Keep It Simple

It has been super busy around Lark these days  (what’s new, right?).  A husband who had vertigo and is working on a crazy independent film.  A four year old with a broken arm (cast is finally off!) and an eye patch to correct his Amblyopia.  My work getting busy.  Visits from parents, step-daughters and in-laws (all wonderful) so it has been a bit quiet on the blog front.  I am always waiting for the time to take the perfect photos of the perfect recipe and write the perfect blog.  But that isn’t what this blog is about.  It’s about cooking, life, my home, my family, my friends and what is happening at Lark.  And yes, I can strive to find time to work on my photography and emulate some of the amazing food bloggers that I love to follow but for now, here are a few snapshots of life at Lark.

Summer vegetables coming in

Sun Gold Tomatoes on the Vine

Exploring simple vegan squash blossom recipes

(apparently it is as simple as sautéing the blossoms with some olive oil, fresh thyme and a pinch of sea salt)

My amazing son taking the patch and the cast all in stride

(with some distraction help from Nana & Papa)

Pizza Night

Celebrating my birthday on a rooftop with friends, at a spa, a decadent lunch, a family dinner & a shared celebration with my mom at The Burbank Starlight Bowl

My step-daughter, Charlie, coming home for a visit

Ollie & Charlie

Simple Sarnies – two ways

Roasted Pepper Sandwiches

Simple Roasted Pepper Sarnies – two ways
(or if you want to be fancy – Tartines)

For the vegetarian (me):

Roasted Peppers*
Fresh Basil Leaves
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

For the meat eater (Charlie):

Pizza Sauce (or any marinara)
Roasted Peppers*
Fresh Basil Leaves
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Layer the ingredients on a good ciabatta roll and broil until the cheese is brown and bubbly.  Serve warm with more fresh basil leaves on top.

*I used the roasted peppers in olive oil from Trader Joes

See I told you it was simple and did I mention our summer veg has come in?


The Dream of the Red Tomatoes (and yellow and pink and green and purple and striped…)

Every time my husband comes up from the garden with the last of the cauliflower or a huge bunch of leeks or green onions, I find myself longing for the day when the tomato plants will be full of luscious ripe fruit.  Funny since by the end of the season last year I was actually sick of fresh garden tomatoes.  I think I moaned aloud when Clive brought the last few batches of tomatoes from the garden.  And by batches, I mean about a 100 tomatoes each time.

The Bounty

The Bounty Close Up


Sad and disgraceful that I would ever find displeasure in our garden’s bounty, but after eating tomatoes fresh, making soups, salads, sauces, salsa and jams, canning them, roasting them, giving them away and putting them on top of most everything we ate last summer, I couldn’t help it.

Canning Collage

Canning Tomatoes

Roasting Tomatoes Collage

Oven Roasting Tomatoes

But now I find myself longing for that burst of flavor that only a homegrown tomato has.  One of the simplest and tastiest recipe I came across for using a large amount of tomatoes was Jamie Oliver’s Fresh Tomato Soup recipe.

Jamie's Tomato Soup Collage 4

Fresh Tomato Soup

Recipe adapted from Jamie’s Great Britain by Jamie Oliver


1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped

3 cloves of garlic, peeled

4 lbs large ripe tomatoes – leave a few of their little green leaves on

A handful of fresh basil

Sea salt and fresh pepper

White wine vinegar

5 -6 tbsp. cream

Extra virgin olive oil


Throw the carrots, garlic, tomatoes and most of the basil (set aside a few smaller leaves for a garnish) into a blender and blend until smooth.  I found it easier to do this in several batches.  Pour into a large saucepan and season well with salt and pepper.  Simmer gently on medium low heat for about 20 minutes until it thickens up., stirring occasionally. Add a small drizzle of white wine vinegar and then bring to a boil.  Once it is boiling, add the cream and remove from the heat.  Serve as is or use an immersion hand blender to make it smooth. I skipped the last two steps because I felt it tasted fresher without the cream and I preferred the rustic texture.  Serve with a few small basil leaves on top as a garnish

Jamie serves it with his cheesy cheddar toast soldiers and I served it with my sister and my famous “After Church Sunday Cheese Bread”.  Any good cheesy toast recipe you have will do.

The Fay Sisters’ After Church Sunday Cheese Bread


2 slices whole wheat bread

Kraft Parmesan Cheese (any good parmesan will work but for nostalgia sake, I always use the good ol’ Kraft from the big green container)


Garlic Powder


Generously spread butter on one side of the bread.  Sprinkle a healthy layer of parmesan cheese and spread it out evenly with a knife.  Sprinkle a light dash of garlic powder over the cheese.  Broil for a few minutes, until cheese is bubbling and starting to crust up and get brown. Enjoy dunked in the soup or on its own.

Tomato Art

Vintage Tomatoes

Romanesco and Radish and Parsnips – oh my!

So I am not quite used to this blogging thing yet.  I get so busy and have lots of blog ideas but just can’t seem to find the time to write them up and post.  Especially with the holidays upon us and preparing to go to London for two weeks as well as shopping for my husband’s entire family!  Clive has many skills but a good “gifter” he is not.

Fortunately, one of his skills is gardening as you have all seen by my previous posts on the amazing tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, yellow squash, eggplant, arugula and corn he grew this summer.  Well he has now planted our fall crop.  A couple months ago actually, see I told you I was a bad blogger.

Ollie helping daddy fix the drip system

Ollie helping daddy fix the drip system

 But regardless, I am very excited about all of our new veggies.  I found a company online to buy organic heirloom seeds, and we “borrowed” a few packs from Kim, who had tons of seeds from her wedding shower which had a garden theme.


We also decided to try planting garlic, which is interesting since the garlic bulb to plant looks exactly like the garlic that you would eat.  Except the colors were exceptional, they are like little works of art.



It only took a week for the first little sprouts to grow.


Now two months on, Clive has already pulled several radishes from our garden and they are delicious, crisp and spicy like a radish should be.


I think our winter/spring crop will be bountiful.  Uh oh, does anyone have any good recipes for broccoli, cauliflower, romanesco, parsnips, carrots, beets, radishes, spring onions, sweet onions, kale, garlic and pickling cucumbers?  Because if it is anything like our summer crop, we’re in for it.

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