Friday, October 31, 2008

Pumpkin cupcakes

Happy Halloween! I'm celebrating with these amazing pumpkin cupcakes.


I made them in the mini size, partly because they're easier to share, and partly because I find the ratio of cream cheese frosting to cupcake to be ideal.

Anyone dressing up this year? What costumes did you find?

Also, I know I'm mean with the Friday teasers, but I just can't help it. I'll be back on Monday with a very special (and kind of long!) post.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Forcing fall

The weather has been up and down here, so I'm trying to tempt fall by whipping up seasonally appropriate recipes.


Applesauce is comforting because it simmers away on the stove without much work and it makes the house smell heavenly.


I decided to make the simplest applesauce possible - apples (unpeeled, because I hate to get rid of the nutrients and fiber in the skin), a little bit of water (approximately 1/4 cup per 4 large apples), and a couple tablespoons of lemon juice for acidity. Cook on low for 25 minutes and then use an immersion blender to make it smooth.


I made such a large batch that it's obvious I'll have to freeze some for later use, which is fine by me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Need a disguise?

It's almost Halloween, after all.

Wouldn't these temporary tattoo mustaches make an awesomely understated costume?

From PishPoshPaperworks on Etsy.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Classic quiche

You know how I said I always make two pie crusts, even when I only need one?


This is why. Growing up, quiche was one of the ultimate treat meals in our house. Few things beat a flaky crust and a rich, eggy, cheesy filling. Traditionally, my mom makes quiche with swiss cheese and a layer of asparagus. I've branched out and starting tossing in whatever combination of fillings I have on hand.


This time it was thinly sliced, caramelized onions, a scattering of sundried tomatoes, and some fresh basil. I used Pyranno rather than Swiss, for a little more flavor.


Classic quiche (makes 4 - 6 servings)

Place in a 9" pie crust:
Whatever filling you desire
Beat in a medium bowl:
1 cup milk
5 eggs

Add to milk mixture, then pour over filling:
1 small onion, minced (if you don't already have onion in your filling)
1/2 lb shredded cheese

1 tsp salt (adjust if you are using a salty cheese)
1/8 tsp pepper

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.


Go ahead and try to resist a second slice.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I make things complicated sometimes...

... like when I decide to come up with a pattern for a tote bag on my own, instead of first searching the internet for advice. Yes, a square bottom tote bag sounds incredibly easy, so I blithely sketched out a pattern.


Unfortunately, it turns out that sewing together a square corner with multiple pieces of fabric sucks. There's also the small problem of my complete lack of ability to mentally picture how large something is going to be. Turns out 18 wide x 15 tall x 8 deep is absolutely massive - more suited to a beach tote. Sigh. I showed the results to my mom and the first thing she said was "You should have done gussets," which meant nothing to me.

So I ended up doing what I should have done in the first place. I googled it, and found an amazing tutorial online (here!) that is about a million times simpler than my attempt.

Result - a perfect little bag to carry a change of clothes for when I go to the gym.


I lined it with some super soft pink material from some vintage sheets.


Lesson learned - other people are smarter than me and I should at least see what they have to say before I go haring off on my own.

Friday, October 24, 2008

It's Friday!

And I am so ready for the weekend that I can't even explain it.

I've been playing with my beloved Ikea fabric again...


I'll be back next week with the results.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Potato latkes with a twist

We are absolutely overwhelmed with apples after our weekend expedition. That apple pie I baked barely made a dent. So now I have apples on the brain. And I decided to try something that I've thought of before in a musing sort of way.

I love, love, love latkes. Who doesn't? They are fried potatoes. There is nothing to dislike. I eat my latkes with both applesauce and sour cream. So I started thinking about adding the apples directly into the latkes. This is probably latke heresy, so hopefully I'm not horrifying anyone right now.

I started with a latke recipe from Deb's site, Smitten Kitchen. For my first try, all I did was add a couple of peeled apples to the food processor after I shredded the potatoes and onions. Unfortunately, the apple flavor was so faint as to be undetectable. Next I tried shredding and cooking the apples before adding them to the potato mixture (and adding an additional egg). This gave the latkes a distinct, but not overpowering, apple flavor. I still love plain latkes, but I'm glad to have something a little different to mix it up.


Potato Latkes (with apples!)
Adapted from Food & Wine

4 tart apples, peeled
Dab of butter
Dash of cinnamon (optional)

1 large baking potato (1 pound), peeled
1 small onion (4 ounces), peeled
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon matzo meal
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Peanut oil, for frying

In a food processor or on a box grater, coarsely shred the apples. Add a little bit of butter to a small skillet and cook the apples on medium low heat for about 15 minutes. Add cinnamon, if desired. When finished, turn off the heat and set aside.

Next, shred the potato and onion. Transfer to a colander and squeeze dry. Let stand for 2 minutes, then squeeze dry again. Transfer the potato mixture to a large bowl and stir in the cooked apples. Add the flour, matzo meal, egg, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until shimmering. Drop packed teaspoons of the potato mixture into the skillet and flatten them with the back of a spoon. Cook the latkes over moderately high heat until the edges are golden, about 1 1/2 minutes; flip and cook until golden on the bottom, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.

The apples make the latkes just slightly sweet and a bit tart. D still needed applesauce, so they didn't exactly supply all the apple flavor he needed. I am a fan but I will probably continue to make plain latkes as well.

You should definitely try Deb's latke recipe, even if you leave my apple experiment out of it completely. They are delicious and not nearly as intimidating as I expected.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pie crust basics

When I was posting about that apple pie, I considered adding in my pie crust recipe, but it seemed like a lot of information for one post. Plus, pie crusts are kind of personal, and I'm sure lots of you already have a recipe you rely on. But just in case you don't, I'll share mine.

This recipe is the one I grew up with and I have it memorized (don't be too impressed - you'll see how easy it is). I think it's from Joy of Cooking, but I'm not sure. It makes enough for a double crust, but you could split it in half if you wanted. I always make two crusts and just store one in the freezer to have on hand.

The main things you want to remember when making a crust: work quickly to help keep it cold (warmth will make the dough greasy), don't over handle it (over mixing or trying to re-roll will make it tough).

Basic pie crust (makes 2 9" crusts)
2/3 cup cold butter (or 1/3 cup shortening plus 1/3 cup butter)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
5 - 10 tbsp ice cold water

Sift your flour with your salt.

Using a pastry blender (or the food processor) cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse cornmeal.


Add the ice water, a couple tablespoons at a time, gently mixing it in with a fork or a spatula, until the dough just holds together in a ball. This is the part that stresses me out a bit. The amount of water you need depends on the weather, and probably lots of other factors I don't know about. If you overmix the dough it will be a bit tough, so be careful.

Gently pat the dough into two discs, wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 10 minutes or so.

Lightly flour your rolling surface, and place the dough disc in the center. Roll out from the center to the edges, and you should get a decently round shape. The circle needs to be an inch or two larger than you pie plate. Don't worry if the edges are uneven - it isn't a very big deal.

Transfer your dough to your pie plate and center it as best you can. Gently push it down into the plate.


Pick up the edge of the dough and start rolling it under to form a crust. Unless you are a magical creature who rolls out perfect circles, you'll find that some places have more dough overhang than others. I work around the edge, and pull off pieces of the larger overhangs and set them aside. Then, if I come to a spot with a very small overhang, I will gently insert a piece of the extra dough under it and roll the small overhang over the top as best I can. It gives you a false lift and makes the crust look more even.

The final step is crimping the edges. I just work with my fingers, gently placing my first two fingers on the outer edge of the crust and then pushing my thumb through from the inside to form the wave shape. I always freeze my crusts for at least an hour before I use them - it helps keep the shape from wilting away in the oven.


You can see the places where it isn't perfect, but no one will notice when they are distracted by the smell of fresh pie. I promise.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rachel Getting Married

Nope, not me. I don't actually talk about myself in the third person.

I've been looking forward to seeing this movie ever since I saw the preview, and I finally made it out this weekend. And I loved it. It was really emotional, everyone did a great job acting (including Anne Hathaway, who I was a little nervous about), and it somehow managed to be incredibly sad and happy at the same time. It just seemed very honest.

