The Real Housewife of Santa Monica

Free the People Immigration March (Los Angeles) Week 1 – South Street & Smith Memorial Park Found Sticks Christmas Tree Leaving Oz Homebody Mostly NOT Potato Salad Shaka Shack Lemon Curd utah get-a-way, bloating & 3.2% beer

My friend and I attended this event on February 18th. We missed the march and joined the rally at City Hall in downtown LA. It was a much smaller crowd...

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We started out at my sister’s house. My niece had a day off of work so we grabbed her and headed to South Street. The last time I’d been there...

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This is so cute. There are many variations on Pinterest. I think the original idea came from the Free People blog which is worth looking at. I had these animals...

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Last fall when I heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge I claimed to have felt bullied into donating since I didn’t want to make a spectacle of myself on Facebook....

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After 20 years in the Castro, my dad decided to leave for a flatter, easier life. St. Allison met me in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago to help...

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We braced ourselves for the start of kinder this year. After all, we knew how pre-school had gone two years prior. She only cried every day for 1.5 years of...

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It’s getting HOT and making pasta every night is killing me. I’ve been trying to branch out to more salads now that it’s summer. This is a really tasty dish...

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This cute little burger place opened up in Sunset Park last year. It’s diagonally across from Bob’s Market. One day Maddie and I rode over there on my bike after...

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It’s been exciting having this huge yield of lemons from my next door neighbor’s tree. I’ve been getting “Southern Living Magazine” this year thanks to my niece’s magazine drive and...

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Last weekend G’s company sent us all to Park City which happened to be the last few days of Sundance Film Festival! We took advantage of Jack & Patsy’s stay...

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Baked Pancake (Pannukakku)

A few weeks ago, my new friend Amy shared this recipe with me. We were talking about breakfast fatigue. I definitely get in breakfast slumps. For a little while, I’d pretty given up on making breakfast and kept a well-stocked dry cereal shelf the kids could reach themselves. They started getting their own cereal (dry) before we got up. Too bad that only lasted a few weeks. Oatmeal, breakfast burritos, quesadillas, smoothies, bagels, cinnamon toast, baked oatmeal, muffins, waffles, pancakes. What else is there? Finnish pancakes! These are nothing like your typical lumberjack pancakes. Think: popover.

While this is easy to make, it is not a “last minute” breakfast item. You need to let the batter sit for about 30 mins and you also need the baking time – about 15-20 minutes. I have a feeling after you’ve made it a few times you can get it going first thing when you wake up or hopefully, do it in your sleep!

INGREDIENTS:
3/4 c all purpose flour (I used 1/2 c flour & 1/4 c whole wheat flour)
3/4 c milk
3 eggs
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c butter
optional: I added a TBSP milled flax seed & 1 TBSP chia seeds

TOPPING (optional)
powdered sugar
whipped cream
fresh fruit

**NOTE: This is half the original recipe. I used (1) 9″ pie pan but it’s supposed to be enough for (2) pie pans. I just didn’t have 2!**

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, milk, eggs, sugar, and salt until smooth. Let stand for about 30 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Add butter to a 9″ pie pan or I think you could use a cast iron skillet or a 9″ skillet as long as it is oven safe (and NOT Teflon coated!) I used a 9″ glass pie pan. Anyway, add the butter to it – yep, just PLOP it in there and place in the oven. When butter is melted, remove from oven, brush butter to coat entire pan and add batter.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Edges should be puffed and rise quite high.

Whatever you do, find a way to resist the temptation to open & close the oven to see how high it is!!

Dust with powdered sugar.

And slice!

Baked Pancake (Pannukakku)
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Finnish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4
 

A special breakfast item coming to you from Scandinavia. Think: light & fluffy popover. Perfect for a special brunch!
Ingredients
  • ¾ c all purpose flour (I used ½ c flour & ¼ c whole wheat flour)
  • ¾ c milk
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ c butter
  • TOPPING (optional)
  • powdered sugar
  • whipped cream
  • fresh fruit

Instructions
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, milk, eggs, sugar, and salt until smooth. Let stand for about 30 minutes.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Add butter to a 9″ pie pan or I think you could use a cast iron skillet or a 9″ skillet as long as it is oven safe (and NOT Teflon coated!) I used a 9″ glass pie pan. Anyway, add the butter to it – yep, just PLOP it in there and place in the oven. When butter is melted, remove from oven, brush butter to coat entire pan and add batter.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Edges should be puffed and rise quite high.
  4. Whatever you do, find a way to resist the temptation to open & close the oven to see how high it is!!
  5. Dust with powdered sugar.
  6. And slice!

