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 November, 2010

November 5, 2010

vintage toys + anthro

The new Anthro catalog showed up in the mailbox and while I normally don’t read them (same same same same), I happened to flip through it yesterday morning. And they’ve gone with a super cute vintage toy theme. So now I love their catalogs again!

It’s so f-ing hot here I can’t even imagine planning for Christmas already, though while I was up north I definitely caught the fall/holiday bug. Even though it was warm there too. Something about the bay area always gets me excited for big winter dinners and the planning of festive events.

Happy weekend! We’re going to rearrange the house. Yay.

November 4, 2010

Berkeley, very quickly

I may not have ever expressed how much I love Berkeley. I am deeply in love with it, in many many fairytale like ways. And I’ve never lived there. Just long to. And every fall, before during and after our yearly trip to the Bay, I bring up my favorite topic: when/how will we move to Berkeley. I am a broken record for 3 months of the year. Poor husband. He went to school there and likes it well enough, and isn’t opposed to living there even. It’s just never really worked out.

So you can imagine my joy at being able to spend just 48 glorious hours basking in it’s sunlight and flavors and smells and people. Especially since I didn’t expect to make the trip this year. Though I did think about coming home pretty much every minute. Babies do that to you.

Lunch at Chez Panisse, coffee at the original Peets, Cheeseboard (x 2), Andronicos, Monterrey Market, Gregoire. And it wasn’t nearly enough. I wanted to pack my entire suitcase full of food and abandon my clothes at Becca’s. Instead I crammed as many Cheeseboard rolls and pastries into my purse as humanly possible and called it good enough. Even though everyone knows the Cheeseboard is only really good when it’s fresh.

But the real reason I was there was to meet this little man and help his auntie (my bestie) take care of him and his mama (and her family) for a few short days.

Master Emry. He’s soooo tiny. It’s inexplicable how in 8 months I could have forgotten how tiny new babies are, and how foreign that part of parenthood feels now. But it was awfully sweet holding the little guy. He just sleeps and coos and sleeps. Which is quite lovely and seems so easy. What was all the fuss about!!

But then look who was waiting for me when I got home yesterday:

I think he got older while I was away. Definitely cuter. Probably older.

So happy to have been in one of my favorite places. So happy to be back in our little nest.

November 3, 2010

Coconut quinoa with lemongrass and lime

I had a few requests for the quinoa recipe I concocted last week and bragged about on twitter. It is quite quite delicious. Especially if you’re a coconut fan. I’ve been soooooooo into coconut as of late. It started in pregnancy for sure, when the only thing I ever wanted for dinner was Thai coconut soup. But it’s extended/been reinvigorated while making baby food, as I’ve decided coconut is the perfect addition to most things. And since it’s so delicious, all I have left to photograph from my second batch are the scraps, but you get the idea.

This recipe is so simple. Really it doesn’t need a recipe as much as a list of ingredients, but in case you’re unfamiliar with quinoa itself, here’s the step by step.

Coconut quinoa with lemongrass and lime

2 cups quinoa (I’m showing a mix of white and black, but I really prefer all white)
1 can coconut milk
2 cups of water (or enough to bring the volume up to 4 cups of liquid
4 kaffir lime leaves (see note that follows)
one stalk of lemongrass, cut into a few chunks
4 or 5 coins of fresh ginger
juice of one lime

Bring coconut milk, water, lime leaves, lemongrass, ginger, and a pinch of salt to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes so the flavors have a chance to blend a bit. Add quinoa and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the grains pop open and the liquid is mostly absorbed.

Dump quinoa into a colander and let it cool over the sink.

If you’re in a rush you can always skip the cooling, but I find that heat and citrus are not always a good match. Once the quinoa is cool, mix in lime juice and salt to taste. That’s it! Easy breezy.

Optional additions include loads of chopped fresh cilantro (highly recommended), peas, lightly cooked cubes of tofu, maybe some toasted cashews, etc.

Notes on ingredients:

The lime leaves really truly are the essence of this dish. I buy mine at the farmer’s market from one particular farm, but they’re available on ebay and Amazon (of all places!). You can buy a bunch and store them in a jar in the freezer for long long periods of time. They’re delicious in stir frys too.

And if you’re into Thai/asian cooking, consider planting a lemongrass plant! It will grow like a weed and you’ll always have some on hand. Alternately, you can buy a bunch from the store or the farmer’s market and freeze it like you would the lime leaves.

November 2, 2010

Also this weekend

Mad preparations for a few days away. Make food for baby, food for Brock. Wash diapers, pack clothes, kiss baby an additional 6 million times.

The farmer’s market by our house had a cute Dia de los Muertos altar set up. It’s such a lovely, festive tradition.

We had breakfast at The Curious Palate. Which was quite delicious. They marinate their own artichoke hearts, people. And they are so good. My veggie omelet was one of the best I’ve had: roasted tomatoes, spinach, said artichoke hearts, sundried olives, gruyere. Yum.

I made two more sets of bean bags. One for a baby who just arrived, and one for a baby who will be here next month.

And, because I had nothing else to do before I left town (HAAAA), I decided on Sunday that I HAD to paint the hallway and hang the mirror that’s been leaning against the wall for the last 6-7 years. It was becoming a major problem with the crawling baby. He loves to kiss himself in the mirror.

November 1, 2010


So, I kind of dropped the ball on my baby’s first Halloween. But we had a fun, festive, fally weekend anyway. The light was gorgeous, we had a torrential rainstorm Friday night, followed by perfect clear skies the rest of the weekend. Dashiell entertained himself Sunday morning by taking every single piece of candy out of our bowl, ready by the door for trick-or-treaters. Do you think people would mind that each piece passed through his mouth? Nah.

And later, he was a lion. For about 10 minutes.

I bought the hat on Etsy, but it was a little meh when it arrived. So I added some extra yarn to the mane to make it fluffier. And instead of sewing him a perfect little lion jumpsuit (like a devoted mother would have done), he was supposed to wear brown pants, but both pairs were dirty. So white leggings had to do. Poor guy.

Hey, at least we got the “baby’s first Halloween” pictures! And I’m going to admit, it was rather satisfying in the end to dress him up like a little creature. We obviously thought he was the cutest little guy in the history of Halloween.