Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles

Saturday night was an interesting night. A bunch of my co workers and I had the opportunity to attend the Justice Ball, hosted by Bet Tzedek. The event was held at the Palladium in Hollywood and Nelly (yes, the rapper) headlined. Oh yes. Nelly as in the rapper known for “Hot in Heree” and “Country Grammar” (I love the classics, duh).

Before the Ball we headed to a bar called The Well. The Well has happy hour (!) on Saturday (!!) until 9 pm (!!!). Obviously, we had no problems hanging out there! I also got a lovely reminder that running 8 miles means you need to eat something more substantial than quinoa with beets for dinner. Around 10 we made our way over to the ball.

Get it? Like “Nellyville” the album but Justiceville?

The Justice Ball is a fundraiser hosted by Bet Tzedek, a legal non-profit in LA. The interns at my office scored free tickets for being free labor awesome. The event was a typical fundraiser: drinks, a DJ, dancing, silent auction, and various booths. Once of them was producing flip books. I ran into a couple friends from law school and my co workers and I looked at the prom decorations.

Like this light up gazebo:

Oh yes. It was just like prom! Around 11 we realized that there was still an hour before Nelly and the St. Lunitics would grace us with their presence. The group felt like we were kind of done with the ball and then my co worker Jennifer made a magical suggestion: Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. Game. On.

Roscoe’s is an LA institution. They serve many things but are world famous for their Chicken and Waffles. Going to Roscoe’s has been on my LA to do list for a while and I was so excited that the Ball was a block away from the Hollywood location. We didn’t have to wait that long before we got a table.

Roscoe’s menu features many Southern and breakfast items. Obviously what I wanted to eat was a no brainer. I was also STARVING due to eating quinoa post 8 mile run. Really wasn’t using my brain when I made that decision. Roscoe’s isn’t fancy and doesn’t have much of an ambiance which really is what makes the ambiance special. There were plenty of groups of people just hanging out, having a good time and joking around. The vibe was comfortable and down home. Seriously. Love.

Clearly I ordered fried chicken and waffles. I’m not one to mess with perfection.

OK, so this meal isn’t really anything special to look at but let me break this thing down for you: crispy skin on the fried chicken with the moist meat and a waffle with a gob of butter on top. You know how some waffles get that icky waffle mix taste? You know what I’m talking about. Let me tell you, this waffle tasted like pure moist butter. It was amazing.

You know what makes amazing even more amazing? Wrapping fried chicken in a butter drenched waffle.

That, my friends, is some serious food porn.

Oh, and I got a side of mac and cheese because I just kinda felt like it.

More food porn. This mac and cheese wasn’t too rich or creamy making it the perfect Roscoe’s side dish.

Overall, I very much enjoyed my time at Roscoe’s. I don’t think I’ve really blogged about it but my love for soul food knows no bounds so I was more than happy with Roscoe’s! Definitely a LA landmark everyone should visit at some point. I think I need to take my Bro when he visits!

Do you love soul food? I could eat fried chicken, mac and cheese, collard greens, okra, and sweet potato pie every day for the rest of my life.

Chicago Marathon Training: Week 1

The first week of marathon training is in the books! How did it go?

Monday: 4 miles

Tuesday: 3 miles

Wednesday: happy hour

Thursday: happy hour

Friday: Hollywood Bowl

Saturday: 7.5 mile run in 1:10 (I ran with my watch for the first time!)

Sunday: Yoga

Total: 15 miles, 1 yoga session

Well, my aggressive happy hour schedule got in the way of one two mile run so I am two miles short of the goal mileage. Overall I felt good about this week. I ripped through my runs on Monday and Tuesday. I only ran three days this week so to be honest; this didn’t feel like a training week. With three rest days this felt more like a vacation week. In the future, if I’m going to have so much play time I’m going to have to fit in some morning runs. It pains me because I hate running in the morning. I also loved running with my watch!

