Monday, March 31, 2008

Carrot, Spinach, Parsley, Cucumber, Ginger

So I went to whole foods today (yes, i am a bit of a procrastinator. i said i was going to go last week. i know, i know.) in search of $20 worth of good stuff. I will tell you all about it tomorrow. But while I was there, I decided to indulge in a fresh squeezed juice. This is what I came up with, thought I cannot take all of the credit. I let the nice guy behind the counter pick the last ingredient. It was really good, and I noticed that he only put in a teeny tiny piece of ginger. Ahhhhhh. Ok. Be back tomorrow.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Oops! Drink of the Week. . . JUICE

I didn't forget about Drink of the Week. I swear! Thursday night rolled around and I just couldn't find any inspiration. I wanted to make some sort of sangria, because the weather has been so beautiful - - just begging for fruit floating in wine. I didn't have any ingredients, and I just felt a bit overwhelmed. Then I thought, "I might be turning these folks into alcoholics. Does the Drink of the Week always have to be a booze fest?" I then answered myself (out loud, of course), "YES!" Well, no booze fest for you this week. Let's take the week to cleanse ourselves while I pay homage to all of you with a fresh squeezed juice. Yes, that's right. I said it. JUICE. All of your comments inspired me to break out the juicer (yes, the one I just had to have, used once, and shoved in the cupboard)! So I woke up Friday morning and I juiced. My friend Jamie was here so she juiced. Andrew - - not so much. Actually, I didn't even ask him, because I thought it might put him off of all juicy liquid substances for the rest of his life. Now let me say that I was scared. Really, really scared. I did not think this was going to taste good and the memory of my first juice laden with beets and ginger - - Gag! But, I persevered. I did it for you. I had to. I'm such a martyr. This is what I used. I think it needs a bit of tweaking. Believe it or not, it was actually too sweet. I will definitely keep you posted, and I promise that next week you will have booze!

2 small apples
2 carrots
3 handfuls of spinach
4 celery sticks
5 kale leaves

ps. the froth is the best part.
pss. our computer was out of commission yesterday, so that is why i am posting today.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thank You

I just wanted to thank you so very much for all of your comments and emails. They have been amazing and I am truly overwhelmed by all of it. Especially all of the Paris info. I think we will have to extend our trip just to see everything you mentioned.
Thank you also for assuring me that it is ok to eat tacos and Velveeta.
Thank you for telling me my drinks sound delicious - - you should try them, really!
Thank you for adding me to your link lists on your own blogs -- Gosh, I really need to update mine. Yikes.
Thank you for liking my photography. That especially means a lot. To answer a question -- I shoot with a polaroid 680 slr -- that's why it looks so good--I think I have very little to do with it. If you want to see more, go here or here.
Thank you for all of the book recommendations, and blog recommendations, and juice recommendations. My to do list is getting huge!
I'm so sorry if I have not replied to your comments on the blog. I got a bit behind with it and now I am scared to even look. If you have a question, please feel free to email me. I am finding the emails a bit easier to manage. I'm so glad you liked the $20 idea. I'm really excited about it. I will unveil my first purchases on Tuesday, and then hopefully every Tuesday after that.
By the way, the shot above is the place in our house that I usually sit to blog. Thought I'd share it. Have a lovely day. Until tomorrow - - Drink of the Week. Oh, the pressure!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Twenty Dollars

So I decided to create a fun little blogging exercise for myself, and hopefully one that you will enjoy as well. I'm giving myself $20 a week to go to the store and buy foodstuffs that look interesting, gross, exciting. When I told Andrew the idea, he said that I should be careful not to sound too much like Rachel Ray. I think I quickly lashed out at him, "I am nothing like Rachel Ray. This is nothing like Rachel Ray." He was thinking about her $50 a day thing. I said, "The only thing this has in common with that is money and food. I don't think she invented money and food." I am so rude. How does he not spit right in my face? Rachel Ray-ish or not, I'm doing it. I think I might head over to Whole Foods this afternoon and get started. Unfortunately, 20 bucks doesn't get you that far at Whole Foods.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Where have I been?

I could swear that I posted something since last Thursday, but I am known for being absolutely sure and absolutely wrong simultaneously. So I give you these lovely Korean candies as a peace offering. I was lucky enough to see my good friend (and amazing photographer) Julie this morning. She gave these to me as a gift (which I guess makes me somewhat of a re-gifter . . . how rude)and I squealed with delight. They are delicious, but more than that, they are so darn cute. The perfect color and size, dusted with the right amount of sugar. Just lovely. I hope they can make your day, as they did mine.

