August 2011


My dear friend Kate got engaged this weekend. She and her boyfriend (oops, I mean, fiance) have been together for about seven years. The idea of the proposal wasn’t really a surprise; they designed her gorgeous ring together after all.

But what she wasn’t expecting was a room full of people – her friends, his friends, her family, his family – all waiting to celebrate the engagement just a few hours after they sealed the deal. Surprise!

In her sweet white dress, absolutely beaming, Kate already looked every inch a bride. I’ve never been a bridesmaid before, and I’m glad that my “first” will be for Katie Jo!  If you couldn’t tell by all the gushing I do on here, I love, love, love my friends and am so excited to be a part of what’s sure to be an amazing wedding.

Congratulations again to the gorgeous couple. I can’t wait for THE DAY!

I’d like to think I’m adventurous when it comes to trying new restaurants, but the truth is, I always seem to eat at the same places over and over again. My entire Malibu repertoire consists of Cholada for Thai, The Sage Room for Italian, Cafe Habana for quasi-Mexican, Nobu for sushi, and the Malibu Inn for standard American fare close to home. Not a bad list, but there are several places within easy driving distance that I’ve wanted to try but haven’t bothered to check out. I waited so long to visit Terra, it closed in the meantime.

So, when Kate J came to meet me for dinner after work in nearby Beverly Hills, I went to restaurant guru Lynn for advice. She gave me a few delicious sounding ideas, but none sounded quite right. I opened the ever-growing “Eats” tab in my Gmail and came up with Pici Enoteca. Pronounced “peachy,” this new spot has only been open for a week, but the menu and preliminary reviews both sounded good. The chef came to greet us as we walked in, clearly happy to see every customer who walked through the door.

We decided to split a salad and pizza. To start, we had the burrata-stuffed tomatoes with pesto vinaigrette and semolina-crusted red onions. Honestly, when is fresh cheese with tomatoes not a big win?

The pizzas all sounded really delicious, with a few new-to-me versions like lemongrass with caramelized onions and crispy ginger. However, we were feeling very traditional and went with the roasted mushroom/truffle oil/leek pie instead. The crust was very skinny, and the cheese was well-done and crispy.

The first-bite verdict? Yum!

Although, I must admit, it’s a doughy, wood-oven fired crust that works for me every time. This pizza was definitely tasty, but IthinkImightprefermygrilledversionbetter. Why do I feel guilty saying that? Because I don’t want to claim I can cook as well as a talented chef (since really, I can’t) but my pizza is hands-down amazing.

We enhanced the night with wine. A must for girl talk, I think. We had an okay Pinot Noir and a much tastier (and more expensive) Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon. All around, it was a fabulous evening with KJ and I have a new restaurant to add to my list!

I’ve never been the biggest salad eater. Wait, that’s not true. I love salads, but prefer them as a side — never the main course. I’d gladly eat eight bowls of salad for lunch or dinner, provided that I also had a plateful of the “real meal” waiting nearby. However, I’ve recently eaten a few salads that might just change my way of thinking!

I saw this salad in a summer issue of Sheridan Road. Yes, I’m aware that it’s a bit funny I have to read nearly every magazine under the sun for work, but sometimes there’s a silver lining! The recipe has no picture associated with it, which is usually a major deterrent for me. Part of the appeal is seeing the final meal, no? But when I noticed that arugula is the base, I was sold. Other ingredients include:

The dressing includes white wine vinegar, greek yogurt, olive oil, Dijon mustard and salt & pepper. That’s it! Honestly, everything came together so well. Both the boy and I really enjoyed this salad, and I immediately thought how perfect it would be for dinner guests. You know, when you want to get in some greens, but need them to taste/look a bit fancy as well? And what do you know, a few days later I had the chance to make it for Julia and her man. Well, minus the potatoes and with tons of grilled pizza on the side, but still – it’s a winner!

I think I’ve found a new Sunday morning tradition…

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Malibu Kitchen has invaded my own, and I have to say, I really like it. Last week, it was rosemary/honey scones, and this week, sour cherry. They really are the perfect weekend morning treat!

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