Monday, February 28, 2011

Let Yourself Soar

"Understand heavy things can't fly, she let go of what was weighing on her heart, the things she could no long control then carry.

And she gave herself a chance.

A chance to reach into the unassuming blue, to embrace the possibility of an open sky, with an open heart.

She gave herself a chance to soar." - "An Imperfect Life" by Jodi Hill

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The OSCARS 2011

The annual Academy Awards show is tonight. It's commonly referred to as
"The Oscars". It's a big night in my household. It has been a tradition since I was a child
to watch all the "stars" come out and to see which films and movie stars are recognized.

So now it's time to bring the champagne out...

Bring out all the appetizers...

Take a look at all the lovely gowns...

A tradition for me is to put on some bling. I think she's got the right idea!

Growing up I loved these movie stars.

Audrey Hepburn

Grace Kelly

Ingrid Bergman

Wonder who the Oscars will go to tonight?

We'll just have to tune in and see.

Here's a memorable Oscar recipients acceptance speech:

"Never once in my life did my parents say, 'What you're doing is a waste of time.' ... I know there are kids out there that don't have that support system so if you're out there and you're listening, listen to me:

You want to be creative? Get out there and do it, it's not a waste of time."

-- Michael Giacchino, after winning the award for Best Original Score for Up

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Look No Farther

"Joy is not in things,

it is in us."
-Richard Wagner

Friday, February 25, 2011


Barb and Mike c. 1975 San Diego California

" A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is a reality."
-John Lennon

Mat and Athena Cork Ireland 2008

Daniele and Aria Paris 2008

"Let us embark on this journey and together

we can realize all our wildest dreams.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I Knew You Were Somewhere All Along

"The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.

Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


"Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields...Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness." — Mary Oliver

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Easy Lemon Curd Cupcakes

1 box lemon cake mix (bake according to instructions on the box) makes 24 cupcakes or make your favorite lemon cupcake recipe from scratch.

Once the cupcakes are cooked take a melon baller kitchen tool and scoop out a melon size portion of the cake. I filled this hole with a heaping teaspoon of the lemon curd. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. I added one blackberry to top off the cupcake.


6 Tbs. unsalted butter room temp.

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks (optional)

2/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. grated lemon zest

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, about 2 min. Slowly add the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 min. Mix in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.In a medium, heavy-based saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it looks smooth. (The curdled appearance disappears as the butter in the mixture melts.) Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 min. It should leave a path on the back of a spoon and will read 170°F on a thermometer.

Don't let the mixture boil.

Remove the curd from the heat; stir in the lemon zest. Transfer the curd to a bowl. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming and chill the curd in the refrigerator. The curd will thicken further as it cools.

Fill empty small glass jars with curd.

Covered tightly, it will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Not Just Any Old Rainy Day

It was last Saturday morning when the rain fell intermittently.

We had a big day ahead of us.

Lemon cupcakes filled with lemon curd

I woke up early to bake cupcakes.

I knew we had a noon appointment with our tax accountant across town. That evening we were invited to dinner at my brother's home for a family get together with an old childhood friend. I was bringing the dessert so instead of coming back home after the noon meeting we decided we would kill some hours doing random things on that side of town before dinner time. Everything was going according to plans I thought until we arrived at the Tax man's office at 11:45 (15 min. early) and the receptionist told my husband, "oh yes, we wondered where you were your appt. was scheduled for 11:00!" This was totally my fault. I had it on my calendar with the right time and throughout the week my husband asked me several times about the hour and I kept thinking noon. All I could offer to my husband was, "Well at least I got the day right!" The office was very nice and said they would see us at 12:30. Whew.

This joke seems appropriate:

"Late Again"

Johnny Jones came into the office an hour late for the third time in one week and found the boss waiting for him. "What's the story this time,Jones?" he asked sarcastically.

"Let's hear a good excuse for a change."

Jones sighed, "Everything went wrong this morning, boss. The wife decidedto drive me to the train station. She got ready in ten minutes, but then the drawbridge got stuck.

Rather than let you down, I swam across the river.

Look, my suit is still damp. Then I ran out to the airport, got a ride

on Mr. Thompson's helicopter, landed on top of Radio City Music Hall,

and was carried here piggyback by one of the Rockettes."

"You'll have to do better than that, Jones," said the boss, obviously disappointed.

"No woman can get ready in ten minutes."

