Sunday, January 2, 2011

eat; pumkin pizza with caramelised onions and goats cheese

This pizza will knock your socks off and those of your eating guests! I sometimes make it with a pita bread base when I can't be bothered going through the whole thing of preparing the base. When I can, I use Jamie Oliver's pizza base recipe. If using real dough, make sure you place the pizza on a heavy based tray. A terracotta tile can do wonders too!!!!

I'll be posting variations of my vegie pizzas as we go along. My favourite is Eggplant and ricotta cheese...YUM!!!!!

What you need;
1 butternut pumpkin, sliced into 1/2cm thickness
1 red onion, sliced just under 1/2cm rings
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs of olive oil, plus extra for brushing
Goats cheese
Handfull of rocket (arugula)
Pasta sauce 

Start by making the Pasta sauce and pre heating the oven to hot.

Place cut pumpkin pieces onto a tray that is lined with greaseproof paper. Brush the pumpkin pieces with a little oil and bake for about 20mins in a moderate oven (180c 400f) or until a fork pierces through easily. Do not let the pieces brown.

While the pumpkin pieces are cooking, heat 1 Tbs of oil and when hot, add the onions. Saute on a medium heat for about 5 minutes until soft, then add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Stir through and let simmer for about 10 minutes, or until caramelized.

If using fresh dough, flour the tray that you will be using with either semolina or flour. Roll out dough to fit the pizza tray and the thickness you prefer. I like mine thin. If using pita bread, lay them out on a tray with greaseproof paper

Start to layer the pizza by adding the tomato sauce to cover the base. Add the slices of pumpkin covering to make a single layer. Add the caramelized onions, spreading it evenly over the pumpkin.

Place the pizza into a hot oven for about 10 minutes. When done and still hot, crumb as much goats cheese as you would prefer over the pizza. Top with rocket just before serving.

Buon Appetito!

pink; work no. 329

I thought it would be fitting to start this year with Martin Creed's Work No. 329: Half The Air In A Given Space, seeing most of you would have been surrounded by balloons only a few nights ago. My dream New Years Eve party is to have balloons fall from the ceiling at midnight with glitter and streamers! That didn't happen this year, instead, I was at a party where the balloons were filled with helium and kissed the ceiling. I can never understand why this would appeal. Why would you want a room filled with balloons that are out of reach?!?!?! It isn't fun!

Martin Creed has created the ultimate 'balloons in a room' experience having done various versions of this work since 1998. He strategically calculates the volume of the space and then blows up balloons to occupy half the volume of the space. His choice of colour has been an issue for him claiming "The first one was white because I couldn't decide on a color – and white is a non-color that allows the people who are in the balloons to be the color. The second one was multicolored because I couldn't decide on a color, and so I had all of them; and when it comes to choosing a color, black is similar to white in that it is not a color – or at least not overtly." (L. Buck, "UK artist Q&A Martin Creed," The Art Newspaper, No. 86, November 1998).

He actually sounds like a kid saying all that about colour, not being able to decide if he wants red ones or blue ones. In 2006, at Auckland's Ivan Anthony Gallery, Creed decided on pink balloons. I couldn't find any information on why he finally chose pink but thank goodness he did. Isn't this heaven?!?!?! Well, it is mine thats for sure! This work gives us permission to reenact the playfulness of childhood. One cannot help but wear a huge smile in such a space, playing within the sea of the balloons. His work does that. It is about experiences and he creates spaces where the viewer can enjoy what is within the space, or not within it. This work makes us aware of air, how it fills a room without us noticing or even being aware of what our relationship may be to it.

"By enabling viewers to move freely among the swarm of balloons, Creed creates a purely physical, playful environment in which people are invited to consider their relationship to the air in the room and how they navigate through it." (1) This was a boring quote I came across about the work. Yes it is all that but foremost, I do think Creed simply wanted to experience a room that was filled with balloons, just as the audience would pile up to experience it too! 

We are given permission to play as we once did as children, whether we physically experience this work or simply imagine we are in it. He reminds us of the existence of the child within and invites that child to come out and play. We are dwarfed as adults by the sheer numbers of balloons, feeling as we did as a child about the world around us. It would have been amazing, an experience that would not be easily forgotten. I do hope one day I experience a room full of pink balloons. I don't think I would be able to leave the room until all the balloons become deflated into pink pools of latex.

Below is a video of people experiencing the installation. Looks like soooo much fun!


love; things I love this week
1. Echo Park Lake. Yep a man-made lake a few short blocks away from where I live. I packed a picnic for one the other week and sat in the winter sun reading my lush Pin Up architectural magazine which features Los Angeles, taking breaks from reading to watch the ducks paddle around the lake. LOVE!

2. I heart my hood Echo Park and Silverlake. Full of high and low culture, Hispanics and Hipsters (go the double H!!!!), cheap 99c stores next to one off indy designer dress stores. Great coffee at Intelligetsia where really good looking young men fuss over making you a perfect coffee, the coolest vintage shops and super cheap Mexican food restaurants and supermarkets. Even though we have had two shootings in two weeks (!) I still  LOVE my hood!!!!
3. My morning routine. I wake up and straight to the stove I go to make myself an espresso. Once done, I go back into my room and start my morning pages, pencil in one hand, coffee in the other. This normally takes about 20-30 mins, then back to the kitchen to make my green smoothie. I do feel sorry for my housemates! Waking to the sound of a blender must be the worst way to start your day!
 4. It's been raining here in Lala Land for a few days now (yes, we do get it occasionally!!!!) and I love waking up to it! It is almost a 'get in free' pass to stay in bed and just read all day. I do have the luxury now to be able to decided whether I do or not and let me tell you, it aint a hard decision to make!!!!! LOVE!
5. I hated palm trees for a very long time. Still did when I got here in L.A but I have come to love them! They are a huge part of the history of L.A even though they are not native. Every where you look, you'll see palm trees on the horizon, or sticking up high out of the hills within. I do love them, maybe it's just a symbol of loving L.A!
6. Driving in L.A! Yes I know, this sounds ridiculous as everyone whinges about the traffic, but I love it!!!!! Natalie has been away for a few days and let me drive her car. I must admit, I was very nervous at the idea but once I was behind the wheel, I felt like a pro again! It has been nearly nine months since I drove and it made me realise how much I miss it. I DO LOVE DRIVING!!!!!!
7. Buying myself and my housemates a tiara for Christmas! How wonderful and necessary for everyone to have one! I'm hoping to wear it in a bubble bath at some stage this year! Our bath here in L.A isn't quite right but I am going to manifest the most amazing bath and fill it with lots and lots of bubbles!!!! LOVE!
 8. My sequined Minnie Mouse ears!!!! I took the bow off and wore them on New Years Eve! Sooo much fun! I will be wearing them randomly through the year I'm sure!!! LOVE!!!!
9. My new Alice In Wonderland tea cup! I bought this at Disneyland and LOVE it!!!! You can get one too on Amazon. Makes drinking a cup of my Madura soooooo much nicer!!!!!

10. Having friends visit me here in L.A. This week, I have had a friend from Australia with her sister visit and Katya from Chicago. It definitely allows you to be a tourist in the city you live in when friends drop by. LOVE!!!!!!