My Wee Little Floating Home Makes the Today Show of Paris

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Remember when little old FLO was just a work in progress?

Well, first a disaster, then a constant takeover of my life, then a beauty.  Well, that small space living LA Times article last summer attracted a super cool producing team here locally that shoots for the Today Show of France and they did a neat spot on FLO.  

Check it out here - you prob have to download it (button on top left), but it's a great 'lil piece!  From just a set of studs to full glory of water living.  Nice job!  Guess I live here :)

 


#FarmBoxEats - What Am I Not Making is the Question...

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Oh, how I love my Farm Box every week - these 2 chicks started a fully organic, farm-to-table delivery service of such amazing goodies that I get dropped right at the front door of FLO every single week.  It literally makes my Sunday.  I crack a bottle of something chilly and delightful, dig into the box, lay out a bunch of thoughts on random recipe ideas and really just get to it.  "It" meaning a not-riddled-with-guilt-about--absolutely-nothing-totally-FREE-day to just explore all the elements of food that I love.

I break out the cast iron skillet (love of that straight from my grandads spot in TN) and char up any veg available (carrots and fennel are awesome), whip up some FLO house buttermilk dressing, drop it on a bit of lettuce with shaved carrot and perhaps some peppery radish; and you know I whip out the tin of heavy cream for some kind of leek, shallot, white wine, butter reduction to spread on everything.

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I take a whole chicken and shove it full of rosemary, lemons, oranges, garlic and then cover it with fresh squeezes of cara cara oranges, a little oil, crushed fennel seed and garlic + onion powder.  Then cook it on 300 for about 4 hours totally uncovered.   What comes out is a damn near revelation on the bird.  So easy, so delish, such a good smell penetrating the house all day.

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I toast some everything bagels smeared with butter, slap a ton of cream cheese on them, layer on some wild lox, salty capers, fresh Lily's eggs, and a ton of dill.  Once you pop on a blast of fresh lemon, watch out.  This little number blows AWAY versions I get from restaurants.

All the flowers, herbs, plants are coming back in - and I just love being inspired on Sunday.  It's the best day of my week, that's for sure.  Unless I bust up my SUP like I did the other day.  No worries, it's  being repaired...but dang...guess that is what Rose is for!

I'm also super inspired by my bud Ky's (@kyfurneaux) new veggie garden in her back yard...I am stunned at how quick all her greens came popping up...what deliciousness!

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Oh, and there's usually some kind of full on rearrange involved.  :)  Tiny space, but big living!  Loving this new layout - more palatial space for the dining table - more spreadout happening - just more life lived overall. 

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A Super Simple Veggie Cobbler

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Is all I really need to whip up to take me right back to Thanksgiving.   You can pretty much toss any cooked veggies in (fennel, sweet potato, carrot, celery, onion are in this one), make the creamy sauce, and whisk up some drop biscuits topped with fresh rosemary and you've got a real deal feast. 

Now the freakishly enormous celery that is hoppin' out of my farmbox is so dang intimidating, I had to turn to the cookbook, Tender.   He takes celery and poaches it with onion and bay leaf, then tops it all with a butter sauce and homemae breadcrumbs...and let me put it this way, what pops out of the over is damn near to-die-for.  Just such a great way to prepare boatloads of celery. 

But, the doozie are these cookies.  Oatmeal, dried cherries, cardamom, shaved coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and an egg.   Add a little flour and baking powder.  Bake for about 12 minutes and while they are filling the house with some heavenly scents, toss some almond milk in the freezer.   Once done, put on jams and call it a day.

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Tiny House Blog - Truly a Gem for Small Homes with Spunk

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I love this blog...

Tiny House Blog is super informative, super engaging and just a mighty good read.  I've been following them for years...and they've covered me and my endeavors several times (thank you!).  So, it's no surprise they would write about the FLO for a recent post.  Lots of good vibes and words, but man...It's Always Real Interesting When You Read the Comments.  I just had to post back at the end of reading them all.  The product placement and 4th World Love comments did me in!

Here is the link to their write up on the FLO.

Enjoy...and for real, if you get a minute, do dig thru Tiny House Blog.  It's just a wonder to behold how folks strive to live these days...I'd say, myself included.


And The Man Brought Lobster

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What a magical world we live in...

We were just about to sit down to lunch on the Flo the other day with a nice glass of pinot (crazy delish tuna niciose along with some Puy lentils with burrata and basil oil - these lentils are the best nuggets ever cause they dont turn to mush when cooked), when over pops my diver.  He has some cool ideas he wanted to share about the wine hatch in the middle of the living room floor and since he's motoring around the marina all day on his dinghy...well, it's easy to just jet on by on a boat.

