Monday, March 7, 2011

eat; mexican inspired avocado boats

I am loving the idea of a 'salad boat' and so for this week, I couldn't resist but post my latest creation! Here in California, we have Mexican food in abundance, but I have not been a fan. Maybe because it is based around meat, or maybe I don't like my food looking like it's a dogs breakfast, either ways, I cannot help but associate it has 'hang over' food or 3 am food! I have been taken to everyone I know 'favourite' Mexican restaurant as a way to introduce me to 'the best'. Nup. Still haven't found what I'm looking for in Mexican food. So this week I decided to create my own Mexican inspired amazingness that even a true Mexican would be impressed with. And here it is!

Serves 2

What you need;
1 ripe avocado
1 organic tomato
1/4 red onion
1/2 yellow capsicum (bell pepper)
big handful of fresh corriander (cilantro)
1 can of black beans
4 Tbs olive oil
1/2 garlic clove
juice of half a lime
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt to taste
good quality corn chips that are unsalted (health store quality)

Chop up the tomato, red onion and capsicum into small pieces. Place in a bowl. Roughly chop the fresh corriander and place in the bowl with the other vegies. 

Open the can of black beans and drain in a colander. Rinse under running water and drain well. Add to the vegies and mix together.

Mince the garlic into a small bowl and add oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix and set aside.

To prepare, lay out as many con chips on a plate as you would like to eat. Slice the avocado in half and remove the seed. Gently peel away the skin. Be careful not to destroy the shape. Gently place on the corn chip base aiming to keep the avocado level.

With a spoon, add small amounts at a time until, piling as high as you can get without it collapsing into the corn chip bed.

Drizzle the dressing evenly over the top of the salad with a teaspoon. Vola, an avocado boat fit for the king of Mexico!

Eating this can be a challenge. I suggest serving with a knife and fork so you can slice small pieces of avocado and scope up the salad onto a corn chip and eat it in a similar way to a chunky dip.

Buon Appetito!!!

pink; surrounded islands

Between 1980 and 1983, something special was happening among artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude and a whole army of people including engineers, seamstresses and marine biologists. That something was a plan to 'wrap' eleven islands in Miami's Biscayne Bay, in 6.5 million square feet of pink woven polypropylene fabric.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude have been wrapping things since 1969, when their first attempt was to wrap the coast in Little Bay, Sydney, Australia. Since then, they have created a 400 meter curtain in the Rocky Mountains, a 40 kilometer fence in California, wrapped a bridge in Paris and a building in Berlin. They are definitely a result of the hippy movement from the sixties and their ephemeral works draws our attention to the environment and changes our perception of it. The artists do not leave their footprints on the earth with their works, as once the works have been exhibited for a period of time, nothing is left except for photos, drawings and plans created for the project.

So why choose the colour pink to wrap the islands with? Well, why not really! It has been noted that the artists chose pink because it is a Latin colour, to highlight the flora on the actual islands, because it is an "extremely sensitive" colour and so highlights the evironmental issues around these islands and because it reflects the different tones in the earth and water it surrounds. But ask Jeanne-Claude about their work and she states, "Our art has absolutely no purpose, except to be a work of art. We do not give messages." Ahhhh got to love that straight shooting French attitude!

Whatever the reasons Christo and Jeanne-Claude chose pink, I think the aesthetics was a perfect choice and the eventual completion of the project does highlight environmental issues no matter what colour they would have chosen. It is a beautiful project having cleared out some forty tons of varied garbage: refrigerator doors, tires, kitchen sinks, mattresses and an abandoned boat that had been on or around the island. It is definitely a work that was ahead of it's time and a real pleasure to be able to imagine experiencing this feat in 2011, almost 30 years later.

love; ten things i loved this week

Last week, I was still away from L.A so below are some things I loved about visiting a small area in Arizona.
1. Australian Shepherds, affectionately known as 'Aussies'. The bed and breakfast we stayed at in Beavers Creek had two of these dogs. I'm not much of a dog person but they were soooooo cute and affectionate! Loved them! It is funny that they are named Australian Shepherds when they actually did not originate there. LOVE!
2. David Singing Bear. David was introduced to us by the bed and breakfast people and we organised for him to take us around for the day. David is of Eastern Band Cherokee decent and had lots to share with us. What a warm fellow! LOVE!
2. Montezuma Castle in Arizona. What an amazing site to see these dwellings created into the side of the cliff, standing well preserved, to instigate the imagination. They were built around 700 AD. LOVE!

3. Montezuma Well. This is a sinkhole in Arizona and is a sacred place amounst the Yavapai people.  It was such a beautiful place to visit and I could definitely feel why it was considered a sacred place. LOVE!

4. Jerome. This old mining town has now become a tourist town and is set up high on a hilltop. It is such a cute looking place that was dotted with snow and has a history of whore houses, hotels and wealth. It has mines drilled throughout it's hillside and is a wonder the buildings haven't caved in! LOVE!

5. Old sign for a Whore House in Jerome. I'm not sure if it is the original sign but it sure does look like it! David did mention that this building was once a Whore House, but is now a gift shop. LOVE the stripy socks!

6. These pink flamingos! Seriously, I have no idea what they were doing there (St Pat's day?), but set against the back drop of the hills surrounding Jerome, they were very impressive indeed! Brought a smile to my face. LOVE!!!!
7. Driving along the historic Route 66. I will do the drive one day from L.A to Chicago, but for now, I can proudly say I drove along for five and a half hours on this amazing stretch of highway and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I do LOVE to drive!

8. These signs along Route 66. They are really cool with a vintage feel to them, advertising local businesses and some made of wooden slates. Nice to see advertising that is not for major corporations! LOVE!
9. I've said it before and I'll say it again...I LOVE TRAINS!!!!! I took the train from L.A to Santa Fe and back, which was a 19 hour train ride one way. Sunsets and sunrises are pretty spectacular on the trains. LOVE!.
10. The Feminine Mystique. This is the book I took away with me and I read almost all of it on my train travels to and from Santa Fe. What an amazing book! If you don't know of it, or you do but haven't had the chance to read it, do yourself a favour! LOVE!!!