Friday, January 29, 2010


the ritual, the dance, the faith in making a tea before you begin anything in the kitchen is an essential part of the creative process. it honors you & the story...even if it's macaroni & cheese... it creates an importance in & of the moment.. to stop, pause, take this time to GROUND... inhale...exhale.. whether it's insta hot or waiting on the kettle, loose leaves or bags, milk, plain or sugar.... it's the moment... for you. yes... this is all my belief & i could have started this with 'and it is written....' i guess it is in my book...and when i sit down to write.. guess what i have beside me? shocking. a tea. when i would be at the easel... same story... i really can't start anything without a tea... it clears the slate of 'before'...whatever was happening before this moment is gone.. at least a's like a liquid meditation, a clearing, a prayer almost....and it obviously goes back so far... ancient ritual of this warmth in the palm... i am sure it hits a meridian or some calm point of nourishing self... healing arts people? bring it. it is medicine.... like crumbling the herbs in a mortar and pestle and saying prayers while grinding.. it feels like that... it feels old and so good. we start everything with this good feeling... i guess it is a fancy way of putting the mask on yourself before you put it on your kids... it's giving something to yourself... tis' rare with toddlers ;), jobs, flying time... all of it. it puts the chaos on simmer in a copper pot... so catch your breath & make a tea...give the food the love that it yearns for & everybody is fed...with love. try it & let me know how you go...see you in the kitchenxxx

**always make sure to clear out the teas that you have been travelling with since college (unless you are in college ;) or your first house.. or before kids... it's time to clear em' out! and teas DO expire! check out those out that area of the kitchen (and every area) feels so good... and there is nothing like new tea (and a steps) if you are going to give yourself the gift of tea...check out some of these incredible tea companies & please.... those little leaves & your beautiful body don't need all that toxin.....RM tea picks: ginger peach decaf from the republic of tea, tropical green & earl grey by might leaf, rooibos or mauritius @ chado tea house (los angeles), fouchon (paris), rowan by sugarbird sweets online...then take them out of the bag or box and put them in a glass vessel... create an experience.. take a vacation with your little tea area and make it fancy, sweet & filled with YOU.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

RM: the class.

this is how we do it in the renaissance mama kitchen.....gathering, grounding, taking this vitally needed time to be together, to have a tea inside the palm of your hand, warm & quiet, to calm your heart & nourish self. to nurture this piece in us... this place that is starving for that vitality that is in each of us yet too exhausted to come out...we find her in here...we find her in the food, we find her in the mixing, stirring, folding, creating... we inspire this vitality together without really knowing when you leave you are full with inspiration, excitement...i guess it's called sated... this is what happens here...i am a firm believer in abundance...when you see can't help but want to be around it...overflowing food in wooden feeds something in means we will be fed here..... when it comes to food grown within an hour or two of our homes, still vibrating from their beds in the earth & the hands that picked them.....when it comes to simple & fancy things like a silver spoon or a round water vessel.... when it comes to experiences in the kitchen & taking care of self while nourishing family.....i vote YES. i gather food from all the local farmers... for the seasonal dishes of rustic beauty we create...i inspire with some self-deprication because it comes naturally and because we are in this together....we have kids & we have no time.... we can usually all agree on that...besides drama with our families, our struggles & then add on our challenges to get food on the table let alone try not to lose our minds seem to be similar.... i share ideas on how to do this, themes, daily inflections & ask lots of questions.. we talk about how it's going in the kitchen... where the connection and disconnection is for feeding ourselves & our families.. schedules, life, chaos & every single color comes up .... and it's all welcome here. i give homework & gifts too. i am on call for questions about all things food....(if i don't have this... can i use this?)...we will also invite guests to come & share their kitchen culture... and there are some field trips in store too! there is no way to hone in and define what happens here in this magical class... when women & food get together....the only way i can come close to describing it is renaissance mamas... see you in the kitchenxxx

the thursday class is here in los angeles from 10 -1 pm... if you are interested in gathering with us.. please email me & i will send you all the information. we would love to have you. i am open to having classes in different parts of town & abroad. if there is demand, we can create anything. there is also a renaissance ladies class opening if that is of interest. gift certificates are available for the classes. we do gatherings for special events... if you want some renaissance mama action... we will make it happen.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

separate & together.

