Tuesday, March 31, 2009

max wanger = the engagement shoot savant

this sesh in particular. woah.

you must see the whole day's progression on his blog.

exactly how long does one need to wait before planning a vow renewal. and if one plans said vow renewal, are engagement renewal photos also allowed?

you totally think i'm serious don't you? i'm not. for now.

Monday, March 30, 2009


that popped up on last year's pumpkin mound after we de-weeded it. It saddens me to dig them up, but we need the dirt for our raised bed project (which is coming along nicely). Maybe I will try to transplant them. Some of them. We do not need 37 pumpkin plants.

Also the huge zucchini from last year are refusing to decompose in a timely manner. See them back there, all sunburned and old? Just rot, already. I can't put you in our worm bin because the worms died when we went to Australia and I haven't ordered new ones. Gardens are so needy. Especially when you don't know what you're doing.

simple roasted vegetables

...in pretty spring colors.

We eat these at least once a week, in varying combinations depending on what's in the fridge and what I've picked up at the farmers market. Sometimes I toss in cubes of tofu for a little protein or make quinoa as a side, but mostly we just eat these straight out of the oven with a pile of simple salad.

And I swear this is SUCH an easy dinner. If you're focused, you can peel and slice/cube everything, plus make the simple saucey mixture in 20 minutes. Then you just dump everything onto a foil lined cookie sheet and bake for about 20-30 minutes at 375°. Which means the kitchen is clean and table is set by the time the vegetables are ready.

Last night I used:

Baby carrots
Unnamed hard squash from our yard

I love roasting things that are not normally considered roast-worthy. Soooo delicious.

Peel, slice, cube all vegetables and deposit in a large mixing bowl.

On the side whisk (in whatever quantities sound good to you):

olive oil
smashed garlic
cumin seeds
fennel seeds
sea salt
chili powder
a little water for volume

Or add other herbs and spices you prefer, of course. Actually this is really good with just a simple sprinkling of olive oil, garlic and salt.

Dump the mixture onto the vegetables and toss to coat well. THe dump the vegetables onto a foil lined cookie sheet and pop the whole thing into the oven. You'll need to mix the vegetables a few times while they're roasting, but other than that they require little supervision.

I like to finish them with chopped fresh herbs, maybe a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

i've been distant...

I know. It's not you it's me. It's just that I've been slammed at work and have many obligations in life outside of blogger at the moment, which leaves little to no time for the posting of cute, interesting things. And this makes me sad because I love posting cute interesting things. So to cheer myself up while I design iPhone applications this week, I decided I deserved anemones on my desk at work,

whose pictures I took with said iPhone.

I would also like to make it known that I didn't care a lick about anemones until the wedding obsession started. I mean I've always liked them, but it's only in the last year that I've dedicated an entire research folder on my computer to their arrangement. And I'm still sad that I didn't get them in my bouquet. But I couldn't rationalize flying them in from some distant greenhouse so I could have them in the desert in October. Stop obsessing about the wedding that has come and gone. Just stop.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

scenes from the weekend + signs of spring

mushroom and beet green scramble

chai tea from soap making extravaganza

a visit to dandelion ranch

pretty pink flowers on the peach tree

tiny fall pomegranates gone to seed

one of many... see below

Spring is not my favorite season. I like it in theory, the little buds appearing on fruit trees, weedy flowers and clover carpeting the otherwise untended parts of the backyard, artichokes, longer days, getting home before dark... that's all great. But isn't it just such a tease? It's windy and sort of warmish if you stand in the sun with a sweater on, but really it's still cold and my feet turn purple when i insist on wearing sandals to work. arrg. i need summer. now. and it's months away.

I do love snooping around neighborhood gardens this time of year though. And smelling orange blossoms at night when the bedroom window is open. And figuring out what to do with the colony of baby artichokes forming outside the kitchen door.

Any ideas? I need easy baby artichoke ideas.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

more spring, this time heath

I'm pretty positive you all are tired of hearing about my ongoing material obsessions. But I have to share these anyway because they're so nice.

