Giant Squashagne

Once, at the market, there was a stand that sold giant squash.


They were the most giant squash in all the land. Or maybe not, but they were ridiculously huge. And there was one girl who couldn’t resist buying one of the giant squashes just to dream up something fun to do with them.


So she went home. She pondered over it for a few days. She displayed the squash in a fruit bowl that was about 5 gallons too small for the it to actually fit in. And then, after having it catch her eye and make her laugh on the third day, she decided to do something magnificent with that squash.

But first, she wanted to make sure everyone realized how big this squash really was. And that it totally matched her new favorite nail polish. Super cool.


The girl broke out her very dangerous mandolin and carefully sliced that giant squash into something that resembled lasagna noodles. She had recently been making zucchini into noodles (we call those “zoodles” around here, and – yes – they are delicious), and figured lasagne with squash may be just as delicious.


She sliced and sliced until she had piles of beautiful zucchini noodles (zoodles!!).


She piled on ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan. She browned her favorite local sausage and threw it into the tomato sauce she had made with early girls from her favorite tomato stand (the recipe is here!). She layered and layered, and then she baked that lasagne just like it was a regular, delicious pasta lasagne.

(this is where she forgot to take any pictures…)

She peaked in at her masterpiece as the timer went off. It was perfect!

But… then her phone rang!  Friends were gathering with wine by a fire! They would probably be hungry, too!

She quickly wrapped up the masterpiece and headed out with giant squash, local pork sausage, homemade tomato sauce lasagne in tow. (because this is a totally normal thing to do when invited to a campfire. just bring lasagne.)

The girl and her friends laughed and drank wine and ate grapes off of vines and listened to music by the fire late into the night. And everyone was happy that she made squash lasagne (squashagne?) and just happened to bring it to the party.


No one even missed the noodles.

Moral of the story? If you are ever invited to a last minute campfire with wine, bring a squashagne. No one will be mad at you, I promise.


The Incredible Summer Market

I could give you a million excuses for why I’ve only posted – what – twice in July?

But who wants to hear that. It’s July. I’ve been working on awesome, awesome things. I’ve been building projects and baking my butt off.  I’ve been planning and viewing and researching and (always) eating.  I’ve been documenting it all and sharing what I can when I have a second to come up for air and send a picture through vscocam or something of the sorts. And today, I actually had a second to sit down and look through all of the pictures in my July 2014 Photostream.

You just really have to see what’s happening at the market right now.  It is glorious.

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I can’t even explain how happy it makes me that it is tomato season again.  I literally just had tomatoes (and a hard boiled egg) for breakfast.IMG_6672IMG_6573IMG_6413 IMG_6410And the melons! Is there anything that tastes more like summer than melons?  I’m over the moon happy with my summer fruit!
IMG_6412IMG_6661 IMG_6837 IMG_6574 Ok, one more tomato shot. I actually started a #kelslovestomatoes hashtag so I could document all the beautiful tomatoes in my life – before they quickly disappear into my stomach’s life.IMG_6833 IMG_6834 IMG_6665I’m always glad I brought my cart…
IMG_6847I hope you are all enjoying your summer, and that it has been just as bountiful as ours has been!  Happy summer market to all!




I hope you are all I hope you 

Bring Your Produce Back To Life!

Brad has all kinds of fun kitchen tricks.

Maybe one of my favorites is when there is a bunch of basil – or a bag of spinach, or some carrots or herbs or whatever – that looks limp and sad.  Maybe it wasn’t in the crisper in the refrigerator.  Maybe we went to lunch after the market and left them in the car a little too long.  Maybe I took something out of a bag that it would have been better off left in…

Whatever happened, the produce looks withered and faded.

(hopefully this is not how you feel after that glorious memorial day weekend.  if it is, then use this same trick on yourself.  plus maybe a pastry or two.  i guarantee the holiday weekend hangover will be over in no time.  and – cheer up!  it’s “officially” summer!)

Just looking at those sad, limp, green leaves, you think you should probably just throw them away.

limp kale key of kels

Like this kale, for example.  I have no excuse, I just didn’t get to it fast enough and it sat in the bottom of the crisper out of a bag just a little too long.

But wait!!

I tried Brad’s magic trick.

limp kale key of kels I stuck the kale in a jar with a good amount of water.  I set it in a sunny spot, but not one that got direct sunlight.

