Katie at Chestnut Mocha

Impressionist Lifestyle

Hi, I'm Katie!

These are my impressions, thoughts, images and memories -- an attempt to appreciate and communicate things I experience.

Thu, April 17, 2014

My love for butternut squash doesn’t end with spring arrival, it’s just taken a new shape. This idea is from the pages of my favorite Jerusalem cookbook (a gift from Ben!) – Butternut squash and tahini dip/spread. We had an unopened can of tahini paste in the cooler for almost six months now, so I was thrilled to finally have a way to give it a try.

Serves 6 to 8.

1 very large butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks (net weight 970g)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
70g tahini paste
120g Greek yoghurt
2 small garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp mixed black and white sesame seeds (or just white, if you don’t have black)
1½ tsp date syrup
2 tbsp chopped coriander

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Spread the squash out on a medium-sized baking tray, pour over the olive oil and sprinkle on the cinnamon and salt. Mix well, cover the tray tightly with tinfoil and roast for 70 minutes, stirring once during the cooking. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Transfer the cooled squash to the bowl of a food processor, along with the tahini, yoghurt and garlic. Roughly pulse so that everything is combined into a coarse paste – you don’t want it too smooth (you can also do this by hand using a fork or masher). I got mine very smooth – it’s delicious either way!

To serve sprinkle with sesame seeds, a drizzle of syrup and finish with chopped coriander (which I omitted).

P.S. I don’t have my Jerusalem photos on this laptop, so here’s a film snapshot from New York City. Because I like how those look together.

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Sun, April 13, 2014

katieold ice house pizza in hope idaho
A good Sunday starts a little bit later than any other day and gets better with every hour. This Sunday we spent the first few hours of the day with Ben’s mom in the kitchen, having one cup after another of the Starbucks spring blend and talking about everything from summer plans to articles in the latest magazines that came in the mail. I love when it feels like the day is so long and I have nowhere else to be that I can actually be present in the moment and not rush anywhere.

Воскресенье – особенный день: можно проснуться по-позже, провести пару часов на кухне за кофе и неспешными разговорами, а на обед отправиться в соседний город – именно так мы и поступили. Долгота дня заметно увеличилась с наступлением апреля, и наши выезды за город участлились.
In the afternoon the sun was shining high, so Ben and I did what we do best: got in the car and drove out of town. This time we went east to the little tiny town of Hope. I posted about it last year, it has the nicest pizza place with the best lake views! If you’re in the area, stop by the Old Ice House Pizzeria & Bakery, it’s wonderful! I feel like it’s our special secret place, there wasn’t anyone else on the balcony, just the two of us and a large pizza.

В этот раз мы поехали в городок Хоуп, что значит “Надежда”, на противоположной стороне озера. Там есть прекрасная пиццерия на холме с видом на горы, лодочки и островки – очень уютно, вкусно и романтично.
katie3hope view to schweitzer

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Fri, April 11, 2014

We took Sonya on her first bunny walk of 2014 a few evenings ago. We also snapped about 100+ photos and it’s a huge effort on my part not to post all of them on the blog today. I’m trying to restrain myself, so here’s one picture. Wishing everyone a happy spring weekend! <3

Пару дней назад мы взяли Соню на первую весеннюю прогулку в этом году. Домой мы вернулись с миллионом фотографий, и теперь я превозмогаю огромное желание их все сюда выложить. Постараюсь проявить свою силу воли и ограничиться вот этим одним фото… пока что! ;-)
Всем замечательных весенних выходных!

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Wed, April 9, 2014

lavender holga
If it’s not obvious yet I’ll say it directly: Ben has one very important talent that always guarantees him the Best Husband Ever award. He’s very-very good at surprises. He knows what I like, and he likes to plan and make surprise adventures for me. I can’t even express how grateful I am to have Ben in my life. It’s always fun with him wherever we are.