 

Adapted from:”The Great Scandinavian Baking Book” by Beatrice Ojakagas

 

Escape

Almost every day I check my little garden. It’s the most relaxing part of the day.

dinosaur kale, tomatoes, arugula, parsley, mint & oregano

Noticed the first tomato of the season:

Actually a lot smaller than it might appear…

Love bumping into LP out here!



You’re never alone in our backyard.

 

Japanese Brown Beech Button Mushroom & Pesto Pizza

Last month a little packet of delicate Japanese Brown Beech Button Mushrooms came in my CSA box. Fortunately there was a recipe for a flatbread using the little rascals. I modified it slightly into a pizza using what I had on hand. This was a total success! Even G ate the mushrooms (unknowingly)!

Of course you can make this with any kind of mushrooms you have on hand! Just wipe any dirt off and slice first depending on their size.

All you need:

1 tsp olive oil
2 c Japanese Brown Beech Button Mushrooms
1/2 small onion, chopped finely
pizza dough (I used Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat)
2-4 TBSP pesto sauce (also used TJ’s here)
1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
parmesan cheese
OPTIONAL: 3-4 fresh basil leaves

1. Preheat oven to 450.

2. Cut mushrooms off base. These mushrooms are so tiny they don’t need to be chopped. Mine were clean w/out dirt on them so I just cut the base off so that they were all separate & free individuals!

3. Heat olive oil in a skillet at medium. When oil is hot, add onions & mushrooms. Stir frequently cooking until onions are slightly soft, for about 2-3 minutes.

4. If you’re using a pizza stone, prepare as you normally would for a pizza. I used a cookie sheet. Brush with olive oil and then sprinkle corn meal on top of the oil.

That prevents the pizza dough from sticking plus it gives a nice texture to the bottom of your crust.

5. Place rolled or stretched dough onto cookie sheet (or pizza stone).

6. Spread a few spoonfuls of pesto (either homemade or pre-made) over the top of your dough, leaving 1/2″ at the edge.

7. Add mozzarella cheese, then the mushroom/onion mixture following by a sprinkling of grated parmesan (to your taste!)

Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted & golden. Sprinkle fresh torn basil on top!

Japanese Brown Beech Button Mushroom & Pesto Pizza
Author: 
Recipe type: Pizza
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4
 

Easy pizza!
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 c Japanese Brown Beech Button Mushrooms
  • ½ small onion, chopped finely
  • pizza dough (I used Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat)
  • 2-4 TBSP pesto sauce (also used TJ’s here)
  • ½ c shredded mozzarella cheese
  • parmesan cheese
  • OPTIONAL: 3-4 fresh basil leaves

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Cut mushrooms off base. These mushrooms are so tiny they don’t need to be chopped. Mine were clean w/out dirt on them so I just cut the base off so that they were all separate & free individuals!
  3. Heat olive oil in a skillet at medium. When oil is hot, add onions & mushrooms. Stir frequently cooking until onions are slightly soft, for about 2-3 minutes.
  4. If you’re using a pizza stone, prepare as you normally would for a pizza. I used a cookie sheet. Brush with olive oil and then sprinkle corn meal on top of the oil.
  5. That prevents the pizza dough from sticking plus it gives a nice texture to the bottom of your crust.
  6. Place rolled or stretched dough onto cookie sheet (or pizza stone).
  7. Spread a few spoonfuls of pesto (either homemade or pre-made) over the top of your dough, leaving ½” at the edge.
  8. Add mozzarella cheese, then the mushroom/onion mixture following by a sprinkling of grated parmesan (to your taste!)
  9. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted & golden. Sprinkle fresh torn basil on top!

