taco tuesday carne asada, carnitas, chicken, extra chips burrito
Post-workout, “we deserve this!” meal: carne asada, carnitas, and grilled chicken tacos, a giant “dos manos” burrito, and extra extra chips, all brought home so we could, of course, add fresh avocado.

My workout was last Wednesday.

It was my first time trying pilates, one of the hardest workouts I’ve done in recent memory, which isn’t saying much since there aren’t a lot of  workouts in recent memory, ok there aren’t any workouts at all in recent or even not-so-recent memory. I was sore for days afterward.

Any workout for the first time can be intimidating, but the pilates apparatus looks like a cross between a medieval guillotine and modern terrorist torture device and is far more terrifying than any machine I’ve seen in my limited visits to “the gym.” Along with stern safety warnings from the instructor, I was kind of terrified.

Obviously, I didn’t know how to do any of the moves, and by the time I figured out what foot goes into which strap, the class was already switching to the next. The pace was fast. Moving between poses requires varsity-cheerleader-level coordination to hook and unhook bungees and slip body parts in and out of straps and belt loops. I had to stop more than several times to catch my breath and rest muscles that I had never used before.

By the end of the class, I was soaked in sweat, exhausted, essentially defeated. At the same time, though, I felt victorious that I had actually survived. We went up the street to Tavern and sat at the bar in our workout clothes, appropriate because we were in our Lululemons in Brentwood, inappropriate because they were still sweaty, and hydrated the only way I know how, with sparkling rosé.

Pilates feels like a great full-body workout, but as far as I can tell, it isn’t really for me. Of course, I also said the same thing about yoga after just two classes, but now I do yoga all the time like four times a year.

And I eat tacos twice a week.

Pilates Platinum — Brentwood
11755 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
$30 per class, $10 first class

In case you have not been following along — and how could you have, I haven’t told anyone — I moved!

And am now an official, utility-bill-paying resident…

of Cougartown.

[click to continue…]

I live a minute away from the Pacific Ocean, but don’t have to go anywhere near the beach, in fact have to trek inland about 40 minutes to have the best “beachside fish tacos” I’ve ever had — light, beer-battered whitefish and cabbage slaw in corn tortillas — from a truck parked on the side of a city street.

My God, I love LA.

Park on the street, stand in line, order from the truck, dine at a rickety table under a tent to the side. I don’t know what the general liquor rules are in this situation (probably “none” since it’s just out on the open street), but just so you know, fish tacos pair very well with a light, bright, dry rosé [click to continue…]

You know what they say.

Go fig or go home.

Ok, ok, maybe I’m the only one who says that.

Sometimes, this is how I “cook” dinner. Especially on hot summer nights like these, which is kind of scary because it’s technically still only the first week of summer and it is blazing hot outside. I don’t know if I’m ready for July and, good God, August. [click to continue…]

Murray Family Farms
from Bakersfield, CA
[click to continue…]

Paletas vs Popsicles

Aren’t they the same thing? One is just the Spanish word for the same thing in American English? I thought they were both frozen fruity icy pops, but apparently, paletas and popsicles are very different.

A popsicle is any old frozen fruity icy thing, usually water or juice-based, with a lot of added sugar that stain your mouth and hands because they’re filled with neon food coloring and dyes. I never liked popsicles as a kid, and though I don’t remember the specific reason why, I am guessing that I found popsicles generally too sweet, too messy, and somewhat unsatisfying compared to creamy, full fatty dairy ice cream. I always ate ice cream out of a neat little cup with a tidy little spoon.

Paletas, as I learned in the last couple of weeks, look exactly like popsicles, are a kind of popsicle, but are nothing like popsicles. Because they just aren’t. They are a Latin-American frozen refreshment on a “palo” (stick) made from fresh fruit, either in a water/juice base with pieces of fruit, or a cream/milk base with chocolate, vanilla, spices, and nuts.  Though they may seem “everyday” to anyone who grew up eating paletas, flavors and combinations like cucumber (unsweetened!), tamarind, hibiscus, and mango with chili powder are new and exciting and way more interesting than the artificial neon cherry, orange, grape, and “rocket” flavors I grew up with in the Midwest.
mateo's paletas on fresh fruit platter

Mateo’s Ice Cream and Fruit Bars (Paletas)

I have only ever tried Mateo’s paletas. Mostly because there is a location on the west-ish side of LA.

A Paleta/Popsicle Serving Idea

It’s summer. You’re probably going to throw a party. Or go to a party. At the very least, be involved in a social gathering that involves food and at least one person other than just yourself. Here’s an idea.

Make or buy paletas. Serve the paletas on a platter of fresh cut fruit that matches the paletas in color. I like multi-color, but if you don’t want anyone to fight over flavors, offer one, maybe two, flavor(s); the serving platter will still look pretty. Soak and absorb the glory.

[click to continue…]

There are 93 days of summer this year. Because I’m a weird, obsessive compulsive freak about lists, here’s a list of summery things to eat, drink, do, and wear, one for each day of the season, in no particular order.

Lies. Of course they’re in order. You just don’t know what that order it is.

Get crackin’. There are only {xo} days of summer left.
[click to continue…]