If you live in Los Angeles, you NEED to try the Coral Tree Cafe: 17499 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91316
It’s a little pricey, but oh, so cute! Perfect place to stop for a light breakfast. Look how beautiful their cappuccinos are:
I don’t know if you’ve watched Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution yet, but I urge you to tune in and check it out if you haven’t. I started watching last season and was so inspired that I signed his petition and have followed the progress of his initiative ever since. I was super excited when I learned that Season Two was going to be taking place in Los Angeles and I haven’t missed an episode since it started back up a couple weeks ago.
Jamie’s Food Revolution is basically an attempt to reform the school lunch programs and attitudes about food throughout the United States. It’s so nice to have someone who is finally taking charge with this problem. It’s unbelievable how unhealthy we are as a society when you compare us to the rest of the world. And what makes it even worse is that essentially the government is saying, “As long as it can be made cheaply, who cares what people put in their mouths.” Jamie is calling them out on this and trying to make the country more aware of the things we’re putting in our bodies. I think he does it in this incredibly smart way by making it about the children. It’s one thing to eat crap yourself, but are you going to feed your children crap? It gets people’s attention.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my junk food. I love fast food, fries, grease – all that fantastic stuff. But I’ll be honest, I’m not thinking about what’s in it when I’m eating it. I think what Jamie is trying to do is make everyone more conscious of what they’re really eating. What I like is that he’s not an extremist. He’s saying you can eat food that tastes wonderful and that you shouldn’t deprive yourself, but you need to do it in a healthy way AND you need to do it in moderation. Does it take more time and a little more money? Yes. But we’re talking about your health. We’re talking about your children’s health.
I think Jamie is brilliant. As a person, he has such a presence and force about him. He exudes this positive energy that I really think is contagious, and it makes the show what it is. Even if you don’t agree with him, I think it’s worth hearing him out. I think he’s doing a great thing and I sincerely hope it makes a difference.
You can catch up on Season Two episodes here:
You can also click on the link below to sign Jamie’s petition:
P.S. In going with the Food Revolution theme, I would also recommend reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. It took me a while to finish, but it’s an amazingly interesting and eye-opening book that sends a very similar message as Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Again, it’s making you more aware of what you’re putting into your body without turning you off by being so extreme. Definitely worth picking up.
The best thing about holidays in my family has always been the tradition surrounding them all. My grandmother (aka Nonna) is really big on tradition. Most of them are Italian customs that have been passed down over the years and a majority of them are centered around food (we are Italian, after all). I always enjoyed the traditions as a little kid, but as I’ve gotten older I really appreciate the importance of them.
Christmas and Easter are the huge events. Christmas Eve takes the cake and requires the most prep, but they’re all full-day extravaganzas. Cooking begins a week before with my nonna, mom and aunts baking like crazy. Usually there are kids running around and cousins stopping by. Everyone is frantically cleaning, decorating, shopping, etc. It’s chaos, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
With tomorrow being Easter Sunday, my mom has been over at my grandparents’ house since early this morning finishing up the Easter “Pizza.” Yesterday the whole family (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents) all went to mass and then we decorated eggs. All week the Easter cookies, or Tatalucce, have been being prepared. With there being so many of us, I swear they make hundreds!
One day this week I stopped by to see my mom, nonna and zizi (auntie in Italian) who were finishing up a batch of the Tatalucce at 10:30 at night. I was watching these three women who have so many other things to be doing, but they’re making these cookies for their family because of love and because of tradition. It’s in these moments that I recognize how blessed I really am to have this big family that I do and to have these wonderful people in my life. We’re loud, we’re unbelievably nosy, we fight, we’re together A LOT, and there really aren’t many of us that have a filter when we speak, but we have one another for always and we love each other like crazy. If you ask me, it doesn’t get much better than that.
I thought I’d depart by leaving you with some pictures of the Tatalucce baking. My nonna wouldn’t let me post the recipe, but she said if anyone asked for it we could give it to them on an individual basis. 🙂
Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter!