Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals. I'm a recovering former vegan and vegetarian, now healing with a nutrient-dense mostly Paleo diet, and love at-home CrossFit and yoga workouts. I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

New mom to baby Otto born April 2018!


PNW summer dinner party recipe! Spiced broiled salmon with lime butter

Aaaah, the star of the show... the final recipe from our Pacific Northwest simple summer dinner party is here! This salmon turned out amazing and I've made this recipe twice since! (Without the lime butter, sadly... I highly recommend it with the lime butter!)

This recipe features incredible wild-caught salmon from Kenai Red Fish Company, a CSF (community-supported fishery) that delivers subscriptions to Portland. I love salmon and wish I ate more of it, but it's hard to find the good quality stuff and know where it's from. This company provides a really wonderful service and connection to amazing salmon!

For the recipe I developed for our dinner party shoot (also featuring Sam RosenMary BodyenStemm Floral, and Kelsey Malie Calligraphy) I wanted to do something exciting and summery, but also let the great salmon flavor come through. I really like making my own spice blends, but I also wanted the tanginess of citrus. I did lime instead of lemon with this simple, slightly spicy rub--it was a great combination!

This recipe is great for dinner parties (or busy weeknights) because it only takes about 10 minutes in the oven!

Spicy Broiled Salmon with Lime and Lime Butter


Lime Butter:
  • 1 small clove garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted grassfed butter, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Slices of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 large fillets (about 2 lbs) wild-caught salmon
  • Coconut oil for baking sheet


    1. For the lime butter: Combine all lime butter ingredients in a mini food processor (or use a jar and emulsion blender). 
    2. Refrigerate lime butter several hours or overnight (optional, just makes it scoop better).
    3. Turn oven to broil at 475 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with coconut oil.
    4. For the salmon: Mix dry ingredients in a dish and rub on insides of salmon fillets.
    5. Squeeze lime juice over lime fillets. Top with lime slices. (For crispier individual fillets, cut into smaller pieces before broiling.)
    6. Broil for 10 minutes.
    7. Serve with pats of lime butter.

    The combination of flavorful, slightly spicy salmon and heavenly garlicy-tangy-salty butter is incredible!!! Seriously magical!

    The party shoot was featured on Glitter Guide here. The recipes are on Glitter Guide here and individually on my blog - see my Real Food Recipes page.

    No comments


    PNW summer dinner party recipe! Roasted potatoes, radishes, and green beans

    I've talked before about how much tastier some veggies are baked versus boiled. It's still a relatively recent revelation for me, though, and when I was putting together the menu for our Pacific Northwest simple summer dinner party I wanted to do simple veggies and flavors, but special because they're baked!

    So I combined a few of my fave roasted veggies into one dish--green beans, radishes (surprisingly good roasted!), and fingerling potatoes. 

    These were so tasty, we were snacking on them throughout the rest of the shoot! (Styling by Sam Rosen, photos by Mary Bodyen, flowers by Stemm Floral, calligraphy by Kelsey Malie Calligraphy, and salmon from Kenai Red Fish Company (see the photos here).)

    And this is a great summer local food recipe--I got almost all the ingredients for this shoot from our CSA and the farmers' market, including the green beans, potatoes, and radishes!

    Roasted Potatoes, Radishes, and Green Beans


    • 2.5 lbs potatoes (I used a mix of white and red fingerling)
    • 2 bunches radishes
    • 1.5 lbs green beans
    • 1/3 c. olive oil
    • 1 1/4 tsp sea salt
    • Ground pepper

    This makes a big batch (serves 4-6), so halve ingredients for a smaller family.


      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with olive oil.
      2. Wash and remove eyes from potatoes. Cut in half (or large bite-sized pieces).
      3. Cut stems from radishes, wash, and cut in half.
      4. Snap green beans and leave long or cut in half.
      5. Toss all veggies, salt, and pepper with oil. Bake for 35 minutes or until well roasted, stirring halfway through.

      Serve hot, although they are also delicious cold the next day, like a side salad!

      The party shoot was featured on Glitter Guide here. The recipes are on Glitter Guide here and individually on my blog - see my Real Food Recipes page.

