Oaks Gourmet

Tonight we made another stop on the Burger Tour 11-12!

Tonight we went to The Oaks Gourmet. Um....amazing.

It is a market, and has barely any seating, but everything on the menu looks and smells amazing. And the burger did NOT disappoint.

The Dry Aged Burger
A half poud of our dry aged blend with taleggio cheese, black forest bacon, red onion, tomato, baby arugula, and our smoked jalapeno-pineapple compote on toasted brioche

WHAT???!!! you won't even believe what hit your mouth. it jumped right up to our number one spot. GO THERE.

Also, as a side note: it is a really really great place to people-watch. 


Lentil Stew with Sausage

Some friends and I are trying a new diet called the Four Body Diet where we can't eat any carbs, fruit or dairy (pretty much anything good!). But we can eat as much beans, meat and vegetables we want.

So my roommate and I have found some creative recipes that we can make that taste good and don't break any rules.

Last night we made a Lentil Stew with Sausage

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 onions chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, coarsely chopped or sliced
1 lb smoked beer sausage, sliced (we used ground pork sausage)
1 lb. lentils rinsed and drained
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (we used both)
1 tsp. dried sage (we used italian seasoning)
1 tsp. dried thype (we used italian seasoning)
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 lb. fresh kale or spinach, stems trimmed, leaves chopped (we used spinach and did not chop the leaves cause I did not read that part)

In a 6 to 8-quart pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute onions, garlic and carrots until soft, abut 10 minutes. Add sausage, lentils, brother, italian seasoning, pepper and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until lentils are barely tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in spinach. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes or until lentils are tender. Ladle into soup bowls.

Makes 8 servings.

It was simple and really delicious. And the leftovers are JUST AS GOOD!!!



Every so often when we hit the streets on a Friday night, we feel like our purpose is crystal clear. We always know why we are out on the street, what message we want to communicate and how we want to share the love of God with these women. But at times it is easy to get discouraged: do they really hear us? Do they believe? Will they remember even though we didn't get a chance to talk to them for very long?

Friday night Ben, Lindsay and I met up at 1:30a. We spent some time in prayer as we usually do - but this time our prayer was specifically asking that we would run into a woman that really needed to hear from God. That needed to be encouraged or challenged and met on the streets tonight, the woman that wanted to speak with us because she was at that place where she was breaking.

And that is exactly what God did.

The very first woman we say after driving down the track for about three blocks was BI. She was on the phone, as usual, and seemed in a hurry to get somewhere. When we approached her to give her a bag she looked confused. She asked what it was for and why we were talking to her. We said we were out here talking to the ladies - that we wanted to let her know how deeply God loves her and that he has big plans for her life if she ever wants to get out of this. 

BI had an almost scared look on her face as she began shaking her head and saying "You've GOT to be kidding me!" over and over again.

She proceeded to tell us that she was on the phone with her sister and had just been talking about how she was scared and tired and wanted to get out of the game. She was done. She wanted a change. She has two kids and didn't want them to have to grow up in fear and watching their mom come home with bruises, watching her have to sell her body to make a living and making them susceptible to the violence of the pimp that controlled her life. 

We walked with her down the street for a while because she was uncomfortable standing in one place, she felt like she was being followed. And eventually gave her a ride to the metro station so she could go get off the street and home to her kids. 

She was not ready to seek help at the moment - she was too scared of her pimps retaliation or what would happen to her kids - but we left her with our phone number as well as the number to three rehab centers around Los Angeles that she could seek help from.

We were able to pray with her, talk to her about how beautiful and special and unique she is and how much God truly truly LOVES her.

It was not a coincidence that we ran into BI Friday night - that she was at the end of her rope hoping for a way out and God brought a way to her. 

We ended up spending around an hour with her. What a privilege to step into life with her, pray with her, love her, cry with her and seek to share a glimpse of hope with her in the midst of a really scary time.

Pray with us that BI has the courage to make a change in her life - that she would not give into fear but she would choose to pick up the phone and get some help. 


