29 September 2008

27 before 28

Inspired by simplelovely, I have compiled a list of things I hope to accomplish before I turn the ripe, crusty and dusty old age of 28 in a few short months.

27 things to do before I turn 28

1. learn to knit
2. complete a sewing project
3. make a loaf of bread from scratch
4. eat a picnic lunch
5. bike the LA river
6. make a t-shirt using freezer paper stencils
7. visit the los angeles natural history museum
8. use the fallen fruit map to find me some free fruits
9. make jam using that fruit
10. actually finish all 5 books I have checked out from the library
11. put a basket on my bicycle
12. visit a pumpkin patch
13. start learning German
14. eat at Craft
15. decide where I am going to apply for school
16. begin researching my business plan
17. volunteer at an animal shelter
18. frame the art I have
19. actually hang it
20. organize my recipe binder
21. go camping
22. put shelves up in the bathroom
23. make my Oma’s linzertorte
24. and her kartofel zuppe and dumpff noodle
25. visit the Rose Bowl flea market
26. eat at Osteria Mozza or Pizzeria Mozza
27. organize my physical and digital photos

I'll keep you updated....



this is me thinking about checking off all the awesome things on my list. or maybe it might be me thinking I am just as bendy as Nastia Luken. I may or may not have strained a muscle pulling off this sick move.

um...ew

This is just totally gross and disgusting. Makes in-n-out look THAT much better. Not that it needed the help.

28 September 2008

fresh, local and total cuteness overload

One of my most favorite things about living in LA is that not only are there a buttload of farmers markets every day of the week, but they run all year long. Hooray for the Southern California climate. The biggest and baddest market is in Santa Monica but unfortunately it is on Wednesday and seeing as how I have to work hard for the money, I never get to go. Fortunately, there is one on Sunday a few blocks from my house so I get to get my fix of fresh veggies, cute farm animals and potential celeb sighting (apparently Jen Garner occasionally shops here and I am waiting to spot her, because I know once we meet, we'll totally be besties).

 

these will be joining my peacock, alpaca and mini-pony. might need to move. patio's going to be crowded.



i loves the squash.



my absolute faves. roasted beets with gorgonzola and balsamic vinaigrette? delish.



kohlrabi. this is on my list of veg to try. anyone have any suggestions?



another plus to southern california living? avocados as far as the eye can see!!

 


I love farmers markets for many reasons, but mostly I love being able to see and talk to the people that grow the food I am going to be eating. I feel so much better putting money in that person's hand, knowing that that same hand was, just hours ago, pulling those carrots from the earth. Or, as is evident by the feather stuck to the egg above, plucking the eggs from the under the chickens butt. There is also no doubt that, straight up, the stuff just tastes better. How could it not? It traveled straight from the farm to the market in the back of some farmer's pick-up instead of in a refrigerated semi truck to a store 1000's of miles away. Love it. 

23 September 2008

road trippin' part deux

The plan was to go camping. Then I found out that all the forests are on "fire watch", and to me camping just doesn’t feel right if it is lacking in a cold beer and a fire to roast some mallows. So, with those plans in le toilet, we decided to do something almost as fun, apple picking!

We went to Riley's Farms, and I read on their website that they are a "living history farm", which apparently means they dress up in colonial garb, and teach you all sorts of super important things like how to throw knives and tomahawks, skills I think everyone should have. But I already know how to wield a machete, so I passed. Besides, we were there to get us some delish apples.



 Do you know what Pete loves more than I love and old man and a banjo? apple picking. he isn't posing at all in this picture, it's completely natural.




apple-icious

Afterwards, we continued onto another farm and bought some totally amazing cidah and doughnuts. I also decided I need an alpaca and a peacock, which can chill out with the mini-pony I am going to house for Ali until she moves out here. As a side note, I had a conversation with a friend recently about how I don't like birds, except peacocks, emus, ostriches, and penguins and he pointed out that I only like birds that can't fly. Feel free to extrapolate what you want from that.




 

no animals were harmed in the making of this photo.

In a rare moment of spontaneity, we decided to drive up to Big Bear Lake and see what it was all about. While the drive up was amazing (seriously) the lake was a total letdown. I don't know about you but I like my lakes to be rustic and this was...not.


 

 

It's amazing what a little cropping can hide. What you can't see on the shore of this lake is the huge paved sidewalk that surrounds it.

Which brings us to Sunday night and me conquering one of my cooking fears. I have been weary of pie dough in the past (that pie disaster last christmas did nothing to assuage my fears), but on Sunday, feeling inspired by the huge bowl of apples sitting on the counter, I decided to go for it, and the cooking gods were smiling upon me because it came out pretty damn good. I used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, following the dough recipe exactly (I like to do that sometimes, it makes it easier for me to blame the recipe later and not my own lack of skills) but like Emeril, kicked it up a notch with the spices. Next up on my cooking fears list: a soufflé. stay tuned...

in closing i leave you with this jewel. this is what happens when you hit traffic in LA.

video

if you want to see the rest of the pictures from our glorious adventure, click here.

18 September 2008

cookin' with jules

I heart my Julia Child apron. Every time I put it on I hear Julia warbling in my head. She's definitely one of my all time faves and one day I'll make the pilgrimage to the Smithsonian where she donated the kitchen her husband Paul built especially for her (Jules was a tall gal and needed special counters made to accomadate her bodaciousness).

Purchased from Pretty Patti.

Under her mug it says "JULIA CHILD, AMERICAN GASTRONOME, BORN IN PASADENA, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 15, 1912".

Love it. I busted it out last night when I made Pumpkin Bread for my coworkers from this recipe. I added some walnuts and used freshly grated nutmeg (which is my secret weapon - well, I guess not secret anymore - but if you want to add a little somethin' somethin' to your recipe, when it calls for nutmeg, always go for the fresh ground).

I had made the same recipe a few days earlier and when it came out of the oven, it wasn't that sweet. Then I realized I had left out almost all of the sugar. oops. But you know I still ate the crap out of it.

As Jules would say, Bon Appetit!!

16 September 2008

road trippin'

If there is one thing about me that I feel could use some improvement, is that I am easily unmotivated. And I am messy, and I cry. A lot. But back to the lack of motivation. I had been looking forward to going to Joshua Tree for weeks and Pete and I had decided to go on Saturday. Then, Saturday morning rolled around and I was all, "Joshua Tree what? this pillow is so much nicer, and not hot and not the desert." Luckily, Pete was experiencing a moment of clarity and rallied the troops. I think he just wanted me to buy him breakfast (PS. Literati Cafe? tacos? For breakfast? I think I might love you. Brilliant.). It was totally worth the drive, plus I discovered the outlets, and who doesn't love things on sale? Unfortunately, the le Creuset outlet considers knocking 20 bucks off their ridiculously expensive enamel cast iron a "deal". Oh well, I drooled over the pretty colors and then we were back to the real world.




A wind farm we passed. For a few miles, this was all you could see. So rad.




Good old Truly. Once we got out of the car, the silence was unreal. It's funny, living in a city, you sometimes forget that there are places that don't have constant noise, all the time.




This is one of the campsites the park has set up. It has a picnic table, firepit and a grill. It's not my cup of tea since there are about 10 of these sites pretty close together and I like my camping without other peeps up in my grill, but if you like less rustic camping (i.e. you like to pee in a toilet, not on the ground), you can sleep out under the stars next to some big ass rocks.




I love being slapped in the face with how awesome Mother Nature is. I love that these little yellow flowers were just chilling, like they were growing on the banks of a lush river instead of in the desert.




and then there were the Joshua Trees. Oh how you have stolen my heart with your craggly, prickly arms and ugly shapes that are awesomely beeyootiful. I love you so much that I'll overlook that you are named after a Mormon leader.








this was when i told Pete we'd be stopping at the outlets on the way home.



smell you later. LA, maybe i don't hate you after all.

11 September 2008

gardening 101

One of the nice things about Southern California is that you can grow things all year round. One of the downsides of living in LA, is that most people rent and in a renting situation, it isn’t a given that you will have space for a garden. Luckily, I have a patio. It isn’t huge but it’s big enough that I felt the need, the need to seed! I picked up a few herbs from Armstrong 's, but I was feeling like I needed something a little more adventurous. So, last Saturday I took a class on container gardening with Marta at HomeGrown Los Angeles. 7 or 8 of us urban gardener wannabes met at her (amazing) space downtown and she talked to us about the ins and outs of container gardening. What kind of container to use, how to prepare your soil, watering, when to harvest, etc. and then she showed us how to mix the soil (a mixture of potting soil, compost (with horse poop!), greensand and veggie fertilizer), and we each planted three lettuces, 2 herbs and an edible flower. I can’t harvest it for another two weeks or so (you should wait until the plant has doubled in size) but doesn’t it look so nice?



It joins my herbs (basil, rosemary, parsley, chives, lemon verbena, thai basil, and mint) who don’t seem to be growing that much. They aren’t dying but they aren’t getting any bigger either. Maybe they need some of the heady horse poop compost to help them along?

hello? is this thing on?

So, I decided to jump on the blogwagon and create my own. It is high time I moved from avid-blog reader/occasional commenter to contributor to the (mostly)mindless banter that fills these interwebs.

I initially wanted to start a food blog, to chronicle my adventures in the culinary world, and that is partially what this will be. But who knows, I may discover a hidden passion for basket weaving and then, this will evolove into a basket weaving blog (are there any of those in existence? must do research). Plus, I really like to talk about myself, so I wouldn't be able to keep it to just food.

So here it is. Hot Ginger Love, in all it's glory. Let's get on with the show.