Food: Fish Tacos

Making fish tacos is the closest I feel to being at the beach in Mexico. 

fishtacos1 Because some of my best food memories is eating fish tacos on the beach in Mexico.

Somebody said that it’s not the food itself but all the bonds and memories the food represents.

But I never follow a set recipe for tacos because there are so many variations.  These are closest to typical baja style with a little twist and without the sauce. Okay, maybe they’re just my own version.

Buy small street tortillas (they’re easily found in many supermarkets now – I prefer corn to flour) and make pico de gallo from scratch.

Pico de Gallofishtacos2

  • Chopped fresh red + yellow grape tomatoes, jalapeño, sweet maui onion, handful of cilantro, sea salt + squeeze of fresh key lime.
  • Sprinkle chili/lime seasoning blend on both sides of fish (I used Mexican seabass but you can substitute any white fish). Grill until done – a couple minutes per side. Divide fish among warmed tortillas and add pico de gallo, shredded purple cabbage, extra salsa if you like, top with more cilantro, sliced avocado, squeeze of lime & fold in half.  Add a side of chopped mango for added sweetness.

Buen apetito!

They’re fairly fast and fun to make and definitely delish!

Photos: d. king

 

 

 

Art/Nature: DesertX

Well the thing is, art can be found everywhere, even in the desert.  And it makes perfect sense; beauty with beauty.whitewater3

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Wildlife with Art

Wildlife with Art

I realized that while taking a nature walk with the dogs right after a picnic.  The location being Whitewater Preserve about 20 minutes northwest of Palm Springs.  An absolutely stunning setting of over 2,000 acres of pristine desert with hiking trails and wildlife.  From a distance I came across what looked like a birding roost, and on closer inspection found out it was made from sand bags.  It’s actually an art piece. built to replicate how pigeons in Israel are put to roost. But it’s hard to keep up with everything that’s going on around town especially now, so I had to find out *more.
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*From Feb. 25 through April 30, 2017, the Coachella Valley and its desert landscape will become the canvas for a curated exhibition of site-specific work by established and emerging artists, whose projects will amplify and articulate global and local issues that may range from climate change to starry skies, from tribal culture and immigration to tourism, gaming, and golf.  The artworks, in various indoor and outdoor locations will be available for free and will offer visitors a way to see the valley and reflect on serious and playful issues through the lens of the participating artists’ creativity and work.

You never know what you will encounter while out on a simple walkwhitewater2

CHECK out this short VIDEO:

https://www.desertx.org/about-us/

You never know what you will encounter while out on a simple drive

On the drive to the nature preserve you will come across hundreds on windmills20170224_140637The windmills are there for power generation with renewable energy.  However I hate them for the fact that the valley is infamous for the number of birds that are killed because of them.

Photos: d. king

 

 

Oscar Night – let the parties begin

Image credit: Chris Pizello/AP 

Image credit: Chris Pizello/AP

Entertainment and entertainers in general are more important than ever these days when we want to lose ourselves in someone else’s drama rather than our own at home.

And if you want a really good laugh and you haven’t already seen it (most have) you’ve got to check out Melissa McCarthy’s SNL portrayal of Sean Spicer. Way too funny!  It’s a way of finding lightness & humour in the absurd day to day real life performances. She should get an Oscar. As they say there is always something good that comes out of something bad.  Which brings me to tonight at the Oscars.  It’s Hollywood’s biggest night and with all talented people involved there is only one who gets to take home the prize in each category.  Every year it seems more difficult to choose only one winner when there are so many deserving nominees.

Past Winners: Penelope Cruz, Halle Berry & Audrey Hepburn.

Past Winners: Penelope Cruz, Halle Berry & Audrey Hepburn.  LOVE the dresses!

You might be surprised to find out who the biggest losers of past academy award shows were.  I know I was, which just goes to prove….there is more than just one winner in each category. Before finding out which dreams will come true and who might be overlooked, let’s take a look back at some of the biggest surprise Oscar snubs of years past.

