California Beer Festival

This weekend was the California Beer Festival.. in Ventura!! Tim, Kathy, Susan and I had such a fun time tasting all the local brews.. and some "secret" brews of some of the larger breweries. In all there were over 60 brews to try!. I got inspired again, to get Tim set up to brew for the annual Amgen Brew-B-Q where Amgen holds its own beer tasting festival for its employee's home brews! Just need a secret ingredient, winning composition... and this brew kit.

first rock band I have seen with a harp!

passed out at noon

brew brain

how did all our festival mugs end up at my house this morning?

30 hand wrapped Thai Spring Rolls, no problem

Sometimes I get this crazy idea to cook (usually when Tim is "unavailable" and what I like to call "unwilling"), so when I do, why am I never inspired for a simple pasta dish or a creative salad.. why do I choose complicated recipes and complex foreign cuisine... for example my latest attempt to, oh you know, make 30 fresh Thai spring rolls for a cocktail party later that night. Of course, not realizing that half the battle would be to find rice paper.. I was pretty confident that other crazies as myself (and/or local Thailander's) demand for rice paper would be enough to at least supply one pack in normal big box grocery stores. Nope and unfortunately I wasted quite a bit of time walking around the grocery store(s) isles with unhelpful sales people trying to locate (non existent) rice paper. After hitting up TWO Asian market stores, that were sold out of rice paper (???), my iphone gave me the bad news that there was one more local Asian specialty shop in the heart of the Oxnard ghetto. Was it worth my life and my new passenger side window to venture to this random hole in the wall market for rice paper? It's hard to know if you are just being dramatic (usually the case with me) or if really, it is unsafe.. I ended up taking the risk (and living to type about it). I got the goods and ended up buying a lifetime supply of rice paper (preventative measures). In the end the rolls didn't take to long to make, tasted so good (!!!), and got snatched up quick at the party ... now I just need a good peanut sauce recipe to accompany.

Emily's first day of kindergarten

Last weekend in Seattle, Tim and I got to watch the behind the scenes action of getting Emily ready for her first day of kindergarten.. and more importantly, #1 mom in full force. As if dealing with house guests from California for a week isn't stressful enough, #1 mom (aka Kirsten Malone) made my jaw drop, in her amazing efforts to get her little Emily ready for her first day of kindergarten! The night before consisted of mix and matching colors of melon and cream, to match with new hip corduroy pants, and of course pulling out the new uber cool slip on converse shoes, for the perfect back to school look (at the same time trying to talk Emily OUT of wearing a dress from last year.. can you EVEN fathom wearing a last year-style dress...honestly, the nerve).

While I gave Emily a manicure with her new green nail polish, Kirsten was a busy bee of activity, preparing a lunch box, checking off the last of the needed school supplies, sending Dan to Walgreens to pick up hand sanitizer, gathering milk money, getting out her new heart shaped sandwich press, writing E.Malone on everything in sight, hand stitching Emily's initials on her new back back (glass of wine in hand at this point), blow drying and styling Emily's hair, all while making homemade pesto with fresh basil from their garden.

My favorite part of the night was when #1 mom mysteriously snuck out of Club Lovelace (the nightly crew was in the club up to usual shenanigans) to make a batch of homemade cookies at MIDNIGHT, she had evidently promised Emily she could have a cookie in her lunch box for school (and of course, #1 mom knows that homemade would be the only option for a first day of kindergarten). #1 mom luckily brought down freshly baked cookies for the Club Lovelace crew when the cookies were done, then proceeded to take a shot of whiskey as if she had not just been the most hardworking, sweet, tired mom of a little 5 year old preparing for her first day of school!