my new favorite place to grab a cocktail

by Delilah on October 22, 2012

Last week, we met up with food preservation guru and dear friend Ernest Miller…gosh it has been a long time since we drove to San Berns for 3 months on Mondays to become Master Food Preservers..little did we know how that would change our lives and create a great friendship!

It’s a Small World

water slide and Monorail- HELLS YES!!!

We really wanted to just hang out and relax, away from any BS and just have some fun. Ernest, who used to work for Disney suggested we go to a place that has now become the place that i talk about…well…basically every 5 minutes. i will own my current schoolgirl style obsession to:

something is happening at the bar!

Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar

As a child, i LOVED the Tiki Room at Disneyland. That song…”the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki Rooommm” is constantly in my head when thinking of a Disney memory, let alone being there (i will sing it!). The Tiki Room is also the only place where you can get the best thing to eat at Disneyland- the Dole Pineapple Whip- if you have a contender for best thing to eat bring it- the Pineapple Whip is fantastic and if I do anything at the Magic Kingdom (besides go on Big Thunder Mountain if it is not closed), it is waiting in line at the Tiki Room for this treat.

a view of the islands

Ernie with his drink- TIKI TIME!


So when i heard that we should meet at this Tiki-Room/bar at the Disneyland Hotel…i was delighted if not pissed that i didnt know about this already! I hadn’t been to the hotel for many, many years so off we went.

there’s a ship in that bottle….

the Uh-Oh…we have basically been chanting this song all week

gustavo takes a drink from the extra long straw

the bar at Trader Sam’s…just the beginning

I don’t want to give away all the details but if you love to have a different kind of experience and are a fan of kitch/Disney- you have to try this out. This is a place of pure kitch and a reminder of youth if you have been to Disneyland…the drinks are on the strong side (think the Zombie) and not cheap but this was fun and certainly a break from the normal “bar” scene (and yes it is filled with tourists)- it was like going to Disneyland for a moment without the commitment. It was fun and so unexpected that coupled with a good friend who wanted to just have some fun while having a drink- you CANNOT beat this!

yes i already want Cinco-de-lilah to be here!  below is the song i was talking about…let me know if you visit!


CSA cooking: mixed grain breakfast scramble

by Delilah on October 17, 2012

basket inventory: bags of spinach, acorn squash, bags of green beans, heirloom cherry tomatoes, chives, rose geranium, spring mix, lettuces, chard, apples, limes, pomegranates, bell peppers…this was a GREAT box!

bought this cute pot in Ventura last weekend

On Monday, I went to Trader Joes to grab a few necessities and of course, walked out with a whole shopping card full (dont shop when hungry!)- one of the things that i picked up was this Harvest Grains Blend, a mixture of quinoa, orzo, Israeli couscous, and garbanzos. That night i made the whole bag of grains (cooked in fried shallots) and served it with some fried fish and garlic green beans. Of course we had a bunch of leftover cooked grains but i figured we could use this the following evening.

this is the mix but you can use whatever soft grains you want.

The next morning, I realized, why not use it in eggs for breakfast!  The blend consisted of soft grains, which i thought would go well with scrambled eggs.

MIXED GRAIN SCRAMBLE (was supposed to be a frittata, but i screwed it up)

  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 an onion thinly sliced
  • 1-2c spinach (you know that stuff shrinks to almost nothing)!
  • 1-1 1/2c cooked grains (it can be whatever you want, just something more on the softer side)
  • 5 eggs
  • goat cheese (optional)
  • oil, salt, pepper

Heat oil in a large pan and add the onions, saute for a few minutes at medium-high heat. Add the peppers and saute for another minute. Add the grains and cover them with the onions and peppers, mix well- this will help to reheat the grains if you are using ones from the night before.

first start with the peppers and onions, DICE don’t slice the peppers- easier to eat!

next add the grains…i am telling you this is EASY!

spinach then eggs…almost done

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and season with S&P. Touch the grain mixture to see if it is hot- when it is HOT (not warm), add the eggs and turn the heat down to medium. Fold the eggs a few times and cook until the eggs are ready. I like to turn off the heat completely a minute or so before finished

FRITTATA-STYLE : pour the eggs onto the grains and put into a preheated oven of 375 and cook for 15 minutes or until the eggs are set.  Our oven doesn’t work so i had to do it on the stove and I botched the frittata…so it ended up as a scramble!

