Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
1 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large can diced or whole tomatoes, slightly pureed (you don’t want it to be totally smooth)
4 cups stock
1 12 oz. bag frozen artichoke hearts (I get mine at Trader Joe's), thawed and chopped finely (you could probably use canned here as well, but I don't recommend the marinated kind)
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 T fresh thyme, minced
1 T balsamic vinegar
squirt of siracha (how much really depends on how spicy you like it)
1/3 cup sour cream
Sauté onion in olive oil until tender, add minced garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds or so. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the sour cream and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Taste as it simmers and adjust for your preferred level of spiciness. Stir in sour cream, simmer a bit more and serve.
Monday, January 26, 2009
One booth was filled with so many amazing vintage boots. my eyes kept going back to a pair of booties that said DEX on the sole. of course, i was a little drunk so i couldn't be bothered to try the shoes on or to remember the brand. A few days later, Jess reminded me that the brand was Dexter. I had to find a pair, ASAP. so I turned to ebay, my trusty source for goods when i am too lazy to look for anywhere else.
I couldn't find the exact shoes I saw in LA, but I did find a close second (see above). I bid, and a day later, found out that I had won. I told rach and jess and they both responded in the same way dh did a few ebay buys ago: "maybe it's time i get on ebay."
ebay is so simple. it's time to overcome any anxiety and be empowered to use the tool that will help you get boots or 1980s sundresses or vintage sewing patterns or stained glass windows for your mom's birthday.
On ebay, you don't have to have a username or password to look. search the same way you do craigslist. type any terms you want. Try to be as specific as possible to reduce intense feelings of overwhelmingness. In the past few weeks, I bought 2 sewing patterns from the early 1970s, the boots and just now, while typing this post, Fromer's 2008 Paris Guide (for $2.00).
Check it out and be sure to share your finds. What's the best thing you've found on ebay? What are your go-to search words? There was a time when mine were "vintage linen" and "pyrex nesting bowls". Happy shopping.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
One of the contenders for outdoor activities is running, however, running has not, and probably will not, ever be something I can do long term. Bike riding is fun, but can get a tad boring, especially if I ride the same route every day. Plus, I don't like wearing spandex. Then I realized that one thing I can do is I can climb stairs like a mofo. So I decided to start climbing the Santa Monica Stairs every morning during the week.
This is one section of the stairs, there are about 3 or 4 more, for a total of 9 meeeeelion stairs. ok, it's only 150 or so steps. but it feels like more.
That plan was immediately derailed when, after my first session with “the stairs” I couldn’t walk for a week. I was literally crying out in agony every time the wind blew on my calves. I seriously overestimated my athletic ability and the stairs literally kicked my ass.
But I persevered and once my legs healed, I came back for more. I plan to continue with this for as long as it is enjoyable, because it’s a great, free workout, I get to be outside breathing in the fresh air, and seriously, staring at this:
is so much more than a bit better than staring at Biff in his muscle tee while he checks out his pecs in the mirror.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
This is a project that would have made my life abb months and months ago. Not only did I line the back of the closet, but I had Jed take the doors off as well. Anyone want to place bets on how long it will take before I find just the right fabric to use as a closet door? ps, said fabric will cover the far right side of the closet, aka jed's closet, as well as the shelved masterpiece.
**tip - I started off using modge podge, but switched to spray adhesive almost immediately. Spray adhesive is my new favorite thing ever. So fast, no clean up, really not labor intensive.
Otis says hi.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
A few thing I learned, that I will now share with you, because I love you:
* Poladroid spits the images out onto your desktop, but saves them elsewhere. To find them, right click and select “show in finder”.
* It took me a while to figure out how to actually remove the initial image off of my desktop, probably because I hadn't had coffee yet or because I am not smart, but anyway, just shut down the app and the images will go bye bye.
* You can only do batches of 10 (just like you can only take 10 pictures with a cartridge of Polaroid film) but if you shut down and restart, you can continue on your merry way.
* You have to wait for the film to “develop”, but if you want it to develop more quickly, you can, as Outkast instructs, just shake it like a Polaroid picture.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The beginning of a tarte tatin
Puff pastry purchased from Whole Foods. One of these days I swear I am going to make my own.
