Archive for the ‘food & drink’ Category

Many (belated) thanks to Yarnnut at gailknits who gave me a “You Make My Day” award. Here’s how it works in her words: “Give the award to up to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel so happy about Blogland! Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so that they can pass it on. Beware! You may get the award several times!”

So it’s my turn! I enjoy reading many, many blogs, most of them craft related. Here are ten nine that I take particular inspiration or pleasure from, in no particular order.

  • Geckogrrl of All in a Day’s…. I always feel privileged to read her crafty and emotionally honest posts, and genuinely look up to her. Thanks again for all the encouraging posts through my dissertation and career decisions!
  • Robyn of crochetbyfaye is an amazing design talent. I always look forward to seeing what she comes up with next. Her pattern sneak previews are tantalizing and leave me impatient for the day they get published.
  • Futuregirl has got talent and dedication to craft. Kudos to someone who tries to make a living out of doing what they love.
  • Lily of LilyGo designs and knits perfectly tailored, fine-gauge garments with a demure feminine sensibility.
  • Hannah of Bittersweet maintains a fabulous blog on craft and vegan desserts chock full of beautiful ly composed photos and witty amigurumi stories. She is only 19 years old. And has already published a dessert cookbook.
  • Mariannealice of Applehead specializes in collages and cartoons as well as crochets and knits. She has a distinct soft, charming aesthetic. I also love the photos of her two beautiful daughters because they remind me of me and my sis growing up.
  • Milobo of Without Seams is another fellow ambicrafter (that is, she both crochets and knits). I identify with her because of her affinity for the technical aspects of yarncraft design and for seamless garments. Wish I could finish projects as consistently!
  • Yarn Abuse is a hapa Korean gal (or so I assume based on her kimchi tchigae post) with fierce knitting skills, legions of regular readers and the self-deprecating wit of a Jewish comedian. Since so much of that wit is directed at her (imagined fat) ass, the feminist in me shrinks a little but she is still fun to read.
  • Last but not least, my friend Dotorious Judy of Otherwise is a fellow foodie and 1.5 generation Korean American leftist. I highly recommend checking out her “Missionary” comics based on her dissertation project.

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After a long hiatus, I’ve started on the Babette Blanket again. I didn’t like the oranges and browns–a bit too 70s–so I ripped out a bunch of the squares to start fresh. Now I’m making purple the dominant color, rather than taupe/brown. And I finally got the time and motivation to dye some yarn.

Swish Overdye#1 & #2

Both of these started out as Knit Picks Swish Superwash in Bubblegum pink. I added red #20 powder food coloring and red Kool-Aid to the one on the left, and Wilton’s violet to the one one the right. Really love the coral/watermelon color, but it never stopped bleeding in the rinse water. I’m sure it was the powder dye that did it.

My therapist gave me a great tip today: use citric acid powder (from a natural food store) instead of vinegar. Doesn’t have the nasty vinegar smell, and it’s the same stuff they put in Kool-Aid. I find that Kool-Aid colors set pretty well.

Swish Overdye #3

Knit Picks Swish Superwash in Coast Gray, overdyed with Wilton’s violet and a splash of random red Kool-Aid. I’m going to go back and re-do it with grape Kool-Aid, since I was looking for a darker color.

My partner and I hosted afternoon tea–that’s right, a tea party. I made fresh lemon curd* for the scones, and finger sandwiches with the crusts cut off and everything. Cucumber and yogurt/dill/cilantro spread; smoked wild Sockeye salmon and fresh dill with a cream cheese spread; sliced Bosc pear (the Concorde season is over, alas) and deliciously creamy Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese. YUM! Wanted to take pics but my friends think I’m a loony foody as it is. But we did receive this beautiful beautiful teapot, which a friend left behind when she left the country.


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Raw Fish, Anyone?

A great reward after two and a half hours of bike riding (on bike routes from the Alameda shoreline to the Oakland Airport and back):

Berkeley Bowl has an amazing fish section, including reasonably priced sushi grade fish. I picked up some tuna along with a seasoning package with which to make poke and planned a chirashi sushi dinner.

The great thing about chirashi sushi is that you start with seasoned rice and then get creative with the toppings. I added: gari shoga (pickled sliced ginger for sushi) , beni shoga (shredded red pickled ginger), avocado, lightly dressed sliced cucumbers, fukujin zuke (a sweet mixed pickle that you usually eat with Japanese curry), and a Korean shredded daikon pickle (which I probably would not use again for this, as the smell is strong). I also added tamago, a special omelette that can be made into nigiri sushi. In retrospect I should have added shredded nori, but it was still delish.


In addition to miso soup, I served horenso no goma-ae. Spinach with sesame dressing. I was thrilled to finally learn how easy it is to make, using a recipe from an English/Japanese basic recipe booklet brought back from Japan by my partner. Fresh spinach is blanched, immediately rinsed with cold water, squeezed, then chopped. Dressing: toast several tablespoons sesame seeds in a pan; coarsely grind; then mix with a little sugar, pinch of salt, and just enough soy sauce to form a coarse paste. Hand-mix spinach and dressing together; mound on a plate to serve.

Edited on September 15, 2007.

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$5 Trader Joe’s bouquets have been exploding with stargazers.



I’m still new at this photography thing. Focus, focus! Anyway, I gathered some heirloom tomatoes, red bell pepper, a sweet Armenian cucumber, and red “spring” onions at the farmer’s market and made some refreshing gazpacho. But no recipe, since I forgot to take a pic of the soup!

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What to cook for a guest on a hot day? It was a friend visiting from New York, so I wanted to serve something special. At the neighborhood fish market, I splurged on a really nice cut of ahi tuna. Then I went home and improvised.

Seared Ahi & Soba Noodle Salad

Sesame and cracked pepper crusted, seared ahi (chilled) on a bed of wilted spinach, on top of miso flavored, chilled soba noodles, on top of a salad with a miso or light rice vinegar dressing. The key is high quality tuna. The cracked pepper lends piquancy, the sesame and soba a rich earthy nuttiness, and the dressing(s) a balance of acid, salt, and a slight sweetness. The dish pairs well with a crisp white wine or, my favorite, soju.

Seared Ahi & Soba Noodle Salad - detail

Recipe follows. Keep in mind that this is a modular recipe; you can cook one component or substitute parts. (more…)

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From Sunday through Wednesday, I stayed in downtown Vancouver at Judy (aka Dotorious Judy) and Jenny’s, along with their two dogs, Puca and George.They were all such great hosts–including the dogs who are sweet, affectionate critters. 🙂

I pretty much ate the whole time. Oh yeah, I saw a bit of the city too–biked through Stanley Park and walked through a bunch of shopping districts. But the food, the food!  Foodies read on…. (more…)

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I have the Chapter 6 Word document open. All the relevant research files are piled conveniently around me. But it’s 90 degrees farenheit and I feel like a slug. Spent half the day inside the house in my undies. That is all I have to say about that.

Soon I’ll be having another one of these:


Bibiana over at Preeety Crafty kindly posted a caipirinha recipe for me this weekend. I was going to try her negrinhos recipe yesterday, but with the hot weather after a deliciously spicy-greasy meal at Spices! 3, we just weren’t up for rich sweets. So I mixed up a batch of caipirinha–substituting vodka for cachaça, which I will get soon–and it was de-lish! My husband, his friend Mike, and I relaxed on our deck sipping these and watching the sun set.

My WEBS shipment arrived with more yarn for Babette blanket:


A lot of the colors are too kid-like, so I’m sending back some. It’s making my head spin to make all the colors correspond; and I still have two colors I haven’t even tried to match yet. This is quite an adventure in color!

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