      No comments


      PNW summer dinner party recipe! Simple strawberry and shallot salad

      I think I first heard of berries in salad in high school, but it was something totally new and exciting compared to what my mom usually did with greens. Not till grad school did I discover putting cooked ingredients into salads--grilled veggies, sautéed chopped onions... I still think of both (berries or cooked things) in salads as totally fun, interesting combinations! So for the salad I did for our Pacific Northwest simple summer dinner party (collaboration with Sam RosenMary BodyenStemm Floral, Kelsey Malie Calligraphy, and Kenai Red Fish Company, I used local berries and lettuce with a tangy homemade dressing and sautéed shallots from our CSA! 

      Here's the recipe!

      I got almost all the ingredients for this shoot from our CSA and the farmers' market--this recipe included! 

      Strawberry and Sautéed Shallot Salad


      • 6 shallots
      • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
      • 1/2 tsp sea salt
      • 4-8 strawberries, depending on size
      • 1 head red leaf lettuce



        1. Slice shallots. Sauté in olive oil with salt until translucent.
        2. Chop and spin lettuce.
        3. Combine dressing ingredients in a jar and blend with an emulsion blender or whisk.
        4. Toss lettuce with dressing and plate onto salad plates (optional).
        5. Slice strawberries.
        6. Distribute sautéed shallots and strawberries onto plated salads.

        Serve plated or in a large bowl. Serves 4-6.

        The party shoot was featured on Glitter Guide here. The recipes are on Glitter Guide here and individually on my blog - see my Real Food Recipes page.

        No comments


        PNW summer dinner party recipe! Smoked salmon cucumber lettuce cups

        I love summer, and cooking local food, and putting together pretty dinner parties. So the Pacific Northwest simple summer dinner party I did with Sam Rosen, Mary Bodyen, Stemm Floral, and Kelsey Malie Calligraphy (see more photos here) was a great opportunity for me to try out some great summer recipes, with two types of salmon from Kenai Red Fish Company. I put together quite a menu, so I'll share these recipes with you one by one as I get them typed up!

        Let's start with the appetizer!

        I know smoked salmon is delicious on its own or with simple flavors, so I wanted to use it in an appetizer. But I didn't know of many without dairy in them! So I came up with these tasty cucumber-filled lettuce boats that are perfect with this flavorful smoked salmon. And dairy-free, Paleo-friendly.

        I used this delicious smoked salmon from Kenai Red Fish Company.

        This recipe is perfect for summer--you can get delicious fresh cucumbers and tomatoes at your farmers' market, and probably the cilantro, too!

        I got almost all the ingredients for this shoot from our CSA and the farmers' market! 

        Smoked Salmon and Cucumber Lettuce Cups


        • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped small
        • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
        • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
        • 1/2 tsp sea salt
        • 1 filet (approx. 8-10 oz.) smoked salmon
        • 12-20 medium-sized romaine lettuce leaves
        • cherry tomatoes


          1. Marinate first 4 ingredients at least 4 hours, or overnight.
          2. Distribute cucumber mixture into lettuce leaves.
          3. Break up salmon and distribute on top of cucumber mixture.
          4. Chop cherry tomatoes in half and put 2-3 halves on each lettuce cup.

          Eat with your fingers! The marinade drips onto your plate or napkin, so carry a cute cocktail napkin with you around the party as you eat these!

          The flavors are so simple and fresh. Perfect for showing off the high quality smoked salmon. And a great light appetizer, lots of veggies and tanginess before a big meal!

          The party shoot was featured on Glitter Guide here. The recipes are on Glitter Guide here and individually on my blog - see my Real Food Recipes page.

          No comments


          Blue and white striped simple tie neck top and peach-picking

          I woke up Saturday morning with an idea. I'd been loosely thinking about going out to a u-pick farm to pick peaches one of these weekends, but I wasn't sure how long the season was, and I thought it would be fun to make something loose, woven, and cottony for the trip. (I love going out to farms, I wanted to make it special!) I called the farm we go to (Jossy Farms in Hillsboro) and... this was the last weekend for picking peaches, and they weren't open on Sunday.

          So, I went to the sewing room, found some pre-washed fabric and a simple pattern (Simplicity 1355, a recent fave), and... an hour and 20 minutes later (!!), I was out the door in my new top!

