Monthly Archives: January 2012

Ally Hamilton

Ally Hamilton is an amazing yoga instructor and person here in the Santa Monica area.  I was lucky enough to stumble into her class at the Bryan Kest Power Yoga studio as my first “real” yoga class ever, and there I continued to practice yoga with her (among other amazing teachers) for several years. She has since opened up her own studio – Yogis Anonymous. After one more week at Yogaworks, I will be heading to Yogis Anonymous, and I am so excited to take her class again.

Ally is a powerful, amazing spirit. Her classes were always completely packed, and it wasn’t just because they were physically challenging (they were). It was because of her energy. She was always full of wisdom, but also so very real about it. You could relate to what she was saying, because she never tried to make any of it sound too “superior yogi-like” and she never made you feel like you weren’t good enough, or spiritual enough. There is something about her that emanates strength, yet in a gentle, warm, welcoming way.

No words are needed for this…Ally Hamilton talks about our society, what it has become, how she found peace, and how to create hope from the inside out…. enjoy!

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Yoga & One Pot Meal by Equinox

When I signed on to YouTube to check out the video of the very awesome Briohny Smyth, I stumbled across a slew of videos that Equinox posts. I know they’re an awesome gym/club/spa, but I had no idea they were so involved in the online world! In this post, I mainly want to focus on the dinner I made last night, but I also want to post the Yoga By Equinox video for you to enjoy. It’s truly grace & beauty at its finest.

(note: this video has been under a lot of scrutiny…unwarranted in my opinion, but read about it here if the topic interests you)

After watching this video, I noticed another video on the sidebar – A Healthy, One-Pot Meal. It is The Meatball Shop’s Daniel Holzman demonstrating how to cook a delicious meal of red snapper, leeks, acorn squash, and yukon gold potatoes. Holy smokes. So gourmet, and so easy!

My adaptation here:

HALIBUT WITH LEEKS, ACORN SQUASH, AND POTATOES

2 medium sized pieces of halibut

1 large leek, very coarsely chopped and washed thoroughly

1/2 an acorn squash, cut into half inch half moons

2 yukon gold potatoes, cut in half and sliced into small half moons

1/2 cup of white wine (I used a viognier)

1/2 lemon juice

1/3 cup of coarsely chopped parsely

1/4 tbsp unsalted butter

EVOO, Sea Salt to taste

1.  Pour olive oil into a large pan and setting it up on a medium flame, lay the acorn squash into the pan so that all the surface area of one side is on the pan. Brown one side of the acorn squash, approximately 4 minutes. Remove squash and sprinkle a bit of sea salt on top. Set aside.

2.  Using the same pan (if needed, add just a tad more olive oil), fill with leeks and cook gently. Reduce flame or add water to the pan if the leeks begin to sizzle and turn brown (there should be no color here). After 2-3 minutes, spread out the potatoes on top of the leeks, and pour the white wine on top.

3. Finally, lay the acorn squash brown side up on top of the potatoes. Allow butter to melt on top of the acorn squash, and spread it around a bit. Finally, generously salt both sides of the halibut, and place on top of the squash. Pour the lemon juice all over the top of the halibut, sprinkle the parsley around, and close the lid. Steam this one pot meal until all the white wine/lemon juice/juice from fish is almost all evaporated. Take the steaming pan to the table and serve!

 

***I was originally going to cook red snapper like Daniel Holzman calls for in the video, but they did not have it at the market. When I went on my phone to search for similar fish to use in the recipe, I discovered that red snapper is labeled as the “Eco-Worst Choice” by the EDF due to the drastic decline in red snapper from overfishing. Additionally, there are fairly high mercury levels in red snapper, which makes it an even more debatable choice. If you want some more information, check out the Complete List of Seafood Eco-Ratings and this Red Snapper Alternative article. Regardless, the halibut was an excellent choice and I wouldn’t have wanted to cook it any other way!***

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Dog Watching Table Tennis

Happy Tuesday Video!!!!!

I love how much energy this dog has…

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Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know

Another song I’m obsessed with at the moment…the video is interesting, and the lyrics are AWESOME. It’s written by Gotye (Australian-Belgian singer and songwriter) and features Kimbra (a New Zealand singer). I think most of us can relate to the words from one perspective or the other; and it doesn’t matter in which way we relate, the song is still beautiful. Be sure to scroll beneath the video if you want to follow along with the lyrics!

“Somebody That I Used To Know”
(feat. Kimbra)

[Gotye:]

Now and then I think of when we were together
Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
Told myself that you were right for me
But felt so lonely in your company
But that was love and it’s an ache I still rememberYou can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end, always the end
So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I’ll admit that I was glad that it was over

But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
And I don’t even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough
No you didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number
I guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

Now you’re just somebody that I used to know
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

[Kimbra:]
Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
But had me believing it was always something that I’d done
And I don’t wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say
You said that you could let it go
And I wouldn’t catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know

[Gotye:]
But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
And I don’t even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough
And you didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number
I guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

Somebody
(I used to know)
Somebody
(Now you’re just somebody that I used to know) [x2]

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Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

I got this recipe from Trend Setters – a newsletter that’s delivered to our doorstep every so often. It’s from George Chung Realtors here on the westside of Los Angeles, and it usually has some entertaining tidbits and articles within. I’ve never noticed a recipe before, but today, I whipped up the chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookie recipe that caught my eye! The recipe is actually taken from an old Bon Appétit, back in December 2004.

