Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Thai Noodle Recipe (& a Summer Picnic!)

I've been wanting to make a dish with peanut sauce ever since a delicious dinner with some friends a few months ago where I left with a burning mouth (I'm a wimp with spicy foods) but also so satisfied. A good Thai peanut sauce can make anything taste better, whether it be on top of grilled chicken, as a dipping sauce for sushi or spring rolls, or in this case, on noodles.

For this dish, I roughly followed this recipe but modified it a bit, adding a few things like bean sprouts, extra ginger, & slightly less red pepper than the recipe calls for. On a hot night in the city, it was the perfect light, refreshing dinner we were craving. It makes approximately 6 servings, so would also be great for feeding a crowd at a summer dinner party.

Here's what you need:
- box of spinach linguine or fettuccine
- 2 cups of broccoli
- 2 cups of snow peas
- 2 cups of sugar snap peas
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup of natural creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup of soy sauce
- 1/4 cup of water
- 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of lime juice
- 2 scallions, cut
- 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
-  2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup diced unsalted peanuts

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, drain, and rinse with cold water. While the pasta is cooking, steam or cook the broccoli, snow peas, & snap peas in a pan, covered. I added the snap peas a little later so they were still crunchy. Set the veggies and pasta aside.
Next, toast the peanuts in a pan for about 5 minutes or until they are brown. Set them aside to cool.
Make the sauce by pureeing the peanut butter, soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, lime, scallions, ginger, brown sugar & red pepper flakes in a blender or food processor. You can make the sauce as mild or spicy as you want by adding more/less red pepper flakes.
Finally, add the pasta, bean sprouts and sauce to your pan of cooked veggies and mix with tongs.
Divide into bowls, sprinkle with the toasted peanuts, & enjoy!
When we had finished cooking, we were craving some fresh air so threw some waters, a blanket, and some forks in a bag and walked down to the Boston public garden to enjoy our noodles. It was such a perfect temperature outside and it was so nice to just lie in the grass with some yummy food and my two favorite boys. We also brought along a toy filled with leftover peanut butter for Mac so he could enjoy the peanutty-goodness with us. That kept him distracted for all of about 5 minutes before he turned his attention to our bowls. They key to making a dog stick right with you in a park filled with dogs and ducks? Food.
^ josh's "be a good boy" face

Great night & great food! I think if I were to do it again I would add shredded carrots for some color and surprisingly, a little more red pepper. I think this "spicy" thing is starting to grow on me. What do you think of this recipe? Would you try it?

Psst if you live in Boston and are looking for good picnic spots I would highly recommend the public garden or the Esplanade. After about 7pm, they are both fairly quiet & peaceful while also having great people watching. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

This week on Marlborough 7.25

Well, Matt & Erin's wedding weekend in Vermont was the best. I've spent most of the week looking through photos on my camera, browsing through snapshots on Instagram (#shippeetefftwed), reminiscing about how beautiful the West Mountain Inn was, and wishing we could do it all over again! I'll be sure to share more photos here soon, but it was such an amazing weekend and I'm so glad I got to be part of it.

What's everyone doing this weekend? One of my best friends Emily is finally home from Florida, so I'm pretty pumped to see her tomorrow and then watch some polo at this event on Sunday.
Here's a few fun links from around the web this week...

  • 4 runners will be racing Boston's green line today to see who's faster! Watch it live
  • The trailer for the movie everyone's been waiting for is finally here. 
  • Joss & Main is having a sale to benefit Habitat for Humanity! Curate for a cause.
  • Loved this article about Instacart, a grocery delivery startup. Grocery shopping can be an ordeal when you live in the middle of the city, so josh and I will definitely be trying them out!
  • Now you can shop the pages of Real Simple Magazine right on Wayfair
  • An airstream gets an amazing rustic overhaul. 
  • A driving dog
  • A really cool treehouse.
  • One way to make sitting in an office all day in the summer a little better? Great desktop wallpapers
  • My friends Carolina is doing really cool things in Chile! Read about her cause

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Midweek Obsessions: Hammocks

Did you know that today is National Hammock Day? Probably not. I only do because I am mildly obsessed with them (and work at a company that sells over 150 types). I love the stress-free, relaxing feelings that hammocks evoke, and how they can effortlessly add a touch of whimsy to the inside or outside of your home. There's really no better place to put your feet up for a summer afternoon siesta. I think they just may be the most basic yet ingenious pieces of home decor ever made.

