Saturday, December 18, 2010

A long overdue shout out to the hubby...

First of all, my husband is a chef professionally but still LOVES to cook at home. It's a shame when other chef's say they don't have the energy or desire to cook at home because they do it all day. Noah visits the farmers market every week and knows the farmers by name. They give him free goodies to bring home. He isn't afraid to try something he doesn't recognize or has never worked with. We don't eat anything out of a box or a can (except San Marzano tomatoes) and haven't eaten fast food in years. Our pantry is filled with canned goods from the summer: Tomatoes, pickles, salsas, peaches, peppers, jams, olives, and jalepenos. Bottom line: we eat well.

He may whip up a little afternoon brunch on our day off. Cranberry beans, corn, hericot verts and croutons, all topped with a poached egg and served with a rose out on our patio.

For dinner, it might be scallops and lightly deep fried vegetables with an eggplant puree. (This was in the summer, of course)

He is an artist.....

...and food is his medium.
He's not always so fancy.... Cooking for my family while visiting in Portland.

His fried chicken and potato salad we bring with us to Dodger stadium is STOOPID! (That's a good thing)

He makes desserts too.. (of COURSE he made the biscuits from scratch. Thanks mom!)

This is a typical scene in our kitchen: pots a'bubblin away on the stove, the rear one is chicken stock that we freeze into ice cube trays then throw the cubes into whatever we need it for, salmon we got from the seafood market down the street, a chantrelle mushroom waiting to be sliced... it always smells SO GOOD!!!

This is the result:

So I've done all my bragging for now. I'm just so proud of his talent and his passion and feel blessed he shares his knowledge (and meals!) with me. He's also pretty darn cute..

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Portland (might as well be called Heaven)

Gorgeous, lovely Portland. Of course we got there when the weather was on its best behavior so it seems like its the most fabulous city of all time! This is the Marriott on the river. Our view from our balcony, for a ridiculously small amount of money. Thank you honey!

We hit up some Asian markets for seafood (Noah is picky so we went to three different places) and he decided on some live shrimp and whole striped bass.

We had so much fun with our nieces and nephew! They all have their own crazy personalities. Noah hadn't seen the kids in almost two years!

Me: What time is it?
Isadore: Half past a monkey's ass according to his balls!
Me: (see photo)

The fish just before it went on the BBQ. Mom looks so cute in the background.. Anticipation!!!

Fresh sardines! Mayan loves these so it was a special treat for her birthday...

The man and his grill...

Serving it up!! Crazy, kid yelling, everybody talking, noisy, fun dinner with the fam!

Downtown Stumptown

Karaoke was so much fun! No embarrassment just beltin' it out. The kids were naturals!

Sing it George! He did "Twinkle, Twinkle" and No Doubt's "Hey Baby".

Nice move, Uncle Noah. I didn't know you liked Lady Gaga... (Look at George hugging the girls from behind)

George and Uncle Noah singing some Johnny Cash. George liked to walk around the "stage" with his mic.

Noah loves this photo!

Late night with Aaron Woo. Regrets we didn't take photos when we had lunch with him, Karen, and Ethan.

Spending some quality backyard time with Gray. Ate egg sandwiches made from his chickens eggs and helped save a woodpecker from being pecked to death!

Too short, too short.......

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Work is just an annoying interruption of my real life....

I'm falling in love with Southern California. The more I explore the history and the neighborhoods the more I become enamored! On Tuesday Noah and I had tickets to the Dodger game (it was Andre Ethier bobblehead giveaway night!) so we decided to go downtown first and explore a little. I have a architecture book of LA that we frequently tote around with us on our adventures. One spot downtown that I really wanted to check out was the Bradbury building built in 1893. Plain on the outside but inside.... Oh wow... mouth hanging open in awe.. Pictures just don't do it justice. The film Bladerunner was filmed here if you want to see it but aren't planning on visiting soon...

Downtown LA is filled with these treasures! A lot are in disrepair but some have been restored by smart people that we thank profusely! Look at this gorgeous building.... It's a theatre in the theatre district (now the sketchy jewelry district) built in 1931.

After our tour of downtown we headed to the "Art District" around 3rd and Alameda to check out this new sausage place called Wurstkuche. All the food was house made: sausages, kraut, buns, mustards, ketchups... Yum, yum! And they have tons of great beer on tap. I can't believe I didn't take a picture of the sausage. Only this cute guy...

Next we took a cab to Union Station to get on our free shuttle to Dodger Stadium. We stopped at the bar called Traxx to have a cocktail. Union Station is an amazing place. All sorts of people coming and going; very much an airport feel but with an old school vibe....

