Sunday, June 28, 2009

garden yummies

Last night I returned from the awesomely inspiring annual Unitarian Universalist General Assembly to my sweet man, house, and garden. And the garden looks lovely, if I do say so myself. After bring gone a week, I was ready to explore ...
And found lots of veggies waiting to be harvested - beets, red chard, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and beans. And now I'm wondering what I should plant next, it should be things that augment the soil ... I think it's called companion planting. Off to google!

Friday, June 26, 2009

the bees' knees

Bees seem to be an integral piece of an organic garden. We've noticed more bees in the yard this summer than we noticed last summer when we were still looking at the house, before we moved in.

It is possible to be an urban beekeeper, if you want to be more intentional about having bees around to pollinate flowering fruit trees, squash, etc. Check out the Backwards Beekeepers blog - these folks are passionate about helping folks create a bee paradise.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

are you really gonna eat that?

For the past few weeks we've hosted a health and wellness class led by Dr. Matt, Dr. Alona and Chef AJ, from the Exsalus Health and Wellness Center, Matt and Alona do a wonderful presentation on harmful foods that are in people's diets, and what it is about those foods that hurt our bodies (like dairy, meat, oil and refined, processed sugars).
Then Chef AJ comes out and teaches us how to make amazing food without all that stuff. See her waving around that Kale in the pic? She is CRAZY about Kale and makes it taste so good. She even sneaks in whole bags of spinach in chocolate smoothies and I swear - it cannot be detected!

These are amazingly dedicated people with so much passion and knowledge, it's been a real treat and honor to host them at our house the Wednesday nights in June.

Friday, June 19, 2009

beginning bounty of the garden - stir fry salad

The sun finally came out in so Cal, and the garden is starting to burst.

I made this really simple salad, using some of the fresh garden veggies and the leftover dressing from the Kale salad.

In the pic you can see the cherry tomatoes, one bean (there were more, really!), and the zucchini is hiding underneath all those spring greens. I sauteed them quickly and at the end added in the spicy citrus dressing.

I tossed in baked tofu and sesame seeds. We loved it!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

vegan kale & red pepper salad w/ spicy citrus dressing

Summertime finally arrived, and Ryan requested "More salads for lunch, please!"

I'm a vegan who isn't crazy about salads, so I took it as a challenge to find something to make that felt hearty and not like I was just eating a bunch of lettuce.

There's a great salad recipe in the Candle Cafe Cookbook, name of which is the title to this post. Just a few ingredients, but a whole lotta tasty.

I adapted the recipe, making it a little easier for those of us hungry vegans on the go; I used store-bought baked tofu rather than making my own. The rest of it was super easy and quick, and there was enough dressing leftover to use on a dish I prepared the next day. Yum!

Monday, June 15, 2009

quarry girl, how do you do it?

Quarry girl, you are *amazing!*

If you are curious about vegan food in LA, stop reading this and go to There are pics and in-depth reviews about SO many LA vegan restaurants. This is how we found out about the vegan pizzas offered by Cruze pizza in Los Feliz. There is a LONG list of LA vegan restaurants and places that offer a special vegan menu.

Every day I check out the blog, I am impressed, and immediately get really hungry. Happy eating!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

traffic floor finish

We wanted an eco-friendly floor finish for our snazzy reclaimed, remilled douglas fir bedroom floors that we installed. It needed to be readily available, easy to apply, and tough because Ryan and I are constantly moving things around and tracking in dirt from outside. I didn't want anything that would show a bunch of scuff marks.

We found what we needed in Traffic, by BonaKemi. It went on really easily, dried quickly, and so far has stood the test of us. No scratches (yet)! It was around $90.00/gallon, and they recommend applying with a special applicator, which we also purchased.

my crazy yard

honestly, the yard is looking better and better every day. Ryan is making heroic efforts in cleaning it up, and it's greatly appreciated. there are sinks, piles of lumber, a kayak, a scrap metal pile, a dozen really big weird lights ... but it is serving a purpose - the large pile of wood is now my lovely bedroom floor. OK. I'm getting it...a big puzzle piece that's coming together.

Friday, June 12, 2009

reclaimed wood floors

We recently installed reclaimed and remilled douglas fir wood floors (thank you, Craig's List!) in the bedroom. I was Ryan's helper and did a great job (if I do say so myself) cutting wood pieces with Konstantine's amazing compound miter saw.

The gently used insulation we got for free (thanks again, Craig's List!) is peeping up from the floors.

Basically, Ryan knows how to do everything, very well (except partner dance, it's his kryptonite). Every day his amazingness shines through with things he does on the house.

Friday, June 5, 2009


That's my son, doing electrical work. The master bedroom is being renovated, and the electrical outlets needed to be moved. Way to go, Adrian, for learning a useful skill!

The bedroom, part of a 1930s addition to the house, was really wonky when we bought it, with sloping floors and a general feeling of quickly done add-on. We are slowly making it beautiful, and recently put in new wood floors that were reclaimed and remilled. I'll add photos soon.