Sunday, April 29

fig + goat cheese pizza

A couple weeks ago, I went to my cousin Molly's house in Pasadena to stay for a night with her, her husband Schuyler, their two adorable kids [most likely the only children that aren't in India that I'll ever love] and my other cousin Clare. Here's the thing about my cousin Molly. She's essentially what every young woman strives to be: she's a successful marketing consultant for Nestle, she has impeccable taste in home decor, children's clothes and her own clothes, she's married to most girls' dream guy and she is a FABULOUS chef. Though she rarely has time for herself, Molly made homemade pizza for dinner, complete with homemade crust. Though I'm usually skeptical of sweet-ish pizzas, I could not get enough of her fig, goat cheese, prosciutto and mozzarella cheese pizza. It was absolutely perfect.

Since the visit, I had been dying to recreate the recipe and on Friday, I took the plunge and invited over Lori, Chris and Vanessa as my guinea pigs. Needless to say, it was essentially a disaster and they were great sports.

Since god forbid I read the recipe in advance, I didn't exactly realize that I needed to make the pizza dough two or more hours ahead of time [I know I know I know, some foodie I am] and realized about 10 minutes before everyone was coming over that there was no way I could pull it off. So I rushed to Fresh & Easy to pick up their pre-made dough and alas, they were sold out. In a slight panic, I sped down University Ave. to try and make it to Trader Joe's before they closed when I had a brilliant beyond brilliant idea: URBN.

Now, URBN pizza and I have a very special bond. I eat and/or drink there around three times a week and I have made friends with almost all of the bartenders. So in my frenzied state, I stopped my car essentially in the middle of University Ave. with my hazards on and made a slightly crazy phone call to URBN, begging for pizza dough. Turns out, URBN is even better than I thought and they sold me two pizza dough balls [!!!]... saving the day, yet again.

nom to say the least and topped with thyme

Ingredients: pizza dough, fig dalmatia, goat cheese,
mozzarella cheese, prosciutto, onions, 
flour & olive oil

First, lightly coat a cookie sheet with olive oil. Roll out pizza dough using flour and stretch out to cover the cookie sheet. Layer fig dalmatia, prosciutto, goat cheese and mozzarella cheese. Cook on 375 degrees  until dough is cooked and cheese lightly browns.

In the end, the night was not a total fiasco [minus I forgot to grease the pan and the pizza stuck pretty badly] and I learned a lot; for example that it's pretty hard to grocery shop and then cook a full meal after a work day and it's always a good idea to read the recipe [at least] a night before. But everyone had a full and happy stomach and those are pretty much the only goals I have when hosting a dinner party.

{Did I mention I had some pretty great beer too? Happy Almost Monday!}

Saturday, April 28

1. preoccupation with or emphasis on material objects, comforts and considerations, with a disinterest or rejection of spiritual, intellectual or cultural values.

Now I have to give myself a little credit. I don't think I'm truly materialistic (because I'm certainly not rejecting spiritual, intellectual and absolutely not cultural values), but I do admit I tend to get wrapped up in... stuff. Recently, I've been on a splurge: new bag, new wallet, new skirt, filet mignon for one... and some more things. Being the person I am, I can't just be content with these purchases, I have to guilt trip myself a little. Oftentimes, I find myself thinking (like the rest of America), "I wish I made more money." But isn't that just so typical? Always wishing for more.  And not for more love or more knowledge but for something as insignificant as more money to buy more things. I think back to my time in India... where in the town I lived and volunteered in, most people made about 1000 rupee ($25) every couple of months. Wow. It's kind of a wake up call when you think of things like that.

Photograph by Peter Miller

{Just something that's been on my mind lately! What do you think?} 

Friday, April 27

coachella: the music

Coachella: The Music. The reason people from all over the world [seriously everyone had an accent] come to this sweaty nest in the middle of the desert they call Indio. Though it's really pretty impossible to recap "The Coachella Experience" because it's one of those "you had to be there" kind of events, in a nut shell, it was well worth the $350 ticket. Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg were [for obviously reasons] the performance by far in my opinion. They rapped songs that chronicled my childhood and I absolutely lost it. Among others, I saw the following artists and they all [no pun intended] rocked:

Arctic Monkeys
The Black Keys
Explosions in the Sky
Mt. Eden
Noel Gallagher
The Shins
Miike Snow
Bon Iver
Alf Alpha
Girl Talk
Calvin Harris
Florence + the Machine
DR. DRE AND SNOOP DOGG [and Eminem and Wiz Khalifa and 50 Cent and Tupac kinda]

coachella by day

coachella by night

madeon was amazing

santigold killed it

my main man, dre

oh hey tupac!

Sadly, my photos are not that great due to excessive jumping/rapping/screaming/hair whipping... but hopefully you get the picture!

{Homemade pizza and crust for dinner! Get ready for some feastly photos.}

Thursday, April 26

coachella: the food

You're probably wondering how it's possible that I haven't discussed the music aspect of Coachella yet...  I'll  get there... I promise! My last Coachella experience involved a weekend diet of beer, goldfish and miscellaneous junk food found around the festival. This year, I was determined to find the goods. And by goods I mean food trucks.

The Lime Truck, winner of Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race, was serving up their awesome California-inspired cuisine and I [guilty] ate there everyday. Oops! I tried the short rib quesadilla, the short rib fries, a potato taco and bok choy salad and it was all absolutely incredible. Then, I got really lucky and had the chance to meet Daniel, the founder/owner of the truck [that's him in the plaid]. He gave us free limeades [again, SO GOOD] and chatted with us about his success. Daniel also told us that soon, The Lime Truck will have their own sit-down restaurant! Clearly I’ll be making a visit. Great guy, great truck, GREAT food.

Next, we tried Manglers Meltdown, a food truck dedicated to all sorts of different “melts.” From Philly cheese steaks to turkey melts to grilled cheese (WITH MOZZARELLA STICKS MELTED INSIDE), this truck is probably a heart attack waiting to happen but nonetheless it was an absolute feast. 

Finally, we tried Cosmic American Voo Doo Van, a San Francisco-based food truck specializing in American food. Since I was pretty much disgusted with myself at this point from all of the [terribly] fattening food I’d been eating, I only [HA] got a side of JuJu Balls… essentially fried mashed potatoes with chives and cream cheese and served with pickled onions and an amazing aioli sauce. Oink.

{Who knew Coachella food was so dang delicious?}

Tuesday, April 24

coachella: the crafts

Coachella. Arguably one of the best music festivals of our generation. People from all over the world [literally] flock to Indio, California [read: the blistering hot desert] in April to experience one of the best weekends...ever. From Paul McCartney to Snoop Dogg... Coachella has had musical guests of every kind. My friends and I went back in 2010, camped [ugh], saw some of our favorite artists and had a damn good time. This year, similar to our last Coachella weekend, we sweated and sweated and sweated [did I mention it's usually well over 105 degrees?]. We raced from tent to tent to see our favorite musicians in action. We mingled with the Coachella folk [from hipsters to bros and everything in between]. And we discovered... The Coachella Art Studio aka... Craft-Chella... aka... my heaven. Once discovered, I spent several hours in this tent taking full advantage of the free [ish] craft supplies. Needless to say, this tent definitely rivaled the actual music... almost.

here are some of my creations: buttons and a zine*

*I'm still not entirely sure what a zine is... but I'm pretty proud of mine. If you want to read the whole thing [warning: some parts are PG-13] email me and I'll send ya a copy!

{Don't worry. This is just the beginning. More Coachella posts to follow!}

Monday, April 23

an artful weekend

Last weekend, my friends and I went to an event put on by Sezio called Collide. We didn't really know what to expect, but it was such a great time! Collide showcased several local artists and musicians and was sponsored by Miho, Stone and Karl Strauss... clearly a winning combo. The best part? The event was in a newly renovated apartment complex where different rooms displayed different artists' work. Here are some of some of my favorites:

craft map showing what vendors were where

best quote

spenser's wire art was definitely my favorite

all made from wire

interactive art

little bunny friend on the wall

{Stay tuned for some serious Coachella posts... I'm currently in recovery mode but Dr. Dre and co 
made. my. life.}

Wednesday, April 18

a pretty day (and a great cafe)

