Monday, March 30, 2009

Long Beach Museum of Art

The LBMA is situated on top of a grassy hill overlooking the shores of Long Beach. It just might be one of the most picturesque spots in the city.

I have driven, ran and walked past this museum many times. I've even tried to visit a couple of times, but they were renovating or closed. This time, I did the smart thing and used the good old internet before venturing out. Finally, Sunday was the day that I would get to enjoy all that LBMA has to offer!

The view itself, is an exhibit all it's own. You can have breakfast or lunch at the outdoor cafe, while savoring the unobstructed view of the Pacific Ocean. They offer limited hours, so be sure to check the website before planning to dine.

There are currently three exhibits at the museum along with their permanent collections, California Seen 1930-1970, Modernism and the Wichner Collection and David Simon: Dark Forest. I enjoyed them all, but one in particular stuck with me well after I left the gallery, David Simon's Dark Forest. This exhibit was truly awe inspiring. The realness of the sculptures both physically and emotionally, is just as haunting as it is beautiful. Dark Forest is on display until May 31st, 2009.

33 Earth Years

I've been here on this planet for a little over 33 years now. I've anticipated being 33 for a couple of months, so it feels really good to be actually claiming it! I'm so pleased and appreciative to have made it to this year. With all my life's lessons and experiences, it's been a beautiful journey and I'm ready for some more!

I spent the day with a few of my favorites.
In the morning I hung out with my 2 favorite fur heads, Merlot and Lucy. They keep me on my toes and always seem to bring a smile to my face even when I'm feeling far from joyful. I feel blessed to have them both, especially considering the events of this past year.

My afternoon was spent with my favorite person, my husband. We cruised the beach on our bikes, chatting the whole way and stopping every now and again to take pictures and enjoy the scenery. Our last stop was an impromptu visit to the Long Beach Museum of Art. I've wanted to go for quite some time now, so we played hookey from running and went there instead!

My evening was spent at my favorite place, Seva Cafe. I don't know that my birthday would have been complete without being able to serve, laugh and love at Seva.

Cheers to everyone who came into the world on March 29th! I wish you many more years of love, laughter and enlightenment!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Raw Fruit and Cream Pie

I'm in dessert heaven today...I've been dreaming about this pie for some time now. I had all the ingredients layed out in my head and I imagined it was going to taste divine. I was not one bit disappointed. I had been waiting until I was able to get some more Bautista Farm Organic Dates and I finally got some yesterday. So, today was pie day!

makes 4 small pies
1c almonds- lowers cholesterol, has antioxidant Vit E
1/2c pecans- lowers cholesterol, protein
3/4c ground oat groats- high in fiber lowering cholesterol
1/2C dates (I used Deglet this time)- fiber and potassium rich, natural sweetener
1/4 of a vanilla bean
pinch sea salt
Mix all ingredients in food processor until nuts are in small pieces and crust sticks together.

Cream Filling
2c strawberries- rich in antioxidants, Vit C
about 4 soaked dates- fiber and potassium rich, natural sweetener

Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Use a little of the date soaking liquid if cream is too thick.

2 peaches- potassium, Vit A, C
1c strawberries- rich in antioxidants, Vit C
agave syrup to taste

Slice fruit and add agave. I let it sit overnight, so that the fruit releases it's juices and gets nice and soft.
Mold crust on 4 serving plates or 1 large dish. Make sure to mold a lip around the crust to hold the cream. Pour in cream and top with fruit.

Welcome to dessert heaven!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Strawberry Tomatoes

These tomatoes grow in clusters on the vine and have a shape similar to a strawberry. Besides being beautiful and delicious, they are an excellent source of Vitamin C, A, K and the powerful antioxidant, lycopene.

I would love to tell tales of how I always enjoy tomatoes sliced with evoo, fresh cracked black pepper and a touch of Himalayan pink salt, however that's just not true. Though I've prepared them that way before and thoroughly enjoyed it, these beauties rarely make it past the passenger seat of my car.
*sad face*

It's an addiction. The funny thing is I never liked eating tomatoes straight up until I started purchasing the many varieties I find at Farmers Markets. Now, I simply cannot get enough!

This time I thought ahead and purchased some extra, along with some asparagus, fingerling potatoes and fresh herbs. Sounds like a delicious dinner to me!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Garden Sauce

This sauce is very hearty without being heavy.
Once you gather the ingredients, it's a cinch to put together. There is a nice balance between tang and sweet and it goes great with many things.
I've had it with whole wheat pasta, rice and couscous. I imagine it would go wonderfully on top of bruschetta. Enjoy it anyway you like!

Garden Sauce
About 6 servings
extra virgin olive oil
1 small green bell pepper- small diced
1 small yellow onion- small diced
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1tbs dry oregano
1tbs dry rosemary
1/2tsp ground sage
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
1 small eggplant- bite size chunks
2 28oz cans chopped tomatoes
1 14.5oz can roasted tomatoes
12oz vegetable broth
4oz diced sun dried tomatoes (If you use the kind packed in oil, drain before adding to the sauce or omit the extra evoo at the end.)
2 14.5oz cans artichoke hearts-drained
1 bunch swiss chard sliced
4oz kalamata olives
1c fresh basil chopped
1/4c extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Coat bottom of pot with evoo.
Saute first 6 ingredients until garlic is light brown.
Add in next 3 ingredients and saute until veggies are just soft.
Add canned tomatoes, veggie broth and sun drieds.
Bring to a slow boil and cook until eggplant is tender.
Add remaining ingredients and remove from heat.
When the swiss chard has wilted, stir in the remaining evoo.

Your sauce is now ready to serve!