Fruits of the Garden: Gazpacho

2 Sep

Gazpacho12Don’t be shocked. Another blog so close on the heels of the last one? I know. I’ve even shocked myself.

Another thing that has distracted me from my blog recently is my garden. Man, it’s been great growing all sorts of produce! My favorite part has been going to the farmers market and saying to myself: “Oh, I don’t need that….that….or that. Got it at home.”

A little smug, maybe, but there’s nothing like pulling some fresh lettuce for a salad, kale for a smoothie or tomatoes for gazpacho. I’m pretty sure the second-best place to eat gazpacho is in California, as we’ve so many similarities to Spain. And, if I look out from my backyard and squint as the sun is setting, Santa Barbara’s downtown does look a lot like a Spanish town on a picturesque hillside. (Have I mentioned lately how much I freaking love this place?) Continue reading

It’s a Dog’s Dinner

31 Aug

Boone1Again, apologies for the lapse in blogs, but if you’re a regular follower or a family member (hi guys!), you’ll know that there’s been a big distraction lately. He goes by several names, depending on time of day and energy level: Boone, Velociraptor or Captain Crazypants.

Spoiler alert: This blog is going to be filled with gratuitous puppy photos, so if that kind of thing doesn’t make your heart melt, I suggest you do something else. Like find your heart.

I’m going to give you a recipe too, don’t despair. But since there’s such a doggie theme going on, the recipe is literally for the dogs. Continue reading

It’s Summer. Time For Strawberry Rhubarb Pie!

24 Jul

Photos - 5996What!? I know! Where the hell have I been? I’ve been incredibly rude by not posting, and I apologize. But I tell you, there’s been so much going on this summer I haven’t known if I’m coming or going half the time. I’ve only got time to write this because I’m on a 5-hour train ride down the coast to a client seminar.

I also must admit, I’m loving Santa Barbara. There are so many wonderful distractions it’s made it easy to ignore my little blog—my garden, my new running buddy, restaurants, our new bikes, parks like the Douglas Preserve, events like the Solstice parade…and let’s not forget the new, larger kitchen. Continue reading

Virtual Vegan Potluck: Homemade Schnickers Bars (and Paleo!)

10 May
Yep, it's food porn.

Yep, it’s food porn.

Ding ding! Round three! The Virtual Vegan Potluck is such a wonderful highlight in my blogging world. It’s amazing that so many bloggers get together and make this whole thing happen! There’s 169 bloggers from around the world this time. Of course, there’s a few superheroes at the helm that keep us all in check: Annie at An Unrefined Vegan; Somer at Vedged Out; and Jason at Jason and the Veganauts. Hurrah and huzzah to these lovely folks! It must be like dealing with a huge class of kindergarteners.

vvpLOGOAnd this time I’m doing a dessert—homemade Schnickers Bars—after two rounds of main courses. If you want to check those out, they are here and here. I’m happy to say that you can make this a raw vegan dish, but I used roasted salted peanuts and roasted peanut butter, so it’s not technically raw. You could make this paleo by subbing the peanuts for almonds, but I didn’t have time to do that. But at the rate these treats are going to get eaten, I’ll have a chance to try that out very soon. Continue reading

Paleo Pumpkin Lasagne

29 Apr
Who doesn't love a good lasagne?

Who doesn’t love a good lasagne?

I’ve been wanting to post this blog for some time. Not just because I love writing my blog, which I do, but it also turned out so delicious!

But man, I tell you, I love my new house too. I’ve been doing a bunch of cooking, but now that I don’t live in a 650-sq.ft. house with a tiny yard, I’m going crazy. I’ve got all sorts of things happening in the garden, from kale and radishes to squash and peas. Even turnips! Anyone know when it’s time to pick turnips? I’m guessing not quite yet, since I started them from seed a few months ago.

