Friday, October 29, 2010

Osso Bucco Meets True Blood

Ryan KwantenImage by via Flickr
A few nights ago I saw Martha Stewart giving lessons to Jay Leno on The Tonight Show about how to best prepare for Halloween. Martha has been known for thinking outside the box, and her presentation of pigs' feet, chickens' feet, beef tongue and assorted skulls, rats and slime, really made an impression. So it was not surprising that she would bring Ryan Kwanten on her show to prepare the bone-piercing dish known as Osso Bucco. Following is a transcription of their encounter in the kitchen.

Photograph by: David Russell/The Martha Stewart Show

Martha: It’s obvious from what you do in your shows and in your movies that you have strong bones.
Ryan: Yes, I’ve actually broken 39 of them.
Martha: How?
Ryan: I’ve had a very adventurous life, let’s say. I was a boxer and a little bit of a rebel when I was a kid.
Martha: You didn’t break your nose? You’re nose is good.
Ryan: No, [I’ve broken my] cheek bone a couple times.
Martha: That’s pretty horrible. Do you have a high threshold for pain?
Ryan: I do. I’m pretty much a masochist at heart.
Martha: You are [giggling].


Martha: …Since this is our “Bone Show” it’s only fitting that we’re making something called Pierced Bone which is osso bucco. Have you eaten osso bucco?
Ryan: I have. I have yet to make it though. This is my first time.
Martha: This is good! But you have to take your hands out of your pockets- very important. You cannot cook with your hands in your pockets. Are your hands in your pockets for any reason or is that just how you like to stand?
Ryan: I’m very casual. I’d like to think that you invited me over for dinner.
Martha: I am going to have you do something that makes your hands messy.
Ryan: Sure! Get me dirty!
Martha: Yes!

Martha: Yeah you can turn that [the heat on the stove-top] down a little bit.
Ryan: Yeah, I’m going to turn it off cause’ it’s gonna…
Martha: You can’t stop! I didn’t say you could stop!
Ryan: Can’t stop. Won’t stop!
Martha: I did NOT say you could stop.
Ryan: I’m in Martha’s kitchen, how dare I stop?!
Martha: You can turn it off. I’m just kidding!

Ryan: I might need a nice little knife here.
Martha: Oh no, it’s so tender.
Ryan: Really?
Martha: A strong boy like you does not need to use a knife on that.
Ryan: Alright, are we ready for this, people? [Martha and audience laughing] In 3…2…1 [bites a forkful of the osso bucco].
Martha: Does it taste good?
Ryan: I feel like I’m doing a commercial. That’s fabulous!
Martha: Ok, good.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Viva La Revolucion - An Art Exhibit Review by Patty Kay Mooney

barry mcgeeImage by bookish in north park via Flickr Where does graffiti end and urban art begin? Sometimes there is no clearcut line of separation. The San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown San Diego is hosting an interesting exhibit right now, with the work of various street artists from around the world. Some of this art has spilled out onto various walls and surfaces in the neighborhoods that adjoin the museum. Horton Plaza has a mural by Os Gemeos, (Brazilian twins,Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo); Shepard Fairey who is known for the iconic Obama poster, has several pieces around town; and historic preservationists are up in arms over a blobby yellow "tagging" by Barry McGee on the sagging California Theatre, which has harbored homeless beneath its shadows over the last several years.

That yellow taggery isn't the most attractive mural in the world, and would never be in the running against a Michelangelo or a Mario Torero, but it has indeed brought some much-needed attention to the once-glorious California Theater, which, to be fair, has been a complete eyesore in the center of town for many years. Maybe due to all the brouhaha, the city will now move a little faster to refurbish the old dame.

The installations at the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art (housed in two buildings on Kettner) are worth a look. I enjoyed them and took copious amounts of photos (no flash, of course). I love the splashy statements of colorful art. I enjoy most graffiti but am appalled by wanna-be-artists who tag over existing murals or pristine boulders in natural settings. That's a real display of ignorance and rudeness; sort of like the three-year-old who recently took an orange sharpie to a white Berber carpet when her mom wasn't watching.

