Friday, January 30, 2009

Cutie da bomb, met her at a beauty salon, with a baby Louis Vuitton, under her under arm

So I sign the Baby into class and I see this:

Your child may have been exposed to:

( ) head lice

( ) hand, foot, mouth disease

( X ) pink eye

( ) chicken pox

Jigga what. It's like the disease lottery. I shook my fist in the air and cursed Zeus's name. Then I went to work.

Cut to two days later and the Baby has full blown Pink Eye. Freakin' lovely. So what does one do at home all day with a goopy eyed baby? 1. Keep a lovingly arm's length away from him. 2. Wash hands a lot. 3. Clean out my closet and sell a ton of crap on ebay.

During the Baby's long winter's nap (3 hours - yes!) I finally went through my closet and realized there were a TON of never used Kate Spade, Tokidoki purses, shoes, etc. I felt like now was as good a time as any to start the purge. One of the better things, I think - is the Disney Tokidoki bag. They don't sell them at the parks at all anymore - they were pulled almost as immediately as soon they were put out. So they are incredibly rare. It's so adorable, but I can part with this one because...I have more of them. Yikes. What can I say, I am a purse collector.I have even more things I can put up, but that will have to be for another day. Perhaps when the Kid gets whooping cough or the black plague. You never know when I'll win the disease lottery again. (Probably next week. ~sigh)

Tokidoki small messenger bag
Tokidoki Dolce Inferno purse
Tokidoki Peach tank top
Kate spade coinpurses - two
Pink Skull Vans shoes
Disney Disneydoki bag
Coach - BOBBI shoes

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Pie day continues...

This is all going one WHILE I am driving, mind you. With the kids in the back seat.

O.G. : "Let's go to the pie store."
Jenn: "Which one, the westside store or the eastside store?"
O.G.: "Let's do Jan Ken Po (Rock, paper, scissors) to decide."
Jenn: "But I don't care!"

So she starts. We both get rock. Then we both get paper. Then we both get scissors.

Jenn: "This is seriously getting us nowhere."
O.G.: "But how else are we going to decide where to buy pie?"
Jenn: "Why don't you just TELL me where you want me to go??"
O.G.: "Both bakeries are equally BAD."
Jenn: "Then why are we going!?"
O.G.: "Because you said you wanted pie."
Jenn: "I said it was National Pie Day."
O.G.: "Like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday - PIEDAY??"

This woman is a regular comedian. We did end up getting pie. It was incredibly bad.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

I'm tripping on the best dream that I never had
I guess behind the orange curtain is not so bad

Yes indeed-y it's winter here in Los Angeles. Which means you should wear a scarf with a t-shirt, and Uggs with your miniskirt. Bascially it's chilly, but sunny - absolutely perfect weather if you ask me. More importantly, it's citrus season!

A quick trip to the farmer's market and you can see oranges, lemons, grapefruits all at their peak. I bought a lot of fruit as I do every week, and while they are great to eat on their own, I couldn't wait to use them in recipes too. I felt like little mini cupcakes were in order, but instead of going with the typical lemon, I'd change it up a bit use my new lovely oranges. All the oranges are fantastic right now but I just used a regular navel, nothing fancy. They came out nice and well - orange-y! Especially good when topped with a vanilla glaze. YUM.
I like to cook with seasonal food if possible, but here in Southern California we are spoiled since there really is no 'bad' season. Everything is perfect pretty much year 'round, but for now, citrus is where it's at.

My mind is swimming with all kinds of dessert and dinner recipes to use up this fruit. I have to say though, mini cupcakes are terrible things. You can eat several of them and not feel a thing. I'm sure my scale feels it though.Mini Orange Cupcakes with Vanilla Glaze recipe

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cold coolin' at a bar and I'm lookin for some action, but like Mike Jagger said, I can't get no satisfaction

I rarely find myself in the O.C. The Happiest Place on Earth doesn't count, because it is it's own little world. Otherwise, I really don't venture beyond the Orange Curtain on the regular.

But with the SiL here we had to go visit family, so we headed south. On the way to lunch a store caught the kid's eyes - they went nuts the minute they saw pink and white striped walls because that meant only one thing, ice cream. I promised them that we'd stop in after our family lunch. In reality it only looked like an ice cream parlor. It sort of was, but when you went inside it was -- a paletas store! It was so weird. In every sense it looked like your typical american ice cream parlour, but when you went to look in the cases there were piles and piles of homemade paletas. Paletas are Mexican street food - ice pops, but here they were behind refrigerator cases in all their glory.The Kid chose strawberries and cream, the Baby had mango, and the SiL went for cookies and cream. Paletas can be savory too, which is why seeing pico de gallo and cucumber was such a hoot.
The kids enjoyed their treat, and we went on our way. I can't even remember where this place was, (all those streets and mini malls look alike down there - one of the reasons I'm not a fan of the O.C.) but I do love finding new little places when we go on our adventures. To the kids, frozen treats equals ice cream either way, so they were beyond satisfied.

There is very little Mexican food in Hawaii, and the SiL definitely wasn't feelin' it. She said it didn't taste like ice cream, so she tossed hers after a few bites. I shoulda made her try the TUNA.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

In sickness and in health

In all my sickness I forgot that yesterday was the kick off for Crafty Crow's Valentine giveaway of my very own holiday cards! Go over there and enter to win. While you are there, take a look around, they have some of the coolest craft-i-est ideas for kiddies.

And kids? Mine want to do whatever I do. This is why the Kid now has his own art table after watching me at my drafting table every night. Same goes for cooking. Since the Kid is all fine and dandy healthwise, he decided he wanted to make cookies. I told him that since I was sick he'd have to do all the work. He was ok with that. Ha, sucka. The thing is - he said he wanted 'Cinnamon Cookies'. Uh, ok. I don't know what those are exactly, I kept trying to change his mind, but he was insistent.
I figured the best thing to do was a typical sugar cookie, but pump it up into a sugar cookie/snickerdoodle. Suddenly I'm a cookie geneticist. I drew up a quick recipe - high on cinnamon - and true to his word - he did all the work. He mixed all the ingredients, formed the cookies and sprinkled the topping. All I had to do was put them in the oven. He is only 5 after all.

In the end they were...fantastic. Chewy, yet crispy on the edges, deliciously cinnamon+sugary. A true collaboration. I should fake sick from now on. I won't have to do a thing.
The Kid's Cinnamon Sugar Cookies recipe

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Monday, January 26, 2009

You're hot then you're cold, you're yes then you're no

Two hours at my doctor plus one hour at the pediatrician told me this: I am sick but not dying (yet) and the Kid has allergies. Well, at least one of us is well.

So I say soup is in order, dumpling soup to be exact. And since today is Chinese New Year, what better way to celebrate than bastardizing the Chinese Culture like a good non-Chinese person? Yikes. I'm not Chinese - but if I was I'm sure I'd do a better job at dinner than this - but cut me a break, I'm sick, remember?
I originally got this recipe from the very non-Chinese Martha Stewart, I adapted it, and it's so simple that I make it pretty often. It's great for cold winter days like today when it's...70 degrees. Whatever. I have a cold, that's cold enough. Happy (cough) New year (wheeze).

Dumpling Soup recipe

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Wha-oh-oh. Oh-oh-ooh-oh.

I had plans this weekend. Big plans. Plans to sketch for hours for a bunch of new projects this year. Plans to take the kids on fun and wonderous adventures. Plans to go to the Opera with my Mom. Plans to eat delicious food until I burst. None of that happened.

My daily routine is to wake up at the crack of dawn, go til I can go no more, and then hit the hay. Instead, when I went to bed Friday night, I didn't wake up until Sunday. I don't know if I am just overly tired or I am dying. Either way, I surrender.

