Spring Vibes + Lamb Vegetable Stew

I’m quiet today and don’t have all that much to say.

spring time :: it's me, charlotte!

I had a really tough couple of days this past week. Life is so weird and unpredictable. Sometimes, a big bowl of comfort is all you need. After seeing a picture of lamb stew, I could not get it off my mind. So I headed to the grocery store, to get all the best fixings for a spring inspired stew that I could think of.

colorful easter egg radishes :: it's me, charlotte!

I found these beauties whilst shopping at a local, organic produce shop near my house. They remind me of pretty pastel Easter eggs. Perfect timing. I had never tried a radish until a couple of days ago. They’ve got a spicy little kick to them!

spring day :: it's me, charlotte!

When I got home from the store, I spotted these gorgeous little flowers right outside our house – they must have just bloomed; I couldn’t resist trimming off a little blossom to place on our kitchen table. Flowers make me so happy.

rainbow chard :: it's me, charlotte

Rainbow Chard is undeniably beautiful and I wanted to incorporate it into the stew because chard is so spring – am I right? I always seem to ignore chard but have recently been reminded that it is a powerhouse veggie, stock full of important elements and minerals.

pink easter egg radishes :: it's me, charlotte!

 I trimmed the leaves off of the radishes and gave them to my bunny, Puff, to munch on. I piled the radishes in a cute little bowl and put them on display, along with my flowers and a couple of feathers I got at the farmer’s market last weekend. Makes for a cute little centerpiece.

spring day :: it's me, charlotte!

After a little bit of chopping and grooving in the kitchen, the stew was done. It is totally not one of those soups that has to cook for hours. With tons of happy spring vibes, I sat down to a healthy and light bowl of vegetable lamb stew. Delicious. My favorite part was definitely the addition of the kale and cabbage.

spring veggie & lamb stew :: it's me, charlotte!

Lamb & Spring Vegetable Stew

Ingredients:

+ 1 pound lamb stew meat

+ 3 tablespoons high-quality butter

+  1 yellow onion, diced

+ 1.5 cups carrots, chopped

+ 5 stalks celery, chopped

+ 6 cloves garlic, diced

+ 6-8 cups stock (chicken/beef/veggie)

+ 1.5 cups fingerling potatoes, quartered

+ 1 cup crimini mushrooms, quartered

+ 2-3 cups small savoy cabbage, shredded

+ 4-5 cups swiss chard/rainbow chard, shredded

+ S&P to taste

+ Chopped parsley to garnish (optional)

Directions

1. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Once the bottom of the pot is hot and the butter has melted, brown the lamb. Once the lamb has browned, remove from the pot and drain in a strainer. You can leave the meat juices left from the lamb in the pot.

2. Next, add another tablespoon of butter and let it melt. Once butter has melted, add diced yellow onion, chopped carrots, chopped celery, diced garlic and cook over medium heat until softened and fragrant.

3. Once onion/carrot/celery/garlic are softened and fragrant, add lamb, broth and potatoes to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Once stew has reached a boil, remove the lid and turn to low. Let it simmer for about ten minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.

4. Once the potatoes are totally cooked through, add the mushrooms, shredded cabbage and shredded swiss chard. Cover with lid. Continue to simmer pot on low for an 5-10 minutes or until mushrooms/cabbage/chard has softened into the stew.

5. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with fresh parsley.

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Life Lately

Here’s what my life has looked like lately…

spring salmon :: it's me, charlotte!

{wild salmon + lemon + dill + freshly cracked pepper + coarse sea salt}

air plants :: it's me, charlotte!

{currently loving air plants}

portland, OR :: it's me, charlotte!

{spotted walking around Portland, OR a couple of weeks ago}

portland, OR :: it's me, charlotte!

{pretty pineapples in the window of a juicery}

saturday finds :: it's me, charlotte!

{a few finds from poking around downtown this weekend}

succulents :: it's me, charlotte!

{succulents on my window-sill waiting to be planted + beautiful blue light}

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Hello, Spring!

spring :: charlotte dupont

Is it possible? Is it really and truly officially Spring?

I am absolutely thrilled that it is Spring. And not just for the beautiful flowers and sunnier days (okay, well maybe) but also because Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal. The past few months have been an absolute whirlwind of excitement and I almost haven’t been able to keep up. I’ve been working on overdrive. A couple of weeks ago, I received news that I was selected to be Art Director of Flux Magazine, the University of Oregon’s premiere student publication. I worked so, so hard for this and it has been a great reminder that hard work and perseverance really do pay off. On the flip side, I’ve had to be a little bit more chill about blogging, free time and my social life. Sigh.

