Wednesday, December 31, 2008

African Groundnut Stew Pt. III

Did you forget the link to this wonderful recipe? Here it is again:

For the vegan in your life, or for anyone else (who doesn't have peanut allergies) it can't be beat. I made a big pot last night, with the following modifications: I left out the chilis and added half a cup of coconut pulp and a bag of kale.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Herringbone Rib Socks

Another knitting project done. Yay! But, I'm still on vacation and now have no active project. Ack!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Lentils

Here in LA, ho ho ho. A number of people needed to be fed today, including a vegetarian sister, so this is what I put together:

1 bag lentils
1 onion
2 carrots
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 ribs celery
1 C barley
2 cloves garlic
A whole buncha water
Adequate salt

No points for originality, I know, but it can't be beat for deliciousness.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

A stellar soup, born of the desire to use up our last CSA delivery. It (the soup) contained:

2 onions
1 garlic clove
1 butternut squash (in little cubes)
1 bag of greens, chard and kale
1 can of Great Northern beans
2 C chicken stock from a squishy yellow box
2 C water
1 C coconut puree
1 whopping hit of curry powder

That coconut puree is something I buy from the same place I buy my coconut oil ( It's essentially what's left after they press the oil from the coconut flesh, and is a terrific thing (in my opinion) to add to a soup or stew or ice cream or cookies etc.

The spouse gave the soup five stars.

Junya Watanabe, Spring 08 RTW

Oh man. Junya, messenger your stuff right over and I swear I'll wear it every day, everywhere. Ok, maybe not the head dresses, but seriously, anything else you want.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Aerogarden Pesto

On whole-wheat pasta, with salad. I tend to use a lot of parsley in my pesto these days, because it grows abundantly in the Aerogarden, and because I once heard that it cancels out garlic breath.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cashmere Baby Blanket

This is a baby blanket for my imminent second grandchild (ok, my husband's second grandchild). The pattern is called "Hemlock Ring" and is actually a doily pattern; instead of knitting it with slender cotton on tiny needles one knits it with fluffy wool on big needles: behold, the magic of scale. Knitting is so weird. This pattern is actually incredibly easy, but looks complex, whereas I have labored for hours and mastered tricky new skills in finishing the ribbing on a cuff in a way that no one will ever notice.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


breaded in cornmeal and fried; unbelievably delicious spinach, and quinoa. The fish was a disappointment, because I managed to overcook it while still leaving the cornmeal kind of floury-tasting. I don't know why the spinach was so delicious; I just sauteed it in a little butter and for some reason it exploded into a layered flavor bouquet in the mouth.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Catch up

Yikes! What a busy week. But last night: fried chicken, brown rice, roasted cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli. But much more importantly, I made cookies! I haven't done it in ages. Here is my number one recipe:

Oatmeal Cookies

Preheat the oven: 325 degrees


1 C coconut oil
1 C brown sugar
1 t salt
1 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t cloves
2 t vanilla

Beat in:

1 egg

Stir in:

1 C whole wheat flour
3 C oatmeal


chopped nuts

Scoop the dough into nice big scoops (with a cookie scoop, if you have one) and flatten slightly on the pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pork Chops

with brown rice and roasted cauliflower and broccoli. The vegetables were from our CSA, and so good i ate a whole head of each.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


You wouldn't know it from the infrequency of my posts, but I am in fact knitting like a fiend. The problem is that I have so many projects going at once that I rarely finish one. But I finished this one! It's called "Clapotis" and over 7,000 people world-wide have made it so far. I can see why; it's lovely.

Pork Chops with Gremolata

with quinoa and sauteed chinese cabbage. Gremolata: diced parsley, garlic, and lemon zest, except that I didn't have a lemon so used grapefruit instead. Pretty good!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pan-Fried Orange Roughy

with brown rice and salad. My new dressing of choice, after a decade of lemon juice and olive oil, is rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kale-Beet Slaw

I have the gamest husband in the world. Last night I put before him a dinner of roasted butternut squash, quinoa, and a dark (almost black) melange of kale, beets, and ginger, dressed with sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Did he flinch? Yes. But he bravely sampled it and declared it delicious, backing that claim up by eating heartily. Bless.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lamb Chops

with fried potatoes and salad. It's hard to beat the basics.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sorry About That

A busy week. But last night we had: a frittata made with leftover roasted vegetables (cauliflower, shiitakes, and garlic), swiss chard sauteed with onions and ginger, and garlic-herb toast. It was all delicious, though in retrospect I might not have combined three dishes packing such distinct and powerful flavor-wallops.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

And for extra credit...

