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Preview: Flesh and Bones:Tales of a nurse and a chef's wife

Flesh and Bones:Tales of a nurse and a chef's wife

Updated: 2018-03-05T14:39:10.677-08:00


A long overdue shout out to the hubby...


First of all, my husband is a chef professionally but still LOVES to cook at home. It's a shame when other chef's say they don't have the energy or desire to cook at home because they do it all day. Noah visits the farmers market every week and knows the farmers by name. They give him free goodies to bring home. He isn't afraid to try something he doesn't recognize or has never worked with. We don't eat anything out of a box or a can (except San Marzano tomatoes) and haven't eaten fast food in years. Our pantry is filled with canned goods from the summer: Tomatoes, pickles, salsas, peaches, peppers, jams, olives, and jalepenos. Bottom line: we eat well.He may whip up a little afternoon brunch on our day off. Cranberry beans, corn, hericot verts and croutons, all topped with a poached egg and served with a rose out on our patio.For dinner, it might be scallops and lightly deep fried vegetables with an eggplant puree. (This was in the summer, of course)He is an artist........and food is his medium.He's not always so fancy.... Cooking for my family while visiting in Portland.His fried chicken and potato salad we bring with us to Dodger stadium is STOOPID! (That's a good thing)He makes desserts too.. (of COURSE he made the biscuits from scratch. Thanks mom!)This is a typical scene in our kitchen: pots a'bubblin away on the stove, the rear one is chicken stock that we freeze into ice cube trays then throw the cubes into whatever we need it for, salmon we got from the seafood market down the street, a chantrelle mushroom waiting to be sliced... it always smells SO GOOD!!!This is the result:So I've done all my bragging for now. I'm just so proud of his talent and his passion and feel blessed he shares his knowledge (and meals!) with me. He's also pretty darn cute..[...]

Portland (might as well be called Heaven)


Gorgeous, lovely Portland. Of course we got there when the weather was on its best behavior so it seems like its the most fabulous city of all time! This is the Marriott on the river. Our view from our balcony, for a ridiculously small amount of money. Thank you honey!We hit up some Asian markets for seafood (Noah is picky so we went to three different places) and he decided on some live shrimp and whole striped bass.We had so much fun with our nieces and nephew! They all have their own crazy personalities. Noah hadn't seen the kids in almost two years!Me: What time is it?Isadore: Half past a monkey's ass according to his balls!Me: (see photo) The fish just before it went on the BBQ. Mom looks so cute in the background.. Anticipation!!!Fresh sardines! Mayan loves these so it was a special treat for her birthday...The man and his grill...Serving it up!! Crazy, kid yelling, everybody talking, noisy, fun dinner with the fam!Downtown StumptownKaraoke was so much fun! No embarrassment just beltin' it out. The kids were naturals!Sing it George! He did "Twinkle, Twinkle" and No Doubt's "Hey Baby".Nice move, Uncle Noah. I didn't know you liked Lady Gaga... (Look at George hugging the girls from behind)George and Uncle Noah singing some Johnny Cash. George liked to walk around the "stage" with his mic.Noah loves this photo!Late night with Aaron Woo. Regrets we didn't take photos when we had lunch with him, Karen, and Ethan.Spending some quality backyard time with Gray. Ate egg sandwiches made from his chickens eggs and helped save a woodpecker from being pecked to death!Too short, too short.......[...]

Work is just an annoying interruption of my real life....


