine her. Even if you have to carry a bigger purse or another bag to hold lunch, gym shoes, make-up, and a book, look for understated options that will make sure your accessories go with your outfit and never overshadow you. Longchamp, Coach, Marc Jacobs and J.Crew all make bags with classic lines that will never go out of style.

5. When in doubt, dress up. Even when she’s running to the grocery store, Kate still gets dressed, does her hair, wears a nice sweater and a classic pair of flats. There is nothing I love more than running around town in my yoga pants. I live near the Marina in San Francisco, where Lululemon yoga pants are practically the mandatory uniform. I shouldn’t feel too badly about this. And yet, when I run into people I know, I immediately regret not making more of an effort.

Even if you don’t live under the royal microscope – the queen will not judge you for leaving home in gym clothes – you still owe it to yourself to look your best. So invest in a classic trench, a nice handbag, some classic black flats and some beautiful, simple accessories. You’ll never, ever regret that.

All images found via Pinterest