Sunday, January 30, 2011

year of the rabbit

A placid year, very much welcomed and needed after the ferocious year of the Tiger. We should go off to some quiet spot to lick our wounds and get some rest after all the battles of the previous year.

thursday, february 3rd, is the chinese new year.  fresh starts are always welcome in my life so why not participate in this one?! my mom just emailed me to let us know she will be visiting southern california mon-wed and will be staying with us tuesday night.  what a treat!  she suggested we make a chinese dinner to celebrate the year of the rabbit.  i like her style!  i'm now hunting for tasty looking recipes that don't require 42 rare ingredients.  i can't wait to take her to marukai market, one of my favorite asian markets around.  eye candy galore.

after two, yes two, dead opossums were pulled from underneath my house the last two days and a gas leak was discovered as well, we will be going OUT to eat.  no hot water, no working stove.  gas is shut off until the leak is found.  HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

the treehouse

photo ala bethany nauert
today the lovely bethany nauert came over to photograph our home for (look for it monday, february 7th).  what a gift it is to have our apartment professionally documented for years to come!  the ever changing canvas of this place is a way for me to express myself creatively.  i love decor and design and it's exciting to see some of my hard work (or play) get some props.  i can't wait to see the rest of the photos.  she just leaked this sweet photo of the credenza in our bedroom.  i love her composition! thanks again bethany!

my go-to lunch

i make this lentil salad ALL the time.  it's healthy, cheap and well, damn good. add an egg over medium and you're in business!

long beach lentil salad
1 package steamed lentils (trader joes...near the other packaged veggies.  already cooked easiness)
1 cut up bell pepper- i prefer yellow, orange or red for this salad
1 onion, chopped and sauteed in a little olive oil
1/2 c. cubbed sheep feta from trader joes (the best they have by far...comes in a lg. block)
olive oil
smoked paprika
chopped fresh italian parsley...or any other fresh herb you have laying around

combine all, season to taste and wa-la!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

vietnamese coffee ice cream

i am a BIG fan of iced vietnamese coffee.  not only does it taste divine, but the entire presentation is somewhat magical.  after reading david lebovitz's recipe for vietnamese coffee ice cream and i could not wait to try it with  my new ice cream maker.  after doing some hardcore house cleaning today, i thought this would be the perfect reward....and i couldn't have been more right. 

i've adapted his recipe to make it my own and it came out AMAZING.  this will be a staple in my culinary bag of tricks.

make very strong coffee by brewing 1 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of ground coffee. when using a paper filter, it will yield 1 cup of jet fuel, aka coffee.   

once coffee is done brewing, mix 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, the 1 c. strongly brewed coffee you just made, 1 T. ground coffee and 1/3 c. vanilla almond milk (original recipe calls for whole milk but this is what i had in the fridge).  mix well until condensed milk is completely incorporated in the other liquids. 

add the mixture to an ice cream maker and churn until it becomes thick. (about 25 minutes) 

i had some semi-sweet chocolate chips in my cupboard so i added about 1/8 c. to a plastic baggie and crushed them with the bottom of a heavy cup to make smaller chips.   

when the ice cream was almost done, add the chips to the mixture
this is the loveliness that comes out of your machine

this is the quantity of what is made.  freeze for a couple of hours before you devour the whole thing. 
happy sunday!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

dirty bird

she was a dirty chair from the wrong side of town when we first met.

craigslist was our connection.  her online profile looked much better than in person.  i offered less money.

i brought her home because i saw she had good bones and just needed a wash.  $25 later, she was a new woman.  

it's amazing what a little upholstery cleaning can do.  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

lay lady lay...

at $4,900, i could buy a small used car or pick, well the bed of course!  insanity price but a 1970's insanity brass frame!
LOVE LOVE LOVE.  leather, chrome, glass...hotness.  $1,800, not so hotness.  the husband thinks he can get this made in LA for MUCH cheaper.  guess what his new project is going to be?
another HIGH price ($2,500) for this 1960's chrome headboard, oozing with style.
i've been hunting for a headboard so long i've almost given up.  yeah right!  craigslist is my main source and i'm looking to spend far, far less than any of these.  BUT inspiration like this gives my mind direction as to what i'm looking for.  the hunt continues.......

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

the farmhouse chair

yes, this might leave a funky pattern on your backside but it looks worth it to me.  love the architectural design of this accent chair from bend. kudos!  

Monday, January 17, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

lp luv

ok, if this pervy pose wasn't enough, check out some of the song titles:
reach out and touch
he's more than just a swear word
you're gonna love your new life with the lord

just because he's albino, doesn't make him the devil! 

songs of bootlegging, robbery and love

tranny?  you make the call.......

and then there was howard.....

naughty mariettA?  do tell.......

johnny cash vs. jimmy swaggart

smokey, the hipster hippy. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


11 days into the new year and some of our resolutions, which i like to call changes in life patterns, are coming into effect.  my husband has a 38 mile round trip commute each day to work, often in hell traffic.  not only is this expensive, but mentally and environmentally draining.  since we live in the great county of LA (can you hear the sarcasm dripping from my voice), we are not blessed with good public transportation at all.  we are fortunate that the blue line begins in downtown long beach which is part of his new commute.  i'm also part of the new commute.

we live 7 miles round trip to downtown so i've agreed to drive him to the train stop.  this is actually a fantastic thing on many levels.  it gives us time to talk in the morning before he jets off to teach high schoolers math all day, it gives our dog an always exciting ride in the car and it gives me the sunrise.  the most beautiful of colors happened when i was still driving home but the view wasn't too shabby once i got back.  2011 is bright.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

homemade coffee vanilla bean liquor...35 days and counting

today was the big day.  the day kahlua lost the race once and for all.  i've never been a huge fan of the stuff but when i found this recipe and I had to give it a whirl.  REAL espresso, REAL vanilla beans and REALLY good vodka makes one hell of a mixer.  tonight i whirled it up with some organic vanilla soy milk and it is near perfection.  meet my new after dinner cocktail of choice.  

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup instant espresso (still dried powder, not made into espresso)
2 vanilla beans
3 cups vodka
Bring sugar and 2 cups water to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar. 
Add coffee and reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer. 
Cook, stirring to fully dissolve the espresso, for about 2 minutes. 
Remove from heat and transfer to a large glass jar or seal-able pitcher and let sit until more or less cool. 
Meanwhile, split vanilla beans open and se the back of a knife or a small spoon and scoop out the teeny tiny seeds (it seems more like a paste). 
Add seeds and pods to the coffee syrup. 
Pour in vodka. Seal and put it away for four to six weeks. 
Remove and discard vanilla pods.
Serve chilled on its own, in coffee, or over ice cream as a dessert.


merry me. love, me.

i've had my eye on ceramic watches for quite some time but haven't pulled the trigger due to their cost...well at least for a good one.  UNTIL i was on about a month before christmas and found this baby.  for those of you that don't know about ideeli, it's a site where designer goods retail far below their original price, but only for a limited time.  i've scored some fantastic clothing deals on this website.  so check it for yourself.  you might just thank me.