          I wanted something really simple, since I didn't have a lot of time and wanted something light and airy for being out in the hot sun. Two inspirations here.

          I used (and modified) Simplicity 1355, which I've used a lot lately. It's a dress and jumpsuit pattern, but I cut basically the top for view C/D, but extended the front and back pieces about 6-8" to make it a top. I thought about doing a dress shirt hem, coming up at the sides, or a slight high-low hem with the front a little shorter, but I wanted to honor the structure of the stripes and keep it symmetrical all around.

          I also made the drawstring casing smaller and made the drawstring as narrow as possible. I think it's cuter that way.

          The pattern has a seam down the center front and back to accommodate the slits, but I didn't want to mess with the stripes by adding a seam, so I cut a narrow V in the center front and gave it a tiny hem.

          I chose to tie mine in the back, which takes a little coordination after you put it on... but preserves the smooth front look.

          The armholes have a white bias binding.

          A seriously fast sewing project!!

          I don't know when the last time I bought a top pattern was (I don't make them often), but I don't like to do pattern-free, either--I usually find garments that are at least loosely based on a pattern are more flattering on me!

          The top was perfect for our peach-hunting (hunting because there weren't many left on the trees, really had to look closely!) at Jossy Farms in Hillsboro. How cool is that barn??

          We got... some peaches. Most of the really big ones were already on the ground! We got this box, and froze the ripe ones for later.
          Shorts: Old Navy. Shoes: Old Navy (similar). Hat: Nordstrom Rack c. 2004! (similar) Belt: Vintage. Top: DIY!

          It's the beginning of pear and apple season, though! We got a few too many pears.. not sure what to do with them all! I guess I could can them?? Pear sauce?? We try not to eat too much fruit and save it for special occasions, so I'd like to do something I can use slowly!

          I love the top and it's exactly what I wanted for a hot summer day outside!

          No comments


          PNW summer dinner party - simple real food, local, seasonal recipes and beautiful styling

          I have a gem to share with you this week.

          A few weeks back I did an awesome collaboration with Sam RosenMary BodyenStemm Floral, and Kelsey Malie Calligraphy featuring wild-caught Alaskan salmon from local community-supported fishery (CSF) Kenai Red Fish Company. I came up with the recipes for the salmon and smoked salmon, plus appetizers and sides to go with. Sam did the styling and Mary took some incredible shots of my dining room all dressed up.  

          I wore this lace midi dress I made last summer.

          Almost all of the ingredients were from my CSA or the farmers' market, with the salmon from Kenai Red Fish Company. Lots of seasonal veggies and berries, perfect for this time of year!
          Styling: Sam Rosen
          Photography: Mary Bodyen
          Centerpiece: Stemm Floral
          Wild-Caught Salmon: Kenai Red Fish Company
          Recipes: Me

          You can read all about Sam's styling and dinner party tips on the Glitter Guide post about this shoot!

          I'll be sharing recipes this week and next, and I'm really excited about them because I put a lot of work into them and they turned out tasty and beautiful, thanks to Sam's styling and Mary's photography! Stay tuned.

          Featured on Glitter Guide here. Recipes on Glitter Guide here and individually on my blog - see Real Food Recipes page.

          No comments


          Win my book! DIY Wardrobe Makeovers giveaway - 3 copies! And reviews

          Three copies of my book to give away, plus two very special raves to share!

          I wrote a note to my grandma in her copy of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers. She's not known for being the sentimental type, but sometimes I am, and she's been sewing for most of her life and was part of my growing up surrounded by sewists. She and her mom taught my mom to sew. My mom is a professional seamstress, and taught me when I was very young to play around with a needle and thread, then a sewing machine, then patterns at the cutting table. It was so special to be able to sign a copy of my book for my grandma, and even more special when she called me on my cell phone (I forgot she had the number) when she got it in the mail to thank me for the kind words, and compliment my hard work!

          My husband's grandma ordered a copy of the book. When she got it, she sent me the sweetest email (she's 90 and excellent at email) complimenting the photos, the projects, and my hard work. She's been in a book group for something like 30 years and every July members share their lists of recommendations with each other. This year she put my book on her list and was so proud to mention it was written by her grandson's wife! She said everyone at the book club looked at it a long time, passing it around. Of course I signed her copy when I saw her recently, too!

