30 April 2010

summer harvest... in april!

Okay, I know that I am just squeaking in under the wire, but I had the most amazing little dinner, made (so very nearly) exclusively from the bounty of our itty bitty garden. IN APRIL. Crazy. Only in Southern California, unless of course global warming happens quickly, in which case this may become a normal time to get fresh homegrown produce in any place. But for now, I still think it's crazy.

The harvest... nevada green lettuce, sun gold tomatoes, cilantro, snow peas, swiss chard, broccoli and broccoli greens (I wasn't sure about this last one, but read on to see my take on them)

I did the very simplest preparation -- a simple salad with the lettuce and tomatoes, with the cilantro in a lime vinaigrette (featuring the only added ingredients: olive oil and lime juice), and all of the other veggies sauteed individually in just the lightest mist of olive oil with a touch of Kosher salt. (Julie Child would have pronounced "sauteed" "SOH-TAYED." Ah, we miss you.)

Verdict: AMAZING. Absolutely everything. I haven't had homegrown broccoli in years, and it makes me never want to eat store-bought again. Even locally-grown broccoli from Whole Foods. The broccoli greens were sooo good too, which is great since they are plentiful... I had never eaten broccoli greens before, but I'm so glad I went out on that limb. Seriously, everyone should be eating broccoli greens. The chard was certainly on the young side, but was tender and full of flavor. And even those two little snow peas were delicious. If those will be the only ones I get all season, I will still say it was worth it to try them... other bloggers have had lousy luck with peas.

It wasn't the biggest harvest ever, but we're just getting started. I'm super excited to enjoy these fresh, tasty treats all through the summer.

And now to find a cheeseburger...

la mart sample sale returns

It's baaaaaaaaaack!

Saturday, May 1, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday, May 2, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

LA Mart is the mysterious, trade-only interior design mecca in Downtown LA that opens its doors to the public only twice a year for its furniture sample sale. And we the public get to pay $10 for the privilege. But it's so worth it, especially because you get a whole dollar off admission if you bring your email invitation.

From my past sample sale visit, last fall... I will try to be more brave with the camera this time around!

29 April 2010

cord situation resolved... mostly

I just posted a few days back about my desire to bring a little order (and invisibility) to my cluster of electronics cords.

Ever the impatient one, I decided to just stop messing around and fix the problem already. And with a little help from the Container Store and Ikea, it's done. Hooray.



And a few other details... cord holders to keep plugs and chargers from falling behind the desk, and that great blue egg-holder-turned-desk-caddy from Jenn

My cord situation was child's play compared to Mark's, so taming his cord jungle will be my next project... if it doesn't kill me first.

28 April 2010

buh-bye ugly thermostat!

Since our place was built in the '70s, the high point of the "what were they thinking?" era of construction, we have all of these quirky things we're still trying to work around, more than a year after moving in. The bizarre, non-focal-point fireplace. The HUGE wall-implanted intercom box that serves only to buzz people in at the front door. And the ugly thermostat boxes attached to the radiant heat in the ceiling.

We cannot hide all of the thermostat boxes (one in each bedroom, and one in the living room), but the one in the office was in prime position to get covered with a box frame.

Seriously... when did this ever seem like a good idea?

The solution

A $10 Ikea frame, a sheet of stamps, and voila!

27 April 2010

last decision for the master bath

Okay, not quite the last decision, since we still need to finalize light fixtures, and random little questions will inevitably pop up, but paint color was our last BIG decision, and we've made it.

I heart Sherwin Williams, so wasn't even interested in looking at supposedly better paint. Their paint rocks, and their customer service is even better. These were our SW contenders, since we're going for a lighter, brighter look in the master bath than we have in the guest bath, seen against baseboard molding and a slice of our floor tile. 


Tinsmith and Lattice turned out too dark, and Mark found Snowfall too feminine. We tried a 50/50 blend of Snowfall and Fleur de Sel, but I was afraid that wasn't pretty enough, though I did like the gray it produced.

The winner? Fleur de Sel, which is also my favorite name.

Here it is against the molding

spring flowers

What's blooming on the patio right now...

26 April 2010

weekend in the garden

For the record, Mark is making that ridiculous face on purpose. He's funny like that.

Our garden is still growing quickly, which rocks. If I can get a few tomatoes to ripen very quickly, we could make a whole garden salad from just our little container garden... in APRIL! Even if the tomatoes don't play along, the lettuce, herbs and broccoli are doing their best to overrun their containers, and are looking tastier every day.

Though I really was convinced that none of the peas were going to make it, I have two vines that have really taken hold, and I have actual peapods starting to sprout, along with some pretty vines and flowers. (Look closely right in the center, just popping out of the white flower.)

This shot of Mark shows how much all of the tomato plants in particular have filled out.

My favorite part of the garden is how the dogs have taken to just munching on the herbs right out of the pots, especially the watercress. Watching tiny dogs eat herbs off the plant cracks me up, because it just seems not right. It's like a monkey wearing pants. Or Sarah Palin reading a book.

Fortunately, we have plenty of watercress to spare.

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