Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Our New Home

Todd and I are now official residents of Hollywood! Our apartment is fantastic, and the move-in mess is (almost) all cleaned up. There's so much light, and if we want fresh air we can step out onto our little balcony, or go up to the rooftop deck where there is a shallow pool and the cutest, tiniest hot tub I've ever seen. And of course, there's my favorite room in the place:

It's a small galley kitchen, but despite it's narrowness it has plenty of counter and cupboard space and, get this, a DISHWASHER! We had one in Maastricht but not in Riverside; I am so glad this apartment included one. 

So, things are rolling right along. Unfortunately due to a mix-up with Time Warner we don't yet have internet in the apartment, though that should be corrected some time today or tomorrow. Until then, I've been making the five minute pilgrimage to the near-by self-serve frozen yogurt shop, which has Wifi. And yogurt, of course:

Toppings bar. All those syrups in the back are for shaved ice, which you can customize just like the yogurt. Cantaloop is the only yogurt place I've seen that has this feature.

The self-serve froyo phenomenon seems to slowly be moving east from California (the little touristy harbor town near my parents' home on LI has two now), the West Coast is still where it's at: there are at least half a dozen within a few square miles of our apartment, and hundreds more scattered throughout the city. I like it because you can get as much or as little yogurt you like and mix and match flavors and toppings to your hearts' content. 

I like to go heavy on the mix-ins. 

I've eaten an embarassing amount of ice cream in the past few days, as well as an inaugural dinner with Todd's friend and her boyfriend-  who are now only a couple miles away from us, as opposed to 60 miles - at In-n-Out Burger, which is also within walking distance, which could get dangerous...

Have no fear, though, I am eating real food as well! For the first meal I actually (sort of) cooked in our new kitchen, I made these:

I roasted some figs to bring out their sweetness, just plain, no oil or seasoning or anything, because I was planning on serving them with this:

Balsamic vinegar, bubbling away. The recipe is from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, but it's hardly a recipe: just bring a cup of balsamic to a boil, then immediately turn the heat down and let it simmer nice and gently for a while til it gets reduced to about 1/4 cup and is nice and thick and syrupy. I followed one of his suggested variations and added two tablespoons of honey to the vinegar while it was reducing. I also waaaay over-reduced it (and got impatient and turned the heat up too high at the end) so it was less syrup and more tar-like sludge. Still tasted good, though! I drizzled it on top of a log of goat cheese and served it up with the figs, some bread, and some other goodies from Trader Joe's, along with some sparkling pear hard cider from a cidery near Todd's aunt and uncle's home in Washington:

With the kitchen now consecrated, our life in Hollywood (oh how I looooove saying that!) can officially begin.

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