So with no further ado, click HERE to see a slide show of this fascinating exhibit.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Lobsters - A Poem by Patty Kay Mooney

The Big Lobster, AustraliaImage by cleopatra69 via Flickr As Dave’s boss sets them on the scale
they seem to be hugging like lovers,
one with its leg over the other.
We have them for dinner
with pilaf, broccoli and wine.
Later, the thought of the perfect meal
makes me hunger for you.
Succulent. Delicious.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chuao Chocolate - Hot Cha Cha! - by Patty Kay Mooney

Michael Antonorsi gives a riveting talk about Venezuelan chocolate, and shares a video about how chocolate is made the traditional way (to a packed house)

Collective salivation began when this graphic appeared on the big screen

Those partaking of chocolate were primarily female, but there was also a good gathering of the males

Just a slight frenzy to be served chocolate

Michael Antonorsi and Patty Kay Mooney

Last week, UCSD's Faculty Club hosted a chocolate-and-wine-paring soiree that featured Chuao Chocolates. The two brothers who formed the company, Michael and Richard Antonorsi, were there to present the history of Venezuelan chocolate production, and to provide the awesome flavors of their chocolates paired with special wines, a port and a champagne.

What makes Chuao chocolates so special? According to the Chuao brochure, "Cacao de Chuao has been carefully prepared and harvested using the 16th century traditions. The farmers work in a cooperative, ensuring a limited crop of exquisite Criollo beans and hybrid varieties. The high quality of this rare, sustainably grown cacao is praised by chocolate makers across the globe."

Just so that you can whet your imagination, here's what was on the menu:

Chocolate and Wine Pairings

'08 Laurent Kraft "Chenin Blanc" - Vouvray - France
"Parchita" Milk chocolate filled with passion fruit caramel "Miel" Honey, Almond and Hazelnut Praline in milk chocolate

Kir Royale (5oz sparkling wine & 1 oz Creme de Cassis
"Modena" Dark chocolate with a soft strawberry caramel with balsamic vinegar

'07 Tobin James "Chateau Le Cacheflo" - Paso Robles - Rhone Style Red
"Framboise" One layer of raspberry jelly and one layer of almond hazelnut praline covered in dark chocolate

Montevina Terra d'Oro Zinfandel Port, Amador County
"Firecracker" Chipotle Chile fudge with popping candy and sea salt.


My personal favorite was the "Firecracker" - it really brought some childhood memories back; (Remember Fizzies?) That chocolatey mouth-popping explosion of heat was wonderful, particularly when paired with port.

In the photographs you can see how much fun everybody had pairing wine with chocolate.

Still photographs by Patty Mooney and Mark Schulze

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Minesweeping the Park - A "Found Poem" by Patty Kay Mooney

A rock, the ocean and the boys, who never stoo...Image via Wikipedia The Clam Castle dead-ends
into the sea.
for one special low price.
Stepping into the center
of the room and
holding aloft his arms,
Jerry crunched and swallowed
several cases of hideous
punch-out dime-store valentines
and two tons of dead mackerel,
then rested like a dream
over deeply piled
shattered beer bottles,
scissors and a lot
of extremely sharp coral.
Croquet wickets positioned upside
down jutted skyward.
Groaning came in waves.
Smell the lilacs and cut grass.
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Monday, October 4, 2010

A Staycation at the Omni - by Patty Kay Mooney

Shadows at Play While on a Gig, Omni Bridge to...Image by cleopatra69 via Flickr
With all the reports of terrorism on the rise, and the hassles of travel starting to outweigh the pleasures (I now get taken in to "secondary" EVERY time I fly on a plane because the titanium bits in my Total Knee Replacement always trigger the alarms), maybe you should think about staycations.

Because we live in a city that is chockful of comforts, venues and fun, we have been checking out the various hotels here in San Diego, learning of their amenities, and experiencing our own little staycations.

Last week we spent a night at the Omni which features a bridge from its fourth floor leading directly onto Petco Park. Unfortunately, the game we attended was "dominated" by the Chicago Cubs who won 1-0, but it was still fun, and it wasn't an egregious loss for us, because Mark and I were both born in Illinois.

We really enjoyed our stay at the Omni, because the staff were very kind, and made us feel right at home. We had a cocktail and some hors doevres at McCormick & Schmicks, the Omni's restaurant, just before the ballgame, and were treated like royalty by Fernando, the manager, and his staff.

Because it turned into a long night, the Omni granted us a late checkout and even brought up some orange juice and hot chocolate in the morning, as part of their "Select Guest" program, which is free to join.

After enjoying a few staycations in other San Diego hotels, the Omni really stands out for me, as a stellar experience. The property is clean and beautiful, the furnishings refined and not garish. But it's the people who really made our stay a joyful one.

I would also like to add that if you are planning on heading to the Comic Con next July, book a room at the Omni; it's right across the street from the San Diego Convention Center.

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