Monday, November 30, 2009

it's getting cold in So Cal: leg warmers

truth be told, those of use in Southern California really have it good. now i am not talking gov or the financial situation of our state or most other things (prop H8T anyone??), but in terms of weather-we can't be beat-especially in Winter.
however, if you are a native to the area (like yours truly), Winter is still cold, but we still like to wear our shorts, skirts and other beach/hot weather wear b/c well, Winter in Southern California consists of sunny days mixed with dry-cold nights and mornings. what to do...
in comes the leg warmer. i became a BIG fan of he leg warmer not from rollerskating, but from years ago traveling in the Andies where REAL cold is permafrost- yeah frozen soil. i bought several alpaca legwarmers with cute llamas on them that i wore under my pants and skirts, even slept in them. they were a perfect way to keep that biting chilly wind from creeping up on you. sure you have the occasional "pull-up", but they were the next best thing to being in a "burrito-blanket" while wearing your wears and doing your thang.
over the years, i have taken to busting out the leg warmers in colder weather...maybe it is my age, but i love them-they feel good and i can still wear what i want and be collection has grown and i wanted to post a few things that i have found over the years that i love and can fit most tastes.

(DIY-style, old sweater sleeves from Wiggin' Wasabi)
(these are just like what i bought in Bolivia-peace love and cloth)
(want them now- American Apparel has them too!)(these are a great take on the leg warmer/accessory-Laine Design)
Just today i had my legwarmers on at Long Beach's first Patchwork Show, and i had several compliments of my well-worn, slouchy grey covers...hey if people liked mine, they must be popular!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

a cover in the District Weekly...mucho props for Patchwork Long Beach

(photo by Jennie Warren for the District Weekly)
our little dream-Patchwork has been growing and we recently got the cover of Long Beach fave District Weekly for our upcoming event this Sunday at Marine Park Stadium.

and here are the outtakes:
(nicole working on her knitting prop)

("can someone just tell me what to do")

see you in Long Beach!

For those who are not sure of where to go:

the event will be held at Marine Park Stadium parking lot. The lot is facing the water and next to the Appian Way Bridge. you should see our trademark bright green signs with PATCHWORK logos as you approach the event. For more information see our website or visit our awesome event co-sponsor WE LOVE LONG BEACH.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

book review: Baking with Agave Nectar

i was recently at a friends house when i saw this great book Baking with Agave Nectar. she's letting me borrow it for the next few days where i have been making baked goodies non-stop.
we personally use agave, and lately many have been asking about canning w/ agave (of which i have no idea), but i was really interested in this book because the holidays are quickly approaching and my mother is diabetic...i would love to have her enjoy something without her blood sugar spiking while eating a "hippy" sugar.the book has a few pages introducing agave and the author's (whole food Chef Ania Catalano), personal experience with the product (and like my mother a diabetic). the end of the book contains a good little glossary and resource section, which honestly for how small the book actually is, Catalano really packs a good amount of info. and with over 100 recipes, Baking with Agave Nectar covers a pretty wide selection: vegan, gluten-free, breakfast goodies, cookies, healthy stuff for kids, pies/tarts, even sorbets and sweet sauces. What i love most is that there are a few recipes for crusts! so far i have made a few things- and i like them! that alone makes it well worth the price, especially if you are looking for ways to kick the sugar habit.

here is one recipe from the book:

from, Baking with Agave Nectar by Ania Catalano
  • 1c. oat bran, 1 c flax seed meal, 1c almond meal
  • 1/4 c sesame seeds
  • 1 3/4 c unsweetend applesauce
  • 1c light agave
  • 1 tbsp vanilla, 1 tbsp orange extract
  • 2 1/2 tbsp cinn
  • 1 tsp fresh nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4c canola oil
  • 1 cup currant/raisins (or cranberries)
  • 1 1/2c pecans (or something else!)
heat oven to 300. combine all ingredients except nuts. after add nuts and spread on a baking sheet (w/ oil). bake until slightly golden/1 hr, stir occasionally. remove from oven, add raisins and let cool. lasts 2 months.
PS: there is also a recipe for agave margaritas!-YUM more on that later!
and just in case you were interested in how agave is harvested, see below!

gardening for the small space dweller-Harvest to Home

(awesome window display right?)

i just recently had the pleasure of meeting local garden entrepreneur Mike Saraylian who found me from customer recommendations saying that we should meet.
we instantaneously hit it off- not only being small business owners, OC natives, but have a passion for food and growing things.

