Monthly Archives: January 2013

Recipe: Cauliflower, Leek, and Potato Soup

Living in Seattle has inevitably made us more aware about eating organically and locally. (I can’t believe we’ve become one of those people either.) On a friend’s recommendation, Nick signed us up for an organic produce delivery, New Roots Organics, twice a month. I was skeptical because you hear all the time how people enroll in these deliveries, end up throwing old, moldy fruit away 3 weeks later, and cancel their membership after a few months. It’s like that episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where Raymond’s parents freak out because they are overwhelmed by being in the Fruit of the Month club. (“What???? MORE pears?!!) However, I have to say it’s been a good experience so far. With all of the produce we have coming in, we’re making healthier choices, and I’m challenged to even try new vegetables every now and then. Plus, I love not having to go to the grocery store as often!

Last week, we received a bin which included cauliflower and leeks. Up until that point, leeks and I were strangers. For the life of me, I had no idea what to do with a leek. But a few weeks ago on one winter Seattle Sunday, it was chilly and rainy outside so making soup sounded like a good idea (who am I kidding, I’m my father’s daughter so I just really love any excuse to have soup.)

After perusing the meager contents of my refrigerator (being inherently lazy, I would rather make do with what I have than brave the store on a Sunday), I found this recipe online for cauliflower, potato, leek soup from Kelly Davis of Foodie Fresh.

Photo by Kelly Davis

Photo by Kelly Davis

The original recipe is below, with my own tweaks. I tend to do this with recipes if I don’t have all the ingredients onhand or if I want to modify it to my taste. Sometimes it’s to everyone’s detriment, but this soup ended up being amazing anyway- it tasted like a baked potato soup without the starchy heaviness. I highly recommend it with croutons and a little bacon and parsley for color sprinkled on top. Because I made a ton, we were still eating it three days later, which for Nick is saying a lot! And now I’m a HUGE fan of leeks, love the mild onion flavor!


8 cups vegetable broth (I used chicken broth)
1 pound yukon potatoes, chopped (I only had one potato onhand and this was fine b/c I wanted more cauliflower than potatoes anyway. You can even omit the potatoes entirely if you’re going for the low-carb version.)
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
2 leeks, trimmed and chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried parsley
Salt to taste
Ground Black Pepper to taste
*1 cup skim milk (I omitted the milk since I wanted it more broth-based than creamy. I didn’t miss the milk at all.)

Bring broth to a simmer in a large pot. Add potatoes and cauliflower. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat so that stock continues to boil slightly. Cook Potatoes and cauliflower for at least 30 minutes total.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan. Add shallots and saute for one minute. Add leeks and saute, stirring often, until leeks began to brown.

Add the leaks and shallots to the pot. Add thyme, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking until potatoes and cauliflower are very tender and will break up easily with a spoon. Puree with a blender or food processor. Add milk and stir.

Serve immediately or allow to cool and store in an air tight container.

* If you like a more decadent soup, substitute the milk for 1/2 to 3/4 cup of heavy cream

Enjoy! I hope you like it. This soup is great for weekday lunches or for a light dinner.

Tuesday Repeat?! Yes Please!

You ever have those days where you want to start over?  I have plenty of those, but yesterday was quite the opposite!  In fact, I’m cool with having yesterday repeat itself anytime.  Too often I don’t take the time to fully appreciate or be thankful when things go so well.  What made yesterday so great were these wonderful events:  beautiful weather on my walks with Nola, CJ having a great day at work, loving my pineapple tea from David’s Tea, homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner (I am obsessed w/ soup, like eat 4 bowls obsessed!!), CJ surprised me with treats from our local bakery, had a laughing session with Nola & got to watch the New Girl and Mindy Project w/ the hubs.  I am so spoiled with blessings and thankful to God!

nola treats

Girlfriends (the back story)

In case you don’t know how we became friends, figured we would tell you our “friendship” story!

Krystal’s First Impressions on Missy

Tiny girl. Big laugh.

I met Missy a few years ago when we both worked at an interior architecture and design firm in Chicago. It was my first job out of college and reality bit HARD. Anyone who has worked at this office will understand why.

In the firm, there was a constant revolving door of people leaving and arriving and Missy came in one day as a new architectural hire. I remember this friendly girl with a ready smile, a cute Wisconsin accent, and a contagious laugh that could be heard all the way across the small studio. I remember hoping she’d stay at the firm awhile so I could get to know her because everyone else there seemed so, well, TENSE. We needed to lighten the mood. Together with a few other girls, we formed a book club (where we ate, drank wine, and gossiped more than read). In our mutual misery at that office, a group of us banded together and became fast friends. To this day, I am so grateful to have met and have worked with such fun, supportive women. While a few of us have moved away since then, every time we are together, it’s like we never left.

Things I know about Missy:

  1. She loves her little family unconditionally
  2. She always looks put-together- and is especially good at accessorizing (hello, statement necklaces)
  3. Her family property in Wisconsin is drop-dead gorgeous and her family is as warm as she is
  4. She always sees the silver lining
  5. She can always be counted on to actually read the book in book club
  6. She craved kimchi when she was pregnant.
  7. We share a mutual love for the annual Victoria Secret Fashion Show
  8. She may be little, but the girl loves food. And she knows how to make a mushroom dish I’d actually eat.
  9. She and CJ make a mean gingerbread house, naturally.
  10. She’s creative and would rather make something than buy it
  11. She has a baby as sweet and as beautiful as her!

