Home

Entertaining

Come On Over

I’ve been writing recently about how my attitude towards entertaining has chilled out in the extreme these past few months. I’m sure I still have a fancy hors d’oeuvre recipe or two in me, but what I’ve discovered since removing virtually all of the fuss from my get-togethers with friends and neighbors is that that’s all it is: fuss. The point is to be with each other, and - especially when lots and lots of young children are involved - the easier we can make it to do that, the more we…do it. 

Take the other night, for example: My neighbor Margo spontaneously invited us over to swim. I hesitated for a moment, because it was 4:30 PM, so not quite dinnertime, but also right in that sweet spot where I’d have to start making dinner soon or risk the kids being awake into the hour when Mom really needs to commence the bath-taking and watching of Handmaid’s Tale, which is - let’s be honest - unacceptable.

ENTREES

Sherry’s Most Perfectest Lasagna Ever (With A Secret Ingredient)

I've never been a huge fan of lasagna. I think that this dates back to a mild trauma when I was thirteen and announced that henceforth I would be a vegetarian, or at least until I changed my mind and wanted a hamburger one day (which did actually end up happening). My mother's reaction to this news was to completely ignore me and continue sneaking meat into meals anyway. She made her "special lasagna" frequently during this period, and it was a solid two years before she admitted that the "mushrooms" had, in fact, been...well, not mushrooms. (I was apparently not the most observant teenager.)

But apart from my mother's egregious conduct, I feel like lasagna should be more amazing than it usually is. I mean, it's layered pasta, cheese, and sauce. How could that not be absolutely perfect, every time? Except far too often I find lasagna has too much of one thing, and not enough of another. I want my lasagna to be red sauce-y, and cheesy, and otherwise uncomplicated by unnecessary additions like, say, peppers (BLECH).

For our girls' weekend in Tahoe, each of us was assigned a meal to prepare. This was Alisa's mom's friend Sherry's dish, and it was the best lasagna I have ever, ever, ever tasted (sorry, mom). The secret ingredient? A touch of cheddar cheese. I'm aware that that doesn't sound like a good idea, but this lasagna was transcendent. So you're going to have to trust me.

Before & After Renovations

A Full Bathroom Renovation…For Less Than $700

One of the major things I miss about living close to my friend Erin is our little (and big) projects. We were just constantly deciding that we wanted to try things, and then doing them. All by ourselves. And they usually worked out! (I'd venture that our success rate has far more to do with Erin than with me, but I'm happy to bask in the residual glory.)

Like remember that time we just went ahead and transformed the exterior brick on my house?

Recipes

Alisa’s Best Friend’s Mom’s Neighbor’s Friend’s “Top Secret” Dip (Oops)

Oh my god I LOVE THIS STORY. I'm in San Jose right now, plopped down at Alisa's dining room table, and I was all "ugh what should I write about today that involves NO FEELINGS WHATSOEVER."

"Food!" Alisa said. "You haven't written about food in forever!"

...This is true. So - and this is how I know Alisa is a true friend for the ages - she and I immediately set about figuring out what kind of brilliant recipe we could make right here and now, using ingredients that she already had. We dragged out her (perfectly organized, laminated, ughhhh) recipe binder, and started flipping through...and then we arrived at the Shasta Dip.

Decor

Living Room Rehab, Again

Couch rehab in progress

A few important points, before we begin:

  1. I have always wanted a caramel-leather couch.
  2. I cannot afford a caramel-leather couch.
  3. I enjoy having a white couch, in theory.
  4. I do not enjoy having a white couch in practice.

Now. Recall the Ikea couch I bought shortly after I moved to LA? The one I was so excited about for a minute, before I realized that the words "white" and "couch" should never, ever go together when a house is inhabited by a) children, b) animals, and c) me?


powered by chloédigital