February Bonus Recipe: Mandelmusslor

“Cooking is like love: it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” – Harriet Van Horne

This recipe is a bonus because it’s “just” a dessert, while the other recipes I’ve explored can be considered a full meal on their own (or at least the centerpiece of one). I usually don’t plan any big gestures for Valentine’s Day, and would much prefer to make food from scratch with people I care about. I’ve often said that cooking is my love language: if I cook for you, it means that we’re friends. So thank you to everyone who has been taste-testing these recipes with me!

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February: Peanut Stew with Winter Vegetables & Cornmeal Dumplings (Afro-Vegan)

“Good music goes with good food.” – African proverb

This peanut stew looked delicious when I was flipping through “Afro-Vegan,” and it turned out to be just that. I hadn’t attempted cooking African cuisine before, but the friends who graciously agreed to be my taste-testers for the evening really enjoyed it. One had even traveled to Africa several times for work, and claimed that this recipe tasted almost exactly like an authentic peanut stew!

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January Bonus Recipe: Thai Curry

“Friends for a meal are easy to find, friends until the end of time are difficult to find.” – Thai proverb

Living in Seattle has allowed me to become exposed to a lot of amazing Thai food. Although I’ve tried cooking some before, with mixed reviews, this curry seemed fairly foolproof because of how few ingredients it requires. I always love a recipe that calls for “whatever you happen to have in your fridge.” It might not end up with the most authentically Thai ingredients, but I’m guaranteed to like it!

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January: Pasta e Fagioli (The Dinner Plan)

“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” – Federico Fellini

I always like to keep track of the year in some way. In 2015, I read 52 books from a list and wrote haiku reviews of them. In 2016, I read every single New Yorker magazine cover to cover so that the nonfiction and short stories could act as a counterbalance to all the fiction from the previous year. And last year in 2017, I kept track of hard data. I also managed to watch 44 spooky movies in the 2 months leading up to Halloween.

I’ve been doing a lot more cooking recently. I’ve always enjoyed it, but now that I live with 3 other people, I’m much more likely to be adventurous in the kitchen. And because I have a ridiculous number of cookbooks that I like to flip through, I’m going to try new vegetarian recipes at least once a month. So here we go!

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2017 By the Numbers

So much has happened this year, it’s difficult to keep track of everything. But I’ve managed to break down this year’s highs and lows into some concrete numbers to help measure everything I’ve experienced this year.

$489

Amount saved in rent every month after moving from an almost-one-bedroom apartment by myself into a house shared with roommates. Seattle is now one of the top 5 most expensive cities to rent and live in, even more than New York City and Los Angeles. The standard for measuring housing affordability is 30% of your income, and data published by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies in 2015 found that nearly half of Seattle renters spend more than 30% of their income, and almost a quarter of renters are spending more than 50%.

$455

Amount given to philanthropy, including organizations that make music and the arts more accessible, provide resources for students who want to learn a new skill, and sponsoring friends who are fundraising for a cause or actively working towards their dreams. Seattle is home to plenty of nonprofits, and with two of the the top five spots on Forbes’ 2016 Richest Americans list currently living in the city, it’s no surprise that philanthropy has deep roots in our community.

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Beyond Transparency: Material Disclosure and Practice

Materials Matter is a five-session series from the AIA Seattle chapter that delivers comprehensive, high-level knowledge and strategies for assessing and selecting healthy, sustainable materials. I had the opportunity to attend the first run of the newly-developed series with many of the local industry leaders who helped create the innovative course materials. AIA Seattle has just finished hosting the series for a second time.

The series encompasses everything tied to building materials and how they impact our lives: human health, the tools and data available for assessing and prioritizing materials, and strategies for integrating informed decision-making into projects and practice. Join me as I discover exactly why Materials Matter.

AIA MM 5

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Just Do It: Strategies for Projects

Materials Matter is a five-session series from the AIA Seattle chapter that delivers comprehensive, high-level knowledge and strategies for assessing and selecting healthy, sustainable materials. I had the opportunity to attend the first run of the newly-developed series with many of the local industry leaders who helped create the innovative course materials. AIA Seattle is currently hosting the series for a second time.

The series encompasses everything tied to building materials and how they impact our lives: human health, the tools and data available for assessing and prioritizing materials, and strategies for integrating informed decision-making into projects and practice. Join me as I discover exactly why Materials Matter.

AIA MM 4

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