A.G. Newsletter #115: Blog Crazy, Lunch at Cortez, Soup at Froman's & Sandwich at Gjelina

Well hey there,

If you load up my blog right now, you might be a little overwhelmed. Here's why! On Monday morning, I woke up all ready to write a fancy, long-winded post about a cauliflower gratin and I suddenly had a thought: why am I putting all this energy into one post instead of writing a few fun, light-hearted, more bloggy posts? I mean: when I started my blog, I would update all the time, unencumbered by thoughts of what blog posts should be. If something occurred to me that I wanted to blog about, I just blogged about it. That's what made blogging fun.

Somewhere along the way, I got this idea in my head that blog posts had to be formalized and polished and this caused me to update far less frequently. Two things happened as a result: 1. My blog posts got predictable; and 2. I got bored.

So! Am I turning over a new leaf? I have no idea. I just wanted to shake thins up a bit. And so, since Monday morning, I've written the following posts:

- Where Does It All Go? (Note the date.)

- Sandra Lee's Fake Tan

- Frozen Yogurt Toppings Are Worse For You Than Ice Cream

- Cauliflower Gratin with Gruyere and Goat Cheese

- I Can Cook Too (From "On The Town")

- Do You Feed Your Pets At The Table?

- Warm Me Up, Cool Me Down (Your Serving Dishes, That Is)

- Chicken Caesar Fit For The Gods (A Comic Book Post AND Recipe)

Will I be able to keep up this pace? Probably not. But, on a personal level, I feel like being more casual about posts has freed me up to be more creative. So who knows what's coming next.

Now then! On to newsletter stuff....

Last week, I made my way to the adorable new restaurant from the folks who run my favorite little food store in Echo Park, Cookbook. The place is called Cortez and it's kinda sorta hidden away:

I hear the place gets packed at night, but during the day it's open, airy, nearly empty and totally charming. Check out the counter where the food is put together:

I love the way everything is set out... it feels very special.

As for my lunch, I decided to eat healthily and ordered the quinoa with beets and the kale salad:

Craig saw that picture and called it "rabbit food," and though he does have a point, there was nothing punishing about eating this. The quinoa had earthy beet flavor pepped up, I believe, by a little horseradish; also, the beet greens were sauteed and stirred throughout. The raw kale salad was made more tolerable with feta cheese. I ate everything in the bowl.

As a very sweet treat, the waitress (who recognized me from my blog) sent me home with this extraordinary marmalade tart:

I loved eating this... almost too much. It was a real treat.

A few days later, I went to meet my 91 year-old Uncle Jerry at Fromin's again in Santa Monica. Here he is with his soup (he loves eating soup; it's probably the secret to his longevity):

I decided to follow suit with a small bowl of chicken noodle soup:

Though I'd like to pretend this was part of a healthful agenda, this was actually just a pre-lunch because my real lunch happened an hour later at Gjelina-to-go where I ordered this tasty vegetable sandwich on olive bread:

Lots of shaved vegetables (notably, fennel) were pepped up with pickled beets and made more decadent with creamy hummus. It's a great sandwich if you don't feel like eating soup all the time to keep you alive for 91 years.

And that's all for this week, folks!

Be sure to keep checking the blog this week, I feel like I'm just getting started.

Until next time....

Your friend,
Adam (The Amateur Gourmet)

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