Hey, who else is shocked that it’s May next month? That’s also what’s freaking me out. We moved to our new place officially in December, and almost five months have blown by? I guess that shows how seriously romanced I’ve been by this city and our home. Between the two, sitting at my computer for more than what’s necessary for work is hard to do. Continue reading

Kashmiri Kofte: Lamb Meatballs in Spicy Sauce

8 Apr

KashmiriKofte4We’re seven inches behind on rain here in Santa Barbara. Not that I’m complaining…okay, I am a little bit. I love being safe and dry inside while the rain comes down outside, with the house being warmed with the heat from the oven. We had some lovely rain on Easter Sunday morning, but it was gone by afternoon. So the mornings have been a bit grey here, then it clears up around noon to glorious sunshine, I had to give up. Damn it, I’m making a curry anyway.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’ve got a serious curry addiction. And although there seem to be many Indian people in Santa Barbara, the few Indian restaurants seem to have changed their food to make it more to American tastes. Boo! But let’s be honest—I love cooking it at home whether or not there’s a good curry house down the road. Continue reading

Spring Cleaning Time! And a Great Giveaway to Help!

19 Mar
Would you like to win these lovely products? Read on!

Would you like to win these lovely products? Read on!

This blog post is a little late—my sister Mary (yes, the one who made that table laden with Christmas goodies a few months back) gave me these awesome, natural cleaning products for Christmas and wrote a blog about it, but I haven’t had a chance to post it yet.

Here it is, Mary! I will also add that I’ve been using the products since Christmastime, and I really like them. They clean well, the scents aren’t overpowering and at the end of the day you know you’re not using chemicals in your house. What’s not to love? Don’t miss the contest at the end! Now I’ll turn it over to Mary:

Continue reading

Spaghetti Squash Chorizo Bake

12 Mar
Yes, this was just my first serving...

Yes, this was just my first serving…

Well, it has been hard finding time for this blog since I moved into the new house. I have to admit it’s because we’ve been so wonderfully spoiled with our new home! First of all, we’ve got the landlord to beat all landlords, a ridiculously big lot perfect for planting a garden and letting the dog run like crazy, a spare room for guests, plenty of storage space for bikes and a spare freezer…oh, the list goes on. Sorry to go on about it, but after living in what now feels like a cave for five years, I’m more than a little excited about what I’ve got now!

And between having our lovely friends drop in for visits, digging and planting the garden, training for a half-marathon and actually working, it’s been hard to sit down and get some of the recipes on to the blog. This is one that I conjured up with stuff out of the fridge a few weeks ago when The Husband was back down in Laguna on business and I was all on my lonesome.

I put it down for breakfast, lunch and dinner categories because I actually ate it for all three meals. That’s how good it was! I made it with my favorite sausage—Mulay’s all the way—but if my vegan friends wanted to sub Soyrizo and use some vegan cheeze, you’d have a mighty tasty meal. Seriously. This was hard to share with The Husband when he got home. Actually, he’s lucky there was any left!

This is a great thing to make with spaghetti squash, especially if you need a cold-weather dish of comfort food. And a tip I learned recently—stop trying to cut the squash in half! If you’ve got the time, bake it whole. Stab it a few times (carefully) with a knife, then stick the whole thing in the oven on a baking tray for 40 minutes at 350°F. At that point, cut the stem end off, then slice in half. See if it’s fully cooked; if not, roast it open faced for about 10 more minutes.

Also, I only cooked the squash al dente, as this gets cooked a little more at the end. Enjoy! Continue reading

Growing Time!

17 Feb

20130217-171240.jpg

Productive day outside! Very proud of my fledgling garden here at the new house. As you can see, Kayla has been “helping” me garden, mainly by chasing lizards in the bushes.
So far, I’ve planted: carrots, beets, Swiss chard, strawberries and parsley.
Now time for a refreshing cocktail with the oranges from our tree!

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It’s Paleo. It’s Pork. And It’s Brunch.

1 Feb
Ain't brunch grand?

Ain’t brunch grand?

Note to vegan readers—this post really isn’t going to rock your world. You should probably come back later. 

Although it’s been pretty crazy with the move, the holidays, then The Husband’s birthday celebrations, we’ve still managed to do a bit of entertaining in the new house. We’ve managed to make a few new friends up here, and we invited Jonelle over one Sunday after a walk in the park with our doggies.

The day before, I was panicking a little bit, because I wasn’t sure what to make for brunch. I wanted something hearty, something delicious and something paleo that everyone would enjoy. As I wandered the Santa Barbara farmer’s market for the first time, I spotted Jiminez Farms, a local rancher and purveyor of hormone-free, free-range meats. Continue reading