And I – once again – forgot about it.
limp kale key of kelslimp kale key of kelslimp kale key of kels

Seems this week I’m just really not good at kale.

limp kale key of kels

But a few hours later, I happened to walk by the arrangement, and I noticed that the leaves were no longer touching the tabletop I’d set them on.

kind of limp kale key of kels kind of limp kale key of kelsThe leaves felt a little stronger to the touch.  A little more rigid and tough. kind of limp kale key of kels kind of limp kale key of kelsSo I left them a little while longer.  Just to see what would happen.kind of limp kale key of kels

24 hours later, the kale was pretty much 100% back to it’s natural kale-like state.

back to life kale with the key of kels back to life kale with the key of kels back to life kale with the key of kels

I was really amazed at how it had transformed from being limp, soft, and inedible right back to being tough, thick, crunchy kale.back to life kale with the key of kels back to life kale with the key of kels back to life kale with the key of kels

I will admit, it looked so pretty in the jar that I kept it on my desk for a day next to the gorgeous protea flowers I picked up at the farmer’s market.

Kale arrangement with protea

Now I’ve had both kale and artichokes as floral arrangements.  This is either multitasking or a giant waste of food.

Kale arrangement with proteaAnd I just keep thinking of what I can do with all this kale…

So, I’m off to make lunch.


Front Yard Avocado Toast

Brad has a morning routine.

He hits snooze about a gazillion times, then he gets up, makes two scrambled eggs and coffee, takes a shower, and then gives me a kiss in bed before heading out the door.

My mornings are a little more flexible.

Usually I’ll roll out of bed as he leaves and get myself a bowl of yogurt.  Sometimes I’ll feel fancy and make oatmeal with walnuts and raisins.  Even less often I’ll go wild and make bacon grits or a fried egg sandwich.

But the other day I came back from a walk with Gibson and there was a lone avocado on the ground under our avocado tree.  It seemed ripe, although a little dented on one side from it’s fall.

Gibson was curious.  I was curious.

Gibson dog with front yard avocado

It’s become trendy to serve different kinds of toasts in restaurants now.  I had a whole argument/discussion with some friends while dining out recently about whether or not it is a valuable addition to a menu.  Personally, I think it’s nice to have just a little bite of something.  Especially if it’s an interesting combination and I just want to try it.  But am I going to order a whole lot of toast for dinner?  Probably not.

Would I eat toasts for breakfast, brunch or a mid-day snack?  Absolutely.

Avocado Toast

I went simple while trying out my front-yard avocado.  I toasted up some bread and just smeared it on.

Avocado Toast

Then I sprinkled on a little salt and chili flake to season it.  I know restaurants can get all fancy with their avocado toast combinations, but all little salt and a little spice is really all you need.

Avocado Toast Avocado Toast Avocado Toast Avocado Toast

Have I seen this being sold for $6 around Hollywood?  Yep.

Does it taste better while sitting around with my bed-head in my pajamas?  Oh yea.

Avocado Toast Avocado Toast Avocado Toast Avocado Toast

If you’re just rolling out of bed and enjoying a lazy Sunday, give this a try.  You’ll feel instantly hip.  And full.  And like your skin is glowing from all of the things in avocados that are so good for your skin.

That’s right, breakfast that makes you look good.


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Colors of Spring

Sometimes during the cold winter months of potatoes and hearty green kale, you forget how much color there is in the world.

And then weeks like this week happen.  The market was drop dead gorgeous this week.DSC_0202 DSC_0219

Spring here in Southern California is in full bloom.  There were blossoms and flowers and blooms everywhere.

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Even the herbs were flowering with spring. Continue reading

Springtime at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market

“She turned to the sunlight and shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor: “Winter is dead.” 
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

I guess yesterday was the last official market of the winter here in Santa Monica.

spring tulips

But it sure looked like spring had arrived a teeny bit early.

spring at santa monica farmers marketspring at santa monica farmers market spring at santa monica farmers marketHow many different kinds of eggs can there possibly be??spring at santa monica farmers market spring at santa monica farmers market spring at santa monica farmers market

Good thing I went to the market alone yesterday, because there wasn’t much room left in the car for Brad.

spring at santa monica farmers market

I’m flying to Maryland tonight for a memorial service for my grandfather.  I hope I can bring a little bit of this Southern California springtime with me via raisins and strawberries.

And maybe some other goodies I pick up along the way…


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