December 23, 2010


Last week we were oh-so-not-tactfully reminded that "no one wants to be alone during the holidays." 


Our dating life has been a bit sparse lately. So, in an effort to stave-off being alone - and mostly because a bunch of friends were in town and we've been wanting to host a soup party for years - we made a big pot of soup and invited the masses.

We also made amazing savory cookies (cheddar and jalapeno, yes please) from Design*Sponge, man we love those recipes!

The kiddo-guests were hilarious. Lots of hugs, kisses and catching up. People brought bread (and even homemade onion focaccia, yum), wine and a special dessert. It was a blast.

We love our friends and family. Happy (almost) New Year! 

What do you have planned for 2011?


Serves 4

3/4 t ground cumin
3/4 t curry powder
1/2 t fennel seeds, lightly crushed
1/4 t dried thyme, crushed
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1 T vegetable oil
1 1/2 c finely chopped yellow onion
3/4 c finely chopped carrot
1 medium clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 jalapenos (we've also used 1 Anaheim chili), seeded and minced
2 t finely grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 c red lentils, rinsed
1 can (14.5 oz) vegetable broth
3 1/2 c water
1 c unsweetened coconut milk (we used light)
1 t kosher salt
1/4 t black pepper
3 T fresh lime juice
2 T cilantro, chopped
2 T butter (or butter substitute if you want to do vegan)

1. In a small bowl combine cumin, curry, fennel, thyme and nutmeg. Set aside.

2. In a soup pot, heat oil over medium-low heat. Saute the onion about 4 minutes. Stir in carrot and saute about 3 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeno and ginger, saute 2 minutes. 

3. Add lentils, broth and water. Stir in 3/4 t of the spice mixture. Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes (be careful that stuff doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and burn). The lentils should be soft and falling apart.

4. Remove from heat. Cool about 10 minutes. Stir in the  coconut milk, salt, pepper, lime juice and cilantro.

5. Melt the butter in a small pan and stir in the remaining spice mixture. Cook 1 minute. Stir into soup and serve.

*Recipe via our mom but originally from the Seattle Times, we think.

December 15, 2010


It's the holidays and tonight we're going to a cookie exchange. Because we're obstinate (ahem, like to try new things) we're making something different. Cheddar jalepeno cookies.* It's an experiment, we've never baked anything like this before.

We have to admit, we're a little nervous. Is it too weird? We like the idea of a cookie you eat with salad. (Who wouldn't like that?) And with so much sweetness these days, we were sold.

What do you think of savory cookies? Would you exchange with us if you could? 

Reviews (and maybe photos) to come.

*Thanks to Leah Verwey for the recipe, via Design Sponge.

December 1, 2010


Speakeasies are all the rage in Seattle. Last weekend we decided to check one out with a friend. After ringing the doorbell we were greeted by a hostess who led us to our reserved seats. It’s small and oh so cool. You should go.

Scoping out the room, we notice a cute guy. But, he was talking to a couple of other girls. They must be together and we dismissed the idea of meeting an interesting fellow.

Not long after, Cutie came over and started a conversation. Really cute. We swooned.

Turns out he came alone. Lively conversation followed. He mentioned how he and his friends liked to live life to the fullest. We were intrigued. After a night out, they choose:

Option A - Go home and sleep

Option B - Don't end the night, but also don't do anything noteworthy (like head somewhere for an after-hours drink)

Option C - Do something a little crazy and fun, like sneaking up to the penthouse suite of a ritzy hotel and hot tubing until the sun comes up

When our friend went to powder her nose, Cutie asked if we were up for Option C. He suggested a drive to the mountains to throw snowballs and enjoy the first snowfall of the year. We told him we were up for anything. (Really, we thought he was all talk.)

We closed the bar. Guy offered us a ride home. In his 1983 gold Porsche – hello!

We figured that in that car, a bit of kissing would be a possibility. Our friend said goodnight and Cutie asked if we were up for that drive to the mountains.

While the risks did pop into our head (potential murderer, driving into the mountains at 2 am, etc.), adventure trumped doubts.

There was a blanket in the back, and we had a hat and gloves in our bag so we cozied up for the ride ahead. There was no radio but plenty of "getting to know you" conversation. And for some reason Cutie allowed us to go through his wallet (yes, we’re nosy). He actually encouraged, probably due to the fact that we noted he could be a murderer. Out loud.

At the pass it was snowing. Snowballs were thrown. Which led to kissing.

