Posts Tagged 'friends'

Indian Feast!

Last night we had our lovely friends Cindy and Xander over and I made (from scratch!) a spread of yummy Indian dishes.


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I used all nice bowls and glasses and even my serving dishes came out of the china hutch!

Napkin Rings:

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The biryani recipe comes from my co-worker, who is from Hyderabad.

Naan and Coriander Chicken:

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The meat dish features crushed coriander seeds as well as pureed fresh coriander leaves (cilantro), along with other spices and yogurt. I made fresh naan dough, but ended up shallow-frying in butter because I couldn’t bear heating the oven to 500 degrees on a hot July night. The texture was lovely! Both of these recipes come from the VahChef, Sanjay Thumma, my favorite  chef at YouTube. I’ve made so many of his recipes, and they are always delicious!

Potato Masala with Panch Phoron and Coconut:

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This potato masala recipe was inspired by a recipe for garlic mashed potatoes, from Modern Spice by Monica Bhide. All her recipes sound good!

Condiments served alongside:


I also put out hot chili paste and yogurt. The tamarind dip is also from the VahChef.

Afterward, there was fragrant espresso brewed fresh by Cindy and Xander, various teas, and a small dish of fennel seeds. Featuring a new teaset that I got for my birthday last week:

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Cindy brought yummy eclairs from the Beau Brummel bakery, which were gobbled up before I remembered to take a photo.

Cindy also opened a little present from me, a new mug that called my name and whispered “for Cindy!” in my ear.

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The last shot of the evening was this pic of the Boogedy, pouring his own herbal tea and cream back and forth from pitcher to cup. This happened over and over! He drank 5 mini cups of Sleepytime Tea and still took 45 minutes to get to sleep after the excitement of visitors.

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I’ve found that you can control the beautiful place setting all you want, but your kid will invariably smear potato masala all over his face and after you download your photos, you’ll realize he was wearing a dopey tie-dyed shirt and no pants.

Hoorary for friends who appreciate your cooking!


Snakes and Frogs Birthday

The Boogedy’s 2nd birthday was actually in February, but the house was in shambles under construction, so we opted to wait and hold the party once the house was decent again. It was part birthday, part grand re-opening of the house party. The theme was snakes and frogs, inspired by this great hat I made for the Boogedy and a cute froggy invitation we sent to everyone.

Here is the awesome coral snake I made using two chocolate bundt cakes and cream cheese frosting. This was ideal for our family, most of whom do not care much for frosting. The dark sections are unfrosted. This snake is enjoying his frog dinner.


We played a great balloon stomping game where everyone tied a small balloon to their ankle and took off their shoes. Then, they tried to pop everyone else’s balloon while keeping their own balloon safe. The last person to remain unpopped is the winner. This was really fun, but the little kids in attendance were a bit overwhelmed.


Then, we played pin the fly on the frog, using a frog face modeled on the invitation we’d sent out and using hand-drawn flies.



We had visited the wine store the day before and picked out wines based on their labels (the wine specialists on-site do not approve of picking wine by our criteria). Here were some of the possibilities:



We couldn’t find any with snakes on the label! Lots of bicycles and kangaroos. Lots of estates and abstract color blocks. Lots of hoofed animals. But no snakes. So we went with the Nathanson Creek because they had white and red wines for a good price.

We put out some decorations:


And I made a baked potato bar with lots and lots of toppings. About halfway through the evening, Zach lit a bonfire in the backyard firepit and sent someone to the store for s’mores fixins. The weather was just right for sitting outside at night, just nippy enough to appreciate a fire.

It was the nicest (and biggest) party we’ve ever held, and the Boogedy received so many adorable presents. Thanks everybody!!

Spring Picnic

Zach and I took Mosca and the Boogedy to our friend’s house last night, ostensibly to take a walk with them and their dog. Once there, though, I completely lost my steam.

Shea took charge and decided we would have a picnic instead. I had packed a few snacks for the walk, in case my little boy got hungry. Paul was making a Mediterranean feast, so I added my stash to the fare. We packed our blanket and walked out to the back of their property, which  sits on the Jordan River.


We unfolded this great feast, honestly the best meal I’ve had in ages. Shea and Paul order fantastic fair-trade olive oil from Palestine, and this entire meal was flavored with that yummy liquid gold.


We took turns taking the Boogedy to the river bank to throw rocks and sticks for the dogs. Here is Mosca, intently trying to figure out if that is a plastic bag stuck on a log or a duck swimming in the middle of the river.  (Plastic bag, unfortunately for him and for the river).


Tea Wallets–Condom carriers?

I made a personalized tea wallet for several loyal readers, tea drinkers all. Now that I know all have been received, I can post pictures here.

For Kristin: Marbelized fabric that reminds me of book endpaper. With a super cool tortoise-shell-esque button.


For Maria: The cupcake queen, with a button that has Sprinkles.


For Sonya: A little something bold and retro. The big button should get itself caught on everything in her purse.


