My confidence role model…

Gabourey Sidibe! Best line of the night: “If dresses were porn this would be the money shot!” Proving that nothing looks better than confidence. Totally my self love confidence role model right now!

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Dad in LA

My dad was here this weekend, which means there are many restaurant reviews to come on Left Coast Contessa. It also means tourist shots of LA.

Hiking in Griffith Park:

The Canals in Venice:

And of course, the beach!

anddddd sSan Vicente for almost no reason…

Posted in LA

Oscar Picks!

Here is what my Oscar Ballot looks like this year (my picks in red):

Nominees for the 82nd Academy Awards

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart” But I really want Colin Firth to win!
  • George Clooney in “Up in the Air”
  • Colin Firth in “A Single Man”
  • Morgan Freeman in “Invictus”
  • Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Matt Damon in “Invictus”
  • Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger”
  • Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station”
  • Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones”
  • Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”
  • Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”
  • Carey Mulligan in “An Education”
  • Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
  • Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Penélope Cruz in “Nine”
  • Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air”
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart”
  • Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air”
  • Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

Animated Feature Film

  • Coraline” Henry Selick
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox” Wes Anderson
  • The Princess and the Frog” John Musker and Ron Clements
  • The Secret of Kells” Tomm Moore
  • Up” Pete Docter

Art Direction

  • Avatar” Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith
  • Nine” Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
  • Sherlock Holmes” Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
  • The Young Victoria” Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray

Cinematography

  • Avatar” Mauro Fiore
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” Bruno Delbonnel
  • The Hurt Locker” Barry Ackroyd
  • Inglourious Basterds” Robert Richardson
  • The White Ribbon” Christian Berger

Costume Design

  • Bright Star” Janet Patterson
  • Coco before Chanel” Catherine Leterrier
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Monique Prudhomme
  • Nine” Colleen Atwood
  • The Young Victoria” Sandy Powell

Directing

  • Avatar” James Cameron
  • The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow
  • Inglourious Basterds” Quentin Tarantino
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels
  • Up in the Air” Jason Reitman

Documentary (Feature)

  • Burma VJ” Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller
  • The Cove” Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens
  • Food, Inc.” Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
  • The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
  • Which Way Home” Rebecca Cammisa

Documentary (Short Subject)

  • China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province” Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill
  • The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner” Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher
  • The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant” Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
  • Music by Prudence” Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett
  • Rabbit à la Berlin” Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra

Film Editing

  • Avatar” Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
  • District 9” Julian Clarke
  • The Hurt Locker” Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
  • Inglourious Basterds” Sally Menke
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Joe Klotz

Foreign Language Film

  • Ajami” Israel
  • The Milk of Sorrow (La Teta Asustada)” Peru
  • A Prophet (Un Prophète)” France
  • The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos)” Argentina
  • The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band)” Germany

Makeup

  • Il Divo” Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
  • Star Trek” Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
  • The Young Victoria” Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

Music (Original Score)

  • Avatar” James Horner
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox” Alexandre Desplat
  • The Hurt Locker” Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
  • Sherlock Holmes” Hans Zimmer
  • Up” Michael Giacchino

Music (Original Song)

  • Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
  • Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
  • Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36” Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas
  • Take It All” from “Nine” Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
  • The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart” Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Best Picture

  • Avatar” James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
  • The Blind Side” Gil Netter, Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson, Producers
  • District 9” Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers
  • An Education” Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
  • The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro, Producers
  • Inglourious Basterds” Lawrence Bender, Producer
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers
  • A Serious Man” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers
  • Up” Jonas Rivera, Producer
  • Up in the Air” Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers

Short Film (Animated)

  • French Roast” Fabrice O. Joubert
  • Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell
  • The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)” Javier Recio Gracia
  • Logorama” Nicolas Schmerkin
  • A Matter of Loaf and Death” Nick Park

Short Film (Live Action)

  • The Door” Juanita Wilson and James Flynn
  • Instead of Abracadabra” Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellström
  • Kavi” Gregg Helvey
  • Miracle Fish” Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey
  • The New Tenants” Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

Sound Editing

  • Avatar” Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
  • The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson
  • Inglourious Basterds” Wylie Stateman
  • Star Trek” Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
  • Up” Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

Sound Mixing

  • Avatar” Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
  • The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
  • Inglourious Basterds” Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
  • Star Trek” Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

Visual Effects

  • Avatar” Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
  • District 9” Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
  • Star Trek” Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • District 9” Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
  • An Education” Screenplay by Nick Hornby
  • In the Loop” Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
  • Up in the Air” Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner – Easily my fav film of the year

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • The Hurt Locker” Written by Mark Boal
  • Inglourious Basterds” Written by Quentin Tarantino
  • The Messenger” Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
  • A Serious Man” Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
  • Up” Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy

Victorrrrrrrryyyy!