Heading back to the city, Cutie asked what we wanted next. We replied, “What do you want to do?”

“Take you back to my place and have my way with you," he replied. Sigh.

We considered, but it was really, really late. We were tired and while we were interested, we weren't interested enough. So we told Cutie we’d had enough adventure for the night. "Good for you," he said as he patted our leg.

We thanked him for not murdering us.

Back at home but still sitting in the gold Porsche, we waited for him to ask for our number, but he didn't. And we weren’t going to ask for his. With a kiss and a "see you around" we said good night and were confident that not going home with him was the right decision.

We kind of felt alive from the experience. And that was enough.

Curiosity got the best of us and the next day we Googled him. (Knew his first and last name from the wallet browsing, remember?)

Top of the list: Engagement announcement from August.

Could've been a different guy with the same name? Wrong. There was a photo. And, to make it worse, Cutie was getting married in a week.

Ugh. A little guilt for kissing him followed, but how were we supposed to know? 

Which makes us now wonder, do we have to ask every guy we meet if he has a girlfriend? Or, if he's engaged? Is this another thing we need to worry about?

We squashed the urge to send a message via Facebook to his bride. But, now you know – don’t fall for the Cutie with the 1983 Gold Porsche and his adventure story.

November 29, 2010


We met Patchwork Jacket on a popular dating website. He was our second "experience." He suggested dinner with some of his friends. Which we thought was a little odd, but said yes anyway.

We arrived on time but seemed to be the last there. It was a group of eight, seated around couches. (Not the most conducive set-up for group chatting, let alone a date.) And Patchwork, a little distracted and hyper, was focused on making sure every last person was entertained. First date-type interaction seemed like a low priority.

Still going with it, we chatted with the nice, calm guy seated next to us.

After dinner, Patchwork and one friend announced they were heading to a nearby bar. We got invited. Since we didn't have anything else planned on this Saturday evening (we’re not in the habit of making back-up plans when we have a date, perhaps we’ll rethink), we went along.

And here’s how he earned his name. 

As we were leaving, Patchwork puts on a blazer made up of various sizes of leather squares, in every level of brown you can imagine, sewn together in an incredible patchwork pattern. Apparently it had been hiding in his man bag. We were alarmed and commented, saying it was colorful. He responded with “it’s my favorite.”

Had the jacket been his first offense of the evening, we might have been more tolerant. But, it wasn’t. And so we decided right then and there – there wasn’t going to be a second date.

At the second bar after a disastrous attempt at dancing with Patchwork Jacket where he also leaned in for a kiss (not good!), we began an illicit flirtation with a hottie who was a great dancer. Patchwork didn’t notice. (Not our proudest moment, but we didn’t get all dressed up for nothing.)

And success! Hot Dancer Guy called the next day. 

November 22, 2010


Last week we went over to our dear friend's house for a play date with her and her daughter. Our friend sheepishly tells us her mother met a man for us at shiva. And she got us his email address.

At shiva? "It's like we're in a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode, she says." 

But we decided what the heck. Meeting someone is always random. The man seems to have "good bones" (never married, college, law school, etc.) and we tell her to send us his info. We look up his photo on Facebook (isn't technology great!) and he doesn't look like a troll. So, we email him, knowing that there is zero chance he'll ever write back.  

But guess what? He did. And he asked us out. 

When we called our friend's mother to give her the news she told us she might have caught the matchmaking bug. Baking just isn't doing it for her anymore.

November 10, 2010


A friend sent us this hilarious take on dating from Apocalypstick and we just had to share. And she has funny, funny insights on other topics like the pros/cons of TV boyfriends. Plus she's a damn fine writer.

Check it out.

November 3, 2010


We admit that we're obsessed with design - lately it's been focused on fashion styling and home decor. Sneak Peeks on Design*Sponge are a particular fave.

We spent months and months going over the archive peeks and now check every Monday religiously for new ones. It's so hard to pick one, but we love love love the two homes of Michelle Michael and her husband. Simple and functional, fun color, a mix of thrifted and high-end, ooh la la! And really, it's no surprise because we own a very dog-eared copy of Michael's "The New Apartment Book."

After recently repainting our apartment we tackled long-talked about updates including:

  • Hanging new curtain rods
  • Hanging poster display system to show off our collection
  • Making curtains with cool fabric we found at Ikea

And the next day we made banana crunch muffins (via Barefoot Contessa) and changed our headlight. We were feeling so handy until we electrocuted ourselves when replacing a light switch cover (the easiest-seeming thing on our To-Do list). Whoops!

