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 May, 2011

May 31, 2011

the bunting winner

Thank you so much, everyone who entered my little giveaway! I went with a totally random selection because it would have been impossible to subjectively choose a winner. And she is:

Yay! Liz! She’s expecting her first baby in July and the gender will be a surprise. I will be emailing you today (probably this evening, realistically) to get your address so I can put these little flags in the mail. Good luck with the last few weeks of your pregnancy!

And the rest of you who are looking for something cute to decorate your nurseries, try these:

Hip Hooray EcoGarlands
Fabric wall decals
A tiny paper flag garland
Super sweet bunting
vintage hankie banner and felt dots garland from M•O•M

May 27, 2011

Some inspiration for summer

Deja sent me a link to this post on the Bon Appetit blog. (Which I didn’t know existed, but I like. Along with their new website. Very nice BA!)

Every year I think I’m going to do this and I don’t. BUT THIS IS THE YEAR!!

infused vodka from bon appetit

Considering it’s the official start to summer this weekend (huge tease), it’s time to start planning for summer parties. I’m thinking most weekends should look like this amazing birthday party we’re featuring on 100 Layer Cake today. It has me very very desperate for warm nights and cafe lights and communal meals.

Let’s all have a beautiful long weekend, and hopefully at least some of us are partaking in something similar. We’ll be packing up our house for the painters.

Oh! And don’t forget today is the last day to enter my lil giveaway for the bunting flags. I’m going to have to do a random pick, ladies. There are too many sweet entries.

May 25, 2011

The Market opening

We popped in to check out The Market on Saturday morning. I’ll admit, I had VERY high expectations and as we all know, that never ends well. It was cute and it’s exciting to have something like this in the ‘hood. But a so cal Ferry Building it is not.

I do love that they’re landscaping with edibles. Very cute touch. And the wine bar/gift shop is very great (bonus points for having baby stuff!). The new Curious Palate space is really lovely, it’s exciting to have a sweet cooking school in the mix, and a checkered-cloth, handmade pasta italian spot, but by far the most delicious bit was the Artisanal LA pop-up shop. Le Bon Garçon? Amazing caramels. I don’t even really like caramels and these were so divine I bought and ate an entire bag.

I’m sure we’ll be back often and all, but they clearly should have consulted me when selecting their purveyors! Or at least should have more of them. It does seem a bit sparse. I wanted there to be artisanal pickles and woodfired flatbread and inventive pastries, and Peets coffee, and some sort of awesome taco bar, and… I don’t know. I was picturing (unrealistically) something like Slow Food Nation. Sigh, like I said, high expectations can only end in great big crocodile tears.

All the same, props to Santa Monica for taking the plunge with something so lovely in spirit!

May 24, 2011

a giveaway for a nursery

The baby kind of nursery, not the plant kind. We’re having the house painted next week, which means we effectively have to move out for a few days. Which is like uuugggghhh. Everything off the walls, removed from countertops, etc. And it’s turned into a rather satisfying bought of spring cleaning for moi.

I’m selling things on craigslist, giving things away, even having a garage sale on Saturday. It’s pretty awesome. One thing I’m ready to part with, but would like to see in a good home, is the strand of bunting I made for Dashiell’s room before he was born.

It’s served us well but now that Dashiell is such a big, mature guy I think he might need some updated decor. More manly and suitable for a 15 month old.

Plus I figured one of you might love some patterned flags to decorate your bebe’s room? They’re unisex, so as long as you don’t mind oranges and blues and browns it should work no matter who’s in there.

Leave a comment by the end of the week and I’ll announce a winner on Monday. Hooray! I do hope one of you wants it.

May 23, 2011

Paintings by Holly Farrell

I bumped into the beautiful work of Holly Farrell over the weekend. Her still life paintings are so lovely I thought you might enjoy them too:

They have such a nice vintage feel, don’t they?

via Design Mom

May 19, 2011

garden prints

I’m feeling very into the backyard right now, as you can probably tell. These garden prints from Red Cruiser on Etsy would be so perfect in a mudroom, or flower-arranging room (like Martha has), or just near the back door so they can remind you what you have waiting outside.

The strawberries and cream print… obviously perfect for the kitchen. And the little seed saver envelopes are just super cute.

May 18, 2011

pretty strawberry-colored cake

I have to admit, in general I find the trend of rainbow-colored baked goods kind of disgusting. They are a bit cute, but honestly who wants to eat that much dye? And also, I think I’ve seen about 300 too many on Pinterest at this point. (Not to say that I don’t appreciate the ingenuity of the first few on the internet, of course.)

HOWEVER. The strawberry cake from Bertha’s Kitchen in Charleston in this month’s Saveur does appeal to my love of monochromatic things:

I kind of love it. Enough so that I *might* even consider making one if the occasion arose. I’m a waffler, what can I say.

Also, for the record, these variations (here and here) are awfully pretty.