Holy guac I'm behind. Maybe because it's because I'm so absurdly excited to see my bestestestest friends this weekend (oh yeah and did I mention we'll be attending that music festival... don't know if you've heard of it... I think they're calling it...'Chella these days...?) So I guess my mind has been elsewhere (DR. DRE ON THE MAIN STAGE SUNDAY...okay I'm done I swear). But I've had some pretty fabulous days lately.  A few weekends ago, co-worker Amanda and I explored Solana Beach, a town I pass every single day but have never explored. It's a haven for anyone interested in design, it's quiet in the best way possible and it's home to the cutest boutiques ever. 

the store/backyard of my dreams

any chance to cuddle with a pup [i need a tan]


curried lentil + coconut soup, gouda, artisan bread and a yummy salad

Clearly, it was a good day plus I made a few spontaneous purchases that I can't really afford {click here except mine is in mint green and here to see} and we had an incredible lunch at zinc, my new favorite cafe. The soup [featured above] was really pretty amazing and reminded me a LOT of India. Wah.

Tuesday, April 10

being present

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about soul mates, a relationship that I whole-heartedly believe in. I have found myself wondering, who is he? WHERE is he? and just as I'm about to aggressively throw my hand into the bag of candy at work [cause gaining weight is clearly the logical solution], it dawned on me: I have the rest of my life to think of someone other than myself. Seriously. I'm twenty-three and likely I'll be with that special someone for twice that length of time. I have the rest of my life to love someone more than anything and for them to love me back. Why not embrace this time when it's all about me and where there's not another person to take care of? And just for once live for now. Right now. 

I think that's something I've struggled with a lot: living in the present. For my entire life, I've had a plan: a plan to go to college in southern California, a plan to study abroad in Madrid, a plan to volunteer in India after graduation and so on. That's a good nine years of planning. But right now, right this very second at 8:38 p.m. on April 10, 2012, for once, I don't have a plan. I'm not thinking of the past and I'm not thinking about the future. I have no idea where I'll be this time next year and you know what? That's okay. At this moment, I'm making a conscious effort not to rely on the future for happiness but to be happy in the moment.

At the risk of rambling too much, I'll leave you with this, beautifully stated by purpose fairy's fifteen things you should give up in order to be happy:

''13. Give up the past. I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.''

{thanks for reading!}

Sunday, April 8

indigo grill

In honor of Amanda's birthday, we decided to go to Indigo Grill in Little Italy. The place was fabulous. The cuisine is southwestern/American and everything we ordered was a feast.

lovely decor



one more time

grilled romaine salad

rev love

beautiful lisa

I ordered the spinach salad. usually, as you may have noticed, I don't usually order salads as a main course when I go out to eat [who wants to be the girl who only eats salad? lame]. Plus, to me, salads are less about the lettuce/spinach/greens and more about the treats you get on top. Oftentimes, the treats are limited which give salads a bad name. But this one sounded TOO good. It was a heaping helping of spinach with strawberries, nuts, roasted pepitas tossed with caramelized orange pasilla dressing. THEN there were a couple of corn fritters, a pile of spaghetti squash, chicken and toasted garlic chips on top.

{i'll never judge salads again. yum dood.}

Thursday, April 5

i love days when... realize your problems aren't really problems but merely obstacles. get in the biggest book worm mood and dream of spending an afternoon in barnes and noble.
...your blog gets a makeover that makes you probably happier than it should. get paid at midnight!

So maybe you noticed the makeover 'ole beauty and the feast got today/yesterday. Personally, I'm obsessed. It was beautifully designed by Danielle Moss, the face behind breakfast at toast, blog designer extraordinaire and co-founder of the everygirl [if you haven't read it you really really need to. like, right now]. It's kind of funny how much this blog means to me; it's actually borderline creepy. I think about it pretty much every second of the day, I have dreams about it, I want it to be perfect and I want it to succeed.

{ps: it's me [and aj's lentils] on kyla roma!}

{projects, walk on the beach, sushi, mingling and me-time
on the agenda for the weekend! stay tuned}

Wednesday, April 4

craft club: diy string heart

Craft Club is seriously something Lori and I look forward to each week. If i had it my way, Craft Club would be a daily event, but that's not fiscally responsible plus who has time for that. This past week we made a wall hanging with a slab of wood, nails and embroidery string. We found the idea {here}.

finished product

{let me know if you've completed any cool projects lately!}