Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 95 from France:
Oy Vey

sends us her update from Paris SoCal...

Tomorrow I have to hand in my keys to the only home I have, to my home of the last ten years, to the love nest that SwimSwim and I shared for as long as I can remember.

I don't know how to do this.

Get To Know Your Neighbors.

Awwww the potato.
A few years ago I was on the Atkins diet. I still feel guilty when I eat bread or potatoes.
But I HAVE to with the French Skinny Experiment so...........

Fried potatoes with bacon, eggs, green onions and fresh baguette.

For lunch I had French lemonade (it tastes the same as my lemonade) and some more baguette.

After 13 years we decide to have the neighbors over for a BBQ.
It only took 13 years. Sheesh.

We love pink flamingos.

totem poles.

Fresh lemons for the marinade.

Our Mascot.

BBQ ribs and chicken. An amazing asparagus recipe by my neighbor, Karen R.
(There are 7 Karens in my life.)

Karen R's amazing recipe

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus Recipe

The Dressing

1/2 c Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 c Olive OIl
1 cube frozen Garlic (from TJ's) or 1 clove minced finely
1 T Brown Mustard
Salt and Pepper
1-2 T Brown Sugar to taste
Blend in mini blender until thoroughly emulsified

Blanched Asparagus (or grilled)
Prosciutto smeared with cream cheese (I find the whipped easier to spread, same result)
Wrap a couple of spears with the Prosciutto and Cream Cheese and just before serving smother in Dressing

Our friend lassoing the 6 ft. water powered rocket off of our neighbor's roof.
Go Team!

And at the end of the night there is a tiki fire.

I have the best neighbors ever.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 94 from France:
Busy Busy

sends us her update from Paris SoCal...

Started the day off with a coffee and then joined Saskatoon on her weekly trip to the farmer's market in Hollywood. Here are some iPhone photos ...sorry for the poor quality. I'm a bit displaced at the moment so to use my fancy camera and then photoshop afterward is not really an option currently. Forgive me!

After the market, I spent the entire day cleaning my apartment to get ready for the closing day. I then went to a party at a friend's house in Beverly Hills where I ate sushi, fruit and a couple of bites of a cookie. I drank a couple of beers and then went to ManEater's favorite Sunday spot where I ran into Stripes. He apologized for not contacting me and says he's just out of a relationship, not ready for anything new. I told him I appreciated his honesty and that he was missing out! But we had a nice night at the bar regardless!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

God's Feet

"Mom, who's the boss of the world?"
"Well, many people have tried, but there really isn't ONE boss. God made the world but he let's us do what we want."

"Does God have feet?"
"No, I don't think God has feet."
"How does he walk out to water his garden?"
"He makes it rain.......... Isn't that beautiful?"

"I think The Sgt. Major is the boss of the world."

"Really?...........Why is that?"
"Because he has a lot of guy stuff and you need guy stuff if you're the boss of the world."


"Mom, God is just in our imagination right?"
"I don't think so. Why do you say that?"
"Well, I don't think I can believe in a God without feet."

Photo by my kid

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 93 from France:
With A Little Help From My Friends

sends us her update from Paris SoCal...

Bug Girl and Saskatoon helped me pack and transport crap all day today. So far this move has been done entirely by my girlfriends. GURL POWER!!!

Afterwards, we enjoyed a much deserved pitcher (or 5) of cider at BIRDS! It's just like the good old days when we were in our early 20s...

There is nothing like comfort food, good friends, LOTS of laughs and stable unconditional support and LOVE in such trying/emotional/OMGiWantToCryMyEyesOut moments...

Chicken strips

Thai rice bowl with chicken - my usual

Pear Cider

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Joyeux Dimanche - Oscar De La Renta, Spring 2011

Karen sends her posts from Burbank, CA

Back in dreamland, I'm deciding on my wardrobe for next year.

*All photos borrowed from Vogue

Have a beautiful Sunday.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

French Onion Soup A La Karen

Karen sends her posts from Burbank, CA

Here's what I did to come up with this recipe.
First I made The Barefoot Contessa's French Onion Soup a few times. (Although I never used Veal stock because who the hell sells that and I just couldn't bring myself to hunt it down......sort of speak.)
Then I made Paula Deen's French Onion Soup a few times.
Then I made this one because they said it's The Best French Onion Soup Ever.
Then I made this one because I enjoy
And then a few more.

Photo of me about a year ago taken by my unbelieving Hubby.

The most difficult part, for me, about making French onion soup is chopping the onions. I've tried doing it while running water, wearing glasses, holding my breath, just powering through it and then I borrowed Hubby's respirator. NONE of these things stopped me from crying. Then a friend told me to just shut my mouth while chopping. (I'd rather wear the respirator) This actually worked pretty well. Ah the jokes from Hubby, they just never stop.

