September 11, 2007

pet peave #678

When someone asks you to help them with something and their explanation of the action takes longer to explain than the action itself. This is not the best time management. They clearly could have finished the task already. This is especially annoying when the task is making a phone call.


“Call this person, tell them this and this and this….ask them this and that and that…and if they ask this…say that….etc!!!” I sit there thinking “Do you want me to dial, and you can just say that to them?!!!???”

September 9, 2007

this weekend:

walking to the neighbors paired a dress with a skirt today cheese & nectarines elephant bush is growing outside my front door olive oil & dipping herbs chocolate almond biscotti recipe two eggs required first cut, then bake again mmmmmm sf. fresh & new construction makes me want an orangey smoothie outstanding coming up over the hill sandy's bathroom chairs beauty kid's bathroom beemster & white nectarines outside the fabric store feta

weekend included:

  • a trip to SF to assistant photographing a wedding
  • dinner with the neighbors (twice)
  • playing with my new camera
  • having coffee with a new, delightful friend!
  • eating Indian food, Gyros, Falafel, Chinese food all from our favorite places in the Bay Area
  • organizing & straightening of the garage/laundry room
  • shopping for fabric for the couch & chairs
  • making chocolate/almond biscotti
  • enjoying the last few days of summer..but daydreaming about layering clothes
  • compiling all of my clothes to donate to goodwill
  • thinking about all of the soups that i’m going to make soon
  • playing “name that tune” with the neighbors on our back porch
  • packing (mentally) for our upcoming trip
  • Oh! and last thursday we saw Patton Oswalt & Brian Posehn at Cobb’s on Thursday (so funny my throat hurt from laughing!)
September 5, 2007

hello, beautiful

People on the internet:

Say hello to my new camera. She doesn’t have a proper name yet. Once she does, you will be properly introduced. She needs a complicated/devilish name because it wasn’t easy getting her.

I ordered her (or should i say one of her relatives) through Amazon thinking she would come in a few days. I received an email from them saying it was due to ship in October. Blasted! This would not arrive in time for her to make her maiden voyage on our trip to Spain at the end of September. Can you imagine the stress this caused?? My wonderful husband tracked her down at a camera shop in San Francisco.

When I called Amazon to cancel the extended warranty, I made the mistake of telling them I was going to purchase it in person. I bought the camera at a local shop and returned home to cancel the camera order through Amazon. To my surprise, it shipped!!!! What is with that? Did they expedite my order because I threatened to buy it somewhere else? Now, I will have to deal with the returning process. Either way, I’m glad I have her. Stress no more! She will make her maiden voyage soon.

September 3, 2007

labor day weekend

casey installed our new front porch light:

new light for front door

coffee was the fuel for the weekend:

mmmmm coffee

went out to breakfast:

casey's chorizo scramble

we had our monogrammed aisle-runner framed from our wedding. It now lives in our dining room:

monogram framed

a paint swatch was contemplated:

looking down the hall at our bedroom

caught up on my tv shows with yummy yogurt with almonds, raisins & honey:

yogurt with raisins, slivered almonds & honey

we finished painting the deck. here it is in progress:

painty paint

thought about the wonderful treats of Taste Catering at my parents house for the University of Tennesse Party on Thursday:

carrot appetizer

-we also ate burritos & saw Jay Mohr perform at Cobb’s Comedy Club in SF

-we bought a mirror that didn’t work out

-we spent time with friends & went to Malibu GP to race cars, play miniature golf and O.D. on skee-ball. Dinner at Safeway’s new Citrine restaurant.

-snuggled with kitties

-red sox rookie pitcher threw a no-hitter

-watched Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

-prepared lunches for the work week

**not in that particular order**

September 3, 2007

Baked Zucchini with Goat Cheese

zucchini bake

i love the edges

Baked Zucchini:

-Sautee one chopped yellow onion in olive oil with garlic. Add about 5-6 sliced zucchinis to the mix and cook til they are semi-transparent. Transfer that to a casserole dish (like the one you see above) mix in a LARGE handful of crumbled goat cheese & stir thoroughly. Top with breadcrumbs, fresh ground pepper & Parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

***I’ve tried using a mixture of zucchini & yellow squash once and it was fab!***

August 29, 2007

My Go-to Summer meal

When it’s hot as hell outside and I have no motivation to clean a sink full of dishes I make the following dinner:

Sliced heirloom tomatoes with basil and fresh mozzarella:
I usually chop up a bunch basil leaves, mix in sea salt/ pepper and really good olive oil. Dab on the sliced tomato and top it with the mozzarella slice. Sprinkle some sea salt & fresh ground pepper and dig in. It’s really great paired with a toasty piece of french bread.

heirloom tomatoes with mozzarella & basil underneath

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes:
I slice up fingerling potatoes so they are thin. I put them on cookie sheet with lots of olive oil, salt & pepper and sometimes I’ll splash some garlic powder into the mix. That goes in the oven at 425 degrees. It usually takes about 20 minutes total-give or take. I flip them around half way so they don’t get burnt or stick to the pan. I usually save all the crispy ones and devour them, secretly in the kitchen.

