Mix Mix

On Saturday night, Alisha texted us and asked if we were interested in going to dinner downtown. We had all been curious about a new restaurant that offered creative cocktails and sharable plates. So we drove the mile or two down the road to Mix Mix. We each ordered a cocktail and set about passing them around the table so everyone could try them. Continue reading

Supper Club

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Suzee, our former social director for the neighborhood, and her husband, Jeff, began an outstanding tradition to host a supper club at a local restaurant.  This was our first time attending.  This one was held at Luna Kutsi in DTSA.  Kutsi is housed in one of DTSA’s most beautiful buildings, the Santora.  It’s a Spanish Colonial revival building built in 1928.  Originally, it housed a Daninger’s Tea Room, a restaurant famous for its celebrity clientele including Jack Benny, Milton Berle, Billie Burke, Charles Ruggles, Connie Haines, Lucille Ball, Gracie Allen, George Burns, Joan Davis, Rosalind Russell, Robert Young, William Holden and Alan Ladd.  Now, it hosts several restaurants, retail spaces, and artists.

IMG_1799Brunch was on the menu for the Supper Club, and it featured a beet salad, green or red chilaquiles, and a creamy Mexican version of a tiramisu.

Seated next to us were KC and Helen, the suppliers of margaritas for our annual Chili Cook-off (more on this later).  Turns out, KC and Helen have a chicken coop that KC built.  It’s the cutest white cottage looking coop with cross hatches on all the doors.  These chickens have good taste… they must watch HGTV.

IMG_1800I was curious about the maintenance, clean up, and egg production.  I think it’d be fun to have chickens assuming the caretaker (Alex, remember?) would be into that kind of thing.  He seemed interested, too.  Given we were hosting a garden exchange at our house the next week, I asked if they might bring some eggs (oh, yes, and if they EVER had any extra, I mentioned I’d be happy to take them off their hands).  Not more than 30 minutes after we got home, our door bell rang and it was Helen and KC with a dozen eggs of our own.  Green, tan, brown.  Just beautiful.

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How to be Neighborly: Put your eggs in your neighbor’s basket.

What does one do with a dozen fresh eggs?  Well, head to the “Well Stocked Pantry.” Pull some cream out of the fridge and create a fast, easy, cozy dinner.

Here’s how you can make your own Supper Club Eggs (even if you don’t have KC, Helen, and their chickens, for neighbors, this still works):

Cozy Eggs in Cream

  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced or grated
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 sprig rosemary, finely minced
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Toast

In an oven proof dish, like cast iron or a ramekin, put 1/4 c of cream, and 1/2 a clove of garlic grated, and put it under the broiler to heat up the cream, about 1-2 minutes.  Once the cream is hot, pull the ramekins out and carefully crack two eggs into the hot cream.  Sprinkle with cheese, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Put the ramekin back under the broiler for another 1-2 minutes.  Watch it closely, the top should turn brown but the yolks should stay runny.  Once cooked, sprinkle with more parmesan and serve with toast for dipping.

Makes 2 ramekins.

 

Art Walk

IMG_1647On the first Saturday of every month, DTSA opens its arms, hearts and doors to artists. Well actually, the artists are always there. In fact, the artists open up their arms, hearts and doors to DTSA and others interested in viewing their offerings. A diverse group of people descend on one square block to enjoy art of all kinds: static, interactive, demonstrative, live. This night, a group of us biked downtown to enjoy the festivities.

Near the Bike Hut storage, there was a graffiti art demonstration which we watched in wonder at how spray cans were creating such a precise and colorful display. We then headed over to the center of the artist’s district.  It’s a courtyard of brick, with a fountain in the middle, surrounded by our most historic buildings. Where we entered, there was a live demonstration was being put on by High School students. They were painting their city, beautifully I might add, on an old convertible car. In the background, musicians played string instruments.

Hipcooks, a center that hosts cooking classes, had their doors open for visitors to look, learn and shop. A wedding reception was occurring in the restored electrical building in front of the central fountain where the art walk festivities were held. The couple and the party were visible behind large windows, a chance for all of us to peek into their lives.

IMG_1653Some of the art was temporary, some of it more permanent, some of it literally disappeared as time passed. One display was a continually updated work of words, which showed thought provoking political headlines and the time posted… like a human enabled Twitter feed, on a giant marquis. There one minute, gone the next. A cardboard Lady Liberty wept in the foreground of this display. Accident?

Another was a display of video and sound, as a musician carried his drums up to the summit of a snowy mountain in France, his boots crunching in the snow as he climbed. The paintings, drawings and etchings were done on various mediums, from canvas, to wood, to plastic, to small brown paper bags (which the artist informed me were used to hide 40’s (beer), vs. my intuition that they were lunch bags… perspective).

How to be Neighborly: Engage with the local culture. You will become part of it, and it will become part of you.

I’m not really an art aficionado, but I do appreciate having creative people near and around me. They encourage me to think differently, or just think period. Whether I come to a conclusion, or not, is not the point. The point is to exercise the mind, isn’t it?

Blurred Lines

Wayne & Merle’s wedding was held at a home just a block from our house. It’s a cute Spanish style home and with a lush backyard fashioned after a beloved time share in Cabo San Lucas. It has a beautiful pool, lots of shade and places to lounge, a built in restaurant grade beer fridge, and it always has a bar set up. That day, however, it was set up for an intimate wedding with 50 guests- and we were lucky enough to be two of them. Family and friends of the happy couple were in attendance, celebrating a lifetime of love and companionship. This was a marriage 20+ years in the making, and was finally possible because the Case Against 8 (Proposition 8, that is) had finally been won (P.S. You must see this documentary). #LoveWins I’d seen a lot of weddings in my time as a wedding coordinator, but I’ve honestly never seen a couple so in love and committed to a union. You couldn’t help but cry over the victory that these two could finally be legally married. They had waited a long time.

In W&M fashion, they were supporting the local community by hiring a local restaurant from DTSA to cater their wedding. Everything was served family style on large platters to share.  The meal began with the most divine sweet and briny olive, cheese and honey appetizer. I will forever love that dish. Dinner was delicious and sharing it with these new friends made it that much sweeter.

It wouldn’t be a wedding without dancing, so tables were moved to make way for the dance floor. The happy couple shared their first dance. This would have been the time for the party to really start, but it was still daylight and it’s hard to get people to dance in daylight. Well, until you play the right music. Enter the magical “Sonos” machine… I made the request for Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines… and Sonos went into action.  “Everybody get up!” instructed Thicke from the speakers.  Yep, that worked. A better party was never had. From then on, I couldn’t hear that song without thinking of joyfulness and that wedding.

How to be Neighborly: Each home has a family and each family is unique. Honor that.

Here’s my attempt to recreate that divine dish we shared.

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Olive Tapenade with Farmer’s Cheese & Honey

  • 1 c ricotta
  • 1/2 c black olives
  • 1/4 c kalamata olives
  • 1/2 green/Spanish olives
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Honey
  • Bread toasted with olive oil (6 slices, cut in half)

Place the ricotta in cheese cloth in a strainer and let some of the whey drain off.  In a small food processor place the black olives, kalamata olives, and green olives with pepper, garlic powder and nutmeg.  Pulse until a paste forms.

Serve with toasted bread.  Layer toast, then cheese, then tapenade, then honey.  Enjoy!