I am a bad patient. While I couldn't get out of bed for 30 hours, instead I laid there and thought of pointless things that only made me more insane, like:



I secretly can't wait for Beyonce's 'Put a Ring on It' to be used in an onion ring commercial. Get on that horrible fast food peddlers.



The Baby said to me, "How can Barack Obama be president when Captain America has the outfit?" Can't argue with that, really.



I was awake for 3 hours on Saturday night. In those three hours I watched Wanted. I should have just slept through for the whole 30 hours instead.



I have been obsessing over the fact that the Kid is going to start Kindergarten and the one in our 'zone' sucks ass. I want to pack up and move to the rich neighborhood just so he can get a higher SAT score. Private school isn't an option because I need more money for purses.




If I have another baby I should name it
Radhika. Or Radish. Or Totally Rad.



Proof that sleep only makes me more crazy.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

3.14

While I am mostly a cake eater - I do enjoy an occasional pie. I love lemon meringue. It's the tartness and the fluffy top, I can't get enough. I went without it my entire pregnancy (meringue = uncooked eggs) and the second I gave birth I was on the phone with my brother to BRING ME PIE, NOW.

Today is National Pie Day. Yes, there is such a thing. My kids don't really care for pie, they prefer fresh fruit, all by it's lonesome.
So how could I celebrate National Pie Day, then?? With savory pie, of course! I put together a recipe of mini individual chicken pot pies in tiny ramekins. I have an aversion to people digging out of a big serving bowl, I don't know what my problem is. But small individual portions always seem more special to me. They turned out to be just the right size for the kids.
I think they got a kick out of destroying them, really. The Kid was on a pea hunt, discarding anything green that came in his path.

What's your favorite pie? I'm sure it says something about the person, doesn't it always? I feel like I need more pie in my life. Hm. This could be the start of...something.

Mini Chicken Pot Pies recipe

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A painting can be beautiful. I don't want to bang a painting.

Whenever I'm at Rockefeller Center I always like to pop into the NBC store and see what Office things they have. This row of mugs cracked me up.

Tonight's Office was weird. I don't really get the Hilary Swank thing, but I'm gonna go with NOT.

I guess now that Dwight is off the Angela angle he's back to being Michael's sidekick. I have to say I agree with his assessment of IHOP, I can't stand that place. The kids always want to go, but hell no. I don't want to pay $8 for pancakes that I can make myself, even better at home, thanks.

Speaking of weird, 30 Rock - also left me a with a strange feeling. Maybe that strange feeling is my robot penis. HA! I did laugh at that, but still. Did anyone notice that the director of that episode was Steve Buscemi? Huh.

By the way, a new one hour episode of the Office to air on Superbowl Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY! Sneak peek at the ep, here:

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ticket to ride

Disneyland is having a 'get in free on your birthday' offer, so I took the Kid to see if the marketing was true. Turns out - it's better than true. Just last week I got him his very own annual pass, which seems to have sweetened the deal.

If you already have an annual pass, they give you three options when you go up to the ticket counter:

1. A single day free ticket
This is the promo that's been running, even if you have a pass, they'll give you a ticket for when the pass expires. You do need to show i.d. and for kids you have to show a birth certificate.

2. A Fast Pass for EVERY fast pass ride for your ENTIRE group.

That right there is the best one yet. However, if you have a tiny child who doesn't meet the height requirements (mine) then it's a waste. So I passed.

3. A $59 giftcard good at any merchandise location - doesn't expire

This is what I took. Hey, it was like a $60 refund AND I could be all Daddy Warbucks when the kid's asked for stuff and say, "Sure kids, buy whatever you want! (under $59)" I think the card will last a while, we don't need more junk.We did some birthday-ish things like I forced the Kid to go to Tortilla Factory in DCA because on your birthday you get an entire bag of tortillas, (not just the 'one' they hand out) hey - Mommy needs to make dinner, you know?Then we went to have the Kid's birthday lunch at the Blue Bayou. Most people would know this as the restaurant that you see inside the Pirates of the Carribbean ride. It is so damn dark in there. Only when we were done eating and went outside did I realize that the Baby was COVERED in food. My bad.

