A Dolphin at Cochiti Lake

A week or so ago, on a camping trip to Cochiti Lake, my son and I made this sand dolphin. He insisted that it have a side fin. I have no idea what that’s called, my zoology knowledge  doesn’t go beyond the word fin, but I was pretty impressed that he made a structure with sticks and then plastered the sand on that to get the fin to stick up straight. The massive mermaid sized tail fins are my contribution. Don’t judge, they were super cute.

Soup from the Garden


Still making lots of soup in the Arnold house, today we experimented with eggplant, made possible by a friend’s garden bounty. Somehow all my soups lately are orange. What can I say? It’s a great color. And yummy and super satisfying.

Carrot and Eggplant Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 20mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


* 8 carrots, sliced into chunks
* 4 Japanese eggplants, sliced into chunks
* 1 onion, chopped
* 6 cups broth (veggie or beef)
* 2 tbsp coconut oil
* 2 tsp turmeric
* 2 tsp coriander
* 1tbsp fennel seed
* 5 cloves garlic
* Salt
* Pepper
* 1 can coconut milk


Put the oil in a large pot. Pop everything in the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until veggies are soft. Add coconut milk. With an immersion blender, blend it smooth.


Tonight at our monthly Women in WordPress meeting we got a little off topic into cool stuff we’ve found on the web. One of the women mentioned CodePen and D3.js. CodePen is a “playground for the front end side of the web”. It’s got endless code snippets or pens for neat things you can do on websites. This is super geeky stuff. You can edit the pens and see your changes right there. A.ma.zing.

The other one we geeked out on was was Data Driven Documents at D3.js, “a JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data”. The hexagons on the main page featuring the various projects is super cool in and of itself and this one will definitely make you dizzy.

Endless fun.



Why Does Cooked Cauliflower Have to Smell So Weird?

Time for some more healing soups. This week I cheated and had a ton of things I shouldn’t be eating right now. Clearly my taste buds are bored so it’s back to the drawing board. I spent some time reading up online on veggie based soups, found some good starting points (particularly this site), and I came up with two I will eat this week.

So, a couple things. First, I love raw and cooked cauliflower, but we mostly eat it raw. When I was prepping the cauliflower my kids paraded through the kitchen exclaiming loudly about the stink. Cooked cauliflower is really so tasty, it has no business smelling so strange. Second, I love cardamom and the second recipe has cardamom in it. I have never had cardamom in a savory soup, that I was aware of at least. And who doesn’t find every possible excuse to use cardamom? I mean, really.

Cauliflower Cream Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 25 minutesish
  • Difficulty: easy peasy
  • Print

Based on this.

  • cauliflower head
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cups stock, I used chicken
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 can coconut milk


Cut leaves off cauliflower, break into pieces, and throw into the a soup pot. Cut onion into small pieces. It doesn’t need to pretty as you’ll be pureeing it. Add stock and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil. Cook 15 minutes or until soft. Add coconut milk, puree, and voila, delish.

Red Lentil and Shiitake Soup

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy peasy
  • Print


Based on this.

  • red lentils
  • a couple heaping handfuls of shiitake mushrooms (if using dry mushrooms, soak them for 30 minutes before tossing in the soup pot
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves (at least)
  • a nice big chunk of fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp basil


Into your soup goes all the things including all the spices. Feel free to adjust the spices. Bring to boil, turn down heat and simmer until lentils are soft, about 20 minutes or so.

Serve it up.