Our fantasy is that one day we might be cool enough to be featured in a Sneak Peek (hey, a girl can dream). But in the meantime we'll be satisfied with sharing with you.

And, this spring we refurbished an old, ugly Ikea TV cabinet into a small bar. Before:

Adding the clear casters was the final touch. After:

 Most of the posters, but not all, are by Beautiful Angle. Some bought, some found on telephone poles.

October 30, 2010


Sometimes a party sneaks up on us, sometimes we spend weeks planning. Tonight, it's a little bit of both.

First things first, it's Halloween Eve (is there such a thing?) and our dilemma is always - what to be? We considered Frida Kahlo and Miss Piggy before settling on the seemingly easy, inexpensive and not-that-exciting black cat. And then we went over to our dear friend Spuntina's house this week - she and L were doing crafts, we were doing a test run of our makeup. And it was a disaster. We hated everything about our costume. Plus, the girls made these totally amazing masks that really made us feel lame.

And then we decided to copy (ahem, get inspired) and make a mask of our own. Delicious black glitter, long black ribbon...we're cat-tastic!

We're having people over tonight for a funk-fest before going out. Or, maybe it'll be so much fun we'll just stay in. Of course, that means Halloween-decor, good food and drink. We scored a cheap table runner at Pier 1 and decided to make paper bag jack-o-lanterns. And we wanted to buy a bunch of black helium balloons with black ribbon and let them float up to cover the ceiling but we ran out of time. Next year.

Rosemary Almonds*
Butternut Squash & Gorgonzola Pizza (we blogged about this in April)
Steve's Mom's Brownies (recipe here)

*Rosemary Almonds (adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Paris)
This is seriously the best-ever cocktail party snack. It's made us the most popular girl on several occasions!

1 lb roasted, unsalted almonds
2 t minced fresh rosemary leaves (OK, we admit we pick this from the neighboring condo's landscaping)
1/2 t cayenne pepper
2 t light brown sugar
1 T kosher salt (we generally use less)
1 T unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds on cookie sheet and toast in oven until warm (about 5 minutes). In large bowl combine rosemary, cayenne pepper, sugar and salt with melted butter. Toss toasted almonds in spiced butter until coated. Serve warm or later. Yum!

October 25, 2010


Photo via Green Door Studio

OK, we need your help. We've been compiling a mental list (to be doled out when asked - what do you feel like doing?) of our favorite date ideas. But, we live in Seattle and have only really dated here (except for some college-era dates in LA, which barely count) and, we've realized most of our fave dates are centered around food. We need some diversity and inspiration.

So, what's your favorite date activity and/or meeting spot?

  • Latona Pub: For a first date drink, or dinner anytime. With a rotating list of craft brews and wines and inspired-pub food we love, love, love this neighborhood spot. (We've been on so many dates here, we're waiting for the management to embarrass us and say something.)
  • Volunteer Park Cafe: Brunch or lunch and then bocce ball in the park (bonus, a walk up the water tower for stunning views and a kiss!).
  • Ocho: Perfect for a first date, tapas are good for conversation, get the Pimientos de Padron. Hot!
  • Henry Art Gallery: Watch the clouds and enjoy the company at James Turrell's Skyspace, Light Reign.
  • Kangaroo and Kiwi: Quiz night every Wednesday, it's the craziest one in the city!
  • Discovery Park: For a spontaneous, close-to-the-city hike, picnic (if the weather's fine) and beautiful views of the Sound and Olympic Mountains.
  • Century Ballroom: If you're feeling brave, learn salsa, tango and lindy hop at one of their classes.
  • Barolo: The sexiest bar in Seattle. And a great happy hour. Warning - we try and stick to a one-bottle-of-wine maximum (shared, of course!)
  • A mini road trip to Tacoma: Tacoma Art Museum, Graffiti Garages, dinner at Pacific Grill or Indochine. Yum!
We also like Lenny's for the jukebox, brews and maybe a game of pool. The Hazelwood because it's a great place to sit at the bar. And a walk to look at the houseboats on Lake Union.

September 27, 2010


Ever see a pair of undies on the street and wonder how they got there? We'll tell you how.

Ages ago, when we were young and reckless, we read an article in a magazine about how to maintain a spicy sex life. We decided to try.

