Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday with Dean and the Gang

Shannon drew a portrait of Dean and mailed it to me from New Zealand. I framed it and delivered it to Lacey and Dean today at dad's shop. The team was planning to work on the race car, so I figured it would be a great opportunity for everyone to get together. Dad asked if he was dying or something... why was the whole family here??

This is the portrait. Dean has grown since this picture, he looks like a chubby little baby here.

Me with Dean.

Here he is modeling his Kiwi Bird t-shirt that Shannon brought for him last year. It finally fits.

Dean was trying to put a sticker on Great-Grandpa's race car.

The guys were putting the Nitrous Oxide system on the motor.

Carl and Lacey

Carl and Dean on GGP's scooter.

It was a fun day. We all went to lunch at the Red Hill Cafe, the local spot. Jules Alvarez showed up to the shop in his roadster, so did painter Phill in his roadster. Dean loved hearing the motors, and was kind of scared, but excited. Little boys just love cars and loud motors! So do big boys.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pizza; Yes....Pizza

I'm starting to sound like Shannon and Lacey, talking about food. I suppose it is a form of art. Anyhow, today I attended an art demonstration by the Associated Artists group in Rancho Cucamonga at the beautiful new community center there. It was just around the corner from Victoria Gardens and Williams Sonoma so afterwards I went shopping, again.

This time I bought the 11 inch tart pan and also a pizza pan. Now I can start pizza experiments. I stopped at Von's and got some fixings for the pizza. I found some flatbread, only 90 calories a piece, so I got that for the crust.

Look - only 90 calories for a huge piece of flatbread.

I took Shannon's suggestion and used some lowfat cottage cheese instead of Mozzarella on mine. I spreaded pizza sauce, some artichoke halves, a few pepperoni's, sprinkled with italian seasoning, then some blops of cottage cheese. I have to say it was delicious. Much better than Carl's. You really need to click on the picture to see this pizza creation up close and personal.

I made one for Carl with sauce, mozzarella and pepperoni. He loved it. The pan makes the edges really crispy.

Last night's art class project; this is just the start, not sure where it will end.

I'm having fun. I'll post when it's done.

Ta Ta for now.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Lemon Tart

A few years ago I bought this Luscious Lemon Desserts book, because I have a lemon tree that produces enough lemons to have my own "Hot Dog on a Stick" stand. (You probably need to be American to understand that connection).

Lemons are ripe for the picking now so I decided to make something from the book. How about the cover picture tart?? Sure. First I need a tart pan; this special pan, that the bottom comes off.

So yesterday, Sunday, Carl and I took a drive to Bass Pro Shop to buy some rain coats for our Alaska cruise in September. We figured that we should get them now because no stores sell coats during the summer in California. Since we were all the way east and near Victoria Gardens I decided to run in to Crate and Barrel and buy myself a tart pan. No problem, in and out in less that 5 minutes. We stopped by the market on the way home so I could get Whipping Cream and Unsalted Butter for the recipe.

Today I decided to tackle to project. I went outside and picked Valencia juice oranges and naval oranges and juiced a full pitcher of OJ. I enjoyed a full glass of fresh squeezed orange juice while I was squeezing. Then picked lemons and squeezed a full cup of juice for the tart and zested 4 lemons to make 2 Tablespoons for the tart. I noticed as I read the recipe that it called for an 11" Tart pan, the one I bought was 9.5". Hummmmm, now what??

I will just put less stuff into the pan. The crust is made of butter, zest and sugar, just like a shortbread cookie. The lemon tart is sort of like a firm pudding, very tangy and sour. It cracked because I took it out of the pan too soon. It's really good, Carl loved it.

Lili was being a pill, she thinks that as long as I'm in the kitchen she should be given treats, one after the next. I threw her ass out into the rain for a bit.

There it is! The lemon tart, with the Liberty Bell crack.

Looks just like the book cover, right?

Well I've had my quota of citrus today and will probably need to take an antacid before bed. Now I need to find an 11" tart pan, and another recipe that fits a 9.5" pan.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Disneyland Tour of Los Angeles with Charles Phoenix

Carl and I had another "Adventure" last Sunday. I signed us up for a Tour of Los Angeles with a very interesting character and California historian, Charles Phoenix. You can see his story on his website , which will also explain the "Disneyland" part of the L. A. Tour. Charles sees Los Angeles as he sees Disneyland; Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Frontierland .... you get the picture.

The tour started at 11:00 am in front of Union Station. So we decided to catch the first train into LA from San Bernardino, which picked us up in Pomona at 7:48. We arrived at 8:30 and walked across the street to Philippes for breakfast. Two pieces of french toast, 2 eggs, 2 bacon, orange juice and coffee, all for $6.50. What a deal!

To start off on the train, the Sheriff handcuffed a dude in the back. We caught it on video. So exciting.

After breakfast we walked around Olvera Street a bit while we waited for the tour. I bought a fan to keep the sun out of my eyes. Carl held it for me.

California Palm Trees.

Geezers on tour.

This is Charles Phoenix in his bright yellow Shriner's coat with the name "Glen" embroidered on the pocket, one that he found as a treasure in a thrift store. He wore his Mickey Mouse ears all day and directed us with his megaphone.

To start off we toured Union Station, a must for all Californians. Beautiful tiled floors and carved ceilings, a mixture of early Mission and Art Deco style.

We were treated to the inside of the old Fred Harvey's restaurant which has been closed for decades. It has all of the original art deco decor, bar, kitchen and powder room.

The guard opened the doors for us on the 120 second tour.

Inside the bar. I wish they would open a restaurant here. It would be a great place to take the train into town and have a few drinks and dinner.

The Bar.

The kitchen.

We caught the Metro Red Line and all 40 of us got off at the first exit - Chinatown. Charles had a big yellow schoolbus waiting for us to take us to Chinatown.

As we exited the bus we were all give a few pennys to throw into the wishing well.


Hop Louie's restaurant and bar.

Our guide, Charles Phoenix.

The very first lawyer to practice in Los Angeles had his office in Chinatown. The office has been preserved/restored in the exact manner and decor as was. We walked through and admired.

The point of this tour is to find OLD California/Los Angeles buildings; nostalgia.

We happened to stumble upon a Chinese festival.

Chinese dragon video.

This is the Los Angeles river.

Philippe, where we had breakfast.

After Chinatown, the bus took us back to Olvera Street (Carl and I had already been there, but that's OK.) We were all treated to a Taquito, the best.

The Pio Pico house, the first hotel in Los Angeles.

Olvera Street is full of Mexican vendors selling Mexican wares. Very colorful.

Wrestling masks.

Mexico = Pinata!!

A view of Union Station across the street.

Our big yellow school bus.

After our taquito, and after our big breakfast, we headed to Clifton's Cafeteria.

I had 3 different salads and some pasta and bread pudding.
Clifton's is a strange and wonderful place.

We got back on the bus and drove to a central market inside some buildings. Who knew all this existed, especially on a Sunday.

Some guys yelled at me and told me I could NOT take a picture of the building. You know what I told them. Oh yes I did, then I snapped this picture.

This is inside the Bradbury building 1893 which is the oldest commercial building remaining in the central city.

Carl in front of the Victorian cage elevator.

Then we walked across the street to the Angels Flight Railway, the shortest railway in the world. It's not functional now, but dates back to 1901 when it was used to ferry prominent citizens up and down the 350 foot slope between Hill and Olive streets. So we walked up 7 flights of stairs up the 350 foot slope. I thought that I might have the "Big One"; not that big one, the heart attack. But I made it, along with 40 other tourists, all panting and sweating.
This was our reward at the top, a beautiful scene of fountains and water inbetween some really tall buildings.

Look! a building inside a building.

From there we walked to the Disney Concert Hall. On the way we saw a TV commercial for Cadillac being filmed.

Not sure what this is supposed to be, but it was a mess of airplane pieces.

This is the Disney Concert Hall. When it was originally built it was polished stainless steel. Blindingly brilliant idea (boneheads) it ended up blinding the neighbors and drivers. So they had to put a brush finish on the entire building. This is the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

Gustavo Dudhamel is the new conductor.

The wall to the left has not been brushed so you can see how it all originally looked.


Me again. Right about now.... the french toast, eggs, bacon, taquitos, pasta, carrot salad, broccoli salad, cole slaw, and pasta and bread pudding decided it all wanted to come out of my body. I had to run a whole block to find a toilet. Holy shit is all I have to say!!!

I finally caught up with the herd. Mr. Phoenix was taking us to the smallest National Park in the country.

This would be "Tomorrowland" with a spaceship landing pad fountain.

We got back on the bus and went to Carroll Ave. to see the largest section of Victorian Homes in Los Angeles.

Some are in the process of being restored.

Simply gorgeous.
He says that no body lives here, it's used for movies.

Back onto the bus and headed to the Bob Baker Marionette Theater where we were treated to a wonderful show. I remember Bob Baker shows from when I was a kid.

After the mini Marionette show we were treated to cake and ice cream.

Then back on the bus and back to Union Station where we started. We were all given a small gift bag as we de-bussed. Inside was a wonderful little Marionette. Thank you Bob Baker and Thank you Charles Phoenix for a terrific and memorable day.
Kathy (and Carl, too.)