I'm falling in love with Southern California. The more I explore the history and the neighborhoods the more I become enamored! On Tuesday Noah and I had tickets to the Dodger game (it was Andre Ethier bobblehead giveaway night!) so we decided to go downtown first and explore a little. I have a architecture book of LA that we frequently tote around with us on our adventures. One spot downtown that I really wanted to check out was the Bradbury building built in 1893. Plain on the outside but inside.... Oh wow... mouth hanging open in awe.. Pictures just don't do it justice. The film Bladerunner was filmed here if you want to see it but aren't planning on visiting soon...Downtown LA is filled with these treasures! A lot are in disrepair but some have been restored by smart people that we thank profusely! Look at this gorgeous building.... It's a theatre in the theatre district (now the sketchy jewelry district) built in 1931.After our tour of downtown we headed to the "Art District" around 3rd and Alameda to check out this new sausage place called Wurstkuche. All the food was house made: sausages, kraut, buns, mustards, ketchups... Yum, yum! And they have tons of great beer on tap. I can't believe I didn't take a picture of the sausage. Only this cute guy...Next we took a cab to Union Station to get on our free shuttle to Dodger Stadium. We stopped at the bar called Traxx to have a cocktail. Union Station is an amazing place. All sorts of people coming and going; very much an airport feel but with an old school vibe....Oh joy!!! The anticipation of a ballgame, the gorgeous view from the stadium: downtown, Chavez Ravine, palm trees. I love this place!We sat in the cheap seats and loved it. We had a great view of the field and we were surrounded by super nice fans and people just out to have a good time. Obviously the weather was nice...Not only did we score a bobblehead but the Dodgers put on a great game and won!!! Dodger stadium is my Disneyland...[...]

Palm Springs and the Salton Sea....


Noah and I love to stay a night or two in Palm Springs when we get a chance. We found this quiet hotel with small kitchens and a big BBQ by the pool. We've stayed here close to 10 times now. It's kitschy and affordable and rarely has kids staying. Nice and quiet...What gave it away that only retired or childless couples stay here? Yes that is a shuffleboard court and yes, we've played several times. Always with a cocktail in hand...There are several fruit trees on the property including figs, limes, lemons, olives, and this heavily laden grapefruit tree. The owners don't mind if you pick and use the fruit.Noah looks pretty relaxed.... We lounge by the pool for hours reading magazines and jumping in every 30 minutes or so. We made our own bloody mary mix and made bloody mary's with pickled okra. We've decided it's a "healthy" cocktail. Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!! Not only are we drinking healthy but as you can see I am exercising as well. We love our little kitchen. (It's probably bigger than our kitchen at home!) It has a large fridge and a two burner stove. We precooked baby back ribs then threw them on the grill to finish them off.We drank a cold white wine, listened to music, let the night air blow in...Radishes, asparagus, and fava beans...The next day we headed south east and stopped at Shield's date stand. They've been growing dates since 1923! We had to get an ice cold date shake.Don't miss the sex life of dates movie that plays continuously while you're slurping down your shake!Next stop was the Salton Sea. In the 40's and 50's this was the place to go: "the Californian Riviera". Then it became super polluted and too salty and fish started to die off in staggering numbers. From what I read about it I thought it was going to be gross and stinky but to our surprise it was beautiful. (I didn't jump in though!). But for all it's beauty it was a lonely, desolate place. The small towns around it were nothing but dusty old trailer parks. We spontaneously started talking in a redneck twang...In a town called Bombay Beach, population 326, we found the local watering hole: The Ski Inn. (As in waterski, I suppose.) We parked between the locals cars and made our way into one of the best dive bars I've ever been in! (And I've been in a lot). The owner was behind the bar pouring drinks, the walls and ceiling were covered in dollar bills, and there was about 4 or 5 regulars sitting at the bar, nursing their drinks. Their heads all swiveled around as we walked in and Noah wasted no time chattin' them up while I ordered us budweisers that were served in cold mason jars. We ordered a cheeseburger and a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with fries. The cheese was processed slices and there was a jar of pickled eggs on the counter. We bought a can of "Fish Assholes" to support the local volunteer fire department. The local at the end of the bar kept calling us "Santa Monica" as in "Hey, Santa Monica, where are you headed after this?" It was a blast!Of course we had to tape a dollar to the ceiling. It feels good to know we have a little shrine of our own at the Salton Sea Ski Inn. Oh California! The more I get to know you, the more I love you![...]

My job is not okay...


