September 30, 2008

Is It Autumn Yet?

Okay so I'm still not used to living in Southern California. It's only been three years now, one would think I'd be used to 97 degree weather through September. Really when does it cool down again? I seem to forget every year in the midst of my yearning to bundle up and layer. My memory is clouded with dreams of sipping steaming mugs of hot cocoa by the fire (we don't have a fireplace) and visions of warming the house with the scent of baking apples and spices.

Forgoing the hot cocoa by the fire. I have managed to sweat us out of our house these last few days. I've overheated our home with double batches of chicken stock, black bean soup, chicken pot pie, oatmeal date cookies & roasted butternut squash ravioli.

I've dressed in long sleeve blouses and pants simply to walk outside and quickly realize a tank top and skirt would have been a better choice.

I'm trying my darnedest to conjure up those romantic Autumn days. I've always loved Fall; the change from sunshine soaked siestas to crisp cooling afternoons. Midday runs, when rays from the sun are a warm welcome. Blustery windstorms that call for blankets and snuggling. The fiery orange glow of leaves falling and the crinkly sound of raking them into a pile.

This recipe is my tribute to the days of Autumn, when leaves are turning, wind is blowing and we get the craving to fill our bellies with something warm.

September 21, 2008

The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry

The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry
Love, Laughter And Tears In Paris At The World's Most Famous Cooking School

by Kathleen Flinn

A lovely jaunt with Flinn through her culinary training at the renown Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.

Flinn's characters are charming and carved from everyday life, like meeting new friends or revisiting old. Flipping through the pages I relived a bit of my culinary training. Techniques that I have put on the back burner, like boning an entire chicken without removing the skin, turning veggies and time involved sauces.

The final exams brought back butterflies. Temperamental chefs fortunately caused laughter instead of tears and "les femmes du Cordon Bleu" flooded in memories of all of my own culinary compatriots.

A delightful read akin to sipping a glass of champagne. Highly recommended for anyone that has ever dreamed of leaving their current job in pursuit of a passion or simply for those who love to cook and enjoy the intricacies of a delicious meal.

September 11, 2008

Sustainable Burgers

Well as some of you know I'm officially INTO my thirties now.
Travis and I celebrated my birthday with a burger. You must know that the only way I'm going to eat a burger is if the cow was raised humanely, free of antibiotics and growth hormones and preferably grass fed.

I've had my eye on Akasha Richmond's restaurant Akasha in Culver City since it's opening this past February. So it was decided, this was the place to celebrate.

Akasha has dotted her i's and crossed all t's when it comes to sustainability. She not only supports local farmers, family owned ranches, "Clean Fish" and bio-dynamic boutique wineries. Her staff is decked out in both recycled and natural fibers and her customers sit cushy on organic leather seats.

September 6, 2008

Once Upon A Craving.....

Once a day I crave Dark Chocolate.
Once every few days I crave Ice Cream, Chocolate of course.
Once a week I crave Salmon.
Once a month I crave Pizza Margherita.
Once every 3-6 months I'd say I get a hankering for red meat.

When I was younger, I thought for sure I could easily one day become a vegetarian. Then of course I went to Culinary school, a place where vegetarians are transformed into meat eaters or they begin to bend their rules to entertain the idea of poultry and fish.
It was there at the once quaint CCA that I began my long love affair with the delicious wonders of Pork Belly Fat......
So then I would tell people, if it weren't for bacon & lamb chops then I could easily be a vegetarian. But now I see there is just no way! I love fish and I know that some pesco vegetarians eat fish, but I also LOVE a bit of red meat....meatballs, pasta bolognese and grilled steaks.

So this is my tribute to those now and again red meat eaters. If you are going to eat it then it's worth making something scrumptious out of it!