It is so cool to have an idea of how fast I can run! I’m still getting the hang of it, and I am not going to time every run but so far I really like it. This is definitely going to help me run a sub 2 hour half!

Goals for next week:

Focus on fueling: I forgot to buy Gu before my 8 mile run (whoops) and didn’t really plan ahead to fuel properly. I ate at odd hours and as a result felt light headed around mile 3. I also didn’t properly fuel afterwards. More on that coming up later this week.

Clean up my diet: I AM NOT GOING ON A DIET. However, eating sodium laced noodles for lunch and 1.5 doughnuts at work is not a good strategy. I usually track my calories in an average range per meal and snack so while I am typically eating within range, I need to make smarter choices about the food. 500 calories of sodium noodles is not as beneficial to me as salmon, couscous, veggies and a small dessert. I did about 50/50 at eating clean this week. I don’t expect it will ever be 100% but I could stand to clean it up a bit.

Planter’s prevention: My planter’s on my left foot is at about 85%. I need to actively roll my foot on the ball and ice it regularly. I don’t want my foot to get worse.

15 weeks to go!

Summer Nights

I already have gushed plenty about how much I love summer. This Friday was particularly awesome because I got to hang out with Bloggers and sing songs at the top of my lungs here…

Who doesn’t love that? Friday there was a Grease Sing a Long at the Hollywood Bowl.

Basically you get to watch the movie outside, on a big screen and singing is highly encouraged. I love musicals so I fully participated in the loud singing.

But first, I high tailed it over to The Alcove to pick up my dinner.

I’ve been to The Alcove several times but I’ve never blogged about it before.

After looking over the menu I knew exactly what I wanted! I also grabbed an iced tea.

And this cookie. Isn’t it beautiful?

Then I made my way over to the Bowl to meet up with Kaitlin, some of her friends and Kelley and her husband Irving. I always have a fantastic time with these ladies!

Thanks, Kelley!

For my dinner I had the blackened salmon sandwich. This sandwich, like all sandwiches at the Alcove was pretty much amazing. Look at the HUGE portion of avocado. I have been eating a ton of salmon as of late and this sandwich continued to feed the obsession.

There was also spinach and a lovely spread on the sandwich. On the side there was an apple and pear slaw. It was unconventional and crisp. Perfect health conscious side dish!

I brought one of my favorite summer adult beverages: Sam Adams Summer. This reminds me of summers in Boston and it was the perfect pairing for a night at the Bowl.

Then we settled into our seats. One of the best parts of the event was the people watching. There was a costume contest and there were tons of people who got really into it. The actress that played Frenchie was the MC for the contest and they did a little tribute to Jeff Conway who died recently.

As usual, Grease was fantastic. It really holds up on a 5th or 10th viewing. It was fun watching the movie with the peanut gallery all around. Anyone who has seen Grease as an adult and as a child knows that the movie is actually really dirty. It was fun seeing all the adults laughing and all the little kids being confused by the adult themes.

Going to the Bowl was a great way to kick off summer. I can’t wait to make it back!

One dish dinner & an apartment update

What with marathon training and enjoying my summer I am all over simple dinners that I can bring to work for lunch. I found this gem when going through back issues of Real Simple.

One Dish Bulger, Asparagus and Lemony Salmon

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup bulger
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Olive oil, salt, pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375. In a baking dish combine water, bulger, salt and pepper in the bottom of the pan. On top, layer the asparagus in a thin layer. Salt and pepper the salmon and place them on top of the asparagus. Squeeze lemon on top and place the lemon, just like so…

Cover the pan with foil.

Place in the oven and back for 30 mins. When you take it out you will have two perfectly cooked meals!

In the words of Ina, “how easy is that?!”
So easy. You have no excuse not to make a fantastic dinner tonight. I don’t cook a ton of meat but salmon is my protein go-to. And the reheated lunch was delicious and didn’t have that fish-ey thing that you get with shrimp.

