Tuesday, October 27, 2009
back in the bay area...week 2 of work. week 2 of gorgeous weather. unbelievable really this late into october.
i'm staying in SOMA...21st floor this round. i used to spend some serious time in this city 6 years ago. i lived in monterey for 3 years but spent almost every weekend in sf where my friends and the action was. my plan was to move to sf after my stint in Mo. town, but love took me south. now that i'm back, i'm finding my love for the city is strong as ever.
(a little green roof action below my hotel window)
Yesterday i rolled down to the Los Gatos/Santa Cruz mts. to visit my sister on her vineyard. amongst the vines, she's also got a bangin garden and hens...all with names of course. the ladies are molting but dropping eggs left and right. check these beauties out! i can't wait to have a coup myself.
so as you can tell, i'm getting my city and country livin fixes. heaven for sure.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
driving home today from san clemente i couldn't get over the horrendous traffic on the 405. yeah i know, what's new. but looking around at my surroundings, i can't say i was inspired by much. chain restaurants, stores and nondescript "architecture". and did i mention the smog? the main colors that stuck out were grey and brown. maybe it's just time for a change of scenery.
tomorrow i fly up to the bay. i'll be checking out whole foods in sebastopol, petaluma, napa, sonoma, santa rosa. even though i'll be working, i'm looking forward to the inspiration of my surrounds. greenery, fall colors, clean air, amazing food, local wine and great friends are on my immediate horizon. northern california, oh how i've missed you.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
now back to the babes....mimosa's @ Claire's Cafe @ the long beach museum of art (views are to die for as well as the food). it was my irish friend's birthday yesterday and i'm sure she'll be in dire need of the bubbly.
then back to my neighborhood for some retail therapy.....and maybe more cocktails. it's that kind of day. did i mention it's supposed to be 83* today?!! back to the sundresses....
Surf Report- So. Ca. 10/17/09:
GOOD SURF: 3-4 ft. + - waist to shoulder high occasionally 5 ft. and good conditions.
Old WNW swell continues to fade out as a new WNW swell fills in; South swell starts to ease; Watch the high tide in the AM
Thursday, October 15, 2009
i grew up with this bed, but in pine. my mom is currently storing it in her garage and wants it OUT. it's a pain in the ass to move and i'm not a big pine fan but i think it's time to paint the bitch black and bring it down south. pop some sheer curtains on the four corners to pull shut for a romantic night.....think it's a go.
UPDATE: when i emailed her to tell her i want to paint it black and move it down to LB, her response: "Do you recall that I've suggested this several times over the last 10 years!"
Love you mom! better late than never....
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
my good friend is SICK, so i've decided to bring her some love- SOUP! since i still have a bunch of lemongrass and coconut milk on hand from last night's din (spicy curry fried rice with coconut milk and pineapple) this recipe fits the bill. i'm sure i'll tweak it a bit depending on what's in my pantry and fridge. pictures to come.
i'm also off to my fav local thrift store to pick up a cool handled basket and dish towels. my mom taught me this trick long ago. buy a cool, large basket at any thrift store (usually about $3.) line it with interesting dish towels or cloth napkins (usually about $2 for 4) to create a serving vessel for your special meal. along with the soup i'm giving, i'll include some crackers, tea, cough drops and a flower or two from my garden. everyone needs a pick-me-up when you're under the weather. that's what friends are for!
My score from the thrift store: basket-$1.95, check tablecloth- $1.95, 2 super cute soup mugs- $0.99/ea.
Coconut Lemongrass Chicken Soup Serves 4 to 6
This is a Thai-style soup, versatile and very easy to make. You can substitute shrimp for the chicken, or use a combination of chicken and shrimp. If you don't have Kaffir lime leaves or fish sauce, the soup will still be good. The broth can be made ahead (without the chicken and garnishes), and reheated at serving time. Add the chicken at the last minute so it stays moist and tender.
3 cups chicken stock
2 cans (28 ounces) light coconut milk
1/2 cup finely minced lemongrass (about 3 stalks)
1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger (3-inch piece)
1/2 serrrano or jalapeño pepper, sliced
(or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
1-1/2 teaspoons Asian chile sauce
4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
2 tablespoons fish sauce, optional
2 Kaffir lime leaves, sliced (optional)
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into strips (preferably Thai basil)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Combine the stock, coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, pepper, chile sauce, garlic, fish sauce, and lime leaves, if using, in a medium-size pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes. Don't allow the mixture to boil. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let the broth steep for 30 minutes.
Strain the liquid into a clean pan and discard the solids. At this point, the broth may be refrigerated, covered, up to 3 days.
Slice the chicken crosswise into 1/2-inch strips, then cut these in half lengthwise. You want all the strips to be about the same size so they cook evenly.
