Thursday, May 31, 2007


Oh Honey (!) Chicken

And so there I was, the only girl at Nicole Ritchie's Memorial Day BBQ who weighed more than 100 pounds.

Happily, with this chicken in tow, I was able to entice the other waifs to put on some poundage and brought a little joy to their rice-cake-munching lives.

Sweet, sticky, juicy, delicious. If you don't want to gain an ounce, avoid this. If you are all about the food...dive on in.


1 whole chicken, cut up
1 cup chicken stock
2 small oranges, zest and juice
2 limes, zest and juice
1 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons ginger, grated
1 small chile, minced
Sesame seeds and green onion for garnish

Marinate the chicken in the rest of the ingredients for at least three hours.

Preheat your oven to 350F. Add all and bake, covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake for 15 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

If the sauce has not turned to a thick glaze, pour into a non-stick pan on the stove top and reduce until it is. Pour over chicken and serve with rice.


Soy sauce came into widespread use in western Japan (Kamigata) in the early seventeenth century. -

In 1985 Lionel Ritchie starred in a commerical for Pepsi

(I know this isn't a gossip blog, but I do have to say I think Nicole is a peach.)

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Pasta:Salad with White Beans and Roasted Peppers

Now lookie here. As a girl who cares about her figure, I can assure you, I completely get it with the whole low-carb thing. I mean, cutting out those big-bad empty calories makes total sense. And this time of year, well, let’s just say, a few less slices of white bread would do us all a bit of good.

But just because something is logical my sweet juicy peaches, doesn’t mean the whole world is on board…

So there has to be compromise. A middle ground. A place where everyone can meet, eat and rejoice.

And this wiz-bang Pasta:Salad is the answer, lemme tell ya.

I just dashed off a bowl of seasonal, highly flavorful, outrageously fantastic veg and whatnot and then divided it between a bowl of chilled fusilli for those around me who eat carbs and tossed the rest in another bowl of perky-peppery greens (Arugula actually.) for the kids avoiding noodles and whatnot.

It’s a medley of flavors that shout summertime, with out without those pesky carbs. And owning to my obsession with all things spicy and citrus, it has zip. The beans add a nice creaminess to balance the heat of the chile flakes and chile oil and the cooling, crunchy fennel adds that something special to make it a sassy delight.

So try this my dears, and enjoy!

1 small bulb fennel, sliced medium thick
10 picholine olives, pitted and rough chopped
1 large orange bell pepper, roasted, peeled, deseeded and sliced
½ cup white beans, rinsed (this is approx. I used ¾ of a standard can)
Cooked pasta
Zest and juice of one small orange
2 T. olive oil
1 teaspoon chile oil (optional)
1 pinch (to taste) chile flakes

In a medium sauce-pan, heat the zest, juice, oils and chile flakes over a medium flame until just simmering.

Add the fennel, olives, pepper and beans and toss to coat. Remove from the heat and add the pasta or let cool and add to the salad greens. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Arugula, which it today classified as an herb, was commonly featured in ancient meals. The Romans used the leaves in salads and made aromatic oils from the seeds. Arugula seed has been a frequent ingredient in aphrodiasiac potions since the first century.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007


Macerated Strawberries

Oh you sweet people, how I love you so. You make me all grin-ee. (That’s right, grin-ee.) Even when I am deep in the fog of a head-cold (pout, pout and double pout) I get comments and emails and the sheer thrill of the outpouring of cyber-lovin’.

Thank you all so much. That lil’ quiz below and all your answers, made my day. And for your reading pleasure, I will be including my very own answers soon.

But today, alas, all I can focus on is ingesting mass quantities of vitamin-C in hopes that I will somehow emerge from this tunnel of ick into the bright sunshine of health.

And knowing me (as I feel you do! I do!), no cure is complete without a tiny dose of pizzazz, right? Which leads me to this simple recipe for macerated strawberries. As simple to throw together as can be, it is sweet glory. Inspired eating and just plain delish. Try some today, and see.

2 pints strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 T. white sugar
3 T. orange liquor
A tiny pinch of salt
An even tinier pinch of black pepper
Mint and whipped crème fraiche for garnish

Combine the berries, sugar and booze. Let sit for 15 minutes, minimum. Toss once or twice, then add the salt and pepper, and serve with whipped crème fraiche.

