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more (strange) recipes

days 2 and 3 of the week of recipes brought two meals i wasn’t very excited about.  the first involved eggplant and the second involved turkey burgers.

week 1, day 2: penne with tomatoes, eggplant, mozzarella and…mint!  this one was delicious and included crushed red pepper for an added zing – i’ll send you the recipe if you want.  added bonus: parker made (mediocre) mojitos with the extra mint!  and on a school night!  (which reminds me – gq named the top 25 cocktail bars in the US and my three favorite bars in LA made the list!  check it out here.)

in related news – and mainly because you guys are probably already bored about reading what we eat – we’ve started watching ‘how i met your mother’ at the recommendation of many friends.  do you guys watch this show?!  it’s hysterical. and clever.   i wasn’t a fan at first, but after three or four episodes, i’m totally hooked.  the britney episode was golden.

aaaaand, week 1, day 3: turkey burgers with tangy carrot slaw.  i do not have a vegetarian bone in my body (besides a mild obsession with falafal, thanks to marfalafal in marfa, tx) and turkey burgers just didn’t sound tasty to me.  i gotta tell you, though, these were great, and i think even my texas-beef-fed fiancé felt the same way.  side note: those are baked cheetos and i’d like to send a special shout-out to erin weber who introduced me to them.  and also to laura deaton, who probably ensured their quality circa two years ago.  if you haven’t eaten them yet, you’re missing out.

out of the recipe rut

this month, real simple magazine published a collection of recipes called “your four-week dinner plan.”  they had me at their byline of “(no thought required).”  basically, they provide four weeks of five separate, interesting recipes, with easy and organized shopping lists for each week.  you take your list to the grocery store on sunday night to prepare for the week, with the perishable foods being eaten towards the beginning of the week so you don’t have to return to the store (major pet peeve of mine).

so here we go!  week one, day one: roasted tilapia, potatoes, and lemons.  we added some bread and green beans since our tilapia was slightly smaller than the recipe’s suggestion.  added bonus: tilapia on sale this week for $1.99 per pound!  huge success, though next time i’ll go easier on the paprika.  🙂

summer is (finally) here!

well, june gloom lasted longer this year than usual – all the way until labor day.  for those of you who don’t live in LA or aren’t familiar with june gloom, it refers to to the cloudy, chilly, gloomy days that overtake los angeles in june.  typically, they go away in july as the hot weather rolls in.  this year, however, the cold and gloomy weather stayed with us until…september. blegh.

but here we are in the middle of september, and the weather is finally beautiful!  sunny days every day and even the nights have been slightly warmer.  becca visited me last weekend for labor day, and it was simply delightful.  we went wine tasting in the santa ynez valley (see photo below!), sunned and read at a park overlooking the ocean, and walked over 17,000 steps in one day (i bought a pedometer, so it’s true).

this weekend has been similar in its awesomeness.  as most of you female readers know, vogue’s ‘fashion’s night out’ (FNO) was friday night!  this was the second year LA participated, and it was huge, with fashion events happening all over the city. some friends and i hung out at the los feliz festivities, particularly at confederacy (with the beautiful people, fabulous drinks, and famous dj – see photo below) and happy (with its free wine, free cheese, and amazing company).  we also discovered bar covell, the new wine bar in our neighborhood which is quite good.

saturday started with parker waking up 7:45am and insisting we begin my training for the us bank stair climb (somehow erin weber – in her sly way – convinced me to climb 75 flights of stairs in about two weeks…mmhmm). we headed over to silver lake and proceeded to climb the endless maze of stairs that snake their way through the hills overlooking the reservoir, downtown, and sunset blvd.  we came back to the apartment to watch my SOONERS beat florida state!  these are the sooners i remember!  boomer!!

to celebrate the sooner victory, we went out with some fellow oklahomans to the LA derby dolls game – aka the roller derby.  ok.  if you have not been to the ‘doll house’ (as they call it) before, then you are not doing this right.  it was SO MUCH fun, and we got really into it.  the games are always sold out, food trucks abound, and you can yell and scream as loud as you want for gori spelling and laguna beyatch to jam their way through the blockers.  yowza – this was FUN!

this morning we had a glorious mass in griffith park for the church’s annual picnic. unfortunately, we had to leave the picnic early because bees started swarming and…well, you know me with bees.  currently parker is gloating as the rangers are about to sweep the yankees in texas (gag) and he’s getting psyched for the first cowboys game tonight.  i, on the other hand, will celebrate my sunday night with a friend at the hollywood bowl seeing RUFUS WAINWRIGHT, PINK MARTINI, and…wait for it…the CAST OF SESAME STREET.

do weekends get any better than this?  (well, the yankees could win…)  thank you, summer, for finally showing up.

Hi, everybody! (again)

Jeez, I really haven’t been holding up my end of the “Westward, Whoa!” bargain. Then again, nobody likes to hear about lackadaisical blog updating, so I’ll stop now. Instead,  let me say this: EVA AND I GOT ENGAGED!

Obviously, a lot has happened since my last post (we went to to NYC right before Christmas, almost died in a snowstorm in Dallas, had some great visitors, saw my little sister graduate from UT, saw like 4 meerkat exhibits at the San Diego Zoo, WASPed it up at a wedding in New England, watched the Rangers take a 10-game division lead over the Angels and emerge from bankruptcy all in the same week, you get the idea…). BUT, it all pales in comparison to the events of June 5, 2010.