Imagine this: In one room you are taking care of a patient who is dying. A patient who is only 62 years old. Your mom, your friends mom. She's is dying right before your eyes. You do chest compressions when she goes into cardiac arrest, she's intubated and on a breathing machine. You give her several doses of epinephrine and atropine every time she arrests (five times so far!)! You start a chest tube. She came in talking, saying she didn't feel well the past couple of days. How many times can you code her? Enough. She dies. The family weeps, it's horrible, it's tragic. You hug them, you cry. Then you have to finish your shift. You have to go into a room with a patient complaining of a headache. They want your attention, they want your sympathy. HOW? How can I feel compassion for you???? Your headache is stupid, it is not important. How do I do this? How do I feel compassion for your headache when someone just died right in front of me!?



We decided to grill a whole fish tonight. Thank you, oh dear sweet red snapper, for giving us your moist flesh. We treated you with the utmost respect and reveled in every sacrificed morsel. It helps to eat "whole foods" to remind us exactly what we are eating. We had some leftover fennel stems and fronds and lemons so Noah stuffed those in the cavity.
Our trusty habachi... we've used it for years on our small patio and it easily fits in our trunk for a beach trip.


The skin got stuck on the grill, but not too bad, and the smell was amazing! (Maybe not so much for the neighbors but f*ck them!)

Noah braised spring onions with black trumpet mushrooms. Then he crisped up some fingerling potatoes to serve alongside. Chives and tarragon finished it off. So good!

Spring has sprung in SoCal...


So Noah went to the farmer's market today and came home with strawberries and asparagus!! Spring is officially here in Santa Monica. I went back and forth on what I wanted to make. I always have this problem on Wednesdays... he brings home so much beautiful product that I want to use everything. But I reigned it in and decided to do simple. After a thorough inventory of our "larder", I hoofed it to the store for buttermilk. Then I pulled out Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking (a la a recent popular movie) and looked up hollandaise sauce. I took the beautiful asparagus and peeled them then steamed them. After making the hollandaise just as Julia suggests, we poached some eggs and crisped up proscuitto in the oven. Here is the result:

It tasted sooooooo goooood!!! Then I made shortcake biscuits using a recipe from Alton Brown (he never lets me down!) I macerated the strawberries in lemon juice and sugar then made Noah whip up the whipping cream with powdered sugar and a drop of vanilla extract. Exquisite!!

My 35th...


We had so much fun on Noah's birthday downtown that we decided to do it again for mine. Downtown LA always seemed like a place you never went unless you worked there. But there is a budding society and it makes it seem like we are visiting another city. A vacation 20 minutes (or an hour and a half) away (depending on traffic, of course!).Our first stop, Bar 107. Big ol' Pabst served in an old school dive bar!3pm. Downtown LA. PBR's. Camera. Love it!!!Next, we walked a couple of blocks away to a a wine bar called The Must. They served tator tots with cheddar cheese sauce. And really strong Raaaaaaayyyy Neeeaaaarrrrrrr Beeeeaaaarrrrr!Noah drank an Old Milwaukee and we snacked on a warm, soft pretzel with a fabulous mustard.They had a bunch of board games and card games for public use so we channeled our Hawaii vacation and played some Uno. (Of course I thought of you Lou!)Next we walked a couple of blocks to The Redwood Bar and Grill (a pirate bar, Arrghh!). This was the view outside the door...Lately, I've really been into Journey. More precisely, I've been OBSESSED with Journey, especially with Steve Perry. So on my bday I wanted to sing "Journeyokie". We snuck in a pint of Jim Beam and sung our hearts out!'Through space and timeAlways another showWondering where I amLost without you'-Steve PerryThoroughly toasted and ready for some good food, we walked/bussed to Church and State, a fairly new place on the outskirts of downtown. Downtown is a sketchy place to walk around: one minute you are in a gentrified neighborhood, the next skid row.. Yikes! But we made it okay and shared a prix fixe menu for $39.Amuse bouche: english pea veloute with smoked baconRaw oyster and poached shrimpDuck breast with lentils, brussel sprouts, and orange duck sauceI forgot the dessert because I don't really like dessert...We took the 720 home, straight down Wilshire. Barely had to wait, stopped at the HMS Bounty mid-wilshire, halfway through the ride. Got bought a drink by a regular, chatted it up with an Asian Jew and a gay guy. Fun, fun...[...]

