Martha here I come!

Big news everyone... I'm going to see the Martha Stewart Show in New York City April 24! You have no idea how thrilled this makes me- well if you know me then you DO know how thrilled this makes me. I sent maybe a couple requests to the show that I get tickets, and I'll be going solo right after I get in from the red-eye that morning. I cannot wait... Martha here I come...

the heartland

here i am in the heartland and feeling it... well kinda. we don't really have to leave the hotel the whole time we're here, but i do enjoy all the people from this part of the country, thrown in with some estonians and brazilians. quote from yesterday's bootcamp, "maybe you're diagonally parked in a parallel world." I think that's enough explanation about how it's going...

slow food

thanks to kathryn and her Cornell Hotel Management background i've got some great websites to check out while i'm away next week- the heartland and sin city all in one week- wow. Slow Food is maybe the Surfrider of the gastronomy world and something that peeks my interest as local markets are everywhere here, and something i absolutely love about California.

Slow Food is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.

table tennis

my office is in a great location- a block from downtown shopping, restaurants, etc. however, something that really makes me happy is when i go outside to move my car, done about 5 times a day, and there are people in classes at the carillo st. gym. a typical pass-by involves 70 yr. old men playing table tennis and 65 old women in a dance class- tights and all. i love the description of the ballroom class they have there, "typical age 20-60's." welcome to santa barbara...

marinating in wine and brandy was never a bad idea

yet another recipe from Le Cordon Bleu- 2 in one meal. Beef braised in red wine. Marinating the beef all day in a bottle of Syrah, Brandy, onions, carrots, thyme. The results, especially the stock were pretty good. The cooking time takes awhile to yet again, a good recipe but probably not one I'd opt for making again anytime soon- too many other things to take a stab at.

like love, souffles can be tricky

The recipe I used from the 1999 book Le Cordon Bleu at Home (which really I got from The Sharper your Knife...) recommended that two people make this. I was very glad Maggie was there to help stir, combine, etc. Overall it was a success minus the fact that we didn't get to have individual Emile Henry ramikins... I'd probably try out another recipe next time I opt for Souffle but it was still good, and with leftovers we'll see if it's edible tonight.

review in french is critique

"Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all." -Harriet Van Horne Vogue 1956. I finished, The Sharper your Knife the Less you Cry a few days ago and would highly recommend it to any epicure. It was a more than timely book for me right now as I've thought of making my passion my profession more than ever. It's true there is love, laughter, and tears- read it. There are also recipes and last night I made my first Le Cordon Bleu recipes of life- a beef braised in red wine and chocolate souffle! I also just read "Eat Cake" which is far less technical, but still a good beach read. Again about a woman who makes her love for baking into a business. you're sensing a theme here, i know i know. I'm in need of another read right now, so recommendations are welcome.

Good Friday

From John 3:(13-15) "No one has ever gone up into the presence of God except the One who came down from that Presence, the Son of Man. In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life. (16-18) "This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. (19-21) "This is the crisis we're in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won't come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.

warm salad. wonderful day.

talk about the good life. yesterday (after work) was pretty incredible when it comes to things i love. because there's really no better order for me to write this in than chronological, i'll start by saying i came home to Keola coming into my cottage and checking out the easter basket my parents so graciously sent me. you're never to old for one of those things. he went to town on the gourmet jelly beans, guessing which each flavour was... afterwards, i went for my scheduled run as part of my training for the wine country half and went from my house to the mission and back. i ran through neighborhoods, past cows, and over a creek. similar to ohio until i got to the mission and looked out onto the ocean and sailboats. not similar to lake erie at all... Dinner was a creation inspired by my friend Leslie (who I'd link to here, but since she won't even get gmail it'll be a long time coming for her to enter the blogging world). I roasted eggplant, onion and some red skin potatoes in olive oil, s&p and threw in a couple jalapeno peppers that needed to be used for a smoky and spicy kick. turning them a couple times and checking on it couple times i threw them onto a bed of spinach, sprinkled on some parm and Voila! I sat there drinking a glass of our good Roblar Sauvignon Blanc, and watched No Reservations and then finished (sadly) The Sharper your Knife the Less you Cry. The last two items will get their own post...

fresh and fab

i made this recipe a few days ago and just finished it's left-overs last night. not only were the flavours amazing, but it looked pretty and was so easy to assemble. i'd make this again for company any day. i used chicken legs without the skin/bone and added in the beans and some red skins potatoes. i added a few shallots as well as i didn't have all the garlic. sooo good and so jamie.

my kind of green

i know i'm not on some crazy trip around the world (yet) but i am continually in awe of where i live and places that are less than an hour from the north. look how wonderful and green it was up in santa ynez this weekend. while driving it was confirmed that i will in fact turn into a 50 something that will want to go for 'drives' seeing as i'm fine with the idea of it now... we ventured out of the areas which have become so familiar and went off the beaten path a bit. good wine followed, of course; as did my first, and hopefully only for some time, wine club membership to Roblar Winery. Most definitely the thing i'm most excited about is the cooking classes they offer a few times a month from local 'celebrity' chefs. I think I'll sign up for one soon and get my creative juices going, as well as a sense of what culinary school just might be like...

and so it goes...

here I am... again. I'm committed to giving this blogging thing a chance. it's titled 'the good life' not only because i think i live in one of the most beautiful places in the country, but because i think i'm learning and trying to explore more and more of what it means to live life to the full.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.