Archive for September, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

naked ladies

My friend, Dave came by with a few stems of these pretty pink blooms, they smell so pretty too. Hurry, someone bottle the scent, a faint sweet floral, I’d wear it. They are a variety of amaryllis known as ‘naked lady’ as they flower long after their foliage dies. Once everything’s looking really dead and composed, out of nowhere, long stems with delicate fragrant blooms shoot through the dirt, surprise!

above pic from wikipedia

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


My friend, Mami brought me back some tea on her last trip to Tokyo visiting family and friends, it’s her favorite, I love it too, Mariage Freres Casablanca tea. Her history with this tea stems from a trip to Europe when she got bumped to first class when they overbooked coach or something, who knows? With comfortable leg room, a nice meal served with amazing tea she’s been hooked on since, who’s complaining? And now that she’s a new mother with a small baby and very little traveling on the brain she often pours herself a cup of iced tea, she’s flying first class to Paris all over again, sweet. Today I’m having iced tea with my beekeeper neighbor’s tangerines from his yard that he dried, just like sweet citrus candy. Thanks Stu for sharing!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


When we first moved into our old house on January 1st, 2010 we also became the proud owners of a neglected and completely wild backyard. It took us a good month to clear it all up. We tackled 11 trees, some dead and most of them dirty and bushy pines, lifeless and leaning

and plenty of pinecones and wood for all my friends,

10ft wild brush so thick and messy, dry and deeply rooted everywhere,

wild geraniums too,

and wild jade everywhere, imagine over 50 years of jade branches touching the ground and new plants taking up root, not only did we buy a house, we bought a forest of jade

and an ugly old shed too that needed to disappear. FSU!

A worker also accidently backed up into a section of the old fence so building a new fence came much sooner than planned.


and finally cleared!

Not the most recent photo but you get the idea, we’ve come a long way.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Santa Fe breakfast

Our friends Joe and Elaine invited us over for breakfast this morning. Having recently ordered 2 cases of green chilis from Hatch, New Mexico they wanted to share with us their favorite way to dress up scrambled eggs in the morning. For them this green chili sauce brings back fond memories of their time in “the city different” Santa Fe, New Mexico. Cheers to having dear friends who share the same love for great ingredients and great food, it was delicious!

Putting it all together, lots of green chili sauce, beans and potatoes, warm flour tortillas, scrambled eggs, chopped lettuce and heirloom tomatoes. Top it off with some shredded cheese, put the plate under the broiler for a sec for the cheese to melt, done!

For dessert we had creamy orange pineapple smoothies (frozen bananas, frozen pineapple and freshly squeezed orange juice).

Homemade vanilla bean sopapillas drizzled with local honey from our friend, John’s backyard hives in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA. Will share the sopapilla recipe soon.

and a creamy cup of cappuccino. If only we had time to eat like this every morning!

As told to me by Elaine, “At harvest time in Santa Fe, New Mexico you’ll see and smell chili peppers roasting all over town. Green chilis and red chilis are both Santa Fe favorites. If you can’t decide which one to choose, then do like the locals do and order ‘Christmas style,’ both green and red will be served on your plate. The red chilis are just green ones that grow to full maturity, then dried and made into red chili sauce, very unique in its own right. When we can get our hands on some red chilis we’ll be making red chili sauce soon, for now we’re enjoying the green. Try it.”

E’s Santa Fe style Green Chili Sauce

Roast 4 lbs of fresh green chilis from Hatch, New Mexico (preferably Big Jim or Sandia varieties) under broiler until charred and brown. ‘Steam’ roasted chilis in paper bag (closed) until cool enough to handle.

Peel and seed, use protective food grade gloves if the chilis are spicy. Now chop the cleaned chilis.

Prepare to make green chili sauce.

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil on medium heat, add 1/2 cup finely chopped onion and 2 Tbsp chopped garlic. Stir til soft, slightly golden, add in 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano, combine well. Then add in 2 Tbsp rice flour (or cornstarch or all purpose flour), mix well, it’ll be roux-like. Slowly stir in 3 cups of water or broth, 1/3rd of water at a time, then add in the chopped roasted green chilis, mix well and turn down heat to low, simmer for 25 minutes and be sure to stir regularly so the bottom of the sauce doesn’t get scorched.

It’s now ready to serve. We put it on scrambled eggs for breakfast. Also delicious on any burrito or served in a bowl with beans and cheese. The sauce will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.

Friday, September 23, 2011

painting party

The painting party is over! So glad to have that task behind us, we’re smiling from ear to ear. The house is Behr‘d Hazelnut Cream, satin enamel finish, warm creamy off-white and it’s too late to change my mind. Speaking for the 3 of us, we’re happy not to see another paintbrush or roller for awhile.

I’m celebrating with pastries from Le Rendezvous Bakery’s stand at the Farmer’s Market. A favorite, an apricot croissant danish thingy with tea.

and some sweet organic strawberries with a smidge of creme fraiche, just ’cause..

Thursday, September 22, 2011


A photo my other half took and pieced together, taken on the last day we were in NYC from the rooftop deck off of the penthouse suite of the hotel we were staying at, the Mondrian Soho. The sky was like right out of ‘The Simpsons,’ imagine it in color, a perfect blue sky with fluffy white clouds. The following week a friend tweeted a photo from the suite, random, we were just there, unlike him though we had to sneak up to the penthouse, it wasn’t our room of course.

New York fashion week just passed and I’m reminded of the Boy by Band of Outsiders top I kept on going back to try on at the Opening Ceremony store around the corner from the hotel. The sales people must of thought I was an indecisive nut, three separate occasions to try on the same top for 2 different friend’s opinions. I didn’t get it, too pricey, maybe I’ll find it on ebay or something for cheap, who knows?

Kirsten Dunst for Boy.Band of Outsiders from their site.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

the Emmys

My favorites, doing sparkle just right, both ladies in mid laugh too, they know it..

Cat Deeley in Monique Lhuillier with sun-kissed summer waves

and Mad Men’s Jessica Pare in Pamela Rolland, dark waves, ombre and feathers, so gorgeous!

pics from Zimbio

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

summer bounty

Still painting, barely have time to do much else and we’ve been getting through most of the day eating Mojo bars. That came to a stop when my friend, E came by with a perfectly baked acorn squash picked from her garden stuffed with sweet green peas and onions, the sugars from the sweet squash caramellized, so good. We’re savoring the summer bounty, there’s lots of it, organic sweet peaches, figs, tomatoes, melons and chilis. Can’t wait to stop painting and be back in the kitchen. Don’t ya love harvest season? I do.

E’s Roasted Acorn Squash stuffed with Peas

1. Preheat oven to 400d. Cut an acorn squash in half, rub olive oil all over it and place in a roasting pan cut side down. Roast for 35-40 minutes, depending on the size of your squash. Preferably use acorn squash with a dark green skin and an orange flesh for best results.

2. Meanwhile steam some green peas. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, add some pearl onions, the steamed peas, salt and pepper to taste and a smidge of butter, mix everything and turn off the heat.

3. Once the acorn squash is done roasting, flip it over and stuff the pea mixture into the hollow cavity of the squash, cook the squash open faced in the oven for another 5 minutes, done!

Monday, September 19, 2011

the Hudson’s Bay Co.

I grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada and will always remember the large department store that’s in an old historic downtown building that everyone shops at, The Hudson’s Bay Company right down the street from the legislative building. Shopping at the Bay reminds me of my friend Ann, she would always have us in fits of laughter, there was just no ordinary passing through without a funny face or comment about some fashion accessory or item of clothing, lady knew how to blow things out of proportion, so ridiculously funny. The Bay has everything your regular department store would have, floors and floors of just stuff. Its trademark logo colors and design of broad stripes (green, red, yellow and navy blue on a cream background) I see often when I flip through fashion and designer mags, nothing new, it’s the Bay, it’s Canadian.

Isabel Marant Yuli silk scarf worn by actress Diane Krueger, retails for over $500?!

here’s another snap of someone in what must be a vintage Bay cardigan.

and here’s the original, the Bay multi-stripe point wool blanket.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Lagging on the posts lately, we’re painting the house and it sucks! Painting ceilings is hard, just got done with a coat of primer and 2 more coats of paint to go. It’s just the 3 of us now to finish the inside of the house, my husband, my brother and I, it’s gotta get done and we can see the finish line with kinks in our necks from staring up at the ceiling all day. A stop at Darshan for coffee and pastries on our way back from getting paint this morning, today a raspberry cheese danish, sweet! and good morning!