PS. Check back tomorrow. I've got a new weekly posting idea I want to share with you.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Manhattan Transfer

So I realized at about 7pm that I needed to create a drink of the week. Remember? I promised I would give them to you on Fridays now, so you could enjoy them all weekend long. Well, It was a beautiful day here in Southern California. The kind of day that makes you want to sip on white wine, sit in the sun and forget about the fact that taxes are due in less than a month. Unfortunately, I was only able to think about taxes - - the white wine and sunshine never came to fruition. Yet, I was also able to create a phenomenal drink of the week. My inspiration...the enormous orange tree in our backyard that is so fruitful one would think i put fertility drugs in the soil. I didn't. In case you were wondering.
Let me start by saying that I am not super fond of screwdrivers (the drink, not the tool. I actually find the tool quite useful). Screwdrivers were our drink of choice senior year in high school, and as you can imagine, we often drank too many, and we often got sick, and it often smelled. My disdain aside, I decided that the screwdriver would be my basis for this drink. I screamed out the back door for Andrew to pick me a few ripe oranges off the tree. He came back with oranges that did not look ripe to me, but as it turns out they were ripe and they were phenomenal. So I squeezed them all in to a glass pitcher and then grabbed a grapefruit and a couple of blood oranges I had laying around and squeezed them, too. Oh, and yes, I just happened to have blood oranges laying around, that's what foodies do. Now, this is where it gets a bit tricky - - for you, not for me - - because,I just started pulling a bunch of stuff out of the fridge, the pantry and the liquor cabinet. I realized I don't actually come up with drinks that people can just make that day. Noooooooo, that would be too easy. Instead I grab as many hard to find (lets call them aspirational) ingredients as possible, pour them in a glass and then say, "Hey! Hey, you! Look at me. Look what I just made. Jealous?" I'm probably going to continue to do it, but I at least wanted you to know that I was aware of it. Back to the drink. Into a glass of ice I poured the juice mixture to just over the half way point. The glass should always be at least half full, right? Then I added a shot of Grey Goose L'Orange Vodka, and then I started with the splashes.
A splash of:
Rose's Sweetened Lime Juice
Rose's Grenadine
Robert Lambert Blood Orange Syrup (I know, I know)
Mixed it all together, and without even taking a sip, ( I already knew it was going to be amazing)handed it off to my brother. His expression after his first sip assured me of that. Then it was off to the master drink tester. I wasn't super confident, since Andrew isn't much into juice (unless you count vitamin water as juice). He reluctantly took a sip after inspecting the contents of the glass and sniffing it. I think he said something like, "Not bad. I could see how someone would really like this if they liked juice." Then he apologized for not liking juice and handed the drink back to me. I loved it. But wait, I still had to come up with a name. I proceeded to make dinner, eat dinner, wash dishes, all the while trying to think of a name and nothing. Then I walked myself into the bathroom, sat down to pee and two words popped into my head. "Manhattan Transfer." It was like magic. I have no idea why, or how, but they just did, so I decided to go with it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pasta and Pine Nuts and Butter, Oh My!

I have a horrible stomach ache, but that is not going to stop me from sharing something delicious with you. First I must admit why I have a stomach ache. It's because of you. You told me it was ok to eat tacos, and pizza, and velveeta. What were you thinking? Are you trying to kill me or something? Because since then, since you told me it was ok, I have been eating the junkiest of junk. And now I must pay, with yet another stomach ache.
Was it worth it?
No, not at all.
Do I plan to go on some sort of juice fast or master cleanse starting tomorrow?
Will I go on some sort of juice fast or master cleanse starting tomorrow?

Whew. I feel much better now, and while I was complaining to you about this mess you have gotten me into, Andrew was lovely enough to bring me a cup of my very favorite camomile tea. And this is not just any chamomile tea. This is Fleurs de Camomille from Le Pain Quotidien. It's amazing. Grown in Croatia, Bottled in Belgium and a hefty 10 bucks for 16 infusettes (or teabags for us commoners). But I digress.

Spaghetti with pine nuts and browned butter. Ah-may-zing! A major crowd pleaser. It's the kind of meal that everyone likes. Comfort food with a little flair. "Oh this, it's nothing. I just threw it together. I know, I know. Isn't it just grand?" That's how I feel when I serve it, and you will, too. But before you do, here are a few tips.

You have to serve this with oven roasted tomatoes. They have to be on the vine, and it would be great if you could roast them in a white baking dish. They will look amazing when you bring them out to the table all bubbly and hissing. Be sure to coat them a bit with olive oil and sprinkle the tops with good salt before popping them in the oven. Then your guests can fork a couple of those suckers off the vine, onto their plate and then use that same fork to disembowel them onto the pasta. Yum. And yes, I said, "disembowel."

Also, you should serve up some crispy prosciutto to crumble over the top. Another easy crowd pleaser. Just heat a skillet and cook like bacon.

