Archive for September, 2011

When friends & family come to town, one of my favorite places to take them is to our coastal tide pools.  You’ve got to agree that the “OC” has some really cool sea creatures.   Do you happen to know what this sea creature is?   It’s a Keyhole Limpet. 

This past week was my first time seeing a limpet.  The bodies of these sea creatures are a bit like snails; however, they extend beyond their shells.  They have a muscular foot that is bright yellow.  (I saw the yellow foot, but the limpet retracted it’s foot every time I got close enough to snap a picture.)  Very cool to watch them move … slowly.

We saw bright orange and pink star fish.  We saw purple sea urchins, several types of crabs, fish, sea anemones.  And we even saw a bright green anemone.

Before you head out to the tidepools, it’s best to check the times for low tide.  And, make sure you wear sturdy shoes that can get wet (e.g., Tevas) — as the rocks are sharp and very slippery when wet.


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If you’re looking for a fun outing in the Santa Monica – Malibu area, the Getty Villa is a great choice!  My cousin was visiting this week (from Kansas).  He’s really into architecture, so we spent a few hours at the Getty property in Malibu.  Admission is free; however, you do need to get online tickets in advance for a timed entry to the property.

The villa is modeled after a first-century Roman country house called Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum, Italy.  The villa dei Papiri was buried by the Mount Vesuvius eruption in 79 A.D.  Much like most of Pompei, the real villa is still mostly unexcavated.

The villa building houses Greek, Roman and Entruscan antiquities.  Many of the exhibits are permanent and are quite interesting.

The grounds of the Getty property (60 some acres) are beautiful.  There are reflecting ponds, benches, statues and interesting plant life everywhere you look.

Walking through the gardens is probably my favorite part of the Getty Villa.

On the north side of the Outer Peristyle (formal gardens and pool), there is an Herb Garden planted with species from the Mediterranean.  Fruit trees, flowering shrubs and herbs were planted that would have been used for cooking and medicine.

There are many fountains and water features throughout the property.

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While at the gym last week – I caught the end of Giada’s grilling section on the Today Show.  Giada made a steak sandwich that was to “die for”.  Remember … I’m at the gym and had probably worked out for an hour — before my 1 hour spin class.  So … I’m thinking about the food I can eat the rest of the day, since I will have burned 700 – 900 calories at the gym.  That is why we work out, right?  So we can eat delicious food!

The sandwich starts with a marinated rib eye (marinated in Balsamic Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Worcestershire and Mustard Seeds) that’s grilled to perfection.  French rolls are slathered with a sour cream and gorgonzola mixture, topped with Arugula.  YUM!

Well, I made the sandwiches last night.  They did not disappoint!   My husband thought they were one of the best sandwiches he’s eaten.  At the end of dinner, he said “Wow!  I would have gladly paid $10 for that sandwich.”  Kind of an odd comment, but I took it as a compliment.

I wish I had taken pictures of our sandwiches … as they looked so much better than Giadas!  Next time…

Grilled Steak Sandwiches

Serves 6


1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar

1/4 cup Soy Sauce

1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tbs. Mustard Seeds, cracked

3 (12 – 14 oz.) Rib Eye Steaks

4 ounces Gorgonzola Cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup Sour Cream

Salt & Pepper

Baguette, 2 foot (or your preference of sandwich rolls)

2 cups Arugula


1.  Combine the vinegar, soy, Worcestershire and mustard seeds in a large resealable plastic bag.  (I use a mortal & pestle to break up the mustard seeds).  Add the steaks and seal the bag.  Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours, turning the steaks occasionally.  Take the steaks out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes before grilling (to bring them to room temperature).

2.   Prepare your barbeque for medium-high heat.  When grill is ready, drain the marinade from the steaks.  Grill steaks to desired doneness, about 6 minutes per side for medium-rare.  Let the steaks rest for 10 minutes.  Cut the steaks crosswise into thin slices.

3. Meanwhile, stir the cheese and sour cream in a small bowl to form a thick spread.  Season the mixture with salt and pepper, to taste.

4,  Cut the baguette in half, lengthwise.  If the baguette is thick, you may want to remove some of the bread from the center of the baguette halves.  Spread the cheese mixture over the baguette halves.  Arrange arugula and warm steak slices over the baguette bottom.  Sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper.  Cover with the baguette top.  Cut the sandwich crosswise into 6 equal pieces.

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