Anyhow...we catch up, brainstorm a bit, talk about his little mini farm here in the marina, and I just happen to mention that it's spiny lobster season.  He's like - oh, do you like lobster and I'm like - ummmmmm, for sure LOVE IT.  Well, that turned into him leading us over to his dink all non-chalant and opening up the lid to a big fat mess of lobsters he'd just dove for that AM down in Redondo.  YAHOO!   Now, I've never cooked a live lobster, but it was high time to learn.   

First off (as per Nigel the Diver), we tossed him in the freezer for a minute while we gathered our thoughts and knives.  Stunned him a bit, I'm sure.  Next up, the grill was fired up and some garlic butter got to being shook down on the stove (thanks Robin for the fresh garlic from the garden)!  Minka was already drooling and she didn't even know what the hell was happening yet.  A fresh glass was poured and the par-tay began.

Out came the just sharpened butcher knife and with a quick stab thru the eyes and a long slow slit down the entire body...welp, we had ourselves a dead lobster to clean.  Once scrubbed, we smeared it with loads of the bubbly butter concoction, double fisted squeezes of fresh lemon, and just tossed it on the grill for about 10 min.  

SO SO SO SO amazing.  Next day, the leftovers turned into a delightful mayo and celery laced lobster roll piled high on a butter toasted whole grain hot dog bun.  Funny, silly, sunshiney magical world.  Thank you mama ocean, and thank you saint Nigel.  

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Why the Kitchen Matters Oh So Much...

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For starters, it makes any and every place feel like a home.

Pretty much everything shakes down in the kitchen.  If you aren't a cook, I hope you have friends who love to get messy behind the stove with a few drinks in hand cause it is the very best way to live.  To always have something brewing up on the stove or simmering away in the oven is a little piece of heaven to me.

The kitchen in the Flo is pretty small, but oddly perfect.  I can spin from stove to sink to fridge on a 3 point turn, with access to all my spices and cookbooks and drink elements within arms reach.  Minka can sprawl on one of her many rugs, resting patiently until a crumb of something delish flips her way, and anyone who wants can plop down at the tiny bar (with a drink in hand) and watch it all unfold or simply get involved.   We don't have a TV on floor 1, so it's all about the music (best thing ever - hidden speakers in every room) and the convo and the food.  I love finding serving platters and funky stuff to put food on.  Even the plates I got for the Flo are awesome.   All handmade and engraved with lace imprints and elephants and such.

My parents kitchen is the same way.  We start cooking about 4p - anything that suits our fancy (lots of soups, gratin's, salads...very homey stuff).  Last night, my mom had a fire burning outside, so we slung some potatoes on them.  I almost caught myself on fire using a little too much olive oil, but man...were they swoon worthy.  The dogs just lay about, on the watch for when the next stewpot is coming, and I'm lovin' the wine shop on the mountain cause I've been trying all kinds of new pinot noir's.  They have quite a special selection :)

When we were driving across country home to TN, I stopped in Austin to visit a way/way old friend from when I lived in Germany, and her husband had the house smelling all good with pork roast wrapped in bacon - guess where we all hung out?  The kitchen.  With 3 dogs, a ton of drink and a mess of memories...laughing til we cried.  Way better than going to a restaurant.

Even my condo in Chicago that I still have - I bought it cause a/it was on the lake and b/it had a perfect cottage kitchen - and at that time in my life, when I was traveling all over the world for shows...it was all about having something good to come home to.   I now have that on the Flo.  Plus, it's got a killer view!

And, let me put it this way, the meal I made on the Flo for Thanksgiving was just simply epic.  Not your typical Turkey day meal, but a little MST spin on it.  It all just makes me so so so happy. Chicken pot pie with a puff pastry crust; creamed kale and caramelized mushrooms made in a Japanese tagine of sorts; the house salad with dill buttermilk dressing; warm brussel sprout salad with bits of sweet bacon; and homemade cranberry sauce with pineapple of all things.  And of course, my moms banana pudding!

Guess what I'm trying to say...I just feel right at home in the kitchen - no matter who's it is.  Finally...a home...everywhere!  Turns out, it's not a specific place that's home.  It's a room that happens to span the globe.

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Flo living

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Just Some Neat Things

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And, it's all really the tip of the iceberg.

For my birthday, my bud Lis got me the BEST Scrabble board ever created.  We got to playing Scrab a ton this past year or so - started it in Indo at Alila with an few early afternoon old fashioned's and a long drawn out game before dinner...and it continued to dominate our days once we were back from Bali.  She had this board handmade (even the letters) and somehow, magically all the colors really brought together the little living room of the Flo.  It swivels and literally makes my day every time I see it (thinkin' about word ass-whoopin', I suppose).

