Friday, June 24, 2011

Palace Theatre Hits the Century Mark

Check out the fabulous Palace Theatre in downtown Los Angeles this weekend, as it turns 100 years old.  Free tour on Saturday with theater historian Ed Kelsey.  As part of Last Remaining Seats, there are three sold out screenings of the film "Sunset Boulevard" on Sunday.  You can take your chances, like me, and get in the standby line for the film.

Also, lovers of single screen theaters, John Carpenter is at the Egyptian Theatre tonight for the 25th anniversary screening of his film "Big Trouble in Little China."  New 35MM print. I hear there are still some tickets available.  O, snack bar suggestion: The Mummy Deal!

Wait!  "Viva Las Vegas" on screen at the historic Alex Theatre in Glendale on Saturday 2P.M. and 8 P.M.

Check out more movie information at the Los Angeles Times wonderful 24 Frames.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Longing for Swan Pye?

Fans of food history should check out the website of Ivan Day. Day is a food historian specializing in British and European cooking. Some of the course titles on his site include Period Sugarworking and Confectionary, Period Ham Making, Georgian Cooking, and A Taste of Christmas Past. 

I came across Day's site a few years ago when I was researching historic cooking classes in England.  The Food Programme on BBC Radio 4 did a wonderful show with Day called The Christmas Dinners that Time Forgot.  The BBC Reader app has the program available under the Arts and Culture genre.  This app is available by monthly subscription for mobile devices and is filled with the most entertaining programming. 

About that swan pye, the recipe is available on the home page of Day's website.  Just for fun, of course.  We're not eating swan these days, now are we?!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Wednesday Chef Speaks from Her Heart

Luisa Weiss is another food blogger whose work I love.  She is a talented cook and writer.  Her blog The Wednesday Chef is filled with wonderful recipes as well as Luisa's personal feelings about food and its place in her world.  I really connected with her recent posting on a dinner party she threw that left her feeling alienated from the very food she had cooked.  It's an interesting read and I think, like my own experience, one that many cooks will recognize as something that has happened to them.  Check out her site for that entry as well as the recipe for Zuni Cafe's Chard and Onion Panade, a dish Luisa loves to make.

Luisa is working on a book My Berlin Kitchen.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Molly Wizenberg's Lovely Carrots + Thyme

Like thousands of others, I love reading anything written by Molly Wizenberg.  Her blog Orangette is filled with wonderful recipes.  This simple carrot + thyme recipes is one of my current favorites from Molly. Please check out her first book A Homemade Life when you have a moment.  I say first book because I know there are many more books to follow from the talented Molly.

Skillet Carrots with Onions and Thyme

My host mother used regular orange carrots, but I like to use purple and yellow ones, too, when I can find them. They keep their color when cooked, so they make the dish especially handsome. Whatever carrots you use, make sure that they taste sweet in their raw state: a dull, bitter carrot cannot be fixed. I don’t bother to peel my carrots, but I do wash them well.

Also, for this recipe, I like to slice my onions from stem end to root end, like this, so that they keep their shape and integrity as they cook. When you slice onions the other way – across their equators, you could say – they tend to fall apart during cooking.

Olive oil
1 yellow onion, halved and sliced from root to stem
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 lb. carrots, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
4 to 5 fresh thyme sprigs
½ tsp. red wine vinegar, or to taste

Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add a good amount of olive oil, enough to film the bottom of the pan. Add the onions – they should sizzle – stir to coat with oil. Salt lightly. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened but not browned. Add the garlic, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for a few more minutes, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the carrots, thyme, and a couple of generous pinches of salt, and stir to mix. If the carrots look dry, add a little more oil to lightly coat them; this dish needs more oil than you might think. Cover the pan and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender and the onions are very soft. (I never seem to pay attention to how long this takes, but I would guess that it takes somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes.) Remove the pan from the heat, and discard the thyme sprigs. Sprinkle the vinegar over the carrots. Stir gently to incorporate: the vinegar should subtly brighten the flavor of the carrots without being discernable itself. Add more vinegar, if needed, and salt to taste.

Serve hot.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Food & Art, Food & Food. Sunday, November 7, 2010. Los Angeles

Cezanne's Table, Napkin and Fruit


A couple of fun events happening in Los Angeles today.  Once again, Fallen Fruit and Los Angeles County Museum of Art have combined forces for another amazing day of Let them Eat LACMA.  This is a very creative event combining the wild and artistic elements of food with art, in art, about art, for art, is art. My eyes keep darting back to the words donut wall while reading about the day's event.  How far back should I stand from the tomato fight?! This is the last in a year long series of food&art events by Fallen Fruit at LACMA.  Just come.  Immerse yourself in something wacky and joyous.  11A-8P.

Liked this story from CBS Sunday Morning on the relationship between fruit and artists.

Stefan Richter


Lots of goodies at Great Chefs of LA.  This is the 24th year for the event, which benefits the National Kidney Foundation.   Mary Sue Milliken, Stefan Richter, Candice Kumai, Celestino Drago, Jimmy Shaw (Chef of Honor!), and many more of LA's most talented chefs.  At CBS Radford from 12P-3:30P.  $150 at the door.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Power of a Marshmallow

I am not an economist.  In fact, I spent much of my time in my one college econ class sleeping.  That hasn't stopped me from forming opinions about what is a great economic idea and what is economic suicide.  American jobs shipped to other countries is a bad economic idea.  Buying massive amounts of goods produced in other countries is a bad economic idea.  Spending copious amounts of personal income in megastores, such as WalMart, is a bad economic idea.  Supporting local businesses is a very good idea.

Trickle-down economics, supply-side economics, horse and sparrow theory, noblesse oblige, Reaganomics, call it what you will, works only for the rich.  Making the rich richer at the expense of the working class should actually be called the piss-on-them theory, full force, not a trickle in sight.  I actually believe people would be comfortable with the idea that some are wealthier than others, if the wealthy weren't always trying to screw workers out of just one more dime. This makes me think of all the low-information voters who vote against their best interest by responding to the shrillest political voices. Those who shill for big business always have the biggest mouths and pithiest slogans. They're like shiny bits of trash to a magpie.

I believe the very foundation of a strong economy begins with the working class and how we spend our money.  Our very powerful collective dollars are the answer to much of our country's economic cancer.  We should spend our dollars on the products of local businesses, thereby building up our local economy and creating local jobs. This brings the substantial benefits of buying wonderful products and developing relationships with the business owners.  With such local support, businesses grow, and the weakened roots of economic stability begin to strengthen and thrive. Suddenly, a business that employed just one now employs 10. 

Which brings me to marshmallows.

I recently attended an event in Los Angeles showcasing local businesses and their products, Artisanal LA.  The products were all edible or food-related and locally made.  As I walked through the event, I was deeply moved by the creative energy and vitality in the room.  The business owners and their employees were excited to present their products to people and people were absolutely loving what they were tasting and learning.  They were also buying.  I saw a lot of very full bags at Artisanal LA.  If just half the people who attended the 2-day event choose the locally made product the next time they shop, our economy is heading in the right direction.

After tasting vanilla bean marshmallows from Plush Puffs, I can assure you, itty-bitty, jet-puffed fluff will taste like glue.  I'm planning on doing my part in saving the economy by eating as many of these marshmallows, and other tasty delights from local businesses, as possible.  I encourage you to do the same. Check out the Artisanal LA site for the businesses who participated, source local products, visit farmers markets, and share what you find with others. 

The path to economic recovery begins with the thoughtful steps we make every day with our dollars.  I think about the safety speech we are given on aircraft when we are told to take care of our own oxygen mask before helping others.  We can only help the nation when we can breathe ourselves.

Here is a brief list of some of my favorite finds at Artisinal LA. We'll be loyal customers of these following companies:

The Welsh Baker
Delicious grilled cakes.  We bought classic, walnut maple, blueberry.  Planning to order pumpkin soon! As you would expect, coffee or tea and a Welsh cake is just a perfect combination.  Really fabulous with a dessert wine, such as Muscat.  These darling cakes are really, really addictive.

