An expatriate of New Orleans – and professional chef – who has lived in Los Angeles since her childhood, blogs about the journey from New Orleans to Los Angeles back to New Orleans, and points along the way.

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Kendall Jackson’s Heirloom Tomato Festival – and Achiote Spiced Beef Tacos

Posted by on Sep 17, 2014, 3:50 pm in Recipes-Savory, Travel, Wine | 0 comments

Achiote Spiced Beef Tacos

      Last fall, Kendall Jackson Winery invited me to their annual Heirloom Tomato Festival.   If you’ve read this blog at all, you know I am  completely in love with Sonoma County, that I’m a real wine lover, and I have a great fondness for heirloom tomatoes, too.  So being there – on a balmy fall day, much less – well, that was a slice of heaven.   Along with great wine, there were yummy tastes from local restaurants and caterers, great music and even a friendly cooking competition. Oh, and we...

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The Morning Call in City Park

Posted by on Sep 14, 2014, 1:08 pm in Personal Reflection, Travel | 2 comments


The Morning Call   I was greeted by cool air this morning as I stepped out onto the deck this morning to take the pooch out. You just can’t imagine how happy that made me. So I decided to take myself and my journal on a ride to have my morning coffee and beignets at The Morning Call in City Park.   Now I know many of you have visited New Orleans, and make an obligatory stop at the Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter for your beignets, but I was lucky enough  to have my friend, Lori, take me to The Morning Call for a birthday...

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High Above – and on – Sedona

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014, 9:10 am in Personal Reflection, Travel | 0 comments

Breathtaking Sunset View of Sedona

  When I visited Sedona a few years back,  and later recounted the experience to my friend, Greg, at SippitySup, he said to me “I can’t remember if I’ve ever been to Sedona.” “Greg,” I said, “if you’d been to Sedona, you’d remember it.” While I knew I wanted to make a stop for lunch in Phoenix, I was certain I wanted to drive the couple of hours north from there, to return to Sedona. Above and below are shots of the breathtaking views from the private scenic lookout point at Sky Ranch Lodge, where Paul and I spent the first overnight...

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Jerk Chicken with Mango Salsa

Posted by on Aug 31, 2014, 9:39 am in Recipes - Savory, Recipes- Savory | 2 comments

Jerk Chicken with Mango Salsa

  Because I was on a deadline, a lot of items had to be tossed when it came time to clear my two refrigerators and full freezer before I left on my vacation to Healdsburg- the little 2 weeks of break I treated myself to between the months of packing and completely moving out of my Los Angeles house of almost 18 years. There were only a few preparations that made it into the ice chest I took with me. Among them,  a couple of pints of my Chunky Apple Compote, and some freezer Raspberry Jam I made in a first experiment, and a half container...

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Lunching at Blanco’s- a Pretty Damn Good “Chain” Restaurant in Phoenix

Posted by on Aug 22, 2014, 1:07 pm in Personal Reflection, Restaurants | 6 comments

Blanco's Pomegranate and Grapefruit Margarita

    Last month I set out on the trip my parents made with their young family over 50 years ago, in reverse. They were moving from New Orleans to Los Angeles, and all these years later, I was returning to New Orleans.   My father, on the couple of vacation trips we made after that, chose to get through the drive as quickly as possible. One long day from Los Angeles into New Mexico. Then another 2 days through the rest of New Mexico, all of Texas and western Louisiana. It made for very long and tiring days. My friend, Paul, and I...

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Barefoot at Bistro Ralph

Posted by on Aug 11, 2014, 8:52 am in Restaurants, Travel, Wine | 2 comments

Halibut w: Smoked Paprika and Preserved Lemon Jus

  I first met Jennifer Wall at the New Orleans Wine and Food Extravaganza in 2012, when I was invited to a  luncheon at Antoine’s in the French Quarter sponsored by Barefoot Wines. I’ve tried – on my visits to Sonoma County – to catch up with her ever since.  Jen’s a wife and mother of three, as well as winemaker at Barefoot Wines, however, so she’s a very busy lady. But this summer, we were finally able to connect, in the last couple of days of my Healdsburg stay, when she invited me to join her for...

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Discovering Bravas Amidst a Bit of Sunday Synchronicity

Posted by on Jul 27, 2014, 11:07 am in Restaurants, Travel | 0 comments

Braised Oxtail Tostada

  Where to begin?   I’ve been so many places in the last few weeks. Healdsburg, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Sedona, Santa Fe, Amarillo – and over the next few posts, I’ll be telling you a bit about them, starting now with my last few days in the S.F. Bay Area.   During the 4th of July weekend, I traveled down from Healdsburg to Berkeley to visit the 1st Presbyterian Church. 1st Pres., as we affectionately refer to it, was a sort of “cathedral” for all of us in my countercultural Christian community of the early 1970’s. We all...

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Bodega Bay to Jenner – and a Simple Salad with Shrimp and Quinoa

Posted by on Jul 8, 2014, 8:57 am in Personal Reflection, Recipes- Savory | 3 comments

Simple Salad with Shrimp and Quinoa

  I’m sitting on a large piece of driftwood – my makeshift bench – to contemplate the waves as they crash on a rock before me. My only distractions – the occasional cry of a seagull, and a young family which has just climbed down the bluff with a picnic lunch.   The drive here, along Highway 12 West to Bodega Bay, was through gentle hills, winding roads – cows grazed in little meadows alongside the road. So far removed from the tourist bustle of central Healdsburg on this eve of a holiday weekend.   The...

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Arriving in Healdsburg

Posted by on Jul 4, 2014, 10:13 am in Personal Reflection | 1 comment

Baby Gem Lettuce and Peaches

I was in a complete state of exhaustion (I slept a lot the first couple of days here) by the time I reached my friends’ Healdsburg house. I had spent the morning in L.A. running around trying to donate last minutes items, packing things I had overlooked, and cleaning out the fridges before I hit the highway in the early afternoon. By the time I reached the Highway 5/580 split, I decided to take 5 straight up to Highway 12 (which goes briefly though Sacramento and Solano counties before reaching eastern Sonoma County) rather than brave the 580...

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Leaving Los Angeles

Posted by on Jul 2, 2014, 11:21 am in Personal Reflection | 11 comments

Red Tailed Hawk outside my window

  Eighteen and a half years ago, I left New York City. It was a very difficult move for me, to be sure – although not nearly as difficult a packing job as the one I am currently wrapping up has been. I lived in a studio apartment, and had been stashing things bit by bit at my parents’ house in Los Angeles for a few years before that. It took me only a few days to pack versus the few months this has taken. My intention at the time was to spend a year with my parents in Los Angeles, then it was on to the California Culinary Academy...

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