This Grand Adventure: Chelsa-Bea: July 2013

July 25, 2013

Recipes Around the Web - Kale, Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

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Finding new recipes to try on blogs is one of my favorite things about social media. And although, I have a stack of wonderful cookbooks in my kitchen, the web is the first place I go when I’m trying to find something new and delicious to make.

One of the reasons I started blogging again was to be able to share all of the recipes, good or bad, we try at home. Once I’ve had a meal that I truly love, whether it’s at a restaurant, a friend’s house or in my own kitchen, I want to share it with everybody.

July 23, 2013

Kitchen Staple - Easy Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Easy Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Roasted Tomatoes

Ripe and juicy tomatoes are one of nature’s most delicious ingredients and one of my favorites. Sadly, since true tomato season is only a short time out of the year, having the sweet and luscious homegrown fruit at your fingertips isn’t always possible. Additionally, I find it hard to buy regular large tomatoes at the grocery store, after reading NPR's article on how the Industrial Farming has changed the taste of tomatoes. Fortunately though, tomato season is upon us and in just a few weeks, I will be stocking up on the fresh and beautiful fruit at farmer's markets.

July 17, 2013

A Month in Milwaukee

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A month ago today, we moved to Milwaukee.

It’s been the longest month I can remember. But, at the same time, it feels like we just got here yesterday. Time has sort of had this odd space in our lives. I don’t know if it’s the foreignness of a new place or the long days of summer but time has either been at a standstill or going a millions miles an hour.

The apartment is still slowly getting put together. We’ve yet to hang anything on the walls, but I will tell you that the most important room in our house, the kitchen, is well stocked and equipped. Oh, and most importantly the cat, has adapted extremely well.

July 15, 2013

For My Mama


Today my gorgeous and incredible mother celebrates her birthday.

She is my best friend and living away from her the last four years has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I must tell you that part of this blog is truly because of her. In an ideal world,  she and I would be doing this together.

She is truly remarkable and truly talented. Her creativity and flair are unparalleled. She taught me the importance of good ingredients and good clothing. I am desperately jealous of the part of her brain that can look at a blank room and can envision exactly how it should look without any type of help. She has a knack for style and design that I could only dream of.

Her adoration for life and adventure are some of the greatest gifts she has ever given me. She is incredibly gifted and so, so beautiful. I owe everything I know how to do to her. She taught me to go for my dreams, be brave and even when I am terrified, just keep moving forward.

She is a gardener, a cook, a wine maker, a fly fisherwoman, a morel picker, an innovator, a decorator, a hostess, a dreamer, a feminist, a trendsetter, a Herm├Ęs and Louis Vuitton lover, a nurturer, a want-to-be grandmother, an antique-er, a baker and most of all my mother.

She is truly phenomenal and I am so very blessed and so very grateful to call her my Mom.

Happy birthday, Mama! I love you so very, very much!

July 11, 2013

Kitchen Staple - Salmon with Lemon Mayonnaise Sauce

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This, my friends, is by far my favorite go-to recipe. It is a true staple in my kitchen.

I don’t even know where this recipe came from. What I mean to say, is that no one ever taught me how to make this.  It's something that just came to me one night. So, I suppose I could tell you that it came from the depths of my soul or something like that, but honestly, this is something I completely thought up on my own. While I am sure there are millions of similar recipes, I consider this a true Chelsea Smith recipe. It comes from the heart and it is my true comfort food.

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This was the meal I cooked for my first official dinner in Des Moines back in 2010. I remember being so proud of myself, and feeling so domestic while making it. My husband and I weren’t even married yet. It was a special moment because it was the first time we had ever lived together without roommates. I made it A LOT our first year in Iowa. We went to Costco and bought a giant bag of frozen salmon and when I didn't know what to make, I always made salmon with mayonnaise sauce. So, I guess this recipe means so much to me because it has a lot of nostalgic and meaningful memories behind it.

July 8, 2013

Link Love & Life Lately

Life around here lately has been pretty good. We had a fabulous Fourth of July, spending the day at the beach and the evening eating delicious hamburgers at AJ Bombers. The rest of the weekend was devoted to running errands and enjoying the great weather we’ve been having in Milwaukee.

I’ve been reading a lot recently and gathering up bits of inspiration all across the Internet, so I figured I would share some of my favorites with you today…

1. I could not be more excited for this Photo Idea Book by Elsie & Emma of A Beautiful Mess. I don’t consider myself any kind of expert when it comes to photography but I love just messing around with my camera. I’m sure this will be filled with all sorts of motivating and awesome ideas!

2. I cannot wait to make this Bourbon Float with Nectarine Sorbet by Not Without Salt. Seriously, I don’t know the last time something sounded so good.

3.I’ve been craving salads non-stop in this summer heat. These summer salad recipes that I found just look so easy ad delicious Lemony Kale Salad from Daily Candy and Arugula and Egg Salad by Food52 for dinner one of these evenings.

4. I’ve been out of college for a while, but I loved reading this list of meals Everday Food suggested every new grad know how to make.

5. Have I told you how my dream vacation would be to buy a RV and drive to every American Food Festival in the country? Well, it is. So, I loved reading this article on Food52 all about Food Festivals and their history.

6. While browsing through issuu, I stumbled across this adorable online magazin, Happy Girl. Such an inspirational and informative periodical. I can’t wait for their next issue.

7.I just adore Garance Dore. Her blog was one of the first I followed. She is so genuine and extremely talented. I loved this piece she recently wrote on her 5 Commandments of Style.

July 4, 2013

Easy Fourth of July Cake

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Angel Food Cake was the go-to summer dessert in my house growing up. It’s light, airy and deliciously sweet. I might blow your mind here but the cake in this recipe is from a box. Yep, I’m going all semi-homemade here. You won’t find me doing this often but with this particular recipe it’s the easiest and most delicious way to go.

July 1, 2013

Chive Blossom Vinegar

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Last summer, my husband and I picked up several wonderful herb plants at the Des Moines Farmer’s Market. One of which happened to be a dainty little chive plant.