Monthly Archives: February 2011

The Morning After

     We had a big wind and rain storm last night in Fountain Hills. Before the show closed for the day, they repeatedly reminded us over the intercom to strap down the tents, lift everything off the ground that could be damaged from water, and clamp all loose fabrics. We listened.

Some did not.
I armed myself with hot coffee…
and a cup of bacon.
If you have to ask, you just don’t know me.
Uh-oh!
Ouch!
SPLAT!
     Overall, about fifteen booths were twisted into odd pretzel shapes and littered throughout the streets. Most of those vendors threw in their hats and just went home. The day was FREEZING cold, but I kept myself warm with hot coffee and freshly-cooked crepes with strawberries (the crepes booth suffered damage, but thank GOD they were able to salvage the stoves!!!)
Oh yeah, and then it snowed.

     As soon as I got my camera out, the snow stopped. I’m sorry. Photojournalism skills = none. 
I shivered through the rest of the show, packed up the booth in record time and celebrated a wonderful show with a hot meal…
As well as a glass of merlot and my first ever tiramisu.
Shattered glass, twisted metal carcasses, snowflakes, sangria and tiramisu.
Farewell, Fountain Hills!

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Filed under angry snowflake, cup of bacon, Fountain Hills, rain, shattered glass, snow, tiramisu, twisted metal carcass, wind

My Day at Sofrita!

     I ate five meals in a row at Sofrita. I’m not ashamed. I’m uncomfortably full, but definitely not ashamed. Part one:
After setting up the booth last night, I strolled directly across the street and plopped my tired butt down in the corner table of this darling little restaurant.
Don’t freak out, okay? I ordered… A SALAD!!! I think this may be the first salad I’ve ever ordered on the road – I tend to gravitate towards rich foods smothered in cheese, preferably fried.
The El Gran Combo romaine, avocado, hearts of palm and fresh tomatoes drizzled with a coconut-lime vinaigrette.

     I wandered back to the hotel, full of pride and greenery, blazed through a bunch of homework and aced a quiz. As I fell into the (clean, white, luxurious) bed, visions of crispy bacon danced through my head.
  Seriously. I dreamt about bacon.
My dream came true! I went back to Sofrita for breakfast.
Huevos Nuevo Latino – eggs scrambled with roasted winter vegetables, served with warm tortillas, fresh salsa and fruit salad. I ordered a slice of bacon on the side. 
They gave me four.
I LOVE THEM.
I ordered takeout for lunch, à la Sofrita. Are you tired of the word Sofrita yet? Sorry.
I had the Cran-Raspberry Chicken Saladgrilled chicken breast with dried cranberries and raspberry mayo on crusty, whole grain bread.
Okay, I only told the partial truth. We had dinner tonight at Redendo’s, but to be fair, it is the sister restaurant of Sofrita
My dinner consisted of half a glass of Chianti, and an eighth of this huge plate of pesto pasta with goat cheese.
We accidentally (seriously, it was an accident) ordered a “bottle of sangria” when we meant “bottle of Chianti”, so we had this pretty little number dropped off at our table.
I have never had sangria before.
I was moved by this drink.
I was so moved by it that when we retired to the hotel, we decided to go over to Sofrita and experience it again.
This is their winter sangriablueberries, cranberries, grapes and an orange slice.
We split the chocolate cinnamon bread pudding – rich, luxurious and steaming hot, and then floated across the show grounds back to the warmth of our hotel.
And here I sit. So happy, so blessed, so uncomfortably full.

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Filed under bacon of my dreams, Chianti, chocolate cinnamon bread pudding, coconut-lime vinaigrette, El Gran Combo, Huevos Nuevo Latino, pesto pasta, salad, sangria, Sofrita

Best. Breakfast. EVER!

     On our final day in Palm Springs, we got up ridiculously early in order to try a local restaurant recommended to us by one of Ora’s clients.

