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December 2011
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March 2012

January 2012

Cooking Up a Truly Homemade Feast - Fatcake Style


God bless kitchens - it's like every day's a cookbook!

Cooking food with me and my gals is like going to war and back - with a full belly onhand.  There is no solid plan.  Just loose...and very vague ideas, that usually come together at the very last minute on a rare day off. 

What's in the fridge, what can I throw together, while half sauced.  Cause you know the sauce is on the make come high noon.  That's usually the first craving.  A good, goes-down-easy cocktail of some sort.   Or perhaps some very hyper-chilled sparkling something or other.  Maybe half frozen sake.  Lately it's been mega mixology drinks with made up names (stand by for "A Goat Named Minka" - a drink so damn good, that has me slinging back hard whiskey - and I'm not, I repeat not into the browns).

Usually a pop into someones room - rounding up a few folks who might be spending the day not slugging it to the city.  A competitive game or two is usually involved and whoever has hands and wants to help can jump in the kitchen.  Nobody really knows what's happening - it's like a tornado blazing through.  A white squall of activity around the kitchen island.  I love to cook this way.

Drinks being mixed, pans being dirtied with all the sauces and mix-ups, funky homemade dips being dunked into, laughs being had, half convos attempted.  It's easy to get distracted by the need to dump more white wine into the risotto.  Holy crap, hand-slapped, wine bottle rolled noodles to go with the beef dish - why not whip some up with a ton of butter?   The rich just-made pesto, caramelized roasted tomatoes with garlic and mixed goat cheeses skulking on top of little toasts goes really fast. 

I'm usually braising some kind of vegetable in the oven for hours and hours during the workday, so I have a fridge full of them on the wait - just chillin' out, waiting to be the inspiration for something downright delicious.  They're easy to sling onto a cracker, into the wok risotto, or eat just straight off a knife.   Wine and olive oil turn anything into something creamy and slatherable.

And, when it's over, it's beyond over.  Dishes cleaned, games tucked away, leftovers dolled out, dessert shoved down.  Everyone quickly disappearing into their own little private domain that is their corporate housing apartment.  Little waves goodbye and hasta mananas all the way around.











Lately I Just Crave Homemade


My taste buds are usually running the spicy Asian route.  Or down some dusty Mexican dirt road.  Maybe a twirl of country Italy.  Lately, though...all I can think about is Simple.  Honest.  Real.  Homemade.  Food.  No country attached to it, just a ton of freshness.  A smear, a nibble, a kiss of this and that.  SO GOOD.

Slow baked tomatoes for hours and hours since they're not in season.  So easy to do and they come out like candy.  A mix of cheeses blended up with some white wine, garlic bits and fresh thyme.  Mason jars full of so-easy-to-whip up pesto.  All smeared on a cracker with a flick of salt.  Casseroles that cook up in no time, with whatever is rockin' in the fridge.  Some lightly seared octopus.  Why is octopus so easy to jack up?  It's such a simple little treat when charred just right. 

I blame my new Vitamix.  That powerhouse has pretty much ruined me against all things non-homemade.  Killer smoothies, green drinks, ICE CREAM, hell...I just made homemade pear juice for a batch of whiskey cocktails.  I don't even like whiskey - but with the proper muddled ingredients and a chunky ice cube, well...I LOVE ME SOME WHISKEY.

Oh, and I also want a goat.  And, a chicken.  Now, I need land.  Some land somewhere to rest and play.  To read and dream.  To plant and grow.  Problemo is, I like the tropics.  So, that will take some hunting...but I'm on it, don't you fret.  I'm most def on it.





Wild River Oysters - Best Find of 2011.


I first became obsessed and I mean FREAKIN' OBSESSED with oysters while hi-tailing across Mexico in my little solar trailer.  A spit of a village sprang up out of nowhere and row after row of crude tables were draped along the 2 lane road - each sporting piles and piles of fresh oysters.  Never had a better one since, though my cravings have taken me high and low. 

Now, I know for sure in these jaunts, I've never had wild river oysters.  At least that I know of.  So, to hear a waitress in a tiny seafood shack in Rhode Island rave about these just harvested wild river oysters was a bit of a revelation.  Wha??  Who knew. 

We ordered up a half dozen and tentatively sniffed, picked, poked, and were just generally suspicious of them for a good :15 seconds.  They were all gone in the next :15.  What a fly back to the past.  Now, I'm not saying they were as stunning as my plump Veracruz finds, but they blew away most oysters I've had round-the-world.

Nice to know the river can still turn out some wildly spectacular goods.


View from the Top - At Least the Only One that Matters in My World


Most of ya'll know I live on a floating home in LA.  Some kind of Mississippi tugboat looking beast.  Truly the best spot in the world in my mind.  My neighbors are all quirky and full of life.  That's what marina living will do to you - make you happy and steeped in sprite.  The full moon shimmers up the water and the boats bob about.  I can kick it on the top deck late night and hear nothing but seals barking and the masts clanging. Fog rolls in out of nowhere and life is simple. 

My fave thing in the world to do is watch the planes landing at LAX.  They all seem so close together from the top of the Flo - taking off to somewhere way, way out there...and dropping off piles of people ready to unleash their goods on LA.  Wonder how many end up in the marina.  Or even really know life inside it exists?  I hope very, very few.

I'm this close to having the final plans for the Flo done (the 3d Fly-thru is totally amazing) and the transformation will being to happen in the next little bit.  Gonna be the most fantastical place to live ever.  Especially since I've created a small tincture room off the kitchen.  I've made sure there is a see thru pane of plexi, so I can light up the water and see fish underneath my home.  I'm trying to rock a full on brick oven on the top deck.  The 2nd floor will close off, so if peeps need to get to floor 3, then they can skip my master suites.  Oh yah, and the's set up so when I travel, the whole thing can go into lock down.  Fully unbreachable.  It's gonna be a green journey all the way through, so get ready for those posts. 

What a fun time to be an adult.