Feel-good Friday: the BIGGEST little FARM

Everything has a purpose – this documentary will go to prove.  If you want to be INSPIRED YOU NEED TO SEE THIS FILM.  No excuses.

Part of the Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) lineup in January,  it’s playing in major cinemas May 10th.

Short Synopsis: Idealistic city dwellers John and Molly Chester bought a farm on arid land an hour north of Los Angeles. Their eight-year struggle to turn Apricot Lane Farms into a biodiverse Eden is chronicled in this astonishing and uplifting epic.

Watch Trailer:

https://www.firstshowing.net/2019/official-trailer-for-wonderful-documentary-the-biggest-little-farm/

 

 

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Palm Springs Places: Del Marcos Hotel

This will be my last post regarding fabulous little Palm Springs places to stay until next season.

That’s because I’m headed home and taking a little break.  In the meantime here’s another mid-century modern gem of a place with a past (the best kind always do).

The Del Marcos Hotel (1947), designed by architect William F. Cody.

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From the website:

Originally designed for owners Samuel and Adele Marcus, the building is historically important because it was Cody™s first independent commission in Palm Springs, and launched his solo career in the desert. The 17-room modernist hotel is located at 225 West Baristo Road close to the downtown in the historic Tennis Club neighborhood. The hotel immediately became a popular destination and remains so to this day. Said to have been inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright™s Arizona architecture, the project won a creative design award for the architect from the Southern California chapter of the AIA as an example of cutting-edge resort hotel architecture. Built of native stone and redwood, surrounding a shimmering pool, architectural features include luxurious suites, an organic asymmetrical entrance doorway, and floor-to-ceiling glass. The two-story building (with a single-story shed roof section on the northeast corner) features a U-shaped plan centered on a courtyard, a design which encourages socializing among guests.

Artwork: Nat Reed.  https://natreed.com/
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https://delmarcoshotel.com/

A sweet recipe for both Easter and Passover

Happy Holidays!

I want to make sure you don’t Passover this recipe.  It’s a good one. Everybunny says so.  Sure; it’s got calories but we’re celebrating…always a good excuse to have a heavenly chocolate dessert.  Also, why cut corners with low-fat ingredients?  Just make it, eat it and enjoy it.  Just don’t do it again until next year. XO

Chocolate Pots de Crème

*Mexican chocolate, which is flavored with ingredients like cinnamon, almonds and vanilla, lends a distinct flavor to this recipe – which is a rich custard like delicious dessert from Food & Wine’s Stephanie Prida.  *Look for it at Mexican markets and specialty-food stores.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 6 ounces Mexican chocolate, preferably Ibarra, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, plus shavings for garnish
  • Unsweetened whipped cream, for serving

How to Make It

Step 1

In a medium saucepan, combine the whole milk with the heavy cream and bring to a simmer over moderately high heat.

Step 2

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks until combined. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of the hot milk, then transfer the mixture to the saucepan. Cook the custard over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until it is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Immediately add the finely chopped Mexican and bittersweet chocolate and remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted, then strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a large glass measuring cup or bowl. Pour the chocolate mixture into 6 small bowls and refrigerate until the pots de crème are chilled, at least 6 hours or overnight. Serve the pots de crème with unsweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Make Ahead

The pots de crème can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
After that you can re-start your diet…..

Self-care: Pilates Plus

So I finally broke down and joined the club

Machines they call PROformers. d. king

The club with those scary machines.  The kind that come with interchangeable spring loads and all kinds of kinky ropes and gadgets that are supposed to whip you into shape.  It’s quite intimidating. At least at first. It’s been a month now and I’ve only missed a couple of days.  I did a class called Ass & Abs which is slightly above my level of expertise and now I’m sore.  But it’s a good sore.  The sore where I can feel my muscles….it’s a start.  I’m not aiming to have a six-pack exactly…I’m looking to tone, strengthen, have more flexibility and improve my balance.  Oh hell who am I kidding. I want ABS dammit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pilates Plus in Palm Springs has three rotating instructors; all excellent in different ways.  They watch you and they will never let you get away with doing things incorrectly.  Believe me; I know!  I’ve been reprimanded more than once.  I must say the non-stop 50 minute workout goes by very quickly and in all honesty I’m hooked now.  Hooked on a feeling….and the reality of liking what I’m beginning to notice.  Also, my eating habits are getting lighter too except for last night when I ate a lobster roll at Dead or Alive wine bar.  But the key to Life is Balance.

