What people are shouting

Ham and cranberry-goat cheese sandwiches — that is a recipe I would love to try. I may even share the sandwich with my kids.

On a whim I made ham and cranberry-goat cheese sandwiches today. The kids loved them!

Here’s a cool tip I learned last night from a chef who runs a take-out salad service. In order to keep the salad fresh-tasting and to avoid that soggy lettuce syndrome, he dresses only the parts of the salad that won’t wilt (beans, artichoke hearts, carrots, onions, etc). He then layers his salad, placing a bit of the dressed stuff at the bottom, then some leaves, then a little more of the dressed stuff, then more leaves and so on. When you transfer the salad from the container to the plate, it all gets mixed together and so it feels like the entire salad has been dressed as one. Nice!

I ate at Craft tonight… Angela’s treat. It was exquisite. There is inspiration in the chard (I think in the form of pickled chard roots). What a thing. I can taste it even now. More to follow when I am in less of a food coma.

Awesome strap line…

Happy new year to one and all!

This year I resolve to eat well and with my friends and family. Oh and I should probably drop a few and be nicer to strangers too.

Here’s to a healthy 2008.

As anyone who enjoys a quality cocktail can appreciate, finding a bartender that knows how to mix a proper drink is a rarity. Let’s face it, more often than not we end up mixing better drinks at home than the actor behind the bar who refuses to measure his sweet and sour mix. But I may have found the real deal managing the bar at comme Ca restaurant in Los Angeles.

Further investigation is necessary (and warranted) before I write proper a recommendation, but I was more than impressed when dinning at the restaurant with some friends for a holiday dinner (the food was pretty darn good too). If you are in the neighborhood stop in and give the Dealers Choice a try - apparently this is one dealer who knows his cards.

More soon but just in case you were in the neighborhood and looking for a quality cocktail, I thought I would shout out the good news.

comme Ca
8479 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90069

Love the House! When Elves go wild! Wooo Hooo!

Wow. Looks more like gaudi than dali to me.

Gingerbread odyssey

Two days ago we started construction on a gingerbread house, using the Lebkuchen recipe. If you are thinking about making a gingerbread house I would highly recommend this recipe. The walls were sturdy, yet still moist and most important delicious.

The first part of the process was a delight. My buddy Eric came by and we started with some serious “gingerneering.” As a marriage saving precaution I highly recommend embarking on a gingerbread house with a friend and not a spouse. After all a friend goes home at the end of the day, but a spouse you have to sleep with.

We planned out the structure before we began rolling. We double checked our plans and lots of baking ensued. The lebkuchen walls came out of the oven nice and moist and were easy to cut. As they cooled the walls hardened.

The next step was the most dangerous and required the most dexterity — melted sugar as glue. Miraculously no fingers were burned. Better yet the walls held together beautifully. We put the roof on before calling it a night and the kids found a completed, albeit undecorated, house waiting for them in the morning.

Our eight year old neighbor Sara joined the party (my girls are 2 and 5) and we set about making gingerbread men, smiley faces, peace signs and snails from the leftover dough.

Up to now the process was peacefully and fun. Then the storm hit. A gaggle of children came over to help decorate. Candy and cookies, coconut and confections were set out for decorations. Within moments the carefully constructed house looked like something out of a Dali dream. Little hands alternated between hurling calories at our icing coated structure and stuffing building materials into their mouths. The pitch in the room grew to deafening proportions. Some parents attempted to moderate the madness, most gave in to the inevitable, grabbed a cocktail and searched for quiet locations.

There was a brief moment of calm when construction halted, glasses of milk were filled and all admired the colorful caloric creation. You could almost hear the sugar coursing through the young veins. There are scientists who claim that sugar does not impact hyperactivity. These charlatans would have conceded to the inevitable reality had they been within two square miles of my home in the late afternoon yesterday.

The destruction began slow. Even the most misbehaved child was weary of taking the first whack. But after a little encouragement — all hell broke loose. My carefully constructed creation was reduced to a delicious ruble.

I’m headed to the farmers market now to atone for my sins.

Happy holidays.