merry christmas!

2015 Christmas Card

I hope you all had a lovely holiday. We still have a few unwrapped presents under the tree, a handful of cards awaiting a drop at the post office, and a list of Christmas cookie recipes to delve into. Maybe it’s all the hustle and bustle. Try as I might, there simply never seems to be enough time to get it all done in a timely fashion. But maybe, just maybe, it’s the fact that it’s Crew’s very first Christmas, and I want to hold on to every bit of it for as long as I can. There’s something magical about every tree, every ribbon, every light that I never took much notice to before. And so, I think we’ll continue to fill ourselves with this goodness for a bit.

Cheers and best wishes for 2016!


photo by kristal joy photography

our earliest days

Little Crew Phinney. Where do I begin?


It’s been 9 months since he was born. Well, 10 actually, as of a few days ago. Notable, as I’ve now carried him and nourished him and loved him for as long on the outside as I did on the inside.


I’ve thought for awhile about just how much of Crew’s birth story I wanted to share. It’s such a personal thing, really. I felt every bit of my labor in its truest and rawest form. Curiosity got me there. If asked, I could trace every curve and every contour of its course, like the rings inside a tree trunk, but at the same time, remember almost nothing of it.

It picked up much faster than we anticipated. Arriving at the hospital 10 cm dilated and already pushing (at home! in the car! in the parking lot!) became a whirlwind, to say the least, and we had a baby 19 minutes later. And here I had so ideally dreamed up this little arrangement: work through contractions while floating about in spa-like tub, listen to chilled out croons of Jack Johnson, have shoulders massaged with lavender oil by attentive husband, bounce around a bit on birthing ball, push out baby.

I joke (a little). I’d like to think I went into it with a fairly open mind, precisely to counteract my tendency to like things to go a certain way. We can laugh about the absurdity of how it all actually went now, but the abrupt transition was very real in the moment and in the weeks that followed. I don’t know that it matters how long or short your labor was, how simple or complicated, how painful or painless. You simply can’t go through something like that and come out the same person.


But it’s our story, and I think I’ll keep it.

It took me a bit to get used to the idea of taking care of him in this new way. From the outside. He had become such a part of me, and pregnancy had just gotten to a point of familiarity.

And yet. It seems that for most of us, we seek to find cadence in our daily lives, for things to feel familiar and comforting and routine. And we often work so hard to get there. But then, inevitably, we tire of that rhythm and become eager and ambitious for new adventures. We find something fresh and begin to find our cadence in that.



So here we are, on this new adventure. Life with a new little life is seemingly messy and brilliant and impossible and beautiful, but these lessons and these moments – they’re good ones.


Crew is on his way in this great big world. Each day brings something new, and each day, we are that much more smitten. We are honored to have you at our table, sweet boy.

Here, a collection of photos from our newborn shoot. Taken just two weeks after he was born by kristal joy photography.





















Why, hello there! I’ve missed you guys. I’m not even going to think about the date of my last post. Or try not to. Errr…November 14, 2014…

Well, goodness. Life has certainly changed.

Like going from this:


To this:


Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve thought of coming to this space often, especially when I needed a moment to catch my breath and just try to make sense of this new life. This parenthood stuff is the real deal. But there was (and still is) always something to do! Writing took a serious backseat to sleep, showers (!), and snuggles on the couch. But, slowly and surely, in the unfamiliarity of this all, I’ve taken to the kitchen to find the familiar. In fact, I’ve been cooking more than ever. And I got myself a little sous chef!

Perhaps the writing will come next. It’s there in a sense; you could scroll for days under the Notes app on my phone titled “Recipes to Blog”. At least I’ve progressed from the back of napkins and the scraps of paper of yesteryear. But they’re all just sitting in there, probably taking up storage space on my phone and preventing me from taking more photos of my child. (This gem of a message: “Cannot take photo. There is not enough available storage to take a photo.” is a daily inconvenience.) Someday, right? Someday I shall free those little recipes!

I know it’s all okay. I’ve taken this time to focus on some really important things – things I feel good about. I won’t regret slowing down for awhile, and I can already see that these baby days are positively fleeting.

With that said, there’s so much to say, and it can’t all be said right now. Really now. I’m at a coffee shop at 6:00 in the evening, sipping on a latte (decaf, I’m afraid), dinner plans are not even in the picture yet, and I’m due to nurse in 1 hour. So, let’s start with his name. Yes, a name is a good place to start.


Introducing Crew Phinney Huseman. Born January 20, 2015 (just two days past his due date) at 7:39pm, weighing 7 pounds + 1 ounce and measuring 19.5 inches. Now, I know most of you already know this since you see me in real life or follow me on Facebook or Instagram or something like that. But, for those of you who only know me through this little space…well, this is news, I guess! He turned 7 months old last week, and we couldn’t be more in love with every bit of him.

When I left off, I told you I’d “do my best” to post more updated pregnancy photos soon. Oh, bother. I’m afraid I did nothing of the sort. So, let’s forget the “soon” and catch up a bit! These were taken last December by kristal joy photography.















Aaaand now I miss pregnancy. Ha!

I’ll be back soon (do I dare say that?!) with a post to share more of our newborn photos and tell you a few things about our little guy. Then maybe we can catch up to real life and get to some of those recipes! In the meantime, feel free to follow me on Instagram (my current creative outlet) under carriehuseman. I’m frequently posting photos of food I make at home or food I eat when I’m out and about the town. And you’ll find quite a bit of Crew there too, of course.


a little news


Hello, hello!

Well! That was a much longer than expected break from this space. I assure you that I’ve kept up with my cooking during all this time. And I’ve certainly kept busy cooking a baby! Ha. The husband and I are absolutely thrilled to be expecting a little boy in January.



I’m already 30 weeks along and it’s starting to feel very, very real. Like just-around-the-corner real. In the beginning, each day and each week was a victory. The days were long and tiring and nauseating and nauseating and nauseating. Quite impossible to be a foodie, indeed!

I’ll never forget the day I sauntered into the bakery section of our local grocery store, leaned over a loaf of sourdough, and had myself a good cry. I had just lapped the store several times looking for something, anything! that sounded half good to eat for dinner. Clearly, I was not successful. Let it be known that the husband came back an hour later to pick up some chicken noodle soup, a box of Saltines, and that poor sourdough loaf.


But like all things, those tough weeks passed. I’ve been feeling really good for the most part. I haven’t had too many specific cravings, but fruits, vegetables, and pastries always sound good. A lovely combination if you ask me.

I suppose I have taken a particular fond liking to croissants dipped in honey. Someone told me she thought that was odd the other day. You say odd? I say delicious. It’s a simple thing, really, and not hard to like. And not that far from jam! You wouldn’t think twice about putting jam on a croissant. And I bet you’d be sold too when you felt the way your teeth sunk through the smattering of sticky nectar before crackling over all those flaky layer bits. Oh, and let’s not forget the big crescendo of doughy innards that we all obviously anticipate and then promptly swoon over. Gosh, I need a croissant right about now.

Needless to say, we’ve made far too many trips to Bakery Nouveau over the last several months for this very reason. (Note: Should this be something I’ve convinced you to try, the honey, unfortunately, doesn’t actually come with the croissant. If you ask for a little pool of it on the side of your plate, you might get a funny look. I suggest you accept the look. It will be worth it. Or better yet, take care of business yourself with the jar of honey from the coffee bar.) Anyway, I digress.



These days, I’m terribly bothered by things like work and errands. I just want to nest! The husband is busy nesting too – cleaning out the garage, donating five carloads of rubbish, tidying up the finances, and putting together baby furniture.

Saturday afternoons that used to be spent at wineries are now spent in the nursery – thinking, dreaming, wondering. But I’m okay with that because it’s where we want to be right now.

These photos were taken quite awhile back – at just 16 weeks, I believe – by our friend, Jenn LaFreniere. I’d say she did a fine job of capturing just how excited we are to be expecting our first.




Oh, and that bump is far bigger now! It’s pretty amazing to look down and see such incredible and beautiful changes in my body. I’ll do my best to post some more updated photos soon.

Baby Huseman already brings us such joy. I can only imagine.




mother’s day brunch


Last Sunday, the husband and I hosted a brunch for eight at our place for Mother’s Day. My sister, Audrey, helped with the menu as well, and we had loads of fun planning the event. I brought out the frilly dishes, floral napkins, and tarnished cheese knives that I like to call rustic. I plopped bouquets of flowers every which where and made little handwritten menus on the back of scrapbook paper lined with blue and yellow polka dots.

to start:

a small cheese plate with sea salt crackers, charcuterie, and strawberries



asparagus soup with fresh herbs and cream


salmon, dill, and parmesan tart with pickled cucumber and arugula salad

roasted fingerling potatoes with preserved lemon


brown sugar pound cake with yogurt, pistachio rose granola, and mint

french press coffee, tea


I love to eat as the seasons would like me to, and I think this menu would make Spring proud. The asparagus soup was an exciting last-minute addition after Audrey and I visited The Pantry in Ballard for a “Spring Farmer’s Market” cooking class just a few days prior. When we were tasked with putting the final touches on the soup and it then proceeded to taste as silky and creamy and earthy as one would hope an asparagus soup to be, we were convinced that it must be shared with our family.

I also had my first go at pickling! And now, obviously, I’m obsessed with all pickled things. It was a quick pickle, however, and really no trouble at all. I just sliced the cucumbers thin and let them soak in a mixture of white wine vinegar, sugar, and sea salt that dissolved together in a saucepan over warm heat. I made this salad containing pickled vegetables (see: obsession) just the day before for a barbecue, and I think it’s a nice simple recipe to get started. Although, I’d love to hear the way you pickle!

Oh, and the pistachio rose granola? With actual dried rose petals? It was from my beloved London Plane and absolutely brilliant. I make different batches of granola on pretty much a weekly basis around here, but when I spotted this one, I was instantly inspired and snatched it up! I’m on a mission to make my own version next.


For me and many others I’m sure, there is no greater way to show love than by cooking a meal for someone.


Hello, friends!


It’s been a while again. Happy Spring to you! I think of coming here to write often, but find myself scurrying between this and that far too much. Life is busy and messy and a little fleeting at times, but for me, this year is about being present and finding the joy in it all. Let’s catch up a bit.

In fact, I have been doing a little writing, yet it seems that just as I get going with it, it’s time to leave the house for something or other, and when I come back, groceries need to be put away or a meal needs to be made or a bed needs to be slept in. Something I’m finding amusing: When I write, I get rather flushed and warm in the face (as if I’ve had a nice dose of wine!) the further I plunge into it. What is that all about? I might truly be going mad, but I kind of love it.

I’ve eaten many, MANY lovely things since we last spoke. Honestly, what would life be without good food? I am positively enamored with spring and all of its fresh foods right now. Some favorites, as of recent:

  • These strawberry and rhubarb muffins. I didn’t make mine jumbo as the recipe suggests, as I didn’t have the right pan for the job. But let me tell you, I surely stuffed as much batter as possible into each little compartment, and they graciously puffed up to become quite jumbo indeed! I believe that I used at least some whole wheat pastry flour to bring out the heartiness and nuttiness that I love in a good muffin. Oh! And don’t skip the turbinado sugar sprinkled (generously!) on top – it crackles and crunches between your teeth in the most splendid way.


  • Tartines, tartines, tartines! Really now, do yourself a favor and drop everything and go make one of these. It sounds fancy and it sort of is, but it’s really just glorified toast. You can put whatever you like on your toast, but I insist that you must (!) use really good crusty bread. I cut it into half slices and spread them on a tray and pop them into the oven to toast. Then, the toppings: For spring, I suggest you spread each piece with a generous smear of fresh ricotta or goat cheese and then top it with thinly sliced baby radishes. Cut little nubbins of chives or tarragon or mint and sprinkle those over, followed by some flaky sea salt. Chopped pine nuts might be nice here too. Or layer some sliced avocado over the toasted bread and smash it a bit if you like (I like). Add some gently cooked pieces of asparagus that are shredded or sliced thinly, or perhaps opt for a tangle of pea shoots instead. Herbs should follow and some maybe some light brown sesame seeds, a drizzle of good olive oil, and more of that flaky sea salt. Really, you’ll be quite pleased with the possibilities. The husband and I tried this version the other day: a shredded egg salad with radicchio, creme fraiche, and fresh dill. We broiled the bread first with lots of gruyere until the house smelled sufficiently divine, piled it high with this salad, then washed it all down with wine and became fantastically happy.
  • Roasted carrots with honey and salted yogurt. This! I could eat platefuls. Gather some thin carrots and slice them in half lengthwise. If you’re so lucky to find some of the multicolored ones that pop up here and there, get those. If the tops look nice, let them stay. If all the greenery is attached, cut them at just a half an inch or so up the stalk. Toss them with olive oil, flaky sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and perhaps some paprika or turmeric or curry or whatever sounds good to you and roast in the oven. In the meantime, spoon some plain yogurt onto a plate. Sprinkle with more flaky sea salt and drizzle lightly with good honey. Arrange the carrots on top and sprinkle with some fresh herbs.
  • And while we’re speaking of carrots, go ahead and make these cookies as well. I’ve got a jar full of them on my counter right now (though not for long, of course). They’re nice and light for spring and could easily pass for breakfast with a bowl of plain yogurt alongside.

Also, I can’t seem to get enough brunch. Seattle is the perfect place to brunch. When it’s raining?  Get thee indoors to brunch! When it’s sunny? Get thee to a patio to brunch! I’m considering a whole restaurant post in the future – my favorite spots and whatnot. I’ll be sure to include places for brunch.


Oh, and another thing: a new kitchen table and chairs. You know when you walk into a store planning to get one somewhat practical, affordable thing and come out with another extravagant, completely unintentional thing? That absolutely happened here. A sale threatening to end tomorrow didn’t help. Yet, our tiny table from the husband’s bachelor days (!) was long overdue to go and this larger piece gives me that much more excitement to leave the card table in the closet when we host more than one other couple for dinner. Thank goodness for rationalizations.


What are you loving this spring?



hooray for the holidays!

christmas card

It’s been a busy and bustling season over here. I hope you all had a lovely holiday.

Yesterday, the husband and I popped into a little shop + eatery downtown – The London Plane, it was called. It was one of those places that immediately finds you giddy, the kind of giddy that has you speechlessly tugging at the sleeve of the husband’s pea coat, as if to say, Yes! Let’s stay here a while.

The walls were lined with white shelves stacked with cookbooks, pottery vases in teals and yellows, dainty pieces of handmade jewelry, neatly and crisply folded linens – a larder of things I was already adding to next year’s Christmas list. Small tea candles lined the bar, which could be noticed only after admiring the giant mirror hanging against the wall just beyond, on which the menu of daily eats and wines was printed in a perfectly squiggly cursive.

And then suddenly we were sitting down to two glasses of red from Cotes du Rhone. And a platter of fresh, creamy mozzarella sprinkled with flaky sea salt and really good olive oil was placed before us. And another with the thinnest slices of prosciutto you could possibly imagine, rolled and tucked just right. And another (!) stacked high with thick, hearty bread – the kind that you can really sink your teeth into in the most deeply satisfying way.

I think we were expecting the hustle and bustle that has surrounded us for weeks. But, it was smack-dab in the afternoon, just past three, and we were the only patrons hungry for such a meal. It was just the place to rest.

Maybe it was the wine or the incredibly inspiring and nourishing atmosphere. Either way, I found myself reflecting on the past year and dreaming, rather feverishly perhaps, of the year to come. As we left, having stayed for a quite a while, tying on our scarves and joking with the bartender about such unexpectedly undivided service, I tucked a few ideas into my back pocket and felt immensely happy.

Cheers to finding the little places that lead us down the roads we want to go. Happy New Year, my friends.

yogurt with cinnamon creamed honey, figs + thyme

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I started a new work schedule this week. Four ten-hour shifts. My days are busy seeing ten families each day, and admittedly, I’m a little exhausted. But, change is good sometimes, as they say. Today, at the end of the week, I am embracing the opportunity for quiet, reflection, and rest.

My days of wanting a cold breakfast are waning. Seattle is beginning to show signs that winter is close, but I’m not yet ready to surrender to its bossy ways. The ways that find me regretting a scarfless outing, inching the heat dial up and up, and wanting nothing but something warm to eat when I wake.

But for just a bit longer, on the busy days, I’m still quite alright with a bowl of yogurt. So long as there is also a piping hot mug of coffee and a blanket to wrap myself in. There’s always a warm stack of pancakes to be had on Saturday afterall. And maybe Friday now too.

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I’ve always been one to make time for breakfast. I get up crazy early just so I can simply sit and eat at my little secretary desk – the kind with the top that folds down, revealing cubbies stuffed with paperback journals, scraps of recipes torn from magazines, lists of places to visit, a stack of thank you notes, and a too-pretty-to-use candle. Just to the right hangs a small window. Last week, I watched the sun rise through that window while I sat sipping my coffee. This week, it remained dark.

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With the introduction of my new work schedule, I wasn’t willing to sacrifice this time. The kind of time where I find myself the most passionate, the most humble, the most curious. And so, get up earlier I do. I assure you, it’s worth it.

As such, inevitably I find myself lingering far too long each morning. Up until I’ve realized that my moment has fleeted and suddenly I’m in a flurry of adrenaline, rushing to clear my dishes, giving my hair a final disheveled toss and maybe a bobby pin if it’s so lucky, and grabbing this and that for the day.

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Thankfully, the weekend always comes. There’s a little more time for lingering and hardly ever rushing.

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As I begin to look for a little warmth in my breakfasts, the toasted oats do just that here. Set them to toast in a skillet while you begin to prepare the other ingredients and set your pot of coffee.

The hint of cinnamon in the creamed honey also invokes such a feeling, a sense of fall with winter soon on its way. The husband and I stumbled upon a jar of it at a little stand called “beekind” at the Ferry Building in San Francisco when we visited last September. One lick and I was smitten.

I proceeded to put it on and in everything – goat cheese spread on toast, roasted butternut squash and apples, a sauce to serve with lamb – but found it especially nice rippled on top a bowl of plain yogurt. Having recently scraped the final drops from the jar, I am on the hunt for another as equally good. If you have the good fortune of finding one, use it here. Otherwise, any honey will do.

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Now, I know herbs with a sweet breakfast may seem a little strange, and you can leave them out if you wish. But, I love the way their earthy/fresh/rustic flavors play with the sweet toasted oats, figs, and honey.

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What are your mornings like these days?

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yogurt with cinnamon creamed honey, figs + thyme // serves 1

This isn’t so much a recipe as inspiration for putting a simple bowl of yogurt together. Use whatever toppings you wish here. If you can’t find cinnamon creamed honey, you could spoon a bit of creamed honey into a saucepan and warm it through with a dash of cinnamon. Or just use any honey you have on hand.

my palette contains:

1/4 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup plain yogurt

cinnamon creamed honey, or any honey of your choice

figs, pears, and/or bananas, sliced to your liking

1-2 tablespoons chopped almonds

poppy seeds, sesame seeds

fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, mint, tarragon, or dill, chopped

fleur de sel, Maldon, or another flaky sea salt (optional)

Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add oats and toast, stirring occasionally, until slightly golden and fragrant. You can add the almonds here to toast as well, if desired. Set aside. Place yogurt in a bowl. Drizzle with honey. Add fruit to bowl and top with oats, almonds, and seeds. Finish with herbs and the tiniest sprinkle of fleur de sel or sea salt, if desired.


a taste of our trip

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In September, the husband and I took a 10-day trip to the Napa and Sonoma valleys. We dabbled in the hurry and bustle of San Francisco for a few days as well, in need of a bit of city adventure. I’m certain that I’d never been so excited for a trip in my life. Who wouldn’t be when wine begins to pour at 10am every morning, just after the first and last cup of coffee?

I don’t know what all to say except that it was exactly what I needed. I took quite a lot of pictures. Yet, as I was sorting through them, I realized how few I took of food. This may surprise you, but ah! Have we spoken about the silliness one can feel with food blogging in public? Maybe I’ll save that for another post, but in short, some places just don’t seem fitting to pull out a giant DSLR and make all sorts of zooming in and snapping sounds.

If the food simply must be photographed – most often after I’ve pestered the husband over and over about whether or not I should “take a quick picture”, trying desperately to sit on my hands and leave well enough alone until the desperation passes – I’ll feverishly pull out my iPhone and take a few haphazard shots. Not without scanning the room first, of course, to make sure that everyone around is perfectly absorbed in their meal/wine/dinner mate and paying no mind to my neurotic foodie tendencies.

I have fleeting moments of bravery, but more often than not, I try to simply enjoy the dish as is. To breathe in the heady smells of shallot and tarragon as a bowl of mussels, laden in a broth flecked with lemon zest and rippled with cream, is placed before me. To glimpse across the table at what the husband is having, catching the glimmer in his eye as he plots his first bite. To dine and linger for hours – letting go of trying to capture the moment, but rather, reveling in it with such illustrious joy that it becomes unforgettable.

Here, a small collection of favorites. The husband took several of these. He loved getting a rise out of me – snatching the camera and snapping photos of me so fast, so recklessly, one after the other, often when I wasn’t looking. And then I’d realize (!) and quickly become embarrassed. These impromptu photo sessions always ended in flushed cheeks, laughter, silly poses, and true emotion. Which, I’m sure, is all he wanted in the end.

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