24 February 2012

a friendship blossoms...

When someone new comes into your life and you're not 100% sure whether or not the two of you will gel the right way there's always some trepidation about the first encounter.  When that first encounter goes well...man it's f*cking exciting.

All I did was take it out of the box, plop it on my kitchen table and look at it for the first 4 days.  I was out for dinner, or I didn't know which shelf to put it on, or I didn't know if I should get rid of my other one, and I even wondered if it was too big to handle...cause, guys, 13 inches is huge.

Then tonight, I got a hankering for something quick (surprisingly simple) and good...thus was born my first attempt with my new cast iron skillet - skillet macaroni and cheese.

Dang.  It was so easy.  So good, it will be better this is why I'm not sharing yet, but I had to share the experience.  I was even eager to clean it immediately and re-season. Who does those things?  Oh, clearly I do!

Anyway, be prepared for more skillet meals 'cause this guy and I are going to be amazing friends and I got a feeling the relationship is going to last a long time.

What'd you make for dinner tonight? 

21 February 2012

sorta random

This is my friend Randy. I knew he did this video a while ago - I've seen it before. I loved it and am very glad that he's working w. Davey (also in the video) to make more food oriented videos...they're good at that.  But I am going to the park tonight for dinner w. our friend Zakiya and I was totally surprised (not sure why) when i saw this video on their site!  Wanted to share. :)

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

20 February 2012

darn soft cookies!

Apartment deep clean: check.  Exercise: check.  Hike: check.  Awesome acting class: check.  Day spent with a girlfriend: check.  Italian dinner: check.  It was a good 3-day weekend. 

As you might know, I love food blogs. I love reading them and I love drooling over them.  It's one of my favorite things to do, especially at work when there's a lull in my day.  I've been reading Slow Like Honey for a couple years and I love it and bet you would too!  It's the kind of place you find yourself reading archives because you're enjoying yourself.  On Thursday night I decided to make some cookies at work because I was in the mood to bake and it's nice to bring something sweet just cause. :) So I tried out SLH's Peanut Butter Cookies. Man. These were the softest cookies I have ever made. They were so yummy.  I switched it up a little, try it!

Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, Cherry Chunk Cookies
Adapted from Slow Like Honey
Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip,
Cherry Chunk Cookies

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup peanut butter at room temperature (I used a generous cup)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temp.
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt (I tend to put  more salt then is asked for - I really like savory with my sweet! But just a teeny tiny bit more). Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture in two batches and beat thoroughly. Stir in the chocolate chips and chopped cherries. Cover the dough and put in in the fridge for about 20 - 30 minutes.  

Get a cookie sheet with parchment paper and using a spoon get a meatball amount - not like, I'm having an entree meatball but like a swedish meatball from IKEA size - roll into a ball and put on cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. Using your palm, push down on each cookie a little, you're not mashing them you're just flattening them a little. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes (I did 11 minutes). Don't overbake. They may appear to be underdone, but they're not. This is where they get good!

Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely. Enjoy with a cold glass of milk and remember to share!

Here are my other instagrams! (ps. I LOVE instagram)
Grant & Wendy hard at work - Wendy is an
awesome AD!

Josh & Vanessa getting ready to do some reaction
shoots so we have stuff for coverage. These two
are funny, funny actors!

Egg Day Off Salad Sandwich for lunch.

17 February 2012


Rory and I have had conversation upon conversation about this. So, its appropriate that he just sent this to me and I love it and him more because of it.  I don't know where this image came from, so I cannot source it. :( 

Do you ever feel like this?  That if only you could get over this simple stupid fear life would explode?


