and she's off

dropped off the madre this morning after some enjoyable LA morning traffic. she said it herself- "3 days is the perfect amount for guests and fish, after that, they go bad." good times, with pictures to come when she uploads them, and homework for me to do- i.e. answer questions she wrote down from a dr. phil show she watched yesterday. mother dearest. this was the last shot she took of me before leaving...xoxo.

mother dearest

According to my mother's most recent text she's in route and eager to see me tonight in SB. She's coming up from San Diego for the weekend and it's sure to be a good time, per usual. I love my mom, and am excited to see her and continue compiling stories that elicit an "oh Ruth" response said in the most endearing way, obviously.


For my birthday, Ana got me a Madeleine tin and micro plane- such a great gift. Today was the perfect rainy day to have at the recipe she gave me and enjoy the cookies I had heard so much about. To make it extra perfect, my roommate's niece, Madeline came for a visit.
After a stop at Leslie's for a meyer lemon I followed the recipe and loved the results. I could see perfecting them next time- more butter and flouring of the mold, but over all they were beautiful. Such a great choice for a light cake-like cookie with a cup of tea tomorrow afternoon perhaps. I think I just might. I took quite a few pics and had to get in some of the flowers from the market today. Spring is here in an abundance.


I often see in my culinary viewing, the making of risotto. I also often like to order this creamy rice dish because of its uniqueness and fact that it's not something I can just make at home. That said, I had my first try at risotto the other night- Jamie Oliver Basic Risotto- and it was delicious. The celery and onion base and wine made for a wonderful combination- not to mention the parm. At the end of the recipe it says "eat right away." I think this is true of all risotto recipes although it wasn't bad reheated. I think when having friends over, while something is cooking away in my dutch oven, I'll be stirring up some risotto until it's perfectly done and enjoyed.

Good Reads

I somehow lost track of my reading plug. That or I haven't been putting that part of my brain to use as much as I'd like these days. Regardless I wanted to send you to some good reads online from a dear friend of mine, Paul Angone. Paul's got a book in the works but before the publishers will sign on given the wavering times, they're hoping he'll get some fan base and following through the information highway. That said, and well because he's hilarious, insightful, and captivates his audience well, take a look at Uncle God and The Many, The Humbled, The Unemployed. If you like it, post a comment. If you don't, still post a comment.

Buffalo: the Superior Condiment

It's not rare for us to crave Dargans buffalo wings. During such times I wonder why buffalo sauce isn't a condiment I carry in my house- all the time. Leslie so enlightened me to it's simple ingredients so the the other night Hil and I had at it- butter and Trader Joe's hot sauce, about a 1:1 ratio to our liking. I basted the drumsticks often and they came out delicious. Word to the wise- make sure you grill them long enough- they may appear done but not be done all the way through. A classic marg and celery cut the heat.

Nothing Like

A good old face mask to make you feel like you're in high school again. I think the last one of these I did was green and with Kate. We have pictures somewhere to confirm that.

Dutch Me an Oven

I've been wanting a Le Crueset dutch oven for awhile. When I told my roommate this sometime before Christmas she stopped, asked me what I proposed to do with the old one, I told her I'd just get rid of it, then she proceeded to ask if I was going to tell our landlord about my plans to replace the oven. That story never gets old. Needless to say we went into the outlet and the slate color I've been wanting was sitting there, 30% off an already marked down price because the color was apparently off enough to make it not ok to sell in retail stores. Well, I was all in and when she rang up what the price would be with the discounts, I could not say no. I have arrived- I won't be waiting around for registries when it comes to my kitchen- Dutch Oven, I love you. Last night I had to christen her with a recipe by Jamie Oliver of course. I made his Hunter's Chicken Stew which was excellent. Not t0o hard to make either, and a great company dish. I let the meat start to marinate in the Chianti and rosemary at lunch and by the time it came out of the oven, the meat was falling off the bone. Chad came over to celebrate and we sat and enjoyed the feast. I think dutchy and I are going to have lots of good times together, and as I noted to my mom when she asked why I spent so much on a pot- this is the pot my grandchildren will get someday. Love.

Tennis Tournamenting

I'm coming off of a great weekend in Palm Springs with Leslie (and Violet) watching some tennis in the hot hot heat then cool cool nights of the desert. Such a climate I'm ok with visiting but don't need to spend long periods of time in. We were at the courts for about 12 hrs. and enjoyed the sun until moving into the shade for a bit. Highlights included seeing Federer and James Blake though I enjoyed watching Ana Ivanovic as well. The tournies on Fox Sports this week for all interested parties. We got to our hotel around 11:30 more than exhausted but then got a new burst of energy when we walked into the below. So classic and apparently SO Palm Springs. The next day was "my day" at the outlets. The dutch oven in the very color I've been wanting on super duper sale that I couldn't say no to, and Tretorn shoes for 50% off. Oh and a little Kate Spade number for $35. The stars aligned for me, for sure.


