It's Sunday. My new cardigan is beautifully shear, and with all the lights off in my apartment the overcast day seems incredibly bright. One of my New Year's goals is to begin taking self-portraits—sometimes I feel quite shy of myself, and I see this as peut-être some sort of therapeutic solution. But also, I usually find others' to be completely lovely and revealing.

So, hello from my bedroom. I had breakfast with Sam this morning, and now I'm spending the day relaxing with my plants and Audrey Hepburn (until I have to trek to my late night shift).



I'm so very happy to see the sun today, touching everything in my apartment. Happy Friday, tout le monde.

Oh, do you see that I finally got those boots? They're perfect.


coconut bread

Mmm, coconut bread with my early—before the sun's even up— morning tea. I ran into the Streetwise man as I was buying all of the ingredients at the grocery store last night, and promised to give him a slice this morning. (We chat every day as I wait for my bus.)

I love his toothless grin and the way he says "You have a good day." (His intonation reminds me a lot of hearing this as a child, after waking up to Paul Harvey on my alarm clock radio.)

COCONUT BREAD Adapted from Bills cookbook, via Janis. Makes about 10 slices.
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup sugar
7 ounces coconut flakes
1 1/4 sticks melted butter
1/ Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a bread tin and set aside.
2/ In small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. In large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Then, stir in sugar and coconut.
3/ Dig well in the center of dry mixture, pour in egg mixture, and stir until just combined. Add melted butter and stir until smooth, being careful not to overdo it.
4/ Bake for about an hour, until the loaf is golden brown on the outside. Let cool, and then



A near-perfect meal for a near-perfect morning: sun, snow, a long walk, and breakfast at possibly my favorite place in Chicago. Part flower shop, part cafe —the Flower Flat is a dream.



It's incredibly wintry and beautiful today in Chicago, but I haven't gotten over yesterday's dreams of spring. I'll come back to the present tomorrow.

[New York City, 2009]



. . . or The Time that Ashlee and I Ate.

My long weekend was spent brunching, lunching, and munching around Louisville with my dearest friend. We listened to classic country on the radio, walked through the rows of old mansions, played trivial pursuit in a cafe, and squeezed in four movies.

There was a warm(ish) rain today, and my heart swelled with dreams of spring. (I honestly can't stop thinking about it.) Now, I'm full . . . and relaxed . . . and unprepared to catch my early morning flight.


homemade yogurt and granola

Hello. I've been bad, I know. Instead of blogging, I've been seeing wonderful movies, lazing around in bed, and making friends at my new job. Let me get to the point: this is only my second batch of homemade yogurt. It's easy to make, but gets tricky with incubation.  Some people use the pilot light of their stoves, a cooler wrapped in blankets, or fancy yogurt makers. I, on the other hand, found the perfect solution for my little kitchen: this lovely thermos. And with that comes a plethora of other "thermos recipes"—I had no idea there were such things (but I'm getting excited for summer camping).
3 cups whole milk
1 tbsp yogurt starter (plain store bought yogurt, or from a previous batch)
1/ Using a candy thermometer, heat milk in small saucepan until it reaches 180ºF. Make sure to stir constantly to avoid scalding.
2/ Turn off heat and let cool to 120ºF. (If the milk is too hot it will kill the yogurt bacteria.) Stir in the live culture and then transfer to thermos container. Let incubate for at least eight hours.
3/ Transfer to glass jar or other container and refrigerate for at least two hours before eating.
"Now then"—as my grandmother always says with a sigh—this granola recipe has been my go-to for a couple of years. It's quick enough to bake up a batch right when you get up, and then have a warm snack on your cold morning commute.
NUTTY GRANOLA Adapted from Ellie Krieger's The Food You Crave. Makes about 9 half-cup servings
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup chopped raw, unsalted walnuts
1/2 cup chopped raw, unsalted almonds
1/2 cup chopped raw, unsalted pecans
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
1/ Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Combine all ingredients in medium bowl, making sure the salt and cinnamon are distributed evenly.
2/ Spread mixture on baking sheet and place in oven for about 30 minutes, until golden brown. (Stir occasionally during this process to avoid burning. Although not very apparent in color, a few minutes too long leaves this recipe with a strong burnt flavor.) Ellie suggest letting it cool completely, but I think it tastes perfect warm and right out of the oven.


strangers in europe

I adore the New Year because it's just another excuse for me to make lists, set goals, and talk about the future—some of my very favorite things. One of my resolutions: take more photos with my film cameras. I love the unpredictability of shooting analog, and the sense of finality that comes with every click. So, here's to 2011! I have high hopes for this one.

(These were taken during a solo backpacking adventure, in April 2009. I was living in London at the time.)