Apartment Update!

If you follow me on Twitter you already know that my application was accepted for apartment #2! I sign my lease on Saturday and my lease starts on July 2. I am totally getting a celebratory treat on Saturday from Tavern, since I can WALK there from my new apartment! Oh yes. You thought there were a lot of Tavern and Susie Cakes and NY Bagel on the blog last year. Just you wait.

In the meantime, here are some other pictures from the apartment for interested parties…

Living Room

The other side of the kitchen. Words cannot adequately express how excited I am to cook in this kitchen. Seriously people. See the counter space near the oven? That’s what I’m working with NOW and I don’t have a full size oven either. And there is a window. It’s love.

Love the funky knobs in the bathroom.

More than a little excited about a yellow tub. So funky. There is a matching yellow shower.

A bedroom with its own door that closes and is TOTALLY separate from the living area. I’ve been dreaming of this for years.

I cannot wait to get into my new apartment and work on decorating!

What is your décor style? I had a decorator but my style is definitely eclectic.

The Great Apartment Hunt Begins (and I self medicate with Susie Cakes)

Its official: I can no longer live life on the opposite side of the 405 from Susie Cakes.

While there are parts of my current apartment I love (huge studio loft with tons of light) there are aspects of it that I just can’t deal with anymore (excess of undergrads in my building, small kitchen, proximity to school). Thus I made the decision to move. My lease isn’t up until August 1st but I would love to move before then. I also want to move now because, this time next year I will be buried in bar studying and definitely won’t have time to move.

Saturday kicked off the grand hunt. Truth? Apartment hunting totally stresses me out! Its fun in theory but waiting for applications to be accepted, looking at place after place and trying to find an apartment that will accommodate this critter…

just stresses me out.

So in an effort to make this more bearable, let’s play a little game called Apartment Hunter! Yes, I love House Hunters. I watched a TON of House Hunters with my Mom whenever I’m home and I not so secretly would love to be on the show. With no further adieu…

Here is my Must List:

  • 1 bedroom
  • Allows my cat
  • Bigger kitchen than I have now (a full size oven would be nice)
  • Quiet neighborhood, quiet apartment
  • Decent light
  • Parking
  • Refrigerator (not always included in apartments in LA)
  • Walking distance to Tavern (I’m totally not kidding. How else would I pick a neighborhood?)

And my Want List:

  • Hardwood floors
  • Dishwasher
  • Air conditioning
  • Bath tub
  • Outdoor space
  • Community space
  • Laundry onsite

Truthfully, I totally don’t expect to get everything on my want list. If I were able to get two of them or even none of them, that would be fine with me if it’s the right place.

Last Saturday I looked at three apartments.

Apartment 1 – Above my budget, no fridge.


Pros: good size, hardwood floors, quiet building with lots of community space, parking and allows cats

Cons: above my budget, no fridge

Apartment 2 – Quiet location, great kitchen



Pros: quiet, secure building with parking, a nice kitchen, plenty of space and some community space. Dishwasher (!)

Cons: No a/c

Apartment 3 – Lots of light but on a busy street


Pros: allows pets, lots of light, friendly manager, parking, beautiful pool, nice size in the apartment

Cons: small kitchen, bedroom window looks out on loud and busy street

In the end I put an application in for Apartment 2 and am just waiting to hear back so cross yo fingers! If it’s not accepted this week get ready for Apartment Hunters Round 2 starting this weekend.

All of this back and forth is crazy stressful for me so I walked to Susie Cakes after looking for apartment and bought myself a little reward. June is strawberry month at Susie Cakes so I got the seasonal cupcake: Strawberry with White Chocolate!

Oh yes, apartment hunting was worth it to enjoy this cupcake. This was slightly different than other Susie Cakes cup cakes. The cake was white and the center was strawberry and crème! The frosting was white chocolate. It was soggy, in a good way, and completely melted in my mouth. Definitely worth trying if you like cup cakes, Susie Cakes, or strawberries. Cup cakes like this should be mandatory for apartment hunters!