A hat to match! Finished with mere hours to spare! The color in this picture is true.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


de leftovers: pork butt, roasted squash, okra, and turnips. With salad mix; an unlikely triumph.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sauteed Trout

with roasted butternut squash and sauteed shiitakes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fuschia Sweater

Originally uploaded by tinyloop.

Behold, fresh off the needles. The color is much (much) more vivid fuschia in real life, though obviously nowhere near as vivid as the model.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Leftover Chicken Sausage

with sauteed mei quing cabbage and purple roasted potatoes with roasted garlic. Nummers.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pork Butt

which despite its name is actually part of the shoulder, I think, and doesn't that mean it's high on the hog? Where ever it is, that's where we ate Saturday night. The spouse grilled everything in sight: pork butt, red peppers, apples, and tomatoes. And then he made onion rings! A great dinner.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Just two quick notes: Rei, please don't show all black clothes on a black runway. Christian: I am still available to be dressed exclusively by you, or even adopted, if you prefer.

Viktor and Rolf

Ack! Aaagh! OMG! Viktor and Rolf, always up for something new, showed their Spring line in an online show, created digitally, using only one model (Shalom Harlow, who has been huge since the nineties, bless her long-lived limbs). It's always worth seeing V+R clothes, which are wild and beautiful, but let me tell you, the digital show is something else. Mainly because it gives a pleb like me a chance to watch the clothes in action: how they move on the body, look from different angles, etc. Also, it's a little lesson in why the right model matters—Harlow does not appear to have a stiff joint in her body. She's walking on what have to be five inch heels, heels I literally could not stand up in, and she's like a tree being lightly tossed by wind. Amazing. Anyway, do check it out:

Burn After Reading

How can it be that the Coens have been making movies as long as they have and never have made a bad one? The spouse and I laughed until we wept, though if you've seen it you'll know how much discomfort was involved. The only problem is, I really can't watch Brad Pitt any more. I like him, and he's very funny in the movie, and he gives it his all, but I just can't forget the public life long enough to believe the character. Weirdly, I am able to suspend all of that when I look at George Clooney. (George, my crush on you is over, but I actually feel closer to you now that I no longer carry a torch. I see myself as the Tilda Swinton in your life.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Nina Ricci

which really means Olivier Theyskens. Theyskens dressed Madonna in a full-length ball gown made of yellow leather for some event, and then a black leather gown for the Oscars, and while she didn't exactly get lots of praise for the outfits, they did put him on the map. Then (as I understand it) he got hired to revitalize the old French label Rochas, which had been piddling along (as many of them do) on scarves and fragrances. He was a huge hit with fashion editors, and the dresses were wonderful; high-necked, long sleeved, fitted to a T gowns in greens and eggplants. The only thing is, they cost a fortune and the society ladies who buy such things don't want to look like skinny Victorian governesses, so his sales were not stellar. He eventually started making some wearable clothes (pants, even!) but his bosses at Proctor and Gamble (who own Rochas, such is the weirdness of the fashion world) pulled the plug and went back to concentrating on the lucrative perfume business. Theyskens is the special pet of Anna Wintour (Ed in C of American Vogue) so although there was a general wail along the lines of "Olivier is a genius his corporate masters could never understand oh where will he go oh what will he do!" he himself never manifested (publicly, anyway) much worry. As it turns out, he was picked to helm another old house in need of a boost: Nina Ricci (you know it because it makes "L'Air du Temps," a perfume sold in drug stores in a bottle with a bird on it and advertised on TV relentlessly in the seventies).

Now, that in itself is interesting because at the time that he must have been negotiating to take it over Nina Ricci had a young, hip designer in charge: Lars Nilsson. Nilsson is an incredibly talented Swede, who makes gorgeous clothes, and who cannot seem to keep a job to save his life. He was hired to take over Bill Blass, made wonderful things, was fired. Hired by Nina Ricci, made wonderful things, fired. Later he went to Gianfranco Ferre, a really plum job, and was fired before he even showed his first collection. What is going on there? I have no idea. But, as I say, out he went, and in went Olivier Theyskens, and there Olivier remains. And the things he is doing there! He just showed a collection made almost entirely of dresses with hemlines raised in front and trailing in back. For a little variety he threw in some satin short-shorts and pants with fins, but basically, if you want to wear Theyskens it's flamenco dresses for you. Can this possibly end well?

Not that I'm complaining, because let me tell you, the dresses are breathtaking. Given that I don't give a hoot about Nina Ricci's bottom line I say, bring on season after season of dresses this fantastic. (For the sake of keeping things fun we're just going to ignore the size of the model's thigh. 'Kay?)

