Monday, July 23, 2007

Hen and Chicks

I love the symmetry of these plants, but mostly I'm totally crazy for all of the colors in this picture. All of those relaxing shades of green with a little pink/red to spice things up a little. Mmm. Lovely.
Posted by Picasa
Back to Back

Lately I've been trying to pay more attention to all of the flower when I'm taking pictures. It's interesting to look at them in new ways, like from the back or the side. I think it's cool to see how the blossoms are attached to the rest of the plant.
Posted by Picasa
Warning All Arachnophobes: Look No Further

But really, this spider doesn't look all that scary. Although it does look like it's about ready to have a
"picnic" lunch.
Posted by Picasa
Down the Alley

The neighbors recently painted their house and fence this shade of brown. They both look better than they did before, but this purple flower really pops against the brown fence. Well done.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Since Mom was trying to tell me that I'd already posted pictures of this, (I haven't this year) I thought maybe I should. (So she could be right after all.) I took a walk this afternoon and found some in various states of bloom:

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sunday and Monday's Dessert

Behold the wonder that is Granny's Toasted Almond-Mocha Blender Torte (although I will confess that I made this with pistachios instead of almonds, because I had plenty of pistachios and no almonds). Granny and Uncle Dave made us the original version last time we visited. This was my first time making it. It's easy and refreshingly light for something that tastes so rich.

4 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup toasted almonds (or your nut of choice)
1/4 cup flour
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
In a blender (hence the name Blender Torte), whirl eggs, sugar and nuts until nuts are very finely ground. Add flour and baking powder; whirl until mixed well. Pour batter into a buttered 9-inch diameter cake pan. (Although I think I used an 8-inch pan.) Bake in a 350 degree oven until cake feels set in center when lightly touched, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool ten minutes (cake will settle), then invert cake onto a plate and cool completely.
Mocha Cream:
1 and 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar (I believe I used a little less)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder (I used Medaglia D'Oro instant espresso)
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a blender, combine all ingredients and whirl mixture just until softly whipped; do not overblend. Frost cooled cake with mocha cream and keep cool until serving.

Full disclosure:
The original recipe calls for 1 and 1/4 cups of toasted almonds, and reserves 1/4 cup for garnishing the torte. I chose to skip that step.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I Like Mike/The Happiest Hour of All

Here he is at happy hour, wearing his new "Elliott Gould" shades (along with a pretty ridiculous expression).

Detail of beautiful feta-stuffed olive in my Bombay Sapphire "Greek Martini" at Lola. good!
Posted by Picasa
Sweet Orange Things

This afternoon I walked from my office to Lola for happy hour. I stopped at Neuhaus at Rainier Square on my way, so I could pick up some chocolate treats for my favorite waitress and hostess at Lola. While they were wrapping up my chocolates at Neuhaus, I took some pictures of their lovely fruit slices. The flowers were in a planter outside, and much like the orange slices, too sweet to resist (photographing).
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Portrait of the Artist (with Self Portrait)

I love Juliet's self-portrait. She said she did it by looking at herself in the mirror.

Posted by Picasa
Juliet's Artwork

When we were over at Mike and Juliet's on Sunday, I had to take some pictures of Juliet's latest pieces.

Full picture:

Detail of dog-walking:
Posted by Picasa
Dinner in Three Courses

This is what happens when it's this hot: I can't stand the heat, so I stay out of the kitchen. At least for long periods of time. The rule for tonight's dinner was that I couldn't be upstairs for longer than 15 minutes per course. (The basement was made for days like this.)

Course one: Lemon Garbanzo and Celery Salad (left over from last night, prep time = approximately 30 seconds. Delicious!

Course two: Bruschetta in a Bowl/Bread Salad/Dry Gazpacho (call it what you want, but it took about 12 minutes to make).

Course three: Simple Arugula Salad (prep time two minutes).

And there you have it. A light supper for a hot day. As a reward for drinking about four glasses of water with dinner, I plan on sipping on a delicious Grey Goose-A-Rita for dessert. (My favorite margarita recipe made with vodka instead of tequila...also left over from last night.)
Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 06, 2007

Lily Patrol

More lilies from around the 'hood...

Posted by Picasa
This Rose

I took this picture because I thought Granny would like it. She likes pink. She likes roses. So, here you go, Gran!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Posted by Picasa
Sparkle(r), Crack(er) & Pop

New breakfast cereal? Nope. Sparkler "stems," firecracker string and "popped" watermelon.

Posted by Picasa

Here are some remnants of what was going on (or should I say off?) last night down at the beach:

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 01, 2007


Posted by Picasa