After all this research I came up with my version. Hubby has tried them all and he said this is the best French Onion Soup he's ever had. I have to agree.


* 3 pounds of onions, halved and slice 1/4-inch thick
* 1 stick of unsalted butter.
* 1 bay leaf
* 1/2 cup of dry Vermouth
* 1/2 cup of Brandy
* 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
* 4 cups of chicken stock
* 4 cups of beef stock
* salt (to taste)
* pepper (to taste)
* Fresh loaf of French bread
* Gruyere cheese


In a large stockpot on medium-high heat, saute onions with the butter and bay leaf until golden brown. (This takes me 40 to 50 minutes sometimes.) Deglaze the pan with the Vermouth and Brandy and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer uncovered for 20 more minutes. Add the chicken and beef broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove and discard bay leaf.
Slice French bread into 1 inch slices.
Ladle soup into ovenproof bowl, add one slice of French bread with slices of Gruyere cheese on top. Place ovenproof bowl on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes under a hot broiler.

For my 4 year old, I don't put the dish in the oven. I just put some cheese in the soup and it kind of melts on it's own and cools down the soup at the same time. He has been known to down 3 bowls of this soup in one sitting. (Obviously all the alcohol is burned off during cooking time.)

Serve with the rest of the bread.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 92 from France:
Boxes Leave Bruises

sends us her update from Paris SoCal...

I had candy for breakfast. I know, I know...

Candy and tea.

I spent the rest of the day packing stuff up and Karen came over to help me lug all my books to Bug Girl's house so she can donate them to a school or library for me. We're talking about 20 boxes of books.

BTW book boxes are friggin' HEAVY. Thanks for your help Karen! Love you!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Week 13 - Weigh In - And Some Laundry Diving

Karen sends her updates from Burbank, CA

0 pounds lost this week
Goal: Lose 35 pounds in 6 months the French Skinny Way.
Total lost so far: 14 pounds
The plateau continues.

Laundry diving.
A cloudy day activity.

There was a brief moment where I thought maybe instead of taking this picture I should make him stop the laundry diving. Instead, I decided to take some video because he actually got air that time! Whoo Hoo!
Clearly I've been inside too much and we need to get out.

I call Smacksy. "Can we come over? We're all going a little crazy over here."

Smacky's house is so pretty.
And calm.
And there's always coffee.
Unfortunately there was an "incident" involving light sabers and an unlucky hydrangea that I still need to replace. (I haven't forgotten I promise.) But what was that other thing my kid destroyed? Ah my memory isn't what it used to be.

Somedays I feel like I have it all together.
What's French for "Today is not one of those days"?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 91 from France:
Thai Elvis Left The Building

sends us her update from Paris SoCal...

Contrary to Karen's theories about the origin of my rash, I still think this lovely gift that keeps on giving came from her. It's dying down a little now, so I'm less itchy. But it has moved up my body some ...and looks less violent than it did.

Yesterday was my last day of the job, so I'm a free woman with all the time in the world! Oh, wait, I'm supposed to leave to go back to Paris in a week and what I originally came to LA and gave myself a month to do now has to be finished in the next few days. PANIC!

I fueled up with a good breakfast and a pot of coffee. Then I rushed across town and started pack pack packing. K-Lo came to help me move the boxes to storage with her grocery go-getter.

We decided to go to Thai Elvis for lunch, for old times sake. But Elvis had taken the day off. Booo...

I love a good beef pa-nang.

After packing and moving all day, I rushed back across town to gussy up in Manolos and a cute Jackie O hat complete with a veil so I could go to a movie premier with my gays. My dinner was less than exciting...

That's a pretzel and sauce.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 90 - The Walk.

4 and I went on a French Skinny walk today.

"Mama are you sad?"
"Not really Boo Boo."

"But you look sad."
"I'm....... remembering how your Grandpa Woody used to love to paint clouds."

"You mean Papa?"

"Well, you've never met him but that's what you call him when you see his picture, yes. He went to heaven 1 year and 2 months before you were born. I wish you could have known him. He would have gotten such a kick out of you."

"It's okay Mama, don't be sad.
He said he's happy now."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Day 90 from France:
Karen's A Giver

sends us her update from Paris SoCal...

I started the day off with a pot of coffee and a banana. Lunch was pasta and a Dr. Pepper.

Cool broken glass I spotted at work.

A sweet treat...

Karen swears up and down that her rash is not contagious but I'm pretty sure she gave it to me...

It's all over the bottom half of my body.

Thanks, Karen.