Did I mention that Theyskens is 29?

Fried Chicken

with quinoa and salad.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Roasted Vegetables

Turnips, potatoes, and okra; improbably good. Also scrambled eggs with chives and sweet potato. The spouse couldn't get over the last, raved about it, gobbled it up, and wondered how I was so smart as to think of it. Here's how: I was planning on eggs for dinner because I hadn't planned anything else in advance; as I was on my way to scramble them I passed our toaster oven and realized I had left a whole baked sweet potato in it from the night before. I thought "that looks like dinner-bulk to me!" and tossed it (potato not toaster) in.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Roast Pork Rib-end

with sweet potatoes and salad. What is there in the world better and easier than roasted meat? Here's what I did: I took the meat out of its package, put it in a dish, stuck it in a 350 degree oven for an hour and a half, and took it out. And it was scrumptious! Sweet and golden and juicy! Heat + meat = miracle.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Peanut Stew

with quinoa. I assume it was delicious, but due to a recent cold I can't taste anything but salt.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pretty Doll

I recently bought a doll from a Southern folk art center; both I and my daughter are fascinated by it. So we made one ourselves! Here she is, made from sewing-room scraps, stitched by me, design directed by my daughter.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fried Chicken

with corn on the cob and pan-roasted okra. That latter was my spouse's idea, following a meal he had in a restaurant. You just toss whole okra (no topping and tailing! Let alone slicing up!) into a hot grill pan that has been lightly oiled and cook until the pods are wilted and charred. I'm sure it was delicious, but I have a cold that prevents me from tasting anything.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Aerogarden Pesto

on whole-wheat tri-color elbow macaroni; with salad. The Areogarden is a gift to pesto-making; one harvest equals one meal's worth, and you don't even have to go outside! Threw in some parsley too, and whether for that reason or not, the pesto stayed bright green. I dislike an oxidized pesto, but am usually helpless to prevent it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Chicken Sausage

with steamed crook-neck squash and baked sweet potatoes.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bacon and Eggs

Delicious Miss Sue's eggs, and scrummy bacon-of-the-month club bacon. A Big Girls Only dinner.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Marc Jacobs

OMG I love Marc Jacobs and I can't help it. I don't want to because he's so mega-huge and liking him does not make me look smart or interesting or distinctive but o. m g. I love him. The spring 2209 rtw collection is so awesome.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Peanut Stew, Re-Vamped

I swapped the pumpkin/butternut for spaghetti squash, took out the cumin and cinnamon and added lemongrass and lemon juice, and tossed in a whopping dollop of concentrated coconut. Came out a treat.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Leftover Chicken Sausage

with brown rice and a fantastic salad mix salad made with herbs from our Aerogarden (see the Aerogarden post under "My Favorite Things").

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Swatch with Stature

This swatch is exciting to me for kintterly reasons that won't make sense to non-knitters, so let's just say this one thing: I learned to knit backwards on it!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Strawberry Hill

Originally uploaded by tinyloop.

The latest sweater, and boy, was this one taxing. Not because it was difficult (it was easy as pie) but because halfway through I realized that knitting with yarn in a color even close to a neutral is Not My Thing. So I lost steam and had to push myself to the finish line. But here it is, and I'm not unhappy with it; it might even not drain all the life from my skin if I wear it with some other color next to my face.

On an unrelated note: my quasi Olympic metaphor above reminds me that if you haven't yet read the Onion article entitled "Michael Phelps Returns to his Tank at Sea World" you've got a real treat in store.

Pork Chops

broiled, with okra and corn on the cob.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Leftover Peanut Stew

with brown rice and a sublime salad mix salad.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Coho Salmon

with quinoa and roasted cauliflower. Hard to beat.

Monday, August 25, 2008

African Groundnut Stew, Round II

Just as good as the first time, maybe a little better: this time I threw in an ear's worth of fresh corn.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Speaking of knits, we have to talk Rodarte. Do you know who they are? They are sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, born, raised, and still residing in Pasadena, California, in their parents' house, no less. Let me reiterate: they are sisters in their mid-twenties, living at home, and they are already more or less legends in the fashion world, with show after show that simply flattens people with their imagination and craftsmanship. I am a raving fan. This is the second season in which they have shown lots of knits, and I'm of two minds. On the one hand, I think the photo here is pretty rad, and I get where they're going with the concept. On the other, and I say this having examined the goods up close on my last trip to LA, they are a knitter's nightmare. Gigantic gauge! Synthetic novelty fibers! The knitter in me dies a little every time I look at it.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Alexander McQeen

I had a dream about Alexander McQueen last night. I was at his house, and he was demonstrating that he was as ingenious and skilled a cook as he is a designer; I was also focused on the fact that (the fashion magazines tell me) all his friends call him Lee. Anyway, it was a moody, strange, pleasant dream, so today I looked up his fall show on As it turns out, the subtitle of his show could well have been "Knitter's Paradise," so full of marvelous knits (many of them lace, oh heaven) is it. I could have picked any number of pictures, but for sheer volume of stitches, this one wins.

Skirt Steak

with roasted cauliflower and shiitakes, and the best conr on the cob the campus farmer's market has to offer--outrageously good.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Whole Wheat Egg Noodles

with pesto and sauteed summer vegetables, heavy on the eggplant. The pesto was made with homegrown basil, which brings me to a long-belated post. Behold, the AeroGarden! Perhaps you've seen one in SkyMall? I'm pretty sure that was where I first saw it, and the thought of it marinated in my brain for a long time before I thought to give it to my spouse for his birthday. I would say it's my second most successful present ever (right after the family albums I made for Christmas). The herbs grow as beautifully as advertised, and the basil in particular was towering and lush before I harvested it.


with okra and brown rice. It's hard to focus on dinner, however, when lunch was the remaining African stew. How I miss it already!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sweet Potatoes

Baked, with chicken sausage and arugula salad. There's nothing quite like the look of sweet potatoes and dark greens on the dinner plate. Also nothing like the spicy, complex, sweet flavor of baked sweet potatoes.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

African Groundnut Stew

Omigah. Sometimes making dinner is like playing a seven-letter word in Scrabble. The spouse came home from the farmer's market today with fresh peanuts and black-eyed peas, and we harvested the little pumpkin from our backyard. What does that spell? It came to me in a flash: African groundnut stew. One trip to the internet for a recipe later ( and I had my plan; it came to thumpingly delicious fruition at dinner time. I ate two bowls (over brown rice) and only stopped because I couldn't hold any more. Score!

Incidentally, do you know what fresh peanuts look like? Imagine a gargantuan bunch of dark green sage from the bottom of which dangle little peanuts.

The Fruit of our Endeavors

The Mighty Mystery Squash Vine has died, leaving behind a single heir (pictured). One way to look at it is: all that vine for one little pumpkin? Another is: where in the world did this perfect little pumpkin come from, and why are we so lucky that it appeared right in our backyard? Guess which is the view to which I incline.

Snake Gourd

The farmer's market was especially triumphant this morning, and the crowning glory was definitely the pictured "snake gourd." Even better in real life; the scale of the picture is wonky.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Potato Frittata

with roasted brussels sprouts. Highly delish.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My First Scarf

How is it that I never before knit a scarf? It is the classic learning-to-knit project, but I skipped it somehow (mainly by diving right into sweaters, I think, with unaesthetic but nonetheless educational results). At any rate, it seemed like it was time, and here is the result. The pattern is called "Lace Ribbon" and spread like wildfire on the internet: there are 2,000 finished scraves at present, with many more underway. Who am I to resist that kind of popularity?

Check out the way the bright green part of the yarn forms its own zig-zag pattern perpendicular to that of the lace; that's the kind of happy chance that using hand-painted yarn allows. (As always, the color in the pictures is not true.)

Sockeye Salmon

with quinoa and fried okra. Plus an ice cream sandwich for dessert. What devil brought ice cream sandwiches into my house?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Chicken Sausage

with brown rice and roasted cauliflower. This meal is my version of beans and franks, clearly: easy and requiring no thought. We did some major eating in LA, the pinnacle of which was a meal at Lucques. Words fail me when it comes to the food, so I'll simply say this: Seth Rogen's name was right above ours on the reservations list. That was it for celebrity sightings in LA, but I think it's a pretty good one.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Gone to Disneyland!

And also Los Angeles. Back in two weeks with fresh enthusiasm.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


grilled, with brown rice and roasted cauliflower and shiitakes.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sockeye Salmon

grilled, with quinoa and a melange of summer vegetables: zucchini, eggplant, onion, pepper, tomatoes. Should have taken a picture.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Potato Frittata

with roasted brussels sprouts. By the way, for those keeping score at home, I am within shouting distance of my old self, weight-wise. However, it's a loud shout, so I have re-joined Weight Watchers. One day in, here's what I am remembering from the last time I did it: you have to eat less. Gack!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Field Peas

or, fresh black-eyed peas. I simmered these in vegetable stock with bacon and onions, and we had them with roasted cauliflower. Delicious as they were, I expect them to be even better this afternoon when I have them with brown rice for lunch.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


of bacon, shiitakes, and brown rice, with corn on the cob.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Roast Chicken

with brown rice and heirloom tomatoes (red ones, and green striped ones).

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Leftover Sausage

with salad of arugula, cantaloupe, and parmesan; herb butter toast (with garlic, chives, tarragon, lemon thyme, and parmesan). The bread for the toast is wild yeast sourdough from a bakery about an hour away and would be worth it at twice the gas prices.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Farmer's Market Flowers

Aren't they beautiful? I'm especially fond of the deep maroon sunflowers.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Merry Independence Day!

Check out my spouse's handiwork: ribs that are not ashamed to stand tall among the legendary ribs that surround us in this town. I ate like a woman possessed, which I was. Not pictured are the sublime onion rings he also made; I don't even like onion rings, but scarfed these down with joy.

Red Quinoa

with skirt steak and salad of yellow tomato and cucumber. The red quinoa tasted just like the regular kind, but was much chewier in texture; I don't know if that means it has different water requirements or cooking time, but it was delicious al dente in any case.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sleeveless Tuxedo Shirt

Boy, has this project ever been hanging around for a while. I finally got it done, and if I may say, I'm pleased. It's made of linen which gives one's hands a real workout in the knitting, but creates a lovely and machine-washable fabric that's hard to beat.


grilled; also whole wheat angel hair with pesto and orange cherry tomatoes.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


with oyster mushrooms and gruyere; roasted potatoes.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Praying Mantis

One animal I never get tired of looking at is the praying mantis. I saw a TV show on them once that continues to haunt me. These things are killing machines! They will eat anything, and I mean anything, so long as the size ratio works in their favor. They are lightning fast, have powerful jaws, and are not noticeably encumbered by conscience. Most people know that the female will eat the male after mating; did you also know that she'll snack on him while mating? And that it doesn't affect his performance? I watched a mantis grab and eat a *hummingbird*, for heaven's sake. The other thing is that there are more species of mantises than I ever dreamed, many of which are designed for specific plants. There is an orchid mantis, for example, that is simply undetectable when sitting on its plant, much to the misfortune of whoever comes along to pollinate it. It's been said before, I know, but we should all thank our lucky stars that insect exoskeleton limitations keep them small, because we would be toast otherwise.

This particular mantis is up on our roof garden, which may account for the non-existent pest problem up there. On the other hand, our plants are withering from some sort of nasty blight or soil problem, so maybe its just that the pests can't be bothered.

Friday, June 27, 2008


It went great! The only problems were my fault, not the method's. To wit: 1) shouldn't have processed the veggies so long, as I would have liked pieces rather than just juice; 2) should have rinsed the grains first and lowered the grain-to-veg ratio so as to cut down on gumminess.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Great Tabouli Experiment

or, Gazpacho By Other Means. I usually make tabouli the way the box says, by soaking the bulgur in boiling water. I read somewhere, though, that a traditional way of doing it is simply to soak the grains in the tomato juice itself, a method which seems like it would be a lot more flavorful. So: I whizzed the giant mutant tomato in the food processor with a cucumber, an onion, and a whole bunch of parsley, and am soaking the bulgur in that (with some salt). I'll let you know how it goes.

I was going to post a picture of the work in progress, but honestly, it's not that pretty.

Skirt Steak

turnips, brown rice, chicken sausage, salad of cucumbers and roasted golden beets: these are what we've been having for dinner lately.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mystery Squash

You know that squash vine that appeared in our garden? I'm thinking it's pumpkin! The pictured fruit grew from about an inch to what you see in a week.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mutant Tomato

Check out the amazing tomato our CSA sent us today!


of potatoes and shiitake mushrooms, with tarragon. Huge strawberries for dessert.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Crab Cakes

With quinoa and salad of cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and salata cheese. Very good, but the real news was the Sunday lunch we had at Miss Melissa's Cafe, about 20 minutes outside of town. Friends, this is Southern food as I'd never had it before. Absolutely traditional menu and technique (I had roast pork, fried catfish, black-eyed peas, collard greens, and corn bread) but with meticulous attention to fresh ingredients, cooking times, and flavor balances. It was a revelation: I always thought I wasn't a big fan of the salt-and-sugar laced flavors of southern cooking, but it turns out I'd just never had anything but the cafeteria version. The real thing is out of this world.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Harvest Festival

I know I've mentioned my spouse's dread of a dinner plate with no animal protein on it, but he has another side: king of the farmer's market. When he comes home with a big haul he's like a hunter with his kill, ready to feast. Last night it was roasted cauliflower, carrots, and shiitakes, fried brussels sprouts, and corn on the cob. We ate ourselves silly. For dessert there was squash bread made from those little yellow crook neck squashes.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Skirt Steak

with sweet potatoes and green beans.