Last thing: after you turn off the heat/take it our of the oven, i dumped little chunks of goat cheese all over…but you dont have to use goat cheese, you can use parm or nothing at all- your call!

my photographs do not do this justice…let’s just say 3 people at a serving for 5!

This is so easy and a great way to use up a big batch of grains, i am for sure doing this again (or maybe we can have this for dinner)!



20 hours in Ventura

by Delilah on October 16, 2012

This past weekend, i headed up with my guy to Ventura. He had a book signing at the Ventura Museum and i was able to get about 20 hours off from work (at least having to be somewhere) and i figured this would be a great time to do a little Craftcation work- it’s not often that i can get to Ventura on the fly!

yes this can be yours on March 21st 2013!

So after teaching (an awesome!!) canning 101 workshop (LOVED all the students, very blessed always for having such amazing people in our classes!!), I grabbed a clean pair of clothes and PJs and off we went to Ventura.

Arrived at the Crowne Plaza, destination central for Craftcation and as soon as the doors parted, I was missing Nicole- Ventura and the Crowne are just not the same!  The sea-side bar was mellow, DEFINITELY not how it was during the conference…it was certainly missing the chatter, music, crazy activity and decorations from March…but I was also about 1 million times less stressed out!

back to work- but now with a pomegranate margarita at our usual corner perch at the Crowne Plaza bar

That night, i had the chance to meet up with Allison of Ventura Food Tours at the popular Barrelhouse 101 where we chatted about a food tour during the conference (YES) and  beer tastings (HELLS YES)- Craftcation Conference 2013 is looking so good!!!  Allison is definitely the go-to gal for food findings in the area…cannot express how excited I am that we are getting a chance to work with this awesome chica!

After some more work and chatting to bartenders who we excited about the 2013 conference (they remembered and LOVED having us there!!), we settled in for the next day.

it was funny and awesome to walk around town and see images of Gustavo, (like this one, some were full-on LARGE covers-lol) on various papers in town!

In the morning, we walked through the downtown for some thrift store treasures. I scored a BINGO sign and a Descoware pot with lid. We also found 2 new places.

Iron and Resin, is this super cute dry goods shop that also has a line of clothing/accessories made in Ventura that is a combo of biker/surfer/eco…this was their store where they also curated other unique goods. While trying on items and chatting with the gal at the counter she recognized me as her instructor at the Urban Craft Center- i taught her canning!!!  We started to talk about Craftcation and some ideas – hopefully you will see something in the works with them at the conference-love how the world works!

my new purse- already using it!

After that, we stopped by The Refill Shoppe- a store where you can refill your liquid items (this shampoo/detergent/lotion…etc..) and other items that are aimed for the non-disposable life- LOVED THIS PLACE and hopefully they will be a part of the conference too! I bought this dish scrubber that we can fill with soap and has replaceable scrubbers.

travel items for the next Ventura trip- i cannot wait to use this new brush

Not long after, we needed to head to the museum where beers were served up for Gustavo’s lecture on Mexican food- there was a HUGE crowd of people! Lots of laughing and great energy…so proud of him :) If you can get a chance to see him talk, please do…this is coming from someone who hears him everyday- i was cracking up and learned so much!

got my beer for the lecture

a great crowd at the museum

last minute work @ the tavern

While Gustavo worked his line of fans (LOVE THIS!!), I headed to The Tavern for some last minute work and took a chance to scope out the location…this awesome new place is going to be part of the conference line-up…think 80′s…think dance party….


this old house is new for us

by Delilah on October 7, 2012

So if you haven’t guessed by the previous post, we moved a few months ago.  Yes no more Apartment Homestead, but even though the name of this blog is Project Small…we really needed a little more room. We wanted to start growing our own food and more importantly, with all of the projects we have going on, we really needed the space (mind you that all the storage for the shop, Patchwork, my classes/preservation work and Craftcation conference are stored by and large at our place)!