(stands are optional, you can have them on the ground)(Mike watering the garden)
Mike owns the business Harvest to Home, a service that brings small hydroponic food gardens to people who either have very little room to grow food, or they lack the proverbial "green thumb". Simply pick which season goods you want to grow and Mike comes by with your little garden installed and you only have to water every few days. after 4 months of eating your bounty, simply return the box or choose the next set of food you want to grow and start again. easy?-YES, affordable?-YES, good for apartments/condos?-YES, eat better?-YES...what are you waiting for?-BEATS ME.
just last week, Mike came in and installed 3 boxes, we are so happy to be selling these wonderful garden gadgets! the best thing is that you only need to water every few days and into this small tube that irrigates your garden...think hydroponics.

if you want to see more, come by the store or visit Mike and his business here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

an interesting Hollywood Farmers' market

NOTE: this was a post from a few weeks ago, but i could not find my camera plug and pix are a must for this one...thank you Chris (jedi master!)

i have been subbing for fellow Master Food Preserver Ernest for the past month and i have made a number of friends. the market is also a shopping destination of several celebrity sightings, which are always fun like: Booger (from Revenge of the Nerds), Gwen Stefani, and Top Chef Season 2 winner Ilan Hall just to name a few. this past weekend was certainly no exception!
as soon as we got there i saw a "just out of bed" in yellow sweatpants Alicia Silverstone who easily blended in with fellow shoppers and bought flowers from the Master Gardener next to me.

(in the yellow pants, making a bouquet)
then, out of the blue, came a personal hero and leading crusader of Slow Food, ALICE WATERS!! she was also at the flower booth, buying a ton of flowers for an upcoming event. what a treat! now Ernest and i met and spoke to her a few months back at a lecture and even gave her jam, i carry her incredible books at the store, this was a big deal to me. i took a photo of her shopping and hoped that we could get a photo later- which i did on her way back (PS she remembered the loquat jam we gave her!)-awesome lady!
next up is a little bit more difficult unless you like HBO shows. this took a little bit to figure out and then i realized that this actor was what i like to call, "one of the hotties from Deadwood" actor Titus Welliver and his Deadwood (and now on LOST-yeah what's up with his character??).
(remember him...Deadwood rocks!)
while at the Farmers' Kitchen, we also saw Brad from The Rachel Zoe Project on Bravo..not too big for me-but he had on some patent leather Converse Hightops that where cute....doesn't seem like a big local foodie guy though.
had a great afternoon talking to people and meeting growers whom i have building relationships with exchanging my preserved goods for incredibly priced produce to can later-trade is going a long way and it is awesome to see it in full swing!
on our way home we visited our friend Felix, who is just moving into his new loft in downtown LA and where i will have a location for preservation classes for those who cannot make the OC trek. let me just say that i am THOROUGHLY JEALOUS of Felix's new base of operations for IV Group- his business that has come up with some amazing brunches in Santa Ana. here are some photos for you to be jealous of too.
(the inside of Felix's loft-awesome huh?)
(soon to be garden)
classes will begin every 1st sunday of the month starting soon-can't wait! more to come...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

CSA cooking: quick radish bites

basket inventory: chard, lettuce, radishes, mandarin oranges, limes, chives, parsley, spring onions, quince, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, basil, macadamia nuts, green beans

if you ever have radishes, this is a great snack/appetizer to is so simple, you will want to have radishes all the time! thank you Avanti Cafe for the inspiration!

1 baguette, sliced (or any toasted bread)
aged cheddar, sliced
radishes sliced

toast the slices with a thin slice of cheese. when light brown, but them on a plate and place a few radish slices on them-wonderful!

this is a perfect small appetizer for a little group of people...the crunchy-peppery mixed with the yummy cheese and bread make this a simple, yet elegant thing to do...enjoy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Patchwork fair: the case of the sads now over

still trying to find my camera cord to upload pictures that will be blog posts (HELLO Alice Waters!) but i wanted to do a quick post of our latest Patchwork event b/c it has meant more to me at this time than ever.

as some of you know i have had a case of the "sads" (aka bummin'-aka depressed). maybe it is the weather, maybe it is the workload, maybe the economy, maybe i need to feel complimented as the saying goes rather than pissed that hard work becomes mimicked in blatant fashion...maybe it is everything in a hard to swallow taquito. even blogging has been something that i dont want to do as much as i love sharing information.
Patchwork Santa Ana, has grown so much over the past few years...this past show has brought me such pleasure not only seeing the record numbers turn out for the event, but really remembering 2 people-an aunt (me) and her niece (nicole of random nicole), sitting in a backyard in Irvine talking of manifesting a dream of her niece to have a craft fair in Orange County of all places.
my niece Nicole is more like a sister. in fact when people finally meet her they are shocked that this person i have talked about is really the same fact we are. only 5 months apart (please ask us for a family graph-this is our running joke!) we have always been raised close to each other and have spent our lives having a connection that is so similar to a dear friend from school. you know: may have not seen for a while, but as soon as you see them, you go back into your normal "way" of how you were back in the day...we just know each other.
our family heritage of OCD and workaholic nature really came to fruition this past sunday when our 5th installment of this dream not only took place, but rocked the kasbah as i like to say it. i may have been running around like a sweaty-dirty-crazy person, but i do it for a dream that has not only enriched and inspired my community and friends but truly makes me believe that when you put your mind to it- dreams really do come true.
(livin' the dream)
the sweaty-dirty-crazy person slept on the floor with her dirty-a** feet for 36 hours in the same clothes, no shower after another successful event-VIVA LA PATCHWORK!
(Mothers Market-a great supporter and friend!)

(peeps checking out local goods-LOVE it!)
PS there are more photos, just ask Nicole, the OC Weekly or some of the many other people who were able to take pix!