my world got tossed around a bit

Trying to think of an excuse for my lame ass blogging efforts as of late….fact is I’ve been straight up lazy in regards to my blog. I think about great ideas all the time…..like King Cakes! I made them for the first time and they came out completely amazing, but the moment passed to quickly, Fat Tuesday came and went….lazy…..or maybe I was too busy eating all the dang king cake! Besides being lazy…we moved into a new/old house. Our move was not planned and very sudden, kinda threw me into a tailspin…moving in December blows.

We are settling in nicely and enjoying our new space on the planet. The last three months have been a blur, but I did manage to have some fun, eat some great food and travel a bit. James has a proper studio now at the new house and he’s been painting more than ever.serraHere’s the new/old house Ole Hansen built in 1928, looked cute with old school christmas lights. James did a watercolor of it for our Christmas card….some of you may have received one ūüôā2walkingOn Sunday mornings we walk downtown (2 blocks away) to shop the farmer’s market. Lily and Jim last Sunday, it was 84¬į, it was awesome.shroomanThe mushroom man was loaded up with tons of goodness.orchidmanThe Orchid man was full of beauties for sale, to bad I always kill orchids or I would have bought one.studioHere is Jim’s studio….ok its a garage…but its all Jim’s…he’s digging his man cave. I hung a disco ball the next day, looks way cooler now.rogueshowThe opening night for the Rogue Villain’s group show in Long Beach.jimopeningThe man and his latest piece…… EncroachmentmidgeThis was at Jim’s office Christmas party, I wasn’t there. Not much more to say about this.grinchdateThis was my date for the Grinch party. I love this little girl like crazy, she’s going to be 12 in about a minute…..please make it stop.TamalePart of what made December bearable was long-standing traditions like the Grinch Party and Tamale party. Time with my girls, bubbles and tamales is always a great day.tomerandmeReunion with one my oldest and dearest friends Tamara. such a treat, love her madly.snoopHanging at the Johnson’s before the Snoop Dog show, this is Aida and Joe…they rule!benmomMan Cub flew in to surprise Mom for her Birthday. I have no idea what they’re doing in this picture but it captures perfectly how goofy they are when they get together. good times.catloloCat, Lolo, Orin Swift, Chocolate Souffle. Birthday fun for Cat
snowgirlI went to Chicago in February…..yes you read that right. It was to be the girl weekend of all time. Lolo and I flying off to see Justin Timberlake and stay with Deb for 3 days. Last minute, illness took Lolo down and I found myself flying solo. It was a great trip, Deb and I held up the girlie fun as best we could, but oh did we miss Lolo……the squeals just weren’t loud enough without her. Justin was perfect, like always.beefhenriLunch at Henri in a snow storm…quite the adventure getting to this bowl of amazing. Their take on¬†Beef Bourguignon.¬†Seriously amazing.tacomariaThis is Taco Maria in Costa Mesa CA…..OMG people. Go here. Do it. You’ll thank me.kingcakesKing Cakes!!CBhashMy special for St. Pats day at work. So good. Corned Beef HashcardsAHI don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard, this game rules!

Next post…recipe…I swear. Love ya!

It’s almost cookie season…..

Hi…..It’s Sarah……remember me?

I know, I know the radio silence has been deafening lately. I’m back to some sort of normal life again so here I am ready to pay attention to this lovely little blog I created. While trying to figure out what to share, I was looking back at the last additions I’d made to my blog. I quickly realized a lot has happened and time has gone by so quickly! It looks as though I stopped posting right when I cut off the tip of my finger while working at the Montage. Man that was a bummer, my first trip to an ER…EVER! The finger situation had nothing to do with my absence on the blog, but working my ass off at the Montage did. Oh the Montage, my time at the Loft. Culinary boot camp is one way to describe it, shit show was sometimes mentioned, killing it, digging your ass out of the weeds, a blur, a blast, insanity….never boring and always exciting. The food was amazing, the Chefs were talented and so generous with their talent. I met great people while I was there and consider myself lucky to have spent time with them. Here’s a look at some of the crew I rolled with.IMG_4906Ben, Josh, Manny, Dylan, Spencer and Mike. Gary 86’d me on my last night. Wonder if they miss me….

I’m sure most of you know by now that I’ve moved on from the Montage. In late August I got a call from the Casa Laguna Inn and Spa asking me to come back as Executive Chef. I accepted the position, made a graceful exit from the Loft and jumped head first into my new role. Within 2 weeks I created a new menu, hired crew, had a menu tasting, launched my new menu and its all been going great since. Already working on the winter menu launching in early December.

k enough about me… wasn’t I talking about cookie season???IMG_4907This is the best almond cookie ever and even though she is blurry in this picture, Lily is the best dog ever. I got this recipe from my Dad, he used to make tons of these as gifts for all the nurses that cared for him back when he had his old lungs. Now he makes them for all the nurses and doctors that follow the progress with his new lungs:) I make them all the time for friends, for gifts, for parties and to help people feel better…….

