Put a little, or a lot, of spice in your life

Cooking is like swimming. Everyone should know how to do it.

Whether you’re a beginner or consider yourself to be an excellent cook, there is always more to learn. Cooking classes are for everyone from kids to seniors, couples, groups, extroverts and they are particularly good for introverts.

I love taking cooking classes. Chef Tech’s cooking classes  in Long Beach CA, range from Kides cupcake baking parties to their intensive Culinary Arts Program. They also offer everything from Pro Baking to sushi making and a variety of special occasion, seasonal and cultural meals. The classes are fun, relaxed and yet intense in a laid-back sort of way. More importantly I learned more precise cooking methods, and convinced my non-detail oriented side, that in cooking, details are the key to excellent results. Students ranged from a 16-year-old chef-in-training to a 70-year-old gentlemen with a keen eye for culinary perfection, a newly married couple, beginning and skilled foodies of all flavors. They even have kids classes and summer camps!

 

Chef Teri’s energy and humor makes for an upbeat, social learning experience.

Chef Tech cooking school in Long Beach CA is a great place to take your first cooking class or to embrace a more in-depth culinary experience with their Pro classes for baking and their advanced series of culinary skills. I’ve enjoyed many cooking classes. My first cooking class was with Richard Ruben in his Manhattan, NY cooking.  The recipes were based on his Farmer’s Market Cookbook. The class began at Manhattan’s Union Square open-air Greenmarket. What I loved was his ease in getting his group of students immediately involved in choosing produce. He simply said, “if you see any vegetables or herbs that you aren’t familiar with, let me know. Chef Ruben bought whatever anyone pointed out and made up recipes on the fly at his Tribecca flat. My take awy, butternut squash soup I’ve cooked many dozens of times in dozens of ways and never been disappointed.

Fast forward to Abby’s Table, Portland Oregon’s darling of healthy, vegan, gluten free, social cooking classes and catering. Abby Fammartino’s healthy culinary classes have a relaxed, friendly atmosphere with a classy group meal following high-lighting the delicious healthy recipes we learned to cook that day.

The Farmer’s Market Cookbook

by Chef Richard Ruben

Abby’s Table Essential Sauces + Sides: Naturally gluten, dairy, and soy-free recipes to please every palate

By Chef Abby Fammartino

Observatory Arches Hollywood

This was a very rare, clear and cloudy day in Los Angeles, California.

The walk from the park below up to the observatory is refreshing with spectacular views of downtown LA and the surrounding area

You can even see all the way to the ocean on a clear day like this one. The Hollywood sign is tucked into the hills behind and off to the right of these arches at the Griffith Observatory.

The surrounding park area is very large, so pay attention to the trail on the way up as there is a fork in the road… Despite ending up on the wrong side of the hill and having to call a taxi to get back to the car, this was still the best first date I’ve ever had.  2012

Collage @ Sunset Beach

From my Android…no, not my robot, just my phone and a little collage app called Collage Maker Pro, which I would enjoy more if they didn’t have so many popups repeatedly nagging me to…I don’t know what, buy it again? Buy their other apps which will also keep bugging me with pop-up adds about “Getting an awesome new career at X collage…” instead of letting me enjoy their product. Hey, I would pay a lot more for a great app that didn’t annoy me and was managed well, but I’ve got two degrees and a great career. I suppose I’m not their intended target market, but that’s their mistake. Focusing on a great product instead of fidgeting a so-so one then trying to pad their pockets with ad pennies is selling oneself short instead of being the best they can be.  It’s coming from a place of lacking, of fearing one won’t get enough of the rising dough. It will always leave them hungry for more because they will never get enough satisfaction with that mentality. I’m just saying…

Beach winter walk Sunset Beach 1_150

Seal Beach Shops

Seal Beach, CA is one of those quaint little beach towns that you just can’t get enough of. Though it’s small, the variety of restaurants range from diner, burrito/margarito, Italian, wait for an hour brunch to Thai and they’re all great! They even have a very naughty dessert shop that you can smell before you even see it. Me and my boogie boarding buddy ALWAYS go in and NEVER buy anything. The sweet decedent scents are so overwhelming, that we feel completely satisfied to just inhale deeply and boldly walk away…well nearly. I’m not saying that it doesn’t take every ounce of our willpower combined, it does, but that makes it all the sweeter to know we are powerful against the peanut-butter chocolate caramel ewwyy gooy Ohh Ohhh bars.

Above are pics of eye candy goo-ga from a couple of the beachy touristy shops. Pretty unique stuff really, but living on the beach is a big blessing that infuses one with the  Small – Minimalist – Intense – Living – Entertainment… the SMILE is worth every penny we pay for our 1 bd apts and rooftop shacks! Like all of Manhattan is every Manhattanite’s living room: Every beach, ocean, desert trail, poppy field and beach town are our playgrounds.

This one’s for you N!

Hermosa Sunset

Sunset over Hermosa Beach, CA

IMG_2307

  • taking in a vibrant sunset
  • surfing, boogie boarding, paddle boarding, kitsurfing
  • swimming, boating, sailing
  • exercising & playing; walking, jogging, yoga, biking, rollerblading, skateboarding, etc. etc. etc.
  • fishing
  • photography
  • people watching
  • soaking in the sun
Lifeguards making the rounds at sunset

Lifeguards making the rounds at sunset

If you’ve  never been to the beaches in California, they are great playgrounds for singles, couples and families to visit. Though the sanitized and boardwalk beaches aren’t my favorites when it comes to beautiful scenery, they are great for everything else.