Movie still from IMDB

Also, the wedding was awesome in a crazy eclectic, do it yourself/with your friends kind of way, and the mini-dress the bride changed into for the reception was so cute that I've already wasted 40 minutes attempting to search out more information about it (no luck and I can't even find any pictures). If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.

One warning - it's shot in a home video style, which I appreciate intellectually, but I really wish they had been using a steady cam. I was a little woozy part way through, from all the jumpiness. It might be easier to watch it on the small screen.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Apple pie with pecan crumb topping

For a long time, I wasn't a big fan of apple pie. I don't like gooey, overcooked chunks of apples, I don't like the weird thick filling they sometimes have, I don't like how bland it tends to be.

Then I found this recipe, and I learned that Pippins are really the only apple that is tart enough for my pie tastes and things started coming together. Buying a device that peels and thinly slices apples made the whole process much less arduous.

Making a pie

This recipe is adapted from a little pamphlet of pie recipes that I picked up a few years ago. It's become a staple in our house. The crumb topping is my own invention and you'll probably see it popping up more as the holidays approach - it's the same one I use for sweet potato casserole.

Dutch Apple Pie
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
6 - 8 tart apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp lemon zest
3/4 cup heavy cream

Pecan Crumb Topping
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup pecans
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp butter

Place sliced apples in pie shell. Mix together the cream, spices, sugars and salt and pour over the apples. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the crumb topping. Place all ingredients except the butter in the food processor and pulse until you have a fine mixture. Add the butter and pulse several more times, until the mixture begins to come together and become crumb-like.

Remove the pie from the oven briefly and layer the crumb topping over it. Put the pie back in the oven and cook for another 15 - 20 minutes, until the topping is lightly browned. The apples should be tender, but not completely soft.

I like it best served warm with vanilla ice cream, but the leftovers are pretty good cold, eaten straight out of the dish.

Friday, October 17, 2008

(Not) Eames

I just realized I haven't shared one of our new furniture acquisitions. No, in case you are wondering, I don't run around buying new furniture constantly - it just sounds like that. I do think about it (and talk about it), but I have some restraint.

This piece doesn't even count, because it was free. D has had a serious craving for an Eames rocker.
He wants a chair like this, but without the molded arms and in a different color

But there is no way we can currently spend close to $500 on a chair that we don't even technically need.

Then one day he came home with this...


He got it for free from school, because it had broken off the base (he fixed it). It's Eames-ish, no? The original intention was to buy a rocker base on Ebay (~ $90), but I fell for the way it looks with it's old school fold up writing surface. I'm not sure that D is totally convinced, but we're trying it out.


I put the surface area to good use last weekend - no need to precariously juggle tea, buttered toast and a book all at once. Plus, it's right by our glass sliding door, which makes it a very nice space to sit and soak up afternoon sunlight.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Project Runway finale - no spoilers!

I don't know if it was a judgment of season 5 as a whole, or just the result of an unexpected 11 hour work day, but I slept through the entire finale last night. Okay, almost the entire thing. I managed to pry my eyes open occasionally to make small comments. This is my usual strategy for convincing D that I am not asleep when in fact, I am - it fails miserably, because I am usually too tired to come up with comments that make sense. Personally, I think I did better than usual last night, and a brief glance through the picture gallery confirms my suspicions. My half asleep words are about the same as my thoughts this morning.

My thoughts: I still love this dress, even though it is so short. Add another few inches, and I would wear this in an instant.

My words: Mmmmmm....

My thoughts: Wait, why do I feel strangely drawn to this? It's a crazy ruffle explosion. The ruffles are eating her head. It's like an Elizabethan collar. And yet, I love the deep, deep v of the neck line. I like the puffy sleeves. I really like the shape of the skirt. Scale the ruffles down a few notches, and I would buy this.

My words: Ruffles? Are those ruffles?

My thoughts: That's a lot of puffed sleeve going on there.

My words: That's a lot of puffed sleeve going on there.

