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Sunday Dinner // 23 April 2006 / Mom's Peppino's Soup

I grew up with this super delicious soup - it's a warm, filling, universally satisfying dish that's equally easy to make. Family legend has it that this same soup was served at Peppino's Italian restaurant in Denver (it closed when I was a little girl) and everybody craved it.

Originally, the pasta used has always been very very small bowtie, but I recently tried it with cheese tortellini (the smallest you can find) and I like it better. The cheese in the tortellini adds a sharp starchy quality to the stock that really rounds out the lemony broth. Plus, with tortellini, all you need is a simple salad, a slice of crunchy bread and a glass of wine and you'll be as full as can be!

And like all's even better the next day for lunch!

note: the pasta looks very small and alone in all that stock when you first add it. Never fear, it will expand when it's cooked. I made the mistake of adding too much pasta once, and it was more like a stew than a soup. If you want more substance after the pasta has cooked, you can always add more peas. :)
Serves: lots

Mom's 'Peppino's' Soup

3 Boxes Organic Chicken or Vegetable Stock
3/4 bag of dried cheese tortellini
juice of one lemon
3-4 cups frozen peas
fresh chopped Italian parsley to taste
3/4 to 1 cup cream
1 clove chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped onion
fresh grated Parmesan

In a large stock pot warm some olive oil and saute the onion and garlic until softened. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. When warm, add juice of 1/2 the lemon plus salt and pepper to taste. Continue to add lemon juice to taste to your preference. The stock should be tart, but not overpowering.

Leave stock uncovered until it comes to a rigorous boil for at least 10 minutes. Add the tortellini, and toss in some parsley, reduce heat to a simmer, and let cook for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally and add pepper to taste.

When tortellini is cooked, add peas, another toss of parsley, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir in cream and simmer for at least 15 minutes longer.

At this point the soup is basically cooked, and can only get better from here. If you're pottering around the kitchen, cover the pot and leave it on a low simmer for a while longer, stirring occasionally. The pasta will hold up under the heat and liquid for a long time, and it doesn't need to be al dente. More cream and lemon juice can always be added to your liking.

Serve piping hot with a sprinkle of fresh parsley, fresh Parmesan and a strong grind of fresh pepper.

Happy Eating!

Young At Heart Sale :: Saturday, March 25th :: Champagne & Cupcakes!

Shop the newest selections of Aunt Beep BABY and oodles of tees from ACT III Clothing...stylish, witty tee shirts for your moms and grandmothers.
We'll have lots of great deals, and previews of designer merch not yet on
RSVP to win a free Aunt Beep gift basket!!

You may be kidnapped or murdered if you marry Harrison Ford

This clip is so funny, I just had to post it. It's funnier still, because I'm such a sucker for high-drama political action movies, and Harrison Ford in general.
(via Best Week Ever)


Sunday Dinner / March 12 // Eggplant Gratin

This is once again a recipe from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten.

Eggplant Gratin
(serves 2 generously, or 4 as a side)

El Coyote's 75th Anniversary

Here are some pictures from the Evening's festivities. It was pretty funny to see a spotlight and velvet rope outside the restaurant!

We ended up sitting in the bar for the it had a pretty good view of all the goings on. I don't remember the last time someone has tossed a Jose Cuervo tee shirt at me, but it fun. And funny.

Here's to another 75 for the Coyote!


Beep In A Week: Vol 7 // Who Da Man? Beep not da Man!

A few things came across our desk this week which poke a pointy finger at The Man. And as it's tax time, I say we celebrate them.

But first, some housekeeping: the first three new small press works are up in the PAPER
section, so I am pleased to announce Aunt Beep's Bookcase!

Over the next few months you'll be treated to all sorts of literary treats, wholly unavailable at Barns & Noble. Plus, we're supporting the cause and giving a portion of all book sales to a great project. Reading is so the new black.

Welcome susanstars: co-author of Super Crafty, R.J. Perez: author of the hilarious Nathan Jr. Zine & Edwin Ushiro author/illustrator of the "Love Sonnets" series. Pick up a copy and support small press!

And the Beep goes on...

You Simply Must...
* Make your own Silly Walk. Who else but the genius, anti-establishment minds of Monty Python
would come up with something so mindlessly, pointlessly entertaining? Make your own walk and then send it to all your friends!

* Buy a Banana Guard. Because The Man still can't squash your banana. (thanks for the tip Apartment Therapy!)

hat Is So Beep...
Greatest. Monologue. About Starbucks. Ever.
(click the Starbucks 1/21/2006 video link)
If I ever saw a true Beepster, it's The Kid From Brooklyn, Mike Caracciolo. This video is one of the funniest monologues I've heard in a long time. Further review of The Kid's website proves that he is indeed crazy, and I love it. There are lots videos full of The Kid's insights; but as I continually reassess my own caffeine addiction, the Starbucks bit is particularly funny.

BE WARNED: We keep things Beep Rated, but there is an impressive - dare I say - poetic use of the F-Bomb in The Kid's rant. Do not listen to this at work, unless your job is super cool like working at

Yes, I know we all hate to love Starbucks. So, just to keep it real, here are a few coffee shops in LaLa Land that are well worth visiting...and way Beepified:
1. Chango Coffee - Aunt Beep loves Chango!!!
2. Susina Bakery - absolutely delish pastries & deserts
3. Groundwork Coffee - Downtown - yummy sandwiches
4. Urth Cafe - mmmmmm spanish latte...

Be Sure To Note...
* Monday, March 13th is El Coyote's 75th Anniversary. (For our new Beepsters just joining us
this week, you can read here about my love for the Coyote.) Aunt Beep will be there with camera to
document the festivities. Check the blog to see pics!
* Mark your calendars! It's all champagne & cupcakes at Beep HQ on March 25th for our Young At Heart Sale. We're celebrating the launch of the new (and growing) Beep Baby section along with the official introduction of Act III Clothing. More info here - RSVP to win goodies!

Sunday Dinner...We needed a decadent meal and lots of wine to suffer through the Oscars...
(are the Oscars becoming more like The Man? Discuss...)
Main: Seafood Pasta. With more seafood pasta.
Click Here for Full Recipes!

Bringing It Back...I think it's time
for some more Aretha. Now there's a woman in a Man's world.

Spirit in the Dark, Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin - The Very Best of Aretha Franklin - The 70's - Spirit In the Dark

That's all from Beep Land. Keep it real people, and don't let The Man get you down!


Aunt Beep

Sunday Dinner / 3 March 2006 // Seafood Pasta

I totally just made this up...I know, I know I cheated and used frozen seafood, but the seafood blend from Trader Joes is not fishy at all and is so easy to use. Plus, I was really craving green-lipped mussels, but Whole Foods was out and it was too late in the day to start running around town, so I got Manila clams instead. By the time I tucked into my big plate of pasta, I forgot I ever even wanted mussels!
Follow the Beep recipe if you was delicious!!
Serves 2-3

1 bag fettucini
1/2 lb Manila Clams
1 bag Trader Joes frozen seafood blend, thawed
olive oil
3 cloves garlic chopped
4 organic roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 can chopped tomatoes
1/2 bottle dry white wine
juice from 1 lemon
approx: 1/4 - 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped (add to your liking...I like a lot!)
dried crushed red pepper
grated Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper

In a large frying pan, of bistro pan, saute chopped garlic in olive oil to soften, then add tomatoes. Salt & pepper generously, add a toss of parsley and stir until tomatoes are warmed. Stir in frozen seafood, lemon juice, white wine & more salt & pepper. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more pepper & parsley & lemon juice to taste. (I prefer a zingy, zesty sauce to cut the rich seafood and balance out the tomatoes). After the wine has condensed a bit, add 1/2 a can of the chopped tomatoes (or more if you want a really red sauce), and a generous pinch of crushed red pepper. Simmer for 8 more minutes. Add the clams and simmer for another 10 minutes while the pasta finishes cooking (al dente!)

Drain the pasta thoroughly and stir into the seafood sauce while it is still on the heat. This takes a bit of arm strength and balancing. To bind the pasta and sauce stir in a big handful of grated Parmesan cheese. Mix everything until the pasta is well covered.

Serve in big pasta bowls, add more Parmesan and parsley on top, serve immediately.

Happy eating!!

psychic synchronicity, or long distance copyright?

While reading Paper Mag's blog, I came across this post highlighting their faves from Paris Fashion Week.
To my suprize Oliver Theyskens has designed a dress for Rocha's Fall 06 Ready to Wear line that mirrors almost an exact copy of artist Leora Lutz' Unexpected Friends tee.

I don't know where to go with this? Coincidence? I know where Leora's influence comes from, I've been with her every step of the process...and it wasn't from Paris.

One thing I do know is that you should buy several Leora Lutz screenprinted tees, and even more of her City Silhouette paintings - because, clearly - the gal has style.

Rocha photo:

Beep In A Week: Vol. 6 // Where's My Golden Statue?

Well, it's been a wet week here in Hollywood. Anyone not properly protected must get a Tray 6 umbrella before the next City Wide soak.

Hollywood Blvd. is closed down for and the swag parties are in full effect. So this week's Beep is a star-studded treat.

And the Beeper Goes To...

You Simply Must...Put it in perspective.
* With all the celeb madness going on right now, sometimes it's nice for some satirical perspective. Check out beep Gallery artist 14's infamous
blog Gallery Of The Absurd; and then kick it on back to Beep to snap up her prints.

* You've probably already read this, but if you haven't, Go Fug Yourself is not only one of the shining stars in comedic writing right now, it will instantly make you feel better about yourself - especially
when you think you have nothing to wear, and all you want to do is look like a movie star.

That Is So Beep...Best quote ever from an Academy Award winner regarding the whereabouts of her stature.
"Oh, there it is. I must've won one then. I don't remember it, though."
-Jennifer Jones found the story. Ha!

Be Sure To Note...
* Mark your calendars! It's all champagne & cupcakes at Beep Headquarters on March 25th for our Young At Heart Sale. We're celebrating the launch of the new (and growing) Beep Baby section
along with the official introduction of Act III Clothing. More info here - RSVP to win goodies!

Lesson Learned...Beware the veiled deception of nostalgia when at the DVD bargain bin.
Let it be known right here and now that I - Aunt Beep - am a biiiiig fan of "bad" movies. For example, I love Day After Tomorrow. Love it. When Dennis Quaid does those repeat lines: "I will come for you, do you hear me? I will come for you!" I just want to run outside and join him in the quest for Jake Gyllenthahahaall across the frozen wasteland.

I love it when Sela Ward does the fake sobs, and I. LOVE. IT. that every local LA weathermen anchor makes a cameo.

However, a certain someone in the Beep household continues to insist on buying movies which he hasn't seen in 10-15 years - but insists they're still great. You know what I'm talking about. You see Time Bandits in the bargain bin and it's only $6.99, and it looks sooo trippy and retro and sci-fi fabulous, and you think, "Ohhh! Time Bandits! I watched that when I was 8, and it was the best movie ever! I can't believe I found it for only $6.99!"

Tell me something, have you ever seen The Godfather for $6.99? Or Gone With the Wind?
it from me - here are a few others to pass up:

Casino Royale - let's pull for the remake
Flash Gordon
- visually, it is rather wacky, but the jokes on us. There is no Queen soundtrack.
It's just one Queen song sung over and over and over.
Back To The Future II - 2 does not a 1 make.

and newly aquired just this week, the deceptively awful and mind-numbingly horrific:
Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Sunday Dinner...Oh my goodness, Sunday Dinner was delish. Yummy, yummy, yummy - and sooooo easy!
Main: Mushrooms in Red Wine with Blue Cheese over Fried Polenta
Click Here for Full Recipes! (always on the beep Blog!)

Bringing It Back...This was an actual conversation this week:

Brian: "Man, it's freezing [here in Chicago]"

Beep: "Yeah, it's raining here [in LA]"

Brian: "Is it raining men?"

This one is for you my friend.
It's Raining Men by The Weather Girls

The Weather Girls - The Weather Girls: Super Hits - It's Raining Men

Now go get ready for your close-up, because you're all fabulous!!

Aunt Beep

Sunday Dinner // 26 February / Mushrooms & Polenta

This recipe was originally inspired by a similar one from Food & Wine. What I present to you here is my altered version.
Serves 2 (or 4 as a side dish)

1 lb crimini mushrooms
2 large portebello mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
fresh rosemary
8 oz crumbled gorgonzoloa or blue cheese
1/4 cup red wine
splash of cream
lots of salt & pepper

Heat olive oil and garlic in a wide pan and add mushrooms. Add a generous amount of fresh ground pepper plus a toss of salt and saute until browned. Add wine and stir. Add rosemary, salt & pepper to taste. Simmer until liquid is down to about 2 tablespoons. Add cream and blue cheese and mix until cheese has melted and the sauce has thickened. Put heat on low and let simmer, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime slice up 6 pieces of packed polenta, and fry in a separate pan until golden brown on each side. About 4 minutes.

Pour mushroom mixture over the polenta, salt & pepper as needed, and serve immediately.

Beep In A Week: Vol 5 // Sunsets & Knitting Needles

* this post was added - okay - a week late - I'm posting it as added on the day it was written...I just had issues with blogger this week, and got frustrated trying to post.

Helloooo Texas!
The Dallas News just wrote the nicest article about we Beepsters, and I just want to say welcome to all our new friends from the Lone Star State.

Also, I'm loving our new Beep Map. Did you notice we have Beepsters all the way in Australia?!?

Beep bop a loo bop - here we go:

You Simply Must...
* Love Knitta Please. I have officially seen it all - these women are fab-u-lous. A group of 10+ anonymous ladies (from Houston, speaking of Texas!) are tagging the country with hand-knit "graffiti". You've got to see it to believe it. They tag with knitting! Can you stand it?!!

* What was #1 the day you were born? For this week's mindless enjoyment
I direct you to this fun site which lets you track down the #1 song on the charts the day you Beeped into the world...or got married, or moved to Slovenia, or any important day!

That Is So Beep...We went to The Castaway Restaurant with our dinner buddies (see below) for the first time on Sunday to watch the sun set on their gigantic deck. I can't believe I'd never heard of this place!! It's like the El Coyote of 70's steakhouses! Foodies and design junkies are surely cringing right now, but to Beep & crew, this place is classic.

Just a short drive up the very big hill behind old Burbank you'll find this slightly dated Trader Vic's-esque landmark ... the deck overlooks the entire valley. Think Anchorman overlooking Saan Dieaago on his first date with Ms. Corningstone.

Their deck has all the makings for a clandestine pits, white lights in the trees, cool California wind and lots of dark corners. The inside has lamps made of sea shells and plastic flowering plants hang from the ceiling... But the view! Anyone who loves the psychedelic sunsets of LA
simply must make a date with someone - anyone - and get up there before 5:00.
I can't wait to go back when the weather is warm!!

Be Sure To Note...
* This Friday and Saturday, Project Angel Food is holding an art sale to raise money for their amazing efforts in helping those in need. beep Gallery artist Paige Wery has donated this piece, and there are over 200 other committee-selected works priced at $100, $250, $500 and $1000.

* Tuesday the 28th is Mardi Gras. Now ladies, you have yourselves a good time, but keep those shirts on!!

Lesson Learned...You don't know what you've got...
So two things happened this week which are just a little sad:

First, our fantastically talented and trustworthy mechanic decided to close his garage and start a limo driving service.

I was cruelly informed by some random guy who answered the phone - some guy without the severely thick Russian accent, who didn't wear track suits daily & chain smoke - who didn't drive a Mercedes down Fairfax like he was about to win the Indie 500 - and who surely wouldn't take it personally if I got an oil change from somewhere else - just sort of off-handedly tells me that Dimitri has moved on, but I can bring in my car. MOVED ON?? LIMO SERVICE?? WHA?? If you are as paranoid as I am, and are able to find yourself a good mechanic who will put up with you, you can understand the gaping void that once was my heart.

And secondly, my pink sunglasses have finally lost their battle to being carelessly tossed into handbags with no protection to save them. They are broken. And so again, doth my black heart break.

I begrudgingly bought the Pinkies after I lost my perfectly stylish Jackie O Gucci's which I'd had for like 6 years. They were supposed to be a joke and a transitional phase, and also sort of a social statement against the gigantor glasses of last summer.

But over the months, the Pinkies have really grown on me. I like to fantasize that the Pinks one day prompted Nicole Richie to rise from her seat at Jones on Third and shout "Aunt Beep! Where did you get those sunglasses! I must have them!" I'd like to think she'd chase me all the way down 3rd Street, until I duck into Sushi Mac. knowing Ms. Richie would never be seen anywhere close to a $2.50/plate cash only sushi caf that blasts 80's metal and makes you get your own green tea.

Yes, The Pinkies and I got along swimmingly well, and for the price, the obnoxiously perfect hue of pink, and their ability to cause people to stare at me, they were beyond fabulous. I'm just not ready to let them go, so reconstructive surgery will commence at cocktail hour, after the vigil for Dimitri and his limousines. Your thoughts are appreciated.

Sunday Dinner Brunch...Our dear friends Serena (owner of Wolf Creative Recruting) & Walt hosted us to a delightful Sunday Brunch - we had such a great time and the food was delish. Now I love to cook, but Mrs. Preggers only let me bring juice. I couldn't bear not to give her credit for such a wonderful meal.
Beep loves Brunch!!
Bread: Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts from Epicurious
Main: Oven Baked Eggs with Artichoke & Spinach (family recipe)
Ham & Cheese Mini Frittatas from Rachel Ray
Sides: Roasted Potatoes & Fresh Berry Salad with Yogurt & Dried Fruit & Nut topping (compliments of Katie). Oh, and juice from me.
Click Here for Full Recipes! (always on the beep Blog!)

Bringing It Back...So someone fabu gave me the new Neil Diamond CD, 12 Songs
12 Songs

Neil gets all down and kind of depressing, but I like it. Why? Because who doesn't love Neil Diamond. In honor, let's bring it back to happier times.
Shilo (why? I just don't know)

And lastly, I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed all your emails this past week. I love love love hearing from all of you, and thanks for all the great food (and excersize!) tips!

Have the most wonderful week...
Aunt Beep

Sunday Brunch // 19 February / Yummy Eggs & Banana Bread

Our little dinner crew mixed it up and had brunch last Sunday. We had such a great time that we didn't even leave till almost 2pm - and then we decided to go watch the sunset over drinks and apps, so out went plans for my Sunday dinner.
Serena cooked up a storm and I'm thrilled to pass it on to you. I'm always happy to find a new egg dish...LOVED the artichoke & spinach dish, and the mini frittatas are genius. I can't wait to make them myself with another combo - maybe Gruyere & spinach?
But let me tell you, the Chocolate Banana Bread with walnuts is to die for.
This was the yummiest meal - I didn't feel over-fed afterwards which can happen with a late brunch. Best of all, it was a beautiful day in LA and the company was fabulous!!

Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts from Epicurious
makes one 9-inch loaf

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 9x5x2 1/2-inch metal loaf pan. Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Combine chocolate chips and walnuts in small bowl; add 1 tablespoon flour mixture and toss to coat.

Beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in mashed bananas, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Beat in flour mixture. Spoon 1/3 of batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of nut mixture. Spoon 1/3 of batter over. Sprinkle with remaining nut mixture. Cover with remaining batter. Run knife through batter in zigzag pattern.

Bake bread until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool.

Oven Baked Eggs with Artichoke & Spinach (family recipe)
feeds 6 nicely

2 6oz jars of marinated artichoke hearts
½ pound of sliced mushrooms
10 oz. frozen spinach (thawed)
5 eggs
1.5 cups of sharp cheddar cheese
1 cop of red onions
3 tablespoons of olive oil

Preheat oven @ 350
Prepare large baking dish (a lasagna dish would work great) with cooking spray
Thaw spinach
Drain Artichokes and chop in small pieces
Sauté onions and mushrooms
Beat eggs
Combine all ingredients (including cheese too) and pour into baking dish
Add salt and pepper for taste
Bake @ 350 for 50 minutes

Ham and Cheese Mini Frittatas from Rachel Ray

Note: you must use 2 mini-muffin tins with 2-inch cups to make these easy party bites. These tins can be found on the baking aisle in larger markets or at many discount stores. Most hold 12 mini-muffins per tin, some hold 24. This recipe will make 24 pieces.

1/4 pound deli sliced Swiss cheese, finely chopped
6 slices Canadian bacon, finely chopped
3 tablespoons snipped or chopped chives
A few grinds black pepper
8 eggs, or 1 pint egg beaters
2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Mix together the chopped cheese, Canadian bacon, and chives and season with a few grinds of pepper. In a bowl, beat the eggs. Brush the muffin tins with melted butter. Using a teaspoon, fill the 24 mini-muffin cups halfway with the cheese mixture. Using a ladle, fill the cups to just below the edge with the beaten eggs. Bake until golden, about 12 minutes. Remove and let cool to handle, then arrange the egg bites on a plate and serve.

Till next week's dinner....

Beep In A Week: Vol 5 // Breakfast of Champions

This has been a week of Zen Muffins, carb-cutting, computer re-programming and thigh-mastering. The good news? It's gourmet mac & cheese tonight!

Let Beep Games begin:

You Simply Must...
* Check out
All Cupcakes, All the Time: It's a blog about cupcakes, and gorgeous pictures of cupcakes - not Zen Muffins - and lots of them. I can't get enough of it!!
* Put yourself on the Beep Map. I'm dying to know where all the Beepsters are, and I would love to see a map with Beepsters 'Round the World'. Again, I offer you minutes of amusement - click here to mark your spot!

That Is So Beep...The Winter Olympics are sort of the red-headed step child of Olympic sports - as seen by this weeks ratings. This is why we all must start watching. Aunt Beep loves an underdog. Some would say Aunt Beep is an underdog. So in the spirit of exerting oneself in extremely cold conditions (even if it is in Italy) I would like to highlight a few of this years Olympians who are true Beepsters, through and through:
* Johnny Weir - US men's ice skating: he is an over-the-top personality poised to win the gold, but he didn't do so well the other night. To which he explained: "I couldn't feel my aura."
* Hannah Tetler- US Women's Snowboarding: a 19 year old who won the gold medal and upon receiving it could only bring herself to make the sign of the bull (above).
* Everyone and I mean EVERYONE who is on a Curling team.

e Sure To Note...

* Monday is President's Day - no banks no mail, no work!
* beep Gallery artist Leora Lutz is inaugurating the new location of her gallery, Gallery Revisited tomorrow night. Plus, beep Gallery artist Paige Wery has work in the show. Stop by and check it out, and tell 'em Aunt Beep sent ya!

Lesson Learned...The hips may thank you, but they will hate you first.

In the spirit of the Olympics, I finally decided to enact my New Year's resolution and start working out in the mornings. Somewhere I read that Tiger Woods gets up at 5am every day - and he seems to be doing well - so I've been thinking maybe I could dominate the world by rising at an ungodly hour and contorting my body into painful positions.

For whatever reason, I have decided that lunges with weights are the way to go - which is great in theory - but over the past few months my thighs have rested into a semi-vegetative state, and repetitive deep knee bends is an angry way to wake them up. Add to that the fact that between the age of 10 and 13 I grew something like a foot a week, and my knees never really recovered. Not an excuse so much as a visual aid so that you can understand the awkwardness of my new morning routine.

Maybe it is because of their recent lack of use that the old knees were surprisingly willing to bend more than 30 degrees, which prompted even more lunges by moi. However as I type this, I fear rising from my comfortable seat as an odd muscle on the front of my leg elicits excruciating pain whenever used. I am now resorting to walking stiff-legged in straight lines to avoid bending (think Cosmo Kramer in tight jeans), and flapping out my feet in front of me to ensure that I can hold myself up. It's just not pretty.

The saddest part of all, is that in my mind I truly believe that another day or two of bizarro calisthenics will turn my legs into a delightful combination of Angelina Jolie's and that wrestling uber-model from Dancing With The Stars.

unday Dinner...
We ate a late lunch at Loteria in the Farmer's Market so dinner was on the light(ish) side again. I say ish, because this gratin turned out to be anything but light. Good thing it was our main course.
Salad: Mixed greens, cremini mushrooms and haricot averts. Simple balsamic dressing.
Main: Cauliflower Gratin from Ina's Barefoot in Paris
Desert: Vanilla Ice Cream with morelo cherries
Click Here for Full Recipes!

You all win a Gold Medal in my book!

Aunt Beep

Sunday Dinner / 12 February 2006 // Cauliflower Gratin

Yes it's cauliflower, NO it is *not* good for you. I was actually a bit disappointed in this recipe, but admittedly I also kind of messed it up...I wasn't really paying attention and I accidentially added 1 full teaspoon of nutmeg instead of a quarter teaspoon. Yech. To counter it, I added more cheese, pepper and salt, and fresh garlic in the baking dish. I think I also added paprika. In the end, it wasn't a total waste (the husband cleaned his plate) but to me it tasted like egg nog gone horribly wrong.

However, I do think it needs more cheese, and I'd use the garlic instead of nutmeg if I make this again. I guess I just don't like nutmeg in savory dishes.

Oh - and I didn't drain the cauliflower long enough, so when I put it in the dish to bake the water made the gratin really watery. LET THOSE CAULIFLOWERS DRAIN PEOPLE!

Wow. This was kind of a disaster, actually.

Cauliflower Gratin from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten (pg 156)
Serves 4-6

1 3 pound head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmeasan cheese
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling water for 5-6 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. Off the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere and the Parmesan cheese.

Pour one thrid of the sauce on the bottom of an 8x11x2 inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top and then spread the rest of the sauce evenly on top. Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper/ Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is browned. Serve hot at room temperature.

Beep In A Week: Vol 4 // Everyone Is A Celebrity

Well the Beep Fam just grew by leaps and bounds this week, thanks to Daily Candy and their fab feature about beep
artist Plasticgod; which is only fitting as it's award season and we're being deluged with red carpet madness.

Welcome all new Beepsters!
I've been having a great time chatting with so many nice new friends this week, and thanks & congrats to all who have purchased new art by Plasticgod!

Let's take this down to Beep town y'all:

You Simply Must...
* Well naturally you must get yourself some Daily Candy if you haven't already. They've been kind enough to feature artist Leora Lutz, designer Nappa Studio and now artist Plasticgod - so they obviously have great taste. It's a fun read with your morning coffee.
* Make your own tartan plaid. We all had fun doing last week's Simpsonomaker,
but using the Tartanomatic to create my own personal Aunt Beep tartan is oddly satisfying in a Braveheart sort of way. Best of all, you can buy your new plaid! I think I see a Beep Tartan blanket in my future...

hat Is So Beep...

On Saturday we had breakfast at Urth Cafe. I haven't been there in a while, and I forgot how great the food is.

Do yourself a favor - take a 1/2 hour and sip a Spanish Latte outside in the sunshine at Urth Cafe. The Spanish Latte is quite possibly one of the top 3 reasons why I will never give up caffeine, and is - without a doubt - a perfect coffee drink. The coffee is strong, the milk is sweet, the foam is thick. To future visitors of our lovely city: for better or worse you can't get more "LA" than Urth, so add it to your itinerary.

Be forewarned: due to the strength of their coffee, drinking a large may induce heart palpitations, excessive perspiration and bouts of paranoia, but it's totally worth it.

Be Sure To Note...
*Tuesday is Valentines Day. Don't get down on the details, just tell everyone
you love them - that's the Aunt Beep way!

Good Fortune...I must be dipping into the well of good Chinese fortunes. We barely skidded
home from work in time for LOST this week, so California Wok was our only option.

As I have the pleasure of working with individuals who are both amazingly creative and hard working, I spend a lot of time discussing/reiterating what people can do, so this rings especially true:

"A great pleasure in life is doing what others say you can't"

I could easily pontificate on this, but I think you can get it. I'm glad I was raised by parents who always taught me there wasn't anything I couldn't do. The result is a life-long story of adventures and misadventures to be sure, but so much better than being trapped by someone else's limitations!

Sunday Dinner...The Super Bowl was boring, but this pasta dish was not. I love anything with seems so luxurious!

We ate so much pasta I couldn't even think about desert. But I was supposed to make roasted nectarines stuffed with ricotta cheese. I'll include the recipe. We'll see if I get to it this week (now that we have all these nectarines and cheese!), or maybe one of you will beat me to it!
Salad: Maiche & endive lettuce with pine nuts. Simple balsamic dressing.
Main: Thin Spaghetti with Crab, Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomatoes from Colorado Colore
Desert: Ricotta Stuffed Oven Roasted Nectarines from Gale Gand
Click Here for Full Recipes! (always on the beep Blog!)

Bringing It Back...I heard this in Trader Joes the other day. Everyone was singing to it. Which proves that just about all of us love Dolly and Kenny.
Islands in the Stream
Islands in the Stream
(plus, it reminds me of Katie and Chad and one of the best 1st wedding dances ever)

You walk that red carpet people, and I'll see you next week.


Aunt Beep

Sunday Dinner // 5 Feburary 2006 / Spaghetti With Crab

Like I said in Beep in a Week: boring Superbowl, not boring pasta.
I've never made a pasta dish with mascarpone cheese. Between that and the crab, this meal is quite decadent.
I will say however that next time around I might add an extra tomato and also some more sun-dried tomatoes for a little more zip. And, if you're a crab lover like me, adding more wouldn't hurt either. And lastly, don't forget the fresh basil. It adds an aromatic freshness to the whole thing that is fabulous.

Thin Spaghetti with Crab, Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomatoes from Colorado Colore (pg 210)
Serves 4-6

1/2 cup olive oil
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
3/4 cup drained oil-pack sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
3/4 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper
Salt & black pepper to taste
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1 1/2 inch pieces
12 ounces thin spaghetti
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
8 ounces fresh crab meat
1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

Salad: Maiche lettuce, Endive and Pignuts with a simple balsamic, olive oil and lemon juice dressing

Ricotta Stuffed Oven Roasted Nectarines from Gale Gand of Sweet Dreams on the Food Network
Like I said, I was too full to make this, so let me know how it goes!!

Recipe SummaryDifficulty: Easy Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 12 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

1/2 cup orange juice, heated
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 nectarines, halved lengthwise and pitted
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup skim milk ricotta
3 tablespoons honey
Cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Pour the orange juice into an 8 by 8-inch pan. With the tip of a sharp knife, scrape the insides of the vanilla bean into the pan, reserving the outside pod. Place the nectarines cut side down in the pan. Sprinkle with sugar and lay the vanilla pod on top of the nectarines. Bake until the nectarines are slightly slumped and feel a little soft, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool in the pan to room temperature, then remove the nectarines from the pan and chill until ready to serve. Reserve any pan juices to pour over the nectarines later.

Meanwhile, blend the ricotta with the honey in a food processor until smooth. Chill until ready to serve. To serve, turn the nectarines over and spoon the cheese filling into the cavity. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (if using) and serve immediately. Place 3 on each plate and drizzle the reserved pan juices over the stuffed nectarines.

Happy Eating!!

2/9/05 News A La Beep

It's easy for me to feel like the center of the universe revolves around - especially when there are so many fabulous new designers and artists being added every day it seems.

Nevertheless, the world (amazingly) turns round and round without Aunt Beep (working on that), so here's some interesting tidbits that are Beepified.

- The LA Times has an interesting article about the new trend in artist created toys. They give shout out's to some of my favorite local artists: Joe Ledbetter, and one of the best stores in LA - Monkeyhouse Toys get's a mention too.
Ironically, it's PLUSH WEEK at Gallery 1988, which is featuring "hundreds of cuddly & stuffed one-of-a-kind creatures". I'm bummed I missed the opening, but I can't wait to see the exhibit!

- Mark your calendars for the new opening of Gallery Revisited, owned and operated by beep Gallery artist extrodinaire Leora Lutz. The eye popping opening reception is on Feb. 18th.

-For someone like me who sends out emails to several thousand subscribers, the new regulation to charge "postage" for emails sent is a concerning and also interesting concept. The idea is to give priority to legitimate senders over spammers - but at what cost?

-How do you feel about kids receiving rewards like money, DVDs, iPods, even cars for perfect attendance at school?

PLASTICGOD featured on Daily Candy today

The fab folks at wrote a great feature on beep Gallery artist PLASTICGOD today:
...Doug Murphy, the artist also known as Plasticgod. His signature style riffs on our obsession with fame, turning celebrities du jour into two-dimensional pop-art icons.
I'm loving all the new Beepsters who have joined the fam, (welcome!). It's been great fun chatting with those who are now getting their very own Personal Icon Portrait by our very own 21st Century Warhol.
Thanks Daily Candy for once again giving some love to Aunt Beep. We love love LOVE you back! Muah!

Sunday Dinner // 29 January 2006 // Back From The Bar

I will pull an excerpt from Nigella Lawson's book which best describes this dish. She recommends eating at midnight, I recommend eating the night after a rough night, during chow fests like the Superbowl, during pity parties when you need comfort food, or especially when you feel like screaming "to hell with Atkins!"

"It's title is really just a gentle tease: this - a kind of Brit-style spud carbonara - provides heft, substance and comfort, and allays the most implacable of midnight hunger pains."

Back From The Bar Snack - FEAST by Nigella Lawson (pg 414)
Serves 2

1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cups cooked all purpose potatoes
2 slices bacon (**I ditch the bacon and use 2-3 cloves of garlic instead)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, chopped

Put some salted water on for the peas*, and in a frying pan that will take the potatoes and everything later, cook the bacon - scissored up into little strips - (**or garlic) - in the oil.

Cook peas and at the last minute, tip in the potatoes just so they heat up. Drain and turn the pan with the bacon and take it off the heat. Whisk the eggs with the cheese and then pour this over the potatoes and peas in the pan. Mix well and pour straight into a bowl or two smallish plates.

*NOTE - If you're cooking this from scratch, just add the peas to the potatoes when they're about 5 minutes from being done.

I got a few emails from excited cooks about last week's Shrimp with Feta & Roasted Tomatoes dish - how was it?

Happy Eating!

Beep In A Week // Vol. 2

This week has been insanely busy in Beep land. There is so much great new stuff on the site...a brand new PAPER section (more on that later), and at long last a BABY section (!!)

I'm so lucky to have the best friends, who have the greatest kids. Aunt Beep wishes a very happy 1st birthday to the fetching Will, and welcome to the world Veronica!

And on we go.

You Simply Must...
* Read Apartment Therapy. A daily dose of tips for living in the city. It's addictive. (plus they totally gave us a shout out!)

* Buy Kashware socks. It's true what they say. This stuff is crazy soft. I personally think they're quite ugly, but these socks are like slips of heaven on your feet when you're at home.

* Read this article about allegiance to one's hairbrush from yesterday's New York Times. Men and women will laugh aloud.

That Is So Beep...
Someone recently asked me to name my favorite restaurant in Los Angeles. My instant reaction
was to proclaim El Coyote!

Is that bad? Is it wrong? Am I hopeless?

I know the food is...wierd... It's not quite to the level of bad, but for years I have been ordering the Tostada Salad which is served with canned vegetables and 1000 Island dressing. It's just...wierd.

Regardless, I just plain love the place. It's cheap, its always lively, it's so wonderfully wonderfully tacky, and they give you mints with your bill.

Aunt Beep would have loved El Coyote for those reasons. I can see her there now, claiming the round corner booth as her "special table". So I guess I'll stand by my answer. Of all the places I've eaten in LA, the Coyote remains a steady constant in an otherwise crazy world. After a tough day (or a great day!), a couple margies out on the patio with good company makes the red glowing building on the corner of Beverly and Poinsettia just about my favorite place.

Be Sure To Note...
*Wednesday, Feb. 2 is Groundhog Day. A day which none of us really understands. Therefore, you should go out and rent the movie Groundhog Day, because Bill Murray is funny.

Lesson Learned... Beware the dishwasher door.
Earlier this week, a certain beep Gallery artist who shall remain nameless (no matter how many bottles of wine you bribe me with) was scrutinizing a recently finished painting, which she had hung on a wall across from the entry to her kitchen.

With furrowed brow and squinted eyes, she retreated deeper and deeper into thought as she backed away slowly to gain perspective. The entry to the kitchen across from said wall is very close to the dishwasher which was unfortunately left open, and full of dishes.

Unaware of her surroundings at this point, the artist took one fateful step too far and ran smack dab into the door of the dishwasher; which caused her to flail violently - flip into the air - and land directly on top of the brand new, very reliable, very full dishwasher door.

The noise alone I can only imagine was unimaginably horrific what with the inevitable hoots! whoops!! and the clanging of china, silver and glass. Beyond that, the pain my dear artist endured most certainly was great.

Believe it or not, she emerged unscathed from this incident, and nary a dish was broken. Miraculously, the door withstood the blow, and has since completed numerous heavy cycles.

Naturally, I'm glad there is a happy ending to this tale, however there are a couple points I wish to address:

1) People. How many times do I have to tell you to close the dishwasher door?! It falls in a blind spot right in the middle of your shins, and you just can't risk being clothes-lined by a major appliance these days. Am I right?

2) Artists. Stop being so hard on yourselves. Seriously. Can't you see this morose obsession with your work has potentially fatal consequences? You have got to ease up on yourselves. It's just not healthy.

3) And most importantly - buy the GE Nautilus Dishwasher Model #GSD4800G00BB. Clearly it's built to last.

Sunday Dinner...Sunday was a riotous example of why I love Sunday dinner. Good food (the pears! the pears!), great friends, lots of wine.
Salad:Shaved Fennel Salad from Craft of Cooking by Tom Colicchio
Main: Shrimp with Feta and Roasted Tomatoes served with a side of sauteed spinach. An old fave.
Desert: Honey-Poached Pears in Muscat with ginger ice cream from The Paris Cookbook by Patricia Wells
Click Here for Full Recipes!

And finally, a new installment to Beep in a Week:

Bringin It Back...originally I intended to offer you cheesy songs I heard in the grocery store that made me smile, but now I'm going to infuse that with my girl Aretha Franklin. Because, everyone needs Aretha in their lives. She can fix any problem, and make any wrong right. Download this song and refer to it when needed. You can thank me later.
The House That Jack Built

The House That Jack Built

Have a delightful weekend y'all!

Aunt Beep

Sunday Dinner // 22 January 2006

This dinner was extremely yummy, and pretty easy to make, as the only really time consuming part is poaching the pears after dinner. However, with all the crazy ingredients in the dish, it was fun to watch them simmer and taste the sauce as it progressed.

Shaved Fennel Salad from Craft of Cooking by Tom Colicchio (pg 110)
I'm in love with this book, it's a great read, and I tend to feel unworthy to try any of the recipies. This salad was a good ice breaker, and a definite keeper.
It says serves 6, but I say 3-4 max.
*note - the fennel will brown a bit if left uncovered, so prepare accordingly.

3 medium fennel bulbs
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (I didn't use close to that much)
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
fennel fronds, for garnish (optional)

Core the fennel and remove any discolored outer layers. Slice the fennel as thin as possible (this is most easily done with a mandoline). Dress the fennel with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve with fennel fronds, if desired.

Shrimp with Roasted Tomatoes and Feta
I originally found this recipe from the Sept 04 issue of Real Simple. I've altered it a bit, adding the dried bread, tomato variations and extra garlic.
You can find a delightful bag of dried, seasoned, bite size bread slices at Whole Foods for about 5 bucks. I can't tell you how many times I use this for cooking or appetizer emergencies. Perfect for french oinion soup, brushetta, and for soaking up the tomato juices in this dish.
serves 4 nicely

2 large yellow tomatoes
1 large orange tomato
2 large red heirloom or 3 roma tomatoes
-cut tomatoes into eighths
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (frozen in fine)
1/2 cup fresh italian parsley chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups Feta, crumbled
large artisan croutons or dried bread pieces

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place the tomatoes in a large baking dish. Spoon the olive oil and garlic over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper generously, toss. Place in oven and roast for 20 minutes. Remove baking dish from oven, and stir in the shrimp, parsley, lemon juice. Sprinkle with the Feta. Add croutons along sides and on top of the mixture - don't stir in, but bury enough to soak up some juice but also brown nicely on top.
Place back in the oven for another 12-15 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked. Serve warm with crusty bread, and a side of sauteed spinach.

Carre Des Feuillant's Honey Poached Pears in Beaumes-De-Venise from The Paris Cookbook by Patricia Wells (pg. 252)
This is an amazing desert, fun to make, low in fat and soooooo yummy. In the book Patricia Wells gives a recipe for Honey-Rosemary-Ginger Ice Cream. I am not yet that organized (or wanting) to make my own ice cream. I hunted down some Ginger Ice Cream - from Trader Joes no less - that seemed to work great for me.
*note - we were all chatting so much I forgot to peel the pears. I took a conscensus at the table and everyone agreed it was fine with the skin on...
4-8 servings

4 large fresh pears, peeled, stems intact
1/2 cup mild honey
1 1/2 bottles Beaumes-de-Venise or other sweet muscat-based wine
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and gently scraped out
4 whole cloves
8 black peppercorns
8 allspice berries
two 3 inch sticks cinnamon
Ginger Ice Cream

1. In a large saucepan that will hold the pears snugly, combine all the ingredients except the ice cream. Bring just to a simmer over moderate heat, and simmer just until the pears are cooked through, 15-20 minutes. (Do not cover.) Using a slotted spoon, very gently turn the pears from time to time so they are evenly coated.

2. Remove the pan from heat, and using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a large shallow bowl. Set it aside.

3. Strain the liquid into another saucepan; discard the rosemary, spices, and vanilla bean. Place it over high heat and reduce by half, about 10 minutes. The liquid should be light and syrupy. Allow the liquid to cool slightly; then pour it over the cooled pears. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving.

4. To serve, cut each pear in half lengthwise and place, cut side down, on a small chilled desert plate. Serve with ice cream, spooning the liquid over the ice cream and pears.

Happy Eating!!

**feel free to leave questions or comments if you've tried and of these recipies - or have some of your own!!!

Announcing BABY & PAPER

Holy Moley have we been busy!!

LOTS of exciting stuff happening in Beep land.
Don't cha just love the new year and all it's endless possibilities??

First and most important I wish to introduce new Beepsters
Lynne Swerer
Celina Tagana-Duffy
Bella Wishes

plus, we have more Beepsters almost up on the site that I'm dying to tell you about too!

A lot of you have been asking me if we could carry Baby & Kids items, and I am so happy to say that Beep Baby is in full effect. We're no where near finished filling the section with fab clothing, art and toys for kiddies all made by LA artisans. However, I think you'll be pleased with the funky new selection we have so far...check out the adorable clothing by Beep faves random nicole & One Ear Dog Frog!

Next, it's on to Beep Paper. Sidepony & Tweet have moved to their proper home, and joining them will be a wide variety of magnificent independant works by local authors, poets and illustrators who take the time to honor the printed page by creating their own books and zines.

You all know how much Aunt Beep loves the world wide web, but let's not forget one of the greatest of all achievements: the printing press - and the worlds of wonder it has brought all of us. Be sure to check this site often and indulge yourself with an inexpensive book or two.

Hats off to Beepster Tray6 who's latest umbrella design is in Feburary's issue of InStyle Magazine. Whoopie! Haven't I been telling y'all to get a Tray6 umbrella for months now?? ;)

Ok - back to work. See you tomorrow for BEEP IN A WEEK.

Aunt Beep is featured on Apartment Therapy

To say I'm obsessed with Apartment Therapy might sound a little over the top, but in truth, that is exactly what I am. I have been reading this fun, comprehensive, totally stylish home decor blog for quite some time now; so guess how happy I was to see they graciously mentioned and our fabulous gallery!

beep Gallery artists Paige Wery, Karyn Millet (also featured in last week's Shopping For Art post on Delight) and Leora Lutz were all mentioned as my trust in Apartment Therapy's good taste continues to go unspoiled.

No matter what coast or middle section you live in - be sure to read both their New York and Los Angeles -specific blogs for lots of great tips and cool finds.

As if the home design wasn't enough, they have also added a Kitchen blog which is genius.

Thanks Alec at Apartment Therapy!! Aunt Beep Loves You!!!!

Beep In A Week: I've Been Hoodwinked Baby!

Hello, Happy Happy New Year and welcome to Volume 1 of Beep In A Week -

Welcome Email Subscribers, and MySpacers! You can scroll through this post, and leave your quotes at the bottom under 'comments'.
Let's get started shall we?

You Simply Must... See Hoodwinked.
Here at Beep headquarters, we're all a flutter over the amazing success
of our fave new movie HOODWINKED; a hysterical animated whodunit written by our friend (and hunky BF of beep Gallery artist Jen Ditchik) Tony Leech. This movie is HI-LAR-I-OUS and you must run out and see it this weekend. Kids love it too, which makes it all the more fun. Here's a pic of Jen and Tony looking fab at the premiere.

That Is So Beep...
After several years of basically seeing out of one eye, I finally bit the bullet and got some fab new glasses from my new friends at SEE Eyewear in the Beverly Center. Everyone there is so nice, the selection is super stylish (mine are red! square! cute!), and the prices are really affordable. If you are lucky to have a SEE in your neck of the woods ditch the One Hour joints and get your four eyes on.

I'm Wondering... On my way to get said glasses I saw (sort of) a really great bumper sticker
that said:
"Well behaved women very rarely make history"
This person is a true Beepster. I'm wondering if any of you know who said it, AND what your favorite Beepified quotes are. You can post them here, or email them here. I'll show you all my favorites next week!

Be Sure To Note...
* My new weekly Artist Spotlight column over at We're working to demystify the world of art by igniting your inner collector without the pretense. We Heart Art!
* On Jan. 22nd, cell phone numbers will be released to telemarketing companies and you will receive sales calls. You will be charged for these calls. To prevent this, call the National DO NOT CALL list from your cell phone to remove your phone number: 1.888.382.1222

Lesson Learned... Give Sweater, Receive Toaster.
While on Christmas Holiday with my husband's family, my fabulous sister-in-law needed to borrow a sweater. I offered this cute, loosely knit cowel neck number, and she looked so gorgeous in it, I just had to give it to her. On Wednesday a mysterious package arrived at my door, and what could it
be but a brand new toaster! (we have a sordid history of toaster malfunction in our family) Some carefully worded "did you send us a toaster?" phone calls finally led me to the anonymous sender - my sister-in-law. The reason? "I told you when you gave me that sweater I'd buy you a toaster!" Totally forgot, but I'm over the moon!

Sunday Dinner...This week we were pretty beat, so I employed the help of Trader Joe. The fare was a bit eclectic, so we'll just call it a World Supper. Recipes are here (in the preceeding post)

That's all for this week. Be safe, and enjoy the weekend!

Aunt Beep

Sunday Dinner // 15 January 2006

World Feast - with the help of Trader Joe

Goan Avocado Dip (from the Saveur Magazine100)
I have made some slight modifications to the original recipe

4 ripe avocados diced
juice of 3 limes
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 red onion finely chopped
1 medium plum tomato seeded & chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
sprinkle of cumin seeds
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons olive oil
fresh ground pepper to taste
sea salt to taste
serve with: Pita Chips (from Trader Joes, go with the sea salt chips)

Put everything in a bowl and mix well. Sprinkle cumin seeds, salt and pepper to taste. However, remember that cumin especially will develop its full flavor over time, so be conservative. Cover tightly and chill for 2 hours. Remove and mix well - taste for more cumin, pepper and lime juice. Serve with pita chips.

Cuban Mojito Seafood Stew with Cuban black beans and basmati rice
Serves 2 generously

1 Jar Trader Joes Cuban Mojito simmer sauce
1 bag Trader Joes frozen seafood blend
1 bag Trader Joes chopped vegetable blend with bok choy, cabbage, broccoli
1 can Trader Joes Cuban-style black beans
1 bag (from box of three) Trader Joes frozen basmati rice
lime juice
olive oil
salt & pepper

In a large skillet heat the olive oil - add the seafood blend and saute. Add 1 tablespoon lime juice, salt and pepper and cook well. If the seafood releases too many juices from being frozen, drain a bit to avoid too much liquid.
Add the bag of vegetables and saute until the vegetables begin to soften from the heat.
Add the simmer sauce, cover and cook for at least 10 minutes.
In the meantime heat the beans in a small sauce pan.
When stew is ready, pop the rice in the over for 3 minutes.

To serve:
distribute rice evenly into wide, shallow bowls. Add a generous portion of the stew over the rice. Spoon beans along the outer sides of the rice and stew. Garnish with a slice of fresh lime, and serve immediately.

'Desperate Gourmet' Desert
This was created in a pinch with stuff I had in the kitchen (and liquor cabinet!)
Serves 2

1 apple (pref. Macintosh) sliced (peel if you have the time)
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
1/4 cup Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
3 tablespoons cognac
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cap full pure Almond Extract
Vanilla Ice cream (don't scrimp with the cheap stuff - buy good full fat ice cream with real vanilla - it makes all the difference in the world!)

In a saucepan heat up the Grand Marnier and add the raspberries until the liquid turns a yummy pink. Add the apples, sugar, cognac and almond extract. Simmer uncovered until the apples are very well cooked and soft and the sauce in minimal. Let cool for at least 15 minutes.

Serve over vanilla ice cream.

Happy Eating!!