That being said, the beginning of Spring and the end, thank goodness, of my winter term couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m ready to rock spring term and these next few months even harder than the last. I’m also in the process of applying to very, very exciting internships where I hope to grow my creative abilities. So many exciting things in store for 2014.

I’m heading to San Francisco tomorrow for a little r&r and I think it will be just what I need to reset my brain and get fired up for these coming months. I’m planning on sleeping, a lot. Eating veggies, fruits and hydrating with tons of water. Giving my dad lots of hugs. Sweating it out at hot yoga. And maybe a digital detox, but let’s get real, probably not.

How do you like to reset and renew yourself for Spring? I would love to hear from you!

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Paleo Chicken Piccata

I’m looking out the window right now and it is literally pouring…it’s February and in typical Pacific Northwest fashion it is cold, foggy, gray and wet. For me, that means a lot of cappuccinos, wool socks and warm, soul nourishing food.

paleo chicken piccata

To be honest, I actually really enjoy the cold and wet months that we have. I bundle up in my long puffy coat, wrap a scarf around my neck and I’m good to go. I’m feeling especially excited right now because I just purchased the Lumi Sherpa Jacket (update: this coat is now officially sold out) from Anthropologie, which is just too much for words. Pure luxe. I can’t wait for it to arrive so that I can put it on and snuggle up.

paleo chicken piccata

I have been wanting a “sherpa” inspired jacket for MONTHS. I saw similar jackets by Stella McCartney and other top designers that were way, way out of my price range but couldn’t get the style out of my mind. I then came across the Lumi Sherpa Jacket from Anthropologie via Pinterest and was sad to find out that it was completely sold out. Sigh.

paleo chicken piccata

However, yesterday, completely out of the blue, the jacket popped into my mind again. I did a quick google search to see if someone had possibly put it up on ebay or another retail site only to find that it was currently in stock at Anthropologie and on sale.

paleo chicken piccata

WHAT!?!?!

I thought it had been sold out for months. Right when I got home, I immediately went online to order the coat. They only had one size left…it was my size!!! MEANT TO BE. Obviously, I immediately ordered the coat and was in pure bliss.

I then went downstairs and made this wonderfully, delicious rustic chicken piccata inspired dish – which I have been making a whole lot lately. It’s unbelievably comforting when paired with roasted fingerling potatoes and wilted spinach. Sigh. Twas a good day for me.

paleo chicken piccata

A note to the cook: Are you about to make this dish? This dish is absolutely delicious. I created the recipe by drawing inspiration from one of my favorite dishes – Chicken Piccata. However, I have omitted many of the regular ingredients in order to make this dish to be both gluten/grain-free, quick and easy and to allow my favorite flavors to shine through. Please note that a “meat tenderizer” or small cast iron skillet highly suggested to pound the chicken very, very thin. In my experience, the meat hammer works the best and allows you to pound the chicken into a thin, 1/4″ fillet allowing high heat cooking therefore moist chicken with a crispy, golden exterior. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. Happy Cooking!

Paleo Chicken Piccata

Serving size: 2

Ingredients:

+ 2 chicken breasts; butterflied and pounded to a thin fillet of 1/4″

+ 2 tablespoons butter

+ coarse sea salt

+ 1/2 cup dry white wine

+ juice of 1/2 lemon

+ 1/8 cup capers; drained from liquid

+ bunch of parsley

Method:

1. Butterfly each chicken breast and pound thin with meat tenderizer until each filet is 1/4″ thick. Lightly sprinkle each fillet with coarse sea salt.

2. To make sauce: combine 1/2 cup chardonnay or other dry white wine, juice of 1/2 lemon and 1/8 cup capers. Set aside.

3. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 Tbsp butter to pan and wait until butter is simmering and the pan is very hot. Add chicken breasts to the pan and sear for 2-2.5 minutes per side. Assuming your chicken is very thin, this should produce a nice, crispy golden exterior and a juicy, cooked interior. Once chicken is done cooking, place on another plate. Repeat the same steps for the rest of the chicken fillets.

4. Once all of your fillets are done cooking, add 1 tablespoon of butter and the sauce mixture to the same pan the chicken was cooked in. Turn burner from medium high to medium and bring sauce to a simmer. Let sauce simmer and thicken. Continue to stir sauce every once in a while. At this point, I like to place the chicken fillets onto serving plates. Once sauce has reduced and thickened, it is done cooking. Pour sauce over chicken fillets. Garnish with chopped parsley (optional.)