This weekend has been on the calendar for awhile and I am more than excited to hit the road tomorrow morning for Palm Springs (where I've never been) to go to the BNP Paribas Open with Leslie. Prep me out for a good time.


Spring has sprung and the markets are filled with oranges, artichokes, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and spring onions. I love it. I always love the Farmers Market on a Saturday morning but this last Sat. was especially different as the bounty is getting much greener. Sure I love purple carrots, but when the flowers are increasing in type and the prices are decreasing - exhibit a. $3 for this bunch of stock that is still alive and kicking bedside- it's a good day, a good thing, the good life.

And Now, Anacostia

It was really great news this morning when my friend David suggested I check out the I thought he might be tweeting to me via blackberry messenger since that seems to be all the rage right now, but instead I looked up the home page and was more than excited for him to find an article on him in the Blogger Beat section. Before I saw the link I thought he also might be suggesting I check out which one of our friends made the "hottest on the hill" poll in DC. Needless to say David has done an excellent job putting together a blog on Anacostia and props to him for getting recognized. Selfishly, I was thankful for this news as the above pic is much better looking than the below soup...

Cauliflower Soup

I made this soup Sunday night to carry me through the week. Cauliflower from the farmers market- $1, some onion, sweet potato over russet and no fennel but carraway seed made this a great dish. Here's my recipe:

Cauliflower Soup
In a Dutch Oven add 1 3/4 c. stock, one head cauliflower chopped, 1-2 cubed and peeled potatoes, 1 large white onion chopped, 5 1/2 c. water, one bay leaf and a pinch or so of cloves and caraway seeds. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, summer until tender about 25 min.

Remove the bay leaf then use the immersion blender you love so much and go to town. Turn down the heat or turn it off during this process. Stir in 1/2 c. milk and pinch of nutmeg and enjoy.

Roasted Tomato and Pepper Soup

My friend Lauren made this soup for me months ago in San Francisco. I finally found the recipe and made it up Friday for a wonderful, quick and light yet filling soup. I got to use my immersion blender once again and loved it. The soup has a great paste you make in the beginning which builds on the flavour, kick, and Moroccan undertone. A must try...

Love Birds

Yesterday was a true "at last" moment for Micah and Nicole who have grown up with one another. It's really wonderful to attend friends weddings confident in their love and commitment to one another. I'm excited to see them grow as a couple and was thankful to attend their wedding. Congrats you two love birds.

cookie pie

Freshman year of college I discovered a recipe on the back of the Toll House semi-sweet morsels that became my signature dish. Dorm life doesn't lend itself to pantries and nice kitchens, at least not when I was there, so I found myself baking something with the simplest ingredients one can think of- butter, sugar, flour, chocolate. Back in those days, the aroma apparently spread as I recall one time a friend coming up to me asking if I had made cookie pie the night before, and not shared with him. I am not stupid and made this dish often. Another friend had it once and to this day sees me and says, "cookie pie?" And the stories go on... I made one, well two, yesterday for dessert with some friends and the results came out well. Having expanded my horizons after all these years it's not as exciting to make, and I found myself thinking, "well this is the same reason why people like French food- butter, butter, butter."

bbq roasted salmon

If you're a reader of the blog you'll know that I often like to try new recipes. There are few that I've found as tride and true in wanting to use them again and again. Recently I'd say the blueberry banana muffins have been a great bet, and last night I tapped back into BBQ Roasted Salmon. It just sounds good, and the spice rub is easy to make. I made a bit extra to have on hand and marinated it in pineapple and lemon juice for a bit longer than I should have, but it still turned out delicious. I've made this for friends who "don't like fish" and even they were fans. It's a great meal to show that you take care of yourself (have some respect, ya know?!) and great when taking care of others.


Friday was a wonderful foodie night in Santa Barbara for me. Anthony Bourdain was sold out at the Arlington theatre and I was more than happy to be in a room of people more than excited about him, his book, food, restaurants, and traveling. Local farms lined the walkway as we entered the lobby and his story was both inspiring and exciting. I think I'm going to have to read Kitchen Confidentail now. I admit to recognizing a local chef or two...Afterwards Rob and I headed over to Ca'Dario for a great Italian dinner. I'd highly recommend this spot. I had their ravioli pillows with sage butter. It was a night out on the town with a good friend, excited about the wonderful small city I get to call home.