Most of the day my mom and SiL took the Kid on whatever he wanted to ride, but I was exhausted. So I just kicked it hobo-style on a bench and lazily ate cotton candy and dozed while the Baby napped in the stroller. Cotton candy and napping - that's my kind of birthday.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's a good thing.

I'm not a superfan of anyone really, but when it comes to Martha Stewart, well, I'll go wherever she goes. I had heard she was having another cupcake themed show and after some inquiry - I had met her in L.A., she had my card, etc, a producer called to say that they had a special guest ticket for me! I was really excited but didn't want to tell people about it until after the show, only because I knew - what with the magic of television - my face probably wouldn't even appear on camera (I was right).
To get into the show you have to wait in line outside, which wouldn't be bad normally except for the fact that it was during the winter storm of all storms - it was nine degrees with a wind chill of negative four. Lovely.

Once I checked in, they gave me a special 'pink' ticket. Some were blue, some were numbered, and some were pink, but mine had a VERY heavy pink stripe. Hm. I looked around and no one else had that. It felt like I had a golden ticket, but maybe it meant I was a leper, who knows.

Turns out, when they asked my name at the stage door and checked my ticket, they did in fact have a special seat reserved for me, right on stage in the front row! Yikes! Talk about exciting.
I was seated right next the show guests. For this episode she highlighted two up and coming New York bakeries Sweet Revenge and Butter Lane.

The women who opened the bakeries just so happen to have both left Wall Street to follow their dreams of opening their own bakeries. Huh. With this economy and a layoff in my future, I would be lying to say I haven't thought about doing the exact same thing someday.I can't even imagine how this show will impact their business, I'm so excited for them. For Martha Stewart to say you have the best cupcakes she's ever tasted, well, you can't even buy promotion that good. It was a very organized show, with little room for error. In fact Martha was so scheduled she didn't stick around to answer questions as she sometimes does, and I didn't even get to talk to her. Sad. I did give her some of my stationery, so there's that.

The set is impeccable, of course - as you would imagine. The studio holds 150 guests and the Cupcake Takes the Cake girls were there too! And there were giveaways - a Wilton cupcake pan, and (GASP) polka dot cupcake boxes and liners. Just my luck, right? Despite my polka dot phobia, I have to say, these things are darn cute.
I was there for just a short time and it was so cold (I thought my face was going to freeze off, seriously) the only thing that could make me go outside was...cupcakes of course! I went to a few bakeries, but I made a point to stop by the brand new Magnolia at Rockefeller Center. It was much more commercial than the original location, but it's nice to see a bakery doing so well. And despite the freezing temps the bakery was packed and man, were they selling like hotcakes, er cupcakes.

It was a fantastic show and a wonderful experience. Here are some of the cards that I gave Martha. Cupcake themed - of course! The show airs tomorrow, Wednesday on NBC.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Louder than bombs

It's been hovering around 80 degrees here in L.A. I had done my typical watermelon bombe for the Kid's birthday once before. This time I made an orange sherbet with rainbow sherbet filling and a chocolate bombe filled with coffee chip ice cream. Obviously the chocolate/coffee was for the adults. I don't need a bunch of 5 year olds bouncing off the walls, thanks. I'm not that crazy.

Bombes are always fun to make. I love coming up with new combos and it's fun to hear the OOHs and AAHs when you cut into it and people are shocked at the colorful centers. They also come in handy with these summer temps heatin' up the joint.

The Kid seemed pleased, and since he doesn't care for cake anyway, didn't miss a traditional birthday cake one bit. Course with this much ice cream, now we are stuck with leftovers to last us til the next millennium, but that's fine and dandy with me.


Coffee Chip Ice Cream recipe
More Ice Cream Bombes, how-to

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Where my party people at?

