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We’ve been attending wine tastings at this park for about 8 year summers now.  Before Oliver and before we were married and now we still go because I think everyone in LA takes their child here because it’s acceptable to go wine tasting with your child in tow and no ones judging!!  The cool thing about this park, is it’s an art park, called Barnsdall Art Park . Up on the hill that over looks the city is home to a beautiful museum, that houses art to many up and coming artist, a house that was designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright, and it also offers art classes for the young and old.  It’s one of those hidden gems in the city that a lot of people didn’t know about until they started doing wine tasting up on the hill.  Jonathan and I used to live down the street so we would just walk there.  It used to be $15 when it started, but now eight years later it’s $30.  We don’t mind paying it because most of the money is a donation to the foundation.

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I love picnicking.  Who doesn’t especially when wine is involved.  One thing I really do love to make is fried chicken, you can from my past posts. It’s an easy thing to make and doesn’t seem to get messy, and everyone loves it.  This time I decided to make waffles along with the fried chicken, little bites.  Even less messy.

 

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We were celebrating two birthdays, and the end of summer.  Such a great way to spend a Friday night.  I have a great group of lady friends, and we all had babies around the same time.  So we often spend our birthdays together, or other things we want to celebrate.  It’s great to have the support system we have with each other.  To celebrate the birthdays I made PB&J cupcakes.  I stuffed the cupcakes with a really tasty concord grape jam, used fresh PB for the icing, and topped them with concord grapes.  It was a great evening and an amazing way to kick off the holiday weekend.

 

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Picnic photos courtesy of Nikki Garcia

 

Fried Chicken Ingredients:

6-8  organic chicken thighs skin on and bone in

1 quart buttermilk

3 eggs

6 cups flour

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

 

Directions for fried chicken:

Soak your chicken in buttermilk for at least 12 hours, or over night.  Once your done soaking it pour out the buttermilk and add 3 eggs and whisk.  Next add all your dry ingredients together.  I like to use a cast iron pan to fry my chicken.  Add the oil of your liking, I use canola oil.  Heat it up once it’s hot enough, or 350.  At this point I heat my oven to 375.  Dip your chicken in the buttermilk mixture and then the flour mixture.  Place in hot oil.  It’s important to not over crowd the chicken.  Once they are golden on each side place on lined parchment lined baking sheet.  Once all the chicken is fried, put in the oven an cook for about 25 minutes.   You can check the internal temp of the chicken if you feel should, it should be 165.  Once it’s done let it cool for a bit

For waffles use a Belgium waffle cooker.  I only filled the it up half way, because I wanted small squares.  Once they’re done and cooled pull apart.  Cut up your chicken and place a piece on top to the waffle.  Use a tooth pic to hold them together.  Top with honey or maple syrup.

plum galette

Dates with my husband are something I love and look very forward to.  He has been working 13 days straight, and I have been baking up a storm.  We have passed each other in the hall good morning, and good night, but no dinners together, or morning conversations.  So today we were invited to three different parties, BBQ’s and birthdays, did we attend any.  Why no parties?  Because we went on a much needed date.  We slept til 10:30 AM, and went on a beautiful morning hike in the mountains in Mount Washington.  Then we came home and had the best picnic in our backyard..which became BLD.  The conversation, the food, the wine, the music.  I know I’m tooting my own horn but my husband and I have a special connection that I believe only a few have, we are soul mates, or if you don’t like that term we were meant for one another.

For lunch I made a spinach salad with heirloom tomatoes, feta, and toasted pecans with a vanilla fig balsamic dressing from Temecula olive oil,  Panko fried organic chicken strips, and roasted sweet potato fries.  Heaven yes!!  We laid around under our big tree in the yard telling stories, listening to country music, and most of all laughing!!!  One story I loved that he told was the time he partied with Lucinda Williams, he had no idea who she and thought she was just some new hip girl from Echo Park.

I had some delicious and ripe organic plums so I decided to make a plum galette for dessert.  I had everything on hand that I needed.  This is easy yummy and rustic.  Enjoy!

 

plums

 

brown sugar and toated pecans

 

panko crusted organic chicken

 

simple spinach salad

 

Jonathan chilling

 

old timey counrty

 

basking under our tree

 

Someone else wanted to relax as much we did!

 

 

Ingredients:

  • Pate Brisee
  • 1/2 cup finely ground toasted pecans
  • 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 pounds (about 5) plums, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 3 tablespoons raw sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.with rack in lower third. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out pate brisee to 1/8 inch thick. Trim edges to form an 18-by-16-inch rectangle, and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine pecans, and brown sugar; spread to cover middle of dough, leaving a 3-inch border all around.
  2. Arrange plums in rows on top, slightly overlapping the slices and alternating direction of each row.  Fold dough to enclose edges; brush dough with heavy cream and top with raw sugar.
  3.  Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees. Bake until pastry is golden brown and plums are softened, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool to room temperature. Enjoy with ice cream or just plain.

 

wine and cheese

As a woman it is essential to have time with your girlfriends, to catch-up, gossip, and vent.  Me and my gfs try our best to meet up once a month, and sometimes more if we are lucky.  When we were all single we were attached at the hip and saw each other almost every night, oh the stories I could tell.  We have always been a support system for each other, much like a family.  We are a tight bunch, who loves, supports, and respects each other.

This month for our get-together we decided to picnic at Barnesdall Art Park in Los Feliz.  Beautiful park, with history and great views.  We each brought food and wine.  I also brought my new camera that I’m obsessed with.  So I may go a little crazy here with pictures, but I have to capture the day, it was just too beautiful!

 

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our picnic

 

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our view of the city, even if it is a smidge smoggy I still love it

 

spring radish

My friend Camille was fortunate enough to have lived in France for two years. She said this was a typical picnic snack in France. Rustic bread with butter and spring radish with salt and pepper. It was absolutely delicious.

 

roasted veg salad

My friend Jen is very fortunate to have a husband who is chef, and great chef at that. She brought, but he made, roasted beets, spring onion, and turnips, atop dandelion greens. It was too delicious.

 

potato salad

Camille's yummy potato salad

 

fried chicken

My famous fried chicken served cold, picnic style

 

Camille's cute picnic baskets

 

Jenny

 

Camille

 

caramel sea salt buttercream, and carrot cake cupcake from our bakery Daisy Mae Sweets and Treats

 

the sweetest strawberry from the farmers market

 

The End