I don't have a photo of the final product because I burnt the caramel on the apples and it looked like crap. My mom loved it but I think it was just because she could tell I was upset, gotta love moms. However, nothing made with puff pastry tastes THAT bad but things usually taste better not burnt. Note to self; do not attempt trying new recipes on any major holiday. I guess that is basic knowledge but I figured what the hell, why not, I can bake anything! Lets just say this was a humbling experience.
This was my attempt at a vegan pumpkin pie for my dear bro (i roughly followed the recipe). The pie crust was also purchased at Whole Foods but I think it would be interesting to attempt making my own. I'm envisioning a day of crust making...Anywho, the filling tasted wonderful, the coconut milk mixed with the pumpkin and spices really went well together but the sucker did not want to set! I baked it for over an hour and it was still way jiggly in the middle. Jiggly in a way that made my bro roll on the floor laughing. I would have baked the sucker for another hour to see what would happen but the Christmas crowd was restless. So what they got was a vegan pumpkin pudding. At least the vegan liked it.
To end on a good note, I baked these and got positive feedback, thanks to butter purchased here, and I used 11 ounces of chocolate when the recipe called for 8 ounces...hehe.
Happy New Year everyone! Here's to a happy and healthy 2009!!
Next week....pinenut rosemary shortbread cookies
Monday, January 5, 2009
2009 is here. And to be honest, it couldn't have come sooner. '08 was great, but it was time to say goodbye. After what seems like 21 solid days of drinking, eating more than my annual allotment of butter and red meat, and seeing every family member in the tri-state area, it is time to get back on a schedule. The schedule I need involves a bedtime, a semi-regular physical activity regime, healthier eating and dedicated time to being creative. Minus the work part, I started to get back on track on Friday with my first gym workout in a very long time. On Friday night, we went to El Camino Real and I ordered fish burritos instead of bbq brisket (equally delish, btw). I went to yoga on Saturday morning and then vegged out, first with Heather, then with dh, then with Rach. Girl time is great.
Jessica Mae shared the link to Yoga Today - "free yoga delivered daily." Each 1 hr session is filmed outdoors from Jackson Hole, WY and it was a pleasure to start my Sunday with sun salutations and purposeful breathing without leaving my house. I can definitely see these classes becoming a part of my normal, non-vacation life.
I then went to my cousin's baby's christening. Lil Brianna is precious and I am honored to have been able to step in as the god-mother during the ceremony. I used my brand-new sewing machine (best holiday gift ever, thanks jed) to whip up the cutest baby gift ever - homemade bibs:
The bibs are reversible and couldn't be easier or more satisfying to make. The pattern comes from Bend the Rules Sewing (a book I look through at least twice a month for inspiration). It took me about an hour, start to finish, for all 3 bibs. This was my 2nd attempt at making the bibs and I have to say, I am totally getting better with practice. I'm putting it out here now - if you are my friend and you have a baby, you will get bibs. Start practicing the surprised face now.
As fun as it was for me to sew, it was even better being able to send my cousin back to LA with lil pieces of handmade love.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
I am officially getting old. Pete and I spent last night eating a delish steak dinner (which is now going to be our new years eve tradition), drinking bubbly and hanging out with Anderson Cooper, Kathy Griffin and 1 million of our closest friends freezing their butts off in Times Square. Unfortunately, since we rang in the new year with our East Coast comrades, we were sufficiently partied out by 10:30. Oh well.
The first day of a new year is usually a day full of promises of fresh starts: resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking, jog 5 miles a day. The past few years I haven't made resolutions, mostly because I always break them and seriously? There’s enough to feel bad about nowadays, I don’t need to add any fuel to the fire. This year, I have hopes for myself, things I want to incorporate into the big picture of my life, and that I aspire to carry with me long after this new year is over.
I hope to be more thoughtful; to call my family and friends more often; to eat more of the amazing food grown around me instead of trucked in from far away; to be more active and to make exercise a part of my life instead of something I make myself do; to be more creative and productive, whether it be through photography, sewing, gardening, or baking; and to explore more of my environment. I hope to do these things because I know that they will make me a healthier person, both physically and mentally.
I hope that you said goodbye to 2008 surrounded by people you love, that you enjoyed the last year of wearing those new years glasses, that you drank tons of champagne, that your hangover wasn't too bad and that 2009 and beyond is everything you hope it to be.