15 February 2012

just another day

Yesterday started as a normal day.  It was Valentine’s day, I had a plan for my day – go grocery shopping on my way home from work and also pick up a gift or two.  The day did not remain normal.  Having expectations for things sometimes comes with its downfalls...things happen.  Life happens.  Clearly, it was nothing catastrophic.  Work was hectic, the interweb was down and I had to use my phone to do follow-ups, forgot my phone charger, no one had one at work...by the end of the day, I was dead.  Out of touch with any and everything.  The mister knew I was going to the grocery store before I got home, but he didn’t know I was going shopping – as he wasn’t supposed to b.c it was a surprise for him!  When I got home, an hour later than expected, he frustratedly left for an audition, an important one where an important person specifically requested to see him...think I'd feel the same.  He was expecting to be on a certain schedule.  Nothing wrong with it, we all do it.  I try to remind myself to “hope for the best and expect the worst.”  It limits the disappointment, or so it seems...sometimes.
Yo, DJ!

I was just having a conversation (read shared blog post) with my best girl friend about telling stories with points.  [Side note: she’s really the best, I’m like totally in love with her.]  I’m not very good at it.  Rory give me a hard time about it too...I tend to ramble and get lost in my details and tangents...which, sure, is good from time to time...but all the time?  I don’t know, maybe I will take a story telling class and get my points all lined up.  Or maybe I just accept that that's the way I work after 30 years.

Back to yesterday, while there were some let downs there were also total positives...it was Valentine’s Day after all.  It was also our mini-celebration of our 7 year anniversary.  Seven years!  Man.  It doesn’t seem like that long, or it doesn’t feel that long.  I guess that’s what happens when you fall in love and decide to spend the rest of your life with someone and that someone if the right someone.  Everything just sort of fits.  It works properly.  Even when there are problems, you work them out.  I’m glad to say that we don’t fight all too often.  When we get mad at each other, we’re typically able to come to common ground and we just don’t disagree on a ton of stuff.  I’m a lucky girl who’s madly in love with the man she’s going to marry.  That’s all.  A friend of mine tonight, after I said Rory was off for a whole month, told me I was "so understanding."  Sure, I am but that's also just part of what our relationship is.  We've learned to make it work.  It's very hard from time to time but I think it's also good for us.  It's made us value each other, everything about each other.  The good's, the bad's and even the ugly's.  In the end, I think it makes us love each other harder and fuller.  That's what I feel, full.  So cliche, but Rory kinda completes me. He makes my life full.  When he's not around or off on one of his distracted ways its hard but in the end, at the root of it all there is so much love and patience and kindness and joy and positive emotion that the good truly does outweigh the bad. Really.

Now on to the food!  Yes, it’s a recipe post.  I’m excited, it’s been FOREVER.  Plus it was my instagram yesterday so, even better. (Actually I had two, both in the post)  I made lamb with a yogurt mint sauce, broccoli rabe and hasselback potatoes. Then store bought pound cake w. strawberries and homemade vanilla whip cream. Delish.
Nom, nom, nom

Lemon-Garlic Lamb Chops with Yogurt Sauce
Slightly adapted from epicurious

For yogurt sauce:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 garlic clove, minced
a big handful of chopped fresh mint

For chops:
fresh lemon juice from 2 lemons
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
a good shake dried oregano
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 (1/2 to 1 inch-thick) shoulder lamb chops (I asked my butcher for shoulder chops and he sold me a whole shoulder, thought of roasting the whole thing but just ended up cutting my own pieces – I guess you could do the whole thing but think you’d need to increase the marinade)
1 tablespoon water (plus whatever you feel like you need, probably used ~ 1 cup)

Make sauce:
Put a cup of yogurt in a doubled up piece of cheesecloth, make sure you have enough to tie this up.  Then tie the lose ends to a spoon and rest the spoon over a large pot, be sure to put a bowl under the cheesecloth/yogurt concoction so you catch the liquid.  Recipe calls for 20 minutes, I did it for like 30-40 minutes…so worth it.  Mix in the garlic, mint, and salt and pepper to taste.  You can do this a day ahead of time if you want to, just make sure it comes to room temp before serving.

Prepare chops while yogurt drains:
Stir together lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and 2 tablespoons oil in a shallow baking dish. Add lamb chops, turning to coat, and marinate.  Recipe calls for 20 minutes, I did it for a little over an hour (I had the time) just be sure to take the lamb out of the fridge so it comes back to room temperature.  Remove lamb from marinade, reserving marinade, and season with salt and pepper.  Heat remaining tablespoon oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté chops in 2 batches, without crowding, about 2 minutes on each side for medium-rare.  I had to go back and heat these a little longer, so be sure to check the meat and do sauté to the appropriate done-ness for you.  Transfer to plates. Boil reserved marinade in skillet with water 1 minute and pour over chops.  Serve w. the yogurt sauce.

Now for the potatoes…so yummy, they were sweet and spicy from the pesto.  Rory doesn’t like pesto, I knew this and still made this…he even LIKED the pesto.  Goes to show you can’t judge all pestos by the cover...wait, what?! Oh, before potatoes, I really didn’t do anything to the broccoli rabe.  I blanched it, then sautéed it with olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes until they were done.  Easy-peasy!

Hasselback Potatoes with Spinach Cashew Pesto
Barely tweeked from Joy the Baker
For the Potatoes:
4 russet potatoes
4 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
coarse sea salt
olive oil for drizzling
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Thinly slice garlic cloves – try to keep them consistent, this is near impossible for me…just try to get them pretty thin.  Set aside.  Clean the outside of your potatoes well.  So your potatoes don’t slip around and you don’t slice off a finer, cut a small part off the bottom of the potatoes…I picked the wonkiest side. (You can do this with onions too so as to not have the onion roll around while you’re sobbing through your slicing)  Slice into the potatoes creating ribs, don’t go all the way through the potatoes, so everything stays connected.  Slide garlic slices in between potato slices.  This is a lot harder than it seems, you may have to be a little rough with these buggers, but not so rough that you break them apart.  End goal, keep them in original potato shape!

Put 'em on a baking sheet, salt them, well.  Put a tablespoon of butter on each potato and drizzle with oil.  Bake for about 1 hour. Every 15 minutes, baste the potatoes with the oil and butter deliciousness that is happening.  (When I was doing this, I wished that I had put the potatoes in a deeper dish, I kept fearing that the mixture would pour over onto the bottom of my oven, so...a suggestion?) When cooked through and crispy, remove from the oven, top with spinach pesto and serve.

For the Pesto:
2 loosely packed cups of spinach
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup toasted cashews
juice from one fresh lemon
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup olive oil

Put everything (sans oil, salt & pepper) in the bowl of a food processor.  Blend until spinach is broken down and, whiles still blending, slowly pour in the olive oil.  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. 

Cook's note: this makes a TON of pesto, after dinner I grabbed a piece of parchment paper and put 4 globs (about the size of a silver dollar pancake) of pesto on it and put in the freezer.  I meant to grab them last night, but just put them in their own ziploc bags in the freezer.  These are perfect for a pesto pasta dinner down the road...now you don't have to make the pesto!

I hope you enjoy these recipes, it always makes me so happy to cook. To cook something I've never eat but have read about somewhere else that someone else tried...I always want to know what I can do with it.  

What'd you make (do) for Valentine's day? 

13 February 2012

images from my days.

spring-y shoes, it was a beautiful day.
goldfish flowers...right?!
roller derby...boring!
and he's home again.

my friend Randy is a really good barista.
and he makes excellent coffee. 
First - I'm frustrated. My pictures are annoying me. So...sorry they're out of order.

stumbled upon

I spent the downtime of my work day (ie. MOST of my work day) reading  through almost all of Foxflat, a new blog I found by a girl named Katie.  She's pretty cool. I stumbled upon her blog b.c I decided to re-dye my black jeans and a little googling brought me to her and her step-by-step was super helpful.  Now I have an "almost" new pair of black jeans and a new blog to keep up with.