Oh joy!!! The anticipation of a ballgame, the gorgeous view from the stadium: downtown, Chavez Ravine, palm trees. I love this place!

We sat in the cheap seats and loved it. We had a great view of the field and we were surrounded by super nice fans and people just out to have a good time. Obviously the weather was nice...
Not only did we score a bobblehead but the Dodgers put on a great game and won!!! Dodger stadium is my Disneyland...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Palm Springs and the Salton Sea....

Noah and I love to stay a night or two in Palm Springs when we get a chance. We found this quiet hotel with small kitchens and a big BBQ by the pool. We've stayed here close to 10 times now. It's kitschy and affordable and rarely has kids staying. Nice and quiet...
What gave it away that only retired or childless couples stay here? Yes that is a shuffleboard court and yes, we've played several times. Always with a cocktail in hand...
There are several fruit trees on the property including figs, limes, lemons, olives, and this heavily laden grapefruit tree. The owners don't mind if you pick and use the fruit.
Noah looks pretty relaxed.... We lounge by the pool for hours reading magazines and jumping in every 30 minutes or so. We made our own bloody mary mix and made bloody mary's with pickled okra. We've decided it's a "healthy" cocktail.
Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!! Not only are we drinking healthy but as you can see I am exercising as well.
We love our little kitchen. (It's probably bigger than our kitchen at home!) It has a large fridge and a two burner stove. We precooked baby back ribs then threw them on the grill to finish them off.
We drank a cold white wine, listened to music, let the night air blow in...

Radishes, asparagus, and fava beans...
The next day we headed south east and stopped at Shield's date stand. They've been growing dates since 1923! We had to get an ice cold date shake.
Don't miss the sex life of dates movie that plays continuously while you're slurping down your shake!
Next stop was the Salton Sea. In the 40's and 50's this was the place to go: "the Californian Riviera". Then it became super polluted and too salty and fish started to die off in staggering numbers. From what I read about it I thought it was going to be gross and stinky but to our surprise it was beautiful. (I didn't jump in though!). But for all it's beauty it was a lonely, desolate place. The small towns around it were nothing but dusty old trailer parks. We spontaneously started talking in a redneck twang...
In a town called Bombay Beach, population 326, we found the local watering hole: The Ski Inn. (As in waterski, I suppose.) We parked between the locals cars and made our way into one of the best dive bars I've ever been in! (And I've been in a lot). The owner was behind the bar pouring drinks, the walls and ceiling were covered in dollar bills, and there was about 4 or 5 regulars sitting at the bar, nursing their drinks. Their heads all swiveled around as we walked in and Noah wasted no time chattin' them up while I ordered us budweisers that were served in cold mason jars. We ordered a cheeseburger and a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with fries. The cheese was processed slices and there was a jar of pickled eggs on the counter. We bought a can of "Fish Assholes" to support the local volunteer fire department. The local at the end of the bar kept calling us "Santa Monica" as in "Hey, Santa Monica, where are you headed after this?" It was a blast!

Of course we had to tape a dollar to the ceiling. It feels good to know we have a little shrine of our own at the Salton Sea Ski Inn.
Oh California! The more I get to know you, the more I love you!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My job is not okay...

Imagine this: In one room you are taking care of a patient who is dying. A patient who is only 62 years old. Your mom, your friends mom. She's is dying right before your eyes. You do chest compressions when she goes into cardiac arrest, she's intubated and on a breathing machine. You give her several doses of epinephrine and atropine every time she arrests (five times so far!)! You start a chest tube. She came in talking, saying she didn't feel well the past couple of days. How many times can you code her? Enough. She dies. The family weeps, it's horrible, it's tragic. You hug them, you cry. Then you have to finish your shift. You have to go into a room with a patient complaining of a headache. They want your attention, they want your sympathy. HOW? How can I feel compassion for you???? Your headache is stupid, it is not important. How do I do this? How do I feel compassion for your headache when someone just died right in front of me!?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

We decided to grill a whole fish tonight. Thank you, oh dear sweet red snapper, for giving us your moist flesh. We treated you with the utmost respect and reveled in every sacrificed morsel. It helps to eat "whole foods" to remind us exactly what we are eating. We had some leftover fennel stems and fronds and lemons so Noah stuffed those in the cavity.

Our trusty habachi... we've used it for years on our small patio and it easily fits in our trunk for a beach trip.

The skin got stuck on the grill, but not too bad, and the smell was amazing! (Maybe not so much for the neighbors but f*ck them!)

Noah braised spring onions with black trumpet mushrooms. Then he crisped up some fingerling potatoes to serve alongside. Chives and tarragon finished it off. So good!