Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Nest


There is nothing like coming home
from a long weekend
to sleep in your own bed
with your own pillow
surrounded by furry loved ones

Oh the cozy comforts of home are so good to return to.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.

dreamy bed found here

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I have hula hoop dreams

I want to move like this

and like this

Doesn't that look like fun?

Friday, November 28, 2008

We Choose Love

Go on. Get up and dance for 2 minutes. You know you want to. Press play. Turn it up and have at it. Enjoy the moment.

See wasn't that fun?
You can do it again and I won't tell anybody.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving


My Yogi Tea this morning told me that "Gratitude is the open door to abundance." How perfect for today. Much love to you and yours.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Safe & Sound

Safe travels to everyone wherever you are this Thanksgiving eve.
Much Love and many blessings in this uncertain world.

Hold your love ones close.

We have arrived safe & sound.
The hubby's employees are all accounted for and have arrived home safe and sound in Mumbai and we are very thankful for that.

Our prayers go out to all in Mumbai and everyone around the world.

"There is no way to peace, peace is the way"
A.J. Muste

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

You May Never Know

You may never know
why you do the things you do
and why you do the things you don't

You may never know
if your stars are aligned
or if mercury is effecting your drive

You may never know
what the whale sings of
or the flower
at the end of a honey bee's dance

There are mysteries in this life
that present themselves to us everyday
Some we see
Some we don't
We try to figure the why?

But some things
we may never know

This poem was inspired by the wise words of my friend
Carla who continues to help me refocus whether she is near or far. Much Love and Gratitude Carla. I love you.

We are always trying to figure life out. I have been figuring a long time, but I think it may be time to take another view. To enjoy the wonder and mystery that presents itself in my daily life. To quit thinking so much. It's time to embrace the mystery.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Skateboard + Chain Link Fence = Teenager

My nephew is a few days shy of his 13th birthday but yesterday he earned his official teenage stripes. He has the marks to prove it. Oh yeah, it looks like he got in a fight with a bear. He's gonna survive. But there is no doubting the teen years have begun.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Summer & Autumn

I am thankful for the bounty that the Hollywood Farmer's Market offers. I am thankful that I live in a place where the weather permits late, late season & still sweet and delicious heirloom tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes with fresh homemade mozzarella and basil. Caprese, in my mind, is the absolute best summer salad and that I got to enjoy it in all it's bright and best flavor in November is amazing.

Paired with a savory Lentil Soup
lentil soup
and you have a beautiful meeting of the seasons.

Sorry the pictures do not even come close to the real colors of these dishes. They looked and tasted amazing.

I am very thankful that I have a great friend in Darcy to sup and share such a beautiful meal. Tis the season for amazing meals with family and friends. Enjoy!

Lentil Soup
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Fennel bulb, diced
1 Large onion, diced
1 Large carrot, diced
1 Celery Stalk, diced
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
2 cloved garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 Bay leaf
8 Cups vegetable broth
1 16-oz bag dried lentils, rinsed

Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat.
Add fennel, onion, carrot and celery and cook until tender. Add tomatoes, garlic, red pepper and bay leaf. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add broth and lentils. Bring to boil. Cover and cook over low heat 30 minutes or until lentils are done. Discard bay leaf and serve.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Go see

Slumdog Millionaire

Wow. This is great film making by Danny Boyle and shows a true taste of modern day Mumbai.


Go see this film.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Ultimate Coffee Cake

This may look like the makings for a pizza but don't be fooled.
Not pizza

This is sweet dough with a chocolate and cinnamon filling.

This is chocolate Babka.

Let me tell you it is sooo good. It is "shut up" good. Last night, I brought some for the ladies at SnB and it received rave reviews. Thank you, Ladies for your help in tasting the latest baking experiment.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Security Breach

Last night I received a receipt from my paypal account for an unauthorized transaction.

What the #%^@?

It takes approximately 15 days to investigate and resolve the claim.

What the #^&@?

I swear I am just using my credit card from now on because

1) They have 24-hour customer service. Unlike Paypal where you can only reach them between the hours of 4am and 10pm PST. This transaction came in just after 10pm. Very convenient and sneaky.

2) Credit card companies immediately credit your account and then investigate the claim.

3) Paypal now charges a fee if you use a credit card on your account.

Whatever Paypal. Officially you now suck in my book.

You are off the list as a viable payment option.

Everyone else, Go and change your password.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hump Day

Thank you everyone for the great suggestions on the possible venues. The research continues so if you got something special go on and throw it out there.

But other than that.

Today, I got nothing.

Nothing exciting to say.

Feeling slightly down in the dumps.

