Saturday, July 26, 2008

then suddenly ~ it's summer........

Exquisite perfection: Squash flowers at Wednesday's Santa Monica's Farmer's Market

I haven't been at a loss for words.

Plainly, I have been spending too much time in the sun and neglecting my *flat screen* duties.

We played for about two weeks in southern California visiting family, friends and old haunts.

Beginnings were innocent enough ~

a farmer's market, raw food restaurant, the beach.......

Bill and I at one of my favorite beaches: Nicholas Canyon, a bit past Zuma......

with the munchkins enjoying the sun setting over the Pacific Coast Highway ~

It is almost an impossible task to exactly capture the light that radiates around us when the sun is setting.

Lunch at Juliano's Raw Restaurant in Santa Monica. Isn't this pretty? Lunch was quite busy there. More photos to follow on this visit too.

We ordered the raw nachos for the kids and they wouldn't go near this once it arrived. Hubs and I enjoyed it ~ though it was a bit heavy for me. I'm not used to the heavy *nut* cheeses + creams. I've never been a fan of heavy dairy in my cooking and I think this dish appealed to more of the meat n' potatoes crowd.

Don't get me wrong ~ I am a former meat n' potatoes girl.

Grew up in a deli in S.F. totally surrounded by a huge deli case stock full of roasts, humps of ham, head cheese, liverwurst, Salamis and so forth; you name it and it was there.

I am just into the lighter scene these days.....he he he.....

Will tell more later: Miley Cyrus citing. My paparazzi shot of Miley/Hannah Montana in action. At least it was *behind the scenes/backstage* type shot! I have more......this is just a tease. Oh I am good......I was at least trying to be a polite paparazzi!

Yes do tell ~ at Santa Monica Pier one day they were shooting an episode of Hannah Montana. My girls went completely nutz~zoid when they found out.

Boy, can girls really scream ~ like loud.

In N'Out Burger: an absolute sheer weakness of mine. Well what do you think happened? It was bound to happen. If you spend enough time hanging out in southern California; it will happen. Look at this thing........mine is the one on the upper left hand corner. Hey at least I asked for extra lettuce.

Thanks so much for returning, reading, viewing and salivating.

I'll be back on the roll very soon, visiting my fav blogs, chatting, blogging and all the fun stuff in no time.

Hope you've been having a *grande* summer as well.

Oh, and I thought to share some pictures of myself and those dearest to me.......including the veggies + burgers........

More pictures, words + escapades to follow very very shortly.....

All words & photographs property of © 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

the other side of life: wandering gourmand

give it up for baby arugula, sliced avos ~ not too soft please, chopped sun*kissed* olives + pickled cherry bell peppers cradled in crazy crusty baguette.

Is that mayonnaise? Absolutely not! Looks like mayonnaise. Has the scent of mayonnaise.

Even taste like mayonnaise. It's a gorgeously delicate slathering of Vegenaise. It's made with our friend grape seed oil.

Dear Fellow Bloggers ~ My apologies for not being as social n' taking time to visit + comment. It's been a whirlwind. But you have been on my mind ~ and know you are still *bookmarked* so I look forward to all your posts again.

I was searching for the thicker skinned Sopressata, but this is what I came home with. Meager findings for someone that grew up in a deli (literally!) in San Francisco, but this will suffice for just the time being.

I am readying to leave.....for some care free *sun time*

Before I do, I wanted to mention and thank a couple of my fellow bloggers for their recent mentions of Taste Memory.

My ooey gooey chewy easy no bake raw cookies made another debut at food blog Getting Fresh with Jenn. Jenn is stepping into the food blogging scene with her recipes highlighting fresh, lively and of course healthy cooking with a good touch of decadence. Thanks so much Jenn! Do check out this creative girl's blog ~

Another added surprise + *wowsie* for me as of recent:

CityMama's mention of Taste Memory during her
magazine on-line interview this month. You can read about it here. I am so flattered by the mere mention of my blog by Stefania at CityMama, whom I consider one of the leading ladies of what I call, the right way to voice in the blogosphere, as well as being in the company of the other blogs/websites she mentioned. She is a fantastic writer as I am often whisked away in smiles + *ohmygosh I know what u mean* thoughts from her docu~life type writings of daily life with the famille to her adventures about town, reflections on food and cooking. The provocateur can also be found on Momocrats with coverage on the American political life and often times served up with smart wit!

Thanks and ample congrats CityMama!

a tight wad sliced

I have been totally overwhelmed with everything that has been pouring forth lately.

It's as if I asked and asked a plenty.......

Now the universe is gushing forth like there is no tomorrow.

It's been fantastic + so brand new; all at the same time.

Will be hitting the vacation station: back home to California.....

combined my favorites: grilled eggplant + portabella mushrooms with good olive oil; doused decadently with balsamic vinegar for the caramelized effect. Then a touch of sea salt when it's still spanking hot.

Surrounded by blankets of green leaf + rustic looking red leaf lettuce.

Lettuce leaves washed + flash dried + chilled in fridge prior serving.

So you get the chilled texture of cooling lettuce and the warm blush of the caramelized vegetables.

Love grilled scallions ~ such a nail biting touch, I just love it.......

do you think I like avocados? The one on the right looks sad ~ don't you think?

I'll be doing the Orange County thing.

Hit the beaches with the munchkins.

Santa Monica, Gritty L.A.+ just love Echo Park ~ yes I do, Topanga Canyon, Malibu and yes.....

The Valley ~

My old haunts @ Encino then off to Santa Barbara.

Can't wait to post about it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Heady thoughts: comfort me with milk n' cherries

remember the dessert Cherries Jubilee? I loved the name Cherries Jubilee more than the dessert, which was always something from canned overtly syrupy sweet cherries.

Cherries Jubilee reminds me of summertime growing up in California. When I was a little older we moved from the Mission District to the 'burbs, a neighborhood that had waterfront canals that was great to for sail boating. I grew up sailing those tiny little sunfish sailboats practically everyday after school. We lived very close to the San Francisco Bay and I recall the winds would strike up often around two o'clock in the afternoon and sometimes even sooner. Now that I think about it, my first bikini had cherries all over.......

self~portrait: me at the beach last week @surf camp with the munchkins.

We lived in northeast Ohio several years ago for about 5 years. The hardest part for me was not being near the ocean.

It was actually ~ bizarrely devastating. I was at such a loss, as we were quite near farm country and the Amish heartland. Which in itself is quite lovely, but I was longing to return to submerge myself in saltwater.

I remember when we lived there I ran into someone that had never seen an Asian person before, and they really thought I was Mexican. He started speaking to me in Spanish, and left annoyed because I didn't respond back in Spanish. Well I was flattered about the Latina link since I lived in the 'hood (à la Mission!).

A few times we'd run into strangers that asked if my husband (who's a white guy) and I met during the war........the war? The elderly stranger mentioned something about the Cold War era and walked away. The Cold War? Was I born yet? Was he talkin' like McCarthy and like REDS, like Warren Beatty + Annette that was Diane Keaton, right?

Aka as if I were on mail order or perhaps a war bride.

sea foam ~ take me away......

We're prepping to leave for vacation to southern California soon. We have family still out in SoCal and the City (San Francisco Bay Area). We have been there often with the munchkins. They're a bit older now and very excited about their new sense of matured reality and looking forward to visiting my homeland.

I told them out the beaches in SoCal and we intend to hit a handful of my favorites. I want them to see the sun set over the ocean. We'll be renting out surfboards so they can experience the Pacific Coast waves vs. the Atlantic.

I'll take them to my favorite beaches in Malibu; like Zuma and Nicholas Canyon to watch the well accomplished surfers strut their stuff in between jagged rocks and the gritty ocean bottom.

May show them some of my old haunts when I was a young thing in my twenties trying to break into showbiz. I mentioned this to a friend of mine and she said (btw, she's a mother too), "So you're going to take your kids to show them where you used to get drunk and party?"

Oh the 19eighties.

Also, my kids want me to coach them to be actors and musicians.

They WANT to go to Hollywood and become stars.

I said no.

Not until your 50.

freshly frothed almond milk. Yes almond milk! I have never been a dairy milk drinker, but with this new thing I've been on I noticed almond milk comes in handy, for guess what......making ice cream.

So far I have made strawberry ice cream, vanilla ice cream, even chocolate pudding and chocolate torte with almond milk. It's also minus the milk, minus anything from a cow really. Thus ample palette time for indulgence without adding to the waistline.

Easy Almond Milk
©2008 recipe methodry + words Ingar Brunnett,

2 cups of raw almonds, soaked in filtered water overnight in the fridge
4 to 6 cups of filtered water

Rinse and drain the soaked almonds.

Put almonds in blender with filtered water.

Just *whhhrrrrr* away in the blender. Almonds will become eensy teeny weeny granules and the water will become milky white n' frothy.

Blend away about 1 to 3 minutes depending on your blender until totally milky like.

I use a hand held sifter with a fine mesh screen to drain the milk through into another container like a glass pitcher. Do a little at a time as the almond grounds will gather into the basket of the mesh screen. With clean hands, I press the milk through the grounds. Save the almond grounds in another container to make almond pate with fresh basil, parsley, sorrel + sun kissed olives (upcoming post!).

Repeat milking method.

Cover and store milk + almond grounds in refrigerator.

Can hang well via fridge for about three days.

By the way, Happy 4th everyone. There's supposed to be a little bit of red, white and blue in this post.

The pict of ocean water was supposed to be blue.......but the ocean water in NE Florida is not it came out looking grey.

Imagine blue.