Cheeky’s is a local brunch dig that always has a huge line surrounding the building. We attempted to have breakfast there on Sunday, but didn’t have time to wait for an hour to be seated.
On Monday morning we got up bright and early, and were the second group of people waiting outside in the brisk morning.
Inside the restaurant it was warm, spacious and yet cozy at the same time. We were tucked away into a warm corner where I had the perfect vantage point to see what everyone else ordered before making my decision.
And holy crap, was it tough making a choice! Duck Confit hash with Tillamook cheddar or an apple omelet with kale??
Brioche French Toast with banana custard or Panisse cakes with maple glazed pork belly??
While I pondered, our waitress brought out heavenly pots of caffeine, accompanied by this cute glass container filled with steamed soymilk
After a lot of deliberation and two cups of coffee, I finally decided on Blondie’s Eggs Benedict with real bacon and sauteed arugula on their delicious cheddar scones.
I could have died happy right then and there.

The cheddar scones were delicate and bursting with cheddar-y flavor. The thick slices of bacon melted into salty, smoked ecstasy as soon as they touched my tongue. The bright green arugula added an earthy depth as it tenderly crunched between my teeth. The hollandaise sauce tasted rich, buttery and had a hint of lemon, and almost brought me to tears.
It was that good.

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Filed under brioche french toast, Cheeky's, Cheeky's Palm Springs, Duck Confit hash, eggs benedict, Heaven, maple glazed pork belly, omelet of apples, Ora's Art, Palm Springs, panisse cakes

Indio vs. Palm Springs: Hotel Showdown!

Let’s compare a few things: Indio vs. Palm Springs.
Indio hotel hallway.
Palm Springs hotel hallway.
Indio hotel shower.
Palm Springs hotel shower.
Indio hotel comforter.
Palm Springs hotel comforter.
Indio hotel “thermostat”.
Palm Springs thermostat.
Indio hotel view.
Palm Springs hotel view.
Indio hotel Becki.
Palm Springs hotel Becki.
See any difference?

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Filed under Death-Trap Hotel, happy Becki, hotel showdown, Indio, Marriott Renaissance, nice hotel, Palm Springs, sad Becki

Monsoon in Palm Springs!

Even puppies need shelter from the torrential downpour!!!
OH MY GEEZ IT’S SO A-FRICKIN-DORABLE!!!!!
     Sorry, I just couldn’t contain myself. We got to Palm Springs yesterday and set the booth up in pouring rain. I seriously looked like a drowned rat by the time we were done – my jeans were soaked up to the knees and water flowed from my hair like a river.
Drowned rat, drowned cat… same difference.
We woke up to this: dreary, drizzly desert. Oxymoronic alliteration??
Luckily, we saved the artwork from complete destruction by covering all the pieces with thick plastic last night. It could have been a dreadful wake-up call!
DOUBLE RAINBOW! Oh, no wait… just a regular rainbow…
We had enough of a reprieve in the rain that I was able to go get lunch.
Turkey Cranberry sandwich on whole grain bread from Koffi!
I also got super fancy chocolates from Cafe Chocolat. The one on the left is an aged balsamic truffle – So sticky sweet and richly delicious! The one on the right was a honey lavender truffle – tasted like perfume. Not in a good way.
I also got treated to this gorgeous ring! My boss gave it to me for my birthday! 
I IS SO SPOILED!
After the show wrapped at 4pm, we met up with a couple of artists at Monsoon, one of the top-rated Indian food restaurants of Palm Springs.
Eatin’ at Monsoon durin’ a monsoon. Tralalala!
I started with one of my favorites – Mango Lassi!
The four of us (oh, hi there, Robert!) split chicken tikka masala, baingan bartha, and chicken korma.
Of course we had to end with gajar halwa, or as I call it: butter-carrot pudding!
Heavenly.
We were originally supposed to check out the new Liam Neeson movie, but working all day in the rain, freezing your ass off can really exhaust a person.
I retired to my room with a tall glass of Stone IPA.

Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny!
Praying for dry weather!!

6 Comments

Filed under art show, Cafe Chocolat, Delicious puppies, DOUBLE RAINBOW, drowned rat, Gem Mountain Studio, Indian Food, Koffi, Monsoon, Monsoon Indian, Palm Springs, Stone IPA

Homebrewers’ Meeting!