{I love to serve this recipe with roasted fingerling potatoes and wilted spinach}

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Love. Love. Love.

 Valentines Day is one of my favorite days of the year.

v2

 I like to spend Valentine’s day being intentional about loving myself.

We are all so special and also so critical of the beautiful beings that we are. There’s no better day to celebrate you. It’s a tradition of mine to treat myself to something like a pedicure or a special something that I have been wanting for a long time on V-day. Maybe it’s even just a yoga class that restores my body. Maybe it’s just an afternoon nap. Whatever it is, I do what I need to do to practice self love.

v1

“Loving yourself…does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion.” - Margo Anand

skulls

Wishing all of you beautiful souls a wonderful day filled with love. Whether your celebrating your relationship or your own being, make sure to do something extra special for you. You deserve it.

Do you celebrate Valentines Day?

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I Love My Skin

Love my skin? I never thought I’d say that. Thank you Tastyface Organics.

TFO_3

{vanilla mint daily moisturizer}

In 2012, Kelly Ross founded TastyFace Organics (TFO) a “so clean you could eat it” skincare line. I began using Kelly’s products the moment she launched her new business in March of last year. I didn’t know how life changing it would be. After using TFO products for almost a year, I can truly say that I’m never turning back to commercial skincare – I will forever be a customer.

TFO_2

{nourishing serum – argan + sweet orange}

 Kelly Ross founded TFO to fill a void that she saw in skincare for “truly clean, organic, awesome skincare.” Did you know your skin absorbs up to 64% of what you put on it? That is exactly why Kelly uses safe, organic and food grade ingredients to create the most amazing skincare currently available. Kelly is 100% transparent about the ingredients she uses. See them here. You can both recognize and pronounce all the ingredients she uses like coconut oil, cocoa butter, aloe vera, beeswax, etc. She uses only the most high-quality ingredients and leaves out additives and preservatives. Her products are also “Paleo Certified” meaning all her products are guaranteed to be gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free. Love.

tastyface organics skincare; paleo-friendly and foodgrade

{rosemary aloe toner}

But how do they work?

Every single one of Kelly’s products is mind-blowingly amazing. Using Kelly’s products has been such an enlightening and empowering experience for me. After about 2 weeks of using TFO, my skin began to recover from years of using commercial products; I immediately ditched ALL of my “skin junk” and never looked back. Now, I no longer feel victim to all the marketing schemes of big skincare companies. I trust in the power of healing with real ingredients versus synthetic ones; similar to my feelings about food.

 In my daily routine I use the coconut vanilla cream cleanser, the rosemary aloe toner, the vanilla mint daily moisturizer, a combination of the healing serum and the nourishing serum and the lemon rosemary mint lip balm. TFO has taught me to care for and find beauty in my own skin (and imperfections.) Over the past year, the quality of my skin has improved dramatically. Now, my breakouts are fewer and far between, my skin is plump and glowing and I’m happy as ever because I know the products I’m using are safe for my skin and body.

TFO_10

{lemon rosemary lip balm}

TFO also makes me FEEL great.

The products are healing, therapeutic and made with love. It’s this wonderful feeling of knowing I am doing something fabulous for myself. Self love. It is totally a way of self loving, which I’m super into. Every time I do my skincare regime it feels like a mini spa session. It feels like I’m totally spoiling myself and my skin. All TFO products are free of artificial scents and instead Kelly uses calming and healing aromatic essential oils which totally contributes to that spa-esque feeling. Ahhh, TFO, I love you.

tastyface organics skincare; paleo friendly for your skin!

{see all products}

What do you think? Do you want to try Tastyface Organics Skincare? This post wasn’t sponsored or anything of the sort; I’m a customer of Kelly’s and I just wanted to share my love for a beautiful product with you all. However, Kelly has offered to donate a few products to my very first Facebook giveaway. So come on over and join in on the fun (update: this giveaway is now closed – congrats Candice and Marlina!)

P.S. this would make a fabulous Valentine’s Day gift for the special ladies or gents in your life.

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San Francisco Trip

After Christmas, Kristian and I spent a week in San Francisco. It was great to spend some time at home. It was also 65 degrees and sunny every.single.day. One day I even got a little bit sunburned. Oh, California!

San Francisco

The first day we headed to Haight Street and met the cutest french bull dog with a massive underbite. We also made a little visit to Amoeba Music record store and Kristian bought his first record - a Red Hot Chili Pepper’s album.

Underbite.

We ate at Pacific Catch, my favorite restaurant in the city. A trip to San Francisco is just not complete without eating there at least twice.

sweet potato fries

They have tons of great fresh seafood, awesome tacos, bowls and sweet potato fries.

We had fish tacos both nights, hard to resist, sweet potato fries, korean short ribs and some awesome lemonade and lemongrass ginger ice tea.

fish tacos

We strolled around different neighborhoods in the city, including one of our favorites – the Marina.

san fran

There were still pretty holiday lights everywhere. So pretty.

san fran

We spent Sunday hanging out on the Marina Green and walking on the beach.

Everyone was enjoying the weather. Who can resist the sun in December!?

BakerBeach1

Love this guy.

beach

On New Year’s Day, we decided to take a walk by the Golden Gate Bridge. Perfect start to the year. Apparently, many other people thought so too. It was quite busy.

ggbridge

I brought my Tastyface along, as always! Love that stuff!

tastyface

Lastly, one of the trip highlights was going to Alice Water’s Chez Panisse on New Year’s Day with my dad and his friend Kathy. We had been planning to go for months. The food was so amazing. No phones or cameras allowed so only one picture of Kristian and I before we left.

new years day

It was a great trip! Now we are in Eugene, missing the sunny California weather!

Beet, Basil & Goat Cheese Salad

For some reason on Friday I had an intense craving for beets. I can’t even remember the last time I had eaten beets but nevertheless I headed to the grocery store to pick some up.

goat cheese, basil & beet salad

I found some gorgeous pink and white striped beets also known as candy cane beets.

There official name is Chioggia beets and they are beautiful. They are also insanely good for you; they are stock full of important vitamins and minerals like vitamin B, they help cleanse the body and liver, and act as a blood purifier.

goat cheese, basil & beet salad

Because I’ve been obsessing over basil lately, I decided to make a beet, basil and goat cheese salad. Goat cheese makes everything better.

Beets might seem a little intimidating but they are actually super easy to prepare. First, I started by peeling the beets with a vegetable peeler. I then cut the pointy top and the rough bottom off so that I had a flat bottom and top to work with. After that, I cut my beet in half, vertically, and then cut it into three sections diagonally.

goat cheese, basil & beet salad

After cutting the beet in half and each half into three sections, I cut the beet in half again, vertically, so that the beets were quartered and about a 1/2″ thick…picture below for reference.

See? Not that hard. Next, I brought a pot of water with a pinch of sea salt to boil. Once the water was boiling, I added the beets and turned the heat of my burner down to medium to bring the water to a simmer. I let the beets cook in simmering water for about 10 minutes until a knife could easily pierce through the beets. Side note: overcooked beets are not awesome so be cautious.

they are stock full of important vitamins and minerals, high in vitamin B, help cleanse the body and act as a blood purifier plus a whole host of other benefits.

Once they were done cooking, I strained them and ran cold water over them for five minutes or so to cool them down and to stop the cooking process. Once they cooled, I dried them really well with a clean dish towel. Once the beets were dry, I put them into a bowl and mixed them with 1 TBSP high quality, mild tasting extra virgin olive oil.

goat cheese, basil and beet salad

Next, I seasoned the beets with a couple pinches of salt and freshly ground pepper and tossed again.

basil, goat cheese and beet salad

Before serving, I garnished beets with freshly chopped basil and crumbled, soft goat cheese.

basil, goat cheese and beet salad.

If making ahead of time, refrigerate beets on their own and then garnish before serving.

basil, beets and goat cheese salad

Beet, Basil & Goat Cheese Salad

{Ingredients}

+ 2 medium sized beets

+ 1 TBSP EVOO

+ 1 bunch basil

+ Soft goat cheese

+ Salt and Pepper

{Directions}

1. Peel beets. Cut off tops and bottoms so that the top and bottom of the beets are flat. Quarter beet into 1/2 inch pieces. See pictures for reference.

2. Bring pot of water and a pinch of salt to boil. Once water is boiling, add beets and turn burner to medium. Simmer beats for 10+ minutes until you can easily pierce them with a knife. Be cautious not to over cook. Once they have cooked, strain and run cold water over beets for about five minutes until cool.

3. Once beets have cooled down, dry well with a clean dish towel, and then toss with 1 TBSP mild tasting EVOO, salt and pepper to taste.

4. Before serving, garnish with freshly chopped basil and crumbled goat cheese.

5. Enjoy!

Stinson Beach Day Trip

SBOG2

During our trip to San Francisco last week, Kristian and I  found ourselves in Mill Valley after a breakfast meeting and felt inspired to visit one of our favorite spots: Stinson Beach. It  is a gorgeous, quaint and funky little beach town tucked into the hills of Marin County. It’s a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the city. The weather was beautiful and the sun was shining on the beach despite a light layer of fog. Naturally, I took off my sandals and couldn’t wait to feel the sand in between my toes.

sandals

We walked down the beach, dipping our toes in the water, taking lots of pictures and basking in the sun. It felt so good to be warmed by the sun in December! Oh California…I think I may have even gotten the slightest bit sun burnt. Also, how cute are those little birds in the picture below?

Stinson Birds

Kristian, is the perfect subject for experimenting with my new camera lens – 50mm, 1.4 lens, for you camera nerds. My new lens gives that really nice blurred effect in the background and Kristian is devilishly handsome and photogenic so it’s really just a win-win. We had a lot of fun taking pictures of each other the entire trip.

SB2

After walking along the beach for a while, we came across this wildly decorated house. It was completely covered in prayer flags and I was just loving it. After checking out the house, we were lured into a super cute neighborhood that we were totally admiring.

Super cute, funky, beachy – all the good stuff.

stinson beach

We also came across some gorgeous succulents. Oh my, I just LOVE succulents. Especially large wild ones that were all over Stinson Beach.

I also have a weak spot for mini succulents as well…they are just too cute.

succulent

We also just happened upon this awesome house which was in the same neighborhood as the other house and were enamored by this vintage buoy collection. Cool, right?

buoys

Ah, and of course, we saw lots of quintessential rustic beach house decorations like this awesome vintage lamp below. Kind of loved it. I also came across a FABULOUS piece of wood that would have been so amazing for food photography and knocked on the women’s door asking if I could buy it but alas, she said no…very graciously and kindly might I add. It was worth a try! So many great pieces in the area though!

beach lamp

As we were finishing our walk around town we saw this adorable yet kind of sad sign “Save Our Drakes Bay Oyster Farm.” I really hope they are able to save their farm. I mean come on, local oysters…yes please!

stinson  beach

We finished our day trip at a little spot called The Lunch Box which was like a little gourmet snack bar. We got a spinach salad with golden beets, feta and candied walnuts with grilled salmon to share which was awesome and of course we couldn’t resist Inka Chips Plantain Chips, so yummy!

plantain chips

We also got coconut water and THE best arnold palmer. Okay, maybe it just tasted really, really good because we were feeling dehydrated but it was refreshing. After fueling up, we hit the road and we were on our way home, exhausted, after a fun day.

hydration essentials

Have you been to Stinson Beach? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section!

Welcoming the New Year

This year, I am sending 2013 off with a bang and can’t wait to welcome 2014.

38ad94448f288f511da6b805637ca437

I have been reflecting on 2013 as a whole the past couple of days and I’ve come to realize that it has been kind of a whirlwind year that passed by in a blink of an eye for me. I’ve had so many ups and downs this year and have grown so much as a person. I discovered new passions, learned new skills and was inspired by the people in my life every single day.

 One of the toughest yet greatest decisions I made in 2013 was to give my body a rest. I have been a competitive athlete for almost my entire life and my body had literally worn itself out. I was dealing with a worsening chronic back injury and many acute injuries. I needed to chill out and let my body recover and so thats what this year was all about for me. Instead of spending my hours in the gym, I spent my energy becoming deeply engaged with my school work and creative pursuits.

One of the greatest things that happened this year, aside from turning 21, was starting this little blog. I am so humbled by all of you amazing people who have supported this blog, commented, engaged, tried my recipes and reached out to me. I love you all. I also love this blog so much. It truly is a reflection of myself, my life and my passions for health, wellness, design and photography…what I like to call, visual storytelling. I can’t thank you all enough for being here and I can’t wait to engage with you all more in 2014.

 2014 is bound to be a fantastic year in my life. I can just feel it. 

 For one, I graduate from college in December 2014. Craziness. It’s scary, exciting, makes me want to cry and laugh at the same time. Aside from graduating, I will be slowly starting to build up my physical fitness, continuing to improve as a visual storyteller and embracing every last second of my last year of college.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and glorious 2014!

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