Reasons I like Katie & Foxflat. 1) She's from Ohio and I went to college there - seems to be some sort of connection.  2) She love bargains and turning them into new and fun things - I save every jar we get in hopes of canning something and I shop bargin bins (not solely but I do love them). She also loves the flea market - Rory and I love garage sales, yard sales, flea market sales you name it! 3) She & her hubby have created a balcony garden - I'm thinking of doing a front step garden; her insight is helpful. 4) She loves baking - or so I think from reading her baking posts - I love baking, duh. 5) She knits and makes her own yarn (I aplogize that I don't know what that's called but it's way cool) - I've always wanted to knit but have never had the patience to actually work on it. 6) I think my favorite part was her wedding re-cap, as I'm planning or thinking of planning a wedding, it's nice to hear how someone else made it through.  7) And finally, we're both Aries.

Anyway....She posted this a long time ago and I think its brilliant. So, Foxflat, thanks, I stole this from you!

february starts...


heart treats!

lovely lunches

co-worker b-day (ie. triple choc. brownies w. a salted
caramel glaze

janell's day.

my girl.



early morning discoveries!

09 February 2012

the end of january.

Art Show to Rink Side Hockey
Kings vs. Senators

The Paramount Pigeons, I was missing one...

Rosemary grows wild 'round here.

Drinks w. Friends.

Walks w. the fiancé.

Baked Salmon, Cold Kale w. Lemon & Feta,
and Mushroom & Carmalized Onions w. TJs Harvet Grains.

More Walks.  With some resting. 


08 February 2012

art shows are a lot of work.

This is the slew from the art show in January. I think I took a lot more than 2 a day...and I don;t even think I could date them.  They start on 9.Jan.2012 and end on 24.Jan.2012.
This is what the Hall looked like w. nothing in it.

Walls. Stacked.

The Hall at the end of the day.

You can't tell, but they hung tracks, lots changed.


Historic & Traditional comes with carpet.

Modern & Contemporary doesn't. What's that say about our art?

The China Pavilion.  Real life Chinese Reading Room from the Ming Dynasty.
No nails in the end!


The ladies who organize.  We don't lunch, we don't have time.


Flaming Margarita at the end of the day...

Felt covered walls. So pretty, such a pain to take down!


That's Allan. He helped build the show and is my friend.
The rest of the guys are eating lunch. 

More Lights!

Big deal? Can't you tell? ...buuut Scovel's spelled wrong.

Tractor! (Clever?)

Mark Mothersbaugh (of DEVO) is a cool m.effer.

Even more!

Orange wall...which we later had to paint w. many coats of white...
they only wanted one (1!) wall this color.

Up close and comfortable.

Failed attempt at cupcakes...

Staff that will actually make this thing NOT fall apart.

Just before they get here...

threeweeksinjanuary.org was there

Risotto for one.

And the art begins to arrive.

I drove this...

I picked up this...

The back door was open and the light was beautiful...


The boys adding finishing touches.

My commute on an hourly basis.

These guys were awesome.

This guy was sorta creepy.

Filling out

Filling in

Boss Man.


Opening Night Pre-Party @ the Getty, apparently James Franco
was there...missed him.

The Getty!

The Getty's view!

Fortune Cookie.

Nice wall.


I was too busy to take a picture of all the people from Opening
Night, but we were packed to the gills!

You know it...

Hunt Slonem

This was with me EVERY day. I'm very tired at this point.

The Print Fair!

Lauren & Allan, I like them both.

An installation by French Street artist, Speedy Graphito

Adam, grill master & bourbon aficionado. 

Doc. Or Rex. Or Chef.

Crew BBQ.

Our amazing meal!

Boss & Marcee.  (She's an amazing lady.)

Re-Creating Feminism. 

FarBar at the end of a VERY long Saturday.

The night.

Tabitha, Allan & Lauren.

Creepy bathroom, huh?

A different, sort of, perspective.

Time to go...


Break at the seams...