What you will need:IMG_4882

2 sticks unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons almond extract

3 eggs separated – 2 white together 1 whole egg and 2 yolks

3/4 cup finely chopped almonds

2 2/3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

48 whole almonds

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.IMG_4884Add the 2 egg yolks and 1 whole egg & the extractsIMG_4883IMG_4885beat until eggs are incorporated and fluffy. add nuts.IMG_4889add flour and salt, mixing quickly but not too much, until all is blended well.IMG_4892With a scooper portion out all the dough into 1 inch balls or roll in your hand, dip them in the unbeaten egg whites. Place a whole almond in the center top of each cookie, brush the almond with more egg white and sprinkle your favorite salt on top. I use either pink salt or maldon salt.IMG_4893ready to bake at 375 for 13-15 minutesIMG_4895The egg white glazes the cookies, the center is soft, rich and nutty. Seriously a great cookie. I’ve changed the recipe a bit from my Dad’s, no doubt I’ll hear about it from Dad.

Summer was a blur, besides getting my ass kicked at the Loft most days, I did find the time for fun stuff. A beautiful family wedding in Santa Cruz, JT & JZ with my Lolo, Yosemite with my Jim and a few rare beach days.

What have y’all been up to?

Where have I been….?

I was on a good roll there for the month of February…..and then things changed, more on that later. In early March my darling Son and I met in Seattle to visit family, cook, blog and have fun. I had a plan to bust out several of the seafood recipes in April’s book. Seattle is teaming with the best from the ocean. My beautiful and wickedly smart sister works in Pike Place Market so I knew she could guide me to the best of the best for ingredients. She has a very keen sense for seeking out the best places to eat. Every single spot she has every recommended has been special, unique and amazing in some way. kidnsisThis is my Kid and my Sister, aren’t they amazingly gorgeous people? This day started out a bit blurry for the three of us. To sooth our fuzzy heads we had breakfast at Le Pichet, a lovely little french bistro near the market.amforchampsPate and wine for breakfast?? YES! The kid had the baked eggs, see them all blurry in the back of the photo? The first time I had them I was hooked, came home and blogged my own version. I later created another version that was mentioned in a New York Times article last summer via my contribution to the summer 2012 Casa Laguna Inn breakfast menu.¬†octoMy Sister toured me around to all her favorite vendors at the market to search out the items I had planned to cook/blog for April’s book.crabcrowd¬†My plans suddenly came to a halt. The first day I arrived, my brother came by the family home looking very sick, he had been struggling with something for a while. Not having health insurance he didn’t seek care thinking he would overcome whatever bug had grabbed him and taken him down. His appearance was a shock to us all and we urged him to see a doctor right away. He was in pain, had lost weight and looked worn down and tired. Within the four days that we were in town, he saw a doctor at a clinic in his neighborhood, was rushed in an ambulance to the hospital downtown and admitted to the ¬†oncology floor…….wtf?!?!rainer

This is the view from his hospital room on the first day he was admitted. That is Mount Rainer off in the distance, clear blue skies in Seattle…rare. So we wait and wait to find out what is going on. Tests and more tests… so many questions? no answers. waiting…..
Pizzelle

This is me and my Brother. I love him dearly. He is currently in the fight of his life, he has been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. It all happened so fast, on a Friday he was admitted to the hospital and on Monday he started his first round of chemo.

Why are we still pumping cancer patients with toxic poison?

When I returned home and started to rethink some things in my life, as most do when served up news like this, more change came along. I have left Casa Laguna Inn and I am now working at the Montage Laguna Beach in the Loft as a line cook doing dinner. This new job is pushing me further and faster in my experience and education. So as for blogging April’s book, I still am but a much slower pace. The cooking and photo taking is still going on but posting has been slowed by my new schedule. Working nights is quit the adjustment for me. I rarely see my husband, family or friends, but it feels right, I’m busy…learning tons everyday. It’s good to be busy. I need to be busy now.

My brother is going through treatments and we wait and wait for good news. Send your white light, good vibes and all your positive energy out into the universe for him please.

Next up Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt, Eggs and Mint…….

Pie*ography

I was asked to be part of a cook book last March

I had about 5 days notice to contribute a recipe for a pie and write a story about how this pie is like me….seriously?

The pie came to me instantly

Writing about how this pie is like me?? This is the part where I froze in fear

Thankfully I have this amazing friend who is a whiz with the written word. A huge THANK YOU to miss amErica for taking my pie and making it sound like me..hahahahaha

It’s a cool book, check it out and let me know your thoughts, seriously send me some comment love ūüôā

Click below to see my pages from this project

pie-ography-keenan

The book hit shelves February 1st, you can also buy the book online at Amazon.com

Thanks to Jo Packham for having me be part of this book and to my Gilded Girls for thinking of me, I’m dang lucky to have known you both all these years, love you long time always.

Spry on Food is 2 years old

Yesterday was the 2nd anniversary of my blog.

Two years ago I started the path to follow my dream. This blog was the beginning, a space where I could share my excitement about all things food. It was a Sunday morning, cloudy, cold…perfect weather for making scones, so became my first blog post. Looking back at all the posts…..the bad first photos, the bad writing, amazing photos and my silly chatter…¬†I have accomplished so much in 2 years and I’m deeply proud of my little space on the internets.