Бенжамин как всегда превзошёл самого себя и удивил меня в день рождения поездкой на ферму, где можно кормить и гладить животных! Несмотря на возраст, в душе я еще тот ребёнок, и от общения с пушистыми друзьями прихожу в огромный восторг.

baby goats petting farmpetting zoo goat
Last weekend for my birthday Ben took me on a road trip to Spokane, Washington to visit Mountain Valley View Farm! I’m well aware I’ve just turned 26, but it doesn’t make me love cute animals any less. Quite the opposite, actually, I sometimes dream of having a little farm with chickens, bunnies, alpacas, ducks…

Since my birthday is in April, the farm visit was even more fun since they had all kinds of baby animals. I got to feed tiny baby goats with a milk bottle! They are incredibly cute and very cuddly: they wanted me to pick them up and hug them while they were chewing on my hair. I wish we had a few baby goats at home. Can you imagine baby goats playing with Sonya bunny? Oh yes!

У меня появился новый повод считать апрельский день рождения самым лучшим – в это время на ферме полно всевозможных очаровательных детёнышей. Сразу по приезду мы познакомились с тройняшками козлятами, я их покормила молоком из бутылочки, всех подержала на руках и прониклась желанием увезти их с собой домой.

baby sheepkim's korean spokaneduck eggsmilking a goat
I also got to feed carrots and fresh spring grass to the Icelandic horses, play with the adult goats, feed the shy sheep, pet a lamb, watch the birds, buy huge duck eggs to take home… and I even milked a goat! I’m glad there was something new like milking a goat within the first few days after my birthday, now I already feel accomplished for the rest of the year, haha — I made Ben milk a goat, too, so we shared this experience together. Phew, now I can relax till the next April.

Во время прогулки по ферме, мы покормили исландских лошадок морковью и весенней травой, поиграли с козами и овцами, погладили малюсенького ягненка, посмотрели на разнообразных птиц, купили огромные утиные яйца домой… и подоили козу! Я очень рада, что вот так сразу в начале моего 26-летия я сделала что-то новое и значительное: достижение уже есть, так что теперь на весь оставшийся год мне можно расслабиться хаха

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Sat, April 5, 2014

I first saw this recipe in the Kinfolk Table book, here’s my slightly simplified version.
Serves 4:

3 summer squash, sliced lengthwise
Fresh thyme leaves
Kernels from 1 corn
2 radishes, sliced
3 cups cherry tomatoes
4 cups arugula

Heat a little bit of olive oil in a pan until simmering. Cook the squash with thyme, salt and pepper until tender. Transfer to a salad bowl. Do the same with corn, add it to the bowl. Mix in the radishes, cherry tomatoes, arugula, toss gently to combine. Drizzle with your choice of dressing or vinegar. Enjoy!

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Mon, March 31, 2014


We took these photos a few weeks ago when it was still snowy. I just talked to mama and she said it’s snowing in Moscow, so my outfit is still appropriate. Mama also told me that they had Olivie salad for dinner and she’s baking poppy seed rolls. I’ll just have to work this week and there is nothing being baked at home while I’m at the office.

Этим фотографиям уже пара недель, но мама только что мне написала, что в Москве идёт снег, так что мой наряд всё еще актуален!


It’s my birthday week and I really wish it were an official week off full of celebrations, spring walks, cakes and mini road trips. Last weekend was really busy with family and guests around, wild adventures (I’ll make a post about that later!), and big dinners. For the next three days there’re going to be only Ben, Sonya bunny and I at the house, which I’m really looking forward to. I feel like I have very little time to reflect on my 25th year before it’s gone and find some wisdom in it or something..? Surely, it’s silly and I feel the same way every year before New Years and before my birthday.

А завтра уже 1 апреля, совсем скоро мой день рождения, а на душе, как всегда, традиционная меланхолия. И старше становиться совсем не хочется, и оливье мне тут никто не приготовит, и пирогов не напечёт, и отмечать опять вдали от семьи и дома как-то неохота. Хотя я понимаю, что эти все мысли и настроения – полнейшие глупости. Погода сейчас солнечная, повсюду из-под земли пробиваются нарциссы и тюльпаны, впереди – длинное и весёлое лето, так что нужно прощаться с зимней грустью и хандрой. Надеюсь, до четверга управлюсь.