     I have been very lax with my camera use these past few days. By lax, I mean I haven’t touched it, so for today’s post I’m going to recycle a few from the past year.
     I had my first homebrewer meeting on Sunday and my beer, Dos Beckis, was kindly received. I informed them that it was bottle-conditioned right as they tipped the entire growler upside-down and let all of the yeast sediment mix together in the pitcher. Oops. I still enjoyed the taste, and I made everyone healthier by giving them an extra dose of Vitamin B thanks to all that mixed-in yeast. 
Goooooo HEALTH!
     
     We had a tasting of five beers from the San Francisco area, followed by TWENTY tastings of members’ beers. I got through ten of those tastings before I had to cover my glass. I just don’t have the stamina, or the body weight to handle all that! 
     Now I have to head to work, so I’ll leave you with my beautiful recycled pictures of…. BEER!
Wort – not quite beer, but getting there!
Redemption.
Efes.
Weasel-$#*& beer.
Old Monkeyshine by Nimbus. AKA “Face-punch” beer.
Longmont Milk Stout.
Muchas Cervezas.
Punkin Ale by Dogfish Head. 1554 by New Belgium.
Tasting with the boys. Old Rasputin, Napa Smith’s Amber, Moylan’s Porter, Boont Amber, and Franziskaner.
Good ole Anchor Steam – sponsor of my homebrew club 😀
A simple, and wonderful, kind of life.

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Filed under Anchor Steam, beer tasting, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, Dos Beckis, Efes, homebrewing, Mikkeller Geek Brunch Weasel, milk stout, New Belgium, Old Monkeyshine, Redemption, Weasel Crap Beer, wort

My Birthday!!!

     Yesterday was my “holy-crap-I’m-actually-starting-to-feel-old” birthday! Since I’m getting so old, instead of going out and getting drunk (which I only did on my 21st birthday) I spent a leisurely morning at home before taking a relaxing day trip up the coast.
First though, a healthy breakfast! Chocolate-covered Entenmann’s donuts have been a staple for birthday breakfasts since I was seven! I balanced this out with a Monsta, to sustain the aged part of me.
Confetti!
We went to lunch at an Indian restaurant that we haven’t been to – Flavor of India. This was rated the top Indian restaurant in Santa Barbara for 2011.
TITLE: EARNED! Their buffet was SO GOOD!
We went to the botanic gardens to enjoy some peace and quiet – you know, because I’m old now.
Peaceful plants.
Pretty, peaceful plants.
Cute, peaceful plants.
Peaceful view.
BAD BEER. It takes a lot for me to not like a beer, but I tried these at a local brewpub and was NOT happy. The stout tasted like it had a toxic amount of Liquid Smoke in it, and the rest were flavorless or too sweet. I thought it was time to find some beer that was a guarantee.
I had to suffer through a torturous drive back down the coast.
It was really rough.
What mountain is this? Could it possibly be Ladyface?
The BEST place to spend a birthday!
ABSORBENCY!
My go-to: Blind Ambition. I know I said I’d try not to have any repeat beers this year, but it’s my birthday, so shaddup.
There are very few stouts that I truly enjoy, but Ladyface’s Russian Lullaby is amazing! This wasn’t mine, but I had a few sips so I could appreciate the silky smooth goodness topped with coffee grounds.
I ended the evening with a Chesebro IPA. One of these at ABV (alcohol by volume, in case you didn’t know) 9.5% and IBU (International bittering units) 100 is enough to leave me with a glowing, mellow feeling for a few hours. The Chesebro had a warm floral taste to it – perfect to end such a beautiful day with.
Happy birthday to me 🙂
Now I’m off to my first homebrewers meeting to have my beer tasted and judged.
I’M SCARED!!!

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Filed under birthday, Blind Ambition, botanic gardens, coastal drive, donuts, Entenmann's, Flavor of India, happy birthday to me, Indian Food, Ladyface, ocean view, old, Russian Lullaby, Santa Barbara

Waffle Sammiches and ADR!

