Saturday, April 30, 2011

Gastroporn by way of Trader Joe's: Ahi Tuna steak salad with veggies and quinoa

In the past year I have been gradually limiting my consumption of all food products that I don't know the ingredients and origins of. Being several steps away from growing my own crops and tending to livestock, I have decided upon exclusively buying food from Trader Joe's (with the exception of produce which I pick up at the farmer's market, local specialty ethnic markets, and random runs to Whole Paycheck for certain unavailable products at TJs). Considering that TJ's plays musical chairs with its inventory and compared to most grocery stores has a modicum amount of products, I thought I would share my attempts at making this formula work for me, by making Trader Joe's Gour-met (said gor-met). Here is what I cooked tonight for dinner:

The ahi tuna steak (pan seared in EVOO and lightly seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon) salad rests on a bed of herb salad sprinkled with Italiana-mama dressing, quinoa sweetened with floral water/olive oil sauteed cranberries and almonds (my chef friend suggests that I try saffron butter next time---so looking forward to it) and rounded out with oregano and basil seasoned farmer's market veggies that were also sauteed in EVOO.

Now, being the overly-elitist quality snob, there are two food items I am having a hard time settling for at TJ's, its EVOO and balsamic vinegar (not to mention the atrocious roasted seeds they call coffee). Any suggestions for the best of EVOO and balsamic vinegar in LA?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I got my copy of "I Speak For Myself"---the book I contributed to...

And look at who is reading it right now...

This might have something to do with it...meaning look who's name is above my head:

So the question is, do you have yours? You can either pre-order it for a dramatically reduced price through our website ( or through me for a reasonably reduced price (apparently I need to work on this whole saleswoman thing).

Friday, April 15, 2011

Prince's Dance Party for the People

I thought Sting was out of his "got damn mind" for coming back for a third encore after a 3 hour set at the Hollywood Bowl last year. But then there was the Purple One, His Royal Badness, the High Priest of Pop, the artist known as Prince, who came back for 5 ENCORES!

Prince's concert at the Forum in Inglewood last night was preceded by chitter-chatter around the uniqueness of the LA part of Prince's national tour. Announced last week on the George Lopez show (who coincidently opened up last night's show by imploring the packed house to "welcome Prince to our hood"), Prince's series of dates in Los Angeles were to all take place at the Forum in Inglewood, not at the Staples Center in the bustling, emerging locus of "new Los Angeles cool," not in the suburban haven of the Hondo Center in Anaheim, and tickets went on sale two days before the first show for $25 (that's even after exorbitant ticket master processing fees were added). 80 percent of the tickets sold went for that amount, while the floor seats hovered in the hundreds. But that still didn't serve to exclude the party people from joining in the dance party.

Although my friend who purchased our tickets struck the ticket master que "best available" seat lottery, meaning we started out with an incredible viewing experience, we somehow ended up in the FRONT ROW by the night's end. The series of pictures will demonstrate our progression.

Performing for a total of 3 hours plus with an outstanding band (the bass player was ridiculous!), a trio of thick curvy, powerhouse female singers, a ballerina and of course, Sheila E., Prince thrilled the crowd with favorites (preferring them over "B sides from the 2000s"), rocked out to guitar solos, jumped up on his purple piano, and of course invited guests to the stage to join him in this dance party for the people (thankfully kim kardashian was no where to be found). Experiencing a Prince concert like this, and finally emerging from my doctoral program cocoon to enjoy art as a spectator and, yes DANCE my hips away into the wee hours of the evening, sparked so many thoughts in my head about the role of the artist, the role of the entertainer, the therapy of dance (collective dance as well), and the power and gift of experiencing creation, the exhibition of an artist's creative gift to the world. Perhaps this will be unpackaged in a future post, but for now enjoy my spectacular view of the purple one as caught by a iPhone 4 lens: