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 October, 2010

October 19, 2010

Fall vegetable soup with wild rice and charmoula

This is a magical recipe. It is. It’s from my friend Ami, who made it up after we (myself, Ami, and Melanie) had a version of this soup at Gjelina for lunch months ago. I’ve made it 3 times so far, with all sorts of different vegetable combos and it’s always divine.

This version is for fall (the original was more springy), but I’m sure you could replace the kale and squash with nearly anything you have on hand. And the wild rice could be substituted with farro or another grain you prefer. I’ve added chickpeas too with glorious results, but didn’t have any ready this time around.

Before I start the recipe. Let’s talk about Ami for a second. She’s a whiz in the kitchen. And she makes the most delicious-sounding food for her daughter Lila, who just had her first birthday. I have a not-at-all-secret plan to get her to start a blog about feeding her family. In fact, we even have a date for Dashiell and I to drop in and set it up for her.

I’m thinking she could be looking at a book deal if she plays her blogging right. More on that as it progresses, but once you try this soup, you will find yourself squarely in the pro-Ami-food-blog camp. It’s delicious over here, I tell you.

Fall vegetable soup with wild rice and charmoula

1 cup of wild rice, cooked
1 pound crimini mushrooms (or maybe ¾ pound?), roughly chopped
1 large carrot, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small kabocha (or butternut) squash: cubed, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted
2 bunches tuscan kale: deribbed and cut/torn into strips
1 cup (approx) of charmoula (recipe follows)
1 cup of white wine or dry vermouth
8-10 cups homemade vegetable stock or water (or a combo)

Charmoula (all amounts approximate, but you can see the original recipe here.)

1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 ¼ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup parsley
juice of ½ a large lemon
1 tablespoon paprika (maybe 1.5 tbsp??)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
½ cup olive oil

Before you start, make sure the rice, squash and charmoula are prepared.

Sautee onions, shallots, and garlic in oil or butter (with a pinch of salt) until translucent. Toss in carrots and sautee for a few minutes. Put a lid on and let sweat for about five minutes. Add the mushrooms and let them cook until they release their juices. Add a bit more salt so the mixture is tasty. Throw in the wine, half of the charmoula, the rice, some salt and enough stock or water to make it look like soup. You can start with 8 cups, but you might need to go to 10 so there’s enough broth for leftovers. Cook for ten or fifteen minutes. Add more water/stock if necessary. Add the roasted squash and strips of kale. And let it cook for a few minutes longer until the kale is soft.

Once everything is cooked, add the rest of the charmoula. Cook for a minute so the flavors mix. Add more water if necessary. Taste and adjust seasonings, add salt/pepper, etc.

Garnish with parmesean. Maybe a bit more chopped cilantro. Yum.

October 18, 2010

Giveaway! The XX

This is a momentous day, you guys. My first giveaway. And it’s a pretty good one, if you ask me. Remember I posted about my newfound love for the XX a while back?

Well the nice peeps at XL Recordings offered to let me give an XX album to 6 of my readers. WHOA!!! Very exciting. Some of you probably already have it, but if you don’t, I swear swear swear it’s excellent and you will love it to pieces. It’s a perfect soundtrack for all sorts of social and non-social engagements… like cocktail parties, driving, working, making out, and the like.

So! In honor of launching my new blog (what timing!), let’s give some sh*t away!

Leave a comment by Thursday eve and I’ll randomly pick 6 winners and announce them on Friday. And if you don’t happen to win, you can always buy it in Amazon.

**Comments/Giveaway closed! I’ll announce the winners tmo morn. Thanks for entering everyone!

October 15, 2010

Baby bean bags

FIRSTLY, you can subscribe to my feed now. I hope. There’s a little icon in the right column for you reader peeps. Or you can just click here. (Pls. let me know if you still have problems!)

Next, I finally got around to making a little set of those bean bags I bought from M•O•M for Dashiell, for a friend’s baby. Born in June. I’m a wee bit behind.