Serves four to six


Macerate: To soak foods, usually fruit, in liquid so they absorb the liquid's flavor. The macerating liquid is usually alcohol, liqueur, wine, brandy or sugar syrup. Macerate is also frequently applied to fruits sprinkled with sugar, which intensifies natural flavor of the fruit by drawing out its juices.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a lawsuit against Burger King, the only leading restaurant chain that had not yet committed to eliminating trans fats from its menu. The world's No. 2 hamburger chain is currently testing a variety of more healthful oils in hundreds of restaurants in five U.S. markets, Silversmith said. Restaurants are not legally required to disclose the amount of trans fat in their foods, but center attorney Stephen Gardner said the risks associated with eating trans fats made the products unsafe. - From Reuters

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Tell Me A Little Something About Yourself


Oh that sassy peach-of-a- woman Sarah, of The Delicious Life, she is always inspiring me (and yet, also always turning down my tantalizing luncheon entreaties…) while flaunting her fabulousness. For instance, just this past week she dared to go where I have not. To that one place that almost seems forbidden to a nice web-logging girl like me. Yes kiddies, she went ahead and asked her readers to tell her…about themselves! Gasp! The scandal!

Well, truth be told, I am constantly amazed that someone in Singapore gives a hoot what it is I am doing and why, but believe me whey I say, I’m all for it. I mean, it’s weird enough that my darling Ms. McGee and her paramour PK The-Writer-We-All-Love (and when I say “we,” I’m including you too. You love him. Trust me. You do.) read this silly frivoliity on a regular basis; but perfect, (perfectly darling!) virtual strangers? Well now, that’s just…flattering actually. Very, very flattering. Blush worthy indeed. And a hearty thank you to you all. All six of you. Eight? Eighty-eight?

Well, I guess we shall see, since I too am going to bravely and brazenly (because my dears, I am a brazen woman) lure you to come in a little closer and whisper sweet nothings into my ear. Because I want to know…everything. But, let's just start with the basics, shall we? So please, take a second to tell me a wee little bit bout your fine self. I wants to know…besides, you know so much about me, it’s only fair. So do tell…

1. Where do you reside?
2. What on earth do you DO?
3. How did you find your way here?
4. Any other blogs you recommend?
5. Only one dessert is on your plate for the rest of time...what's it gonna be?
6. Food wise: New York, Vancouver, Paris, San Francisco, Melbourne, Buenos Aires, Singapore or Calcutta?
7. We are having lunch...what's on the menu?
8. It's hot out, are your windows open or is the AC on?
9. Giada DeLaurentiis...talented (and beautiful) or Hollywood nepotism in action?
10. The waitress wants to know: Do you want the fries, salad or fresh fruit with that?

Thank you all, in advance, for indulging me. I really can't wait to hear your answers! Should be good fun...

Air kisses,


Red Lobster Restaurant posted weaker June sales than a year ago. The Darden Restaurants chain had been in the midst of an impressive two-year turnaround, but same-restaurant sales dipped about 5 percent in June, Darden said Monday. Darden's other flagship chain, Olive Garden, fared better, reporting a 3 percent to 4 percent increase. The Orlando, Florida-based company does not report monthly same-restaurant sales for Smokey Bones, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52. – The Orlando Sentinel

Alan R. Hirsch, MD, FACP, neurological director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, conducted two studies that measured men and women's reaction to different smells. The results: Men appeared to be turned on most by a combination of smelling lavender and pumpkin pie, and women by Good and Plenty candy and cucumber.

GOOD & PLENTY candy was first produced by the Quaker City Confectionery Company in Philadelphia in 1893 and is the oldest branded candy in the United States. –

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


In N' Out Burger versus My Father's Office


Why I love The Ombudsman* in 100 words or less...

Well, I think someone ranked (local beer and wine bar) Father’s Office as having, like, the best burger in the country or something...

Pfft. I’ve had better.

(Mocking incredulousness) Where?

In N’ Out.

That's my boy.


* As a friend.

