Saturday, July 29, 2006

Culinary Adventures in LA: Part 1: Roscoe's

Located on Gower st in Hollywood, Roscoe's chicken and waffles is a local icon. It was opened in 1976 by Mr. Hudson, who, according to the website, noticed three things when he moved to Los Angeles in the early 70's:
1. All the restaurants in Hollywood are inside hotels.
2. There were none offering late-night food.
3. There were no restaurant serving both chicken and waffles! (Insert shock here)

I first heard of Roscoe's while on a pre-moving day visit to Los Angeles. I was wandering the hotel, gathering brochures, and within the pile of glossy paper was the African-American's guide to Los Angeles. It recommended Roscoe's as a must-do late-night food stop. Hmm, sounds interesting, I thought, then over time the thought of Roscoe's faded from my memory.

When Paul arrived in Los Angeles, he revitalized my craving to try Chicken and Waffles together. I had a lot of questions. Was the chicken fried? What kind of waffles are we talking about here? Is there syrup? DO you eat the chicken and waffles together, or one first? It was imperative to go.

So on a warm Thursday night, G, Paul and I piled in the car and drove to Hollywood. We figured out of the five locations, Hollywood would be the most entertaining. We got a primo parking space right outside the restaurant, where street parking is free in the evenings. During our short wait, we met a cute family from Wisconsin in the narrow entranceway. We all commented on the delicious smell coming from inside. After a few minutes, we were seated and began perusing the menu. After no deliberation, we all ordered variations on the same meal: 1/4 chicken with waffles, with our without gravy, side of greens, biscuit, and an order of chicken giblets to share.

The room was small, with room for about 50 people, and the lighting was really weird, it had a red glow- almost like a nightclub. (Hence the weird picture)

Our food arrived. The chicken breast was dry, and all the chicken was missing that "crunch" that I expect when biting into a piece of fried chicken. The seasoning was also very mild. The waffles were ok, but only marginally better than Eggo's. I prefer waffles to have a crispness to them, while these could have been steamed, they were that soft. As for eating the waffles together with the chicken, it was pretty boring. Also, if you pour syrup on your waffles, then eat it together with the chicken, all you can taste is the syrup. The giblets were better, crisp and crunchy. Overall, I wouldn't go back here, although I'm glad I experienced it.

Friday, July 28, 2006

WCB 59: The Battle Against the Fleas

Look at this kitten. Yes, this kitten is very cute. But what you can't see are the little beasties that live in this kitten's fur. Dirty, nasty, bite-y FLEAS. I've been fighting these fleas ever since she was a tiny kitten (2 months ago!). At first, she was too young for me to use any flea shampoos or medications, so I was combing her and squishing the nasties with my fingernails. As she got older, I started her on Frontline, a liquid med applyed directly to the skin. It's supposed to make the fleas infertile. Two applications later, and we still have fleas. SO today I pulled out the big guns: flea shampoo. Oh, Tiggy was NOT happy about the whole "bath" situation.

After she was washed, I wrapped her up in a towel and held her close as she purred herself dry. The beasties were crawling on her face (the only part free from shampoo) and I killed a bunch of them. Then, after much licking and rubbing, Tiggy was happy again, and sucking up to me plenty. I guess she thought the bath was some kind of punishment! Wish us luck in our battle against the fleas.

Check out Clare and Kiri over at eatstuff for lots of kitties every weekend!

UPDATE: I forgot to ask all you other kitty-parents for tips and advice in the war on beasties! All your comments and suggestions are VERY welcome.

No-Name Malysian Noodles

I haven't been posting much, but let me tell you, I've certainly been eating. A friend, P, from culinary school arrived here in Los Angeles for a visit last week. We have only just begun our exmaination of restaurants in the LA area. I've surprised myself at being able to find my way from one destination to another! We've also been eating well at home, enoying Udon noodles in dashis broth, grilled beef ribs with sambal-olek yam fries, bowls of rice and sushi, smoked cheddar and onion omlettes... I could go on. Let me just say this: with the two of us combined, G has never eaten better (and neither have I). The bottom line is: there are no pictures of the food we've created over the last week. Between the beach and trips to Hollywood, food blogging is the last thing on my mind.