Things I admire most about Missy:

  1. Her unshakeable faith
  2. Her compassion and empathy for others

Missy’s First Impressions on Krystal (aka KV)

Like Krystal had mentioned I met her and the gang (yes there are more amazing ladies) when we started working together.  I have to say, when a group of friends open up their circle to the “new girl” LOVE, LOVE you for that.  I remember when they asked me out to hang for the first time and I was SO nervous.  I don’t care how old I am, it’s still hard meeting new people!  Am I right?!  Thankfully these girls are as beautiful inside as out and made me feel right at home.


we will do another post to talk more about these wonderful ladies!

I have always admired Krystal.  She is such a classy girl.  When we worked together I was always envious on how she handled herself and was so professional.  I had an instant connection with her when it came to food and loving girly things.  We were the girls that loved studying menu’s before going to the restaurant.  We both love food so much, I don’t think I can emphasize that enough :).  Krystal is a blessing as a friend and I know through this blog you will see that awesomeness as well!

Things I know about Krystal (aka KV)

  1. krystal loves her family and would do anything for them! (we need her to blog about her parent’s story, it’s book-worthy friends!)
  2. she’s a pretty great wife to her pretty great husband (she feeds him well and recall when he was in medical school she would get him special donuts as treats, she put us to shame!)
  3. best host & party planner EVER!!!
  4. being the best host means she makes AMAZING food
  5. has an amazing wardrobe (wish we lived closer)
  6. she had the wedding of the century in my books, so bummed we became friends afterwards!
  7. as a result of having the wedding of the century, she keeps herself involved in wedding planning on the side
  8. whenever we travel i ask krystal about what to see or do b/c she’s a world traveler
  9. she loves fresh flowers
  10. krystal has a big, close-knit Vietnamese family
  11. she is an extremely considerate and generous person
  12. introduced me to the book Shadow of the Wind (if you haven’t read this book you should)

Things I admire most about Krystal:

  1. contagious fun loving spirit
  2. one of the the most stylish & sophisticated ladies you will ever meet, for reelz

visiting seattle!

 when I visited Krystal in Seattle

Don’t Look Back


Every New Year, I’m tempted to compile a list of goals or resolutions that will help keep me motivated throughout the year. Like everyone else, I quickly lose interest by week 2 once it becomes apparent that either the goal is too hard/time-consuming/there’s-always-next-year, right?

Then I hit 30 last month. While the milestone itself isn’t scary, entering a new decade has become a game-changer. Despite the internal eye-rolling usually prompted when someone says “resolution”, here lies the beauty of the word: it pushes you to become a better version of yourself. Even if you don’t achieve that goal in the time you’ve set, the important thing is that it gets you to try and not be complacent.

So it’s time for me to get out of the butt imprint on the couch and yes, set some goals because while 2012 was a year of settling in and getting comfortable, 2013 is going to be a year of change and transition in preparation for 2014: the year of YET ANOTHER BIG MOVE (city tbd).

Here’s the list for this year…I’d like to think these are achievable enough to go from resolutions to just good habits.

The New Year Resolutions

Try a new recipe every week

Do more things for Nick

Go to church, reconnect

Go to Pure Barre once a week. I need to be able to touch my toes again

Love the phone again (stay in better contact with friends and family)

Read more

Write more (that includes this blog)

Entertain more (i.e. don’t be such a hermit)

Be better about sending out cards

Learn to love tea

Organize my photos….from 2005 onward

Keep moving forward

Set more goals, and don’t be afraid of the new


So far, it’s been steady progress. I tried a recipe for cauliflower/leek soup (actually delicious, will post the recipe later) over the weekend, booked a massage appointment for Nick since he’s been flying all over the place for interviews with little sleep, tried a new tea (Darjeeling, not bad), and have been to Pure Barre a couple times. My muscles are screaming but my toes are looking nearer each time! It’s also nice to have a project to keep busy during the evenings. This blog has been a welcome and productive distraction from all the bad TV I’ve been watching lately! A good beginning to 2013 so far.


My Baby’s 6 Months!

Last week our sweet girl hit her 6 month milestone!  I am excited that she is now old enough to use sunscreen, the jogging stroller and get her flu shot!  A few things I’m not quite ready for are introducing her to food (anyone else kind of like the idea of just whipping out the boob and not having to prep anything?), crawling (nope, like her staying put for now!) and just that she’s not my little tiny baby anymore.  Don’t get me wrong, I am loving how she is growing and healthy.  I am blown away by how amazing it is to see her learn new things daily and it reaffirms that every baby is such a miracle!

Here’s our sweet Nola and you can see how much she’s grown from month to month.

firstdayold onemonth twomonth threemonth fourmonth fivemonth

We decided to keep her half birthday small and got a little cake and balloons to celebrate.  We have the philosophy in our household to have fun even in small things, am I right?!  (let’s hope we are as ambitious when our second kiddo comes around :))




Oh goodness, now my creative juices are already flowing for her 1 year birthday!