dreamweavers part 2

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Me: "I had a horrible nightmare last night."

DP: "Me too."

Me: "Really? Crazy. I dreamed I lost my phone. It was awful. I was panicking, looking for it everywhere."

DP: "Hmm. I dreamed we were under nuclear attack."

[long beat]

Me: "You win."


P.S.  read Dreamweavers part 1 here.

barnsdall art park

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hey LA People, have you ever been to Barnsdall Park in Los Feliz? I'd driven by it a million times but never really knew what it was until last year. The park is huge--somewhere around 36 acres--and in addition to a museum, a theatre and an art center, on top of its hill sits a Frank Lloyd Wright design that was built in the 20s called Hollyhock House. Last night DP and I went to a Friday Night Wine Tasting event there. On Friday nights in the summer, Silverlake Wine comes and does four pours of deliciousness and you can picnic on the grass outside the FLW beauty. If you live in LA and have never been, I can't recommend it enough. It felt like the most perfect way to kick off summer.

The house is undergoing constant restoration but we were able to tour a bit of it. The details are so captivating. Here is a cubist landscape over the fireplace in the main sitting room:

Stained glass...(we learned it was a very innovative concept at the time to mix clear glass with the colored)...

A Chicken...

Another Chicken...

The views were so amazing! Here's the Griffith Park Observatory. It was so sweet to watch the hill become twinkly as the sun set...

Hope the rest of your weekend is lovely...

P.S. You can purchase tickets online for the wine and the tours here.

dear kale

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dear Casting Director,

When you were putting my audition on tape and I asked you to make sure my boobs were in frame? I was kidding. I don't think you knew that. Maybe I'm just a really good actress and you believed me. In any event, thanks for featuring The Girls. That certainly won't hurt my chances.


Dear Flight Attendant,

When you served me ginger ale, a tiny drop of your spittle landed on my cheek. Not cool. But I know you didn't mean it. You've got a really hard job. I didn't want to make you feel bad so I left it there 'til you were two rows away. Thanks for the refreshments.


Dear Lady Who Walks on my Street,

It must be hard to pull off that all-white walking ensemble. Including gloves! Those must make your hands feel wicked tingly. Maybe that's why you never say "Hi" back to me when I see you EVERY DAY. I think I get it now. Props to you for walking it out.


Dear Kale,

Thanks for being open to my unconventional notion of throwing you on the grill. You put up such a tough exterior but I know you're really a softie underneath. Especially if I ply you with olive oil and high-quality sea salt. You done good, kid.


Grilled Kale

1 bunch Lacinato kale (the kind with the flatter leaves--these will cook more evenly on the grill)
olive oil
sea salt
black pepper

Wash the kale and rip the leaves from their stalky core. Tear them in half. In a large bowl or kitchen towel, drizzle olive oil (enough to lightly coat all the leaves), sprinkle salt and pepper and toss. Throw the kale on a medium-hot grill and keep moving it around with tongs for just a few minutes, 'til it's wilty and slightly charred in spots. Be careful: it will burn fast!

Yours Truly,

48 hours in austin

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I'm so late in sharing this trip with you that I thought about pulling the plug on the whole thing but then I flipped through the photos again and liked them so much. Plus, Austin pretty much rocks. How could I pull the plug on Austin? DP's dad and stepmom live there in the coolest mid-century house and they always show us the best time when we visit. This time, Memorial Day weekend, it was upwards of 100 degrees so we pretty much went from air-conditioning to air-conditioning (unless we were in the pool.)  One of our first stops in town? Bananarchy for frozen banana goodness...

DP hearts cycling so we always stop at Mellow Johnny's for bike jerseys and cappuccinos at the adjoining cafe...

Happiest boy...

One of our favorite things we did was check out The Blanton Museum and their portraiture exhibit. I couldn't get enough of these watery tiled stairs at the entrance...

Aren't they so pretty?

Some of my favorite pieces...............

M & K's house. Love the natural landscape and all the straight lines...

Our new favorite beer (did everyone know about Shiner Bock except us?):

A couple other Austin spots we enjoyed this trip:

Uchiko for delicious Japanese food. Caveat: the portions are TINY. We shared everything and usually that meant only getting one bite of each dish. My favorite moment was when DP's dad got exasperated with his hunger frustration and threatened to stop at In-&-Out on the way home.

Also: Second Bar and Kitchen @ Congress was lively and yummy.