What are your apartment must haves?

Chicago Marathon Training Plan

Today, Monday June 20th kicks off the first official day of my Chicago Marathon Training Plan! I went on a 4 miler after work and it felt amazing. It was a great way to kick off marathon training. 

Source

I am so excited to embark on this adventure with you guys. I’ve wanted to run a marathon for a while and my enthusiasm has only grown in the past few weeks following my PR in San Diego. I am back in love with running and excited to take on this challenge.

I signed up for the Chicago Marathon back in February for several reasons. The race takes place in my hometown on a long weekend so I probably won’t miss any school. I really want to run my first marathon before law school ends. Running empowers me and next summer (while I’m studying for the bar) is not going to be an ideal time to devote to training. Chicago is supposed to be a fantastic marathon. It is mostly flat and has great crowd support. I am very excited to get cracking on training.

I have put together a training plan based on several I have looked over, including ones from Kelley and Runner’s World. I know Kelley and I trust that she meticulously planned for her marathon. It’s important to me not to be over trained or undertrained. The first few weeks are definitely going to feel “easy” with the base that I have built up but I don’t want to push too much mileage too soon. It is a google calendar so you can follow along at home! CLICK HERE.

As you might notice, not all of the runs are written in. This is because I have not registered for my fall semester classes. I learned my lesson with my last race training plan… if I make a plan before I know what my day to day is going to be like I will not follow it. I have planned all my long runs and I will still be going to my favorite Sunday yoga class but I haven’t penned in Monday thru Friday yet. Don’t worry. Once I know what my classes are I will input it in and update you all!

For the summer I imagine I will run 4 times a week, do yoga once and take two rest days (or one rest day and one happy hour [yes, happy hour is cardio!] or one rest day and one strength day). Once school starts I imagine I will go back to twice a week yoga, since it will be easier to get to.

There are a few other places on the calendar where I plan to just “see how it goes”. For example, I’ll be in Boston for a long weekend in July. I plan to run but since I’m there for a friend’s wedding I’m not sure how much time I will have and that is totally OK. My brother is also visiting in August. I know I will run and do yoga while he is here but I am not 100% sure what my mileage will be like and, again, it’s OK.

So what does this mean for Left Coast Contessa? Obviously, I am not turning into a running blog. I do, however, plan to post weekly recaps of my training. I did this last fall and it helped me remain accountable. In addition there will likely be some other running related posts but I am still a food blogger and I am not going to put down the butter. Don’t you worry!

So marathoners, any words of wisdom?

This Sunday…

Today is Father’s day. I want to send special wishes today to all the fathers, grandfathers, and father figures but extra special wishes have to go out to LCCDad.

I can credit LCCDad with many things and he is an awesome Dad for many reasons. Here is a selected list of them.

  • Everything I know about sports I learned from LCCDad. He can also be credited with everything I know about the Big 10.
  • He introduced me to the finer things in life like a nice filet minion, the Beverly Hills Hotel, business class for international travel, Istanbul, and Paris.
  • LCCDad can be credited with my logic skills and any kind of business savvy I have. As he likes to say, “you’re more like me than you would like to admit”. It’s ok. I will admit it and I will own it.
  • LCCDad is cool under pressure. I’ve called him in crisis before and he never yells, never lectures, but helps guide me to the right way out of the situation I’m facing no matter how icky and upsetting it is.
  • Getting LCCDad’s daily encouraging and supportive emails is the highlight of my day.
  • LCCDad is a math genius. When we were kids David and I would always ask how many seconds there were until X activity started (movie, football game etc) and he always calculated the answer in his head quickly.
  • We share a nerdy love of things like local politics. I’m probably the only person in my family who gets as excited about subcommittee meetings as LCCDad.
  • LCCDad (and LCCMom too) taught me that it’s important to be engaged in your community. LCCDad didn’t just tell me to be involved in my community; he leads by example by being involved with Village Board, Boy Scouts, and our church.
  • LCCDad often provides insight that I am not always able to see when I consult him about my life and that, my friends, is priceless.

