Wednesday, July 28, 2010

CSA cooking: cucumber-basil mojitos

basket inventory: lettuce (2 kinds), oranges, carrots, grapefruit,  limes (YES!), cucumbers, basil, strawberries, green beans, watermelon, squash

(basically this and a few more items)

so it is Summer and what better way to embrace it than with a cool and refreshing drink made from the cool cucumber.  lots of high-end eateries are making cucumber drinks, spare the $10/drink price tag and make your own for $10/gallon!  typically, mojitos are made with mint-we didnt have any, so i thought of the next logical thing we had-basil!  it was actually pretty good and i made it recently for a canning class at the house.

(serves 4-5 drinks)
  • 1 c cucumbers, chopped (i like to have them pretty well chilled)
  • 1/4 c agave nectar (sugar will work too, but agave mixes so much better!)
  • 1/4 c fresh lime juice
  • 4-5 basil leaves (you can add more depending on the type, but start small them add more)
  • 2 c ice cold water
  • 1 c sparkling water (or you can omit the agave and add ginger ale or some other sweetened seltzery bev)
  • 3/4-1c rum (i tend to add a lot of ice so i add more rum)
  • garnishes: sliced cucs, basil, limes (have a little of each to help people balance the flavors)
blend the cucs with the chilled water well and strain to get the chunky stuff out, pour into a pitcher.
muddle the basil and a little agave and lime juice well. pour into the cuc pitcher and add the rest of the ingredients and mix well, adjust.  
fill glasses with ice, pour into cup and garnish-enjoy!

Monday, July 26, 2010

cleaning the tub-what works

so with everything else that is going on, we still have to do regular house-stuff...the one thing i normally argue about is the dang tub...who wants to clean it-yeah, not me!
Santa Ana has some serious hard-water and "OCD-delilah" wants it UBER-clean, military-style to be exact. only problem is that when you want to get rid of the "gunky" stuff, you might have to resort to foul smelling you really want that going into our water-no thank you!
here are some of the things i use to have a happy, healthy and above CLEAN tub:
Ecover: LOVE this company-nothing beats them, their limescale remover is the best thing out and really does work.

scrubbing items: seriously and old toothbrush does the trick-it gets the small spots and you are recycling! i also use walnut sponges from Natural Value...we usually sell them and i must say people order them by the case-they are that good!

ZIP-IT: use this regularly this cheap and tiny gizmo gets the gross stuff that can cause a serious drain problem before it event thinks of happening. SO WORTH the few bucks (we sell em too but so does your local hardware store).

AFM Safecoat: cannot say enough about this pioneering company that was one of the first to create low/zero-odor products-get their grout sealer- it will help if the grout wasn't sealed before and can save you scrub time.

Cream Scrubs: Ecover makes some great cream scrubs that are great for the tub itself...or make it yourself.  here's a great recipe from Natural Home Magazine (love!)
  • 1 cup baking soda, in a medium sized mixing bowl
  • 1/2 cup liquid castile soap
  • 5-10 drops of antibacterial essential oil, such as lavender, tea tree or rosemary 
  • mix everything until it makes a nice paste, make a bunch for later and use water to re-hydrate the mixture
PS: a little spray bottle of water and tea tree oil is great to freshen the tub and to keep it anti fungal.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Makin' Pie-SPECIAL PIE CLASS IN LA with Evan Kleiman and me!

a few weeks ago i talked about my class for culinary "mera-mera" Evan Kleiman at the house-hot damn the lady is great!  Evan, as those who are familiar with her/her show (PS if you don't-you need to download that shiz on your MP3 ASAP), is a big-time pie chica, starting last year, she has been on the make for pie everything...the woman has made pie a everyday last Summer-talk about skillz!

(this time it will be peaches, nectarines and apricots!)

well, in the spirit of her Pie-A-Day Summer, on July 31st, Evan Kleiman and i will be teaching a class at beloved Angeli Caffe on pies. know how to make the BEST ever crust EVER from the chica-with-the-mostest and learn how to can the filling (make and take it home y'all) so you can make it for future bragging rights...because, believe me-you do NOT want to miss this.

(the location-Angeli Caffe)

(mera-mera Evan Kleiman)

(woman in action)

space is limited to 15 people so you must RSVP fast.  students will take home their own pie filling, eat samples and maybe a little surprise from yours truly too!