Last year I totally spaced the first anniversary because I was busy graduating Culinary school.

This last year has been such a gift…..here are some of the high points

Being there with my Dad while he got his double lung transplant

Cooking & learning with amazing people

Disneyland & California Adventure with my niece

Camping with the my friends and family

Being in a magazine

My sister and her man came to see us

Dallas with the Gilded Girls

Road tripping with Jennay to Austin

Teaching Thai cooking classes

Thanksgiving at Three Arch Bay

Living in Yosemite Valley!!

Mom and Ben came to visit me in the Valley

Two crazy limo rides with KR

Glacier Point on my birthday with Jim

Starting a business

Made it to Chicago for a long overdue visit

Tomorrow I start my new job, Sous Chef at Casa Laguna

Can’t wait to see what the next year will bring

As for the blog……..I want you all to guest blog!

Gratitude and Excitement

This last week…. before I leave has been…surreal, busy, yummy, funny, sad, crazy, reflective,¬†heart warming and exciting. I truly do have the best people in my life. I have received the most thoughtful gifts, funny gifts, totally necessary¬†gifts, phone calls, emails, texts from so many ¬†people. All sending their love and best wishes.

Lunch with the girls at True Food……LOVED every minute of that..Thanks again

Breakfast at Ramos House…..in the rain….during a blackout. Catching up with my Gilded Girls, all three of them – lucky me! Thank you and love you all – long time – forever.

Dinning at the Fishery in PB and going to see Anthony Bourdain with my BFF, Sistah Julie, hugging and kissing her kids as much as I could, I will miss these small people a ton. Thanks for being my girl since we was 14….big love to you.

Seeing my San Diego friends, hugging everyone tightly while sharing love, excitement, life and grief.

Chatting with Robert while he keeps the Breck Girl hair in check, always makes my hair and me feel so pretty. Love you to pieces and thanks as always.

Celebrating my husbands birthday early, since I leave on his actual birthday…..bad wife – I know….dinner at Vine….Terrine of Foie Gras, Burgundy Burger and Pinot Noir flights….chocolate souffle…..lovely.

Visiting with the Johnson’s….. I love these people, we sat and laughed… a lot…..giggled even, Jimbo especially. They came over to bring me a gift…..it’s a funny gift although useful and warm.Yes these are sock monkey’s on my feet and yes these are full sized grown up onesie footy jammies. I will so be rocking these in Yosemite…..while frolicking in the snow….. They actually fit and are very warm and toasty.OK this photo needs some explaining. The Opsal’s (I’m pretty sure this came from the mind of Chris) got me some retrofitted long underwear. These handy little pockets hold hand warmer packets and yes there are pants to match with pockets on the bum. He didn’t want me to freeze my T&A off. Thank you so much for this hysterical thoughtful gift. I love you like crazy.Pastry Chef Barbie…..I squealed when I saw this….do my friends know me or what?! Jennay, Debbie and Shea, Cheers ladies! I actually got this gift twice. A darling sweet little friend of mine was kind enough to take one off my hands. I heard she is having a great time doing her make up with a red sharpie. Thanks for the Barbie love sweet friends.These items are my necessary gear. Having never lived in the mountains, snow or anywhere cold, I did my research on cold weather gear. Shared my findings with my Chicago winter expert Debi and she approved!! Then came my angels…..KR sent me the boots….Thanks so much Kathrin….you rock! Then the Spry’s got me the North Face coat. I seriously am the luckiest girl to have an Uncle Dennis and an Aunt Debbie…. everyone should be so lucky…..best Auntie and Uncle EVER! Love you both so much and thank you for EVERYTHING. hugs and kisses!

Big love and thanks to my Jim, I’ll miss you madly.

I am full of gratitude and LOVE.

The next post will be from the valley, I leave tomorrow at But*crack. woo hoo!

oh and it snowed in the valley last night….eeek!

I can do it, I can do it, I can do it. Snow is my friend:)

Welcome to the new Spry on Food

I know! I know! ¬†It has been forever since I have posted. Word Press and I are trying to be friends, its working….sort of. I am making an effort to spruce up the blog and make it a bit more legit, hence the purchase of my domain name. Finally pulling the trigger on taking this thing to the next level. Please let me know what you think of the new look and ease of use. Subscribe at the bottom of this page, its super easy, just make sure to confirm the email (check ¬†your junk mail if you don’t see it in your regular in box) word press will send you. Commenting is WAY smoother than before, so I want to hear lots of chatter!

Here are some photos from the last few months.

Wild Sweet Peas, these grow all over the hillsides in my hood during the spring.

Eggies made by Valerie Rosa...so good

These are Ryder's, he's the new baby in my Northwest family, I love the baby feet!

The husband had a painting in a collective art show, his is the shrunken head of George Washington.

I took a Thai cooking class with my food hero Su-Mei Yu, she is amazing!!

Spicy Shrimp Salad......wow

Spicy Shrimp Chicken Coconut Dip w/ Rice Crackers

Since school ended, wonderful things have happened, life is good and moving forward in so many great directions. More to come soon, I promise!