My thoughts: Oh, Leanne, I love you. Mostly because you are the only one who doesn't drive me absolutely crazy. But why in the world did you take "color palette" so literally? Everything you made is the same exact color. And honestly, it's not even as though you picked a kick ass color. For a wall, yes. For clothing, I'm still not sold. Nevertheless, I love you and I think your wave idea was cool and I hope that you beat Kenley.

My words: Actually, I was so asleep at this point that I didn't even see the collection. Oh well. I have it recorded.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Baked barley with caramelized onions and mushrooms

Cold weather actually allowed me to take to the stove this weekend and I wanted something a bit fall-ish. This recipe for baked barley with mushrooms and caramelized onions is originally from Cooking Light. Click here to get the recipe.

It's basically a big pile of mushrooms and onions, slow cooked to perfection. You're supposed to use a mix of button mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms, but I only had button mushrooms, sadly.

A good excuse to use my favorite Dansk dutch oven

Add broth and barley and bake for about an hour and what you get is almost a risotto, but without all the stirring.


It's not bad, but it also won't blow your mind. It's warm, and comforting, and surprisingly good for you, although just a little lacking in flavor. However, I ate the leftovers for lunch and it re-heats nicely - I actually think I liked it better the next day. I don't think it will make the permanent rotation, but it could be a nice little side dish for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Marmol Radziner - Palms house tour

The new Marmol Radziner pre-fab house is beautiful, which isn't surprising. D and I thoroughly enjoyed wandering through it, D making notes about the sliding door mechanisms and me ogling the collection of Heath ceramics on display. We toured the factory last year, but seeing the individual units is not at all the same thing as seeing an entire house put together.


Neither of us found the outside to be particularly striking, but that doesn't make any difference once you step into the house.

This particular house is 2800 square feet, which is palatial compared to our apartment, but relatively restrained in terms of Southern California architecture. It certainly makes the most of the square footage - it is brimming with storage. There are built in closets everywhere. It's an obsessive organizer's dream. The kitchen has open shelving (perfect for showcasing beloved pieces) but plenty of enclosed storage as well.


The detailing is lovely too. Check out this adorable bathroom, complete with mini subway tiles in a very sunny yellow.


One of my favorite parts? The amazing breezeway entertaining area, with a large table, a lounge area, and a fireplace. If I had this house, I would do nothing but throw summer evening dinner parties.


Sigh. The thing is, pre-fab isn't all that affordable yet. This house is 1.3 million, and that doesn't include the land to build it on. We're definitely apartment bound for the indefinite future.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Coconut rice pudding - as promised

I love rice pudding, and I love coconut. I don't remember where on the internet I found this recipe, but it was an instant favorite. It takes very little effort, but you do need at least 45 minutes to let it simmer on its own. There is very little prep involved, other than opening cans of coconut milk. Speaking of coconut milk, this is one occasion where light is definitely okay. The pudding is incredibly rich, and you won't miss the extra fat at all.


Coconut rice pudding (makes a lot - probably 10 servings)
3 cans coconut milk, 14 oz. each (I used light)
1/2 cup sugar (increase slightly if your coconut is unsweetened)
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened)
2/3 cup arborio rice (you can use other rice, but this one is the best)
3/4 tsp salt
Dash of vanilla extract

Combine everything except the vanilla in a large saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat and then simmer gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The pudding thickens up considerably and it's hard to resist licking the spoon. Once the rice is cooked and the pudding is thick, remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.


Tastes equally great hot or cold, in my opinion. And especially lovely with some fresh nutmeg grated over the top.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Finally Friday

I'm glad to see some other coconut lovers out there! I'll post the coconut rice pudding recipe next week.

This weekend I am going to:

*Go to the gem show. It's chock full of jewelry making supplies - I am making a list before I go and only bringing cash. I've learned my lesson the hard way, because last year I fell madly in love with a pricey stand of teeny tiny sapphires and even at a discount, that doesn't come cheap. Em, you are fully responsible for controlling my behavior.

*See Bajofondo at the Roxy! If you haven't already heard them, you must check them out.

*Take a tour of the new Marmol Radzinger house.