Publisher's Socks

At last! These have been finished for some time, but as they were a gift I couldn't put them up here. Aren't they nice? Koigu wool, "Retro Rib" pattern. I made them for my friend and publisher Luke; I am an inveterately selfish knitter, but even I recognize that publishing a book of mine suggests a special thank you. The book in question is "A-Quiver with Significance: Marianne Moore 1932-1936" and should be up on Amazon any time now. Weirdly, it is already up on French Amazon.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bonsai Tunic

The latest project, fresh off the needles. The pattern is called "Bonsai Tunic" and is quite popular on the internet. I like it a lot, especially the fact that it is sleeveless: quick to knit.

Zucchini Bread, Two Days Out

The only thing better than any given baked good containing spice is that same treat several days after it was made. I had time to reflect on this truth this morning as I polished off the remaining third of a loaf for breakfast.
Dinner, by the way, was a relative dud: pork chops with apples and sage, brown rice. Should have been good, but was just ok.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Whole Wheat Angel Hair

with pesto. Also, salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, spring onions, and dill; it was so good I drank the remaining juice right from the bowl. Pictured is zucchini bread, our dessert. Zucchini is actually the only vegetable (besides normal turnips) that I don't like, but I'm a fiend for zucchini bread. Props to Staci, who took it from the oven at the perfect moment.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Roast Chicken

with tarragon, corn on the cob, sauteed bacon/onions/apples/cabbage. Yum!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jewelry Rack

Have I mentioned lately that I have but to suggest an idea and my spouse makes it so? I have for some time wanted a nice big wall-mounted system for keeping my jewelry straight, and voila: one trip to Home Depot later, my spouse invented the above. I love it. All the big clunky necklaces, by the way, are from Subversive for Target, one of those designer collaborations Target is doing these days. I've loved Subversive jewelry for a long time, so when I saw the cheapo versions at Target, I went absolutely bananas. No one else in my town has any because I bought it all.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


See that squash plant dominating the garden? It has huge orange flowers that open in the sunlight and close in the shade; in the mornings when they're open we watch the bumblebees go to work on them. We look to have a bumper crop of squash pretty soon. The only thing is...we didn't plant any squash! However that plant got there it wasn't through any knowing act of ours. You can imagine our excitement as we wait to see what kind of fruit it produces. The scarecrow is entirely our daughter's design; the pearl necklace draped on the pumpkin is its hair.

By the way, the ferny things in the squash photo are asparagus plants; we're told we'll have edible asparagus in a year or two.

Quinoa with Hiziki

That's Japanese sea vegetable to you and me, and a fine addition to the quinoa. The spouse ate his and said, with a mixture of pride and wonder, "I'll bet I'm the only guy in Alabama eating quinoa and sea weed tonight." We had it with delicious garden turnips, and fried chicken.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Cabbage and Apples, Pt. 2

Second verse, same as the first; except that we were out of onions so I subbed in ginger. Every bit as good.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Cabbage and Apples

We're doing this one again tonight because lordy, was it good. I sauteed bacon, spring onions, green apples, and green cabbage, and served it over leftover barley; we just moaned as we ate it. Speaking of that cabbage: it was bigger than my head and weighed more than one of my babies! We only dented it with last night's dinner.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Good Heavens

Do we never eat dinner around here any more? Of course we do, but somehow my blogging has gone on summer vacation. I think you can guess what we had for dinner this week; fill in one of the following: "We had broiled (skirt steak/lamb chops/chicken) with (brown rice/quinoa/barley) and roasted (turnips/carrots/shitaakes/fennel/cauliflower/broccoli).