We used to fight over the crispiest potato in my family. It’s a habit that I haven’t broke. Sometimes if my husband gets a really crispy one- he puts it on my plate. Now that’s love! To make the potatoes look extra fancy, top with some chopped parsley. I didn’t have any in this picture. Please forgive me.
roasted fingerling potatoes

Grilled Chicken with Lemon: To these two side dishes, I add some grilled chicken. I pound out a couple of chicken breasts, bathe them in olive oil & lemon juice- with a bit of salt & pepper. I occasionally add cayenne if I’m feeling extra spicy. After 15 minutes in the marinade, I grill them on our little b-b-q. Top it off with extra lemon juice & you’ll want seconds.

our typical summer dinner

I usually make a little green salad. This one above is a simple mixed greens with chopped green onions. I add some lemon juice & olive oil to taste. Salt & Pepper that baby up and you are good to go! You could add feta if you’d like. You won’t regret it.

Pair it all up with a Gin & Tonic or a Jack Daniels & Diet Coke with lime (in my case), and it’s a typical summer meal on my back porch.

August 26, 2007

Pear Upside Down Cake

raking in august

i was complaining to my neighbor about all the leaves I have to rake on my front lawn. “It’s August!! Why are there so many leaves??!!” I even convinced myself that there’s something wrong with the tree.  “It’s not healthy.  It’s diseased.  This shouldn’t be happening!”

I woke up yesterday morning to that haze you only get in the Bay Area when it’s Fall. I knew that it was stupid for me to complain.  Fall is coming, and I can’t deny it.  There’s that subtle chill in the air…. It’s not scorching hot anymore…..and Martha Stewart’s Halloween decorations are at Michael’s.

This summer at our house was wonderful. I’ll have to refer back to those days of sitting on the patio drinking coffee & grilling in the evenings in my summer dresses when I’m bundled up on the couch sipping tea in a turtleneck. Goodbye open-toed shoes & skirts…hello turtlenecks & boots!

this past week i:

got a new purse! (i’m really into it so far)

new bag new shoes

reorganized my desk (i got my cards in the mail from lisa congon’s etsy shop!)

my desk in between cleaning

thought a lot about the cupcake tasting I had with Melisser & Whitney on Thursday:

our loot for tonight's sugar rush

made pear upside-down cake from this month’s issue of Sunset Magazine:

pear upside-down cake

the side view...pecans spilling over

Pear Upside-Down Cake- Sunset Magazine September 2007

-3/4cup unsalted butter, plus more for pan
-2 Bosc pears, cored, peeled, and cut into 1/4-in.-thick slices
-1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
-1cup chopped pecans, divided
-1/3cup bourbon
-1 teaspoon salt, divided
-1/2cup firmly packed light brown sugar
-3 eggs
-2teaspoons vanilla
-1 1/2teaspoons baking powder
-1/2teaspoon baking soda
-2cups flour
-3/4 cup plain whole or low-fat yogurt

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Generously butter a 9-in. cake pan and arrange pear slices in a pattern on the bottom of pan. Set aside.
2. Bring 1 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a 10-in. frying pan (not nonstick) over medium-high heat. Lower heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook, undisturbed, until mixture starts to brown (swirl pan to help mixture brown evenly). When mixture turns a medium amber color, add 1/2 cup pecans and cook until fragrant but not burning, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and slowly stir in bourbon and 1/2 tsp. salt. Pour over pears in buttered pan.

3. Put 3/4 cup butter, the brown sugar, and remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl. Beat until smooth and a bit fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Add half of the flour and beat until combined. Then beat in half of the yogurt. Repeat with remaining flour and yogurt. Stir remaining 1/2 cup pecans into batter (it will be thick).

4. Drop spoonfuls of batter over pears and sauce and spread evenly. Bake cake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool on a rack 15 minutes. Run a knife between cake and pan sides and invert cake onto a plate or serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 *** It was delish!  It took forever to make the caramel sauce, though!****