August 24...food!

Ipp and I had an Anthony Bourdain marathon tonight. So much good food! So many exciting places! Makes me want to travel.

We knew we'd get inspired (and hungry!) so we decided to cook up a bunch of fun appetizers to snack on.

One of the things we made was brioche! with goat cheese, honey and figs. We got the recipe from Lizzo and Robert.  Totally easy and delicious.


August 13th - party time!

what a FUN NIGHT celebrating Robin and Ben turning 30! so many fun jokes and roasts and toasts and talents. i could not imagine living in a more encouraging, fun, talented and hilarious community. what a great time to be alive...


August 4th...bone marrow

I went on a date tonight with a guy I met online.  Really nice...SUPER intense...kinda weird.
He ordered bone marrow as part of our dinner ...bizarreness.  I still can't decide if I like it or not.


July 31st...kimchi

I am trying a recipe for homemade kimchi.  Super excited! I'll let you know how it turns out...once I let it ferment for a week :)


July 26th...garden veggies

Garden Veggies are the best!  Karla planted a garden and then left for the summer so now I get to water it and eat it all.  Yummmm!


July 25th...simon

happy hour with simon = some talking, lots of tweeting...mostly to eachother.


July 24th - katie herzig

another lazy summer evening listening to free music at a concert in the park. *sigh. i love summer, i love pasadena, i love my life.


July 23rd...bag lady

i may or may not own too many purses. okay....so i own too many purses. so tonight i decided i needed to get rid of a few of them before i grow old and turn into the bag lady. before i drop them off at goodwill i decided to see if any of you lovely people wanted them. they are all in great condition because i own so many i barely ever use these!! *sigh.
if you want one of them - let me know! i'm just giving them away for free. sorry these are pretty terrible pictures of them all, but it was the best i could do at 9p while cleaning my room :)
Message me (if you're reading this on FB), email me, or leave a comment if you want one of them.

Originally from Old Navy - big enough to be a computer bag.

No idea where this originally came from.

So cute and fun - perfect for a night out. Can't fit much.

really pink. and really fun.

Bought this in the Czech Republic - almost didn't put it up here to give away cause I just LOVE it...but I also never use it :(

no clue where I got this either - but it is simple and small.

This purse is CRAZY. Was a fun gift from my mom but I am not cool enough to ever pull it off.


July 22nd...gift bags

Spent the evening making gift bags for the women.  And now we get to go out and give them away.  Hoping for good conversations and connections.


July 21st...Concert in the park

I enjoyed a lovely evening with the fabulous Kaytee talking and eating and laughing. We joined some friends at the Levitt Pavillion for a free Carla Morrison concert  and some other chick that was actually pretty bad. 
All in all a pretty perfect evening.  I love my happy little city of Pasadena and my lovely friend Kaytee.


July 18 - grocery fail

i went to the grocery store with 6 things on my list...and i didn't get two of them.



July 17 - switch up




Did I cut my hair or did Jen dye hers? I guess we'll never know.... (but I will say Jen would look super hot with dark hair!)

I had a lovely dinner this evening with Jen and Harris who are packing up to abandon me this week. I hate saying goodbye - I hate it when friends move. But I am so so so so proud of Harris getting into this PhD program and excited about what the future holds for them. And I guess this means I might get to visit TX for the first time ever!


July 15…the next great horror film

Attack of the birds...poop is falling from the sky (a.k.a...a bird pooped on my head today. )


July 14th - safety first

today fuller did a little drill in safety preparedness. kludt and i were actors who played victims in a giant earthquake so those on the safety committee could practice search and rescue.

kludt had a large (not not severe) head wound. and a deadly sucking chest wound.

i had no visible injuries (other than a little scratch on my arm) but my 3month old was not breathing, had no pulse and was unconscious.

here was where they brought kludt out to the medical center to tend to his wounds. it was actually a freaky simulation. i hope we never have to go through the real thing!