*Cook! The temperature is supposed to drop below 70 at some point, so I think I can make a fall-ish sort of meal and get away with it.

Anyone else have good plans for the weekend?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Curry in a hurry

I had all these fabulous meals planned this week (thank you, Martha, for the lovely fall meal suggestions) but life happened, in the form of several fun evening outings, and the weather intervened as well, delivering 90 degree weather when all I want to think about is roasted veggies and scarves. Sigh.

What's a girl to do? Well, I made a 15 minute meal. I keep a little jar of red curry paste in the fridge at all times. As far as I know, the stuff lasts forever (if this isn't true, someone please let me know before I inadvertently poison someone) but I usually can't keep a jar around for more than a few months. Coconut milk is one of my random pantry staples, mostly for curry, but also for coconut rice pudding, which is to die for. You can use any protein you have on hand (or none at all) and I happened to have tofu. If D were home I probably would have opted for chicken, to be slightly more manly.

Coconut milk, red curry paste, basil and tofu

All you have to do is open the coconut milk, dump it into a pot over medium heat, stir in a generous amount of red curry paste and add whatever veggies (frozen, in my case) or protein you have on hand. Cook gently until the veggies are done to your liking. Serve it over rice, or eat it as a soup. I had fresh basil from my little plant, so I added it in. Curry is one of those weird foods that is good with either basil or cilantro, and I don't really understand how that's possible.

I used light coconut milk, but I think it would be vastly improved (although fattier) if I'd had real coconut milk in my pantry. I think this every time I use light coconut milk, but then I never follow through. Note to self: Buy real coconut milk.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Update - the quilt

People, this quilting thing is hard. I don't know how everyone manages to make it look so easy. I managed to piece together most of it over the weekend, although I still have to get the border put together. Don't get me wrong - I am enjoying the process, but the best part is picking out your fabrics, and that's done right in the beginning.

Rows sewed together, waiting to be made whole

I sewed together each row first, and I was feeling pretty confident. Then I began attempting to assemble the whole thing. I immediately hit a few snags. I am making the simplest quilt possible, and I still couldn't get everything to line up correctly (how in the world do people manage triangles or off kilter shapes?!). After sewing together the first two rows, and realizing they were a little off, I contemplated ripping it out and trying to get it perfect. But I am realistic - I am stubborn but not all that patient, and obsessive attention to detail would probably derail the project entirely.

So, I put on a good music mix for company, gritted my teeth, and got down to it. After several hours, one horrible iron burn (if there is any chance of burning myself, I always manage to do it) and lots of swearing, and I had a mostly pieced together quilt.

Assembled quilt face!

There is still quite a bit to do - sew the border and attach it, make the bias binding, oh, and the actual quilting part. But I'm excited to have this much done.

For those of you considering quilting, I should warn you that it is mostly ironing. If you hate ironing, quilting (and sewing) might not be for you. I myself am adapting to the ironing, being a former iron hater. I frequently go out in clothes so wrinkled that (on numerous occasions) D will give me a pained look and offer/beg to iron my pants and/or shirt. For some reason, ironing during sewing isn't quite as onerous, but it's still something to bear in mind.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Souvlaki and lemon potatoes with tzatziki

spent my semester abroad in Greece, and I still crave all things Greek. A lot of Greek food is fairly time consuming and best suited to long, meditative weekend days, but I have a couple of quick dishes in my repertoire. They all rely heavily on lemon juice, good olive oil (I buy mine in bulk from a Greek importer) and garlic. Lots of garlic. Disclaimer: Do not make the mistake of bringing leftovers to work for lunch unless you want to knock people out with the sheer strength of your breath. Obsessive teeth brushing and loads of gum will have no impact, I promise.

lemons, olive oil
The essentials - olive oil and fresh lemons

Souvlaki (grilled skewers) takes no time at all - you just make a simple mixture of lemon juice and olive oil, add salt, pepper and oregano. Cut up chunks of beef (or lamb, or chicken) and let it marinate for a few hours in the fridge. Take it out and put it on skewers and grill. Easy.

