dusty’s bistro

dusty’s bistro is on a weird corner in silver lake – really quite toeing the line between hipsterland and the streetz – and you might find yourself having to park on a ridiculously steep and winding side street wedged between some trash cans, wheels turned to the curb and everything… and once you get inside you might find that it smells kind of musty (at which point you decide to take a seat outside)… but it’s okay. just go once, if you’re ever in the area. order yourself a croque madame. (i suppose a croque monsieur could be magical too, but why deprive yourself of a fried egg.) and this is what will arrive at your table.

looks pretty good, right? if you’re into that whole broil-my-cheese-topped-sandwich-until-it’s-beautiful thing. okay, just wait.

still good. getting deliciouser.

now, look:


there’s MORE broiling. those overachievers…

and if the layers of texture aren’t enough (crispy-crunchy-chewy-soft-crispy-again), they go and use the most phenomenal swiss cheese ever. i don’t even like swiss cheese, really. it usually has this bitter tang that goes blehh all over my tongue, and i don’t appreciate it. but this one – i don’t know. i had half a mind to flag down our waitress and ask her where the restaurant gets their cheese, but i was too busy chewing and expressing my pleasure in snorfles and borderline inappropriate noises. next time. there will be a next time.

p.s. and i haven’t even mentioned their quaint little bread basket…

i forgot what kind of bread we decided that was, but look at the little spread selection: orange marmalade and fig jam. who does that. i mean, really.

obviously we were fans.

grand epiphany

so. i have found the purpose of this lavender lemonade (previous ambivalence expressed here). its true calling? to be slipped into the porch swing.

all that jibberjabber i had going on about how the cocktail tasted “pretty” and “floral”… well, that means it provides the perfect backdrop for some frou-frou fancy-pants lemonade.

here is what i mixed up tonight:

4 parts hand-squeezed (fork-twisted, if we’re going to be accurate) lemon juice
4 parts lavender syrup (click here and scroll down a bit)
3 parts Hendrick’s gin
3 parts Pimm’s No. 1 Cup
ginger ale to taste

the drink comes out on the sweet side, but i think it balances out just fine as soon as those ice cubes get a-clinking. you could also just start with a little less syrup, and then adjust to taste.

i’m sipping a glass now with some half-burnt sweet potato fries to celebrate, for i am an entire half-day ahead in my lesson planning for class. cheers.

a couple more things

…from studio choo {offshoot from my last post}

i would prefer this to a dozen roses any day:

bouquet{photo from the full diy instructions here.}


and whatever guy thought up this card message gets major points for his poetic simplicity. it made me giggle:

card msg{from their blog}

a day at the office

another day of inspiration, thanks to design*sponge.

i’ve been thinking about a lot of things these days, but the topic that has been so rudely hogging about 97 % of my brain space is the subject of work. i’m one month into this new job and constantly counting over the ways it pushes the limits of my capacity for stress …and the ways i would be lost without a reason to work this hard.

but i was reading this post today…

a day at the office{photo by studio choo at design*sponge}

…chronicling a day in the life of a couple best friends who run a flower design company in san francisco.

it was just lovely getting a glimpse into this small business, the kind where you can keep two feet on the ground (you know, where the flowers grow) but let your head do the dreaming.

and while i love teaching – working with words and stories and sentences, and finding a way to distill everything down to kid-level – it made me realize that i miss doing the kind of work that requires only my hands and my greatest sense of beauty. i miss the craft.

i spent my undergrad years as an art major – trying all the time to paint my insides out – and then nearly every free moment apart from that thinking about food: how to make it, how to eat it. and whether it was something i was good at or not, the space for creativity satisfied a part of me that’s shriveling just a little bit these days. a part that i can feel reawaken ever so quietly every time i read about (or feast my eyes on or tune my ears to) some beautiful thing someone else is doing.

how to braid inspiration back into life… i guess that’s an art in itself.

the verdict

{a follow-up from the last post}




orechiette with roasted red pepper sauce

oh, orechiette. i will deal with you later.

so i’ve been known to let my emotions twist and warp what they may, and this very well may be another example of that. the sauce had great flavors. it had that sweet, unique flavor of red bells and the savory taste of softened onion and garlic and the cream to smooth it all together… but when the forkful of pasta got to my mouth, it just didn’t feel the way i thought it would. not smooth and luscious enough… or something. i’m going to keep working on this, because it’s just so close, and there is hope yet.

and the orechiette itself? so cute in the box. all “little ears” and buttoncups and heeheehee. in my bowl though? miniature surgical masks or turtle-less turtle shells. bubble burst. just saying.