We were excited to find a small house in a cute neighborhood that is really close to the shop. It’s a 1942 California Bungalow (please correct me if i am wrong), with 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, 2 car garage a shed in the very back of the yard (perfect for Patchwork supplies/equipment) and a sun room that leads to the back yard…yes a BACKYARD!!

living room

living room to dining to sun room

sun room

As much as we said, “lets get a fixer-upper” the reality is we are just too busy to redo an entire house.  We were lucky that this house had nice floors already installed, exterior painted and even though the kitchen is not “our style”, it was a new kitchen and something that we could actually tackle as a project in time.

master bath

master bath again- i love the pink tile!

The best part of this place (besides the sun room), was a nice front and backyard, we have so many plans for this part of the house! We for sure want to host pop-ups, events and workshops that we couldn’t do that the shop.  Some of the thing we are looking to do:

-make an outdoor kitchen, like Kelly and Patrick’s (beekeepers house i talked/raved about a while back) where we can cook/entertain/teach

-bread oven: i have been wanting a bread/pizza oven for years and we now will have the room for one- how cool would it be to make pizzas for breakfast and dinner?!?

-edible garden: we want every inch of this place, front and back put to good use- front yard will be fruits/flowers/herbs and the back veggies/staple items. Passion fruit and bean vines, everything!

…i will be posting how each of the rooms/spaces turn out- things definitely look different already!

backyard 1

backyard 2

backyard 3


DIY coffee table

by Delilah on October 3, 2012

Or in our case coffee table + workstation + dining table

I am going to get into the whole “we moved” bit later this week and next. If you notice at the top of the blog, on the far left, you will see “1106″- this will be the collection of renovations, DIY home projects, decor, and our garden in our new home. This is full-on adult time YIKES!!

So for the first entry as 1106, I wanted to share the coffee table i made a few days ago out of an old Victorian door that we picked up from a recent sale of the Santa Ana Historical Society.


and after

The door was a total find- it was shorter/smaller than a traditional door, but the size and the old-timey hardware  were so striking.  I was either thinking a cool headboard for our bedroom but we were in desperate need of a coffee table- we were using a foot stool for eating and working while watching our fave TV shows.

top of the leg

I had been wanting to make a desk for Gustavo’s office and happened to find this website for hairpin legs, great steel modern table legs that can be put on just about anything. While on their sale section, i found legs for a future desk and decided that i might as well try some shorter ones for $12 a piece. The coffee table legs are about 14″ tall-perfect!

doorknob and remote controls

the hardware stays ON! love this hinge!

It did take a little for them to come in, about 2-3 weeks but once in, the rest was easy. I cleaned off the door, covered the thing in wood polish that the Backyard Bee ladies made and drilled 3 screws to each leg, flipped the thing over and-DONE…a new coffee table!

My first thought was that the table was a little to long/big for the area, i mean it is close to the same length of the couch- this was odd to me. However, everyone started setting up work stations, paper stuff, food and general life. The table had ample room to fit everyone’s work and it was more than enough to fit people working from the couch or on the opposite side on the floor. Now i cant believe how we even got by without it!

working areas while watching our favorite shows…and a doorknob in the middle- kind of cool and very different!

I really love that an old doorknob and vintage hinges are a part of table, no way was i taking those off (and i love teasing the dogs by turning the knob!!)-lol

more on this new adventure that is the house to come!