I think that deeply behind all of this pre-birthday melancholia I simply miss my family, I wish I were there with them. It’s going to be just another birthday far away from home. Funny how I choose to do what I want and go where I want, but then I find reasons to feel sorry for myself. Oh, it’s just all so silly of me, what am I even thinking? A Crème brûlée pie or two from the Pie Hut should help me get over it… right?


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Sat, March 29, 2014

It’s only Saturday, but the weekend has been fantastic so far. We had a huge family brunch at DiLuna’s, Ben had six cups of coffee, two at a time, but that’s a different story… Then we almost bought chicks and spent at least half an hour awwing at the little fluffy balls under the heating lamps. Ben’s dad wasn’t so thrilled and even though we were 5 against 1, we ended up stocking up on pumpkin, asparagus and lettuce seeds and no birds this time.

In the afternoon Ben and I took a walk to the beach and made a wish under a rainbow. We also made a wish under the rain a bit later, running back to the car. I love this spring weather! When we got home everyone went to the bowling alley and I stayed at home. I sometimes like being on my own, and it rarely happens anymore. Plus to be honest, I’ve never gone bowling and I’m super silly and competitive, so I felt like avoiding the challenge today. Instead I baked salmon with pesto, made beef and cabbage soup, unpacked my summer clothes and had a private little runway show, and took a quick stroll at the garden to see if there were any signs of spring there (psss! yes, there were!!)

Happy Sunday, everyone!

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Mon, March 24, 2014

Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. It was created in honor of the dancer after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. I’ve been looking for a special occasion to make this cake and I finally made it for Ben’s dad’s birthday! The cake turned out perfectly, crisp outside and soft, light inside – we couldn’t stop ourselves from finishing it all in one meal.

I had my struggles with it, though. We got the freshest and best eggs for it, but neither the first batch nor the second would beat up to create the needed stiff peaks. I don’t give up so easily, I decided to try for the 3rd and last time with the eggs from a different package. I also added a spoon of lemon juice to them, then Ben’s mom came to save me and added some cream of tartar… and we finally saw those firm, shiny white peaks!

Here’s my Pavlova recipe:

Preheat oven to 350F. Draw a circle approx. 8 in in diameter on a sheet of baking paper, place it on a baking tray.

Whip 4 large egg whites, a pinch of salt and a tea spoon of lemon juice to soft peaks. If the peaks are not happening, add a tea spoon of cream of tartar. Gradually add a cup of sugar, a tablespoon at a time. Whisk for another 2-3 minutes until stiff peaks form. The merengue mix should be thick and glossy. Add 2 tea spoons cornstarch folding gently with a spatula, then pour in 1 tea spoon vinegar and fold through.

Place the meringue mix onto the baking paper and pull it upwards around the sides. Make a well in the middle, which will hold the filling.

Turn the heat down to 210F and bake the for 1 ½ hours. Turn the oven off and leave the pavlova in the oven until cooled completely – at least 5 hours.

For the filling, I mixed soft butter with powdered sugar, topped it with fresh strawberries and poured my homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam over it.

Вот такой тортик “Клубничная Павлова” я испекла в воскресенье и теперь буду часто его готовить, очень уж все восхищались. Если повезёт со свежестью и качеством купленных яиц, и они с первого раза взобьются, то вообще ничего проще Павловой к сладкому столу и придумать нельзя. А если яйца отказываются взбиваться, можно попробовать добавить чайную ложку (или даже две!) лимонного сока и охладить белки в холодильнике перед взбиванием.