For Jen: Why, FISH, of course!! Swimming against the current.


For my mama: Cherries. I always think of my mom when I see cherry fabrics. She used to live in a little town in Florida called Cherry Lake, and I know so many childhood stories that happened to her and her band of sisters there.


I found this amazingly simple pattern by way of Whip Up, from a tutorial by Christy’s Creations. SO EASY and fun.

Ye olde Blogiversary

Yep, this blog is one year old today!


I thought of posting a retrospective of projects, or photos. I thought of outlining a new direction I’d like to take my blog. Instead, I think I’ll just ramble on and on, like in the Oscars.

I wanted to thank a few people in particular:

Sonya, who has served as great inspiration in many facets of my life, including opening my eyes to the experience of homebirth, and including me on her earliest blog mailing list. She probably cannot know that, even while we live in different states, her style and smile and remembered laugh and compulsions lift me up on a regular basis. More than a year ago, when I was suffering from anxiety due to post-partum depression, she said “It sounds like you need to drop the baby. Once you’ve seen that they’re really more durable than you think, you’ll stop worrying yourself to death.” It was the first belly-laugh I’d had in a week.

Maria always comments and sends me encouraging remarks. I’ll always think of Maria as Uber-enthusiastic. That woman will get behind any project, as long as it’s “neato”.

My talented and creative mom Nancy and my sisters Marian and Jeaka. I always feel like we’re a force to be reckoned with when we’re in the same room (not often enough, given Marian’s life in Dallas). Other DIY valentine makers eat your hearts out…fear these doilies!

So you think your W.O.W. quilt is nicer than this one by my other sis? Not even! It’s been great to have a family that instills such Confidence! When someone asks if I spin, or weave, or leathercraft, I say “no, but how hard can it be?”. Confidence. It runs in the family.  (Actually, spinning is harder than I thought, and leathercrafting is not simple. But who admits defeat? NOT US!)

I’ll thank Zach, too. He rarely reads my blog, but since he is forced to look at every single thing I stitch or create ad nauseum, you can imagine how he has “commented” on everything so far. He started his own blog, too, along the way. He’s gone through periods of being far more prolific than I, and he’s written a few things that almost made me pee my pants. On top of it all, the man is a great and supportive husband, and the very best stay at home dad for our little guy.

You may wonder why, as the mom of a toddler, I don’t write more about my mothering adventures. It isn’t because they aren’t amazing, or numerous, or any other number of superlative adjectives. It’s maybe because motherhood is the creative project that overwhelms me, humbles me, and knocks loose my confidence. I am, perhaps, not as sure of myself in this arena. (Can we get back to talking about knitted presents?!?).

Also, I don’t have so much time for blogging. I work full-time, and then go home to a toddler the rest of the time, madly knitting and crafting on the bus ride, mostly. And of all that I’ve ever done, writing about motherhood would be the topic most deserving of my writing skill. I could take hours to describe how I feel. How dear my child is. How precious his newest skills (pushing the chair to the counter to gorge on grapes [“greh-pees!”]), how tyrannical his curious streak (it was all fun and Disney until he discovered the “tape” in the “videotape”), how perfect and delectable his tiny toes (“shrimpies!”). But it’s too much. It’s too big and grand and wonderful and scary and worrisome and Personal. So for now, I’ll mostly leave it to others to talk about motherhood.

Having a blog has made me more likely to finish my projects, just for the chance of showing them off publicly. I always photograph things now, before sending them away. I’m starting to communicate regularly with crafty women in other states, and am joining swaps and collaborations. Finally I feel like my creative potential has become my creative lifestyle.

Thanks everyone for reading. Your comments mean so much to me!!

Fingerless Mittens


I made these super luxury soft fingerless mittens for my friend Jenn in Half Moon Bay for xmas. She got them late, though, after a back injury mid-December seriously slowed down my crafting. She and I have been friends since we worked together at a small cooking school in Los Angeles a few years ago.

Jenn is a kind soul with a no-nonsense attitude. I made her these downy mittens because she seemed like she needed something soft just now.

I used a lovely heathered oatmeal alpaca yarn called Baby Twist, in a stretchy, one-size-fits-all 1×1 rib. By some stroke of luck, she says they match her winter coat perfectly!

Mid-week present!


When I got home last night, I found green padded mailer on the table from Maria! Maria and I worked together several years ago at ImagiKnit in San Francisco. She’s quirky. She’s fun. She’s a good cook. She read my post about how I’m always carrying my knitting around in the paper sack the yarn came in. She sent me this gorgeous reversible bag that she made!

It’s already holding my current project, which I’m afraid you just can’t see right now because it’s nearly x-mas, and the recipient of this knittery might just read this post! Ok, a little peek. This photo has better color, by the way:


Thank you Maria!!

Also, she sent me some scraps of some fat quarters she’s in love with. I’ll be finding some coordinating fabrics in my mondo-stash and sending her a little gifty right back.