Thursday, June 30, 2011

Grandma's Birthday

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris, France:

We had a wonderful celebration from my grandma. First there was a reception at my aunt and uncle's house where we put out a spread of caviar, salmon, cheese and other hors d'œuvres.

Both sweet and dry champagne that I brought over from France, ooolala. (Champagne costs about eleventeen thousand gajillion dollars a bottle in Norway, so I was a very popular guest.)

Then we went to a fancy hotel restaurant at the top of the mountain with an amazing view (that I was too cold in my tiny dress and heels to go out and appreciate.)

An amazing broccoli and asparagus purée with caramelized onions and scallops for the appetizer...

Deer meat and potatoes that were an amazing main course...

Don't get me started on the dessert!!

Panna cotta

The sun started getting low in the sky around 10:30pm...

We had a late, light dinner of homemade tomato soup with cheese.

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wild Mountain Berries

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris, France:

We woke up to a very misty Norwegian "sunrise."

Lots of fresh flowers out for the 90 year old birthday girl.

While decorating one of the cakes, I snuck a French Skinny breakfast of coffee and berries! Yum!

Then I took a walk. Unfortunately, I didn't account for the fact that it was almost 20 degrees colder in the mountains above Oslo than it is in Paris. As such, I only packed a few very light, tight summer dresses and 2 pairs of sky high stiletto heals. Let me tell you about all the strange looks I was getting from the locals who were out hiking and biking in the misty rain while I was traipsing along like a very out of place super model wanna-be. Never mind, I'll spare you the details.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Up in the air - Again

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris, France:

What a crazy mad dash to the airport in Paris!

I'm on my way to Scandinavia to meet up with my family for a 90th birthday party and a wedding! My little sister is even flying in from Australia!! It's been over a year since I've seen her so I'm excited to sit down with her and catch up.

To start my trip off right, I enjoy a lovely airplane meal lunch.

It was actually really good ...a traditional Danish smørrebrøds madpakke with dark bread, pickled herring, a Danish meatball, liver pâté, roast beef, cournichon, etc.

The descent into Oslo...

My mom met me at the airport as her flight arrived a half hour after mine. We did some damage in the tax-free shops before heading off to my aunt and uncle's for dinner with some cousins and my grandma. My uncle made us a delicious soup - spicy thai chicken.

And my aunt made a Norwegian style Apple pie.

Normally, I would say don't forget the whipped cream! But this actually isn't whipped cream. It's some other weird delicious white creamy topping. But I can't remember what it's called. It's the answer to crème fraiche the way kefír is the answer to yogurt. Do you know what I mean?

Here's the view from their house at around midnight.

I love Oslo.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Morning Breakfast

Monday Morning Breakfast


Roasted Garlic Asiago Pain Rustique
Fresh tomatoes
Olive Oil
A few minutes in the broiler and Voila!


I decided to go "Hearty" after 5 said this in passing.

"Mom, I need to look really sharp for GiGi. It's movie day."

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My Secret Love Stone

My Secret Love Stone

As the backyard renovation goes on, I'm finding secret treasures. This stone was buried about a foot under the path leading to the Tiki Hut. I wanted it to go in the plumeria garden. It took 2 of us to roll it 20 feet. While we were moving it, some bits broke off and it turned into this heart shape as if saying, thank you.

Just took the croissants out of the oven.
Happy Saturday.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Girl's Night at Casa Bianca

Last night I met 4 of my girlfriends at a little restaurant called Casa Bianca. It's located in Eagle Rock and there's always a line to get in because it's just that good. Rachel has been going there for years so we let her order.
She went family style.

The best Antipasto I've ever had.


And look at this pizza pie.
Thin crust (my favorite) half pepperoni, half sausage and garlic served piping hot.

I haven't seen some of these gals for years. Yet, no time seemed to have past. It was the perfect place to let our hair down, reminisce and laugh until the tears rolled down. A 3 hour dinner that went by much too fast.

P.S. Casa Bianca won't seat you until your group is all there, they'll hold your table for 20 minutes and forget the credit cards, it's cash only.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Home, Sweet Home

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris, France:

We had a great time in Istanbul but are finally back to French coffee and pastries.

I'm not trying to make myself out to be some kind of peeping Tom, but I love looking at the rooftops in Paris, so sometimes that means I find myself staring into the windows below the rooftops.

Do you see Montparnasse Tower in the back? The French hate it and call it the eyesore of Paris.

Here's a quote from Wikipedia to better explain the Montparnasse hatred:

Its simple architecture, gigantic proportions and monolithic appearance have been often criticised for being out of place in Paris's urban landscape and, as a result, two years after its completion, the construction of skyscrapers in the city centre was banned.

The design of the tower predates architectural trends that placed high importance on a view of the outside, and so only offices around the perimeter of each floor have windows (more modern skyscrapers are often designed to provide a window for every office).

It is sometimes said, only half-jokingly, that the view from the top is the most beautiful in Paris, since it is the only place from which one cannot see the tower.[2]

A 2008 poll of editors on Virtualtourist voted the building the second-ugliest building in the world.[3]

I love the little flowerpot looking chimneys on all the roofs.

Sometimes this means you get to catch intimate glimpses into people's lives.

This girl looks like she's studying for finals. God, I remember those days. Good luck, girl! You can do it!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Camp - Day 3

"Hey Buddy, do you want me to pack some of that yummy pasta we had last night for lunch?"

"No thanks. I would probably eat it all up and then burp and that would irritate GiGi."

"I see."

"Yeah, we're getting married today. I'm probably going to kiss her on the cheek when she's not looking."

"You're getting married today?"

"Yeah Mom, I'm 5."


I made this pasta sauce with what I had in the fridge and pantry. It was delicious and really fast.
Hubby just had some for breakfast.

Pasta In A White Cream Sauce Recipe
  • Put water on to boil for the pasta.
Cream Sauce
  • In a saucepan at medium heat melt a whole stick of unsalted butter.
  • Add a cup and a half of half and half.
  • about 2 teaspoons of flour.
  • 1/4 of a cup of white onion.
  • Garlic Salt (I would have added crushed garlic but someone 'Hubby' used it and didn't tell me.)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Herbs De Provence.
Stir and watch so it doesn't burn.

Drain pasta, put it back in the pot, add sauce. Top with lots of fresh parmesan cheese, fresh herbs if you have them and some cracked pepper.

Calee, you told me this would happen!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Camp - Day 2

"Mom, I can't have the EXACT same thing for lunch that I had yesterday."

"Why not?"

"It's not my style."

"Really? What would you like me to pack for lunch?"

"Hmmm. How about some treats and a chocolate croissant and some chocolate milk?"

"You're fun, but no...... Did you have fun at Summer Camp yesterday?"

"Yeah, don't tell anybody but I held GiGi's hand during Kung Fu Panda."


"Today I might kiss her hand."

"Don't grow up too fast, Buddy."

"Mom, I grow up when I grow up."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Camp-Day 1

5:00am- Wake up. My little boy is starting Summer Camp today. I need coffee.

5:01am- Wonder if I should pack his lunch yet. Decide to wait a few hours.

5:02am- Overwhelming desire to get a puppy.

6:00am- My little boy wakes up. I pretend to be really excited about his Summer Camp.

6:01am- Start researching dog breeds for my new puppy.

6:10am- Hubby doesn't think Summer Camp is a good idea. I reassure him. Hubby sighs and goes to Home Depot to get "a lot of stuff". Is Home Depot even open?

6:15am- Plan snack and lunch for the little camper.


Turkey Sandwich
Baby carrots
Cheese and Crackers

6:30am- Happy that my little guy will have a healthy lunch, I get his brand new never been used Batman insulated lunchbox. Cut the tags off. Zipper it open. Stare mindlessly at the whiteness of it. Decide to pack lunch later. Sit down for a few minutes.

6:45am- More puppy research.

7:00am- Little guy asks if he sleeps over at Summer Camp. I reassure him it's a few hours every day but he'll come home right after lunch.

7:10am- Hubby arrives home with "a lot of stuff". I guess Home Depot is open. Who knew?

7:15am- Get 3rd cup of coffee. I'm super ready for this!

7:30am- Little guy bangs his knee. Wants me to kiss it and make it feel better.

*Butterflies in tummy*

8:00am- Get label maker out and put little guy's name on everything.

8:25am- Finally pack snack, lunch, get ready and head to camp.

9:00am- Sign the little guy in. He runs over to the teacher, waves hello to a friend, turns to me and says "Bye Mom, see you later."

9:01am- That's it? Shellshocked, I walk outside and phone a friend.

Growing pains, they're not just for kids.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Joyeux Dimanche - Happy Father's Day

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

I was invited to join a baking club. (And by that I mean I muscled my way in and they were nice enough to let me.)

This month, Jessie went with a cookie exchange Father's Day theme.

I had a hard time deciding what to make. So, at the last minute, I just went with triple chocolate cookies.

These were the first 2 ingredients.

Here's what the other gals brought.

Lovely cupcakes.

Father and child Gingerbread Cookies!

More yummy chocolate chip cookies.

Amazing cake pops.

A delicious cake that's sweet on the outside.

Mushy on the inside.

Freshly picked cherries.

Apparently there aren't any rules for the club. You can go with the theme or not, bring anything you want or bring nothing at all, except yourself. There were wonderful stories of amazing food and extreme food failures. A lot of laughs and much sugar. Thanks ladies!

Hope you all have a wonderful Father's Day.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Chocolate Croissant and French Roast

First things first.

Have a great Saturday.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Raw Food Brownie Bites

Brownie Bites

My beautiful, sassy friend, Dawn, brought these tasty morsels for dessert the other night. She calls them Brownie Bites.

These are so yummy and fall into the "Raw Food" category. I am not going to go all healthy raw foodie on you. Not when I've so recently found my passion for cooking! But these are delicious and I wanted to share her recipe. She was gracious enough to give it to me.

Brownie Bites Recipe
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup medjool dates
1/4 cup cacao powder

Roll in almonds that were blended in food processor about 1/2 cup.

Try to eat French Skinny Portions!