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Green Egg

Miss Sue's birds are on a tear this summer, providing us with the most plentiful and delicious eggs we've ever had. Miss Sue always saves the green ones for us, and today we got the doozy you see. They are normally very beautiful shades of pastel green; check out this one's artichoke color!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Marie Antoinette (2006)

I owe Sofia Coppola an apology. I didn't see this in the theater, as, apparently, did almost no one else. That was a mistake; this is a terrific movie. Coppola called it "an emotional biography" or "a biography of feeling," or something. She was responding to questions about its deliberate anachronisms, but the best answer (as she no doubt knew) is simply the movie itself, which works wonderfully. It's beautiful to look at, with the costumes and the countryside and the Versailles, and it is thoughtful too, making one empathize with its titular child bride thrust into a life of immense privilege as well as restriction, and pilloried for it. This is a subject one imagines Coppola knows a thing or two about. For example, people like me saying: "she's young and attractive and wealthy and famous and I simply can't stand it if she's really talented too so I'm not seeing her movie." My loss.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Swiss Chard

In the vegetable kingdom, what beats swiss chard stalks for sheer prettiness? Not much. I used to throw them away until I tried cooking them and realized they're delicious; we had them sauteed with spring onions and the greens. Also brown rice, and lamb chops marinated in garlic and rosemary, then broiled.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

First Harvest

The garden is brimming with edible, or pre-edible, delight. Carrots, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squash, asparagus, persimmons, many herbs--much is promised this season. Last night we had our first turnips. I know what you're saying to yourself: "Why is Heather always on about the turnips? Everyone knows turnips are terrible. Maybe she read an article about how good they are for you or something." But really, honestly, the variety we grow give turnips a good, totally non-bitter name. And they are never more not bitter than in early spring, when, as we found last night, they are sweet and delicately flavored and wonderful. We had them with chicken in tarragon sauce, and sauteed their greens with leftover brown rice.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Red Cardigan

This pattern is called "Lush and Lacy" and is one of those delightful patterns that is both easy and fast to knit, while still being flattering to wear and interesting to work on. This took less than two weeks!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Telling you about last night's dinner allows me to catch up, because it was a frittata of leftovers: pork steak, rice, and roasted vegetables. The main point is that the vegetables were terrific: fennel, kohlrabi, carrots, shiitakes. When they were new we had them with spinach/feta sausage, and quinoa.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pork Steak

broiled, with sauteed (I first typed "suteed," which seems weirdly plausible given how deeply I browned them) apples and sage. Also quinoa and salad. You know what pork steak is, besides incredibly delicious? An awesome spondee.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Impromptu Salad

This was Friday night. I put together a salad of barley, diced fennel, roasted beets, salata cheese, toasted walnuts, and olive oil. It was delicious, though only really came alive when I added white wine vinegar. We had it with chicken and apple sausage. Sunday night was my spring onion and cilantro sauced chicken again, with barley and salad. And we made cookies! Perhaps nowhere else than in my cookies are my various health-food obsessions more clearly showcased. The peanut butter cookies we made, for example, contain coconut oil, half the sugar called for in the recipe, and a combination of whole wheat and kamut flours. Mmmm good.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thai Chicken Ginger Sausage

with brown rice and shredded, sauteed brussels sprouts.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Friends, this one was a winner. I browned chicken thighs, then sauteed spring onions and cilantro in the drippings, then deglazed the whole thing with vegetable stock and poured over the chicken. Seriously, I didn't have any idea how good it would be (mainly because I was just throwing together things as I saw them). We had it with quinoa and fresh sugar snap peas. Once I start on the sugar snap peas I can't stop until they're all gone, so it's just as well the CSA sent us a modest load this week.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Grilled Snapper

with baked sweet potatoes and salad mix. This was among other things a very pretty meal, as any meal with sweet potatoes and greens tends to be.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Number 23 (2007)

I hate to pollute The Enthusiast with disses, so let's just say, the reviewers were right about this one. My favorite review can be found here.

Roast Pork Leftovers

I'll tell you what we had for dinner on the understanding that sometimes bare reporting totally under-represents the actual deliciousness of what we ate: leftover roast pork with sauteed apples, roasted potatoes, and roasted cauliflower. The last was particularly beautiful pre-roasting, all snowy white on top and lovely purple underneath.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Periwinkle Sylph Cardigan

My favorite knit object so far. This lovely and intricate pattern worked out, for once in my knitting life, just as I'd hoped. It fits, it's flattering, it was fun to make. Even my technique was up to par, with only a few minor uglinesses that I won't point out, and will, perhaps, in time, forget myself. Finishing a wool (well, alpaca and silk) cardigan just as summer is getting into gear is perhaps a little ill-timed, but on the other hand, I won't really be the right size for it until next winter anyway.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Pork Roast

with apples, brown rice, salad mix.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Leftover Ribs

with baked sweet potatoes, and sauteed Swiss chard and beet greens. Mmm.

Lamb Chops

quinoa, roasted vegetables. This is meal planning by Madlibs, I know.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Knitting Basket

By happy chance the projects in my knitting basket make a pleasing color palette, I think (though as always the picture is less saturated than the real thing). The basket itself, by the way, is awesome: the Reisenthel market tote. Reisenthel is a German company specializing in light, sturdy, ergonomic containers of various kinds, and they really hit it with this one.


