Monthly Archives: April 2011

An Ending and Venice Love

This week is my last week of law school.  Sure I still have exams but that is a whole other celebration.  I’ve been taking classes for three years, it always felt pretty endless and yet it flew by.  At least this year did. It has been a great reward to study law, I feel like I was given spy glasses and now I can see the inner gears of how to get things done in the world.  I’ve loved it, rebelled against it, questioned my attendance constantly, told other not to go, found incredible opportunity and worth.  It has been a very interesting ride.  It feels surreal that it is ending and so much else is beginning.  So I took stock this weekend; spent time reading the newspaper in the garden with my husband, went to yoga, read about gardening…anything I wanted to do really.  Most importantly I  spent some time with friends over a good meal.  I love a family of friends for the holidays and making new traditions of it.

In the end though the star of the weekend was the weather, Venice was never so beautiful. See my little home is where I sleep in a little piece of paradise.  We are four blocks from the mighty Pacific ocean and the Venice Boardwalk with all its riff and rabble, it breathes expression.   I thought it was a perfect time to introduce you to the city I adore. My lady Venice….

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Christos Anesti! A Greek Island Easter

I have been experiencing a lot of wanderlust recently.  I get bouts of it every now and then having had the good fortune (and determination) to travel often enough growing up that it feels like an itch that needs a good scratching every couple of years. It was the best decision of my life to move west.  I have always suspected that I was solar powered, and living in the land of sunshine suits me well.  UCLA has felt like home from the minute I arrived dripping sweat from biking in from mar vista, with 4 law books in my backpack, 45mins late for class.  I got my school picture taken instead.  And now that it is ending, I desperately want to run off to a wild place.  Thailand, the Philippines, Kenya, who knows.  Africa and Asia seem to be calling to me.  Even more so because we have yet to honeymoon.

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Engagement Chicken and Green Olive Dijon Roast Potatoes or My Very Own Sous Chef

There has been a lot of talk about Engagement Chicken, especially in our house.  About this time last year my husband and I were not married, nor engaged.  In fact the hubby was going out of his way to tell me he was a man not likely to wed, all part of a clever rouse to increase my surprise.  He even went so far as to call me up just to tell me he was watching Resevoir Dogs when he was really watching Father of the Bride.  At about the same time I stumbled upon this recipe, and decided I was going to cook this the minute I got to Georgia.  The lore is that cooking engagement chicken for your other will result in a proposal within the week.  The chicken is that delicious, especially the “marry me” juices.  I never got the chance.  I arrived to a brightly lit apartment covered in sunflowers, a handsome man, a beautiful ring and a bottle of Cristal we later ate with chinese takeout.  Never had a better meal.  But it is hard not to when all your dreams come true.  Sometime later I confessed my Engagement Chicken plan, and to my surprise David was offended I hadn’t made it.  From that day forward he has felt he lost out on his rightful Engagement Chicken.  I once purposed I’d prepare it if he put it in the oven, which he aptly declared sounded a lot like Married Chicken.  So with everyday I promised to make it, it became more and more mythical.

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My Yellow Heaven, an Artichoke Paradise and Theodore Roosevelt

Within this lovely little town is a little yellow cottage flying Tibetan Flags.  A little yellow cottage my husband found.  When we came to the open house, the water was red with young couples hoping to live here.  And after a very apprehensive week, we won!  Beyond my wildest dreams it came with a garden.  Both thrilling and devastating news, as I had a steady history of killing plants.  Without shirking all responsibility I would like to put forward that my previous apartments were the main culprits.  Both were in urban areas that though they had windows, none of those windows faced the sun.  So there was no light and yet I persisted with the slaughter of innumerable African Violets and one brave basil plant.  But now I have my very own patch of mother earth to lavish upon.  I’ve been reading a wonderful garden/cookbook hybrid, that has me constantly inspired to garden.  I dream of digging my fingers into rich earth, biting a red ripe tomato, even fending off pests.  OH!  And trying his grandmother’s blueberry slump tucked away in the recipes in the back.  Jimmy Williams has become sort of a personal hero, which I barely managed to hide when I met him at the farmer’s market last week stammering out “I..have..a …garden!” Currently the garden is a bit of a process, I inherited a garden and have let it bloom through the spring in order to identify the plants.  Only to learn, I don’t know many!

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Spicy Chocolate Mousse for Company

I like to keep a well stocked pantry, or rather “a best as I can” stocked pantry because I believe at any given minute you should be able to whip up something sweet if say guests pop in for an hour or for the weekend.  Sweets just hit every spot even if you didn’t have an itch for anything, they are the ultimate comforter.  That said my mother in law was here this past weekend and we made some delicious food. (As soon as she gets back to me on some ingredient measurements I will share! ) But I was at a loss for dessert.  I haven’t kept my butter stocked because of my current gallstone drama so I was afraid I’d hit a dead end.  But then after some rummaging I found, chocolate, eggs, and spices.  Now I’ve never made chocolate mousse, but I did and it is a snap!  So you can too.

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Double Dipped French Toast with Homemade Syrup or Our Hero In the Hospital

I make a damn fine french toast.  In fact, it’s the first thing I did well so I hold it close to my heart.  The first time I made it David and I, talked about opening a bed and breakfast the whole time we ate.  It’s wonderful when food makes you feel that daring and confident.  The idea of a restaurant still bounces around but we have other endeavors to accomplish first.

The best french toast comes from day old bread, so it holds up sitting in batter a bit.  Some people are married to a particular kind of bread and yesterday I used a popular choice – French Loaf.  But usually french toast gets made in my house with remnants of all the breads we’ve bought at the Farmer’s Market mixed together.  The variety on the plate makes it really really yummy, and I encourage you to mix it up.

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Happy Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month

A new and quickly becoming beloved friend, due to the fact that he is among a handful that will let me talk to him endlessly about food, alerted me to the fact that April is Grilled Cheese Month! And here I thought Earth Day and Easter had the only real claims to this dewy spring month. After checking out the Wisconsin Cheese Advisory, which is filled with endless ways to use cheese as one would hope, I spent the night dreaming about a melty savory buttery and warm sandwich. Because truly what is better than cheese?? Dreams are practically made of it, or at least mine.

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