Saturday, November 29, 2008

Call for kitten names!

As many of you know, Scott and I are getting a kitten this Christmas! A hypoallergenic Siberian cream and white tabby, like this one:

We were thinking that a Siberian name would be good. For instance, Numi - the supreme god or father god of the Ob-Ugrian peoples in Siberia. Or Taiga, which is the world's largest biome, is characterized by coniferous forests, and happens to cover Siberia and northern Minnesota. Taiga has the added bonus of sounded like a bad-ass version of Tiger. "Tigah!"

But then again, Mr. Scratchy Pants would make a pretty great name, in honor of Mr. Splashy Pants, a humpback whale in the South Pacific Ocean who's being tracked with a satellite tag by Greenpeace. (The Wikipedia article is really worth reading if you haven't heard of Mr. Splashy Pants before.)

What do you think? Have any better ideas? Send us your ideas for names (or post them in the comments), and in a few weeks we'll put it all up for a vote on the world wide web!

- Libby & Scott

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving weekend is off to a beautiful beginning. I started cooking Thanksgiving dishes yesterday:
Chipotle-mashed sweet potatoes (my favorite Thanksgiving recipe) and a cranberry-apple relish. And, for Wednesday night dinner, I made a fantastic squash stew from my new Vegetable Love cookbook (recipe below). Scott and I had a relaxed evening - we drank a bottle of dark chocolate oatmeal stout beer, nibbled on dark chocolate, and watched TV - the second episode of Supernatural that his sister Julie guest starred in (Go Julie! She was great!) and then an episode of Nova that was all about fractals - I loved it.

This morning, we both woke up at 4 am, so I baked the dinner rolls (very easy, when you already have a bunch of dough in the fridge). We went back to bed from 6-9. Woke up, went for a run (it's beautiful out today!), made a Northwest Waldorf salad, and called to wish my parents a happy Thanksgiving. We're just about ready to head over to Lindsay & Nathan's house. What a wonderful day.

Also, here are some photos from our trip to Yosemite, a week and a half ago.
Yosemite November 2008

Coconut-Jarrahdale Vegetale Stew

* 3 T butter
* 2 medium onions, diced (2 cups)
* 2 medium carrots, chopped (1/2 cup)
* 1 bunch broccoli, chopped (5 cups)
* 2-3 pounds of winter squash (Jarrahdale, acorn, etc.)
* 1 cup coconut milk
* 1/2 cup stock/broth
* 1 T ground cardamom
* 2 T celery seeds
* 1 T salt
* Black pepper

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions. Cook for 3 minutes, or until limp & translucent. Increase teh heat to high. Add the carrots, broccoli and squash. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionaly.
2. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add the coconut milk and stock. Bring to a boil. Stir in the cardamom and celery seeds. Continue to boil for 3 minutes. Cover, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the squash is cooked through.
3. Remove the lid and cook over high heat to reduce and thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

From Vegetable Love by Barbara Kafka

Monday, November 10, 2008

New cookbook yields delightful results

Mini pumpkins!

I saw them at the farmers market, and even though we already had four large winter squashes sitting on our counter at home, I couldn't resist taking these little guys home with me.

At the time, I had only a vague notion of filling them with something and baking them for a while. But then along came a fantastic new cookbook: Vegetable Love, by Barbara Kafka. It's a book for non-vegetarians who love vegetables. I found a recipe for ground lamb stuffing, and seeing as we'd had a pound of ground lab in the freezer for quite some time, it seemed like a good first recipe to try. The lamb was spicy (from curry and chipotle powder), and the pumpkin was sweet, and we will certainly be making this again in the future!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Berkeley Day Trip

I had a great day in Berkeley today - it's only about an hour from Davis, and a very easy trip on I-80. I spent $120 at Games of Berkeley (some Christmas shopping!) and $40 at The Cheeseboard (truffle goat cheese!). But the highlight of the trip, and the reason for it, was visiting with my friend Anna, who's in town for work for a few weeks. It's always fun to reconnect with a Minnesotan, especially one who endured many Nutcracker seasons with you. And, of course, it's a bonus when that person has an excellent taste for cheese and can help you decide how to spend your money on the stuff.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Bike joy.

I got my bike fixed up over the weekend, and it feels wonderful to ride! A new chain, new shifter cables, new tires, and a tightened-up headset. It's so crisp!

Other things that brought me happiness these past few days:
  • Rainy days, and the sun coming out after the rain
  • A college campus on Halloween - I can't think of a better place to spend the day. My favorite part was the two dancing Storm Troopers - they were roaming campus (and lecture halls!) all afternoon, along with a guy carrying a boombox, dancing away. Awesome.
  • The looong line of students waiting to vote (early) in the student union
  • Planning a Yosemite camping trip!
  • Celebrating at Ivona's baby shower

Sunday, November 02, 2008


I realized I never posted a finished picture of the baby quilt I made this summer. Here it is! I get to give it to Ivona today at her baby shower.

Yesterday, Scott and I went to a Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) party in Woodland. Each person got a skeleton to decorate as an ancestor. I decided to try to do my great-grandmother Marie Elizabeth. I don't know what she looked like, but I gave her blond braids, and she's holding some flowers and a kitten. (My three-year-old helper decorated her skirt, and gave her another white kitten.) Definitely a fun activity.

In other news, the fall rains have finally arrived. I'm not necessarily looking forward to biking in them for the next few months, but it is nice to have a change in seasons. It makes our apartment feel nice and warm and cozy, and it makes me appreciate the the sunny days much more. The markets are full of winter squashes and big, beautiful, leafy greens. We didn't carve a pumpkin for Halloween, but we did eat one for dinner! I need to outfit my bike with fenders and buy a pair of rainboots, and then I think I'll be all set for the season.