Monday, August 31, 2009

the mighty good spoon...

It was a fast, food-filled weekend. After I dropped Josh off at SFO at 7AM on Saturday, I bee-lined it for Santa Barbara. I had an event to attend... the spoon. the good spoon to be exact. One of my dear friends lb has created her own catering/food class company where she can teach novices such as myself how to further their culinary skills without having to enroll at Le Cordon Bleu... This event was a "market to table: summer" event and there were 8 of us in attendance.

On the menu:
farmer's market heirloom tomato and avocado stacks
tomato and corn pie
barbecue roasted salmon
creme fraiche and farmer's market peach pie

She's so Julia with her pearls...

It was part cook for us/part hands on. It was so fabulous! And with my laminated, take-home recipe cards, I can make it anytime I want! Lucky Josh...

Sunday morning was brunch at D'Angelo's. Santa Barbara at its finest. Then off to the beach. A luxury I once took for granted while living in Santa Barbara and now realize how great it would be to live a hop, skip, and jump away from the beach on those hot summer days... finish off the day with fries at Tinkers.

All in all, a much-too-short but fantastic weekend in good ol' SB.

Friday, August 28, 2009

the homeland awaits...

Josh is leaving for Canada tomorrow... he is SO excited. Giddy even. He has all his kayaking gear packed for his brother-bonding trip, a couple bottles of wine from Livermore and Sonoma's finest (international limit = 2), and his green card in tow. The motherland awaits.

Last night as we were nearly drifting off to sleep, Josh asks, "You have my passport, right?" Sheer panic. No! It's in the safety deposit box! I HAVE to remember to go get that today... so this is my virtual sticky note... Get Josh's passport today!!

Josh is off tomorrow and I follow on Thursday. The great white north... here we come!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

hands down. best. meal. ever.

Oh. my. word. Josh and I spent the weekend in Napa/Sonoma this weekend (and that deserves a post on its own...) but I have to jump to the end of our trip - our Sunday night dinner at Ad Hoc for fish and chips. Holy. crap. SO FREAKING GOOD!!!

The menu for the night was as follows...

Frisee & Watercress Salad - marinated musk & watermelon, black mission figs, shaved fennel, garden sunburst squash grown in the French Laundry's garden, dijon mustard vinaigrette

Fish & Chips - pacific ling cod, russet potatoes, grilled corn-on-the-cob, Maine lobster slaw, house made tartar sauce

Cabbot Clothbound Cheddar, sweet pepper relish, mixed candied nuts

Bread & Butter Pudding, strawberry jam, chocolate pearls, vanilla custard

And I can guarantee you that every bite was absolutely sinful. It was so delicious and just perfectly thought through. The salad was perfection. The fish and chips - oh man... I need a moment just to reflect on those fried pieces of heaven... ... ... oh man. The lobster slaw?? Fan-freaking-tastic. Cheese course - great, but I mean... come on... it's just cheese... bring on the dessert.

And the dessert. Now - I have to be honest. When I read it was bread pudding I was kinda bummed because I'm not the biggest bread pudding or custard fan. Holy crap. I am now a believer! It was this delicious custard topped with the most decadent bread pudding EVER. WE COULDN'T EVEN FINISH IT! Josh and myself? Not finish dessert? I know! Josh had to undo his pant button on the way home he was so full! Everything they gave us was served family style and by golly, we ate whatever they put in front of us.

Now. We had finished the meal and you want to know what I asked our server? What the calorie content was on our meal. I had to know! I had to ask! I had already eaten it and even if it were 10,000 I would say it was totally worth it! It was so sinful I just HAD to know... and I'm not even going to share that info because it's so ridiculously high! But if you have a guess, I'd love to hear it... :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I made bread!!

I got this book about a month ago and then on Saturday I made their "master recipe" which is the base recipe for most of their breads. So easy! You mix water, salt, yeast and flour. And DONE. You let it sit out of the fridge for like 2-4 hours, then stick it in the fridge until you want to bake it. I waited until Tuesday (the longer you wait, the more flavor it has...) to bake. Here's how it went...

1. Cut off a chunk of dough about the size of a grapefruit
2. Molded it into the shape I wanted, let it sit for 40 minutes
3. Stuck it in the oven for 30 minutes
4. And wa-la! A kitchen that smells like heaven and a damn good looking loaf of bread (if I do say so myself!) has come to life.