So it was lunch time after our meeting and we had hours to kill before meeting up with my family. Thus our not just another saturday adventure began...
We have passed by the famous pastrami place called "The Hat" for years. There are several locations in southern California but the original is in Alhambra. I will do a separate post of this place. So we decided we should finally try this place. The traffic was bustling on this busy corner of Garfield and Valley blvds.

Here's the popular pastrami sandwich with pickles and mustard.

After lunch we headed to the historic Mission area of South Pasadena. I have a soft spot in my heart for this area because it's where Mat and Athena had their apartment. We drove around and the rain started to fall intermittently.

We parked the car by Kaldi the coffee shop in the brick building on the corner.

Such familiar sites.

We walked to the South Pasadena library

Since we had no time limit we went inside and spent some time browsing and reading books and magazines. I love libraries.


We headed to the Pasadena Museum of History. Driving to the museum we were on Orange Grove Avenue. It's a beautiful wide street with some lovely mansions. The home of the world famous "Rose Parade" route along this street.

I wanted to show this museum and the grounds to my husband because our daughter Athena had worked there last summer coordinating art workshops for children.

The gift shop was open and fun to browse.

The main mansion is closed for renovation so there were no tours available.

Still we were able to walk the beautiful grounds.

The Museum's historic structures also include the Curtin House, a gracious French-style residence designed in 1915 by Sylvanus Marston, and the Finnish Folk Art Museum, a building designed by Frederick Roehrig and adapted by Consul Paloheimo for use as a sauna/guest house.

Here is the rear view of the Finnish Folk Museum on the property.

After a leisure look around it was time to go to my brothers house for the dinner get together.

My sister in law Barb always serves alot of delicious food.

We had sushi....mmmm delicious!

Whole baked salmon

Japanese picked cucumbers and cold tofu with green onions. Reminds me of meals with my grandma.

Marinated steak and chicken too and hot rice with kim chee (a spicy picked Korean cabbage).

We had a lot of time to catch up with our childhood friend Danny K. He had so many memories of the old neighborhood, boy scouting with my brother (his dad was the troop master), lots of laughs about my mom and dad and grandma whom he really loved. It was nice to hear him talk about his memories of my family. It made all my loved ones who have passed on seem so real again. Childhood friends are special.

Oooh and then we ate the lemon cupcakes. A nice way to end a not very ordinary Saturday.

"The best things in life come in threes, like friends, dreams and memories."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Post Birthday Dinner Celebration

Although my birthday was in January I was invited to a belated birthday dinner celebration with my cousin Ann. She had planned a very special evening at Osteria Mozza in West Hollywood. Reservations are difficult to come by and need to be made several weeks in advance. I was looking forward to this evening. It's fun to stretch out these celebrations of life for as long as possible. At least that's my motto.

The interior of Mozza is quiet and elegant. I loved the subdued lighting and the lovely

In the center of the restaurant is a busy mozarella bar.

The main dining room was quickly filling up. Service is swift and well organized. All the staff
were extremely cordial and helpful.

We started with a glass of Prosecco.

A complimentary dish of crostini topped with ricotta, black olive tapenade and basil was served.

From the mozarella bar we ordered Burrata cheese with leeks vinaigrette and mustard breadcrumbs with bacon, marinated escarole and carmelized shallots. Every bite was heavenly!

This was followed by the antipasti which was grilled octopus with potatoes, lemon and celery.

For our Primi we had Tagliatelle verde with lamb ragu, olive taggiasche and mint.

A lovely vino rosso was a good choice.

For our secondi roasted pork loin with fennel and onion with olives.

The pork was accompanied by the contorni . We chose sauteed broccolini with chiles and vinegar.

Espresso anyone?

My birthday dolci came with a candle. I made a wish before I took the photo so no picture with a lit candle. I hope my wish comes true.
This was a rosemary olive oil cake with gelato and rosemary brittle. I think that's what we ordered but now when I recall the taste it was more like an almond dessert with marinated tangerines. Whatever it was, it was delicious.
A second dessert was ordered but I don't know why because we were both so full.

Here is this beautiful choccolata bitter sweet cake with perugian chocolates. Oh my!

Next door to the Osteria is the Pizzeria Mozza. We want to try that one too!

And if you don't have reservations or time to dine in you can go right next door to the adjoining "Take out" for Mozza. It looks great as well.

“Enchant, stay beautiful and graceful, but do this, eat well. Bring the same consideration to the preparation of your food as you devote to your appearance. Let your dinner be a poem, like your dress.”
Charles Pierre Monselet (1825-1888)(rench journalist and author, "Letters to Emily"

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