Mar 10

UPDATED! 7 Courses, 2 Hours, 1 Measuring Cup

This morning, I picked up my 1982 edition of The Family Cookbook Treasury to look for ice cream recipes. I don’t know how this book made it’s way into our cookbook collection, but it’s there. Flipping through the pages, I’m often left in awe at how utterly disgusting the photos make the food look. Not to mention, some of the recipes are pretty gagworthy.  (Baked avocado? Pass.)

Still, I was convinced that an edible meal could be created. Therefore, I tossed aside the idea of making ice cream and decided to make a seven course meal. Tonight. So, I spent 45 minutes looking for recipes, created a quick grocery list and went shopping. I started cooking at 4:15pm and everything was done by 6:15pm.

I bet you’re curious about what we ate, so here it is. Ignore the place settings. It’s amazing to me to find that all my table linen has gone missing and half of my dishes have been broken or lost.

Course 1: Cottage Cheese Pâte

Cottage Cheese Pâté Continue reading →

Aug 09

AUG. 8: Korean BBQ Cookoff

kbbqLet’s toss this event under Reason #873 Why I Love Los Angeles. That’s right, Yelp and the Korean American Coalition have partnered to bring us Los Angeles’ first Korean BBQ Cookoff. Some interesting details:

Los Angeles’s first Korean BBQ Cook-off will showcase some of the best dishes by top Korean BBQ restaurants. Presented by the Korean American Coalition – Los Angeles (KAC), in partnership with Yelp, the Cook-off will be judged by distinguished judges who will present the prize for best the BBQ dish on Saturday, August 8, 2009.
• 5,000 participants expected for the event
• Ten restaurants are participating in the competition including Beverly Soon Tofu, Byul Dae Po (Star BBQ), Ham Ji Park, Jinju Galbi, Mu Dae Po, Park’s BBQ, So Hyang, and Soowon Galbi.
• The restaurants will sell dishes for $10-15/plate. (It’ll be worth it….it’ll be good quality meat)
• Other food booths will include (tentative list): shaved ice, drinks, grilled corn, and more.
• Barbecue categories will include LA galbi (marinated bone-in beef ribs), galbi (marinated boned-out beef ribs), pork ribs, bulgogi (marinated sliced sirloin), and grilled intestine barbecue.

It’s no secret that I enjoy meat, eating and BBQ. I also enjoy Saturdays and ogling cute Korean boys. Needless to say, I’m going to try my best to get over to this event.

Saturday, August 8, 2009
12:00pm – 8:00pm
The Summit at 6th
3223 6th St.
Los Angeles, CA

You can find more discussion on FriendFeed.

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Mar 09

Social Networkouts

Image representing Gyminee as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Meetups of users of various online communities have been happening for some time now. In just the past 6 years, I’ve met women from a birth club board for lunch playdates, have potluck dinners with people from political sites, teas with online friends from gardening forums and recently met up with FriendFeed users at local burger joint. But you see the problem; it’s all involving food. I’d say that 95% of the meetups I’ve had with people has been surrounding food. ?On one hand, good food and drink are great social lubricators. Beyond the topic discussed on these sites what other conversational ice breaker is there that doesn’t seem awkward and insincere. Recently, I’ve been wondering why there aren’t more meetups of an active sort among these groups.

When you get into the personal realm in these online communities, the topic of weight loss and food issues come up pretty frequently. People share recipes, discuss what they had for dinner or talk about their time at the gym. Yet, when we get together our first thought is what restaurant to meet at or is it a potluck. Why not do something different? Why not make a meetup where we all take a yoga class or just a simple hike in Griffith Park??

At LA Metblogs, Will Campbell organized a day long through LA. I wish I could have made it but either I was busy healing or just busy. This guy Mike organized a walk through LA to celebrate his 10 years as an Angeleno. It became an annual event and last year was the 3rd year of Great LA Walk. The same day as the FriendFeed meetup, the Los Angeles Flickr group organized a photowalk around Union Station. These are all great ways to get some activity in a meetup.?

Many would suggest that I search sites like Active or Gyminee to find people who’d be willing to do an activity. I’ve tried that, but since I’m not active in those communities it’s a bit hard. ?To make it more frustrating for me is that most people who put Los Angeles in their profiles live in OC, the Valley or the west side. ?There’s nothing really local for me here in Northeast Los Angeles. The few people I’ve found in Pasadena put up posts like, “Looking for a partner for quick 10 mile trail run at 5am.” Yeah…10 mile, trail, and 5am effectively exclude me. ?