So. The big Indiana Jones party for the Kid was this weekend. And I decided to do...nothing. Well, that's not entirely true, but I took a much more laid back approach this year instead of going all out like my overboard self. I just needed a rest after the slew of holiday extravaganzas going on around here.

Thank god the SiL was here. I made her do a ton of work, considering she does NOT cook. I taught her how 'easy' it is to bake - meaning, I suckered her into doing everything. HA. It was fantastic! And for someone who never steps foot in the kitchen she did an amazing job. She is my lifesaver.I tricked her into making French donut muffins and Broken Glass Jello, assuring her that it was easy. Heh. Then I took simple Costco fruit and veggie platters and re-plated them. One of my biggest pet peeves is eating out of a plastic container, just rearranging the stuff on a plate makes it look so much prettier and like I did way more work. Suddenly I am Sandra Lee.The kids did crafts, I got them each the first letter of their names and some sticky foamies to decorate them. The weird thing was the Baby INSISTED on an "S" which is lame since his name does not begin with S, but why fight it, I figure. After crafts I sent them all outside to ride bikes because it was a very winter-y 80 degrees in January. Yeesh.

Because of this off weather, I also abandoned the traditional birthday cake and instead went with......ice cream bombes. More on the ice cream bombes tomorrow...

For now I am packing up my party gear, for this is the LAST one of the season for me until next November - when it starts all...over...again.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Learn your rules, you better learn your rules. If you don't you'll be eaten in your sleep.

This was supposed to go up Friday but I've been having some major computer malfunctions. Talk about PC Load Letter. Now I have two computers, one for internet usage and one for 'work' - i.e. stationery biz. Speaking of, new Valentine cards, here.

Oscar and Kevin were hilarious in this episode. Poor Oscar, he looked like he was going to cry when he found out Angela and Dwight were doin' it on his desk. Ew. Also, Creed saying, "You're Welcome" was the best quote in this episode. This one was sad, and funny, but I'm glad NO ONE ended up with Angela. Sick of her anyway.

What really bothered me though, was Dwight's pink eye or whatever the hell that was. Yeesh. I can't look at people when they've got the bloody eye, it skeeves me out. Or when I go to sign in the kids at daycare and it says, 'Your child may have been exposed to...(check) Pink Eye'. I want to turn around and point at all the kids and say, 'Which of you little germies have the puss eye?!' Anyway. That has nothing to do with anything.

Note: Whenever I see a 'Your Speed is:' radar, like in the opening scene - I drive as fast as possible. I'm sure that's just me and I have mental problems as previously referred to - see my 'pink eye' phobia, above.

Wait. I've changed my mind. The best quote was "The Sasquatch is only the strongest animal on the planet." True. Very true.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Michael Bolton: "PC Load Letter"? What the f*ck does that mean?

O.G.: "I went to the doctor today and can you believe it, their computers were DOWN."
Jenn: "So what? WAIT...you don't believe them."
O.G.: "I'm just saying, how is it, that computers ALWAYS go down when I'm at the doctor. When I'm at the bank..."
Jenn: "It's probably the metal plate in your head."
O.G.: "Hmpf."
Jenn: "So what you're saying is, it's a consipiracy. ONLY AGAINST YOU."
O.G.: "It's...something."

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mouth is alive with juices like wine

I have been wanting to go to Ford's Filling Station for some time. I usually always wait a while when a restaurant opens up. One, I want to make sure it lasts and two, I want to make sure they get their bearings. The chef is Ben Ford (son of Harrison) and he's been getting rave reviews for this place for some time.I was all set to make a reservation when Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Foods Los Angeles came on tivo. Oh lord. They showed Ben Ford boiling an entire baby pig in a pot. What. That does NOT sound like typical bistro food to me.