Ok, so potato pancakes are not part of my commitment to health. However, last night I got a job offer from a well respected public interest organization in Los Angeles. I figured a celebration was in order. My friends and I went to Jerry’s Deli in Westwood Village.

I had already had pound cake with lemon curd so instead of a milk shake, I got potato pancakes. It actually worked out because I had only had a small serving of soup before my driving lesson and a small portion of soup can hardly be described as dinner. Not that fried potatoes are packed with nutrients… In any case, the potato pancakes was good (my total guilty pleasure) and I am so relieved that I have something for this summer!

Driving Lesson 2

Hello world!

So tonight is driving lesson #2. This is a good thing. However, this also means that I will lose at least 2 hours of my precious work time this evening. That fact means that my already busy day is becoming busier. I’m a big fan of taking mini breaks during my day but that was just not really happening today. I had class, worked on my forthcoming graded memo, attended a volunteer meeting for the UCLA Public Interest Auction, and sat at a table for an hour selling tickets. In typical Katherine fashion I just signed up for a tabling slot without consulting my class schedule so my hour of tabling interfered with Civil Procedure. I ended up listening to the class on tape recorder and getting notes instead of going late. Oddly it feels less stressful for me to know that I can make the class up rather than going in late, getting stared at by my classmates and seeming like I have been blowing the class off.

So in any case, I ended up with a found hour in my day. As you all know the life of a law student can be pretty stressful (the never ending wait to hear back from places I’ve interviewed with, the emails packed with innuendos that they’ll hire me, the uncertainty of it all) so I decided that I should get out of the law building and take a walk. I was also craving something sweet. My feet led me to a nice sunny area with tables and chairs… AND FOOD TRUCKS!

Our good friends at the GastroBus were there today with a perfect dessert to cure a sweet craving, pound cake with lemon curd.

It hit the spot! The cake was light, but not too light, and delicious. The lemon and raspberry curd gave a subtle sweetness to the cake without being overwhelming. I also got to sit in the sun and get some reading done while enjoying my cake. With all the craziness going on (ramping up for the end of the semester, the summer job search, and for me, the wait to hear from places I’ve interviewed with) it was nice to just sit in the sun with a little pound cake and lemon curd.

My stress subsided slightly and now I have to trot off to Lawyering Skills and then to my driving lesson. Wish me luck!

Lazy Tuesday

Tonight I went on my 2.5 mile run and made a quick low key salad dinner. I did some school work and talked to my Grandma. Then I had my favorite tea (sweet dreams tea) and curled up on my couch with “When Harry Met Sally”. That movie never gets old for me. It’s pack with so many great lines and makes me smile every time. I love when the old couples talk about how they met. It felt good to be good to myself tonight and let myself relax.

This weekend my dad is coming to LA which means that this will be a weekend of gluttony. Expect so great restaurant reviews and another Father’s Office post! That place never gets old.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

“Maybe the Legislature was concerned about the unrestricted flow of baked goods into the market?” –Quote from today’s Constitutional Law class. We were discussing Lochner v. New York.

Since the theme of today’s Con Law class was protecting bakers from having their right to contract taken away from them I will finally write this post about cookies that I have been putting off…

To be perfectly honest, I use the proportions that are available on the back of any bag of chocolate chips. I know that is probably lame sounding but I have a few upgrades that make the cookies extra special and delicious. All proportions were taken from the back of a chocolate chip bag, unless otherwise noted.

The first step is to combine the dry ingredients and set them aside. This includes flour, baking powder, and salt. Then I take the suggested measurement of butter and brown it. This gives the butter an even richer flavor when baked into the cookie.

While the butter continues to melt I combine the brown sugar and granulated sugar in a bowl which I will later add the browned butter to.

Once the butter is browned (you can tell because it will be melted, slightly brown, and it is important that it does burn) I combine and mix with the sugar.

Once the butter and sugars are incorporated evenly I add the egg and vanilla to the mix and combine well. I have but did not use electric beaters for this mix, but it is appropriate to use them at this stage. Make sure, if doing this by hand, that they are combined well.

Once the egg is mixed well, I combine the flour mix into the recipe is three parts. If mixing by hand, this is the part where you really have to make sure that you mix it well!

Then I add the second special ingredient: a teaspoon of Saigon Cinnamon from the Spice House! This gives the cookies the little something extra that makes them totally addictive (thanks Carolyn for this tip! It’s the best!)

This creates a great base cookie. I can add what ever ingredients I want to from this point. This time I decided to add oatmeal and chocolate chips.

Again… it’s important to combine well!

Normally I like to chill the dough before I bake them. Then I make as many cookies as I want and chill the rest of the dough until I want it. In order to bake them I follow the directions on the bag again! I believe its 10 mins at 400 degrees.

They came out looking so good! Yum!