Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Studying for 2 weeks

I'm in a school studying for 2 weeks. I have images from the Peninsula Hotel and a rowdy night at the Home Depot Center. Yes I can be sophisticated and sporty. Hey I'm two of the spice girls "Posh" and "Sporty" spice. Which brings me to David Beckham, yes he got booed Sunday night and no I will never buy a General Admission ticket ever again. I know you can't wait to hear it all. Hopefully I can get something up over the weekend when I have a little break.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fourteen Years and Osteria Mozza

So it's another Anniversary celebration. Only this time my wedding anniversary. Yes it's been 14 years, yes we were pups when we got married. This past year has been particularly tough for us. The times we live in, the economic issues, just life in general have made it hard. But we are best friends and we make it work with lots of hard WORK and some serious praying.

So here's how our week started off. Apparently I was a little bit grouchy the other day about SB's non-enthusiasm regarding dinner at Osteria Mozza. Seriously, he's a foody, you'd think he'd love this. But he's also practical and not the romantic, planning type. But FOURTEEN years deserves a nice dinner at the very least. So when I got home Wednesday afternoon, the above flowers were waiting for me. With this note:
I asked him "why the Tinman sign off?"
He said: "I wanted you to know that I have a heart."

And he does, the best man ever. He makes me laugh just about everyday, cooks just about every night and cleans (does the dish's, our laundry and scrubs the shower) all while working hard in several jobs with multiple responsibilites. (And yes I do work a 40 hour work week and put in 70 hours of monthly volunteer time, not a lazy wife, we're just a busy couple). He is my best friend and I appreciate him more than words can say. Now enough of the mush...let's get to the eating part.
Osteria Mozza

We did make it to Osteria Mozza. And it was well worth the wait. As it was a last minute reservation it was either 5:30 or 9:30 on a Wednesday night. We choose the old folks hour of 5:30 which was perfect, except the L.A. traffic, which is never ideal.

It took us a long time to figure out what we wanted to order, the menu is daunting. I asked what are Osteria's specialities. We pretty much ordered them all.

Grilled Octopus

The staff recommended the Grilled Octopus with potatoes, celery & lemon. I'm not a big tentacle person, but SB wanted this. And it was perfectly grilled with a lemony flavor. Unexpectedly delightful to the my untrained palate.
Burrata_asparagus_bacon_brownbutter_sicilian almonds
Burrata with grilled asparagus, brown butter, guanciale & Sicilian almonds. Who doesn't like bacon and brown butter. YUmmmmm.
Orecchiette with sausage & Swiss chard

I ordered Orecchiette with sausage & swiss chard. This was rich and the bread crumbs added a perfect crunchy texture. I took my time eating this and drinking the red wine which I order by the glass and you get a 1/2 carafe which really amounts to a glass and 1/2.


SB orderd Pan Roasted Halibut con pepe verde, which tasted like it was basted with wine and lots of capers.

The finale was the Bombolini which was fresh made donuts rolled in sugar served with mountain huckleberry compote and vanilla gelato. The little candle was for our anniverary. Props to "Open Table" for actually sending the note to the Maitre'd that we were celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary.

Osteria Mozza
6602 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chocolate Kiss Cookies

For our outing at the Hollywood Bowl I knew I had to bake something. So of course I pick one of the hottest days of the summer to bake in a downstairs apartment with no air condition. Smart, right, not so much. Worth it, definitely.

I pulled a recipe from a much coveted down home cookbook given by a long-time friend who I haven't seen in over a decade. It's the much used Dow City - Arion Quasquicentennial Cookbook 1869-1994. Yes that's correct I said "Quasquicentennial" which means the 125th anniversary of this small town in Iowa. All the towns people contributed recipe's for this book. My friend walked me through whose to follow and whose to avoid. I watched her make many of the recipe's myself so I knew this one was a winner.

Chocolate Star Cookies (I use Chocolate Kisses)
1 c. Butter
1 c. Peanut Butter (for this recipe I used creamy Skippy's)
1 c. Sugar
1 c. Brown Sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs, beaten
4 T. milk
2 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Additional granulated sugar
1 pkg of chocolate star or kisses)

Cream butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar; add eggs, milk and vniall. Sift together dry ingredients, except additional sugar and candies; add to butter mixture. Shape into balls; roll in sugar and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and press and chocolate star or kiss on each cookie until the cookie cracks around the edge. Return to oven for 5 minutes. (Recipe contributed by Annie and Jana Sitzmann)
I did have a special request to bake cookies with chocolate and oatmeal. So I pulled out the big ole Quaker Oats round canister and looked around for a recipe. There it is right under the lid only its for oatmeal raisin cookies. I substituted the raisins for for semi-sweet chocolate and voila, these were a hit. Deb traded her peanut butter chocolate kiss cookies for oatmeal chocolate chip. Jessica wouldn't trade. I still have some girls, I'll bring them by.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ray LaMontagne, Jenny Lewis, Blizten Trapper @ Hollywood Bowl


Summer time in L.A. is always fantastic everyone must take advantage of the extra sunlight and great things to do during these long days. On Sunday night we went to the Hollywood Bowl.
I've been coming here since I was a little girl and this is the first time I was able to sit in a box seat with the generosity of a dear person. Valet parking is the way to go to the bowl, I'm so used to hiking up the hill I nearly wore my sneakers (trainers for my one British reader). This was the easiest Hollywood Bowl trip. We got in a fit of giggles the entire night that didn't end even on the drive home. We even had time to do a little nail polish touch up, really who does this....apparently we do. My friend brought her Holga camera and went testing away at all the blue, red and yellow flash settings. Check out her shots here.
We had an amazing time, candlelit dinner, pear cider and sangria, good food and hip music. This hot KCRW summer night was memorable. Blizten Trappen started the evening off at a tough time while we're still eating, but the had a folksy blues to their sound. Jenny Lewis followed them up with her contagious energy and uber talent on multiple instruments. Her back-up rocked it out as well. I love this shot of her hair flying around while she jumped on to her second instrument of the night. This L.A. girl had that glow in her eyes that said, "look at me I'm playing the Hollywood Bowl." Her last song "Sing a song for them" was gorgeous.Ray LaMontagne was the headliner. He is a true introvert with an amazing haunting voice. He played the acoustic guitar with the Hollywood Bowl orchestra. His lyrics and soulful voice had all the women in the bowl howling.

On our way out we ended up being parked right behind the bowl. They had the doors open pulling all the instruments off the stage. We ran took a picture and jump into our nice ride. Now everyone thinks we're somebody and well we are, just not the flashy, no choney, bliztd celebs of the day. In fact it was four women have a good evening together laughing all the way home.

Make the bowl a destination this summer if you can, even the bus ride is a blast if you go that route. But can't deny the luxury of a box seat and a little valet parking.

Some images courtesy of Deborah Justine, camera stealer and Holga photographer.


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