November 18, 2010


What says ‘fall’ better than risotto? Oh yea, butternut squash risotto. Mmmm.


Dinner with friends

November 15, 2010

Saturday night, we had plans to go out for dinner at Nanbankan with friends. We headed to Jun and Justine’s place a little early, and got to hang out with Ethan, who is definitely a little boy now – no longer a baby! Once he got past his initial shyness, he was very eager to show off all of his toys – so cute that he insists on the specific names for each type of car (“Racecar!” “Engine!” “Tow truck!”). When Jun let him take a few shots with his camera, he was concentrating so hard on getting the perfect shot – looks like a little photographer in the making.


As for dinner, the food was good – your typical izakaya fare. Some highlights of the meal were bacon-wrapped asparagus, grilled corn, chilean sea bass, chicken meatballs, and deep fried oysters. Oh yes, and of course copious amounts of hot sake and cold Asahi to wash it all down.


Colors of fall

November 14, 2010

Just a little tour of what was available at the farmers’ market this past weekend. I’m dying over the color of that yellow chard! Fall is definitely my favorite season – of course, that doesn’t really exist here in LA. It was over 80 degrees when I was out and about snapping these pictures! Really looking forward to heading back to Baltimore in a couple weeks for Thanksgiving.











Gone Till November

November 11, 2010

Whoa. It’s already November! How did that happen?

Just a little note to self of all the things that I’ve been meaning to post about and need to get to…



Wine tasting in Temecula:


A surprise trip to San Francisco:


Our first time carving pumpkins:


Little Miss Audrey…

November 9, 2010

turned 1!

After lots of coaxing (girlfriend just did NOT want to pick anything!), she finally made a grab for the pencil. Looks like Josh and May have a little future scholar on their hands!

Veggies galore

November 8, 2010

On Saturday, we had a late, huge lunch courtesy of a friend’s daughter’s dol. The rest of the day was spent running around town and taking care of errands. When dinner time rolled around, I was not feeling so great, and wanted something somewhat healthy to offset the Chinese feast we’d had earlier. I remembered Hana’s post about broccoli soup, and thought it sounded like the perfect light, yet comforting meal — and it was, served with some toasted bread, and a dollop of sour cream.

Initially, James was not so thrilled when I told him what I’d be making — and it showed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so unenthused upon hearing what was for dinner. He was so relieved when he sat down to eat and it wasn’t the bland mush he’d been imagining. He is now a believer in the almighty broccoli soup!


Sunday, I got the chance to make these tomato and goat cheese tarts that I’ve had bookmarked for the longest time. They seemed like the perfect accompaniment to go with the leftover soup. What’s not to like: puff pastry, caramelized onions, goat cheese, tomato, parmesan, basil…oh yea, did I mention puff pastry? Seriously — all good things!

For a while, I’ve been considering trying to prepare a vegetarian meal at least once a week (à la Meatless Monday). With food like this, maybe we won’t miss meat as much as I thought we would!




Happy birthday, cousin

November 1, 2010

Last Sunday, the family got together for Tom’s birthday. Poor Ryan was so tired that he passed out even before the food came out. I looked down the table and saw him swinging his head around, as if it were just too heavy for his little neck to support. After fighting the good fight, he gave up and decided to just rest it on the table. Literally seconds later — boom, out for the count. Dylan had a blast blowing out his dad’s candles, even though he refused to touch the cake itself because it wasn’t chocolate! Unfortunately James couldn’t be there this time because of work. His and Tom’s birthdays are just two days apart — hopefully, next year we can celebrate them both together.





An unexpected surprise

October 4, 2010

I had one of those dreary, blah, no-good Mondays, but when I came home, I had a little surprise waiting for me…

Remember this post? Well, it looks like my dear friend Hana did too, and now this beauty is mine! I love the look of the layered mixed metal chains and pearls – perfect for fall, and its arrival is so timely, considering today was the first day the temperatures dipped low enough to justify pulling out my boots (finally)! Thank you, thank you, thank you for the thoughtful early birthday gift – I will think of you every time I wear it! BP-BP for life!

Last night’s dinner: Penne with Sausage

September 10, 2010


When I was doing my meal plan at the beginning of the week, I asked James what he wanted to eat, and he asked for this pasta again. I had actually planned to make it Wednesday night, and have the leftovers for dinner on Thursday. BUT!! Early Wednesday evening, right in the middle of my Fantasy Football (why do I always want to write Final Fantasy instead?) draft, I heard a loud explosion outside, and all of a sudden – a deafening silence. All of our power went out, and first things first, I had to call my brother and beg him to log onto the draft and act as my proxy. Actually, my team is probably ten times better than it would have been otherwise.

As 7pm and impending darkness crept up, James and I quickly realized that we have no flashlights or candles in the house (!!!), but remembered we did buy an LED lantern for a camping trip. Of course, we had to dig through our entire storage closet to actually find it, but it was a relief that we wouldn’t have to rely on our rapidly dying cell phones for light all night long!

Thankfully, power was restored at some point in the wee hours, and I woke up on Thursday to blinking clocks and random lights on all over the house. I hemmed and hawed all day over whether the sausage in the fridge would still be ok, but decided it just wasn’t worth the risk and ended up making a trip to the grocery store to pick up some more. On the bright side, I bought everything we’ll need to get us through Tuesday…and then we’re off to Baltimore on Wednesday!

Labor Day

September 6, 2010




I love the pumpkin-colored mums I picked up at the farmers’ market on Saturday – I am ready for fall! I also bought a 3 lb. bag of white nectarines that were so sweet, but really ripe and needed to be used ASAP. I woke up early today (I’m happy to work the holidays as long as I can do it from home) and had the brilliant idea of making some crumb bars. I could have done a better job combining the butter with the flour mixture so that the top would be more crumbly and less powdery, but my arm was getting tired, and they still ended up tasting great, especially with my morning coffee! Really not looking forward to going back to the grind tomorrow, after what has essentially been a 4.5-day weekend.