Photo from the In N’ Out website.

I got a few emails about this post, so I thought I should explain the joke (groan)...In N' Out is a local chain that sells really tasty burgers. (I didn't call them fast food because I once read the average wait time for an order is 19 minutes, but other than that, they do qualify as a fast food chain.) They are an LA institution and people LOVE them. My boy The Ombudsman included.


Monday, May 07, 2007


Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

The fight. The Kentucky Derby. Cinco de Mayo. The Palisades Symphony Spring Concert. It was a big weekend. Bigger than big! Chock-full-o-fun! Over the top in the best possible way.

The weather? Phenomenal. The mood? Relaxed happiness. My place in the world? Secure.

Sigh. Grin. Sigh.

And now my sweets, it is Monday. And frankly, my brain is total and complete mush.

I feel like a Hollywood starlet after a bender.

I mean really.

I burnt myself OUT. And here I thought the weekend was for recovery.

Bah, I say. Bah. It is for FUN!

So as the non-stop weekend threatened to fade into the past, I had to stop and drink it all in. I enticed my boy, the Ombudsman over for a bit of chill time, replete with style, substance and sustenance, in the form of grilled steak with chimichurri sauce. (and a good old fashioned run-on sentence. Cuz who doesn't love that! Faboo!) Because we all know, sitting out by the grill in the twilight, with a beer in hand, is the best of life's little offerings.

And then there is chimichurri. Icing on the cake of happiness.

Argentina’s beloved fresh herb condiment. Simple, vibrant, delicious, versatile. Sexy good stuff.

Grill up a steak and make a fat batch to drizzle over. Lap it up my dears, it is unmitigated perfection. It might not bring your brain back from a fuzzy weekend, but it sure makes for a happy mouth.

4, 8-ounce skirt steaks
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

Chimichurri ingredients
1 cup flat leaf parsley stems removed
1 cup fresh cilantro, stems removed
3 T. fresh oregano, stems removed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Black pepper

Marinate the steak in a shallow dish with the three minced garlic cloves, olive oil, salt and pepper for at least 30 minutes.

For chimichurri, puree the parsley, cilantro, oregano, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, cumin and salt in a blender. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as needed.

Heat your grill (or grill pan) and cook the steak at least six minutes, or until done to your liking. (I went for three minutes per side to medium rare.) Remove from the grill. Let rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve.


Orlando-based Darden Restaurants will shut down more than 50 of its Smokey Bones Barbeque & Grill locations and will sell the remaining 73. The action ends Darden's plans to build the first national casual-dining barbecue chain and affects 4,000 workers. The company, owner of Red Lobster and Olive Garden, said it had decided to jettison Smokey Bones based on an accelerated decline in sales and drop in customers. – AP

Argentina leads the world in beef consumption, with the annual average per person consumption at just over 143 pounds (65KG). Consumption in the US? 94.6 pounds (43.8 KG) annually, Australia and Brazil tie at 82.5 lbs. (37.5 KG) Annual average in the Ukraine? 20 lbs. (9.5KG)

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Friday, May 04, 2007


Drink of the Week: Mango-Colada

For the first time in however many years Cinco de Mayo (a “holiday” commemorating a few thousand Mexican soldiers who defeated many, many more French soldiers in a battle in Pueblo Mexico, in 1862) falls on a Saturday.

And me? What will I be doing? Getting my drink on? Bathing in guacamole and reveling to the point of madness? Oh no. I will be working. As a cookware demo girl.

I know! Missing Cinco de Mayo is tragic right???

I was offered the gig by a dear friend who normally does it, and without looking at the date, I said "Sign me up!" (Personally, I think she scammed by by saying May 5th, just to throw me. Crafty lady.)

I mean, I love cooking for an audience, and this seemed like a wholesome good time. Stir up some vittles, smile, chat up the product, serve the vittles, then bail. Easy peasy and my idea of an afternoon well spent.

Then again, I barely work during the week, so why did I offer up my services on a Saturday? And not just any Saturday, the Saturday that coincides with the best holiday of them all...Cinco de Mayo?

Well, between you, me and the entire blog-o-sphere, the pay wasn't a motivator.

