I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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Archive for June, 2009

June 12, 2009

champagne + soup for weekend indulgence

I just discovered this champagne/sparkling wine.

I’m thinking it might make a delightful addition to Melanie’s bridal shower. Perhaps you’ve had it before? I’m not a reliable connoisseur of the bubbly, but I’m pretty into this Sofia Blanc De Blancs. It’s a little sweet and perfectly floral. And goes nicely with spicy summer squash soup.

Have a positively beautiful weekend. I can’t wait to get my hands dirty out back.

June 10, 2009

sprouted kitchen


I would like to live in this blog. Actually I would like to live in many blogs, but this one is looking very inviting at the moment.

Sprouted Kitchen (good name).

via We Met in a Bar

June 10, 2009

more preparation

But not for the party. This is really important preparation and it involves a new purchase of the skirted sort.

See we’re going to Nantucket for 4th of July weekend. Which is very very exciting for someone from the other coast. I’ve never been and it seems like if you were to go, 4th of July weekend would be like the jackpot for absorbing the Nantucket vibe. Or not, but I’m going to get excited about it anyway.

I’m fairly certain that no one would expect me to go on this little trip without a new swimsuit at the very least. And it would need to be a special swimsuit. One that feels old-timey? Not a neon string bikini, (which I’ve noticed is making a comeback). I found the one I want. Actually, it’s more like a desperate need.

SKIRT!!!!! I tried it on a few weekends ago but I’ve been resisting the purchase. However, I keep visiting it online which I think tells me that I really do want it and probably in fact deserve it for practicing such good delay of gratification tactics.

It is also nice for those of us who may be feeling slightly less svelte than 7 months ago at the peak of our fitness… which would be our wedding. We are now old and married and need something to cover our thighs. Anyone with me?

Buri Suit from Anthro

Nantucket pic from flickr.

June 9, 2009

preparing and general puttering

Sorting through my linen closet in search of table cloths for the upcoming party, I found a little stack of handmade aprons from my great grandma. I love the old details. My mom’s side of the family was an impressive DIY group, and truly I think the inspiration for my long-standing interest in kitchen crafts and homemade things.

The “winning hearts and minds cake” from A Homemade Life. It’s now safely in the the freezer waiting. I really really hope it keeps as beautifully as Molly says.

I’m slightly appalled that I actually made something requiring three bottles of food coloring, but red velvet cupcakes seemed like such a fine, whimsical addition to my dessert spread. These are also stacked in the freezer for the next 2 weeks. I’m thinking coconut cream cheese frosting. Anyone have any better suggestions?

(Cupcake papers from Bake it Pretty. You will die if you haven’t been to this site yet).

And fresh radishes. It’s amazing how much spicier they are when they come from your own garden. I don’t think I can ever go back. Luckily they grow super fast so if you keep reseeding, you’ll always have them at the ready. I made a really delicious salad of radish, avocado, cilantro and lime on Sunday. I must make it again and share.

June 5, 2009

quiet time menu planning

Hi. I just finished cleaning out the chicken coop. For some reason I didn’t figure this in to the whole ‘backyard chickens’ thing. What fun.

And this afternoon I’m spending some quality time pouring over recipes for Melanie’s shower. It is UM close. Like only 2 more planning weekends.

Cookbooks are stacked up on the couch waiting for me to finish puttering around the backyard and picking up the house. I find it impossible to properly relax when my space is not in order. Is that weird? Sometimes I wish I could just let things be, but I cannot. Starting the weekend messy is not my thing.

Does anyone else steal menus from restaurants and stash them between the pages of your favorite cookbooks? I am shameless about it. As in when the waiter takes our order and attempts to collect our menus I always say, OH actually I think I’ll keep one in case we want to order something else. And then the moment she turns her back I stuff it in my purse.


These are from AOC, Boulette’s Larder (where I’d be perfectly happy living out my days), and Osteria Mozza.

I only take them if they appear of the temporary sort, I should mention. I’m not THAT bad.

Happy weekend you all.

June 3, 2009

i’ve fallen off the wagon

I can go months without opening ebay. Months. I practically forget it’s there. Really. But then it’s like once you start with the searching and clicking and watching and bidding, things go down hill v. v. quickly.

It’s been a while ebay, but you are back in my life. And it’s not good. It started with a simple search for wallpaper to line Melanie’s invite envelopes. And now I am deep in the vortex.

I’m in desperate need of a vintage french grain sack to hang in my kitchen. (or lentil sack. that would work too). And you can always use a midcentury end table. Plus we ruuullllly need a new lamp for our bedroom. That one is super cute but there are already 19 bids… don’t these people understand the last minute sneak attack??? They are driving the price up for everyone.

French straw ticking? Surely I will need a length of such cloth at some point in my life.

2 of my current favorite sellers:

Antique Vintage European Textiles

June 2, 2009

Roasted beets in their (arguably) finest hour

Beet fans, get ready. This is one of my standby, time tested, crowd pleasing recipes that I’ve really been meaning to post since I started this blog. It seems like every time I’ve made it in the last year or so it’s already been dark in the kitchen, which means no photos good enough for the blogosphere. I hope it proves worth the wait.

Salad of roasted beets with avocado, mint + lime

(adapted from AXE (ah-shay) restaurant in Venice).

The preparation of this is really simple. The only time consuming part is the roasting and peeling of the beets, but I can assure you that temporarily stained finger tips are a minor and worthwhile inconvenience for such a delicious dish. And the recipe (like all of mine) is very loose.

you’ll need:

2 bunches small to medium size beets. (Mixed varieties are great. In this version I used red and chiogga.)

3 limes

1 large, ripe avocado (but not too ripe, you want it to hold it’s own in the salad)

1 large handful of fresh mint leaves

1 medium – large shallot

good quality olive oil

sea salt


Heat oven to 400.

Wash and trim beets. Wrap each in a jacket of aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Pop the beets into the oven and roast for ~30 minutes. When they’re ready, you should be able to easily slide a paring knife through the foil and into the center of the largest of your beets. When the beets are done, remove them from the oven and let them rest until their are warm, but you’re able to handle them.

While the beets are cooling, prep the rest of your ingredients. Peel and mince the shallot, (you should have about 1/4 cup or so). Wash and prepare the mint leaves in a chiffonade (long, thin strips). Pit and slice your avo into bit size pieces. I usually leave this until just before mixing the salad together so the avo doesn’t get brown. Juice the limes.

Now unwrap the beets and slide the skins off. They should come off very easily. Slice the beets into even, bite size chunks and/or wedges. In a large-ish bowl, toss the beets with a pour of olive oil, a little salt and pepper. They should taste good on their own at this point. Now add the lime juice (a bit at a time so you can control how limey you like your salad), the mint, the shallot and the avocado. You might want to add a little more oil at this point, depending on your personal preference. Mix everything well but gently. You don’t want to smash your lovely pieces of avocado. Taste. You might find that you need more salt, more lime, or more mint.

And, yep, that’s it. So delicious. I like to serve this with a pile of mixed greens and some yummy bread for lunch, but it also makes a beautiful summer dinner.

If you really want the flavors to come together, consider making the entire dish sans avocado the day before you want to serve it. Keep it in the fridge and then add the avocado when you’re ready to serve. Something about a night spent together makes the lime and mint really come together.

Doesn’t it look like a pile of jewels? I love beets.

June 1, 2009

bits from the weekend

It’s a sadly dreary monday this morning (um, summer? where art thou?), kind of rainy and grey and not at all the way I like to start the week. I also have to report to jury duty. Which I suppose is kind of perfect, in that monday sort of way. Though I do intend to march into the funny little waiting room and fill out the yellow slip of paper declaring my need for postponement. Again.

So instead of dwelling on such inconveniences as returning to work and fulfilling my civic duty, I will share some weekend shots. It was also grey, and fast, but moderately productive and always satisfying.

Thinning breakfast radishes. Always sad.

But less so when you get to feed the seedlings to your chickens. (I swear I will get tired of posting on the chickens one day).

4 eggs from 4 chickens… we sold the impossibly loud white one on craigslist on Saturday. Love craigslist.

Burgundy okra babies giving it a go in California. Everything grows in California, right?

Hung the lights for Melanie’s shower. T-minus 3 weeks. Must start serious menu planning this week.

Pretty dried protea family flowers from last month. Love that they keep looking lovely even when you forget to refill their water for weeks.

And jewel-y roasted beets. Truly one of the most delicious of all simple foods.

There now. Maybe monday won’t be so bad.