YUM! Very delicious…

Here’s my adaptation:

CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY OATMEAL COOKIES

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (I used Ocean Spray’s Craisins)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a non-stick cookie sheet (or line a baking sheet with parchment paper). Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a small/medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and oats and use a spoon to stir until blended and smooth. Stir in all the chocolate chips and cranberries.

2. Using a cookie batter scoop, drop batter onto your prepared cookie sheet. Bake cookies (must only be one sheet in the oven at a time) until edges are light brown, about 14 minutes. Cool on sheets for 5 minutes before removing.

3. ENJOY! This is my new favorite cookie recipe…it’s fun to have all three types of chocolate chips AND cranberries all in one bite!

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George Hood Set the World’s Longest Plank Record in 1 Hour and 20 Minutes

Ok, so this is slightly old news, but it came before I started this blog and I feel that it is VERY blog-worthy. On Dec. 3, 2011 (2 days before his 54th birthday), George Hood set an abdominal plank record of 1 hour, 20 minutes, and 5.01 seconds. Yes, you read that right.

This guy is absolutely insane, absolutely inspiring, and absolutely my kind of guy! All of you who incorporate planks into your workouts know how hard 1 little minute of planking can be… No words can express this kind of endurance and strength of mind:

GO GEORGE!!!! 

Watch this before you work out for some guaranteed motivation. We all can do ANYTHING we set our minds to!

George Hood is not new to setting records (i.e. jumping rope for over 13 hours straight) or doing other amazing things (i.e. he’s a former marine). Check out this article that illustrates what kind of athlete this guy is. I’m still in awe!

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The Honey Trees – Moon River

I’ve watched/listened to this so many times and I’m just still not over it… such a beautiful cover of Moon River…ENJOY!

watch more from them on TheLofiSession YouTube Channel!

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Crème de la Crêpe!

Crème de la Crêpe is a delicious place to go if you’re into French foods and most importantly, crêpes. I’ve only been to the one located in the Redondo Beach Village, and I have nothing but compliments for the place!

Both times now we’ve ordered the 12 Escargots as an appetizer. In my opinion, escargot are fairly difficult to get right, and both times, they were superb here. They also bring out some delicious french bread to start, which I am always appreciative of. One thing to note is that their dinner portions are huge! I am used to crêpes being of similar size every time I order than, but the way their dinner portions come out here is like and enormous rectangle that fills up nearly the entire plate. I order the BOLOGNAISE (ground beef, marinara sauce, grilled onions, mushrooms & swiss topped with fresh basil) that also came with a small side salad, and it was very tasty. It was like a crêpe version of a meat lasagna. Sadly, I could not finish it…

For dessert, we ordered the GOURMANDE (melted butter topped with lemon & sugar), and although light and tasty, it was nothing compared to the same one we’d ordered a week or so ago at La Petite Crêperie

All in all, the ambiance is very french at this restaurant, dress is casual, if the evening is warm enough they open up the entire front of the restaurant (in Redondo Beach), and you will have a great time with your friends & family here.

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Capellini with tomatoes, basil & fresh mozzarella

I got this Williams-Sonoma recipe book called Wine & Food…a new look at flavor by Joshua Wesson from my little sister for my birthday (I think?) and I love it. The book is categorized by wine varietals so that you can choose your wine, then choose your recipe that would be best suited for that wine. Very fun.

A couple of nights ago I made a capellini with tomatoes, basil & fresh mozzarella that is supposed to be paired with a “juicy red” like and Australian Grenache, or an Italian Dolcetto. Normally I would’ve paired it with the italian option, but since my boyfriend was on the tail-end of a bad flu, I opted for a pomegranate Italian soda instead, and it was a perfect non-alcoholic match. I also served it with some garlic french bread. Another success!

Here’s my version of what I did with the recipe (of course I altered a couple of things here and there), but ultimately taken from Wine & Food:

  • 5 large, ripe tomatoes (your choice) – peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 3-5 cloves pressed garlic
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tbsp freeze-dried chives
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 lb dried capellini
  • 1/2 cup finely diced fresh mozzarella
  • Shredded or grated parmesan for the table

1. In a frying pan large enough to hold the cooked pasta and sauce, combine the tomatoes, garlic, oil, basil, parsley, chives, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Let stand at room temperature while you cook the pasta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Cook capellini until al dente, but just before the pasta is ready, bring the tomato mixture to medium heat and allow it to simmer for a minute. When the pasta is ready, drain and add it to the pan with the simmering sauce. Add the mozzarella and toss to combine. Makes about 4 servings.

 

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A Better Life

A BETTER LIFE, This is my vote for movie of the year 2011. I loved it.

via A Better Life Facebook Page

Screw the film critic review by Betsey Sharkey of the LA Times – apparently she falls flat while watching the movie,  but this has nothing to do with the movie itself. This film is real and emotional. About a Mexican immigrant and his son living in East LA, the father, played by Demián Bichir (nominated for an Oscar!!), is a gardener doing his best to provide a better life for him and his son. His son, played by José Julián, is struggling to figure out who he is, while being pressed by the intense pressures of Mexican gangs. I’m not going to go into too much detail (I don’t want to pretend like I’m a film critic because I’m most certainly NOT one), but this movie will pull you in, tangle up all your heartstrings, and then spit you back out. In the best way possible.

2 thumbs up!! Go rent it from Netflix ASAP!!

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