Food Archive

What Inspires Me- An sfgirlbybay Project

When sfgirlbybay asked the general internet if she should put together a tour of blogs talking about what inspired them, the internet answered yet. Blog it Forward was born. For my post today, here’s a handy-dandy list of what inspires me…

  1. Colors- the brighter the better,  featuring crazy geometric patterns is best.  See also: kelly green, orange, gray, navy blue, sparkles.
  2. Observing the world around me- When I’m stumped by a project, it’s amazing how frequently the solution will appear just by looking around
  3. (All of a sudden, I noticed my week-old Valentine’s day flowers. Stunning in the light.)

  4. The Internet- which features makers and doers of the world who share their work and inspiration in thousands of blog posts a day. (See also: Blog I Love)
  5. My CSA box, the farmers’ market and Rainbow Grocery- hurrah for bugs, taking 20 minutes to wash one bag of spinach and having someone else send you a box of edibles every week. Also hurrah for other people’s carefully grown heirloom produce. Veggie boner.
  6. The Whole Kit and Kaboodle
  7. Cookbooks- the pretty pictures, the idea of using a big, fat combination of ingredients with separate preparations making something wholly delicious, BAKING. Oh lord, put me in the kitchen with a good cookbook and I’m set for days. (See also: a collection of favorites featured in a tacky Amazon affiliate page, my General Store)
  8. The area around San Francisco- you can drive anywhere from 1-4 hours out of the city and reach some amazing terrain. Driving up the 1 on the coast feels like you’re on the edge of the world. Field, road, car, cow, cliff, ocean.
  9. (Lake Tahoe)
    Relaxing

    (Driving through the redwoods)
    Day 2 of the Drive- Redwoods!

Thanks to The Goode Life for passing on the spirit stick.  Tag, you’re it living well!

What inspires you?

The Biggest Cookbook in the Universe: The Internet

I spend a lot of time Google Reader, bookmarking DIY projects and recipes I’d like to try myself. Sounds like an exciting Tuesday night, eh? It is!  Over the past few weeks, sheer busy-ness has brought me back to old favorite recipes. I thought I share a few with you to so that maybe they’ll become old favorites too. Since these recipes are culled from other blogs, you just get the delicious pre- and post finished product pictures. Bonus! My take on the recipes.

Alice Water’s Apple Tart on the Smitten Kitchen

I should’ve know such an absolute doll of a recipe would come from the impeccable and never-faltering Smitten Kitchen. The original recipe includes a glaze, made by simmering the apple peels with sugar and water. Don’t bother. This recipe is absolute perfection as-is. The crust is the bees knees. The apples melt in your mouth. If you don’t have a tart pan like me, it always comes out looking “refreshingly rustic”. (ahem)

Ina Garten’s Butternut Squash Risotto

One of the only things I enjoy making with butternut squash is risotto. Actually butternut squash is the only reason I tried my hand at risotto in the first place.  The original recipe I made a few months ago was vegetarian. The next version was vegan. This Ina Garten recipe is the DEAD OPPOSITE. Stick of butter, bacon, cheese, saffron, the works. I really did enjoy the new take on risotto that this provided but I think I’ll stick with the guilt free vegetarian version! If you do go ahead with Ina’s recipe, this is best served to 5-6 other people to avoid leftovers (which are awesomely tasty.)

Lemon Poppyseed Shortbread Cookies from Lottie and Doof

For a few weeks, the Mr. has been craving French Laundry shortbread cookies. Since we had lemons, I pulled out a recipe waiting in the wings from Lottie + Doof. These were a lot easier to make than their French Laundry friends but that’s probably because they use more ingredients than butter, flour, sugar and a vanilla bean. Verdict: completely tasty. I got to use one of my new cookie cutters for these! I figured that a heart would be more appetizing than a dog bone (purchased for doggie biscuits.)

That’s it for now, y’all. If you’ve got some old winter favorites, send them my way, why don’t you?

I wwwant that!

When you’ve got lots of time to cruise the ‘net but only a little green, I wwwant that! Please join me for a world wide romp in inspiration and completely desirable products that I could (but shouldn’t) purchase.


(Photo by The Small Stakes)

Have I told you lately how much I love WHOLE CAKES?? It is for reasons like this that they are #1 in my baked goods list. That cake topper would look fricken precious (not in a good way) atop anything but a majestic cake. Darling Dexter knew awesome when she saw it and for that reason I am grateful. You too can own a cake topper! For only three easy payments of $13.33… (just visit togetherforever’s etsy shop.)

My life philosophy is that color matches color. Chris Benz apparently believes the same thing which is why his Spring 2010 collection is ah-MAZING. Of course the one and only  Oh Joy! spotted his work the fastest, bringing about what, I’m sure, is an internet flurry of interest in this designers work. See also: sparkles match sparkles. Oh my, that yellow dress makes me want to CRY it’s so cute.

These boots are a real life find. One day, on my way to work, I spotted a woman in the brown pair. The next day, almost the same place, I saw a completely different woman wearing the black! Obviously I was behind the two women and immediately was drawn to the back contrasting zipper. After that second spotting, I knew it was my job to figure out who makes those shoes. Turns out these suckers are from… are you ready?… Steve Madden! WTF? I was as surprised as you. Second of all, I was taken aback at the steep price: $199. For Steve Madden boots? And I wwwant them?? What’s the world coming to?!? Le sigh, you wwwant them too, don’t ya? Well you can get these Steve Madden Roady Boots in black and tan.

The Mr. has a serious addiction to his Vans. Even though he has flat feet too, he doesn’t mind his arches scraping the pavement (ew?) in his slip-ons. I can’t do it. It totally bugs me! I didn’t think there would ever be a Vans shoe that would entice me. Then one day lil ole me was meekly scanning my google reader when I saw that Enchanted Royals had posted this show stopping pair of  Sophie Vans. Yes please! I’ll take two pairs. Retro refashioned. Love it.