The most fantastic biggest Losers:

1) Bette Davis, Of Human Bondage 

The 1934 film adaptation of  W. Somerset Maugham’s novel starred Bette Davis as tea-room waitress Mildred Rogers, who draws Philip Carey into an obsessive and abusive relationship. Davis originally did not receive a nomination for her performance, and the public was so upset by the oversight that a special write-in campaign was permitted to recognize her.

2) Judy Garland, The Wizard of Oz

Possibly my all-time favourite movie!  Judy Garland won hearts all over the world with her performance in the MGM musical as Dorothy Gale, the plucky girl from Kansas who ends up over the rainbow and determined to return home. The New York Times described her as “a pert and fresh-faced miss with the wonder-lit eyes of a believer in fairy tales,” yet Garland did not receive an Academy Award nomination for her timeless performance.

3) Peter O’Toole, Lawrence of Arabia

Peter O’Toole was heralded for his performance in this 1962 blockbuster film, which won seven Academy Awards. Its accolades included best picture, but failed to recognize O’Toole’s performance chronicling his experiences in the Arabian Peninsula during World War I. O’Toole went on to earn seven more nominations throughout his career — but he never took home an Oscar.

4) Martin Scorsese, Taxi Driver

This psychological thriller is famous for the cast, the story and the famous line, “You talkin’ to me?” But one aspect of the film that wasn’t entrenched in history was an award nomination for director Martin Scorsese — even though the film received nominations for best picture, best actor in a leading role for Robert De Niro and best actress in a supporting role nominations for Jodie Foster.

5) Jack Nicholson, The Shining

The idea of Jack Nicholson accepting an award for his performance as Jack Torrance by saying, “Here’s Johnny!” is a thrilling fantasy, but the opportunity never materialized, as Nicholson did not receive an Oscar nomination for his role in the Stanley Kubrick-helmed adaptation of the Stephen King novel.

6) Leonardo DiCaprio, Titanic

Despite his starring role in the 1997 blockbuster that drove devoted fans to watch the movie over and over, Leonardo DiCaprio did not receive an acting nomination for his performance as Jack Dawson. The movie took home 11 Oscars of 14 total nominations.

7) Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty, a grim, gritty and powerful film, was nominated for best picture — but its director, Kathryn Bigelow, was not recognized with an Oscar nod. Long criticized for its lack of racial and gender diversity, the Academy was accused of overlooking Bigelow — who became the first woman to win two best director awards from the New York Film Critics Circle — because of her gender.

8) Ava DuVernay, Selma

The critically acclaimed civil rights film that narrated the epic march from Selma to Montgomery tapped into heated emotions about racial relations in America — and that was before the cast wore “I Can’t Breathe” shirts to a screening. The film, considered controversial due to its depiction of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, received nominations for best picture and best original song. The omission of director Ava DuVernay, a black woman, from the nominations was hotly debated.

9) Alfred Hitchcock

Despite securing five nominations, somehow the acclaimed director known for suspenseful films like Psycho, The Birds, Vertigo and Rebecca never won an Oscar.

Possibly my all-time favourite dress is drumroll….

Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior Couture

Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior Couture

Source (for biggest losers): Carey Purcell for Arts.mic

Style: Pin it

For me it’s always a kick to wander the aisles and booths of any outdoor market.

One of a Kind Collectible Enamel Pins

One of a Kind Collectible Enamelled metal Pins

Here in Palm Springs you have the weekly farmers market & the village street fest which encompasses pretty much everything.  Then there’s an outdoor weekend art market twice a month and on the first Sunday of every month, the Vintage market which takes place on the grounds outside the Camelot Theatres.  They call it Vintage with a View.  Keep in mind vintage is a broad term and there’s also a lot of garage style items which shouldn’t be there.  You must have a good eye(s)!