July 13th - pictures

if you forget your camera at work so you can't upload your picture of the day to your laptop - just take a picture of your room with your macbook's photobooth. check.

i love my wall of photos. all of them painted, drawn, snapped or from those i love most in the world.


July 12th - chatting

on a slow tuesday afternoon - facetime is what sees you through. i've never been so caught up on my friends lives! i love technology!


July 9th....the jouney of a beard

matt has a full man beard.
he decided to shave said beard.
it was shaved off in gross...disturbing...don't-ever-do-that-to-your-face-on-a-permanent-basis stages.
i share that with you now.
please, join me....on a journey from fullness to scruff - the journey of matt's beard.
Also, I apologize in advance for forgetting to take a "before" picture.

A little trim down the middle - gotta leave the soul patch!...also, as a side note: I am fairly certain if Matt ever committed a crime the LAPD would ask to borrow this photo to use as his mug shot.

All the middle gone - just leaving the almighty chops. Matt called this one the "Charles Dickens"

Just the fu manchu mustache...frightening.

Now just the creeper nasty stache. Only made creepier by the creeper smile. Well done, Matt.

And the world wept because another beautiful man beard was gone. What nice teeth you have, Matt - now that we notice you have teeth without all that beard in the way!


July 6th - Customer in Training

Do you think I am so bad at grocery shopping and hate it so much because I was never trained as well as this little boy is going to be?


July 4th

I have decided to stop numbering my pictures because, well, i won't get up to 365 since i skipped most of june - and it was getting confusing to keep track of (don't ask me why, just trust me).  so i will just label each day by the day that it is (genius!)

today was the birth day of america. several wonderful friends came over to eat and laugh and drink and watch fireworks. it was great.

the hit of the night was the sangria - what a perfectly refreshing drink for a hot night outdoors for a BBQ, fireworks and general nostalgia about our home country!

i originally got this recipe from my awesome friend allen brown.

1 bottle chilled White Wine
1 White Peach
1 Green Apple
2 Oranges
~ 6 oz. Gingerale
~ 1/3 c. Sugar
~ 1 T. Ground Cinnamon

First put wine in pitcher - add sugar and cinnamon and stir until well mixed. Dice peach & apple (1/2 in. cubes).  Slice 1 Orange.  Squeeze Juice from other orange.  Mix, chill, & serve.  Can serve over ice or not.  Extra fruit can be used as garnish.


Picture 165: Flank Steak

Dinner tonight was brought to you by the crock pot (shocker!)

flank steak stuffed with apple, feta and almonds.

i give it a giant YUM!!!!!!!!!!!! seriously. so good. so so freaking good. and really easy. the taste is subtle but delicious and refreshing. it was the perfect supper for a hot summer day.

3lbs flank steak
1/2 c honey
1/2 c gluten-free soy sauce
3/4 c feta cheese, crumbled
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 green apple diced (no need to peel)
1/3 cup raw almonds, chopped

Put the flank steak in a plastic ziplock bag with the honey and soy sauce and marinate overnight.

In the morning, combine the feta cheese, garlic, green apple and chopped almonds in a mixing bowl. Pour the flank steak and marinade into the crock pot. Remove the meat from the marinade, and put it on a cutting board. Put a handful or two of the cheese filling in the middle of the flank and roll it up (the more you can stuff in there the better!!) Return the meat to the crock, steam-side down. (If you need to, you can use toothpicks or skewers to secure it). Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours, or on high for about 4 hours.

Slice and serve! The extra feta, apple, garlic and almonds make for a great salad topping!


Picture 164: I love America

Cha loves America. So much that she shares her birthday every year with her. How selfless. Then again, America looks good on her.



Remember that one time I was going to blog a picture everyday and then got really busy so I stopped??
I do. Oops.
So I guess I decided to take the month of June off. But I'm back again now. So you can stop crying yourself to sleep.
It is Cha's birthday week so the girls went to La Luna Negra for dinner. Soooooo good.