It feels like Tuesday, not Wednesday.
Yesterday it felt like Monday, not Tuesday.


I'll start dinner in a little while.

Turkey chili.

Nothing exciting on the needles.

It is truly a hump day and I am just trying to get over it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Looking for

an Easy, Breezy wedding venue with a cool lounge, cocktail vibe. My friends are looking for a venue where the outdoors and the indoors are very open for a summer cocktail, emphasis on the cocktails, party/wedding and emphasis on the outdoors. The place can be any where from LA down to San Diego and must accommodate about 150 people.

I know there are lots of hipsters and wedding goers out there so please send me your best recommendations for your favorite Shangri la rooftops, lounges, gardens, hotels or some combo thereof. I look forward to your suggestions.

Thank you very much for helping me brain storm.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cowls the thing

Scrunchie cowl
Another cowl has made it's way to the gift pile. This one is the Scrunchable Cowl and you can find it on Ravelry. It has a very Elizabethan look to it when worn.
The yarn is Malabrigo. The color is cadmium. It took almost the entire skein. It was made on size 9 16" circulars. This was a fast knit and an easy pattern. The yarn is fabulous as anyone who has worked with Malabrigo will tell you. The color is amazing.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Breakfast Time





Bagels for breakfast. Homemade bagels fresh out of the oven. Sesame, Salt, and Plain. The hubby is exploring a new venture in baking. The hubby's bagels are more rustic looking than your usual bagel. The two of us were not the best bagel shapers. That is a skill that comes with practice I imagine.

Lox and tomatoes
This is the rest of breakfast.

This bagel is about to be smothered with cream cheese and tomato. This is my personal choice of bagel toppings. The hubby likes a little lox.

Bagels were featured in the LA Times Food section this week. Here is an article by Peter Reinhart about making bagels at home. Here is the recipe from the paper and a step by step photo guide. They were pretty easy to make. The hubby's bagels had a good chewiness and good bagel flavor. The crust needs a little work but he already has thoughts on how to improve it for next time. Maybe next weekend. YUM!

The review of last night's Beer Can Chicken. AWESOME! It really was the juiciest chicken we have ever made. We love a brined rotisserie chicken. The hubby makes a great rotisserie chicken but I swear this was juicier than the regular rotisserie chicken.

Beer Can Chicken
Here is the chicken standing in it's beer can stand with a shallot plugging up the neck hole. There is a beer hiding in there too. Careful when removing the beer can. Can you say Boiling Beer? You have been warned.

Here is the finished chicken. Doesn't it look good? We dry rubbed it with Baron's Savoury Secret #4 Texas BBQ with Chipotle. I love Baron's Savoury Secrets. My all time favorite is Secret #3 Kansas City BBQ. They taste great on all meats. I have even sprinkled it on grilled corn. I discovered the Secrets at the meat counter at Whole Foods.

Farrotto cakes
These are Farrotto Cakes that I made with the leftover farrotto. They are so simple to make and taste delicious.

Here are the recipes for the Farrotto and the Farrotto Cakes.

Butternut Squash Farrotto

2 cups farro
8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 tbls unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
2 tbls chopped fresh sage
Freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbls. unsalted butter
¼ to 1/3 cup parmesan cheese

Pour 8 cups stock into a saucepan, place over high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and keep the water at a bare simmer.

In a large dutch oven, melt the 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sage and sauté until the onion is translucent and tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the farro and stir well to coat with the butter. Add 1 cup of the simmering stock and cook, stirring a few times, until the stock is almost absorbed. Then continue to add the stock 1 cup at a time, always allowing it to be almost fully absorbed before adding more. Add the squash when about half the stock has been added. The farro is ready when it is tender but still chewy at the center. You may not need all of the stock. The whole process, beginning with sautéing the onion, should take about 40 minutes. Season to taste with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Stir in a little butter and parmesan for richness, if desired. Serve immediately.

Notes: This is not a dish to leave unattended. It requires constant stirring and the adding of liquid. You may or may not use all of the broth. You may also substitute arborio rice instead of farro to make a risotto. Also make sure your dice on the squash is fairly consistent and not too large otherwise you run the risk of the squash not cooking through.


Farrotto Cakes

2 cups chilled farrotto
2 T. Italian bread crumbs
1 egg yolk
1 egg + egg white
Italian bread crumbs for breading
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the farrotto, 2 T. bread crumbs, parsley, and egg yolk. Mix thoroughly with your hands. Shape into equal balls and flatten into cakes about 3/4 inch high. Dip into the egg and then lightly bread with the bread crumbs. Heat a saute pan with a thin layer of olive oil over medium heat. Cook, flipping once, until both sides are a deep golden brown. Transfer to paper towel lined baking sheet and warm in the oven. Add a little more olive oil to pan and cook the remaining cakes.

