Category Archives: Ventura

I Almost DIED Today!

     I almost died today. It was the most painful experience of my life… or one of the top five most painful experiences, which include some of the recent reality shows that have been inflicted upon society. Before we get to that, though, let’s start from the beginning!

     Today was my first day off after working SIX days in a row. That’s illegal, right? In my lazy mind, yes, yes it is. Anyway, since it was going to be ridiculously hot today, my mom and I decided to spend the day in Ventura before we headed off to pottery class.

Indian at The Taj Cafe, of course!
This handy card made treating oh-so-much easier!
That’s right, I’m a VIP!
     We went to We Olive and picked up some cherry balsamic vinegar and a new bottle of olive oil. Here comes the point of my near-death experience: 
That, my friends, is a habanero pepper. We Olive now carries an olive oil that is infused with jalapeno and habanero pepper. I, being the adventurous soul that I am, decided that I would try out this new option. I poured a small bit into a sample cup and took a miniscule sip. Not even a sip, just got a few drops on the tip of my tongue. It was fine for a minute, until the pepper ninja-kicked the back of my throat. My throat closed up and for a good ten seconds, I could not breathe. As I clumsily weaved through the store, tears pouring from my eyes, my nose running uncontrollably, I stumbled across a chocolate merlot dip and stuck a huge spoonful in my mouth to try and stop the pain.
     There you have it, my near-death experience. It took an hour for my nose to stop running and for me to stop coughing painfully as each wave of intense heat ran over me again and again. Seriously though, it was awful and painful and not being able to inhale is not a fun thing.
     After my over-dramatized moment, we picked up some chocolate at Trufflehounds and headed back towards my parental unit’s house.
We were hindered by a huge wind storm and some really aggressive tumbleweeds.
     We got to pottery class around 6pm and it was a nice, chilly 90 degrees outside. Yesterday was 113 degrees fahrenheit in Los Angeles, so it was more than acceptable to be in the low 90’s.
Here’s the latest batch of crap that came out of the kiln!
Here’s my mom’s antithesis of crap. She made an amazing plate last week and imprinted a leaf on it before glazing. Doesn’t it look incredible??
And here’s the NEW batch of crap I made today!
Here’s my mom after a rough day at class – still freakin’ gorgeous.
And here’s me and my chicken legs, covered in clay and dust.
Here’s the glazed, yet pre-fired, version of Amanda and Andy’s pot that they won!
And speaking of winners, the official winners of my Pottery Giveaway are…
Justin, Sophia, Amanda and Andy, and Sir Malachi. (Dan is getting an extremely awful one for his birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAN!!!), and as an honorable mention).

     Unfortunately, all of the winners’ bowls will not even be out of the kiln until next week, so you’ll have to wait an extra week. For now, all winners please e-mail me at with your addresses for me to send the pottery to! If you live in SoCal and would prefer to meet up for a blogger get-together/pottery exchange, let me know that as well!
Have you ever had a near-death experience, exaggerated or not?


Filed under blogger meet-up, Burp and Slurp, Dan, glazing, Happy birthday, Indian Food, Malachi, Mom, Pottery, Two Boos Who Eat, Ventura

Picture Apology!

     It’s been a long, long time, I know. My cousin came over to hang out on Sunday and one day turned into four. Instead of detailing every single second, here’s a few of my favorite pictures from the past few days :).

Trying to squeeze into the cave meant for kids at the aquarium.
Mummy mermaid at “Pirate Days” in Ventura Harbor.
Arrrrgh, a pirate show!
We followed the clues around for fifteen minutes trying to find a special treasure chest. Plenty of time on our hands :).
We stopped by Dargan’s for some bread pudding since we were in the area.
Sunday night was a hot one! It called for a night out back.
Reconstructing the dinner party from on set.
Artsy shot of the candles with the city in the background.
We took a hike to the waterfall on Monday.
Views of the river.
Breakfast in Carpinteria at The Worker Bee Cafe in Carpinteria.
And finally…

the amazing gnocchi dinner we made last night. Gnocchi and grilled veggies tossed in vodka sauce, and a thick slice of grilled jalapeno-cheddar cheese bread from Great Harvest Bread Company. This was my first time grilling bread – I definitely recommend it!
     I apologize for being away so long, but let’s hope that the pictures make up for it. I’ll get back on track tomorrey when I’m back from work. 
What’s your most recent “fancy” meal you made?