Join KCRW Good Food host and Angeli Caffe owner Evan Kleiman for a special workshop celebrating the beloved pie! A toast to Kleiman’s popular Pie-A-Day Summer series, she alongside Master Food Preserver Delilah Snell will teach how to make the tastiest pie to eat now or to savor later.
Held at Angeli Caffe, the workshop will start with a mouth-watering tutorial on the perfect pie crust, then a hands-on canning session of summer stone-fruits pie filling. Students will learn the art of home-food preservation and take home their own pie filling. Recipes and samples will be included-not to be missed!
$100 per person
Saturday, July 31st, 11-1:30PM
Angeli Caffe: 7274 Melrose
to register email or call Delilah Snell

the 127 yard sale: here we come!

finally got me a ticket for the 127 yard sale.
if you haven't heard of it or watched a Fine Living Network/HGTV show during August, the 127 yard sale  is the largest yard sale in the US.
how large??  how about over 600 miles large-this thing is from Alabama to Michigan (even longer than last year!), don't even try to challenge it-this one has you beat!

(just a blurry map of all the treasures that will be found!)

last year, i braved the heat, humidity and crowds with my mom.  we flew to Birmingham AL and started where the the route starts in Gadsden, AL (note: finding the actual start is not as easy as it sounds!)...we drove over 300 miles to Lexington, KY and learned a lot along the way (like you dont need to drive that much of the route for starters),  this year, we are planning something a little different-i also have some tips and some things to look out for b/c i am a little more organized this time
-staying in places with internet-checking first to see if they have it (dont assume)
-realizing that you may not have an ice cold beer at the end of the day so stock up before hand and bring it with you
- make a list of what you might be looking for and be focused
-make sure you download a boat-load of good radio-cause you might not like what you hear

This year, i am meeting my man who is driving from CA in a Yukon where we will get a trailer. knowing that i had the best deals in Kentucky and Tennessee i am flying into Louisville and from there we will head to Frankfort where we will head south to Chattanooga- our stops include:
Frankfort, KY
Danville, KY
Crossville, TN (this is going to be a long haul day)
Chattanooga, TN

Special note: if you are thinking about making this trip, please, please call to see if there are available rooms where you plan to spend the night-RESERVE the room!!  several of the smaller towns we wanted to stay in (like the Jordan Motel in Jamestown) were sold out...some places didnt have a single room in town available-save yourself the 50 mile detour and reserve one NOW or just stay in bigger cities and dont travel as far.

this year, i will be bring a few different cameras to take a collection of pictures of the awesome signs that make up this route.  i will be posting some of them on my facebook page when i get a chance.
any suggestions of what to look for??

Thursday, July 22, 2010

IKEA goodness

love me some IKEA.  as far as big-box retailers, they seem to be the best one out there-they treat the employees pretty well, quit on the formaldehyde years ago, recycle and were one of the first big-guys that started charging for bags (should have been $1 though, not $0.05).  i always suggest my customers to go there if on a tight budget (just dont over-do it, too much IKEA is well, too much IKEA-you gotta mix it with other stuff).
when i first opened the store and was doing a majority of the build-out (about 8 months), i spent a good amount of time there (that and the Depot, salvage yards & flea markets) ...i was quite familiar with the products.  over the years i only go a few times and up until last week when i had to pick up another coffee press.

again, IKEA has come out with some pretty neat items, great for the person with a small space or a little imagination.
BYGEL- magnetic knife rack: i have a larger version of this at home for all of my knives, but i HAD to get this cuter, small version and at $2.50 (you get 2 of them), i figured that i could find something to do with them.  i actually used them to hold larger scissors that could not fit in the drawer!

KROGEN- pot hangie thing: huge fan of these, but unless you score on one at a flea/yard sale, they can be costly.  This version is only $25 and attaches to the ceiling.
BEKVAM-spice rack: yes pretty ordinary, but with some cute bright color this could be super cute and it was only $4!
GLASORT KULLE-bedding:  i just thought this we super inspirational to make as a quilt or wall hanging yourself
OSTLIG-plant helper: always expanding on the garden supplies, this trellis is a heck of a lot prettier than the traditional ones...very English garden!
HAVET-chair/bed deal: this is a great idea and so perfect for the person who has zero room, but might have company. what i love most is that it has wheels so you can move it around anywhere...awesome for the loft or bachie-pad, make your own cover from an extra sheet set that you can use with the bed conversion and you dont even have to clean up as quickly when guests leave!- 250 is not really that bad when you think of how many things this can be (mobile comfy chair, bed, and a long bench...even in a pinch a couch if up against a wall with big comfy pillows!)