May 17, 2011

Spring in the garden

We haven’t had a garden update in a long while. Guess why? From about November to March I was growing mostly weeds. Perfect example of things that don’t get done in my life! But I feel pretty good this year considering most of the time I’m barely planting by the middle of May. And this year I’m already harvesting. Mostly lettuce, but you know, it’s something.

This is the first time I’ve actually grown heads of lettuce. It’s so fantastic! The freckles up there are huge, just like in glossy photos of local food propaganda. And I swear I only planted them 2 weeks ago. The problem is that I now have like 10 heads of lettuce that are ready to eat, like now. We eat a lot of salad, but srsly. Not that much.

Also coming in nicely: herbs, wild arugula, berries, kale, peas, 4 kinds of chiles/peppers, summer squash, winter dumpling squash, cucumbers, beans, baby lima beans (on recommendation from Ms. Goin, natch!), grapes, umm. What else? I decided not to plant tomatoes this year. They’re never as good as those from the farmer’s market so I figure why compete with experts, you know?

And I’m desperately trying to grow okra but it’s having a rough time getting past the seedling stage. I’m out there every morning wiping aphids off the new growth with my bare fingers. Any suggestions? Home grown okra sounds so summery. And I want to pickle it.

Who else has been busy in the dirt? I want to see other people’s gardens.

May 16, 2011

Seaside and a wedding

Very tardy with these, I’m well aware. But here they are, finally. Seaside is, like all of you said, beautiful. It’s such a perfect family vacation town. Tiny, next to the beach, has a coffee shop, a farmer’s market, a fresh juice trailer, and bikes for rent. What more do you need, really?

I had no idea how pretty that part of Florida was. It’s really gorgeous, pine trees and white sand and everything. The only minor issue… I managed to get home with approximately zero photos of the cute town and gorgeous landscape. Not even one of the beach. OOOPS. But I have a few of the wedding festivities that I thought I’d share anyway. Most of the photos from the weekend ended up being of friends and babies. But here are a few of the celebration.

I assume you’ve seen the video of the little guy in action?

Isn’t Deja’s dress so cute?? Stripes!

Thank you all so much for your recommendations! We put them to good use and definitely wished we would have stayed an extra week. Perhaps we’ll be back for another visit.

May 11, 2011

Fava bean purée

Apologies for the sporadic posting as of late. Life is just requiring a bit more attention at the moment. And we’re all sick over here, thanks to plane travel and such. Blah.

There’s still a few weeks, maybe a month, left of fava bean season and I urge you very strongly to hunt them down and make this recipe. It will be so worth it, I swear. Fava beans are like baby artichokes in that they seem fussy and complicated, but like artichokes they’re actually very easy, if a bit time consuming.

I’ve actually never made the complete recipe, as directed by Ms. Goin, with the oil- cured olives and parsley and such. But I’m sure it would be magnificent. The simple version is quite decadent tasting on it’s own so if you’d like to abandon the finishing touches, I’m sure you won’t miss a thing. As you can see in my pic, we ate it on rustic toast with a bit of feta, chives, and fennel tips. But I do plan to try the olive and feta salad too.

Fava bean purée
from Sunday Suppers at Lucques, again.

for the purée
2 1/2 pounds fava beans in the pod
1 smallish sprig of rosemary
1 chile de arbol, dried (or other if you don’t have)
1/2 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 c olive oil

Prepare the favas (you can do this in the morning before you make the purée, or a day ahead even): Remove beans from the pods. I recommend doing this while you’re doing something else. Like watching TV or a movie, or feeding the baby dinner. It’s a bit tedious and does not require your full attention.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the beans in the pods and blanch for ~2 minutes. Drain the beans in a colander and cool them with ice water, then slip them out of their outer shells with your fingers.

Heat a medium heavy-bottomed saute pan over low heat. Add the olive oil, the rosemary spring and the chile. To be honest I think 3/4 c is a little heavy handed, so you could consider cutting it down a bit. Sizzle the rosemary and chile for a few minutes, then add the minced garlic. Cook the garlic for another minute, then add the favas, 3/4 teaspoon of sea salt and a few grinds of pepper. Simmer the beans for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until they’re tender. Strain the beans, reserving the oil. Discard the rosemary and chile, then transfer the beans to a food processor and purée until smooth. Adding a bit more of the reserved oil if need be. Squeeze in a bit of lemon and taste for seasoning. At this point you can add a bit more oil or a bit more salt and pepper, depending on your preference.

To finish:
1/2 cup pitted, cured olives, sliced in half
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
1/4 french feta
more lemon

Toss the olives and parsley with a drizzle of olive oil. Gently add the french feta and a squeeze of lemon, plus a bit of salt and pepper.

Spoon the purée into the center of a plate. Lay the salad over the top, and serve with garlic-rubbed slices of toasted baguette.

Or just eat it by the spoonful, or with little crusts of bread. I bet this would make a most amazing soup, if thinned out with some stock. Have I convinced you all to buy the book yet? If you need more convincing, here’s the recipe for that amazing beet salad I posted a picture months ago. I realized I forgot to tell you that Melanie had posted it. It’s divine.