Can't wait for our next visit! (Thanks, M/K:))

Hope you're having a great day,

scenes from the Phoenix airport gift shop

Monday, June 20, 2011

And only cats.

Happy Monday!

almond butter chocolate chunk biscotti

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The other day I was on my regular morning walk with Lena and she started pooping in my neighbor's yard right as he was exiting his house. Awkward conversation with pooping dog between us ensued:

Me, sheepishly: "Hey there, how are ya?  Sorry about this..."

Him, "Oh, it's okay. Don't you get sick of doing that every day?"

That question got me thinking about how every day I see him and his harried wife sweating while corralling their 5 small children and all their pieces into their minivan and how I think the same thing about his morning routine.

Me: "I guess it just is what it is: poop."


I bent down to pick up smeary shit out of his grass while he watched.

Him: "So, what is it you do?"

(In 3 1/2 years, we've never interacted more than just a smile/nod/brief and cursory hello.)

Me, looking like hell, and now holding a bag of hot poop. "Oh, I'm an actress."  

You can't tell?

Him: "Cool! Anything I've seen you in?"

Me, still holding said bag-o-poop: "Mostly television."

Him: "You know, January Jones used to live right next door!"  

Me: "Wow. Really?"

Him: "Yeah.  She moved.  But now we've got you!"

Just then I had to itch my face but didn't have a free hand since Lena was pulling all the slack out of the leash.  I had to use the hand holding the poop. Awesome.

Me: "Cool. Have a great day."

Him: "You too! Take care!"

This story has absolutely nothing to do with biscotti. Although I do think it's pretty ballsy of me to post a poop story and a recipe together. As my friend Paula would say, deal with it.

These cookies are DELICIOUS! I hope you make them and enjoy them immensely. And I'm sorry that photo of almond butter kinda looks like poop. That was maybe a bad call on my part.  

Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Biscotti
inspired by Joy the Baker
yields about 30 biscotti

4T butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup almond butter (I used creamy salted)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs (one with the egg and yolk separated)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I'm a fan of Ghirardelli 60% cacao)
1 T milk
turbinado sugar for sprinkling before baking

Preheat oven to 325.  Line two baking sheets with parchment (or silpats) and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter, almond butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add one whole egg and one additional yolk (reserve the egg white for later) and beat until well blended, scraping the sides of the bowl when necessary. Add the dry ingredients a bit at a time until just incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips. The dough is gonna be dry and somewhat crumbly.

Divide the dough between the two baking sheets and shape into logs about 8" long and 2-3" wide.  Make the egg wash: beat the reserved egg white with 1 T milk. Brush it on top of the logs and then sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Bake for 15 minutes, alternate racks and rotate, and bake for 20 minutes more or until golden brown and cooked through. Allow to cool completely and then, with a serrated knife, slice the log into 1/2" cookies. Place these back on the baking sheets and back into the oven for about 15 more minutes. (Mine didn't really turn golden except a tiny bit on the edges.) Cool and devour!


my weekend (in numbers and photos)...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Girls' nights: 1
Minutes at Girls' night discussing waxing, laser treatments and/or bloating: 20
Minutes at Girls' night laughing: 120
Heirloom tomatoes eaten on Friday: 2

Dishes prepared by me for Saturday night's dinner party extravaganza: 6
Sticks of butter hidden in dessert: 2.75
Dog hair vacuumed pre-party: 3 bushels (how do you measure quantities of dog hair?)
Frantic last minute trips to replace grill's empty propane tank: 1
Number of carmelized fennel, olive and gruyere pizzas grilled: 3
Number of carmelized fennel, olive and gruyere pizzas burnt to a crisp on the bottom but eaten just the same: 1
Total calories consumed: 10,000,000

Photos taken of entire event: 2
Number of photos of those that were ugly and/or blurry: 2 (see below)
Heirloom tomatoes eaten on Saturday: 2

Hours of robe-wearing, coffee-drinking and paper-reading on Sunday morning: 4
Awesome Movies seen: 1
Yoga classes attended: 1
Heirloom tomatoes eaten on Sunday: 1

Peony stop-n-smell admiration moments: 25
Dog hugs administered: 257
Tennis ball tosses thrown: 5,468,213
Dog walks taken: 5

Loads of laundry done: 0
Heirloom tomatoes left in house: 0

Here's to a great week!
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