hipcooks west.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Husband surprised me a few months ago with a gift certificate to Hipcooks. I had been wanting to take a cooking class here for a while (no. 16 on my 101 in 1,001 days list) because of their class options (Persian Immersion, La Belle Epoque...). We decided on the Dim Sum and then Some class to get a head start on some Chinese cooking, and we definitely made the best choice. We had the best time learning to use different asian sauces and wrappers and making SO MUCH FOOD.  In between "courses," we ate our cooking at a big family-style table with the appropriate tea accompaniment. I was a teensy bit worried that I would get hungry since the class was so long, but there was plenty of food to go around. My fave: the sweet wontons... I'm already scheming about when I can make them again.

Our menu:
4 types of Chinese tea
steamed shrimp wontons
chicken cabbage dumplings
scallion pancakes with shiitake mushrooms
chinese-style green beans
seared sesame beef in rice paper
lotus flower pork puff pastry
seared scallop chow mein
sweet wontons with orange, walnut, and dates

Five tracks: live forever.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

[photo: "the california trip," 1968 by Dennis Stock found here]

This blog is undergoing a little evolution, starting with a new look! It doesn't know exactly what it wants to be yet, but I'm OK with that. I'm trying something new, starting with a mini mixtape: five tracks that move me at the moment.

Listen: spotify

1. Live Forever - Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors
2. Back Down South - Kings of Leon
3. Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley (one of my life faves)
4. Holocene - Bon Iver
5. Higher Love - James Vincent McMorrow

p.s. isn't this photo amazing? i'm so fascinated with the Sixties.

the cheese shop.

Monday, March 5, 2012

about a month ago, a glorious place called the cheese shop opened at the oc mart mix. since we discovered it, husband and i have been obsessed. if they didn't close at 6p, we would probably be making nightly trips over there. i am by no means a cheese connoisseur, so having someone there to make recommendations and let us sample to our heart's desire was invaluable. and in addition to their great selection of cheeses, they stock all sorts of accompaniments like marinated figs and marcona almonds. the first time we went, we sampled a mustard cheddar (red dragon) and a brie-like cheese (d'affanois). we were hooked. we came back to try a 3-cheese plate (with the softest ciabatta ever made), but we still came home with red dragon & d'affanois. i'm excited to make these trips a regular saturday afternoon activity, and expand our repertoire of pairings (more on that later).

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