Tuesday, September 29, 2009

san pellegrino baby

Do you remember this post from awhile back? I thought you might like to see the baby quilt I made inspired by this colorful can. Perfect for the hip, modernist bundle.

Monday, September 28, 2009

fast to feast

The Yom Kippur fast. No food or water for 24 hours. Should be a cinch. Right? Wrong. I love my 3 squares plus snacks. Don't you? When extreme crabbiness sets in around 4:00 this afternoon, I'll be thinking of just how delicious this salmon will be.

This is what I'm making for the break fast. Click here to enjoy the complete story.

Almost Aunt Sandy's Sweet and Sour Salmon by Melissa Clark from The New York Times

6 c. fish broth
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 bunch thyme
8 center cut skin on wild salmon fillets, 3 oz. each
1/2 c. golden raisins
1 small lemon, thinly sliced
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
2 T light brown sugar
Challah, for serving

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees . In a large pot, simmer fish broth with garlic, bay leaf and salt for 15 minutes
  2. In a 9x13 inch baking dish, scatter red onion and half of the thyme. Place salmon on top, skin side down, and season with salt and pepper. Scatter remaining thyme, raisins and lemon on top.
  3. Stir vinegar and sugar into broth and let simmer for 1 minute to dissolve sugar. Remove garlic and bay leaf from broth; carefully pour broth over fish. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until fish is just cooked through to your liking. Serve hot, warm or cold with challah for dipping into broth.
empty plate photo- my daughter
salmon photo - Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Friday, September 25, 2009

howdy tex!

Welcome back Tex. Has it already been a year? This city is always a happier place with you in it. The great State Fair of Texas begins today and runs through October 18th. If you're curious, this fun site has great background on Big Tex, the world's biggest cowboy and mascot of the fair. Advice from Kalynn and Tully.......go early, while the corny dog grease is still fresh. Happy weekend.

photo: StevenM_61 - flickr photostream

Thursday, September 24, 2009

suddenly everything's right

I went on a nice quiet run this morning. In my brand new tennies. They felt great. White and cushiony. I have lots of tennies and I keep them for way too long. Alan thinks I should reduce my pile. I tell him these are for gardening and these for kayaking and these are my back up work tennies and naturally, I can't part with this pair because I wear those for the family camping trip. I need them all Alan. You know that. He's right of course. But I don't toss out easily. As a kid we used our bath towels until they resembled cheesecloth. Old habits and all that. But I think it's time to clean up my act.

By the way, the title of this post refers to a line from this song.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

every shade but gray

On a gray and rainy day like this one, I think it's awfully nice to be surrounded by color!

Monday, September 21, 2009


Don't you admire people who are always in the middle of a good book? My own reading patterns are erratic at best ranging from engrossing all nighters to having no recollection whatsoever of the last book I read, which is my current state. So, this weekend I took the recommendation of my mom and sister in law and started this new Pat Conroy book. His heartbreaking stories of family dysfunction make me wince. I'm crazy about them.

Wouldn't you love to know all the books you've read over the years? Eric has been keeping a book log in varying forms for the past 10 years. Here's a glimpse of what he's read just since June. Makes me feel a bit unaccomplished.

I ran across this sweet gift idea right here. Artist Jane Mount will do a custom painting of your bookshelves. A lovely & personal gift.
I'll leave you with this... A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. It's my very favorite book of all time. Do you have a very favorite?

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

happy or sad?

My girlfriend Stephanie can never remember if Rosh Hashanah is the happy holiday or the sad one? I remind her it's Jewish New Year. It's the happy one! Next week, we atone.
This week, we eat apples and challah dipped in honey. Challah is a super tasty Jewish egg bread, a cousin to brioche. Sorry to boast (I'll atone for it next week), but this Methodist can make a mean challah. If you want to make challah with me on Thursday, pick these things up from the grocery today.

  1. 2 packages of active dry yeast
  2. 1/2 cup sugar or honey
  3. 6 cups unbleached all purpose or bread flour
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 1 stick butter
  6. golden raisins, optional
I'm going to attempt to video the bread making process on Thursday and post it via youtube.
If I can't pull it off by myself, I'll either:

A. pull my kids out of school for the day so they can help me


B. take step by step photographs

I suppose B. is more responsible.
Come back tomorrow for bread class!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

costume idea swap

Every year when I see clever Halloween costumes, I always think I'll remember them the following year. Unfortunately, committing anything to memory is a bad idea. Unless it's useless celebrity trivia, for which I have remarkable memory retention. Anyway, this Halloween, I thought it could be fun to swap ideas with one another. Are you all about store bought convenience? Or only homemade will do? Our ideas in the past have ranged from elaborate to simple. The younger the child, the more insanely time consuming the costume. Think Disney princess Belle in mounds of lemon colored satin that raveled as fast as I could sew, to Ms. Piggy, which we made the night before. Won't you pretty please play along and email some of your favorite costume photos and I'll share them on a future post?
Send to: shari@redllamastudio.com

Monday, September 14, 2009

picture day #3

guest blogging daughter..yada yada yada..

photo on the decks.

the beaches of los angeles. with a tiny bird here, a tiny bird there.

both photos via the cherry blossom girl

happy monday.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

history & dinner

This is the view from my kitchen pass through. A daddy/daughter study session is in full swing. I cook and observe.

