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Growing Up Gourmet: June 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Summer Angelenos Can Be Proud Of

No sooner did I walk out of my doctor's office, boasting my healthy ways, and proudly admitting "I don't eat junk food" did I find myself staring at my guiltiest pleasure in the world.

Unfortunately that was at Costco. And now my family has the daunting task of eating 24 ounces of these:

Our 4th of July picnic can't come soon enough.

This is the quintessential chip of my childhood. These crispy, light, perfectly salted chips taste of beach picnics, BBQ's, and poolside lunches. Each bite is filled with memories of salty summer air, from dockside picnics with Food Buoy sandwiches in Woods Hole, to birthday parties at Amelia's house in Cambridge, and fresh mozzarella and Kathleen's Bake Shop chocolate chip cookies at Kate's in Bridgehampton. These are the chips of good friends and great memories. The chips even filled our guests' welcome bags at our wedding last summer. And that was no small feat. We got married in Utah. (Indeed, as the boxes of chips arrived on my mom's doorstep, shipped dutifully from my mother-in-law straight from Hyannis, I began to ponder my life as a bootlegging importer of all things delicious.)

I've lived in LA now for 4 years. And each year I wonder, desperately, "how on earth will I make it through another summer without my beloved Cape Cod Potato Chips"? If they can import water from Fiji to every continent around the globe, and turn San Francisco sourdough into an American staple, why, on earth, aren't Cape Cod Potato Chips sold in SoCal!?

Thus, every summer I return to the East Coast for weddings and reunions, each time happily gorging on Cape Cod Potato Chips from the moment I land at Logan. (Eventually, I eat so many chips it seems like a good thing they aren't sold in LA.)

But that's all about to change. Armed with 24 ounces of my favorite summer snack, this summer I'll be making new memories, one crispy chip at a time, right here in sunny Santa Monica.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Indeed, that month is inexplicably missing from my recent blog posts. But I assure you, it wasn't for lack of activity. Just a massive lack of time.

In May... Kitchen Kid took it's first official vacation, and I found a terrific new culinary coach to teach my classes while I was gone. We spent a week in St. Barth's celebrating our good friend's wedding. A Caribbean island with French flare, the food in St. Barth's was incredible. Mahimahi tartare, beef carpaccio, lightly grilled squid with intense aioli. All over looking a sparkling blue sea in 85 degree sunshine.
In May... we had a Sunday Funday BBQ for my birthday and served Gourmet Magazine's Ancho and Cocoa Carne Asada for the nine-hundredth time since it appeared in the March magazine. Copy down this recipe and cook it tonight. You too will make it nine-hundred more times in the next 2 months. Yes, it really is that good.

In May... Kitchen Kid was touted in Pregnancy Magazine for helping Charlie Sheen's daughters, Sam and Lola, make personalized lunches and mash their own guacamole at the baby shower for his new twin boys, hosted at Adrienne Maloof's home.
(photo courtesy Spantman Photography)
In May... I was filled with energy, excitement, and enthusiasm after hearing Alice Waters speak at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica. It was a true pleasure to meet her and be part of an audience filled with encouraging hope. Moreover, I was blown away by 16-year old Sam Levin who spoke with the charisma, professionalism, and ease of a natural-born orator committed to the belief that "better school food is not a privilege, it's a right". He kinda stole the show. The message of the night: edible education is essential to raising healthy, happy children.

In May... we were VERY busy teaching our Classroom Cooks After School Enrichment Programs. Books for Cooks was taught at Camelot Kids Preschool in Silver Lake, and Grant Elementary and Edison Elementary in Santa Monica. We were also piloting our Global Eats enrichment class at Webster Elementary in Malibu and Virginia Avenue Park in Santa Monica. Some of our newest recipes include Thai spring rolls and handmade tortillas. Delish!

In May... I went to Palm Springs for my oldest friend's bachelorette party. Good food, good fun, good friends, and great stories -- but not really for Growing Up Gourmet!

In May... we went camping at Boulder Basin Campground in the San Jacinto Mountains, and gorged on campfire food. Really, isn't car camping all about the food? Still dreaming about St. Barth's, I stuck a Trader Joe's pre-marinated frozen mahimahi fillet in the cooler. By the second day it was perfectly defrosted, and wrapped inside some foil and set on top of raging campfire grill, came out beautifully flaky.

In May... my mom came to visit from Park City to celebrate her birthday! She requested a second-annual birthday trip to Pizzeria Mozza, which I was all too happy honor! Dining on the chicken liver bruschetta, tomato & burrata salad, and pizza with English peas, cream, and guanciale has simply got to be the best way to grow another year older.

What a relief, May is finished! On to June!

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