Filed under Andria's Seafood, Bread pudding, Dargan's, gnocchi, Ventura

A Day at the Harbor!

     Wheweee! Today was hotter than the underarm of the devil. Lucky for me, I’d planned a day on the coast in Ventura where the temperature stayed around 75-80F. To begin, I woke up super early and had a big ole GM.

Not sure what exactly was in this because the roommate made it, but it was a good one!
     Around 10am, I headed out with my new friend, the Irishman, and some crazy peeps (now known as the CPs) to the Ventura Harbor.
To introduce him to California, we took him to the funny hat store. I think this one suits him.
     I had to twist a couple of arms to get everyone away from the hat store (It IS quite amazing), and finally landed a seat at the wonderful, famous ANDRIA’S SEAFOOD!
If you’re ever in Ventura, you MUST visit this place – and invite me to join you! They have the best fish ‘n chips in Southern California. I split a single order with two of the CPs. I hogged all the greasiest pieces. It was magic.
     There just happens to be an arcade in Ventura Harbor, so we all loaded up on tokens and went to town!  The CPs played skeeball and foosball, I kicked the Irishman’s butt in air hockey (a tie means I win, okay?) and he kicked mine in a car-racing game. My car was broken. The steering wheel was messed up. The seat wouldn’t lock into place. The gas pedal stuck. I got distracted by the smell of more food – that’s why I crashed my car and rolled it several times! The Irishman was kind enough to let me know that I would not be driving the REAL car back home after that fiery mess on the game screen. He’s still trying to getting used to driving on the right side of the road, but doesn’t trust ME to drive? Rawr.
     What came next, you ask? Only the second best food located in the harbor:
This is a single with half cappuccino crunch and half chocolate brownie. A single = two scoops. Yet another reason to love Coastal Cone!
     We all walked in the lovely sunshine (Me loving sunshine? Who am I???) and meandered down the docks to look at all the boats. Half an hour was spent on a miniature floating dock jumping up and down and rocking it back and forth trying to make each other fall. We’re mature like that. After the sugar buzz wore off and the group started getting a little grumpy, we headed back.
     I was completely wiped out from the sun (Pretty sure I sunburned my eyes somehow…) and excitement, but I had to make a few phone calls and get scheduling and location info for a low-budget shoot I have tomorrow. That amazing audition I had last Tuesday? Yeah, I booked it :). Two days of filming = Happy me! I’ve got a crapload of sides to work on tonight and even more laundry to do so I can pack up a little wardrobe to take. Call-time is 10am – yessss for sleeping in!
     Dinner was a lovely Banana Jaffle: a recipe my dad found when he and my mom lived in Indonesia. It’s very complicated, so pay attention!
Banana Jaffle:
2 slices of whole wheat bread
1 banana
2 tbsp of salted butter, divided
1. Slice the banana into 1/2 inch segments, then liberally stack them onto one slice of bread. 
2. Cover with the other piece of bread.
3. Melt 1 tbsp of salted butter in a pan over medium heat.
4. Put the Jaffle in the melted butter.
5. Let it sizzle for about 5 minutes, checking the underside every minute to make sure it doesn’t burn.
6. Once brown, carefully lift the Jaffle out of the pan.
7. Add the other 1 tbsp of salted butter to the pan.
8. Once it’s melted, put the Jaffle in the pan with the uncooked side down.
9. Let it sizzle until brown.
TIP: Cooking it over a lower heat for a longer period of time makes the bananas inside steam and soften and practically melt. So good!
     I told you, it’s a tough one. It’s imperative that you use salted butter! If there’s no salt, then the sweetness of the slow-cooked banana can’t explode in your mouth and carry you to a heavenly paradise. I had a few extra banana slices left over, so once I flipped the Jaffle, I threw those into the pan and let them caramelize.
Love on a plate.
Another view: Caramelization!
     Dinner was supplemented with Magners!
I love that BevMo! carries 12oz. bottles of Magners now! I also love that the woman at checkout told me I wasn’t old enough to carry them out of the store :).
     After dinner, I downloaded my callsheet and sides and took them outside to read whilst enjoying the warm evening that was FINALLY cooling down. There’s nothing like sitting out back on a warm night, sipping an icy Magners and watching the sunset creep through the canyon. Happy sigh.
I am a blessed, thankful girl. It was a great day.
Are there any heirloom recipes that have been passed down through your family? My family has DOZENS, if not a hundred!