So kick back, pretend there's a breeze, and enjoy this little bit of midweek hammock-spiration.
^ a tropical poolside hammock surrounded by lush green
^ a white hammock chair hanging beneath a pretty porch
^ A hammock with a sheepskin. I could cozy up here all day.
^ a hammock illuminated by string lights. The perfect date night spot.
^ a colorful hammock lounge space on a tiny porch 
^ an idyllic water hammock 
^ A dreamy hammock in a Moroccan palace
^ a room with a pretty hammock view 
^ a lovely hammock escape in a vined outdoor space
^ a bold orange hammock in the middle of the jungle
^ a hammock adds a relaxing element to this beach bungalow 
^ a hammock in the attic, against the most amazing reclaimed wall
^ a sandy hammock retreat by the sea 
^ a kids' dream living room play spot
^ a dry hammock sanctuary above the water
^ a hammock right outside the door
^ a nautical napping spot with the waves as background noise

Happy napping!

Friday, July 18, 2014

This week on Marlborough 7.18

^ a great rooftop dinner for Marissa's bday this week!

Happy Friday! I can't believe one of my best friend's wedding weekends is finally here. I've got to run to get my bridesmaids dress steamed, my nails touched up, our cornhole boards packed up, and most importantly get myself together so I'm not a mess of tears for the next 24 hours, so I'll just leave you with some fun Friday links. I hope you have a wonderful weekend wherever you are! 
A few fun things from around the web this week...

  • These would definitely satisfy my summer sweet tooth.
  • One family, photographed over the course of 19 years.
  • 10 creative Instagram accounts to follow. 
  • Vermont, from a Floridians point of view
  • The cutest ice cream bar EVER. 
  • What do you think of Airbnb's rebranding effort? 
  • This seriously makes my heart melt. 
  • In love with this home filled with barnwood projects & thrifted finds. 
  • Now you can get a Boston T pass in ring form. Not the most stylish but I like where their heads are at. 
  • Another reason why cats are awesome. 
  • I want to design a whole room off of this beautiful photo.  

Have a great summer weekend! xx

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

DIY Margarita Flower Popsicles

My popsicle maker has quickly become my favorite kitchen item. I've made popsicles so many times this summer out of simple juices, lemonade & mint, fruits, iced coffee, you name it. Everything tastes better in popsicle form. And if your not a big liquid drinker like me, it's a great way to trick yourself into staying hydrated. We got ours at Wayfair (now out of stock) but you can also find great ones at Target or William Sonoma.

These pops in particular were so fun (and pretty) that I had to share! On the 4th of July, Vermont handed us a little bit of rain and a whole lot of lemons so naturally, we made magarita popsicles. Margaritas are one of my favorite celebratory drinks so I was excited to recreate them in popsicle form, with a pretty pink petal twist.
- 1.5 cups citrus juice (mix of lemons & limes)
- 1/2 cup tequila
- 1/3 cup triple sec
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
- 1 tsp ground salt
- Flowers/petals of your choice (see a full list of edible flowers here)

First, start squeezing those lemons and limes to get all the juice necessary!
Next, add your tequila, triple sec, honey, and salt to the same pitcher and stir.
After that, pour your mixture into the molds and let freeze for about an hour to allow some crystals to form so that your flowers won't float. If you don't have popsicle molds, you can also use plastic cups like in this example.
Once the pops have frozen for about an hour, insert the petals or flowers using your fingers or kitchen tongs and then insert the popsicle sticks. Then, put them back in the freezer and let them freeze for another couple of hours or so.
Once frozen, serve on a pretty platter and enjoy!
Enjoy one or two of these at the beach this summer and you're sure to have a great day. ;)