We have a treat for you today! How many of you loved the chocolate chip pancakes at IHOP when you were a kid? You know who you are so please don’t pretend that you can’t remember that radiant whipped cream smiley face with those bright cherry eyes. You would look forward to it every time, and since it was a special treat for the weekend, your parents allowed you to order it. And as you enjoyed the fluffy pancakes dotted with melted chocolate, you would tell yourself, “When I’m a grownup, I’m going to have chocolate for breakfast every day!” Well today is a beautiful morning, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and we are feeling nostalgic. We decided to celebrate this gorgeous Spring day with something sweet. Something that would make our younger selves quite proud: crispy banana waffles drizzled with hot nutella syrup.
Last weekend, Los Angeles experienced a rare treat: small droplets fell from grey skies, seeping deep into the ground, plumping up our jade plants, and turning them a deep healthy green. There is something so comforting about staying indoors and making a hot meal on a rainy night, and on Friday that is exactly what we did. It was not even seven o’clock, and we were already lighting candles and slipping into our comfy robes and pajamas. Making a curry dish sounded most appropriate on this cold, wet night, and we had bookmarked a recipe from the new Clever Cookbook that our friend Emilie just released at the end of February that we were eager to try. With a candlelit house, and the soothing sounds of rain hitting the roof, we listened to Django Reinhardt, and started to cook this dish that would soon turn out to be a new favorite.
We love where we live. Eagle Rock is a thriving artistic community just twenty minutes from downtown L.A. Our quiet neighborhood is tucked away up in the hills far from the noise and traffic, surrounded by tall trees and expansive views. And though the city is nearby, it doesn’t feel that way, especially with the variety of wildlife that live in the area. Just the other evening, we had our second close encounter with a skunk!
I will not let today be one of those days. It is not even 8am and I’ve already broken a beautiful glass mug (a wedding present engraved with our initials), locked myself out of the house (forcing Ryan who is sick with the flu to jump out of bed while feverish and shivering to let me back inside), then accidentally set off the piercingly loud house alarm while going out to the garage to finish laundry. I refuse to let the day continue like this. I need to be a compassionate doctor, take care of my sick husband, and let him rest quietly without shattering glass and setting off deafening alarms! So let us pause for a moment while we take a deep breath together, and as we slowly exhale, we let go of our worries and stresses, allow them to all disappear, and conduct the day in a calmer and quieter direction.
Ahhh, much better.
Having our ten-year old niece stay with us this week was a bonding experience that we will always remember. Beneath clear sunny skies we ventured around the city, admiring the vibrant spring blooms that brighten this grand metropolis. We escaped high into the hills, surrounded by fragrant Eucalyptus trees, stopping by the Griffith Observatory for an evening at the museum as well as a fascinating show on Northern Lights at the Planetarium. We visited the Long Beach aquarium, went swimming at the house where Adam grew up, and spent quality time in our garden preparing the soil and planting tomatoes, basil, kale, and zucchini. We cooked together and swapped kitchen tips: we taught her how to separate eggs for matzo ball soup, and she showed us her recipe for strawberry-ginger lemonade using freshly-picked fruit from our lemon tree. The entire week was filled with memories that we will cherish forever, and since we dropped her off at the airport yesterday afternoon, the house feels quiet without her. But we are jumping right back into the kitchen and are excited to announce our first double post with a fellow blogger! Together with Apartment Bartender, we are sharing two tropical-inspired recipes for all your Spring entertaining needs! Check out the refreshing Mango Cooler cocktail he created at apartmentbartender.com, while we introduce you to a sweet and savory appetizer that is a delicious and colorful companion for his bubbly tonic: Tostones with spicy mango salsa!