Lindy & Grundy
The sad part is we never got to meet Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura (Lindy & Grundy) because they were always talking to people when we got to their booth.  The good news is we are going to be customers of their butcher shop and hope they will be open for Christmas!  From their website:

We will be offering beef, lamb, pork and chicken that are all sourced locally and free of hormones and antibiotics. In addition to custom cut meats, we will be making all of our sausages, roast beef, pastrami and much more in house!

Plush Puffs
Simply the very best marshmallows in the world. Fairly sure someone is coming into our home and eating them when we are not here.  We can't possibly be going through all these bags of marshmallows ourselves!

Xarene makes the most extraordinary tarts I've ever tasted.  They are fresh, delicate and delicious.  She often uses ingredients from her own garden as well as the gardens of friends.  She'll even make you a tart from fruit grown in your own yard, if you'd like one.

Morning Glory Confections
Max Lesser makes some very tasty brittle.  Loved the Fleur de Sel & Peanut, Indian Curry & Pistachio, New Mexico Chili & Pumpkin Seed, Thai Curry & Peanut.  We've been using this brittle as an appetizer and a dessert.  We're doing some wine pairings with this as well.  Haven't had it yet but am certain the Fleur de Sel & Peanut with Prosecco would be terrific.

San Angel Mole
Hand-crafted, all natural, small batch traditional Mexican sauces.  We bought the Black Mole, Red Mole, and Cascabel sauces.  All quite delicious.  Excellent recipes on their website

Jenkins Jellies
I have to admit, we are going a little overboard with their Hell Fire Pepper Jelly.  We're putting it on everything!  Toast, meat, fruit, cheese, chocolate, Morning Glory peanut brittle, The Welsh Baker cakes, Plush Puffs marshmallows.  Yes, it's that good.  We bought three bottles.  Need more!


Saturday, October 23, 2010


I've been waiting, quite excitedly, for this weekend for months.  The inaugural Artisanal LA opens this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, at the Cooper Building in downtown Los Angeles.

"...75 local, handmade and artisanal vendors."

Randy and I are supporters of local businesses and this event makes our shopping so much easier.  I cannot wait to meet the participating vendors and make their products part of our lives.  I also plan on doing some shopping for upcoming birthdays and Christmas.  I am planning to make my own apple butter and chutneys this season, but I think there will be plenty of room in my holiday gift baskets for some of the gems I find at Artisanal LA

I spent some time going through the vendor list and researching the participants, so I have a loosely designed plan for the day.  Some of the vendors I'm most interested in meeting:

The Welsh Baker
"Not quite a cookie, not quite a scone. Delicious with milk, coffee, tea or alone."  Maker of a lovely Welsh baked good that is not too sweet, 100 calories each, and made from all natural ingredients.  I'll take a dozen!

Cake Monkey Bakery
Bakers of my new favorite treat pop pies, their version of the pop tart (something I actually never ate in my life!). Also, looking forward to sampling their new Banana Cream Cakewich.

Plush Puffs Gourmet Marshmallows
Let me just say, toasty coconut and caramel swirl.

Backwards Beekeepers
"Let the bees be bees!"  Amazing group of local beekeepers, who rely on natural practices rather than pesticides and chemicals to keep their bees thriving.  C
an honey get any better?

Chicks with Knives Perishable Pickle Shop
Bacon jam.  Yeah.

Lindy & Grundy
Their new butcher shop will be opening on Fairfax in December and their use of locally produced, sustainable meat will keep me a very loyal customer.  They worked apprenticeships at Hudson Valley's Fleisher's Grass-Fed and Organic Meats and now they are here.  Here in the Fairfax District.  Hooray!

More to tell when I return.  Must eat and shop now!

Artisanal LA
October 23-24, 2010

Cooper Building
860 S. Los Angeles Street
Follow on Twitter @artisanalla

$15 at the door.
Portion of proceeds benefit a number of local charities including Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and LAUSD Edible School Garden Programs.