Noah's LA birthday adventure


For Noah's 36th birthday, I wanted to go to take him to the French countryside, tour off the beaten path bistros in a convertible and spend nights in quaint little bed and breakfasts. But we couldn't afford that. Hawaii? New York? Palm Springs, for gods sake? Nope, our budget would not stretch that far. So I decided to take a small vacation in our own city. It's easy to do in LA, a place where every country is represented in some neighborhood. After some thought I thought it would be fun to discover the essence of old Hollywood, the LA of the 30's, 40's and 50's. Oh, and I wanted to booze to be included somehow. So I researched lounges that have been open since the 30's. Here's what we found:I thought it would be fun to forget about driving and trying to find parking. LA's public transportation is atrocious but we found a way to make it work. After buying $5 day passes for the metro (good on buses and the rail) we hopped on the Big Blue Bus #10 to downtown.It took us about 25 minutes to get downtown. The ride was comical, the personalities of the bus driver and other riders kept us entertained. And in true LA commute fashion, the bus got cut off, had to slam on the brakes, and we came together as a small bus riding community by flipping of the offending driver. What fun!We got off downtown near a rail connection and did our first underground foray of Los Angeles. The cleanest and most beautiful of subway systems! I'm shocked more people don't take advantage of such a convenient way to get around the city.Our first stop was in Hollywood. Naturally, something was being filmed at a corner diner and we had to fight our way through lights, electric cables, crew, and heavily perfumed and make-up'd actresses. Pretty cool to see the Capitol Records building.Our first stop, The Frolic Room, conveniently located right across the street from our rail stop. We meandered along the star studded sidewalk and made our way into the tiny, dark bar. There was one other patron and the ageless, petite woman behind the bar was making him some Jiffypop on a strange, undulating hot plate. She was delighted when we told her what we were doing and gave us ideas of other bars to visit. The Frolic Room was opened in the 30's and was a hang out of the "Black Dahlia" and Charles Bukowski.Inside the bar with the birthday boy. I love taking low light photos. And of course there are always signed head shots and photos of the owners with various celebs prominently displayed.A quick bus ride to the next stop: The Formosa cafe. It was opened in 1934, the back half is made out of a trolley car, and legend has it that Frank Sinatra spent many nights here pining over Ava Gardner.A view of the trolley car (sorry about the blur!) The bartender was really friendly and knowledgeable. The cafe is around the corner from Warner Brother's studios so all sorts of industry types have spent lots of time here.This was Elvis Presley's favorite booth. He donated several Elvis-likeness liquor bottles which are displayed in the case above. An Elvis shrine!We took the rail back downtown and our last stop (after having a great dinner at a new restaurant in Japantown called the Lazy Ox Canteen) was Cole's. It boasts having invented the French Dip.We ordered Bombay Sapphire martini's and the bartender wasn't having it. He made us martini's made with an old school English gin. A fabulous end to a great birthday! A relaxing bus ride home....[...]

New fancy digs..


The new and improved ER has passed inspection and we are ready to move in next Thursday! So exciting to be able to move in to a new building with new equipment. (No more call lights that are a 3 foot string of gauze attached to the one that was broken 5 years ago). New moniters, new computers, and 2 trauma rooms! I know there will be some growing pains but I'm really excited! I'll try to take some photos to post soon.

Our best hiking day yet...