     Have you ever tried a sandwich where waffles are used as the bread? You have? Oh. 
Well anyway, I never had before today. 
I. AM. IN. LOVE.
Drool over that for a minute. I’ll post this same picture gratuitously at the end again for emphasis.
I drove down to Orange today for some ADR work on a short film I did last August.
Fancy sound booth!
We had to re-record a few lines that had background noises that were drowning them out: aka AIRPLANES!!!
So much technology!
Co-star David, Vogue-ing for the camera.
After a little over three hours of ADR, the director, producer and I went for lunch at a typical sandwich shop.
OR SO I THOUGHT!!!
Bruxie, a little corner restaurant in Orange.
They have a savory selection and a sweet selection. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast, so as loudly as the S’Mores sandwich with rich Belgian chocolate, graham cracker and toasted marshmallow was calling me, I went for the sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese sandwich with fresh basil, arugula and balsamic reduction.
There are no words.
The waffle that encased this happiness-stuffed filling was light and fluffy with a slight hint of sweetness. With the first bite, you get a tangy yet fresh taste of goat cheese infused with basil, the crisp crunch of arugula, the chewy sweetness of the sun-dried tomatoes and to top it off, a whisper of sweet balsamic reduction that swirls around your taste buds, dancing a happy waltz.
Okay, maybe there are a few words…

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Filed under ADR, Bruxie, I am in love, Orange, sammich, sandwich of Heaven, short film, Summer Campbell, Vogue, waffle sandwiches

A Day in Ojai!

     Prior to opening an amazing growler of homebrew, I spent the day in Ojai. Ojai is a small town about twenty minutes east of Ventura – and recently the site of filming for the movie Easy A.
P.S. Stanley Tucci is my hero!
Okay, enough sightseeing, let’s get to the important stuff – FOOD!
We scanned the town (basically a block in length) for eateries…
and decided upon Feast Bistro.
DR. PEPPER BBQ SAUCE?? I MUST TRY!!!
This was amazing!!! A light, crispy flatbread with delicate marinara, crispy red onions, tender chicken and a zesty sweet barbecue on top.
I’m thinking soda pop reductions could be in my future…
FRIES! I had to macro the specks of salt.
Afterwards we set out to explore the town – all “block” of it.
Found some amazing Paula Deen products in Rains – the local EVERYTHING store.
Seriously, they have everything here – kitchen accessories to shoes, clothes to dishes, tourist mugs to butt massages.
Afterwards we headed to an artsy furniture store to restore the classy feeling we had prior to Paula’s butt massage.
Intricate wooden clock-art!
Fancy hanging chandelier-painted-light-thingy!
I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THIS IS BUT IT’S COOL!!!
Amazing base of a coffee table. Words cannot describe the awesomeness of this piece.
One of my favorite things in life is driving without a destination, getting completely lost and stumbling across something amazing. We drove for half an hour up and down winding roads, past billions (no exaggeration) of orange trees and beautiful properties.
Then, we arrived at the top of the long, windy road and found ourselves in the middle of a meditation center.
An ACTUAL meditation center!
And I…
I took the path recommended by the rock.
But it was worth it for the view.
Or the views.
I could have stayed there forever, listening to the silence.
Ojai = Peace

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Filed under amazing views, butt massage, Dr. Pepper, Easy A, Feast Bistro, getting lost, irony, meditation center, Ojai, Paula Deen, peace, poetry, Robert Frost, Stanley Tucci

Introducing… Dos Beckis!!!!

     I MADE BEER! 
GOOD beer! DRINKABLE beer! TASTY beer! 
I’M SO PSYCHED!!!
The name: DOS BECKIS
Roll your eyes, I don’t care. This was based off an amazing suggestion by an old friend/Lonelygirl15 fan, modelmotion.
MM – I owe you! Genius idea 🙂
First pour!
Pops and me sharing the first sip!
Thinking… thinking…
OKAY BY ME!!!
My beer with the recipe I used.
Some changes I made: Hallertau instead of Spaltz hops and 1007 German Ale Wyeast instead of Safale 56.
Translation: It’s GOOD!
I carbonated my beer in 9 growlers instead of bottles. I was a bit worried about having bombs or not getting carbonation, but all that worry flew out the window as soon as I heard that lovely “phssssst” as I twisted off the cap.
Happiness.
Pretty color! A little bit of a chill haze, but I don’t care!
I asked my dad for a description of this beer. His answer: “Delicious. Alcoholic. Makes me burp.”
And that, my friends, is the official vignette of Dos Beckis.

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Filed under amber ale, beer is good, Dos Beckis, home brew beer, homebrewing, I MADE BEER, I MADE GOOD BEER, I'M SO HAPPY, Island Brewing Company