Then, a random stranger who had read the LA Times article on the Flo dropped off a really sweet present - the artilces pix were fixed up nice in a lovely frame and delivered to me.  Who does that?  He was just delighted with the FLO and I def owe him a nice tour!

Best of all, in my quest to find a perfect little office, I found that my sailboat, Enola, works like a charm.  Its right next to Flo - perfect for Minka walks, drink replenishes, stirring the soup as needed and just generally a super fly set up to edit and write in.  Who needs 4 walls when you've got the Pacific?

And, I cannot wait to get home to do a mega rearrange on the Flo.  Gonna make the bedroom the great room for the SO CAL winter and my friends Nando and Bessie already did the flip for me (what would I do without them?).  Now, I gotta get home and mystify it...I love CHANGE!!!  I will def post pixs of all the little updates I'm planning for the winter and spring.  Dang, a whole new crop of plants are needed, as are new subscriptions, new idea boards, and just a mega life refresh.  'Sall good...

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A Bit About Why I Never Post Anymore

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Well, it's called a homemade life.

 

That's the reason why.  It's cause on a daily basis on the Flo, something homemade has to happen - and usually it's multiple elements in the kitchen. 

Typical day of cooking - some kind of delish soup (not just all fresh from the farmers market...but also there's gotta be shaved corn, roasted tomatoes, topside snipped basil, just made spicy chile oil); a nice sauced up old fashioned is usually somewhere in the mix; been rockin some really good breads - gluten free cornbread & flatbreads; and for real, who attempts homemade TOFU!  Oh, but I did it...and I fried em...and I honey'ed em...and it was just like New Orleans beignets!  And this was straight out of the Burma cookbook.  So easy & so good.  And from chickpea flour, no less.  Which I just happen to have laying around.

Then, the daily Food 52 email pops up with potato salad that must be made immediately (they use pickle juice and mayo, for the love); throw in the daily Remodelista email which gets me all jazzed out and reminds me to head over over to Gardenista for the daily doins'; cut to Homeland is on and we've got a few eps of The Voice and SOA to catch up on; Lis pops in a text - she's got Nashville on her TIVO and a bit of homemade winter whisky on the make...so me and Pea stroll on down to her place for some good watchin'.  Oh right, still editing...but that's why I have insomnia - I can go to bed early (uh, sundown), wake up at 3 am and just get back to it in the pilot house.  But not before reading the latest issue of Garden & Gun.  Man, what an AWESOME magazine.  Soul of the south is right.

And, here's the kicker - I am for certain I'm gonna get every wilder with it in the new year.  I wanna make my own yogurt and cheese.  Rock some tinctures.  Dabble in way more breads and salad dressings (the house dressing is a kind of dill'ified ranch that is totally drinkable, but I'm gonna lighten things up a bit in the new year).  I need to pickle some shit.  Like everything.  Also - esp. since I managed to kill a no less than a few tubs of Mayfield's french onion dip and lots of bags of chips in a 24 hr timespan in TN, I've realized I might have a mayo problem.  So gonna try to make my own (mayo and french onion dip) and maybe I wont like it as much!  Highly doubt it, but why not.  Try it all!

Ok - back to editing.  For real.  I'm so close!

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Why I Never Get a Thing Done - Blame the FLO

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I mean look,

I innocently try to get through a full day on the FLO with no distractions.  But, then outta nowhere comes Bill, my pal Robin's Hawaiian hubby on his fishing boat, delivering some fresh fish he literally just caught an hour before.  I mean, who gets fresh fish delivered to the back of their kitchen?  He filleted some and scaled some - what a freaking DELIGHT!  He's just a good man, fishing on his days off and trying to bring a little bit of island life to Marina del Rey.

When he motors off, I gotta finish up the strawberry handpies I was making thanks to an influx of strawberries from my boyfriends mom while she was in town.  See, that's the prob with pastry, sugar and fruit - they are all to be eaten within about 6 hours - especially since they were teensy tiny. 

And, then same day, I'd managed to whip up some kind of insane veggie potpie with rosemary biscuits on top - like bubbling hot and so freakishly homey and delicious, the whole thing is also devoured quick as lightening.    So much for leftovers.  But, dishes like this take a minute to put together.  Guess I've never shredded butter before.  Makes total sense to add it that way to flour though.

Throw in perfectly chilllllllled rose, constant doggie games on Floor 3, whipping up Minka some homemade chix stock/veggie madness to supplement her already mouthwatering diet, fixing up the little things on the FLO that only I seem to notice, and really really trying to develop some kind of workout program that I might possibly stay loyal to - well, there are just way way way too many wonderful distractions during the day to get jack crapola done. 

However all that said...I really am gonna get some things done soon)

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