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All The Way Away In L.A


I bet that when you think about L.A, Japanese plum blossoms are not the first things coming to your mind. Me neither but when your first night in town start with dinner at Todd and Diane’s, this is one of the things you can expect. A delectable tour of their edible garden, a fantastic dinner and plenty of great discussions, laughs and good times. Made my heart giddy with happiness and gratitute. And that was just day one…


Since I am staying on the beach, the first thing I did was to go check out the Pacific ocean. Nice plump and beautiful waves. The kind we usually see at the beginning of a storm here but it’s nice to be close to something familiar. I keep thinking how much fun Bailey would have in these waves…crazy pup.


Yes, I made it to L.A without a glitch on Wednesday and it’s pretty much been a whirlwind since then. Jen has been the most wonderful host. Attentive and generous of her time, making sure we see everything that makes L.A while avoiding the tourist pitfalls. Jen is definitely a rock star!

Dinner at Todd and Diane's

Back to Todd and Diane for a second. I was so thrilled to finally walk around in their beautiful edible yard. Fruit trees, salad, root vegetables…you name it. Nothing beats dinner where most of the ingredients come directly from their labor of love over their gorgeous space and sanctuary. Add dinner guests such as Matt and Adam and Broderick and you can expect flying jokes and hilarious work stories. Hmmm…hmmm….what a night!

Matt and Adam invited me to come by their studio the next morning and see their creative space. Oh my! I wanted to move in. Or make myself so tiny they’d forget I was there. A couple of hours talking and laughing away and Jen and I were back gallivanting around town.

Jimmy Stewart - L.A

She knows my heavy addiction for old Hollywood movies, my crushes on Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant and at the detour of a conversation, I found myself staring at the famous actors footprints at the Grauman’s Theather on Hollywood Boulevard. And so I snapped. Happy to be doing the same thing everyone was doing. At least this once. Let’s face it: I don’t get to L.A that often (read never) to pass on the opportunity to get this close to dear old Jimmy. Heck no! Ahahah….

Oscar Time!

And Oscar. It just so happened that I am in L.A during Oscar week. Pretty cool considering my TCM addiction. Almost makes me want to see ghosts of actors passed. Almost…

Time to get a few more things done before tonight’s workshop…

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Jessica @ How Sweet March 5, 2010 um 5:42 pm

Hope you have a wonderful trip, Helen! I would love to go to LA.:)

Pastrychefgrl March 5, 2010 um 5:43 pm

Oh I am sooo jealous!! I miss my california home!! I hope to be there soon again enjoy our lovely weather! And have lots of fun!!

The Cooking Ninja March 5, 2010 um 5:46 pm

I was in LA when I was 5 months pregnant with poppet. Love it! πŸ™‚ I visited the famous actors/actresses footprints, Hollywood walks, cemetery too and even got to see them getting everything ready for Oscars. πŸ™‚

2 Stews March 5, 2010 um 5:48 pm

What a delight! I'm glad you got to say hi to Oscar….perfect timing! Have fun!!

martina March 5, 2010 um 6:06 pm

What a beautiful post!Full of happiness and gratitude. The pictures are fenomenal (like ever) and I almost fell the spring… here something impossible to happen, yet!
have fun in L.A.

Irene March 5, 2010 um 6:15 pm

So glad you liked our beautiful city, Helen! You caught some really nice weather! I live about a mile off the beach and never cease to be amazed by how lovely it is here.

m March 5, 2010 um 6:25 pm

LA!! My home town. :] I'm glad you're having fun!

Alex Waidley March 5, 2010 um 6:36 pm

Where is your workshop? Can't believe I am missing it as a LA native

Karina March 5, 2010 um 6:36 pm

Beautiful photos!

Little Girl Blue March 5, 2010 um 7:26 pm

I too have crushes on Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant. But since I've never been to LA your pictures have brought me a little piece of Jimmy. ::swoon::

Kate at Serendipity March 5, 2010 um 7:55 pm

Gorgeous photos! Amazing people! An uneventful trip! Jimmy Stewart! Oscar! This all sounds like heaven to me…

Cindy March 5, 2010 um 10:22 pm

it looks wonderful already, helen. have fun and hope you didn't forget to pack your evening gown ;).

Gaby March 5, 2010 um 11:56 pm

we are soooo glad to have you hear!! So bummed I had to work today but I can't wait for tomorrow!

Esi March 6, 2010 um 1:17 am

Glad you're having a great time so far! Looking forward to both classes tomorrow.

Kendall March 6, 2010 um 5:58 am

Ohhh I am jealous…Jimmy Stewart is pretty much my favorite actor EVER. Love him so much. That is sooo cool!

La cuisine des 3 soeurs March 6, 2010 um 7:00 am

Tu me fais rΓͺver aux vacances avec cette vue de l'ocΓ©an. Tous ces agrumes apportent la note de couleur qui me fait dΓ©faut en ce moment.

linda March 6, 2010 um 11:26 am

just read the forbes article…GREAT!
have fun in l.a. & we look forward to hearing all about your workshop!

Lisa! March 6, 2010 um 5:20 pm

I had an awesome time at the class last night! I'm trying (and failing) to let my macarons "mature" in the fridge. I've only failed three times. I'm finding myself hard pressed to imagine that they could become any more delicious.