Reheat the broth over medium heat to the start of a simmer (don't boil). Add the chicken and gently poach the meat until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the lime juice and season with salt, as needed. Divide the soup into warm bowls and garnish each serving with a sprinkling of basil and cilantro. Serve piping hot.
Sambazon Acai for smoothies, the soup, cilantro and basil for garnish, apple cider to heat and sip, Ak-Mak crackers, cough drops and Alka-Seltzer for cold/flu.
finished product. WA-LA!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Carmel Pecan Cakes
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water, divided
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 8 (6-ounces) ramekins
Bring sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then wash down any sugar crystals on side of skillet with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Boil, without stirring, swirling skillet occasionally so caramel colors evenly, until dark amber. Remove from heat and carefully stir in remaining cup water (mixture will steam vigorously and may stiffen). Return to a boil and stir until caramel has completely dissolved. If necessary, simmer until just syrupy, 1 to 3 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Toast pecans for cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Toast pecans in a 4-sided sheet pan in oven until fragrant and a shade darker, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool and coarsely chop.
Put 2/3 cup cooled caramel syrup in a bowl (save remainder to use as sauce) and add butter, egg, and cream, whisking well after each addition.
Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and sugars into a large bowl. Make a well in center, then add caramel mixture and gradually whisk in dry ingredients until smooth. Fold in pecans. Chill, covered, until cold (or 12 to 24 hours for best results).
Preheat oven to 325°F with rack in middle.
Butter and lightly flour ramekins, then cut out and fit a round of parchment paper in bottom of each. Arrange in a 4-sided sheet pan.
Divide batter among ramekins (about 1/4 cup each; batter will be stiff). Bake until cakes just spring back when lightly pressed, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool cakes to warm. Reheat remaining caramel. Invert cakes onto plates, then peel off parchment and spoon some of caramel on top.
Cooks’ note: Cakes can be made 4 hours ahead. Rewarm, individually wrapped in foil, in a 300°F oven.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
yet another weekend has come and almost gone. fall is deeply upon long beach. cooler weather, football- my OREGON DUCKS, pumpkin lattes and halloween decorations popping up. sundays are special to N and i. we like to spend them together, doing stuff around the house, catching up on a game or two, cooking and taking walks through our lovely little neighborhood.
sunday evenings come with the newest edition of 60 Minutes and our recent favorite series- Mad Men. through all the ups and downs of life, it's days like this that make me so thankful for everything and everyone i have near and dear. cheers to the week ahead and cheers to the episode ahead in 30 minutes. the Draper's house is already on my mind. what will this sunday bring....
Thursday, October 8, 2009
i need a truck!
these truck farm kats are kewl!
and speaking or reusing, check out my sister's new chicken coop in the Los Gatos mountains. she calls it her ghetto coop. picked up up for free from an alley in Santa Cruz.
i try and look on the bright side of things. about twice a year i work @ different trade shows in southern california. the most recent happened to be produce specific. this can be ridiculously boring and the crowd is made up of conventional grocery store buyers...men, lots of them. and not the cool type you might find employed @ a whole foods. i'm talking corporate vons and albertsons men.
i used this time to put my cultural anthropology skills to use. basically, it's great people watching. back to the bright side of things....i always walk away with a bundle of FREE produce and flowers. right now my house is covered with bright color.
this time around i also scored one of my favs, lemongrass. i've got a lot of it so i've been hunting for tasty recipes to try. this one comes from Donna Hay magazine (think Australian Martha Stewart but cooler). this will be din din tomorrow night.
spiced coconut prawns
- 1 stalk lemongrass, very finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 2 large mild red chillies, finly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons desiccated coconut
- 1kg green prawns, peeled, veins removed, tails intact
- sea salt and cracked pepper
- lemon wedges, to serve
and some pics of my tradeshow flower score:
notice the S?! love this vase ala mi madre
that little light bulb looking device is something that was passed down to me from mi padre. when the sun hits it, the little flags inside spin due to the heat transfer. radness i do say.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
so pumped. work is sending me to "the city" two different times this month. once for 3 days..i come home for the weekend then go back for a week. i couldn't be happier right now...except for the fact that my babe has to stay in LB.
not only will i be venturing into SF but i'll also be up in wine country for a day- my old stomping grounds for my last job. i'm going to have some serious heart palpitations.
(from the geometrics line)
i'm a jewelry whore so Molly M Designs was a natural fit. the cool thing about Molly M is she is a professionally trained architect, which you can see in her designs, so my eye has double delight when looking at her works. she's now making not only rad earrings and pendants but art to hang in your casita as well. check her out!
(from the lines and circles line)
(from the layers line)
(from the botanicals line)
(from the laser cut prints)
and a little Don Carlos to finish us out........