And some chopped parsley in a simple bowl, and some maldon salt, and some fresh ground pepper, and some freshly grated parmesan cheese (I use a vegetable peeler to get really nice pieces). And then your set. Oh, except it would be nice if you had some good wine, crusty bread and a simple arugula salad, too.

Let me know how it goes.

Here is a simple recipe for pine nut brown butter courtesy of Donna Hay's book "Off the Shelf". Just toss with spaghetti (al dente, of course).

Melt 2 3/4 oz butter in a frying pan then add 1/2 cup of pine nuts and simmer until the pine nuts are golden.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

An Oldie But a Goodie: Juice it Up

This was one of my first posts. People really seemed to like it. I was thinking today about how I have been kind of a bad blogger. I've been spending more time coddling my polaroid blog, and in the process have left you with nothing but a drink of the week and complaints of the flu. I promise to be better. Imagine how great it will be after Paris. Oh the stories I will tell. I'll be discovering all of the French foods I love and Andrew will be adding to his list of foods he hates. But wait, that is still over a month away. I better get cracking. For now, enjoy this gem . . . and I am still waiting for an amazing juice recipe. I would do anything to dust the cobwebs of the juicer that I just had to have, used once, and packed away. Help!

Friday, January 11, 2008
juice it up

one of my many christmas presents to myself was a juicer. proof positive that i was becoming a foodie even before i started this blog. don't people that juice seem superior? they do, don't they? i just wanted to be one of them. i bought this amazing cookbook last year that was recommended to me by a real foodie, a gourmet even, named val. the book is called "the food i love" and it is by an australian chef named neil perry. this book is gorgeous. the photography is amazing, the recipes range from simple to exotic (that is if you consider squid ink paella exotic) and it all starts with a page on juicing. no actual recipes (if you stick with this story, you will find that was a problem), just this, "my wife sam and i usually start the day with a fresh juice." they already sound superior, don't they? i can just imagine them in their amazing kitchen with all of their good kitchen stuff like $900 espresso machines, sub zero fridge packed with fresh organic produce, and a counter top with a hole cut out of it so you can swipe in your cut vegetables sending them down a chute and into a compost bin so you can pack your fridge with more fresh organic produce from your own amazing garden that you have in your gorgeous backyard. i digress. mr. perry continues, " it makes you feel healthy on the inside, for the very simple reason that it is so good for you. . . we vary the fruit and vegetables to reflect the season," plus they probably have to see what is growing in their compost rich soil filled sustainable garden i'm sure, "and that always keeps us looking for the next combination." i wish my husband and i did stuff like "look for the next combination" of fruits and vegetables for our morning juice. we don't. he is not a fan of juice, especially not pulpy juice. actually he has a long list of food aversions, but i'll save that for another time. so, you can kind of see the allure, can't you? the new year was coming. i wanted to be healthy, thin, happy, glamorous . . . juicing was definitely the answer.

carrot, beetroot (aka beets), apple, orange and ginger. that was the first of their favorite blends. I don’t have a vegetable garden, so i myself over to whole foods and threw down about 15 bucks for the ingredients minus the oranges, because we do, at least, have the most fruitful orange tree known to man right in our back yard (ha!!). I come home, carefully prep all of the ingredients and then unpack the juicer. this thing looks scary, and as it should. i mean it is going to take a carrot and pulverize it, and turn it into juice for superior people. i kind of felt like i should have some supervision, someone to call 911 when my hair gets caught in the juicer and half of my face is torn off, but no one was home, so i just went for it. i turned the motor on and was both frightened and impressed by its power. now here's the problem. how much of each ingredient do i put in? why can't their “favorite combinations” include quantities? i'll just work it out. i cut an enormous carrot in half and popped it down the feeding tube thing . . . Wow! I swear this thing is not a juicer, but instead some sort of molecular reassembler, cause it went from carrot to juice much quicker than one would think. working my way through the color wheel, i opted next for the orange, but when i read that i had to peel the thing first i omitted it. It would take too long; I didn’t have that kind of time. I wanted fresh juice and I wanted it now. i promptly moved to the beets, three of them, and isn’t the color of beet juice so beautiful? it would make the most amazing lipstick color. then a couple of apples, and then, what i think may have been my fatal flaw, a 3-inch piece of ginger. So there it was, my very first pitcher full of superior people juice. it did look healthy and beautiful and delicious, but you know when you go and get a facial and they hit you with steam, and exfoliate you and squeeze out the badness and then slather you in sweet smelling moisturizer and you feel so good, and you know, you just know that your skin must be glowing, you must look young, and all dewy and then you get that first glance in the mirror and instead your face looks like it has been run over by a truck carrying thousands of angry bees that escaped and then stung you after the truck ran you over . . . that's what this juice tasted like. just like that. So much build up, and then utter disgust. Disgusting, really, really disgusting. I tried to talk myself through it. Come on, jen, you spent a lot of money on this juicer. This is so healthy, so beautiful; this is what superior people drink in the morning. DRINK IT! So I did. I drank it. A little itty-bitty bit of it, then I put the rest of it in the fridge assuring myself that it would taste better once it was really cold.

4 days later I poured the juice down the drain. So if anyone has any good juicing recipes, I’m all ears.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

At The Parker

Before I go any further, I want to thank you so much for all of the wonderful comments and emails full of amazing information about Paris. I owe you . . . big time. Now if someone could just teach me to speak French, I'd be set!

Although this looks like a drink of the week, it isn't. It just some sort of yummy, "pina colada-y, banana, with rum and fun garnishes" drink. Aside from the heavenly (and I mean heavenly) blueberry pancakes with devonshire cream, this was the most amazing thing I digested this weekend. Part of a lovely Palm Springs getaway at The Parker. Oh, The Parker. So cool, so hip, so chic, so expensive. They can have all my money. Actually, I think they already do. The pancakes are $18, but I assure you, it is money well spent. If you're interested, click here to see some other photos I took while enjoying heaven on earth.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Kir Royal

In honor of my upcoming trip. We celebrated the booking of our tickets with something similar. Champagne and a splash of Chambord. The actual recipe calls for Champagne and a splash of Creme de Cassis. Delicious.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


1. Untitled, 2. cafe

I'm very excited to tell you that we booked a trip to Paris. Can't wait to become a foodie there. I would love to hear about your Paris experiences. Any great places we should go? I found some photos on flickr to inspire me. Can't wait to show you mine. We will be there April 27 through May 3.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I used to use these

You guessed it. Still sick. Still without a good story. Still holding an empty fork. Sorry.

Empty Glasses

"Why are these glasses empty?" you ask. Because I have no Drink of the Week to fill them with. I had a relapse. I'm sick again. Mother Nature is officially rude. I was going to throw something together last night, and then I thought "No, I can't do that to them. I can't just throw something together and pass it off as Drink of the Week." Then I thought, "Why is Drink of the Week on Monday? That's a silly day to offer an alcoholic beverage." I was right. That is a silly day. I am now officially moving ( I can do official stuff, since this is my blog) Drink of the Week to Fridays. The day you and I will most need it. Be back soon. Hopefully I'll be healthy then. Cold remedies welcome.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I am disgraceful

I am a disgrace to foodies around the world. Recently, I have done nothing to further myself into foodiedum. I have not cooked, I have not sipped wine, I have not thumbed through the pages of gourmet. I have eaten hot dogs, potato chips, chocolate covered pretzels. I have ordered pizza. Just cheese. Not even any interesting toppings. I am ashamed. And, I once again must ask for your forgiveness. It's becoming a habit, I know. I will do my best to get back on track. I can't promise anything in the near future as I am working the next week straight, but after that, you can hold me to my promise. For now, let's just look at this photo and remember the good old days.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Simply Breakfast

My friend Jen of Simply Breakfast invited me to contribute to her blog's first birthday. She is such an inspiration to be and I was so excited to be a part of it. This is the photo I sent. Check out both of her blogs. Simply Breakfast and Simply Photo. They are both fantastic!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sore Throat

My throat hurts far too much to type, because after I type a bit, I go back and read it out loud (weird, I know). So just a photo of tea and toast for you.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Lazy Sunday

At about 6:15 Sunday evening I realized, "oh, NO!" I hadn't concocted a drink of the week. I was still feeling quite sick, and my folks had come in town to help celebrate my brother's 30th birthday. I knew, though, that I could not put it off another second. I had to give you a drink of the week and it had to be good. Fortunately for me, I had many test subjects to try the drink, which ended up being ahhhhmazing. Perfect for a lazy Sunday when you need a little pick me up and a little get me drunk.

The Lazy Sunday

Into a glass put equal parts gin and simple sugar (about an ounce of each)
then some hefty splashes of Campari, Cointreau, and Rose's sweetened lime juice.
next add a combination of julienned mint and basil leaves (these will get stuck in your teeth or hang from your lip as you drink. just do your best to get them in your mouth and chew, they taste delicious). top off with club soda, and of course, ice.

The first glass was such a hit that I made a whole pitcher for us to have with dinner. I would call this "whole pitcher" recipe kind of loose. I know I started with equal parts gin and simple sugar, but i definitely played around with the size of the splashes. I invite you to have fun with it. Splash all you like and drink up, cause it's delicious.