I'm not much of a weekday breakfast person. I tend to find something healthy and filling (like a dollop of yogurt, a handful or blueberries and a little granola) and stick with it. However, the weekend is a whole different story.
This weekend I whipped up some tasty Raspberry & Cream French Toast.
1 splash (1/2 c) milk
1 dash (1/2 t) vanilla
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
2 slices lightly toasted or dry bread
a little softened cream cheese
a little raspberry jam (homemade is the best)
1. Lightly beat the egg, milk, vanilla and spices on a plate.
2. Soak the bread slices until all the liquid is absorbed (about 2 minutes per side).
3. Heat a pan and add a little butter to keep the bread from sticking (and to add delicious flavor).
4. Cook the bread for a few minutes on each side, don't overcook the slices. Any gooshiness will be handled by the magic of carryover cooking.
5. Once nicely browned, let the slices cool for a minute or two. Then make a sandwich with a little cream cheese and plenty of jam. Avoid using too much cream cheese, otherwise it will be way too rich.
6. Enjoy as is or with an teensy eensy bit of maple syrup.
I am constantly amazed at the gargantuan proportions of new houses and new furniture. I find myself wondering at armchairs that would barely scrape through my front door or coffeetables the size of my car. Even flower pots, (flower pots!) are too large for my house. Your average flower pot won't fit on my kitchen window sill.
So necessity has become the mother of invention and I've had to come up with a crafty solution.
I've taken a bit of 1/4" hardware cloth, fishing line and two cuphooks and fashioned a flowerpot hammock (or maybe a sling?). I cut and folded the hardware cloth to fit the pots, crimped the edges and looped fishing line to suspend the whole thing from the ceiling.
Not only does this solve the problem of my tiny windowsill, but the mesh provides great drainage over the sink for the orchids and tilandsia (they don't like their roots staying wet) and I can adjust the height to allow more or less direct sunlight.
I want something ornate, but not too too over-the-top. I was thinking of an iron bed, but then I don't want to be that girl with a big brass bed, mosquito netting and a dozen pillows.
I may still end up buying an iron bed, but at least I know I have some other fun options. Ooh and accessories too!
Anyhoo, my friend L and I went on a little day trip to Pescadero. We had a very tasty (though a bit overpriced) meal at Duarte's. Everyone raves about their cream of artichoke soup. Though it's good, I must say it's not as tasty as Shadowbrook's.
But I digress.
We also visited The Old Rock Guy, that was an interesting experience. I'll say no more, but if you're in Pescadero, you'll see the sign and you should go. Ask if you can look at the notes he leaves on the door, they're priceless.
As for the purpose of this rambling post, it's simply to say that I love odd signs and notes. Whether passive-aggressive or otherwise, I love seeing what people will tack up for the world to see. I try to photograph them whenever possible and some of them make me smile every time.
For now, I'm like The Old Rock Guy, I'm open daily 'til bedtime.
Yesterday was chilly and wintry (for California), so I put on a pot of vegetable soup. The recipe was something like this:
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
1/2 bundle celery, diced
1 quart veggie broth**
1 cup tomato sauce**
1 t dried herbs
1 T pesto**
2 T parsley, chopped
1 can white beans
2 handfuls alphabet pasta (fun and tasty!)
Sauté veggies in a little olive oil (you want just a bit of color on the onions), add broth and simmer for 30-60 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 15-30 minutes. Serve with crusty bread!
*The Bagelry (in Santa Cruz) always titled their soup specials board with "Thoup!" I can't help but think it every time I type S-O-U-P. I love their Pink Flamingo bagel (cream cheese, lox, green onions and other good stuff).
**Homemade makes it yummiest.
I grew up across the street of a great ceramic artist, Judy Miller.* She makes all kinds of whimsical object and I think this koi fountain is especially cute.
So, I was surprised to see one of her little kitchen plates sitting in a shop in several hundred miles away. I snapped it right up, plate hanger and all. It now hangs on my kitchen wall, reminding me of my childhood and a Léger painting.
*She also had an awesome Standard Poodle named Camille.
I've been meaning to post this for a bit, it's such a satisfying project. I made an earring hanger from two picture frames and some window screen. It was a simple idea, but it keeps my earrings corralled quite nicely.
I like the industrial feel of the frames mixed with the screen, but you could pick a far more ornate frame and use a more delicate screen. You could even try using some fancy schmancy radiator screen. Does anyone know where you can buy it west of the Mississippi?
If you need space to hang necklaces or bracelets, just screw some cuphooks into the front or sides.
Depending on the style, you can also use a standing frame that would rest on your dresser or vanity top.
My little camera full of photos is winging its way to Atlanta. There it will become a few of the A Million Little Pictures. We'll see what they do with them. The wrapping paper has been stamped with:
... the precipitate of sorrow is happiness, the precipitate of struggle is success. Life means opportunity, and the thing men call death is the last wonderful, beautiful adventure.
--Alice Foote MacDougall (1867–1945)
I understand that you might not want to traipse through one at midnight on a full moon, but why avoid such a beautiful and quiet space?
The historic cemetery in Santa Cruz is picturesque with crumbling walls, towering trees and creeping moss. It's lovely on a gray day and makes for some great photographs. I'll post more once they're developed. That's right, developed. I can't remember the last time I shot with film, but it does add that excitement of waiting to see how they turn out. We'll find out if instant gratification is overrated.