Servings 4 to 6

Notes: You can also add some fresh chopped parsley when making the mix to freshen up the flavor. Due to the thickness of the cakes the middle may still be cool when the outside browns up, which is another reason to warm them up in the oven while cooking the remaining cakes.

Buon Appetito tutti!

P.S. Thank you, honey, for all your good cooking. I so love and appreciate it and also that you clean up along the way. Woohoo...lucky me.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dinner Tonight

There's a new technique going down on the grill tonight.

Hickory Smoked Beer Can Chicken

The hubby is about to snap open a Tecate beer. Take a couple of swigs and then stuff the beer up the chicken. The hickory chips are soaking and the grill is fired up. This should be interesting. Our nephew, Tyler, gave us the Chick Can Rack for Christmas and this is the inaugural chicken.

The rest of the menu will be left over butternut squash Farrotto and steamed broccoli.

Last night the farrotto was rockin'. This was the first time using farro and I thought it would take longer than the arborio but not really. For a moment I thought maybe the squash would be undercooked and the farro overcooked but everything turned out just fine and delicious.

Tonight is a new culinary adventure and I will report on the beer can chicken tomorrow!

What's cooking at your place tonight?

Friday, November 14, 2008

What's Cooking?

These are the fixings for tonight's dinner.
Butternut Squash Farrotto

What is farrotto, you ask?! Basically it is risotto, sans the rice, and made with farro. Farro is an ancient type of wheat called emmer. It is hearty and when combined with butternut squash it is the perfect Fall dish. Unfortunately, here in LA we are experiencing the perfect summer day with a high of 90 degrees. It's hot and the air conditioner is running. However, I will carry on and make my supper and hope for a crisp evening. Although cool weather tonight is highly doubtful as tomorrow will be warmer than today.

To go with the farrotto I will make a simple salad of butter lettuce, pears, and glazed pecans. A glass of wine, some dinner conversation and maybe a rousing game of Scrabble to aid in the digestion afterwards.

What are you having for dinner tonight?
What's your favorite fall recipe?
Please share I would love to know.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lending Library

It's good to have friends that love to read. My best bibliophile friend is Mitch. He is also my personal lending library. When he came to pick me up yesterday for our day out he brought me two new books to read.

library 1
The Boat by Nam Le


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson

I am in the midst of Blind Willow Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami. I love the worlds Murakami creates. Don't you? If you are not familiar with Murakami I would highly recommend Kafka on the Shore. I think it's one of his best.

Other great lends I have read this year that I highly recommend are:
The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

Thank you Mitch for keeping this bibliophile with great reads by my bed. I love you and I am so glad I have you in my life, even if you didn't read. But I am so glad you do and with a great nose for good reads and the generosity to share them.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An Afternoon at the Museum

Urban light1

Chris Burden's Urban Light Sculpture at LACMA.

Yesterday my good friend Mitch and I took advantage of a beautiful LA day to go to the museum. Neither one of us had seen the new Broad Contemporary Art Museum and we were eager to check it out.
It did not disappoint. My favorite pieces were Richard Serra's Band and Sequence. These large scale steel pieces are amazing/disorienting/powerful/sinuous/beautiful. You really get to experience these pieces. They are a must see. I also got to contemplate Michael Jackson and Bubbles. This is a very unique piece to say the least. The collection of contemporary art is astounding. Go and check it out.

We also saw two other exhibits
Shell-Shocked: Expressionism after the Great War: Selections from the Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies
Through April 19, 2009
This exhibit has some very powerful imagery.


Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913–2008
Through March 1, 2009
If you love portrait photography go and see this exhibit. It is worth it.

What's this?
This is the future site of the Resnick Pavilion.

Here is a view of Los Angeles from the BCAM

Lots of things are shaking over at LACMA. With the expansion and reorganization the exhibits seem more cohesive and organized. The parking situation is so much better. There was a quartet playing in the courtyard. It is a great way to spend the day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pure Love

This is what love looks like in my house
Pure Love
and I am truly grateful for it.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Today my adorable, counting down the days till official teenhood nephew, Tyler and I had a golf lesson. We had a lot of fun hitting balls on the range and practicing our putting. He has grown so much over the summer that he is about to inherit my clubs, as his clubs are just a bit too short.

golf lesson

Afterward we met my Mom and Tyler's mom for dinner.
two goofballs
Tyler & Grammy sat across from me.

