12

Apr

I immediately connected to Ari Taymor’s Quote of the Day on Grub Street referring to folks enjoying their time with friends and loved ones instead of taking pics of their food. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love sitting in front of the computer and looking at beautiful food images for hours on end just like many. And I’m sure many of the pics were taken while out. BUT snapping a picture of your meal midway conversation is pretty rude. It’s bad enough that folks can’t put their phone away long enough to engage in conversation during a meal, now I have to deal with this. Not cool.

And I get it, it’s part of the times. Still, a bit of decorum people. What I do now is ask friends and family if they are planning on checking-in, taking pics, etc. If so, then I give them a few minutes before the conversation begins… afterwards, I ensure that their phone is put away - that means not on the table but in their purse, pocket, you know what I mean. Not within eye’s view.

Next time you’re out having a meal with a friend or family member remember to be considerate of them and their time. You may find yourself alone on your next meal excursion if the behavior continues… unless your friends do it too.

11

Apr

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Kale is great for salads, but on hot days my go to veggie is Spinach. And I love to pair it with thinly sliced Granny Smith apples, then drizzle with an olive oil and lemon vinaigrette. Considering I always have these items in stock, making this salad is a no fuss must. It’s quick. It’s simple. It’s perfect.

And plated on a white dish… elegant.

10

Apr

Taste The Rainbow

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For the most part I keep our fridge pretty clean and organized, otherwise I am thrown into a tailspin and unmotivated to cook. Grocery day is typically Sunday, allowing for hours of unrushed prep (washing, cutting, etc.) and packing of containers. Doing everything on one day and having all items ready to eat at a hands grab definitely decreases waste and food spoiling. On a hectic day where time is of the essence it’s easier for me to make an omelet or a salad quickly with precut veggies than it is to start from scratch. Otherwise, I’d probably end up buying fast food somewhere which doesn’t help my waistline. 

Having my fruits and veggies washed, precut, and in containers makes me want to eat them. I find that sometimes the struggle to eat what is purchased comes from a place of instant gratification. If I need to grab all items from the fridge in their plastic bags to wash, cut, etc., right after work, I’d rather not and choose pick-up instead. This ultimately results in throwing away food that has spoiled - what a waste! Not to mention the fact that I save tons of money when my fridge is organized. 

I have also found that children want to help with the organization process, and what a great way to spend time with them and teach them about food. Best part of it all is that children will eat the rainbow when they can just go into the fridge and pick their favorite colored item to eat without anyone nagging them that it needs to be cleaned, followed by a knife to cut it. 

I think there are many reasons to organize the fridge - don’t you? That being said my fridge needs some Spring cleaning. 

09

Apr

Women Unite!

Yesterday President Obama signed an Executive Order that will expand opportunity for all: ensuring equal pay for women and promoting the women’s economic agenda.

I am glad this issue was discussed in such a public forum, however, I have found that one of the major problems is us, women. As women, we don’t enter an interview trying to negotiate pay as our male counterparts often do; we don’t ask for raises as our male counterparts often do; and lack confidence in our knowledge, skills and abilities to do the job. As an HR professional, I would meet women who sold themselves short and would take whatever was given to them because they needed a job to support their family. And while I understand, it concerns me especially in this difficult economic climate where employers have the upper hand offering desperate job seekers whatever they want. Grant it this isn’t always the case. There are some great employers out there. 

And as women we are extraordinarily caddy with each other. At first I thought this was just a cultural thing but was rudely awakened to the fact that it wasn’t. Women aren’t supportive of each other’s success. Instead of congratulating and celebrating a promotion, women demean and belittle each other. It’s important to recognize that we are in this together. Rather than fighting each other, we should encourage, mentor, and promote growth to ensure women’s success.

One woman’s success is another woman’s opportunity for greatness. 

08

Apr

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It’s only Tuesday and already I need a drink. Perhaps Sunday’s CicLAvia traffic did me in. Or maybe it’s just my excuse to head over to Mess Hall for their $1 oysters. If anything can quench my thirst and refresh my soul it is a nice glass of rosé followed by ice-cold oysters. Can’t wait! So if you’re in the Los Feliz vicinity and want to eat something perfectly made for hot days like today, and doesn’t burn a hole through your wallet, head on over to Mess Hall. Honestly, you can’t go wrong ordering anything from the menu. Everything bite is equally enjoyable. But be prepared for traffic and a crowd.

Enjoy, and happy slurping!

Note to self: fix bike. With good intention I have been meaning to participate in CicLAvia, but that’s about it. Next time I say, next time. More like Sunday, October 5, 2014.

