The Ultimate Breakfast

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream French Toast

One day last summer I called Bailie on my morning walk  to check and make sure she had breakfast. She did. She helped herself to ice cream! (I have to admit I was a bit jealous although I ate ice cream almost every day for years starting at her age).

Well, this morning it was my turn to eat ice cream for breakfast. Only because there was no milk in the house. And all the cream was used in last night’s dinner. However, since dessert wasn’t served, that left both a delicious vanilla bean ice cream AND a pile of fresh berries.

The recipe:

      1. Start with eggs, add melted ice cream, pinch of cinnamon.
      2. Soak french bread in mixture.
      3. Place in heated skillet, flip when golden brown.
      4. When both sides toasted, top with berries and ice cream.
      5. Enjoy!

Grgich Hills

Another dinner at the Casa complimented by yummy wine. What a great way to relax on the three day weekend!

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley

And the winemaker says…

All of the grapes were grown at our estate vineyards, which are certified organic and Biodynamic. The result is an elegant wine with aromas of black cherries and licorice with a long finish. Full bodied with smooth tannins, it’s the perfect partner with filet mignon, grilled steak or lamb chops.

And  Bill says…

Goes well with french toast.

A Sauce Lover’s Dream

Painted Desert Salmon

Dinner @ Casa de Meyer was about sauces tonight. Two courses, four sauces. Glad there was a salad in between!

First Course: Filet Mignon with morrel mushroom sauce. Toasted baguette with a perfectly cooked filet, then coated in a creamy sauce that started as shallots and butter and was filled with morrels. I could have licked the plate.

Second Course: Frissee salad topped with a perfectly poached egg and red wine vinaigrette.

Third Course: Painted desert poached salmon. Words can not describe how wonderful this dish looked, so I added a photo. It tasted even better. It is dishes like that that remind me of why salmon was one of my favorite dishes as a child, and still is today.

Dessert: Nope. Can’t eat another bite. Falling quickly to sleep instead…

Dinner with Kyra

A quick business trip to Los Angeles included an opportunity to catch up with a co-worker from the past (and now present). We grabbed dinner at caught up on the last three years over dinner (and a few glasses of 2009 line 39 petite syrah) at Katana.

While waiting for Kyra to make it through the traffic, I shared with our server that my partner in crime was stuck in traffic so I was just going to start with a quick starter while I waited. All she heard was “partner”, so the two us of girls giggled at that all night!

Round #1 – Edamame – Soy beans with Sea Salt

Round #2 – Tastes from the kitchen

  • Ingen Itame – Sauteed Chinese green beans with garlic sauce
  • Aspara Niku Maki – Filet mignon wrapped asparagus with soy mirin sauce
  • Hanabi – Spicy tuna with diced chilies on crispy rice
  • Popcorn shrimp – Tempura shrimp with miso glaze, which my partner says this is so good you just might have an orgasm

Round #3 – From the Sushi Bar

  • Katana rolls – Yellowtail tuna atop spicy tuna and shrimp tempura roll
  • Lobster rolls – Baked lobster, avocado and asparagus

Round #4 – A delicious chocolate dessert (of course!)

The location:

Katana | 8439 W. Sunset Blvd. | West Hollywood, CA | 323.650.8585 | Website

Dinner @ La Casa de Meyer

A dinner invitation to La Casa de Meyer sounds like a rare occurrence. It is definitely one to be treasured. What a FABULOUS meal…

First course:

Handmade pasta. Stripped with saffron and chili peppers, then stuffed with cheeses and chives,  I was reminded how to fill and then close and shape tortellini (It has been over 10 years since I folded tortellini with the Bellizini family in Chicago). Add a perfectly seared scallop and a buttery white wine (and other good stuff) for a FABULOUS pairing with the 2008 Syrah from Kontos Cellars.

Second course:

Layers of one of my favorite food combination – tomatoes and avacados. 

  • First layer – tomato confit
  • Second layer – more tomatoes – yellow this time
  • Third layer – the perfectly ripe avocado
  • Fourth layer – shredded crab
  • Fifth layer – ahi tuna

Third course:

“Roast beast” in the form of a perfectly seared filet with a salty, garlicy crust. Side of asparagus, the best vegetable around this time of year. 


I derailed the chef’s plan for banana crepes as I had eaten the perfect amount. Instead, one dark chocolate covered carmel with sea salt from Boehm’s Candies was the perfect end to a FABULOUS meal! (At least it was in my opinion).

Parting thought – I hope to get a breakfast invitation some day.

The location:

Undisclosed. Luckily I didn’t have to be blind-folded to get there. 

Kontos Cellars

Enjoying this bottle of 2008 Syrah gave me yet one more reason to plan a wine tasting weekend in Walla Walla. After seeing that it was awarded 94 points I had recently ordered two bottles from my local wine shop – and after dinner last night, I may need a few more bottles.

What Kontos has to say about this vintage:

A fruit forward Walla Walla Syrah that has little of the earthy character, making this an easy to enjoy wine for any occasion.  The beautifully intense color mingles with the floral aromas of rose petal and wild flowers.  Bacon hides amongst the rich stone fruits that anchor this wine. Enjoy Dec 2010-2017.

Topel 2006 Red Table Wine

Refill, please! Couldn’t stop with just one glass as I liked the very smooth finish.

Topel Estate Blend

  • 45% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 45% Syrah Noir
  • 5% Merlot
  • 5% Petit Verdot (ahhh, the secret ingredient that seems to crop up in all red blends that I like)
And the winemakers notes…
Handcrafted from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah Noir, Merlot and Petit Verdot all grown in our mountainside vineyards on Duncan Peak — this handsome wine has a striking, dense color and sexy bouquet. Rich and deeply flavored, with nuances of chocolate and dark red fruits, it has a smooth mouthfeel and an exquisite, extended finish. Approachable now, it will grow even more complex and luscious with cellaring.