Mom & Ty



Good times
I am really grateful for the love my family has for each other. We enjoy each others company. Can you tell? I am truly grateful that I have such a smart and loving nephew. I am very happy that Tyler likes to do things with me like play golf and video games. He gives me big bear hugs. I really can't get enough of those. I love helping him with his homework. He got straight A's last year and was really proud of himself. He is kind and considerate and he loves animals. Tyler is our personal pet sitter. He is really growing up to be a fine young man and I am really proud of him.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A Strange Day in LA

The temperature dropped 20 degrees since yesterday from 86 degrees to 66 degrees. There is a cold wind blowing. The skies are crystal clear and the sun is shining blindly bright. The really strange and wondrous thing today is the lack of traffic on the streets. I have been to Sherman Oaks, LAX, and the Westside today. Just zipping along the empty streets of LA. It took 22 minutes to get from Hollywood to LAX. This is only a 14 mile drive and in most places it probably takes 20 minutes or less to get across town. Not so here in LA. Even on a good traffic day it takes about a half hour to get to the airport and during high traffic hours it can take an hour. Today the streets were strangely empty and made for real Sunday driving. No rushing and no frustrations. No hurry to get anywhere.

I don't know if the stars aligned or the traffic lights were in sync or everyone was at home watching football, but I thank the powers that be for the ease with which I navigated through LA today. It was truly miraculous.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


In the many years spent as a student you come across all kinds of teachers from the passionate to the burnt out. It has been my pleasure to have had a great teacher or two at every level of schooling. One of these amazing teachers was Mr. Lugo. He was my high school Spanish teacher. Two weeks ago, Mr. Lugo passed away at the young age of 61 years old. Mr. Lugo was more than a teacher. He was a coach and a mentor. For almost 40 years he taught and coached at Canoga Park High after he, himself, was a student at the school. He may sound familiar to you because he was in the LA Times twice in the past two weeks. His obituary ran on Thursday October 23 and yesterday he made the Sports Section.

Mr. Lugo was the cool teacher. He was even tempered and fair. He was energetic and he cared. Mr. Lugo was my brother's wrestling coach. My brother lacked a strong male figure in his life and Coach Lugo was someone he looked up to. I believe and know that Coach Lugo was that for many young men that he mentored throughout the many years he taught. That being said he was also a regular guy. He was a humble and respectful kind of guy. Through his simple, consistent, and dedicated actions he became an inspiration and a role model. The way Mr. Lugo lived his life made an extraordinary impact on those he taught and encountered.

A testament to his life and influence was shown when 4000 strong came to honor him last night at the Canoga High Homecoming Football game. The field was dedicated in his name and will forever be known as Rudy Lugo Field. It is a fitting tribute to a man who made such an impact on and off the field.

Thank you Mr. Lugo for all your years of dedicated and passionate teaching. Thank you for being the kind of teacher that inspires. Thank you for being the kind of man that boys want to emulate. Thank you for being you. You will be missed and never forgotten.

Rudy Lugo
1947 - 2008

Friday, November 07, 2008

Another cowl

I am just loving my yarn and how well my last cowl turned out. So I found another cowl pattern and kept going. This is the Ridged Lace Cowl. Again, I found the pattern on Ravelry. I love how the yarn is creating a totally different pattern than the last cowl. I love the surprise of how variegated yarn reveals itself.
Ridged lace cowl
The lace pattern is easy to remember, which is always a plus. I have two more pattern repeats to go and it's finished. This little elf is getting some knitting done. Those holidays are just sneaking up.

This is the next yarn pile to conquer. It's the same yarn and the color is called Limon. I am thinking of striping the two different yarns together and see what happens. It's nice when your little knitting projects offer some interest. How do you spice up your knitting when you are in a knit rut?

A moment of gratitude for the beauty of the sun light streaming through the window onto the kitchen floor, where a puppy basks in the light and the awareness to take the time to enjoy it too.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Gocco Postcards

The Gocco postcards from the Gocco Postcard Swap have arrived. People made really amazing cards. They are all very creative and different.

This is my very first creation with my Print Gocco.

Of course, these were inspired by my wonder weiner Tank!

Here is the Gocco postcard parade















Now isn't that a big batch of creativeness? This swap was so much fun. Thanks Lisa for organizing this fab swap. If it wasn't for this swap, my Gocco machine would still be in the box!

After I printed my postcards I did some tags. It was an experiment to see how far the ink would last from my postcard application. It went on and on.
Not so much with the Gocco supplies, which are drying up as Riso is discontinuing its Print Gocco System. It's so sad as this is a great little product. Now things are really going to have to get creative.