Wednesday, January 30, 2013

52 cookies :: week 48 :: oatcakes

first off, thanks for your dinner suggestions! can't wait to try them.

the countdown continues...

52 cookies

reading this reminded me how good stephanie's oatcakes are. and set me to baking them over the weekend. they disappeared before the weekend was over. so i made a second batch. these are really somewhere between a cracker and cookie. i've usually described them as the former. but there is a sweetness that lends them to the latter. and little guilt when the girls eat them two at a time. (i love them with a sharp cheddar - the girls like them plain and simple.)

52 cookies

by Stephanie Congdon Barnes (thank you SCB!)
from 3191 issue no.9

1 1/2 c oats
1 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 c plain, whole fat yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place oats, flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and sift together with a whisk. Add butter and work in with your fingers or a pastry cutter until you have a coarse meal. Stir in yogurt until a soft dough forms. If you use a firm yogurt, you may need to add a tiny splash of milk to bring the dough together, but it should be a crumbly and short dough. Pat dough out on a floured surface and roll to a 1/4 inch thickness. Using a 2 inch biscuit cutter or the top of a small drinking glass (as I did), but out your oatcakes and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly browned. Store in an airtight container.

* * * * *

K: These cookies are so good. My mom said they were crackers so E and I had two each. These cookies are delicious-o.

E: Sweet, kinda salty, and delish. When I asked my mom what she was baking, she said they were oat crackers. So K and I ate a bunch while my mom was in the other room. Yum!

D: It tastes too good to be a healthy biscuit. They are lightly sweet and crumbly like a scone but not bready. You said they would taste good with cheddar, but they got gobbled soo fast that the block of cheese is safe for another day. Maybe you could make some more and we would be able to finish the taste-test!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

what, when, where and how we eat.


i've been wanting to write this down for a while... (i'm making good on my new year's resolution of meal planning.)

i am a strong believer in the family meal. we hold on to having dinner together every night (with few exceptions). at the table. and along with that it is a properly set table. and everyone is eating the same meal. even as babes being introduced to solids they ate along with us. (loved this book.)

some years back our csa hosted a family nutrition night at our neighborhood school. my greatest take away was the philosophy of ellyn satter:

the "division of responsibility"(from toddler through adolescence) around eating is thus...

The parent is responsible for what, when, where
The child is responsible for how much and whether

It is the parent's job to choose and prepare food; provide regular meals and snacks; make eating time pleasant; model mealtime behavior and show them what they need to learn about food; not allow them to graze between meals and snack times; and let them grow up to have the bodies that are right for them.

as well, we try our best to eat 1) locally (and in turn seasonally) and 2) organic. i try to have at least one meatless meal a week (i'd like to get this to two.)

our CSA subscription (beets above) is a big part of my meal planning. along with that is a budget i try to stick to. and a goal of being as efficient as possible with the food we purchase (a whole chicken = three meals; eat what will spoil most quickly first; etc.) i work from home so most leftovers end up being my lunch. there are exceptions that i expect with some recipes. and plan for.

a look back at this past month:

Sunday: bratwurst w/ rice and collards (MSL)
Monday: roast chicken w/ roasted cauliflower, broccoli & potatoes
Tuesday: chicken handpies w/ salad (DaLS)
Wednesday: matzo ball soup
Thursday: teriyaki salmon w/ brown rice & baby bok choy
Friday: homemade pizza and chopped salad
Saturday: leftovers

Sunday: turkey meatloaf w/ mashed potatoes, spaghetti squash & kale
Monday: risotto w/ peas & bacon (DaLS)
Tuesday: crockpot beef stew
Wednesday italian sausage w/ kale (MSL)
Thursday: chicken chili (IG)
Friday: out (family event)
Saturday: out (family event)

Sunday: leftovers
Monday: ginger chicken soup with soy glazed vegetables (sunset)
Tuesday: spaghetti with turkey bolognese & spinach
Wednesday: bangers and mash w/ onion gravy and chard
Thursday: girls night out (restaurant)
Friday: homemade pizza w/ CSA salad
Saturday: 4 spice salmon w/ roasted potatoes & spinach