Decided to revisit a hike we had done last week but take a detour up to Magu Peak. I told Noah that I wanted to be at the trailhead by 1pm. I woke up at 1230! Not a great start. Our plan was to do the hike and time it so that we finished by 430 or so then we wanted to BBQ at our favorite beach, which is just down the road, and watch the sunset. We got to the trailhead at 2pm and started up. I was so tired I wanted to quit at the beginning. But the trick with hiking is that you just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Don't look ahead, just keep plodding. My hard work was well rewarded! Check out this summit view looking down on the Pacific Coast Highway.The views were panoramic! We couldn't even fit into the photo how much ocean we were looking down upon.We finished the hike just around 430, just how we planned. We drove the short distance to Sycamore Beach and fired up the BBQ. We had brought a gargantuan porterhouse and Noah had put together a coleslaw with napa cabbage, apples, parsley, and watercress with a creme fraiche and red wine vinegar dressing. Noah manning the grill with the sun going down behind him...Gorgeous sunset, gorgeous man...We split a bottle of Santa Barbara Winery pinot noir and ate while we watched the sky turn a hundred different colors. We could see lobster boats bobbing in the distance, a guy was paddling around on his surfboard, seagulls were trying to check out what food we had to offer, and the only other people on the beach were BBQing something that smelled delicious. What a great day!![...]

Sunday laziness..


I love Sundays! I always ask for them off. I think working on Sundays is a sin; not because of God but because it's the one day that all responsibilities are put on hold. No banks, no bills, no appointments or obligations. I also happen to LOVE football and it starts at 10 am and goes all day. What a great excuse to lay on the couch all day and drink beer. *Heaven!* Even better is that my husband, while not obsessed with football, is equally enthusiastic about food and cooking. So while I sloth on the couch, he is busy with all the amazing produce he picked up at the farmer's market the day before. I don't know how I ever ate at any shitty restaurant. I am so spoiled rotten that I have an amazing chef cooking for me every day. And he likes it!! He's perfectly happy puttering around in the kitchen while I lay on the couch watching TV. Disgusting, I know. Here's a typical conversation:

Noah: Can I get you anything?

Me: Another beer would be nice.

Noah walks over and hands me a cold beer, takes away my empty, kisses me. He goes back to the kitchen and continues making food.

Me: Can I help you do anything?

Noah: You are perfect doing what you are doing.

*Sigh!* What a great guy! A few minutes later he hands me this:

(image) Pan seared chicken thighs, lettuce, figs, parsley, and blue cheese in a shallot vinaigrette. Yummy. So in return I baked chocolate snickerdoodles which he had for dessert with a big glass of milk. We played cribbage on the patio this afternoon and shared a bottle of Pinot Noir from the Santa Ynez valley. He's fallen asleep while I type this, it's super cozy in our apartment, smells good. Aaahhhhh, I love lazy Sundays!

More hiking fun


I'm such a lazy person. I hate to exercise and I only do it if I'm motivated to fit into a pair of pants. I always feel great once it's done but I'm bitter and pissed during the actual act. So about a month ago I went on a hike with some friends near Santa Barbara. I couldn't wuss out and I couldn't quit. And, by god, I liked it! So Noah and I have been doing some hikes. I bought a book about hikes within two hours of LA. Noah and I chose some easy ones. The great thing about hiking, and being able to stick to it, is that there is a reward. The summit, the vista, the waterfall, whatever. It's easier for me to have a goal to walk towards. And my wussy ass will walk harder and longer if someone is with me; I won't quit earlier if my pride is at stake. Pathetic, I know, but it has proved to serve me well. On Monday, Noah and I chose a hike close by that advertised a waterfall at the end. I pretty much figured, in these dry days, that we would miss a spectacular ending to the trail. But it was fun all the same; we hiked through an upscale neighborhood with gargantuan houses, then hit a well used horse trail and meandered through a canyon. As we got closer to the end we saw a small creek along the trail and the waterfall at the end was just a trickle. None the less it was pretty and satisfying.The view down stream was equally pretty and we imagined how amazing this spot must be after a few days of rain...Noah decided that this hike wasn't challenging enough for him so he did push ups every 15 minutes or so. Very cute...The next day we chose a hike out of our guide book that was rated "easy". It was timed at 2 1/2 hours so we thought it was perfect given our late start. We drove up a windy road outside of Malibu and drove through a few small neighborhoods of crazy big houses with even crazier big views of the ocean. The trail brought us down into a wooded, shaded canyon. It was easy to begin with. Then we started climbing out of the canyon, both of us out of breath, and having to take a few water (and pee) breaks. This view was looking down into the canyon we had just hiked out of:This was basically the summit and I am pooped! I feel tricked by my guide book that said it was "easy". But the view of the ocean, Catalina Island, and the opulent homes was well worth it.The sun was starting to set when we got to the peak. We started to worry that it would be dark by the time we got down. Thoughts of cougars and rattlesnakes danced through our heads!We made it to the car with some light to spare. It was rewarding and calorie burning and we treated ourselves to a huge steak, quinoa and yams when we got home![...]