Happy Father’s Day Dad! I love you!

Citrus Glazed Pound Cake

Last Friday was awesome for many reasons. Right now I am loving my weekends. Leaving work at 5:30 on Friday and literally having nothing to do is an amazing feeling. This Friday was even better because I immediately drove from work on my friend Molly’s house for an after work happy hour party.

Here is the thing about Molly’s parties: there is always a ton of delicious food (blackberry baked brie OMG) and delicious drinks and a fun mixture of people. I’m always looking for an excuse to combine butter and sugar so I gladly planned to bring a dessert. Molly didn’t ask me till Monday to bring dessert but obviously, I had it planned days in advance what I wanted to bring. For the occasion I decided to try a new recipe Citrus Glazed Pound Cake from Everyday Foods. I had never tried this recipe before but I knew it would be delicious because it called for the butter and sugar to be beaten together for 10 mins.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter warmed to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon of course salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of orange zest
  • Juice from 1/2 an orange (I used a Cara Cara orange from the FM because they are my fave)

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice

Preheat you oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a loaf pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar for 10 mins until it is light and fluffy. Scrape down the edges of the bowl to make sure the butter and sugar are thoroughly combined.

Add the vanilla and then gradually add the eggs. Beat well and continue to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure that they are thoroughly combined.

Add lemon zest, orange zest, orange juice and lemon juice. Combine with a spatula.

With the mixer on low add the salt and then gradually add the flour beating until combined.

Pour the cake into the loaf pan and bake for 65 mins. Check that the cake is done (by inserting a toothpick into cake and seeing if any batter sticks). Let cool on wire rack for 1 hour.

Whisk together confectioner’s sugar, lemon juice and orange juice in a small bowl. Pour over the cooled cake and let set.

Clearly, I have issues with my glaze. After consulting my expert (and co-worker) I think my issue is that I add too much liquid. Either way, this cake was a big hit at the party! It was moist, citrus-ey, and I didn’t have any leftovers to take home with me. Pound cake is really easy to make. This one wasn’t too sweet and definitely had a summer twist to it. I will be making this again. This recipe is a keeper.

Oh, and it also pairs well with three blackberry mint juleps.

But, then again, what doesn’t pair well with a blackberry mint julep?

That’s what I thought.

Speaking of cocktails, check out my guest post on Two Boos Who Eat about fun summer cocktails!

Family Business

I realize this is the second “business” related post in two days. I promise that I have some deliciousness in the oven right now which will be popping up on the blog shortly.

In the meantime, check out these amazing pictures my little brother posted of the food in Cameroon! The fact that my little brother, who was notorious for ordering “turkey on white bread with nothing else on it. Just the bread and the meat” when we were kids, is eating fish and fried plantains is shocking to me.

For a more detailed update on his food click here! He is visiting me for a week in August right after he gets back from Africa which means I’m going to have the duty of reintroducing him to American food. I’m thinking Susie Cakes, Tavern and Father’s Office (because he’s finally old enough to get in)!

What other American food should I make sure he gets directly off the plane from Africa? I take my duty as older foodie sister very seriously.

Also, I edited my About page! Oh yes, blog makeover is in progress people. 

Check it out!

I have a new image in my sidebar!  It was about time. The old one was great and served me well but I had a bra strap showing and it was a year old.

It was taken last week at Art Walk before I stuffed my face with this amazing truck food. Photo credit goes to my co worker Joann. She is a fantastic photographer. I’ve seen a bunch of her pictures and they are amazing. Really artistic and beautifully composed.

I know I love this one:

Thanks Joann!