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Before this I did mat Pilates on occasion.  Here’s a bit of history:

Pilates was created in the 1930s by Joseph Pilates and quickly became popular among dancers as a method of training and rehabilitation. There’s no denying that Pilates offers some great health benefits. Included is core strength and stability, improved posture and balance, flexibility, and the prevention and treatment of back pain.

Pilates on a Mat vs. Pilates using a Reformer

Pilates allows you to work your muscle groups with no impact on joints. It also works your precise, small muscles in controlled ways. The machines are the basis of a core-burning workout that blends Pilates, cardio and strength training.

The simplest way to do Pilates exercises is on a mat. The more challenging and effective way is on a reformer, a device which uses pulleys and springs to create the resistance that’s impossible to generate by simply using the body.

What about weight loss?

Weight loss is a result of creating a calorie deficit whereby you eat fewer calories than you burn and then you drop pounds. Now in some cases, hormones and other metabolic factors come into play, but the primary driver of weight loss is calories in versus calories out.

Pilates Reformer is a great exercise for core and it can help you burn calories, but maybe not as much as certain other activities. And, like any movement, how many calories you do burn depends on how long your session lasts, the intensity of the session, your ability (if it’s new for you, you’re likely to work harder and burn more calories) and your size.  So it’s best to do a mix of some cardio like biking, running, swimming, hiking, fast paced walking combined with pilates and/or yoga.

Yes; it’s work indeed.  But well worth it because your body is a machine.  One that you want to make sure is in  tip-top working order. So she says! 

In Vancouver I’m going to source out a couple of studios.  I already belong to a gym close to home that offers varied daily yoga classes and mat pilates with good instructors. And truth be told, if it’s not within close walking distance to where I live, I probably won’t go.

How about you? Have you tried the reformer, proformer or megaformer?  What are your parameters for working out and how often?

Dead or Alive

Dead or Alive

is the name of a little local speakeasy I’ve walked by a million times but only during the day.  In the daytime from the outside you can’t tell exactly what it is unless you already know, and of course it was never open.

There is only one giveaway – a neon sign that says wine & beer.  I thought it was a discreet little hole in the wall after hours store that sells wine and beer.  In some sense that’s correct, but it’s a very cool hole in the wall.

Last night after dinner I decided to walk my dogs by there and for once and for all let go the mystery. And I’m glad I did.  Inside it’s very dark but the lighting is jazzy and there are little heart shaped keychains that light up so you can read the menu which by the way is surprisingly well curated.  Every second Friday Freddy from Broadstreet Oyster (in Los Angeles) has a pop-up with fresh shucked oysters & lobster rolls that rival the best one I had once in Kennebunkport, Maine.   Other Fridays they have live jazz.  It’s a comfy local hangout where you can easily talk to strangers.  And I can sit outside with my two.

The rest is taken from visitpalmsprings.com

Okay. Anyone who names a bar “Dead or Alive;” – and doesn’t put up any signage, so you don’t know where it is until you meet someone who’s been there – has to have a good reason, right?

It’s all for the love of wine, says Dead or Alive owner Christine Soto. As a Level 1 Sommelier, she’s on a mission to educate everyone about wine – and her choice of her wine bar name, and the lack of signage, is all part of her plan. “A name is not important. My bar is all about the experience; to give people the opportunity to make a discovery. I like to make it a surprise,” she told me, as she filled my glass with her “from the tank” house Chardonnay inside her cozy establishment.

Cheers!

FYI: I really liked the Tank House Chard from France.  And I like surprises….which only goes to mean I’ll be back!  Maybe even tonight for the lobster rolls.

Happy Weekend!

http://www.deadoralivebar.com/

 

Palm Springs Places: Holiday House

It’s great when you feel like you’re on holiday in a place where you’re really not...only because it has become your second home.

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Palm Springs snowbird season is coming to a close.  As a result I’m coming close to the end of my quest for discovering and sharing the cool, the eclectic and the fabulous little boutique hotels, inns and places to take you away from the norm.  I’m sharing places I’ve either stayed at or at least visited and spent some time in hanging around where they’ve almost had to kick me out.