I let Josh be the taster... you know... just in case... the result??

He LOVED it. And not just "I'm hungry so I loved it..." but rather "I'm-glad-I-married-you-this-is-so-freaking-good good!" In fact, he ate 5/6ths of the loaf before I got home! Luckily he saved me some and, I have to say, he was right - it was this perfect crunchy crust with this warm and, dare I say it, moist center (If you are like me and absolutely hate the word "moist" - I'm sorry, but there really isn't another perfect word. If you can come up with another perfect word, please let me know and I will replace it. Until then... deal with it. It was moist perfection.)

I'm telling you... it's fabulous... and SO easy. You mix up the ingredients one day and that one mixing gives you like 4-5 loaves! Everyone has a little Martha in them... embrace it...

Monday, August 17, 2009

sick as a dog... and not even a cute one.

**UPDATE. Doctor gave me the z-pack and only 15 hours later the knives in my throat have subsided and I'm slowly recouping. God bless the z pack.

My throat is on fire and it kills me to swallow. I, of course, immediately think I have strep throat. But here's my thing with going to doctors for a sore throat.

I have to find a doctor. I haven't had a primary care doc since highschool.
I wait until day 3 or so to make sure this isn't a pansy sore throat... this has to be the real deal...
Once I find a doc I have to see if they'll squeeze me in THAT day... otherwise, it may be gone...
They say "I don't think it's strep, but let's get a swab test done on you." $10 copay later I'm at the lab for my swab test.
They make me gag, I pay them $10 and then they say it'll take 24-48 hours.
Two days later I am feeling completely fine and my doctor calls to tell me it wasn't strep and to just drink lots of fluids and rest.... duh.

Waste of $20. Man... that's like 5 lattes.
Oh well... better safe than sorry... I'm calling.

Friday, August 14, 2009

a birthday present well spent

Josh was a sweetheart this year for my birthday... he got me, not one, but TWO deep tissue massages from this fabulous day spa. Not because I need twice the work (which I do...) but so I could bring a friend to enjoy the experience with. Everybody in unison.. "Awww..." - I KNOW! Precious, right? On top of that were gift certificates to one of my new favorite restaurants and some yummy chocolate candies. Good job, Josh!

Well, over a month later - I need the massage. I can't wait for a friend to join. I just need it. My back is achy (probably from all my dailey method... watch out - good butt in the works walkin through... :)), my joints are sore, and I think I may be getting sick... so I kinda want someone to rub around those toxins so it'll just get over itself faster.

Dilemma - do I wait for a friend? (I have a few prospects in mind but timing is not on our side for this weekend... which is when I was thinking of going...) Or do I just go for it, use what is rightfully mine and just buy a friend/split the cost for a friend to come with me next time?? By not using the gift the way it was intended am I being a bad gift receiver?? But I so need it!! Oh dilemma...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

oh daaaaaarling...

Speaking of New Zealand... while we were in New Zealand we met a good... no, GREAT friend. I'm sure we've mentioned him before... especially in our New Zealand travel blog... but Dominic is our British friend we met while hiking through the Coromandel. We also did a FANTASTIC kayaking trip with him in Able Tasman which actually inspired Josh to buy his kayak.

Anyway - only mentioning him because he's COMING TO AMERICA!! He's flying to Canada for a few days, to San Jose to hang out with yours truly, then eventually making his way down to Mexico/South America for some backpacking. Oh to be British and live off the pound... must be nice.

Countdown - T minus 5 weeks!! Any suggestions of fun Northern California things to do with him??

Sunday, August 9, 2009

one year ago today...

...we flew from Phoenix to Burbank, had lunch with Sam, Joey, and Lindsey, went to LAX and popped the sleeping pills for our 13 hour flight to New Zealand!! What an adventure we had!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

weekend line up...

We have a beautiful and full weekend ahead of us. From out of town, newly married guests, to another friend's wedding, to "get well" card and flower deliveries, to dancing, dancing, dancing... this weekend = fantastic...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

loving the dill...

One dish = lunch for days. I made Ina's shrimp orzo pasta salad on Sunday night and it's the perfect, no microwave necessary, easy to pack, simply delicious lunch for work. Love love love the dill and lemon. The feta is fab. Cucumber and onion for crunch. Just wonderful.