there is a very specific separate togetherness or is it a together separateness that is exuding from these photos of roma tomatoes & cippolini onions on a baking sheet... it just took my breath away and i don't think it's my camera work. there is this exact, nebulous feeling happening right now... it might be the ritual of a new year or the lack of the ritual which keeps happening each year... so it almost makes it a ritual... the chaotic mess that is...trying to do one of these years "right," getting your life together, starting anew, or the massive pressure to open up a new door to something different from your natural ebb & flow... maybe it's just like these tomatoes & onions & olive oil... simple, together & separate... it might just be ok to let it be this way... until the heat hits and changes the dynamic (not a date on the calendar). there is something really special to finding the joy with what is... even if it's separate & together at the same time. i am not supporting stagnation but i most certainly am giving you a hug & saying that you are awesome just the way you are... and if you are not then strike a match and change the beyatchie.

this is how these work.. and they are so incredibly good & simple...i got this idea from the great smitten kitchen......get a pot of water boiling and a medium size bowl of ice to go on the counter next to it... and a slotted spoon or basket spoon frying basket type thing...preheat oven to convection bake or roast (or no convection) on 375. put the onions in the boiling water for a minute... take out with spoon & put on the ice bath..a little blanching to remove the fist layer of skin...and remove that skin....then put on baking sheet with roma's and olive oil...pinch of salt and put in the oven. stir around every 15 minutes...for 45 minutes... yes - 3 times.. when you take it out... let cool a bit.. put in a bowl with all of that amazing oily juice... and you can put on some slices of ciabatta with white beans....or just eat it the way it is... YUM. see you in the kitchenxxx

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


food can be the most magical thing...especially when you let your 3 year old peel carrots...and then he peels the ENTIRE thing! here is a typical renaissance mama moment: babysitter is out sick & i have to work. it's torential rain pour & ocean is tired of playing with his fire truck by himself... he asks me if he can help me in the kitchen. i take a huge leap & give him a task that involves something i really do need: some prep work...sometimes i have him clean rocks outside & then he lays them one by one on a paint tray to dry but this time i set up his art table in the kitchen with a bowl for the peels and showed him how to hold the stem of the carrot and peel away from his sweet little hands... after about one second...i looked over and saw he was peeling every single inch of the carrot...not just the first layer.. but the 2nd, 3rd, 4th... i think i started with 'oh no, ocean...' and ended with 'these are so beautiful... let's see what they will do in the pan with some olive oil'.... they really are so pretty and SO incredibly good... something happens with the peel when the oil and heat hit it... it turns into candy.... i was thrilled that i could keep him busy peeling the layers away as i peeled a few of mine too... i opened up to the possibility of something magical happening....who would have thought magic in mid-winter, in the kitchen, with ocean creating a new dish....still figuring out what to pare it with... possibly citrus...let me know if you have any suggestions....see you in the kitchenxxx

Friday, January 8, 2010

hazing & basics.

out of it
brain dead
khaki pants neutral
almost numb
same ol' same ol'
more resistance
is that anxiety?
lost again
really sick
heating pad
dark bedroom
devastation in haiti

this has been my new year so far.... i have been burning my brain to figure out what i need, what will make it better, how can i return to me? and i think i figured it out today. i need the renaissance mama!!! to come over and reinspire me in all ways food, kitchen, family, life, heart beat, creative connection etc...this is probably a very normal look into the day to day of most mamas when it comes to cooking or their kitchens....for me it took a car crash. all is well and i am taking a very warm bath in some deep gratitude for the miracle that all involved walked away to share the tale. i wrote this last week and then i found myself in bed all week with a terrible flu.. so i am searching for my own number to extract me out of this sort of hazing of 2010.

it's been such an interesting ride in the kitchen for me. going back to my basics that i teach and share with everyone. making sure i have food all the time... just something on the counter or in the fridge so there is food, that vital feeling of being fed & the knowing of nourishing. big bowls of food, vessels all around, creating a fancy feeling inside the's been challenging which is so beautiful for me to experience as i am getting the opportunity to see what it's like for everyone else... this is also mid winter and the same things are out.. squahes, apples, pears, yams, potatoes, all root veggies, greens... so the landscape can also seem very boring... and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel... (this has been a long tunnel ;)

i am thinking citrus to wake it up... so much beautiful citrus is in season and it's really good! so...i am getting back on the saddle. i miss the word & i have missed you! sharing the happenings in the kitchen and in life which are one in the same for the renaissance might still find me wandering the markets as though it's my first time there & you might read a bit more about it here.....see you in the kitchenxxx