In any event, I made the reservation. My mom has season tickets to the Opera and I like to take her out to a nice restaurant before the show. (Let's just say this production of Carmen, not all that.) I thought Ford's would be different and a quick place to catch a bite on a Sunday morning.
The service was...slow. You know it's slow if I have to physically get up, hunt down the waitress and say ME WANT FOOD. I didn't exactly use those words, but that's how I felt. Perturbed and hungry. The menus sounded great, but when the food finally did arrive...eh. Mine was REALLY bland, almost flavorless. My mom seemed ok with hers, but not wowed. I am always looking for a wow factor. The appetizer was by far the best dish, but really, can you go wrong with Burrata? I think not.
WTF is up with this chicken? It's like it's staring at me...I was VERY disappointed in this meal, which ticked me off, only because I want my mom to have the best dining experience if we are going out at all. My Aunt and Uncle recently tried the place and had great things to say, so who knows, maybe I need to go back and give it another shot. Still, there's no way you're going to get me to eat a boiled baby pig. No way, no how.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

People think it's gross, but it's really great on toast.

In addition to all the food I made on New Year's Day, I felt like I needed one more thing. So I came up with this grand idea for the kiddies who were coming to the party. Bust out the soft serve ice cream maker - and fill it with green tea ice cream. Brilliant!
Er. That is, until it came out. And the kids started shouting POOPS!

Oh well. It still tasted good, anyway.

Green Tea Ice Cream recipe

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dusty Bottoms: Do you have anything here besides Mexican food?


Do you know how much I love tacos? A lot. A hell of a lot. Like I eat Mexican food about 4 out of 7 days of the week a lot. It's a sickness, I know.

Right now my friends over at My Burning Kitchen are running a Taco identification Challenge. I have to tell you, as much as I eat tacos, I keep staring at this thing so I can get my entry just right, But I think they used manual focus or a camera that only takes 110 cartridge film. I cry foul play! Maybe I just suck and should pay more attention to what I eat. Maybe.

Try it out. See how you do. You could win chips! A chip identification challenge now there's an idea...maybe Jesus will appear in one if I stare long enough...

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Monday, January 12, 2009

No sleep til...Brooklyn

Interns are awesome. You don't have to pay them, they work real hard - the best, right? Wrong. Leave it to our office to find the world's worst intern. DAILY I turn around and she is passed out - flat out, keyboard as a pillow, dead asleep. The other day she had the nerve to turn to me and say, "Real life work is so fun!" It was all I could do to stop myself from jumping across the desk and punching her in the face. Try working for 20 years sister, and yeah, real life work is fun when you can f*ing sleep at your desk all day.

Switching gears for a moment (stay with me) a leather rep gave us all bears made out of...leather. This completely grosses me out because making an animal out of another animal is just wrong. But I decided to use my new gift by naming him the Intern Bear. Because all he does is sit at my desk and stare and me and do jack sh*t, much like the real intern.
So I got some trash scrap materials, and built my little Intern Bear a bed out of foamcore. Complete with mohair blankets and nice floor tile rug. Then people started bringing him little things like a fur rug, a mini chair and I even found an ornament at Starbucks that looks like a bear sized coffee cup.I should make him do different bear-work-scenarios. Like cry in the corner after the boss has yelled at him (happens daily in our office) or hunch over a drafting table trying desperately to hit a deadline. But for now, he sleeps. In his little bear bed. My coworkers joked that I should start an architectural Build a Bear business. So yeah, I guess the intern is right. Real life work CAN be fun. zzz...

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Snakes? Why does it have to be snakes?

The Kid is turning 5. How did that happen? He has begging for an Indiana Jones themed party since October, even though he's never seen the movie or gone on the ride, he has some sort of weird Indy adventurer obsession.

Theme-ing out an Indiana Jones party is not even worth it. There aren't too many good things you can do, especially in the middle of winter. More importantly, there is NO Indiana Jones cake that you can come up with that WON'T end up on Cake Wrecks. Trust me. I've sketched and sketched and...just...no.

There is one place where I gave in.. THIS is in my living room:
Yes, that is a life size 72" stand up of Indiana Jones. Online it seemed like a good decision. Here in the house, it scares the crap out of me and the kids, constantly. For now he is sitting on the stairway next to the Time Out chair (shaped like a monkey). That truly is a sucky Time Out because Indy is watching over you and it's pretty frightening. Almost daily I walk by it and think INTRUDER!!! I keep thinking I'll get over it, but for now I freak out about every 10 minutes.

