The Mayor comes to dinner

I can’t even say, “guess who?”

I’m SUPER excited to share that the Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti will be joining me this Sunday on Daphne Dishes.  As some of you know we ( more Mark) has known his family for years.  I volunteered a ton on his campaign.  His parents, wife, daughter, all lovely, warm down to earth people.

Gil, Mark, Sukey, Amy, da mayor, me

Gil, Mark, Sukey, Amy, da mayor, me

So when Daphne Dishes got picked up for a second season I thought.. oh, dream guest list!!  When I approached I said I wanted it to be about the incredible diversity of food that is available in LA and how it inspires me in the kitchen.  Well, they got that pitch, The Garcetti’s are big booster of LA’s food scene, high brow and everything in between.  It was VERY hard to decide what to make. Not just because I had to make the Mayor a great meal, but because LA has So Many influencers it’s hard to narrow down for a 22 minutes.. or whatever it is …show.

When I was working on Eric’s campaign was when this show was being talked about, developed, slowly, slowly.  I would periodically update him on it and he was always excited to hear about it. I  clearly remember one day I was sitting in his kitchen calling voters and he had come home from an event.  Amy was calling from the living room, many volunteers strewn around the place and I popped my head up and said, “Eric, Food Network says they are going to do a pilot with me.”  He high fived me and wanted to hear more.  Well, cut to second season and he and his family remember their friend.  I really appreciate the support and since he is a very busy guy we said whenever you can fit us in we will make it happen.  It ended up being at 8:30am in the morning. But, you know what it worked!  We all enjoyed the meal and Amy and I are making plans for them to come over again when they have more time and I’ll make them the same meal, but without the camera’s.

He and his parents are from LA, so they all have memories of their favorite foods from growing up here.  Gil talked about going to Grand Central Market with mom when he was a little boy. Of course, that’s where Mark’s Bombo is now.  That’s where I  shopped for the food to make a great LA centric meal for LA’s number one fan.  desert for garcetti


Watch the show and tell me what your faves are.  I concluded the meal with a Very Berry LA Tart!



in case my posting remotely hasn’t worked here is a review of the high points of most vacations.

1) grinding anxiety before I leave.  I am a careful packer, not as much as my mom who can pack in a wallet for week.  But, I hate bringing to much and I usually end up wearing the same black skirt, black shirt, most of the trip. When in doubt, look like a mime.  I also have to pack for everyone else.  At the last minute Mark throws in enough tonnage to cause us to be charged for our bags.  Grrrr.  I pee 19 times before I get in the car.

2) LAX… either we got lucky and got in the quick line or not.  I find departures not too terrible.  But arrival back is brutal.  My kingdom for an airport with centralized rent a car, a dedicated lane for cabs, a light rail that goes to the airport.  Wait, that sounds like Europe.

3) Time to watch movies.  If Rex will settle ( Please, oh please) I will finally get to watch non animated movies. I also have a People Magazine, and 2 books. Nothing to heavy.  I can’t concentrate with 300 farting people around me.

4) We land.  A mix of excitement, humidity and exhaustion.  Then the adjustment to toilets looking differently.  I’m noticing a pattern in my thought.

5) Lot’s of fun sightseeing and food. Lots of posting of pictures so everything knows how great life is.

6) Annoyance with everyone I’m with.  It’s bound to happen. No posting of pictures.  I don’t want people to know how shitty life is.

7) Time to go.  My careful packing is down the tubes.  Everything is rumpled and dirty, but I no longer care.  Do I still have a hair brush?


I love travel.

Best of….

So, I’m on a family trip right now. Thor is watching my house and I’m going to try to upload remotely, but not sure if it will work.  So, here is a playlist of some of my favorite coolmom videos.


Home Ec

One of the funnest parts of shooting my show is getting friends and family in on the action.  Today my first cousin, once removed Kelsie joined me.kelsie piini

testing out my tofu before we shot

testing out my tofu before we shot

The subject was cooking healthy, cheap and easy for college, but then it became cheap, healthy, easy for anyone.