07

Apr

LA Fitness

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As I mentioned to you, I’ve started using the sauna at my gym and feel great! The sauna is the perfect answer to true LA fitness - pun intended. Immediately following my hike I head to my gym’s sauna - of course not before heading home to rinse off. The women that go to the sauna give me unbelievable confidence. They range in age, size, and background giving meaning to diversity in such positive ways. 

If I go during a weekday morning I’ll find an older generation of European women who come in baring it all, with no shame whatsoever but full of give-me-some-of-that confidence. They talk and laugh in their native languages and slather body oil all over themselves, not neglecting any crevice whatsoever. It’s truly a spectacle to see. While I don’t understand what they say, their laughter is infectious. So I laugh along. I’ve befriended many of them with a smile and an enthusiastic hello. They smile back and let me be, closing my eyes and allowing myself to inhale and exhale as my body unwinds and my mind is slowly quieted… until my heart races and my many ideas begin to materialize and organize themselves.

Evening visits are something else. There are more younger women and mostly LAtinas. Most are coming in right after their gym class/workout or work. And these LAtinas can talk, and talk they do. About. Everything. Some even come in listening to pretty harsh rap - I’m sure it helps with their workout, but doesn’t help me relax in the sauna. I wonder if their ears hurt afterwards from the blaring tunes? These ladies, too, are friendly - and loud. Ha! Does being loud run in every LAtina’s blood? 

Health permitting, I recommend sauna use to all. The benefits of sauna use are overwhelming. Not to mention the characters you can meet and the gossip you will listen to, unless you are [Gwyneth] privileged enough to have your own. But aside from that, I really enjoy the gathering of women. It is our space to be, our own little girls club. And sometimes ladies we need that. 

06

Apr

Check out this pretty cool cheese plate breakdown from D Magazine. This is a pretty standard cheese plate, for me, as I already combine all categories mentioned - makes for great diversity and balance. The only item missing for me is charcuterie. My guests delight in pairing salami and prosciutto with their cheese. 

What does your standard cheese plate look like?

04

Apr

Je t’aime le fromage!

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Feeling a little under the weather… my senses are on overdrive right now with major cravings for citrus. Luckily, I have a bowl full of freshly picked clementines from a family member’s tree which I will squeeze for a glass of wholesome citrus goodness. And wishing I were having it with a Clementine grilled cheese sandwich (of sorts). Apparently, April is National Grilled Cheese Month and is being celebrated at Clementine. Which sounds absolutely divine considering my affinity for anything with cheese. Their menu oozes with creative pairings. I’m pretty boring when it comes to my own grilled cheese sandwiches so I am always excited when others experiment with such an iconic sandwich. Visit any one of Clementine’s locations for great drinks, pastries, and now a grilled cheese sandwich. 

AND if you like the plates on the picture displayed, definitely check out Elisa Cachero's portfolio page for additional inspiration. 

27

Mar

Carbonara Anyone?

Sam Oxford’s carbonara with sausage and thyme looks and sounds perfect for a Thursday night. 

3 egg yolks
75g parmesan (plus more for serving)
100ml double cream
400g bucatini or spagetti
1 tbsp. olive oil
200g smoked bacon lardons
2 garlic cloves
3 springs fresh thyme
5 sausages

Serves 4

1. Place the egg yolks, finely grated Parmesan, and double cream in a bowl and whisk until you have a light primrose colored sauce, season with pepper and put to one side. In a large saucepan of salty, rapidly boiling water, add your pasta.
2. In a frying pan, add the oil and begin to fry your bacon lardons. Add the minced garlic and the thyme leaves and fry together.
3. While its gently spitting and popping take your sausages, aim it at the pan, and squeeze down the length of the sausage to get the mince meat out from its casing. Discard the tubes and mash the sausage meat until it’s broken down into a browned meaty rubble, with the bottom of the pan glazed with scorched meat juice.
4. A couple of minutes before the pasta is cooked, turn down the heat on your frying pan and add just a tablespoon or two of the starchy pasta water that the pasta is cooking in.
5. This will take all that brown flavor off the bottom of the pan to create a wonderfully flavored, charred sauce that will flavor the silky cream based carbonara. I wouldn’t use wine to deglaze the pan, as the acidy of wine would contradict the smooth creaminess of this dish.
6. Drain the pasta and add it to the frying sausage, coating the pasta in brown fatty juices. 7. Take the frying pan off the heat and pour over your creamy cheese sauce and work through the pasta, covering every strand with a glossy coating.
8. Sit down; pour yourself a glass of wine, and eat immediately to avoid it becoming claggy, preferably with a fresh layer of parmesan cheese on top.

Thanks Sous Style

26

Mar

Gisele Bundchen

"What I find really helpful — you might think I’m crazy — is that before I eat any meat I always take one second of silence to put my hands over it and bless it and be grateful at least that it was a life."