Facts fly and ideas are exchanged. Questioning is highly encouraged around here. Always question. Talk of Columbus and Isabella. Latitude and longitude. The vintage globe comes out. The one I bought for Alan in L.A. many years ago. Names have changed. Information is obsolete. Time to eat. History can wait.

speaking of globes...

...look at this dreamy globe photo seen on black*eiffel, a cool blog written by a witty girl named Rachel. The photo is by an artist named Natamatika.

Also found on black*eiffel, a feature on London based artist, Elisabeth Lecourt. Look at the beauty in the intricate folds of these old maps. I just love them.

Monday, September 7, 2009

built in punishment

I hope you had some fun this Labor Day weekend. We miss you already Eric! For those of you who asked, Eric is my 26 year step son. My friend of 20 years. We had lots of laughs, played board games, talked music and ate banana pudding. It was good pudding. So good it was gone before I could take a picture of it. This is the version that calls for Eagle Brand milk. When I cook with eagle brand milk, I always think of this childhood tale of excess. You see, my sister and I LOVED Eagle Brand milk. We'd get a teensy taste every so often when it was being used in a recipe by mom or Mommy Elta, our grandmother. Likely that faux cheesecake in graham cracker crust with canned cherry topping. Remember that? Anyway, it was just enough to make us want more. One day, we snuck a can to our back yard, along with a can opener and two spoons. We proceeded to eat the entire can. Bad idea. I don't recall if we got a spanking. Believe me. Consuming a can of Eagle Brand has its own built in punishment.

Freddie's Creamy Banana Pudding - Cedar Creek Lake United Methodist Church Cookbook

1 @ 14oz. can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 c. cold water
1 (4 serving size) pkg. instant vanilla pudding and pie filling
1 pint whipping cream, whipped
36 or more vanilla wafers
5 or more medium bananas, sliced and dipped in lemon juice

In a large bowl, combine eagle brand milk and water. Add pudding and mix well. Chill for 5 minutes. Fold in whipped cream. Spoon 1 cup pudding mixture into glass serving bowl. Top with one third each of the wafers, bananas and pudding. Repeat layering ending with pudding. Top with vanilla wafers. Chill thoroughly.

Friday, September 4, 2009

this great guy

It's the weekend and we are officially excited in our home! Because this guy right here, Eric Lidji, is coming for a visit. He has spent the past couple of years working as a reporter in Fairbanks and Anchorage. He survived the bitter cold, total darkness, seal meat (and yes, it does taste like chicken) and an encounter with Sarah Palin. Eric has loads of stories to tell.

A couple of months ago he camped his way across the U.S. in this pup tent eating vats of chicken noodle soup and listening to great music. He landed in Pittsburgh. Speaking of music, Eric makes the best mixes ever! He even creates the cover art especially for you with his signature stick people.

Welcome home Eric.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

8 ball squash

Now, what am I going to do with these little guys? The 8 ball squash is a zucchini hybrid. Don't they look cool? I think I'll make this recipe provided by the very farmer who grew the squash. He's a keen marketer.

Taco Stuffed 8 Ball Squash - 4 servings - a recipe from Farmer Lemley, Farmers Market - downtown Dallas

  • 4 large 8 ball squash
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 c. chopped onion
  • 1/4 c. bell peppers
  • 1 c. chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 t. salt
1. Cut the stem end and put the 8 balls in a pan, cut side down, with a cup of water. simmer for 10 minutes until tender.
2. Brown the ground beef.
3. Add the onion, bell pepper, tomatoes and salt.
4. When the 8 balls are cool, scoop out the middle with spoon and add to the ground beef mixture.
5. Fill the squash with the mixture and top with grated cheese of your choice.
6. Place in 350 degree oven until the cheese melts.

UPDATE: This was kind of yuck. Too watery. I love the way they look. I'll try something different next time.

squint your eyes

Alan and I got a little overzealous at farmers market and ended up with a sizeable pile of squash. I cut up a few for lunch yesterday, drizzled a teensy bit of olive oil, added some sliced onion and roasted them. While still warm, I stirred in a wedge of Laughing Cow Cheese. Guess what? It tasted like the covered dish classic, squash casserole. Except healthy. Honestly, just squint your eyes and take a bite. You'll be convinced too. Oh, the little things. They make my day.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

color job

Right about now...
I'm wishing I hadn't gone all Shear Genius and colored my own hair.
That gray swish looked great in the front! Cool placement. All my friends said so. But I wasn't ready for the swish.
Now a photographer is coming over this week to take my picture for a magazine.
What?!? I ask. Are the chances of that?!?
Do any of you color your own hair with nice results?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

cheerful and cheap

I love this great little embroidery hoop installation I ran across on this fun blog, rosy little things. Versatile too, as you can change out fabrics as often as you like. Buy cheap hoops at your local craft store, then make your way over to a fun quilt shop where they have all the best fabric. They all sell "fat quarters". This is a quarter yard cut of fabric that measures 18"x22" instead of a typical 9"x42" yard cut. Press your fabrics, trace around the hoops and cut just to the outside of your tracing line. Lay the fabric on top of the small ring and press larger ring over the top. Done. Cheerful and cheap. On another note. Thanks so much to all who commented and emailed on yesterday's post. You've given me great ideas to develop. I've responded to each email and comment. Take a look and let's chat again.

top photo via rosylittlethings
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