"A good meal is like a present, and it can feel goofy, at best, to give yourself a present. On the other hand, there is something life affirming in taking the trouble to feed yourself well, or even decently. Cooking for yourself allows you to be strange or decadent or both. The chances of you liking what you made are high, but if it winds up being disgusting, you can always throw it away and order a pizza; no one will ever know." (Jenni Ferrari-Adler)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pleasant Surprises on a Rainy day

This is when you know recession has hit California hard in 2010.....  not only unemployment has held steady in the double digits but even the Sun seems to have been handed a pink slip. Is Los Angeles becoming New York?

Although most of the weekend has been spent indoors and the weekly hiking trip was once more postponed until further notice, there was so much going on that I barely had any time to catch my breath.

It all started on Friday when my sister called me to let me know she and her hubby will be moving up boulevard from me (Pleasant surprise #1).  I cannot even begin to tell you how freaking excited I am.  Since R. left, life in SFV has been quite a lonely one, as most of my friends do live in the westside. Finally I'll have some company and someone to try my recipes.  Oh and did I mention we baptized their new kitchen of "KITCHEN STADIUM"? Exactly! That's how big it is.

Pleasant surprise #2, did I ever tell you how much I absolutely LOVE living in the Valley? why? Well, because Shhhhhhhhhhhhh.... SFV is LA's best kept secret, and most people do not even bother checking it out.... and shame on them because they also end up missing on certain things such as the opening TOTAL WINE & MORE America's Wine Superstore (think "where Disneyland meets 21+"). So Guess where I was at 8:30PM  on Friday night? Right on babe! Unbelievable selection, 8,000 yes 8,000 wines. I almost cried when I say 1 entire section dedicated to Old World Wines, featuring wines from Portugal and Greece.  The prices are absolutely insane, they are about 30-50% off what regular retailers will charge. According to the Sales associate, they'll beat anyone's prices, Its Costco all over again minus the membership fees. K'ATCHIN!!!! Three bottles of wine, a free wine guide, and a list a couple bottles of wine to be picked up when I get my next paycheck later...... 

Pleasant surprise # 3: the discovery of Bleecker Street.  Thanks K for taking me there. This is when you want to hit me in the head for not having a camera with me.  The Restaurant's design and decor though very urban, give that comfortable homy feel of being at a restaurant in the south of Spain. All I could think of  was "Clams, white wine garlic and tons of butter and rustic warm brick oven baked bread". Never before have I ever wanted to eat clams, nor is this recipe featured on their menu (which is a shame).  We did not eat dinner there. The idea was to just go out for a good glass of wine and  oh boy, did we succeed. This place has quite impressive wine selection. That day I decided to stay away from the favorite Merlot blend and have a Syrah instead. 2007 Pax "Cuvee Christine" North Coast Syrah was the wine of choice.  I'm a big fan of Napa Valley and Washington State wines however this wine in particular has awaken my curiosity in discovering Sonoma County wines.  Its full body, mildly spiced with a dry berry finish. All I needed to culminate the most perfect autumn evening of 2010.

And this was my friday.  How about you? How was your weekend?

The picture above was borrowed from here and it is property of  clipartguide.com

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