Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Treatment

Vintage Photo Friday
King & Queen of the 1926 L.A. Baby Show photo from L.A. Public Library Archives

I work with a lady here at HBO who is from Scotland. Terri is quite enamored of all things ROYAL, including today's nuptials of William and Kate. We were invited to a Royal Breakfast this morning in her office. Terri went ALL out and decorated beautifully; the scones, crumpets, biscuits, fruit and tea were scrumptious. Of course, many of us wore our tiaras. It was quite a festive morning. Did you do anything to commemorate the new royal couple?

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Thursday, April 28, 2011


2011 Potholder Swap - Received!

I received my five potholders for the 2011 Potholder Swap on Ravelry last night! Woo Hoo! They are all so gorgeous and the patterns aren't even close to what I've crocheted before....totally different and unique!!! I love each of them so much that I may just have to display them and not actually USE them in the kitchen!
I crocheted the Daisy Potholder five times in different colors. I photographed my potholders while we were in the high desert, Joshua Tree last month. My five went to good homes.
This was a very satisfying swap. All of the crocheters posted their progress in our Ravelry Group, along with photos. The anticipation of receiving any of these potholders during the last few months was great. I know it must seem crazy, but I just could not get enough photos of gorgeous potholders. They are all so colorful and beautifully crocheted. If you want a lift, check out our flickr group!

by Heather (wickedphysics)
by Amy (lizardman)by May (kdcatz)by Annie (railyuh)by Logan (loganrockefeller)

Thanks to the organizers of the 2011 Potholder Swap, Maryse, Stacie, Adrian, and Cheryl! It was a total blast!

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring Flowers


There are so many beautiful flowers blooming at our house. Thank you, winter rains! It's a joy to walk outside and see the bounty.

California Poppies & some drought resistant spiky plant

We have enough roses in our side yard to place bouquets throughout the house and even on my desk at the office!

Do you have flowers growing in your yard? What kind?

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Glorious Easter

Once again, we were invited to the annual "Orphans Easter" celebration at Carol's and Thane's home. This is an event for their friends that have no family ties on this holiday. Larry's immediate family is either gone or does not live in L.A. My family does not celebrate Easter. We're so thankful to Carol and Thane for their's always a lovely party and this past Sunday was no exception.
We were lucky that the weather was sunny during the day. There had been a threat of rain. Carol's and Thane's front and back yards were festooned with spring flowers. Everything was perfect...the hosts, the guests, the food and drink and the friendship.

You can see a slide show of the festivities below:

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Take My Picture

On Friday night, photographer Gary Leonard celebrated his birthday at his gallery Downtown by having a giant sale of all of his photos! It was quite a scene! We saw so many people that we knew! Gary's photos appeared for years in CityBeat, the L.A. Weekly, Downtown News and more. He covered the punk rock scene in L.A. during the 80's and has been taking photos of our fair City for most of his life!

Gary Leonard (left) with his fans

My husband, Larry and Gary actually went to the same high school at almost the same time and kinda' knew each other back then. In later years, they shared stories and photos from the past and found each other in their old pictures quite often! I just love hangin' around L.A. photo geeks!
I took LOTS of photos of people buying photos! Happy Birthday, Gary!

Gary's son, David Leonard
Future Studio's Amy Inouye

Artist, Stuart Rapeport

I even ran into an old friend from my ISOMATA days, Paul Young, who now imports and distributes fine wines from his Downtown L.A. office. Very small world!
Paul Young, Ellen B.I shot this cover photo for Gary's 1999 book

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Bonnet

1965 Easter Bonnet Preparation, No. Hollywood, 1965, L.A. Public Library Archives

We celebrate EVERYTHING at our house, usually in the form of feasting! This Sunday we're invited to our annual Easter celebration egg-stravaganza at the home of dear friends. I think this celebration has been going on for at least 20 years or more! We're happy to be a part of it. I'll be bringing my curried deviled eggs and also the spring-like Hint O' Mint cake for the festivities!
I'm not sure if I'll wear an Easter bonnet on Sunday or just a sun hat. Whichever, I'll be sure to decorate it with a few crocheted flowers.

Vintage Flowered Hat
Perhaps my King of Kings will wear his Mardi Gras Crown for the festivities! Happy Easter everyone!

