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  1. Wednesday, April 30, 2008

    Rock Scissor Paper Giveaway…And the Winner Is…

    Kari who said, “These aprons are fabulous! As a newlywed I am still trying to fill out my kitchen and my accessories…I don’t even have an apron yet! i just started sewing so i was going to try to sew one but this would be perfect!! ps love the blog! thanks!”

    Congratulations, Kari! Looks like you’ve been saved from some labor at the sewing machine! Please email me at

    (Click here for the original giveaway post and links to Rock Scissor Paper’s awesome products!)

  2. My new best friend, Maria

    Yup, that’s me…and MARIA SHRIVER.

    Tonight I attended a private book signing with Maria Shriver at Books Inc. in Palo Alto. Silicon Valley Moms Blog hosted the event and it was a blast! Maria spoke for about 30 minutes, discussing her books and answering questions. She then signed copies of her latest book “Just Who Will You Be?” and we sampled her new venture, Lovin’ Scoopful…more on that in a minute!

    Maria was awesome. Gracious and kind, a great speaker, good sense of humor and beautiful (that hair!). She was so easy to talk to. Hope she’s ready to be my friend because I’m ready to be hers. 😉 I read her new book “Just Who Will You Be?” a few weeks ago and enjoyed it. A simple, fun, thoughtful book. One line that stuck with me is that you should never use the word “JUST” to describe yourself (i.e. “I’m just a mom”). SO TRUE. How many times have we all done this? Stop it! You’re not “just” anything! 🙂

    I was happy for the opportunity to sample Lovin’ Scoopful, since this IS a food blog, after all. Lovin’ Scoopful was delicious! You can currently find it in California and the Pacific Northwest. It’s 1/2 the fat, 1/3 the calories…but still creamy and good. The best part of Lovin’ Scoopful is that 25% of the proceeds go to Special Olympics. Yes, 25%. It’s a great product supporting a great cause…and Maria sure would be happy if you bought some! Lovin’ Scoopful also gave each of us a goodie bag with bowls painted by Special Olympics athletes. It was a very sweet gift.

    A few highlights from thoughts Maria shared with us this evening…

    – Everyone should take a time of stillness every day. She talked about how she grew up in a large family and didn’t know you COULD do that. She does it whenever and wherever she can. Yesterday her time of stillness was in her closet…sometimes she bursts into tears…sometimes it’s hard, with to-do lists running through her head. Regardless, she finds a moment to be still, alone, everyday.

    – Go home, get online and look up “The Journey” by poet Mary Oliver.

    – In her words, “You all have one wild and precious life. May you all be blessed with men who understand that!” 🙂 (She said the men should understand that about themselves, too.) Go out and live your wild and precious life to the fullest! Find joy in your life!

    Thanks to Silicon Valley Moms Blog for a great event! It was wonderful meeting Maria and all the great women who were there this evening!

  3. Tuesday, April 29, 2008

    Don’t Forget! Rock Scissor Paper Giveaway!

    Today’s the last day to enter the Rock Scissor Paper Giveaway! Get your comment in on the original giveaway post by Midnight PT tonight!

  4. Monday, April 28, 2008

    Guest Blogger: Paul Lowe, Food & Interior Stylist

    I am so excited about today’s Guest Blogger! Paul Lowe, author of the fab blog sweet paul, is a food and interior stylist in New York City. He is super creative and talented as well as a fellow chocoholic. I love his blog and am intrigued by his job…and he’s agreed to give us a sneak peek into his world!

    Paul is originally from Norway and is doing some great work here in the States. He has several beautiful books, works with some amazing photographers and magazines, and even does cool things like style for Katie Lee Joel’s cookbook…and then hang out with her husband Billy during the shoot (yes, THAT Katie Lee & Billy)! Anyway, I wish Paul lived with me so he could style for my blog, but alas, I must enjoy his talent from afar. Without further ado…here’s Paul!

    Guess the whole “making things pretty” gene runs in the family.

    My grandmother was a great cook and my mother has always had very good taste when it comes to decorating. With this mix of genes running in my blood, it’s no wonder I became a food and prop stylist. I have been doing this for about 16 years now and am loving every minute of it.

    So why not become a chef or a decorator?

    I have always enjoyed being able to tell a story without having to use words. And I find that photography is the perfect media to do this with. I also think I have a different approach to my work than others in the same field. I do both the food and the props. Usually people do one or the other, not both. I really enjoy doing both. I like to be in control of the whole thing and love to mix food, interiors and craft, all in one story. I really hate putting food on an ugly plate!

    I start by choosing a theme – it can be an ingredient, a color, a material. A while back I did a story for the Norwegian magazine Interiormagasinet. I wanted to make knitted tea cosys. But I can’t knit. So, I bought a white woolen sweater and made a lot of props with the sweater and a hot glue gun.

    When I start on a story I decide on colors, props, etc. Then I go prophunting. New York is good for props as there are a lot of great prop rental places. You can find amazing things there. I pick out the props I want to use, then find surfaces and backgrounds.

    I also usually make my own recipes. I love to go food shopping. Whole Foods is my favorite. They usually have everything I need. Farmers markets are also a great place to find stuff.

    The morning of the shoot, I drag all my bags to the studio and start unpacking props and food. I always have an assistant to help me. He or she will prep all the food and I will put it together.

    When I do the set up I always think about where the camera will be, what angle, etc. I don’t do too much ”˜hokus pokus’ with the food, maybe just a little extra oil or a spritz of water.

    We always eat the food for lunch. Sometimes that can be quite a spread! Afterwards we pack up the props, do the dishes and go home.

    It’s a great job!

    I’ll leave you with a few more images* from my portfolio.

    (Click here for the recipe for this lovely egg)

    *Photos by Colin Cooke, Ellen Silverman and Steve Giralt.

  5. Sunday, April 27, 2008

    Week 66 Menu

    There are few things I love more than chubby hands doing things.

    Let’s see what we’re having this week…

    – Pork Chops
    – Rice
    – Veggie

    – Something easy because I’m going to meet MARIA SHRIVER that night! Stay tuned this week for a full report!

    – Hamburgers on the grill
    – Homemade fries? or chips
    – Fruit

    – Leftovers

    Orange Chicken (great recipe – click through!)
    – Rice
    – Salad

    – Eat out

    – Homemade pizza (with Trader Joe’s crust)

    Now for your menus! And don’t forget to enter the free Rock Scissor Paper Giveaway!

  6. Thursday, April 24, 2008

    Free Giveaway! Rock Scissor Paper Apron & Tea Towel

    Are you dying to get your hands on my new apron? Now’s your chance!

    Rock Scissor Paper is giving away an ultra-hip, super-stylish, very-cute apron/tea towel set to a lucky TWFD reader! You’ll be thinking up things to cook just to have an excuse to wear your new apron! The winner will be able to select the pattern of their choice for one tea towel and one apron. Be sure to explore the rest of the Rock Scissor Paper site…SO many great things, including loads of potential Mother’s Day gifts!

    The drill’s the same as all the other giveaways…please post a comment on this post by Tuesday, April 29, Midnight PT. Any comment will do! Make sure that there is a name associated with your post so I can identify the winner. And be sure to check back next Wednesday, April 30 to see if that winner is you!

    Good Luck!

  7. Wednesday, April 23, 2008

    I didn’t move to the desert…why am I so THIRSTY??

    These are our drinks from lunch a few weeks ago (they’re so pretty, I love them). I drank that San Pellegrino in about 6 seconds flat. I think I drank some of Nate’s Coke too. Why is that? Because I’m a monster!

    Seriously, I can’t get enough to drink lately. Normally I just want water. Water from the tap or with some ice. That Jane is nowhere to be found. I can’t get enough to drink of any kind of beverage you put in front of me. I drank a HUGE bottle of Ruby Red juice in, oh, 2 days. I’m drinking milk WITHOUT ice (shocking, I know…). Bring on the soda, bring on the juice. It’s a good thing I don’t drink anything very strong…or this post may have been a bit tipsy. Actually, maybe I should drink something with a little kick…it could make this blog more interesting.

  8. Tuesday, April 22, 2008

    What girl doesn’t need an ultra-chic hot pad?

    I love my new apron & hot pads (or “warm” pads, according to Cate)! They are making my new kitchen very happy. And I love how I found them.

    Right after we arrived in the Bay Area a few weeks ago, I saw a post on Decor8 that I couldn’t resist…a home & lifestyle sample sale put on by Modern Economy at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. San Francisco? Cool designers? SALE? I’m there!

    The sale was great! So many pretty things to behold…to buy…to resist buying. 🙂 Among my spoils were the very cool hot pads from Deadly Squire, an apron I’d had my eye on from Rock, Scissor, Paper (visit their site – special Earth Day sale today!), and a perfect little calendar from Good on Paper.

    I must do a plug for Modern Economy. They put on sample sales for participating designers periodically throughout the year. The goal: to support independent designers…and in turn give design-minded consumers a chance to decorate their life without breaking the bank. Very cool. Meg Mateo Ilasco, designer and author of Craft Inc.: Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Business, is the very talented founder and host for the Modern Economy sales. The next sale is in Portland, OR…with plans for Philly & NYC in the future! If you ever get a chance to attend, do!

  9. Monday, April 21, 2008

    ‘S Wondra-ful, ‘S Marvelous

    My friend Adrianne introduced me to Wondra. It’s a quick-dissolving flour made specifically for thickening gravies & sauces. Granted, I do like using a roux for this purpose, but I’m generally too lazy and just throw flour into my gravy. Wondra is nicer than flour because it really does dissolve quickly. Just make sure if you don’t mix it with water first that you wisk as you add it…or you will still get some lumps. ANYWAY…thanks to Adrianne for this great tip! I used it tonight when I made gravy to go with our roast…the gravy was AWESOME.

    If any of you (including you, Adrianne) are Wondra aficionados, please share any tips or tricks of the trade. I’m still new with this stuff.

    (Don’t forget to post your menu for the week…I’m doing two posts today, so the Weekly Menu is right below!)

  10. Week 65 Menu

    I am back in the GRIND, folks. I have a lot of freelance work right now, which means I really need to get organized food-wise. This week I started doing dinner food prep while Cate eats her lunch. It was very helpful…if you’re home during the day, definitely a good tip for making dinnertime a little easier.

    Here’s what we’re eating this week (probably). Bring on the menus! I seriously read through them every week to plan my menus. I’m so happy you all share!

    – Leftovers

    – Orange Chicken
    – Rice
    – Steamed veggies

    – Manicotti
    – Salad
    – Bread

    – Leftovers? Hot Dogs? I don’t know…

    Baked French Toast

    – Eat out

    – Pork Chops
    – Rice
    – Veggie