Kelsie is a theater arts major in Riverside so I thought she would be game.  Her singing here.  I really want to help people get over there fear of the kitchen. She is already ahead of me in college, She has pretty hair.  I went through a mullet phase.

Sal Marino, a great chef and friend helped me figure out how to do a version of his AMAZING pea soup.

testing my pea soup

testing my pea soup

No pea soup is better than his.  If you come to LA go  to Il Grano and have it.  My version is made with frozen peas and is very good, if you’ve never had his you would think it ‘s the best, so maybe don’t have his, because then mine is for sure 2nd best.


Before we tape the show I spend a lot of time testing recipes.  I have an idea in my head and sometimes it takes several tries to get it right, or I have to scrap it and do something else.  Sometimes it’s good right away.   An hour with Sal and this pea soup was perfect.


Next week I riff off the foods of Bombo for Steam Power.  If I seem low energy my as yet undiagnosed C – diff was kicking my ass .. literally.  But, I always have the sweetest people around me helping through!

with director of photography Chris Bierlein

with director of photography Chris Bierlein.  Hang on Chris, I have to run to the bathroom…again.

taking a break in filming

taking a break in filming

green tea

Jerry, our PA, goes to get afternoon fuel

More Green Tea please, thanks

A tale of two rash guards

I’ve been doing better with my C diff and have expanded my eating.. which of means I’ll probably gain back all that weight I lost.  Darn it. But, have more energy to be active with my children.

sunburn danger

no rash guard.. how bad can it be? Bad

Wanting to enjoy summertime fun with my kiddos.    I’m very strict about them always  wearing rash guards to protect their skin.  The one day I let it slide for Vivien ( we couldn’t find it) she got a wicked sunburn.  I felt terrible as she writhed in agony that night.

So this weekend we were at a friend’s house, invited to swim in their pool.  Rex always has his sun protection on.  The only problem is it’s hard to get off.  Here I’m trying to pull it off his head.  As I did so, he almost did a header toward me and the metal chair I was on.   I called for my friend’s nephew  “Grab Rex, hold em down”, like a steer at branding.  Then I pulled again.  mother protectorFinally it popped off.  Rash guards need to come with zippers.  Same as uteruses of child baring women. I was in the shade, but I also read years ago that after 25 years old you are pretty much set for how your skin will be.  In that the worse dangers are for younger skin.  So, again, my bad on Viv’s rash guard.  I really don’t get it when I see kids at the beach without them.  Probably some horrible, neglectful parents who don’t want to walk across the hot sand and look at the trunk of the car one more time just in case it was missed.

Yeah, that would be me


good satire

So, not to be-labor it, but I’m still struggling with good old super bug C-diff.  I’ll spare you the details, it’s disgusting.  But, I want to spread some sunshine even if I’m more the in the dystopic, True Detective mindsight.  So, here is one of my fave videos from one of my favorite comics.  Amy Schumer.  This Vid is such Good Satire.  Oh, what I could do with production value!!  So good.  Enjoy and eat your pro biotics and wash your hands with soap and water.  Oh, and yeah, the news last week was great.  I wish I could have celebrated.

Vaccinate already

I’m super chuffed that California’s Gov.  Brown has signed into law one of the nations toughest vaccinations laws.  In short it does away with a religious exemption.  If there is a medical reason why the child cannot be vaccinated that works, but not someones personal belief.  If the child is not vaccinated they cannot attend schools.  They can go to home based schools.

A lot of good, nice, smart people feel strongly there is a link between vaccinations and conditions their children later developed.  But, no cause has not been proven, it’s mostly anecdotal, and Jenny McCarthy has been discredited. More about lack of link HERE

If a certain percentage of the population isn’t vaccinated none of us our.  Personal anecdotes are not proof either way, but I will add mine since I have it.  When whooping cough was on the rise.


I only hope that one day there will also be a law that personal, religious beliefs is not good enough for circumcision.  Something that to me that ranges from unnecessary to abusive.  But, then that’s my personal belief.