My tzatziki recipe is a little bastardized. You are supposed to add a generous amount of olive oil, but I've always preferred the thicker texture you get without it. All you need is a couple cloves of garlic, minced, and a cucumber, finely shredded and then pressed several times to remove as much liquid as possible. Mix in Greek yogurt (I always use Fage 2%), along with salt, pepper and dill. It's tart and thick and perfect.

Tzatziki - store bought versions are a very poor substitute

Lemon potatoes are delicious wrapped in flatbread with the meat or just dipped directly in the tzatziki. It works especially well with little red potatoes, but russet was what I had around.

Lemon potatoes and tzatziki

Chop 2 potatoes into largish pieces, toss in a bowl with the juice of two lemons and a couple tablespoons olive oil, plus minced garlic and dill. Cook in a large saucepan over medium high heat, covering the pan for the first 10 minutes or so, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove lid and continue to cook until the potatoes are done (and nicely browned on the outside).

The whole meal

Quick, simple, and addictive. Make sure you don't make too many potatoes, because you'll probably end up eating all of them at once.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Weekend - condensed

My creation

Buying flowers, checking out new books, working on the quilt (and giving myself a massive iron burn), making a greek dinner (recipes to follow), sleeping in, waffles for breakfast (no recipe - I used TJ's multigrain baking mix), etc. etc.

I only wish the weekends would last a little longer.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Weekend list

I'm so conflicted on plans for this weekend. I simultaneously want to do a million things, but I'd also just like to lie around in bed and do nothing for a couple days.

On the (tentative and likely to be heavily edited) list:
  • Going to the library to return books and get new ones
  • Sewing (the quilt, plus a couple other projects I have kicking around in my head)
  • Cooking (the weather is finally cooling off a bit!)
  • Catching up on my Netflix rentals
  • A possible visit to the flea market on Sunday
  • Visiting this art gallery exhibit

Photo from Michael Muller, for his Lumiere exhibition now showing at the Guy Hepner Gallery. Dreamy, right? I can't get over the colors.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Work in progress - THE QUILT

*The oh so sweet and talented Patricia of PVE Design featured me on her blog today! Drop by to see the kind post and drool over her beautiful works of art.*

You all are so clever, noticing that all those bits of fabric must mean a quilt is in the works. And it is. Which means I am currently eating my words.

See, back when I first started talking about getting a sewing machine my mom got excited (I think she had just about given up hope that either of her daughters would ever want to learn to sew) and I very firmly told her "NO QUILTS!" I love my mom's quilts, and they are true works of art, but work is the operative word here. I could see myself making bags, or even clothes, but not quilts.

Fast forward to the present. My mom took me to her favorite quilt store, and they had instructions out for the simplest of quilts - all squares and rectangles, very retro, done with 1930s style fabrics. I swooned. My mom offered to let me raid her gorgeous fabric collection to help get me started. And I gave in.


The quilt is going to have a white background, and the overall effect is muted rather than bold. I'm in love with my great grandmother's old handmade quilts, all worn and subdued from years of washing, and I'm hoping this looks a little bit like them.


Chain stitching saves a ton of time, because you feed lots of pieces through and then snip them apart afterwards, allowing you to work continuously.


Plus, it makes a cute little banner-like chain of pieces before you cut them apart. Fun. Now I want to make a fabric banner.

I'll continue to update on the progress. My mom would make this quilt in an afternoon, but it will undoubtedly take me several weeks.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


You may have noticed a conspicuous lack of cooking on here for the last week or so. Well, I'm having a bit of trouble reconciling with the weather. I'm already in the fall mindset, thinking about boots (didn't buy them) and drooling over Martha's images of roasted root vegetables and hot stews, but Southern California seems to have decided to have the heat wave we didn't get this summer.

I was going to make cornbread and black bean soup last night, but the 98 degree wall of heat that greeted me when I left my office in the evening convinced me otherwise.

So we improvised.


I guess there is an upside to global warming - we got to eat dinner on the balcony and watch the fall light, and we didn't even need sweaters.


I'm making the most of the unexpected weather, but one more week of this and I'm breaking out the crock pot, no matter how hot it is.