Archive for December, 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

new year’s

Friday, December 30, 2011

interior doors

This latest task of installing the interior doors for the house feels like it’s taking forever, a total of 9 solid mahogany wood doors we custom ordered through Timberline Mouldings in San Marcos and Lee at Builders Trading Company in Leucadia had 3 interior solid fir doors in his shop that we got for the rooms downstairs. Of course all 12 prehung doors were unfinished so for the past couple of weeks we’ve been knee deep sanding, staining, clear coats to smooth and matte, then screwing the doors into place to level before installing the hardware, also having to stain and install all the mouldings too, yeah, what a process! So many steps and you know I’m happy to not see another door for a long time, like never again suits me fine too. Almost done and not sure what my final consensus on the doors are yet. Right now I’m thinking I like how the fir doors turned out, the grain’s not so busy and the color more consistent, mahogany looks a bit busier and the variations in color, etc. just not feeling it so much, who knows? it takes a couple weeks for the clear coat to completely dry to matte and  I’m hoping it’ll grow on me then, whatever the case, it’s too late to change my mind, it’s been so much work and you can’t exchange custom ordered doors. Construction and reno pains, right?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Kind of low maintenance when it comes to hair, make up stuff, but one thing I try to keep up monthly is a visit to the semi-permanent eyelash salon. Luckily I have decent length lashes to start with but I can always count on Holly at this little hole in the wall shop called Poshe in San Diego to work her magic, she follows the length of my natural lashes and makes them thicker, lots of volume and mascara is a thing of the past now, no more possible raccoon eyes, it’s genius. Try it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

holiday pumpkin bread


Do you like wonder bread? Cause the lightness of this pumpkin bread from reminds me of fluffy white wonder bread, but perfectly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. It’s like the perfect xmas gingerbread, not a cookie but in loaf form, warm and so soft and smothered with a thin layer of creamy butter, so good.  I also added some rum soaked raisins to the batter, it definitely smells and tastes like the holidays around here, a perfect housewarming gift.

Holiday Pumpkin Bread (yields 3 9×5 loaves, adapted from

3 c canned pumpkin puree

1 1/2 c vegetable oil

4 c white sugar

6 eggs

3/4 c rum soaked raisins (optional)

4 3/4 c all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 1/2 tsp ground clove

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 9×5 inch loaf pans.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; stir into the pumpkin mixture until well blended. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The top of the loaf should spring back when lightly pressed.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Merry Festivus everyone! Hope you’ve been relaxing and sharing some great meals with friends and family this holiday weekend. It’s been super hectic this past week, did the L.A. commute multiple times, some unreasonable situations and a mad dash for my husband early Thursday morning to the airport too. Yeah, it’s been awhile since flying anywhere during the holidays and how quickly you’re reminded that there’s no such thing as a simple trip during this time, to Sacramento and back in a day, as if the counter lines weren’t long enough, check the security lines at 6:30am, it was out the door, around the corner and wrapped around the baggage claim area. Just glad the week’s over and done with and this weekend’s all about quiet nights at home enjoying wonderful dishes all day long, every day with loved ones. E once again had us over for an amazing holiday dinner, fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes, vegetarian stuffing, baked beans, green beans and golden beets and perfectly seared peppercorn ahi for the pescatarians in the house, an amazing honey baked ham too, a sinful homemade macadamia nut pie and pumpkin pie for dessert, homemade sugarplums, the best homemade black walnut and french vanilla ice cream too, stuffed is an understatement. Happy holiday? no doubt.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

past xmas’

Happy Holidays everyone!!! Tis the season for traditions and great food, time to reflect on good and the beauty that’s all around us. In this spirit we had our own little tradition going for awhile, we’d do a road trip of some kind over the holidays. The west coast as home and to head east or north or south and even west has always been a nice escape, just the two of us exploring a new town on xmas eve and xmas day. We used to do this, life happens and sometimes we just stay home now, we bought a house, we’re rooted and it’s pretty here too. Have a wonderful weekend!

Xmas eve 2004 in beautiful Barriere, BC Canada. We just got married the day before.

Xmas eve 2005 at Joshua Tree, CA

Xmas day sunset 2006 in Encinitas, CA

Xmas day 2007 on Catalina Island, CA

Xmas day 2008 in Santa Barbara, CA

Xmas day 2009 at home in our yard. Encinitas, CA


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

american masters

One of my favorite shows on t.v. is PBS’s American Masters. Telling a story, explaining the process, how it all came to be and the most recent installment playing right now is Charles and Ray Eames, check it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

bugged out

Checked out the Dinosaur Jr show at the Belly Up last night, they performed Bug in its entirety with a live interview with Henry Rollins beforehand. Rollins warned the crowd it was gonna get loud, sure enough they made good on his promise. Living midst construction here and good thing we had earplugs, who knew 3 guys pushing 50 could deliver such volume, sweet!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

friends’ bookstore and roasted tomatoes

The Encinitas public library’s Friends’ bookstore, just immediately outside the library is a favorite on my list in this town. The inventory’s always changing with new donations daily and you’re bound to find some interesting reads and for cheap too, everything mostly $1, some items $2-$3 and they have sales too, half off everything and always a stash of donated old magazines for free. I was there one afternoon and picked up a bunch of old home decor Domino mags and a bon appetit mag from the summer with Gwynnie Paltrow on the cover eating pasta. THE CRISPIEST CHICKEN EVER! headline also had me at first glance, free too, how could you not get inspired?

As the cover promised Gwyneth shared her pasta recipe for this amazing roasted tomatoes with anchovies. And she was dead on on the whole breaded anchovy thing giving the dish that umami note, some texture, bite and savory from the sea goes well with the sweet caramelized cherry tomatoes. Doing up tomatoes this way is really good, so good I make this sauce weekly now for pasta or just to spoon it over anything really. So whenever I’m cooking something in the oven now I always put a pan full of cherry tomatoes in as well with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, this way I always have a jar of roasted tomatoes in my fridge and lunch and dinner can be whipped up in minutes, easy.

Roasted Tomato and Anchovy Oreganata Pasta (adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe for bon appetit June ’11 issue)

4 cups cherry tomatoes, divided

9 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

Kosher salt

1/4 cup unseasoned dry breadcrumbs

1Tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme

Large pinch of dried oregano

Freshly ground black pepper

16 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained

12 oz. spaghetti

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Large pinch of chili flakes (optional)

Small handful fresh basil leaves, roughly torn

Preheat oven to 200d. Place 2 cups tomatoes in 8x8x2 glass baking dish. Stir in 1 Tbsp oil and a large pinch of salt. Roast stirring occasionally, at least 3hrs and up to 8hrs. Set aside. (I always just put a pan of tomatoes into the oven whenever I’m using the oven for other things, regardless of temperature, high or low I always roast them this way, making sure to stir occasionally and I still manage to get that caramelized sweet tomato thing that the recipe calls for).

Increase oven temperature to 400d. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Place breadcrumbs and herbs in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper. Drizzle 1 Tbsp oil over, stir until mixture resembles damp sand. Lay anchovies apart on prepared sheet. Evenly pack breadcrumb mixture over, drizzle w/ 1 Tbsp oil. Bake until golden brown, 3-5 min., set anchovy oreganata aside.

Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid .

Meanwhile, place remaining 2 cups tomatoes in a large bowl, crush tomatoes with your hands. Heat 4 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and a large pinch of chili flakes, cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add crushed tomatoes and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring occasionally until juices thicken, 6-7 min. Add roasted tomatoes.

Add drained spaghetti to skillet, toss to coat, add reserved pasta water by 1/4-cupfuls if dry. Remove from heat, stir in basil, drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp oil. Divide among bowls and top each with 1/4 of the anchovy oreganata.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

total lunar eclipse

If you missed it early this morning, this is what we captured before the battery on the camera died. Talk about my kind of eclipse here, I could see it out my window from bed, how ideal is that?