 

Slightly adapted from Steamy Kitchen.

 

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Want to hear something crazy? My kids like mushrooms. The list of things my husband doesn’t like is too long for this blog posting so having 2 preschoolers who like mushrooms makes me feel pretty happy. Don’t worry – they hate lots of other things (like grilled cheese).

Last week I bought 2 oz cartons of crimini mushrooms thinking I’d find the time to make a summer vegetable torta despite my husband having his 40th birthday the day before Easter while also having his father in the hospital. What was I thinking?

Monday night we got home late and in endless battle against making “noodles” I whipped this up to avoid finding these shriveled a week later and having to toss.

This takes about 15-20 minutes from start to finish. You can’t make pasta with jar sauce much faster.

You’ll need:

8 oz mushrooms (I used crimini but you can use any you have on hand)
2 TBSP olive oil (or butter)
2 TBSP onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 TBSP flour, separated
2 c vegetarian chicken flavored broth
1 c whole milk (or cream or evaporated milk)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper (or to taste!)
1/4 tsp nutmeg

This is so easy!

1. Brush dirt off mushrooms & slice.
2. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions & mushrooms and cook until onions are soft (about 4 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
3. Stir in 2 T of flour, coating the vegetables.
4. Add broth, stirring frequently until it thickens.
5. In a small bowl, combine cream with remaining 1 T flour and seasonings. Whisk together until combined thoroughly.
6. Add mixture to soup, stirring occasionally as it thickens.

OPTIONAL: add fresh chopped thyme or tarragon!

I doubled the recipe and we had about 2 bowls of leftovers.

Serve with crusty bread and/or salad.

Cream of Mushroom Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 2-4
 

A surprisingly tasty, simple & quick cream of mushroom soup!
Ingredients
  • 8 oz mushrooms (I used crimini but you can use any you have on hand)
  • 2 TBSP olive oil (or butter)
  • 2 TBSP onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 TBSP flour, separated
  • 2 c vegetarian chicken flavored broth
  • 1 c whole milk (or cream or evaporated milk)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper (or to taste!)
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

Instructions
  1. Brush dirt off of mushrooms & slice.
  2. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions & mushrooms and cook until onions are soft (about 4 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  3. Stir in 2 T of flour, coating the vegetables.
  4. Add broth, stirring frequently until it thickens.
  5. In a small bowl, combine cream with remaining 1 T flour and seasonings. Whisk together until combined thoroughly.
  6. Add mixture to soup, stirring occasionally as it thickens.
  7. OPTIONAL: add fresh chopped thyme or tarragon!
  8. Serve with crusty bread and/or salad.

Slightly adapted from Food.com

 

Shaka Shack

This cute little burger place opened up in Sunset Park last year.

It’s diagonally across from Bob’s Market.

One day Maddie and I rode over there on my bike after school so she could get a bite.

We sat at a surfboard and M played with the vintage Mr. Potato Head.

We love the polynesian decor and shellacked surfboard tables!

Comfortable!

You order here at the counter.

Ask this young lady about the specials.

Oh wow!

It just occurred to me that you might be wondering what kind of burgers/food are served? Great question! It’s a Polynesian themed burger shack.

Check out the menu!

I tried the Hana slaw which was delicious!

M had a plain grass-fed burger with ketchup & pickles only. She will always eschew toppings in favor of letting the ingredients stand on their own. (I.e. she’s increasingly picky.)



She loved it!

Besides burgers, they have Portabella mushroom, veggie (rice, black bean & corn), salmon, chicken & turkey burgers. I am mostly vegetarian these days and will definitely try the veggie burger next time.

The friendliness of the women who run Shaka Shack makes you want to stay there all day. This is what I love about small neighborhood businesses and what separates them from chain restaurants.

Also, they have these:

Definitely check Shaka Shack out next time you’re in the area! You can also run across the street to check out Baby Daze Boutique. Lookit what I just found there last week?

Shaka Shack
1701 Ocean Park Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310)450-5551

M 11:30a-6p
T-Sa 11:30a-8p
Sun CLOSED



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