My logic in wanting to do a meetup around a physical activity has a lot to do with support. Sure, I could find a group to run with on Gyminee, but they don’t “know” me & I don’t know them. I’m sure they’ll be supportive of my efforts, but will they get my sense of humor? What if they all want to talk politics or tech while running? Whereas say I organize a Twitter/FriendFeed meetup, we all know each other from there and the activity will be more focused on fun versus getting mileage in.

Tell me. Am I off-base here or is anyone else interesting in doing something like this? Even if it’s a simple as a hike through Griffith Park ending in a picnic (more food!), that’s still more active than a group of us sitting around chatting…you know, like we do on our computers anyway.

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Feb 09

Five Guys Meetup

Feb 09

Granola bars done right

Natures Valley Sweet & Salty Nut Bar

Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Nut Bar

People claim that I am a picky eater. It’s not true, I just happen to like what I like. It’s not my fault some things are just not fit for consumption. Last week, looking for cheap and “healthy” snacks for my kids that can be carried in my pocket, I found Nature Valley granola bars. They looked interesting & the price was right, so I grabbed them.  When I got home and looked at the box, I saw that they had yogurt on them, so I chalked it up to something else I won’t be eating because dried yogurt doesn’t appeal to me. It was only in a fit of desperation for something sweet to eat that I decided to go ahead and nibble on one, with one eye on my 3 year old human garbage disposal.


That’s not quite the word. It doesn’t it do it justice. When you bite into the bar it’s bland, but then it’s like little sugar crystals dancing on your tongue.  All of a sudden, the back of your throat gets lightly slapped with a slight salty taste.   All of this happens over and over again creating a burst of flavor. It was so good, I had forgotten about the dried yogurt.

Nature Valleys Sweet & Salty Flavors

Nature Valley's Sweet & Salty Flavors

I freely admit to eating another right after the first. The bar was so good that, I almost coveted them as badly as I do my Girls Scout Thin Mints.  Anyone who knows how I do not share my Thin Mints will understand how much I liked these bars.  It wasn’t until the bars were gone that I bothered to glance at the nutritional values of it.  I still haven’t quite paid attention to it, but I’m posting an image of it so you can make your own decisions.

Nutritional Values
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Apr 08

Chronicle Wine Cellar

That’s the sign outside Chronicle Wine Cellar. I wouldn’t know anything about the prices though. They’re only open “when the flag is out” and I’ve only seen the flag out 3 times in the past year and all 3 times we either didn’t need wine or the kids were acting up, so the thought of going into a wine shop was far in the back of our minds. One of these days I’m going to take $40 and go there and get a bottle of wine. One of these days they’ll be open when I need to get a bottle.

The Chronicle Wine Cellar is located at 913 East California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106. We are hidden just behind the Pie N’Burger shop. Cellar hours are Monday through Friday 11:30am – 6:30pm, Saturday 10:00am – 4:30pm, and Sunday 11:30am – 5:00pm.

Apr 08

Cherry Blossom Festival

We attended the Cherry Blossom Festival in Little Tokyo yesterday. It was a lot bigger and more fun that I expected. Kudos to the organizers of the event. As usual, with things like this in Los Angeles, it emcompassed all of Asia (though Indians were not represented at all), so we got to see things from all along the Pacific.

We started out our morning in the Plaza. Our original plan was to have get some coffee and pastries from Homeboy Bakeries but they were closed. So we wound up in the Japanse Plaza at the bakery there. BTW, they had surprising good coffee and the baked goodies we got were tasty. While we had our coffee, we sat outside the shop and watched this group. I guess they’re jazz singers and usually they’d be using a piano…I don’t know, I hadn’t had my coffee when they were introduced. Anyway, later on in their set, they sang Sukiyaki but the original Japanese song. I know some of the Japanese, but I know the English like everyone else. My husband asked me, “What is this song?” I was shocked. Mr. Music didn’t know this song? “It’s Sukiyaki!”. He looked at me, “How do you know that? See, I told you you know everything.” Whatever.

Something totally unexpected and random, Red Hat Society singing on stage. Yes. You read that right. I have pictures if you don’t believe me. We walked around, everyone and their brother were giving away trips to Hawaii. There was a section for kids with bouncy thingies. We watched a Hawaiian group play. Ilia liked that because she has a ukelele too. The kids made Chinese lanterns, something that took a lot longer than expected. There were quite a few tables set up for kids. They could learn origami, do a fish kites, paint a pet rock or make a lantern.

We walked around a bit, and looked for lunch. That should have been an easy task, but most of the places we usually eat at were closed. We wound up at an okay place, but $1.50 Kirin on tap. How could we not? Really? After lunch, we went to rejoin the crowds on the street. We caught the tailend of the Kabuki dancer.

Ilia loved it, but Alton did not enjoy the music. Then we went on the other side of the stage to see the Geisha dancers:

We also got a chance to watch the Japanese groups (I call them dance crews, since I’ve never seen them do anything but dance) do a dance in a circle. There were 4 “crews” and random people in a circle doing a dance who’s name is escaping me right now. It’s always fun to watch and it was even better to see more people under the age of 60 involved.

My little girl just loved all the dancing and the music. She wants a taiko, she wants a kimono, she wants to learn hula and kabuki. She wants to learn Japanese! That she wants to broaden her horizons and learn more about the world means the weekend was a success.

Apr 08

Los Angeles “officially” welcomes Spring

Well, you know it’s time to see half-naked people in the City of Angeles just based on the events happening. This weekend is the unofficial kickoff to Spring in LA. So many things to do, I’m wondering how I’ll sleep this weekend. The best part: Most of them are free.

Obviously, we’ll be at LACMA celebrating opening night of Jazz on Friday night. I heard that Les Claypool is also playing tomorrow night. Who knew he was still around?

Oh and the Getty’s Friday off the 405 series also starts on Friday night.  Since my idea of fun doesn’t include being anywhere near the 405 on a Friday night, I won’t be here, but I’ll try to make it one day.  It’ll be like me cheating on LACMA.

The Brewery kicks off their spring ArtWalk on Saturday, April 5th. If you haven’t been, you’re missing out on some kind of wonderful. The restaurant onsite is overprice, but the last times we went they also had someone grilling burgers.  We’ll be doing this on April 6th and grilling afterwards.  We live nearby, so if you’re willing, come on by.

The Brewery ArtWalk is a twice annual open studio weekend at the worlds largest art colony. Each artwalk, over 100 resident artists participate. During this event, you will have the opportunity to see new works, discover new favorites, speak with the artists and purchase artworks directly from the artists at studio prices.

The Brewery Art Walk takes place:
April 5th and 6th, from
11:00 am – 6:00 pm

Admission is free and so is parking. Come support LA’s finest artists, take home some great works and and dine at the onsite restaurant. If you have questions or require more information, please contact us via email (click here)

The Brewery is home to over 100 artist-residents and the art you see is usually for sale.  So if you see something you like, feel free to ask a price.

Over in Little Tokyo is the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.  It’s going on all weekend too.  Parking stinks so plan ahead.  The event is free to enter.  We caught the tailend of this a few years ago and have sworn we’d go back to see the event.

Descanso Gardens is having A World of Good Weekend.  It’s $7 for adults, $5 for kids 5+.  You get to enjoy all the festival happenings and the gardens.  The happenings:

This is your personal invitation to enjoy acres and acres of spectacular
Gardens, health-conscious salad-making demos, kid’s crafts, world music and fun
for everyone.

Salad Days: Salad Making Demonstrations
Saturday and Sunday, April 5 and 6 – 11 a.m. to noon
Magnolia Lawn
Chef de Cuisine Tiana Driggins tosses in her knowledge and celebrates Descanso’s 2008 Center Circle Edible Estates Demonstration Garden with a delicious and interesting salad demonstration.

Kids’ Veggie People Craft Table
Saturday and Sunday, April 5 and 6 – noon to 3 – Main Lawn

Music: Robby Longley
Saturday, April 5 only – 1 to 3 p.m. – Under the Oaks Theater
A beautifully orchestrated fusion of neo-classical/flamenco world music will be here for your enjoyment.

Music: Banshee in the Kitchen
Sunday, April 6 only – 1 to 3 p.m. – Under the Oaks Theater
Don’t miss the combination of traditional Celtic music, spiced jazz and rock.

That’s just a few of the big and interesting-to-me things going on.  If you’re in LA, I hope you can make it even just one of these events.  Otherwise, stay tuned because you know I’ll have pictures galore!

Mar 08

United Steak of America

This is my leftover steak from dinner last night.  Now, here’s an America I really and truly love.  With steak sauce.

Feb 08

I have a craving

For brussels sprouts sauteed in garlic butter.