For my first official Saturday back in California, it was a jam-packed day.
After waking up (naturally!) around 9 a.m., I summoned my best modified barista skillzzzz and attempted to recreate a few true coffeehouse beverages.
A “Schlomo”—warm, spiced chai coffee—for mum and a cinnamon spiced chai latte for Dad. Both turned out OK but weren’t quite the same as when made with commercial-grade steamers. I guess I’m just spoiled by work
Dad agreed to try out a new recipe for Cinnamon Yogurt Waffles for breakfast. The recipe was relatively simple, so breakfast was ready in no time flat.
I devoured mine with blackberries, and Mum had hers with a side of the morning paper as well. They were good, but there’s probably a tad bit of room for improvement. I definitely plan to keep tweaking, as the texture was quite good
Following breakfast, I headed out for grocery shopping with my dad. We picked up a whole slew of good items before meeting Mom at the new Whole Foods for a 1 p.m. Italian food cooking demo.
Cathy Pavlos, head chef of Lucca Cafe—a well-known Italian restaurant nearby in Irvine—lead the demonstration. She made three signature dishes: Shrimp Scampi and Spicy Red Sauce, Roasted Vegetable Farfalle with Tequila Lime Cream Sauce, and Traditional Basil Pesto with Grilled Chicken.
Pavlos was great during the demonstration, both personable and knowledgeable, not to mention entertaining. The food being demo’d smelled heavenly and tasted even better. The latter two dishes were rich because of the butter/cream but delicious in small portions. Both Mom and I agreed that the scampi was our favorite dish. It was slightly spicy from the tomatoe-y sauce, while the pasta and shrimp were cooked to perfection. The garlicky notes were a-m-a-z-i-n-g.
After the demonstration, Dad set out to finish grocery shopping, and I went home with mother dearest.
We chatted for awhile about Georgetown and a few other random things and then got ready for a hot yoga class. On the agenda for today: Hot Power Vinyasa Flow 1-2 with Sesa. This was a great class! I loved the meditative aspects at the end and really needed that physical and mental “reset.”
So good. Later that night, we went out for a family dinner at an old fave—Daphne’s California Greek. I ordered my usual—a vegetarian platter with hummus, falafel, spanokopita, and dolmas, with greek salad and fire-roasted veggies on the side.
With plenty of lemon water on the side to hydrate!
Dad immensely enjoyed his chicken-apple salad with pomegranate dressing and even allowed me to try a bite. I approved
Mainly though, I was busy having a love affair with my falafel + tzatziki sauce. The best falafel I’ve ever had? I think so! These are consistently good—not greasy but still crispy and flavorful. I made homemade falafel burgers the other night that rivaled in flavor, but they weren’t quite as good texture-wise. Further experimentation, perhaps?
Once back home, I plowed through a bowl of fresh strawberries + blueberries before plopping on the couch, and watching Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Perfect for a low-key night.
I’m off to eat the world’s best bagels and send some e-mails! Full recap of Whole Foods cooking demo to come