Thursday, December 27, 2007

Recipe for a perfect holiday

preheat house, turn on some music, cross another day off the calender. it is december 24th, 2007.

Begin with your mother, who you haven't seen in 2 years. Then add her two youngest daughters, who are also your half sisters you have only seen 5 times in their short lives.
Throw in your dad, stepmom, sister who is visiting from FIDM in San Francisco.
select a few choice friends, and at the end your 18 year old brother who already ate.
Stir everybody together with pear brandy champagne cocktails, 5 lbs of maple glazed salmon, salad with edible flowers, and let sit for a few hours.

Sprinkle conversation, laughter, jokes, and best behaviour to taste.

My sister Eleena with her Pear Brandy cocktail. we put edible flowers in them too, and used local Clear Creek Distillery Pear Brandy.

my friend Mo and my youngest sister Kellan.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Brunch with the ladies

It was the day before my birthday, and I celebrated by inviting my lovely lady friends to brunch. i woke up in the morning on this chilly saturday, my new love in my bed. We watched the snow flakes tease the ground from under my rabbit fur blanket. I dropped him off, and headed over to the Screen Door to meet up with my girls.
matia and I, friends for over 10 years.

I switched it up, and ordered the blue crab benedict! it was incredible.

Tiffany ordered the bananas foster waffle.

My fried Jeevan, who I wrote about taking to the screen door before, had all 8 of us do a little project. we all wrote letters to our future selves, dated 6 months from the day we wrote them. here is Jessica(a lovely laywer turned chef, and Tiffany writing their letter to themselves)
Jeevan took them from us and will send them all out at the beginning of June.
I didn't know what to write. i was just too happy sitting with so many beautiful women who inspire me and who were all out to celebrate me.

Brisa in her fantastic suit with the most beautiful Chicken and Waffles in town!
Later that night I threw a huge dance party and we shook off all that yummy rich food....unfortunately, everyone was having so much fun, no photos were taken...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Birthday Rituals

My memories from my childhood are sometimes spotty at best, but I remember very vividly tastes and smells like a ceremony.
Every year until I was nine, my mom baked Spanikopita for my birthday. And even after she moved to the east coast, occasionally, around the beginning of December, a large box would come in the mail full of the savory homemade spinach delicacies.

For the past few years, I decided to carry on the tradition by making it for myself. I bought the feta and filo from a lovely European market on 17th and Hawthorne. The man who works the counter calls me "pretty lady", and when I told him it was my birthday, he reached his large hand across the counter and handed me a chocolate Kinder Suprise egg.
He shared a story of how women in his country(Bosnia) must learn to make the fine sheets of filo from scratch before they are eligible to marry. I tell him I am grateful for his little shop so I don't have to do that part.

My Mom's Spanikopita:

2packs of frozen organic spinach
at least!! one pound of feta
jar of pesto
stick of salted organic butter
cup of extra virgin olive oil
box of filo

you will also need a pastry brush to paint the oil onto the filo sheets.
follow the instructions on the filo box about letting it get to room temp so it doesn't split!

heat the oven to 350. put the spinach in a pot and cook it up!
when it is thawed, put it in a large bowl, and place a smaller bowl on top and drain as much water as possible.
(this method was cooked up by Matt, the lovely man who helped me make this meal this year)
then, mix the pesto, feta, and spinach all together.

melt the butter and pour the olive oil into it.

make little piles of spinach mixture on a sheet of dough, and paint all around it with butter mixture.
then do some folding, making sure all the time that the dough is thoroughly covered in butter.
make a bunch! until everything is gone!

paint the top of them with butter mix, then put em in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Matt and I decided to step outside on my balcony and take a few deep breaths of cold crisp night air, so when we opened the door back inside out noses were arrested by the intoxicating scent of Spanikopita happily baking...

I highly suggest this last part. I also highly suggest eating these with your hands, and eating them with people you love, the smiles are amazing.

memories of summer

This summer I had the opportunity to go fishing with my friend Scott. He is a local musician who plays drums and clarinet in Loch Lomond and Nick Jaina. He is talking about writing a column for a local paper about fishing with Portland's movers and shakers. A fashion designer on a lake! yes! On this particular day, we drove up to Trillium Lake on Mount Hood, late in the morning, after buying sandwiches, beer, and a bar of toblerone chocolate...

The mountain loomed large behind the clouds, you could feel that it was there, even though the snowy peak was hidden from view. We cast our lines over and over again, talked about falling in and out of love, drank some beers, and watched the eagles dive bombing the icy waters..

After about 3 chilly hours without any bites, we turn the little blowup boat around and Scott rows us back to shore. When we get to the bank, a large truck is pulling up to the water. It is full of tiny fish. I guess we will just have to wait for them to grow up so we can catch them!!

Scott fell asleep on the drive home, but I caught this amazing sunset.

Even though we didn't catch any fish, we decided to cook something from the waters. We made delicious mussels and ate them all up.