The day started like any other. We woke up, I made some coffee, and Eva put on a stylish romper. We then proceeded to meet some fine friends at the Los Angeles Winefest. The Winefest was notable for several reasons. First, it was the last sunny day of the summer that I can remember (go to hell, June gloom that lasts into August). Second, there were LOTS of drunk, overdressed people. This includes one girl who looked quite presentable from the knees up, but unfortunately possessed homeless legs from the knees down. Scrapes, cuts, bruises, and dirty feet. She also almost fell into the bushes at one point.

So, anyway, I had purchased an engagement ring back in early May. After traveling to Houston to ask Eva’s parents’ permission to spend the rest of my life with their daughter (they said yes!), I began to plan how to pop the question. As we were going to be traveling to New England for a wedding in mid-June, I set my sights our two-day visit to Cooperstown, NY to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. Yet, after the ring was in my possession, I became obsessed with two things. 1) Checking my hiding place to make sure the ring was still there, and 2) asking Eva to marry me as soon as possible. As anyone who knows me can attest, I have very little patience. Enter Saturday, June 5.

So, anyway, like I said, we went to L.A. Winefest. It was a great time. The sun was shining, the wine was delicious, and everything was fantastic. We had rented a movie the night before and because I am physically unable to stay awake during a movie past midnight, we couldn’t finish it. Thus, we decided to sit on our couch and finish the movie after getting home from Winefest. As I sat there, rubbing Eva’s neck from my designated perch on the couch, I thought about how lucky I was to have found her and how I was more in love with her at that moment than ever before. If I had to pick my perfect day, it would end with the two of us hanging out together in our apartment — Eva on the left side of the couch, me on the right, talking, laughing, and her trying to convince me to give her a back-rub. As The Apartment was winding down, all of these thoughts crystallized in my head. This was us; this was our life together.

So after the movie ended, I put a song on (Steve Earle’s “Sparkle and Shine”) and asked her if she wanted to dance. She claims that she knew something was fishy due to my increasingly fast heartbeat, but, really, it was probably due to my elegant dancing. The song ended. She asked me if I wanted a bowl of cereal. I said, “maybe in a minute,” and then turned toward my desk, and held her hand while I opened the drawer and pulled out the ring. I dropped to one knee, asked her to spend the rest of her life with me, and the rest is history.

The first part of 2010 was great — we made some really fantastic friends, strengthened relationships with old friends, took some great trips, and had some wonderful moments — but I will forever remember it as the time when I asked my best friend to marry me and she said yes.

christmas night!

it’s the annual christmas night in the hevron/weerts household!  what, you ask, is christmas night?  it’s a lot of things, but mainly the following:

  • parker makes his winter stew that his mom makes annually
  • we put up the xmas tree
  • we put up the xmas lights on the balcony
  • we drink mulled apple cider
  • i make xmas spritz cookies from scratch!

i think only one or two of those are actually annual traditions, but tonight we’re combining all into one for some true holiday cheer.  my grandma got me a cookie press for my birthday, so i am now making 7-8 dozen spritz cookies in the shape of xmas trees and the north star (yep).  i’ll keep you posted.  stay tuned for photos.  merry christmas!

iamsofullicannotmove.

oh.  my.  goodness.  

where do i even begin?!  so tony was ready early, so we had to take him out and put him on the table to cool while i started the gravy.  next thing i knew, our six additional guests arrived all at once!  a few of our guests:

 

so while our fabulous guests mingled around the wine and cheese, kate, nic, and i frantically made the gravy, green beans, apples, and mashed potatoes!  amy made some fabulous stuffing, and sergey and maria brought some delicious red wine.  

my favorite memory of the holiday is the frantic hour spent once the guests arrived while we tried to quickly prepare the remaining food and all the while looking over and kate is bent over the stove thrusting her arm into a giant pot yelling “I’M MASHING, I’M MASHING!!”  meanwhile, nic is yelling about the apples, the gravy is splattering all over my cute dress, justing is snapping photos, the mashed potatoes are running over the pot and have started a mini-fire under the top-left burner under amy’s stuffing, while i try to assure our guests that “no, the smoke is totally normal, it will not affect the food, and don’t worry, i think our smoke alarm is broken anyway.”  oh yes, i think we comforted them right away.  

at some point we determined that the madness was at a low enough level for us to sit down and eat like civilized people.  from there, the afternoon was perfect.  the food, conversation, and friends were all fantastic, and i think everyone had a great time.  amy brought some chocolate-covered strawberries to add to our pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and fluff, but we were all so full that we didn’t even put a dent in the sweets. check out the spread:

in true thanksgiving tradition, we played a game of pit afterwards.  love!  i am truly thankful for the amazing friends who helped me today and for everyone who sent well-wishes from afar.  happy thanksgiving!  see photos below!

 

change of plans!!!

so my cousin can’t come, and she was scheduled to bring the:

  1. casserole
  2. salad
  3. rolls

so we made trip #3 to the grocery store today to buy all of the above!  we will now be adding green beans (frozen, they were out of fresh, sad), salad, and two baguettes!  nic was against rolls due to his french nature, so baguettes we go.  

i would add photos but we are in panic mode preparing the extra three dishes!  HUGE THANKS to kate and nic who have been amazing today 🙂

also, TONY WAS READY 30 MINUTES EARLY!!!!  he is now cooling and we have no guests!  i hope they arrive before the carving begins!  cheers!