Tuesday, June 30, 2009

travel: exploring the north country

another weekend road trip. more exploring of the north country. traveling with mischa (hiker, storyteller, and piesmith). in less than 4 days, we drove over 1,000 miles. we visited fresno, mendocino, tomales, marin, and san francisco counties. we ate a delicious and overwhelming supply of baked goods. and we had a few adventures along the way...

+ relaxing at mercey hot springs in fresno county

+ exploring the beautiful town and woods of mendocino

+ driving the pacific coast highway, north of san francisco

+ feasting at a beautiful outstanding in the field dinner

+ and camping at marin roots farm

i can't wait to go back! for more photos, check out lillieinthecity / flickr.

listening to: birds fly away by theresa andersson (listen)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

food: carrot ginger soup & tastespotting

with a bunch of carrots from my last CSA box, i made a yummy carrot ginger soup with my own twist on this recipe. the punch of flavor and burst of color are perfect to brighten up gloomy june days!

i found a bunch of yummy variations of this soup at tastespotting.com, my new favorite place for recipe ideas. the website catalogs recipes with drool-worthy photos, and you can search their database based on ingredients that you have in the kitchen--perfect for finding new inspiration for your seasonal produce! dreaming about summer squash fritattas, apricot jams, tomatoes and basil, raspberry muffins...

listening to: four leaf clover by badly drawn boy (listen)

:: image from lillieinthecity / flickr

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

city: june gloom

each year i'm been amazed when june arrives, and southern california descends into a dark fog of june gloom. just when my new england mind is ready for sunshine and summer heat, i'm left with morning drizzles and cloudy grey skies.

sometimes california seems very backwards.
but looking forward to sunnier skies tomorrow...

listening to: here comes the sun by the beatles (listen)

:: image from lillieinthecity / flickr

Monday, June 8, 2009

home: sky photos

here is another little corner of my apartment. in my bedroom, i recently posted a collection of my favorite views of the sky. simple, just printed, no frames. a nice morning reminder to look up.

:: images from lillieinthecity / flickr

Friday, June 5, 2009

creativity: notebook sketches

a few sketchy pages from my notebook today. brainstorming for some little projects and thoughts in my mind... i kinda love rough, awkward line drawings. and doodling a few everyday objects is like mental meditation.

hope you have a beautiful weekend. go out and enjoy the sunshine!

:: coffee & cast iron pans from lillieinthecity / flickr

Thursday, June 4, 2009

food/drink: blue bottle coffee

i've officially fallen in love with a new world of coffee: blue bottle of san francisco, a microroaster and coffeehouse and expert coffee brewery. they carefully roast all their own shade-grown beans. and then, individually prepare each cup of coffee using beehouse ceramic manual drippers. and every cup is a super rich, coffee-y kickstart to your morning (or afternoon or evening, if you're like me).

i had my first sip at the ferry plaza farmer's market on saturday morning. manual dripping isn't the most efficient setup for a busy day at the market, and the coffee line gets a bit long--but wowww, it is worth the wait. in fact, we waited twice when we couldn't resist going back for a second cup. and then an hour before leaving the city on sunday night, alex and i searched in vain for one last fix. it's that good.

i've lusted after bodum french presses for a long time. but after seeing blue bottle work their magic with a manual drip (and drinking many cups of yummy manual drip in the past few months), i think the beehouse ceramic dripper may be swaying my mind, heart, and tastebuds...

:: image from lillieinthecity / flickr

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

sustainability: edible education

two weeks ago, alice waters paid a visit to los angeles to have a conversation about food education. thanks to good food, one of my favorite local radio shows, i got to be in the audience!

alice is the mastermind behind daily food life at chez panisse, a huge advocate of local food, and the founder of the edible schoolyard program in berkeley. joining her was sam levin, a fellow school garden advocate and 15-year-old student from western massachusetts (my beloved college stomping grounds). two years ago, sam co-founded project sprout, a student-run garden planted in an abandoned soccer field across the street from the local high school.

both of their schoolyard gardens focus on giving students the experience of planting and harvesting food with their own hands--and then, enjoying the fruits and vegetables of their labor in fresh, yummy meals. in a world where some people don't know that a potato grows underground, i think alice & sam are onto something with this kind of firsthand food education.

i ended the night feeling inspired--and hungry. and i was happy to know that alice waters and i agree on our favorite vegetable: garlic.

:: image from edible schoolyard

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

home: cast iron skillet

trying to be a conscious consumer (and also being very picky), i tend to overanalyze and consider new home/kitchen purchases for weeks at a time. crazy sometimes, but i'm always very happy when i finally make a purchase this way. no buyer's remorse here!

my latest buy was this cast iron skillet. i've been wanting one for months. stopping at surfas (my amazing local restaurant/kitchen supply store) on idle saturdays and staring at their selection. and after all that thinking and staring, i finally made the leap: a lodge 10" chef's skillet.

the size is just right--small enough for a single serving, but big enough to include extra for a few friends. the sloped sides are nice for easy plating. and the cast iron is beautiful and weighty and working quite well with garlic and onions and eggs and veggies of all sorts. a good buy!

Monday, June 1, 2009

travel: maker fair @ san francisco

another trip to san francisco! i'm finding lots of excuses to visit that lovely city. if only the drive from LA didn't take quite so long...

this weekend's excuse was the world's largest DIY festival: maker fair. wandering the fairgrounds, my friend alex and i found makers of all kinds: crafts, robotics, fashion, technology, food, and more. it was inspiring madness.

our trip also included an overnight in fresno; saturday morning at the ferry plaza farmer's market; sampling ice cream at bi-rite creamery; a foggy morning glimpse at day 1 of the 545-mile AIDS life cycle; a visit to the seward street slides; and a turkish delight.

see more photos from our weekend in san francisco at lillieinthecity / flickr.