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Archive for January, 2014

Food, friends and fun — End of the Day for January 31, 2014

January 31st, 2014 Comments off

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The month ends on a high note with good food and good friends this evening. After a day of working at home with Rosanne we finally got cleaned up around 5pm and headed out to Creme Caramel LA for their first Food Truck Friday. While I am familiar with the food truck craze, I haven’t had lots of opportunity to engage in it. Having this event so close by made it easy and I am always eager to support Creme Caramel, who has brought such a great place right to our own backyard. It also gave us a chance to meet up with some friends who we haven’t seen in a while.

Food Truck Friday at Creme Caramel LA #food #la #losangeles

Tonight’s trucks included White Rabbit Filipino Fusion Food and The Grilled Cheese Truck. I ended up with a Grilled “CAB” Sandwich which is cheddar, apple slices and bacon grilled to perfection. I even indulged and got a side order to Tater Tots. Yum! Rosanne had the Citrus Beef from White Rabbit which was also delicious. We then engaged in a coffee and pastries from Creme Caramel itself.

With bellies full and warm we then retired back to the house for some catching up and conversation. Nothing makes me happier than sitting around talking to people. It was great to touch base with these friends who are just as busy as we are. We don’t often get time to chat face-to-face, although we stay connected via Facebook and other online methods. We talked about the kid’s school and other experiences, food, I showed off the Chromecast media player and we talked a little architecture since that is my friend’s work. Always good to geek out a bit on a topic that interests me, but I don’t have a lot of other friends who are are as interested in architecture as I am.

It is always wonderful to be reminded that some time spent with friends can be even more enjoyable than expensive restaurants and noisy clubs. It is certainly much more in line with my rural upbringing and inclination. Some good food, good drink and good conversation will always be where I turn when I want a little fun.

A few more pictures from tonight’s Food Truck Friday…

Food Truck Friday at Creme Caramel LA - 5Food Truck Friday at Creme Caramel LA - 4Food Truck Friday at Creme Caramel LA - 3

Food Truck Friday at Creme Caramel LA - 2Food Truck Friday at Creme Caramel LA - 1

Previously on End of the Day:

Categories: End-of-the-Day, Writing Tags:

Photo: Food Truck Friday at Creme Caramel LA #food #la #losangeles via Instagram

January 31st, 2014 Comments off

Long weeks and short weekends – End of the Day for January 30, 2014

January 30th, 2014 Comments off

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The resumption of the school semester makes for long weeks and very short weekends. I started noting how little time we all have together during the week when our weekends seemed to disappear into the necessities of life. Before we would even realize it, we were all back at it, teaching, consulting, school, play rehearsal, and other events.

I remember growing up when my sisters and I were fully immersed in our school semesters — they with sports and myself with band, chorus and theater — including extra theater events at nearby community theaters. Family meals turned into each of us catching whatever we could before dashing back for one event or another. This was actually one reason I learned to cook even as a child. There were times when throwing an egg in a skillet or beans in a pot was the best dinner that could be grabbed quickly and on short notice. I remember these time when life gets busy as it does during these times.

Joe doesn’t cook as much as he used to with me when he was younger, but I think I have instilled some basic cookery skills in his head and hands. Only somewhat jokingly, I remind him that there are 2 easy ways to impress women — playing guitar and cooking for them. He has the ability to follow a recipe and feed himself on something other than takeaway or frozen foods from the market. I take more than a bit of parental pride in this fact and hope it serves him well when he finally moves out and starts life on his own.

It is far better of course to be busy and happy than bored and sad, but there are days when I sit working here alone in the home office that I long for the weekend and the summer days when we can all have a little more time to enjoy each other’s company. It seems amazing to think it, but it will be only 2 and a half more years before Rosanne and I are on our own again and Joe will be off to new adventures. Then I will probably find myself bemoaning the lack of excitement around here. You never know.

Previously on End of the Day:

Categories: End-of-the-Day, Writing Tags:

Photo: …and so it begins! #college #school via Instagram

January 30th, 2014 Comments off

Photo: Journal via Instagram

January 30th, 2014 Comments off
Categories: Photos-Photography Tags:

Good food is easy to find — End of the Day for January 29, 2014

January 29th, 2014 Comments off

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As someone who lost 60 lbs over the last year or so, it may sound odd to hear me say that I spend every day looking for food. The fact is, one great way of watching your weight is to make your own food at home — as often as you can. This means, of course, that you have to constantly be on the look out for great new recipes and ideas. I find a lot of my potential new food on the Internet, but just today I picked up 3 books from the library to see what gems they might hold. Cookbooks are easy to flip through and I can quickly discern if any of the recipes might fit my rather finicky tastes. the glossy pictures certain help a lot, too.

I recently posted the recipe and photos for some Soft & Chewy Ginger Cookies that I adored and you can find all my past “New Food” posts using this link to the New Food Category here on the blog. I am trying to gear up to make New Food a weekly series again, but I have to charge up with a collection of recipes that make me WANT to make them. Watch the blog for more information in the future. You can easily what new recipes I am finding on the Internet by following me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Tumblr. This is always where I share recipes when they first catch my eye.

Today’s 3 books include The Glorious Vegetables of Italy by Domenica Marchetti. I have always been a sucker for Italian food and now with our family connections there, it has become even deeper. This book starts out with a wonderfully comprehensive review of the different vegetables prominent in Italy and then takes off on a late collection of recipes that use them. Several recipes caught my eye immediately, including Garlicky Lentil Soup, Tuscan Kale Frittata and Braised Radicchio with Pancetta and Cream. I am really looking forward to getting into the kitchen and making these of the family.

From Amazon.com…

This book is a tribute to Italy’s many glorious vegetables, from the bright, orange-fleshed pumpkins of autumn to the tender green fava beans of early spring. Organized by course, this lavishly photographed cookbook lauds the latest dining trend—the vegetable’s starring role at the center of the plate. Cooks of all skill levels will enjoy more than 100 recipes mixing tradition and innovation, ranging from the basics (Fresh Spinach Pasta Dough and Fresh Tomato Sauce) to the seasonal (Spring Risotto with Green and White Asparagus) to savory (Grilled Lamb Spiedini on a Bed of Caponata) and sweet (Pumpkin Gelato). This indispensable recipe collection will appeal to Italian cuisine lovers looking to celebrate vegetables in any meal, every day.

Second, is Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley. This is a unique book as it is entirely down in comic form, meaning it is draw like a comic strip. It is really a memoir rather than a a straight cookbook, but these types of books often yield some of the best recipes as the recipes truly come from the heart of the writer and the family. The unique presentation of this book makes it an enjoyable change from most other books about cooking and food.

Relish interior

From Amazon.com…

Lucy Knisley loves food. The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, this talented young cartoonist comes by her obsession honestly. In her forthright, thoughtful, and funny memoir, Lucy traces key episodes in her life thus far, framed by what she was eating at the time and lessons learned about food, cooking, and life. Each chapter is bookended with an illustrated recipe—many of them treasured family dishes, and a few of them Lucy’s original inventions.

A welcome read for anyone who ever felt more passion for a sandwich than is strictly speaking proper, Relish is a graphic novel for our time: it invites the reader to celebrate food as a connection to our bodies and a connection to the earth, rather than an enemy, a compulsion, or a consumer product.

Finally is Elizabeth David’s Christmas, edit by Jill Norman. This is more a a history of David’s food writing, but it also includes a horde of recipes all based around making Christmas special. I have only just started into the book, but look forward to what it has to offer.

 

From Amazon.com…

Throughout her distinguished career, Elizabeth David wrote and collected many articles about Christmas food. She put together a file of these articles, recipes, and notes, and even wrote an introduction, intending to publish them as a book. It never appeared, and after her death in 1992, her literary executor Jill Norman found a box with all this material. She put them together as Elizabeth intended, and Godine now has her “Christmas” edited for the American reader, handsomely illustrated and ready to guide us through the festive season with good food and high spirits. 

 

Previously on End of the Day:

Categories: Books, Cooking, End-of-the-Day, Food, Recipe, Writing Tags:

Photo: Garden Alphabet: Apricot via Instagram

January 29th, 2014 Comments off

…but it’s the middle of the night – End of the Day for January 28, 2014

January 28th, 2014 Comments off

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For a night owl like myself, getting up at 6am truly feels like the middle of the night. I can do it when required and yes, the dawn is a ver pretty time of day, but given my druthers, I would rather not see, thank you very much! As it happens, though, my wife’s changeable teaching schedule usually results in at least 1 semester when I have yo get Joe to school in time for his Zero Period class. He doesn’t always have these classes, but usually does.

So, there I was this morning, bleary-eyed, but enjoying the beauty of the dawn as we drive to Burbank. Of course, I had tried to go to bed earlier last night. Even I know when I am going to need the extra sleep. Unfortunately, my body and mind usually have other plans. I tossed and turned for about an hour and a half, finally fell asleep , woke at 330am, fell asleep again and awoke about 2 minutes before my 6am alarm clock rang. Along with all this, it felt as if I was dreaming steadily all nigh so when I did wake up I didn’t feel very rested.

Clock

Photo: Flickr User koboz7 under Creative Commons License

I ended up getting a lot of work done once I returned from school drop off, but about 11am I was feeling very, very tired. I had signed on for an 11am #treechat, but I noticed that i had dozed off in front of the computer as it was getting started. Thankfully, it was engaging enough to keep me going for another hour or so, and then I took myself off for a 2 mile walk. Finally around 3pm, my body decide it had had enough (or not enough) and sent me to the couch for a quick nap.

It seems odd to feel this way, as for the first 15 years of my work career I had to get up early and commute to work. There was even a period when I had to work EST hours (6am-3pm) when I was an IT person at a mutual fund company. Then again, but the time I ended my corporate IT career and started working freelance, I also realized that such schedules also tended to make me physically ill after a while, so it is a good thing I was able to change.

I think 6am will always feel like the middle of night for me. I do it when I really want or have to, but on those others days, can we postpone our meetings until 8am. I can guarantee I will be much more human. (LAUGH)

 

Previously on End of the Day:

Categories: End-of-the-Day, Writing Tags:

Video: Wildlife: Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) – Silent

January 28th, 2014 Comments off
Categories: California, Nature/Outdoors, Podcast, Show, Video Tags:

Photo: Daffodils 2012 via Instagram

January 28th, 2014 Comments off
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