Just a taste

Of whats to come…

but for now: dinner!

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Malibu-ing

Thursday was a pretty sad day. For the past few months many of my friends have been filtering out of the city. Several of my close friends left the city right after graduation. Immediately after graduation I missed them but I was so preoccupied all summer with the bar exam that I didn’t notice their absence immediately. Now that the bar is over more people are leaving the city. One of those people is my friend Eric who has been on the blog numerous times. With his leaving, our core law school group has been smashed. He’s only going to be in Orange County but still, I cannot run, literally, to his house for whiskey or absinthe or wine or beer.

I know so sad.

Luckily we had a plan to counteract the impending sadness. Wine, food, trolling each other incessantly and frolicking.

The afternoon started with me arriving at Eric’s, us opening a bottle and toasting our friendship, the end of the bar and my upcoming birthday!

Check the wine he had:

Flip Flop: Left Coast. In honor of the blog!

Shortly thereafter Phil and Jessica arrived in Phil’s bitchin’ 80’s red BMW convertible. We hit the 10 and drove north on the 1, top down. It was a truly stunning day.

Hey dudes.

On the way north we stopped for provisions before pulling into Solstice Canyon in Malibu. Solstice Canyon is an awesome hiking trail with a water fall and a stream.

We walked down the path to a picnic area that was shaded and really mellow. It was pretty hot on Thursday but it was nice and cool in the shade.

We even inherited a table with a table cloth on it from some other people who were leaving and we set out our picnic.

Keeping it classy with twist off top wine we bought at the gas station.

Brie, flat bread, pate, and hot flaming cheetos. Some of these things are not like the others.

We mostly just hung out, reminisced about law school and just messed around. Later our friend Haylee joined us and we celebrated her recent engagement.

Picnics always ftw.

We also harassed Eric about his inability to open the bear safe trash can.

We can graduate from law school but cannot open bear safe trash cans. Can’t win them all.

Eventually we extracted ourselves from the picnic area and made a quick pit stop by the beach for some light frolicking.

I love Malibu. I love the beach. I’m never leaving LA.

Overall, it was a great day. I miss my friends who have left but I’m glad for all the good times we’ve had.

Bru Haus: So Close and Yet So Far.

Brentwood is known for many things but a happening night life scene is not one of them. Despite this there are a handful of bars along Wilshire my friends and I like to frequent occasionally. So when my friend Gwen suggested dinner at Bru Haus before going out Saturday night I was excited to check it out.

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If you follow me on twitter, or read this blog or have talked to me for more than 1 hour you know that there are two things I feel very passionate about: tater tots and sweet potatoes.

Thus, when I opened up the menu and saw sweet potato tots I nearly broke out into my Carlton Banks happy dance.

I also easily decided to order an IPA: Widmer Brothers Drifter Pale Ale.

I will give Bru Haus credit for having a killer beer list. Probably the best beer list in all of Brentwood (really, it isn’t a competition). I choose this one from the IPA section of the menu. Honestly, I mostly chose it because it was the cheapest option. It was just OK. It wasn’t that hoppy- kind of a letdown. However, it was $6 and I drank 2 so clearly it wasn’t that awful.

The major disappointment though?

When the sweet potato tots arrived I asked for ketchup. However I was told there was no ketchup. Only “Beet-chup”.

OK. Let’s break this down for a second.

I consider myself to be down with food snobbery. It’s not like I live for it or love it. I can be happy with fast food, at a greasy spoon or at Tavern. When I go to Father’s Office I do not care one lick that they don’t have ketchup because they have the most awesome aioli ever. I’m generally a roll with the punches kind of girl. I like food. I’m not too picky. I actually love beets. I have been known to roast a beet in my day.

However, this beet-ketchup is an abomination. Not to be dramatic, but it really wasn’t my favorite and I didn’t feel like any of the aiolis made up for it. It kind of ruined the sweet potato tots for me.

Overall: Great beer list (but didn’t love the Widmer Brothers), sweet potato tots (but maybe sneak in some ketchup packets from the Mc Donald’s across the street?), and great outside seating. I will probably make another appearance at Bru Haus. I mean, you can’t go to Cabo Cantina every night I suppose. But I would choose a different beer and have to figure out how to better negotiate the ketchup situation.

Ok blog readers: Beet Ketchup. What say you about beet ketchup?

Fig Lime Jam

Remember two summers ago when I first discovered figs?

It was the first summer I started going to the farmers market in LA and taking advantage of all the amazing produce that southern California has to offer. I was so swept off my feet by figs I started coming up with plays on the word like “un figgen believable” and “figgen good”. I’m a fan of figs.

Figs are not loved the world over though. I mentioned fig jam to my dad last week and I could visualize the side eye he was throwing me via email. However, I feel this jam has the power to change minds.

Studying for the bar exam threw my world a little upside down this summer. Weekly trips to the farmers market have been a ritual for me since 2010, yet this summer I just never really made it out. The week before the exam I wandered into the Wednesday Santa Monica market. I was kind of sad I hadn’t made it there sooner this summer. The tomatoes, peaches, berries, melon and figs smelled so good. Luckily when my mom was in town she invested in a massive number of figs for me. I made the easy decision to make jam with them.

Why jam? Because saying “I’m making jam” makes you sound vaguely like Martha Stewart. But really making jam is simple. There is very little effort that actually goes into it and very few ingredients. Also, I really like figs but I feel like they go bad fast. Unlike a giant bag of cherries that I can demolish in under an hour, I never really sit and eat a large number of figs. Plus I have a jam recipe from 2010 that I’ve wanted to make foreva.

Plus, once you have jam there tons of ways to use it –> stay tuned for that.

Ingredients:

2 lbs figs (I used Brown Turkey)

2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup lime juice

Instructions:

Take the figs and chop them up. I took my 2 lbs of figs and chopped them into quarters.

Juice two limes to get 1/4 cup of lime juice.

Combine the sugar, lime and figs. Mash and combine all of the ingredients. The recipe called for use of a potato masher but I don’t have a potato masher. I used the edge of a rolling pin. Mix and mash the figs, sugar and lime until they are mostly liquid. There were some chunks left from the figs. This is completely acceptable.

Cover the jam and let sit for at least 2 hours. You can let it sit over night.

After two hours heat the jam over medium heat for 30 mins, stirring occasionally. The jam will bubble and reduce down in the process of cooking.

After 30 mins remove from the heat and let it cool. Then refrigerate.

I have to say, this jam is pretty damn good. Plus, it looks pretty and isn’t that equally important?

The jam is sweet but not too sweet. I think the tartness of the lime juice cuts the sweet a bit. Also cooking this will make your apartment smell like heaven.

I have so much jam in my apartment right now (like more than I can just use on toast). Stay tuned next week for ways to use jam. One of them involves pancetta and we know pancetta is always amazing.