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Following a Recipe

I'm not a big fan of following recipes. I've been cooking for SO MANY YEARS, that, often I just glance at the recipe, check on the ingredients and then cook my modified version, relying on my vast experience. Well, lately all of my Sometimes Sunday Crochet Ladies have been RAVING about Dori Greenspan's "Around My French Table" cookbook. OMG! The girls kept describing dish after dish that just sounded A-MAZING!!!
I'm actually more a fan of Peg Bracken's "I Hate to Cookbook." I come from the "dump and shove-it" school of cooking....dump it in the pan, shove it in the oven. There was a time when I was part of a gourmet cooking club where we'd trade off giving extravagant dinner parties using complicated recipes. I learned quite a bit during this period of my cooking life, reading and experimenting with the popular recipes of the day. Once I married Mr. Skinny-Man Larry who often FORGETS TO EAT, I found that I was wasting time cooking fancy-schmancy meals when Larry was just as happy with a bowl of cereal. I concentrated my need to create on other areas (yarny projects).
Lately, our repertoire of evening meals was getting monotonous. How many more quickie Trader Joe's meals could I serve? I do love T.J.'s, but they do tend to use the same spices in many of the prepared food products.
I succumbed. I bought this humongous Dori Greenspan recipe book that is the size of a TV tray and started reading through it. Yes, many of the recipes sounded great. I must say, I do need to replenish my spice rack with updated spices and more interesting shakes other than my go-to Lawry's seasoned salt!
I chose a recipe to cook this past Sunday. This is a Cornish Game Hen recipe, but naturally I had to make at least ONE substitution! I had chicken thighs on hand, so that's what I used. The recipe is called Olive-Olive Cornish Hens, using olive tapenade as the flavoring. (thank you, Trader Joe's for the tapenade).

There's a very long explanation about the hens...bla, bla, bla. After all of that, the recipe was really easy. According to the instructions, you place the tapenade UNDER the skin of the bird and then roast the seasoned poultry.

place tapenade between skin and flesh of bird

It turned out beautifully and was quite tasty. I served it with freshly steamed asparagus and some leftover potato kugel from Passover. On to the next cooking adventure!

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Flavors of Belize

Last week Larry and I ventured out to a new-ish restaurant on La Brea, Mid-City called Flavors of Belize. There was a write-up in the L.A. Times a few weeks ago and it sounded promising.
I've driven by the The Relax Inn (fka The Algiers Motel) on this southern strip of La Brea, just north of San Vicente for years and years. Most recently there was a Creole style restaurant here. The motel and attached restaurant looks like it was built in the late 1950's or early 1960's. Judging from the set-up inside the restaurant, I'm betting that this was a cocktail lounge for the original motel.
After watching people in the parking lot of the motel during dinner, I'd also venture to say that this is more of a residence motel than one for tourists.

When we sat down at the table, the waitress brought us home-fried flour tortilla chips with a delicious red bean dip and some hot sauce. They cook lots of the dishes here with coconut milk, giving everything a very creamy texture. We ordered drinks and perused the menu. One of the specials that night was Pigtails w/split peas and rice. That's what Larry ordered. I ordered the ducunu, a sweet corn cake/log type of dish with roasted chicken. Both dishes were flavorful, but there wasn't a green vegetable in sight! I know that Belize is in the Caribbean and quite tropical. Do they NOT eat vegies there? Hmm?

Pigtails with Split Peas and Rice
Chicken and Ducunu

A couple near us ordered the Conch soup and a whole broiled white fish...they both looked amazing! We're definitely going back to check out the tamales and other delicacies.

Flavors of Belize - 1271 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 931-4840. Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. No alcohol, credit cards accepted, lot and street parking.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Passover 2011

Our Family Passover Seder was wonderful! Recently, my cousin, Carolyn and her husband John ordered new living room furniture for their home in Valencia. WELL, the furniture hadn't arrived yet, so we had plenty of space in their "great" room for 3 tables! There were 26 in attendance for the Seder.

Gregg, Amelie, Ben, Dani w/ Doug in the background

Jackie filmed portions of the Seder for our cousins in NorCal

I'd recently purchased Craig Buck's "Ina Gada Hagaddah" and integrated that into our family Hagaddah, along with some new song parodies. It was a lively, instructional and fun Seder. Dinner was divine. Carolyn made her Middle-Eastern style Charosis...yum! The Gefilte fish from the Valley Glatt Kosher Market was faboo. Cousin Marilyn made the BEST Matzah Ball Soup EVER. Carolyn made delicious brisket this year instead of chicken. I supplied the fresh Fruit Compote and the Tater-Tot Potato Kugel, Marilyn made Spinach/Corn Souffle. We've produced this dinner for so many years now, that we've really got everything down to a perfect ballet!

Brisket, Fruit, Kugel, Spinach

Cousins, Brooke and Megan
Hal, Mae and Roz
Aunt Mae brought the macaroons and other desserts. Roz brought all of the plates, bowls and other table accessories.

Mae, Carolyn and Ellen
Mira and GreggMarilyn

The best part was visiting after the festivities with all of my cousins. Happy Passover, everyone!

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery