You Say You Want a Revolution

Well, you know we all want to change the world. This is the hope of Jamie Oliver, his food “champions” and all of us who want to see a change to healthy, affordable, accessible, enjoyable and yes, easy to make meals.

Now, you all know I love Jamie, but after last week I definitely have a deeper appreciation of how much he and his team are striving to bring healthy food awareness to the world. My friend Jenny and I had a chance to take a cooking lesson during Jamie Oliver’s Big Rig tour in Los Angeles. While I knew that “the man” would not be there showing us proper knife skills, I was very excited to finally attend one of his Food Revolution events. On a Friday afternoon, we headed down the 110 to the 105 to an area we don’t tend to frequent – Compton. Pulling into the parking lot of the King-Drew Medical Center, the Big Rig was hard to miss. It is a huge trailer that is kitted out inside with four cooking stations, two wash stations and a large demo station. The instructors, or Champions as they are called, were all so friendly and enthusiastic that you couldn’t help getting caught up in the excitement.

Our meal was a basic risotto and a side of multi-colored cauliflower with a homemade vinaigrette. After a brief demonstration, we divided up in to small groups to get some hands-on cooking experience. My group consisted of Jenny, a mother, her seven year old son and an elderly gentleman. It seemed that almost everyone there, except Jenny and me, had attended several classes already and were signed up for the next week’s classes as well. It was really inspiring to talk to the mother who was taking these lessons because she and her husband had made a commitment to eat healthier for the sake of their son. We all got a chance to chop, stir, pour the broth and of course, clean up.

The lesson was fairly basic but having had a few risotto disasters in the past (mainly stodgy ones), I was happy to have a good refresher on just how simple and easy it can be. As well, someone in our group couldn’t have dairy so it was easy to pull a bit aside for him before the knob of butter and the generous helping of parmesan was added at the end. So there you go, vegan for Clive and cheese-filled for me!

A big thanks to all those who are volunteering their time to reach out to the community and help educate and improve health.

Viva la Revolución

Get involved in Jamie’s Food Revolution Day!

Or donate to his cause at www.jamieoliverfoodfoundation.org 

Big Love!

 

Click here for Jamie’s Risotto Bianco recipe

 

And the Oscar Pun goes to…

First of all, let me just start by saying that I have been doing food puns at my Oscar parties since the day I hollowed out 4 baguettes, lined them up end to end and filled them with spinach dip for “The Green Mile”. So imagine my distress when my friend, Jenny, sent me a link to the winners of Bon Appétit’s first annual Oscar Food Pun competition! How did I miss this? I suppose the fact that I am about 4 months behind on all my food magazines might be one of the reasons. I am still reading about new twists on classic Thanksgiving menus. Anyway, I just want the record to state that I have been doing this with my sister and friends LONG before BA got in the game. And I would also like to point out that we had all the same ideas that the winners had, plus some!

The Table

So here they are for your viewing pleasure, our official 2014 Oscar food pun menu, in no particular order:

Gravlax-ity

Gravlax-ity – smoked salmon dip on sesame crackers
Full disclosure:  I ran out of time and use Trader Joe’s smoked salmon dip (gasp)
but I have to say it is quite tasty.

American Truffle – originally this was going to be American Brussels Sprouts
but chocolate truffles sounded a lot better than brussels sprouts.

Christian Kale – Vickie’s Spicy Kale Chips.

Dallas Gruyeres Club

Dallas Gruyeres Club starring Manchego McConaughey – Cheese Plate

Phyllomena

Phyllo-mena – Individual Zucchini Tarts with phyllo
This was delicious!  However, I can only take credit for finding the recipe.
Jenny’s execution of the recipe was divine.
Click the above link for the recipe on 24 Carrot Life 

The Croodites

The Croodité – Crudité Platter
We had to have something healthy!

The Lemon Square

The Lemon Square – Lemon Bars
Now this one I did make from scratch and will try to post the recipe soon.

Frozen

 Frozen Cocktails – Robin really outdid herself with this one.
I need a whole separate blog post to discuss all the tasty cocktails she made.
My favorites were the Strawberry Basil-tini and the Cantaloupe Margarita. 

The Wine of Wall Street
The Wine of Wall Street – simple and straightforward.

George Clooney is hot

And an Oscar tradition – George Clooney is hot and so is this… (insert hot item here)
This year it was Samantha’s amazing Jalapeno Cheese dip.
Can we get an Amen!

 

PS – I might not have won Bon Appétit’s Oscar Pun competition, but I did win our Oscar pool (again!).  hee hee hee

 

 

Keep It Simple

It has been super busy around Lark these days  (what’s new, right?).  A husband who had vertigo and is working on a crazy independent film.  A four year old with a broken arm (cast is finally off!) and an eye patch to correct his Amblyopia.  My work getting busy.  Visits from parents, step-daughters and in-laws (all wonderful) so it has been a bit quiet on the blog front.  I am always waiting for the time to take the perfect photos of the perfect recipe and write the perfect blog.  But that isn’t what this blog is about.  It’s about cooking, life, my home, my family, my friends and what is happening at Lark.  And yes, I can strive to find time to work on my photography and emulate some of the amazing food bloggers that I love to follow but for now, here are a few snapshots of life at Lark.

Summer vegetables coming in

Sun Gold Tomatoes on the Vine

Exploring simple vegan squash blossom recipes

(apparently it is as simple as sautéing the blossoms with some olive oil, fresh thyme and a pinch of sea salt)

My amazing son taking the patch and the cast all in stride

(with some distraction help from Nana & Papa)

Pizza Night

Celebrating my birthday on a rooftop with friends, at a spa, a decadent lunch, a family dinner & a shared celebration with my mom at The Burbank Starlight Bowl

My step-daughter, Charlie, coming home for a visit

Ollie & Charlie

Simple Sarnies – two ways

Roasted Pepper Sandwiches

Simple Roasted Pepper Sarnies – two ways
(or if you want to be fancy – Tartines)

For the vegetarian (me):

Roasted Peppers*
Fresh Basil Leaves
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

For the meat eater (Charlie):

Pizza Sauce (or any marinara)
Roasted Peppers*
Fresh Basil Leaves
Pepperoni
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Layer the ingredients on a good ciabatta roll and broil until the cheese is brown and bubbly.  Serve warm with more fresh basil leaves on top.

*I used the roasted peppers in olive oil from Trader Joes

See I told you it was simple and did I mention our summer veg has come in?

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