26 June 2012

San Diego Food Revolution Day

When you cook it should be an act of love. To put a frozen bag in the microwave for your child is an act of hate. -Raymond Blanc

How was the Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day in San Diego? A huge success! Suzie's Farm had hundreds of visitors picking strawberries, enjoying the live band, eating from the Green Truck and just hanging out being neighborly. I invited everyone I could, I tweeted, pinned, facebooked, talkled to anyone and everyone I could about it and boy did all of it pay off!

Fresh strawberry lemonade from the Green Truck
What was my ulterior motive for all this hoopla? I want families to realize how special it is to have access to farms and fresh foods. We are so lucky to live here where fresh food is grown throughout the year. Fresh foods can be really inexpensive and you don't have to cook most fresh foods -how easy is that?? In my little backyard patch I let seeds go wild and I encourage my budding foodies to taste, smell, and experiment with everything (yes, even the wild purslane).

So what has been my payoff from all this? I've gotten such a thrill from seeing children eat the organic strawberries freshly picked by their little chubby hands. I love knowing that my kids will know what to do with fresh vegetables and they won't be afraid to try even more varieties of vegetables (knock on wood because we all know that they ALL sometimes just say 'NO' to anything new). But, in the long run I think my kids will be healthier, happier and wiser with this type of foodie education.

So in that spirit I'll share with you one of the things we ate last night that the kids LOVED:

Leek & Zucchini (courgette) Frittata
1 leek
2 med size zucchini (or if your English or French courgette)
2 eggs (because I tend not to like it too eggy otherwise do 4)
1tbsp olive oil
5tbsp of herbed feta
salt & pepper to taste

Clean and thinly slice the whites of a leek (make sure you get the dirt and grit out from between the layers). Then saute it until translucent and then add in grated zucchini and let it cook down for 5 minutes on medium low heat -no need to stir. Meanwhile slightly beat teh eggs and feta making sure there are no large chunks of feta. Then add in the egg mixture and cover for 5 minutes under low heat. Now uncover and here is the tricky part: with a large plate over the fry pan flip the frittata onto the plate. Now I like to put it back by sliding it off the plate and back on to pan. You can just forgo all of this and put the fry pan under the broiler for 4 more minutes to finish it.

I served this with a basil & lemon orzo salad and there were no leftovers! :) What is your favorite fresh fast meal in the summer?

03 May 2012

Peanut Butter My New Food Porn

Ok, so I'm not the biggest fan of peanut butter probably because I really didn't grow up with it. However, I think the tide is turning. My little neighborhood has a huge peanut butter secret -we've got our very own peanut butter super star! Yes, you heard me right.
The place is called Spread and yes it is that good and the culinary genius behind it has been recognized by making it on Oprah's best list. Check the link because it is Oprah's selection. I'm not sharing so you can order your own here. But, be warned this could be your new crack!

25 April 2012

San Diego Food Revolution Day, May 19

 ... to inspire change in people’s food habits and to promote the mission for better food and education for everyone.
Hello, I am Alex aka Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Ambassador for San Diego! If you've been following me for sometime now (ok, years) you'll know that I'm a huge closet foodie or as I prefer to say, gourmand. {N.B. just look at all the food porn in the archives} Well, I've been secretly putting together a master plan of hitting San Diego with a farm tour, special restaurant fixed price menu, food education and maybe even a farmer's market tour. I know I get a little excited about these sorts of things. 

What is the Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution? Take a look at this short video:

Saturday May 19th will be the magical day. I've gotten together with Suzie's Farm where there will be a Strawberry Jam from noon to 4pm. You can pick your own local, organic and fresh strawberries! There will be live music and a food truck. This event is family friendly and should be a lot of fun. 

Why the interest in food and eating well? I think most of us are in such a hurry we've lost the simple pleasures of a good meal with people we enjoy. From having traveled a lot in my life I've learned that there are two things that unite us as humans -laughter and food. We all share that in common and I think that over the years we've lost sight of the quality of our food and of meaningfulness of sharing the company of others. I hope to see you at a Food Revolution Event! 

20 March 2012

More French Decor and Paris' Magic Macarons

Ok, just a few more photos of that lovely furniture/lifestyle shop! Like I said in my previous post -everything was satin this fall. It was amazing how wonderful these sofas felt -cool and smooth. It really made my wonder why more upholstery manufacturers don't work in satin or smoother materials. I know I'll be very happy when all that nubby upholstery goes by the wayside with popcorn ceilings!

It wouldn't be fair if I didn't mention the dining rooms which were filled with a European colonial meets Africa feel. Can you just hear the Lion King playing in the background?! Lots of silver, horn and natural wood and leather. Notice that the French almost never have a table without a table cloth and in this case they took runners and placed them widthwise rather than lengthwise. So clever and chic! Sorry I cut off the chandelier but that was beautiful too -very modern and it had an edgy feel and no there was no big uni-shade on it (ughh, if I see another one I'll turn off the lights!).

Isn't all this making you hungry? It did for me so I just headed out for a snack to my favorite macaron place -they are WONDERFUL. If you are ever in Paris you need to visit this legendary institution LadurĂ©e (take a look at their website it is EXACTLY like being in the store incl. the sounds). The macarons come in so many flavors -my personal favorites are violet, rose, coconut and black forest. They also make wonderful chocolates in so many wonderful flavors. 

If you happen to get there before I return would you send me a few? Oh and the boxes they come in are so beautiful that long after you eat the contents you'll still have the elegant box (I keep mine on my desk). MMMM delicious memories! 

16 March 2012

Hot Off the Couches of Paris

My trip through Paris this fall was so amazing. The food, friends, museums, shops, cafes were begging for discovery. The smell of bread baking on the corner bakery, the cafes with people sipping their noisette while their dogs sit on patiently for bits of butter. I had such an awesome time visiting with old friends and seeing what all the shops had.

So what had me craning my neck in the shops? -couches! I've been looking to redo my own at home but after taking a look at the latest davenports:
Lounge in black satin and lamp shades in thin raw silk
So what is so special about this sofa? The French are upholstering everything in high grade dense satin. This thick satin material is better than leather! (Ready to throw out your Chesterfields? -remember you heard it here first) It feels amazing and withstands a lot of use. Not to mention this is wonderful for my personal vegetarian leanings. I noticed that the colors of the upholstery this season is dark neutral -charcoal gray, deep plum, moss green. Deep rich colors with the shine of satin -delicious!

Beautiful orange colors at Hermes

13 October 2011

Going the Wrong Way?

Today I woke up and to my disbelief it was 9:55 am. That is a record for me -I haven't slept in that much since I don't know when. I must say that I'm beginning to get a little sad that I only have one day left here. I've had a wonderful time with my friends and it has made me realize that maybe I should be living here?
Anyway, last night we had a wonderful dinner in a very BoBo (bourgeouis-boheme in English you would say YUPPIE). This tavern serves food only after 9pm and everyone gets a giant plate of fries and mussels with wine. It was very full and lively -lots of artists, old men, university students and young professionals. In fact, I didn't even get a chance to take photos because we were talking to some young guys and discussing philosophy -can you believe that?! It was really so surreal and fun.

By the way, I had to take pictures earlier in the day of a cafeteria. I was amazed to see that it had a full chandelier and the plastic cutlery -well just look for yourself!
Am I going the wrong way back to California or should I just send for the family?

12 October 2011

Live from France!

So now I'm taking a much needed break. These two weeks have been flying by and I've enjoyed every minute of it -from plane delays, to meeting new friends and seeing old friends. While here in Paris I've been snapping some photos at Bercy, Tuileries and other deliciously beautiful places.

While I was at Bercy there was a wonderful market of mid century design items. I had to snap some pics of it!

Also I think this one could be called SteamPunk? You tell me -like it or not?

And of course a jazzy little number makes me want a cocktail and say, "Daddy-O."