Saturday, December 27, 2014

Tuscan Bread

This recipe comes from someone's More Bread Machine Magic book, but works just as well self-risen and baked in the oven. I learned this one day when the machine inexplicably decided to stop working. 

Tuscan Bread

Dissolve 1 packet of dry yeast in 1.5 cups of warm water
Mix in: 2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar
3 cups flour

I also mixed in a jalapeƱo, and a half of a zucchini, both diced finely. 
(You could do shredded veggies of all types). 

Rise ~2 hours, beat once in between if that's your style. Roll into a luscious log, or a toad stool, or a regular looking baguette. I cut a star into the top of mine too and the veggies peaked out.

Baked at 375 degrees F for 40-50 minutes. Use a knife test to see if yours is done. 

And just for fun, here is a real toad stool (Amanita Muscaria) seen the other day at Sibley Volcanic Preserve when some friends and I climbed the top of a volcano. There were bright red mushrooms everywhere after the long rainy days we have had. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Quilts in Progress

These are two quilts I have been working on for a little while, both for amazing women that I work with who are having babies next year. The first is a material I posted a photo of a long time ago, and just finally found the most perfect gray fabric to back it. It has little puffs all over and will match the colors nicely. The second is a log-cabin quilt and my first time using a real pattern and not just slapping remnants together. The dark/light fabric will continue around and hopefully look a little bit like a gradient or steps. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Central Coast

This weekend I surprised T with a little trip to the central coast. We made pit stops in Seaside, Monterey, Point Lobos, Moss Landing, and Capitola. Point Lobos is my favorite chunk of nature to explore: I went once last winter when it was colder but just as sunny and windy.

More pictures on my flickr from this year and last year's trip.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


Photo only post because I have no words for how much I liked Barcelona. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

British Natural History Museum

To be honest, I thought the Natural History Museum in London was a bit dusty and boring. Nothing compared to our brand new and super interactive Oakland Museum of California's natural science exhibit. So I left the back door a little disappointed and stumbled on the best part of the museum, it's outdoor ecosystem garden! The garden features different ecosystems in England and had beautiful benches and rocks to sit on throughout. There is also a plaque in front of a mysterious mound of rock explaining that there lies ancient dinosaur footprints, right there, in that very spot. So cool! 

Here are just a few of my photos. See more and more of my entire trip to Europe on my flickr, here.

View of the museum in the background. 

I wish I had seen a wild fox while in London too. Apparently they live throughout the city, which seems likely since there are so many parks. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mugwort Magic

A gift from Jessica's garden, tons of mugwort which we thought were in bloom, researched, and discovered we had harvested loads of flower buds. Anyway, I used a portion to make sleep sacks for vivid dream recall, tea for overall health, and a tincture for topical salve. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Go-Go Juice Spritzer by Jeff

Belated Summer Solstice wishes and a first ever guest post by Jeff! Jeff is my best friend and lives across the hall from me where he makes art, bread, and delicious cocktails. Click the link above to see his art. Here is his recipe for a yummy and refreshing drink:

-Place frozen strawberries in glass as ice cubes

-Add one-half bottle of ice cold ginger apple cider

-one (or two) shot(s) of ice cold gin

-Add club soda to taste

-With fresh mint, rub the rim of the glass and garnish

Switching it up is encouraged,  other types of frozen fruits, different flavors of cider,  or any light colored/clear liquor will make this refreshing drink your own. If you like your drinks a bit sweeter I suggest adding a brown sugar rim.

Photos by me, sipping by both of us. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Saquaro Project

Earlier this month I attended a field trip to the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, CA. Aside from driving up there in 2011 to take in the spectacular view of the entire East Bay west of the hills, I had never been. I couldn't resist buying my cousins science-related gifts....and one for myself: this Saquaro Cactus which sits in a stand, and absorbs terraforming solution from the bottom up. Within 30 minutes crystals were growing on this puppy, and the last photo shows what it looked like about 2 hours later. Amazing!! 

My information brochure tells me that the Saquaro Cacti, the tallest cactus in the world, grow in the Sonoran desert reaching 75 feet within 150 years. To scale, this makes my room about 1/18th of the Sonoran desert and just about as hot today. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Garden Update

We had such a weird and late winter this year, but somehow the spotty rain and sun last month, plus newly harvested compost, plus some attention made the garden explode! This is definitely the most production spring yield I have had at the HH. 


Avocado, self sprouted in the compost. It looks a little sad here because it was newly transplanted, but doing much better now. And a grape vine 7ft high with an overcast Oakland sky background. 

Large bed, tree collard, kale, nasturtium, lettuce, green onion, broccoli

Green amaranth

Sunflower sprouts! 

Rainbow bed, etc (clockwise from lower left pot): strawberry, pole bean, green onion, bush beans, kale, lettuce, potato, arugula, amaryllis, jasmine, ??, ??, onion

Amaryllis....almost there.....! And bean flower buds.

Arugula flowers

Monday, April 14, 2014

Saturday Afternoon

My Saturday went something like this:


Pancakes (recipe here)


Garden (link)

Puppy (link to photo)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Sausal Creek

Trying to get to Dimond Park the other day, Lauren and I made a detour into a neighborhood and found a little trail (which turned out to be a big trail) called the Bridgeview Trail. Looking at a map, it seems to connect all the way to Joaquin Miller Park, too. Here are some lo-fi barely visible camera photos!