          I'm so, so flattered by the positive attention DIY Wardrobe Makeovers has received from these, and other readers.

          I'm excited to give away 3 copies to you!

          If you haven't bought the book already, take this opportunity to enter the giveaway below!

          Here are a few of my fave projects and photos from the book. These are all from the last chunk of the book, the DIY style projects.

          The book is organized into 1) basic sewing techniques, tools, and inspiration ideas; 2) fit fix projects--hem, lengthen, take in, etc., and 3) DIY style projects--turn a garment into another type of garment. All based on my years of sewing, blogging, and working with friends, I've figured out what projects are super helpful to know! All the content is brand new, never seen on the blog before, except the bonus mending project in section 2 for my 2009 essential jeans-mending method tutorial (my most popular post ever).

          This is the dress-into-peplum top makeover (the top on the cover is a variation!)...

          Here's the contrast sleeve tee... (they painted over this wall not long after we took this shot!)

          And here's the tuxedo stripe pants project! The chalk in the background was so fresh the guy doing it was just a few steps down from these stairs in the Park Blocks!

          So if you haven't already, please check out DIY Wardrobe Makeovers on Amazon and add it to your wishlist--and enter the giveaway below! If you don't win, of course I'd love if you buy it, but you can also get it at the library or flip through it at a bookstore. =)

          I do have one favor to ask--however you read the book, whether yours or borrowed, if you like it, it would be SO wonderful if you could leave a positive review on Amazon! Most craft/sewing books do not get a lot of reader-written reviews, so I'd love if you could help mine stand out with more positive words from readers! So far I have four great reviews. It makes me so happy to read each one. If you have or find a copy of the book and if you like it, PLEASE share it with the world in a review!

          Thank you and good luck!!

          No comments


          Honey basil chocolate chip coconut milk ice cream recipe!

          I'm all for trying new things. I love learning about new flavors and combinations, and creative spins on classics like ice cream!

          Three things: 1) We have a ton of basil growing on our tiny porch garden this year. 2) Chocolate mint chip was my favorite kind of ice cream my mom would buy when I was a kid. 3) I saw a recipe for basil ice cream in a fancy magazine last month and thought I'd try something similar at home!

          Mine's made with coconut milk, though, since I don't do dairy. Plus, when I look at traditional ice cream recipes, I get overwhelmed by the cooking and separating and all the steps... but I do have coconut milk ice cream pretty much mastered!

          It turned out great! Here goes, my recipe for dairy-free, egg-free, naturally sweetened, Paleo-friendly coconut milk honey basil chocolate chip ice cream!

          This recipe is totally easy and special! Do plan to make it at least 2 days ahead, though, to let the basil steep before you strain it!

          Honey Basil Chocolate Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream


          • 2 cans full-fat coconut milk
          • 3/4 c. raw honey
          • 1 tbsp grassfed gelatin (I use this brand because it's also high in protein, but you can also buy this one)
          • 1 c. fresh basil leaves
          • 1.5 oz. dark chocolate

          Special equipment needed:
          We have a very basic ice cream maker (like this), and I'm getting to test its limitations. (My friend has this one which seems like a good upgrade). Depending on the size of your ice cream maker, you may need to make this in multiple batches. I also recommend a handheld stick blender for much easier cleaning.


            1. Dissolve the gelatin in a very large jar with 1/4 c. boiling water.
            2. Add coconut milk and honey. Blend with a handheld stick blender (or put mixture into a standard blender and blend).
            3. Add basil leaves, blend and chop with stick blender. Put lid on jar or blender and chill 48 hours.
            4. After steeping, pulse again with stick blender. Pour through mesh sieve into a bowl. (This is the slow part, but necessary--otherwise the fresh basil leaves are too strong and tingly! Use a spatula to push on the liquid mixture and do this in small batches.)
            5. Turn on ice cream maker and pour mixture in. 
            6. Grate dark chocolate with box grater. Add to mixture in ice cream maker.
            When done, scoop and serve!

            The flavor combination is so fun and fresh! Kind of like mint chip but way more original! So perfect for a summer treat when the garden is full of basil!

            No comments


            © Create / Enjoy • Theme by Maira G.