Tomato and Summer Squash Gazpacho

With an egg on it. When we returned from our long road trip across Oregon our vegetable garden was overgrown. There were zucchini the size of firewood, patty pan squash the size of dinner plates and probably upwards of 300 ripe tomatoes. We spent the better part of an afternoon cutting it back and harvesting, giving it away to anyone who happened to stop by, prepping and freezing yet more and making it our job to eat some with every meal. There must be something in the soil because they just keep coming, especially the tomatoes. Our favorites are the Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, which basically taste like sunshine and rainbows. 

One of my favorite meals to come out of the harvest is a raw tomato and summer squash gazpacho. I used a mix of Sun Golds and black cherry tomatoes along with yellow summer squash to make this refreshing, flavorful soup.  I ate mine room temperature with a poached egg, but it's also delicious chilled with a little float of olive oil.  Here's the the recipe...


4 servings


2 cups ripe cherry tomatoes (Sun Gold, Heirloom) plus more for garnish

2 cups summer squash, chopped for blender

2 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup Italian parsley

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Pinch of sea salt

Olive oil for drizzle

In a blender, combine ingredients together until smooth, chill for 20 minutes before serving.

5 Ways To Make The Most Of A Small Kitchen

5 Ways To Make The Most Of A Small Kitchen

When we first looked at this house, a little over a year ago I squinted my eyes, cocked my head to one side and tried to picture what it could be like if we just knocked all the walls down and made it one big room. Adding up to about 640 sqft, the living room, dining room, and kitchen make up all the common space in the house, and taking out the walls would give us access to all of it, and the natural light from the large windows that look out into yard and a beautiful view of the valley.

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Reconstructing Home

Reconstructing Home

OH MY GOSH, are you still there? I had to take a BIG break during construction, and then we went on a lazy summer road trip across Oregon. The last thing I showed you was the completion of demo, and the beginning of drywall which seems like a million years and 50 projects ago. What happened next involved a lot of elbow grease on my part, some steep learning curves, lots of power tools, and a few wrenches in the plan. I did manage to snap some pictures to share with you along the way. At long last, here we go...

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The Progress Post

When we tore down the old deck last summer we used the scrap wood to build out four 8' planter boxes, shoveling in 4 cubic yards of soil, planting our first garden of greens, fava beans, arugula, onions and potatoes. Amidst the chaos of tarps, dust and very cramped quarters (I'm slowly going insane), we still have our garden, and today I harvested the remains of the winter crop. Last week the boys picked and juiced over 100 lemons from our lucky tree, and in the front yard our plants are huge and almost in full bloom. Despite the fact that the house is so torn up right now, we still have a wonderful place to be, we just need to remember to go outside.


A few weeks have gone by since my last dispatch from the remodel and we still don't have a kitchen or floors, but the plumbing and electrical is in the walls, the entry way has been bumped out,  permits have been checked and we have drywall up and ready for sanding. Next week we will start painting and building the cabinets! Here's the progress in pictures...

The original 1960's groovy glass panel has been removed and the entry has been bumped forward 2 feet. We could only go that far out in order to stay under the existing roof. A new foundation was poured and the new wall was framed in to create more of a foyer, which doesn't look like much from the outside, but from the inside it feels like a whole new house. No longer does the door open directly into the hallway, and there will be room for some storage.

With the walls opened up, it was two weeks of rough-in plumbing and electrical. This is a tedious process, lots of wires to step over, but not as messy as drywall, which is really driving me bananas right now.

And here we are now, I had the existing texture skim coated smooth in the open space, all the way down the stairs.  It's just about dry and ready for sanding, and me, and my paint brush. Until then...

Deconstructing Home

Deconstructing Home

I am sitting on the original parquet wood flooring, lightly coated in sheetrock dust, surrounded by canvas tarps in the skeleton of my former living room looking out into small expanse of our newly opened up house.  I feel both thrilled at the progress and consumed with pangs of horror for having destroyed the place we call home. A live-in remodel is not for the faint of heart, and doing it all with children is just bananas.  There's a reason why people move out.  After almost a year of planning, a month long battle with the city about a 13 sqft addition, and an eleventh hour refinance to restore our budget after having to bring on a structural engineer we have arrived, one week into a seven week renovation, making toast in our garage and doing dishes in a work sink. This is the ugly part, the deconstruction. Here is the past week in pictures...

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