Monthly Archives: July 2009

happy weekend and other random bits.


this weekend we’ll be digging in the dirt to harvest summer veggies. oh and cook them too. obviously. ; )

packing for the big trip to oahu.

loving on our pups, whom we’ll miss while we’re gone.





and other random bits occupying my time this week…

reading all of gourmet mag’s kid’s menu page by lesley porcelli.


wanting to try this recipe for the almond praline semifreddo pictured above.

loving the  blog and the shop, reverie. i bought something small for a little one we will soon see… and would love this little purse for an upcoming birthday? (okay, okay it’s in october, but you never know who’s looking…)


and heeding this advice from slow food nation:

Get cooking.

Eat together.

Pack a bag lunch.

Conserve, compost and recycle.

Drink unbottled water.

Eat seasonally.

Buy local.

Buy organic.

Plant a kitchen garden.

Avoid genetically modified food.

Learn your region’s food story.

Try making things from scratch.

Meet your farmer(s).

Talk food politics.

Teach children what you know.



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things that delight me.

next big purchase in the red house is a new couch. we are OVER our couches, although they’ve been very, very good to us.


i am really digging on the white vinyl couch from trick my brick. with 4 dogs and 1 kid i would love a couch that i just wipe clean. if you live in the greater los angeles or orange county area and see a couch with these lines about to be trashed, hey, shoot me an email. : )


this light from door sixteen. that light it casts is just gorgeous, no?


these pretties from inglenook decor, a shop i first spotted on twoellie.





not only that, but maureen’s blog is full of fabulous decorating advice. just my style, in her words, “the charm of a french cottage and the fresh feel of an urban loft”. ummmm. yes!

and anthropologie is killing me with their enticing emails…


{zinnia dress…sadly not on my back-to-school list since i can’t justify the price}


{i love the cap sleeves and the fluidity of this one}


{moulinette soeurs dress}


{fey grove dress…also can’t justify although i love}


{inky quills dress}

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how to bait a boy…or two.



{my pictures don’t do this cake justice. see smitten kitchen‘s post…now those are pictures!}

when i saw this recipe on smitten kitchen, i was hooked. number one, how can you resist a name and a story like that? and number two, i love blueberries. this cake is a cinch to make, and it’s not too sweet either. story goes that in 1954 a 15-year-old girl entered this cake into a pillsbury baking contest and named it for the effect it had on boys. cute, no? and i happened to bait two boys.

recipe via cook’s country. adapted recipe via smitten kitchen.

Blueberry Boy Bait

Serves 12

If using frozen blueberries, do not let them thaw, as they will turn the batter a blue-green color.

2 cups all-purpose flour plus 1 teaspoon
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
3 large eggs 
1 cup whole milk 
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen, (see note above)
1/2 cup blueberries , fresh or frozen (see note above)
1/4 cup granulated sugar 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

2. Whisk 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. With electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated. Reduce speed to medium and beat in one-third of flour mixture until incorporated; beat in half of milk. Beat in half of remaining flour mixture, then remaining milk, and finally remaining flour mixture. Toss blueberries with remaining 1 teaspoon flour. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries. Spread batter into prepared pan.

3. For the topping: Scatter blue-berries over top of batter. Stir sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl and sprinkle over batter. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then turn out and place on serving platter (topping side up). Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cake can be stored in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.)


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little reminders that life is sweet.

life is good right now. i’m allowed to sleep in, i’m eating well, exercising, meeting up with friends, readying my family for a summer trip. i have no room to complain, but that doesn’t mean i don’t ever feel a little self-imposed stress. last friday morning i felt it big time. i was busy cleaning up this and cleaning up that. just as i thought i was done, j stepped in poop, then i stepped in poop, and everything was on my last nerve. the poop was from our little houseguest, sumo, who, at that point,definitely had overstayed his welcome.

in the midst of my vacuuming and my you’re all driving me nuts speech, j yelled at me stop momma! i turned off the vacuum and he said sit! so i did as was told and sat down in his room. music! he says, so i turned on his current favorite, bob marley, and we just sat. how could a 2-year-old know that’s exactly what i needed?

so the rest of the day i spent on the chaise in the backyard while j swam in his pool…

and re-read this  bel canto (one of the most beautifully written books i’ve ever read)…

and ate a simple lunch…



and took pictures of random beautiful things…


oh yeah, and i forgave little sumo. how can you not?


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i scream. you scream.


i got this new toy at the beginning of summer…

it makes this:


{key lime pie ice cream}


{sour cream cherry ice cream}

i started out making vanilla, then got fancy. i think it should be a law that every house has an ice cream machine. i know it’s not the old-fashioned churning machine, but it makes homemade ice cream so easy. we can’t get enough of it here in the red house. there are quick and easy recipes, but like anything else, it’s the ones you have to wait for that result in the tastiest.

i thought this key lime pie might have that make your lips pucker tart taste, but the tartness was just right. very subtle…and i like a bit of crunch so i didn’t crush the graham crackers too much, but it’s a personal choice, you know?

key lime pie ice cream recipe via rachael ray.

Sour Cream and Cherry Ice Cream-adapted from Gourmet Magazine

1 (16 oz.) container chilled sour cream

1 cup chilled half-and-half

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup chilled heavy cream

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

01. Puree all ingredients with 1/8 tsp. salt in a blender until mixture is smooth and sugar has dissolved. Chill until very cold.

02. Freeze mixture in an ice cream maker. Fold in the candied cherries (below) as you remove the ice cream from the machine. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up, about 6 hours.

Candied Cherries-from The Perfect Scoop

1 pound cherries, fresh or frozen

1 1/2 cups water

1 cup sugar

1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 drop almond extract

01. Remove the stems and pit the cherries. Heat the cherries, water, sugar, and lemon juice in a large, nonreactive saucepan or skillet until the liquid starts to boil.

02. Turn down the heat to a low boil and cook the cherries for 25 minutes, stirring frequently during the last 10 minutes of cooking to make sure they are cooking evenly and not sticking.

03. Once the syrup is reduced to the consistency of maple syrup, remove the pan from the heat, add the almond extract, and let the cherries cool in their syrup.


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{a brief bit from} our weekend.



a whole lotta relaxing, reading, and playing by the ocean at el porto with cousins. we love summer.

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the menu.


{image via}

monday: roasted tomato soup , grilled cheese

tuesday: grilled halibut and veggies

wednesday: pasta with grilled veggies, pine nuts, and goat cheese

thursday: asian noodle salad

friday: dinner with friends

and introducing my favorite breakfast this summer…


scrambled eggs with red onions, cilantro, and goat cheese. it’s so delicious, and even j (who isn’t an egg eater) will eat it. of course…put goat cheese on anything and he’ll pretty much eat it. hmmm…i guess i will too.

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