Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

to my dad

thank you for teaching me to love cooking...and have fun while doing it 
thank you for getting us out of sticky situations when we needed it most

thank you for teaching us to keep smiling and move forward, even when sailing through rough waters.


Friday, June 10, 2011

the $1 loaf of bread a 6 year old could make

all i can say is WOW.  forget buying ok store bought bread or expensive artisan loafs.  those days are over! this easy and cheap recipe yields an amazingly delicious end result with a crusty outside and soft, chewy center.

i've read rave reviews of sullivan street bakery's no-knead rustic bread recipe but have yet to give it a whirl.  i have my grandmother's cast iron pot which was the perfect vessel to bake this brown beauty in.  since it's been awhile since i last used it, i had to season the pot first.  MAKE THIS!

3 c. flour
1/4 t. yeast
1 1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 c. H20

in a large bowl, combine flour, yeast and salt.  mix together with your hand.
add 1 c. water, mix with hand until combined.
cover with serran wrap and let sit in a warm spot (70* is ideal) for 12-24hrs.

dough is ready when you many small bubble on surface.
dump it on a floured surface.  it will have a stringy texture.
lightly pat and fold dough a couple of times onto itself. cover with serran wrap and let rest another 15 min.

generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal. (i used a combo of cornmeal and flour).
put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal.
fold towel around doughball and let rise for 2 hrs.
dough will be more than double it's size when ready and not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

at least 1/2 hr before dough is ready, heat oven to 450*.
put a 6-8 qt heavy covered pot (cast iron/enamel/Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats.
when dough is ready, remove hot pot from oven and place dough inside...seam side up.
cover with lid and bake 30 min, then remove lid and bake another 15-30 min until loaf is brown.
when bread is tapped with fingers and sounds hollow, it is done.
cool on a rack and EAT!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


i just learned that Eric Doran, owner of Eat Chow in costa mesa, was killed memorial day weekend in a car crash.

some people you know you like right when you meet them. eric was one of these people.  my husband and i had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times while dining at eat chow with friends.  he was SUCH a nice guy that exuded passion for life and his food.  yet another ugly reminder at how fragile life is.  my thoughts go out to his family and his wife who is in critical condition.  you will be missed eric!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

LL in the house!

one of my dear friends is in town from NY and we're meeting up today in venice for lunch. can't wait to catch up with my girl, eat some amazing food and do a little strolling.  my heart it races....

Sunday, June 5, 2011

sunday funday

i LOVE dates.  nature's caramels.  i make an appetizer from time to time that is manchego stuffed dates wrapped in bacon which are out of this world.  i took this idea and decided to make a "pizza".  using what we had in the refrigerator, a little slice of heaven was created.

thinly slice two large white onions of your choice and saute on medium low in a skillet with olive oil until the onions are golden brown.  i used a tart pan as the form which i generously oiled before placing the pizza dough (trader joes) in. work the dough to the outer edge of the dish, making sure it has an even bottom.

while you are cooking the onions, in a separate pan, brown 8 slices of thin, center cut bacon until almost done.  (they will finish cooking in the oven).  remove from pan and drain excess fat on paper towels.  top the dough with the caramelized onions.  i cut about 11 dates into quarters and spread them evenly over the onions.  rip bacon into smaller pieces and arrange over dates.  sprinkle fresh thyme and goat's milk feta (trader joes) over the top to your taste.

bake at 450* for 15-20 min.  delicious with a tasty white wine and a seat in the sun.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

it's that time again, movies in the cemetery


saturday june 4, 2011
Gates at 7:30pm 
Film at 9:00pm
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
6000 Santa Monica Blvd at Gower
$10 donation tickets available at gate
$10 parking
As a courtesy to other movie-goers: no tall chairs.
Bring blankets, picnic dinner and drinks for this special screening under the stars

and don't forget to check out past dj sets HERE.  if you haven't gone before, a dj spins pre-movie while you nosh and sip at your picnic spot.  GOOD TIMES!