Monday, March 29, 2010

weekend away

It was a quick trip, but we had so much fun in Seattle over the weekend.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I love this snack. Radishes sliced thinly and doused with lime juice, cilantro and salt.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


As far as I'm concerned, today's weather was absolute perfection.

Monday, March 22, 2010

listening to stories

I never really had a relationship with my grandparents. My dad's parents both died before I was born, and my mom's parents lived far away and died while I was in middle school. Luckily for me though, Baba (who is really my friend's grandma) stepped in and has been my grandmother for the last fifteen years. She lives in a little duplex overlooking a ravine filled with Eucalyptus trees in Santa Cruz.
When I wander around her house as I did this morning, I love to ask the story behind everything she has. She has intentionally kept her belongings to a minimum, so the items she does put on display have been placed there with great care. I clicked these shots as she told Cristina and I about traveling alone to China and India in the 1970s and about the trauma she still remembers feeling as a child during the Great Depression.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Do you ever catch yourself getting involved in a project you know you're going to regret? Every time I decide to paint something, I trick myself into thinking it's going to be a breeze and then hours later I'm wondering what's wrong with me that I can't ever remember that painting is laborious and never fun. Last year I helped my boss redecorate the twins bedroom. They moved out of their cribs and bringing in 2 twin-sized beds meant a serious re-do. She found a really cute decal on Etsy and I agreed to help her put it up. Easier said than done - but with the two of us working, we managed. Then, months later when I was rethinking our bedroom decor I decided to order some decals. I knew full well that the more intricate the design, the harder to apply. So why not go with that super swirly design that is 10 separate pieces? Fool! What I didn't know was that our wall was going to pretty much reject the adhesive. It took several hours and many curse words to get it up. Thankfully it looks amazing, so I fear that some months down the road I'm going to convince myself that I should buy decals as part of a redesign.

I should mention that the second photo wasn't taken by me, but the clearly talented Jess Watson.

Friday, March 12, 2010


I've been making a version of this Butternut Squash soup for several years. There are only a few ingredients so putting it together is a cinch. You can roast the vegetables like I did here, but I think it might be easier to do it all in the pot so that's what I recommend. Chop a good sized yellow onion and saute it in a bit of olive oil in a good sized soup pot. Add a teaspoon of curry powder and some salt. Peel and cube a 2-3 lb butternut squash and 2-3 apples (grannysmith or macintosh are good) and throw them all in the pot with 2-3 cups of water or stock. Put on the lid and bring it to a simmer for a good 15+ minutes until the apple and squash are very soft. You can blend the soup with an immersion blender, a traditional blender, a food processor or a food mill. No matter what, you'll probably need more water or stock. You can also add a little apple juice at the end if needed.

In the past I've served it with a bit of yogurt or creme fraiche, but this time we went all out with the condiments. Toasted coconut, cashews and sliced banana were all fantastic. A little spoonful of yogurt would probably still have gone on top if we had had any. Becuase this soup is vegan, it freezes very nicely.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Despite my absolute and true love for Ina, I'm going to say that her meals are not exactly low fat. Fat = Flavor. There's no getting around it, but we just can't eat like that everyday. So when I'm in the mood for something really delicious and totally light (think hot summer days even though we never have them here, when you can't imagine eating more than watermelon for lunch, it's time to make these spring rolls. I ate the most delicious rolls at Out The Door and these are inspired from that meal. We have the rice paper available at our little local produce store but you might have to search around a bit. Dealing with them is a little intimidating at first, but it gets easier. You'll need a large flat bottom pan with a half inch or so of water kept at a simmer. Place a sheet of rice paper in the water and let it soften, using tongs flip it and it will continue to soften. It will be in the water for less than a minute. Carefully take it out of the water and spread it out on a plate. Center your little pile of filling and roll it up.

I like to fold the sides in first and then roll the whole thing from the bottom. Fillings can be very simple but it's more fun to have lots of flavors and textures.

Here's a list if what I am most likely to use: mango sprinkled with ginger, avocado, red pepper, carrot, cucumber, lettuce, tofu, rice noodles, toasted sesame seeds, daikon sprouts, scallion, mint. By the way, something about all the carefully chopped fillings each their own little bowl makes me extremely happy. Embarrassingly happy.

Peanut sauce is fantastic, or try teriyaki which is what we had here.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

in the kitchen

I have meals to share with you, but no energy to write about them yet. So here are some teasers.



Friday, March 5, 2010

back to food

I remember asking you all if you minded me posting more about food. Then I posted a bunch of pictures of the girls and other non-edibles. Sorry.
We have been "paying" a friend of ours to help record The Heated's newest project in the form of food. So far she seems okay with it, and her partner who just comes at the end of the session to eat is definitely pleased. Last night while the pig was in the oven we munched on Midnight Moon and I poured a lovely bottle of champagne that a great friend with even better taste gave to me.
I've never roasted a pork loin before, but it was really easy and came out perfectly. No surprise though because the instructions I used were Ina's.
Buy a 2-3 lb. boneless pork loin. We butterflied it then mashed it out a bit so it was even and a bit thinner. She says to butterfly into thirds which would have been good too.

Saute in a bit of olive oil and butter 1 large or two small yellow onions, sliced. After they soften add 2 ribs celery sliced thinly and a teaspoon of fresh thyme. De-glaze with a little wine and throw in 2 good handfuls of breadcrumbs. Allow to cool before stuffing.

Sprinkle the meat, cut side up with salt and pepper. Spread the stuffing evenly and begin to roll . Tie with twine and rub with olive oil and more salt and pepper. I've never trussed a roast but it was easier than dressing a toddler so I managed alright.

Bake for 30 minutes at 425, then turn down to 350 and bake another 20-30. For my 2 1/2 lb, 25 additional minutes was perfect.
Take out of the oven and allow to rest.

Also on the menu was roasted sweet potato fries with aoli, pan seared asparagus and steamed chard.
It's been awhile since I made an apple crostata and while this before picture is lovely, you should have seen it baked. Total perfection. My champagne giving friend and I devoured the leftovers for breakfast this morning.


Got me a little press today over at OhDeeDoh

Thursday, March 4, 2010

a day at the park

We had a glorious day in between rainstorms, so we picnicked at the park with friends and I wore those kids out.