He is not planning on making it here

My kids are good travelers.    Whether it’s a grassy median  or pincher bug they find the fun.  Everywhere we go, even if it’s only for a few days Rex says,  Are you moving here?

first trip, surveying his new "home" in Carlsbad

an early, surveying his new “home” in Carlsbad

He is ready to stay.  Portland, Mendocino, San Diego, Santa Cruz, Washington DC, Montana, Arizona.  EVERYWHERE… until now.  He doesn’t want to move to New York City.  Cue, the music.  “Dum, dum dum da… screech…”  Empire state of mind has not entered his little body.children in nyc subways

We just got back from a week there.  We had fun.  He had fun. A full, lively trip.  BUT, it was humid, crowded, dirty, lots of walking, lots of subways.. it was NYC.  So, while water views, Miss Liberty and my many sweet, wonderful friends pleased us all I think I was a little surprised when Rex said, “I’m home sick”.  He has never said that. Not imagining your loft apartment?  The subway’s were his biggest hurdle.

” Mommy, once when were on the subway I had a fat man sitting next to me and I was looking at a woman who looked like man, or man who looked like a woman, I don’t know.”  But, Rex , I said, “You go to school in Hollywood.  Haven’t you seen all sorts?

“I go to school in Hollywood?”  He got briefly excited thinking of the Hollywood of the dream world, not the reality of me having to scream at a homeless guy exposing himself near the gate of the school.  Or Yelling,  “Watch out Poo!” as we walk to the car.

As adults we filter out all of the senses that are coming our way.  Kids are still sorting.  The people I know who grew up in NYC are all super cool people, so obviously plenty of people benefit from growing up in such a dynamic atmosphere.  It was just kind of an “ah-ha” for me that I have country kids. Though if you do take kids to NYC run to the Brooklyn Bridge Park.  What a fantastic bit of urban development that is!  Fun, immaculate!  Views of Manhattan, interactive art installations.  It was a major view of manhattanmirror maze brooklyn bridge parkbest place for kids in nyc

Now, we are all humidity wimps.  I fold.  3/4 of the rest of the country, I don’t know how you do it. So, that ‘s one factor.  But, when we went up to see a friend in Connetcut, the humidity came with us, but Rex said he could live there.  Open, grassy fields.  Not so much walking. Oh, and a pool.pools

When is the right age to visit NYC?  I was 9 when my dad took me.  I liked it, but it was part of a bigger trip where we were in Atlantic City ( before it looked like it does now) Jersey country side, Washington DC, Atlanta, so it was all exciting.  I do remember NYC seemed a bit overwhelming, but the excitement carried the day.  So much going on. But then again I didn’t come back till I was 18.  Is this one of those things where you remember something when you are older and think you were younger?  Where your old person brain is off sync with a young brain?  Like when I played “Caddy Shack” for my then 11 year old stepson and he reacted as if I was making him much a documentary about tooth extraction?

In the end the best moments for Rex and Vivien were, along with  the Brooklyn Bridge Park, Central Parkcentral park with kids and playing with my friends’ kids in their homes and apartments.  Parks and fun kids.  Those are available anywhere.  Though due to the massive population in NYC I do know a fair amount of people there, so you can do a lot of visiting.  If I go to most cities I’m lucky if there is one person I know there.

We got back home and I asked my kids what was their favorite part about New York?  They both said, “Connecticut”.  Do they have a song?

so flipping tired again

tired mom

I’m so flipping tired

I was driving home after dropping off Viv at camp and thought, what is this feeling I have?  oh, yes, joy, calm, I’m rested!!  It’s been years, but I was reminded of MUCH MORE rested I am with a 6 and 9 year old when we recently stayed at my friend who has a 7 month old and a 2 year old.

the old days

the old days. Brand New Rex..wonder what happened to that blanket?

I was so happy to snuggle with the big, fat baby thighs and I felt AWESOME that I could help my friend and get her baby boy to sleep  3 times!  I still got it!!.  I told my kids, “smell that neck, nothing like it!”.  But, man o man.  That juggle of two small kids and her husband was working.. woof.  No wonder I just started thinking clearly.  So, I’m posting this video because though I do get more sleep now, I know there are those out there that are still in the trenches.