Posts from the ‘family and friends’ Category

Just another dinner on the dreamboat

Why not start with a cold carrot soup from Thomas Keller pooled around a garlic panna cotta? Of guests on the dreamboat my sole demand is that they imbibe with great voraciousness whatever is placed before them. The following is from a dinner made for my dear carpoolers who pick me up and drop me off five days a week, all the while entertaining my ridiculous stories. It was an unparalleled evening with such intense laughter that my poor little stomach muscles were aching the next day.

“In Another Time” from the guys at Embury Cocktails. Made with the ever smooth Basil Hayden’s bourbon, turbinado ginger syrup and fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. We enjoyed this with a spread from Fatted Calf: pork rillette, petit sec and prosciutto along with bites of addictive “green eggs”. We could probably have stopped there. But why?! Following the carrot soup was duck breast with wild mushrooms and apricots paired with a crisp white salad. But wait, there’s more!

Triple Coconut Cream Pie!! From the illustrious Tom Douglas of Seattle.

To all guests of the dreamboat, thank you and please come again! (View of the boat across from ours: “The Lighthouse”)

on how to throw a proper 1930s party

Lovely Rosemary had her 30th birthday on January 1st, and we threw her a surprise 1930s themed party at the Pardi’s house. It was hands down the best NYE party I have ever been to. Three levels of action including a Speakeasy down in the wine cellar and everyone looking their finest in period appropriate attire. I took care of the food which included the above deviled eggs. The secret? Butter in the yolk mixture. Yes, more fat! Also, the butter browned shallots sprinkled on top that everyone mistook for bacon. Damn girl.

Ladies looking on while the birthday girl enters (sort of surprised)…yes, that is Frida Kahlo in the corner. Stellar costume idea. Her husband came as  (a rather thin) Diego Rivera.

Rosemary was resplendent with her baby filled belly, and fun was had by all. Until next year ya’ll!

Gathering Mustard Flowers while walking the dog

Hodge and I had a spectacular meal cooked by Ed Vigil at Vin Antico the other night. Of course I have a soft spot for his cooking, since he’s the one who trusted me with knife and flame 6 years ago by giving me my first kitchen job. But we did not make dishes like the above at The Olema Inn. Amazing as that food was, it’s been fascinating to watch the evolution of a chef, and Ed has changed a lot in the past year. The photo shows Agnolotti filled with ground pork belly, chicken, morel mushrooms and ricotta, surrounded by an uni broth and topped with wild mustard flowers gathered by Ed on his morning walk with the dogs. It pretty much far and away knocked my socks off.

whispers from the past.

my mom is the one with the big hair sitting down

Old photos recently started trickling into my inbox, courtesy of my wonderful Uncle Bob, flashes of images from the past that don’t exist in my photo albums, pictures that I had never seen before.  It’s strange to reconstruct a life from bits of paper and fuzzy words. Even after 12 years, I go through waves of mourning my mother. It can come on like the welling up of a pool of water in the sand or the smack of a slap across the cheek. I don’t believe that certain wounds can ever fully heal, especially the deep gash of losing a parent at a young age. Songs, smells, places, the sweetness of a green field and the red earth of the high desert bring along joy and sadness with every whiff. I wrote a few (formatically bastardized) haikus the other day, which help to put words to the emptiness:

before I was born, grandma visiting mom and pops in Paris

I. Who would she be  — your daughter —- if you were still here?

II. A lifetime spent —

chasing —-

the scent of our childhood

III. Strains of music — Graceland in san francisco —- driving uphill

Thank you for listening, writing and talking about this from time to time is important for me. I used to do it a lot and feel the need to explore those feelings again…if only she could have seen me all grown up!

Much love to you mama, xo Arielle

Welcome to Nashville



Wednesday I met Kyle at the Marin Humane Society after work, and we left with a puppy! We named this little boy Nash, he’s a mix of German Shepherd and Australian Shepherd, which means he’s a smart little devil and cuter than a button. Nash is such an easy going guy, long naps interspersed with exploring the outdoors and following us around nipping at our heels. He’s only eight weeks, just a baby, wolfing down his food, running around and konking out on the floor or in our laps. And he is SO MUCH FUN!!


Eat your veggies boy!


Great spot for a nap Nash...

Disciplining this guy is going to be real easy

Disciplining this guy is going to be real easy

Sonoma Landing is the new Kiwi Landing

Well folks, as you all know we are back in the US of A and loving it. Unexpectedly since our return I have found myself to be experiencing severe blogging withdrawls and have thus decided to start up a new one. Kiwi Landing will now be preserved ad infinum as a chronicle of our life abroad, always open to the public in case you would like to relive our harrowing car buying exploits in New Zealand or remember the time Kyle threw up on a train in Thailand. I will try to add as much spice to this one as I did to the last, and not bore you with the mundane details of what I ate for breakfast. Unless it’s a freshly plucked egg from our future resident chickens. Until next time…

Little frog

The friendly neighborhood frogs at the Murray estate in Sonoma