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More places are on my list but it will have to wait until next season.The places I’ve blogged about are the inconspicuous little gems that you may not otherwise ever know about unless by word of mouth or you find by accident or through research.  Take for instance the latest – a 28-room boutique hotel located downtown Palm Springs called

Holiday House

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I love this place.  Holiday House is exactly what it sounds like. I also like that in order to create a communal environment, Holiday House does not have televisions in any of the rooms.  Personally speaking if I’m on a ‘real’ holiday I don’t want to watch TV.  I would relax and then hang out at the very friendly bar and order food from the pleasing restaurant menu.  I was just there on Tuesday for Taco Tuesday and it was excellent.  It’s very comfortable. They also have a fried chicken Friday but you must reserve in advance.  I hear it’s fabulous and I hope to find out soon – possibly even next Friday – just before I leave.

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This hotel was originally built in 1951 ​and was a project of​ mid-century architectural designer Herbert W. Burns. Burns was one of the most important figures in helping to define Palm Springs modernist style, or what has now become mid-century modern.

From the website:

When it first opened, the Holiday House was billed as the newest “luxury hotel” in Palm Springs, and catered to what they referred to as “exclusive select clientele”.  For years, the Holiday House ranked as one of the top hotels in Palm Springs. Since its inception, the hotel has changed hands and has garnered many different names and identities. Most recently it operated as The Chase Hotel.​ In 2017, Holiday House re-open​ed​ with its original name and spirit.

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The design centers around Gio Ponti inspired tile-work in the bar and artwork throughout the property including pieces by David Hockney, Roy Liechtenstein, Herb Ritts, Alex Katz and Mr. Brainwash, with a garden sculpture by Donald Sultan.

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Guests must be 21 and over to check-in.

https://holidayhouseps.com/

 

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Festival Fashion

Stylesetters

Second weekend of COACHELLA is coming up.  Here’s a random splattering of some festival glamsters.  Around town it’s fun to watch.  It’s not hard to tell who’s going. 

Stephanie Panpradith, left, and Regina Trigueiro, both of Ventura, pose at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA., Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
Yeehaw looks at Coachella 2019. Photos: Emily Malan/Fashionista
Ashley Coco of West Hollywood, poses during Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 12, 2019. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
Photo: Los Angeles Times
Pinterest

Always a pleasure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dips: Healthy Hummus

Hummus is an essential party pleasing dip.  You can buy it, however it’s pretty easy to make, plus it’s extremely healthy.  Hummus is rich in healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. The best thing is that it tastes soooo good.

Hummus Dip with oven baked Pita Chips & cut up veggies.  Cut up pieces of bought pita bread and bake in the oven at 350F for a few minutes to crisp up into chips.

Ingredients:

16 oz. can garbanzo beans (chickpeas, rinsed)

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. cumin

1 garlic clove

1 Tbsp. Tahini (sesame paste)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

sea salt to taste

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/4 tsp. ground turmeric

Pinch of Cayenne (optional)

TIP: add a few tablespoons of water to mix (if too thick) and you prefer to avoid adding more oil.

Process:
This recipe really could not be any easier.  The key to smooth hummus is letting the food processor do all of the work. Throw the garbanzo beans, lemon juice, cumin, garlic, tahini, and rest into the food processor. Turn the food processor on for about 30 seconds and then slowly pour in the olive oil.  Add a few tbsp. of water if it looks like the hummus is too thick. The food processor really helps in creating that creamy texture we all love.

For toppings I love toasting some pine nuts in a pan.  Simmer some herbs in olive oil and pour over top.  Parsley is great too.

Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container. Homemade hummus usually lasts for about 7-10 days in the refrigerator.  But I can assure you it won’t last that long.

 

 

Art + Fashion: hidden treasures

Here’s a story about a most remarkable renovation/restoration

This is something else I’ve been meaning to post because not only is it highly unusual, it’s extraordinary.

The 17th-century oil painting discovered behind a wall during construction of the Oscar de la Renta boutique in Paris. Credit: Julien Mignot for The New York Times

A new Oscar de la Renta boutique in New York was undergoing renovations three months ago when something unusual was discovered on the second floor. When workers were clearing out garbage and debris at the end of the space on that floor, something seemed definitely amiss.  As they were clearing and resurfacing, something else resurfaced.

Something had been hidden behind a wall, and it wasn’t asbestos. It was a 10-by-20-foot oil painting of an elaborately coiffed and dressed 17th-century marquis and assorted courtiers entering the city of Jerusalem.

The restoration is expected to be done by May. Credit: Julien Mignot for The New York Times
Teams of restorers swab away some of the varnish to allow colors to come through. Credit: Julien Mignot for The New York Times

Full Story here:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/21/fashion/the-treasure-behind-the-wall.html