Sunday: shepherd's pie
Monday: breadcrumb & herb roasted cauliflower pasta
Tuesday: out (school fundraiser)
Wednesday: rosemary rubbed pork chops w/ polenta and beets
Thursday: red lentil soup
Friday: crockpot pot roast
Saturday: leftovers

i write the plan for each week right onto our calendar (yes - i still keep a paper calendar!) and prepare the shopping list based on that. i have found that the planning helps so much with the budget. no last minute trips to the store that result in picking up a few extras we didn't really need.

i do find it takes work to mix it up. and while the girls like to see some favourites in heavy rotation, d likes it best when there is a lot of variety.

so, what's your favourite dinner recipe?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

52 cookies :: week 47 :: walnut shortbread


Walnut Shortbread with Citrus & Flake Salt
from Sunset Magazine (February 2013)

2/3 c walnut pieces
1 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 c sugar
zest of 1/2 lemon and 1/4 orange
2 large egg yolks
2 c flour, sifted
1 tsp flake salt

Preheat oven to 350. Put nuts on a baking sheet and toast until light golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool, then finely chop.

Beat butter, sugar, and zest in a bowl with a mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in egg yolks, stopping once to scrape bowl. Add flour and nuts and beat just until dough comes together and is blended.

Shape dough into a disk about 1/2 in. thick, wrap with plastic, and chill until firm, 30 to 45 minutes. Reduce oven to 300°.

Roll dough on a lightly floured work surface to 1/4 in. Cut into rounds or squares with a fluted 1 1/2-in. cutter and set 1 in. apart on 2 or 3 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt. Gather and reroll scraps, chilling dough if needed.

Bake 2 pans at a time until golden, swapping positions in oven halfway through, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool on a rack.

Store in an airtight container. Makes 30 - 40 cookies

* * * * *

K: i think you know what my favorite part of the cookie was... if you didn't, shortbread! the walnuts made the perfect touch like cake with frosting. (see! they couldn't have done it without each other!)

E: Yummy! It is a really nice cookie. I wish you made more of them. You only made 15! They're good with milk. That's all...

D is away on business. Don't worry - i froze some of the dough and will bake it up for him on his return...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

mazel tov

we have spent the weekend celebrating the bat mitzva of my niece paige.

there has been much family togetherness - and my love & admiration for my nieces (all nine of them ranging in age from 9 to 28) grows. my family is quite small. and quiet. and d's is the opposite. i love that the girls know both. and that the bonds with these cousins will carry on and on.

{a few shots stolen while prepping for the serious photography...}

bat mitzva

bat mitzva

bat mitzva

bat mitzva

bat mitzva

bat mitzva

bat mitzva

looking back

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

52 cookies :: week 46 :: peanut butter crisp rice cookies

52 cookies

the cookie vs. bar debate continues...

No-Bake Peanut Butter-Rice Krispie Cookies
from Mad Hungry

1 c light corn syrup
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c light brown sugar
1 1/2 c salted peanut butter
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 c crisp rice cereal

Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with wax paper or baking parchment. Place the corn syrup and sugars in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Stir in the peanut butter and mix well to combine. Quickly stir in the vanilla and crisp rice cereal. Spread into the lined baking pan. Cool and slice into squares.

52 cookies

* * * * *

K: #1 cookie!!!!!!!!!! This cookie is amazing. This cookie will be on my top ten, maybe even my number #1. Yummy, gooey, rice, and chewy. ;):)

E: These cookies are pretty good. It is not nice eating them alot alot because you can get sick of them. The peanut butter is a little too much, but they are good when you have one with a glass of milk.

D: Wow. What a nice decadent little surprise. I normally pass on rice crispie treats, but the caramel works so well with the rice and the sticky goo. Tasted great with the zinfandel in my glass. However, they won't travel well, and they certainly won't stay on the plate for very long.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

12 hikes :: january :: limekiln canyon

as our cookie adventure winds down we wondered what we should pursue for 2013. we came up with trying out new hiking trails. one a month. or hopefully more. (d suggested we should have been doing this alongside our cookie consumption - but better late than never.)

we have been discussing criteria: proximity to home; length of trails etc. but haven't nailed them down yet.

waking up to a bright and sunny (albeit chilly) morning we decided to head out to a trail I've known about for years - but never visited: Limekiln Canyon








Limekiln Canyon
Chatsworth St & Tampa Ave
Los Angeles, CA 91326
Neighborhood: Chatsworth/Porter Ranch

Proximity: 8 miles from our home
Hike length: various trails from .6 miles to 2.8 miles
Bonus features: water - Limekiln Canyon creek runs alongside the trail
Tips: we parked on Chatsworth and hiked up to Corbin then over the 118 freeway. coming back we went down and under the freeway. next time we will park closer to the trailhead on Rinaldi. the girls whined the first 5 minutes or so - but once they discovered the creek they were in heaven. it would be a great place to pack in a lunch. (we thought we'd be there for an hour but ended up there for almost two.)

