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Archive for February, 2013

The Tidings publishes two of Douglas’ photos

February 28th, 2013 Comments off

The Tidings, Southern California’s Catholic Weekly, published 2 of my photos documenting the preparations for the musical at my son’s school, Providence High in Burbank.



Providence HS selects Tony award-winning musical satire for spring performance

The satirical musical comedy, “Urinetown,” opens mid-March for two weekends at Providence High School in Burbank. The musical won three Tony Awards in 2002 for Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score and Best Direction of a Musical and ran for three years on Broadway.

The plot revolves around a major corporation in charge of water conservation that bans private toilets so that people have to pay to use public facilities, hurting poor people the most and causing a “Les Miserables” style revolt with an unpredictable ending. It addresses private greed and public service, poking fun at capitalism, politics and bureaucracy along the way.

“We thought these were good topics to tear apart with the drama students in an educational setting, especially in an election year, said Dominic Catrambone, who partners with Jeremy Jackson at Discovery Onstage, the private company hired to run the Providence drama department a few years ago. Catrambone noted that the characters in the show make fun of the title as much as the audience will.

The performances are scheduled March 15, 16, 22, 23 at 7 p.m., plus 2 p.m. matinee shows on March 16 and 23. Information: (818) 846-8141.

Categories: Photos, Photos-Photography Tags:

Video: #KitchenParty Live: Austin Food Scene with Addie Broyles, Food Editor, Austin-American Statesman – Recorded Version

February 28th, 2013 Comments off

addie broyles

Who’s going to SXSW? Or perhaps you’re headed to Austin for some BBQ!  If so, you don’t want to miss our next episode of KitchenParty.

This week we’ll be chatting with one of our favorite Austin food writers Addie Broyles, Food Editor of the Austin-American Statesman and member of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance.



Addie will be joining us live as we chat about where to eat during SXSW, the new cookbook the Alliance has published and what it’s like writing for the Austin-American Statesman. We may also pull out some old photos of the KitchenParty team at the last SXSW event if you tweet us a request… let’s just say it involved two prestigious food editors, several tiny cowboy hands and a giant steer involved.

Join us live this thursday! Watch the show here or go RSVP on ourgoogle+ account or youtube pages.

Follow Addie on twitter: @broylesa

Visit Addie’s website:
Pre-order your copy of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance Cookbook

HOW TO WATCH THE SHOW: At 8pm Eastern / 5 pm Pacific on Thursday, February 28th,  join us here and click on the video that will be added to this page about 20 minutes before the show starts. Follow the conversation on twitter by using #kitchenparty or head over page.

NEVER MISS A SHOW: If you don’t want to miss an episode, subscribe to our google+ account or youtube pages.


Books on Hold: Nigellissima: Easy Italian-Inspired Recipes by Nigella Lawson

February 27th, 2013 Comments off

Books on Hold is a blog series dedicated to books I have seen in passing and requested from my local library. See more in the series at the end of this blog post. — Douglas

Nigellissima: Easy Italian-Inspired Recipes by Nigella Lawson


“Nigellissima, like the Italian cooking from which it takes its inspiration, is a celebration of food that is fresh, delicious, and unpretentious. Here Nigella Lawson serves up 120 straightforward and mouthwatering recipes that are quick and easy yet elevate weeknight meals into no-fuss feasts. 

“It was when I was sixteen or seventeen that I decided to be Italian. Not that it was a conscious decision . . . No: I simply felt drawn to Italy,” writes Nigella. And so it was that before she was a Food Network star and bestselling cookbook author, Nigella found her way to Florence, where she learned to cook like an Italian. Indeed, Italian cooking is trademark Nigella: light on touch but robust with flavor.

With beautiful color photographs to inspire, Nigellissima has all the hallmarks of traditional Italian fare in its faithfulness to the freshest ingredients and simplest methods. From pasta and meat to fish, vegetables, and, of course, dolci, this cook’s tour has something for every mood, season, and occasion: Curly-Edged Pasta with Lamb Ragu is the perfect salve for a winter’s night, while tangy and light Spaghettini with Lemon and Garlic Breadcrumbs takes just minutes to prepare. Meatzza, the favorite at Nigella’s table, is a meatball mixture pressed into a pan and finished with traditional Margherita ingredients—or whatever you may have on hand. And the versatile Baby Eggplant with Oregano and Red Onion works beautifully as a starter or side or as dinner sprinkled with ricotta salata or crumbled feta. Here, too, are Green Beans with Pistachio Pesto, Roast Butternut with Sage and Pine Nuts, and fluffy Mascarpone Mash, Nigella’s twist on mashed potatoes. Never an afterthought, Nigella’s low-maintenance “sweet things” include Instant Chocolate-Orange Mousse; light, doughnut-like Sambuca Kisses; and One-Step No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream, to name just a few.”

