While the east coast is experiencing heavy snow storms and below-freezing temperatures, we are relaxing in our family room at ten o’clock in the evening, cooling down our house with the windows open, listening to the calming sounds of an owl hoo’ing in a nearby tree. It reached ninety degrees today here in Eagle Rock, California. Apparently Mother Nature had no interest in Spring this year, as she’s already in flip-flops and sunglasses, sipping passion coladas on a private beach in the south of France. How do we know that? We emailed to remind her that some of us enjoy all four seasons, but we got an automated out-of-the-office response to contact her partner, Flora. But since this is her busiest time of year, we were left on our own, trying to figure out ways to stay cool. It was much too hot for hiking today, so we pumped up the A/C, turned on some summer tunes, and consumed the clock, creating a cure that could cool our cores. For national pi day, we took our favorite girl scout cookie and turned it into a dreamy pie—ultra-rich and mint-chocolatey delicious. You can almost feel the chilly breeze as we introduce her to you: please meet the lusciously invigorating thin mints pie.
Our yard is exploding with color. The thirty-foot native ceanothus shrub that is normally a deep forest green throughout the year is now covered with clusters of intense purple flowers. The bougainvillea vine surrounding our kitchen door which has been bare all winter long has now begun to flaunt its show-stopping red blooms. Spring is in the air, and soon we’ll be enjoying sweet juicy strawberries and farm-fresh crisp roasted asparagus. This also means that Summer is just around the corner, and if we plan to fit in our swimsuits on our Alaskan cruise in July (more on that later), we’d better start thinking ahead! With travel and beauty on our minds, we wanted to create something delicious and healthy to prepare for this summertime celebration at sea. The thing is, these wraps turned out so tasty, that we’ve eaten about four hundred in the past four days, which isn’t helping the situation. Open your hearts and minds, crispy avocado southwest sushi wraps are here to take you on an international voyage around the world.
Our relatives in Spain couldn’t stop laughing when we showed them the photo of our skinny young avocado tree. Just a year old and not even four feet tall, its trunk was as slender as a thumb. But it wasn’t the tree that was funny, it was the large pink umbrella set up next to it, protecting the poor thing from the blazing midsummer southern California heat. It hung on for dear life, but didn’t survive the brutal days of September when Los Angeles makes its annual transformation into a walk-in pizza oven. So we replaced the torched avocado with a tropical loquat tree that loves the sun and has been generously producing plump, juicy fruits these past two years. Eventually, we’ll find a shadier spot and plant another tree where it can flourish and make millions of avocados for us. Considering they sell for two or three dollars each in the store, one could save a lot of money owning a tree, especially if you’re a fanatic follower of this fantastic fruit like we. You may have questions at this point: Where is this going? And what the heck is broccamole? We promise this is leading somewhere… and of course, it happens to be somewhere incredibly delicious. To learn more, simply scroll down to the next paragraph…
Yesterday we got to meet Oliver the pig. He’s the mascot for Hedley & Bennett, a local company known worldwide for their stylish handmade aprons. His owner Ellen was co-hosting a Southern-themed Sunday brunch at her house along with the folks from Bake From Scratch Magazine, and we were two of the lucky attendees. Tucked away in the steep hills of Echo park, this colorful and artistic home has breathtaking views of the city. Lush gardens filled with native plants and purple sages surround the property which is also home to a half dozen chickens as well as our new friend, Oliver. Apparently he was misbehaving before we arrived, so he spent most of the afternoon in a “time out” behind a wooden gate atoning for his sins. But after a welcoming Southern brunch featuring Rebecca’s homemade melt-in-your-mouth Meyer lemon scones, Brian’s brown butter hummingbird coffee cake, Gaby’s beer bread, and a live demonstration from Callie’s Biscuits on how to make authentically Southern buttermilk biscuits, we took a peek behind the gate and introduced ourselves to the peppy pig before saying our goodbyes. It was hard to leave of course, but we had some important business to attend to at home. And by “business” we mean peanut butter cheesecake.
Everything is going to be fine. You’re cooking tonight’s Valentine’s dinner, but still haven’t decided what to make. First, take a deep breath, and realize you’re not the only one browsing the web for “romantic home-cooked meals” right now. We’ve gotcha covered, and have definitely been there before. There was the time we waited to buy champagne on our way to a New Year’s party, only to learn the store was sold out of everything bubbly. And the time we tried to buy eggs on Easter morning, finding the dairy case completely empty. Sometimes procrastination works, and sometimes it does not. But no worries: your Valentine will never know you were browsing our site at the last minute on this intimate holiday. In fact, from the very first sip of the evening’s cocktails, it will seem as though you’ve been planning this special night for a long time. And when you bring out this first course, pan-seared artichoke with an aioli trio, and see the smile on your date’s face, it can be our little secret that you just discovered it today.