* * * * *

K: I would say the hike is an 8 1/2. It was very fun. We did a lot of jumping on the rocks but the only problem was we needed more fun. More jumping in the creek and jumping on rocks.

E: 7 1/2 because we didn't explore as much as I wanted to and you didn't pack a lunch. Pretty fun though.

D: This little hike was great. Very low on expectations and very high on the return. It had everything you would want. Beauty, quiet, watery creek, smooth paths and a cool tunnel.

It was just one of those perfect accidents. We park in the wrong place but it adds a super mystery tunnel. Just when we walked to the end, there were some friends that just happen to be at the top. The creek had the kids jumping across rocks and building dams. It was low impact and Moxie friendly. Gonna be hard to follow this one. Can't wait. And I can see us coming back here again!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

morning light

this a.m.

we've slipped easily back into our "school days" routine. i am grateful. and i have set upon a more organized morning routine, finding myself checking more off my list.

happy friday.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

52 cookies :: week 45 :: lemon thumbprint cookies

a different recipe than the last thumbprints - i was going for a lemon-bar-like experience with these and used an old recipe from my files (source unknown I'm afraid). and a slight cheat with the use of the scrumptious lemon curd produced annually by my friend john from his "farm"-fresh eggs and lemons.

52 cookies

52 cookies

Lemon Curd Thumbprint Butter Cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2/3 c sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c lemon curd

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet.

Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the vanilla and salt and mix until incorporated. Add the flour and mix at low speed until incorporated. Using your hands, roll the dough into golf-ball-sized balls and arrange them 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet, flattening them out as you go. Indent with thumb to create a shallow well. Using a small spoon, fill the wells with lemon curd. Bake until very lightly browned around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on the pan. Store in an airtight container.

52 cookies

* * * * *
K: These cookies I thought would be not to my liking but I really enjoyed them. The lemon was just a teensy bit too much for me but I loved the cookie and the powdered sugar. I still liked the lemon. It was just a little too much.

E: Ok. These cookies are good. The lemon part is very delicious as well as the actual cookie. They fit perfectly together. I don't think it would be good just eating the cookie or just eating the lemon curd. These are delcious sights to see.

D: Oh yes. I cannot contain myself. I am a sucker for the lemon. These cookies are the perfect combination of things that I love, short bread and lemon curd and stuffing my gob. They work so well together. I want one right now.

Home stretch...

Monday, January 07, 2013


i like the idea of a self-portrait to begin the new year.


hopes for 2013

1) 10 K

2) get back to meal planning

3) get back to composting

4) family hikes

5) bedroom & bathroom redo

6) balance

(last year)

Sunday, January 06, 2013

52 cookies :: week 44 :: brown sugar cookies

Brown Sugar Cookies
via Food52

3/4 c unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 c dark brown sugar, packed (I splurged and used Muscovado)
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 egg, room temperature
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Move oven racks to upper and middle third of oven, and preheat to 375 F. Line two cookie sheets with silpat. Cream butter and both sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add egg, vegetable oil and vanilla, and mix until incorporated. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt, and mix to combine. Add flour mixture to mixing bowl and mix until all ingredients just come together (dough will be a bit wet and crumbly). Portion dough into 18 balls (we're talking a little bigger than a golf ball) and place on cookie sheets about 2 1/2 inches to 3 inches apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cookies are done when cookies are still light in color but darker around the edges. Remove from oven, cool in pan for 10 minutes before placing on rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container.

makes 18 cookies

52 cookies

52 cookies

* * * * *

E: i am very fond of these cookies. they are perfectly scrumptious!they are crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. i will always love this type of cookie.

K: These cookies are nice and sugary with a touch of molasses. They're not too crunchy, they are not too soft, they are just right. I usually don't really like a lot of molasses inside my cookie but these ones are perfect.