dont get me started on AS-IS section-LOTS of ideas there!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

bottle project

over a year ago, Nicole and i went to a customers parent's house who were in so many words hoarders.  on about 3 acres of land they had amassed a number of odds and ends, mostly outside that had seen better days...but you never know what you will find.
besides a few metal goodies, we happened upon several pretty glass bottles and light fixtures that needed a bit of TLC-but they had potential, so i did what i do with most things i have ideas with: put them in the garage until i get sick of them and give them to someone else b/c i am too busy to do that "project" i was supposed to do with them.
not this time though. one of the gems that i found happened to be a case of these adorable soda bottles from The PoP Shoppe, a Canadian soda company that i thought was gone, but as you can see even has a Twitter account.
so i now have a case or so of these adorable bottles and i am trying to kind a way to make them into something functional...i would love some advice, here are some of the things i have been looking into.

-tiki torch: how adorable are these tiki torches, found this idea in a link from ReadyMade Magazine (of course)

-Design Sponge also had this super cute plant holder idea-SO INTO IT-but i must say i would rather use "not-as-cute" bottles for this project (attn: Anarchy-i see an idea for a workshop on tiny gardens!!!)

-drinking glasses: one of the first things that i bought for the shop were these cute glasses from Green Glass from various beer bottles-i have always wanted to make them myself from the other cool bottles i see out there-this might be a good option.

-a long time ago, i made a bottle tree in my garden in Irvine, this might be a great thing to have in Santa Ana too.

-but what i am leaning towards is making bird feeders from the bottle kind of like this one although i am looking at a few other examples.

i would LOVE any other suggestions or be continued...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Farmers' Market sighting contest-4th of July 2010

for the 4th, there were plenty of people, many which i have seen before but one in particular got my attention b/c i haven't seen this famous face before.  the first person to post the correct answer on the blog will receive a jar of fresh peach-habanero jam-SUPER yummy!
*note: i will ship if you are not in the area*

This "brother and sister" duo are not brother and sister-they are married in real life and were seen strolling market.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

we did it-part 2: Patchwork Long Beach-June 2010

on Monday, June 28th Nicole and i stood in the parking lot of the apartment homestead hugging each other.  although it was not like out hugs of youth when we would giggle and tickle and fall to the ground laughing, it was a "better than that" hug filled with inspiration, gratitude, exhaustion, appreciation and so much more (no tears, hold it together girl!!!!!)
after a back-breaking month of work we had just completed our 2nd Long Beach Patchwork event, where we saw RECORD crowds at Marine times, i took peeks at the seriously crowded walkways and i was kind of amazed...the event was more than a success.  what was even more amazing were the number of friends, strangers and vendors who simply came up to say, "thank you for doing this"... how completely gratifying and uplifting.

(Anarchy in the Garden- Adriana f-ing ROCKED her booth)

our dearest thanks to friends, sponsors and volunteers who have not only been vital to making a wonderful community event, but also for our growing friendship which is the best part of the job.
  • We Love LB: we love you and look forward to many more events and times together-can you move to SA so we can hang out more often?? :)
  • Anarchy in the Garden: had the best booth with gardening lectures, Adriana seriously brought her A-game!
  • Makers League of LB: Heather and her hubs Eric had the 2nd best booth with DIY projects and some serious cuteness.
  • food: Piaggio on Wheels, Tropical Shaved Ice and Fresh Fries were the nicest people and were rewarded with LONG lines for the entire day.
  • volunteers: every single one of our volunteers are just great people-they are the work behind Patchwork so make sure you give them a big thank you when you see them during the holiday shows (they are wearing green aprons with Patchwork logos!)
  • music: Deanna/Baby D really brought in the tunes, powered by solar, even with a hurting back :(
  • City of LB: for working with us to have a great community event
  • vendors: new and old-the support and help make Patchwork something that will "rock the kasbah" for more events to come (which we are planning so exciting holiday events already-cant wait!!)
here are some images of the day.
(cutest ever???-yeah i know!!!)

( Graham Street Press workin' it Patchwork-style!!)

(Bike valet-yes this is the only craft fair with bike valet in So-Cal-SUPER popular in LB)

(Shortnin Bread was incredible)

(Poster List-super nice and loved that he didnt need to drive far)

(Lana-the BEST-so great she is going to head the volunteers!)

(mas y mas crowds...)

Most of all: thank you to Niecy Nicole, a woman who is so much more than random. there is love that is more than words can say.
if you are wondering about more patchwork/craft fairs: i will be posting about more patch updates in the late Summer, for now- just relax and enjoy the warm weather!