Refried ribs, reheated rice, and roasted vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, and turnips).

Friday, May 2, 2008

Meal in a Bowl

What's better than protein, complex carb, and vegetable side by side on a plate? Why, mixed all together, of course. Last night we had a melange of brown rice, leftover ribs, mei quing cabbage, and spring garlic. Very delicious. We live at the epicenter of good barbecue and always have too much when we get it; I discovered early on that it is just as good, if not better, chopped up later and re-fried.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

When the Cat's Away, Pt. II

Toasted wild-yeast sourdough with stilton, an apple, a leftover chicken-ginger sausage, and leftover roasted vegetables. Nothing could be finer.

Pork Chops

with brown rice and roasted vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, and asparagus. That last is surprisingly amenable to roasting).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thai Chicken Ginger Sausage

with asparagus and corn. The asparagus was from Miss Sue, and although I am no big asparagus fan, even I could appreciate how fresh and good it was. Wasn't the corn pretty?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Scrambled Goose Eggs

with brown rice and salad. Something about the combination of the eggs and rice tasted sublime to me, so I demanded that my spouse surrender his portion as well. Mmmm.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Originally uploaded by tinyloop.

Actually, tomorrow (Sunday) is the magic day, but I'm celebrating all weekend. Check out my cake! Designed by my daughter, not made by me. It was (is) delicious.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

When the Cat's Away

the mice eat whatever they want. I had stir-fried rice, cabbage, mushrooms, and tofu. Yum.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Red Eye

Originally uploaded by tinyloop.

In real life the button is in fact red, but the yarn color is pretty accurate. Perhaps not as sexy as "Worm i' the Bud," but still satisfying. Man, I love me a way to use scrap yarn.

Lamb Chops

with spinach and barley. When I last posted about barley a loyal reader wondered whether I didn't find the flavor of barley a little...muddy. The answer is yes. So last night I played around a little and came up with the following solutions: a) rinse the barley thoroughly before cooking, and b) cook in half chicken stock, half water. Much improved.

Spinach and Feta Sausage

with quinoa and roasted vegetables: orange cauliflower ("Fiestaflower"!), red peppers, and shiitakes.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


of turnip greens and bacon. With baked sweet potatoes. O, baked sweet potatoes: why do I eat anything else.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

"Worm i' the Bud" Brooch

Originally uploaded by tinyloop.

'Member a while back when I said I was thinking about brooches? Here is the first fruit of that idea. It would be hard to overstate how pleased I am with it, and not just because I finally found a use for the snake button I've had for over a decade. You can expect to see a *lot* more in this genre.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Socks for a Patient Husband

My husband, having watched every other family member receive one or more knitted gift, has never once complained about being neglected. So, although I had originally planned these for someone else, they are his.

And are they ever lovely! The pattern is very simple, fits beautifully, and looks wonderful.

Also: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock. It is a glorious thing when a woman and her yarn find each other; I could knit with this elastic, beautiful, glossy yarn for years.

The husband in question is mighty pleased.

Fight Club (1999)

How do I feel about this movie? I love it. Just to prove I'm not dumb I'll note right now that the movie's premise is absurd: it's about a bunch of guys so totally anti-corporate and primal that they want to...look like Brad Pitt! And impress chicks with how good they are in bed! How very punk rock. If you let go of that, though, there is a lot of fun to be had and mostly it's because Brad Pitt never, ever, looked cooler. Right there at the center of a movie all about rejecting consumerism and destroying its major outposts is Pitt, whose major effect on everyone I know who saw the movie was to make them want to hit the gym and go shopping. Whoever did his costumes should have gotten an award. Ed Norton is also, as always, I'm coming to think, a joy to watch. But the real thing is David Fincher, a man with all kinds of visual ideas (and an abiding love of filth and rot) and the smarts to use them well and understand actors at the same time. I'm the only person I know who saw, and liked, "The Game," so deep was my Fincher loyalty at one point. Seeing this movie again reminds me why.

Incidentally, it's also fun to see it knowing the plot twist in advance. I wish I could report that I saw that twist coming a mile away the first time around, but I didn't at all. I never do. I think the only plot twist I ever predicted was in that M. Night Shamalyan movie about the people in the forest surrounded by monsters.

Roasted Vegetables

(turnips, radishes, shiitakes, red peppers, and broccoli rabe) with brown rice and a side of bacon. Have I mentioned that we are members of the Bacon of the Month club?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pointy Egg

Dude, have you ever seen a pointier egg?