It's been awhile...


It seems like it's been so long since I logged on to the 'ol Blogger site. So many things have happened: the usual life, coupled with crazy shit. It is pretty amazing that life just keeps going on and on. The first and most emotional thing that happened to me in my absence from Blogger is that a friend of mine died. Sharon was 35, has two kids ages almost 2 and 4. She has a wonderful husband, Brice. I went to her wedding, she went to mine. We worked together at the pub, I thought at first that she didn't like me. She was so pretty and had her shit together. I was just trying to get my shit together. She accepted me unconditionally. She was so sweet, such a nice person. We partied together, worked together, even shared a boyfriend at one point! After I moved to LA, she always called me, even visited once with her newborn, Wesley. In March of this year she told me she hadn't been feeling well and was losing weight. She always had a trim, sexy body. She couldn't afford to lose any weight. I flew up to visit her in April, she had been diagnosed with "abdominal" cancer and was getting ready for a round of chemo. After a hard fight, and the realization that nothing could be done, Sharon died on September 29th. I was blessed to spend time with her a couple of days before she died.Sharon was so beautiful, inside and out. In the picture below is Melanie Lagalo, Sharon, and me. We had so much fun together, going through the phases of our lives, but still connecting.When I went to see Sharon just before she died, Melanie and I had a chance to reconnect, rediscovering our friendship and remembering the good times with Sharon...Then I drove up to Portland and hung out with my sister and her kids. What a great time! The girls are awesome and I got to meet George, circa 1 year old. He's soooo cute!My parents live in The Dalles and my mom took us to a scenic overlook complete with a park for the kids and a gorgeous rose garden.I fell in love with the Los Angeles Dodgers! We were given tickets and had a blast cheering them on. Too bad they couldn't get past the playoffs. Next year, next year!A couple of weeks ago we were privileged to attend Noah's nephew's wedding in Santa Barbara. We stayed in Carpenteria for two nights. The wedding was gorgeous, as was the couple.On the way home from SB we visited McGrath farms. Noah has been a big fan for a couple of years. They had end of summer tomatoes and zucchini as well as fall shelling beans.For October we carved pumpkins...Spooky!!!I returned to Santa Barbara on my own to visit with Melanie who was visiting some old friends. We went on a great hike in Montecito.And, as per usual, Noah is constantly involved in some sort of food project. Most recently, curing his own olives.We hiked Calabasas Peak. It took only an hour and we timed it perfectly to watch the sunset.Good times, so far, in 2009. I miss Sharon so much but, just as she would want, I appreciate the beauty of the world surrounding me.[...]

San Fran trip...


