Archive | October, 2011

Happy Halloween!

31 Oct


Snacks On Snacks

30 Oct

I arrived home in San Diego for a quick overnight visit and was greeted by these.And promptly concluded that msupermom had lost her mind.  Or (as is actually the case) my parents are hosting my sister’s medical school classmates for the month of October and these medical students BYO’d some crazy snacks.

This is a little more like it.

Orecchiette with Meat Sauce

3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/3 cup diced onions
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup diced carrots
3 tablespoons of chopped basil
1 pound of ground beef (4% fat) or ground lean turkey
2 28oz cans of whole peeled tomatoes (no sugar added), blended
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1-2 bay leaves
Small piece of lemon rind (2 inch by 2 inch)
Salt & pepper
1 box of orecchiette (or other pasta of your choice)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
This is not unlike our basic tomato sauce, only with meat.  Saute the onions, celery, carrots, and 1 tablespoon of basil in olive oil on medium to medium-high heat.  Saute until the onions are translucent; the vegetables should be al dente (4-5 minutes).  While the vegetables are sauteing, season the ground beef or turkey with nutmeg, bay leaves, lemon rind, and a generous amount of salt and pepper.
Cook the ground beef or turkey for 10 minutes or so, using a spatula to separate the meat so it doesn’t cook as one big piece.  Add blended tomatoes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Stir the tomatoes until well integrated with the meat.  Let the meat sauce cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes (or as long as a half hour for a thicker sauce).
While the sauce is cooking, cook your pasta in boiling, well salted water (as a rule of thumb, salt the water to the point that it tastes like broth).  Do not add oil to the water.  And stir once, only.  Stirring your pasta while it cooks encourages the starch and makes it gluey.
When the sauce has reached desired thickness, take it off the heat and add remaining basil.  Add cooked pasta to the sauce pan and stir gently.  Sprinkle with Parm and serve.  (Make risotto – and then suppli – with any leftover sauce!)

I Have To Ask

29 Oct

Are you wearing pants?  This is a question I ask myself often.  This Huffpost article and the chart below are a lifesaver.  Phew. 

Only In Cali

28 Oct

A Dia De Los Muertos-style Tribute To Steve Jobs.Amazing.

Modern Dance

27 Oct

When I put this list together, I thought modern dance would be the easiest post.  But, it’s actually quite hard for me to write anything of any significance about modern dance.  It has been years since I was involved in the modern dance community and I have unresolved ideas about the people I met and the lessons I learned during that time.

This is what comes to mind: Modern dance is not, contrary to popular belief, interpretive dance.  Barring something strange, no one pretends to be a tree.  The late great Martha Graham – and those who came after her (Twyla Tharp, Merce Cunningham, Jose Limon, etc.) – changed everything, as far as dance is concerned, anyway.  [Photo Credit – Barbara Morgan]

Google Animation recently agreed.

I remember Luke saying that his mother danced with Martha Graham.  Amazing.

And someone once told me that dance is the sport of the arts.  I always liked that.  This is a nice way to think about dance, anyway.

The women (and men) I was lucky enough to study under and dance with – Jean Isaacs and Monica Bill Barnes and Wendy Rogers, to name a few – were artists through and through and I didn’t realize at the time how lucky I was to have come across them.  Kevin Wynn was a defining experience, as well.  (Though I never liked being told what to do by anyone, and this transcended from the studios to my professional life.  This explains starting my own business, I guess.)

Spending most days in my early 20s in these gorgeous, open studios in La Jolla, California, was alright.(We choreographed a piece that involved moving in and out of the studio’s sliding windows – I wonder if that first photograph is of us.  Hard to tell.) [Photo Credit – UCSD Theater & Dance]

I have danced in Doc Martens and in leopard print leotards (for an Elvis tribute piece, naturally).  I choreographed a piece about my grandmother passing away; another one about the end of a thing, and moving away (in creating the last, my dancers and I talked about experiences we had that changed us – I will never forget that conversation).

We danced in this piece by Jean Isaacs – Gioia e Dolore – Joy and Pain.

I met C during this time (during the Kevin Wynn days, actually) and that was fun.  He was talented – and a little strange.  And on the receiving end of long letters from Spain.  When I told the girls the story of our first (only) date of sorts, I said there were candles everywhere and Beth thought I said “cake everywhere,” which was hilarious and probably would have been better than candles, truthfully.  Then that fizzled out.

Once, Lavina and I were meant to lift someone by his legs and shoulders in a face-down plank position and run with him for ten feet or so.  In rehearsals, he came toward us and jumped.  I reached for his shoulder but didn’t quite reach far enough down to his leg.  My hand rested in his front lower torso, to put it mildly.  I was mortified.  And could not stop laughing to save my life.  (Years later, I learned he was upset with me over something.  All that time – I had no idea.  We were (seemingly) quite good friends (maybe he was upset with me for violating his privacy – who can blame him – ha).)

Before class one day I fell asleep on the studio floor near the sunny windows facing west.  There were a few of us in there.  To this day, I can still hear Jean say, “wake up my sun goddesses” in this booming, distinctive voice.


26 Oct

I have known the family that owns Ki’s since I was maybe 7 years old.  The owner’s granddaughter, now an important part of the Ki’s team, was a long time gymnastics teammate of mine and her parents, who spent considerable time at the gym themselves, were loving, supportive people who were easy to talk to about anything and everything.

My family and I have been eating at Ki’s for years.  Among other memorable occasions, this is where we had my bridesmaids’ luncheon the weekend of my wedding.

Ki’s was ahead of its time in terms of local, organic eating – and has defined healthful dining in Carlsbad, California.  It’s a low maintenance place – order at the counter and have a seat upstairs anywhere you would like (window seats with amazing ocean views are typically taken).  Someone will bring your food up to you.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner alike, the goal, it seems, is to feed people in meaningful ways – that is, with food that is nourishing and delicious and made according to any and all preferences and particularities.

Among other things, fresh fruit smoothies, organic muffins, homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, and Mexican-influenced entrees are favorites.

On a recent visit, my mom and I stopped in for lunch.  I typically order the vegetarian sandwich – carrots, cucumbers, avocado, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes on wheat.  Any sandwich comes with a side of soup, garden salad, black beans & brown rice, corn chips or coleslaw.  This time I chose a curry lentil soup as my side – spicy and savory and delicious.  My mom orders the BLT every time – crispy turkey (!) bacon, avocado, lettuce, and tomato on toast.  Her soup was a chicken noodle.  Both meals were hearty and comforting (particularly so on an unusually grey day in San Diego) – and after you feel great about the way you have eaten.


Bonus Anniversary Post

25 Oct

Happy Anniversary, sweet husband!Three years is too short!

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