I suppose having Harrison Ford in your house isn't a bad thing. It could have been worse. It could have been a life size Regarding Henry.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Fabio (Top Chef): "Colicchio. He is like Pope to me."

I think I can honestly say that now - I've had the best meal of my life. Well, to date anyway - here's to hoping that I will always one up that. I've eaten at a few 'nice' restaurants and some of them are so incredible, they warrant a second visit. While most of those are on the high end- price wise, one that is consistent and more affordable, is Craft by Tom Colicchio.

Yes, that Tom Colicchio, judge on Top Chef. Craft is located in Century City, right by the CAA 'Death Star'. Tucked in the back, you wouldn't even know it was there. If you remember my first visit, it was fantastic except for the dessert. This time I think all the menu choices came together well, so well that I would say yes, it was the best meal I have EVER eaten. Luckily everything is served 'family style' which is easier on your pocketbook AND more importantly - when you go with a few people you get little tastes of everything. The combinations of flavors and textures are perfect. While some of the ingredients aren't your average fare, they are always seasonal and you can taste the freshness in the food.

I had to write down everything as I ate it because I didn't want to forget it. Food nerdy? Yes. But man, it was a memorable meal:

Fennel, watercress, citrus and pistachio salad
-Good lord this was good. It was just the right combo of, well, everything. you could taste each and every locally gorwn ingredient and it worked wonderfully.

Wild Striped Bass with Piquillo Pepper
-The fish was AMAZING. It was cooked perfectly and the pepper was mild, yet sweet.

Roasted and Braised Berkshire Pork with Radish
-This was pork done two ways on one plate. Both were fantastic with amazing flavors. The dish was so large it could feed 4 people easily.

Dungeness Crab Chorizo and Saffron Rissoto
-Ok. This was by far, the best thing I have ever eaten...ever. I can die happy, and I don't even care for crab! The risotto was melt in your mouth amazing, and I would go back here just to order this and nothing more forever.

Peanut Butter Cup with homemade Peanut Brittle and Caramel Gelato
-Chocolate and peanut butter, you can't go wrong, really - but still, this was made from scratch and just truly perfect.

Glazed Donuts with Lemon Thyme + Vanilla custard, tangerine marmalade and chocoalte pudding dipping sauces
-This dessert is what Craft is known for, and the donuts were light and lovely just like beignets and mand do I love me some beignets.

Yuzu sorbet
-Let's not talk about this, one misstep. Tart doesn't even begin to describe it. Blame my mother for ordering it.

This poorly lit photo is of the HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER CUP. Good god. I can't even express to you how decadent this is, and to the left, it is paired with a scoop of homemade caramel gelato. To die for. I don't normally like taking restaurant food photos, but this one was worth it.

The other great thing about Craft are the amuses that are brought throughout the meal, completely complimentary. Free things are always good, right? Of course anything served in a tiny dish always makes me swoon. And right when you leave, they always hand you a fresh muffin on your way out. Great for breakfast the next day. The service is fantastic, and that coupled with amazing food will always keep me coming back and recommending Craft as one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles. Tom Colicchio truly knows what he is doing.

Now if Fabio gets kicked off Top Chef, then maybe I'll boycott. He keeps me entertained every week. "This eez Top Chef, not Top Scallops!"

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Michael: Let's go for an ice-cream cake.
Angela: Meredith's allergic to dairy.
Michael: It's not just about her.
Pam: It is...her birthday.

Since December O.G. has said, "I do NOT want anything for my birthday. No gifts, no cake and especially no dinner." She says that every year but this year I took it to heart because, well - who cares.

Cut to Tuesday night when my brother calls me and asks what I'm doing. "I told you I'm going out, why?" I said. "Why aren't you at Gram's having cake?" he said. WHAT. What happened to the 'nothing' plan?? UGH.