Boy, do I love San Francisco! Beautiful view, great food, great weather (luckily!), and an insane transit system. It's a five hour drive from our house. Pretty painless although we decided we would rather add on some extra time and take the 101 instead of taking the 5 which is brutal! How gorgeous is this view??!!We stayed at our friend's house in South San Francisco (thanks T and J!). It was super easy to grab the BART into the city. We never waited over ten minutes to catch the train and it was really simple to figure out. LA is really lacking good public transportation. Look how cute Noah is with the BART pulling in behind him!Once the BART dropped us off, we walked everywhere! Philz coffee (where every other coffee shop should bow down at his feet), and then hopping on the bus if we needed to zip across the city.Of course we went to the Ferry Building and hit Hog Island Oysters. Such a great view and consistently good food. These were local sardines with a blood orange cream sauce.Kumamoto's and Pacifics: the aftermath. Sipping on good white wine.San Francisco has a very different vibe than LA.So not only did Julie make us some great cocktails in "The Bar"....but she made us this beauty to oooh and aahhh over....Jonah and Annie also blessed us with a beauty, Seamus. (pronounced Shay-mus). He's 11 weeks old.Jonah, Annie, Seamus, Noah and I walked down to Dynamo donuts in the mission. We ate 4 different flavors. The two best were apricot and powdered sugar and maple with bacon. Sounds weird, tasted great!Noah's buddy Bob works downtown at a place called The Salt House. We ate poutine: french fries topped with bechamel and pork. Yummy!Us at The Salt House.A random shot of how cool SF is. On the bus with a pinata....We visited Ray Potes, a friend of Noah's who is an insane photographer. He does "street photography". Check out his website: www.hamburgereyes.comNoah's buddy Bob. He showed us a really good time. Had drinks at the Elixer in the mission and dinner at Front Porch. Southern Style...We finally found the Chicharonnes! Locally produced pork rinds. Yum-mmy!For some reason I found this scene very beautiful and very San Francisco. Homeless man catching a few Z's in a used book shop.Noah and I scored an edition of "The Joy of Cooking".We hit up Scala's near Union Square. Noah is friend's with the chef, Jen Biesty. This was a super sexy dish! Raw salmon and caviar with creme fraiche...We left the city on Wednesday and drove through wine country. We tasted wines at Qupe and then had dinner at Los Olivos Cafe. We lucked into a wine tasting from Alta Maria and got to meet the wine maker. Insane wine! [...]

More activity in the kitchen...


Noah is testing out pizza dough for his soon-to-be restaurant. The dough rises in the fridge for a slower development. The result is lots of air bubbles and cavernous, chewy dough. He topped this one with an egg, prosciutto, green olives, and herbs.Eggplant, coppa, feta, and mint.Prosciutto, pickled peppers, and parsley. Look at the bubbly, golden crust!The salad he served with the pies: romano beans, yellow wax beans and lima beans in a shallot vinaigrette.A classic caprese.I came home from work on Wednesday night and found Noah making these: tapioca with peaches, blueberries, and candied lemon zest.One for my list of things I can bake: ginger bread cookies! Chewy and soft...[...]

It's a miracle!


I actually made something successful with yeast! Focaccia!!!

Oh boy...


Rumor has it that the Michael Jackson memorial scheduled on Tuesday is going to bring so many people into the LA area that all the ER's are staffing up preparing for the influx. I'm already working four of the next five days and they've asked me to come in on my day off. No thanks.

Aaahhh... Sundays!


Noah and I both woke up with a hankerin' to MAKE SOME FOOD! We had so many projects in mind we were stepping all over each other in our tiny kitchen. The first thing I did was make strawberry ice cream. My custard turned out perfect and I got to use my chinois (twice!) to strain the custard then strain the seeds from the strawberry puree. I jumped out of the kitchen to make room for Chef Noah and his fried chicken. He soaks it in buttermilk first to tenderize the meat, then he serves it with a mixed green salad (so we don't feel so guilty about eating fried food).


Another side dish he made, (while simultaneously doing everything else) was sauteed purple baby artichokes, green beans, and garlic.


For dessert, Noah used some pastry dough he had in the freezer and baked it with fresh figs and strawberries. We served it with my strawberry ice cream.

More yummy lunches at our house...


(image) Noah keeps bringing home these amazing, gigantic porcini mushrooms and grilling them on our grill pan. They are so meaty I don't even miss any other protein. Here he creamed corn, pan sauteed baby artichokes, and used amaranth as a garnish. "To make it look pretty for you," he said. We paired it with a Qupe chardonnay blend and ate al fresco on our patio.

We made pickles!