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this has been a good weekend, guys. i liked it.

i got all sorts of things started that i can’t wait to finish, and that’s just the best feeling.

first of all is this:


{from a post on design*sponge that includes the recipe}

this picture gets me dreaming in all sorts of ways. a cool, country evening… a big porch… barefoot in a ruffled sundress… and yes, some lavender lemonade. sigh, one day. but for now, at least the lemonade part.

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buying heels, kicking them up

lest my brain implode due to all that thinking, last weekend i decided it was time to make like a girl and go shoe shopping.

i bought one pair for practical reasons:

touched up IMG_5199

…to replace a pair i wear to work every other day but that i had somehow majorly scuffed up. (maybe it’s all the rocks i kick over when i park my car in the alley…)

and the other pair:

about as cute as they are unnecessary.

but you know what? la la la i can’t hear you, sense of responsiblity! la la la.

oh well

sunday morning.

blueberry oat scone. coffee. book. general sense of composure.

goal: recreate scenario on weekday.

currently: failing everydaily.

the trapeze swinger

i am getting way too pensive these days. i think it’s all that time spent thinking about work during the day; my personal thoughts get all dammed up, only to be released late at night or on a quiet saturday like today.


this is probably my favorite song. i first heard it as it played over the ending credits of the movie in good company. my love for it was instant; i remember rewinding and replaying the last ten minutes just to hear the song again and again.

i still don’t have it figured out – why it gets me every time. i love the sound of the song: it’s his warm voice, and the guitar, and some sort of percussion… but it’s also the sound of something else. something distant and familiar – like (if i may paraphrase what someone wrote to me once) homesickness for a place that doesn’t exist yet.

it’s a song i almost always play on repeat. i will play it on breezy, beautiful days when everything is going right. and on days when everything is in pieces and i need some melody to put it all back together. sometimes i’ll switch it to play on my phone, which i’ll lay on my pillow next to my ear as i fall asleep. other times i’ll have it in the morning, to slowly wake up to, looping in the background while i get ready for a day that doesn’t need to start quite yet.

no matter when i listen to it, it always sounds like everything in my past, overlaid with everything that is yet to come. the convergence of all i’ve ever felt about life: equal parts homesickness and nostalgia, regret and shame, overwhelming lightness and gratitude, quiet rage, longing, the sweetest of aches, and the darkest of them, too.

i tend to overuse these, i realize, but: sigh.

bacon, eggs, and dreams


mornings. remember those? because i had kind of forgotten their appeal. i’m back to being a night owl these days, because it’s just so darn easy to slip later and later, deeper and farther into that cave of pointless internet surfing and all that magnificent tv streaming online… but early this morning i pulled myself out of bed and out the door to have breakfast with an old friend. that’s as good a reason as any to break a bad habit.

as i’ve mused of before, i have dreams of moving out of the city… my little blue box of an apartment has its charm, of course; otherwise, i wouldn’t have set my bags down and stayed here so long. but i tire of coming home so late these days to a neighborhood where a girl in heels parking her car in the dark and then click-clacking her way to the front door – well, it’s not exactly safe.

i have a dream home in a dream city: one with a porch in front and trees all around, a fireplace inside and great big windows that let in the light, and beautiful hardwood floors throughout. pretty recently, though, i had decided to push the dream a little farther ahead of me. despite the job upgrade i’m still not making enough to get there on my own. but this morning, i’m suddenly feeling just a tad closer to that dream.

in catching up with my friend over some bacon and eggs and cups of strong coffee this morning, i discovered we both wanted – anxiously – to move to the same area. to drop the parts of our lives we didn’t quite like, keep the parts we did, and move on. because as undecided twentysomethings, that is our luxury.

that’s the nice thing about seeing an old friend again: sometimes, despite losing touch, you find your lives have been pulsing to similar rhythms. the lessons you’ve learned mirror each other’s; your farthest-reaching dreams somehow coincide.

so, folks, the dream lives on. despite being young, independent, carefree (“carefree”), etc. etc., sometimes the hardest thing for me to remember is that forever hasn’t happened yet. life is full of surprises and sudden little tips and twists. and some of them are bound to be the good kind.