They’re really pretty easy to make. Little squares, sewn into bags and filled with lentils.

They are so perfect for tiny hands learning to grab and squeeze and toss. And such a great way to use pretty fabric scraps. I think they’re going to be my go-to present for new mamas.

Let’s all go on and enjoy the weekend now, shall we?

October 14, 2010

Paloma’s Nest holiday

I’m a little scared to be actually posting about holiday stuff already. But I do love Paloma’s Nest. Like A LOT. And fairly certain we will need a little Dashiell ornament for our tree this year, to match the one from our wedding. (Side note: now that we have a rocking chair, we do not have room for a tree. Should be an interesting decor challenge.)

When I was little, I always loved unwrapping my baby ornament at Christmas and picking the perfect place on our tree. Which means I must spend the next month finding the perfect one for Dashiell.

Look what PN has in store for us this year:

Custom letter garland!

Gift tags.

Animal ornies

Tiny initials.

And little buttons for your handmade gifts.

Plus lots more. Whichdoibuy whichdoibuy whichdoibuy.

October 13, 2010

Recent goodies on the internet

So, I’m back. New blog for me! So satisfying.

100LC is still not finished. We had an especially obnoxious hack into our blog and new site, which has set us back yet again. Hopefully that’s been resolved. And hopefully we’re inching closer to launch. But in the meantime, there have been lots of nice things floating around the internet while I’ve been not blogging.


This nursery in Covet Garden. How great are those tightly grouped poofs! (via unruly things).

Handcrafted Modern: At Home with Midcentury Designers. Yummm. (photo by Leslie Williamson)

Amanda’s thoroughly amazing list of must-have children’s books on Peonies & Polaroids. Grouped by age. For Littles, Tiniest Littles, and the Slightly Bigger.

Fall, savory muffins on 101 Cookbooks. From an indie vegetarian cookbook, Martha Goes Green. It’s published in Melbourne by a little group of designers, which had me dreaming of all the amazing meals we had while we were over there. And reminded me of some of the things I wanted to try to recreate. Perhaps I will post some food-related honeymoon pics. I never got around to doing that. Hmm.

This super cute invite spotted on seesaw designs.

And Pintrest. Have you heard of it? I’m in love.

October 13, 2010

Something new

Hi. So, how about you all head over to my new little piece of the internet… my shiny new blog. Hooray!

I wasn’t actually intending to launch it yet. But while I was waiting for some things to be fixed I imported all my old posts, recategorized everything, and then realized that if I keep posting over here, I’ll have to go through that whole process again. Which was really more than I could take. So while it’s not 100% perfect, and I’m still waiting on a few things, let’s just forget perfection and head over there from now on. It will be fun, I promise.

And if you most loveliest readers who actually link to me wouldn’t mind, could you update your blogroll with my new URL?

Same goes for you all who use google reader and such. I think you probably have to update that as well.

Thanks for coming over!

October 6, 2010

mini break

Hi Hi. Taking a break this week from posting. We’re desperately trying to launch 100 Layer Cake‘s new site and I kind of need to focus on that at the moment. You can have this photo of Dashiell by Modern Kids Photo at the Heath Craft Bazaar to tide you over. Because I don’t have anything else to post and I obviously think it’s darling.

Pls pls understand? And come back next week.

See you then.

October 1, 2010

Some Etsy for Friday

Trolling Etsy never ends well. Yesterday I got lost and came up with a few nice things I thought I might share.

Pretty, simple embroidery from The Merriweather Council, (perhaps good baby girl decor?):

And Miniature Rhino now makes constellations! How cute.


Green enamel

and rustic yellow earthenware. I would love this for mixing things.

An old wooden tote:

would make such a pretty vessel for flowers at a party.

A fan cage:

Makes such a pretty display for air plants, doesn’t it? On the right wall, in the right grouping, this would look excellent.


Perfect, pale.

And milkaLOOM is now making

pillows and table runners. Mmm. Table runner.

I could go on. And on. Forever.

Happy weekend. Maybe it will be fall by Monday?