Our lovely dill pickles with mustard seed. So easy, so fun, can't wait to bust into the first jar! I like food I have to wait for. We are so used to instant gratification but food is so much more satisfying when it has a history. Like a slow cooked meal that takes all day to cook and you get to smell it everytime you walk in the house. It just tastes ten times better....

Gettin' ready for the big initiation!


Last Wednesday I woke up to get ready for work and I had a feeling. I grabbed my stethoscope and my EKG quick reference guide and stuck them in my back pack. Sure enough, when I got to the hospital I was told the ER charge nurse wanted to see me. They were short staffed and asked if I could fill in. I usually work in the urgent care area and have never really been "trained" to work in the main ER. I was nervous of course. They deal with critical patients, I usually deal with sprained ankles and lacerations. But, I'm a realistic gal and I know that it's time for me to step things up. I accepted!

They gave me four rooms to take care of. Luckily not the trauma bay or the chest pain/stroke rooms. It started out kinda slow so I was able to ease in gradually and find my way around. I think sometimes we take our regular job for granted: how easy we find things, how we just automatically know where to grab for things without actually thinking about it. Another FABULOUS part was that I had a secretary to put in all the orders for me, make phone calls, copy shit. What a load off! I also had at my fingertips a tech who did all the EKG's, hooked patients up to the monitors, and did vital signs. And volunteers who brought patients' blankets, water, food, the phone, answered questions... Wow! And to top it all off a charge nurse who had no patient's of her own, she was just there to lend a hand, a float nurse who also could lend a hand, and 5 other RN's as backup. There were Physician assistant's (PA) seeing patients and easing the doc's workload. AMAZING! All I had to do was focus on my nursing skills and assessment. (What a concept!)

I jumped in to help other nurses, I especially wanted to get my feet wet in Room 2 (the trauma room), and help with the really critical patients. How can you go wrong when you've got so much help and support around you? I helped stabilize a septic patient who ended having 7 or 8 attempts at intubation that lasted over an hour. He never coded but in my selfishness I kinda wish he had so that I could've assisted. It was sooo cool to see the teamwork of the whole ER team: nurses, techs, RT's, PA's, MD's, secretaries.... You can't save a person's life if one of these elements are missing.

So, I'm doing an actual preceptorship shift on Monday where I will follow an experienced nurse and have her teach me the ropes. (Thank you Tina!) I asked them to give me the hardest "pod" so that I may see and experience as much as I can. (Check future blogs for my complaints on how I went down in flames and how much working in the ER sucks...)

So kudos to all you ER nurses/docs/PA's/techs/secretaries/volunteers that do this everyday. I'm impressed, awed, and bow down at your feet.

Hubby's got a bliggety-blog!


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By the way...


Oh, by the way, if you are going to bitch slap your 67 year old wife, wait until you get home and don't do it in front of a bunch of ER nurses...

Aaahhh... wine country!!


Spent a fabulous day/night in the Santa Ynez valley north of Santa Barbara doing wine tasting by myself. I had so much fun!! I drove up the Pacific Coast Highway on Sunday morning to the 101 past Santa Barbara and then up the 154 to Santa Ynez/Solvang. Cranking the tunes, singing at the top of my lungs, the ocean a constant companion to my left. I did some wine tasting at a couple of wineries before I checked into my hotel. At Sunstone winery I ran into a girl I went to high school with and we sat in the sun, sipped wine, and chatted for almost two hours. She is also a nurse and was visiting the area with her boyfriend. So good to see you Heather! I really enjoyed our time together!75 degrees perfect, lavender was in full bloom...Met some friendly locals at The Hitching Post while eating steamed artichokes and grilled quail...Checked out the vintage motorcycle museum (dreamy sigh)...Loved my hotel room with the fireplace, a glass of local wine, and fresh out of the hot tub...And spent the next day dining and wining in Los Olivos...I LOVE to travel by myself! Of course it would have been so much more fun with Noah but I enjoyed the interaction with people and the feeling of independence of exploring a new place all by myself. I brought home a lot of bottles of wine to share with stories behind each one.[...]