I enjoy popping over to Mint to see what’s cooking. Recently, she posted a project that I adore. The Smock Shop exists to help starting artists make ends meet. Andrea Zittel created a simple smock pattern that artists have made into their own unique visions. All completely and utterly wwwantable! Head over to the site to check out the many variations.

I don’t have much to say about these dip-dyed curtains from Remodelista except that I find them mesmerizing. I think it’s the dark blue that really draws the eye. Or maybe the fact that our bedroom curtains are that exact shade without the white top. Either way, I love these curtains, totally wwwant them and think that they don’t belong in any room with a bed (where, clearly, you’d be wakened the second the sun peeped out.)

The Very True Story of Fart Chips

Once upon a time, there was a girl living in a magical city. One of the things that made this city so special was the constant availability of fresh produce (that talked).

One day, the girl came across a bundle of kale that said to her, “Miss, won’t you take me home? I’ve always wanted to be a snack food but my brothers and sisters all laugh at me. I’m running away to find my true calling.”

Puzzled, the girl said to the Kale, “Well sure. You are such a lovely shade of green and so delicious already. I will gladly help you!” Away they went.

Recipe after recipe, the girl couldn’t fulfill the Kale’s dream.”You are so hearty and work so well sautéed that I can’t imagine you next to popcorn or potato chips.”

“That’s it!” the overexcited Kale replied. “You shall slather me in oil, salt and pepper and leave me to bake in a hot oven!” The Kale knew deep in its stalk that he was right. He would finally be listed in the Big Book of Snack Foods.

The girl was more uncertain. “Hmm, the oil does sound about right. But will you crisp? Will you still be delicious? I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to try.”

She took great care in washing and drying the Kale in his Final Preparation. She pre-heated her oven and tossed Kale in oil, salt and pepper. One final time she asked, “Kale, are you sure this is what you want? You’d be so delicious cooked in butter and red pepper flakes.”

“Yes. I am quite certain. I think you’ll be delighted with me when I’m baked.”

With a tear in her eye, the girl loaded Kale into the oven and waited.

When enough time had passed, she opened the oven and to her complete surprise, the Kale was right! He had transformed into a crispy, tasty snack food! She popped a leaf into her mouth and crunched and munched the night away, leaf after leaf.

After the excitement of a new discovery had worn off, she recoiled. “Oh my, what is that smell!” The next minute, the girl had fallen into a food coma before she was able to identify the smell’s origin.

The next day she awoke and left for a long journey across the kingdom. She brought more the kale on the trip, hoping the flavorful and healthy snack food would give her energy. Alas, the smell overpowered her carriage and she was forced to throw it out. From that day forward, the girl baked her Kale chips but was careful to share them so that not one leaf remained!

The End.

(This story may or may not be actually inspired by real life. If you’d like to enjoy your own nutritious and magical discovery, you can re-create this recipe from Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchn.)

On CSA Boxes and Employment

With a new job comes new time commitments. No longer do I have the luxury of sitting for a couple hours in the morning with my tea, fresh and bright eyed, to write whatever strikes my fancy. Cut to my current reality: it is nighttime and I’m editing photos, watching Men’s Short Program Figure Skating and scratching my head for inspiration. Ah, there it is! (It was in Johnny Weir’s hot pink lace-up.) And to think that I don’t even start work full blast until Monday. What ever shall I do?

butternut squash, green garlic, pomelo, oranges, red top turnips, arugula, spinach, broccoli, apples, onion, lemons, cabbage

Since I haven’t had a chance to make and photograph something for a recipe, I thought I’d share a collection. Behold: some ideas and inspiration.  I’ve made several of these recipes with delicious results but a few are new recipes I’ve had bookmarked for awhile. They all feature the heavy hitter items from last week’s Eatwell CSA box.

Tangy Shredded Cabbage Salad– This is the 2nd recipe I’ve tried from this Smitten Kitchen post and boy, it is GOOD. Two thumbs up. It’s like a nice crisp, clean cole slaw that doesn’t suck. Bonus! Other Eatwell produce appearance by: lemons.

Patricia Yeo’s Candied Pomelo– I tried to make this. It sucked. But I still harbor hope that I could correctly candy pomelo peel and it’d be delicious.

101 Cookbooks’ Spinach Rice Gratin or Simply Recipe’s Spinach Ricotta Gnocci? I’m torn. Which one would you make?

Israeli Couscous with Butternut Squash– This is a David Lebovitz recipe I’ve saved for a rainy day. Or a day with preserved lemons.
Winter Squash Risotto– A twofer! Butternut squash risotto is my FAVORITE way to eat that plentiful winter pesk.

Simplest Apple Tart– Should be named the Best Apple Tart. A complete home-run brunch recipe.

The Best Broccoli of Your Life– Adam of the Amateur Gourmet should’ve called this recipe Pretty Good Broccoli. I’m saving the Best of My Life title for whoever invents a method of cooking broccoli that doesn’t lead to farts.

Lemon-Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies– I was a whisper away from making these Lottie + Doof cookies last night. Soon.

Roast Chicken with Turnips– Who doesn’t love a good roast chicken? Both residents of this Hipster Home do. I think even the Mr.’s Zuni Cafe couldn’t benefit from a little turnip roasting action.

Completely Elitist Orecchiette and Arugula Casserole– This recipe popped up tonight. Our grocery store has orecchiette featured in the bulk section and I’ve always bypassed it. No more.

If you’ve got any ideas for a FAST recipe featuring an item or two from this week’s box, TELL ME!

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