So I let it go. Then tonight I just so happened to be making her very favorite dinner, kalbi. I called her up and asked if she wanted to come over to eat. "OH, for my birthday dinner?" she says. DOUBLE UGH.

Well if that's what she thought it was, then I had better step it up a bit. I made all of her favorite things, a run down here:Kalbi ribs
Rice
Honey Shoyu Chicken
Crock Pot Chicken Long Rice
Tofu
Sunomono
Asparagus with miso dressing
Mandarin Oranges

We ate, the kids made her birthday cards, we had cupcakes, then she said, "The dinner was great. You should cook for me EVERY birthday." UGH. AGAIN.

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hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog,
we're splitting the scene, we're full of beans

I wanted to take the SiL to Pink's since she'd never been, and of course that day I woke up with a rager of a migraine. The crippling kind - usually I get up at 6am, this day I couldn't lift my head til about 9, and even then, it was only to vomit. But still, I wanted to take her out, AND (here's where I always get into trouble) I promised the kids. (Note to new mothers: Don't promise nothin'.) My kids have a memory like an elephant, they never forget - and they knew that hot dogs were on the agenda for today.
As we headed out there I felt a little better, the migraine was lingering but mostly gone. I felt like I had went on a drinking binge the night before, which is something since I don't drink. Of course the best cure of all for a hangover is Pink's anyway. The line is always long, but today it wrapped all the way to the parking lot. I ordered my typical - Chicago dog. I think I just like anything with salad on it. I don't even need the hot dog, which is lame. The kid made up his own weird potato chip dog concoction.
After that we headed a few miles west on Melrose. Melrose Heights (Fairfax to SaMo Blvd.) is the shiz right now for HIGH fashion, but closer to Fairfax there's tons going on too. Fitzu two doors down from Paul Frank, Bape opened kitty corner - to much fanfare, and right between Tarina Tarantino and Agent Provocateur - the newly opened Johnny Cupcakes, so I just HAD to check it out. The interior, while sparse was also very cool and it took a lot of convincing for the Kid to understand that NO, there were no cupcakes at Johnny Cupcakes. He wasn't happy.

We headed across the street to Paul Frank, our actual intended shopping stop for the day. With a 40% off sale going on I wanted to get the kids some clothes and a few birthday gifts out of the way. Like this pimped out tee, perfect for the Baby.When we got home the kids wanted to see the Paul Frank cartoons they had seen at the store. So I turned on the computer while my SiL sat with them and I said, Mommy needs to "Just lie down for a few minutes." Finally, the migraine disappeared, but more importantly my Chicago dog stayed down.

Paul Frank's 40% off sale goes from now until Sunday.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Eddie:This, what's...this?
Gran: Flour, dear?
Eddie: Flour. Yes. All this is mine, is it? I mean, I am now paying for old people to eat cake?

Today is O.G.'s birthday. She is WELL into her 80's now, women in our family tend to live a long ass time. Frankly, I'd rather be dead. I have no desire to live a long life, unlike my MiL who thinks that the key to finding the fountain of youth is by wearing capri pants to get there. Nope. Not me. I'm done.

But O.G.'s still kickin', and I attribute it to her diet of completely crappy food. As a kid, she used to get chocolate covered potato chips from the local store. She talked about it for years, and we all thought she was high. A few years ago I found some very expensive ones at Neiman Marcus. Then last month I go to Target and what do I see? A whole 'pail' of them. The funny thing is my brother bought her the exact same thing.

They are surprisingly tasty, as disgusting as it sounds. The perfect blend of salty and sweet. Since she had her fill of those, I decided to do something similar - but different, for her birthday gift. I made up some potato chip cookies. By getting a good mix of just the right ingredients, you end up with a nice buttery crunchy cookie.

Try them, you'll like them, honest. After all - they could hold the key to the fountain of youth. Happy birthday O.G.

Potato Chip Cookies recipe

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