Oooh. I know. See, you're glad I posted this. Because most people don't stalk the Heath site waiting for their seasonal collections to appear, so I'm guessing your haven't seen yet. I'm feeling desperate for the bud vase set. But I will wait because I have self restraint. Even though it doesn't appear that I exercise it all that often.

spring protea family blooms

I've mentioned before my love of all members of the protea family. Remember that cool wreath from christmas? well my same friend at the farmers market has a whole mess of spring pretties right now, in bright flaming colors and textures. Which means that I could not possibly walk away yesterday without buying an entire armful of spiny flowering things.

I love them in the vintage french flower bucket.

If anyone is looking for DIY, or should I say buy-it-yourself, wedding ideas these can be purchased at flea markets very inexpensively. Mine are old and ratty, but you can find really beautiful ones with flaking paint and pretty patina too.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

things we did over the weekend...

that I recommend you do too. If possible. If you live close-ish to palm springs.

Stayed here:

Had drinks in their awesome bar, the Amigo Room:

(tabletops made from mexican bank notes! their design details are excellente.)

Went running through the desert:

Looking at wildflowers:

Watched lots of this:

(that's Federer, btw. Yes I'm a big tennis nerd)

Saw the Wayne Thiebaud exhibit (which was amazing):

And popped into the new, terrible-for-bank-account-but-excellent-for-new-additions-to-your-home DWR Annex.

Disclaimer: we said before we set foot inside this craven home of modern design items that we were ONLY going to look for one thing. A particular bed we've (I've) been eyeing forever. And we said this knowing there was like pretty much no way the exact one we wanted was going to be there. Except it was. Brand new, never been out of the crate, returned by the original purchaser even before unpacking, but couldn't be sold as new. (SCORE!)

We like to think that we're doing our part to stimulate the economy. At a ridiculous discount.

I'd also like to mention that we usually only accomplish a fraction of the above when we're out in the desert. Our normal agenda includes running, drinking coffee, reading the paper, laying by the pool, maybe playing tennis and then settling in to cocktail hour. So we're feeling pretty proud of ourselves. We went to a museum!

Monday, March 16, 2009

feel good photo for monday

from the Ace Hotel, palm springs...

I love escaping the misery of LA winter with a little desert warmth. Got home late last night, to work early this morning, more interesting posts to resume tomorrow.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

i think i might need some ninu

Or else i'm just being tricked by the beautiful Italian girl who makes these things?

Ninu on Etsy.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

find these oranges

soon. I keep forgetting to post about these because they are just oranges, so how interesting could they really be? VERY interesting, if you must know. Interesting enough that I've been eating at least 2 per day for the last month and a half.

The Cara Cara.

Aren't they pretty with their rosy fruit? Pretty is all good and fine, but pretty isn't the point. They are so amazingly delicious I cannot stop thinking about them. And here's the sad part: limited season. You can only get them this time of year at our markets, (jan, feb, march), so you'd best be locating them soon. I'm going over to the farmers market at lunch to fill my baggu with our weekly supply. Actually semi-weekly supply because we just bought a bunch on Sunday and they are gone.

I've seen them at Whole Foods too, but if at all possible try to get them from a farmer. I don't want you to be disappointed when you taste the Whole Foods variety and think they are just the same as regular navels. I assure you they are not. They are super sweet and super tangy at the same time. Literally perfection.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday. Yay!

I was going to find a pretty picture of balloons or cakes to post for her... but she's not, like, wildly interested in balloons or cakes.

She likes birds.

Mom, here are some neat vintage hungarian matchbook birdies for you.

neat, right?

from flickr

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Confections I would eat if they were not paper

The Paper Nut has really freaked me out this afternoon. These cakes especially. Ask Amanda. I went into an utterly manic state when I saw this suite today and repeated "cake" (over IM, of course) more times than could ever be considered necessary or even sane.

I want to make little cakes and surround myself with perfectly styled whimsy at all times. I love how the lines aren't perfect and the circles are a little wobbly and organic. I might need to buy these samples just so I can pet them when I'm feeling sad.

via Black Eiffel's guest blogger, Jeanie Nelson. She may or may not fall into the same unmentionable category as those girls from yesterday.

chamomile flowers and sparkly vintage tulle

At least I think those might be chamomile flowers. and I think that might be some sort of netting. But chamomile and tulle sound so much better for a title.

