Friday, December 30, 2011

Potato Leek Soup

This recipe came from the Moosewood Cookbook, which I do not own. But when I lived in Santa Cruz, everyone had it. It turned out being pretty easy and tasty. Though I didn't follow the recipe to a T because I just wasn't in the mood for kale. I would make it again, though one criticism: recipes that require tiny amounts of an ingredient, or leave you with half a can of something you don't know what to do with really irritate me! One example in this recipe is the teaspoon of minced celery that it calls for. Now if I loved celery and always had it on hand, chopping up a quarter of a stock of celery wouldn't be a big deal. But I don't, so now I've got a whole lot of celery to use up. It shouldn't be that difficult, a little in salad, mirepoix for soup, or cut up with carrots and olives for a nice crudités on New Year's Eve. Not a biggie, just makes me wonder if anyone tested or edited this recipe.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

LA

It's true, I have been a complainer about Los Angeles in the past. But as of late, I've really tried to see all the good, and exciting things that go on there, and that I have access to. One thing (if you're dorky and into this kind of thing) is running into people that are in bands, on TV or in the movies. Last weekend we went to a friend's birthday party, where I had drinks with all of the above. It's true, I'm a dork- but it was kind of exciting! Just to hang out with people that have jobs just like anyone else, but their coworkers are famous!!
The venue was a place called El Cid. I had driven by it several times, but this was the first occasion I had to go there. It was pretty cool. Will have to return for a normal dinner, perhaps in the summer, on the patio, with a pitcher of margaritas.

Making time

This time of year, it's difficult to make time for one's self. So many people, so many parties (hehe). Before you know it, your OFF time is all scheduled up, and you didn't even get to do some of YOUR favorite things! Last week, I had a weekday off from work. I spent it alone, which was glorious! I had a beauty appointment in the a.m., did some light shopping, went to the movies, and had breakfast at a new-to-me place in Seal Beach called Cafe Lafayette. It was fantastic! I can't wait to return for another meal, probably dinner because they had some good looking wines on their wine list.
Spinach, Portabella and Feta Omelette.. just perfect

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Neighborhood/Organic/Sustainable/Local

... this is what is printed at the top of the menu at Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria in Encinitas. And it should be every restaurants mantra.
We visited B.R.A.P again last Sunday, and it was super. It is becoming a new San Diego favorite. There were 6 of us (including 2 kids), and we were able to share everything. We sat on the outside patio on a brisk, but sunny day. Heat lamps made it totally pleasant. Shared two baby greens salads with pomegranate seeds, blue cheese and candied pecans. Appetizer of black seed popcorn with truffle salt and parmigiano reggiano cheese. And three pizzas: one with sausage and pepperoni, one cheese for the kids, and one special of the day with butternut squash, and arugula that we added the house-made sausage to. It was all quite delicious. It's unusual that kids and adults can go out together, easily find something they both like and equally enjoy the experience. But we did!
We also shared one phenomenal butterscotch pudding for dessert. It was fantastic! Dense and flavorful, with little salt crystals every now and then adding a bit of excitement. I keep thinking I need to learn to make this pudding myself. And while it would be a fun challenge, I know I'd end up consuming more pudding than is advisable. Best to leave it for the special occasion of dining at B.R.A.P.
I believe the true test of a restaurant, is how good the simple dishes are. How good is the house green salad? the basic cheese pizza? the pasta with red sauce? At B.R.A.P., we sampled the simple dishes, and they were superb. Fresh ingredients, balanced flavors (showing creativity AND restraint) with prompt and friendly service makes dining here a pleasure.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Bees Knees

A delicious gin cocktail I made last night from the PDT Cocktail Book

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lately

Lately, it's been difficult to find things to post about because I haven't been cooking much, aside from the same old staples (beans, rice, roasted veggies, oatmeal..) Haven't been to the Farmer's Market much, because of a busy schedule. And -it's about to get real- ESPECIALLY because of this darned heartburn, acid reflux, gerd, ulcer or whatever-it-is that's been making my upper GI ache recently. So my adventurousness in cooking and eating has been, well, temporarily paused.
I recently read an article about a nutritionist who has developed something called The Plan which I will investigate further. The brief article mentioned that several foods we think are good for us, in fact are recommended for health and weight loss by doctors and nutritionists, may not agree with us at all. A common one is oatmeal (which I eat regularly). Apparently it can do more to cause bloating and gum up the system, causing more bad than good. Might I be allergic or sensitive to oatmeal? I don't know. But I'm hopeful I will figure it out. And learn something along the way. 
Seems strange that on the biggest eating holiday of the year -Thanksgiving- I have no pictures or recipes or notes to share. I DID enjoy myself, as I always do on Thanksgiving. I made the same Balsamic Green Bean with Roasted Onions dish I always do, and totally forgot to document it. It was easier this year now that I have a little more cooking knowledge under my belt. I cooked, I ate, I loved hanging out with my family and friends.
And for no particular reason, here's a picture of my favorite guy enjoying a Fall day.