Saturday, February 07, 2009

Beauty Shot - Saturday 2/7/2009

Just the handsomest, smartest parrot on the planet. And he's feeling it today.

Since joining 24 Hour Fitness, I don't work out with DVDs at home very much. But the other night I wanted to get home before the rain, so I fell back on The Firm : Time Crunch. (45 minutes of aerobics and weights.)

As soon as I put the disc in the player, this little guy--who was sitting on top of his cage in the bedroom--starts up with the sound effects, "oof," "umph," "erghhh."

Hey, I don't sound like that!

When he got bored and started exploring the bed and nightstand behind me, I put him in his "house."

As I'm working through my crunches I hear, in a most plaintive voice, "I love you soooo good."

Unlike how I love him. Which is clearly deficient if I am willing to let him sit in his cage at all when I'm home.

I remember having pets that couldn't talk. I always assumed they admired me.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

How to Improve Your Esteem for Your Own Writing In One Lesson - Thursday 2/5/2009

Accidentally leave your notebook on the seat of a chair in a coffee house.

All those pages you thought were drivel will instantly be transformed into some of the best writing you've ever done in. your. life.

For Extra Credit : If it's still there when you get back, take the time to transcribe those pages into your computer.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Field Trip! Clifton's Cafeteria - Wednesday 2/4/2009

OneL and I have been vowing for more than a year to go to Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria in downtown L.A. for lunch. Today there was a story about it in the Los Angeles Times, and we both had a gap in our schedules, so we went!

It was meant to be. After passing several parking lots that charged $4.00 an hour with a maximum of $14-18, we found an open parking meter. After scrambling for coins, I put in a nickel and it read FAIL. Aaah! Called the parking authority to report the broken meter, and she confirmed that as long as it said FAIL we would get a ticket. Score! Free parking!

It was so impromptu that I was sans camera. Well, actually, I had my Cannon A560 backpack camera with me, but it's apparently dead dead dead now, so these were taken with my cell phone.

Boy 1.3 mp photos sure upload faster than 10 mp ones!

The cool terrazzo sidewalk on the way into the cafeteria.

When this place was built in 1931, City Hall was the tallest building in Los Angeles.

There's always room for Jello!

It's a lot smaller inside than I'd realized. OneL and I sat in the balcony at table whose top was a crossection of a redwood. Another crossection downstairs is labeled 1400 years old.

Next time I want to sit at one of these terrace tables.

Clifton's was built to give downtowners a sense of being in the woods. I'm thinking that Walt Disney must have eaten here more than a few times and carried away with him some of the inspiration for Disneyland...especially Bear Country Jamboree.

The moose has a calming effect on the diners.

What did we have? OneL had mac & cheese (amazing) which she shared with me. I had fried pollack which instantly took me back to the amazing fish sandwiches we used to get at Azar's Big Boy in Fort Wayne when I was a kid. Also fresh strawberry pie. And a side of spinach, which I accidentally doused in soy sauce. Why in the world Clifton's has soy sauce is beyond me. I thought it was red wine vinegar. Sigh.

If you go, go after 5pm or on the weekend, when you can find plenty of flat-rate parking for $4.00-5.00.

If you have time, click on the Los Angeles Times reference in the first paragraph and read the article about the history of Clifton's Cafeterias. They've done a lot of good over the decades.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

My Foodie Kitchen - Sunday 2/1/2009

For the past few months I've been really trying to get into the habit of cooking ahead for the week so I don't have to scramble for my lunches. I like a hot lunch, so soups of various kinds have been popping up a lot.

Today I put together a beef soup using a small tin of beef from Trader Joe's, potatoes, baby portobella mushrooms, beef Better Than Bouillon, water, onions, garlic, olive oil and rosemary. Barley would be nice rather than potatoes, but I didn't have any barley.

I think I saw Gordon Ramsay do this on one of his shows. You don't have to take the time to cut the herbs off the stem. They'll infuse into the broth this way. In the case of rosemary, which can be a little prickly, this is especially nice.

Don't the carrots look great in there? The rest of the two pounds I bought went into the oven to be roasted. (See the next post for a link to that simple recipe.)

Potatoes in waiting. Everything just looked so good this morning, I had to stop and take lots of pix!

Hydra digs into the finished product. Steamy-licious!

It came out pretty good, though a bit salty because the broth was mostly from Better Than Bouillon.

I also roasted cauliflower and onions and garlic. Mmm. You want lots of brown bits on the cauliflower if you try roasting it yourself. (400 degrees, turn a couple of times in about 30 minutes in the oven.)

This will mix with the roasted carrots for a salad or a side dish. Mmmmm.

30B - Roasted Carrots

Hmmm. Roasting veggies is so good! Simple and not too time consuming.

I used this recipe and added some fennel seed.

I made up more roasted cauliflower, too. Also onions and garlic, that I’ll toss in with these roasted yummies for a chunky sort of salad for my writing group tomorrow night.