Filed under Andria's Seafood, boats, Fish n chips, green monster, Harbor, ice cream, Magners, Ventura


     I repeat what I said in the title. BEST. FATHERS’ DAY. EVER. Honestly, epic! Many, many pictures to follow: Hopefully you can handle the awesomeness…

I started with a mini-Monsta. This had about 2 cups of spinach, a little soymilk, frozen cherries, half a banana and some lemon juice. I had to have an appetite for lunch!
     First, I had to give my pops all of his loot. He was very, very spoiled :).
We have (from the top left, going clockwise) chocolate tortilla chips, a Guinness mug, a grill pan from Williams Sonoma, a stationary bottle opener, and some authentic British pub mats.
     For lunch, we headed out to… INDIAN FOOD! I had two gigantic plates: don’t judge! It’s a weekend of celebration. I can get back on track tomorrey. (I say and spell the word “tomorrow” like tomorrey. Deal with it.)
I had gigantic servings of saffron chicken, daal, vegetable korma, LOTS of naan, and for dessert, carrot-butter pudding and one of those doughy-syrup-covered balls. YUM!
     After lunch, we walked around for a bit and ended up in a furniture store. Woohoo…happy fathers’ day :P.
     Then, we wandered over to Dargan’s, the local Irish pub, and had some drinks.
My pops had a Black Velvet (Strong Bow cider and Guinness), my mum had a Strong Bow cider, and I had a Bass Ale.
We were COMPLETELY stuffed, but we somehow managed to fit in some potato skins :). HEY! It’s a weekend for celebration!
     There happens to be an amazing used bookstore on Main Street, that I must stop in every time I’m in Ventura.
     We saw a new pub that we’ve never tried before, called Bernadette’s – LOVELY Bernadette, the owner, showed us around and made us feel entirely welcome, and Allison helped us with everything we needed – I sense a new Sunday tradition! They had live music, so we decided we had to sit for a spell.
I’d like to introduce you to Black Carl. Seriously, go to their site and listen. They are incredible!
That’s the drummer using a beer bottle as percussion. BOOYAH!
Everyone needs to go to their site and subscribe and follow and listen and LOVE them! Tell them the Bexter @ HikeBikeEat sent you :). I bought their CD onsite and got a bunch of awesome pins and matchbooks.
     We all seemed to enjoy the music. <– Video goodness!
There were lots of feet bouncing to the beat: rhyming makes me happy :P.
My pops, trying to read the Black Carl button. “BLACK CATS???”
We get along very well…
…Most of the time :). 
Tattoo courtesy of Paciugo, baby!
I found one of my new favorite drinks, recommended by my cousin Allie who is currently traveling all over Europe! Magners = deliciously crispy, dry, and not too sweet!
My dad definitely had a great time. My mom enjoyed it once the music got started, teehee!
     After an amazing day, we headed back to have some awful, awful dinner…
White Castle burgers and Franziskaner – my dad wanted it, so I had to have some – it’s Fathers’ Day!
…And cuddle with the Buddha!
(No, I’m not actually strangling her) She gets VERY possessive over her chips! I almost lost my entire hand after this picture.
     And now I will leave you, having forced many, many pictures unto you, and watch the rest of The Next Food Network Star. I finished The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud: meh. I have a feeling the movie will be better, at least based on the trailer. It was a good/okay book, but wasn’t anything too memorable.
Happy Fathers’ Day to all the dads out there!


Filed under Bernadette's, Buddha, Dargan's, Fathers' Day, Indian Food, irish pub, Magners, Potato Skins, Ventura


There is NOTHING better than eating healthy round the clock. I live for eating veggies and tofu, drinking hot lemon water, chomping on fresh fruits, and exercising at least 2 hours a day.
Oh wait… there’s LIFE!
Today started out healthy enough. I made a MONSTER GM to split with the roommates and added the juice of half a lemon this time. Definitely made a difference, as did the additional frozen banana. I’ll try adding the Emergen-C tomorrow morning.
And yes, that is in the background. My mom was kind enough to point out how similar our blog names are. I swear I hadn’t even found her blog before I’d named mine! I was going for a twist on “Eat, Pray Love”. Ah well.
This GM kept me full a full hour and a half, then I was ravenous! Luckily, we were headed straight to The Taj in Ventura for Indian food. I’m OBSESSED with this place and we frequent it at least once a month.
Overhead view
Topographic view
The Taj fortunately (or unfortunately) had a buffet today, so I loaded up with saag, saffron chicken, korma and extra amounts of sauce. There is REALLY nothing better than scooping up the sauces with a hot, freshly baked piece of garlic naan.
Rice is for lame-o’s!
I will always believe that white rice is only a filler. Don’t waste your time on it! Use that searing hot garlic naan to scoop up every single bit of sauce that is left on your plate! If you don’t, I’ll refuse to join you for lunch >:(. Just kidding, I’ll go to lunch with anyone if there’s food involved :). Even more so if it’s free *wink wink*!!!
Since it was buffet style, I just had to go back for dessert…. and maybe a little more saag and saffron sauce.
That’s pineapple at the bottom! I’m healthy!
As my best friend, Michelle, pointed out to me on iChat just now, “Sometimes unhealthy food is healthy for the soul!” I love that girl! I didn’t want to disrespect the chefs, so I cleaned my plate.
But once it was officially gone, I was very, very depressed.
That’s nothing that a little chocolate can’t fix! I settled for my usual: sprinkles-covered marshmallow on a stick:
I got a call yesterday that the bike store FINALLY had my shorts in, so I just had to go try them on!
5’3″ and fierce. I know you’re scared!
News flash: I have chicken legs. Like, annoyingly-crazy skinny legs. Everything about these shorts fit EXCEPT for the legs! They were hanging on me, and while I was willing to overlook this problem, Dave, the cycle guy, told me that I wouldn’t be able to ignore it for long. I placed an order for an extra-small pair. Now I have to wait another week and a half for them to arrive. Ugh.
Back home for a Saturday night, I got to try out my pop’s new pellet rifle 🙂
Elegant and ready to kill! I scared the CRAP out of that mound of dirt below the baked beans can that I was aiming for, that’s for sure!
After feeling like a total bad-ass, I kicked back with a Fat Tire and an amazing view.
OH! And a chocolate-covered sea salt caramel!
Sorry for the blurry picture. I’m still trying to figure out this camera. I drooled over a few very cool digital SLR’s at a camera store today, but the funds aren’t allowing for anything extravagant like that.
Tomorrow I have another full shift at work, so I’m setting my alarm for 7am and I’m going to put the pedal to the asphalt and pump out a few miles! I’m hoping to map out a long loop that’s not on a main road so I can work on adding mileage without getting run over. After that, my Emergen-C GM! See you all tomorrey!


Filed under beer, Chocolate, Fat Tire, Indian Food, Pearl Izumi, pellet gun, trufflehounds, Ventura