Summery wedding attire? But don't wear those exact sandals. I don't like them with their monogram C's. I'm, in general, anti obnoxiously branded apparel and accessories. There are certain exceptions of course, but these sad little C's are not it. And there are many lovely flat sandals that would do perfectly in their stead.

I'm sorry Coach. I like your supple leather and occasionally your handbags, especially when I purchase them at your outlet store in Mammoth, but right now I'm just using you for your photo stylings.

Also, I'm digging that pinky nude polish.

more jenna, sorry I can't stop

Looks like her first mainstream project is available for purchase:

cute, no? I'm infinitely guilty of buying products for packaging.

Illume His & Hers set.

churros y chocolate that vanish before our eyes

for LA peeps out there (or anyone coming to LA)...

You need to go to Lucques if you haven't been. Definitely one of my very favorite restaurants in LA.

Everything is completely delicious. And then there's the churros y chocolate, which are better than any I tasted in Spain... by like 1 million miles.

I tried to eat them slowly, I did. But this is what happened:

in approx 60 seconds. And every other couple sitting at the bar with us on Saturday ordered them too, with similar results. Thankfully iPhone was able to document the carnage as proof.

I need the cookbook, even if it's just so I can make their perfect salad dressings.

Monday, March 9, 2009

erica's baby shower

okay. i need an excuse to make bunting flags. bad.

how cute is this shower?? of course it's cute. it's for Erica from Thoughtful Day and Jenna Hein planned it.

the jewels of new york


Just the name is killing me. This site is freaking me out it's so perfect and pretty. Do you think they need an upaid intern? I will move to New York and live in a youth hostel and sell... something... for food money and never shop again if they will let me into their circle of trust.

The Jewels of New York.

My friend Amanda and I have a special category that girls like this fall into. But I can't tell you because we've gotten mixed reviews on whether or not it would be acceptable in the greater blogging community. We mean it as the utmost compliment of course.

Maybe I will divulge our little game one day.

via Saipua

insanely easy, but highly delicious buckwheat scones

Remember how I made buckwheat shortcakes for Brock's birthday? (not that you could forget... it was only like 4 posts ago)

I managed to buy twice as much cream as was necessary for the first batch, so I made them again. Just the shortcakes. And I am calling them scones, because I added a few things and we ate them for breakfast.

Cherry Almond Buckwheat Scones
(adapted from Pure Dessert- srsly, get this book)

1 cup + 4 Tbsp unbleached flour

1/4 cup buckwheat flour

1/4 cup sugar, plus more for dusting

1 3/4 tsp baking powder (sifted if lumpy)

3/8 tsp salt

1 cup heavy cream, plus a little extra for brushing the tops

1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds, lightly toasted (or slivered almonds if you have them)

1/2 dried cherries

Heat oven to 425, unless your oven is 60 years old like mine and burns everything. In this case you might consider turning it down to 400. Line a baking sheet with 2 layers of parchment (which protects the bottoms from browning, says Alice, before the tops are perfect).

Combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Whisk until combined, then add the almonds and give the mixture a few turns with your hand. Or a spatula if you are more civilized than I am. Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour the cream into it. Using a rubber spatula, push the dry ingredients into the well, turning the mixture just until the dry ingredients are moistened and the dough looks rough and shaggy. Now add the cherries and knead them in a few times as you combine the errant pieces of dough stuck to the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and pat it into a circle, about 1 inch thick. Using a sharp knife and swift downward strokes, cut the dough in half and in half again and again, until your scones are a nice size and shaped like little wedges. Brush the tops with cream, followed by a sprinkling of sugar.

Bake until just browned on top, 12 - 15 minutes.

I think the batch makes 8 scones... we only have 3 left. After one measly Sunday morning. No self restraint over here. Just none at all.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

the weekend plan

dust off the shovel and gardening gloves, must reconcile the last 9 months of neglect.

My parents gave us raised beds (for vegetables and such) for our birthdays. And by gave us I mean they are going to come help us build them. Plus my mom ordered these nifty pre-made corners/joints from Burpee that should make the construction process a little less technical. Poor Brock has to get gardening supplies for his birthday. He is the best sport.

I shall report back with our progress.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

DIY local favors from my favorite date farm

Hi hi.

Finally posted our favors, a mini how-to, and a template to make your own labels on 100 Layer Cake today! Go see.