Friday, July 31, 2009

really love your peaches


the other day i was looking for a bible verse that talked about summer. . .interestingly enough, the bible only references summer in a negative way-hot, dry, angry etc. (please correct me if i am wrong, i am in NO WAY a bible scholar, seriously i BARELY passed my westmont religion courses.  what i lack in book smarts, i make up in character, right?? ) anyways, back to summer, i think that anything that leads to fruits as gorgeous as peaches deserves some positive attention.  we visited buttonwood farm in solvang last weekend –it just happened to be their peach festival, so we came home with some super yummy peaches and recipes.  i made cobbler which was delish (thanks paula deen) and am looking forward to trying out some of the other recipes that we sampled.  our shop will have the peach products very soon!  happy summer.


Just Peachy Roasted Vegetable Couscous

Heat 1 TBS olive oil in large pan.  Add 1 chopped onion and saute until soft.  Mix in 1 TBS curry powder.  Stir 1 minute.  Add 3 cups of water and bring to a simmer.  Cover and reduce heat.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Heat 1 TBS olive oil in a large pot.  Add 2 cups plain couscous and stir until couscous is toasted, about 3 minutes.  Mix in hot curry water and turn off heat.  Cover pot and let stand until couscous is tender and water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.  Mix in 1/2 cup salted cashew pieces, 1/2 cup dried cherries, 1/2 cup dried currants or raisins, roasted vegetables.  Mound on a platter and serve warm or cold with cilantro yogurt and buttonwood farm peach chutney.  (let me know if you want to order the chutney!)

serves 6-8

Cilantro Yogurt

Combine 3 cups cilantro leaves, 1 TBS fresh lime juice and 3/4 TSP salt in blender and puree.  Transfer to medium bowl and add 1/2 cup plain yogurt and 1/2 cup sour cream.  Cover and chill.

Roasted Veggies

Preheat oven to 4oo.  Spray two large baking sheets with non stick spray.  Cube 2 pounds of unpeeled eggplant and 1 1/2 pounds unpeeled zucchini and place separately on baking sheets.  Drizzle olive oil on veggies, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat, then spread evenly on baking sheet.  Bake until golden and tender, turning occasionally with spatula, about 25 minutes for zucchini and 50 minutes for eggplant.  Meanwhile roast 3 large red bell peppers over and open flame, charring the skins. Place in large paper bag and let stand for 10 minutes.  Peel and seed. Cut into 1 inch pieces and combine in bowl with other vegetables.


recipe courtesy of buttonwood farm

Monday, July 27, 2009

Picking Berries. . .




If you live nearby, you MUST make a trip to Morrell Nut & Berry Farm in Solvang (right down the street from Buttonwood Winery & Farm, that post is coming soon!).  We went this weekend and picked the most amazing blackberries and raspberries.  It is the sweetest farm and absolutely gorgeous scenery.  We filled up a large plastic container and it was less than $7.  Madeira had the best time picking the berries and we loved helping her.  Oh my goodness and did I mention how absolutely yummy the berries are. . .

More info here

Sunday, July 26, 2009

sunday reminder


photo by samuel thomas

Friday, July 24, 2009

summer gifts

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backyard swings, brightly colored buckets, dancing in the sand, waves, pool days, “laying out”, ocean breeze, warm sun, popsicles, bbqs, tug-o-wars (gone wrong, sorry papa), watermelon, good friends, cousins. . .these have been our summer gifts.  how about you?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Viva la Rehearsal Dinner


sb historical

This amazingly gorgeous rehearsal dinner was held at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. I love love love the vibrant colors. What a wonderful venue right in our backyards.  Let’s have a party, who’s in?   Check out more photos at Style Me Pretty here and here, which by the way, is the most wonderful wedding/event planning site.


Photos by Aaron Delesie and design by Lisa Vorce.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

when life hands you lemons. . .and blueberries

blueberry lemonade

gorgeous new blog. . .short stories

how delicious does that sound?

found via Oh Joy

Monday, July 13, 2009

we have a winner



tyler, madeira picked you.  your summer read and an extra little treat will be arriving shortly.  thanks for playing and enjoy-would love to hear your thoughts about the book when you finish.  also, if anyone has some good summer reading suggestions, i would love you if you sent them my way. . . i need a good book! this morning, the smell of the sunshine warmed breeze that came through my kitchen window brought me back to lazy summer days when all i did was read judy blume books in my backyard and rollerblade with a streamer wand to lionel richie’s dancing on the ceiling album. .. come on you know you did it too!  unfortunately, the roller blades no longer fit, but i can still read!!


gorg image via flickr

Friday, July 10, 2009

feathers, girls & vino


headband 1

headband 2


last nite was craft nite with the girls-we got all crazy with ribbons, buttons and feathers (with a little wine and snacks mixed in).  we made adorable kid’s barrettes and feather headbands. i made madeira  a very special purple and pink band.  she LOVED it and wore it all morning with her jammies.  but for reals, these headbands sell for $50 to $100 in stores-i spent about $4 on materials for each one-i am sure they are not as fancy as the real deals, but they work for us. . .  thanks ladies for the super fun nite. let’s do it again real soon.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

absolutely succulent


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A friend of mine asked me if I could come up with some succulent gifts for her for Mother’s Day.  She is so super cool and always has the best ideas-so I of course said yes!  The trifle dish and teapot made fun planters. I think they turned out so great and I especially love that they are so easy to take care of.  The perfect plant to keep you company at your workspace or in your home without requiring too much TLC (unlike my poor tomato plant which has collapsed on my porch due to lack of attention).  There are so many different varieties of succulents. . .the miniature gardens come out so colorful and diverse.  I bought the succulents and special dirt at Island View Nursery (it is the most amazing nursery I have ever been to, completely peaceful and gorgeous, you have to visit sometime!) 

Monday, July 6, 2009

cold tangerines giveaway


cold tangerings A year or so ago, I posted about a college friend who is an author and has written a beautiful book entitled “Cold Tangerines” which reminds us to celebrate every day.  It is a great summer read and she has so kindly sent me a few signed copies.  I would love to give one away.  Leave me a comment and on Friday of this week, I will put your names in a hat and have Madeira pick someone out to send one to.  I hope there are still some people out there reading this blog, even though I got way caught up in summertime outdoors fun and ignored this little blog for a whole month!!  sorry my little blog.

more about cold tangerines and shauna niequist

childrens books


the curious garden cover


I think that books are my most favorite gift to give kids (and adults too).  I collected children’s books before I ever thought of having a child.  We have had to install shelves in Madeira’s room to hold them all.  Check out this link to the NY Times Book Review of Children’s Best Sellers.  I want to take a trip to the library to pick a few of these up!

Thanks to the Chronicle Books Blog for the link. . .

Friday, July 3, 2009



i am grateful today for our freedoms.  freedom that is given to us with great costs.  costs that we might not agree with.  but today i am thankful for the good of our country.  and the goodness of my life.  and the fact that my daughter can be whoever she wants to be.  it is my hope that all might experience the freedoms and goodness that i have been blessed with in my life.  happy 4th.  let’s celebrate what is good today.