It's alive!



Orange Fennel Salad

No baby yet, but any day now!
I'm doing great for someone 39 weeks and 4 days preggo, with ankles as swelling-free as before baby.

I am still craving sweet foods like crazy, and citrus is one of the few things other than chocolate I really want to eat these days.

How perfect is it that our farm box had a half dozen oranges and a fennel (which, at least in seed form, is supposed to increase milk supply) bulb last week?

This is one of my favorite salads. It's easy to put together, looks glamorous, and keeps well for up to three days in the fridge as the fennel softens and the flavors marry.

You will need:
  • One fennel bulb with greens
  • Several navel oranges or similar variety
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper
  • A large bowl to serve salad
  • Additional salad leaves like butter lettuce of romaine if desired
  1. Peel off outer layer of fennel bulb, slice off the thick root end, and chop off greens an inch below their base. You want the cleaner, thinner inner part of the bulb for this salad.
  2. Chop and reserve a couple table spoons of the fennel greens.
  3. Cut the trimmed bulb in half from top to bottom, then very thinly slice against the grain into half moons, you want the fennel as close to paper-thin as possible. Lay your slices of fennel in the large bowl. Keep in mind that you'll want about equal portions of fennel and orange, give or take depending on your own taste.
  4. Peel and halve oranges, then thinly slice them into half moons as you did with the fennel, only orange slices should be about 1/4 inch thick. I recommend using a flexible plastic cutting board to you can poor the orange juice into the salad bowl as it pools.
  5. Once you have your orange and fennel in the bowl, drizzle with a 1/2 teaspoon or so extra virgin olive oil per cup of salad, sprinkle lightly with sea salt, chopped fennel greens, and ground pepper.
  6. Gently toss salad to mix ingredients, the olive oil and orange juice mix to create the dressing.
  7. Either serve as is, or lay atop a bed of torn romaine or butter lettuce leaves.
Alternately, you can lay round (instead of half-moon) fennel and orange slices on a platter and drizzle them with the olive oil and juice, much as you would a caprese salad.


Happy 60th Mr. Adams

On the occasion of Douglas Adams' unrealized 60th birthday.

It's time to re-watch this lecture he gave at UCSB in 2008, shortly before his tragically early death.

Remember, we are the puddles.

Posted by me back in 2010 too.


Friday Cute / Madness!

Not like any of the rabbits I even had.


MLK Cake 2012

Martin Luther King Jr cake for 2012, J & my 7th meeting-anniversary, and 8th MLK Cake.

Raspberry cake with vanilla butter-cream frosting and chocolate glaze.

Post under construction!

2005 carefully icing cake 3 days after meeting the love of my life

2006-2007 lost on an old hard drive somewhere

2008 mlk cake 2008

2009 MLK cake 2009

2010 mlk cake 2010

2011 MLK Cake 2011


Pumpkin Bread

Maybe it's the season change, maybe it's the pregnancy and my new fondness for baked goods, but this year I haven't been able to get enough pumpkin bread/ muffins/ pie/ etc...

To celebrate the darker days and annual turning-on-of-the-heater I've been baking pumpkin bread. It's inspired by my mom's delicious original recipe, but I've tried to make it a tad healthier by cutting sugar and adding some fiber. (To you know, counteract all that butter in the picture above.)

Pumpkin Bread (1 standard loaf)
  • DRY ingredients
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup teff flour
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves (if you don't have all these spices 2 tsps pumpkin pie spice mix wil do)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • WET ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup milk (eggnog makes a great substitution!)
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  1. Mix dry ingredients together.
  2. Mix wet ingredients together.
  3. Combine wet and dry.
  4. Optional- Add 1 cups walnuts or other nuts/seeds, etc (for the loaf pictured I use 1/2 cup each chopped pecans and persimmon.)
  5. Pour into lighted greased and floured loaf pans.
  6. Bake one hour ten minutes in 350 oven.
I've also learned some really valuable lessons about substitutions in baking during the process...

  • Though it has a delicious nutty flavor, teff flour makes for a much crumblier loaf than all-purpose flour. Be warned your sliced loaves will fall apart.
  • You cannot substitute molasses for sugar. The flavor may be good, but the loaf will collapse.
  • Neither can you substitute equal parts bran for flour, see collapse problem above.

And the real prize, for sticking with me, my mom's pumpkin bread recipe:

Makes two standard loaves

3 cups sugar
3.5 cups flour
1.5 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
.5 tsp cloves
2 tsp soda

4 eggs
1 cup oil
.67 cups milk
2 cups pumpkin

Mix dry ingredients together.
Mix wet ingredients together.
Combine wet and dry.

Add two cups walnuts or other nuts/seeds, etc (optional).

Pour into lighted greased and floured loaf pans. Bake one hour ten minutes in 350 oven.


still alive!

We made it through the new year!

And I experienced my first hangover-free New Year's Day in, oh, more than my "adult" life.

It was grand.

A couple weeks ago J & I took our last pre-baby vacation to visit some friends in Oregon and play in Portland for a day.

It was also grand.

Here's hoping all the changes we're expecting (ha!) 2012 to bring aren't too crazy!