Нагреваем духовку до 175С. Затем берём стандартный набор для безе: взбиваем 4 яичных белка, тонкой струйкой подсыпаем стакан сахара, продолжаем взбивать до образования густых и крепких пиков. Противень накрываем листом бумаги для выпечки, выкладываем на него взбитые белки, сформовав круг диаметром 20 см. Ложкой делаем на белках красивые волны и небольшое углубление для будущей начинки в центре. Убавляем температуру в духовке до 100С и запекаем торт 1,5 часа, затем выключаем духовку и оставляем павлову внутри остывать. Вот и всё, сверху смазываем кремом, поливаем взбитыми сливками, посыпаем тёртым шоколадом, украшаем свежими фруктами – кому что по вкусу.

Приятного чаепития!

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Thu, March 20, 2014

Floral Luna

Posted by Katie

floral luna outfit background instax mini instax mini photo floral photo background instax

The other day when Benjamin and I were on our daily lunch walk through the sunny and spring-dusty streets of our small town in North Idaho, we felt a definite change in the air, or maybe the light. It felt like adventure time! Ben kicked a small dirty pile of snow on the curb and said: “I feel like we should be traveling now or at least planning a trip somewhere!”

It’s so true, in the past 4 years we’ve been together, every spring has been our time to travel, so it’s a bit strange to see the snow melt away but have no airplane tickets booked anywhere. The rest of the walk we kept thinking of “that time we hiked across a blooming cherry hill in South Korea,” “how we bought bags of green peas at La Boqueria in Barcelona,” “those gorgeous purple wisteria vines in Provence,” “feeding the pigeons nesting on our cute little balcony in Paris,” “dog-sledding through the spring snow in the mountains on Norway,” “that special day on a hill overlooking Stockholm where Ben dropped on his knee and pulled out the ring,” “our April honeymoon on the white beaches of Mauritius,” “our first American road trip together through the South”… every single one of those wonderful travels and adventures happened in spring, which kind of became our favorite little tradition.

Since April is my birthday month, and our engagement and wedding anniversary month, it only seems right to continue with the traditions and go on a trip somewhere. This April we’ll go to Glacier National Park in Montana. It won’t be too long or too far of an adventure, but we can’t wait!

I also want to mention a few things about these photos. I have some serious reasons to love the shots because of the florals in them: Ben painted this amazing background, and mama made the silk flowers in my hair! It started raining right as we were shooting, and I quickly got covered in the spring mist. It seemed so appropriate, like it’s supposed to rain for all of the flowers and leaves to start popping up on the streets any day now.

Эти фотографии мне особенно дороги, так как сочетают в себе не только яркие оттенки и цветы, но также две важнейшие детали. Прекрасные шёлковые цветы у меня в волосах – творение моей мамы; а картина, послужившая фоном моему образу, – новое увлечение Бена, он изобрёл собственную технику росписи по дереву.

Кстати о цветах и деталях, на днях мы прогуливались по солнечным улочкам нашего городка, засматриваясь на птиц, собирающих прутики для новых гнёзд, и разглядывая проглядывающие из-под земли листики тюльпанов… как Бен вдруг заметил: “Сейчас бы так хотелось поехать куда-нибудь путешествовать!”

И правда, довольно странно, что на улице уже конец марта, воздух наполняется сухим, пыльным, весенним ароматом, а мы не пакуем чемоданы и не покупаем никуда билеты. Мы стали наперебой перечислять наши совместные весенние воспоминания за последние 4 года: прогулки через цветущие вишневые рощи в Южной Корее; покупки гороха на рынке в Барселоне; невероятные грозди цлицинии в Провансе; голуби на нашем балконе в Париже; приключения на ездовых собаках по весеннему снегу в горах Норвегии; тот самый момент на холме с видом на Стокгольм, где Бен опустился на одно колено и протянул мне на ладони кольцо; апрельская свадьба и белый песок Маврикия; наше первое большое путешествие по Америке через южные штаты…

Так как апрель сочетает в себе столько важных событий нашей семьи: мой день рождения, годовщины помолвки и свадьбы, – мы решили, что без путешествия обойтись никак нельзя. В следующем месяце мы поедем в Монтану в Глейшер национальный парк! Поездка будет недалёкой и недолгой, но она станет приятным пополнением нашей весенней коллекции приключений.

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