D: Now that's a great cookie. Right from the chewy first bite, it's asking me to "guess my secret". Is it that crazy sugar from candy mountain? Is it molasses? Kinda smells that way... Definitely the wrong cookie to bake at the beginning of a three day weekend. I WILL EAT ALL OF THEM!

P.S. On behalf of USA. I apologize for not losing to team Canada in hockey. After you being so gracious to open your southern border to us "yanks". World Curling tournament is coming...time to seek revenge. (time to apply the sun screen too)

Saturday, January 05, 2013

corbin palms 1954

more from the getty archive:







krisel's own home - 6440 Jumilla.

love this look into our neighborhood over fifty years back.

looking back...



manitoba christmas

Friday, January 04, 2013

looking back...

day 5
cousins at the cottage

last hurrah
beach day

Berlin I

Thursday, January 03, 2013


new shelves

This vintage walnut shelving unit came to us via d's mom. Very happy with how this transformed the room. (Can't find a before!) D managed to get all the wires hidden in the wall which also made me very happy. Just need to finish up the baseboards and wiring the stereo. (Yes that is a new television too. Thank you harry hanukah.)

Now looking for a new chair to finish it off. The much beloved "egg chair" has moved in with my niece. (E made her promise that she gets it next.) I wasn't sad to see it go - though it holds many good memories. Nice to know it is still in the family.

(Also saving pennies to have the floor refinished.)

looking back...


flowers from the garden


Wednesday, January 02, 2013


Our neighbor Greg has put together the map below of the Alexander/Palmer & Krisel tract showing the five different phases from his research at the Getty:


from Greg...

I - This is the original Corbin Palms (phase I) as shown in the green marketing brochure - 70 homes (tract map #18024). Krisel's notes say 8/18/53 to 9/10/53 but the assessor's recordings say they were all built in 1954, so I suspect those 1953 dates are when he designed it. Most likely, construction began mid-Sept 1953 and finished in early 1954. It only took 10-12 days to build one house (they built several at once). They were advertised in Nov 1953 as "Spacious Modern Bermuda Type Homes" for as low as $14,950 (as low as $2,500 down). Using the Bureau of Labor's Consumer Price Index (CPI), that's equivalent to about $130,000 ($22,000 down) in today's dollars. I've also highlighted (in darker red) Krisel's own house at 6440 Jumilla (the one I sent you photos of), where he lived for 2 years until he moved to his current house at 568 Tigertail Rd in Brentwood (which he designed in 1955 and was built in 1956).

II - This phase was actually called Corval Estates - 60 homes (tract map #19813). Krisel's notes say 2/16/54 to 4/1/54; all were built in 1954.

III - Also called Corval Estates - 55 homes (also tract map #19813). Krisel's notes give only one date: 4/29/54. All built in 1954. You can see the tract map on the Getty's blog from this Tuesday announcing the opening of the Krisel papers: (you can see in the bottom right corner it says Corval Estates).

IV - Again, it's phase IV overall, but called Corbin Palms, phase III. There is some discrepancy in the # of homes. Krisel's notes say 89, but there are actually 91 homes in the tract (tract map #13606). Krisel's notes simply say 1955. I checked the assessor records and all were built in 1955, with the exception of the one in the northwest corner of that tract map (6295 Lubao), which was 1956. Whether his notes are incorrect or whether a couple houses were not built at the same time is unclear. Depending on that detail, there were 287 or 289 houses in the overall development.

V - This phase was called Eastwood Estates (also called the "Contemporary Fieldstone Series") - just 13 homes on bigger lots along Corbin and set further back from the street (also tract #13606). The lots were typically 15,900 sf. Houses in phases I-III are typically 6,800 to 7,500 sf (like ours); phase IV houses are typically 8,700 sf (like yours), except for the irregular ones that are a bit bigger or smaller. All built 1955 (advertised in April, so probably finished in the late summer?). Originally priced between $21,000 and $24,750 (as low as $3,500 down!), equivalent to $180,000 to $212,000 ($30,000 down) in today's dollars.

(Thanks Greg!)

looking back...

{we are back home. safe and sound. as with the last few years I'm going to take this first week of the new year to reflect on that which has just passed. i wish you all a very happy new year. thank you for continuing to visit this little space.}

galiano new year's

annual disneyland recital

spring gardening

* * * * *

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere
and gie's a hand o’ thine
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.