One night at a party when we were wearing a dress, we went into the bathroom, took off our panties and slipped them into our boyfriend's pocket. Hot, right? 

Until somehow between the party, the cab and our friend's house, our undies ended up on the street. Only to be discovered the next morning when a big group of us headed to brunch. Whoops! 

At the time we were too mortified to swoop them up so they stayed there, in the gutter in front of our friend's apartment. And stayed. And stayed. Until weeks later, when were were back visiting and finally got a moment alone to snag them. 

A footnote: We were reminded of this story when one of our faves told us she'd been tossing a pair of undies into her purse (aka "Shag Bag") lately. This seems a recipe for disaster.

Girl: I'll have a tall nonfat latte, please.
Coffee Guy: That'll be $2.86"
(girl reaches into her bag, undies catch on wallet and go flying, hitting coffee guy in the chest)

August 30, 2010


We fell a little bit in love with a wrangler in Montana. We did. 

The road trip was epic. Lovely country, lots of good tests (we know how to build a mean fire and cook fab one-pot meals on a camp stove, hooray), one black bear (from a safe distance), new friends to inspire us and many laughs. 

Then there was our cute-and-super-cool wrangler (which is like a cowboy, but with horses only) who took us on the beautiful and miserable 8-hour trek to Cracker Lake (east Glacier). The icy wind blew, the rain poured, we were soaking wet and we saw a moose! It was the highlight of the trip. 

And then we had our crush to talk about the rest of the week. Aren't boys fun?

August 18, 2010


It's about to begin: Ten days, two girls and a map of Montana. We're taking a road trip with one of our favorite people and can't wait for the adventures we're going to have.

We're borrowing a Holga. Our iPods are full of e-books, This American Life and great music (we plan on listening to The Head & The Heart over and over again after last weekend's epic performances). We have champagne in cans, lots of sunscreen, warm clothes and freshly washed sleeping bags (no bears for us!). And, in true Chop Suey-fashion, the menu's planned.

First up, Glacier (west then east) complete with a day-long horseback riding trek. Then Bozeman, Yellowstone, Missoula and home. We plan on going swimming, breathing lots of fresh air and taking in as much scenery as we can. Maybe we'll meet a cowboy (or two) or a super-hot camper-boy along the way....

August 7, 2010


Nice weather and a friend's birthday inspired a simple picnic to celebrate. We tried to do-it-up-in-style for the occasion.

A mix of homemade and choice store-bought elements plus monogrammed takeout containers* and a festive oilcloth made this easy to pull together, but still special.

Green salad with Girard's Light Champagne Vinaigrette
Pesto with pasta, potatoes and peas
Steve's Mom's Brownies (adapted from an ex boyfriend's mom's amazing recipe, see below)
Dry Soda (our favorite local, delicious and low-cal non-alcoholic beverage)

Melt together, stirring a few times:

4 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 sticks unsalted butter

In a large, separate bowl, beat together:
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla

After the chocolate mixture has cooled a bit, add it to the eggs and sugar mixture. Then, stir in:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt

Optional: Stir in 1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts or chocolate chips (our fave).

Heat oven to 325. Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Bake for about 25 minutes or until knife/toothpick comes out clean. Cool and eat.


*We just asked our neighborhood restaurant for a few takeout containers and they were gracious enough to give them to us, but we think you can buy at Cash & Carry. 

August 4, 2010


We've come to terms with a dating reality - though some things aren't preferred, we'll cut our dates some slack and we hope they'll cut us some too.

Things we're cool with:

  • Less than ideal height/age/marital status (aka divorced or separated)
  • Lack of style (as long as it's not really bad and they're clean!)
  • Awkward conversations via email, phone or in-person (let's face it, dating is awkward, fun but weird)
Things that aren't OK:
  • Asking us out (when we've never spoken or met) on a first date via text, call us pleeeease
  • Extreme lateness (A guy we had coffee with last weekend, at a place supposedly two blocks from his house, was 35 minutes late!)
  • Weird texts from guys we barely know. For example: I have a heart-on for Mondays. Yes, we actually got this text from the the above late guy post-date. Was that supposed break the ice? How do you even respond?
Questions of the day:
  • What is it with people and texting? Is it just us or should texting early in a "relationship" be limited to "How r u?" And "Thnx 4 last night." types of texts?
  • What types of dating behavior and date characteristics will you put up with and what are deal breakers?