However, and few days ago I took P to see the LA farmer's market, where we laughed about the grocery-store produce and ate lunch at a cute Malaysian stall.

Ha! I can't remember what my dish was called! It was number 10 though! Basically stir-fried noodles with onion flakea and chicken. I had a great view of a poster for Laksa, which is what I really should have had (I didn't notice it before ordering).

Stay tuned for some pictures of our trip to Roscoe's chicken and Waffles.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Tiggy and I are Sleepy

The past few days I have been very sleepy, and staying in bed long after my usual waking time of 9am. Tiggy sleeps curled up beside my pillow, but she dosen't like to sleep in. Some mornings she's more considerate than others. For example, a few days ago I woke up, rolled over and stayed in bed. Tiggy woke up, walked all over me and after realizing I wasn't getting up, she went downstairs to retreive her favorite toy (pictured below), brought it upstairs, and played somewhat quietly on the carpet next to my bed.

This morning however, she was not allowing any sleeping-in. At 9 am she was awake, and after the usual walking over my chest, she went right for the money, biting my toes. I'd sit up, chase her away, and a few mintues later, she was back, with her firce little fangs testing my patience.

I gave in and got out of bed, which satisfied her, but I only lasted long enough to eat some cereal, then I snuck back to bed when she wasn't looking!

I don't disturb her sleep (except with camera flashes!):

For more kitties every weekend, go see Clare at Eatstuff.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The best pots ever

There are few things in my kitchen I love more than my Lagostina pot set. My mom bought me this set when I had my first apartment and was in my first year of culinary school in 1999. It is the 'Vienna" collection, although it seems Lagostina doesn't make this particular style of pot anymore, I think the most similar is the "Academy Five-ply-copper" set. The main reason I love it is because it is SO easy to go from this:

To this:

with just a sprinkling of Ajax.

Another reason I love them is the copper & aluminum base that heats quickly and evenly. Another great feature is the handles: made entirely from stainless steel, the pots and go right into a super-hot oven with worry, and also they have this neat ergonomic "notch" cut out of the handle for your finger to sit comfortably in.

If you are in the market for a new set of pots, you'll never regret buying a quality set like this one.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Weekend Cat Blogging 58 Roundup!

Tiggy is so excited to do the round-up this week!

Ok, actually she was a little PO'd that I interuppted her Free Cell game!
We have a bucket full of cuteness for you this week!! I got a lot of help from Bonnie at Miss Ellie's Page. Check her out for lots of pics of kitties and puppies and links of course! And check back with Clare later for future kitty-ness.

Here are this weekend's kitty cats!

It's the WWE Smackdown: Kitty Kat Edition over at For the Junta. The two heavyweight champions, Boots and Tess, battle it out for your enjoyment.

Click to meet a very hot and sleepy Maruschka over at Rosa's Yummy Yums.

Check out the big-eyed beauty Fluff Puff in her stolen spot at Masak-Masak.

Max poses as an evil genius, hatching a plot to follow Aria of Passionateonchalance to work one day.

Carmel is a tri-coloured cutie over at Heather's Space.

Whiskey reads Stacey's morning paper after what looks like a delicious brunch over at Just Braise.

Upsie munchs some plants and hones his ninja skills at What Did You Eat.

Arty leaps down from tall buildings at Two Black Cats and Me.

Widget is a purse-lover... leather preferred! She lives over at Peanut Butter and Purple Onions.

It's bath time for Brother at Restaurant Widow.

Jelly at I got Two Shoes clears up any misconceptions (pay attention kitties!) and offers a cute pic of Kamikaze

Taboo is pleading her case at Jelly Pizza.

A sleepy Agie guards feet at Kayaksoup.

Lucky sports a cute collar and attempts to beat the heat at French Toast France.

Spike and Boo are front and center in a beautiful collage at Watermark.

Virgil and Casey snooze and groom at Dynamic Duo.