Two years ago I discovered this market.  I was with a friend from Vancouver and right off the bat with my radar in tact, I spotted a pair of vintage Pucci sandals in my size.  They were a good deal and would have been a better deal had I not smashed my phone on the pavement in the excitement of my too-good-to-be-true deal while trying to find my wallet to pay for them.  Anyway, my friend was excited to find a woman named Maura who has been collecting “one off” enamelled pins (or brooches) for over 30 years.  All of them (mostly flowers) in excellent condition.  At first I wasn’t so interested in them but watched my friend with her 6-carat diamond ring purchase a whole bunch of them. They reminded me of something my grandmother would wear.  So as I continued looking at them they started to grow on me and I bought one.  Thinking if she likes them that much, they must be collectible.  When I got home I ended up wearing it much more than I ever thought.  They are a fashion statement accessory for sweaters & jean jackets.  A little old fashioned in a pleasant way.

I encountered Maura again last week because they added an extra Sunday for Modernism and purchased more of these pins.

Boy these flowers, they grow on you!

 

A few other items of interest:

Joe Tatan told me he and Paul Frank (the monkey guy) designed this togehter & a very famous person wants to buy it.  It hought from a distance they were cushions.

Joe Tatan told me that he and Paul Frank (the monkey guy) designed this leather sofa (yes, it’s a sofa)a and that a very famous person wants to buy it.  From a distance I thought they were cushions.  Asking price $4,500

20170219_125357If you are a creative person you can make jewellery, pillow cases, clothing, purses, etc.  from many repurposed materials.

 

You know those Hawaiian shirts!

You know those Hawaiian shirts!

Photos: d. king

 

 

Life+Style: A peek behind the hedges 

OLD LAS PALMAS – an intimate glimpse into old Palm Springs

Mary Pickford Estate

Mary Pickford Estate

Thanks to a friend of mine I had the privilege of visiting eight outstanding homes & gardens as part of Modernism week.  This is the first time that these unique homes have been opened to the public.tour18tour19
tour8The little enclave known as Old Las Palmas has always been recognized as one of the premier neighborhoods in Palm Springs and many of the older estates and homes have been updated and enhanced over the years.   As we tiptoed through the tulips Mary Pickford’s estate, the home of Mary Martin,  a home Howard Hughes had built for himself (a long time residence of film director Howard Hawks) Liberace’s house and others, we wore little slippers to cover our shoes from tracking dirt through the houses. Each home was as interesting and magnificent as the next. Of course I sneaked in a few selfies!

A little info about a lotta glamour

Old Las Palmas boasts the largest number of celebrity homes in Palm Springs, dating back to the mid-1920’s.  Some of the well-known celebrities who have lived here include Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Todd, Liberace, Mary Martin, Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell, Lily Tomlin, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Debbie Reynolds, Kirk Douglas, Edgar Bergen, Samuel Goldwyn, Edward G. Robinson, Clarke Gable, Gene Autry, George Hamilton, Harold Robbins, George Randolph Hearst, Ronald and Nancy Reagon and countless others.  The many, world-renowned architects who have built homes for their clients here include William Krisel, Cliff May, Donald Wexler and E. Stewart Williams.

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Home of the original Peter Pan - Mary Martin

Home of the original Peter Pan – Mary Martin

Among the splattering of residents the area is alive and kicking with current Hollywood icons such as Leonardo DiCaprio who owns the house Dinah Shore used to live in.  We drove by but it was unfortunately not part of our home & garden tour.

A colorful quintessential midcentury re-design

A colorful quintessential midcentury update

The Old Las Palmas Neighborhood Organization makes sure to protect and preserve its special heritage.

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photos: d. king (while lovely to look at, these photos only reflect a bit of the elegance and don’t really capture the expanse of these charming homes).  Also, I took many photos inside the homes and realize that it would overwhelm one post.) I hope you enjoy them nonetheless.

 

nutritious morning meals made easy

These no-brainer but well planned ideas came about while glamping.

Vintage Trailer Show - Modernism Week

Have Wheels, Will Travel! Vintage Trailer Show – Modernism Week

Since becoming a glamping expert I try to make healthy balanced breakfasts incorporating a variety of food groups for a wholesome start to the day that doesn’t require a lot of time or effort.  They’re equally good for non-glamping types too.

Avocado Toast with Feta

Avocado Toast with Feta

A few ideas:

Avocado toast is nothing new but try adding feta cheese over avocado to a piece of whole grain or sourdough toast drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil & balsamic vinegar.  It’s delicious!glamping9

Just a bowl of organic cereal with berries, unsweetened coconut flakes & almond milk (califiafarms toasted coconut is my favourite) is not just a bowl of cereal.

Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros

Steel-cut Oatmeal made with unsweetened coconut or almond milk, half a smashed banana, raisins, topped with fresh berries & drizzled with a little pure maple syrup, honey or in this case specialty balsamic vinegars (honey ginger and/or coconut for something different).  Each time it varies but tastes equally good and good for you.

Frittata: put a little butter in a skillet, sauté some veggies in it, crack some eggs over top, cook away until done.

Frittata with leftover mashed potatoes (a surprise idea) instead of homefries.

Frittata in individual cast iron pan with leftover mashed potatoes (a surprise idea) instead of homefries.

Huevos Rancheros are fun to make because you get to put them overtop a warm tortilla.  I prefer the smaller ones and versions like 100% whole wheat.  Eggs over-easy, a little refried beans, salsa & cilantro and you’re pretty much done – gringa style.

Oatmeal topped with berries & two new balsamic toppings

Oatmeal topped with berries & two new flavorful balsamic toppings

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Lunchtime Lentil Soup using free-range organic chicken broth, italian chopped tomatoes & olive oil.

Lunchtime 12-bean Lentil Soup using free-range organic chicken broth, italian chopped tomatoes & olive oil.

Jack enjoying the firepit (again).

Jack enjoying the firepit again.

The View

The View at Sunrise

 Glamping:  think cocktail tumbler instead of canteen, mood light instead of fashlight, sleeping oasis instead of sleeping bag.  Basically all the comforts of home…but with wheels so you can take it with you.

Photos (except for trailers) d. king.

 

 

blending Art, Culture & Exercise

INspired by ART

Just when you thought the melting pot couldn’t get any narrower some smart person added working out to the mix of blending art with just about everything.workout1

Everything being fashion, music, culture (a given), food with or as an art, now getting FIT with Art which started only last month. might be the next new craze.  And like all big success stories it takes place in NYC at the largest art museum in the United States, “the Met”.

Here’s the lowdown taken from T, the NY Times Style Magazine:

Monica Bill Barnes & Company, the irreverent contemporary dance troupe, started “The Museum Workout”: a 45-minute physical journey that spans two miles of the Metropolitan Museum of Art before opening hours. The workout, commissioned by the MetLiveArts, contains a route curated and narrated by the illustrator Maira Kalman, the author of “The Principles of Uncertainty,” and encapsulates the company’s motto to “bring dance where it does not belong.” “We wanted to honor what exists and build from it,” Barnes, the company’s artistic director, says of the unlikely setting.

By pre-selecting objects to encounter along the way (the Met’s permanent collection houses over two million items) and dictating participants’ movements, Barnes hopes the format’s “physical framework allows each audience member to have a unique emotional experience.” The workout begins promptly at 8:45 AM; at this hour, the museum’s usually clogged steps are clear, shrouded in shadows and bright patches of morning light.

Within the museum, Barnes and the performer Anna Bass serve as our athletic docents. They dance side by side, snaking through the museum, trotting, marching, speed-walking with ease. When objects, like a terracotta monument carved with angels, obstruct their path, they diverge like hand-holding lovers, separated by an oncoming crowd.

Make no mistake: this is a workout. Your body will perspire, your heart rate will rise and you’ll shed any light layers. (That said, my one request would be to increase the cardio incrementally and start with more stretches that early in the morning.) And because our enjoyment of anything increases when it’s otherwise prohibited, the workout’s massive pleasure derives from its illicitness:“trespassing” the Met before re opening hours, writhing to Elton John within the galleries, gently sweating on various marble surfaces. It confers other singular bragging rights as well — like having done jumping jacks before the marble statue of a nude Perseus

WATCH the Museum Workout Video Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

Though Kalman isn’t physically present, her presence is pervasive. Her narration proffers personal thoughts about art and unexpected aphorisms on mortality. Barnes admired her work as an acquaintance, and admitted that, like anyone she approaches for projects, “It’s just an excuse to become close to somebody that you think is going to add value and perspective to your own life.” Novelty aside, the building is exceptionally beautiful uncluttered with people. What the workout gives participants is an appreciation of the museum itself: the soaring ceilings, narrow hallways, spacious galleries; how the sunlight rakes and refracts through the windows, then scatters like beads from a broken necklace across the floor.

At the end, there’s coffee, clementines, crusty bread and butter. The assortment, neatly spread in the American Wing cafe, was chosen by Kalman, and her handwritten notes — scribbled with “KEEP MOVING” — lay arranged for participants to pocket. Though thrilling, the experience is ultimately ruinous. Wandering the halls after the museum has opened, your resting heart rate restored, How wonderful, you’ll think, as school children scuttle around, when none of you were here.

Source for Story: ALEXIS CHEUNG for T MAGAZINE – NY Times

What do you think?  Meet me at the Met.  Yes, No?

Humorous Sidenote (which has nothing to do with this post – I was phoning an auto repair shop): Today is Presidents Day in the U.S.  I phoned Saturday to find out about getting an oil change on Monday (today).  Asked if they were open on Monday.  Girl who answered replied “Yes, we’re open.”  To clarify I said “but it’s Presidents Day.”  She replied “yes,  but we’re Mexican!”  How about Sunday?  Are you open then?  No, she replied.  “We’re Mexican!”

Feel-good Friday: through the looking glass

It’s Modernism week in Palm Springsglamping8An annual celebration of midcentury modern design, architecture, art, fashion and culture.

And to demonstrate what kind of 20th Century Modern Woman I am – some recent selfies taken in front of mirrored windows around town.  It also proves that my dogs are modern too! They should really be in Modern Dog Magazine.glamping6

glamping3glamping2“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”

–  Donald Trump Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass

“Where should I go?” -Alice. “That depends on where you want to end up.” – The Cheshire Cat.”!

Hope you end up having a FUN Weekend ahead

Beauty: working under cover

A breakdown of THE BEST under eye concealersconcealNo one wants to have dark under eye circles.  No one wants to look like they haven’t slept for a week even if they haven’t slept for a week.

Unfortunately, getting more sleep doesn’t always equal brighter, more awake-looking eyes. Dark undereye circles are apparently hereditary so blame your parents if you have them.  But that still doesn’t help the problem.

The good news is that you can buy a product to temporarily hide them.  The bad news (which really isn’t all that bad) is that there are too many makeup products offering to help you cover them up. Where to look?

My personal favourite (since I haven’t tried the others mentioned here) is from Cle de Peau which is also a cult favourite. I think it may be worth the splurge as it has a nice creamy consistency that goes on smooth and evenly. But I’m not the expert on covering up dark circles sooo…..

Ahead, you’ll find five of the most popular under-eye concealers, according to countless reviews and user feedback on the Internet. AKA, the masses have spoken and these are the top products they unanimously agree make the cut.  Thought you’d like to know.

Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer ($25)concealer1

It Cosmetics Bye-Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer ($24)concealer2

Bobbi Brown Concealer Kit ($35)concealer3

Tom Ford Concealing Pen ($52)

Cle de Peau

Cle de Peau

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser ($7)concealer5

Bonus Pick:

*Kevyn Aucoin’s The Sensual Skin Enhancer ($48)concealer6

*Since we’re talking makeup if you care to know, this is selfie queen Kim Kardashian’s #1 choice – she was initially turned on to the product by her makeup artist (Mario Dedivanovic). Depending on the shade you purchase, the waterproof makeup enhancer also works as a highlighter, foundation, or contour. Most of these other choices I believe will do the same but I must admit this one sounds pretty tempting.

I researched a bit more on it and found out: while on a trip to Japan, Kevyn Aucoin was taken with the radiant, flawless skin of the geisha. His unending curiosity of what makes these women beautiful led him on a quest to find the products they used to achieve their youthfully dewy complexion. Working closely with Japanese chemists, Kevyn Aucoin developed what is perhaps the most versatile skin-perfecting product you will ever use for radiant looking skin. Well, if that isn’t a selling feature?

Have you tried any of these?  What do you like or recommend?