July 29, 2010


OK, we've decided to Match it up again. So far, it's been pretty fun. No dates yet, but lots of good conversation with seemingly normal, interesting guys. Except this one. 

Email a few days ago from Match Guy:
Have you met your Jewish prince yet?

Uh, no! Why else would we be on an online dating site? We check out his stats.

Age: 37 (check)
Location: Beaverton, OR (wait a minute, just mapped this and it's over three hours from our house!)

We decide that the distance and question-that-doesn't-really-prompt-good-conversation puts this guy in the no category. We don't respond.

A few days later we get another email from Match Guy.

Subject: Hmmmmm
Email: Guess so :-)

Wait a minute. What is the point of that? Is he trying to call us out for not responding? Is there etiquette for dating websites that is above and beyond real life? (We can't even begin to count how many guys who have asked for our number and never called. But we're not sweating it. We don't call them and say "Why haven't you called?" It's part of the deal, right?)

Should we have been more open-minded and written back to him in the first place? Or were our instincts right and this guy is a weirdo?

July 27, 2010


We have a date tonight and are pretty excited. It's at our fave neighborhood pub (inspired food, delicious local beers and the perfect first date environment) and today's going to be super-sunny and hot. So we're having major outfit dilemmas. We want to wear a dress, but not be to dressy, booby, etc. 

Staring at our closet and not feeling very inspired. Wish we could have one of these...

We'd wear it with gold gladiators (flats) and simple jewelry. Maybe throw on our very favorite jeans-jacket.

Especially love the sweet one on the top-right. Styled with navy wedge espadrilles (TOMS if we were splurging) and our Kimberly Baker peacock earrings.

And this one just screams sexy summer.

We're on a budget so won't be buying anything and will probably settle on a black maxi dress, denim jacket with silver Birkenstocks and rocking-silver-chain bracelet. Maybe add a summer-weight scarf for "modesty."

What is your perfect summer date outfit?

1 and 3 Clothesure
2 Zachary's Smile via i am a greedy girl

July 22, 2010


The other night we were at a bar with a friend and saw someone familiar. First we thought it might be the lead singer of Maroon 5, but it turned out it was a guy we'd actually met before. Check it:

On Wednesday nights, we have a favorite place for trivia. A local Aussie and Kiwi bar. It's the best. We go to hang out with friends, but sometimes we meet guys...

Once we ended up sitting next to a guy at the bar and we talked a bit. He asked for our number which surprised us because he didn’t seem that interested (or nice), but we figured why not? 

We’ll tell you why not. (Why don't we ever learn this lesson?)

On Friday afternoon he called. He asked what we were up to and if we wanted to hang out that night. We had plans to go to a small classical concert downtown and invited him. We were going solo - why not turn it into a date? He said he needed to figure out what he was up to and he’d call back.

Wait, wasn't "figuring it out" what we were doing? We said, “OK. Give us a call later.” What else do you say?

He called back when we were headed to the concert. He was contemplating joining, but was hedging. We suggested a drink afterward. He said, “Why don’t you give me a call after and we can figure things out then?”

Um… OK? Why not just make plans now? The concert would be shortf! We really don’t care anymore. He’s annoying and immature. Was he honestly still trying to line up the perfect Friday night? Hitting the clubs. Partying ‘til dawn. Really? And was in his late 30s.

For some reason, after the show we call him back. Don’t want to be rude. Silly girl.

The conversation goes something like this:

Us: “Hi. Are you still up for getting a drink?”

Indecision Boy: “I don’t know…”

Us: “OK… Leaving the show now and heading home so…”

Indecision Boy: “It’s just that I sort of have this thing going on…with this other girl.”

Us: “Uh…” (What?!!!? Why are you cruzin' bars?)

Indecision Boy: “She’s in school and she’s away right now. We're OK to see other people, but I don’t know if I want to do that. I mean I am really into her and she might come back to Seattle eventually. But on the other hand I’m really not into long distance relationships. I mean, have you ever heard of them working out? What do you think?"

Us: (OMG – are we really having this conversation? When did we become Dr. Phil?) “ Sure. Sometimes. If it’s meant to be and there is something real there, then yes, it can work out.”

Indecision Boy: “Hmmm… yeah. I don’t know.”

Us: “Well. It sounds like you have some stuff to figure out. Call us if you make up your mind....” (Not really. Don't call us. Ever. Ya freakshow.) 

Wonder if his long distance relationship worked out...he was alone at the bar on Saturday.