Steven, Mark, Lindsay and Kelly are back home with Scamper Dude. for a little while longer.
Also check out Kitten Shower.

Here is a link to Tiggy in her kitty tent and playing in my hamper!

Gilnda is So happy Anne from Anne's Food is back from vacation in London!

Rhett is thinking inside the box at The Misadventures of Rico Loco.

Harley wants some attention, and NOW! at T-bird on a wire.

Some kittens, like children, just won't sit still. KitchenMage is trying to teach them, though!

If you've got a kitty link to add, leave me a comment!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Weekend Cat Blogging 58

Hello all you kitty lovers! Tiggy has had an exiciting week here in LA. Her brand-new Kitty tent arrived in the mail from Carol Wright Gifts. We're hoping that in time, she'll be able to come with us to our frisbee games. And maybe (we hope) she'll come camping with us to. Anyway, she loves it, and I've taken to leaving the door open to our courtyard so she can come in and out. It's nice for her, as she loves the freedom, and I don't have to worry about her since the walls are 8 feet high so she's got no chance of getting over them yet.
Here's a couple shots of her inside the kitty tent!

And today's bonus is a video of Tiggy playing in her "jungle gym" which is, in reality, my clothes hamper.

Tiggy and I are sending our best wishes over to Clare at eatstuff. Tiggy wanted to send you these flowers, but she hasn't got any money for shipping! Hope you feel better soon!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Pad Thai at Big Sur

G and I went on a camping trip last weekend to the beautiful Big Sur Mountain in Los Padres National Forest. It was about a 6.5 hour drive north of Los Angeles and we left extra early Friday morning to be sure and secure a good site (no reservations allowed). We stayed at Andrew Molera State Park. The site was pretty good, apart from us picking one full of gopher holes and poison oak, of course. We saw so much wildlife! Two families of deer, gophers, squirrels, bunnies, pelicans, lizards and lots of birds. The beach was an easy 1 mile walk from the site, although the water was too frigid for swimming. There was also a beautiful river running through the park stocked with rainbow trout.

We went on a moderately difficult 8-mile hike along the coast with gorgeous views of the ocean. It took about 6 hours to complete, and at the end the river was calling our names. We dipped in, and our swollen feet were grateful for the cold water.

After the hike we were ravenous. My idea of 'camp food' differs from most. I think most people would want burgers and hot dogs right? Well, the best camp food for us is Pad Thai. It is so simple to make and nothing hits the spot quite like it after a long hike. Sorry I have no pictures of it!! It's easy to forget about food blogging when you're in the middle of nature and your tummy is growling!

Camp Pad Thai

What you need:
Camp Stove
A pot to boil water
A pan to mix it all together

2 chicken breasts, cooked at home and diced.
1 packet Pad Thai sauce (check the "Asian" section of the grocery store)
1/2 packet rice noodles
1 tablespoon (or single-serve packet) of peanut butter
1 large carrot, julienned at home
1 green onion, sliced at home
2 cloves garlic, sliced at home
2 tb oil

Before leaving home: To minimize the amount of work to do at the campsite, slice up all the veggies and garlic and place in a sandwich bag. Cook and dice the chicken, place in another bag. Use a small jar or tupperware container for the oil.

1. Bring the pot of water to the boil. Place rice noodles in the pot and remove from heat. Set aside.
2. Place the frying pan on medium heat and saute the veggies in the oil. Add a couple tablespoons of water.
3. Stir in the sauce, peanut butter, and chicken. Heat throughout.
4. By now the noodles should be soft. Strain in an appropriate location and add the noodles into the sauce. Remove from the heat and stir until the sauce is distributed.

Feeds 2 hungry campers.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Weekend Cat Blogging 57

So tired.... G and I returned late last night from camping in Big Sur (click here to see pics). Tiggy was so happy to see us, she was meowing and rubbing up against us- way more friendly than usual. I wonder what the poor thing was thinking when she had been left alone for 48 hours for the first time. Today she is following me around constantly. Here in an older action shot of her playing with her 'cat dancer'.