Too bad I didn't know tell you my story of being invited in to Jimmy Stewart's house while trick or treating…

{this is glamorous} March 6, 2010 um 6:53 pm

an ocean view — how wonderful! and such fun photos — looks like you're having a fantastic time


Punctuation Mark March 6, 2010 um 9:26 pm

LA is a wonderful city full of great places to have fun… enjoy the time near the Ocean… have a nice weekend!

Dinners and Dreams March 6, 2010 um 10:29 pm

Gorgeous photos. I love the one of the lemons on the branch.


Cookin' Canuck March 6, 2010 um 11:48 pm

What beautiful photos! What a different spin blogging friends can bring to a city. It's always fun to see a city through the eyes of food lovers.

prerna March 7, 2010 um 2:11 am

I hate you!
I've lived in California for the first two years of the three n a half years living in the US & I still haven't forgiven my husband for making us move out of thr.
I'm so in love with LA and California in general n now I'm so jealous that you're there and I'm not πŸ™
But love all your pictures and good to know that you're loving it as much as I do.
Have fun!

Kristy Geddes March 7, 2010 um 10:30 am

I spent a week in LA in Oct, it was so much fun, and some of the resteraunts are unbelievable.

I came across your blog and spent my Sunday reading it, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can't wait to try so many of your recipes.

Definatly added to my favourites!

audgbodge March 7, 2010 um 3:59 pm

welcome to cali πŸ™‚
hope the weather treated you nicely!

marla {family fresh cooking} March 7, 2010 um 4:53 pm

Helen, it was so wonderful to meet you again yesterday. You are a great inspiration! I love you wit, candor and honesty. You have unique talents, I consider myself very lucky to be a newbie in the foodie blogger world and have the opportunity to learn from you πŸ™‚
Glad to see that your trip to LA has been grand! If you ever end up in the OC I would love to show you the rolling waves in Laguna Beach and the fab seaside towns!

The Purple Foodie March 7, 2010 um 6:37 pm

What fun! I've always been so curious about Dianne and Todd's garden. Someday I shall grow my own food!

ChichaJo March 7, 2010 um 11:58 pm

Sounds like you had a fantastic trip! πŸ™‚ Glad you had fun!

Vangie March 8, 2010 um 7:03 am

I enjoyed the macaron class last Friday night immensely! Thanks for your tips and pointers. I'm all the more inspired to work and get the technique down – wish me luck!

Glad you're enjoying the sun and shore of LA – great pictures!

Kitchen M March 8, 2010 um 7:08 am

I saw your twitter this morning and made me laugh! Hope you didn't miss your flight…
People are talking about inviting you to SF for the macaron workshop. If it ever happens, I'll be there! πŸ˜‰

The Duo Dishes March 8, 2010 um 8:18 am

Glad you enjoyed our city. It's a fun little place, this Los Angeles.

Sweet Treats by Dani March 8, 2010 um 1:35 pm

seems like you're having a fab trip! enjoy every minute πŸ™‚

Yumi @ Natsukashii March 8, 2010 um 5:22 pm

Sounds like so much fun you're having!! So much to be had in LA. I'm partial since it is my hometown πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing your talents with us!

colorchic March 8, 2010 um 8:10 pm

What fun! Love the Oscars, it's a reason to party! Your photos are great. I'm especially loving the citrus, so colorful!

Rachael Hutchings March 8, 2010 um 9:31 pm

That photo of Jen is STUNNING! Jen, you are a BABE! πŸ™‚

Lindsey @ pickyeatings March 9, 2010 um 9:53 pm

Hope you are having a wonderful trip! I wouldn't mind being near an ocean that isn't completely freezing right about now…

S'mee March 10, 2010 um 4:29 am

I owe Robyn a huge "thanks!" for letting me take her daughter's place in the class…I had such a great time! Thanks dear Helene for your patience and humour! Fabulous! I must admit I was pretty clueless to the caliber of company I stood in and (blushing) I am so honoured to have had the opportunity! Yippi!

The macarons were devoured quickly (we are true Americans!) and were definitely a hit! My D-i-Ls are anticipating an attempt at learning what you taught me (keep your fingers crossed on that one!). Any who Thanks again, it was lovely and generous of you all to let me in the group!
Here's to confidence!

todd and diane March 12, 2010 um 3:47 am

It was so great having you visit all of us LA folks! What great times. Come back again soon, K? xoxo

todd and diane March 12, 2010 um 3:47 am

It was so great having you visit all of us LA folks! What great times. Come back again soon, K? xoxo

Sari @ Cook Your Dream March 12, 2010 um 10:38 pm

wWnderful trip indeed. And what a great timing, just in time for Oscar! πŸ˜‰ Love the picture of lemon tree. I wish I had one at home πŸ™‚

veron March 13, 2010 um 1:29 am

Looked like you had so much fun! and you got to meet Todd, Dianne and Jen!

Helene March 13, 2010 um 2:10 am

Veron: thanks! I already knew Todd and Diane from a trip to Asheville and BlogHer Food.

Paula Maack March 14, 2010 um 7:43 pm

It looks like you hit some of the primary L.A. spots and that you had a great time. I am so sorry I was ill for the meet-up and missed out on seeing you again, and meeting up with my fellow Angelino foodies, too. I hope you visit again, soon!

Love the photo of OSCAR outside the Kodak. I was there several times that week – probably just missed you…

Cafe Pasadena March 16, 2010 um 3:49 am

California is a special place and you added to the special uniqueness with this journal post!

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