Oh no. It was my friends casual mention of free cookware. Yup. I could care less about their cash. I just got all misty thinking about that after 3 hours of cheerful cooking and shilling, I would be taking home a free 3.75 quart pan. Gratis. Free cookware!


But that is absurd! I must own 25 pans if I own one. Nice ones. Including an entire set by the manufacturer in question! Aye-yi-yi. What a goof I am.

Oh well, what's done is done. And besides, I can over-indulge on tequila any time, I don't need a pseudo-holiday to rejoice in that which is Cuervo, right? Right.

So if you are in the Beverly Hills area this weekend and want to come say hi, get a taste of some delightful Braised Chicken with Lemon and Olives...and generally poke fun at me...well, I bet you can figure out where I will be. It's going to be a rockin’ good time.

First thing Sunday though? I'm drinking this...

1 oz. rum
1 oz. vodka
1 scoop mango sorbet
2 oz. coconut milk
Lime flavored sparkling water
Lime for garnish

Combine the rum, vodka and coconut milk, stir a bit. Top with sparkling water, leaving room for a scoop of mango sorbet. Garnish with lime segments.

Enjoy responsibly.


More than 80% of the rum consumed in the U.S. comes from Puerto Rico.

Established in 1880 by Eng. Pedro F. Fernandez in the "Hacienda Santa Ana" at Bayamon, Puerto Rico. For over 100 years, the Fernadez family has manufactured "Ron del Barrilito" at the place of origin, using the same name, formula and aging process. This special rum is a blend of rums aged, each undisturbed, from 6 to 10 years in charred oak barrels. -

Want a coupon to save money on your next Arrowhead water purchase? Click here.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Lavender Creme Brulee

So lil’ ol me, I’ve never spent springtime in Provence. I’ve been there in the somber, quiet, winter, and being a fan of sizzling heat, I have of course been there at the height of summer. You know, when the thermometer hits “melt.” Ahhh. I love it. Sublime.

But springtime? The prime time? The fabled time in a magical place? Not so much.

(Wow, I think I’m jonesing a vacation.)

But hey, that is why I cook. I can make something like this ethereal delight and know what it is like to sit staring out at a field of purple blossoms, their fragrance carrying me away.

And who doesn't love a field of flowers. Well, other than people with allergies I suppose. Those people should opt out. Or make creme brulee. Then again, you should too. (Make creme brulee I mean, not opt out of enjoying a field of flowers...oh dear, am I still typing?)

Crème Brulée is a lot easier to make than you might think. Besides having to let it chill, there isn’t a whole lot to it.

Simmer, stir and strain. Boom, you’re in.

And the brulée know, making that shattering sugar, well, that's just good fun.

Sugar, burned to a golden brown, on top of chilly-smooth floral-infused custardy cream. That is the bit that makes it all worth it. You can use a broiler, or a blow-torch. (I opt for the latter) Either which way, it is essential to the dish. Without doing that, its just crème. Delicious, but not quite...springtime in Provence.

So try this my peaches, and enjoy!

4 ½ cups heavy cream
3 Tbsp dried lavender flower, or 4 tablespoons fresh
6 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
Additonal sugar to top

Heat your oven to 300F.

In a large saucepan, combine the cream and lavender and bring to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat and let the lavender infuse with the cream for 5 minutes.

Whisk the egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar until light and creamy. Strain the lavender buds from the cream. Slowly pour the cream into the egg and sugar mixture, blending well.

Divide the cream between 6 ramekins. Put into a pan and carefully fill the pan with warm water, until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake custards until set around the edges, but still loose in the center, about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and leave in the water bath until cooled. Remove the ramekins and chill for at least 1 hour, or up to 2 days.

To serve, sprinkle one teaspoon of sugar over each custard. Melt the sugar with a blow-torch or place under broiler. It's a good idea to re-chill custards for a few minutes before serving.


The Rock Goddess and I ate dinner at Pizzaria Mozza last night. Oh my. It certainly does live up to the hype. I just have one complaint. If it’s a pizzeria, why in the heck don’t they deliver??? :-)

May 2, 2007 is
$0.31 scoop night at Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Stores. Head on down, it’s for a good cause.

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