Previously in Books on Hold:

Categories: Books, Cooking, Food Tags:

Recipes in Rotation: Black Bean Soup

February 26th, 2013 Comments off

Rnr logoRecipes in Rotation is a series that allows me to highlight recipes that have made their way into “the book.” This book is the binder that contains recipes we make on a regular basis — at least monthly and in some cases, every two weeks. I keep them in this special binder for quick and easy access without sorting through a bunch of other recipes to speed things up when I need to get dinner on the table.

Today’s recipe is a Black Bean Soup

2013 02 26 18 33 46

It is no surprise that we are soup fans here in the Welch household. Even in the heat of Summer we can be found over a bowl of hot soup, but Winter is when they really shine, of course. This soup is a great one for cold Winter nights as it is “stick to the ribs” hearty with black beans, smoked sausage, rice and a spicy stock.


Check out How to Make Black Bean Soup by Douglas Welch on Snapguide.

Black Bean Soup

(See this recipe on


1 large white onion
3-4 cloves garlic
Leftover broccoli or cauliflower stalks (optional) 
Olive Oil
2-3 quarts jam, chicken or vegetable stock
4-6 cans black beans
2 cups diced ham or smoked sausage
1 cup white rice
2-3 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp creole seasoning mix like Zatarains
Pinch cayenne pepper
Pink red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp black pepper 


Peel onion and garlic. Roughly chop broccoli or cauliflower stalks. Add to food chopper. Chop to a fairly fine chop, as we will not be blending this later. Add 2-3 Tbsps olive oil to heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and sauté until soft and translucent. Once vegetables are soft, add stock and bring to low boil. Add rice and brand (including liquid) and reduce to simmer. Add spices. Add meat, if using. Adjust heat to your own taste. Simmer until rice is done and soup has come together into thick balance of stock, beans, rice and meat.

Serve soup hot with a topping of sharp cheddar cheese or sour cream and chopped green onions. 

12 servings.

More Soup recipes:


Previously in Recipes in Rotation:

Categories: Cooking, Food, Recipe, Recipes in Rotation Tags:

Books on Hold: Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future

February 26th, 2013 Comments off

Books on Hold is a blog series dedicated to books I have seen in passing and requested from my local library. See more in the series at the end of this blog post. — Douglas

Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future


“In a world where you can no longer plan or predict your way to success, how can you achieve your most important goals? It’s a daunting question. But in today’s environment, where change is the only constant, it’s a question everyone must answer. This is true whether you are an innovator or an entrepreneur, a manager or a newly minted graduate.

The first step, say the authors of this book, is this: “Just start.” In other words, take action now and learn as you go.

Written by a trio of seasoned business leaders, Just Start combines fascinating research with proven practices to deliver a reliable method for helping you advance toward your goals—despite the uncertainty that is all too common today. Babson College President Leonard Schlesinger, organizational learning expert Charles Kiefer, and veteran journalist Paul B. Brown share their own deep and varied experiences and draw from a source where striving amid constant uncertainty actually works: the world of serial entrepreneurship. In this world, people don’t just think differently—they act differently, as well.”

Previously in Books on Hold:

Categories: Books Tags:

Places LA: Trebek Open Space and Briar Summit Open Space Preserve, Santa Monica Mountains

February 26th, 2013 Comments off

Last Saturday, while the boy was rehearsing for his school play, Rosanne and I took to the mountains, but we never really left the city. I have been poking around in Google Maps for a while now, looking through the Santa Monica Mountains for small pieces of green that donate public lands. Recently I located two such places, Trebek Open Space, just above Hollywood and just to the west of the much more popular and busy Runyon Canyon — and Briar Summit Open Space Preserve, closer to the Valley side of the mountains above Universal City.

A few photos from our walk

Rincinus communis (Castor Bean Plant)Downtown LA from Trebek Open Space 

Trebek Open Space is accessible from Nicholas Canyon Road and the up and back route we took was about 1.3 miles in length. You can extend the hike by coming up from Hollywood and/or using streets to create a round-trip route. The trails are decomposed granite covered, yet well maintained fire roads. Briar Summit Open Space Preserve is LA DWP property and also the home to many radio towers on the summit. It is a nice .75 round trip to the top of the mountain and back on a paved access road.

Both locations are quite quiet for being in the middle of the city and both offer excellent views of the surrounding city, too. From Trebek you can see to Downtown LA and beyond and all the way to the ocean in Santa Monica. There were much fewer people at Trebek than the adjacent Runyon Canyon. Where we passed maybe 10 people during our walk the ridge line of Runyon Canyon, visible from the trail, was covered with people.

Below is a slide show from Flickr with shots of the scenery, birds and native plant life.

Click to see all the photos in high resolution on Flickr

View Larger Map

View Larger Map

Cookbook: The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making by Alan Chernila

February 25th, 2013 Comments off

The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making by Alan Chernila

I stumbled upon a mention of this The Kitchn and knew I had to take a look. Luckily my local library had it available as an electronic book.

I have been making my own homemade pantry items, in a small way, for years. Whenever I could rid myself of cream of chicken soup, taco seasoning mix and more, I have done so. That said, moving up to larger and more complicated items like cheese, cereals and others has been a slow process. I have seen other recipes and guides on developing these items, but Homemade Pantry could be the book that pushes me over the tipping point and into the production of many new items.

First, Chernila’s writing is like the calm, steady hand of an experienced cook in the kitchen — gently guiding you to the best result. The book presents the recipes in a simple straightforward fashion and makes each one seem not just possible, but almost easy to do. I especially love the sections entitled “Tense Moments.” These list a few things that could go wrong and ways of correcting them, if they should happen. What a great way to further allay people’s fears and give them the confidence to try out the recipes.

For me, I am looking to produce these recipes in the near future:

  • Ricotta
  • Mozzarella
  • Butter
  • Ketchup
  • Hot Sauce
  • Salad dressings
  • Hummus
  • Spice Mixes
  • Ice Creams
  • Pastas
  • Chai Tea
  • Sodas
  • Liqueurs (I make Limoncello and other already)

I highly recommend you check out these recipes and more and start making some of your most basic pantry items yourself. You will find not only  a fresher taste in your food but also a sense of accomplishment in a job well done that also shares something special with your friends and family.

Categories: Books, Cooking, Drinks, Food Tags:

Jobs Available – Listings at – Search by keyword and location

February 24th, 2013 Comments off
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Books on Hold: Meatless: More Than 200 of the Very Best Vegetarian Recipes (Martha Stewart Living)

February 24th, 2013 Comments off

Books on Hold is a blog series dedicated to books I have seen in passing and requested from my local library. See more in the series at the end of this blog post. — Douglas

Meatless: More Than 200 of the Very Best Vegetarian Recipes (Martha Stewart Living)


“For anyone new to a vegetarian diet–flexitarians who adopt plans like Meatless Mondays–as well as committed vegetarians and fans of Power Foods, here is a comprehensive collection of easy, meat-free mains for everyday.

As inspiring as it is practical, Meatless features 200 recipes—each accompanied by a gorgeous photograph—for full-fledged vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. You’ll find recipes for classics and new favorites, plus plenty of low-fat, vegan, and gluten-free options, too.

More than just a cookbook, Meatless is also a roadmap to embracing a vegetable-based lifestyle. Here are dozens of versatile recipes that can be easily adapted, such as pizza with a variety of toppings, salads made from different whole grains, and pestos with unexpected flavors and ingredients. You’ll also find advice on stocking your pantry with vegetarian essentials (dried beans, pasta, herbs and spices), a collection of basic recipes and techniques (vegetable stock, tomato sauce, polenta), and make-ahead flavor-boosters (caramelized onions, roasted peppers, and quick pickles).

Comprehensive and indispensable, Meatless makes it easy to prepare flavor-packed dinners for any day, any occasion. And no one will miss the meat. “

Previously in Books on Hold:

Categories: Books, Cooking, Food Tags:

Photo: Douglas in the Santa Monica Mountains

February 24th, 2013 Comments off

We were out hiking/walking in the Santa Monica Mountains today. I’ll be posting on the two new areas we checked out in an upcoming post, but I wanted to share this picture. I have always bemoaned the fact that, as the family photographer, there aren’t very many photos of me in our photo albums. So today I asked Rosanne to take a shot of me at the end of our hike.

Douglas E. Welch in the Santa Monica Mountains

Click for a larger version on Flicker and more of my photography

Categories: Photos, Photos-Photography Tags: