A Girl Could Get Used to This…

Hail to long, lazy, sun-drenched California days.

Today was some full blown Spring/ Summer weather.  The sun shone so bright and strong that it prompted the Mr. and I to ease our way out onto the back patio and work on our respective projects.  My husband diligently tore into one of his freelance projects (he’s a graphic designer) while satisfyingly sipping on an Anchor Steam beer; and I tapped away at my laptop keyboard organizing my baby shower guest list and polishing off a strawberry popsicle.  The blue jays chirped, the breeze blew through my afro and aside from the fact that wasps kept popping up and breaking into the serenity it was a perfect scene.  After the day’s heat got to be almost too much I suggested we throw on our skives at head to the pool.

These are the things I missed about California while in NYC.  The long laid out days, the sun, the birds and the palm trees.  The sense of laid backness that tends to infuse itself into every bit of your surroundings.  I never quite noticed it before…but I think people are happier on the West coast.  Must be all the vitamin D.  *shrugs*

The belly was on full display!

Oh Hail the Weather Gods…

A beautiful day in my neighborhood...

Today was about 79 degrees (give or take) and even as I pushed through the breezy day (dragging along my husband) the sun on my face and bare back felt amazing.  We took a long walk around my Mom’s neighborhood which is filled with trails, trees and a crazy array of birds and little animals.  It’s something I missed so much about California – how effortlessly nature shows itself here.  In New York, you have to go a bit out of your way to see this kind of beauty (unless you live park-side).  Either way, with April moving along nicely, the weather is heating up this week.  Sis and I have a day of “laying by the pool” planned for Saturday and I can’t wait to give my little baby bump some sun!

Enjoy Spring, wherever it reaches you!

Nature walk with the husband.

Patty Cake, Patty Cake

I used to think that baking – unlike cooking – was archaic.  Too stringent, with it’s chemistry class like rules and regulations.  No, I liked the boundless flow of cooking.  Just plain throwing shit together that happened to be in my kitchen and come out amazing.  But baking you see requires utensils.  You have to have trades of the craft otherwise you’ll find yourself trying to replace egg with really old milk or glaze your pie crust with an unused concealer brush (things to generally avoid).  So because I never seemed to have the proper kitchen accoutrement, I chose to buy my baked goods or bribe beg my friend Princess to bring over her made-from-scratch lemon squares (omg).

I digress.  My point.

My point is that tonight I baked.  Not only did I bake, but I baked tiny little apple pie cookies (recipe found at Smitten Kitchen).  “But Ashley – oh Great One – what ever do apple pie cookie look like?”

They look like this, bitch.

End of blog post.

-Him-

Sometimes my life gets hectic, crazy even depressing.  I have mornings when I’d rather run and hide than face the day.  It’s amazing that even though he can’t take it away, or protect me from life’s realities, just the fact that he’s my partner makes everything OK.  Just the fact that he knows my demons, shows me his and knows me better than anyone on earth makes everything OK.  At some point, when I’m standing on the platform waiting for my train, ruing the day, shoulder-fighting people traffic, bearing the cold…I remember that I’ll end my day in his arms.  And it makes everything OK.

A kitchen note with love.

A Simple Veggie Burger (not that simple)

So it’s “Burger Night”…the first of many at least and I’ve been looking forward to this for days.  The vegetarian patties, with their masala spice called out to me that fateful day at the grocery store.  Eddie and I are such suckers for Indian food.  We literally did a mystical dance of celebration when we discovered that the new apartment location gave us access to a new array of delivery spots…including an amazing Indian restaurant, Bombay Masala.  Yum!

Prepping for the dressing - fresh lemon, olive oil, lavender & rose pepper and a drop of honey.

 

Lightly toasted rye bread with caraway seed.

Chopped heirloom tomatoes.

 

Tossing spinach and wasabi arugula with my sweet and tangy dressing.

My fiance wanted a fried egg on his. I don't question his "pregnant lady" food requests. I just go with it.

 

I added a touch of masala to either side of the bread; thin slices of dill cheese; my spinach arugula mix, the gently heated heirloom tomatoes and it was "Kiss the Chef" day.

Red & Yellow Rainbow

I love summer rain.  Especially on Fridays.  There’s nothing like a downpour to wash away the collective muck of a long work week.  My fiance and I made our way to Trader Joe’s to pick up some necessities before the weekend.  We thought we were being clever and getting a weekly chore out of the way early.  But instead we got completely soaked in a sudden rain storm, groceries in hand and running through Bed Stuy against battering heavy rain drops and thunder.

You can bet that we laughed through every second of it.

But like all storms, it manifested a rainbow.  I cooked us a meal that materialized into two vibrant colors; fiery red and sun-drenched yellow.

Getting the required items to get us through the weekend... Trader Joes has the BEST selection of delicious (and cheap) beer.

On the train home from downtown Brooklyn.

Soaked!!!

Red and yellow heirloom tomatoes and sweet yellow squash..getting "pan ready".

A giant non-stick pot is a cook's best friend. Simmering the squash with red bell pepper, shallots, sea salt and South African smoked pepper.

My action shot. In goes the arugula and Parmigiano stuffed ravioli.

The finished product! The ravioli is topped with roasted red pepper tapenade. On the side is a salad of heirlooms with lavender pepper and capers.

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